Thongchai Thailand

AGW Causing Greenland to Melt

Posted on: November 5, 2019

 

THIS POST IS A TRANSCRIPTION WITH CRITICAL COMMENTARY OF A YOUTUBE VIDEO (ABOVE) WHICH SAYS THAT GREENLAND IS MELTING AWAY AT THE “MIND BLOWING” RATE OF “8500 TONS PER SECOND, EVERY SECOND”. 

 

[HOME PAGE OF THIS SITE]

 

  1. TRANSCRIPTION: The humpbacks have returned to the shores of western Greenland. They bounced  back from near extinction thanks to an international effort to stop their slaughter and here they are feeding at the edge of Greenland’s largest glacier. The Yakob Harbin glacier stretches inland for around 40 miles. But for how long? The melt here in Greenland hit record levels in the summer (of 2019). Greenland’s ice cap which holds about 8% of the world’s fresh water just lost 12.5 billion tonnes of ice in a single day. It raised sea levels globally. That melt, on August 2nd 2019, was the largest single day loss in recorded history.
  2. The entire ice sheet that covers Greenland contains enough ice to raise sea levels across the globe by 20 feet if it melted. Climate models say that won’t happen for a while but consider this: the summer’s level of ice melt wasn’t supposed to happen for another 50 years. Greenland is now losing so much ice that it is shaping the world in such a way that you cannot ignore it any more.
  3. Question: But doesn’t the world naturally warm up and melt ice in interglacials? Answer: Laughter! Greenland is losing approximately 8,500 tonnes of ice per second day in day out around the clock, 8,500 tonnes of ice per second every second! Mind blowing! Hard to…. that’s why it’s a concern!
  4. In fact over half the Arctic’s permanent ice has melted revealing a landscape that has been hidden for 40,000 years. Up the glacier an area of ice 10 times the size of the UK pouring billions of tonnes of water into the Atlantic Ocean every day of the year every year and the melt rate is gaining momentum meaning that unless we act soon, this incredible destruction of Greenland’s glaciers will be unstoppable.
  5. Disappearing sea ice means shipping routes like the Northwest Passage are opening up. That could cut freight miles but others say these waters should be protected as a world heritage site. We’re expecting more traffic from the metal industry, oil industry, tourism, and more traffic in the Northwest Passage.
  6. Question: But ships are safe now. The fact that you can open something up to shipping doesn’t mean necessarily that the area will be destroyed, does it? Answer: Right here in this pristine area you can use heavy fuel oil. Once you bring heavy fuel oils into this area there could be a catastrophe of enormous dimensions.
  7. Moments later as if on cue we suddenly have company – diesel powered company (a boatload of tourists arrive). The problem is these Arctic waters are some of the most fragile marine environments on the planet; and there is no control about the numbers of luxury cruise ships driving through it.
  8. (Natives singing and dancing performing for tourists) In 17 degrees summer heat it is t-shirt weather. It’s hot work performing in seal skin jackets and polar bear trousers. Traditions of the past played out for tourists. But the old way of life is disappearing partly due to climate change. Rainfall, unusual in the High Arctic is triggering landslides. This village is entirely built on permafrost but its foundations are melting in the summer. Now more than half the town will need to be demolished and rebuilt. 75-year-old Inuit Joseph Manumina is a village elder. He’s seen the glaciers melt at a rapid rate and he says “The sun is warmer now than it has been and that is the reason for the melt”. It was not like this before. 
  9. A young Inuit speaks: We can see this time of year. That is a benefit for us because we can travel further and faster by boat but when it is getting dark in the early winter like if we say when the sun comes down like in October and November that is where it starts, we cannot go up by boat because we cannot see anything and sea ice will be too thin to go out by dogsled. That’s where the problem is.
  10. So the dog population reduces year by year. Without sea ice you can’t use sled dogs so they shoot the dogs.
  11. Tourism is developing a new economy here. Whale watching! Some Inuits are still allowed to hunt whales but many find that there is more money to be made in the whale watching tourism business rather than harpooning. But the tourists are also coming for the Arctic surroundings and as Greenland melts four times faster than previously predicted the future of the humpbacks and us humans around the world are in jeopardy.

 

  1. RESPONSES: CLAIM: The humpbacks have returned to the shores of western Greenland. They bounced  back from near extinction thanks to an international effort to stop their slaughter and here they are feeding at the edge of Greenland’s largest glacier. RESPONSE: The only relevance of this introduction is possibly to set an environmental and ecological high ground for the climate change discussion to follow. 
  2. CLAIMThe melt here in Greenland hit record levels in the summer (of 2019). and lost 12.5 billion tonnes of ice in a single day”RESPONSE: The melt reported for a single day is acknowledged as an extreme event and it cannot be treated as an average but even if it were an average, at 12.5 gigatonnes per day every day Greenland would lose 4563 gigatons per year that would raise sea level by 0.417 inches per year and at that rate the whole of the ice sheet will be gone in 576 years. Even more important is that this melt rate was a single extreme day in August when the most rapid melt occurs and in the winter months,Greenland gains ice. The extreme one day summer melt event, though presented in alarming tone and language, does not appear to provide reason for the alarm. 
  3. CLAIM: The entire ice sheet that covers Greenland contains enough ice to raise sea levels across the globe by 20 feet if it melted. RESPONSE: Yes it would but as noted in the prior response, even at the extreme melt rate of 12.5 gigatons per day, every day summer and winter, it would take 576 years to melt the whole of the ice sheet and raise sea levels by 0.417 inches per year until the scary level of 20 feet is reached 576 years from now. The fear mongering is presented with great emotion and strong language but with little substance in the data presented as the rationale for the fear.
  4. CLAIM: Greenland is losing 8,500 tonnes of ice per second every second of the day every day of the year. RESPONSE: Year-round ice loss is normally not possible as Greenland loses ice in summer but gains ice in winter; but even if it were possible, 8,500 tonnes per second amounts to 268 gigatonnes per year that would cause the Greenland ice sheet to be gone in 9,800 years raising sea level by 0.024 inches per year in the meantime. The data presented do not support the fear that is being sold in terms of the data.
  5. CLAIM: In fact over half the Arctic’s permanent ice has melted revealing a landscape that has been hidden for 40,000 years. RESPONSEThe current interglacial is only about 10,000 years old and so the 40,000 year time span into the past takes us to 30,000 years into the last glacial period and its glacial maximum. The comparison between the glacial maximum with interglacial conditions may contain useful information about glaciation cycles but it tells us nothing about Holocene ice dynamics. This claim, though meant to be a reason to fear fossil fuel driven AGW, does not provide any information that would serve as a reason to fear AGW. 
  6. CLAIM: The opening of the Northwest Passage will allow commercial shipping into the Arctic and they use “heavy fuel oil” that poses a catastrophic ecological threat to the region. RESPONSE: The North Sea is a major producer of offshore oil that has been actively producing and shipping oil since 1980 and since that time oil production has gone up from 0.4 million barrels/day in 1980 to more than 1.8 million barrels per day today (2019). Significant shipping of oil, equipment, and personnel is seen in the region but there has been no significant ecological damage to the region caused by ships “using heavy fuel oil”. It appears that no climate fear could be attributed to the opening of the Northwest Passage and so ecological fear was attempted but the argument does not make sense in light of what we know about shipping. 
  7. CLAIM: A young Inuit says that dog sleds can no longer be used because the sea ice is too thin and so they have to shoot the dogs. RESPONSE: That may be so but it can’t be blamed on AGW as described in three related posts [LINK] [LINK] [LINK] that describe the overlooked role of geological activity in the Arctic. 
  8. CLAIM:  75-year-old Inuit Joseph Manumina is a village elder. He’s seen the glaciers melt at a rapid rate and he says “The sun is warmer now than it has been and that is the reason for the melt”. It was not like this beforeRESPONSE: Figure 1 below shows the temperature at Nuuk, Greenland from 1866 to 2013 for each calendar month. A significant rate of warming is not seen particularly so in the summer months. The absence of a strong warming trend in summer is made somewhat clearer in Figure 2 where we see that the overall warming trend derives mostly from warming in the early portion of the time span from 1866 to 1939 with very little warming and even some cooling seen in the second half 1940 to 2013. These data do not support the village elder’s claim that in his 74-year lifetime he has seen rapid warming such that it it is causing the ice  to melt.

 

FIGURE 1: NUUK TEMPERATURES 1866-2013 FOR EACH CALENDAR MONTHNUUKGIF

FIGURE 2: NUUK SEASONAL CYCLE AND WARMING RATES

 

 

 

4 Responses to "AGW Causing Greenland to Melt"

You provide a great service by looking critically at the claims in this video. You never seem to approach your analysis from a prejudicial view and aren’t afraid to call out deception on both sides of the issue of climate change Keep up the good work.

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