Friday, February 08, 2013


Climate Alarmism

I went to see Chasing Ice in the local art film house a few weeks ago. The sea termini of some glaciers are receding. Of course, that's what glaciers do during an interglacial, which is part of the reason that sea level continues to rise by about 2mm/year. When the sea level stops rising at its current completely unalarming rate, it will be time to sound the alarm for the coming 100,000 plus years of glaciers growing during the new ice age, which will see sea level dropping a hundred meters or so. There is very good reason to believe that the world's ice volume, not area, is fairly stable (falling in the north and rising in the south), so that there is no alarming net effect on sea level from the retreat of the ice fronts. One of the great tourist destinations at the top of the Alaskan panhandle is Glacier Bay whose sea termini of several glaciers have been retreating since the Little Ice Age began to end in the late 17th Century, when CO2 was at the agreed upon 'safe' pre-industrial level of 280 ppm. Indeed, the fastest period of retreat there was before atmospheric CO2 began to rise in the 20th Century.

But here is an example of how the true believers in catastrophic warming through fossil fuel burning try to trick the general population into believing there is a crisis when there is none--when the change we see is wholly within the normal change parameters. This graph is by Jason Box from his article here. It is based on 40 of the widest sea termini in Greenland.

Oh, a very precipitous decline. Very scary, kids.

Here is a broader picture of what that rate of loss of ice area area will do to the the total ice area of Greenland over the next 100 years.

Oh, not quite so scary. After all, 131.5 square kilometers is 1.5 Manhattan islands, so we're not actually talking about a massive loss of ice area, once we expand our frame of reference appropriately.

Oh, and what is the rate of loss of ice volume on Greenland? Between .005% and .008%/year. At that rate, the ice cap over Greenland should melt somewhere between the year 14010 and 21010, probably in May. Except the Greenland ice cap has tended to be more impervious to melting that we seem to imagine. In this study, published in Nature, the Greenland Ice cap hardly melted at all during the interglacial period before our current one (the previous one has the very weird name the Eemian interglacial). And we know from ice cores that the Eemian period was actually warmer than the current one, about 4 degrees C (for thousands of years) warmer. Still it produced no alarming melting.

Everybody talks about the climate but it's apparently impossible to do anything about it, try as we might.

(h/t WUWT)


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