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Sealing the Fate of Antarctica
The American Spectator ^ | 12/20/2006 | Patrick J. Michaels

Posted on 12/20/2006 11:43:29 AM PST by neverdem

The scare du jour on global warming is a massive inundation of our coast caused by rapid loss of ice from Antarctica. It's a core point in Al Gore's science fiction movie, and it continues to be thumped by doomsayers around the world, in the echo chamber of the alarmist media. It's also a bunch of hooey.

If you could take the boredom, you could have read hundreds of news stories on this since An Inconvenient Truth debuted on May 25. But you'll find very little mention of a paper that appeared a mere six weeks later, in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, which should have stopped the whole show cold. The work is by Brenda Hall from the University of Maine and several co-authors.

First, Gore's science fiction. Due to the warming of the surrounding ocean, big ice-shelves begin to crack off and float away. Because that ice is floating, it doesn't raise sea level a bit. But then the ice cracks all the way back to where it is grounded on the ocean floor. That stuff isn't floating and the ocean rises dramatically, some twenty feet in a hundred years. Much of Manhattan, the movie suggests, is under water, along with just about every other coastal city.

Now, the truth. The notion that this is going to happen soon has just been fatally harpooned by giant Elephant Seals (Mirounga leonine). They generally hang out a long distance form Antarctica. Most of their breeding rookeries are a good 2,000 miles away on islands in the open ocean, where they feed. Most of the Antarctic coast is hemmed by huge ice shelves that prevent them from finding food.

But that wasn't always the case. According to Hall's paper, a large area of the Antarctic coast was ice-free...

(Excerpt) Read more at spectator.org ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; News/Current Events; Technical
KEYWORDS: antarctica; climate; climatechange; climatology; elephantseals; globalwarming
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To: steve-b
If the ice accumulates in a dessert (Antarctica) and sheds at a certain rate, it is still accumulating. If you increase the moisture content of the surrounding air (global warming) it will increase the accumulation of water/ice on the land area. If the ice was accumulating before what mechanism would cause it to accelerate the shedding to the point of net water loss?
21 posted on 12/20/2006 12:51:05 PM PST by kinoxi
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To: Tenacious 1
You will have to start by explaining to him what ICE is.

The stuff his former boss recommended putting on it?

22 posted on 12/20/2006 12:55:59 PM PST by steve-b (It's hard to be religious when certain people don't get struck by lightning.)
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To: massgopguy
I tried studying Boyle's Law in High School but I couldn't take the pressure.

Then we went on to Charles' Law and I couldn't take the heat.

Garde la Foi, mes amis! Nous nous sommes les sauveurs de la République! Maintenant et Toujours!
(Keep the Faith, my friends! We are the saviors of the Republic! Now and Forever!)

LonePalm, le Républicain du verre cassé (The Broken Glass Republican)

23 posted on 12/20/2006 12:57:23 PM PST by LonePalm (Commander and Chef)
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To: kinoxi
If the ice accumulates in a dessert (Antarctica) and sheds at a certain rate, it is still accumulating. If you increase the moisture content of the surrounding air (global warming) it will increase the accumulation of water/ice on the land area. If the ice was accumulating before what mechanism would cause it to accelerate the shedding to the point of net water loss?

The relevant dynamics are:

1. Precipitation falls on the ice cap at a certain rate and freezes (if it wasn't frozen already). This increases the size of the ice cap.

2. When the ice cap gets thick enough to flow under pressure, parts of it get pushed out to sea, break off as icebergs, drift out into the ocean, and melt when they reach warmer regions. This decreases the size of the ice cap.

In the long term, these two processes balance out in equilibrium. If (for example) precipitation increases, the ice cap will thicken, build up more pressure, and flow faster, thus increasing the rate of iceberg formation and re-balancing the equilibrium.

24 posted on 12/20/2006 12:59:32 PM PST by steve-b (It's hard to be religious when certain people don't get struck by lightning.)
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To: neverdem

Soon real estate in Greenland will become very attractive.


25 posted on 12/20/2006 12:59:56 PM PST by MinorityRepublican (Everyone that doesn't like what America and President Bush has done for Iraq can all go to HELL)
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To: steve-b
Antarctica is a very large continent that has an obvious net gain of water on it's surface (accretion). If the amount of precipitation increases you believe that the rate of dispersement will increase proportionally. Is this correct?
26 posted on 12/20/2006 1:06:03 PM PST by kinoxi
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To: neverdem

Bookmarked


27 posted on 12/20/2006 1:07:02 PM PST by GreenAccord (Alright, everyone. Rotate your tagline!)
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To: neverdem

Everyone would get one's own penguin.


28 posted on 12/20/2006 1:40:58 PM PST by GSlob
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To: massgopguy
"... when a star becomes a Red Giant. All the Inner Planets will go whoosh."

So? It's not as if Earth were one of the major planets.

29 posted on 12/20/2006 2:01:29 PM PST by NicknamedBob ("Well," said the Asimov Robot, "A catenary is a sag, and a parabola is a droop.")
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To: LonePalm

I was getting into Snell's Law, but I think he was a little crooked.


30 posted on 12/20/2006 2:03:03 PM PST by NicknamedBob ("Well," said the Asimov Robot, "A catenary is a sag, and a parabola is a droop.")
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To: neverdem; DaveLoneRanger; cogitator

Interesting article.


31 posted on 12/20/2006 2:23:26 PM PST by Tolerance Sucks Rocks (Dont overestimate the decency of the human race. H. L. Mencken)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

I think, based on a lot of what I've read, that the main concern is Greenland, not Antarctica. I'd like to see Michaels provide some support for his opening statement.


32 posted on 12/20/2006 2:36:17 PM PST by cogitator
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To: NicknamedBob
Well, certainly bent.

I think you're forgetting Cole's Law.

Garde la Foi, mes amis! Nous nous sommes les sauveurs de la République! Maintenant et Toujours!
(Keep the Faith, my friends! We are the saviors of the Republic! Now and Forever!)

LonePalm, le Républicain du verre cassé (The Broken Glass Republican)

33 posted on 12/20/2006 4:45:46 PM PST by LonePalm (Commander and Chef)
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To: LonePalm

There's something fishy about Sturgeon's law, too.

And didn't Isaac Asimov propose Three Laws of Rebootics?


(By the way, I think Bode's Law has been repealed.)


34 posted on 12/20/2006 5:14:59 PM PST by NicknamedBob ("Well," said the Asimov Robot, "A catenary is a sag, and a parabola is a droop.")
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To: Spok

I used to play golf at Drumlins, a course in central NY. The Drumlins were little hills left when a glacier shoved rocks, gravel and sand in front of it, and then left the pile when it melted.

Ice ages are really bad, and a little warmth that prevents one is a easy thing to tolerate. There is a stable climate: the iceball, where the earth is covered by snow and ice, there is no carbon dioxide, and most sunlight is reflected back into space.


35 posted on 12/20/2006 5:35:54 PM PST by donmeaker (If the sky don't say "Surrender Dorothy!" then my ex wife is out of town.)
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To: cogitator
I think, based on a lot of what I've read, that the main concern is Greenland, not Antarctica.

Climate warming 'seesaws' between the poles

36 posted on 12/20/2006 7:52:03 PM PST by neverdem (May you be in heaven a half hour before the devil knows that you're dead.)
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To: wardaddy; Joe Brower; Cannoneer No. 4; Criminal Number 18F; Dan from Michigan; Eaker; Jeff Head; ...
Climate ideology control

Realism, Iraq, and the Bush Doctrine - Some clarification is desperately needed.

“Saddam's Iraq and Islamic Terrorism: What We Now Know”

From time to time, I’ll ping on noteworthy articles about politics, foreign and military affairs. FReepmail me if you want on or off my list.

37 posted on 12/20/2006 8:04:49 PM PST by neverdem (May you be in heaven a half hour before the devil knows that you're dead.)
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To: neverdem
Al Gore? Al Gore? The name is vaguely familiar. Didn't used to be someone?
38 posted on 12/20/2006 8:58:07 PM PST by Valin (History takes time. It is not an instant thing.)
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To: neverdem
The watermelons aren't going to like this at all. Of course they'll just ignore it as it doesn't fit their political agenda. They won't be happy until the entire world is a U.N. Biosphere Reserve and most of the people have been euthanized.
39 posted on 12/20/2006 9:03:17 PM PST by dljordan
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To: kinoxi

"It's not floating (on water), it's a continent. I understand the displacement effect but it does not apply to Antarctica in general."

I'd like to see what it looks like without the ice. I wonder if the ice was gone there would be some kind of rebound effect in the crust and it would rise?


40 posted on 12/20/2006 9:05:39 PM PST by dljordan
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