A hundred years for sea levels to rise half-an-inch
Not by Fire but by Ice
THE NEXT ICE AGE - NOW!
Discover What Killed the Dinosaurs . . . and Why it Could Soon Kill Us
Posted 22 Oct 2006
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losing about 100 billion tons of ice a year
That’s what the headline says.
But when you get into the article you learn that the rate of loss is much
lower than other research has suggested. (Less than half.)
You also learn that "the contribution to global sea-level rise of the
loss observed in this study is about 0.3mm per year."
Let’s take an honest look at that number:
For those who don’t work with the metric system, let me remind
you that a meter is 39.37 inches (slightly more than three feet).
A centimeter is 1/100s of a meter, or .39 inches ( less than half an inch).
A millimeter is 1/1000 of a meter, or .039 inches. (About the width
of a human hair).
At the rate of 0.3mm per year (3/10ths of a mm), it would take one
hundred years for sea levels to rise .39 inches (less than half an inch).
At that rate, it would take a thousand years for sea levels to rise 39 inches.
To the hills anyone?
Considering that sea levels have risen some 370 feet since the end of the
last ice age about 11,500 years ago (thirty-three feet per thousand years),
I’m inclined to look at these figures as proof that we’ve turned the corner
and are headed back into an ice age.
* * *
P.S. Even if the numbers are correct about Greenland, the Antarctic ice
which is seven times larger than the Greenland ice sheet, is gaining mass.
(See Antarctic Icecap Growing Thicker, May 2005)
* * *
Here’s a synopsis of the article in question:
20 Oct 06 - NASA scientists have undertaken a new assessment of
the rate of melting occurring on Greenland. Their data comes from satellites
that detect changes in mass by monitoring tiny fluctuations in the pull of
gravity as they fly over the Earth.
The rate of ice loss observed using the Grace (Gravity Recovery and
Climate Experiment) spacecraft is much lower than other recent research
The results indicate that Greenland lost about 100 billion metric tons
ice per year from 2003 to 2005. Other estimates for the same period
have been close to 240 billion metric tons of ice.
The researchers also found, as others have, that the ice sheet is
at the margins while growing a little in the interior. (Which I’ve been
saying all along.)
The contribution to global sea-level rise of the ice loss observed in
study is about 0.3mm per year.
Commenting on the Grace research, Anny Cazenave from the Observatoire
Midi-Pyrenees in Toulouse, France, said "Because of these contrasting
behaviours - mass loss in coastal regions and mass gain in elevated central
regions - ice-sheet mass loss exceeds mass gain only slightly."
("Only slightly." What a wonderful understatement.)
For the full article, see
* * *
My friend Kenneth has the following to say about this:
"I disagree with that article. Just a
year ago, the oceanography center in Norway
made it clear that Greenland is thickening at 1.9 cm per year. Plus other articles
suggested that interior Greenland glaciers have doubled their rate of advance, so I
don't buy into that article at all about the ice loss. I think they have the headline
very much wrong.
(I agree with Kenneth.)
Glaciers are growing around the world, including the United States
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