“The Fuse is Blown”

23 01 2015

“The Fuse is Blown”. Glaciologist’s Jaw Dropping Account of a Shattering Moment

January 22, 2015

If you’ve missed the other segments of our interview with Glaciologist Eric Rignot – do not, repeat, do not, miss this one.




10 responses

23 01 2015

He’s right about the level of communication being poor – what point did he want to get across? “I don’t know what a tipping point is. The arctic ice is melting, but we don’t know when some unspecified level of melting will be reached.” Why is that jaw-dropping? Or is it supposed to be a Climate Denial Crock? I watched it twice in case I missed something, but my jaw still didn’t drop.

25 01 2015

Satellite images have revealed that a remote Arctic ice cap has thinned by more than 50 metres since 2012 — about one sixth of its original thickness — and that it is now flowing 25 times faster.
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A team led by scientists from the Centre for Polar Observation and Modelling (CPOM) at the University of Leeds combined observations from eight satellite missions, including Sentinel-1A and CryoSat, with results from regional climate models, to unravel the story of ice decline.

The findings show that over the last two decades, ice loss from the south-east region of Austfonna, located in the Svalbard archipelago, has increased significantly. In this time, ice flow has accelerated to speeds of several kilometres per year, and ice thinning has spread more than 50km inland — to within 10km of the summit.

“These results provide a clear example of just how quickly ice caps can evolve, and highlight the challenges associated with making projections of their future contribution to sea level rise,” said the study’s lead author Dr Mal McMillan, a member of the CPOM team from the University of Leeds.


25 01 2015

Yes, but you left out the bit: “Glacier surges, similar to what we have observed, are a well-known phenomenon,” said Professor Andrew Shepherd from the University of Leeds, the Director of CPOM.

And is Svalbard typical of what is happeningin the Arctic? No, Austfonna is at Latitude 78° but it faces the Gulf Stream, so experiences much more ocean warming than anywhere else in the polar regions.

I believe CPOM when they say that deglaciation is happening faster than the models predicted, but models can be easily re-calibrated. If they then feed stupid forecasts of fossil fuel consumption to 2100 into the new model, they will still get stupid answers.

25 01 2015

AND you are being mischievous here about modelling Dave….. the melting is accelerating SINCE the GFC that caused economic slowdown everywhere happened. The amount of heat already in place will not go away, even with a total collapse of the economy, and that acceleration will continy way past Peak Everything, it’s just no one knows for how long or when the melting will stabilise.

25 01 2015

The amount of CO2 in the atmosphere will decrease slowly, as is shown in

because it will move into the oceans, where it doesn’t cause the greenhouse effect. Lower temperatures will follow, with the appropriate time lag, and be LESS than RCP2.6 .

25 01 2015

What about the 40 year time lag? If the heat goes into the oceans, more ice will melt, albedo goes up, temps will continue rising for at least 50 years….

25 01 2015

Those are secondary positive feedbacks, which the modelling says are less important than the primary negative feedback of lower CO2 emissions/year, leading to lower ppm(CO2) and lower temperatures “with the appropriate time lag”.

No one has come up with an improved model, so your assertion that “temps will continue rising for at least 50 years” is just unsubstantiated guesswork.

23 01 2015

Antarctic, sorry.
“There’s nothing we can do to stop it.” – as if we HAD thought that there WAS something that we could do to stop it?

23 01 2015

Paul Beckwith has been saying seven meters by 2070. Generally poo pooed by the modelling community, I must say that it is far more possible than the idea that 2 meters is the absolute maximum by 2100.

There are so many known unknowns regarding ice sheet loss. Factors we know will, or could, affect the rate of ice loss but we have no idea by how much. Albedo effects through soot, dust (Box J) and microbial activity. Large void structures in the ice and micro voids, massive sub surface flows (Fricker HA). Thaw refreeze structures in the ice that appear to have happened virtually instantly. I can recall a glaciologist say “we do not know within a factor of ten how fast glaciers can collapse”.

The is 80 meters of SLR in all the ice, plus isostatic rebound, plus the gravity effect. So the absolute maximum SLR is just over 100 meters and even I do not expect that in the next century or two. So why do I dismiss any property under 200 meters and look longingly at a house in Blessington at the 800 meter mark?

4 06 2015
Etyere petyere

That little idiotic “tipping point” video (i am wondering who is paying for making those) said “it is still time” so i just relax and wait until it is not …and than what? I just relax more sinve by than nothing you can do. Than we cn all relax together

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