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Huge Pool of Ice-Free Water Discovered Under Greenland Ice

timothy posted about 7 months ago | from the where-the-vikings-are-pickled-for-the-end-times dept.

Earth 135

The BBC reports that researchers have discovered a huge pool of meltwater beneath Greenland's ice sheet, trapped "in the air space between particles of ice, similar to the way that fruit juice stays liquid in a slush drink." From the article, based on research published in Nature Geoscience (abstract): "The scientists say the water is prevented from freezing by the large amounts of snow that fall on the surface of the ice sheet late in the summer. This insulates the water from the air temperatures which are below freezing, allowing the water to persist as liquid all year long. Other researchers believe this discovery may help explain disparities between projections of mass loss by climate models and observations from satellites."

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135 comments

And It's Our Fault (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45763577)

Hrrrmph.

Re:And It's Our Fault (3, Funny)

davester666 (731373) | about 7 months ago | (#45765129)

There is only one thing to do.

Pump it out, bottle it, and sell it.

Then use the resulting cavern to hold raw sewage. Maybe with a little radioactive waste thrown in for good measure.

Re:And It's Our Fault (1)

eggstasy (458692) | about 7 months ago | (#45766239)

Nooo! Radioactive waste is warm, it would melt the ice ;)
You could pump the water out and allow it to freeze on the surface. Cover the damn thing with solar panels - less sun to reach the surface and melt the ice.
Water usually falls through cracks and lubricates the ground beneath the glaciers.
If we can remove the water maybe they won't slide into the ocean, and won't raise sea levels?

Re:And It's Our Fault (2)

jellomizer (103300) | about 7 months ago | (#45767199)

No it is just an obvious ploy from those LiBeRaL scientists to back track on their global warming "Science" so they can continue to leach off of hard working Americans money, so they work rich and without impunity in the Education Commune.

Hey that sounds pretty good, I could be a conservative radio host. I don't need to agree with, or have any fact to back up the stuff I spew, just a sweet gig.

Technolog (4, Insightful)

Nerdfest (867930) | about 7 months ago | (#45763607)

Given our current level of technology, I'm always amazed when we discover large scale things like this. We have out cities mapped and photographed down to the meter, but we keep finding things like this.

Re:Technolog (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45763651)

Well, the UEO won't be formed for another 4 years. SeaQuest is even further off. We've barely scratched the surface of our marble's trademark blue.

Re:Technolog (1)

davester666 (731373) | about 7 months ago | (#45765139)

Who wants to look down through the layer of crap we have put on top of the ocean's?

Re:Technolog (0)

Joce640k (829181) | about 7 months ago | (#45766415)

On top of the ocean's what...?

There's a word missing from your sentence.

Re:Technolog (1)

AF_Cheddar_Head (1186601) | about 7 months ago | (#45767493)

Surface???

Re:Technolog (3, Insightful)

sycodon (149926) | about 7 months ago | (#45763683)

Just another example of Man thinking he has everything figured out only to be made a fool of by nature.

Re:Technolog (4, Funny)

Nerdfest (867930) | about 7 months ago | (#45763693)

We generally don't even need nature. We seem to do a fine job on our own.

Re:Technolog (1, Insightful)

Nerdfest (867930) | about 7 months ago | (#45764001)

Well, I must admit that insulting mankind in general *is* probably a good start to getting modded "Troll".

Re:Technolog (1)

martinX (672498) | about 7 months ago | (#45764637)

You should pop on over to a 'Clarity Clarence' meme generator with that one.

Re:Technolog (4, Informative)

icebike (68054) | about 7 months ago | (#45764025)

Funny thing is, we have Ice Core Samples [noaa.gov] from all over Greenland, in Multiple Different Databases [noaa.gov] and they have all missed (or misinterpreted) this data for decades. Some of these were 2000 meters deep. In addition there were dye experiments in some areas.

So it is sort of a surprise that we had no hint of this.

Re:Technolog (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45764047)

Yeah...Good thing they weren't using them to publish information that's at the core of some public policy or something.

Re:Technolog (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45766867)

Water has a lower melting temperature at high pressure. If anything this suggests that the consequences of glacial melting have been underestimated. You don't deserve mod points for implying or making bogus generalizations.

Re:Technolog (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45767615)

Yet, as it currently stands, I have 5 and you got none.

I got your Bogus right here motherfucker.

Re:Technolog (2)

gl4ss (559668) | about 7 months ago | (#45764061)

it's just the size of ireland. entirely possible to miss it on random sampling.

besides, if you're looking for ice cores you want places where there isn't a reservoir at any point in the yearly cycle down there....

somehow finding water under ice in my book doesn't qualify as the nature making a fool out of the man. and that temperatures in and under the ice and/or snow are higher than the air temp in the arctic in the winter? holy shit call the inuit press quick!

like the juice in a snow cone? like slush in a slushing machine? when the slushing machine moves it constantly to keep it as slush.. wtf with the analogies - how about the solid numbers? how much would the sea rise if all of this would flow into it in one summer? 2cm? 20cm? 200cm?

Re:Technolog (4, Informative)

riverat1 (1048260) | about 7 months ago | (#45764533)

I'm not surprised. It's science, you keep looking and you keep finding new and interesting things. It's not possible to know everything instantly and Greenland is a remote and expensive place to study.

This water is in the firn [wikipedia.org] which occurs down to a depth of around 50 meters [nationalgeographic.com] before the weight of snow above compresses it to glacial ice which can't hold water like firn. The top of the water table is generally less than 25 meters under the surface (see Figure 2 [nature.com] ) and can't be deeper than about 50. These aquifers were found in the far south of Greenland near the coast, one of the warmer areas of Greenland. It's unknown as yet if they exist elsewhere but now they know to look for them. I imagine the further north you get the more difficult it would be for them to form.

So you wouldn't likely see this except possibly at the very top of a 2,000 meter+ ice core. Most of those ice cores are drilled from far higher elevations and further north where it doesn't melt much even in summer so there is little water to begin with and in any case the colder temperatures probably cause water that forms to refreeze near the surface. In order for this water/firn mixture to coexist the temperature has to be just right and it wouldn't take much to tip the balance one way or another. If it tipped to warmer I imagine it could lead to rapid collapse of the snow field but we'll just have to wait and see what happens.

What appalling cites! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45766105)

...This water is in the firn [wikipedia.org] which occurs down to a depth of around 50 meters [nationalgeographic.com]..

Is it just me, or is everyone else appalled by the idea of citing the wiki and the Nat.Geog. as authoritative sources?

Re:Technolog (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45767279)

This guy is correct! Ice Core samples are indispensable. You see, I was a snowflake in a past life and the afore mentioned core samples hold my skeleton. There is value in such research!
-Dr. Cactus Heatblossom

Re:Technolog (4, Insightful)

bledri (1283728) | about 7 months ago | (#45764045)

Just another example of Man thinking he has everything figured out only to be made a fool of by nature.

Who claims to know everything? Certainly no scientist does. If they knew everything they wouldn't have anything to figure out and figuring out "how life, the universe and everything" work is the what science is about.

Re:Technolog (3, Insightful)

quenda (644621) | about 7 months ago | (#45764295)

Who claims to know everything? Certainly no scientist does.

Don't worry. Just another example of One Man making a sweeping claim, only to be made a fool of by the Wisdom of Slashdot.

Re:Technolog (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45766631)

Ahem..."The debate is over" regarding Global warming.

Then there's that whole consensus thing.

So if you are right, then AGW is not science and the people advocating it are not scientists.

Re:Technolog (3, Interesting)

Gadget_Guy (627405) | about 7 months ago | (#45764435)

Just another example of Man thinking he has everything figured out only to be made a fool of by nature.

Except Man doesn't think that he has everything figured out. This is even mentioned in the summary:

Other researchers believe this discovery may help explain disparities between projections of mass loss by climate models and observations from satellites.

Researchers knew that the models did not match what was happening and didn't know why. In fact, you can tell that they don't think that they know it all by seeing how they state their margins of error (which takes into account that there might be things that they don't know). Hell, even when they try to sound certain they can't quite bring themselves to stating things in terms of absolutes (hence the IPCC report saying that it was 95% certain that climate change was man made).

And think about it, if scientists came out and said that they had discovered everything that there was to know then they would be putting themselves out of a job.

Re:Technolog (1, Informative)

dcollins117 (1267462) | about 7 months ago | (#45764595)

And think about it, if scientists came out and said that they had discovered everything that there was to know then they would be putting themselves out of a job.

"Climate change is the biggest issue for us to face this century. It's man made. The science is done. It's complete. It's a matter of political understanding." - Sir David King, UK Government's Chief Scientist, giving evidence to House of Lords select committee (March 2004)

I'm not arguing with you, I'm on your side. Just pointing out that not all scientists have the intellectual honesty we expect.

Re:Technolog (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45764661)

fuckin a.

Trend versus details (0)

dbIII (701233) | about 7 months ago | (#45764963)

How's this for an analogy. Just because science can't pin down when you are going to die to the minute does not mean that you are immortal.


Is that a clear and polite enough response to your "intellectual honesty" accusation of lying? Do you even understand that it is an accusation of lying or are you just a parrot repeating propaganda that you have heard?

Re: Trend versus details (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45765165)

Personally, I understand the difference between making a statement to a political body like the House of Lords and statements in truly scientific circles. From the quoted statement, I have no real evidence that Sir David King is doing anything less than rounding off the error bars to the nearest 10 percentile.

That said, science really should not be saying 100% certainty, and there's no call to liken a statement about intellectual honesty (Sir David was at least stooping to making a point in the way the politicians can't readily weasel out of), with an accusation of lying. Remember that even the belief that gravity will work tomorrow largely the same way it works today is less than 100% (without rounding).

Re: Trend versus details (0)

dbIII (701233) | about 7 months ago | (#45766033)

I just gave you an example of a 100% certainty where the exact details are not clear. Didn't you get that point?

intellectual honesty ... lying

Obviously intended to mean the exact same thing but with an option to weasel out by pretending to be too stupid to notice. There's no point pretending such a direct attack is not.

The truth will out... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45766131)

"...From the quoted statement, I have no real evidence that Sir David King is doing anything less than rounding off the error bars to the nearest 10 percentile...."

It's now well established, at least in all scientific circles, that anyone who supports the idea of Global Warming is either a liar or a moron.

Or, of course, a Greenpeace activist, where you can be both at once...

Re:Technolog (1)

OakDragon (885217) | about 7 months ago | (#45764623)

Just another example of Man thinking he has everything figured out only to be made a fool of by nature.

History shows again and again how nature points up the folly of man.

Re:Technolog (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45766945)

Godzilla!

Re:Technolog (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45767481)

Just another example of Man thinking he has everything figured out only to be made a fool of by nature.

That's exactly what I was gonna say.

Sincerely,
God

Re:Technolog (5, Interesting)

Trepidity (597) | about 7 months ago | (#45763737)

We're not very good at looking through solid substances yet. Not only don't we know what's under the Greenland ice, we don't even know what's under many of our cities. For example, construction of the Thessaloniki metro recently discovered an entire Roman city center [bbc.co.uk] buried beneath the modern-day city center. In limited cases you can find some of this kind of stuff with ground-penetrating radar [wikipedia.org] , but in general mapping out stuff that's covered by solid dirt/ice/etc. is not easy, even in the 21st century.

Re:Technolog (1)

olsmeister (1488789) | about 7 months ago | (#45763851)

Not to mention this. [slashdot.org]

Re:Technolog (4, Funny)

mevets (322601) | about 7 months ago | (#45763753)

Google Subterrain was voted out by focus groups. The troglodyte minority was trounced by those smug hipsters with their Earth and Streetview apps.

Re:Technolog (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45764239)

And let scientists and astronomers think they can determine the chemical composition of a planet 10K light years away, how many moons it has surrounding it, and how old it is or readily explain in detail some cluster of mass or light from 3 billions years ago. Yeah. You have to justify that equipment and education and job you have I assume. Meanwhile on earth there is a huge moving target of when different versions of people first appeared, why dinosaurs went extinct and no one knows with any accuracy what the weather will be like in 5 days, why bees are dying, and whales beach themselves.

Re:Technolog (1)

khallow (566160) | about 7 months ago | (#45764633)

And let scientists and astronomers think they can determine the chemical composition of a planet 10K light years away, how many moons it has surrounding it, and how old it is or readily explain in detail some cluster of mass or light from 3 billions years ago.

These are easier targets because we are directly observing them. Predicting weather in 5 days is about that level of difficulty too. We probably have figured out why bees are dying, we just don't know it yet.

And while we don't know why whales beach themselves, we do know why most human boats do - because they weren't where they thought they were, because they weren't aware of local conditions, or because they didn't have the ability to avoid grounding themselves. That's probably why whales beach themselves as well.

Re:Technolog (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45764805)

"And let scientists and astronomers think they can determine the chemical composition of a planet 10K light years away, "

Um, you mean "yet"? Like how scientists found helium in the Sun just by observing its light? Like that?

Re:Technolog (1)

Charcharodon (611187) | about 7 months ago | (#45765331)

no one knows with any accuracy what the weather will be like in 5 days, why bees are dying, and whales beach themselves

Actually we do know why the bees are dying, just stop looking to media types who are just looking for an alarmist story, large ag buisnesses looking for subsidies, or acedemics looking for grants to get answers (we don't know yet but if you give us more money I'm sure we can find out).

Go talk to a freaking beekeeper already if you really want to know what is going on. There is no one thing causing the bee die offs, and those reasons are hardly a secret in the apiary community.

Re:Technolog (2)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 7 months ago | (#45764253)

Why are you amazed? Our science can barely explain what's going on in your own body, much less entire biospheres. I've no doubt that we eventually will have the science down, but the difference between what we do know and what we don't know should never be a surprise.

Water to be the new Oil? (0)

ScottCooperDotNet (929575) | about 7 months ago | (#45763677)

So when the worldwide population multiplies, will water be the new oil?

Re:Water to be the new Oil? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45763711)

Why the new oil? The current oil wastes enough water in its production.

Re:Water to be the new Oil? (1)

GoodNewsJimDotCom (2244874) | about 7 months ago | (#45763777)

Ah it shouldn't be hard to get drinking water from the ocean if we had to. The key is there is a water problem now. It is because many people live in poverty and no one helps them build the basic infrastructure for sanitation. The modern man should see what resources he needs to live on, living a frugal life even, then give the excess to help the poorest of the poor. For people with hearts, we don't need big time luxuries when there are poor people dying who can be helped at 33 cents a day. If you're celebrating Christmas, and all your friends and family have what they need to live on, consider giving to a reputable charity.

Re:Water to be the new Oil? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45763881)

We had sea water desalination to supplement our water supply in Hong Kong between 1975 and 1981. They switched to importing water from China as it was cheaper.

BTW toilets use seawater there.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water_supply_and_sanitation_in_Hong_Kong

Re:Water to be the new Oil? (1)

rossdee (243626) | about 7 months ago | (#45764457)

The only difference between salty wateer and fresh water is energy - we just need to harness fusion power.

Re:Water to be the new Oil? (2)

Seumas (6865) | about 7 months ago | (#45764185)

You mean, a thing that there is plenty of that we're constantly being told is just years away from being completely gone?

Re:Water to be the new Oil? (5, Informative)

riverat1 (1048260) | about 7 months ago | (#45764587)

There's lots of fresh water on the planet (including all the fresh water stored as ice). The problem is getting to a place where it's useful. Most places have to make do with the fresh water that's available locally. A notable exception being Southern California which imports water from the north and from the Colorado River. I doubt you'll find knowledgeable people saying fresh water would be completely gone (except perhaps for some overtaxed aquifers). Instead they are saying there will be more demand for fresh water than there is supply available to fill that demand in the future. Getting fresh water from Greenland to any place useful would be difficult and expensive.

Re:Water to be the new Oil? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45764213)

How soon will the Americans invade Greenland to liberate the water?

Re:Water to be the new Oil? (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about 7 months ago | (#45764427)

they keep saying that, but the one's that keep yelling it the loudest are usually running a water investment scam.

I got some fresh water to sell to you... ... ... the only catch is that the water is in Finland. just figure out how to move it to sahara cheaper than drilling the water there and you'll make a bundle! promise!

Right (2)

Mikkeles (698461) | about 7 months ago | (#45763719)

Sorta like the bulk of the oceans remain liquid under the ice that forms in the northern oceans.

Re:Right (3, Insightful)

sumdumass (711423) | about 7 months ago | (#45763773)

Isn't that a result of the salinity keeping it from freezing?

Anyways, we have seen supercooling effects like this in the past where the pressure involved allows water to remain below it's freezing point. It's the theory behind an ice dam in the Midwest US that caused a lot of the geographical markings when it burst. I don't really see anything extraordinary here as apposed to theories in history. It's just that is is happening right now in front of us. Water does have that quality, under pressure, it raises the boiling point and can lower the point which it will actually freeze.

Re:Right (5, Informative)

ihtoit (3393327) | about 7 months ago | (#45763873)

it's not true that subsurface water in the Arctic ocean isn't freezing: it is, continually. What salinity does is disrupt the phase equilibrium between liquid and solid so the water phases between solid and liquid at a faster rate than the liquid phasing to solid, ergo the mass remains a liquid. That's only considering salinity. Absent pressure at depth, the entire ocean would be a block of ice right now, but see my other post in this thread (here [slashdot.org] ) as to the other reason the Arctic ocean is liquid.

Re:Right (1)

khallow (566160) | about 7 months ago | (#45764607)

Absent pressure at depth, the entire ocean would be a block of ice right now

And the heat from the Sun and Earth which is the real reason the oceans are liquid.

Re:Right (1)

symbolset (646467) | about 7 months ago | (#45764093)

Or maybe... geothermal energy is melting the ice from the bottom, as it should be expected to.

Re:Right (1)

riverat1 (1048260) | about 7 months ago | (#45764643)

You're going to have to find a shitload more geothermal energy than is currently evident to backup your hypothesis before it can be taken seriously. Another question to answer is why would there all of a sudden be more geothermal energy flux under the arctic ocean to cause the current melting?

Re:Right (1)

symbolset (646467) | about 7 months ago | (#45764715)

I was talking about Greenland, sorry.

Re:Right (1)

riverat1 (1048260) | about 7 months ago | (#45764761)

Even on Greenland there isn't enough heat flux from below to cause this. The water is in the firn and generally less than 50 meters below the surface (because the firn changes to solid ice below that level from the weight of snow above it). The water is undoubtedly sitting on top of glacial ice, not bedrock (unless the depth of the snow is less than 50 m).

Re:Right (1)

symbolset (646467) | about 7 months ago | (#45764825)

Yeah, I was missing that connection. Thanks.

Disparities (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45763725)

Sounds like these climate models ain't worth a turd.
This year...
"Damn, we didn't take the slushy effect into account"
Next year...
"Damn, we didn't take the shaken not stirred effect into account"

If this slushy effect is real then update the model, recalculate the figures for the previous years data and see how accurate it is.
Don't waste everyone's time making predictions using a model that doesn't work on previous years data.

Re:Disparities (0)

Gadget_Guy (627405) | about 7 months ago | (#45764467)

If this slushy effect is real then update the model, recalculate the figures for the previous years data and see how accurate it is.
Don't waste everyone's time making predictions using a model that doesn't work on previous years data.

That is exactly how the models work; when new facts are found they plug that into their models and calibrate it against past data. They also compare the predictions against new measurements, and if there is a discrepancy then they try to figure out why - as was the case here. This is why the models are getting more accurate as the years go by.

Re:Disparities (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45765679)

That is exactly how the models work; when new facts are found they plug that into their models and calibrate it against past data. They also compare the predictions against new measurements, and if there is a discrepancy then they try to figure out why - as was the case here. This is why the models are getting more accurate as the years go by.

They don't. They are, thanks to the changes, able to replicate historic data. They are unable to predict the future though, and always have been.

That's why they are unscientific. Falsified by observations.

Re:Disparities (2)

Gadget_Guy (627405) | about 7 months ago | (#45766151)

They are unable to predict the future though, and always have been.

That is a pretty unsupportable statement considering that the scientists are well aware of how much certainty their models have, and so give a large error range such that it was nearly impossible to get it wrong. Your claim that they all have been falsified by observations is a complete lie.

Re:Disparities (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45766627)

How do you know the margin for error on something that you have no idea exists?

I'd love to hear the statistical process that generates that margin to any confidence level.

whoosh (5, Informative)

ihtoit (3393327) | about 7 months ago | (#45763751)

...said the physics teacher.

Under pressure, the freezing point of water is lowered. The more pressure, the lower the ice point. To demonstrate:

Assume that a container is indestructible (let's say, a sphere with a perfect seal). It is full of water with no gas in solution or loose in bubbles or anything like that. Just pure water. Now, stick it in a deep freeze. Wait.
Water has the odd property of expanding at around 4C at normal (sea level) pressure. By the time it freezes at 0C under those same pressure conditions, it has expanded to fill 1/8 more volume than it did as a liquid. This is why icebergs float. This is why distilled water ice cubes also float. The liquid water does its thing and... you know the rest. Titanic.

The water in the sphere is prevented from freezing for the simple reason that it has nowhere to go. It has no space to expand into. If it cannot expand, it cannot freeze. How low can you go? I have no idea, having no access to magnetocaloric equipment. But I daresay, you wouldn't meet the conditions required to get the volume of water to contract to the point where it can solidify in the available space, outside of a suitably equipped laboratory or in the shadow of an outer planet.

Further reading suggests temperatures approaching/lower than about 70K (-203C) to achieve this. Further reading [lsbu.ac.uk] .

Re:whoosh (2)

ihtoit (3393327) | about 7 months ago | (#45763897)

just thought of a practical experiment (one I did at school, actually), assuming you have access to a walk-in freezer (or my living room which is perishing cold right now because my heating's been off a couple days. Failing that, a domestic freezer):

Take 1 ice cube, two one-ounce lead weights, and a length of copper wire or fishing line. Tie the weights together with the wire/line with a space of about four inches between the two weights, and put the assembly across the ice so the wire rests on the ice and the weights hang freely. After a while, the wire will be *through* the ice rather than on top of it and its path will have refrozen behind it. The pressure of the wire on the ice has melted it and allowed it to travel through, yet the temperature of the ice block has remained constant.

Re:whoosh (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45763977)

The melting point of water is reduced by 0.007 K per atmosphere of pressure. The effect is of only minor significance, because it is so small. People almost always overestimate it.

If you put water in a real container (as opposed to something indestructible) and put it in the freezer, it will not stay liquid. Instead, it will happily freeze. In doing so it will expand the container, possibly bursting it. To keep the water liquid at just -7 C, you need a container that can withstand 1000 atmospheres, which probably requires a steel pressure vessel. According to the site you linked, there is no pressure sufficient to keep water liquid below -22 degrees.

The pressure under the ice in Greenland is probably about 300 atm at the most (based on the weight of 3 km of ice), so the freezing point is only about 2.1 degrees lower at the bottom than at the top. If there really is pure liquid water at the bottom, that can't be explained purely by regelation. It also has to be quite warm (-2.1 C) at the bottom.

Re:whoosh (2)

ihtoit (3393327) | about 7 months ago | (#45764139)

from the same page (I guess you missed it and decided to ignore my static assumption of a vessel whose volume cannot change):

"If the increase in volume on freezing is prevented, an increased pressure of up to 25 MPa may be generated in water pipes; easily capable of bursting them in Winter. An interesting question concerns what would happen to water cooled below 0 C within a vessel that cannot change its volume (isochoric cooling). Clearly if ice forms, its increased volume causes an increase in pressure which would lower the freezing point at least until the lowest melting point (-21.985 C) is reached at 209.9 MPa. A recent thermodynamic analysis concludes that ice nucleation cannot arise above -109 C during isochoric cooling, which is close to the upper bound of the realm of deeply supercooled water (-113 C), so it is unclear if ice would ever freeze in such a (unreal) system."

Re:whoosh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45764181)

I didn't ignore it. That's why I said "in a real container (as opposed to something indestructible)".

The point is that if you try this experiment in a typical container in a real freezer, you will almost certainly pop or deform the container rather than seeing regelation in action. To prevent this, you need an impractically strong container, or a freezer that is kept just slightly below freezing (requiring a precise thermostat).

Re:whoosh (1)

symbolset (646467) | about 7 months ago | (#45764143)

In a very cold room take a skillet and put a large flat rock in it. Put a block of ice on the rock. Heat the skillet. After a while the heat will travel through the rock and melt the ice from the bottom.

Re:whoosh (2)

riverat1 (1048260) | about 7 months ago | (#45764689)

I believe these aquifers are sitting on top of glacial ice not rock since below about 50 meters the firn turns to solid ice from the weight of snow above. By definition the glacial ice would be below freezing.

Re:whoosh (1)

symbolset (646467) | about 7 months ago | (#45764757)

My mistake. Sorry.

Re:whoosh (1)

riverat1 (1048260) | about 7 months ago | (#45764821)

Hey, I didn't know about it until I went and read the abstract and found (from Figure 2) that the top of the water table was only about 20 meters under the surface. Then I spent 20 minutes tracking down how deep the snow has to get before the firn turns to solid glacial ice and found it's at around 50 meters. So the water had to be above that. That's what I love about science, learning new things and increasing my understanding of the world.

Re:whoosh (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about 7 months ago | (#45764459)

That's a hypothesis based on some real physics, but it's not clear that you've identified the physics principle here, or even that you read the summary. Because the summary says:

This insulates the water from the air temperatures which are below freezing, allowing the water to persist as liquid all year long

So the reason it doesn't freeze is because it's not cold enough. No other explanation needed.

Re:whoosh (1)

mysidia (191772) | about 7 months ago | (#45764575)

The liquid water does its thing and... you know the rest. Titanic.

Titanic was supposed to be an indestructible container for air and humans....

Water has the odd property of expanding at around 4C at normal (sea level) pressure.

Above 4 degrees; water is more dense at lower temperatures, just like other fluids. Water is most dense at 4 degrees C. If you cool OR heat water at 4 degrees C either above or below that temperature; it will have to become less dense or be under greater pressure.

Therefore; if you have a partially frozen body of water of any significant depth; the water that is at the bottom, should be close to 4 degrees C -- and under heavy pressure, of course.

Re:whoosh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45765997)

Therefore; if you have a partially frozen body of water of any significant depth; the water that is at the bottom, should be close to 4 degrees C -- and under heavy pressure, of course.

If you have a body of water of any significant depth, it's probably salty, thus all of this discussion of fresh water (e.g., 4C stuff) is unimportant.

Re:whoosh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45765315)

The water in the sphere is prevented from freezing for the simple reason that it has nowhere to go. It has no space to expand into. If it cannot expand, it cannot freeze. How low can you go? I have no idea, having no access to magnetocaloric equipment.

You do have access to the Internet, and, you know, a phase diagram, right?

A Related Topic: James E. Hansen (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45763759)

Upon graduation, he went to work directly at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies where he studied the composition of the atmosphere of Venus. But after a decade of research he switched his research to the changing atmosphere of another planet: Earth.

Ah Ha!

Interpretation: Dr. Hansen's detailed and meticulous investigations of Venus yields no profitable intelligence to NASA. NASA communicates to Hansen: "Hay dip shit. Produce some results or produce your grave! [This was in the Vietnam era of American Foreign Policy and while the words are harsh they are accurate in the meaning of those sending and those receiving.]"

Now Hansen finds himself in a real career bind: His research of 10 years is shit. What will be do?

Congressional Meeting April 22, 1988: "Hansen Goes Ballistic ... to save his petty and pitiful ditch digger career at beloved NASA! [snicker i.e. 'money.']"

James E. Hansen: Pedofile, Sociopath, Pervert, Disgruntled former employee of the U.S.A. Not particularly dangerous to citizens of the U.S.A.

Source (not inclusive):

http://grist.org/article/a-climate-hero-the-early-years/

http://www.ridenhour.org/prizes_courage_2013.html

Nailed this ass wipe! :-)

Re:A Related Topic: James E. Hansen (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45764209)

Lol most idiotic post in ages, lies and bad spelling.

Has it always been there? (2)

tomhath (637240) | about 7 months ago | (#45763787)

Other researchers believe this discovery may help explain disparities between projections of mass loss by climate models and observations from satellites

Or maybe not. For all we know that slush has been there since the last ice age.

Re:Has it always been there? (2)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about 7 months ago | (#45764827)

Coming This Winter: A warming tale of overcoming adversity from beneath Greenland's Ice. In the face of immense pressure a soggy hero goes against the grain, and learns its okay not to be as cool as everyone else.

Slushy the Snowman

Re:Has it always been there? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45764895)

Even if it has been there that long, how does that prevent it from explaining inaccuracies in a model that fails to take its existence into account?

OOPS! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45763861)

At Summit Greenland the ice is in excess of 3000 meters thick!

The effect of the layer of daily or monthly snow on top has nothing to be with ice at bottom (its the weight of the total column) nor the daily or monthly variation of water between the ice and the rock bed.

Sorry ICE guys! You're fucked! You blew your own dicks by removing a vertebra from your spineless backs.

Snicker snicker.

why haven't we heard about this before? (-1, Flamebait)

0111 1110 (518466) | about 7 months ago | (#45763925)

So there was a discrepancy between prediction and observation for the AGW model. Why haven't we heard about that before? Only now that the observations are consistent with theory do we find out about it. Yet more evidence that climate scientists are not real scientists.

Re:why haven't we heard about this before? (3, Informative)

bledri (1283728) | about 7 months ago | (#45764077)

So there was a discrepancy between prediction and observation for the AGW model. Why haven't we heard about that before? Only now that the observations are consistent with theory do we find out about it. Yet more evidence that climate scientists are not real scientists.

What makes you think that scientists have hidden this discrepancy? They haven't, and every anti-AGW promoter has been shouting it from the rooftops (while they ignore or misrepresent all the evidence that supports AGW.)

Re:why haven't we heard about this before? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45764137)

So there was a discrepancy between prediction and observation for the AGW model. Why haven't we heard about that before? Only now that the observations are consistent with theory do we find out about it. Yet more evidence that climate scientists are not real scientists.

DO tell us what YOUR qualifications are.

Other than posting bullshit and swallowing semen at the neighborhood
glory hole, that is.

Re:why haven't we heard about this before? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45767341)

It's only because now they have an ad hoc explanation to explain why their predictions have failed. Never play darts with a climate scientist. He will throw the darts at the wall opposite of the target and then one of his buddies will go by and paint bulls-eyes around each of the darts where it landed.

Hmm (0)

Falconhell (1289630) | about 7 months ago | (#45764049)

Cue the usual conga line of climate change denying assholes trying to use this as evidence for their delusion.

Re:Hmm (2, Insightful)

Seumas (6865) | about 7 months ago | (#45764201)

Are there really people denying "climate change"? It's a pretty accepted thing. Maybe not that it is due to man, but that there is change, sure. Of course, we also can't decide if the change is global *warming* or global *cooling*. It was only a couple decades or so ago that we were told pollution was sending us over the edge of unavoidable ice-ages.

I suppose you can sort of understand their skepticism. If I was born in 1990 and all I had ever heard was "global warming global warming AND IT IS ALL OUR FAULT!", I'd be terrified, too. If I was born in 1970 and had lived through "global cooling global cooling AND ITS ALL OUR FAULT!", I would probably be extremely skeptical of the claims, since I'd have been alive long enough to remember it the first time around.

Re:Hmm (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45764473)

You can understand their skepticism even more when you consider that moneyed interests -- who stand to lose a lot if carbon emissions are seriously restricted -- have been pouring a ton of money into PR campaigns to discredit AGW and the scientists who promote it. Their wholly-owned media arm includes Fox News, the National Review, and propaganda outlets like the Rush Limbaugh show.

Sadly, many gullible conservatives would rather believe in a Vast Left Wing Conspiracy which promotes AGW in order to... umm... do something... than the simple truth of oil/coal corporations protecting their profits.

Re:Hmm (2)

Falconhell (1289630) | about 7 months ago | (#45765019)

Exactly, it constantly amazes me that some of the posters here who rely on science in almost every aspect of their lives can be convinced by either the media or their own self interest to deny reality with the thoroughly debunked skeptics arguments. There's a sucker born every minute apparently.

Re:Hmm (1)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about 7 months ago | (#45764553)

Are there really people denying "climate change"? It's a pretty accepted thing. Maybe not that it is due to man, but that there is change, sure. Of course, we also can't decide if the change is global *warming* or global *cooling*.

Lemme check... Yep. You're right, not just man made; Woman also contribute. Blood pressure indicates a trend in warming that can't be ignored. Forecasts predict no end in sight for this Eternal September.

Re:Hmm (1)

dryeo (100693) | about 7 months ago | (#45764619)

And if you were born before the '70's you'd remember how bad the pollution was and how some scientists wondered if global dimming might counter act the rising CO2 levels that by themselves would increase the greenhousing that keeps the Earth currently at habitable temperatures. Most people don't seem to realize the Earths average temperature would be close to minus 20 Celsius without the greenhouse gases warming the Earth.

Re:Hmm (1)

P-niiice (1703362) | about 7 months ago | (#45766673)

Scientists wonder a lot of things. That's the point of science. Fortunately the state of tech has advanced significantly since then, and they can wonder about things closer to current reality. Also, speculating about earth without greenhouse gases is pointless - we'd not exist if earth had no greenhouse gases. There's a balance/cycle of balances and the question is how far off we've hosed up the balance.

Re:Hmm (3, Informative)

riverat1 (1048260) | about 7 months ago | (#45764727)

And yet despite the fact that the global cooling story made the covers of Time and Newsweek in the mid-70's, between 1965 and 1979 there were 6 times as many papers published on global warming from CO2 increases than global cooling in the scientific literature. I was born in 1952 and I don't remember being very alarmed by global cooling in the 1970's.

Slipping and sliding (2)

Circlotron (764156) | about 7 months ago | (#45764125)

If that water underneath the ice made it possible that the entire sheet of ice could slide off in one go, that would make projections of melting time somewhat irrelevant. Might just nead a bit of an earthquake to get things moving...

Re:Slipping and sliding (1)

thered2001 (1257950) | about 7 months ago | (#45764315)

I came to post this exact thought. It's all the ice piled up above the water-line we need to worry about. Greenland and the Antarcticshould a big slide happen, well, we'll have a bit more water in the oceans. (I was going to say something more snarky but it's not needed, is it?)

Re:Slipping and sliding (2)

riverat1 (1048260) | about 7 months ago | (#45764737)

The water is in the firn and generally less than 50 meters deep without any ice on top that could slide off. The glacial ice starts forming at a depth of around 50 meters.

Wrong Even Before the "Lead" Author Was Born (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45764281)

Could title this, "Increased African Ant Flatulence Dooms Earth to Hot House."

[Snicker snicker]

I suspect that Jason's crowd sourcing experiment did not work so well ... i.e. no one was fooled by his fool funding presumptions and now no one will be fooled by his graduate student's foolish ploys at sophistry.

Pity. And pity not. Pity my ass.

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