Thongchai Thailand

TBGY Ice Melt Lecture

Posted on: December 16, 2019











Claims made in the YouTube video [LINK] and responses to those claims. 

  1. CLAIM: A team of climate scientists have released a new study in the journal Nature showing that the Greenland ice sheet is now melting seven times faster than it did in 1992. RESPONSE: So what? What is so special about the year 1992? Why was 1992 selected as the comparison year and not for example the year 2011 when the melt rate was higher than the melt rate in 2019? It is exactly this kind of trickery that has discredited climate science and created the number of deniers that there are in the world and this is exactly why climate science has lost its credibility as unbiased and objective scientific inquiry. If climate science were a real science it would not have needed this kind of fake logic. The real information in such wild fluctuations in the melt rate is that such a wild pattern does not support causation by steadily rising atmospheric CO2 levels and suggests that geological heat sources should also be included in the study of Arctic ice melt [LINK] [LINK] [LINK] .
  2. CLAIM: And that report comes in the heels of a similar study back in June that revealed that Antarctica is losing 200 billion tons of ice a year representing a threefold increase in the rate of loss compared to 2012. RESPONSE: Is an annual loss of 200 gigatons of ice a significant event in Antarctica? It represents 0.000755% of the ice in Antarctica and if this melt rate persisted, all the ice in Antarctica would be gone in 132,500 years. Is that something we should be worried about enough to cut emissions and give up the good life that the industrial economy has given us? And how was it determined that this melt event was caused by fossil fuel emissions and that it could have been prevented by eliminating fossil fuel emissions? Ice loss in Antarctica is mostly geological and not atmospheric as can be seen in the lopsided ice loss statistics in geologically active regions described in a related post [LINK] . Besides, why was the year 2012 selected for comparison? Is 2012 a year when the correct rate of ice melt was observed? or is it just a year you found while looking for a low ice melt year to make your comparison seem like a dramatic and dangerous increase in ice melt caused by fossil fuel emissions and a reason therefore to take climate action? It is this kind of dishonesty and childish chicanery and not oil industry funding that creates climate change deniers. If you really had a “science” in your argument, you would not have needed to stoop this low into snake oil activism. 
  3. CLAIM: These findings are worse than climate scientists have previously been predicting. And because both bodies of ice sit on top of land masses and not on top of the sea, it means that as the ice melts into the ocean it is contributing to an accelerating rise in global sea levelRESPONSE: That these findings are worse than what climate scientists had predicted does not mean that climate scientists were even more right than previously thought. It means that they were wrong. And that implies that climate scientists who claim to know AGW well enough to demand trillions of $$$ to be spent in accordance with their climate action prescription don’t really know the science of climate science well enough to make such demands. Also, the fact that the ice that is melting sits on land and not on water implies only that the melt will cause sea level rise and NOT that it will cause “accelerating sea level rise”. The need to randomly insert words like “accelerating” to create a sense of alarm is proof that you are engaged in some form of snake oil salesmanship. Your claim that what you are selling is science is undone by the methods you have used in your sales pitch. 
  4. CLAIM: So this year, another indication that we’ve reached a point where global climate change feedback loops are now out of our control and if so what consequences are we facing as a result? The IMBIE 2019 paper (citation below) shows that the Greenland ice mass balance was roughly neutral in the 1990s but since then annual losses have been rising, peaking at 350 billion tonnes per year in 2011. In total, Greenland lost about 3,800 billion tonnes of ice between 1992 and 2018 and the consequences of that has been a rise in sea levels of about 10.6 millimeters. That sounds almost negligible until you put some more tangible figures against it. For every 10mm of sea level rise, approximately 6 million more people in low lying coastal regions of the world are put at risk of having their homes and families overwhelmed by flooding every year. RESPONSE: 6 million out of 7.8 billion is 0.077%. It would be a lot easier for the other 99.923% of the people to take care of these unfortunate coastal lowland slobs than to take debilitating climate action in the form of giving up the benefits of fossil fuel energy we gained in the industrial revolution. Besides, these “number of people at risk of sea level rise” statistics are based on high tide events in low lying coastal regions with their elevation estimated from satellite data that contain large uncertainties that are not reflected in their evaluation in terms of high tide floods [LINK]  . The photo presented in the video is that of a monsoon flood in South Asia similar to the monsoon flood image that appears below the TBGY image. These floods are unrelated to sea level rise. 
  5. bandicam 2019-12-17 12-48-01-353
  6. monsoonflood
  7. bandicam 2019-12-17 12-55-38-113
  8. CLAIM: In an average year, Greenland sheds about 250 billion tonnes of ice but 2019 has been exceptionally warm with temperatures in the region where the Jacobshaven Glacier enters the ocean reaching the high 20s Celsius. From July 30 to August 3 in the year 2019, melting occurred across 90% of the continent’s surface as it lost 55 billion tonnes of ice into the sea in just 5 days. That’s enough to cover the entire state of Florida in 5 inches of water. On August 1, Greenland lost 12.5 billion tonnes of ice into the sea in a single day. This is the highest single day ice loss recorded since records began in 1950. According to Dr. Ruth Mottram of the Danish Meteorological Institute, the ice loss this year was 370 billion tonnesRESPONSE: three different alarming Greenland ice loss statistics are presented as 55 gigatons in 5 days, 12.5 gigatons per day, and 370 gigatons/year. At 370 gigatons per year, the Greenland ice sheet will be gone in 7,100 years while raising sea level at a rate of  about 1 mm/year  until the sea level rises 7.36 meters 7,100 years from now. The daily rates cannot be annualized because the ice melt is seasonal with the ice sheet losing ice mostly in July and August and gaining ice in winter. If  these figures are assumed to be in the Month of August, the higher rate of 12.5 gigatons per day is equivalent to 380 gigatons per year and the lower rate of 11 gigatons per day is equivalent to 334 gigatons per year assuming no accretion in winter. In those cases the sea level rise and time needed for the ice sheet to be completely melted are about the same as in the 370 gigatons per year figures presented above. What makes that so scary that it should motivate us to give up fossil fuels? 
  9. CLAIM: The IMBIE Team’s report on Antarctica earlier this year had already concluded that the IPCC were underestimating that continent’s contribution to sea level rise by about 10cm in the sea level rise projection for the year 2100. Now they have concluded that the current prediction of Greenland’s contribution is also under by about 7cm. That means that on top of the 360 million people already categorized as being at high risk of annual flooding, another 40 million people now drop into that category raising the number of people at risk to 400 million. RESPONSE: That climate science does not know exactly what the sea level rise will be from Greenland and Antarctica ice melt does not mean we should be even more scared than previously thought. It means that there is no reason for us to be scared because now we know that the people feeding us these scary statistics don’t really know what the correct figures are. They have not divulged the uncertainty of their predictions and when the uncertainty is considered it implies that climate science doesn’t really know what these numbers really are. The climate science position that the less they know the more scared we should be is illogical [LINK] Besides that one should also consider that ice melt in the polar ice sheets is not purely an atmospheric phenomenon that can be attenuated by reducing fossil fuel emissions because of the role of geological activity in polar ice melt phenomena described in related posts  [LINK] [LINK] .


bandicam 2019-12-16 22-35-19-901




  1. CITED BY TBGY: IMBIE Team. “Mass balance of the Greenland Ice Sheet from 1992 to 2018.” Nature (2019).  ABSTRACT: In recent decades, the Greenland Ice Sheet has been a major contributor to global sea-level rise1,2, and it is expected to be so in the future3. Although increases in glacier flow4-6 and surface melting7-9 have been driven by oceanic10-12 and atmospheric13,14 warming, the degree and trajectory of today’s imbalance remain uncertain. Here we compare and combine 26 individual satellite measurements of changes in the ice sheet’s volume, flow and gravitational potential to produce a reconciled estimate of its mass balance. Although the ice sheet was close to a state of balance in the 1990s, annual losses have risen since then, peaking at 335 ± 62 billion tonnes per year in 2011. In all, Greenland lost 3,800 ± 339 billion tonnes of ice between 1992 and 2018, causing the mean sea level to rise by 10.6 ± 0.9 millimetres. Using three regional climate models, we show that reduced surface mass balance has driven 1,971 ± 555 billion tonnes (52%) of the ice loss owing to increased meltwater runoff. The remaining 1,827 ± 538 billion tonnes (48%) of ice loss was due to increased glacier discharge, which rose from 41 ± 37 billion tonnes per year in the 1990s to 87 ± 25 billion tonnes per year since then. Between 2013 and 2017, the total rate of ice loss slowed to 217 ± 32 billion tonnes per year, on average, as atmospheric circulation favoured cooler conditions15 and as ocean temperatures fell at the terminus of Jakobshavn Isbræ16. Cumulative ice losses from Greenland as a whole have been close to the IPCC’s predicted rates for their high-end climate warming scenario17, which forecast an additional 50 to 120 millimetres of global sea-level rise by 2100 when compared to their central estimate.
  2. RELATED PAPERS: Mouginot, Jérémie, et al. “Forty-six years of Greenland Ice Sheet mass balance from 1972 to 2018.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 116.19 (2019): 9239-9244.  We reconstruct the mass balance of the Greenland Ice Sheet using a comprehensive survey of thickness, surface elevation, velocity, and surface mass balance (SMB) of 260 glaciers from 1972 to 2018. We calculate mass discharge, D, into the ocean directly for 107 glaciers (85% of D) and indirectly for 110 glaciers (15%) using velocity-scaled reference fluxes. The decadal mass balance switched from a mass gain of +47 ± 21 Gt/y in 1972–1980 to a loss of 51 ± 17 Gt/y in 1980–1990. The mass loss increased from 41 ± 17 Gt/y in 1990–2000, to 187 ± 17 Gt/y in 2000–2010, to 286 ± 20 Gt/y in 2010–2018, or sixfold since the 1980s, or 80 ± 6 Gt/y per decade, on average. The acceleration in mass loss switched from positive in 2000–2010 to negative in 2010–2018 due to a series of cold summers, which illustrates the difficulty of extrapolating short records into longer-term trends. Cumulated since 1972, the largest contributions to global sea level rise are from northwest (4.4 ± 0.2 mm), southeast (3.0 ± 0.3 mm), and central west (2.0 ± 0.2 mm) Greenland, with a total 13.7 ± 1.1 mm for the ice sheet. The mass loss is controlled at 66 ± 8% by glacier dynamics (9.1 mm) and 34 ± 8% by SMB (4.6 mm). Even in years of high SMB, enhanced glacier discharge has remained sufficiently high above equilibrium to maintain an annual mass loss every year since 1998.
  3. Zwally, H. Jay, et al. “Greenland ice sheet mass balance: distribution of increased mass loss with climate warming; 2003–07 versus 1992–2002.” Journal of Glaciology 57.201 (2011): 88-102.  We derive mass changes of the Greenland ice sheet (GIS) for 2003–07 from ICESat laser altimetry and compare them with results for 1992–2002 from ERS radar and airborne laser altimetry. The GIS continued to grow inland and thin at the margins during 2003–07, but surface melting and accelerated flow significantly increased the marginal thinning compared with the 1990s. The net balance changed from a small loss of 7 ± 3 Gt a−1 in the 1990s to 171 ± 4 Gt a−1 for 2003–07, contributing 0.5 mm a−1 to recent global sea-level rise. We divide the derived mass changes into two components: (1) from changes in melting and ice dynamics and (2) from changes in precipitation and accumulation rate. We use our firn compaction model to calculate the elevation changes driven by changes in both temperature and accumulation rate and to calculate the appropriate density to convert the accumulation-driven changes to mass changes. Increased losses from melting and ice dynamics (17–206 Gt a−1) are over seven times larger than increased gains from precipitation (10–35 Gt a−1) during a warming period of ∼2 K (10 a)−1 over the GIS. Above 2000 m elevation, the rate of gain decreased from 44 to 28 Gt a−1, while below 2000 m the rate of loss increased from 51 to 198 Gt a−1. Enhanced thinning below the equilibrium line on outlet glaciers indicates that increased melting has a significant impact on outlet glaciers, as well as accelerating ice flow. Increased thinning at higher elevations appears to be induced by dynamic coupling to thinning at the margins on decadal timescales.
  4. Rignot, E., et al. “Mass balance of the Greenland ice sheet from 1958 to 2007.” Geophysical Research Letters 35.20 (2008).  We combine estimates of the surface mass balance, SMB, of the Greenland ice sheet for years 1958 to 2007 with measurements of the temporal variability in ice discharge, D, to deduce the total ice sheet mass balance. During that time period, we find a robust correlation (R2 = 0.83) between anomalies in SMB and in D, which we use to reconstruct a continuous series of total ice sheet mass balance. We find that the ice sheet was losing 110 ± 70 Gt/yr in the 1960s, 30 ± 50 Gt/yr or near balance in the 1970s–1980s, and 97 ± 47 Gt/yr in 1996 increasing rapidly to 267 ± 38 Gt/yr in 2007. Multi‐year variations in ice discharge, themselves related to variations in SMB, cause 60 ± 20% more variation in total mass balance than SMB, and therefore dominate the ice sheet mass budget.
  5. Box, Jason E., et al. “Greenland ice sheet surface mass balance variability (1988–2004) from calibrated polar MM5 output.” Journal of Climate 19.12 (2006): 2783-2800Regional climate model runs using the fifth-generation Pennsylvania State University–National Center for Atmospheric Research Mesocale Model modified for use in polar regions (Polar MM5), calibrated by independent in situ observations, demonstrate coherent regional patterns of Greenland ice sheet surface mass balance (SMB) change over a 17-yr period characterized by warming (1988–2004). Both accumulation and melt rates increased, partly counteracting each other for an overall negligible SMB trend. However, a 30% increase in meltwater runoff over this period suggests that the overall ice sheet mass balance has been increasingly negative, given observed meltwater-induced flow acceleration. SMB temporal variability of the whole ice sheet is best represented by ablation zone variability, suggesting that increased melting dominates over increased accumulation in a warming scenario. The melt season grew in duration over nearly the entire ablation zone by up to 40 days, 10 days on average. Accumulation area ratio decreased by 3%. Albedo reductions are apparent in five years of the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) derived data (2000–04). The Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR)-derived albedo changes (1988–99) were less consistent spatially. A conservative assumption as to glacier discharge and basal melting suggests an ice sheet mass loss over this period greater than 100 km3 yr−1, framing the Greenland ice sheet as the largest single glacial contributor to recent global sea level rise. Surface mass balance uncertainty, quantified from residual random error between model and independent observations, suggests two things: 1) changes smaller than approximately 200 km3 yr−1 would not satisfy conservative statistical significance thresholds (i.e., two standard deviations) and 2) although natural variability and model uncertainty were separated in this analysis, the magnitude of each were roughly equivalent. Therefore, improvements in model accuracy and analysis of longer periods (assuming larger changes) are both needed for definitive mass balance change assessments.
  6. Hanna, Edward, et al. “Runoff and mass balance of the Greenland ice sheet: 1958–2003.” Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres 110.D13 (2005)Meteorological models were used to retrieve annual accumulation, runoff, and surface mass balance on a 5 km × 5 km grid for the Greenland ice sheet for 1958–2003. We present the first such history that provides insight into seasonal and interannual variability, which should prove useful for those studying the ice sheet. Derived runoff was validated by means of a control model run and independent in situ data. Modeled accumulation has already been validated using shallow ice core data. Surface mass balance (SMB) responds rapidly on a yearly basis to changing meteorological (surface air temperature and precipitation) forcing. There are distinct signals in runoff and SMB following three major volcanic eruptions. Runoff losses from the ice sheet were 264 (±26) km3 yr−1 in 1961–1990 and 372 (±37) km3 yr−1 in 1998–2003. Significantly rising runoff since the 1990s has been partly offset by increased precipitation. Our best estimate of overall mass balance declined from 22 (±51) km3 yr−1 in 1961–1990 to −36 (±59) km3 yr−1 in 1998–2003, which is not statistically significant. Additional dynamical factors that cause an acceleration of ice flow near the margins, and possible enhanced iceberg calving, may have led to a more negative mass balance in the past few years than suggested here. The implication is a significant and accelerating recent contribution from the ice sheet to global sea level rise, with 0.15 mm yr−1 from declining SMB alone over the last 6 years.













8 Responses to "TBGY Ice Melt Lecture"

TBGY = The Bald Guy on Youtube

Thanks so much for a logical report.


On Thu, Dec 19, 2019 at 10:18 AM Thongchai Thailand wrote:


[…] What Scientists Know for Sure The Industrial Economy is Melting Greenland […]


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