Thursday, July 26, 2012

"Unprecedented Greenland ice sheet melt" happens once every 150 years

You can't make this stuff up.

NASA, an agency as incompetent (and corrupt) in climate science as it has been skillful and professional in space flight, recently issued this hysterical release:

Satellites See Unprecedented Greenland Ice Sheet Surface Melt

For several days this month, Greenland's surface ice cover melted over a larger area than at any time in more than 30 years of satellite observations. Nearly the entire ice cover of Greenland, from its thin, low-lying coastal edges to its two-mile-thick center, experienced some degree of melting at its surface, according to measurements from three independent satellites analyzed by NASA and university scientists. 
On average in the summer, about half of the surface of Greenland's ice sheet naturally melts. At high elevations, most of that melt water quickly refreezes in place. Near the coast, some of the melt water is retained by the ice sheet and the rest is lost to the ocean. But this year the extent of ice melting at or near the surface jumped dramatically. According to satellite data, an estimated 97 percent of the ice sheet surface thawed at some point in mid-July. 
Researchers have not yet determined whether this extensive melt event will affect the overall volume of ice loss this summer and contribute to sea level rise. 
"The Greenland ice sheet is a vast area with a varied history of change. This event, combined with other natural but uncommon phenomena, such as the large calving event last week on Petermann Glacier, are part of a complex story," said Tom Wagner, NASA's cryosphere program manager in Washington. "Satellite observations are helping us understand how events like these may relate to one another as well as to the broader climate system." 
Son Nghiem of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., was analyzing radar data from the Indian Space Research Organisation's (ISRO) Oceansat-2 satellite last week when he noticed that most of Greenland appeared to have undergone surface melting on July 12. Nghiem said, "This was so extraordinary that at first I questioned the result: was this real or was it due to a data error?"

Sounds pretty terrible. Must be another manifestation of the Global Warming Climate Change Climate Instability Apocalypse.

Run for your lives!

Oh... wait...

Here's the penultimate paragraph of the article:

"Ice cores from Summit show that melting events of this type occur about once every 150 years on average. With the last one happening in 1889, this event is right on time," says Lora Koenig, a Goddard glaciologist and a member of the research team analyzing the satellite data. "But if we continue to observe melting events like this in upcoming years, it will be worrisome."

Oh. So this "unprecedented" Greenland ice melt happens every 150 years or so. NASA scientists are so smart they've redefined "unprecedented" to mean "routine". The last melt happened in 1889. That's 123 years ago. So if the melt didn't happen in the next few decades, something might be amiss. If the melt happens again in less than 150 years, something might be amiss.

But nothing is amiss.

So why the alarmist press release? Why use the word "unprecedented" in the headline? Why wait until the end of the press release to point out that the melt is cyclic and normal? Heck, why show the ice-less terrain of Greenland in red? Could it be to make it look really scary?

The only defense these "scientists" have against an accusation of fraud would be the claim that they are too stupid to impute premeditation. 


  1. Michael,

    Well, we know that you've admitted that you're ignorant about climate science (and for once, you're right, you are ignorant) and that nothing will convince you that AGW is happening, or even cause you to examine the science, because it might upset your worldview.

    But ... The melting is unprecedented. It hasn't been seen before in 30 years of satellite observations. The press release is completely factual, not overplaying the possibility that this might be due to climate change. Even the Daily Mail, which generally takes a denialist stance, managed to publish an article without going into hysterical paranoid hyperbole.

    The science is interesting. Ice has a lower albedo than snow, and melts earlier and faster. The ice melt this year appears to be due to reduced snowfalls leading to increased bare ice and setting up for a positive feedback.

    The icecores are formed by the seasonal snowfalls accumulating and being compressed into ice. Summer snow has different properties to Winter snow, and the resulting icecores become layered, so the years can be counted backwards with increasing depth in the core.

    The similar event in 1889 presumably means that the layer of ice for that year, reflecting the amount of snow that fell and wasn't melted, was thinner. It would be interesting if there was a 150 year cycle, because it would raise the question as to what was causing it.

    Another question is whether this is going to be a persisting or even accelerating process, and the scientists in the press release admit that they don't know.

    We managed to come out of the last glaciation as a result of cyclical variations in the Earth's orbit and tilt (the Milankovich cycles) resulting in increasing Summer melting of ice and snow not replaced during the Winter leading to a positive feedback and a warming trend.

    This could be the start of something similar. Or maybe not. We don't know. It's something to keep watch on.

  2. This is the greatest melt observer in the 30 year history of satellite observation, from 40% melt to 97% melt in 4 days. Sure, other melt events can be inferred by ice core data, but this is the first event of this magnitude to be observed, and was so severe that some initially suspected that the data was in error. Unprecedented seem to be an apt word.

    I doubt NASA would have included the paragraph about the previous evidence of melts if, as you imply, they’re part of the giant global warming conspiracy.


  3. Capital Weather Gang's Jason Samenow reviews the press release and the reactions from scientists on both sides of the aisle.

    Bottom line: A major surface ice sheet melting event occurred in Greenland coupled with highly unusual temperatures. A similar event occurred in 1889 and, thus, links to manmade climate change are not yet conclusive. On the other hand, a pattern of pronounced warming in the Arctic in recent decades and other indicators such as melting sea ice, glacier melt, etc. suggest manmade climate change increased the likelihood of an event of this magnitude.

  4. NASA releases a completely honest press release.

    Egnor flips out and makes an ass out of himself.

    Both completely predictable.

  5. Let's assume for a second AGW is real.
    Just for a moment.
    That to some degree our mass industrial projects and 'progress' was speeding up or enhancing the rate at which natural cycles of climate change occur.
    What kind of solutions would be presented?
    If we look to the 'greens' and even to the globalists we see a desire to reduce human population by artificial means. Life, it seems to them, is the enemy of life.
    They see (in a typically reductionist fashion) the need cull humanity, in order to reduce the emissions and other toxic outputs of mankind. Many more of them propose 'geo-engineering' to use even MORE toxic technology to reverse and control climate. Arsenic to cure a cough.
    It never seems to occur to them that it may be the TECHNOLOGY and TECHNOCRACY that is at fault.
    That the Earth could support MANY more people if we simply reverted to a more natural way of life.
    If our children played with wooden toys instead of ones made from oil and silicone, for example.
    If the apples and oranges we at arrived by sail, instead of diesel. If the seeds they were grown from came from the plants, not labs.
    If the hydro we generated was used for less and more important things. If motor vehicles were used to travel a distance, and walking or riding a bike or horse was the normal means of 'getting around town'.
    If many small cities and towns took the place of the vast Babels we build and support.
    If charities were run by people who actually care, rather than those who engineer the problem. If wells and desalination systems were built, instead of bottled water sent.
    If we could be content to dine on mutton and beef, instead of lamb and veal.
    If we saw purpose and meaning in life, and not just ecology and mathematics.
    If we could stop killing our unborn for the love of wealth, and raise our children for the love of LIFE.
    If only.....
    But that would mean these technocrats would have to find real work. That their positions of unquestionable power and influence would be reduced. Their lifestyle 'cramped' into that of a normal person: One of the profane masses.
    Instead we fixate on wild conjecture about alien life, futurist fantasies of 'free energy', and vain dreams of physical immortality. We demand a hedonistic lifestyle as our 'right' and see the worst debaucheries as justified by 'progress' and 'civilization'.
    In order to maintain this toxic imbalance, our elites would cull mankind, kill the unborn, and worship themselves and their masters as gods of reason.
    If there is AGW and it is killing our way of life, we deserve it. We have asked for it and paid for it in the blood of innocents.
    We have played the Devil's advocate, accepted selfish and evil logic. and are being paid the wages of hell.
    It is for the children and future generations I feel pity, if such is the case.
    For the normal folks, the 'savages', and 'primitives' that have played no part or very little in this madness.
    Not for the selfish, self obsessed, necrophobes that promote mass murder as a means to keep their ipads charged and their whores in silk sheets.

    But is it so? I don't think we have got that far yet.
    I see these changes as cyclical and natural. That is not to say we could not affect climate or the atmosphere, but that we have not begun to do so irreversibly yet.
    At most perhaps a WARNING of what we CAN do if we do not change our course and embrace humility and wonder, while discarding arrogance and nihilism.

    My two pennies.

    1. In the West, people who live in big cities have far lower carbon footprints than people who live elsewhere because, on average, the have smaller living spaces and don't drive much. Bigger, more efficient cities are far better for the environment that suburban or rural living.


    2. I lived in Manhattan for a year. Walked everywhere, didn’t need to heat my tiny 6th floor walk-up aprtment, used a small fan in the summer, and took public transport when I needed to travel any distance.

      Now every gallon of gas I burn commuting 40 mi round-trip to work produces 19lbs of CO2.

      You’re an Idiot. Use your head.

    3. crus:

      Let's assume for a second AGW is real.
      Just for a moment.
      If we look to the 'greens' and even to the globalists we see a desire to reduce human population by artificial means. Life, it seems to them, is the enemy of life.
      But is it so? I don't think we have got that far yet.
      I see these changes as cyclical and natural.

      You know, crus, what you've done in this comment is pretty telling. You pretended to consider the position of your opponents seriously, then smeared them by caricaturing their proposals (baby killers!) and comfortably concluded that there is no problem to begin with. That's rather sad.

    4. Oleg,
      It's only sad if you pity eugenicists or the various movements that support a 'cull' solution. I for one do not pit them. They'll get exactly what they deserve just like the Nazis did.
      Or if you think they will get away with their nightmarish dreams. Again, I would not worry about that. They will no doubt make horrific efforts at it (and that will no doubt bring sadness), but this kind of thing has a way of defeating and destroying itself. This kind of thing being evil.

      Perhaps you mean pathetic?
      If so, I will remind you (once again) that trying to silence me, somehow refute my points, or otherwise negate my position by acting intellectually or morally aloof with me is an exercise in futility.
      Not because I am some sort of intellectual giant or saint - I am neither.
      Rather, because such a tactic is only meaningful among those who value their status among peers and are willing to falling silent or concede out of a need to belong.
      We are neither peers, nor do I care whether you agree.
      I am interested in your opinion on the population reduction issue - as I like to know where people stand on democide.
      But as far as your feeling about my mode of expression? I am more or less apathetic.
      The reasoning for that apathy is a learned and reciprocal one. You have earned it, Oleg.
      I prefer it when you don't sneer because I think we get further in our conversations...but I fully expect you to. It's all part of your 'world view'.

    5. I won't even bother to "refute" your position as it consists of nothing remotely intellectual. In this particular case, you denigrated your opponents and called it a day. It's not about status, it's about civility. If you don't strive for a dialog, you don't deserve a dialog and you won't get one.

    6. Anyway, to the SUBSTANCE and subject of the anti-life/population reduction people(including the baby killers Oleg notes).

      Dear Democidal maniacs, eugenicist control freaks (TM), and various other UN urbanization drones,

      A suggestion for you folks who think population reduction is the key to solving the whole 'falling sky' syndrome: Start with yourself.
      Pop off and remove yourself from the equation. Save mother earth with your own blood sacrifice, and thereby prevent spreading your 'parasitic' race any further via the extinction of your own genes.
      You may not be able to wipe out mankind, - but, you can wipe out your own genetic potential. Try to do so neatly, and in such a fashion as to not cause too much mess. You may want to leave some sort of note or recording explaining why, lest the authorities blame your colleagues.
      Doing so will save so much time and effort by all.
      Your self driven expiration will prevent all the future possibilities of ANY sort that may issue from your existence. It will stop your 'carbon footprint' from leaving any further stain. It will prevent you from producing any 'foetuses'. It will save all the emissions and various industrial wastes associated with your existence outside of your footprint - including those of the efforts of they who stand violently against your democidal plots.

      If you haven't the stomach for self-abortion (TM), then at the very least have yourself sterilized.
      This will also prevent the spread of your 'parasitic' potential, even if your 'carbon footprint' will still sully the face of Mother Gaia.

      Also could you please collect into vast hive like cities the good folks in the UN are promoting.
      The more of you we can fit in the better. Such a gathering helps the great democidal plan in ways you can't imagine - literally.
      Collect, concentrate, and minimize your existence. The more compressed you can be - the better! That way when the folks with the 'plan' decide to get some 'solutions' working, they don't have to run around the countryside looking for volunteers among the armed rebels and militia type groups representing the old nation states.
      When nice and concentrated in a big city, they can volunteer you all for any solutions we see fit.

    7. crus: Dear Democidal maniacs, eugenicist control freaks (TM), and various other UN urbanization drones,

      We love you, too, crus. You're special.

    8. It is interesting watching CrusadeRex reveal that he is not merely a run-of-the-mill creationist, he's a loony conspiracy theorist too.

    9. @anon:

      The creationist conspiracy theorists are conspiring against you, huh?

    10. Michael,

      Well, actually CrusadeRex is working on standard conspiracy theory. The less evidence there is for a conspiracy, the more probable the conspiracy is. If there's no evidence for a conspiracy, then that's definite evidence for a very successful coverup.

      These facts aren't generally known, which is therefore evidence of yet another conspiracy to hide the facts, and also hide all the other conspiracies.

      And furthermore, even paranoid people get persecuted.

  6. That the Earth could support MANY more people if we simply reverted to a more natural way of life.

    The forms of consumption you reference are not the primary uses of "oil and silicone" (to use one example. Among their primary uses are growing crops with fertilizers made from cracked natural gas via the Haber process. The volume of food needed to support the current population could not be produced otherwise.

    Reverting to a more "natural" lifestyle would necessitate the massive reduction of population you decry. There is a reason the population of the Earth prior to the 20th century was so much smaller.

    1. "Reverting to a more "natural" lifestyle would necessitate the massive reduction of population you decry."
      No. It would require the decentralization of our population and a more reasonable approach to the supply networks that support large cities.
      The incentive to live like hive insects would need to be checked politically.

      "There is a reason the population of the Earth prior to the 20th century was so much smaller."
      There are MANY reasons the world's population has boomed. To suggest otherwise is reductio ad absurdum

    2. It would require the decentralization of our population and a more reasonable approach to the supply networks that support large cities.

      First, do you even understand how the volume of food that is needed to support the current population is produced? The Haber process is extremely fuel intensive. Changing to "wooden toys" and similar measures are small beer in comparison.

      The supply networks that support large cities are actually much more efficient than ones that supply smaller decentralized living arrangements. Not only that, city dwellers are much more able to walk to the places they need to go to, or use more fuel efficient mass transit options. (The lack of car use is one of the things that makes the carbon footprint of the average city dweller much smaller than the carbon footprint of the average rural denizen).

      A "more natural" lifestyle would require a massive population drop, at the very least due to the drop in the food supply resulting from not using modern agricultural methods like the Haber process, pesticides, and crops designed to require fewer pesticides.

    3. A recent book by David Owen 'Conundrum how scientific innovation, increased efficiency, and good intentions can make our energy and climate problems worse' is relevant to this discussion.

      Actually, the title almost says it all.

      Chapter 7 'Learning from Manhattan' addresses the point that living in large cities, particularly ones with efficient public transport, is actually better than living in small cities or towns.

      There aren't any easy solutions. But ignoring the problems will only make them worse. The human population has managed to go from 1 billion in 1800 to 7 billion now because we have used most of the potential arable land for human use, but mainly because agriculture has become much more productive with the use of fertilizers, insecticides and mechanization.

      All of which are now currently supplied by fossil fuels. Modern agriculture is a process of converting fossil fuels to food. It takes about 10 calories of fossil fuel energy to grow 1 calorie of food. And that's even before the food is transported or processed.

      That's the reason for the seeming paradox that if you have a car, you're producing less CO2 emissions by using it to drive to the local shops than walking there (assuming that there's no traffic jams). Although cycling would be better than both.

      There aren't any quick fixes. No 'which car should I buy to solve the problem?'. Electric cars are effective at reducing CO2 emissions, because they have such a short range that automatically they reduce the distances driven by the motorist. But replacing the current stock of internal combustion vehicles with electric ones would increase CO2 emissions just due to manufacturing process.

      Having the smallest car possible and using it for the minimum distance possible is best. Or not having one to begin with.

  7. As long as the ice in my scotch doesnt melt, i'm good..

  8. The point is to finish sipping the scotch before the ice melts.

  9. The only defense these "scientists" have against an accusation of fraud would be the claim that they are too stupid to impute premeditation.

    Or, you know, the fact that they disclosed everything in their press release. Only in your fevered imagination is full disclosure "fraud".