Last Stable Ice Sheet In Greenland Is Melting

As huge masses of land ice melt, the seas are rising even faster
Greenland ice melting fasterDestabilization of once stable ice sheets will affect coastal cities in the U.S. except in North Carolina*


As climate scientists attempt to predict how fast and high Arctic ice melt will drive global sea levels, a new glitch in the model has been discovered: the northeast regions of Iceland, which was previously thought to be stable, has begun to melt quickly. That’s bad news because this huge mass of ice was not factored into sea rise estimations. Although precise outcomes are not possible to predict, the overwhelming trend is toward rapid increase.

Sea ice and land ice are quite different in their effect upon the climate and humanity. Arctic sea ice** was at all time low in February. When it melts, it increasingly leaves open water, which the hydrocarbon and shipping industries love. However, it also leaves black water where the white reflective ice used to be. Rather than bouncing sunlight back, the black water absorbs more heat and the water warms faster. This is called a negative feedback loop.

The trillions of tons of land ice exists only on Greenland and on the Antarctic land mass. So when it melts, it adds water to the ocean and that makes the ocean level rise. That process is just beginning and it’s accelerating.

The denier crowd argues often (depending whether or not their check comes from ExxonMobil) that climate science is too complex to make solid claims about global warming.*** And it is true that statistical exceptions and natural variability that appear to show anomalies that could be interpreted as showed a trend reversal if you were being paid to interpret them that way.

Greenland ice melting faster

But these periodic “shifts toward the mean” are indeed anomalies. The pattern is inexorably downward.

And until the planet collapses around us for the final time and the last drop of hydrocarbon has been sucked out of the earth and injected up our butts, they will not consifer the “science to be settled.”

There are exceptions and natural variability that appear to show anomalies, but these periodic shifts toward the mean are indeed anomalies.


*The North Carolina legislature has outlawed discussion of rising sea levels
**Personal note to Marc Marano: that’s the “north” pole
***Since none of them have science degrees, we don’t know how they know that, but that’s beside the point.

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