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Greenland's Fastest Glacier Sets New Speed Record

Soulskill posted about 9 months ago | from the zoom-zoom dept.

Science 136

vinces99 writes "The latest observations of Jakobshavn Glacier show that Greenland's largest glacier is moving ice from land into the ocean at a speed that appears to be the fastest ever recorded. Researchers from the University of Washington and the German Space Agency measured the speed of the glacier in 2012 and 2013. The results were published Feb. 3 in The Cryosphere, an open access journal of the European Geosciences Union. Jakobshavn Glacier, which is widely believed to be the glacier that produced the large iceberg that sank the Titanic in 1912, drains the Greenland ice sheet into a deep-ocean fjord on the west coast of the island. This speedup of Jakobshavn means that the glacier is adding more and more ice to the ocean, contributing to sea-level rise. 'We are now seeing summer speeds more than four times what they were in the 1990s, on a glacier which at that time was believed to be one of the fastest, if not the fastest, glacier in Greenland,' said lead author Ian Joughin, a glaciologist at the UW's Polar Science Center. The new observations show that in summer of 2012 the glacier reached a record speed of more than 10 miles (17 km) per year, or more than 150 feet (46 m) per day. These appear to be the fastest flow rates recorded for any glacier or ice stream in Greenland or Antarctica, researchers said."

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At these rates (5, Funny)

Spy Handler (822350) | about 9 months ago | (#46158849)

the glacier will break Mach 1 by 2016 when Hillary is president and Al Gore is secretary of state.

Re:At these rates (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46158885)

All three highly unlikely events.

Re:At these rates (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46159333)

You would have to rate Hillary's chances at least 50%, since the Republican party is heading downhill much faster than any glacier ever travelled, or even an avalanche.
If she does decide to run

Re:At these rates (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46159703)

Wait, if Hillary's running under the Republican ticket who's running against her on the Democratic ticket in 2016?

Re:At these rates (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46160537)

Ah, but you forget about libertarians (as many seem to forget so quickly). We don't want the NSA or TSA and lower taxes and lessen spending all around while auditing the government and government programs / contractors but yet people still forget about us because of the few that tote their guns around at walmart. :(

Re:At these rates (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46161883)

Ah, but you forget about libertarians (as many seem to forget so quickly). We don't want the NSA or TSA and lower taxes and lessen spending all around while auditing the government and government programs / contractors but yet people still forget about us because of the few that tote their guns around at walmart. :(

Yes, all will forget you, so you remain irrelevant to the conversation.

More snow = more pressure = faster calving! (1, Interesting)

RocketRabbit (830691) | about 9 months ago | (#46158905)

Greenland has experienced (like Antarctica) some very heavy snowfalls in the past few years, which increases the thickness of the glaciers. Glacial flow is fairly well understood, as the glacier gets thicker it causes faster movement.

The calving of large glaciers is often touted by alarmists as proof of their claims, but this phenomenon does not actually support the alarmist position at all.

Re: More snow = more pressure = faster calving! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46158965)

Except you have no numbers and are therefore an idealogue just the same. What's the difference between new snow pack and melt? The answer will make a difference in this debate.

Re: More snow = more pressure = faster calving! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46159301)

And you're an AC that doesn't know shit. You don't have any numbers either. People who spew bullshit with nothing to back it up often post AC. You'd never post such nonsense logged in cause your poor karma would suffer for it. This applies to this AC as well.

Re (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46159699)

And you're an AC that doesn't know shit, either. You don't have any numbers either, either. People who spew bullshit with nothing to back it up often post AC, but sometimes they don't, sometimes you can't really tell. You'd never post such nonsense logged in either cause your poor or awesome karma would suffer for it. This applies to this AC as well.

Here you go ACs (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46162197)

0, 42, pi, e, c, pi, 6*10^23

t311 m3 1f y0u n33d m0r3 num63r5

Re: More snow = more pressure = faster calving! (1)

Scowler (667000) | about 9 months ago | (#46159353)

You were doing good until you used the word "alarmist", at which point, poof! Bye, bye, credibility.

Re: More snow = more pressure = faster calving! (2)

cbeaudry (706335) | about 9 months ago | (#46159483)

And those who use the word "Denier" are more credible?

Re: More snow = more pressure = faster calving! (4, Informative)

erikkemperman (252014) | about 9 months ago | (#46159613)

I don't think neither "alarmist" nor "denier" are very helpful. Let's ask the climate scientists, in stead. Once again [wikipedia.org] :

In the scientific literature, there is a strong consensus that global surface temperatures have increased in recent decades and that the trend is caused primarily by human-induced emissions of greenhouse gases.[2][3][4] No scientific body of national or international standing disagrees with this view,[5] though a few organizations hold non-committal positions.[6] Disputes over the key scientific facts of global warming are now more prevalent in the popular media than in the scientific literature, where such issues are treated as resolved, and more in the United States than globally[7][8].

Re: More snow = more pressure = faster calving! (1)

Joce640k (829181) | about 9 months ago | (#46160161)

In the scientific literature, there is a strong consensus that global surface temperatures have increased in recent decades and that the trend is caused primarily by human-induced emissions of greenhouse gases.[2][3][4] No scientific body of national or international standing disagrees with this view,[5]

And on the other side we have a massive political campaign to deny climate change:

https://www.google.com/search?... [google.com]

http://www.scientificamerican.... [scientificamerican.com]

Re: More snow = more pressure = faster calving! (1, Insightful)

Joce640k (829181) | about 9 months ago | (#46160137)

And those who use the word "Denier" are more credible?

Well.... I never saw a "Denier" who could post credible data (usually they don't post any at all).

Re: More snow = more pressure = faster calving! (-1, Flamebait)

DiamondGeezer (872237) | about 9 months ago | (#46160393)

"Well.... I never saw a "Denier" who could post credible data THAT I CAN ACCEPT BECAUSE THEY ARE MORALLY CORRUPT"

FTFY

Re: More snow = more pressure = faster calving! (1)

Tim99 (984437) | about 9 months ago | (#46161629)

And those who use the word "Denier" are more credible?

I often use the word denier with credibility - Denier definition [wikipedia.org]

Re: More snow = more pressure = faster calving! (1)

dbIII (701233) | about 9 months ago | (#46162231)

I prefer "luddite", "merchant in the temple" or "christianity-lite". Those pricks that went after geology, biology and now climate science are doing it just to try to make it look like they know more than anyone that went to school.

Re:More snow = more pressure = faster calving! (2)

hey! (33014) | about 9 months ago | (#46159443)

Seriously, you think pressure for *annual snowfall* makes a dramatic difference in the speed of the Jakobshavn glacier. this [northlandscapes.com] Jakobshavn glacier. The one that's two kilometers thick [wikipedia.org] .

Re:More snow = more pressure = faster calving! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46159471)

Yes, in that case, nevermind. I hadn't thought of that stuff. You're right, global warming is real and this proves it.

-R.R.

Re:More snow = more pressure = faster calving! (2)

hey! (33014) | about 9 months ago | (#46159487)

It proves Greenland is warming. The *global* pattern proves that the globe is warming.

Re:More snow = more pressure = faster calving! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46159561)

Actually it suggests that the glaciers inland are thicker, which could be due to cooler temperatures. The *global* pattern proves precisely what the people who choose the gridding want it to.

Re:More snow = more pressure = faster calving! (5, Informative)

hey! (33014) | about 9 months ago | (#46159769)

Fortunately, we don't have to deal in "suggestions". People have actually *gone* to the glacier and taken measurements. It is thinning dramatically since 1997 [1]. Nor do we have to deal in suggestions about the temperature of Greenland, because people have been measuring that too. It is warming, dramatically on the western coast, somewhat less so on the eastern. [2]

The glacier in question, by the way, is considerably less than 100 km long (as you an readily see [goo.gl] ), so the interior doesn't enter into the question of what this glacier is doing at all. However if you're interested, ice core data shows that the interior has warmed over the past several decades. [3]

I can certainly buy the argument that this event doesn't prove *global* warming, because it doesn't. But the argument that it proves *local cooling* doesn't hold water, because it we know *from measurements* that there hasn't been local cooling, especially in southwestern Greenland where this glacier is *entirely* located.

--- Citations ---
1: Liu, Lin, John Wahr, Ian Howat, Shfaqat Abbas Khan, Ian Joughin, and Masato Furuya. "Constraining ice mass loss from Jakobshavn Isbræ (Greenland) using InSARmeasured crustal uplift." Geophysical Journal International 188, no. 3 (2012): 994-1006.

2: Hanna, Edward, Sebastian H. Mernild, John Cappelen, and Konrad Steffen. "Recent warming in Greenland in a long-term instrumental (1881–2012) climatic context: I. Evaluation of surface air temperature records." Environmental Research Letters 7, no. 4 (2012): 045404.

3: Muto, Atsuhiro, Ted A. Scambos, Konrad Steffen, Andrew G. Slater, and Gary D. Clow. "Recent surface temperature trends in the interior of East Antarctica from borehole firn temperature measurements and geophysical inverse methods." Geophysical Research Letters 38, no. 15 (2011): L15502.

Re:More snow = more pressure = faster calving! (0)

DiamondGeezer (872237) | about 9 months ago | (#46160407)

"Fortunately, we don't have to deal in "suggestions". People have actually *gone* to the glacier and taken measurements. It is thinning dramatically since 1997"

Its amazing watching people with no scientific ability trying to sound scientific. The glacier is thinning because its surging.

Another way of looking at it is that the glacier is growing in length rapidly, but then that sounds somehow less scary doesn't it?

Re:More snow = more pressure = faster calving! (2)

amaurea (2900163) | about 9 months ago | (#46160563)

The glacier is thinning because its surging. Another way of looking at it is that the glacier is growing in length rapidly, but then that sounds somehow less scary doesn't it?

Yes, intuitively one would think that if a glacier speeds up, it must be growing more quickly. But the world is a complex place, so we should be vary of our intuition. Thankfully people have actually measured the lenght of the glacier, so we con't have to guess:

As the Arctic region warms, Greenland’s glaciers have been thinning and calving icebergs farther and farther inland. This means that even though the glacier is flowing toward the coast and carrying more ice into the ocean, its calving front is actually retreating. In 2012 and 2013, Jakobshavn’s front retreated around 0.6 miles (1 km) each year compared to its position the previous summer.

Sometimes it pays to read TFA!

Re:More snow = more pressure = faster calving! (2)

Barsteward (969998) | about 9 months ago | (#46160769)

"Sometimes it pays to read TFA!"

don't hold your breath on deniers/religionists reading and believing facts/evidence

Re:More snow = more pressure = faster calving! (1)

floobedy (3470583) | about 9 months ago | (#46162023)

Its amazing watching people with no scientific ability trying to sound scientific.

He's doing a much better job than you are. Your posts are beneath even the very low standards which prevail on slashdot.

Speaking of "no scientific ability":

Its amazing watching people with no scientific ability trying to sound scientific.

Did you actually read and understand the thread? He was responding to the claim that glaciers were calving more quickly because they were growing thicker inland. His citations were relevant to that.

but then that sounds somehow less scary doesn't it?

It's not all just an attempt to scare you.

Re:More snow = more pressure = faster calving! (1)

hey! (33014) | about 9 months ago | (#46162405)

Its amazing watching people with no scientific ability trying to sound scientific. The glacier is thinning because its surging.

Isn't it, though?

Re:More snow = more pressure = faster calving! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46162501)

Modded "Troll", as author is denying the existence of the glacier's retreat (it is getting shorter, not getting longer.) Author is also insulting all persons who demonstrate they have read, and absorbed, more about the topic than author has done. At root, author is irrelevant and putting him on the "foe" list so that none of his future posts would be seen would remove some of the noise from the slashdot experience.

Re:More snow = more pressure = faster calving! (1)

LynnwoodRooster (966895) | about 9 months ago | (#46159673)

What is the global temperature increase since, say, 1995? What data set do you use to come up with any recorded increase?

Re:More snow = more pressure = faster calving! (5, Informative)

hey! (33014) | about 9 months ago | (#46159897)

You realize 1995 set a record for hottest year ever on record? So you've cherry picked a particularly hot year as your baseline (or somebody dishonest picked it for you). That's Ok, because that record has been exceeded ten times since then, starting with 1998 which was *also* the hottest year on record.

1995 was 0.4C hotter than the 20thC average. 2005 was 0.6C hotter than the baseline, and 2010 was just a smidgen hotter than 2005. So you could answer 0.2C to your question. But it's a lousy question, not just because it starts from a cherry-picked baseline, but because there's so much variation between years.

A better question is "How much hotter were the 00's hotter than the 90's?" The 1990s where 0.313 C hotter than the 1950-1980 baseline. The 00s were 0.513 C hotter than the baseline. So again the answer to the question is 0.2C.

Each of the past three decades set a record for the hottest on record.

Re:More snow = more pressure = faster calving! (2)

LynnwoodRooster (966895) | about 9 months ago | (#46161225)

OK, I cherry picked the data. Why do you use the 1950-1980 baseline, why not something earlier and longer for the baseline? Oh - and you never answered where you get your data from...

Re:More snow = more pressure = faster calving! (1)

dbIII (701233) | about 9 months ago | (#46162305)

Oh - and you never answered where you get your data from...

From those nasty scientists with thermometers filled with that dangerous mercury! Not from cherry picked bits of the Bible with all the inconvenient bits about bacon and caring for the poor taken out.
This unchanging Earth shit taken from dumbing down Genesis, conveniently ignoring the bit where we are supposed to look after the place, should not be used to try to show that reality is invalid.

Re:More snow = more pressure = faster calving! (2)

hey! (33014) | about 9 months ago | (#46162349)

It doesn't matter what baseline you use for X and Y if you want to answer "how much greater is X than Y?" When I calculate "X - Y", the choice of baseline cancels out. It doesn't matter if I do the calculation in celsius or kelvin; or if I choose 1900-1999 as a baseline or 1950-1980. The answer to the question "how much hotter was 2005 than 1995?" is still going to be 0.2C.

As for the choice of 1995 as a baseline, it was *your* idea to use a year that set a record for high temperature and ask, "has it got warmer since then?" and surprisingly, the answer turns out to be "yes". That's very different than taking ten or more years as your baseline, which cancels out the effect of unusually hot or unusually cool years impartially.

As for the source of my data, here you go [nasa.gov] .

+0.17C, since you asked. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46161439)

But I think you meant to ask from 1998, which was an outlier year that, in 1998 and 1999 was touted by deniers and lukewarmer do-nothings as "an anomoly not to be taken as proof of AGW". Of course, 15 years later, it's no longer an outiler to those same people.

Which is why "Skeptic" doesn't apply to them.

Re:More snow = more pressure = faster calving! (1)

LynnwoodRooster (966895) | about 9 months ago | (#46159665)

Yes, snowfall does make a difference. It compresses to ice, and Greenland's ice sheet has been thickening since the early 1990s [esa.int] . Now 6 cm/yr may not sound like a lot of additional thickness, but since 1993 that's at least 1.2 meters additional thickness (records prior to 1993 aren't that accurate - the satellites don't exist). It may be even more than that over the preceding decades as well. Given that ice weighs around 920 kg/m^3, and there are ~1.7 million km of Greenland ice sheet, the gains since 1993 easily add up to literally trillions of metric tons of additional weight. Weight that will compress the entire ice sheet even a bit more, raising the temperature ever so slightly at the base of the glacier, and thereby melting fractionally more ice - creating more lubrication for the glacier to move.

Re:More snow = more pressure = faster calving! (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about 9 months ago | (#46159711)

"Now 6 cm/yr may not sound like a lot of additional thickness, but since 1993 that's at least 1.2 meters additional thickness"

6cm a year sounds like a hell of a lot to me. If your backyard gained 6cm more of new ice every year, you would not think it was trivial. And if you had to haul it all away, a piece at a time, you'd damned well know that much weight isn't trivial.

Re:More snow = more pressure = faster calving! (3, Informative)

hey! (33014) | about 9 months ago | (#46159817)

What you're talking about is 1.2 meters of new ice on top of *two kilometers* of primordial ice. If we scaled the ice sheet to 2 meters tall, the extra accumulation would be roughly the thickness of a piece of paper.

In any case, you're confusing the vast, 400,000 year-old interior ice sheet with a coastal glacier. It makes no difference that the interior ice sheet has thickened very slightly because measurements of the *glacier in question* show that *it* is thinning.

Re: More snow = more pressure = faster calving! (1)

AvitarX (172628) | about 9 months ago | (#46161735)

unless I'm messing up orders of magnitude, it'd me 1.2mm, not thick, but a lot more than a sheet of paper.

Re:More snow = more pressure = faster calving! (1)

riverat1 (1048260) | about 9 months ago | (#46160283)

The center of Greenland's ice sheet may be thickening but over all Greenland is losing ice mass at a rate of over 260 Gt per year since 2002 as measured by the GRACE satellites. See the Total Ice Mass section of this report [noaa.gov] for details.

Re:More snow = more pressure = faster calving! (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 9 months ago | (#46162523)

NO it hasn't. Geez, 1 article form 2005, and it doesn't measure mass; which has been declining.
I will admit, that was one of the better attempts at cherry picking.
It's been loosing more mass then gaining:
http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessm... [www.ipcc.ch]

really, what is your problem? The science is sound. I wonder, do you know the science? i mean, you seem to cherry pick the predictions of the science, but do you know even the basics of the science?

Re:More snow = more pressure = faster calving! (3, Insightful)

jovius (974690) | about 9 months ago | (#46159605)

Snowfall needs moist air. Warmer air holds more moisture. Increased snowfall is well in the scope of what's been thought to happen. There really doesn't need to be any alarmist campaign; simple scientific observation of the amplified greenhouse effect is enough.

Re:More snow = more pressure = faster calving! (0)

DiamondGeezer (872237) | about 9 months ago | (#46160411)

"simple scientific observation of the amplified greenhouse effect is enough"

Of course, that amplified greenhouse effect appears to be missing everywhere that we can actually measure.

Re:More snow = more pressure = faster calving! (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 9 months ago | (#46162549)

No it isn't. why the hell would you say that? This article talks about it

the amplified green house effect is EVERYWHERE we look.

Re:More snow = more pressure = faster calving! (3, Informative)

riverat1 (1048260) | about 9 months ago | (#46159649)

I did a little searching and found a paper from 2011 [pdf] [science.uu.nl] that addresses Jakobshavn specifically. It has this to say:

3.3. Jakobshavn Isbroe

Jakobshavn Isbroe was losing 8 Gt a1 of mass per year in 2000 (Figure 2). This rate increased over the following years to near 25 Gt a1 by the end of 2002. The loss rate then stabilized and declined back under 20 Gt a1 until 2006, when it increased to 33 Gt a1, reaching 34 Gt a1 by the end of 2007. Subsequently, the annual loss rate has fluctuated between 25 and 33 Gt a1. In total the glacier lost 321 ± 12 Gt by the end of 2010, equivalent to a basin!wide thinning of 3.5 m, with 2/3 of this loss occurring since June of 2005 (Figure 3). The 85 km2 of retreat accounts for nearly 20% of this loss. The rate of discharge is now such that the glacier is losing mass nearly throughout the year. As previously reported [Joughin et al., 2008a, 2008c; Luckman and Murray, 2005], annual oscillations in speed of ±20%, with a peak in June/July, correlated with seasonal retreat and advance of the ice front, become increasingly pronounced at the location of the fluxgate after 2005 (Figure S7). Seasonal oscillations in speed, SMB and front position cause annual fluctuations in mass of up to 50 Gt.

Of the other two glaciers reported on in the paper Helheim gained 17 +/- 13 Gt and Kangerdlugssuaq lost 152 +/- 10 Gt compared to Jakobshavn's 321 +/- 12 Gt in the 11 year period studied. Those are the three largest outlet glaciers in Greenland.

More generally the ice mass loss on Greenland [noaa.gov] has been well documented by the GRACE satellites. See the Total Ice Mass section of the Arctic Report Card: Update for 2013 [noaa.gov] for details.

Re:More snow = more pressure = faster calving! (2, Insightful)

KeensMustard (655606) | about 9 months ago | (#46159663)

Greenland has experienced (like Antarctica) some very heavy snowfalls in the past few years, which increases the thickness of the glaciers. Glacial flow is fairly well understood, as the glacier gets thicker it causes faster movement.

An observant person might note that the fact that is now snowing in places where it was previously too cold to snow is actually an indication of change, not an argument against it.

The calving of large glaciers is often touted by [scientists] as proof of their claims, but this phenomenon does not actually support the [scientists] position at all.

You are mistaken. Climatologists don't claim that glacial calving is proof of AGW - this proof lies in the observations and theories of Tyndall, Fourier, Arrhenius et al.

I'm not sure what it is about Climatology that makes people think that ignorance can substitute for knowledge. Does this muddled thinking work, say, when you go to the bank "I'm skeptical of alarmist bankers claims that my account is overdrawn"?

Re:More snow = more pressure = faster calving! (0)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about 9 months ago | (#46159759)

"this proof lies in the observations and theories of Tyndall, Fourier, Arrhenius et al. "

The experiments Fourier wrote about (actually performed by de Saussure), were examples of the "real" greenhouse effect; that is, they involved what amounted to a real greenhouse (an enclosed space which did not allow heat to escape via convection). But Fourier's speculations were about a DIFFERENT effect, in which layers of air trapped radiation.

We now know that the "greenhouse effect" popularized by greenhouse gas warming theories does NOT work by the same principle as a real greenhouse, or the experiments that Fourier knew about. He imagined a warming via trapped radiation, but the actual warming in the experiments was the same effect as in a real greenhouse (which does not involve trapped radiation).

So Fourier's "atmospheric greenhouse effect" was purely speculative, and could not in fact have worked by the same mechanism as the experiments which gave him the idea. He actually had no "evidence" of an atmospheric greenhouse effect at all. He literally dreamed it up out of thin air.

That is not to say that he didn't come up with the idea of greenhouse gases. It's just that the idea, as applied to the experiments which GAVE him the idea, was wrong.

Re:More snow = more pressure = faster calving! (3, Insightful)

riverat1 (1048260) | about 9 months ago | (#46160319)

Fourier's discovery that the Earth was warmer than it should be given its size and distance from the Sun was a major step forward in geoscience.. That he may not have had the mechanism right in no way detracts from the importance of that insight.

Re:More snow = more pressure = faster calving! (1)

DiamondGeezer (872237) | about 9 months ago | (#46160377)

Ah yes, the right answer using the wrong method. Is there anything more delusional than that?

Re:More snow = more pressure = faster calving! (1)

floobedy (3470583) | about 9 months ago | (#46162105)

Ah yes, the right answer using the wrong method.

Nope. You didn't get it. The poster was claiming that Fourier was right about the temperature of the Earth being different from what was expected. Fourier's calculations about that, were correct. Then Fourier generated a hypothesis about the cause of the increased temperature, which was wrong. At no time did he "get the right answer using the wrong method".

Is there anything more delusional than that?

Forming a hypothesis about an observed event is obviously not the same thing as being "delusional".

Do you know who Fourier was? Do you really think he was just "delusional"?

Re:More snow = more pressure = faster calving! (1)

dbIII (701233) | about 9 months ago | (#46162337)

Ah yes, the right answer using the wrong method. Is there anything more delusional than that?

In that case take that up with Newton and gravity too.

WTF is it with these luddites?

Re:More snow = more pressure = faster calving! (1)

KeensMustard (655606) | about 9 months ago | (#46160647)

Hopefully you didn't suppose that I meant that the greenhouse gas theory was somehow fully formed in the 1820s - because if so your supposition was wrong.

He proposed the theoretical foundation, Tyndall demonstrated the mechanism by his work with radiative absorption - Arrhenius quantified it.

If the aim of the conspiracy theorists is to disprove AGW they need to disprove the work of these giants.

Re:More snow = more pressure = faster calving! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46162673)

I'm not sure what it is about Climatology that makes people think that ignorance can substitute for knowledge. Does this muddled thinking work, say, when you go to the bank "I'm skeptical of alarmist bankers claims that my account is overdrawn"?

"But my account can't be overdrawn! I still have checks!"

Most persons who argue against the evidence of global warning are choosing to look at methods of measurement that have no more relevance than the number of unused checks is relevant to the checking account balance. "But I Still Have Checks" [BISHC] could be a useful meme.

Re:More snow = more pressure = faster calving! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46162283)

Modded down, "overrated". Citation needed.

Incorrect (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 9 months ago | (#46162399)

In the case of basal sliding, the entire glacier slides over its bed. This type of motion is enhanced if the bed is soft sediment, if the glacier bed is thawed and if meltwater is prevalent.

It's the FASTER melting that causing the increase of speed.
You do understand this is about increased melting, right?

Change of Expression? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46158907)

Does this mean that in a few years they will have to re-define the term "at glacial pace"? :)

Re: Change of Expression? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46159003)

Thankfully a snail's pace is safe, though replacing the size aspect may be a little harder.

Re: Change of Expression? (1)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about 9 months ago | (#46159619)

This glacier is moving at 0.00053m/s
Snails go between 0.013 and 0.000023m/s, so it's somewhere in between but on the slow side.
I doubt any snail could travel 46m in 24 hours though.

What will it cost? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46158947)

How much do I have to pay in taxes to make it stop?

Re: What will it cost? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46158985)

I'm pretty sure paying more taxes won't do a thing. Realistic appraisals and cooperation by world governments however...

Sheesh, the ostriches are quick on this one.

Re:What will it cost? (2)

hey! (33014) | about 9 months ago | (#46159243)

Wrong question. The question is how far sea level is going to rise over your lifetime due to a multitude of causes. Then when you know that, the question is how much you will have to pay (in taxes, prices, and risk) to deal with the consequences.

Re:What will it cost? (1)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about 9 months ago | (#46159627)

The more the sea level rises, the closer my house gets to beachfront property.

Re:What will it cost? (1)

Barsteward (969998) | about 9 months ago | (#46160787)

as long as your house is water tight you should be okay when the sea has eroded all the soil around it and it can turn your house into a houseboat and you can travel the world.. :o)

Re:What will it cost? (1)

tompaulco (629533) | about 9 months ago | (#46162603)

My house is about 1,000 feet above sea level, and if all the ice in the world melted, it is estimated that the sea level would rise by 216 feet. So I would still be well out of danger. Ironically, only a few hundred million years ago, my house would have been at the bottom of a shallow sea. Apparently there used to be more water than there is now.

Re:What will it cost? (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about 9 months ago | (#46159679)

"Wrong question. The question is how far sea level is going to rise over your lifetime due to a multitude of causes.

According to the IPCC, perhaps as much as a meter over the next hundred years.

Then when you know that, the question is how much you will have to pay (in taxes, prices, and risk) to deal with the consequences."

Well, if that seems fast to you, you can always packing now.

As for taxes, it better not cost me very damned much, because I wasn't one of those people who decided to build (or live in) a big city at sea level. Nobody twisted their arms and made them live there. Let them pay to relocate.

In the case of New Orleans, the corrupt politicians and Army officials (Corp of Engineers) who took everybody's money instead of keeping the dikes in shape should be the ones paying the cost, not the taxpayers.

On the other hand, personally I think continuing to build a big city on the coast, below sea level, for 100 years or more with inadequate dikes should really be the top candidate for The Darwin Award of the Century.

Re:What will it cost? (1)

Spy Handler (822350) | about 9 months ago | (#46159921)

Actually I feel the same way about San Francisco. Once every century or so they enjoy a magnitude 9 earthquake. Obviously not the best place to build a densely populated city. Yet after the last magnitude 9 quake, the city leaders and rich elites deliberately downplayed the damage and death toll because they wanted people to come back to the city. They were protecting their wealth, which were tied to the S.F. real estate values.

Re:What will it cost? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46159953)

what about the other 70m that the sea is going to rise because of the melting of the ice ?

Re:What will it cost? (1)

tompaulco (629533) | about 9 months ago | (#46162675)

what about the other 70m that the sea is going to rise because of the melting of the ice ?

The scientific consensus seems to be that it will take us 5,000 years to melt it all, so I am guessing that people will move out little by little.

Re:What will it cost? (3, Insightful)

hey! (33014) | about 9 months ago | (#46160061)

It's not so simple as "10 cm/decade doesn't seem like much".

Imagine storm surges laid out on a bell curve, with height above mean high tide as the X axis. When you chose how close to build to the waterline, and the protections you put in, you probably wouldn't draw the line where you'd get one flood every thousand years. You might decide you can live with one flood every ten years. But shift the mean high tide by 20 cm over two decades, and that once a decade flood might happen eight or ten times a decade.

There's often a sharp line between a near miss and a disaster. A one foot rise over thirty years (roughly correponds to 1m/century) means that a seawall or levee that would have held back the flood get overtopped. A one foot rise means a place that never got flooded before could be in harms way. Some of the levees that failed in Katrina were overtopped by only a matter of inches. Others were overtopped by ten feet, but that's a different issue.

And in a lot of the world, the floodplain isn't chosen because it's a nice place to live. Bengladeshi subsistence farmers don't locate in low areas because of the beaches, but because that's the only land they can afford. These are people with very low levels of material consumption. They don't get much of the share of benefit from the carbon added to the atmosphere, but they bear a disproportionate share of the costs.

Re:What will it cost? (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about 9 months ago | (#46160165)

"A one foot rise over thirty years (roughly correponds to 1m/century) means that a seawall or levee that would have held back the flood get overtopped."

Sure. But it also means that you have 100 years to make your levee higher, or to move farther up the hill. We aren't talking about sudden changes here.

Re:What will it cost? (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about 9 months ago | (#46160195)

Correction: 100 years for a meter, of course. You have less time for smaller rises, but then smaller rises are also relatively less of a problem.

Where I live, any construction in a 100-year flood zone has to meet special criteria, and even then might not be approved by the city or county.

Re:What will it cost? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46163055)

Author of parent post is not thinking it through.

A significant rise in sea level is going to massively increase the area of the sea to air interface as low lands flood. This will increase moisture in the troposphere, which will increase precipitation inland. Which will result in the loss of infrastructure from floods. That 100 year flood plain 500 feet above sea level becomes a 10 year flood plain; a lot of roads and rail lines will have to be abandoned.

One of the biggest unstated problems with the rise in sea level is that the water is not going to stay in the oceans. A lot of it is going into the atmosphere, where it will add to the greenhouse effect if it is vapor, and increase the albedo if it is cloud. As well as the flooding and erosion problems.

Re:What will it cost? (1)

adolf (21054) | about 9 months ago | (#46161009)

Speaking as someone who once lost his house due to frequent, relatively new, unexpected, and profound flooding*:

If a community is depending on a seawall or levee for survival against the ingress of water: It was known to be doomed for some time already -- otherwise, the seawall or levee would not have been constructed to begin with. (These things are expensive to build, even in WPA times.)

Time and time again, from Katrina to the Mississippi floods to Sandy to Fukashima, we see the dire effects of building in places that can (and will) flood.

Given our data and our advanced understanding of topography, we already know that they will flood. That we continue to build things and house people in these places is a fault of builders/realtors/bankers/investors/governance/ignorance, not of inadequate band-aids that are mere inches or feet from certain and sudden disaster..

And since we know this, it's cheaper to move the city before the flood, than to attempt to recover/remediate/relocate/mitigate after the flood.

(*: It hadn't flooded there in any meaningful way for 20 years. And it hadn't catastrophically flooded for 80 years before that. Safe bet? Sure seemed like it, but it wasn't. And it is it not a safe bet for anyone else depending on man-made geological improvements to keep them safe from water.)

Re:What will it cost? (1)

tompaulco (629533) | about 9 months ago | (#46162689)

And in a lot of the world, the floodplain isn't chosen because it's a nice place to live. Bengladeshi subsistence farmers don't locate in low areas because of the beaches, but because that's the only land they can afford.

Also, because flood plain land is the most fertile.

Re:What will it cost? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46162923)

Just going to tag along on parent post to point out that even a 10 cm rise in average sea level is going to have a profound affect inland.

That 10 cm rise is going to vastly increase the shallow evaporation basins that add significant moisture to the troposphere in coastal areas. That moisture travels inland and increases precipitation, which in turn increases stream flows.

Net result: a lot of infrastructure built near rivers is going to be hit by flood waters. In the USA and I am sure elsewhere, flood control dams have not been built with enough excess capacity to handle a long term upward shift in baseline stream levels. St Louis and other inland cities will be faced with many of the same problems that dog New Orleans.

Re:What will it cost? (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 9 months ago | (#46162749)

wrong. Maybe you should read the report?
Best case 220 mm, worse case 500mm

Where the hell are you getting 1 meter from?

Just so you know, event happening have been closer to worse case then best case, in general.

And do you really think it won't effect you much just becasue you don't live in a city below sea level(of which there will be any more in the next 85 years.

All those people will move, to where you are at. Infrastructure rices will increase faster then tax base growth.

That is why we, society, should be spending money now. Because it will be cheaper and spread out of a longer period.
Or we wait until it's critical and deal the the much., much more expensive situation.

You don't live on an island. You, one way or another, use port cities.

" for 100 years or more with inadequate dikes "
I agree. Sadly dykes aren't free.

Re:What will it cost? (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about 9 months ago | (#46163039)

"wrong. Maybe you should read the report? Best case 220 mm, worse case 500mm"

Depends on which report you mean. In the IPCC Assessment Reports (plural) the realistic-worst-case I have seen was about a meter. As I recall, in the latest report they toned that down some, but as I said, I was talking about the worst case that I remember they reported.

"Just so you know, event happening have been closer to worse case then best case, in general."

Depends on who you talk to. Of 117 AGW models studies, many of which were referenced when compiling the latest AR report, the MEAN difference between the models' projections and actual observations was over 100%. I would say that only 50%, on average, of the projected warming can hardly be called "closer to worst case".

"And do you really think it won't effect you much just becasue you don't live in a city below sea level("

That isn't what I said.

"All those people will move, to where you are at. Infrastructure rices will increase faster then tax base growth."

As I said: let them pay for the costs of relocating. It simply isn't my responsibility, in any legal, moral or ethical sense of the word.

"That is why we, society, should be spending money now."

To relocate people? You go ahead and spend all the money you want. I'll keep mine, thanks.

"Or we wait until it's critical and deal the the much., much more expensive situation."

Yep. If they wait until the last minute, it will cost them a lot more. I don't dispute that.

"You, one way or another, use port cities."

Yep. And one way or another, I pay for the part I use. But I don't have any reason to pay for the part I don't.

Re:What will it cost? (1)

DiamondGeezer (872237) | about 9 months ago | (#46160385)

The answer: sea levels have risen (on average) by a millimeter per year since the end of the Little Ice Age. Of course, during the Little Ice Age, sea levels FELL. Sometimes sea level rise appears to accelerate and sometimes decelerate to almost nothing.

Re:What will it cost? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46161079)

and it will rise with 70m (200ft) when all ice melts.

Good news! (1, Redundant)

tsprig (167046) | about 9 months ago | (#46159045)

If anyone thinks you're working at a glacial speed, you are now 4x as fast as you were in the 1990's. Now THAT is progress!

Kill all humans (2, Interesting)

musmax (1029830) | about 9 months ago | (#46159055)

You know I don't really care about the number of humans the impeding environmental crisis will kill off, the more the better, as long as its not me of course, and it will take at least 50 years, by which time I will be dragged to my grave by my fat ass. In all probability it will be some brown nobody that cooks his food over a dung fire in Asstonia, and who gives a fuck about that ? What concerns me more is the sterile wasteland the survivors will create. I mean its nice to "conserve" some splatter of greenery somewhere out of town siting in front of your TV in your underpants, drinking craft beer, but I'll wager not much will stop you bulldozing that shit down to feed your starving kids.

Re:Kill all humans (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46159317)

Wow. You posted that under your username? You have no shame do you?

Re: Kill all humans (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46159379)

Feel free to dispose of yourself, at any time.

Re:Kill all humans (1)

dyingtolive (1393037) | about 9 months ago | (#46159595)

Damn, that's bleak.

Confused (1)

Voyager529 (1363959) | about 9 months ago | (#46159077)

I'm still a bit confused on those speeds. Can someone convert them to coincide with the viscosity of tar pitch [slashdot.org] or the rate by which bills get passed through congress?

Re:Confused (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46159101)

It would've been far easier if they'd just said "1.25 inches per second", or "3cm per second" as a reasonable approximation that actually gives a real mental cue as to how fast the ice would be moving if you were standing there staring at it.

Re:Confused (1)

Travis Mansbridge (830557) | about 9 months ago | (#46159403)

Per minute*

Re:Confused (1)

riverat1 (1048260) | about 9 months ago | (#46159407)

150 feet per day is 1.25 inches per minute. That's still fast enough that you could see it in a minute or three with good reference points.

Re:Confused (1)

belthize (990217) | about 9 months ago | (#46159123)

Bit faster than the first, way faster than the second, for typical values of bit and way.

Re:Confused (1)

rossdee (243626) | about 9 months ago | (#46159367)

Viscosity is an inverse measure of speed

Bills passing congress is measured in Repeals of ObamaCare per session

Confused at any speed! (1)

khallow (566160) | about 9 months ago | (#46159445)

The Designed In Idiocy of the Slashdot Poster

For over a decade the Slashdot poster has brought ignorance, libel, and the most inestimable repetitive motion, face-palming injuries to have afflicted the general public. With Medea-like intensity, this mass trauma began rising sharply four years ago, reflecting new and unexpected ravages by the keyboards of tens of thousands of monkeys and/or basement dwellers. A 2009 Department of Commerce report projected that 51,000 persons would be rendered eternally speechless by Slashdot posting atrocities in 2025. That figure will probably be reached in 2015, a decade ahead of schedule.

Re:Confused at any speed! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46159497)

That's quite a .sig

Re:Confused at any speed! (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about 9 months ago | (#46159639)

"For over a decade the Slashdot poster has brought ignorance, libel, and the most inestimable repetitive motion, face-palming injuries to have afflicted the general public."

Must ... resist ... temptation... to... snark...

Ah. There. I did it. Hooray for me.

Re:Confused at any speed! (1)

dbIII (701233) | about 9 months ago | (#46162365)

Why are you here then? Do you get paid for your science denial or do you just like trolling people?

more than 10 miles (17 km) per year (1)

Dan Askme (2895283) | about 9 months ago | (#46160689)

Slow news day ./?

Re:more than 10 miles (17 km) per year (1)

Barsteward (969998) | about 9 months ago | (#46160801)

there's nothing wrong into trying to educate..

Re:more than 10 miles (17 km) per year (1)

Barsteward (969998) | about 9 months ago | (#46160821)

that "into" should be "in"

Speed 3: Glacier of Doom! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46161491)

"If this glacier goes slower than one miles a year, we're all dead!"

Wait....just....a.....minute... (1)

PortHaven (242123) | about 9 months ago | (#46162851)

The glacier is moving a record speeds. This is due to massive accumulation of ice putting pressure on the glacier. Ice....wait.....

I thought ice was only growing in the Antarctic region, NOT the Arctic. But now you tell me it is increasing there too.

(And darn, if it ain't increasing on my home as well.)

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