Satellite data shows entire Conger ice shelf has collapsed in Antarctica: Nasa scientist says complete collapse of ice shelf as big as Rome during unusually high temperatures is ‘sign of what might be coming’
Featured Image: Sketch of the Antarctic coast with glaciological and oceanographic processes. 7 April 2000. / Author: Hannes Grobe, Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research, Bremerhaven, Germany via Wikimedia / Permission: Own work, share alike, attribution required (Creative Commons CC-BY-SA-2.5)
Views expressed in this post are those of its author(s), not necessarily all Vote Climate One members.
What makes the Antarctic warming really weird is that the southern continent … has not been warming much, especially when compared to the rest of the globe,…
Antarctica did set a record for the lowest summer sea ice — records go back to 1979….
What likely happened was “a big atmospheric river” pumped in warm and moist air from the Pacific southward, Meier said. And in the Arctic, which has been warming two to three times faster than the rest of the globe and is considered vulnerable to climate change, warm Atlantic air was coming north off the coast of Greenland.
These sorts of temperatures in what are supposedly the coldest places on our planet is a strong indication that our house is on fire, and that we need to get very serious about working to put it out before we are all consumed by it!
by Amélie Bottollier-Depois, 18/03/2022 in Phys Org/Earth/Environment
The answer is set to arrive on April 4 after closed-door, virtual negotiations approve the summary of a phonebook-sized report detailing options for drawing down greenhouse gases and extracting them out of thin air.
“The science is crystal clear, the impacts are costly and mounting, but we still have some time to close the window and get ahead of the worst of them if we act now,” said Alden Meyer, a senior analyst at climate and energy think tank E3G.
“This report will supply the answers as to what we need if we’re serious about getting there.”
Are we too late to put out the fire? The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) doesn’t think so…. at least not quite yet. The IPCC’s Sixth Assessment report: Climate Change 2021/2022 consists of three parts: Part I, published last year – The Physical Science Basis , details the scientific background; Part II, published this month – Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability, details the troubles we face if warming is not stopped; and Part III to be published early April details how we can respond. Bad news, but not yet a death sentence.
How sure are we that we face imminent threats from continued warming?
Aside from warnings issued by the IPCC and individual climate scientists, we only need to pay attention to the world around us and the NB4 weather catastrophes assaulting our communities to see that the climate is deteriorating before our eyes at an accelerating rate. Some observations will illustrate what I mean here.
This graph shows with remarkable clarity how much less ice cover there was on the Antarctic Ocean at the time of maximum melting, and how long that amount of ocean was ice-free and thus able to absorb solar heat that otherwise would have been reflected away from our planet. This heat will stay around slowing the rate of the winter freeze up and reduce the thickness of the ice cover so it melts away even faster in the following year than would otherwise be the case. Some of the heat will also speed melting of Antarctic glaciers from underneath. In other words, reducing the exent of the freezing provides positive feedback helping to drive global temperatures higher.
This graph shows air-temperature variation over essentially the whole of the Arctic Ocean around the North Pole from January through 20 March 2022. The scale is given in degrees Kelvin above Absolute Zero. Zero degrees Celsius is indicated by the blue line near the top of the graph. The green line shows the average mean temperature for each day of the year for the baseline reference years from 1958 to 2002. The red line shows this year’s mean temperatures for each day up to 20/03/2022. Every day this year the temperature has been at least 2 °C warmer than the reference temperature for the day. Recently, the whole area over the Arctic Ocean was 15 °C hotter than the reference temperature. At this temperature the Ice won’t be melting from the top, but it may be warm enough that warmish ocean waters under the ice may be doing some melting from he bottom. It also means that when spring comes the ice won’t be so cold, and will warm up to melting temperature earlier in the year.
And then there is yet more evidence from the last few days:
And then there are the climate catastrophes in Australia that some of you will have experienced personally and lived through… and the rest of us will have seen on the TV news.
What does this news tell us we should do about a man who “won’t hold a hose” and has committed ‘his’ government to keep shoveling coal on the fire?
Our home world’s climate system is telling us via the rising frequency of NB4 extreme climate events that she’s burning up and will become increasingly uninhabitable as her global temperature keeps rising at an accelerating rate. If the fires aren’t hosed down enough for the world to cool, our population will begin collapsing as rising temperatures and increasingly extreme and overlapping disasters lead to heat deaths, famines and disorder as ecosystems begin collapsing around us. The result will leave its record in geology as a global mass extinction event.
Even a 16 year-old school girl could see what we need to do:
In other words, wake up! smell the smoke! see the grimly frightful reality, and fight the fire that is burning up our only planet so we can give our offspring a hopeful future. Given that we are facing an existential crisis – this is the only issue that matters until the crisis is solved. Even the IPCC’s hyper-conservative Sixth Assessment WG2 Report that looks at climate change’s global and regional impacts on ecosystems, biodiversity, and human communities makes it clear we are headed for climate catastrophe if we don’t stop the warming process.
Scott Morrison and his troop of wooden-headed puppets are doing essentially nothing to organize effective action against the warming. In fact as noted above in his master’s voice, he doesn’t hold a hose, and is determined ‘to keep Australians burning coal as long as we possibly can’ and when they can’t burn that any more, burn more natural gas. And, as I have noted in previous posts, it seems that they actively work to prevent others from acting against the climate emergency because this might harm the profits of their patrons in the fossil fuel industry.
In Greta’s words, “even a small child can understand [this]”. People hope for their children’s futures. She doesn’t want your hopium. She wants you to rationally panic enough to wake up, pay attention to reality, and fight the fire…. so our offspring can have some hope for their future.
Clearly, we need to replace the hoseless firebugs of the COALition with sensible people who are publicly committed to acting on the climate emergency or who can be counted on to vote this way because of party discipline.
The European Space Agency presents some of its satellite-based research programs on ice melting and rising sea levels..
by Space for Our Climate 10/02/2022 — European Space Agency New research sums up sea-level rise: Sea-level rise is arguably one of the most serious consequences of the climate crisis. While using satellite data to monitor how the height of the sea is changing provides critical evidence for decision-making, satellites are also essential to measuring the individual components, such as seawater temperature and glacier melt, that contribute to the overall rise. Confidence in the accuracy of these separate measures is key. ESA-funded research now confirms that the figures match up.
Views expressed in this post are those of its author(s), not necessarily all Vote Climate One members.
The rising sea-level has two sources: runoff from the land (mostly glacial melt water) and thermal expansion of the ocean itself due to warming from excess solar energy accumulating from the global warming process.
The melt water in the rising sea-level comes from two primary sources, melting glaciers and ice cap on Greenland that has increased 6-fold over the last couple of decades; and melting glaciers and ice cap on Antarctica which has more than doubled over the same time. This is measured by the loss of mass variable – representing the weight of the water that has been added to the oceans.
As described in the feature article below, the melting rate of a glacier is determined by its speed as it is creeping/sliding down the continental slope into the ocean. This in turn is determined by a complex set of interacting factors, e.g., temperature, angle of slope, width and roughness of the bed, how much meltwater is in the bed to lubricate/float the ice, where and how the ice may crack and crumble, how many bends there are in the valley, ocean conditions at the foot, whether and to what extent warm and salty (salt lowers the melting temperature of ice) ocean water penetrates into the glacier bed under its foot, thickness and extent of the floating ice shelf at the glacier’s foot and so on. Simply stated, melt rates are inherently unpredictable. However, one thing we can be sure of is that the melt rate will speed up as ambient temperatures increase the rate of ice melting, and rain replaces snow as the main form of precipitation.
The geological record provides good evidence that episodes of abrupt ice melting can cause raise sea-levels a lot faster than they are now, perhaps even showing large changes in rate over a few decades.
There may well be enough ice in the West Antarctic Ice Sheet — especially if combined with an equally rapid melting of the Greenland Ice Sheet to support an equivalent amount of melting to the Meltwater Pulse 1A. It is notable that the land surface underlying very large areas of both West Antarctica and Greenland are below sea level – giving ample opportunities for warm ocean water to help speed the melting and collapse of the ice sheets.
Why Melting Ice in Antarctica is Making Waves: Scientists recently discovered that the Thwaites Ice Shelf, a floating ice shelf that supports the Florida-sized Thwaites Glacier, could collapse in as little as five years because of global warming.
Climate Reality Project, 28/01/2022
This past December, the massive Thwaites Glacier in Western Antarctica made headlines for all the wrong reasons. Specifically, because new research revealed that the ice shelf preventing it from sliding into the ocean and drastically raising sea levels could collapse well within the next decade.
This Florida-sized glacier had already worried experts for years, going as far as to regularly be called the “Doomsday Glacier”. And yet, this update from the scientific community was still groundbreaking.
It’s news that the world — particularly low-lying island and coastal communities — should understand and act on. So, what exactly is Thwaites Glacier, what does the latest research about it say, and what consequences could come from its decline?
FIRST THINGS FIRST, WHAT IS THWAITES GLACIER?
Thwaites Glacier is a massive body of dense ice located in Western Antarctica. Measuring about 80 miles (120 km) across, it’s the widest glacier on Earth.
Thwaites Glacier in Western Antarctica. Credit: NASA
The glacier has an ice shelf — a permanent piece of floating ice connected to it — that branches out into the Amundsen Sea. Now, understanding what exactly an ice shelf does is crucial.
Read the complete article….
As long as the world continues to warm and large amounts of snow and ice remain lying on the land, sea levels will continue to rise. The risk of an abrupt sea-level rise is real. The human and economic costs of such an event would be catastrophic if it happens. It therefore makes very good sense that mitigation works should begin soon with planning in place at federal, state and local levels to accelerate the work if we have any clear early warning signs that abrupt melting is actually beginning.
Also, from the official transcript dated 20/12/2019 from the PM’s own office, Scotty made it abundantly clear to John Stanley on 2GB Radio that HE doesn’t fight fires… “But I know Australians understand… that, you know, I don’t hold a hose, mate, and I don’t sit in a control room. That’s the brave people who do that are doing that job. But I know that Australians would want me back at this time out of these fatalities. So I’ll happily come back [from his secret holiday in Hawaii] and do that.”
In other words, smell the smoke, see the reality, and fight the fire that is burning up our only planet so we can give our offspring a hopeful future. This is the only issue that matters. All Capt. Humbug and his troop of wooden-headed puppets are doing is rearranging the furniture in the burning house to be incinerated along with anything else we may care about. In Greta’s words, “even a small child can understand [this]”. People hope for their children’s futures. She doesn’t want your hope. She wants you to panic enough to wake up and fight the fire…. so she can have some hope for her future. Vote Climate One’s Traffic Light Voting System will help you use your vote wisely on behalf of our offsprings’ futures.
Views expressed in this post are those of its author(s), not necessarily all Vote Climate One members.
Part 3 of David Spratt’s guidebook to events along the road to Hothouse Hell: Collapse of the Greenland Ice Sheet.
Continuing from David Spratt’s look in Part 2 of his guidebook at evidence that the West Australian Ice Sheet is beginning to collapse; here, in Part 3 he turns his attention north, to signs that Greenland’s Ice Sheet is also beginning to collapse. As before, we are looking at the impacts of a probable sequence of events along the global warming road to Earth’s Hothouse Hell. These are leading us to what Steffen et al. described as the Earth System’s Hothouse (see the featured graphic above) in their 2018 Proceedings of the National Academies of Science paper, Trajectories of the Earth System in the Anthropocene. The potentially cascading impacts of these events were also summarized in Lenton et al’s 2019 comment paper in Nature, Climate tipping points — too risky to bet against. An additional danger is that these may also cascade rapidly to cause a large change abruptly. The bottom line is that if we cannot stop the warming and backtrack to a lower temperature world, we cannot avoid the Hothouse and the road will end in the mass extinction of most species of complex life on our only planet, including ourselves.
There is no evidence that anything other than a rapidly mobilized war effort by humans will stop the cascade passing the point of no return to runaway warming and global mass extinction. If we want to leave any kind of future to our children and grandchildren, we had better pay heed to the warning signs that Spratt is pointing out, and start mobilizing and acting NOW!
24 January 2022
Have tipping points already been passed for critical climate systems? (3) Greenland and the Arctic: Abrupt change
“The Arctic is screaming”, says Mark Serreze, Arctic climate expert at the US National Snow and Ice Data Center.
Arctic warming is racing ahead of the worst-case estimates, now heating four times faster than the global average, and the region is undergoing abrupt climate change, understood as a transition of the climate system into a different mode on a time scale that is faster than the responsible forcing. In other words, it has passed a tipping point for rapid, system-level change.
Researchers say that the Arctic “is currently experiencing an abrupt climate change event … climate models underestimate the abruptness of the recent changes observed in the Arctic (and) climate models underestimate this ongoing warming”. [Models do not account well for warming due to sea-ice loss, but losing the reflective power of Arctic sea ice in the summer months would advance the 2ºC threshold by 25 years”.]
Read the complete article…..
If we do nothing to stop the inexorable warming process we started with the proliferating carbon burning used to fuel the Industrial Revolution and our continuing competition to control the world the Climate System will complete its flip into Earth’s Hothouse Hell state. It will be very unlikely that we can avoid the hothouse and extinction along with the rest of the biosphere that supports our lives.
From the time the Abbott Government was elected in 2013 the LNP COALition Governments (currently under Capt. Humbug, (a.k.a. Scotty from Marketing) and his henchman Blarny Bulldust (The Man with the Hat) have worked hard to protect and and advance the interests of their patrons with special interests in the fossil fuel and related resource exploitation industries. Thus, for nearly a decade, The COALition’s humbug, denial, parliamentary blocking, disinformation, distraction and stupidity has successfully disrupted virtually every attempt to act against greenhouse gas emissions or even to slow the continued expansion of these lethal industries. Every year the COALition has been in power we are that much closer to the point of no return where our extinction is the only plausible outcome.
So what can Australians do to begin improving our odds to avoid the Hothouse Hell? One very obvious action is to replace the COALition government with people we can trust to put action on the climate emergency at the top of their goals in office and who have the capacity to organize and lead Australia’s mobilization of a global effort to stop and reverse global warming.
Part 2 of David Spratt’s guide-book to events along the road to Hothouse Hell: collapse of the West-Antarctic Ice Sheet
This post continues David Spratt’s account of how we humans seem to be passing critical tipping points in the dynamics of Earth’s Climate System initiating the positive feedbacks of runaway global warming to Earth’s Hothouse Hell. Steffen et al. described the dynamics and existential consequences of this process in their 2018 Proceedings of the National Academies of Science paper, Trajectories of the Earth System in the Anthropocene. The feature graphic above from that paper maps out alternative destinations we can reach from where we are now. There are two roads,
a wide easy one leading to the cliff of no return, where we can no longer stop Earth’s runaway warming to global average temperatures 10 – 15 °C hotter than present that will be lethal to most species of complex organisms, and
an already hard to reach path where we climb back up the hill through effective “stewardship” (Steffen et al’s word), and reverse the warming process to stabilize the climate system in a way that will give humans and what remains of a probably already tattered biosphere a long term future.
Thanks to the technologies we began developing in the Industrial Revolution we have fueled our endless competition with one-another to control our one world with the increasingly profligate burning of fossil carbon to increase greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere. Rising temperatures are then initiating a variety of other temperature-related positive-feedback processes emitting more greenhouse gases or having other effects to increase the rate of temperate rise that has started us down the road to Earth’s Hothouse Hell.
When the positive feedback reaches a point where it can sustain further temperature increases, it can be said that it has passed a tipping point, that may begin a rapid cascade of further tipping points as described in Lenton et al’s 2019 comment paper in Nature, Climate tipping points — too risky to bet against. There is no evidence that anything other than a rapidly mobilized war effort by humans will be able to stop the cascade passing the point of no return to runaway warming and global mass extinction. If we want to leave a future to our children and grandchildren, we had better pay heed to the warning signs that Spratt is pointing out, and start mobilizing and acting now.
20 January 2022
Have tipping points already been passed for critical climate systems? (2) West Antarctica and the “doomsday” glacier
The Thwaites Glacier in West Antarctica has an eastern ice shelf 45 kilometres wide as it flows into the Amundsen Sea. On 13 December 2021, scientists announced that the ice shelf is likely to break apart in the next five years or so, resulting in a speeding up of the glacier’s flow and ice discharge, possibly heralding the collapse of the glacier itself, and triggering similar increases across the Amundsen Sea glaciers.
The researchers explain: “Over the last several years, satellite radar imagery shows many new fractures opening up… which like a growing crack in the windshield of a car [can] suddenly break apart into hundreds of panes of glass. We have mapped [the] pathway the fractures might take through the ice [and conclude] the final collapse of Thwaites Glacier’s last remaining ice shelf may be initiated … within as little as five years” (emphasis added).
The fracturing of the ice shelf means more warm water will penetrate under the ice sheet, helping to free the underbelly of the glacier from the grounding line rock underneath, and allowing water to flow into the deep basin under the glacier, causing the glacier’s collapse. This would raise sea levels by 65 centimetres, though the timing of such collapse — the “doomsday” scenario — is highly uncertain. Since neighbouring glaciers flow into the same basin, the demise of Thwaites could eventually lead to the loss of all of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS), resulting in more than three metres of sea level rise, and putting at risk the lives and livelihoods of 250 million people.
There is no doubt that observable and understandable evidence from the real world that Spratt, I and others point out is telling us that we are on the road to Earth’s Hothouse Hell and the current climate emergency is already dire and getting worse. In the face of this truly existential crisis, Australia is governed by Captain Humbug’s LNP COALition. Based on watching and listening to them in action, they are a troop of wooden-headed puppets, charlatans, knaves and pathological liars.
Their COALition’s focus in Parliament seems to be protecting the special interests of their patrons in the greenhouse-gas emitting fossil fuel industries and related exploiters of Australia’s resources. Beginning with the holier than thou Abbott and currently led by Capt. Humbug (Scotty from marketing) and Blarney Bulldust (the man with the hat), as long as the COALition has been in government, their constant flow of humbug, legislative blocking, denial, disinformation, disruption, distraction etc., has effectively protected their patrons by stifling the mobilization of any real action on the climate emergency (e.g.., stopping GHG emissions cold).
Vote Climate One understands and accepts the real world evidence that humanity faces a genuinely existential crisis: we’ll soon become extinct if we do not stop and reverse global warming. Our group was formed with the single goal – to create some hope for the future by helping the Australian people remove Capt. Humbug and his nasty and evil troop from our Federal Parliament by replacing the puppets and knaves with honest parties and individuals who have convinced us that they can be trusted to place acting on climate change as their first order of business in Parliament.