Category Archives: Greenland

Greenland Ice Loss Has Contributed A Negligble 1.5cm To Sea Level Since 1900

 This is a reblog of a posting on No Tricks Zone.
 The topic is how the warmers and their cohorts in the media exaggerate the effect of melting glaciers  are having on sea level rise.  This posting is one more confirmation that the US media do not understand the metric numbers.

Since 1993, Greenland’s Ice Sheet Melt Has Added Just 0.39 Of A Centimeter To Global Sea Levels

Exposing ‘Staggering’ Ice Sheet Melt Deceptions

In recent months, two new papers published in The Cryosphere have provided a condensed summary of the ice-melt and sea-level-rise consequences of global warming for the Arctic region.

1.  Between 1900 and 2010, the Greenland Ice Sheet (GIS) has melted so extensively and so rapidly that the GIS ice-melt contribution to global sea level rise has amounted to 1.5 centimeters for the entire 110-year period.   One-and-a-half centimeters.  That’s 0.59 of an inch!

2. It gets worse.  Between 1993 and 2010, the contribution to global sea level rise has been a disturbing 0.39 of a centimeter.  Almost 4/10ths of a centimeter.  That’s 0.15 of an inch!

Leeson et al, 2017

Melt water from the Greenland ice sheet contributed 1.7–6.12 mm [median 3.9 mm, or 0.39 of a centimeter] to global sea level between 1993 and 2010

Fettweis et al ., 2017

SMB [surface mass balance, Greenland Ice Sheet] during the 1920–1930 warm period over Greenland was comparable to the SMB of the 2000s, due to both higher melt and lower precipitation than normal.”

“Finally, with respect to the 1961–1990 period, the integrated contribution of the GrIS SMB [Greenland Ice Sheet Surface Mass Balance] anomalies over 1900–2010 is a sea level rise of about 15 ± 5 mm [1.5 centimeters], with a null contribution from the 1940s to the 2000s

Breakdown: 1900-2010 GIS Sea Level Rise Contribution

1920s-1930s: GIS contribution to sea level rise: 1.1 cm

1993-2010: GIS contribution to sea level rise: 0.39 cm

1940s-2000s: a null contribution” [to sea level rise]

Washington Post Peddles Alarmism With Deceptive ‘Trillion Tons’ Of Lost Ice Pronouncements

It’s scary to learn that the Greenland Ice Sheet has lost a “staggering” 9 trillion tons of ice since 1900.

It’s not scary to learn that 9 trillion tons of ice losses actually amounts to less than 1 inch (0.6 of an inch, or 1.5 centimeters) of sea level rise contribution from Greenland meltwater since 1900.

So what does a world-renown news organization like the Washington Post do with this contextually-weighted scientific information?   Of course, like most other media organizations in the modern era,  the Post attempts to frighten the public with disturbing trillions of tons of lost ice exclamations without emphasizing the modest and nearly imperceptible sea level impact such “staggering” ice losses produce.

In December, 2015, the Post‘s Chris Mooney summarized “Greenland’s massive, centennial contribution to sea level rise”.

Washington Post  (December, 2015)

It is apparent from reading the article that Mooney is either (a) unaware that less than 1 inch of long-term sea level impact is not “massive”, and therefore using that descriptor in conjunction with  trillions-of-tons of ice loss can be misleading, or (b) he is aware that less than 1 inch of sea level impact in 110 years is not especially alarming, so he buries this inconvenient detail in the body of the article and instead he focuses on employing terms like “staggering” and “massive” and “trillions” and “disturbing” and “alarming” in an effort to conceal.

It would appear that (b) is more likely.

Notice above how Mooney cursorily acknowledges that 1 inch of global-scale sea level rise from 9 trillion tons of melted GIS ice “may not sound like much”.  But then, to recover, he misleadingly pivots to hypothetical scenarios, equating what one inch of sea level rise would do if this water equivalent from across the world ocean was only dumped on the United States’ interstate highway system.  (How does fantasy writing like this make it into a serious science article?)

And then, to pile on another thought experiment, Mooney adds the obligatory “if the entire ice sheet were to melt” conjuring so he can mention that “20 feet of sea level rise” is what’s at stake here.

One inch in 110 years isn’t enough to garner attention, but 98 feet (times 63) of submerged U.S. roads and global coastal areas is quite the scary scenario.

The Washington Post employed this same misleading and diversionary strategy about 8 months later, again relying on the “9 trillion tons of ice” lost study to scare readers.

Washington Post (July, 2016)

If Misleading Readers Wasn’t Allowed, What Would The ‘Honest’ Headlines Look Like?

If news organizations weren’t allowed to mislead readers about climate science, what would the headlines say?

With regard to the long-term (and recent) ice melt records for the Greenland Ice Sheet, a non-deceptive, non-misleading headline might look something like this.

Please check in to this posting on NoTricksZone by clicking here.

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Ice Cores and Global Climate Part 3–CO2 Follows Temperature

The previous posting showed that the temperatures in the past have exceeded the current temperature rise giving lie to the assertion that the year 2015 was the hottest year ever.

A cursory examination indicates that the warmers do not dispute the temperature records derived from the ice cores. But looking at the relationship of carbon dioxide (CO2) and temperature rise and fall as indicated by the ice core record, some warmers do not agree with the idea that CO2 follows temperature rise and fall rather than leads. First a look at graphical representations of the ice core data:


To understand this chart, remember, time flow to the right from the past to the present. When examining the blue, temperature, and the red, CO2, the line to the right is later. For example, look at the blue and the red line beginning about 140,000 years ago. The red line is very close to the blue line but it is to the right of the blue line meaning that it is lagging the rise in temperature shown by the blue line.  The difference is more apparent if you click on the chart to enlarge it.   Note that the thickness of a line on this chart may be the equivalent of 1,000years. The creators of this chart meant to show the CO2 lagging the temperature because that is what their data told them.

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Ice Cores and Global Climate Part 2. Are Current Temperatures Highest Ever?

As discussed in the previous posting, examination of ice cores can provide high quality data about the Earth’s climate from thousands of years in the past.    Antarctica’s ice cores cannot be surpassed for the longest age records. Let us look once again at the Vostok ice core drilling. (Click on all the charts to enlarge.)


This illustration reverses the direction of time flow from that of the previous posting’s chart. It does expand the data from about 120,000 years ago to the present.

The chart blue line is the ice core temperature data referenced to the global temperature. The flat red line is the average of global annual temperature means for the period 1998 to 2008. This provides a reference with which to compare the past temperatures. And lastly, the green is the annual mean temperature for 2008.   Several things are obvious. First, recent temperatures are not as warm as previous temperatures at their peak. Second, the globe began to exit the last glacial period about 15,000 years ago, and the temperature increased fairly rapidly (of course rapidly on this chart may be several thousand of years). It is not possible to attribute this rise nor really any other rise shown on this chart to something that man has done.   The current period has been relatively stable.

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Media Buried These Stories On “Global Warming”

The Investors Business Daily posted “Three More Global Warming Stories Media Don’t Want You To See”. The stories are about the so-called consensus, the loss of Greenland ice and climate model performance.

The Scientific Consensus on the theory of man-made global warming.

First is a peer-reviewed paper showing that only 36% of 1,077 geoscientists and engineers surveyed believe in the man-made global warming crisis as defined by the United Nations’ Kyoto model.

According to the paper, the Kyoto position expresses “the strong belief that climate change is happening, that it is not a normal cycle of nature, and humans are the main or central cause.”

Thirty-six percent is not insignificant. But it certainly is a long way from the oft-cited 97% “consensus” among scientists that man is causing temperatures to change.

Researchers behind “Science or Science Fiction? Professionals’ Discursive Construction of Climate Change,” which appeared in Organization Studies, also found “the proportion of papers” collected from a science database “that explicitly endorsed anthropogenic climate change has fallen from 75%” between 1993 and 2003 “to 45% from 2004 to 2008.”

The Heartland Institute’s James Taylor reminds us in Forbes that “survey results show geoscientists (also known as earth scientists) and engineers hold similar views as meteorologists. Two recent surveys of meteorologists revealed similar skepticism of alarmist global warming claims.”

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“The Most Comprehensive Assault On ‘Global Warming’ Ever”.

Mike Van Biezen is a physicist and former believer in catastrophic man-made global warming. His epiphany occurred about 7 years ago, he says, when he realized that between 1940 and 1980, global temperatures had actually declined mallorcatempsscreen_shot_2015-12-23_at_9.47.41_ama bit all the while CO2 was accumulating in the atmosphere at a high rate. Since then, his research into the theory of global warming has converted him to skepticism. Van Biezen says there are many scientific problems with the assumption that human activity is causing “global warming” or “climate change”. He has picked 10 of the many scientific problems and listed them in his posting on the titled “The Most Comprehensive Assault On ‘Global Warming’ Ever”.

I will use his heading for each of the ten problems and pick out parts of his explanation of the nature of that specific problem. Of course you will get much more out of this if you use the link to his posting and read all of his explanation.

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COP21: Dreams From My (Father?) Climate Computer Models

Data dominates the skeptic’s view of the state of the globe’s temperature and where that temperature may be heading. The climate computer models dominate the warmers view. Temperature is at the heart of the global warming issue in that just about every other indicator is a function of the temperature. For example, sea level change is the product of melting ice at the South Pole and Greenland along with the lesser masses of ice in the high elevations of the mountain ranges. Rainfall, and its shadow drought are said to be forced by changes in the temperature. Higher ocean temperatures, we are assured, breed the hurricanes and typhoons. So this posting will focus on global temperatures.

First it would be well to try to understand the past. Ice core analyses from the Antarctica were used to reconstruct global temperatures for the last 420,000 years. Figure 2 below, from illustrates the temperature for that period of time:

VostokTemp0-420000 BP-2

Fig.2. Reconstructed global temperature over the past 420,000 years based on the Vostok ice core from the Antarctica (Petit et al. 2001). The record spans over four glacial periods and five interglacials, including the present. The horizontal line indicates the modern temperature.

From comes the following discussion: “The present interglacial period (the Holocene) is seen to the right (red square). The preceding four interglacials are seen at about 125,000, 280,000, 325,000 and 415,000 years before now, with the longer glacial periods in between. All four previous interglacials are seen to be warmer (1-3°C) than the present. The typical length of a glacial period is about 100,000 years, while an interglacial period typical lasts for about 10-15,000 years. The present interglacial period has now lasted about 11,600 years.

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Study Forecasts Sea Level Rise That Is 10X Actual Rise In Last Century

A recent study “Rapid Accumulation of Committed Sea-level Rise from Global Warming” asserts that some 1700 US cities and towns will be below sea level by 2100. The study was authored by Benjamin H Strauss for the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.  The study is behind a paywall.  Dr Don J Easterbrook has reviewed the claim and he has spelled out his thinking in a Climate Depot posting. (Those views will constitute the body of this posting.)  Easterbrook says:

The accelerated rise is based on postulated accelerated warming but there has been no warming in the past 15 years and, in fact, the climate has cooled during that time. So no climatic warming means no accelerated sea level rise as postulated by Strauss…the huge rise of sea level rates proposed by Strauss are absurd and that the maximum sea level rise by 2100 will be less than one foot.”

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Climate Cycles-Part 1 Glacial Periods

Climate cycles are continuously happening on Earth since its beginning estimated to be some 4.5 billion years ago. Detailing the earliest climate cycles can only be done by painting with the broadest of brushes.  In more recent times, proxies, such as ice cores and oxygen isotope measurements are available for use in reconstructing these cycles. The globe has experienced glaciers in relatively recent times and in the not too distant future will surely experience glaciers again. The profound changes that take place resulting in glacial periods are of great interest.


Greenland Glacier–NOAA

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Greenland’s Icesheet Melts In 12,000 Years

The lead from a posting by Chris Mooney is “Humans Have Already Set in Motion 69 Feet of Sea Level Rise”.  See Mother Jones, 30 January 2013.  Mooney uses information provided by Ohio State University glaciologist Jason Box that claims that Greenland’s glaciers are melting at an alarming rate. The chart from that posting is shown below: (click on charts to improve clarity)
Chart from Mother Jones
You can read the figures telling that during the period 2000 through 2012 the rate of melt was 131.5 km²/year. Box says this is due to the increase of both CO2 and CH4 accumulation in the atmosphere.  Looking at the slope of the chart, one’s initial reaction is WOW, this must be serious.
However, Willis Eschenbach responses to the Mooney posting with “Chris Mooney’s Chartsmanship in the Service of Alarmism” on the WUWT website.  Eschenbach first determines the amount of Greenland ice:
“As usual, there are various estimates. The Physics Hypertextbook is great for this kind of thing because it gives a variety of estimates from various authors. They range from a low end of 1.7 million square kilometres to a high of 2.2 million square km. I’ll take an average of 1.9 million square km.”  
Then Eschenbach says:
“By the year 2100, if it continues losing ice at the rate Jason Box claims above, -131.5 km2 per year, the total ice area of Greenland will have gone from 1.90 million square km all the way down to … well, to two decimals of accuracy, by the year 2100 the ice will be down to 1.90 million square kilometres …”  
He adds that:
Assuming all that were true, at the current rate of -131.5 km2 of ice loss per year, Greenland will be ice-free fairly soon, in only … well … 1,900,000 km2 ice area / 131.5 km2 per year annual loss ≈ 14,500 years from now … “  
Eschenbach’s chart, below, shows how that would look on a real chart that is not trying give people the wrong impression:
Chart from WUWT
I looked at it from a slightly different direction using the figures from Wikipedia.  Wiki says that the total volume of ice on Greenland is 683,751 miles³. Further they say that the melt rate in 2006 was 57  miles³/year and that the improved and reprocessed data between 2003 and 2008 was about 47  miles³/year.   Using the 57  miles³/year to be conservative would result in an ice free Greenland in 683,751 ÷ 57 = 11,996 years. Not the same as Eschenbach’s number but of no practical difference.  Do I think I know when Greenland’s ice sheet will melt if ever?  No, but neither do the “experts” that try to fool you into believing it will be in the near future.
Wiki also adds that if all of the Greenland ice were to melt it would raise the sea level 23.6 feet.   The 69 feet of Mooney’s posting requires both the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets to completely melt.
So what do we make of this? If Mooney went so far as to calculate the amount of sea level rise due to total melting of the Antarctic he must have realized how long this would take at the current melt rates.  As an alarmist, he probably wants you to believe that the melt rate will escalate exponentially but I would guess he doesn’t have data to support that. So it is just more alarmist stuff that we have become (unfortunately) used to seeing.
I reviewed the Mother Jones article. I also looked at the comments.  At one point, a commenter reports Eschenbach’s posting.  Then the comments turned to bashing Eschenbach,  one calling him garbage.  Not once did anyone offer to refute Eschenbach numbers.  Eschenbach’s may not have a conferred degree in science or engineering but his mental abilities are noteworthy.  If you were going to the moon, and had only the choices of Eschenbach, or those leading alarmist lights Al Gore and/or Bill McKibben to do the math that would chart your way,  who would you pick?