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Science & Technology

Glacier melted long before climate change

February 23, 2014 | Comment icon 53 comments



NASA image of the Pine Island Glacier. Image Credit: NASA
Scientists have argued that the Pine Island Glacier was melting just as quickly over 8,000 years ago.
The glacier has long been considered to be the perfect example of how carbon emissions have been affecting the environment, but now experts at the British Antarctic Survey have revealed that the glacier had been melting at a similar rate several thousand years ago, long before mankind had been capable of having any impact on the world's climate.
The glacier, the melting of which is believed to be contributing to rising sea levels, is thought to have experienced periods of extensive melting at various times throughout history. Rather than being the result of man-made global warming, the melting is simply something that seems to occur from time to time regardless of human activity.

"The results are clear in showing a remarkably abrupt thinning of the glacier 8000 years ago," said Professor Mike Bentley who worked on the research.

Source: The Register | Comments (53)



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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #44 Posted by danielost 8 years ago
I am so clear. The labels don't work. I agree with some of the remedies. I don't agree with the initial premise. I want to stop using coal because I hate energy companies. Every household should have their own way of creating energy with tactics that do not require paying someone else to use. There is free energy out there, for it is all around us. It should be every household's job to create and gather the energy they use. What you want to force on people will not work. Why? Because, we either do not have the tech, or it is too expensive. Energy companies are controlled directly or indirectly... [More]
Comment icon #45 Posted by Doug1029 8 years ago
What you want to force on people will not work. Why? Because, we either do not have the tech, or it is too expensive. Energy companies are controlled directly or indirectly by state and/or local governments. That's not entirely true. Citizens United allows companies to use their profits for political campaigns. The result is billions of dollars in "campaign contributions," otherwise known as bribes. The public discourse (and the government) is being bought out by big money. We have the best politicians money can buy. Doug
Comment icon #46 Posted by WierdHalfling 8 years ago
I've just been struck by a thought...that all these controversial subjects are smoke screens, so what could they be hiding, if anything? What was going on before Global Warming became an issue... What was going on before UFology became mainstream... Is anyone monitoring the 'Random' machine, forgot where it is.... Anyway, apologies for the digression but agree that we should have alternatives to being reliant on 'Corporates' for day to day living, as it was in my childhood, no probs back then... Still, Putin seems set on putting us all back there anyway, what with WW3 looming up and all.....
Comment icon #47 Posted by Tsurugi 8 years ago
quite Daniel, quite, but that was a long time before the last ice age, in fact it was 170 million years ago... and then most of the earth's surface was in one continent called Gondwana in which what is now Antarctica was located much further to the north of the current position. That has very little to do with the temperatures at the poles, then and now. Huh. http://www.geo.umass.edu/news/past-periodic-warmth-arctic-may-be-related-melting-antarctic-ice-sheets http://www-das.uwyo.edu/~geerts/cwx/notes/chap01/icecore.html
Comment icon #48 Posted by Tsurugi 8 years ago
I am skeptical of the AGW hypothesis for several reasons, but that is immaterial, really. Because even if I were 100% sure it was true, I would oppose any attempt to have Government "fix" it. Governments are good at two things, generally: 1)waging wars, and 2)getting bigger. Climate Change legislation would just turn out to be number two. Who honestly thinks government policy could "save the planet"? It takes only a cursory glance at recent history to see that this is extremely unlikely. Australia tried a Carbon Tax. Big fail. And who is going to make China, Russia, India, follow suit? Getting... [More]
Comment icon #49 Posted by Doug1029 8 years ago
I agree that we desperately need a new, different, non-centralized energy type, something where every home could self-power...but please can we not go for wind, which is 2k years old at least, or solar, which is pre-fire? We need a more advanced, more powerful energy type, not a modernized version of an ancient, less efficient one. If it can't push a fully loaded cargo jet, it isn't progressive, it's regressive. At 7 cents per KWH, wind is cheaper than any other form of energy, except natural gas-fired turbines and it is neck-and-neck with that - to the extent that which is cheaper depends on ... [More]
Comment icon #50 Posted by Br Cornelius 8 years ago
I am skeptical of the AGW hypothesis for several reasons, but that is immaterial, really. Because even if I were 100% sure it was true, I would oppose any attempt to have Government "fix" it. Governments are good at two things, generally: 1)waging wars, and 2)getting bigger. Climate Change legislation would just turn out to be number two. Who honestly thinks government policy could "save the planet"? It takes only a cursory glance at recent history to see that this is extremely unlikely. Australia tried a Carbon Tax. Big fail. And who is going to make China, Russia, India, follow suit? Getting... [More]
Comment icon #51 Posted by Doug1029 8 years ago
Back to the subject of the thread: Prior to human intervention in the climate system, there was an ice age about every hundred thousand years. That has been going on for 12 to 15 million years. Between each glacial cycle there is an interglacial during which time the climate warms up, sea levels rise and so on. America owes its large number of southern pine species to the periodic isolation of pine populations caused by rising an falling sea levels. Rising and retreating ice sheets allowed the Niagara River to carve a whole bunch of gorges through the Niagara Escarpment, the St. David's Gorge ... [More]
Comment icon #52 Posted by danielost 8 years ago
And if it is man caused.
Comment icon #53 Posted by Br Cornelius 8 years ago
And if it is man caused. The evidence says it is. Br Cornelius


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