STUDY: Sea-Level Rise from Antarctic Ice Shelves Might Be Overestimated


By: - Climate DepotOctober 22, 2019 1:08 PM with 0 comments

https://mailchi.mp/45278f49fe67/false-alarm-sea-level-rise-from-antarctic-ice-shelves-might-be-overestimated-study-finds?e=f4e33fdd1e

GWPF Newsletter 22/10/19

Sea-Level Rise from Antarctic Ice Shelves Might Be Overestimated, Study Finds

West Antarctic Ice Sheet Growing As Southern Ocean Warms Slightly
Scientists have assumed that Antarctic ice cliffs taller than 90 meters (about the height of the Statue of Liberty) would rapidly collapse under their own weight, contributing to more than 6 feet of sea-level rise by the end of the century — enough to completely flood Boston and other coastal cities. But now MIT researchers have found that this particular prediction may be overestimated. “Ice shelves are about a kilometer thick, and some are the size of Texas,” says MIT graduate student Fiona Clerc. “To get into catastrophic failures of really tall ice cliffs, you would have to remove these ice shelves within hours, which seems unlikely no matter what the climate-change scenario.” — MIT News, 21 October 2019

1) Antarctic Ice Cliffs May Not Contribute To Sea-Level Rise As Much As Predicted
Jennifer Chu | MIT News Office, 21 October 2019

2 ) Great Barrier Reef In Good Shape, Has ‘Vibrant Future’, Reef Authority Says
The Australian, 22 October 2019

3) West Antarctic Ice Sheet Growing As Southern Ocean Warms Slightly
Competitive Enterprise Institute, 21 October 2019

4) Nic Lewis Exposes Statistical Errors In Yet Another Climate Paper
Climate Audit, 17 October 2019

5) Roger Pielke Jr: If Climate Scenarios Are Wrong For 2020, Can They Get 2100 Right?
Forbes, 20 October 2019  

6) Professor Fired After Claiming Polar Bears Are Thriving In Climate Change
Jerusalem Post, 22 October 2019

7) China’s Green Future Implodes As Economic Nearly Stalls
Epoch Times, 21 October 2019

7) And Finally: Extinction Rebellion’s London Protests Cost The Met £37million To Police – £22million More Than They Spent On Violent Crime Team Last Year
Daily Mail, 22 October 2019

1) Antarctic Ice Cliffs May Not Contribute To Sea-Level Rise As Much As Predicted
Jennifer Chu | MIT News Office, 21 October 2019

Study finds even the tallest ice cliffs should support their own weight rather than collapsing catastrophically.

Antarctica’s ice sheet spans close to twice the area of the contiguous United States, and its land boundary is buttressed by massive, floating ice shelves extending hundreds of miles out over the frigid waters of the Southern Ocean. When these ice shelves collapse into the ocean, they expose towering cliffs of ice along Antarctica’s edge.

Scientists have assumed that ice cliffs taller than 90 meters (about the height of the Statue of Liberty) would rapidly collapse under their own weight, contributing to more than 6 feet of sea-level rise by the end of the century — enough to completely flood Boston and other coastal cities. But now MIT researchers have found that this particular prediction may be overestimated.

In a paper published today in Geophysical Research Letters, the team reports that in order for a 90-meter ice cliff to collapse entirely, the ice shelves supporting the cliff would have to break apart  extremely quickly, within a matter of hours — a rate of ice loss that has not been observed in the modern record.

“Ice shelves are about a kilometer thick, and some are the size of Texas,” says MIT graduate student Fiona Clerc. “To get into catastrophic failures of really tall ice cliffs, you would have to remove these ice shelves within hours, which seems unlikely no matter what the climate-change scenario.”

If a supporting ice shelf were to melt away over a longer period of days or weeks, rather than hours, the researchers found that the remaining ice cliff wouldn’t suddenly crack and collapse under its own weight, but instead would slowly flow out, like a mountain of cold honey that’s been released from a dam.

“The current worst-case scenario of sea-level rise from Antarctica is based on the idea that cliffs higher than 90 meters would fail catastrophically,” Brent Minchew, assistant professor in MIT’s Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences. “We’re saying that scenario, based on cliff failure, is probably not going to play out. That’s something of a silver lining. That said, we have to be careful about breathing a sigh of relief. There are plenty of other ways to get rapid sea-level rise.”

Full story

2) Great Barrier Reef In Good Shape, Has ‘Vibrant Future’, Reef Authority Says
The Australian, 22 October 2019

Graham Lloyd

The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority has supported Environment Minister Sussan Ley’s appraisal that the reef is “good” and has “a vibrant future”.


How scientists mislead the world about the state of the Great Barrier Reef

A Senate estimates committee hearing on Monday heard a downgrading of the reef condition from poor to very poor was a long-term forecast based on no action being taken on climate change. GBRMPA chief executive Joshua Thomas said the outlook report was an assessment of the likely condition of the reef if a series of issues were not ­addressed. These included reducing global greenhouse gas emissions along with improving reef water quality, better marine park compliance, controlling crown of thorns starfish and reducing marine debris.

“The reef is a vast estate and many areas remain vibrant and ecologically robust,” he said. “It continues to be an extraordinary experience for visitors to the region, supporting beautiful corals and abundant marine life.”

After her first visit to the reef as minister, Ms Ley said: “It gives me great heart and hope that the ­future of this magnificent part of the world is a good one.”

She said at the time the reef was not dead, was not dying and not even on life support. “Today we saw coral that was struggling but we also saw coral that was coming back, that was growing, that was vibrant.”

Mr Thomas said Ms Ley had been “referring to the fact there are many areas of the reef that remain vibrant and worth visiting and we support that statement”.
“It is also true that the reef over the past five years has been subjected to unprecedented changes, including those bleaching events in 2016-17,” he added.

The authority’s chief scientist, David Wachenfeld, told Senate estimates the outlook report was evidence-based.

Full story ($)

3) West Antarctic Ice Sheet Growing As Southern Ocean Warms Slightly
Competitive Enterprise Institute, 21 October 2019

Patrick J Michaels

The West Antarctic Ice Sheet is growing, but I bet you didn’t read about it in the news.


Source: Y Wang et al. 2019, Fig 7

Nor would you probably be able to find it if you entered “West Antarctic Ice Sheet Growing” in a Google search. That search would likely uncover one 2015 publication by NASA’s Jay Zwally in the Journal of Glaciology using actual weather data that showed increasing snowfall, primarily over East Antarctica, was adding a small amount of ice. That report generated a flurry of coverage, but of course in the current era of public shaming of any deviation from the apocalyptic orthodoxy, you don’t hear much about it anymore.

Which may explain why you have heard nothing about this new publication which has been accepted in Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres but isn’t in print yet: “A New 200‐Year Spatial Reconstruction of West Antarctic Surface Mass Balance,” by Yetang Yang (Shandang Normal University, China) and five co-authors. Here’s the money quote:

“When averaged over the whole WAIS [West Antarctic Ice Sheet] , SMB [surface mass balance] shows a significantly negative trend (-1.9± 2.2Gt yr-1decade-1, p<0.01) [loss of ice] during the 19th century, but a significantly positive trend (5.4± 2.9Gt decade-1, p<0.01) [gain in ice] in the 20th century. This is not consistent with the previously reported insignificant changes in snow accumulation over the WAIS during the past 50 years…One possible explanation is the lack of recent ice core records in the [previously published work over the] AP [Antarctic Peninsula] and coastal zones in these studies and a high weight given to cores from the interior of Antarctica.”

Translation and color commentary:

Although measurements are rather hard to come by, it is clear that the Southern Ocean surrounding Antarctica has warmed a few tenths of a degree (C) since 1900. This is known from sporadic explorer records, such as Scott and Shackleton, and then with much more confidence after the instrumentation program from the international geophysical year in 1957-8.

Even a slight ocean warming results in a substantial increase in the moisture flux over the cold Antarctic continent, where, with the exception of over the Antarctic Peninsula (the portion of the continent that juts out towards South America), all precipitation falls as snow. Increasing the moisture would therefore increase the snow load which should increase the ice mass balance, which is why I find this result (and Jay Zwally’s) not particularly surprising.

Nonetheless:

The WAIS experienced a significant loss of ice in the 19th century when it was colder than the 20th century average.

The WAIS experienced a significant gain in ice in the 20th century and early 21st century when it was warmer than the 19th century average.

The gain in ice in the last 110 years was 2.8 times the loss in the 19th century.

Apparently this isn’t newsworthy or even Google-worthy.

You can read the full paper here

4) Nic Lewis Exposes Statistical Errors In Yet Another Climate Paper
Climate Audit, 17 October 2019

“It is a little depressing that after many years of being criticised for their insufficiently good understanding of statistics and lack of close engagement with the statistical community, the climate science community appears still not to have solved this issue.”

The recently published open-access paper “How accurately can the climate sensitivity to CO2 be estimated from historical climate change?” by Gregory et al.[i] makes a number of assertions, many uncontentious but others in my view unjustified, misleading or definitely incorrect. Perhaps most importantly, they say in the Abstract that “The real-world variations mean that historical EffCS [effective climate sensitivity] underestimates CO2 EffCS by 30% when considering the entire historical period.” But they do not indicate that this finding relates only to effective climate sensitivity in GCMs, and then only to when they are driven by one particular observational sea surface temperature dataset.

However, in this article I will focus on one particular statistical issue, where the claim made in the paper can readily be proven wrong without needing to delve into the details of GCM simulations.

Full post

5) Roger Pielke Jr: If Climate Scenarios Are Wrong For 2020, Can They Get 2100 Right?
Forbes, 20 October 2019

How we think and talk about climate policy is profoundly shaped by 31 different computer models which produce a wide range of scenarios of the future, starting from a base year of 2005. With 2020 right around the corner, we now have enough experience to ask how well these models are doing.  Based on my preliminary analysis reported below, the answer appears to be not so well.

Before proceeding, it is important to remember that climate change poses significant risks to our collective futures, and aggressive policy action makes sense on both the mitigation of emissions and adaptation to variability and change.

It’s also important to note that taking a clear-eyed view of climate policy and its foundations can be fraught territory. As Alistair Sutton, communications director for Future Earth, recently wrote: “For scientists, how to be sceptical about campaigns and policies without being labeled a “climate sceptic” may be one of the next challenges.” The importance of climate change does not provide the topic a free pass from scrutiny and critique – quite the opposite, it’s importance demands that we carefully and critically examine climate policy proposals and their bases so that we get things right.

Climate policy discussions are framed by the assessment reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). There are of course discussions that occur outside the boundaries of the IPCC, but the IPCC analyses carry enormous influence. At the center of the IPCC approach to climate policy analyses are scenarios of the future. The IPCC reports that its database contains 1,184 scenarios from 31 models.

Some of these scenarios are the basis for projecting future changes in climate (typically using what are called Global Climate Models or GCMs). Scenarios are also the basis for projecting future impacts of climate change, as well as the consequences of climate policy for the economy and environment (often using what are called Integrated Assessment Models or IAMs).

Here I focus on two key metrics directly relevant to climate policy that come from the scenarios of fifth assessment report (AR5) of the IPCC: economic growth and atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations. The scenarios of the AR5 begin in 2005 and most project futures to 2100, with some looking only to 2050. We now have almost 15 years of data to compare against projections, allowing us to assess how they are doing.

Full post

6) Professor Fired After Claiming Polar Bears Are Thriving In Climate Change
Jerusalem Post, 22 October 2019

Susan Crockford, a zoologist who has been an adjunct professor at the University of Victoria for 15 years, said the university rejected her renewal application in May according to the Washington Times.

Crockford has now accused officials at the university of breaking under outside pressure after she published research showing that polar bear populations are not shrinking, rather they are thriving as a result of the shrinking Arctic sea ice which defy claims of climate change.

“When push came to shove, UVic threw me under the bus rather than stand up for my academic freedom,” said Crockford.

She announced her dismissal from the Canadian university on Wednesday, in a post on her Polar Bear Science blog. Now she’s raised alarm over “the implications for academic freedom and the rise of the cancel culture for professors and scientists who challenge climate catastrophe predictions,” the Times said.

Susan Crockford received her Ph.D. in interdisciplinary studies – biology and anthropology – in 2004.

Her most recent book, “The Polar Bear Catastrophe that Never Happened” was published in February and in which she says polar bears are not threatened. She also quoted the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s 2015 Red List of Threatened Species, which puts the polar bear population between 22,000 and 31,000 despite the belief that the population has dropped to a few thousand.

Editor’s Note: Susan Crockford’s presentation she gave last night in Westminster will be published on the GWPF YouTube channel tomorrow.

7) China’s Green Future Implodes As Economic Nearly Stalls
Epoch Times, 21 October 2019

China’s transition to a green economy is imploding as the economic growth needed to pay for the massive state-funded subsidies hits its slowest pace in three decades.

Vice Premier Liu He was praised for his January 2018 keynote speech at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland for stating that in addition to spending $4 trillion on its “One Belt One Road” (OBOR, also known as Belt and Road) initiative to build the infrastructure to lift a billion people in 70 countries out of poverty across the planet, China had declared “war on pollution and introduced a number of green initiatives” to “dismantle coal-fired power plants, reduce overall emission levels and cut particulate-matter emission rates.”

WEF stated in April 2018 that to subsidize sustainable energy, vehicles and buildings for its global “transition to a greener economy,” China’s Environmental Risk Management Initiative (ERMI) would sell between $6.4 trillion to $19.4 trillion (40.3 yuan to 123.4 trillion yuan) of “Green Bonds” that would be a “win-win for investors and developing countries.”

China sold $167.3 billion of OBOR long-term Green Bonds in 2018, with most of the proceeds mostly used to buy sustainable solar panels, wind turbines, electric and hydrogen powered vehicles, and building materials from Chinese companies. The 30-year bonds committed developing nations to pay the debt through environmental taxes.

But over the last eighteen months as the Sino-U.S. trade war ratcheted up, China’s after-inflation “real” gross domestic product growth withered from 8.8 percent in the first quarter of 2018 to 3.7 percent in the third quarter of 2019. During the same period, industrial production growth fell from 5.5 percent to -1.1 percent, according Endo Economics.

As cash flow withered, China’s annualized fixed asset investment growth plunged from 12 percent growth in the first quarter of 2018 to a stunning -40.4 percent, and retail car sales growth tanked from 8.6 percent to -13.3 percent.

China has been offsetting the $100 billion cost in U.S. trade war tariffs by slashing private business tax rates and increasing lending to state-owned enterprises. But with the International Monetary Fund in June forecasting China would suffer its first balance of payments deficit in twenty-five years, China has quickly abandoned its green economy.

Full story

8) And Finally: Extinction Rebellion’s London Protests Cost The Met £37million To Police – £22million More Than They Spent On Violent Crime Team Last Year
Daily Mail, 22 October 2019

This year’s Extinction Rebellion protests have cost the taxpayer £37million and the figure is still rising, it emerged today.

The eco group shut down parts of London for more than a week in April and returned again this month, hitting transport routes, businesses and government offices in two weeks of mayhem.

The Met Police was forced to flood the streets with officers as they attempted to keep the protests in the approved area of Trafalgar Square.

Reinforcements were needed from around the country as it took up to eight officers each to arrest uncooperative demonstrators and hours to complete paperwork due to a policy of non-compliance encouraged by Extinction Rebellion.

Met Police Commissioner revealed today that the bill for this month’s protests currently stands at £21million, and is rising. More than 1,800 people were arrested during the two weeks.

Around £6million of this month’s sum was spent on officers from 38 other forces while £3.5million was spent on overtime for officers.

Full story