Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Where Has All The Greenland Ice Gone? London Times Atlas Clueless

The London Times Atlas recently created an incredible error, one that is hard to explain by rational analysis. According to its publisher, HarperCollins, the atlas is "turning Greenland 'green' because the new edition has had to erase 15% of Greenland's once permanent ice cover". Scientists immediately jumped all over this. Were it true, sea levels would have risen a bit more than three feet in twelve years, instead of less than the half-inch observed. This Guardian article Times Atlas ice error attempts to make lemonade from this lemon, but ends leaving the sour taste of advocacy science.

This is the comment I posted to the Guardian:
As Greenland ice supposedly shrank during the past 15 years, the obvious question is where did the water go after the ice melted? To answer "the sea" may seem as obvious as the question, but wait! Slow sea level increase has recently become sea level decrease, and the missing water must be somewhere. It's not in the oceans.

Quietly, without blaring headlines, in many inconvenient areas of the Earth, ice caps and glaciers are growing. Indeed, simply Googling "Greenland ice growing" produces links to many recent studies of ice cap and glacier growth worldwide. Antarctica as a whole is gaining ice. Ditto Greenland. And glaciers in Asia and North America too.

Of course, nothing is as simple as Al Gore and the Warmistas tell us. Historically, tepid water intrusion from the Atlantic into the Arctic caused a huge reduction of sea ice. This then became the source of the water vapor which was carried over the Hudson Bay area and produced incredible snow fall, feeding the ice cap that eventually extended over Canada and the northern United States. In the process, sea levels fell over 400 feet, eventually cutting off the Atlantic flow into the Arctic (the shallowest ocean) and ending the Ice Age just 12,000 years ago. Sea levels have risen an average of over 3 feet per century since, much greater at first, slowing to about 6 inches per century the past 1,000 years.

Recent sea level rise has mostly been caused by man, but not by warming. Enormous pumping of ground water and draining of lakes for agricultural needs has resulted in "de-watering," the taking of water from the land and depositing it in the seas. At the same time, de-watering causes land subsidence, leading to the appearance of sea levels rising as lands sink.

Recent ocean cooling, giving the lie to significant warming, can also play a part since colder water is denser and has reduced volume. Oddly, a recent study attempts to explain that the lack of warming the past 15 years is a result of heat being sequestered in the depths of the oceans. Unfortunately for this hypothesis, the world wide ocean temperature monitoring system (ARGOS) has not shown this heat being sequestered.

So far observational science refutes computer climate modeling. When this happens, the models must be changed or discarded, but Al Gore and his Acolytes cry, "Throw out the observations."

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