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Monday, 19 May 2014

Antarctica, is it melting or not? Man-made global warming can't explain this climate paradox

In the last week or so a number of articles have surfaced concerning scientific observations made in Antarctica. When comparing these articles, it's hard to not be a little puzzled as to what is going on. One even gets the impression that climate scientists don't talk much to each other but rather stay within their own specific field of research. Before we examine these articles, let's take a quick look at Antarctica. According to Wikipedia:
At 14.0 million km2 (5.4 million sq mi), it is the fifth-largest continent in area after Asia, Africa, North America, and South America. For comparison, Antarctica is nearly twice the size of Australia.

About 98% of Antarctica is covered by the Antarctic ice sheet, a sheet of ice averaging at least 1.6 km (1.0 mi) thick. The continent has about 90% of the world's ice (and thereby about 70% of the world's fresh water).
Furthermore the Antarctic ice sheet is divided into the West Antarctic ice sheet (WAIS) and the East Antarctic ice sheet (EAIS), something which is often missed in the mainstream media, where promoting the man-made global warming idea is all-important. Here is an image of Antarctica: 

I couldn't find the exact percentage but as we can see, the WAIS is by far the smaller of the two ice sheets, accounting for no more than 20%. There are important differences between the two ice sheets. From Wikipedia again:
In East Antarctica, the ice sheet rests on a major land mass, but in West Antarctica the bed can extend to more than 2,500 meters below sea level. Much of the land in this area would be seabed if the ice sheet were not there.
Earlier this week a report claimed: Antarctica's ice melt is unstoppable:
Massive regions of the ice sheet that makes up West Antarctica have begun collapsing in a process that scientists have worried about for decades and fear is likely unstoppable, two separate teams of scientists said on Monday.
A Guardian headline specified that Western Antarctic ice sheet collapse has already begun, scientists warn, with the subheading, "Two separate studies confirm loss of ice sheet is inevitable, and will cause up to 4 meters of additional sea-level rise."
The collapse of the Western Antarctica ice sheet is already under way and is unstoppable, two separate teams of scientists said on Monday.

The glaciers' retreat is being driven by climate change and is already causing sea-level rise at a much faster rate than scientists had anticipated.

The loss of the entire western Antarctica ice sheet could eventually cause up to 4 metres (13ft) of sea-level rise, devastating low-lying and coastal areas around the world. But the researchers said that even though such a rise could not be stopped, it is still several centuries off, and potentially up to 1,000 years away.
Making predictions and statements about something being "unstoppable", and sea level rises hundreds of years - if not thousand of years - into the future, seems to be a little unscientific and more akin to saying what elicits the most institutional grants wishful crystal-gazing, especially given the fact that the current events are little understood.

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