back to article Boffins: Antarctic glacier in irreversible decline, will raise sea levels by 1cm

A massive Antarctic glacier is in irreversible decline and will add up to a centimeter to world sea levels in the next 20 years, claim polar scientists. A new paper in Nature Climate Change describes how the Pine Island Glacier (PIG) has been shedding ice into the ocean at a dramatically increasing rate. Using observations on …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A choice of words

    Examine the wording of the opening paragraph:

    "A new paper in Nature Climate Change describes how the Pine Island Glacier (PIG) has been shedding ice into the ocean at a dramatically increasing rate. Using observations on the grounds and from satellites, the team says the rate of loss has increased from 20 gigatonnes a year between 1992 and 2011 to about 100 gigatonnes a year. The team estimates the rate of loss will continue at this rate for the foreseeable future."

    "Shedding ice." "Rate of loss."

    Um, the glacier is transporting fallen snow to the ocean as ice, right? The flow rate would be expected to vary with time. So why the breathless reporting on "rate of loss?" Is there an ideal mass for that glacier? Would the world be better off if it fattened up a bit? Or is all this part and parcel of "Dem seas, dey gonna rise" fear-mongering?

    Witness the admission of "thickening" attributed to a mere La Niña "event," as opposed to the generally accepted slide toward global warm.. uh, climate change. Forgot for a moment.

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
      Thumb Down

      How commentards do science: word analysis on a writeup by El Reg

      Are you jesuiting and scarequoting around like that when your doctor tells you to stop drinking, too?

      1. Robert Grant

        Re: How commentards do science: word analysis on a writeup by El Reg

        Perhaps it goes something like this:

        My doctor told me to stop drinking. But as ANY schoolboy knows, we need to drink to live! If his advice fails to pass this basic high school requirement, then I don't know what Britain's coming to. I told him this, and he said it's only certain types of drink that I can't have. Talk about trying to weasel out of it. I can't believe that this generation is allowed to become doctors when they don't have a single O level, which in my opinion are the highest academic qualification in all of history.

        1. Mad Mike

          Re: How commentards do science: word analysis on a writeup by El Reg

          The thing that I find interesting about all this is that the PIG doesn't seem to be following other climate change trends. For instance. You might think that rising world temperatures would cause the ice to melt and increase the shed rate. Fair enough. Seems logical. However, this increase has happened when even the most ardent warmist has agreed no warming has been occuring. So, what is causing it? Presumably they must know as otherwise, how do they know it will increase etc.etc. as stated in the article.

          To me, this piece of information just increases my impression that scientists don't really have much of a clue what's going on and why.

          1. Jim Birch

            Re: How commentards do science: word analysis on a writeup by El Reg

            @Mad Mike

            Oh dear. When was this mythological time when "even the most ardent warmist has agreed no warming has been occurring"? [spelling corrected]

            Maybe you need to do a little reading of alternate views to what's bouncing around in your echo chamber. If you are referring to the cherry picked period that mysteriously happened to align with some El El Niño extremes, then (1) you FAILED basic statistics and (2) you FAILED science. It was known at the time that if you removed El Niño and volcanic aerosol effects the supposed flat period was significantly reduced. Subsequent research also indicates that if poor estimates of Arctic warming are improved the effect basically gone. In science, you incorporate all data, add new and improved information, correct your ideas and move on. In ideology, you find an emotionally resonant story and stick with it come Hell or highwater by playing with words and repeating discredited factoids. Take your pick.

            In any case there's an even more basic logical error here. Even if the global averaged surface temperature had actually stopped rising, this says little about the temperature of the water arriving at the base of that particular ice shelf that is causing the melt. Which has, over a limed period of measurement, risen. Which is consistent with the shelf ice loss.

      2. Wzrd1

        Re: How commentards do science: word analysis on a writeup by El Reg

        I love how El Reg switches state like a nice flip flop. One story about how climate change isn't happening, another how it is.

        Oh well, gotta keep the advertisers happy, I guess.

        Rather like the US political leadership, the best government that money can buy.

        1. codejunky Silver badge

          Re: How commentards do science: word analysis on a writeup by El Reg

          @ Wzrd1

          "I love how El Reg switches state like a nice flip flop. One story about how climate change isn't happening, another how it is."

          You do know there are different writers. And unlike the BBC where they must toe the party line no matter how much bull they are shovelling, the writers of the reg are just reporting what is available instead of cherry picking.

          Surely this would be called balanced reporting. Definitely different to what normally passes as news media but certainly more informative.

        2. Adam Inistrator

          Re: How commentards do science: word analysis on a writeup by El Reg

          you think the reg should take a position on gw agw? I dont. I want info.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: How commentards do science: word analysis on a writeup by El Reg

          When an article carries an editorial longer than the article itself to attempt to justify the publication of the article, it tells you all you need to know.

    2. localzuk

      Re: A choice of words

      You may wish to stop reading right wing media about global warming...

      Take a look at this page, which highlights just how much of a consensus anthropogenic global warming has - http://climatecrocks.com/2014/01/14/about-that-global-warming-consensus/

      The idea of a sea level rise isn't "fear-mongering". It has happened already, and is continuing to do so. It has a direct effect on low lying countries (such as Tuvalu).

      Loss of glacier ice is worrying, as it takes a *long* time for it to form in the first place.

      1. codejunky Silver badge

        Re: A choice of words

        @ localzuk

        "Take a look at this page, which highlights just how much of a consensus anthropogenic global warming has"

        Of course we all know the right people are the ones with the consensus. That is why it wont be zeus destroying the earth but our end will come at the hands of the abrahamic gods although there is some confusion of who will be saved.

        Is the consensus 97% or 95% and of how many scientists need excluding for giving the wrong answer? Regardless of your stance on MMCC and its variations you should surely be willing to stick to the science and not popular opinion. Unless you think the winning theory should be voted for on x factor

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: A choice of words

          "Is the consensus 97% or 95% and of how many scientists need excluding for giving the wrong answer?"

          There hasn't been any reasonable doubt about global warming / climates change for well over a decade now. The only outstanding questions with any scientific doubt are how much of it is due to us (it seems highly likely we are the primary cause). and how bad will it be?

          1. codejunky Silver badge

            Re: A choice of words

            @AC

            "There hasn't been any reasonable doubt about global warming / climates change for well over a decade now. The only outstanding questions with any scientific doubt are how much of it is due to us (it seems highly likely we are the primary cause). and how bad will it be?"

            Doubt about- Climate change: no. Global warming: not really. AGW: yup. MMCC: a fair amount. MMCC co2 theory: god yes. The effects: wide ranging doubts about anything and everything.

            1. localzuk

              Re: A choice of words

              "Doubt about- Climate change: no. Global warming: not really. AGW: yup. MMCC: a fair amount. MMCC co2 theory: god yes. The effects: wide ranging doubts about anything and everything."

              AGW? No. Again, look at the links provided. 1 out of 9000+ people publishing papers in 13 months disagree with AGW. MMCC is effectively the same thing as AGW in reality, and again there's very little 'dissent' and each time there is it gets torn apart when published.

              The effects I agree, we really can't assign specific changes to AGW, and this was explained clearly by the Met Office recently - they simply don't have the computing resources to model each event properly. Which is why Cameron was slammed for blaming the recent bad storms on global warming, as the Met Office couldn't confirm or deny it as they hadn't the resources to find out.

          2. The Dude
            WTF?

            Re: A choice of words

            I haven't seen much evidence of warming, so I have some doubts. All the experts say there is warming, and who am I to argue?

            What I do know is, a lot of bureaucrats and politicians want to blame me (and others) for this global warming and then tax us into submission for doing it.

            I'm not sure how taxes can possibly help global warming, but I am sure that too many climate scientists are politicians and bureaucrats who depend on the tax-trough for their pensions. I'm quite sure that the consensus is clear on that one: such people ought not to be trusted.

            1. localzuk

              Re: A choice of words

              @The Dude - the idea of increased taxes is that they are used to subsidise 'green' technologies, and to modify behaviour (eg. VED being used to get people to use less polluting cars in the UK). Both are a great idea, in principle, but like any idea implemented by politicians they are nearly always badly done. Vested interests and lobbying comes in and starts changing definitions and boundaries, and suddenly your V8 with a 9V battery is classed as a fuel efficient car, and the guy who wants to turn 1000 acres of prime farm land into a solar farm gets the go-ahead. Neither of these are the fault of the scientists who have pointed out that AGW exists.

              @DiViDeD - Context is key. The consensus isn't 99.99% of *all* scientists when people say 'scientists' they are referring to 'scientists who have engaged in research on the relevant subject'. Its implied through context.

              @Jtom - Can you provide peer reviewed evidence that CO2 isn't the cause? I really am interested to read this if you can. I've seen some typical print media responses but no links back to actual papers.

              1. Philip Lewis
                FAIL

                Re: A choice of words

                "@Jtom - Can you provide peer reviewed evidence that CO2 isn't the cause? I really am interested to read this if you can. I've seen some typical print media responses but no links back to actual papers."

                Oh no, another commentard wanting proof of a negative proposition.

                Somewhere along the line our education system has failed us :(

                1. localzuk

                  Re: A choice of words

                  @Philip Lewis - I don't want proof of a negative proposition. As it stands, there are a great many papers, peer reviewed and published, which state that CO2 is the cause of GW. I'm asking for the proof to show that these are wrong, as that's how Science works - something is accepted and agreed as true until someone comes up with a better theory.

                  I'm looking for the disproof of those papers.

                  1. localzuk

                    Re: A choice of words

                    @Philip Lewis - Also, if other papers state that some other process or gas is the cause, for example.

                  2. codejunky Silver badge

                    Re: A choice of words

                    @ localzuk

                    "@Philip Lewis - I don't want proof of a negative proposition. As it stands, there are a great many papers, peer reviewed and published, which state that CO2 is the cause of GW. I'm asking for the proof to show that these are wrong, as that's how Science works - something is accepted and agreed as true until someone comes up with a better theory.

                    I'm looking for the disproof of those papers."

                    Of course. You say the world exists and therefore god is true, and you wait for disproof. Or is it that climate is changing therefore MMCC co2 theory is true and you wait for disproof. Maybe the first step is to prove the assumption you make before we should try to disprove the negative.

                    In a closed and controlled lab we know co2 is a greenhouse gas. But that dont mean that god exists because you need to make the pizza.

                    I have nothing against the science, it is worth studying and maybe one day we will understand the climate well enough to predict and maybe figure out what it has actually been through in the past! But if you think we are there now then you are a denier of reality and I will not sell my stuff and join you on your hill waiting for the saviour to arrive. I will sit here in comfort and wait for you to come back down the hill. Maybe you will, maybe you were right. But without proof I wont assume you are right.

                  3. Philip Lewis

                    Re: A choice of words

                    "Can you provide peer reviewed evidence that CO2 isn't the cause?"

                    I am terribly sorry, but that is what you stated. Your attempt to claim that it is not what it clearly is, merely makes you look more fololish than you did in the original post.

                    Cut your losses and stop now.

                    a) I cannot prove that I did not murder Jimmy Hoffa.

                    b) I can prove that I was born after Jimmy Hoffa died.

                    c) Therefore I could not have killed Jimmy Hoffa.

                    d) My innocence is established not by proving a negative proposition, but by proving a positive one that excludes the possibility of me killing dear old Jim.

                    Geddit?

                    Moron. Get a job in the IRS, they are very possibly the largest bastion of people who consistently require proof of negative propositions. You will be right at home there.

          3. Fluffy Bunny
            Coat

            Re: A choice of words

            "There hasn't been any reasonable doubt about global warming / climates change for well over a decade now"

            That is there is a gigantic firehose of money giving grants for anybody who will help prove global warming. There is nothing for the rest. You can even get fired for demonstrating the fraud.

            ... put the money in the back pocket. I'll tell you when to stop.

        2. calumg
          Headmaster

          Re: A choice of words

          A consensus of scientists is worth more than a consensus of popular opinion, politicians, religion, commentards or economists.

          1. The Dude
            Alert

            Re: A choice of words

            A "consensus of scientists" is worthless if that "consensus" is self-serving BS. Some might think this is hyperbole, but I know from personal experience that "government scientists" will lie, libel, and generally behave in a very bad manner in the pursuit of their ideological convictions. I have a Supreme Court judgment to prove that.

            And this whole AGW thing is self-serving BS, intended to increase and divert ever more tax dollars to "climate research", and benefit the scientists and their various investment schemes.

          2. Fluffy Bunny

            Re: A choice of words

            "A consensus of scientists is worth more than a consensus of popular opinion, politicians, religion, commentards or economists"

            Actually, a consensus of scientists is worth nothing. It is the science that has worth. And when there is so much out and out fraud in a field, like there is in "climate science", it is impossible to trust. One example is the constant misrepresentation of computer models as if they were evidence. Wait a few hundred years and check the actual measurements.

          3. kiwimuso

            Re: A choice of words

            "A consensus of scientists is worth more than a consensus of popular opinion, politicians, religion, commentards or economists."

            Not if they're wrong, they're not.

            Just saying........

            1. localzuk

              Re: A choice of words

              @kiwimuso - but that's the point isn't it? There isn't any evidence being presented by the scientific community to show that the consensus is wrong. Hence there being a consensus still!

              1. codejunky Silver badge

                Re: A choice of words

                @ localzuk

                "@kiwimuso - but that's the point isn't it? There isn't any evidence being presented by the scientific community to show that the consensus is wrong. Hence there being a consensus still!"

                There is a lack of evidence presented by the scientific community to claim to be right. Their successful tests have been minimal and their predictions far from accurate. The consensus is acceptable in those terms. Kinda like string theory or dark matter, they might be right but until they can prove actual benchmarks then we shouldnt be shafting the economies assuming they are correct.

                The science is worth doing but the consensus is nothing more than one side assumes the higgs exists and the other doesnt. And either side could have been proven wrong but it was the science that set the standard not the politics.

                If MMCC co2 theory is proven correct we have no idea what the damage could be. It could be nothing or everything. But irreversible damage to economies is a certainty if we continue to throw money into failed technologies and bad policies. If it is as dangerous as claimed then it is measurable, but we cant get accurate predictions because we dont know enough of the science to have the answers.

                So a scientific consensus is fine but we should be living on facts. The fact is the consensus doesnt have the facts yet. Religions know they are right absolutely no matter how many times they are proven absolutely wrong. That is not how real science should work.

                1. localzuk

                  Re: A choice of words

                  There is no such thing as irreversible damage to an economy. There is such a thing as permanent damage to our planet (or at least permanent enough to damage the lives of the living things on the planet).

                  1. kiwimuso

                    Re: A choice of words

                    @ localzuk

                    "Permanent damage to our planet"

                    Oh you mean like when the northern Sahara turned to desert, for example?

                    You mean that happened without man being involved?

                    And what did man do when that happened? I do believe he just relocated to somewhere less deserty.

                    To my mind, most of the crap spouted about AGW or just plain old climate change is that we humans have lost our ability to adapt and just move somewhere else where we can live. We expect the earth's climate to go behaving more or less the same predictable way so that our tiny little lives aren't affected too much, and if they are, then, ooohhhh, something must be wrong, we're affecting our planet.

                    First we have too much carbon being released to the atmosphere, conveniently forgetting that volcanoes spew far more CO2 than man is capable of. Oooh (man's) cows release methane into the air. Tell me, what do you think the vast herds of ruminants which used to roam Africa and North America, just to name two off the top of my head spewed into the atmosphere? Or are our domesticated animals a bit different to the wild herds?

                    When they come up with gold plated proof (not statistics) to show that we are contributing to , er. something or other to be condemned, I might start to take a little bit more interest.

                    1. NomNomNom

                      Re: A choice of words

                      "conveniently forgetting that volcanoes spew far more CO2 than man is capable of."

                      you might want to fact check that.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          What's consensus?

          In this case, I believe the consensus amongst scientists in on the order of 99.99% (seriously: 9136 to 1 in a recent survey) for GW and ~95% for AGW (note that the most of the other 5% aren't saying that it isn't anthropogenic, just that they're not convinced). Fortunately for flat earthers, US congress takes a less "alarmist" view where 58% are convinced that global warming (not just AGW) is fiction.

          1. DiViDeD Silver badge

            Re: What's consensus?

            "the consensus amongst scientists in on the order of 99.99%"

            My son is a scientist. He's a microbiologist, doing original research into the genetic roots of progressive blindness (or something)

            I wouldn't expect him to know shit about Global Warming.

            99.9% of scientists don't do climate research, so either your consensus figures are wrong or there's a metric fuckton of scientists out there voicing an opinion on something they know bugger all about.

      2. Bunbury

        Re: A choice of words

        The existence of a consensus for theory A over theory B has proven to be a weak indicator of which theory is correct. The consensus was that Newtonian laws of motion were correct, that the continents were fixed in place and that species did not change. These were all replaced by newer theories, which in time gained the consensus.

        And that "follow my leader" tendency is perhaps understable. It's a big subject and few if any scientists will have the capability to look at all angles of it and come to a reasoned view. Most will have only worked on a part of it so will presumably have a limited view.

        I'm unclear why it matters if any negative climate change is caused by mankind or not, which seems to be a heated part of the debate. Surely it matters more what mankind can do to correct any such changes? Granted, this might be to change our ways if those had caused the original problem, but that isn't necessarily the only solution.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: A choice of words

        > You may wish to stop reading right wing media about global warming...

        *cough*elreg*cough*

      4. Wade Burchette

        Re: A choice of words

        Regarding consensus:

        "No amount of experimentation can ever prove me right; a single experiment can prove me wrong." - Albert Einstein

        You should really really look into how the so-called 97% consensus came about. You will see it is majorly flawed. I'm not going to tell you how, because I want you to research. And I want you to research because that will make you a mortal enemy of the global warming movement. I want you to ask the dangerous questions "Is it true?" and "Where is the raw data so others can verify?" and "Why don't you live in a way you tell me I have to live?"

        And petitionproject.org destroys the "97% consensus" argument immediately. Science is not be consensus! Science is by dissent!

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: A choice of words

          People keep saying that science isn't about consensus, but in reality it is. The reason that you can name Galileo, Einstien, the plate tectonics guys, the stomach ulcer guy and the one or two other scientists who single handedly overturned the consensus is for just that reason, it's almost never done.

          Take medical science for instance: If you get cancer, you go to an oncologist, you don't go to gaenocologist or a pathologist who suggest that gozo berry juice will fix it, because they don't know the subject. You take the treatment specificed by the specialist and that treatment will be as a direct result of consensus science. The consensus can change over time, usually slowly, but it is incredibly rare for it to be totally overturned by a vanishingly small group of non-specialists in the field.

          1. Bunbury

            Re: A choice of words

            No. You remember the named scientists because they were particularly noteworthy or celebrated. The majority of scientific advance is in smaller steps but nevertheless these are steps away from the consensus view. Even Newton thought he was a gradualist: "If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants".

            Oncology is not relevant to this discussion. Yes if you have 1,000 cancer patients you need a lot of oncologists to deal with that. And the consensus approach will be the best available. But you still need science to improve on the consensus. The analogy here is if you had a single patient who lives a long time and thinks they have a temperature. Unfortunately, you have little knowledge of how his biology works so opinions differ as to whether he's well or not, if he's unwell what's causing it and how to make him well again.

          2. Robert Grant

            Re: A choice of words

            If you have cancer you go to an oncologist. If you want someone who discovers new things about disease, you go to a medical researcher. This is a brilliant example of the fact that someone whose research is based on climate change being true (ie they are downstream of the idea) is probably not doing research that could ever disprove that. They just aren't asking that question, just as an oncologist probably isn't going to see anything outside his/her training in cancer, or (for the IT angle) a system user is going see the complexity of the software he/she has been trained to use.

        2. JeffyPoooh Silver badge
          Pint

          Re: A choice of words

          WB: "Science is not by consensus! Science is by dissent!"

          Best. Comment. Ever. Thank you, I'm going to use that one.

          1. Naughtyhorse

            Re: Best. Comment. Ever

            Just a shame it's bollocks really.

            The point of scientific method is that is IS by consensus.

            It's totally fair to point out that that consensus changes quite a lot. This is just the kind of smokescreen deniers rely on.

            Science never says 'this is the way it is', it says 'this is the way the observable facts and current knowledge suggests it is' And there will be occasional dissent, and if the dissenters are able to present a reasonable case to change the status quo, then the scientific community will change their point of view on a dime - that's why science fails as a religion - show me one of them fuckers that ever changed their mind about anything.

            Let just one denier actually DO this, make a valid contribution to the science that flies in the face of current thinking and opinions will change. Seems to me all they do is stand on the sidelines bitching about points of order and outliers in the data. Looking just marginally less fuckwitted than the fox talking heads going on about how there cant be global warming cos 3/4 of the us is under 4 feet of snow this week.

            If deniers did science instead of politics they would have a leg to stand on, they either wont or cant.

            now I wonder why that is?

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Best. Comment. Ever

              "Science never says 'this is the way it is', it says 'this is the way the observable facts and current knowledge suggests it is' And there will be occasional dissent, and if the dissenters are able to present a reasonable case to change the status quo, then the scientific community will change their point of view on a dime - that's why science fails as a religion - show me one of them fuckers that ever changed their mind about anything."

              Not true with AGW. If a dissenter presents a reasonable case to even take a LOOK at the status quo, they are publicly ridiculed and ostracized. Sounds a lot like organized religion to me.

              1. Robert Grant

                Re: Best. Comment. Ever

                Doesn't even sound like most organised religion, actually.

            2. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge

              Re: Best. Comment. Ever

              ..The point of scientific method is that is IS by consensus...

              Um.. what do you think 'the scientific method' is? It has nothing to do with consensus AT ALL. It is to do with finding things out by experiment. That's all.

              1. Naughtyhorse

                Re: Best. Comment. Ever

                repeatability?

                peer review?

            3. Fluffy Bunny
              Coat

              Re: Best. Comment. Ever

              "Let just one denier actually DO this, make a valid contribution to the science that flies in the face of current thinking"

              One did. He proved that the ocean only rose by 0.1 mm over decades (this when warmist were crying that it would go up by 35 m). He got fired for his troubles.

            4. DiViDeD Silver badge

              Re: Best. Comment. Ever

              "Science never says 'this is the way it is', it says 'this is the way the observable facts and current knowledge suggests it is' "

              And that's the nub of the issue. Scientists put forward theories based on observations. Politicians, Greens, Hippies, Corporates, Oil Executives et al take the theories that suit their particular belief/prejudice/money making scheme and pronounce them to be incontrovertible fact.

              'There is an observed correlation between increased ocean temperatures and reduction in ice shelf extent' becomes 'Climate Change is melting the Ice Caps! We're all going to die! Science says so!'

              While 'Unexpected (and as yet unexplained) thickening of the ice coverage was observed over a study period of two years' becomes 'Scientists have proved the planet is getting colder. The ice is thickening'

              Even more apposite at the moment is how 'CO2 is a well known greenhouse gas, and there is little doubt that atmospheric CO2 has increased since the Industrial Revolution, therefore it is a valid area of research to examine the possibility of an anthropogenic influence on climate change' becomes 'I have a method for burying globally irrelevant quantities of CO2 underground, and now the government will give me millions in taxpayer money under the impression that I am saving the planet. Hoorah!'

              The message from science is that we don't really know the extent of AGW/MMCC, we don't really know if it exists, we don't have a sufficient history of observation to make black & white pronouncements on the subject, but our observations have led us to construct mechanisms A, B & C which fit the current observational data. Maybe one of them is the correct mechanism, maybe more than one, maybe none. After another 10/20/100 years of data we may need to overturn our mechanisms, or we may not, but for now, we have a small number of working hypotheses.

              Unfortunately, people want simple, black/white, easy to implement ideas. And politicians are people who also want 'something that will get us reelected'

              For everything, we seem to need two things: A validation of our own beliefs, plus a simple solution to an increasingly complex situation.

              So as the world goes down the crapper (or possibly not), our preferred solution is to line up on opposite sides of the room and call each other names.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Best. Comment. Ever

                Perhaps I recall incorrectly, but wasn't there a graph on the NASA site showing considerably increased geothermal activity in the Antarctic in the region of these glaciers?

                I don't have time to google it just now.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: Best. Comment. Ever

                  https://news.wustl.edu/news/Pages/25611.aspx

                  Could not find the land map showing the hotspots, but it was from NASA somewhere

            5. Jtom Bronze badge

              Re: Best. Comment. Ever

              The shame is your ignorance of the volumes and volumes of research showing that atmospheric CO2, the foundation of AGW theory, is not affecting the climate.

          2. GrumpyOF

            Re: A choice of words

            Not necessarily the best comment ever, but it does highlight the real requirement for questioning and confrontation.

      5. Tyrion

        Re: A choice of words

        >> You may wish to stop reading right wing media about global warming...

        You may wish to stop portraying anyone who doesn't agree with AGW as right wingers. I don't agree with AGW and I'm not right wing, nor do I read right wing media. But as is typical of AGW, it's all about politics. It has nothing to do with real science.

        >> Take a look at this page, which highlights just how much of a consensus anthropogenic global warming has..

        The way you AGW proselytising zealots bang on about the consensus, one would almost think that you're unsure of yourselves and your ideas. Why does all this somehow remind me of religion? Denouncing non-believers who don't follow the so called consensus, of which there is none, as heretics (right wing?).

        >> The idea of a sea level rise isn't "fear-mongering". It has happened already, and is >>continuing to do so. It has a direct effect on low lying countries (such as Tuvalu).

        I'm going to break with tradition here and not write a rebuttal of that, but instead pose a question: So what do we do about it? Is it possible in real terms to reverse it? If not, what the hell point is there in worrying about it. Are you willing to give up your modern life and revert back to caveman status in order to stop it? Or are you just going to spout premonitions of apocalypse. I'd really like to know.

        >> Loss of glacier ice is worrying, as it takes a *long* time for it to form in the first place.

        I'm not worried. We'll all be dead long before it'll be a problem anyway. I'm more worried about job security and how I'm going to pay my mortgage than whether ice is melting or forming at the poles in all honesty. That might be selfish of me, but f**k it. I like to focus on the here and now, not a hundred years in the future.

        1. DiViDeD Silver badge

          Re: A choice of words

          " I like to focus on the here and now, not a hundred years in the future."

          OK, I know I've said it before, but:

          After all, what did future generations ever do for me?

        2. Naughtyhorse

          Re: Not right wing?

          Are you sure?

          and i quote;

          "I'm not worried. We'll all be dead long before it'll be a problem anyway. I'm more worried about job security and how I'm going to pay my mortgage than whether ice is melting or forming at the poles in all honesty. That might be selfish of me, but f**k it. I like to focus on the here and now, not a hundred years in the future."

          just another me-me-me-fuck-everyone-else right wing fuckwit

      6. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: A choice of words

        I am a professional statistician, and one glance at the link you gave: "http://climatecrocks.com/2014/01/14/about-that-global-warming-consensus/" highlights it as being biased. It searches through a set of academic articles looking for ones that explicitly state a very strong negative conjecture (that anthropogenic CO2 is not the fundamental reason for observed climate change). It does not however provide a summary of which of those article explicitly state the opposite, that anthropogenic CO2 IS the fundamental reason for observed climate change. The vast majority of papers are actually highly ambiguous on what they believe are fundamental reasons for climate change. Many are looking at specific observed trends (for example: the receding or advancing of individual glaciers; or global temperatures measured by a particular satellite), the small percentage that try to attribute blame usually do so through models, and even then often have a variety of standards of statistical backing. It is interesting reading pro-climate change news organisations (like the BBC) who have, every few years, published an article that essentially says, "Climate change proven to be caused by anthropogenic CO2". The reason that those articles still appear is precisely because very few papers actually make that claim. It is probably not as low as 1, but I sincerely doubt that more than 1% of the 2259 papers mentioned actually make the exact opposing claim; although I am confident that you will find more papers stating the strong conjecture that Anthropogenic CO2 is to blame rather than the strong conjecture that it is not to blame.

    3. Benchops

      > transporting fallen snow to the ocean

      One correction here where your model falls over. There is practically no falling snow in the antarctic (I think it's the equivalent of 5cm of rain per /year/). It's technically the biggest desert in the world! I think that would tend to imply rate of loss is not affected by fallen snow.

      The problem, especially in Antarctica, is that this ice has been on ground for ... some time, and now it's not going to be. Melted or not it's going to raise the sea level.

      What I do find confusing in the article though is it says both "the rate of loss will continue at this rate for the foreseeable future" and later on "increasing the speed with which it slides into the ocean". So do they mean the rate of increase of loss?

    4. andreas koch
      Holmes

      A paper in "Nature Climate Change".

      Completely disregarding the validity or lack thereof of the paper, what does one expect in a publication named "Nature Climate Change"?

      If you want the other view, subscribe to "Constant Climate Quarterly".

      It's like looking for a positive article about Windows 8 in "macUser", a favourable report about Ford's new Focus in "Vauxhall Astra Fan Magazine" or recipes for beef and bacon casserole in "The Vegan Weekly".

    5. stratofish

      Re: A choice of words

      You might want to brush up on a dictionary before you start bashing people about choice of words.

      'Rate' is the speed of change, not the change itself. If you plot ice thickness over time, the rate is the slope or trend of the line, not any absolute measure on it, which of course change all the time. For the rate itself to be changing indicates a significant occurance.

      In this case it means that not only is the ice thinning as was known but crucially the speed of thinning is getting faster. This IS reportworthy and of scientific interest no matter what you believe about the cause.

  2. Nigel Brown

    Ice Ice Baby

    Is this the same ice that keeps trapping research boats?

    1. Sean Houlihane

      Re: Ice Ice Baby

      That was 100% a tourist boat, which only succeeded in seriously disrupting the resupply of the genuine research work.

      1. MondoMan

        Re: Ice Ice Baby

        Actually, it was a PR junket to publicize the "signs" of human-caused climate change they expected to find 100 years after a famous Australian-led expedition. The alarmist scientists who organized it ended up with more than they bargained for, but at least all participants will now have great after-dinner stories about the time they were trapped by not-so-melted Antarctic ice.

        1. NomNomNom

          Re: Ice Ice Baby

          Climate skeptics made up the "fact" that the expedition was going to Antarctica to prove the ice had melted. That fitted their caricature of scientists so they felt no need to check.

          In fact the expedition was to investigate the increase of ice in that area, ie the exact opposite of what climate skeptics presumed.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Ice Ice Baby

            Good reverse spinning there. Sounds like an extension of the quotes from the leader of the 'expedition' that the increase of ice was actually caused by global warming.

            1. NomNomNom

              Re: Ice Ice Baby

              reverse spinning? is that where I undo the spin? ok good.

              Plenty of folk with a 2D view of science assumed that if scientists go to Antarctica it must be to "prove the ice has melted".

              Even though that makes no sense. If you want to see how the ice is doing you'd look at satellite measurements. The last thing you'd do is visit the ice personally in a ship.

              But it was a nice story for climate skeptics to be able to say "ah those scientists got stuck in the ice that they were trying to prove had melted!"

              Had no basis in fact though.

    2. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Re: Ice Ice Baby

      No.

    3. Benchops

      Re: Ice Ice Baby

      Are you suggesting the researchers have a grudge against the ice? :)

  3. Hans 1 Silver badge

    So, the other week we heard the melting was reaching a standstill, now we hear it is increasing ... obviously two teams over there competing for attention.

  4. RIBrsiq
    Boffin

    I like how many climate-change denial "arguments" seem to boil down to "[X] is cold, right now. Therefore, there is no global warming!".

    That's not how it works, people. Unless you think "global warming" means Earth will turn into Venus overnight.

    Let me point anyone interested in reality at a nice resource to help:

    http://www.slate.com/blogs/bad_astronomy/2014/01/14/climate_change_another_study_shows_they_don_t_publish_actual_papers.html

    TL;DR: out of 9136 authors who published articles in peer-reviewed literature during the last 13 months, only one denies anthropogenic global climate change. There really should be no need to say anything else.

    1. DougS Silver badge

      Appeal to authority

      If the peers doing the reviewing for publishing take global warming as a fact, they aren't any more likely to publish articles that counter it than journals in the field of primates are likely to publish articles on Bigfoot.

      I'm not trying to equate the two, but I'm hoping you see the flaw in your argument. AGW may be fact. Probably is fact. But establishing whether it is indeed IS fact can't be done by counting journal articles. It is done by having those papers present testable hypothesis and seeing how the predictions made from those hypothesis come out.

      I know it is tedious to actually DO SCIENCE rather than run computer simulations based on backtesting using possibly questionable historic data and tell everyone you know what the world is going to look like in 2050 or 2100, but that's how science works. There are no shortcuts.

      The problem with some of the more rabid AGW believers is that they say the consequences of AGW are so severe (if you take the more dire predictions) that we can't wait around to see if they're right, we have to immediately take all possible measures to reduce further warming. And if we do take all those measures, and global warming doesn't happen, we'll be told it would have happened had we not acted and they'll still think they were right.

      If global cooling happened over the next decade they'd just retool their models and find a reason why there was a brief spurt of cooling but promise that global warming will redouble from that point on. Because if there's no global warming, then few people are interested in giving grants to climate scientists and they go back to having small offices in the basement next to the Egyptologists.

      1. lorisarvendu
        Facepalm

        Re: Appeal to authority

        Same thing happened with Y2K. We took all the measures, and Y2K didn't happen. Sadly we told them it would have happened had we not acted, but they didn't believe us and accused us of making it all up.

        Not sure what point I've just proved there...

        1. Bunbury

          Re: Appeal to authority

          Y2k is not the best analogy. In that one there was a lot of scaremongering in the run up to 2000. So there was over reaction and a lot of money spent on projects to fix systems. Not surprisingly, there were few failures on 1.1.2000. Without any preventative work to fix systems in advance there would have been many more failures.

          1. John 156
            FAIL

            Re: Appeal to authority

            Ignorant twaddle. The Pensions Administration system which I corrected for y2k would have had over 80 serious errors with the ability to cause serious financial data corrpution and system failures, quite apart from unknown others from feed-in systems, nor would they have all shown up on 1.1. 2000 - more ignorant twaddle. Obviously you have never had experience of complex financial systems.

        2. Mad Mike

          Re: Appeal to authority

          Y2K is a great example.

          The reality is that the problem did exist in some places, but was blown up out of proportion and a load of people (me included :-) ) made a lot of money out of it. Just as it was blown out of proportion by some, it was also derided as a con after the fact by those who wanted to see carnage and failures galore. It was really a no win situation. If it happened, you would be torn apart for allowing it to happen; if it didn't, you were accused of hysteria etc. and profiteering. The reality was somewhere in the middle.

          Same is probably true for climate change. Some is probably quite normal and not impacted by man. Some is probably caused by man. A mixture of the two. Unfortunately, the situation is actually worse than Y2K as nobody really knows the truth. In Y2K, people could work out what the truth was and where the problems were etc.

          In climate change, nobody really has any real understanding at the moment, so after the event, it'll be even more of a bun fight. Did the measures actually prevent it, so good one to the climate scientists. Alternatively, were they simply making it all up? Similarly, if it does happen, were they wrong and it would have happened regardless, or have they mitigated the effect at least. Unless you have a baseline (which we don't), nobody will ever know.

          1. Fluffy Bunny
            Boffin

            Re: Appeal to authority

            Mad Mike, you have a good point. So I will propose an experiment that will solve the problem quite definitively. Take three or four planets, just like Earth. Planet one take as a control, don't change anything. Planets two on, vary select variables such as CO2 concentration, solar output, etc (but no other changes)

            Then, we can definitively assert that variable x had y effect. When the "climate scientists" have run this experiment (and I don't mean in a computer), I will accept that it is a real science.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Appeal to authority

          "We took all the measures, and Y2K didn't happen"

          Presumably because we took all the required measures to make sure that it didn't....

          1. Brian Souder 1

            Y2K

            And a lot of people made money.

        4. Tom 13

          Re: Y2K

          I won't deny it. My employer and I made good money in the year before that running scans and shifting boxes in the year before the great catastrophe was supposed to happen. It was 70% crock. Fixing the actual critical systems could have been done for far less money than was spent. And the worst offender on that front was MS not issuing patches to fix DOS because they wanted everyone on Windows 98. But hey, at least everybody got spiffy new processors and roomy hard drives right?

      2. RIBrsiq

        Re: Appeal to authority

        That's not how it works.

        No one gets Nobels, or any other recognition in science, for regurgitating old facts. Well, I'm too harsh: a B.Sc. and maybe a M.Sc. can be had this way. So any number of scientists would clamor to turn *any* accepted theory on its head if they could. Because that way they would at least ensure immediate recognition by their peers and, if lucky, their name(s) might be printed in textbooks hundreds of years in the future. Assuming there is one.

        As to the severity of the consequences of climate change and whether we can afford to wait to "verify" them, well: they will indeed be quite severe, and I understand it's accepted that we're now past the point of no return as far as some of the milder consequences, so we will be seeing *something* -- I personally would argue that we are, right now, seeing quite a few somethings, in fact.

        The argument now is whether humanity can afford to stick to its denial until the more severe consequences become inevitable as well.

        Right now, the collapse (or at least the radical transformation, and not in a positive way) of human civilization in a few hundred years is tentatively on the table, I believe.

        Care to raise, Sir...?

        1. codejunky Silver badge

          Re: Appeal to authority

          @ RIBrsiq

          "No one gets Nobels, or any other recognition in science, for regurgitating old facts. Well, I'm too harsh: a B.Sc. and maybe a M.Sc. can be had this way. So any number of scientists would clamor to turn *any* accepted theory on its head if they could. Because that way they would at least ensure immediate recognition by their peers and, if lucky, their name(s) might be printed in textbooks hundreds of years in the future. Assuming there is one"

          Have you any idea how science works? How long it takes for something to get accepted and how long for something to get changed? Proving the climate models are hokum has been done over and over and anyone predicting they would fail has been proven right over and over so far. The only people to yet get it right are those pushing the theory of MMCC.

          But a scientific win requires predicting within a range of values and being right so those saying the models wont work aint doing science, they are hedging the most likely bet (unless they have a working prediction). Those pushing MMCC would need to predict correctly to prove their point, they still havnt.

          This doesnt mean the science isnt worth doing, but it does mean you have to be in serious incompetent denial to think we know what is going to happen when we cant seem to get it right. MMCC might turn out somewhat true in the end, or it could fall on its face. But we need to have the science to prove something instead of this religious certainty and calls of denier (equal to heretic or witch).

          "Right now, the collapse (or at least the radical transformation, and not in a positive way) of human civilization in a few hundred years is tentatively on the table, I believe."

          What about those who believed an invisible planet would destroy earth? Or the many predicted comings of christ/apocalypse? Your beliefs are as valid. You may be as certain as they were, but you cant be any more certain. You have no proof or solid facts to do anything with.

          "The argument now is whether humanity can afford to stick to its denial until the more severe consequences become inevitable as well."

          This is the perfect statement I am turning to you. Can the country and maybe the world survive with the insane policies of increased price for reduced power? Can economies survive the raping the markets are suffering to pay for your monuments to your sky god (which turn when he/she blows)? Can the people survive the disaster of these damaging policies and will there be any money left to deal with a real emergency/crisis?

          Will humanity in the psychological or physical sense survive the harm being inflicted upon us because of religious beliefs like yours? And will science come out of this stronger and with some integrity left intact or will it be looked back on like a misguided religion followed by the clueless witch hunters and deity worshippers like the others?

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Appeal to authority

          >No one gets Nobels, or any other recognition in science, for regurgitating old facts. Well, I'm too harsh: a >B.Sc. and maybe a M.Sc. can be had this way. So any number of scientists would clamor to turn *any* >accepted theory on its head if they could. Because that way they would at least ensure immediate >recognition by their peers and, if lucky, their name(s) might be printed in textbooks hundreds of years in >the future. Assuming there is one.

          Usually the people who buck the trend get ignored, fail to get past peer review and find themselves ostracized by the wider scientific community and struggle to get grants.

          >As to the severity of the consequences of climate change and whether we can afford to wait to "verify" >them, well: they will indeed be quite severe, and I understand it's accepted that we're now past the point >of no return as far as some of the milder consequences, so we will be seeing *something* -- I >personally would argue that we are, right now, seeing quite a few somethings, in fact.

          Climate has changed over the last 4.5 billion years since the formation of the planet, with five known major periods of glaciation (including the one we are currently in) interspersed by warmer epochs. If you drew a graph showing that (1mm=1year scale), it would stretch (just about) from Boston to Dublin, and the accurate data on it would cover the last couple of meters at best. As a scientist, just extrapolating the natural variation in global climate would be impossible from that, without having to then work out how the action of man would then change it.

          >The argument now is whether humanity can afford to stick to its denial until the more severe >consequences become inevitable as well.

          The severe consequences of climate change will happen naturally at some point. Global temperatures will rise and fall, both from variations in the output of that big fiery ball in the sky and changes to the atmosphere and surface of the planet (volcanic eruptions, etc). At some point in the future, sea levels will rise and the island nations will fall below the waves *and* at some point they will fall and we will be able to drive across the floor of the North Sea - if we can avoid the return of the glaciers.

          >Right now, the collapse (or at least the radical transformation, and not in a positive way) of human >civilization in a few hundred years is tentatively on the table, I believe.

          The future of human civilization is always on the table, irrespective of how much we manage to alter the climate. All it needs is a big enough lump of rock to play cosmic billiards or the wrong disease to mutate.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Appeal to authority

            "Usually the people who buck the trend get ignored, fail to get past peer review and find themselves ostracized by the wider scientific community and struggle to get grants."

            Yes, usually because they're dead wrong. There are a miniscule amount of examples of a lone maverick overturning consensus.

            The other day I read about a guy who claimed to be a scientist, who could had a free energy machine, it just took a AA cell to run and delivered far more power than put into it. Guess what? He was wrong, but loudly protesting that the scientific community were ignoring him because they couldn't understand his work and its worth.

            1. Fluffy Bunny
              Facepalm

              Re: Appeal to authority

              " There are a miniscule amount of examples of a lone maverick overturning consensus"

              But the ones that did are celebrated. Think continental drift for example.

          2. Tom 13

            Re: cover the last couple of meters at best.

            Meters? Really? Try maybe an inch, and that's being generous. The US National weather service was founded in 1870. There were still 10 states to be admitted before you've got the continental part covered. Which gives you the outer limit for records on our continent. While services in other areas could have existed before then you have real problems with getting reliable equipment. The barometer dates to circa 1640, the thermometer maybe 40 years earlier. That's the outermost limit on reliable data. Everything else is a proxy which is subject to unknowable variations.

        3. DougS Silver badge

          @RIBrsiq

          Right now, the collapse (or at least the radical transformation, and not in a positive way) of human civilization in a few hundred years is tentatively on the table, I believe.

          COLLAPSE OF HUMAN CIVILIZATION? Due to global warming? This is the kind of ridiculous, mindless, stupid, ill-informed utter bullshit that deniers can easily point to to claim the alarmists are being, well, alarmists.

          Even if Greenland and Antarctica entirely melted human civilization will not collapse. Anyone who argues it would is assuming a lot of things about politics and human psychology well beyond the anything that climate science any business speculating on. If you want to make logical leaps that large, I could equally argue that utterly destroying Earth's environment to the point that all life would be ended in 500 years is a good thing, because it'll force us to colonize space and not have "all our eggs in one basket" as it were, in case a 10 mile wide asteroid with Earth's name on it came knocking.

        4. Tom 13

          Re: the collapse ... of human civilization in a few hundred years is tentatively on the table

          Yes,yes it is. but 1) it isn't tentative, 2), it is more like mere decades away, 3) but it doesn't have anything to do with AGW.

        5. Fluffy Bunny
          Boffin

          Re: Appeal to authority

          " far as some of the milder consequences, so we will be seeing *something*"

          Not sure where this one came from. What consequences? If you're talking about Tuvalu, somebody should have told you that the sea isn't rising, Tuvalu is sinking. Pretty much what you'd expect if you started farming a coral atol.

      3. Robert Grant

        Re: Appeal to authority

        Yeah agreed - counting articles isn't how to prove/disprove anthropogenic global warming. I'm sure the same methodology was used to "prove" Galen right for a long time.

        Any article that doesn't care whether it's anthropogenic, as it stands either way, or otherwise assumes AGW, e.g. if it studies its effects without checking too closely its causes (when AGW is a "presupposition") is just bias in your stats.

        In fact, stats are often pointless here. Just pick all the articles that question AGW, read them, and see which is for, which is against, and why.

      4. Naughtyhorse

        Re: Appeal to authority

        "aren't any more likely to publish articles... ...in the field of primates are likely to publish articles on Bigfoot."

        LOL

        that's cos bigfoot is a bear!

        http://news.nationalgeographic.co.uk/news/2013/10/131021-yeti-abominable-snowman-bigfoot-polar-bear-cryptozoology/

        doh!

        just how do you suggest we DO THE SCIENCE relating to our entire global climate? there is really only one way I can see, use the real thing.

        As we don't know if there is some magical thing driving CC or if it's all man made or a mix of the two, the only practical approach is;

        cut mankind's emissions to 0% (with threats backed by nukes against the developing world, or indeed the developed world if need be!) and let that run for a couple of 100 years and see what happens....

        yeah cos that's going to happen.

        Just imagine the chagrin of the scientists if it turned out they'd made a better world for nothing!

        The SCIENCE is irrelevant, this is politics.

      5. Fluffy Bunny
        Boffin

        Re: Appeal to authority

        DougS,

        you should read "Fallen Angels", by Lary Niven, Jerry Pournelle and Michael Flynn. It really should be required reading for anybody in this field.

    2. Elmer Phud Silver badge

      " out of 9136 authors who published articles in peer-reviewed literature during the last 13 months, only one denies anthropogenic global climate change."

      Is that the only one not trying to sell a book?

    3. Fluffy Bunny
      Alert

      "Out of 9136 authors..., only one denies AGW"

      That really does show the gigantic bias in where the research funding goes, doesn't it.

    4. Rastus

      @RIBrsiq - and based on your own argument, I like how many climate-change alarmists "arguments" seem to boil down to 10/20/30/100 years of warming in a cycle of tens of millions of years. Therefore, there is global warming!

      That's not how it works, people. The world has warmed and cooled over millions of years. We're in a cycle.

    5. DiViDeD Silver badge

      'I like how many climate-change denial "arguments" seem to boil down to "[X] is cold, right now. Therefore, there is no global warming!".'

      That happens on both sides, and if you've not noticed, you've not been paying attention.

      In Australia, every time we have a colder or wetter winter than normal, the Greens dismiss it as a 'statistical blip', but every talking head right now is pronouncing that the warmer summer we're having right now is 'clear evidence of man made climate change'

      As I said, people take the bits that suit their personal prejudice and ignore the rest. And that's ALL sides, not just the 'deniers'

  5. Dalek Dave

    Hmmm...Antarctic Sea Ice Growing?

    http://phys.org/news/2013-10-antarctic-sea-ice.html

    3.6% larger!

    I do wish there was some kind of consistency between what scientists say and what is actually happening.

    (And I use the words Scientists completely incorrectly, perhaps 'Media Whores With a Vested Interested in Continued Funding For Crackpot Ideas About Climate Who Have Joined The Gravy Train And Do Not Wish To Get Off')

    1. localzuk

      Sea ice is not the same as a glacier. Sea ice changes year to year. Glaciers are basically supposed to stay pretty static.

    2. NomNomNom

      Hmm maybe the problem is you don't understand there's a difference between glacial ice and sea ice?

      nahhhhhh must be the scientists who are inconsistent therefore confirming you MUST be right if they are so wrong.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Hmmm...Antarctic Sea Ice Growing?"

      Due to climate change altering wind patterns which in turn caused increased rainfall and ice thickness in the Antarctic. Unfortunately not anywhere near enough to offset ice losses overall - and a temporary situation as southern ocean temperatures continue to increase - and therefore ice levels will eventually go into decline:

      http://www.washington.edu/news/2013/09/17/stronger-winds-explain-puzzling-growth-of-sea-ice-in-antarctica/

    4. Bunbury

      If you read the article you linked to it points out that sea ice is only 1 or 2 metres thick. So a 3.6% increase in sea ice area would surely represent a rather small increase in total ice volume in Antarctica. Also, if glaciers are shedding ice faster then perhaps the cooling effect of that up the upper layer of water contributes to sea ice growth?

  6. Jeroen Braamhaar
    FAIL

    Uhm.

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2014/01/03/antarctic_ice_shelf_melt_lowest_ever_recorded_just_not_much_affected_by_global_warming/

    Somehow I think scientistivism by press release in a some greenie hype "science" mag is wrong.

    Foo on the Register.

  7. Hubert Thrunge Jr.

    Glaciers have always moved out to the sea, it happens because of physics more than climate. And as they move, they wear out their own "groove" in the surface, making is smoother as they go, effectively reducing the friction caused by the rock that they move over. Therefore, the accelerate.

    This information has only recently been "realised" by scientists.

    Engineers would have told them years ago if they'd ask.

    AGW is still utter bollocks.

    The climate IS changing, it's natural, stop using it as a excuse to tax people, and combat the biggest threat to the planet - people. There are too many. Population explosion is a far bigger threat to the planets resources.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. Naughtyhorse

        Re: @Hubert

        strictly speaking a Malthusian catastrophe hasn't happened.... yet

      2. Tom 13

        @ Symon: You're both right.

        The Malthusian hypothesis is utter bollocks but it is still a bigger threat to us than AGW. In both cases, it's the cure we need to fear.

    2. AceRimmer

      The acceleration you describe would take 1000's of years to measurable.

      1. Francis Boyle Silver badge

        still you can't deny

        that over geological time scales glaciers approach light speed

      2. Tom 13

        Re: 1000's of years to measurable.

        Nope. In fact, that was the reason for the article. After confirming the fact, they had to go back and restate the amount of ice loss attributable to warming vs the amount lost to simply being dumped into the ocean faster. And after they'd adjusted for the increased flow rate for lower friction, the component to heat dropped back to historical norms.

        1. AceRimmer

          Re: 1000's of years to measurable.

          Let me explain it for you.

          The lower friction was due to the grounding line - the point at which the glaciers weight is carried by the sea rather than rock - moving backwards a few km's

          The grounding line is moving backwards because the glacier is thinning and becoming more bouyant.

          The decrease in friction is NOT due to the bedrock being "worn down"

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "The climate IS changing, it's natural"

      It's not natural at the rate it is currently happening, unless you include being hit by large asteroids, supervolcano eruptions, or the Sun running out of Hydrogen in a few billion years as 'natural' scenarios that we should consider...

  8. flearider

    strange or stupid ?

    the antartic is bigger than it has been in some yrs but the way it works is still the same .. it's a gravity fed system.. so the more snow that falls the more ice is pushed off ..with different lag times for different parts of the island .so is it really losing more ice ..?

    if you have all the lag times reaching the same point it will look like there is a lot of ice loss ..but if you measure the depth there is really no change. as over the next 30 yrs as global warming takes a nose dive we will see the oh no it's another ice age scare ..as always scare people into believing what the governments want you to believe carbon tax/billions spent on green energy did we need it no ..

  9. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Thumb Up

    Well done to going out and getting some actual observations.

    But I hope they've mapped the under surface as well, bearing in mind how things changed when another glacier started sliding about.

    And I hope this will be incorporated into models ASAP.

    Now what regions are 1cm above sea level?

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. MondoMan
      Thumb Down

      Nope, no new observations here. Move along, now.

      Er, from its abstract (article behind silly paywall -- grrr!), the main paper referred to in the article specifically did NOT get actual observations, but just modeled the glacier area to PREDICT the future retreat of the glacier using known geography and three ice-flow models. I suppose we will have to wait 5 or 10 years for observations in order to see if the authors are correct.

      1. Fluffy Bunny
        Boffin

        Re: Nope, no new observations here. Move along, now.

        "the main paper referred to in the article specifically did NOT get actual observations, but just modeled the glacier area to PREDICT the future retreat of the glacier "

        Or to put it in more plain speak, they just made it up. Too harsh? Then go out there and get actual measurements. Then we can talk.

  10. MrXavia

    It is time for people to stop moaning about climate change and look at ways to live with it!

    I agree there is climate change, and global temperatures have risen, whether humans are the main cause I think IS up for debate, do we contribute? certainly. Are we the MAIN cause? it does not matter, the climate is changing..

    BUT what should be up for discussion is how we deal with climate change...

    We need to start looking at ways to mitigate the effects... we have the technology to control our planet in many ways, if there is a desert, we can move water to it, if there is flooding, we can pump the water away..

    hundreds of years ago we drained marshland with manual tools and wind power!

    If there is a lack of fresh water, we can desalinate the oceans...

    1. Francis Boyle Silver badge

      Re: It is time for people to stop moaning about climate change and look at ways to live with it!

      Yes, but who's going to pay.

      Hint: this is what wars are fought over.

      1. Mad Mike

        Re: It is time for people to stop moaning about climate change and look at ways to live with it!

        @Francis Boyle.

        Given the amount of money being spent on avoiding climate change, the tax levies and the money spent on climate scientists, we probably have enough. If we were to go even part way along the path climate scientists are trying to steer us, we would have enough many times over.

        When faced with an immovable large object, it is normally better to learn to live with it than try and move it.

        Over the many thousands of years mankind (and his predecessors) have been around, one thing has been consistently shown. Don't try to change massive forces such as nature, simply go with them. If an area starts getting swamped, simply move people elsewhere. The evidence of this is all around the globe, including cities off the coasts of land masses etc. It's actually cheaper and easier. It's only really over the last hundred or so years that mankind has let his ego take over and decided to take on nature at her own game. This can only end one way.

        We're now trying to fight nature rather than moving with her and unless we have some enormous technical advances, we are certain to loose.

        1. DropBear Silver badge

          Re: It is time for people to stop moaning about climate change and look at ways to live with it!

          "If an area starts getting swamped, simply move people elsewhere. The evidence of this is all around the globe, including cities off the coasts of land masses etc. It's actually cheaper and easier. It's only really over the last hundred or so years that mankind has let his ego take over and decided to take on nature at her own game." - please don't let the fact that the Dutch would probably have a word or two to say about this stand in your way. Loosely speaking.

  11. <shakes head>

    feedback question

    will not all the extreme weather kill off enough of the population to reduce the carbon?

  12. Brian Souder 1

    Sea Levels

    The real problem is here they have not been studying things long enough to know the norms. We all already know that sea levels were higher in Roman times, and have varied widely over the last few thousand years. We are trying to use a sample of data even from the last 20 years to say - see look at what is happening. Our governments and societies have been making poor planning choices for coastal and waterways for millennium. Look at all the port cities that were stranded miles inland during the little ice age. Those people were talking about what a tragedy it was, and where is all the water on the planet going. So then they built new cities closer to the ocean. Guess what happened next? We don't even know if this is the natural flow of some 5,000 year cycle. Now just on the merits of reducing the pollution we breath every day, I agree we should take measures to clean up our air and streams. Not to mention if the glacier melt is now irreversible, just by the nature of the word, not much we can do there. By Al Gore's calculations, weren't all the ice sheets already supposed to be melted? I meant the man that invented the Internet should be pretty credible, right? Anyone else also do a quick search on Dr. Gaël Durand? If it is the same guy, he has also participated on other environmentally related boards. Again, I think we should take care of the environment, but we should not be alarmist about it.

    1. Tom 13

      Re: Sea Levels

      Minor nit: 100 years, maybe 200. But even at that your primary point still stands: 200 / 4.5 million =~ 0 for all practical purposes.

  13. Heisenberg

    How things have changed...

    I remember growing up in the seventies how England was such a cold, wet, windy place. Seems funny to think about that looking out of the window right now!

  14. GrumpyOF

    I cannot believe that no-one has mentioned the Ice Ages of which we have had plenty (and well recorded through enough scientifically 'provable' evidence) and maybe climate change is actually how the Earth has managed to get itself to where it can support 7+ billion people (who have no regard for it or the other life forms extant!! )

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Pine Island Glacier

    Would somebody please correct me I may be thinking of the wrong glacier, but at some point in the last few months I have read a story that the Pine Island Glacier has worn a channel beneath it that warmer water can ingress and melt the glacier from beneath. Trying to search for the story produces floods of ."we're all doomed, doomed I tell yea" stories.

    If the increasing melt would be perfectly natural and a normal part of climatic and geological change as opposed to AGW. It is of course possible that AGW is increasing the effect of this but it still primarily natural.

    Ah got it http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/259453/1/Jenkins_preprint.pdf <-- WARNING 2MB PDF

    In light of this, isn't it time that we started spending money on how to survive climate change rather than the ridiculous stop it?

  16. Jim O'Reilly
    Holmes

    Contradict's your own recent article

    It seems that you are contradicting your own article of a couple of weeks ago on this subject where the British Antarctic Survey found the PIG had retreated because of the loss of a submerged ridge which allowed warm water in.

    Article is at http://www.theregister.co.uk/2014/01/03/antarctic_ice_shelf_melt_lowest_ever_recorded_just_not_much_affected_by_global_warming/

    The irreversibility also is in question, since the thermocline has now dropped 750 ft (cold water in this area overlays warm water). This effectively blocks the warm flow, and ice is growing back rapidly. I'd note in passing that the quoted irreversibility is in fact the output of a computer model and follows the "GIGO" rule. This was in the original BBC article.

    1. NomNomNom
      Joke

      Re: Contradict's your own recent article

      World is now following the CIIO rule, Carbon In - Ice Out

      edit: added the joke icon

  17. Marketing Hack Silver badge
    Flame

    You know what, I have no idea what to believe about man-made climate change!

    We keep getting articles about how this glacier is melting, but that one isn't, etc.

    I don't know what to believe on the subject. The idea that mankind is making changes to the climate through greenhouse gas output sounds beliveable, especially considering the drastic changes mankind has made to the terrain and flora/fauna wherever we have settled in large numbers.

    However, I worked closely with the electric power industry long enough to realize that renewables are not some magic bullet. At best, they are a fairly expensive substitute for energy we have historically got pretty cheaply. And nuclear is great, as long as you know someone who you can trust to safely take care of high-level nuclear waste for 5,000 or 10,000 years.

    Plus, fuel poverty is real poverty. I live in California, where you aren't going to hear many stories about sweet old pensioners freezing to death in their apartments, but high energy costs do take a real bite out of the economy. And we need that economy to pay for all those nice education/law enforcement/healthcare/retirement/nutrition/transportation/justice systems that we like to have around.

    Anyway, here's to hoping that we don't screw things up by going to far in either direction on greenhouse gas emissions!

  18. Jim Birch

    Where's Lewis Page when you need him? He could spin this the right way.

  19. Rik Myslewski

    A little help, here?

    Something that has always puzzled me about those who are skeptical of AGW: with what part of the physics of radiative forcing do you take issue?

    1. Fluffy Bunny
      Boffin

      Re: A little help, here?

      What part of the gigantic rise of warm, moist air at the tropics don't you understand. The warm air loses it's heat high in the atmosphere, which is why it doesn't matter how much CO2 there is. By the time it comes down over the sahara it is cold and dry. That's why it doesn't rain there and why we have deserts all around that latitude, both north and south. In fact, most early climate models predicted forests there.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: A little help, here?

        @Fluffy Bunny:

        "What part of the gigantic rise of warm, moist air at the tropics don't you understand. "

        And this relates to the science behind radiative forcing how?

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Consensual Confusion !

    To show the infallible rigor of the scientific method and the consensual agreement of the whole scientific community on what is happening in Antarctica... the very same PIG was reported not so long ago to have its shedding get slowing down and not increasing.(See :http://www.theregister.co.uk/2014/01/03/antarctic_ice_shelf_melt_lowest_ever_recorded_just_not_much_affected_by_global_warming/)

    Something is definitely wrong when the (supposedly) evidence based agnostic and peer reviewed scientific community cannot get to agree if a glacier is increasing its shedding rate 5 fold or reducing it.

    I suppose its climate change overheating the boffins' neurons?

  21. Ubermik

    Isnt this the exact same ice shelf that despite being blamed on global warming for decades with little to no actual science to verify such has actually turned out to be melting because NATURAL erosion of the sea floor has now meant the shelf it sits on has eroded to below the level where the sea temperature is warmer

    So now the warm water level is above the height of the shelf and melting the ice with no involvement at all by men, pollution, fossil fuels, CO2 or anything else except good old wear and tear

    The problem with looking for proof of a belief system rather than actual science is that followers of whatever particular "religion" it is will pass out from over orgasmic flurries everytime they see anything that even closely seems to support what they want to find when theyre not ignoring all the things that dont prove it or actively disprove it

    As for what "models" suggest, even nasa, one of the AGW crowds biggest protagonists openly admit that cloud cover, the deeper sea currents and even the effects of the suns output cycles are barely understood due to not having been studied or researched for very long

    As these are three of the biggest climate and ecosystem drivers it doesnt really give ANY credence to any computer models which probably explains why to date they havent got anything at all correct

    Its a bit like trying to predict the fuel economy of a car without knowing what type of fuel it uses, what sort of engine it has and not knowing what a car is but claiming you know its efficiency

    But I guess when an organisation is set up to oppress the masses and keep them in financial servitude you cant let a simply thing like the lack of science, understanding or facts stop you from scaremongering eh?

    Viva the IPCC, the PR arm of global taxation inc

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hmph!

    Glaciers are basically just very slow rivers. When the ice is quite high, they run faster. When it is lower, they run slower. If scientists believe that the glaciers in Anartica are now running faster than they have in the past, do they have the data to prove it? Furthermore, they will need to present a case that argues that cause is an increase in temperature and not merely increased snow load on the mountain tops driving the process. Can they do this? If so, have they done it? Have they even thought to ask these questions? Or did they conduct their surveys with preconcieved notions in mind?

  23. icetrout

    are these the same fools who's ship was trapped in ice down there ?

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