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Still Waters

Huge ice island breaks from Greenland glacier

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An ice island four times the size of Manhattan has broken off from one of Greenland's two main glaciers in the biggest such event in the Arctic in nearly 50 years.

The new ice island, which broke off on Thursday, will enter a remote place called the Nares Strait, about 620 miles south of the North Pole between Greenland and Canada.

The ice island has an area of 100 square miles and a thickness of up to half the height of the Empire State Building, said Andreas Muenchow, professor of ocean science and engineering at the University of Delaware.

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Do we still have any Global warming skeptics left, or has the recent floods in Pakistan, the massive heat wave in Russia and this humongous Iceberg calving put paid to all that nonsense.

Br Cornelius

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Do we still have any Global warming skeptics left, or has the recent floods in Pakistan, the massive heat wave in Russia and this humongous Iceberg calving put paid to all that nonsense.

Br Cornelius

Just as many incidents involving cooler temperatures(cold snaps and snow in regions that hadn't seen any in living memory) have happened in the last few years as well. Even the article claims that the ice break-off is nothing new, it was expected to happen for reasons much more solid than irrationally claiming "It's global warming's fault!".

Mr Muenchow said he had expected an ice chunk to break off from the Petermann Glacier, one of the two largest remaining ones in Greenland, because it had been growing in size for seven or eight years.

How could ice have possibly been growing if the world is going to die from unprecedented heat?

He said it was hard to judge whether the event occurred due to global warming because records on the seawater around the glacier have only been kept since 2003.

So there you have it, a glacier broke off when it got too big and we don't have enough data to blame the natural occurrence on AGW.

There's no denying the phenomena of natural global warming exists, but there's nothing that links AGW to this event.

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Posted (edited)

Just as many incidents involving cooler temperatures(cold snaps and snow in regions that hadn't seen any in living memory) have happened in the last few years as well. Even the article claims that the ice break-off is nothing new, it was expected to happen for reasons much more solid than irrationally claiming "It's global warming's fault!".

Wickian-the reason some places got more snow last year is that lakes that normally froze over in the past didn't. So there was more moisture in the air because water didn't stop evaporating. So there was more precipitation. Is this ignorance of balances in the ecosystem for real or is it some sort of political affectation? You really don't see how global warming could result in more snow?

Edited by Siara

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Posted (edited)

I honestly wonder whether the refusal to see global warming is sort of like the people looking straight at Obama's Hawaiian birth certificate, listening to the Republican governor of Hawaii testify that she's seen the certificate, and then saying the certificate doesn't exist. Some people are simply unable to observe the external world.

I was watching a biography on Galileo this morning and they mentioned that when Galileo invented the telescope and discovered the moons of Jupiter people from the Catholic Church (ie- the Inquisition) could look directly at the moons through his telescope and literally couldn't see them. They were literally blinded by their ideology. When regular people described what they saw through the telescope, they described the spheres of the moons. Uneducated, objective people could see them. People from the church literally couldn't see them.

I'm starting to think global warming might be like that. Some people are so wedded to their ideology they can look right at it and not see it. It's a frightening ability-- the ability not to see-- but it's historically it's been in evidence again and again.

Edited by Siara

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giant glacier breaks off... during summer :mellow:

oh, no.. weather of any type, causing effects of any kind... it must be man made global warming or man made climate change.

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giant glacier breaks off... during summer :mellow:

oh, no.. weather of any type, causing effects of any kind... it must be man made global warming or man made climate change.

When does a series of exceptional climatic events stop been just coincidence. When do record setting temperature stop been just unusual. When does 3million Pakistani's been flooded out of their homes as predicted by scientists stop been just a freak accident. When does a long term shift in local weather stop been just normal.

The calving of huge ice sheets is just another tiny clue among many and that is what my original post was referencing.

When Climate change is the underlying cause is the answer to all these questions.

Br Cornelius

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The main arguments against climate change are always given with the specific use of the words 'global warming', which hasn't been scientifically accurate for a decade. Well, in a sense it's still accurate, but not the sense that naysayers always refer it it. It does not mean a warming of the temperatures globally. Anyone who knows a few specifics about temperature, such as how strongly it is affected by ocean currents, would know global temperature warming is ridiculous.

The climate is changing because that is what happens to the Earth, constantly. The Earth evolves, changes, just like everything else. And just like everything else it generally happens too slowly for human perception, which is why it's so easy to dismiss.

A lot of the temperature change is due to the warming of specific ocean currents, which have been in a perfect balance with our specific temperatures for a long time, and the changing of those currents (and carrying different temperatures to different parts of the globe) could have a potentially disastrous effect on the delicate ecosystems of various parts of our planet.

What is in debate is just how much of an affect constant human pollution is having on the balances.

The media isn't reporting on just how much observation of these occurrences there have been very much, for due reason. But these events are happening at a frequency never expected. A similar iceberg broke from Antarctica last year and was still significantly large when it was sighted off the coast of Australia a while later.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/earthnews/6554023/Giant-iceberg-spotted-off-Australia.html

It's rather ignorant to simply assume we are not having an affect on our planet by pumping toxic pollutants into the air, ocean and land with increasing ferocity, almost like saying our physical waste is not having an affect on the land when it's dumped unceremoniously in large quantities over what we consider 'wastelands'.

Even if we weren't, does that simply give us the right to continue dumping toxic rubbish everywhere without trying to change ourselves for the better? Why is the general argument always "We're not having an impact, so we don't have to stop polluting"?

We are such a selfish species.

The latest article in my blog is about pretty much this same discussion, with a few added digs at consumerism and the oil spill issues, if anyone is interested.

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One point of correction. Average mean temperature of the planetary system is increasing (by about 1 degree centigrade) as more energy is trapped within the system. Hence the term Global warming is accurate on a global scale. The effects are exactly as you describe, with changes in energy flow within the system. These energy flow changes cause the climate to change locally as you describe, and with the effect of more dramatic climatic events on a increasingly regular basis. My local climate is radically different from it pattern of just 10 years ago, which indicates the speed of change happening.

br Cornelius

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My local climate is radically different from it pattern of just 10 years ago, which indicates the speed of change happening.

I think very few people who can remember back 40 years would say the climate hasn't changed.

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One point of correction. Average mean temperature of the planetary system is increasing (by about 1 degree centigrade) as more energy is trapped within the system.

Quite right of course friend. :) However, the point I was trying to get at is the conclusion of these warming/changing events shall not necessarily be a hotter planet, as much of the doubters seem to believe. More like a concerning shift in the temperatures of specific areas of the globe. Snow in South Africa (http://www.canada.com/cityguides/hamilton/story.html?id=c97f0cfa-aa60-47f1-a0c0-fa7dea5eb908&k=18493), hot dry deserts in Canada.

The Greenhouse Effect was the term I remember originally being used to discuss the topic of overall temperatures rising due to human pollution. More warmth from the sun entering the Earth and being trapped by the smog. Is that the same debate, or a different area of warming?

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Posted (edited)

Quite right of course friend. :) However, the point I was trying to get at is the conclusion of these warming/changing events shall not necessarily be a hotter planet, as much of the doubters seem to believe. More like a concerning shift in the temperatures of specific areas of the globe. Snow in South Africa (http://www.canada.com/cityguides/hamilton/story.html?id=c97f0cfa-aa60-47f1-a0c0-fa7dea5eb908&k=18493), hot dry deserts in Canada.

The Greenhouse Effect was the term I remember originally being used to discuss the topic of overall temperatures rising due to human pollution. More warmth from the sun entering the Earth and being trapped by the smog. Is that the same debate, or a different area of warming?

Essentially the CO2 increases the effective insulating potential of the air which means that the point at which the incoming energy equals the outgoing rises in the atmosphere. This equates to more overall energy in the system.

The property of CO2 which is critical is that it is transparent to incoming UV and Visible light so allows it to reach the surface. When it reaches the surface it is absorbed by the earth which then re-radiates the energy at longer wavelengths of Infra Red which CO2 absorbs. Half of the energy is re-radiated back down to earth and so the energy spends longer in the atmosphere. rather than escaping back to space.

This is the mechanism which drives global warming, but how it actually pans out to specific energy flows within the system, and hence the climate changes it produces, is almost impossible to accurately model. Hence the uncertainties in the prediction s which are been made.

Br Cornelius

Edited by Br Cornelius

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Exactly as I thought. For all we know because of the effects of Global Warming (I still prefer Climate Change, it's less general) we could infact he heading for a number of potential conclusions, including a new Ice Age.

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giant glacier breaks off... during summer :mellow:

oh, no.. weather of any type, causing effects of any kind... it must be man made global warming or man made climate change.

exactly. We Humans don't like change, but sadly for us we live on a ever changing planet, am just glad the lad from the Planet of the Apes is living now and not 200 million years in the future when the next supercontinent Pangaea Ultima will probably form. he's so worried over what can be considered in the grand scheme of things minute fluctuating of the climate, he'd go Ape over trying to control - continental drift.

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exactly. We Humans don't like change, but sadly for us we live on a ever changing planet, am just glad the lad from the Planet of the Apes is living now and not 200 million years in the future when the next supercontinent Pangaea Ultima will probably form. he's so worried over what can be considered in the grand scheme of things minute fluctuating of the climate, he'd go Ape over trying to control - continental drift.

If your refering to me the iam not amused.

Change is fine if you allow time to adapt, and the process of forming a super continent would take millions of years, plenty of adaption time there then.

Man made climate change is something altogether more dramtic and sudden. Good luck on your adaption stratergy :lol: :lol:

Br Cornelius

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Exactly as I thought. For all we know because of the effects of Global Warming (I still prefer Climate Change, it's less general) we could infact he heading for a number of potential conclusions, including a new Ice Age.

Indeed looking at previous temperature records an Ice age seem highly probable.

Br Cornelius

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If your refering to me the iam not amused.

Change is fine if you allow time to adapt, and the process of forming a super continent would take millions of years, plenty of adaption time there then.

Man made climate change is something altogether more dramtic and sudden. Good luck on your adaption stratergy :lol: :lol:

Br Cornelius

hehe, :tu: Man made climate change, serious question. how will we tell when man isn't affecting the climate. what is deemed normal climate? I don't think there is such a thing.

i wish there was a system whereby if you believe in Climate change you can sign up through local government. and only these people who sign up will be taxed - under a 'green tax' i wonder just how many would sign up. :huh:

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hehe, :tu: Man made climate change, serious question. how will we tell when man isn't affecting the climate. what is deemed normal climate? I don't think there is such a thing.

i wish there was a system whereby if you believe in Climate change you can sign up through local government. and only these people who sign up will be taxed - under a 'green tax' i wonder just how many would sign up. :huh:

Yours is purely an economic and political analysis, which unfortunately means not a jot when a catastrophic climate event rips your house down as it has done in Pakistan, Russia, Australia, California and New Orleans recently.

I am no fan of carbon taxes since I consider they will completely fail to solve the issues. Evolve your thinking on the human role in the earth system, or face the fact that nature will chew us up and spit us out. At that point the issue of taxes will be irrelevant and all your whining with it.

Your welcome to your Paranoid conspiracy dreams.

Br Cornelius

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The main arguments against climate change are always given with the specific use of the words 'global warming',

The term "global warming" has acquired a much larger definition over the years: it now refers to any form of climate change, it's causes and consequences.

The climate is changing because that is what happens to the Earth, constantly. The Earth evolves, changes, just like everything else. And just like everything else it generally happens too slowly for human perception, which is why it's so easy to dismiss.

As long as the climate system was operating within normal parameters, one could say that "global warming" wasn't happening, regardless of what the temperatures were doing. It quit doing that in 1988, but that fact wasn't discovered until 2009. The climate is now going places it has never gone before, regardless of what name you want to give it.

What is in debate is just how much of an affect constant human pollution is having on the balances.

A precise carbon budget for the earth would allow an assessment of exactly how much of the measured temperature increase over the last century could be attributed to "global warming." Unfortunately, we're still working on that. But there is no longer doubt among the scientific community that the world is getting warmer and we (humans) are the ultimate cause.

The media isn't reporting on just how much observation of these occurrences there have been very much, for due reason. But these events are happening at a frequency never expected. A similar iceberg broke from Antarctica last year and was still significantly large when it was sighted off the coast of Australia a while later.

The media doesn't understand global warming and doesn't seem too inclined to learn. At the Ecological Society of America annual meeting last week, over a thousand papers were presented on the topic of global warming. No media were present.

The chain of events from cause (global warming) to resulting ecological damage is often a subtle one. In 2002, 200,000 acres of pinyon pines died in southwest Colorado (Durango, where I used to be a forester), northern New Mexico and Arizona. It was a drought year and the immediate cause of death was drought - ammunition for the nay-sayers. BUT: those trees had survived roughly a drought a decade for their entire lives (Some are over 200 years old.) without ill effects. What made this one different? The temperature was 2 degrees F. warmer than during any previous drought.

Trees respond to drought by dropping leaves, closing stomata, slowing down their metabolism and simply waiting. But warmer temperatures cause that metabolism to speed up, using up the tree's reserves of carbon and reducing the length of time it can survive while waiting for rain. The tree dies, not from a lack of water, but from a lack of food.

The deforestation of western North America is already under way. An ongoing attack of pine and spruce bark beetles is the immediate cuase. Bark beetles are held in check by extreme cold snaps during the winter that kill the brood. There haven't been any of those in about a decade. A cold, harsh winter will halt the attack, but with winters becoming progressively warmer, there will be fewer of those.

Most "global warming" isn't global at all. It is occurring in the dryest parts of the earth, such as along the edges of deserts, the Sahel, for example, and the continental Arctic in winter, both places that Senator Imhoffe has never been. Wet places, like the east and Gulf coasts, aren't being affected, yet.

Also, most warming is occurring at night: the daily low temperatures are getting higher while the daily highs aren't doing much. The general public is looking at the wrong end of the scale - it's no wonder the nay-sayers can't see what they're looking at - it's bacause they're not actually looking at it.

Doug

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Yours is purely an economic and political analysis, which unfortunately means not a jot when a catastrophic climate event rips your house down as it has done in Pakistan, Russia, Australia, California and New Orleans recently.

I am no fan of carbon taxes since I consider they will completely fail to solve the issues. Evolve your thinking on the human role in the earth system, or face the fact that nature will chew us up and spit us out. At that point the issue of taxes will be irrelevant and all your whining with it.

Your welcome to your Paranoid conspiracy dreams.

Br Cornelius

no paranoia or conspiracies here. i agree the climate is changing, i agree humans pollute the environment.

what you have to realise is you are firmly in the grip of paranoia. you can see it from your reply - talking about my house being ripped down, c'mon now. this isnt the three little pigs, my house wont be ripped down by the big bad wolf or man made climate change.

you still never answered my question. but i didn't expect you to.

those countries you listed which have suffered events. that isn't new. get your history book out and you'll find similar or worse events documented right throughout history. every time something happens its blamed on climate change. it use to be El Nino.

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no paranoia or conspiracies here. i agree the climate is changing, i agree humans pollute the environment.

what you have to realise is you are firmly in the grip of paranoia. you can see it from your reply - talking about my house being ripped down, c'mon now. this isnt the three little pigs, my house wont be ripped down by the big bad wolf or man made climate change.

you still never answered my question. but i didn't expect you to.

those countries you listed which have suffered events. that isn't new. get your history book out and you'll find similar or worse events documented right throughout history. every time something happens its blamed on climate change. it use to be El Nino.

El Nino is increasing in frequency and intensity. Go read some science sources rather than political/economic comment sites.

I comment on these catastrophic events because they are coming closer to home. Last year we experienced a 100 year flood event. Sheffield had similar flash floods which have destroyed 100's of homes. These are very unusual freak weathers which are happening on a nearly yearly basis in your back yard. For the last three years we have had droughts from January to June, followed by 100% cloud cover and daily rain for the remainder of the year. Asking local elderly people about their experience of historic weather and they say what we are currently experiencing they have never seen.

I would not extrapolate from these local events if it were not for the fact that I hear exactly the same stories from across the globe. Climate is shifting suddenly and dramatically and there is a well understood mechanism to account for it.

Denial is a comforting place to live but it wont protect you when its your house experiencing another freak flood.

Br Cornelius

Unfortunately no amount of science will change your mind, I can well see that.

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To place this calving in context;

After years of moving at a relatively stable speed, Helheim Glacier in southern Greenland has dramatically accelerated. Additional melt water lubricates the river of ice making their downhill movement easier and faster (see the section on Moulins, for more on this fascinating subject). According to a University of California-Santa Cruz study, Helheim Glacier's peak rate of flow has increased from 8 km per year in 2000 to 11 km per year in 2005. In addition to flowing more rapidly the glacier thinned by 40 metres between 2001 and 2003. The calving front of the glacier (the area where the ice breaks away and falls into the ocean) has retreated by approximately 5 km.

http://www.global-greenhouse-warming.com/melting-greenland.html

I think climate scientists are been far to cagey since the climate gate scandel, but I suppose that was what it was all about.

Br Cornelius

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Posted (edited)

I agree with Burnside that there is no doubt that things are changing, but the question is how much in man made and what, if anything, we can or even should do about it? It is clearly within mankinds ability to change the climate, the only problem is cost.

The climate-gate at least has forced those who are called experts on climate change to actually have confirmed neutral data, rather then people who are just screaming about polar bears drowning because they saw it on the news. Screaming never convinced anyone.

Edited by DieChecker

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My quetion is can you ride it? Or will it melt to quickly?

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El Nino is increasing in frequency and intensity. Go read some science sources rather than political/economic comment sites.

I comment on these catastrophic events because they are coming closer to home. Last year we experienced a 100 year flood event. Sheffield had similar flash floods which have destroyed 100's of homes. These are very unusual freak weathers which are happening on a nearly yearly basis in your back yard. For the last three years we have had droughts from January to June, followed by 100% cloud cover and daily rain for the remainder of the year. Asking local elderly people about their experience of historic weather and they say what we are currently experiencing they have never seen.

I would not extrapolate from these local events if it were not for the fact that I hear exactly the same stories from across the globe. Climate is shifting suddenly and dramatically and there is a well understood mechanism to account for it.

Denial is a comforting place to live but it wont protect you when its your house experiencing another freak flood.

Br Cornelius

Unfortunately no amount of science will change your mind, I can well see that.

how many of these floods have taken place because the houses are built on flood plains? and last years floods most places which flooded had been flooded previously throughout the years. Cockermouth in Cumbria which grabbed the headlines was always liable to flood. the small town is located in a river valley were two rivers join. even the Romans had sense to build on the higher ground.

just read the headline New homes to be built on flood plains. and guess what when these homes are built inevitably at some point in the future they'll be flooded. not because of climate change but because they were built on flood plains.

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