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Chain Reaction Shattered Antarctica's Larson B Ice Shelf

timothy posted about a year ago | from the natural-phenomenon dept.

Earth 232

New submitter Jim McNicholas writes "At the end of the summer of 2002, all 3000 lakes on the Larsen B ice shelf drained away in the space of a week. And then the 2,700-square-kilometre ice shelf, which was some 220 metres thick and might have existed for some 12,000 years, rapidly disintegrated into small icebergs. The draining of one lake on an ice shelf changes the stress field in nearby areas, causing a fracture circle to form around the lake."

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Somehow this will all be Obama's fault. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44538633)

I just know it.

Re:Somehow this will all be Obama's fault. (-1, Offtopic)

anagama (611277) | about a year ago | (#44538659)

Fuck you troll. Is that some kind of inverse defense of the candidate who promised to be the exact opposite kind of president he turned out to be? That Obama is FINALLY getting crap over his crap policies is rightfully earned and very belated -- but to trivialize that by linking it to something obviously unrelated is to attempt to subtly soften the completely appropriate criticism that Obama has spent the last five years channelling Nixon.

Re:Somehow this will all be Obama's fault. (-1, Offtopic)

siride (974284) | about a year ago | (#44538717)

He hasn't been great, but he has done many of the things he said he would: http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/promises/obameter/ [politifact.com]

Re:Somehow this will all be Obama's fault. (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44538869)

He's done few things that are truly important. The Patriot Act? He didn't repeal it. The TSA? He's done nothing. The NSA spying? He basically agrees with it. The surveillance state in general? Again, he basically agrees with it. Neither the republicans nor democrats are any good.

Re: Somehow this will all be Obama's fault. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44539025)

And he raised the price of healthcare, then forced me to buy it! Gee, thanks, I think. Looking forward to longer lines, and further subsidizing baby boomers who are far richer than I will ever be. Forward!

Re: Somehow this will all be Obama's fault. (-1, Offtopic)

Lendrick (314723) | about a year ago | (#44539121)

And he raised the price of healthcare, then forced me to buy it!

...and is providing health care to millions upon millions of people who need it and wouldn't otherwise be able to get it. Your issue is petty by comparison.

Re: Somehow this will all be Obama's fault. (-1, Offtopic)

Dishevel (1105119) | about a year ago | (#44539155)

And he raised the price of healthcare, then forced me to buy it!

...and is providing health care to millions upon millions of people who need it and wouldn't otherwise be able to get it. Your issue is petty by comparison.

Yup. The freedom to make your own decisions pales in comparison to giving fucked up shit to everyone for free.

This was the only version (R) would accept. (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44540143)

Since this wasn't the scheme that Obama wanted, and this is the "compromise" that the Republicans would accept, this is absolutely NOT Obama's fault, but the fault of the Republicans.

Re:This was the only version (R) would accept. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44540337)

True that

Re:This was the only version (R) would accept. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44540365)

Hey dumbass, not a single Republican voted for this in either house of Congress.
They were left completely out of the writing of this bill.

Re:This was the only version (R) would accept. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44540405)

The Democrats passed the ACA bill without any Republican help or input. They rammed it through congress with Nancy Pelosi famously stating, " we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it." There was absolutely no compromise for the Republicans to accept. The Democrats passed the exact bill they wanted because they had control of both houses of congress and the White House.

Re: Somehow this will all be Obama's fault. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44539165)

Those "millions" you're talking about? They're all people who can't afford it like him; now they're required to buy just as the prices are doubling. Three cheers of liberalism! So much for the middle class and the young.

Re: Somehow this will all be Obama's fault. (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44539187)

Well maybe if the system was all greed based corporate health care, it wouldn't cost so much, but noooo thanks to *conservatism* everything under the sun costs and arm and a leg and is only available to the privileged classes. The system is already rigged to be expensive, and it wasn't liberal ideology that go us there, it was greed.

Re: Somehow this will all be Obama's fault. (0, Offtopic)

sumdumass (711423) | about a year ago | (#44539225)

You can track the rapid increase in the cost of healthcare right back to the HMO act of '68 and when it pumped medicare into the same HMO style managements. That by the way was the brainchild of Senator Ted Kennedy and other liberal do-good'rs, not conservative or conservatism.

It is the same problem with the cost of college increasing by leaps and bounds if you want to get a clue. Here is a hint, that has nothing to do with conservatism either.

Re: Somehow this will all be Obama's fault. (0, Offtopic)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about a year ago | (#44539293)

Sorry. Try again. The HMO act of 1968, while hardly perfect and starting a cascade of ugly things was pushed through because health care costs were large and accelerating. Before the concept of HMOs.

Re: Somehow this will all be Obama's fault. (-1, Offtopic)

sumdumass (711423) | about a year ago | (#44539457)

No, the HMO act was pushed through because the government was wanting to escape the costs of medicare which it created in 1965. The costs of medicare increased more then expected so they looked for a way out. The government created HMOs while subsidizing them because liberals like Ted Kennedy wanted universal care like the socialist in Europe were putting in place.

Also, it was 73, not 68 that the law is commonly attributed to. I highly doubt you know anything insightful about the law or the conditions surrounding it due to your failure to catch that mistake.

In case you are wondering, the problem with health care costs is the government paying for them. that's what caused them to rise and it's what is continuing to cause them to rise. It's the same reason why college costs are rising too.

Re: Somehow this will all be Obama's fault. (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44539229)

It's simple - when you force millions of people to buy something, the price goes up. Economics. And the wealth gap between the young and old grows to a new record.

Re: Somehow this will all be Obama's fault. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44540165)

So when you're forced by need to drive to work to buy a car, the price goes up?!?!?!?
Seriously, your brain is entirely fucked up by your randian bullshit.

Re: Somehow this will all be Obama's fault. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44540425)

It's call Supply & Demand. It's not Randian bullshit, it's economics 101. You ignorance and gut-feelings don't trump reality.

Re: Somehow this will all be Obama's fault. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44539207)

People need lots of things. I'm glad you were here to teach me the error of my ways, I should abandon this idea of providing for myself. I'll sit back while guys with guns take my things and give them away and mandate how I use what I have left. Going on the dole is looking better and better, maybe I'll just give up and you can take care of me.

Re: Somehow this will all be Obama's fault. (0, Offtopic)

Brett Buck (811747) | about a year ago | (#44539215)

I will send you the bill then, OK? Extorting money from me is not a petty matter to me.

Re: Somehow this will all be Obama's fault. (-1)

Concerned Onlooker (473481) | about a year ago | (#44539565)

Yes, you could look at the government as having the legal authority to extort money from its citizens. Or you could look at it as the result of a valid need to collect money to pay for things that we as citizens (generally) wanted, as indicated by our votes.

I'm not really supporting the health care initiative per se, but if I don't get to complain about extortion for paying for the death industry I don't think you should get to complain about having to help pay for the health industry.

Looks like Rumsfeld was right. Democracy is messy.

Re: Somehow this will all be Obama's fault. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44539255)

there is a yin to every yang.

a few thousand people, for over a trillion $ (-1, Offtopic)

raymorris (2726007) | about a year ago | (#44539265)

Are you sure about those millions? Last I heard, it was several thousand. At a total cost of around a trillion dollars, something like $275,000 per new recipient.

  I guess if you count all of the people who were already getting subsidized healthcare and are being moved to Obamacare, there may be millions whose healthcare was changed from one program to another.

Re:a few thousand people, for over a trillion $ (0)

DragonTHC (208439) | about a year ago | (#44539287)

If you believe that, you're on the wrong site, this isn't the blaze.

$275,000 per new recipient? They're not all getting liver transplants.

Where do you people come up with these arbitrary numbers.

Re: Somehow this will all be Obama's fault. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44539185)

Healthcare prices being on a steady increase since before Obama took office, and actual increases are going down, clearly, it's Obama's fault, and those insurance companies were just preparing for when Obama got elected.

Re:Somehow this will all be Obama's fault. (0)

therealkevinkretz (1585825) | about a year ago | (#44539391)

Don't forget one of the most important promises: to make bills available for a week publicly online before signing them. That went away almost as fast as the ban on lobbyists in his cabinet.

And yes, I bitched about W's similar backpedals.

Re:Somehow this will all be Obama's fault. (0)

anagama (611277) | about a year ago | (#44539465)

Fuck you too.

We get Nixon Care, destruction of the war powers act, masspionage, expansion of Afghanistan, war on the press, war on whistleblowers, war on due process -- Obama is the most evil shit president we've had. It's unbelievable.

Re:Somehow this will all be Obama's fault. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44538749)

No, no - it'll be far more insidious.. someone will find a way to link this to HAARP.

Reporting on events in 2002? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44538657)

Yep, that's the Slashdot we all know. Reporting things 11 years after the fact.

Re:Reporting on events in 2002? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44538769)

Hey, 11 is better than 10 ... because it's 11.

Re:Reporting on events in 2002? (4, Insightful)

AK Marc (707885) | about a year ago | (#44538947)

If they report it immediately, then there are complaints that we don't have all the facts in. If it's reported after the facts are in, someone will point to an unsubstantiated guess that happened to be right, but beat Slashdot by years. The best is when Slashdot does both, and gets bashed for the initial report, the "delayed" report and the dupe.

Re:Reporting on events in 2002? (5, Interesting)

Jeremy Erwin (2054) | about a year ago | (#44539069)

Yes, eleven years ago we knew that it had collapsed, but we didn't know why it had collapsed. This new model might both explain why, and perhaps predict future ice shelf collapse.

Re:Reporting on events in 2002? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44539529)

Yep, that's the Slashdot we all know. Reporting things 11 years after the fact.

Next thing you know some fool's gonna be writing a book about WWII. Egads!

Re:Reporting on events in 2002? (4, Informative)

riverat1 (1048260) | about a year ago | (#44539585)

They're not reporting the fact that Larsen B broke up because it was well reported at the time. I saw pictures. This post is reporting the results of a just published study of why it broke up as it did.

Re:Reporting on events in 2002? (4, Funny)

Noughmad (1044096) | about a year ago | (#44540089)

Almost everyone here says that Slashdot was so much better ten years ago. Now, the editors listened.

OK (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44538661)

So...it has come to this

Re:OK (1)

I'm New Around Here (1154723) | about a year ago | (#44538845)

Damn you Randall! Must you poke your nose in everywhere?

It would be great (2, Insightful)

Presto Vivace (882157) | about a year ago | (#44538697)

if we decided to take action BEFORE we turn ourselves into Easter Island.

Re: It would be great (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44538753)

Don't listen to the alarmists. The earth is fine, your crappy hybrid car and solar panel roof aren't necessary. "Global warming" is just hype pushed by self interested scientists looking for more taxpayer funding.

Re:It would be great (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44538777)

Sea levels rose 2.4 millimeters per year [nature.com] between 2006 and 2011. Extrapolating that increase for the next 90 years suggests an overall increase of about 212 millimeters by 2100, or just over 8 inches. A lot different than the 4 feet rise [motherjones.com] the scare stories try to claim.

Re:It would be great (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44538819)

Mandatory XKCD: Extrapolation [xkcd.com]

Re:It would be great (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44538911)

Ask my wife what a difference 8 inches makes.

Re:It would be great (4, Funny)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about a year ago | (#44538987)

I didn't realize she'd told you about me! So you're cool with that?

Re:It would be great (4, Insightful)

erpbridge (64037) | about a year ago | (#44539037)

The problem with extrapolating the same rate... is you assume that nothing is reliant on each other, nothing affects anything else, and everything is a closed system.

Icebergs calve off a glacier on the Larsen B Ice Shelf at a rate of x amount per year, meaning that the Larsen B Ice Shelf will exist for about 300 thousand years. But yet... it didn't. One lake drained away at a given rate on this ice shelf... one could extrapolate that to be that it would take decades for all the other lakes to drain away, and further say that one lake draining has no effect on other lakes, and that it will be replaced by the formation of many other meltwater lakes just like it was formed. One could also say one small lake draining would NEVER affect a large ice shelf.

But yet... it did have an effect that was not explained by a purely flat rate per time extrapolation. It wasn't quite exponential, but it definitely came in somewhere between. It was an example of how one thing happening in one place... can effect and increase speed of other nearby items.

Or, from another source... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Trends_in_global_average_absolute_sea_level,_1870-2008_(US_EPA).png [wikipedia.org] . Sea levels rose 0 inches between 1910-1930. A lot different than the 2.4 millimeters per year rise that you claim. But yet... it did happen. I think you're trying to scare us by using measurable facts.

No, the 4 foot rise number is an upper limit... and not 4 foot per year. The actual is anywhere from 7 inches to 4 feet, depending on how things cascade. The biggest concern is the ice melt from the Greenland Ice Sheets, and the continued ice melt of large Antarctic ice sheets.

Re:It would be great (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44539123)

The problem with extrapolating the same rate... is you assume that nothing is reliant on each other, nothing affects anything else, and everything is a closed system.

Kind of like how carbon dioxide passed 400 parts per million for the first time in human history yet the effect was much less than predicted.

on a volcano spewing CO2 (0, Troll)

raymorris (2726007) | about a year ago | (#44539303)

And that "alarming" measurement was on a volcano that emits CO2. It's unfortunate that most climate science isn't science. There IS something going on, something very subtle, but it's nearly impossible to any real understanding of it because there is so much politics.

  Most everything published on the topic isn't just slanted, it's so ridiculously off to one side or another that's it's useless. I mean seriously, you take your "atmospheric" CO2 measurements on a volcano? That's not even acceptable by propaganda standards. Baghdad Bob would laugh at you and suggest that somewhere in the desert or sea would be much more believable, just do it a 200 miles downwind of Los Angeles.

Re:on a volcano spewing CO2 (1)

Wolfling1 (1808594) | about a year ago | (#44539401)

[citation needed]

The 400 reading is from atop Mauna Lua (0, Troll)

raymorris (2726007) | about a year ago | (#44539541)

The only 400 reading publicized was here on Slashdot a few weeks ago. The measurement was from atop Mauna Lua - a volcano that emits CO2 constantly. You'll note that the defender below acknowledges that fact while saying it's okay because the person who did the reading edited the data to come up with the 400 estimate.

That's seriously the best "defense" - "it's okay, we cooked the data to say 400 because we think that's what it might have been if we weren't on a volcano."

Re:The 400 reading is from atop Mauna Lua (4, Insightful)

Wolfling1 (1808594) | about a year ago | (#44539873)

OK. It doesn't sound like you're trolling, so I'll give a more useful post this time:

Check out this site [skepticalscience.com] . It has some really good material and references about the science behind this stuff.

You might also find this interview [theguardian.com] with one of the key scientists interesting.

I don't profess to be a climate change guru, but this stuff looks reasonably legit to me.

Re:The 400 reading is from atop Mauna Lua (1)

DaveV1.0 (203135) | about a year ago | (#44540393)

Yes, it is reasonable to attempt to measure the amount of a gas in the atmosphere while standing on a major source of that very same gas because "[m]ost of the time... the prevailing winds blow the volcanic gasses away." What could possibly go wrong with that? I know, let's put the thermostat for your A/C directly over the stove because most of the time, the stove is off.

Re:on a volcano spewing CO2 (3, Informative)

able1234au (995975) | about a year ago | (#44539467)

They probably did notice it was a volcano

http://www.skepticalscience.com/Measuring-CO2-levels-from-the-volcano-at-Mauna-Loa.html [skepticalscience.com]

>But how about gas from the volcano? It is true that volcanoes blow out CO2 from time to time and that this can interfere with the readings. Most of the time, though, the prevailing winds blow the volcanic gasses away from the observatory. But when the winds do sometimes blow from active vents towards the observatory, the influence from the volcano is obvious on the normally consistent records and any dubious readings can be easily spotted and edited out (Ryan, 1995).

Re:on a volcano spewing CO2 (4, Informative)

able1234au (995975) | about a year ago | (#44539485)

or this one
http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/blogs/climateqa/mauna-loa-co2-record/ [nasa.gov]

>Most of the time, the observatory experiences “baseline” conditions and measures clean air which has been over the Pacific Ocean for days or weeks. We know this because the CO2 analyzer usually gives a very steady reading which varies by less than 3/10 of a part per million (ppm) from hour to hour. These are the conditions we use to calculate the monthly averages that go into the famous 50-year graph of atmospheric CO2 concentration.

We only detect volcanic CO2 from the Mauna Loa summit late at night at times when the regional winds are light and southerly. Under these conditions, a temperature inversion forms above the ground, and the volcanic emissions are trapped near the surface and travel down our side of the mountain slope. When the volcanic emissions arrive at the observatory, the CO2 analyzer readings increase by several parts per million, and the measured amounts become highly variable for periods of several minutes to a few hours. In the last decade, this has occurred on about 15% of nights between midnight and 6 a.m.

oh, so they edited the data for 15% of the days (-1, Troll)

raymorris (2726007) | about a year ago | (#44539521)

Oh okay, I'm it's perfectly objective, then.
As long as the guys trying to get evidence of increased CO2 are admittedly excluding 15% of daily data, it's a perfectly objective source.

Or you could report readings that AREN'T on top of a giant CO2 vent. Seriously, you have to REALLY want to believe them if you need to pretend that's credible. Don't you have any interest at all in knowing what's actually going on? I can sort of understand fandom, though I prefer intellectual honesty. Even hardcore sports fans WATCH THE GAME to find out what happened, though. They don't just pretend their team won.

Re:oh, so they edited the data for 15% of the days (5, Informative)

able1234au (995975) | about a year ago | (#44539545)

If you follow either link there is a graph showing data from other sites and Mauna Loa's readings perfectly align with them.

Think about this another way... if the results were skewed by the volcano it could be fairly easily proven and that scientist would get a lot of publicity. It is not for want of trying. But the fact is that the effects are known and accounted for and in the second link you can see someone actually studying the CO2 outgassing of the volcano.

There are many thousands of scientist around the world studying this topic. If there were big holes in the theory then the denier community would make sure that people knew about it. But there is not, their responses are mostly wrapped in ignorance of the science.

And the science is not all built on one single data point (eg atmospheric temperatures) but instead a wealth of data, all of which supports that CO2 is rising, that human activity is the major contributor and that there are effects on the climate.

Re:oh, so they edited the data for 15% of the days (1)

JakartaDean (834076) | about a year ago | (#44539819)

Oh okay, I'm it's perfectly objective, then. As long as the guys trying to get evidence of increased CO2 are admittedly excluding 15% of daily data, it's a perfectly objective source. Or you could report readings that AREN'T on top of a giant CO2 vent. Seriously, you have to REALLY want to believe them if you need to pretend that's credible. Don't you have any interest at all in knowing what's actually going on? I can sort of understand fandom, though I prefer intellectual honesty. Even hardcore sports fans WATCH THE GAME to find out what happened, though. They don't just pretend their team won.

I don't really think you're justified in attacking the character and reputation of the scientists, as despite your claims to the contrary you have completely closed your mind to any facts that violate your "beliefs". You don't prefer intellectual honesty, you prefer to spout half-truths. To wit:

As others have pointed out, they get extremely consistent readings all day and most of the night, except when a temperature inversion when the readings go up. Then they DELETE THOSE RECORDS. If they wanted to get evidence of increased CO2, according to your model they would leave those in. Their readings are consistent with other monitoring stations. Are they all secretly conspiring to push the number up?

I'd suggest you reconsider posting inconsistent and poorly thought out posts on science, here or anywhere else, especially those embellished with attacks on people's character.

Re:on a volcano spewing CO2 (0)

Pino Grigio (2232472) | about a year ago | (#44539993)

WTF are you people arguing about CO2? Ice shelves calve all the time. It's nothing to do with CO2. If you want a fact to take note of, Antarctic ice is increasing hugely. Scientists say it's "a paradox". Which is another way of saying our models are too primitive to explain it, or as some of us might put it totally wrong. Also, posting a link to "Skeptical Science" is like posting a link to Pravda during the cold war.

Re:on a volcano spewing CO2 (1)

able1234au (995975) | about a year ago | (#44540015)

Skeptical Science gives links to the sources. You can critique them and post alternative links to real science (pun intended). Do you have links to science that says that ice is not being lost at an increasing rate or that it is NOT due to CO2?

Ice shelves do calve all the time, but are they calving faster than in the past? Antarctic ice is increasing in some places but overall more is lost than gained. The increase in ice is due to increased moisture caused by the same thing that causes the increased calving. The increased moisture is a bad thing, not a good thing.

Re:on a volcano spewing CO2 (0)

Pino Grigio (2232472) | about a year ago | (#44540061)

. Do you have links to science that says that ice is not being lost at an increasing rate or that it is NOT due to CO2?

I think you're confusing the Arctic with Antarctica. The latter is growing.

Re:on a volcano spewing CO2 (5, Informative)

able1234au (995975) | about a year ago | (#44540071)

No confusion. Antarctic sea ice is growing, due to increased calving. There is some increase in land ice due to increased moisture. Normally the centre of Antarctica is a very dry place. The increased moisture is from the warming of the oceans, the same process which is increasing the calving. Of course, denier sites focus on the increase sea ice, saying that is a good thing, and the increase in snowing, also saying that is a good thing. They conveniently ignore the fact that these are bad things, not good and that overall the antarctic is losing ice. A triumph of spin over science.

Re:on a volcano spewing CO2 (0, Troll)

Pino Grigio (2232472) | about a year ago | (#44540105)

Of course, denier sites focus on the increase sea ice

Using the term denier in a scientific debate demonstrates you have no understanding whatsoever how science works. Worse, you claim that the Antarctic is losing ice because it's gaining ice because of calving, which is the most incredible nonsense. But then, when Arctic ice grows or shrinks, it's always due to warming, never due to the wind moving the freely floating ice around.

Really, what is the point in debating with people like you? I have no idea.

Re: on a volcano spewing CO2 (1)

able1234au (995975) | about a year ago | (#44540247)

Clearly you really do have no idea.

It is fairly simple, more is lost than gained. What is gained is due to the same warming. If you have science to add, add it.

Re:on a volcano spewing CO2 (1, Troll)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about a year ago | (#44540373)

Using the term denier in a scientific debate demonstrates you have no understanding whatsoever how science works.

You seem to be confusing "scientific debate" with "engaging cranks who hold to a disproven hypothesis no matter the weight of evidence agains them".

Re:on a volcano spewing CO2 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44539615)

There are volcano's under the ice as well, however scientists either, haven't bothered to find out how much this contributes to the problem, or they cannot measure its effects. And again these massive forest fires are dumping tons upon tons of Co2 but there is no focus on trying to eliminate them, when they have and can be prevented, I lost the citation on a story (several) on why this happens and how it can be stopped.

GOing back to the post "If they report it immediately, then there are complaints that we don't have all the facts in. If it's reported after the facts are in, someone will point to an unsubstantiated guess that happened to be right, but beat Slashdot by years. The best is when Slashdot does both, and gets bashed for the initial report, the "delayed" report and the dupe."

There are a variety of factors, which science cannot explain, nor have they found out about, and this really boils down to two things, One the media/press taking things or "findings" out of context and, Two people believing whatever they want without thinking, or knowing (despite being taught in school) that the findings are not a guarantee or are carved in stone, it always has and will always evolve, when they figure something else out they did not notice.

Going to science itself, you have to many wanna B's that are trying to make a name for themselves and will do anything for fame. THe other problem is when science decides to falsify readings or set up the instruments to get the outcome they want, people figure the hell with it we have a ways to go before it is a problem, or see this is why science is a waste of time and money.

The US government does this kind of propaganda all the time and people have no problem diving head first into the concrete slab below, but when science does to heighten awareness it is the most awful or heinous thing.

In Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, the EPA has set up pollution monitors, thru out the county, however the only use one of those monitors which happens to be downwind from heavily industrialized county (outside Allegheny),they then only use that monitor to report the progress of pollution within the county, the reality of it, the county has some of the cleanest air quality in the state, far exceeded that of Philadelphia, or the south eastern quarter of the state.

Same thing, it is all politics.......

Re:on a volcano spewing CO2 (2)

riverat1 (1048260) | about a year ago | (#44539661)

Oh good God! Is that all you've got? It's not like CO2 hasn't been measured at 1000's of other sites around the world including land sites, ships, balloons and aircraft and they all show the same thing as Mauna Loa, that CO2 is increasing. There may be some that still peak out below 400 this year but at the rate of increase in 2 or 3 years they will all be reading above 400 permanently.

Personal Reality (3, Funny)

dbIII (701233) | about a year ago | (#44539747)

It's unfortunate that most climate science isn't science

Here we go again. Tell me then, what's your own personal definition of science that's better than the one the scientists and the dictionary uses?

Re:Personal Reality (4, Funny)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about a year ago | (#44540383)

Tell me then, what's your own personal definition of science that's better than the one the scientists and the dictionary uses?

You know: the one that says that climate isn't warming and even if it is then it's due to volcanos or sunspots or something and even if that's not the cause we can't do anything about it anyway. Also, if that definition happens to include that the earth is only 6000 years old and evolution doesn't happen that's a bonus too.

Re:It would be great (3, Informative)

riverat1 (1048260) | about a year ago | (#44539623)

Kind of like how carbon dioxide passed 400 parts per million for the first time in human history yet the effect was much less than predicted.

The effect has not been "much" less than predicted. It's still within the 95% confidence range of the predictions, albeit on the low side. If you factor in things like the lowest solar cycle in a century and the predominance of La Nina years since 2007 it's not surprising temperatures are running on the low side of predictions..

Re:It would be great (2)

Lehk228 (705449) | about a year ago | (#44539197)

the biggest danger is a methane ice chain reaction unleashing vast amounts of undersea methane

Re:It would be great (2)

DaveV1.0 (203135) | about a year ago | (#44540381)

And, your evidence that there will be a different rate is what exactly?

Future? (4, Funny)

gmuslera (3436) | about a year ago | (#44538725)

Ok, this happened some years ago. Is useful to predict what will happen maybe soon if there are big ice shelves in similar conditions? Are we walking in thin ice, and could happen from a week to the next that a very huge amount of water is added to the oceans? I don't think nothing of this scale will be enough to make the ocean level rise in a noticeable way, but if we are in that scenario will be pretty bad, maybe we can adapt to the oceans rising a meter in a whole century, but no that that kind of change is so fast.

Re:Future? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44538859)

No, this will help cool the earth. It's basically like putting a big ice cube in the ocean every now and then.

Haven't you seen Futurama?

Re:Future? (4, Insightful)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about a year ago | (#44538875)

"Is useful to predict what will happen maybe soon if there are big ice shelves in similar conditions?"

This sort of thing happens all the time. It's a natural process, and the basic process hasn't changed in recorded history.

This is a bit oversimplified, but snow is deposited on top. It builds up, and gets heavy. Gradually the snow and ice migrate sideways, pushing outward. This is also (besides gravity) what moves glaciers.

So pieces are always breaking off the edges. The 2002 incident might have been one of the larger ones, but in the overall scheme of things is nothing very special.

Re:Future? (1)

sumdumass (711423) | about a year ago | (#44539045)

I think the special thing about this is the speed in which it happened and of course now, the explanation to why it happened so quickly.

I agree with your assessment of the overall scheme of things.

Re:Future? (1)

NeoTron (6020) | about a year ago | (#44540121)

Human study of this phenomenon is still in its infancy. We didn't really have the tools to observe it in the past - what's to say this isn't anything "special" at all, and that this type of event has naturally occurred many times in the past and in the same manner?

Re:Future? (1)

OhANameWhatName (2688401) | about a year ago | (#44539459)

The 2002 incident might have been one of the larger ones, but in the overall scheme of things is nothing very special

Let me know when something significant happens, I don't want to miss it.

Time? (1)

cultiv8 (1660093) | about a year ago | (#44539523)

Obligatory XKCD [xkcd.com]

I think I'm the first on /. to reference the whole Time series as Obligatory XKCD.

Re:Future? (3, Informative)

riverat1 (1048260) | about a year ago | (#44539681)

In fact the break up of an Ice Shelf doesn't change sea level at all because an ice shelf is already floating in water. What it can do though is reduce the back pressure on the face of the ice sheet/glacier that is feeding the ice shelf causing it to speed up and put more ice in the sea which does raise sea level.

Global warming (0, Troll)

p51d007 (656414) | about a year ago | (#44538957)

Just not MAN MADE global warming. How long until the so called scientist, who are socialist/communist/anticapitalist going to wake up to the fact that there is no such thing as man made "climate change" (they had to change the name since the warming wasn't happening). The earth is hundreds of thousands, if not millions of years old, and they take data for a few decades and call it a trend. I remember as a high school student in the mid 70's, these same so called scientist were ringing alarm bells of a new ice age coming. Living in the midwest, it was kind of hard to argue with them. -20(F) for days at a time, record amounts of snow that lasted for months. All of this, at a time when smokestacks belched out crap that would choke a goose. Tail pipes routinely spit out soot. Now after 40 years of emission controls and the ever present hand of the EPA into every aspect of life, including how much water your toilet uses, the alarm bells of (man made) global warming are continuing. It's like the alarmist won't be happy until we are all freezing to death in caves again. The problem with a lot of scientist, is they are non believers in god, and if you rule out god as who controls the skies, then you have have the "evils of man" that will destroy the planet. Well, man couldn't destroy the planet if he tried.

Re:Global warming (1)

macbeth66 (204889) | about a year ago | (#44538969)

It wasn't in the 70's. It was in the 60's.

Re:Global warming (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44539161)

I agree. Statistics are lies and science is the enemy.

We need to fight this anti-capitalist socialist encroachment by eliminating all traces of science from our nation. We must ban science from the classroom from tomorrow. It's nothing less than child-abuse to expose innocent young minds to science. Next all military and other government funding of any projects in any way science related must be cut off immediately! Finally we should impose an additional tax burden on any company spending share-holders money on science related R&D. Make them see sense!

Only in this way can we stop icebergs from melting and save the world from communism. Listen to common sense, you know it's RIGHT!

Re:Global warming (4, Informative)

tgibbs (83782) | about a year ago | (#44539403)

No, it wasn't "the same so-called scientists," it was a couple of guys who were out of the mainstream, although it got some sensationalist play in the mainstream media. Even back then, the consensus favored warming due to CO2 release [ametsoc.org] , although there was a lot more uncertainty about how much. Anybody who cares about facts rather than propaganda can easily verify this for themselves--the original scientific literature of the time is available in any major university library and much of it, or at least the abstracts, is available online.

Re:Global warming (4, Informative)

riverat1 (1048260) | about a year ago | (#44539701)

there is no such thing as man made "climate change" (they had to change the name since the warming wasn't happening).

No, "climate change" has been around since at least 1970 as shown in an October 1970 paper by George Benton titled "Carbon Dioxide and its Role in Climate Change" [nih.gov]

Earlier (4, Interesting)

dbIII (701233) | about a year ago | (#44539755)

There was a major report on the topic sent to President Johnson.

Re:Global warming (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44540147)

(...) The earth is hundreds of thousands, if not millions of years old, and they take data for a few decades and call it a trend. (...)

You just made my spit out my coffee! Thank you for the biggest laugh i've had in a long, long time.

Al Gore expected to win California. Obamacare (-1, Offtopic)

raymorris (2726007) | about a year ago | (#44538985)

In other news, Al Gore is expected to win California in the November 2002 election.

Editors - if 2002 is submitting stories, please warn them about "we have to pass the bill to see what's in it".

Re: Al Gore expected to win California. Obamacare (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44539235)

Can we warn them about misrepresenting what somebody else said by distorting their words into a strawman of a sound-bite?

About twelve years too late, but it won't hurt to try again.

Thank you for continuing to demonstrate the accuracy of the true point being made there though, it's a warning you don't want us to hear, but it's true.

if (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44539057)

you really want to know what is happening... meditate on it until you get YOUR answer.. don't listen to any websites.. any scientists... news media... etc. but if you really don't give a damn then by all means just listen to everyone, go talk, argue and mentally masturbate about it over some beers at happy hour... enjoy it... maybe even try to make some money by selling "save the ice cap" T-shirts or whatever... or start a save the ice caps web campaign and try to make money off of mouse clicks and advertising... do one or the other or do both or don't do anything - the last of those options (given you are reading from left to right) being the least recommended :)

Wishful Thinking (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44539095)

And all wrong!

But 'they' will fight and try to propel their 'Catastrophe' to engulf all.

Pitiful.

Incidentally (5, Interesting)

symbolset (646467) | about a year ago | (#44539119)

13,000 years ago was the peak of the Holocene Optimum, when the Earth was warmer, glaciers smaller and the seas higher than today.

Re:Incidentally (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44539421)

[citation needed] and fix Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] if you have it. They currently say 9000 to 5000 BP (Before Present).

Re:Incidentally (1)

I'm New Around Here (1154723) | about a year ago | (#44539549)

Actually, reading the Wikipedia article you refer to, you are both wrong.

Re:Incidentally (2)

riverat1 (1048260) | about a year ago | (#44539717)

Closer to 8,000 years ago for the HCO. 13,000 years ago there were still substantial ice sheets on the continents.

SCIENCE! (4, Interesting)

jeff13 (255285) | about a year ago | (#44539611)

Yea science, seems slashdot comments are far too concerned with opinions and politics instead of science, facts, and, well evidence. Which, btw, this is actually big chunk of.

Re:SCIENCE! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44540177)

Uneducated idiots are always the ones proselytizing their baseless beliefs and political opinions.

Wait, science... (3, Interesting)

theoriginalturtle (248717) | about a year ago | (#44539785)

OK, somebody fill me in, here...

3,000 "lakes" on an ice shelf that they state was 2700km^2?

That's a little over a thousand square miles. That's about the land area of Cook County, Illinois, where Chicago is.

3,000 "lakes?" Lolwut? You mean "ponds?" Perhaps "puddles?"

Somebody convince me that I should be runnin' to the hills, because I'm just not feelin' it, here...

Numbers squared Re:Wait, science... (0)

jphamlore (1996436) | about a year ago | (#44539835)

Indeed, 30 by 30 kilometres is already 900 km^2, 1/3 of 2700 km^2. Should I be all that concerned about any 30 x 30 km^2 area in a wilderness? I'm not so sure.

I know how this happened (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44540471)

A certain saber-toothed squirrel tried to insert an acorn into the ice.

Bright Side (1)

ThatsNotPudding (1045640) | about a year ago | (#44540521)

We got a bitchin' song about it by British Sea Power.

political science (2, Insightful)

harvey the nerd (582806) | about a year ago | (#44540529)

Conclusory, political, non-factual statements included in this article. I have lost all respect for Nature.
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