Break Up of Antarctic Ice Shelf

Article written: 28 Mar , 2008
Updated: 26 Dec , 2015
by

If anyone is denial about climate change possibly occuring on Earth, please take a look at this. This animation highlights the rapid loss of ice recently on the Wilkins Ice Shelf in Antarctica. Between February 28 and 29, 2008 an area of about 400 sq km disintegrated into large and small icebergs within 24 hours. As a result of the recent collapse, the remaining shelf, which totals about 14 500 sq km, is now only supported by a 6 km strip of ice. This strip is already rifted, and the remaining strip is in danger of breaking up as well.

The Wilkins Ice Shelf is a broad plate of floating ice south of South America on the Antarctic Peninsula. Since the ice shelf is already floating, this event will not cause a rise in sea level. However, ice shelves on the Antarctic Peninsula are sandwiched by extraordinarily raising surface air temperatures and a warming ocean, making them important indicators for on-going climate change.
Credits: ESA - M. Braun, Bonn University, Center for Remote Sensing of Land Surfaces
Thousands of years of accumulated and compacted snow on the Antarctic central plateau have formed a mighty ice sheet which flows under gravity towards the coastal plane. Along the coast the ice gradually floats on the sea – to form massive ledges known as ice shelves. But as the temperature has increased, several ice shelves have broken up and disintegrated.

The images used for this annimation were taken by the ESA’s Envisat satellite. Within days of its launch, Envisat captured the disintegration of the Larsen-B ice shelf in Antarctica on 18 March 2002. Scientists estimate Larsen-B had been stable since the last ice age 12,000 years ago.

These images were acquired as part of ESA’s support to the International Polar Year (IPY) 2007-2008, a large worldwide science programme focused on the Arctic and Antarctic.

Original News Source: ESA Press Release


36 Responses

  1. David says

    I am not in denial about climate change. What I am interested in is the natural evolution of climate change(s) that has/have happened in the recent and distant past. Geological records clearly support dramatic swings in climate changes. What is the relationship of natural climate change and potential human contributions–e.g. carbon and so forth? The popular media is fixated on the human contribution. I applaud that. I only wish they, along with scientists, would promote the examination of the natural record and begin a serious discussion, in the public arena, about the relationship between natural and artificially induced climate change. The establishment of the fact that humans contribute to an altered climate begs the question as to what extent can humans contribute to climate change. That question, in part or in whole, can only be answered by examining all the science, including natural history.

  2. James Sheets says

    David,

    Take a look at this: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/warming/etc/graphs.html. The charts for the past 150 years show remarkable, and frankly frightening correlations.

  3. the_nthian says

    I think David’s point is that 150 years is only a little bit longer than one human lifespan, relatively speaking. The question remains, what are the ‘correlations’ when we look over the past few thousand years? or longer?
    We are, after all, discussing “global” change, not inconvenience to humans.
    The graphs (which are found at http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/warming/etc/graphs.html#2 ) each cover different time spans and therefore cannot correlate….and another thing.
    The last graph shows the CO2 levels in the atmosphere over 400,000 years but neglects to show O2 levels which would, likely, be similar to graph #1 over the same 400,000 years.
    If we were to really go back to the “pristine atmosphere, before biologicals like ourselves started “messing it up” we would all be dead. Oh, and internal combustion would not work at all.

  4. thatdevguy says

    I stop reading any article on climate change as soon as I see the word “denial” or “denier.” Unless you’re talking about the holocaust, the only reason to use the word “deny” is to demonize someone. That has a chilling effect. It’s group think. It makes people afraid to ask questions for fear of being labeled. As someone interested in science, you should be ashamed for employing that tactic. I really don’t care that you’re frustrated with people who disagree. I really don’t care that you’ve had to explain the same things over and over again. None of that is a valid excuse.

  5. cosmogony says

    Misleading Reports About Antarctica

    By Joseph D’Aleo, CCM

    Last year when Antarctic set a new record for ice extent, it got no media attention. They focused on the north polar regions where the ice set record low levels. This summer when unprecedented anomalous cover continued in the Southern Hemisphere again no coverage. Then this report in the news today. You probably saw it on your favorite network or internet news site (pick one, anyone).

    Vast Antarctic Ice Shelf on Verge of Collapse – Latest Sign of Global Warming’s Impact Shocks Scientists
    Andrea Thompson Livescience

    A vast ice shelf hanging on by a thin strip looks to be the next chunk to break off from the Antarctic Peninsula, the latest sign of global warming’s impact on Earth’s southernmost continent. Scientists are shocked by the rapid change of events. Glaciologist Ted Scambos of the University of Colorado was monitoring satellite images of the Wilkins Ice Shelf and spotted a huge iceberg measuring 25 miles by 1.5 miles (37 square miles) that appeared to have broken away from the shelf. Scambos alerted colleagues at the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) that it looked like the entire ice shelf – about 6,180 square miles (about the size of Northern Ireland)- was at risk of collapsing. The region where the Wilkins Ice Shelf lies has experienced unprecedented warming in the past 50 years, with several ice shelves retreating in the past 30 years. Six of these ice shelves have collapsed completely: Prince Gustav Channel, Larsen Inlet, Larsen A, Larsen B, Wordie, Muller and the Jones Ice Shelf.

  6. cosmogony says

    Part 2 of above story
    The full Wilkins 6,000 square mile ice shelf is just 0.39% of the current Antarctic ice cover (just 0.1% of the extent last September). A very small piece broke off as an iceberg (37 square miles). Then only a small portion of it around 160 square miles partially disintegrated late this February into early March. That represents just 2.67% of the full Wilkins ice sheet and 0.01% of the total Antarctic icecover (0.003% of its level last September), a little like an icicle falling from a snow and ice cover roof. No big deal (unless you are standing beneath it).

    And this winter is coming on quickly. Satellite images show the ice has already refrozen around the broken pieces and expanded. In fact the ice is returning so fast, it is running an amazing 60% ahead (4.0 vs 2.5 million square km extent) of last year when it set a new record. The ice extent is already approaching the second highest level for extent since the measurements began by satellite in 1979 and just a few days into the Southern Hemisphere fall season and 6 months ahead of the peak. We are very likely going to exceed last year’s record. Yet the world is left with the false impression Antarctica’s ice sheet is also starting to disappear.

  7. Mike - Portugal says

    Dudes…you ALL know ( should ) that Co2 emissions, along with all the other human induced gree-house gases, rise global temps right ?! You also know that the result of this induction ( heavy reliance on hydrocarbon use for energy ) ?? Temperature rise, more humidity in the air, greater evaporation of all surface waters, ice melting, etc etc etc…

    Can you not see that global warming, or climate change or whatever we are calling it today, leads to a cloud cover greater than “normal”, enhancing the “green-house” effect, along with MANY other variables that combined spell DOOM for us all?

    Rise in temperature is leading us into an ice age people, this is what most people can’t even begin to grasp… It WILL get very cold before it becomes unbearably hot for us Humans ( assuming we survive an ice age that may last thousands of years like it did many times b4 )

    I have a 12yo doughter, what am i supposed to tell her ?! Sorry kid, we messed it up so now you have no water to drink, you have to try and survive all the famine, catastrophic weather patterns, huge migrations, extintion of most big mammals, dead oceans and rivers and toxic breething atmosphere, etc ??!!

    The facts are out there to be seen, argued, studied, added to and assimilated. It IS happening NOW, it IS already too late for many of the trigger points about to be surpassed ) in this decade still.

    Why don’t people STOP the pissing contests of weather climate change is caused by the Human species or not and just face the facts ?????? 1+1=2 right? ( no quantum theorists need answer this of course ).

    How about these correlations: ?

    Current emission rates=higher than sustainable Co2 ppm

    Current tree devastation rates=lower carbon synk ability and many other bad things like wipped out ecosystems and such

    Current lifestyle=TROUBLE AHEAD FOR ALL OF US

    Please forgive me for the huge rant on my part as well as for my English couse i am Portuguese and can only try my best not to offend.

    Mike

  8. Emission Nebula says

    Why does nobody ever talk about the “dimming Sun” effect? According to this little fact due to the pollution in the air, it makes it so the water molocules in the clouds reflect the Sun light back into space more so. And according to this effect its making the Earth cooler. How come nobody ever talks about that? Preaching about global warming is such a dangerous thing to try to teach to the public. Its causing mass hysteria and fear.
    As was mentioned by David, the Earth does natural changes all on its own.
    Im not saying that we Humans arent contributing. Infact we are, But before we all decide to stop driving our cars (which I think we should for a whole nother reason, damn oil comapnies ripping off the world!!!) I think we shouldnt get so angry about it. Theres nothing any of us can do anyway. Between natural Earth climate changes, and the pollution we already ruined our climate with, theres nothing we can do to stop giant ice chunks from falling into the oceans.
    Live your life. Dont worry about it so much.

  9. cosmogony says

    Sorry Media and Alarmist Websites: Antarctica Ain’t Cooperating

    By World Climate Report

    Literally thousands of websites on global warming claim that the icecaps are melting at an unprecedented rate due to emissions of greenhouse gases (particularly from the United States), and in case you cannot picture what that looks like, the sites feature an endless number of pictures of blocks of ice floating away from Antarctica (the really effective pictures have a few penguins floating away as well). National Geographic magazine featured a cover story entitled “The Big Thaw,” and based on what you would see in that issue, you would think there is absolutely no debate about rapid and undesirable changes occurring in Antarctica all due to the dreaded global warming phenomenon. As we have shown over and over, nothing could be further from the truth!

    When discussing changes (or the lack thereof) in Antarctica, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) most clearly states in their 2007 summary report “Antarctic sea ice extent continues to show inter-annual variability and localized changes but no statistically significant average trends, consistent with the lack of warming reflected in atmospheric temperatures averaged across the region.” Furthermore, IPCC just as clearly states “Current global model studies project that the Antarctic ice sheet will remain too cold for widespread surface melting and is expected to gain in mass due to increased snowfall.” It would take anyone with internet access no more than a few seconds to download the summary from the IPCC website, but once again, the facts are too inconvenient regarding what is reportedly happening in Antarctica according to the greenhouse advocates.

    Another major article on temperature trends in the Antarctic has appeared in a recent issue of the Journal of Geophysical Research by a team of scientists from Ohio State University, the University of Illinois, and the Goddard Space Flight Center; the research was funded by the National Science Foundation Office of Polar Programs Glaciology Program. Monaghan et al. begin their lengthy (21 pages – quite long for geophysics) article noting that a previous research team studying Antarctica examined “station temperature records for the past 50 years and report statistically insignificant temperature fluctuations over continental Antarctica excluding the Antarctic Peninsula, with the exception of Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station, which cooled by -0.17 K decade-1 for 1958�2000.” That is correct [ despite all you have heard elsewhere on the subject, the South Pole has been cooling over the past half century. The previous research team also reported that any warming in Antarctica has slowed and the cooling has accelerated in the more recent three decades.

    Literally hundreds of articles could appear tomorrow re-confirming their results, the IPCC could continue to report emphatically that Antarctica is not warming (and may well be cooling), and somehow, this will all translate into claims that “Antarctica is warming and melting.” The truth from Antarctica is hard for the greenhouse crusade to accept (although certainly they try hard to fit it in), and in the long run, the truth from Antarctica might melt away the flimsy, well-publicized claims about global climate change-especially the concerns of a rapid sea level rise.

  10. 4gea says

    Climate change is one thing – climate is ALWAYS changing, and noone disputes that.
    Earth is a 4.6 billion years old natural system which is constantly experiencing change.
    Global warming is something Earth has already been through in her long life, and will go through it again, whether we like it or not.
    Global warming in today’s popular context – as something generated by human civilisation – is driven by politics, money and bussiness interests, not human interference.
    There is something in climatology called “instrumenta period” – the period from which we have instrumental data/measurements (of disputable quality until recently), and this period lasts for only 100 years. What is that compared to 4.6 billion?
    I haven’t yet met a geoscientist who thought that “human induced global warming” had any merit as a hypothesis.

    As for the Antarctica – it’s summer (in climatological terms) now on the southern hemisphere, and the Sun is highly acitve. It’s our star which has the most influence on the temperature on Earth, in case someone’s forgotten.

  11. Martin Selmke says

    Of course an individual event cannot prove a global trend – but compare maps of antarctic shelf ice extension!
    Apart from that I wish we could send people to an earth they can ruin just for themselves.
    But unfortunately we all have to live with the consequences of even the most stubborn ignorance or inconsiderateness.
    Of course there have been also natural climate changes, but that does not mean, they are no problem – many species went extinct in natural climate changes. We should take care not to cause the next .
    Scientific investigation of climate on a global scale is no easy endeavour but meanwhile showing rather clear results – even formulations reduced by interest groups to the absolutely undeniable.
    The (in some areas widespread) ideology, that mankind cannot be responsible for a climate change is really strange – already the early bacteria could effect this.
    But may be, man is not much wiser than these …
    in this sense then even a manmade extinction would be natural.
    Better to be precautious and adapt technology and economy early enough .

  12. Jonathan says

    I am leaving this planet and finding a more habitable one several hundred light years away. Will check on results of global warming/cooling when I return.

    Now if only this were the case. Granted making changes en-masse is nearly impossible, I agree with Emission Nebula “Live your life. Dont worry about it so much.” Remind the generations to come that nothing is certain, predictions are just that. Plus, the media distortion of facts, and the inability of scientific bodies to take a gander at the big picture clouds the true observational data that demonstrates our current trends. There are key points that are made in the previous posts, but many of them are marred by opinion, which is what occurs within our scientific community when pressed by the media for answers. He who knows the future may cast the first stone when confilicting theories arise. Remind yourselves that I do not mean to decry anyones’ ideas, but instead to reiterate focus on taking all facts into account, including data not previously observed far beyond our last ice age (just as the last few posts indicate real data from our “instrumenta period”). If the scientific community cannot agree with each other, how are we to know the exact changes to make, however minute, to stop what seems to be an alarming trend. Even as the IPCC shows we need not make our space capsules, I agree the media will say otherwise. Good news does not sell. We can applaud the media though, for helping bring emissions into the forefront, as changes are inact to reducing global emissions, some quite revolutionary.

    Hindsight is 20/20 though. And I applaud this group of open intellect for politely bringing additional data to this articles’ posts, truely enhancing the depth of information available. If only world leaders read this.

  13. Chuck Lam says

    Global warming a threat? Maybe! Maybe not! Our interpretation of what is going on could be totally wrong on both sides of the argument. However, there does appear to be a scientific connection between the gaseous garbage dump we are turning the atmosphere into and global warming. Hope the “point of no return” speculation is only a sci-fi notion.

  14. Global warming’s been going on for over 10,000 years. Canada’s no longer under miles of ice. It’s still happening. But “human global warming” by CO2 emmissions is absurd – it comprises only 0.03% of the atmosphere. Doubling it would have very little or no effect on global climate.

  15. It’s all about the money and all us stupid humans are falling for it, hook, line and sinker.

    If you blame humans for global warming, then you can apply penalties, and charge people a carbon tax!

    If you really dig into the planets geological history, you will find numerous warming and cooling cycles, as admitted by the experts themselves.

  16. Mike - Portugal says

    To Emission Nebula,

    but i AM talking about global dimming, read my post once again and you will find reference not only to enhanced cloud cover but also to the way Earth may be heading to an ice age because of it.

    Sorry to be blunt but you ay have missed my post entirely mate.

    P.s. To all those who STILL think Humans have nothing to do with it…I trully hope you are right and live to laugh in my face but i also think that you won’t. Also, how about realizing that ( bring in Cap. Kirk accent ) “someone” or “something” IS causing it and bringing forward at least an attempt to debate a solution we could all live with as well as our children.

    Peace

    Mike

  17. Martin Selmke says

    I’m afraid you are right – it’s all about money and humans falling for it., and yes – there should be penalties and why not a carbon tax.
    The fact, that ther have been numerous warmings before will not help us and is really no excuse at all.
    And when the concentration of an important constituant of the air, which has been relatively stable for over amillion years rises uncotrollably beyond values occuring before in warm or icy times this is well reason to get concerned.
    Besides: also relatively low concentrations (of CO2) matter, and it is not necessary to argue with personal lack of imagination – check the abundant scientific investigations, which are controversal only to relatively few experts mostly paid by interest groups. It’s all about money …

  18. Bolton says

    Okay, so what??? Whose to say this didn’t happen 100, 200, or a million years ago. A piece of ice broke off of Antartica and the whole planet needs to freak out, be taxed and drive hybrid cars. It’s bunch liberal bullshit!! The planet had the WORST winter since record keeping began. The planet temp DECREASED my a shoe degree celsius. Read that anywhere in the lib media????? Take this global warming BS and put it where the sun don’t shine!!!! Much less being created by us!!!!

  19. Richard Poor says

    In the entire hullabaloo there is one certain fact: the extraction and combustion of fossil fuels is causing ever increasing pollution. The genuine political and scientific goal would benefit humans more if it were to reduce pollution rather than a moot adress to climate change.

  20. rarchimedes says

    Surely nothing is going on when melting in the Arctic is this last summer equal to the most extreme predictions for 2036, and Greenland is showing signs of major collapse. Also, any additional freezing area in the Antarctic can be accounted for by the increased interstitial distances as such sheets as are noted start to break away. The melting between such chunks leads to super chilled surface waters that then are more easily frozen, but will not have the thickness of previous ice. As has been repeatedly noted, it does not matter what tiny percent of the total ice these shelves represent, only the coastal distance that they span. As they break and move offshore, they allow major on land sheets to start moving at accelerated rates into the ocean, regardless of temperature. But just what is it that is causing these sheets of ice to break away after thinning to the point of lacking structural integrity. Could it possibly be that some overly warm water and/or air has affected these mammoth chunks of ice. Could it be that our records of Antarctic temperatures are thin at best and not widespread geographically.

    And, just how much are we willing to bet on the idea that reducing our carbon footprint can have no effect on this trend. Can any of you find any problem with us doing things like reducing that carbon footprint and cleaning up our other depredations on our global ecosphere. Do any of you think that the things that we are doing to that ecosphere are currently positive.

    Even if the majority of this change is due to natural factors, our contribution may be creating a tipping point that otherwise might not come for centuries, if at all.

  21. DaveM says

    Well said rarchimedes.

    You have to wonder how much melting would make some people sit up and take notice.

  22. Mike - Portugal says

    Yeah right, it’s all happened before, temps regularly go up and down somewhere along the geological history… RIIIIIGHT…

    And where were WE HUMANS THEN?; Were we living as today? Were we thriving as a species ?! Yes it has happened before, many times over in fact just NOT IN OUR TIME.

    Face the facts, you say a small piece of ice has broken off and that is only that and nothing to be concerned about, yet in all reallity, this “small” piece of ice is just like a cork in a bottle, take it out and just watch all the ice slide on to sea in no time.

    What then? Umbrellas to keep Earth away from harmfull radiation? Huge refrigerators with an open door at the poles so it freezes back once you finally realize that YOU DO NEED THAT ICE, IT IS CAUSED BY HUMANS AND IT WILL HINDER OUR ABILITY TO SUSTAIN OUR SPECIES FOR ANOTHER 100years.

    Open your eyes please…

    P.s. At least in my country WE ARE BEING TAXED FOR CARBON, most of Europe is.

    We pay for our messes, metric ton by metric ton. Do you pay in the US ?

    Peace

    Mike

  23. Aqualung says

    PANIC! The world is melting

    DON’T PANIC! Grab your towel.

    Now watch all those people fixated by man made global warming running round like lemmings. Hopefully they will find a convenient cliff.

  24. Dark Gnat says

    Wow, lets just insult the other side and make idle death threats.

    That’s very productive.

    I’m worried about the dirty air we breath, the dirty (and chemical-laced) water we drink, and the mass development (deforestation) that is going on. Those things have immediate, observable effects, such as smog, and a dramatic increase in reparatory illnesses.

    Climate change is natural, but it is absolutely irrefutable that humans are altering the environment, especially at the local scale.

    This cannot be disputed. Humans are dumping toxins into the environment at unimaginable rates. Somehow, are we supposed to think that all of this magically has no effect on the world’s ecology?

    Global warming may not be the whole picture. Global climate destabalization is the reality, and it is already having an effect on our food supply.

  25. Mike - Portugal says

    Well i for one am trully saddened to watch people with absolutely NOTHING to contribute to the debate just calling names to all of us who do in fact care. ( i care for your life too Mr.Aqualung ) And although there are plenty of cliffs to jump from over here ( PORTUGAL ) i will NOT jump cause people like me and that share my beliefs may one day save your life.

    Please stay alive and help the World. If you do not care about the World and it’s biodiversity then my friend you need even more help than the one anyone of us can lend.

    P.s. Lets also hope that your nikname ( Aqualung ) won’t have to be a neccessity in the near future.

    Peace

    Mike

  26. Mr Popo says

    The antartic shelf is overrated anyways…

  27. Cosselbray says

    Two points to throw in for consideration:
    Environmentalists and politicians have raised the issue of CO2 “pollution” to a high level, let us not forget about reducing “traditional” pollutants (Dioxins, cadmium, lead etc. etc…) that environmentalists, politicians and scientists can all agree on.

    Also, Actions to reduce CO2 emissions are not without cost, on an increasing scale: potentially causing mild inconvenience, distraction from issues we can actually do something about, financial burden, political manipulation, enforced competition for resources, conflict, war, distraction from real and important issues.

  28. Godmaster says

    I can’t believe that there are still people denying that global warming exists! If you can’t accept a scientific consensus, you’re a denier, just like true believers of whatever pseudo-science you can think of. Following their own ideologies in spite of contrary evidence.

    Here’s some data proving that global warming has been caused in at least some part by human activity (the Industrial Revolution), at least in my mind.

    http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/science/recentac_majorghg.html#fig1

    http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/science/recenttc_triad.html

  29. JohnH says

    And in 20 years, what are we going to be doing about the problem of all the mercury being introduced into the environment by the mandated use of compact fluorescent light bulbs?

  30. Ray - Chicago says

    I’m in charge of aicraft De-Icing for a major airline. Meteorology has become my life. So I started reading up on all this stuff to see what type of changes in the weather I may see for coming years.

    In my area, we have seen a 10″ inch snowfall increase over the last 125 years. Although we’re only in an 8 yr cycle from 2000-’08, we’re still well above the averages we were at 100-125 years ago. But no one ever sees that. They see what they want to see.

    But you really have to take in basic physics here. Take a tin can…fill it with water and put it in your freezer for a few weeks. What happens to the ice? It expands. Finding a way out, it moves upward. Now expand on that to scale. The ice shelves are constantly moving. Over time, they move upward and finally gravity takes its course and the ice breaks off. How many bazillions tons of ice is this? No one can even come up with an exact amount. But the ice has to go somewhere. Of course it’s going to fall into the ocean near the shores. Adding that much ice to the water is going to cool it and freeze over. Those parts that broke off will freeze and expand and the process starts all over again. That cool water flows into the Oceanic currents and affects the weather. Its going to take time for it to travel that far tho. It’s not like the currents from Antarctica will reach the norther hemisphere in a day. It would take years before it ever returned back to Antarctica.

    On another note, there was a huge ice shelf that broke off in the late ’70’s. So far, it’s moved about 8 feet in 30 years. Ooohh I’m scared. I would suspect that the cracks will fill in long before gravity decides to move it any further. I doubt my grandchildren’s grandchildren will even see that one float away.

    Also, reports state that the Antarctic is at it’s lowest ice levels on record. But those records only date back to 1972.

    In Russia, the peat moss swamps in the Siberian tundra have been frozen over for centuries and are now exposed. But studies show, the earth is constantly in a rotating flux. While the snows have receeded in Russia, the winters have become colder on the opposite side of the hemisphere suggesting a constant tilt. As the weight of that ice and snow builds, it shifts the earth back in the opposite direction and you start seeing a decline in snowfall and an increase in the areas on the opposite side of the planet. Take a boiled egg and spin it. Then tape a dime towards one side of the top and it throws it off balance when you spin it.

    Also, take into account the size of the Polar ice caps in relation to the rest of the oceans. With the amount of icemelt and evaporation, we would never see any type of rise in the ocean’s levels. No more than if you threw the ice in your drink into a swimming pool.

    On a last note, I saw the reports of other countries taxing carbon output, but didn’t get to investigate it yet. So since our bodies are made up of carbon and omit cabon dioxide, they are basically taxing you for living and breathing. WTF is that?? They’re basically telling you that you are polluting the world just for being alive. What kind of society would be duped into allowing a tax for this??

    Plants need carbon dioxide (from you) to live and convert that into oxygen. You need oxygen to breathe. And you got taxed for it.

    Take that into consideration.

  31. Nathanial Pittman says

    The H.A.B theory plays a very interesting role in all of this.

  32. Ray - Chicago says

    Godmaster Says:
    March 31st, 2008 at 9:05 pm
    I can’t believe that there are still people denying that global warming exists! If you can’t accept a scientific consensus, you’re a denier, just like true believers of whatever pseudo-science you can think of. Following their own ideologies in spite of contrary evidence.

    Here’s some data proving that global warming has been caused in at least some part by human activity (the Industrial Revolution), at least in my mind.

    Godmaster – keep in mind some of these records only go back to 1900. There was the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl during the beginning of this record keeping. Massive amounts of water were lost to the atmosphere. This shows there was a 4.8 inch rise in water levels since the records started being kept in 1900. Who’s to say the Earth is not recovering from that substantial loss during the early 1900’s? Maybe sea level is supposed to be 6 inches over where it was 100 years ago. I can’t believe it tho. Most of the lakes around me are 2 feet below where they were when I was growing up.

    The other reports are products of taking samples of gases and carbons in the ice during those periods by drilling deep into the ice. Only since record keepin has begun has there been a rise in the levels. Think of the harsh winters down there. The samples are not precise because most of the top layers have been blown away or diluted to the levels being reported. I’d bet my ridiculous salary that if coring samples were taken near areas of drifting or obstructions that would trap minerals, the conclusions from these reports would be much higher.

    I’m not against the reporting of Global Warming. But I do believe that humans are but a flea on the back of the dog. Unfortunately, once there are too many fleas, he’s gonna need a bath!

  33. Ray - Chicago says

    Here’s some data from the Chicagoland area dating back to 1884. We see on average at least 30 inches of snowfall per season.

    Average Totals 25 yr Period
    1884-1900 37.08
    1900-1925 30.22
    1925-1950 33.17
    1950-1975 43.29
    1975-2000 41.20
    2000-2008 35.79

    In 1920, the Chicagoland area saw 9.8 inches of snow. The preceeding year, 11.5 inches. In 1936, a whopping 12 inches. Now those are significant drops in accumulations.

    I ran these numbers. I looked them all up myself. I didn’t get these off some Government research project. Since then we have not seen any single or teen digits reported.

  34. Dan says

    The earth has been warming for the last 10,000 years. The science behind human CO 2 contribution to this flawed. It is not fact, and barely a theory. It is entirely based on flawed computer models that are backed into facts to support the conclusions. The great temperature surge of the 1990’s so highly touted by readers of statistics is based once again on poor facts. With the collapse of the Soviet Union, they stopped reporting temperature readings from Siberia. Once these stations came back on line, the worldwide averages once again fell into line.

    The earth was warmer at the time of Christ and even warmer at the time of the Babylonians. The earth suffered a micro ice age event around 1200 and we have been warming again since then.

    If we were truly worried about about CO2 emissions, we should be more worried about the decimation of our rainforests and pollution of our oceans. These are our great CO2 sinks that convert CO2 to oxygen. Yet, I have yet to hear a whisper off the effect of denuding our rainforests and killing off of algae and plankton has effected the CO2 levels and global weather patterns. Nor have they been factored into the computer models Rather we have identified the enemy as fossil fuels and industrialized nations utilization of them and the great Satan is the United States.

    Ever notice no one talks about the ozone hole anymore since it was finally debunked but we are still prohibited from using freon. In the 70’s the cause was over population. We have reached those population levels where they predicted total breakdown of human society and yet we continue to plod on.

    Unfortunately, all this hoopla is a smoke screen. It will change nothing. Greed will still rule human society and emotion will over rule fact. The real problems will not be addressed.

  35. GT says

    “even in winter”? Isn’t February summer in the antartic? Wouldn’t we expect the ice shelf to grow in winter and shrink in summer, or is the fact that it is at record HIGH extents in the winter a sign of “global warming” also? Could a large sheet have broken off in summer because an unusually large sheet formed in winter due to unusually cold temperatures. Makes ya think don’t it – that is if you are capable of independent thought…

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