Greenland just lost 11 billion tons of ice melted in one day because of this shocking weather event known as ‘summer’.
CBS News‘s resident climate expert Ted Scambos [loving the poetry of that first syllable in his surname!] thinks this is worrying and unusual; so does the Washington Post, which declares it “one of its greatest melting events ever recorded”; so too does renowned Canadian alarmist Bill McKibben.
So too does presidential candidate Amy Klobuchar, Senator for Minnesota:
If you’re not scared yet, you really should be.
Do you not realise that if the Greenland ice sheet goes on melting at this extraordinary rate, then within 12,500 years HALF of it will be gone?
Yes, you read that right. In 12,500 years – that’s about twice as far ahead into the future as we are now from the world’s earliest civilisation, Sumer, in 4500 BC – the Greenland ice sheet could be half gone, with almost incalculable consequences for those of us who are still alive.
We have Willis Eschenbach to thank for this timely warning. He has been doing the math at Watts Up With That? and this is his finding:
Here’s one way of looking at that. We can ask, IF Greenland were to continue losing ice mass at a rate of 103 billion tonnes per year, how long would it take to melt say half of the ice sheet? Not all of it, mind you, but half of it. (Note that I am NOT saying that extending a current trend is a way to estimate the future evolution of the ice sheet—I’m merely using it as a way to compare large numbers.)
To answer our question if 103 billion tonnes lost per year is a big number, we have to compare the annual ice mass loss to the amount of ice in the Greenland ice sheet. The Greenland ice sheet contains about 2.6E+15 (2,600,000,000,000,000) tonnes of water in the form of snow and ice.
So IF the Greenland ice sheet were to lose 103 billion tonnes per year into the indefinite future, it would take about twelve thousand five hundred years to lose half of it …
And even if the loss were to jump to ten times the long-term average, it would still take twelve hundred years to melt half the ice on the Greenland ice sheet. Even my great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great grandchildren won’t live long enough to see that.
Paul Homewood isn’t much impressed with the panic-mongering either.
The ice sheet surface mass balance is running well above that of 2012:
And there is no mention of the fact that the ice sheet grew substantially last year, and also the year before:
The simple fact is that the Greenland ice sheet melts every summer, particularly when the sun shines. That’s what it does. And it grows back again in winter as the snow falls. Indeed, if it did not melt, it would carry on growing year after year.