* Posts by DrSteve

3 posts • joined 2 Dec 2011

Home automation while it's hot: Winter warmth for lazy technophiles

DrSteve

Owl intuition

I went with Owl Intuition - and not just for the funky name. Seems to be one of the cheaper options for boiler automation and they also have a bunch of separate sensors for energy monitoring.

It has a decent enough interface & enough features for me.

New sat data shows Himalayan glaciers hardly melting at all

DrSteve

RTF...A

Radical, I know, but has anyone actually read the abstract (linked in the article)?

For example, this finishes with " The total contribution to sea level rise from all ice-covered regions is thus 1.48 ± 0.26 mm/yr, which agrees well with independent estimates of sea level rise "

so nothing too radical there - i.e. GRACE results agree with previous (worrying) estimates.

So where's the beef then?

Well, of that 1.48mm/yr, 1.06mm/yr comes from Greenland and the Antarctic, leaving only ~0.42mm/yr from other souces including Glaciers (GIC). Of that 0.42mm/yr the abstract says the following: " The GIC rate for 2003–2010 is about 30 per cent smaller than the previous mass balance estimate "

So what we have here is research saying that

1) The big picture of ice melt is unchanged within the (17%) error bars - yup, ice is still melting fast

2) if you exlude the 2/3 of the melting (Greenland/Antarctica) then the previous estimates for the remaining third were about 30% too high

3) almost all that 30% reduction comes from high glaciers

Is it really too much to ask (I fear it is) to include at least *some* mention of point 1) above in reporting of this paper?

Antarctic ice formed at CO2 levels much higher than today's

DrSteve

Settled science?

They're interesting references, but they all paint a consistent picture: West Antarctic sheet less stable than East.

The SciAm article clearly discusses the fact that, contrary to expectations, the East Antarctic sheet has seen melting during the period 20-14M years ago. Note that the last glacial maximum was 20,000 years ago. The article is clear that the West Antarctic sheet is less stable than the East.

Desmogblog article is entirely about the *current* West Antartctic sheet melting.

The Physorg article is about the mechanism by which the East Antartctic sheet melted in last interglacial.

So it seems pretty clear to me:

The West Antarctic sheet is less stable than the East, and is melting right now.

During interglacials both the East & West see some melting. We don't fully understand the mechanisms but there are hints that the East is little less stable than we thought a few years ago.

Where's the beef with the science?

As an aside. Antarctic sea ice is indeed increasing (despite warming temperatures), but land ice is decreasing. http://www.skepticalscience.com/antarctica-gaining-ice-intermediate.htm

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