Glaciers growing on Greenland

Greenland's growing Jakobshavn Glacier
Click for full image.

Despite what the fake mainstream media and leftist Democratic Party politicians insist on telling us daily, the Greenland icecap remains largely stable, and shows no sign of disappearing anytime in the near future.

The image on the right, reduced to post here, is a series of images produced by radar instruments flown by a NASA airplane over Jakobshavn Glacier during the past three years and released this week by its project scientists. As noted in the release,

These images show the mass Greenland’s Jakobshavn Glacier has gained from 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19. Areas with the most growth are shown in dark blue. Red areas represent thinning. The images were produced using GLISTIN-A radar data as part of NASA’s Ocean’s Melting Greenland (OMG) mission.

While this research is absolutely worthwhile, the mission has clearly been shaped by the global warming activism in NASA and the climate science community. Thus, the scientists for this mission are forced to say this on their website:

Humans are changing the climate by burning fossil fuels for energy. These add greenhouse gases to the atmosphere, which trap extra heat from the sun and warm the air and oceans.

I would bet however that the scientists for this project remain very skeptical about this NASA political statement. That they highlighted here a glacier that is growing, in contradiction to the routine media and activist claims that Greenland’s ice sheet is disappearing, indicates this.

Tony Heller at his climate blog today posted a very good summary of the very stable state of Greenland’s icecap, while also pointing out the dishonest and incompetent reporting about it from mainstream media sources like the Washington Post and Fox News. Check it out. As he concludes:

There has been no trend Arctic sea ice since the start of MASIE records thirteen years ago.

Greenland glaciers are growing. The last two years had near record surface mass gain. The current journalistic standard of cherry picking a day here and there, and then misrepresenting the meaning of it, is journalism at its worst.

The data shows a decline in that icecap in the early part of this century, followed by a significant recovery in the past three years. As he says, there has been no trend.

Be aware of this when ignorant politicians like Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-New York) try to tell you we are all going to die of global warming in mere years. These fear-mongers know nothing, and should be laughed from the stage.

A second Greenland crater discovered?

Scientists are now claiming they have found a second crater buried under Greenland’s icecap.

To confirm his suspicion about the possible presence of a second impact crater, MacGregor studied the raw radar images that are used to map the topography of the bedrock beneath the ice, including those collected by NASA’s Operation IceBridge. What he saw under the ice were several distinctive features of a complex impact crater: a flat, bowl-shaped depression in the bedrock that was surrounded by an elevated rim and centrally located peaks, which form when the crater floor equilibrates post-impact. Though the structure isn’t as clearly circular as the Hiawatha crater, MacGregor estimated the second crater’s diameter at 22.7 miles. Measurements from Operation IceBridge also revealed a negative gravity anomaly over the area, which is characteristic of impact craters.

“The only other circular structure that might approach this size would be a collapsed volcanic caldera,” MacGregor said. “But the areas of known volcanic activity in Greenland are several hundred miles away. Also, a volcano should have a clear positive magnetic anomaly, and we don’t see that at all.”

It must be emphasized that this conclusion remains very uncertain. What they have found is a depression that has features indicative of an impact crater, data that is far from sufficient to definitively prove the crater is real.

Scientists discover giant impact crater buried under Greenland ice

Scientists have discovered the existence of a giant impact crater buried under the Greenland ice.

An international team of researchers, including a NASA glaciologist, has discovered a large meteorite impact crater hiding beneath more than a half-mile of ice in northwest Greenland. The crater — the first of any size found under the Greenland ice sheet — is one of the 25 largest impact craters on Earth, measuring roughly 1,000 feet deep and more than 19 miles in diameter, an area slightly larger than that inside Washington’s Capital Beltway.

They think, based on the data, that this crater is very young, one of the youngest known on Earth. At the most is is no more than 3 million years old.

Two new studies say different things about Greenland’s icecap history

The uncertainty of science: Two new studies of Greenland’s icecap suggest completely opposite histories, with one saying that Greenland was ice free at least once in the past 2.6 million years, with the other saying that the icecap covered Greenland continuously for the past 7.5 million years.

Evidence buried in Greenland’s bedrock shows the island’s massive ice sheet melted nearly completely at least once in the last 2.6 million years. This suggests that Greenland’s ice may be less stable than previously believed. “Our study puts Greenland back on the endangered ice-sheet map,” says Joerg Schaefer, a palaeoclimatologist at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory in Palisades, New York, and co-author of a paper published on 7 December in Nature.

A second paper in the same issue paints a slightly different view of the ice sheet’s past stability. A group led by Paul Bierman, a geomorphologist at the University of Vermont in Burlington, found that ice covered eastern Greenland for all of the past 7.5 million years. Experts say the two papers do not necessarily contradict one another: at times, nearly all of Greenland’s ice could have melted (as seen by Schaefer’s team) while a frosty cap remained in the eastern highlands (as seen by Bierman’s group).

If all of Greenland’s ice melted, it would raise sea levels by seven metres. Models suggest that Greenland could become ice-free as soon as 2,500 years from now, depending on the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. [emphasis mine]

This story is a perfect example of how the passionate belief in a theory (that global warming is happening, is a threat, and will melt the icecaps) can warp a scientist’s thinking. Both studies used a single drilled ice core, with the first from Greenland’s central region and the second from Greenland’s eastern region. Thus, there is no reason to say that the entire Greenland icecap had melted, as noted in the highlighted text that describes the first study. What the data merely suggests is that these two regions might have had different histories.

Instead, the article, in its effort to confirm the possibility that Greenland’s icecap could melt entirely and thus pose a threat of a big sea level rise, ignores this simple detail and struggles to justify the concept that the entire cap certainly melted in the past, even though one study suggests otherwise. This causes everyone to misunderstand the results, and draw conclusions that are uncalled for, based on the available data.

Greenland ice sheet not covered in soot

The uncertainty of science: A new study of the Greenland ice sheet has found that the darkening sensed there by satellites is not caused by dust and soot deposited by forest fires and industry but was instead caused by the slow degradation of the sensors on the satellites themselves.

In trying to explain the apparent decline in reflectivity, lead author Chris Polashenski, an adjunct assistant professor at Dartmouth’s Thayer School of Engineering and a research geophysicist at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory, and his colleagues analyzed dozens of snow-pit samples from the 2012-2014 snowfalls across northern Greenland and compared them with samples from earlier years. The results showed no significant change in the quantity of black carbon deposited for the past 60 years or the quantity and mineralogical makeup of dust compared to the last 12,000 years, meaning that deposition of these light absorbing impurities is not a primary cause of reflectivity reduction or surface melting in the dry snow zone. Algae growth, which darkens ice, also was ruled out as a factor.

Instead, the findings suggest the apparent decline in the dry snow zone’s reflectivity is being caused by uncorrected degradation of sensors in NASA’s aging MODIS satellites and that the declining trend will likely disappear when new measurements are reprocessed.

In other words, this story is another case of fear-mongering environmentalists and climate scientists (but I repeat myself) prematurely blaming human activity on the destruction of the environment.

Largest glacier calving event ever filmed

An evening pause. Hat tip Phill Oltmann. I had sworn I had posted this already, but now can’t find it on BtB. And even if I have posted it, it is worth watching again. My only comment is that I am baffled by the film’s description of the event as “horrifying.” I don’t find this natural event horrifying, I find it awe-inspiring. It reminds us that the scale of the universe if far far beyond anything we can imagine.

A new study has found that the glaciers of Greenland are not behaving as predicted.

The uncertainty of science: A new study has found that the glaciers of Greenland are not behaving as predicted.

In northwestern Greenland, for example, where most of the glaciers move relatively quickly and flow directly into the sea rather than ending on land, average speed jumped by 8% between 2000 and 2005 and rose another 18% from 2005 to 2010. Nevertheless, the researchers report online today in Science, the glaciers in this region showed no uniform pattern of acceleration. About one-third flowed at the same rate throughout the decade, one-fourth slowed during the interval, and about 15% slowed during the first half of the decade and then surged from 2005 to 2010.

Similarly, many of the individual glaciers in southeastern Greenland don’t follow the region’s overall trend. Although the average speeds for these glaciers increased by 28% over the decade, substantial accelerations by some glaciers were balanced by considerable slowing by others. About 43% of the glaciers in the region sped up between 2000 and 2005, but around 25% slowed down by more than 15% from 2005 to 2010.

In other words, if there is any warming, it hasn’t manifested itself in a predictable manner in the glaciers of Greenland. In fact, the data above suggests instead that if there has been any warming, it either has been far less than predicted, or has had relatively little influence on the Greenland ice sheet.

Times Atlas shows ice free areas of Greenland that are not ice free

When faith trumps data: The most recent edition of the Times Atlas incorrectly shows large areas of Greenland free of ice, claiming this was caused by global warming, even though those areas remain ice-covered. More here.

The Scott Polar group, which includes director Julian Dowdeswell, says the claim of a 15% loss in just 12 years is wrong. “Recent satellite images of Greenland make it clear that there are in fact still numerous glaciers and permanent ice cover where the new Times Atlas shows ice-free conditions and the emergence of new lands,” they say in a letter that has been sent to the Times. “We do not know why this error has occurred, but it is regrettable that the claimed drastic reduction in the extent of ice in Greenland has created headline news around the world. There is to our knowledge no support for this claim in the published scientific literature.

The icecaps of Greenland and Antarctica: are they melting?

NASA scientists have published a paper warning that there is growing evidence that the melting at the polar caps is accelerating. From the press release:

The pace at which the polar ice sheets are losing mass was found to be accelerating rapidly. Each year over the course of the study, the two ice sheets lost a combined average of 36.3 gigatonnes more than they did the year before. In comparison, the 2006 study of mountain glaciers and ice caps estimated their loss at 402 gigatonnes a year on average, with a year-over-year acceleration rate three times smaller than that of the ice sheets.

Several things to note after reading the actual paper:

Imaging the ground under the Greenland ice sheet

In a paper published today in Geophysical Research Letters of the American Geophysical Union, scientists describe how they have been able to produce remarkably detailed images of the ground buried almost a mile under the ice sheet of Greenland. These radar techniques are the same used in the past by spacecraft to image the hidden surface of Venus, only far more sophisticated.

The grooves on the surface of Greenland

This image from the paper compares the radar image of the Greenland surface (on the left) to an photograph of a known surface feature in the Northwest Territories of Canada, produced thousands of years ago by the giant icesheets of the last Ice Age. Both are at the same scale, about a third of a mile across, and are looking at the surface at an oblique angle of about 45 degrees. With the radar-produced image on the left, sunlight is simulated as coming from the right, with the elevation increasing as the colors go from green (lowest) to yellow to brown to purple (highest).

The long grooves, generally 30 to 100 feet deep and extending sometimes several miles, are produced as the icesheet slides across the ground. In the radar image, however, these grooves are slowly being ground out now.

It is the resolution of this technique that is so exciting. That they can look through ice almost a mile thick and resolve objects that are only tens of feet across tells me that someday it will be possible for spacecraft to map the smallest features on the surface of Venus or Titan. More exciting, this suggests that the technology will one day exist to even map the unknown surface of gas giants like Jupiter or Saturn, and do it in breathtaking detail.


Greenland icecap is not melting

Steve Goddard has posted on Anthony Watt’s webpage a very detailed update on the state of the icecap covering Greenland. Surprise! There are no signs of it disappearing anytime soon. (Note that you might have to scroll to the right to see the text of Goddard’s post, as on some computers Watts’s webpage is unfortunately far too wide for the screen.)