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The Himalayas and Nearby Peaks Have Lost No Ice In Past 10 Years, Study Shows

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the antifreeze-be-damned dept.

Earth 409

DesScorp writes "A story from UK's Guardian reports on a study of ice levels from the Himalayas area, and finds that no significant melting has occurred, despite earlier predictions of losses of up to 50 billion tons of ice. 'The very unexpected result was the negligible mass loss from high mountain Asia, which is not significantly different from zero,' said Professor Jonathan Bamber, who also warns that 8 years simply isn't enough time to draw conclusions. 'It is awfully dangerous to take an eight-year record and predict even the next eight years, let alone the next century,' he said." Readers have sent in a few other stories today relating to melting (or persisting) ice around the globe; read on for more.bonch writes "New research from the University of Colorado concludes that the polar ice caps are melting less than previously thought. Almost 230 billion tons of ice annually melt into the ocean, 30% less than past predictions. The new data comes from the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment satellite, which provides more accurate estimates than previous methods."

The earth being a complex thing, though, note that these observations don't mean an end to predictions of elevated sea level.

Finally, an anonymous reader writes with another ice story: "NASA's Terra satellite saw a huge crack in the Pine Island Glacier in Antarctica and it is all set to give rise to an iceberg the size of Manhattan! The huge gash in the snow is 30 kilometers (or 19 miles) long and nearly 100 meters wide, and is widening every passing minute. This is expected to create an iceberg more than 900 square kilometer in area, as compared to the 785 square kilometer area of Manhattan, Brooklyn, Staten Island and Bronx combined, said NASA."

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Maintaining a balanced position (5, Insightful)

bonch (38532) | more than 2 years ago | (#38988987)

I think the lesson to take away is to strive for a rational, "healthily skeptical" position when presented with climate data. It's just such an unpredictable thing--literally, a complicated system the size of the entire world with a scale spanning molecules, continents, and beyond. The media doesn't help, either--it's drive for alarmism tends to overly simplify or exaggerate situations, and perhaps even the scientists involved get caught up in it.

For example, do you remember how polar bears drowning in the Arctic sea due to global warming were cited as a reason to classify them as an endangered species, and how they were used as a symbol of climate change in Al Gore's movie? The lead scientist was actually placed on administrative leave [humanevents.com] , and several questions were raised about how the bears actually died and how the corpses were observed from 1,500 up in a helicopter rather than examined to actually determine their cause of death. Whether or not they were really drowning, there just wasn't enough data to come to the conclusion that was presented to the public with the level of certainty that was conveyed.

Unfortunately, if you're someone who agrees with doing the logical thing--reducing the negative environmental impact of humans as much as possible, within reasonable economic boundaries--the exaggerations and alarmism sweep you away into being on a "side", and you're shoved right in the middle of the mosh pit of tribal politics. If you question a conclusion or suggest a way of doing things, and you maintain a nuanced or balanced position, you get shit on by everybody, and nothing gets accomplished.

George Carlin did an insightful (and profanity-laden) bit on alarmism in modern society [youtube.com] .

Skeptical != Scientific (1, Insightful)

RobinEggs (1453925) | more than 2 years ago | (#38989157)

healthily skeptical

It's really very wrong to say skepticism is "healthy", and yet I see people say this almost daily. It's no more 'healthy' to be systematically 'skeptical' than it is to be systematically credulous. It's 'healthy' to follow the data and not make any assumptions before you analyze it.

Disbelieving things by default isn't really much better, from a scientific perspective, than believing everything you hear.

Re:Skeptical != Scientific (5, Insightful)

MobyDisk (75490) | more than 2 years ago | (#38989203)

I'm not so sure. I'd like to see some scientific data to back that up. In the mean time, I will remain skeptical by default.

(Only half joking here)

Re:Skeptical != Scientific (5, Informative)

EdZ (755139) | more than 2 years ago | (#38989247)

It's 'healthy' to follow the data and not make any assumptions before you analyze it.

That's what skepticism is.

Re:Skeptical != Scientific (5, Funny)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 2 years ago | (#38989281)

Disbelieving things by default isn't really much better, from a scientific perspective, than believing everything you hear.

[Citation Needed]

Re:Skeptical != Scientific (2)

tmosley (996283) | more than 2 years ago | (#38989397)

He's saying that you should believe him automatically, or you aren't a scientolog...er, a scientist.

Re:Skeptical != Scientific (2)

justforgetme (1814588) | more than 2 years ago | (#38989789)

[Citation Needed]

here you go [wikipedia.org]

Re:Skeptical != Scientific (2, Insightful)

Mashiki (184564) | more than 2 years ago | (#38989393)

Is it really wrong? So, one shouldn't question government? Or those that write laws. Or those that are trying to force their own views on people. Or be questioning of persons(or groups) ideological goals that could retrograde civilization? In order to follow data, you have to have data you can trust. If the person or people can't trust the data, they're going to be skeptical.

In turn, the more that people see the blackballing going on by the environmental movement, the more skeptical they become of it as well. This is further proofed by the coercion table, the more you want someone to do something by making them 'feel good' rather than 'forcing' the more likely they'll adopt it. Though as you can see the more heavy handed it's become over the years, the more people are lashing back, and support for any belief, of it has fallen sharply. And people believe it to be a form of taxable coercion.

Re:Skeptical != Scientific (2)

geekoid (135745) | more than 2 years ago | (#38989411)

I don't think you understand what skeptical means.

Re:Skeptical != Scientific (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38989413)

careful not to step in the bullshit. "Skeptic", is a word stolen and redefined to give weight to the propaganda against man made climate change. Scientific Skepticism is a thing, scientific credulity is what happens when a dittohead listens to Rush Limbaugh.

Re:Skeptical != Scientific (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38989425)

Disbelieving things by default isn't really much better, from a scientific perspective, than believing everything you hear.

There are 3 kinds of disbelievers (actually naysayers) of Global Warming:

1) Charlatans who make vast amounts of money from things aid Global Warming;

2) Dumb brainwashed rubes; and

3) The mentally insane.

To each Global Warming denier, which one of the above 3 are you?

Re:Skeptical != Scientific (5, Insightful)

Sarten-X (1102295) | more than 2 years ago | (#38989515)

Number 2, I guess.

I was brainwashed into thinking that the scientific method leads to fallible results, which may be disproved by later tests.

I must be a rube for thinking that we should make decisions based on the best available theories of the time, with the acceptance that policies may need to change later.

How dumb of me to think that temperature changes might be a temporary thing, but it probably wouldn't hurt to cut pollution, anyway.

Re:Skeptical != Scientific (4, Insightful)

MidnightBrewer (97195) | more than 2 years ago | (#38989525)

I agree. We're far enough into the global warming thing for 100% of scientists to agree that global warming is occurring, and 98% of them to agree that it's somehow caused or contributed to by human activity (those are real statistics in an article I read on the problems of the media trying too hard to present both sides of an argument regardless of the percentages involved; I'm too lazy to provide a link, but hey, so's the grandparent). The "healthy skepticism" sounds like someone trying to sound reasonable while still obviously not wanting to believe that anything bad is really happening.

Re:Skeptical != Scientific (2, Insightful)

PortHaven (242123) | more than 2 years ago | (#38989767)

[Citation]

Because I am pretty sure the numbers are no where close to your posting.

I'd wager about 84% support the earth is warming, 74% support man influenced warming, 67% warming due to man made CO2, and 14% that the earth is in fact cooling.

As you didn't provide a citation, neither will I.

Re:Skeptical != Scientific (2)

HapSlappy_2222 (1089149) | more than 2 years ago | (#38989979)

What if I provide a citation for you? As in, "I am hapslappy_2222, and I endorse this message." (Rider endorsement: I also support legalized marijuana and public executions). Now, if someone endorses ME, and YOU endorse THAT person, we'll have an unassailable tautology of truth.

Yay for applying political science principles to real science!!

The 100% claim is essentially correct (3, Insightful)

F69631 (2421974) | more than 2 years ago | (#38990041)

There is extremely solid evidence that the climate has been getting steadily warmer since the industrial revolution. http://climate.nasa.gov/evidence/ [nasa.gov] . That holds true even when we take into account things such as cities radiating heat and reduce them from the gathered data. And that holds true even on years when sun activity is low. That's as established fact as anything in the science can be: You can still claim that the earth is flat and call yourself a scientist, if you want to. You won't get much attention in peer reviewed scientific journals, though.

Re:Skeptical != Scientific (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38989581)

Disbelief does not equal skeptical. Fail!

Re:Skeptical != Scientific (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38989777)

Play School's word of the day: skeptical [skep-ti-kuhl] adjective

  1. inclined to skepticism; having doubt: a skeptical young woman.
  2. showing doubt: a skeptical smile.
  3. denying or questioning the tenets of a religion: a skeptical approach to the nature of miracles.
  4. (initial capital letter) of or pertaining to Skeptics or Skepticism.

Synonyms: 1. skeptic. See doubtful. 3. unbelieving.

Re:Skeptical != Scientific (1)

MysteriousPreacher (702266) | more than 2 years ago | (#38989589)

It's really very wrong to say skepticism is "healthy", and yet I see people say this almost daily. It's no more 'healthy' to be systematically 'skeptical' than it is to be systematically credulous. It's 'healthy' to follow the data and not make any assumptions before you analyze it.

      Disbelieving things by default isn't really much better, from a scientific perspective, than believing everything you hear.

Well, kind of, if we consider the extremes at either end of the spectrum. In reality though, it's asinine to equate credulity with a willingness to "follow the data", and skepticism with an unwillingness to analyze the data. Wouldn't skepticism itself generally be the withholding of belief until adequate evidence can be provided?

Healthy skepticism would surely be of the kind that demands evidence proportional to the claims being made. What is this strawman stuff you have here?

Re:Skeptical != Scientific (4, Insightful)

Kjella (173770) | more than 2 years ago | (#38989621)

Most of the "climate reporting" is completely retarded. High and low pressures alternate, air is always flowing from high to low. Like now Eastern Europe has been very cold, well at Svalbard they've had record warmth because the high pressure has pushed low pressures with warm, moist air north. These lead to huge local year-to-year variations with mild and cold winters. And every mild season people go "ooh, must be global warming" and every cold season people go "ooh, global warming is a hoax" and the media isn't helping with their sensationalism. To say if it was really a global effect you need lots of data and would probably end up in a boring conclusion like "Average world temperature rose by 0.08C this year".

What's that, zero point zero something degrees you say? 8C in 100 years would actually be extremely much, but it sounds very little, very boring. So 99% of it is sensationalist hype from local extremes, because if you look at a huge mass of data and cherry pick results you'll always find some that are way outside the normal. That's at least what I consider healthy skepticism, in fact I'd apply it to most things found in mainstream media. Extrapolating from the fields where I know they butcher the truth, I don't expect the others to fare any better. I bet that for example doctors are tearing their hair out over the medical reporting, where almost any result is hyped like a major breakthrough or a cure being right around the corner to get readers.

Re:Skeptical != Scientific (1, Interesting)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 2 years ago | (#38989641)

Yes but as we have sen the "ZOMG the sky is falling!" predictions have been wrong before. Also what if some of the problems ARE man made but different that what you think? they recently busted a truck (Sorry i can't find the link, maybe someone here has better Google FU that I?) that was hauling tons of glacial ice and it looks now to be part of an ice smuggling ring. If someone would have simply looked at the numbers on that glacier they would have said it was proof of AGW when in reality it was just being carted off to make bottled water.

But in the end let us remember that good science should allow and indeed welcome skeptics because that is how theories get better, by going over the data, finding flaws, fixing them, doing studies, this is how we learn folks. Frankly i don't trust anybody that starts calling names when someone has a different viewpoint like "Deniers" as they are simply derailing any chance at discussion and smells too much like yelling apostate to me.

Re:Skeptical != Scientific (5, Insightful)

bonch (38532) | more than 2 years ago | (#38989647)

You couldn't be more incorrect. Being skeptical means to be not easily convinced. To not take things at face value and to demand solid evidence for extraordinary claims.

It does NOT mean "disbelieving things by default."

Re:Skeptical != Scientific (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38989667)

It's healthy to be skeptical that the guy speeding towards the light is going to stop. Doesn't in any way mean he won't, or that it's dangerous to cross. Doubly so when both the plausible solutions to AGW and denying AGW both result, directly, in driving civilization back to pre-industrial levels of consumption with the resultant loss of economic mobility. That is, those of us who survive will be subsidence farmers if AGW continues, and the only plausible way to stop it is to return to subsidence farming levels of economic activity.Maybe skepticism is appropriate. My pet solution is to piss tons of SO2 into the stratosphere, but htat also has unpredictable 3rd order affects, and is the least shitty of a set of shitty ideas. But, back to the point, skepticism is healthy. Denial is a bad idea, but skepticism is just as appropriate as it is for any other industry.

Skeptical != "Disbelieving by default" (2)

Overly Critical Guy (663429) | more than 2 years ago | (#38989683)

You don't know what the word "skeptical" means. It doesn't mean that you disbelieve something by default. It means that you don't believe something by default.

Re:Skeptical != Scientific (1)

HapSlappy_2222 (1089149) | more than 2 years ago | (#38989785)

I think, by use of the word skepticism, the OP meant this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_skepticism [wikipedia.org] and not this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skepticism [wikipedia.org] .

The second usage is definitely not "healthy" (I actually think "healthy" is a silly adjective for the word "skepticism" anyway, but I digress) for exploration of facts, while the first usage means, exactly, to "follow the data and not make any assumptions before you analyze it".

Be Skeptical of the Guardian (2)

mdsolar (1045926) | more than 2 years ago | (#38989923)

This description of the study seems a little more informative: "The total mass ice loss from Greenland, Antarctica and all Earth’s glaciers and ice caps between 2003 to 2010 was 1,000 cubic miles, about eight times the water volume of Lake Erie. “The total amount of ice lost to Earth’s oceans from 2003 to 2010 would cover the entire United States in about 1 and one-half feet of water,” said CU-Boulder physics Professor John Wahr" http://summitcountyvoice.com/2012/02/09/global-warming-cu-led-study-pinpoints-earths-ice-loss/ [summitcountyvoice.com]

Re:Maintaining a balanced position (1)

Mashiki (184564) | more than 2 years ago | (#38989295)

I could never figure how that was passed for truth. Damnedable polar bears range everywhere to find whatever they want. Back oh I think it was twoish years ago when I was snowmobiling through Pickle Lake(5ish hours north of Thunder Bay), there were warnings posted of unconfirmed polar bear sightings and travelers should use caution in the wilds. Now those of us who've been in the wilds of ontario well, we're used to black bears, wild cats(cougar/lynx, etc), and all other of other stuff. Normally you don't have to worry about polar bears until you get closer to hudsons bay.

But if they find something tasty to snack on like a heard of caribou, wild goat, or anything else, they'll follow them and snack on them all winter long. Even if it takes them away from where they normally are.

Re:Maintaining a balanced position (5, Informative)

dougmwne (958276) | more than 2 years ago | (#38989315)

For example, do you remember how polar bears drowning in the Arctic sea due to global warming were cited as a reason to classify them as an endangered species, and how they were used as a symbol of climate change in Al Gore's movie? The lead scientist was actually placed on administrative leave [humanevents.com] , and several questions were raised about how the bears actually died and how the corpses were observed from 1,500 up in a helicopter rather than examined to actually determine their cause of death. Whether or not they were really drowning, there just wasn't enough data to come to the conclusion that was presented to the public with the level of certainty that was conveyed.

The Charles Monnett (polar bear scientist) investigation was likely politically motivated since nothing has come of it, but either way, the agency is on-record saying that his temporary administrative leave was unrelated to his polar bear research. He is back to work as of last August. This entire climate debate is so politically charged that a "rational "healthily skeptical" position" probably doesn't exist.

Director Bromwich:
" I can assure you that the decision had nothing to do with his scientific work, or anything relating to a five-year old journal article, as advocacy groups and the news media have incorrectly speculated. Nor is this a "witch hunt" to suppress the work of our many scientists and discourage them from speaking the truth. Quite the contrary. In this case, it was the result of new information on a separate subject brought to our attention very recently."

http://www.alaskadispatch.com/article/boemre-director-says-offshore-oil-agency-not-witch-hunt [alaskadispatch.com]

Exactly. (2)

warrax_666 (144623) | more than 2 years ago | (#38989357)

Politically motivated.

Re:Maintaining a balanced position (1, Funny)

Sarten-X (1102295) | more than 2 years ago | (#38989379)

This is Slashdot. Balanced positions mean you're obviously a shill for whatever the argument's opposing.

You're obviously a shill for the rational-thought camp. Most likely Consumers Union, the NHTSA, or maybe PBS. Probably PBS.

Re:Maintaining a balanced position (0)

geekoid (135745) | more than 2 years ago | (#38989463)

Anyone who quotes comedian as have some kind of relevant point is being stupid...espcially George Carlin.

He intentionally overlooks the point, and pretends like human can't drive a species to extinction.
He pretty much went crazy.

Re:Maintaining a balanced position (2)

eddy the lip (20794) | more than 2 years ago | (#38989481)

Regarding the polar bear scientist Charles Monett, it seems to be one of those frothy bits that get people excited when someone who said something they didn't like gets the least bit of tarnish. An email from Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement Director Michael Bromwich states:

We are limited in what we can say about a pending investigation, but I can assure you that the decision had nothing to do with his scientific work, or anything relating to a five-year old journal article, as advocacy groups and the news media have incorrectly speculated. Nor is this a "witch hunt" to suppress the work of our many scientists and discourage them from speaking the truth. Quite the contrary. In this case, it was the result of new information on a separate subject brought to our attention very recently.

I'm sure we'll be hearing about how Monett falsified the polar bear study to further his own agenda for years to come, but at this point it doesn't seem to be the case.

Re:Maintaining a balanced position (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38989497)

Well, I know one thing for a fact. Weather today is different from what my parents had when they were my age, and vastly different from what my grandparents had when they were my age.
Save the skepticism crap for someone else, I'm talking about facts, not theoretical research.

Re:Maintaining a balanced position (1, Insightful)

KhabaLox (1906148) | more than 2 years ago | (#38989819)

Facts? Or hear-say anecdotal evidence?

Re:Maintaining a balanced position (2)

BlackSnake112 (912158) | more than 2 years ago | (#38990059)

Or just the Earth getting back to what is supposed to be? Remember that the cooler temps that we humans have enjoyed are not the norm. According to those people who study ice cores anyway. The earth was in a warming trend then the little ice age happened. Now the little ice is wearing off. The CO2 keeps heat in but it also reflects the Sun's heat away from the planet. So lots of CO2 in the atmosphere would cool the planet.

Re:Maintaining a balanced position (4, Insightful)

PortHaven (242123) | more than 2 years ago | (#38989831)

I agree....

In my childhood, it was always sunny, seldom a rainy day, it was never too hot, never too cold.

Now, it's gets bloody cold, lots of snow, extremely humid, all in just 20 years time.

Maybe I shouldn't have moved from San Diego to the northeast. *ponder*

Re:Maintaining a balanced position (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38989723)

Take your karma whoring and fuck off, bonch.

Popcorn anyone? (5, Funny)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 2 years ago | (#38988989)

Zealots...to your respective corners!

In this corner, we have Chicken Little, the frothing-at-the-mouth environmentalist who thinks the world is about to explode and every cute polar cub in going to drown if we don't do something RIGHT NOW! NOW! NOW! NOW!

And in this corner, we have Jesus H. Capitalist, the denier who thinks that pumping shit-tons of crap into the atmosphere and abolishing the EPA are good things because BP and Chevron say it's okay and Jesus says "Vote Republican!"

Gentlemen, when the bell sounds...begin your crazed hyperbole! Remember, bonus points are given for the most convoluted Nazi analogy.

Ding, ding.

Re:Popcorn anyone? (1)

hsthompson69 (1674722) | more than 2 years ago | (#38989065)

I want a third corner for gun-toting-gay-atheist-libertarians who think that abolishing the EPA is a good thing, aren't worried about a trace gas in the atmosphere, don't want prayer in school, and just want to find and marry Mr. Right :)

Re:Popcorn anyone? (0)

bonch (38532) | more than 2 years ago | (#38989081)

Jesus H. Capitalist

I'm totally going to use this from now on.

Re:Popcorn anyone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38989297)

agreed, that's good enough for a copyright and a syndicated comic.

Re:Popcorn anyone? (1)

Sentrion (964745) | more than 2 years ago | (#38989369)

I, for one, welcome our new Hispanic entrepreneurial overloads and their shit-ton pumping lawnmowers.

Where did metamoderation go (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38989021)

I used to have a link to it, dammit.

It's obvious... (4, Funny)

hsthompson69 (1674722) | more than 2 years ago | (#38989049)

...Big Oil must've airlifted extra snow up there when nobody was looking! :)

Re:It's obvious... (1)

Sentrion (964745) | more than 2 years ago | (#38989401)

I'm not believing it until I hear from the boots on the ground that the ice and snow is legit, and not that Styrofoam and glitter they use in Hollywood.

Re:It's obvious... (1)

justforgetme (1814588) | more than 2 years ago | (#38989883)

OMG why didn't I think of that!?!?!?!?!

Entirely normal during climate change. (3, Interesting)

unity100 (970058) | more than 2 years ago | (#38989111)

CLIMATE change means, climates will change locally, and in micro-climate level.

global warming means, the AVERAGE world temperature will rise. 2 degrees celsius rise in a temperature, wouldnt be felt in your locale if happened. you wouldnt notice it.

but, if AVERAGE world temperature rises by 2 degrees celsius, this means that to effect that AVERAGE rise, innumerable local and micro-climates around the world will change, in WHATEVER fashion.

hence, the CLIMATE CHANGE term. a more correct term that describes the EFFECT that the CAUSE, global warming, has.

some locales may not see ANY change. some locales may get freaking hot. some locales may get cold. some locales may become rainforests. some locales can go humid, some go dry. some become exceedingly windy. ANYthing goes.

so, some ice melting around the world, some staying, is perfectly normal.

climate change is more destructive, because it is impossible to predict what will change and how.

Re:Entirely normal during climate change. (4, Insightful)

suprcvic (684521) | more than 2 years ago | (#38989265)

So basically what you're saying is that CLIMATE CHANGE may cause things to happen that have already happened to the planet before? Like when the Sahara was a lush forest? Somehow in our human ego-maniacal way we must be the cause of this change because it has NEVER happened before.

Re:Entirely normal during climate change. (1)

afabbro (33948) | more than 2 years ago | (#38989627)

I think CLIMATE CHANGE is caused by unnecessary CAPITAL LETTERS.

UN-altered REPRODUCTION and DISSEMINATION of this IMPORTANT Information is ENCOURAGED, ESPECIALLY to COMPUTER BULLETIN BOARDS [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Entirely normal during climate change. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38989951)

I think CLIMATE CHANGE is caused by unnecessary CAPITAL LETTERS.

If you assume that it requires more energy to store clear bits than set bits then you're probably correct.

"I think CLIMATE CHANGE is caused by unnecessary CAPITAL LETTERS." has 206 set bits and 306 clear bits.

"i think climate change is caused by unnecessary capital letters." has 234 set bits and 278 clear bits.

Re:Entirely normal during climate change. (1)

afabbro (33948) | more than 2 years ago | (#38989967)

Between the GPP, my post, and your reply, we have doomed the human race. Our work here is done.

Re:Entirely normal during climate change. (2)

hsthompson69 (1674722) | more than 2 years ago | (#38989791)

some locales may not see ANY change. some locales may get freaking hot. some locales may get cold. some locales may become rainforests. some locales can go humid, some go dry. some become exceedingly windy. ANYthing goes.

All of that can happen when global average temperature stays the same.

All of that can happen when global average temperature *falls*.

All of that can happen when global average temperature *rises*.

And actually, not only *can* it happen in all three cases, it *does* happen in all three cases!

Data over decades and centuries? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38989131)

And what does the data say over decades and centuries, if there is any? ... will look to add this article to free, open, World University & School's 'Ocean and Climate Management Plan ,' wiki, subject page - http://worlduniversity.wikia.com/wiki/Ocean_%26_Climate_Management_Plan . WUaS is like Wikipedia with MIT Open Course Ware, and planning free, Bachelors, Ph.D., Law and MD degrees, accrediting on MIT OCW.

Well, now the "refine theory" part of science (3, Informative)

i kan reed (749298) | more than 2 years ago | (#38989133)

Just remember that 10 years ago "skeptics"(how exactly they define that term, I don't know) were pointing to how little ice was being lost from Antarctica in the preceding 5 years as indisputable evidence of a hoax.

As evidence that people believed this: http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=antarctica+gaining+ice&source=newssearch&cd=1&ved=0CDMQqQIwAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.csmonitor.com%2F2002%2F0118%2Fp02s01-usgn.html&ei=Yko0T6zmIYrXtgegk4mwAg&usg=AFQjCNHtA3NtryZuUSi1k3FLEueaP9NWfg [google.com]

Whoops, right?

Extrapolating from 0.075% of all glaciers to 100% (2, Insightful)

tp1024 (2409684) | more than 2 years ago | (#38989163)

Just doesn't work. [guardian.co.uk]

The science is settled? No. The science is shoddy.

Controversy aside (4, Insightful)

istartedi (132515) | more than 2 years ago | (#38989225)

Controversy over AGW aside, this means nothing. The world can warm while some regions gain, lose, or maintain ice. It's GLOBAL climate change so what matters is the GLOBAL ice pack.

Re:Controversy aside (2, Insightful)

Sentrion (964745) | more than 2 years ago | (#38989601)

But this is AMERICA, dammit, and we don't care about ice packs on the other side of the world. What about OUR ice? That's what we should be concerned about! Are we going to be able to ski in Colorado next year or not? Somebody answer! If the answer is yes then I am going to rip the catalytic converter off my SUV tomorrow to cash in the Palladium value.

(and yes, I was trying to be over-dramatically satirical).

Re:Controversy aside (1)

towermac (752159) | more than 2 years ago | (#38990045)

"..For all intensive purposes, .."

Really? And with a uid so much lower than mine..

dang..

Re:Controversy aside (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38990047)

With all due respect this is nonsense in relation to the article reported. If our predictions suggest '50 billion tonnes of ice should melt' from a given place and we see 0, than our 'predictions' can not be trusted. Suggesting that what matters is 'global ice pack' changes is immaterial to the point of the article. If people are expected to act not on 'observation' but 'prediction' than those predictions have to be relied on. The observation in the article demonstrates that at least some of our predictions are wrong and therefore can't be relied on. That provides evidence to question other predictions (rightly or wrongly).

If we observe a natural phenomenon that doesn't conform to our predictions coming from say the 'Theory of Gravity' than we must review and try to correct our theory. Of course we haven't observed this behavior so we continue to trust the Theory of Gravity (or General Relativity if you want to be precise).

Reading more on this particular article & related links it disturbs me greatly that the actual lesson here isn't being learned. Given that those who want to quickly disavow that this measurement means anything in relation to 'climate change' are referencing "estimates" from only 5 years of previous data (and than claiming that 8 years of data shouldn't be relied on) and that the difference in observation is greater than the error bounds of the previous estimates of sea level rise due to this contribution (e.g. 0.41 ± 0.08, when the observation is 'less than half the value' of the estimate)...in other words the 'estimate' has error bars on it (+/- .08) implying a degree of 'certainty' and our observations totally destroy that 'degree of certainty'....

In other words there are significant groups of people wanting significant changes to human behavior based partly on 'observation' though mostly on 'predictions' that we will be in 'dire consequences' in 25, 50, 100 years (pick the number of today's prediction), but yet some of those predictions are shown to be wrong. The argument will than continue to "we can't wait" and/or 'but what if SOME of our predictions are correct?'...and this is what we should base significant, civilization altering decisions on?

As George Carlin says "The planet isn't in trouble, PEOPLE may be in trouble"....so, frankly I'm not all that concerned. If humans are meant to survive as an 'evolutionary offshoot of the planet' than we'll figure a way to deal with Climate Change (e.g. less people, population shifts, industrial changes, etc.)...if not, we won't. The planet will survive, it has been for 4.5 billion years, through a heck of a lot worse things than humans have done to it.

Gasp (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38989253)

You mean the Earth's climate is a multi-faceted system that doesn't respond the same way everywhere?

And the seas are not rising (5, Informative)

Chemisor (97276) | more than 2 years ago | (#38989271)

In related news from last year, global sea levels dropped 6mm over 2010 [physorg.com] .

DId you read tha article (4, Informative)

geekoid (135745) | more than 2 years ago | (#38989363)

and understand why? HINT, it's not because of cooling or creating more ice.

It's because of more rain fall over land.

Re:DId you read tha article (1)

hsthompson69 (1674722) | more than 2 years ago | (#38989861)

Do any climate models actually predict how much rain fall will happen over land versus over water?

Sounds like another unforeseen variable that needs an ad hoc special pleading :)

Re:DId you read tha article (1)

PortHaven (242123) | more than 2 years ago | (#38989905)

You mean...the earth's climate is an equilibrium that tends to balance itself out?

More CO2, increased plant growth. More ice melt, more precipitation.

(Or is all that water simply what landed in Japan from the tsunami?)

Re:And the seas are not rising (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38989381)

And the seas are not rising

Sure they are. Try reading the article you quoted.

Re:And the seas are not rising (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 2 years ago | (#38989935)

It's not related. It's due to the El Nino cycle and is basically noise in the overall trend of higher sea levels.

was a mass study not an actual ice study. (3, Interesting)

RichMan (8097) | more than 2 years ago | (#38989299)

The new study used a pair of satellites, called Grace, which measure tiny changes in the Earth's gravitational pull. When ice is lost, the gravitational pull weakens and is detected by the orbiting spacecraft.

Bristol University glaciologist Prof Jonathan Bamber, who was not part of the research team, said: "The very unexpected result was the negligible mass loss from high mountain Asia, which is not significantly different from zero."
--

So what they were measuring was mass loss. Not exactly ice loss.

But in general ice/water moves a lot faster than rock. Still rock ways more than water. So they assumed all changes or not were ice/water.
What if the moutains got a bit taller as the ice was removed? That would seem to balance out the loss of ice.

Hmm, "The Himalayas continue to rise more than 1 cm a year "
I sure hope they at least subtract out that known growth rate. 1cm of rock over the entire mountain range is a lot of mass.

Anyone have the actual article did they subtrace mass increases due to mountain growth? And how did they calculate mountain growth. These things can go from positive to negative really quickly with a small change fudge factors like this.

Isostacy (4, Informative)

PeterM from Berkeley (15510) | more than 2 years ago | (#38989539)

You might have nailed it. If you remove the mass from the top of the Himalayas in the form of water, the reduced weight will cause the mountains to rebound upward from the pressure from underneath.

Effectively, missing water mass is replaced by mineral mass, in what might be an almost perfect balance.

The term for this is isostacy, there's a wikipedia article on it.

--PM

Re:Isostacy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38989859)

So you are claiming that mass under pressure has less mass than when not under pressure?

Oh...you are from Berkley. Now I understand.

blaspheme! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38989321)

the Gods of Gore will descend upon you!

INtersting note (2, Insightful)

geekoid (135745) | more than 2 years ago | (#38989325)

'Normal' cycles would indicate that they should be increasing; the fact that they remain 0 is still a concern.

Skepticism (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38989327)

>who also warns that 8 years simply isn't enough time to draw conclusions

Right, 8 years isn't long enough to draw conclusions when the 8 years of evidence doesn't point to the conclusion you want it to.

But if it points to the conclusion you want, then it's all the proof you need.

(Sorry... I think there are MANY forces at work that shape our climate, and people are pretty arrogant to think they understand all of them.)

As someone who thinks GW is real (4, Insightful)

wisebabo (638845) | more than 2 years ago | (#38989333)

I am glad that seemingly hard facts are being presented.

While I still think the overwhelming evidence supports the hypothesis that 1) GW is occurring and 2) man is responsible, at least this is better than the ranting and raving that I've come to expect from skeptics.

Of course my thinking is sustained by much more complete data sets of a GLOBAL perspective provided by climatologists. There was a recent animation produced by NASA recently that showed a map of worldwide temperature readings for the past 150 years. (I submitted it to slashdot, for some reason it was rejected). If the skeptics can continue to produce data that shows the GW is not happening I'm open to changing my thinking. But again, from what I've been following in the literature, there hasn't been much supporting their point of view.

Look, I'm not ideologically opposed to fossil fuels per say; with the vastly increased amounts of natural gas in the U.S. I'm happy to use a fuel that doesn't directly fund people who hate us. However I'm also not one to overlook an inconvenient truth.

Re:As someone who thinks GW is real (4, Interesting)

hsthompson69 (1674722) | more than 2 years ago | (#38989891)

I still think the overwhelming evidence supports the hypothesis that 1) GW is occurring and 2) man is responsible,

You can have #1 without #2.

On top of that, the implied #3 (GW is a bad thing) is also disputable.

So, say we agree on the actual temperature *data* observed and stipulate to #1. What data would convince you that #2, or #3 aren't true?

Re:As someone who thinks GW is real (4, Interesting)

jfengel (409917) | more than 2 years ago | (#38989915)

Yep. That's science, doing exactly what the deniers claim it doesn't do, and that's the reason why those who value knowledge over ideology favor the scientists over the deniers.

I've given up worrying about the climate change in itself. The denialists have won, and will win, until it's far too late (as it may already be). I'd kind of like to see science win out over ignorance, and I think science still has a slight edge. It maintains that edge by being the ones who take into account all of the facts to reach true conclusions, and altering their understanding when new facts come to light to keep their conclusions in line with the best understanding.

As a way to understand the world, it's more effective than ideology. As a way to make things happen, it's getting trounced, at least in this area. Perhaps I should care about the latter more than the former, but having lost there, I take what solace I can in at least trying to understand the world. Even if it means that some day the retards get to score extra points.

Nothing Surprising here (-1)

phamNewan (689644) | more than 2 years ago | (#38989353)

There is nothing surprising in this result for those that study the climate. The real sampling rate of glaciers is tiny and only ones that are receding get attention.

That most glaciers are less than 2,000 years old gets almost no attention. The Earth is a dynamic place and the energy involved is many magnitudes larger than anything mankind is capable of causing.

The climate is always changing, but we are not the source of the variability.

Seems to me (1, Interesting)

tmosley (996283) | more than 2 years ago | (#38989361)

Seems to me this points toward something other than CO2 causing the warming. Something like, I don't know, water vapor, of which there is little in the Asian highlands, but plenty around the much lower areas where the glaciers are melting.

Even AGW people admit that water is the REAL problem, and that CO2 is just a trigger for increases in that heat-storing gas. But for some reason they seem to chafe at the idea of using condensers and other methods to remove the water from the air. For some reason they can't process the fact that water is being continuously pumped into the air, and that even though it falls back out in a few days, it is CONTINUOUSLY pumped up. Install reflux condensers (which are super cheap) on factories and automobiles and you reduce the humidity by as much as a few percent, which should easily negate the last century of warming. The best part is that it is effective instantly--no need to wait for three hundred years for the CO2 to come out on its own.

Re:Seems to me (1)

psyclone (187154) | more than 2 years ago | (#38989829)

Isn't water vapor attributed to solar energy orders of magnitude more mass than water vapor output by combustion of fossil fuel?

The state of Florida is pretty damn humid, and I don't think it's from all the golf carts.

I don't dispute that water vapor is indeed a greenhouse gas which holds a lot of heat, but it seems like it's mostly created by the sun, or perhaps a city full of air conditioners (which act as condensers).

Re:Seems to me (0)

forkfail (228161) | more than 2 years ago | (#38989833)

What? If you're going to make claims that sound like you're pulling them out of your ass, back them up with at least some kind of links.

Re:Seems to me (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 2 years ago | (#38989917)

That's ridiculous. A few condensors vs the effective surface area of the planet as an evaporation pad?

Get a grip man.

 

Should this come as a surprise? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38989365)

The amount of CO2 in the atmosphere as a result of human activity is probably negligible. Not saying that humans should be polluting the environment, but worrying about 2 or 3 odd ppm (parts per million) probably not the biggest problem facing this planet.

What do about 200 odd PPM of CO2 in the atmosphere actually look like when presented graphically?

https://autonomousmind.files.wordpress.com/2010/12/co2_ppm.jpg [wordpress.com]

he green dots represent naturally-occurring Co2.
The red dots represent mandmade Co2.
The black dots are other gases and particles.
You may need to expand the image to see everything.
I am neither a scientist nor a politician but our blanket of CO2 just doesn't seem very thick to me at this time..

How could this be? (4, Funny)

Colonel Korn (1258968) | more than 2 years ago | (#38989385)

Shouldn't the vast global environmentalist "AGW" conspiracy have prevented these scientists from publishing their results? Isn't climate science controlled by a crowd that ensures their future prosperity by preventing dissenting opinions? How could this be?!

Re:How could this be? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38989745)

Years ago, it would have been buried, or at least the scientists would have been told to "hid the lack of decline". But the wonderful thing about a conspiracy that gets a ton of pub, is that folks go out of their way to highlight items that show that they are NOT part of the conspiracy. So while this is a minor blip on some sites, and apparently /. got enough posts to make this an article, the next scientific study to show any support for AGW will lead the nightly news, CNN, WashingtonPost, etc... But this one will not register even a peep from those "illustrious" news organizations.

Not a good idea unless it is (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38989403)

So when the data isn't going your way then, "8 years simply isn't enough time to draw conclusions."

But when it is [colorado.edu] , then it's time to set some policy.

Are the facts the facts? (1)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | more than 2 years ago | (#38989437)

I'm assuming we're going to find the same kind of issue with the data that we did with polar snow fall. Yeah, it was higher at the poles because there was more snow melt and more humidity, but the overall there was a loss of snow.

Pot, meet Kettle (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38989461)

'It is awfully dangerous to take an eight-year record and predict even the next eight years, let alone the next century,' he said."

Sounds like something to take to heart, as the Climate Change people have only been looking at a few hundred years of warming, since the little ice age, instead of looking at the averages over the last couple of thousand years, and are making major predictions, with very little evidence.

Ten bucks says... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38989491)

...that there are a bunch of old dudes, a dragon, and a notched pickaxe up there.

Somewhat cherry picked (1)

ltmon (729486) | more than 2 years ago | (#38989531)

The Guardian article goes on to say:

---
“Our results and those of everyone else show we are losing a huge amount of water into the oceans every year,” said Prof John Wahr of the University of Colorado. “People should be just as worried about the melting of the world’s ice as they were before.”

His team’s study, published in the journal Nature, concludes that between 443-629bn tonnes of meltwater overall are added to the world’s oceans each year. This is raising sea level by about 1.5mm a year, the team reports, in addition to the 2mm a year caused by expansion of the warming ocean.
--

This same cherry-picked factoid has been doing the rounds of the "skeptic" blogs since the article's publication, and has made it's way here.

For reference, the paper this is all based on (subscription required): http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nature10847.html [nature.com]

Pumpkin picked reporting in Nature (2)

tp1024 (2409684) | more than 2 years ago | (#38989703)

It is impossible to determine sealevel rise from the amount of melt water entering the oceans.

If you want to determine the content of any system, you must account for both everything entering it as well as all the stuff leaving it. If you count 500 people leaving the exit of a building, you should not conclude that there are now 500 more people outside the building - because you didn't count the number of people going in.

That's not cherry picking, that's pumpkin picking.

freezing point depression of solution (3, Interesting)

eyenot (102141) | more than 2 years ago | (#38989579)

Could it be because they haven't received a sufficient level of pollution, or the ice and snow are too cold to dissolve and allow the pollutants to dissolve in water? Adding solute to solvent depresses the freezing point. Just shortly (a year or two) after we started getting news about noticeable and unavoidable amounts of pollutants showing up in the cubic meters of air tested atop the Swiss Alps, we started getting news about the imminent collapse of the Alps' mostly glacial makeup. But that's because the alps, just warm enough for the glacier ice to melt just enough on the surface to admit pollutants, ended up with a depressed freezing point. On the other hand, I don't know about the quality of air on the Himalayas, but it could be possible that the ice never comes below freezing and so even if there were pollutants settling on the snow, they wouldn't make it into solution.

Re:freezing point depression of solution (1)

eyenot (102141) | more than 2 years ago | (#38989677)

Err: "too cold to dissolve melt and allow the pollutants"

Always helpful to RTFA before blathering... (4, Interesting)

wkcole (644783) | more than 2 years ago | (#38989609)

Note that this is not a reply to any particular prior comment...

From TFA:

The scientists are careful to point out that lower-altitude glaciers in the Asian mountain ranges – sometimes dubbed the "third pole" – are definitely melting. Satellite images and reports confirm this. But over the study period from 2003-10 enough ice was added to the peaks to compensate

That is exactly what one would expect for some degree of overall warming. The highest parts of the Himalayas are still high and cold enough to freeze out every bit of moisture in the air that brings them snow, but that air (mostly monsoon flow from the south) is generally moister because it and the ocean it has passed are significantly warmer than in the past. The result is low glaciers melting back from the warm air and rain instead of snow and higher protoglacial snowpack growing faster than the existing glacier paths can move out.

This is very basic weather science: more snow in routinely cold places does not mean they are getting colder, it means they are getting more injections of warm humid air. Of course that's only true as long as the cold predominates, because eventually it all turns to rain. I've watched this happen in Michigan, where we've gone from record snowfall years (but not record cold) to unusually warm and soaked-through winters.

Re:Always helpful to RTFA before blathering... (1)

jfengel (409917) | more than 2 years ago | (#38989931)

That was my first thought, too. I've been trying to figure out why the glaciologists were so surprised by this; it's what I would have expected.

I assume that they've got more sophisticated models than the simplistic one I have in my head, and that their understanding of the weather patterns called for less snow. But I haven't heard much from them beyond this article.

You're not convincing anyone (2)

Spad (470073) | more than 2 years ago | (#38989617)

It doesn't matter what studies you publish regarding climate change, the pro-AGW people will say that it either supports their claims or that the data in the study isn't enough to draw substantive conclusions from. Meanwhile, the anti-AGW folks will say that either the data in the study isn't enough to draw substantive conclusions from or that it supports their claims.

Meanwhile, the rest of us get to sit around trying to work out if a) mankind's effect on the environment is a significant enough contributor to the current climate trend that anything we can reasonably change is going to make any difference and b) if there's any chance in hell that you can get a *room* of random people to agree to noticeably reduce their energy consumption, let alone an entire planet.

Completely implausible summary (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38989691)

From the summary: "bonch writes 'New research from the University of Colorado concludes that the polar ice caps are melting less than previously thought...' "

Are we seriously expected to believe that Bonch wrote that without attributing it to Apple heroically staving off Google's evil plans to flood the world?

Record snow fall in Alaska this year (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38989753)

It has been a very cold and very snowy year for us with over 100 inches of snow fallen. The snow will stick around for a long time into the summer months and glaciers will grow.

anonymous coward states the obvious (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38989919)

Drastic weather patterns kill off everything on the planet, but the Himalayas have ice, so who cares! Some things can change while others can stay the same. We are just learning how to analyze complex weather patterns. The US is having a nice springtime in winter right now, while Europe is frozen over.

Denier language from global warming enthusiasts... (4, Interesting)

dtjohnson (102237) | more than 2 years ago | (#38989963)

The funniest quote was from the University of Colorado Professor Wahr who states: ""It is awfully dangerous to take an eight-year record and predict even the next eight years, let alone the next century," he said." That's what us deniers say! Maybe we are reaching a 'consensus.' He prefaces his comments by saying: "Our results and those of everyone else show we are losing a huge amount of water into the oceans every year, people should be just as worried about the melting of the world's ice as they were before." I can assure Professor Wahr that denier concern levels about the melting of the world's ice is unchanged from before the release of the study. Most importantly for Prof. Wahr, 'everyone else' is still solidly behind the 'we are losing huge amounts of ice' school of thought in spite of the pesky Himalaya study.

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