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Antarctica's Ice Flow Fully Mapped For the First Time

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the check-out-all-that-ice dept.

Earth 90

tvlinux writes "Antarctica is a big continent, so mapping all of its ice flow isn't exactly a piece of cake. But for the first time scientists have been able to get the complete picture of the southernmost continent's ice flow, from the South Pole to the shoreline. From the article: '"This is like seeing a map of all the oceans' currents for the first time. It's a game changer for glaciology," said Eric Rignot of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., and the University of California (UC), Irvine. Rignot is lead author of a paper about the ice flow published online Thursday in Science Express. "We are seeing amazing flows from the heart of the continent that had never been described before."'"

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90 comments

Useless... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37165272)

What's the point of doing this since it's all going to melt in the summer anyway?

Re:Useless... (4, Informative)

riverat1 (1048260) | more than 2 years ago | (#37165298)

Oh, there's enough ice there it will take several thousand years for all of it to melt. But the West Antarctic Ice Sheet could slide into the ocean pretty fast which would be a problem. A collapse if the WAIS [wikipedia.org] would amount to over 15 feet of sea level rise.

Re:Useless... (1)

mapkinase (958129) | more than 2 years ago | (#37166102)

I wonder if any of the models include a following factor: rising water level leads to increased surface of the water which leads to increased evaporation, which leads to higher rate of ice formation in both Arcticas.

Re:Useless... (1)

riverat1 (1048260) | more than 2 years ago | (#37167856)

Rising water levels won't change the area of the oceans all that much. The oceans already cover about 71% of the surface of the Earth. Maybe that goes up to 71.5%. Rising temperature does increase the evaporation rate though. There is around 4% more water vapor in the atmosphere now because of rising temperatures. What rising water levels do to the ice on Antarctica and Greenland is raise the grounding line where the ice sheets/glaciers meet the sea which destabilizes that interface and probably increases the melt rate. Increased temperatures and water vapor in the atmosphere will increase snowfall on the ice sheets somewhat but that's balanced more or less by an increase in the flow rate of the ice sheets. I doubt there is a higher rate of ice formation in the long run.

We need to send all the politicians there. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37165286)

Where they can do the least harm. They can have a Tea Party.

Re:We need to send all the politicians there. (0)

riverat1 (1048260) | more than 2 years ago | (#37165308)

Don't you think all of the hot air from the politicians would cause a massive melt of the ice? Better to send them to Death Valley.

Re:We need to send all the politicians there. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37165338)

Send them to Mars, it will be the beginning of our terraforming effort.

"...isn't exactly a piece of cake." (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37165312)

It's no problem when you're spending someone else's money.

Re:"...isn't exactly a piece of cake." (0)

toriver (11308) | more than 2 years ago | (#37165334)

And whose money is it then? If person A gives money to person B then it is no longer person A's money.

Re:"...isn't exactly a piece of cake." (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37165408)

"Given" suggests a voluntary transaction. Taxes don't belong in this category.

Re:"...isn't exactly a piece of cake." (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37165642)

By being born to wherever you were born you accepted the eula. Feel free to migrate or to stay and participate in changing the system through the built in democratic channels.

I'm not sure what the above paragraph should be implying... Probably that there's a discrepancy between the meaning and implementation of "rule of the people" and (perhaps depending on your worldview) there's no place with much more democracy to migrate to either.

As to taxes in particular, I think everything should belong to everyone by default. Taxes should be raised everywhere to give everyone food, water, shelter, medical care, education, roads, public transport and internet ("Apart from that, what have the Romans ever done for us?").

The capitalists can still have their playground within the rest of the economy. They should just not be allowed to run amok poisoning the planet and exploiting people who need to work their asses off for the basic "necessities" of today, as listed above (perhaps forgetting some).

While you are right that taxes aren't voluntary, they could buy you a better world. Larger socio-economic gaps create more tensions in a society. More crime and misery. Even the rich(er) are more uneasy in societies with greater economic inequality.

Re:"...isn't exactly a piece of cake." (1)

flaming error (1041742) | more than 2 years ago | (#37172954)

"By being born to wherever you were born you accepted the eula."

Could be sarcasm, but it sounds like you mean it, in which case, you are clearly mistaken.

Being forcefully ejected out a birth canal is not considered an "agreement" North of the Bible Belt.

South of the Bible Belt there remain few "built-in democratic channels," since southerners have largely gone republican following the political pole shift of the late 20th century.

Also, freedom to migrate has been severely restricted ever since driver's license age requirements were raised to exclude newborn infants.

Re:"...isn't exactly a piece of cake." (2)

riverat1 (1048260) | more than 2 years ago | (#37165668)

Taxes are the dues you pay for a civilized society.

Re:"...isn't exactly a piece of cake." (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37165830)

Civilized society [wikimedia.org]

Re:"...isn't exactly a piece of cake." (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37186758)

a civilized society does not always mean civilized people.

Re:"...isn't exactly a piece of cake." (1)

toriver (11308) | more than 2 years ago | (#37169306)

Yes they do. You choose to live in a country where the laws say you should pay taxes to finance civilization.

I mean, you need food to live. Does that mean paying the grocer is involuntary?

Re:"...isn't exactly a piece of cake." (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37170278)

I can choose which grocer to go to. You might look up how difficult it is to get the IRS off one's back should you decide to expatriate yourself. The government is supposed to follow the Constitution, but it does not. What is my recourse? They violate the contract, yet I am chained to it.

New discovery??? (1)

trikes57 (2442722) | more than 2 years ago | (#37165340)

"The map points out something fundamentally new: that ice moves by slipping along the ground it rests on," said Thomas Wagner.

The story seems to suggest this is new information. Yet this is standard knowledge anywhere there aer icefields and the glaciers that flow from them.

Re:New discovery??? (2, Funny)

chromas (1085949) | more than 2 years ago | (#37165404)

No, prior to this breakthrough, it was believed the ice just grew legs and walked off.

Re:New discovery??? (1)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 2 years ago | (#37165488)

Even more, the common belief was that it walked across the ground (not along)

Why bother (-1, Troll)

SnarfQuest (469614) | more than 2 years ago | (#37165370)

Why bother. According to Global Warming, it's all going to be melted in the next 10 years. Just like the Arctic completely melted in September 2008.

Re:Why bother (-1, Troll)

hyades1 (1149581) | more than 2 years ago | (#37165402)

You trolls are everywhere. How much do you get paid?

Re:Why bother (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37166038)

His payment is the satisfaction of getting a rise out of people, as with all trolls. The best way to deal with them is to ignore them, once they're no longer getting the attention they crave they'll slink off to pastures new.

What happened to geology for its own sake? (2, Insightful)

tp1024 (2409684) | more than 2 years ago | (#37165398)

There was a time, way back, when geologists would have presented this kind of finding and said:

"We finally have a map of how the ice in Antarctica moves. We don't quite know exactly why it moves the way it does, but at least now we know some of the questions we should ask ourselves."

Instead we get scaremongering drivel along the lines of: "That's critical knowledge for predicting future sea level rise. It means that if we lose ice at the coasts from the warming ocean, we open the tap to massive amounts of ice in the interior."

Re:What happened to geology for its own sake? (1)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 2 years ago | (#37165494)

There was a time, way back, when geologists would have presented this kind of finding and said: "We finally have a map of how the ice in Antarctica moves. We don't quite know exactly why it moves the way it does, but at least now we know some of the questions we should ask ourselves." Instead we get scaremongering drivel along the lines of: "That's critical knowledge for predicting future sea level rise. It means that if we lose ice at the coasts from the warming ocean, we open the tap to massive amounts of ice in the interior."

Did it scare you?

Re:What happened to geology for its own sake? (3, Insightful)

KeensMustard (655606) | more than 2 years ago | (#37165526)

This would only be scaremongering if it weren't true.
  1. Have you evidence that it is not?
  2. Surmising (on presently available evidence) that sea rises due to melting ice is likely, how can talking about it be bad? Surely more knowledge is a good thing?

Re:What happened to geology for its own sake? (5, Interesting)

tp1024 (2409684) | more than 2 years ago | (#37165670)

> This would only be scaremongering if it weren't true.

No. If you keep repeating "truths" out of all proportion, it is still scaremongering. That's why there are so many more people who feel perfectly fine driving a car to the airport and getting scared as soon as they board the plane - than there are people who are a paranoid, nervous wreak behind the driving wheel and relax upon boarding the much safer airplane (as it is indeed the case).

All that because news about airplane crashes are presented way out of proportion. If any passenger airplane crashes down anywhere on this globe - be it in Washington State, Siberia or Lagos, Nigeria - you'll know it. And they are all real. Not one is counterfeit or a fabrication. It just so happens, that 100% are being reported.

If there were as many dead people in airplane crashes as in car accidents, you'd need to have one major plane crash each day with over 100 dead people on average in the USA alone! Yet, much less than 1% of the car accidents with dead people are reported.

That's not to say anybody would be lying about the number of car accidents - but the biased reporting is very obviously having the effect of making airplanes appear much more dangerous than they actually are. The worst is, however, that it makes people talk and fight like idiots about airplane safety whenever there is a crash - but they all forget about the dreadful danger that car traffic is. There are far over a million dead people in car accidents each year worldwide. But nobody cares.

Re:What happened to geology for its own sake? (1)

KeensMustard (655606) | more than 2 years ago | (#37166232)

No. If you keep repeating "truths" out of all proportion, it is still scaremongering.

Thanks for acknowledging the threat, even if only implicitly.
What would be a disproportionate response to the threat of sea level rise? What would be a proportionate response?
What exactly is wrong with talking about real threats?

Re:What happened to geology for its own sake? (1)

camperdave (969942) | more than 2 years ago | (#37166458)

The real threat from sea level rise is zero. It would take a long, long time for all of that ice to melt; generations most likely. People will just naturally move inland as the water level rises. It's not like you're going to wake up in your seventh floor apartment one morning and find out that your balcony would now make a good dock.

Re:What happened to geology for its own sake? (1)

JoshuaZ (1134087) | more than 2 years ago | (#37166730)

The real threat from sea level rise is zero. It would take a long, long time for all of that ice to melt; generations most likely. People will just naturally move inland as the water level rises. It's not like you're going to wake up in your seventh floor apartment one morning and find out that your balcony would now make a good dock.

There's a lot wrong with this. It doesn't require a full melt for the sea level to rise a few feet. Even a two or three foot rise could have devastating consequences. My parents have a small house in a small town in New England. There house is on a hill and so is pretty safe. But many of the other houses in the area are only a few feet above the high-tide line. If the sea level went up 2 or 3 feet, then when the sea gets really high during storms there would be real damage. Furthermore, some buildings have foundations that go down far which would then lead to problems with the foundations. It doesn't take water up to your balcony window to make the building have problems, that will happen well before that. What do you think will happen to a building with a basement that is partially below the water table? And relocating people takes a massive amount of economic resources and destroys national heritage ("Yes, children, much of where Paul Revere road through you've never heard of. It has been uninhabitable for 30 years." Do you want to have to tell kids that?) And New England isn't the only area that will have problems. New York City right now to keep the subways functioning on dry days pumps out around 13 million gallons of water. http://www.nysun.com/new-york/inside-the-mtas-fight-against-subway-flooding/35672/ [nysun.com] And that's just the subways, that's not counting all the other pumps in NYC. Do you realize how much worse that will be from just a 1 or 2 foot increase in water level? Then add to this list a lot of cities in Florida. And that's just the more obviously impacted areas of the US.

And even this ignores the problem in less well-off countries. For example, many people live on small islands in the South Pacific. Consider Tuvalu http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tuvalu [wikipedia.org] which is not at all well off, and is so small that there's no part of it higher than about 15 feet above sea level. If sea level increases by 2 feet, then most of the island will become inhabitable. That's it. An entire country gone. They lack the money and area to relocate if the worst happens. And not surprisingly, they are a bit pissed off that our failure means that they might have to move. And they aren't the only example. There are literally hundreds of small islands in the Pacific which will suffer from sea level rise. And this isn't the only part of the world that will have trouble. Many South American countries have a lot of people on the coasts.

Then there's also all the secondary environmental problems. Many areas which are now fresh water will become much more saline. Fresh water fish will have problems. Water supplies currently used for drinking water will need to add all sorts of expensive desalinization equipment. Environmentally stressed areas like the Florida Everglades will run into even more problems.

So yeah, there's a serious threat here. And it doesn't require water going that high up. Only a few feet can have devastating economic, environmental and social consequences.

Re:What happened to geology for its own sake? (1)

camperdave (969942) | more than 2 years ago | (#37167394)

Again. Time scales. It's going to take hundreds of years to rise that 2-3 feet. People will have moved on long ago.

Re:What happened to geology for its own sake? (1)

riverat1 (1048260) | more than 2 years ago | (#37167898)

There are people alive today who will see 3-6 feet of sea level rise by 2100 if current projections are correct.

Re:What happened to geology for its own sake? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37171352)

There are people alive today who will see 3-6 feet of sea level rise by 2100 if current projections are correct.

Too bad that those people will be unable to move during the next 90 years.

Re:What happened to geology for its own sake? (1)

HiThere (15173) | more than 2 years ago | (#37171462)

Warning: I'm talking off the top of my head, and I'm no expert, but:

Which current projections? I would have put the range at 1-30 feet, though I guess I consider 3 feet more reasonable. Of course, It's hard to be specific since a lot of what the result is depends on what we do. (I think the 30 foot range was predicting massive use of shale-oil, and poor conservation/pollution controls. Which, unfortunately, isn't at all an unreasonable projection.)

N.B.: It's quite unlikely that China/India/etc. aren't going to use the same energy sources that we use. And will probably be aiming for the same per capita usage. So perhaps that 30 foot projection isn't all THAT unreasonable.

FWIW, these are projections presuming only nominal antarctic melting. If Antarctica starts seriously melting we can expect much worse. I've been told that this probably won't happen. OTOH, there are presuming substantial Greenland melting...but then that's already underway.

Re:What happened to geology for its own sake? (1)

riverat1 (1048260) | more than 2 years ago | (#37172830)

Here [pik-potsdam.de] (PDF) is a 2009 paper on the subject. Check out Fig. 6 on page 5. The estimates for 2100 range from around 80 to 180 cm depending on the scenario. Of course there could be events that we can't foresee that would change that but more than 8-10 feet by 2100 seems to be beyond reasonable given what we currently know. If we keep on with business as usual though 30 feet might be possible by 2200.

Re:What happened to geology for its own sake? (1)

riverat1 (1048260) | more than 2 years ago | (#37172862)

I should have included 80-1180 cm is 2.6-5.9 feet.

Re:What happened to geology for its own sake? (1)

HiThere (15173) | more than 2 years ago | (#37174280)

If that "Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Fourth Assessment
Report" is the one I heard of, many professionals were complaining because the predictions had been toned down to be more politically acceptable. OTOH that 30 foot projection was a wild outlier. Just about as much as the 1 foot projection. (I think that thermal expansion of the oceans accounted for that, and perhaps a bit more, without any ice melting needed.)

Re:What happened to geology for its own sake? (1)

pixelpusher220 (529617) | more than 2 years ago | (#37168594)

When you can see the tides 100+ miles inland, a few feet can pretty suddenly become a problem to a whole lot of people.

Try South Carolina...it's called 'The Low Country' for a reason.

Re:What happened to geology for its own sake? (1)

Fjandr (66656) | more than 2 years ago | (#37168824)

The ice doesn't have to melt, it just has to calve.

Let's talk in terms of inches then. The economic harm to NYC would be incredible, and could conceivably happen within a single person's lifetime.

Do you know how much damage would have to be caused, in both economic and human terms, before the city of New York was abandoned wholesale? Katrina was bad, and they moved back into New Orleans. Unlike New York, most of that city is actually below sea level right this second.

The threat is not zero unless there is no possible way ocean rise can occur within a matter of a century.

Re:What happened to geology for its own sake? (2)

Arlet (29997) | more than 2 years ago | (#37168832)

People will just naturally move inland as the water level rises

I live in a low lying river delta, together with a few million other people. It's a very profitable region of the country, and I can assure you it's not going to be moved anytime soon.

What happens instead is that the levee system will have to be upgraded, which means a $ multi billion investment. Or, worse, the threat isn't taken seriously enough, the upgrade is delayed, and the entire area is flooded during a huge storm surge.

Re:What happened to geology for its own sake? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37175076)

There are thousands of years of examples of human nature that entirely disagree with the notion that "people will just naturally move inland as the water level rises". That's not the way people behave en masse. It's naive to think that they will. What happens is that a disaster occurs and, if it's not so bad that it kills everyone, people evacuate, then most of them move back until the next disaster, rinse and repeat until either there's nowhere to move back to, or there aren't enough survivors left. People don't reach some threshold where they say "we're right on the edge of a disaster, let's move", most of them wait for the disaster and that's how they see that they've reached the threshold. Looked at from a distance, it looks like people are simply gradually peacefully moving away. Up close, there's quite a lot of terror and death.

Consider Pompeii and Herculaneum. Mt Vesuvius was erupting for a day without really harming anyone before it finally spewed up a huge eruption that killed absolutely everyone there within a few minutes. People were walking around while the ground shook and the mountain belched fire and ash and small rocks fell out of the sky like rain, going about their daily business as if it were just an annoyance. Very, very few people evacuated during that time, even though there was plenty of time for everyone to evacuate. They didn't because Vesuvius had been safe for their entire lives. That's how human nature works.

Re:What happened to geology for its own sake? (1)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 2 years ago | (#37166250)

No. If you keep repeating "truths" out of all proportion, it is still scaremongering. That's why there are so many more people who feel perfectly fine driving a car to the airport and getting scared as soon as they board the plane - than there are people who are a paranoid, nervous wreak behind the driving wheel and relax upon boarding the much safer airplane (as it is indeed the case).

No, that has to do with the effect of feeling in control of a situation. People would feel safer on a big plane if they had access to the cockpit, knew the pilots, etc. They really wouldn't be (that's actually more dangerous). Strap them into the back seat of a car with extra seat belts and packing foam and they'll feel unsafe riding in a car too.

Re:What happened to geology for its own sake? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37167640)

No, that has to do with the effect of feeling in control of a situation. People would feel safer on a big plane if they had access to the cockpit, knew the pilots, etc. They really wouldn't be (that's actually more dangerous). Strap them into the back seat of a car with extra seat belts and packing foam and they'll feel unsafe riding in a car too.

Yeah, that's bullshit. I'm a skydiver, and I know that statistically it's a very safe sport, and I'm probably in more danger riding to the airport. There's still a sizable amount of fear every single time I'm on that ride up on the airplane, and a huge amount of adrenaline every time I get to the door, even though I can handle my body in free-fall, and I'm in complete control of the canopy when I'm landing it.

Strap them into the back seat of a car with extra seat belts and packing foam and they'll feel unsafe riding in a car too.

As in, present them with a disproportionate vision of the danger, and they'll be afraid? That's the grandparents' point. They're not automatically afraid just by taking control away from them, they're fine when they're not driving, even in the backseat, as long as everything looks "normal".

Re:What happened to geology for its own sake? (1)

AdamHaun (43173) | more than 2 years ago | (#37168122)

I think the feeling of being informed is a factor, at least for some people. I've been on planes where they let me listen to air traffic control and felt much safer knowing what the plane was going to do in advance. It still feels like the plane is falling out of the sky whenever it dives, but at least I know to expect it.

Re:What happened to geology for its own sake? (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 2 years ago | (#37165696)

I believe a giant asteroid is gonna hit the world in the next 50 years. Do you have evidence it is not? We have smaller ones hitting constantly, so how do you KNOW there isn't a bigger one out there? You don't.

Therefor you should give me 50 beeelion dollars so that I can build my anti asteroid protection system. We can just tax everyone, we'll call it a "mineral derivative" and we can even set up markets to trade in them! [nakedcapitalism.com] Of course coming in on the ground floor I'll make a slight profit [telegraph.co.uk] but that's only fair, since it was my brilliance that thought it up, right?

Re:What happened to geology for its own sake? (1)

camperdave (969942) | more than 2 years ago | (#37166476)

We do get our money back if a big one eludes your anti-asteroid protection system and wipes out all life on Earth, right?

Re:What happened to geology for its own sake? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37166596)

Yes, it's the same insurance that covers the nuclear reactors, it's about 300 million$ for all the damages combined.

Re:What happened to geology for its own sake? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37166518)

Excellent. And I'll need money to research the FACT that the Boogeyman is about to kill all of our children... there is NO evidence that he doesn't exist. And yes, I may become very wealthy. Someone must be paid millions to fly around on private jets to speak to the ignorant masses about the dangers of the Boogeyman. Clearly the Boogeyman is a greater and more imminent threat than coastal flooding... caused by global warming... caused by driving an SUV.

Re:What happened to geology for its own sake? (1)

KeensMustard (655606) | more than 2 years ago | (#37166812)

Excellent. And I'll need money to research the FACT that the Boogeyman is about to kill all of our children... there is NO evidence that he doesn't exist.

You mean the boogeyman like the U.N and the socialist conspiracy to establish a world government?

And yes, I may become very wealthy. Someone must be paid millions to fly around on private jets to speak to the ignorant masses about the dangers of the Boogeyman.

Pardon me, but to be clear, are you taking a swipe at Christopher Monkton? Or maybe Joanne Nova - you know, those ultra rich denialists who are paid by rich and poor alike to fly around the world and tell lies?

Re:What happened to geology for its own sake? (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 2 years ago | (#37170038)

Hey we should team up! I bet for say 70 beeelion dollars we can build a COMBINATION asteroid shield AND Bogeyman destroyer! Think of all the money saved!

Oh and did you see how NOBODY checked the links? How the SAME GROUP that set up credit defaults swaps (aka economy killers) is now working for the carbon credit framers? Does that not ring ANY bells here? Does that not scream THIS IS A SCAM! in 100 foot neon with dancing hookers and blow?

Re:What happened to geology for its own sake? (1)

KeensMustard (655606) | more than 2 years ago | (#37166712)

I believe a giant asteroid is gonna hit the world in the next 50 years.

Well that's confusing. First you guys tell me that sea level rise is real, but not a threat, and now you claim there is no evidence that it is real? Which of these contradictory statements represents your position?
What do you think this does for your credibility?
Maybe you guys want to take a moment, and you know, step outside and get your stories straight?

Do you have evidence it is not? We have smaller ones hitting constantly, so how do you KNOW there isn't a bigger one out there? You don't.

Learn the difference between assertion and an evidence backed conclusion. It is not necessary to counter assertion with scientific analysis. It IS however, insufficient to try and counter scientific, peer reviewed analysis with mere assertion. In the latter case, the asserters can be simply dismissed.

Re:What happened to geology for its own sake? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37175004)

You're being facetious and trying to provide an absurd example to act as a straw man for climate change arguments. I get that, but I don't think you've chosen a very good counter-argument. The reality, however, is that a large asteroid or comet impact at some point in the future is a statistical certainty. It may or may not be in our lifetimes, but it will certainly happen. A Tunguska level event is estimated to occur every 100 years or so. Bigger events will happen less frequently. Chances are probably somewhere in some sort of appreciable range, say 5% or more that an asteroid or comet impact will occur in a populated area within the next 100 years and kill millions of people. The level of certainty that will happen, not to mention the long odds of a civilization destroying, or possibly human species destroying event occurring, probably justifies a few billion dollars thrown at the problem here and there.

Re:What happened to geology for its own sake? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37166662)

The sea only rises if land ice melts (like on Iceland and the artic mountains). Ice that is already floating in water does not cause any rise in sea level when it melt (Archimedes worked this out a while ago)

I hear there is a teapot between Mars and Saturn (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37173622)

Have you evidence that it is not?
Is Bertrand Russell really dead?
Have you evidence that he is not?

Re:What happened to geology for its own sake? (1)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 2 years ago | (#37165562)

We don't quite know exactly why it moves the way it does...

Centrifugal force.. The earth's rotation flings the ice outward..

Re:What happened to geology for its own sake? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37166008)

Best explanation ever! :D

Also, clouds are produced by factories, honey is actualy bee-snot and electronics are powered by magic smoke and releasing it to the sky causes the kind of electric clouds that causes thunder.

Next up: Does mushroom clouds come from puffball fungi?

(I should probably not get children.)

Re:What happened to geology for its own sake? (1)

Lifyre (960576) | more than 2 years ago | (#37167192)

So that explains why when I let the smoke out of electronics they don't work anymore!

Re:What happened to geology for its own sake? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37165950)

So you're saying science is okay as long as we don't learn anything from it?

Re:What happened to geology for its own sake? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37165964)

This is how they get funding these days.
You need to scare those with money into funding your research.

Re:What happened to geology for its own sake? (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37166036)

"What happened to geology for its own sake?"

People insisted that scientists show how their work is relevant to things of concern to taxpayers, because taxpayers are often funding part of the research. That pretty much sums up the reasons why the broader implications of a study get mentioned in journalistic reports no matter how interesting the regular scientific aspects are on their own. Science is the accumulation of a lot of smaller studies that incrementally add up. Individually they usually aren't some great revolution in understanding. But journalists love to increase the drama.

And it's not scaremongering. It's kind of like the grounded coastal ice is acting as a dam for ice moving from the interior. Remove it (by melting and/or breakup), and the ice streams will move much further inland and tap into the main parts of the cap, meaning you haven't just removed the coastal ice and added it to sea level, you've accelerated the movement of the entire land-based icecap into the sea. This is not scaremongering, it's the natural result of a better understanding the dynamics of ice motion in Antarctica. Having a map of the current ice motion over the entire continent is a big advance, and it also means the whole thing can be monitored for longer-term changes.

Re:What happened to geology for its own sake? (1)

Gilmoure (18428) | more than 2 years ago | (#37167780)

I live above 8,000 ft elevation. Not scared for myself but yeah, economic turmoil will suck. But hey, when's the last time you heard of any large organization taking all this 'scare mongering' into account? I mean, besides the U.S. military and all the major insurance companies. But other than them?

Re:What happened to geology for its own sake? (1)

AdamHaun (43173) | more than 2 years ago | (#37168160)

To what extent does any large organization plan 50 years into the future? Predicting social, technological, and economic change is much harder than predicting climate change.

Re:What happened to geology for its own sake? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37166202)

"Instead we get scaremongering drivel along the lines of: "That's critical knowledge for predicting future sea level rise. It means that if we lose ice at the coasts from the warming ocean, we open the tap to massive amounts of ice in the interior.""

Climate change is real, you smacked ass. Your opinion does not change the reality.

Re:What happened to geology for its own sake? (1)

Maritz (1829006) | more than 2 years ago | (#37166606)

Are you emotionally invested in an anti-AGW point of view..? The article didn't strike me as scaremongering.

Re:What happened to geology for its own sake? (2)

tp1024 (2409684) | more than 2 years ago | (#37167290)

Are you emotionally invested in a pro-AGW point of view? The article didn't strike me as particularly objective.

I have never seen a volcanologist writing something like:
"That's critical knowledge for predicting future volcanic eruptions. It means that if we lose the lava dome of the volcano, we open the tap to massive amounts of magma in the interior."

Neither have I seen an astronomer writing something like:
"That's critical knowledge for predicting future super-novae. It means that if we lose the carbon-fusion in the core of the star, we open the tap to massive amounts of neutrinos, gamma rays and heavy nuclei."

Re:What happened to geology for its own sake? (1)

Dishevel (1105119) | more than 2 years ago | (#37167814)

Climate Change!
Climate Change!
Do not call it Global Warming.
If you call it global warming people will expect certain results.
We all got together a few years ago and all agreed to change to Climate Change.
Remember always say climate change as if it is something the earth has never seen before.

Change is scary. Change is bad.

Truth.
I have no idea if people are changing the climate on a planetary scale.
I have no idea how much is caused by the changing sun, volcanic activity, unknown earth processes and how much is caused by people.
I do know though that once the governments get together and start to regulate CO2 its bad.
A government that can regulate the gas that I breathe out we need to break.

Re:What happened to geology for its own sake? (1)

Fjandr (66656) | more than 2 years ago | (#37168902)

I've heard volcanologists say almost exactly that, since a good number of people have no concept of how cap pressure works.

Was the emphasis on "we" supposed to mean something important? Sounded to me like the writer was using the language in a technically incorrect, but incredibly common (even among those highly educated in anything but English), way and was quoted in that manner.

It's highly unlikely the person being quoted meant the second "we" to actually mean that some human or humans were the sole actors responsible for the loss of glacial endcaps. Be mindful of the edge when borrowing Occam's razor, especially when using it to parse English.

fp MCum (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37165412)

invited back again. a fact: FreeBSD I read th3 latest It's best to try BitTorrent) ?Second, sadness And it was These early 'You see, even

Re:fp MCum (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37165584)

I can't work out what type of spam this is supposed to be?

Lovely Science (2)

msevior (145103) | more than 2 years ago | (#37165446)

Congrats Guys!

This is lovely Science. From this I guess we can map the underlying topology of Antarctica.

Re:Lovely Science (1)

ljw1004 (764174) | more than 2 years ago | (#37167438)

I think we could already map the underlying topology just fine -- using radar, since it penetrates through the ice. I remember back in the early 1990s, on a school trip to the Scott Polar Research Institute, that they showed us a topological map of Antarctica.

Re:Lovely Science (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37170724)

Yup, let's do that again.

The ice at the south pole moves north (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37165556)

wow

Jet Propulsion (1)

Lillebo (1561251) | more than 2 years ago | (#37165686)

Why is a Jet Propulsion expert from NASA studying ice flows in Antarctica?

Re:Jet Propulsion (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37165692)

Part of the sikrit ZOG plot to move all the water to the Moon. Seriously -- most likely the person is an expert in fluid dynamics, which is a complex field with varying areas of application.

Re:Jet Propulsion (2)

vbraga (228124) | more than 2 years ago | (#37165920)

Jet propulsion, ice flows, everything is a part of "Transport Phenomena" the sub field of classic physics that includes aerodynamics, for example.

Re:Jet Propulsion (2)

riverat1 (1048260) | more than 2 years ago | (#37167974)

The data was collected by a coalition of researchers from around the world, mostly not from the US. The JPL merely took the data from many studies and using their super computers put it together in a comprehensive whole for Antarctica.

How it was done... (4, Funny)

ignavus (213578) | more than 2 years ago | (#37165786)

Apparently up until now, a lot of the penguins wouldn't let the Google camera vans drive onto their glaciers.

Now that's been sorted out (yep, Google bought out the penguins AND got Motorola into the bargain), so Google has been able to map the whole Antarctic glacial flow.

A random picture from a glacier's street view is below:
|
|
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|
|
|
|
|
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(Sorry about the blizzard)

Re:How it was done... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37165936)

[quote]Sorry about the blizzard[/quote]

So this is what the south seas expansion is about? I thought it was trolls, and pirates, and pandas! DAMN YOU BLIZZARD!!

Re:How it was done... (1)

Dinghy (2233934) | more than 2 years ago | (#37166200)

Google has been able to map the whole Antarctic glacial flow.

and all the wifi hotspots!

Mining competition for Antarctica (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37166022)

Is this the start of the contest to Australia's claim of half of Antarctica in 2041?

What a wasted effort... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37167282)

According to climate change experts all of that ice will be melted by next year...

For those of you without a sense of humor... This is a joke... Please don't ask for a reference!

When did /. get to be so far behind the curve? (1)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 2 years ago | (#37169224)

Fark had this on 20 Aug 2011 at 1:16 PM.

Yes, I've been here since it was Chips and Dips, I survived the Hot Grits, but I missed when /. became the place where articles were posted days later.

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