World's Ice Caps are Melting!

Discussion in 'Earth Science' started by duendy, Sep 28, 2005.

  1. SkinWalker Archaeology / Anthropology Moderator

    You asked about periodicity in an earlier post... I forgot to answer, but there really isn't any. You can average the reversals, but the fact remains that they simply don't have a periodicity. The occurrances are random.

    I would, however, recommend the below reference in Nature. Glatzmaier et al has done some work at discovering the causes of dipole reversal. There is no evidence that any adverse or deleterious effects are associated with these reversals. No correlated patterns of mass extinction or tectonic activity. It would seem, that the poles simply "wander" their way to new positions.

    Glatzmaier, Gary A., Coe, R., Hongre, L., and Roberts, P. (1998) The role of the Earth's mantle controlling the frequency of geomagnetic reversals, Nature, 401, 885-90
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  3. Xylene Valued Senior Member

    Saw something on the news today about the cooling effect of volcanic eruptions--they slow down the effects of global warming by cooling the sea-surface.
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  5. valich Registered Senior Member

    As I just stated:

    "The North and South poles deviate by a few degrees every million years or so. The last reversal occurred about 780 million years ago but the "average" reversal occurrs about every 250-300 million years: geographic history is like a grain of sand to us.
    See: "

    They have been correlated these and they are not random, but what does this have to do with volcanic eruptions? You think that the more we have, the cooler the Earth gets???

    I'd be very interested to know where you read this. But not so much interested in what reportor wrote the article, but where they got their scientific information from? Thanks!
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  7. SkinWalker Archaeology / Anthropology Moderator

    I think you need to edit your post above. Surely you meant to say "780 thousand years ago" instead of million?

    Also, I've read several primary sources in journals like Earth & Planetary Sciences Letters and Physics of the Earth & Planetary Interiors that suggest some periodicity, but there is some disagreement as to the nature of it and what it is specifically. Some estimate 33 million years, others 200,000 million years. If we accept the latter, then we are overdue, but there are many periods in the geologic record that go millions of years without a reversal -the Cretaceous Quiet Period for instance.
  8. valich Registered Senior Member

    Oh yes. Very sorry, My mistake: last one was 780,000 years ago, average is at 250,000 years. My dwelling reseaerch in paleontology cause me to sometimes cross numbers, but yours too no?
  9. eburacum45 Valued Senior Member

    The increased warmth of the air in the south has been causing an increase in snowfall in Eastern Antarctica; this has caused the glaciers there to grow in thickness according to this study,
    and this represents a decrease in global sea levels of 0.12 millimeters per year.
    Not enough to reverese the sea level rise, but enough to show that a melting of Western Antarctica is unlikely. As I said elsewhere, Western Antarctica is partly below sea level, so will not contribute to sea level rise as much if the parts below sea level melt.
  10. protostar Registered Senior Member

    they are not melting they are growing. The ice sheets are melting
    or are broken up but the polar ice caps are growing...
  11. valich Registered Senior Member

    It is predicted that in about fifty years the summers in the Arctic will be totally ice-free. Both the Arctic and Antarctic will become smaller ice caps. There is now a descreasing level in the permafrost (lowering of the permanent underground ice level) in the upper regions of Alaska and Canada that is causing large destructions of forest regions because of the decrease in water that is available for their growth. A large chunk of the Antarctic has relatively recently broke off and is migrating North where it will melt. This has never been sen before.

    The Native American Inuit Indians in Northeast Canada (Labrador) and other Northern regions are filing lawsuites with the government because they can no longer obtain their subsistence food by fishing in the surrounding areas because they can no longer walk out onto the former ice sheets and cut through these ice sheets to fish, because the ice sheets are now too thin to walk on. This has never happened before.

    The glaciers of Greenland are now receeding at a rate of over 100 ft. per year, compared to just 5-10 feet a few years ago. Even in the United States, talk to anyone who works at or knows much about Glacier National Park in Montana at the Canadian border and they will tell you that the glaciers that were there fifty years ago no longer exist.
  12. Edufer Tired warrior Registered Senior Member

    Not All Glaciers Lost Mass Over the Past Quarter-Century
    Volume 8, Number 46: 16 November 2005

    The coldest period of the current interglacial or Holocene was likely the Little Ice Age, when land-based glaciers around the world achieved their maximum extensions and ice volumes. Once the planet was safely on its way to recovering from this unprecedented multi-century cold spell, however, they began to lose mass and recede. In Norway and New Zealand, "as in many other glacier regions," in the words of Chin et al. (2005), this recession was most strongly expressed in "the middle of the 20th century," which they describe as "a period of spectacular retreat as the glaciers responded to climate warming that occurred since the end of the cooler 19th century."

    However, as they add, "glaciers in [these] two widely separated regions have recently shown the opposite behavior towards the end of the 20th century."
    In Norway, the international team of researchers reports that the main glacial retreat "ended during the late 1950s to early 1960s," and that "after some years with more or less stationary glacier front positions, [the glaciers] began to advance, accelerating in the late 1980s."

    Around 2000, a portion of the glaciers began to slow, while some even ceased moving; but they say that "most of the larger outlets with longer reaction times are continuing to advance." In fact, they report that "the distances regained and the duration of this recent advance episode are both far greater than any previous readvance since the Little Ice Age maximum, making the recent resurgence a significant event." Mass balance data reveal much the same thing, "especially since 1988" and "at all [western] maritime glaciers in both southern and northern Norway," where "frequent above-average winter balances are a main cause of the positive net balances at the maritime glaciers during the last few decades."

    In New Zealand, equilibrium line altitude (ELA) measurements of fifty index glaciers "spread throughout the length and width of the Southern Alps" have likewise revealed "two periods of positive mass balances from 1980 to 1987 and from 1991 to 1997." The most spectacular of the resultant glacial advances was experienced by the Franz Josef Glacier, which "regained 1200 m from 1984 to 2000, an extension which recovered a significant 41% of length lost since 1900." Associated with the positive mass balance period, Chinn et al. additionally report there "has been a mean lowering of the snowline by 67 m since the 1970s."

    Why have these changes occurred? "Common to both countries," in the words of Chinn et al., "the positive glacier balances are associated with increases in the strength of westerly atmospheric circulation which lowered ablation season temperatures in Norway and increased precipitation to the glaciers in both countries." How long will the new regimes persist? In Norway, the researchers write that "glaciers with longer response times continue to advance and mass balance measurements continue to be mainly positive, suggesting at least some ongoing advances during the next few years." In New Zealand, on the other hand, they say "ELA values indicate that after 2000 balances have settled to near equilibrium values." In none of the affected parts of either country, however, has there been a return to significant glacier wastage.

    It is interesting to note, in this regard, that at the apex of a global warming that has been characterized as the greatest of the past two millennia (Mann and Jones, 2003), maritime glaciers at these two ends of the world have not been wasting away, just as the Greenland Ice Sheet has also not been wasting away (see our Editorial of 2 Nov 2005). Indeed, all of these huge land-based repositories of ice have been experiencing a phenomenal period of growth.

    Sherwood, Keith and Craig Idso

    Chinn, T., Winkler, S., Salinger, M.J. and Haakensen, N. 2005. Recent glacier advances in Norway and New Zealand: A comparison of their glaciological and meteorological causes. Geografiska Annaler 87 A: 141-157.
    Mann, M.E. and Jones, P.D. 2003. Global surface temperatures over the past two millennia. Geophysical Research Letters 30: 10.1029/2003GL017814.
  13. valich Registered Senior Member

    I am not able to access the most recent addition of Geografisk Annaler, but the latest edition of Geophysical Research Letters contain the following two interesting articles. There has been rapid change in the (glacier retreat) in the last two years:

    Rapid retreat and acceleration of Helheim Glacier, East Greenland, Geophys. Res. Lett., Vol. 32, No. 22, L22502, 10.1029/2005GL024737, 22 November 2005

    Arctic Ocean change heralds North Atlantic freshening, Geophys. Res. Lett., Vol. 32, No. 21, L21606, 10.1029/2005GL023861, 15 November 2005

    You quote, THEN STATE IN YOUR OWN WORDS: "In Norway, the international team of researchers reports that the main glacial retreat "ended during the late 1950s to early 1960s," and that "after some years with more or less stationary glacier front positions, [the glaciers] began to advance, accelerating in the late 1980s."

    Around 2000, a portion of the glaciers began to slow

    Again, we are not looking at the 1950's or 60's; what are they saying about 2004 and 2005? There is no one her that is doubty that glaciers and ice ages come and go in cycles, but we are now accelerating the cycle of global warming and glacier retreat at an unprecidented level never seen before in history!

    So what's with the large-font bold-faced titled in red? Are you suggesting that our pollution to atmosphere today is NOT accelerating global warming???
  14. URI IMU Registered Senior Member

    >> main glacial retreat "ended during the late 1950s to early 1960s," and that "after some years with more or less stationary glacier front positions, [the glaciers] began to advance, accelerating in the late 1980s." >>

    Reasonable and understandable in respect to oil and climate.

    After WW2 the thickness of the oil microlayer on the seas was thick.... precipitating glacial retreat
    then the layer was partially broken up over the following decades

    until modern industrialisation and motor vehicle use again increased the microlayer
    leading up to our time

    I am sure the burning of the Kuwait oil fields would be etched into the glacier history.
  15. Edufer Tired warrior Registered Senior Member

    You have it all wrong. CO2 is not pollution, on the contrary, it is plant's food. Without CO2 there would be no plants, hence, no mankind, and no animal life on Earth.

    Polluting gases are something different, as soot, sulphur oxides, etc. In any case, they are contributing to slowing down warming by obscuring the atmosphere. Even James Hansen has acknowledged that soot is cooling the Earth and CO2 is not as important as a greenhouse gas as they used to believe.

    But, if you have read studies and reports, you should know that "pollution" of the atmosphere has been decreasing for many decades now (the air above London, and most cities in the USA are cleaner now than in the 19th century).

    I am not suggesting: I am asserting that glacier retreat seen now has many (MANY) precedents in history. You should study some geology and the history of Earth's climate. You might even get to know that glaciers take centuries, even millennia to react to air temperatures. That most glaciers have been retreating since the 18th century, and while some glaciers retreat many other advance --even in the same region, few kilometers away from each other.

    This is the case of the Upsala glacier in Patagonia, Argentina, that has been retreating since 1900 (long before man was burning fossil fuels and spewing CO2), while the Perito Moreno (world famous, barely 50 km away to the southeast) is advancing steadily and breaking ice (calving) every four years in a spectacle that attract tourists from all over the world. On the other side of the Andes, at the same latitude, on the Chilean side, there is glacier Pio XI, the glacier that grows so fast it is setting world records since many, many decades ago.

    The fact is small glaciers have a tendency to retreat, while most big glaciers are advancing. See this study and watch the graphs: Surface Properties, Topography and Motions of Patagonian Glaciers

    <img src=><br>
    See the brown line? That’s Pio XI’s growth. South and North faces.

    <img src=>​

    The brown line at the top is the Perito Moreno glacier, while the blue line at the bottom is the Upsala glacier. Greenpeace claimed last year that the Upsala was retreating because global warming. Here you have the real story: “Greenpeace Newest Fraud: The Upsala Glacier Melting”. With references to studies on those glaciers.

    Perhaps a Google search on these glaciers would give you a better idea of what glaciology is about.
  16. valich Registered Senior Member


    “The general picture is one of widespread glacier retreat, notably in Alaska, Franz-Josef Land, Asia, the Alps, Indonesia and Africa, and tropical and sub-tropical regions of South America. In a few regions a number of glaciers are currently advancing (e.g., Western Norway, New Zealand). In Norway this is very likely to be due to increases in precipitation owing to the positive phase of the North Atlantic Oscillation and in the Southern Alps of New Zealandand due to wetter conditions with little warming since about 1980.

    Finally, indications in the European Alps that current glacier recession is reaching levels not seen for perhaps a few thousand years comes from the exposure of radiocarbon-dated ancient remains in high glacial saddles. Here there is no significant ice flow and melting is assumed to have taken place in situ for the first time in millennia (e.g., the finding of the 5,000-year-old Oetzal “ice man”).”
  17. valich Registered Senior Member

    ""I think climate change is really the biggest problem facing the U.S., and in some sense, the biggest problem facing the world," he said. "We are contributing to the carbon dioxide ... that the world will have to live with for a long time."

    Although some countries are clamping down on greenhouse gas emissions causing climate change, the United Nations predicts that the next century could bring temperature increases as high as 5.8 degrees Celsius (10.4 Fahrenheit). If trends continue, carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere will double from pre-Industrial Revolution levels (280 parts per million) within 50 years, according to the journal Science."

    "Is global warming really a threat? Absolutely! ... First, the Earth has gotten warmer. Since 1850, average global temperatures have risen about .6 degrees Celsius, the United Nations says. Greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide released by humans burning fossil fuels and clearing land are the likely culprits. Sea levels have also risen about 4 to 8 inches during the past century, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

    Second, the concentration of greenhouse gases (or GHG) in the atmosphere is near its highest point in recorded history. Since the Industrial Revolution, concentrations of carbon dioxide, a potent greenhouse gas, have risen 30 percent.

    Based on studies of air bubbles trapped in ancient ice, today's levels are higher than any time in at least 420,000 years, said David King, chief science adviser for the British government. If GHG concentrations rise, as expected, concentrations could cross what some consider a "dangerous" threshold, although that designation is contentious.

    Finally, almost every scientist agrees upon one thing: the future is highly uncertain. While most scientists support projections by the United Nation's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that temperatures will rise 1.4 degrees Celsius (2.5 degrees Fahrenheit) to 5.8 degrees Celsius (10.4 degrees Fahrenheit) by 2100, the scientific consensus shows cracks beyond this point.....we can say very clearly, with the same amount of energy going in and less going out, [the Earth] has to warm up...That's elementary physics.

    This growing confidence is the result of progress being made with climate models and deciphering cryptic clues about ancient climate in tree rings, lake sediments and ice cores. Paleo-climate measurements, once unattainable, now offer a record of global temperatures stretching back 750,000 years.

    "There is no doubt that humans are warming the planet. That's very clear now," says Jeffrey Severinghaus, a geoscience researcher at the Scripps Institute of Oceanography. "The data is beautiful. It's very strong. Humans are changing the climate, and we're expected to change it a lot more in the future."

    note: can someone tell me how to post graphs on this forum? In my last post, the website that I cited has a nice graph showing twenty of the world's largest glaciers all dramatically retreating. Would've been a nice post.
  18. Edufer Tired warrior Registered Senior Member

    You need to have the right address for the graphic file, ie.: and use the advanced facility where you can link the file to this server.

    One way to get the addres fro a file is

    1) press the right button on the page you have the graph you like.
    2) Select "See source code" (or something like that) from the little window.
    3) In the newly opened window locate (scrolling down) in the code page the address for the specific file. It takes time so be patient.

    Then try you skill at html coding in the advanced mode. Wish you luck!
  19. Edufer Tired warrior Registered Senior Member

    Valich, try not to link or mention "press releases" because they have no credibility in any forum. Only scientifc studies (peer reviewed) as the one I linked you to deserve some faith.
  20. valich Registered Senior Member

    It goes like this: In the beginning the Earth had no atmosphere. Early Earth's atmosphere contained primarily helium and hydrogen, then helium, hydrogen, ammonia, and methane. This is when life originated on Earth - about 4 billion years ago. O2 did not exist in the atmosphere; nor did C02. The first forms of bacteria on Earth thrived on methane and other gases - then on C02. We have evidence dating back 3.83 billion years ago of cyanobacteria. This is important because cyanobacteria are thought to have been the first form of life on Earth that used C02 and water in photosynthesis to generate 02 in the environment. During this period of history, oxygen 02 is considered as a "poison" because it killed other C02 forms of life, as it also does today to humans (people die from C02 poisoning?).

    Oxygen concentrations increased rapidy around 2.5 billion years ago allowing animal life to evolve and flourish. Now however, the Earth contains too much C02, and not enough plant life to absorb the C02 and reconvert it to back into oxygen (lots of talk about the alarming rate of deforestation, especially the Amazon rain forest?). This is why C02 is now considered as a pollutant: it is contributing to the temperature increases (global warming) by helping to block out photons in the upper atmosphere. It is also contributing to Ozone depletion because the more C02 that you have in the atmosphere, the less 02 you have, and Ozone 03 is produced from chemical reactions between 02 and H20.

    We receive energy from the sun's photons, but we emit energy back from the Earth in the form of infrared radiation. The tri-atomic gases, such as water vapor, carbon dioxide, and ozone, absorb, but also block this infrared radiation from escaping the Earth's atmosphere. The result is increases in the Earth's temperature (global warming).

    You see, today, the Earth's "life-sustaining" lower atmosphere contains 78.1% Nitrogen (N2), 21.0%, Oxygen (O2), 0.93% Argon (Ar), and only trace amounts of Carbon dioxide (CO2) 365 ppmv, Neon (Ne) 18.18 ppmv, Helium (He) 5.24 ppmv, Methane (CH4) 1.745 ppmv, Krypton (Kr) 1.14 ppmv, Hydrogen (H2) 0.55 ppmv. If you upset this delicate balance: you upset the survival of life.

    I think I learned all this in my geology, physics, astronomy, geography, chemistry, biology, and environmental science classes?
  21. valich Registered Senior Member

    These press releases contain quotes from scientific researchers and references to the latest journal editions of Science which I do not yet have access to unless I run up to the library to get them. And I have little time to do that right now.

    Try not to belittle people by saying that they aught to do this or that to learn more, and act as if you know more, as then you lose your credibility.
  22. valich Registered Senior Member

    This is the graphic file. Would you like to post it for me so that we can all view it?

    I right-clicked on the page but see nothing about the "source code." I donna?
  23. valich Registered Senior Member

    The so-called "press release" above was a CNN coverage of scientific debate filled with quotations. Some were taken from an email sent directly to CNN's Michael Coren by John Christy, Director of the Earth System Science Center. Other direct sources, the scientists involved in the debate, include:

    The United Nation's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
    David King, Chief Science Adviser for the British government
    Dr. Drew Shindell, a NASA climate modeler at the Goddard Institute for Space Studies
    Dr. Jeffrey Severinghaus, geoscientist at the Scripps Institute of Oceanography
    Dr. Richard Sommerville, meteorologist at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography
    Dr. Tim Barnett, a researcher with the Scripps Institute of Oceanography
    Dr. Richard Lindzen, meteorologist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    and a 1979 report by the U.S. National Academy of Sciences

    Also see:
    "Protections for the Earth's Climate," Scientific American, Dec2005, Vol. 293 Is. 6, p55.

    "Wind or fury?," by Potter, Sean. Science News, 11/5/2005, Vol. 168 Issue 19, p303.

    "The Radiative Signature of Upper Tropospheric Moistening," by Soden, Brian J.; Jackson, Darren L.; Ramaswamy, V.; Schwarzkopf, M.D.; Huang, Xianglei. Science, 11/4/2005, Vol. 310 Issue 5749, p841-844.

    "Global change: Sea level and volcanoes," by Cazenave, Anny. Nature, 11/3/2005, Vol. 438 Issue 7064, p35-36.

    "Greenhouse gas production: A comparison between aerobic and anaerobic wastewater treatment technology," by Cakir, F.Y.; Stenstrom, M.K.. Water Research, Nov2005, Vol. 39 Issue 17, p4197-4203.

    "Anthropogenic climate change and abatement in a multi-region world with endogenous growth," by Greiner, Alfred. Ecological Economics, Nov2005, Vol. 55 Issue 2, p224-234.

    "Global Warming and Infectious Disease," by Khasnis, Atul A.; Nettleman, Mary D.. Archives of Medical Research, Nov2005, Vol. 36 Issue 6, p689-696.

    "Theory and performance of an infrared heater for ecosystem warming," by Kimball, B. A.. Global Change Biology, Nov2005, Vol. 11 Issue 11, p2041-2056.

    "THE GLOBAL WARMING CRISIS," by Jordan, Stuart. Humanist, Nov/Dec2005, Vol. 65 Issue 6, p23-29.

    "Global Warning. By: Kaufman, Marc. Science & Spirit, Nov/Dec2005, Vol. 16 Is. 6, p19

    "U.S. Great Lakes Thawing Earlier," by Mastny, Lisa. World Watch, Nov/Dec2005, Vol. 18 Issue 6, p7.

    "Global Warming for Dummies," by Kellner, Tomas. Forbes, 10/31/2005, Vol. 176 I 9, p58

    "Lake algae confirm global warming link" New Scientist, 10/29/2005, Vol.188 I 2523, p19

    "Role of Land-Surface Changes in Arctic Summer Warming," by Chapin III, F.S.; Sturm, M.; Serreze, M.C.; McFadden, J.P.; Key, J.R.; Lloyd, A.H.; McGuire, A.D.; Rupp, T.S.; Lynch, A.H.; Schimel, J.P.; Beringer, J.; Chapman, W.L.; Epstein, H.E.; Euskirchen, E.S.; Hinzman, L.D.; Jia, G.; Ping, C.-L.; Tape, K.D.; Thompson, C.D.C.; Walker, D.A.. Science, 10/28/2005, Vol. 310 Issue 5748, p657-660.

    "Ministers agree to act on warnings of soaring temperatures in Africa," by Cherry, Michael. Nature, 10/27/2005, Vol. 437 Issue 7063, p1217

    "Siberia Is Melting," Current Science, 10/21/2005, Vol. 91 Issue 4, p15-30.

    "Old Ways of Life Are Fading as the Arctic Thaws," by Myers, Steven Lee; Revkin, Andrew C.; Romero, Simon; Krauss, Clifford. New York Times, 10/20/2005, Vol. 155 Issue 53373, pA1-A14

    "Steamed up at global warming," New Scientist, 10/15/2005, Vol. 188 Issue 2521, p18.

    "Water vapor is rising in high troposphere," Chemical & Engineering News, 10/10/2005, Vol. 83 Issue 41, p39.

    "Arctic ice shrinking as it feels the heat," by Pearce, Fred. New Scientist, 10/8/2005, Vol. 188 Issue 2520, p12.

    "Onset of recent rapid sea-level rise in the western Atlantic Ocean," by Gehrels, W. Roland; Kirby, Jason R.; Prokoph, Andreas; Newnham, Rewi M.; Achterberg, Eric P.; Evans, Hywel; Black, Stuart; Scott, David B.. Quaternary Science Reviews, Oct2005, Vol. 24 Issue 18/19, p2083-2100.

    "Ice-free Arctic Ocean?," Science Teacher, Oct2005, Vol. 72 Issue 7, p20-22.

    These are the most recent articles on the facts of Global Warming written in scientific journals within the last month.

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