Greenland ice sheet not going anywhere in a hurry, say boffins
Danish prof: You can stop work on that ark for now
Doom-laden predictions that the seas are set to rise by a metre or more this century due to the melting of the Greenland ice sheet are well off the mark, a team of scientists has announced in a new study of the matter.
"It turns out that the ice sheet, in relation to this point, behaves more dynamically and is able to more quickly stabilise itself in comparison to what many other models and computer calculations otherwise predict," explains Professor Kurt Kjaer of Copenhagen uni.
According to Kjaer and his colleagues, the scenarios which predict huge melting and massive resultant sea-level rises are flawed because they rely on a very limited amount of information spanning just a few recent years: the Greenland ice has only been intensively studied for a relatively short period of time. This has led scientists to assume that rapid melting seen lately will carry on uninterrupted, pouring gigatonnes of water into the world's oceans and inundating coastal areas around the planet.
But this is mistaken: it now emerges that periods of rapid melting like the one just seen have happened in the past - but then, rather than continuing, the apparently runaway melting simply stopped.
"We’ve used a combination of old aerial photographs from the '80s and recent satellite data. In this way we’ve been able to gain an overview of the thinning of the ice sheet over the last 30 years in northwestern Greenland," says Shfaqat Abbas Khan of the Technical University of Denmark (DTU), who worked on the study alongside Kjaer.
"We are the first who have been able to show that the Greenland Ice Sheet was on as dramatic a diet at the end of the '80s as it is today. On the positive side our results show that - despite a significant thinning in peripheral regions from 1985-1992 - the thinning slowed and then died out."
Kjaer for his part predicts that the ongoing rapid melting at the moment will cease within a decade, leading to a stable period like the one his team has identified from the early '90s until 2003.
"It is certain that many of the present calculations and computer models of ice sheet conditions that built upon a short range of years since 2000 must be reassessed," states the prof, uncompromisingly. "It is too early to proclaim the 'ice sheet’s future doom' and subsequent contribution to serious water problems for the world."
The new study has been deemed important enough to make today's edition of premier boffinry mag Science, where it can now be read by subscribers.
A related study examining old aerial photos of the Greenland ice was published in June, revealing that in the 1930s the glaciers there were retreating even faster than they are today: but again, the process subsequently stopped on its own. ®
Re: I didn't bother reading it
I had to laugh at your suggestion, because in my opinion Lewis Page has far more credibility than WUWT.
Imagine a group of people desperately trying to deny and ignore and attack the science and making countless errors doing so. You've just imagined WUWT. It was the site that pushed the now discredited "Watts paper" that told everyone NOAA had adjusted stations two times too warm. We were told it was a "game changer". Days later fatal flaws were discovered in the logic of the paper which rendered that conclusion unsupportable. But funnily enough the claim still got cited as fact in senate testimony.
Then consider the double standards. When Professor Muller of Berkeley released a draft paper without the backing data and code and made a song and dance about it in the media, WUWT and climate skeptics viciously attacked him for doing so. Label it as "science by press release". See how this article handles it for example:
"However each announcement has been aggressively trialled in the press not only before the peer review process had judged them ready for publication - which may not be a major issue - but also before anyone outside the BEST project could examine the papers at all. This requires the ordinary reader to take BEST's accompanying press releases on blind faith - which is not a barrier for some journalists, but is far short of acceptable practice."
But the Watts paper wasn't peer reviewed either. It was released suddenly and with much hype in a "press release" and the data and code were not made available (and are still not available) for others to "examine the papers". Yet climate skeptics had no problem with this because the paper is cosy for climate skeptics. So it gets the "game changer" treatment:
To really grasp the double-standard bear in mind that both the above articles were published just a day apart by the same author.
The pattern is simple: Skeptics clearly don't believe their own complaints about "science by press release" if they are happy to do it themselves. What they are actually doing then is finding any excuse to attack papers they don't like, and heavily advocating the ones they do.
Re: Good work as always Lewis!
You are almost beyond parody. Massive grants from the "world governments"? The conspiracy theory is not even about a "world government" anymore, there are now several of them. I guess the Illuminati run one and the reptilians another? Do clue me in.
The conspiracy theory of a long-game to raise taxes is a joke. If governments wanted to raise taxes they could do so far quicker and easier by simply using any old short-term excuse - oh look we need taxes for the war, we need taxes for the economic downturn to bail out the banks, etc.
The idea that politicians would plan to fund an otherwise esoteric field of science just so in 40 years time some completely different politicians have a setup to levy a specific tax is utterly ludicrous. It doesn't even make sense from a motive point of view, let alone a human behavior point of view.
Re: I didn't bother reading it
Well read it on WUWT which has a lot more credibility. And if you think WUWT doesn't have any credibility at all then you show yourself to be someone who is easily fooled because you don't do any basic research yourself like looking into both side of the argument.