Memphis Belle

Did Jesus Predict Global Warming?
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The side effects of global warming are many, and many of these will adversely affect both the environment and mankind, as we shall see by the time we're done looking at all the evidence. Many of you right now may think global warming is a big hoax, an assortment of "junk science". But as we shall see, the science portion comes from the world's top scientists in their respective fields. Instead, many of us have been guilty of forming amateur opinions about some very real scientific discoveries. So hang on, you're going to go for a real ride, and come to realize some very scary facts about where we are in the realm of prophecy. This article is primarily written for Christians, many or most of whom are spiritually slumbering, as Matthew 25 indicates. Let's list the side effects of global warming, just for openers. Global warming is simply the steady raising of the earths average mean temperature over a period of time, without a drop back to previous levels.

                 Listing the side effects of global warming will help us fill in the picture of what's happening around the world due to this steady temperature rise. After listing these side effects we'll take a closer look at each, using the latest scientific data. The data comes from highly professional scientists, the very top men and women in their respective fields. To speak their language and work in their fields as ordinary "grunt-level" workers requires a minimum of four to six years of college, and many have their Masters and PhD's with up to 10 years or more of post-graduate work in college. [the base level education requirements for a meteorologist working for say NOAA can be found at .]

This is an extremely important issue for everyone, of every political persuasion. Html links to these scientific articles will be given throughout this article wherever possible. This is a serious subject and I did not undertake putting this article together on a whim. In my personal life I am a staunch conservative in my political views. But upon careful study I saw there is real scientific data to prove that we actually are going into the initial stages of serious global warming. Global warming goes beyond politics, and for Christians it is a serious warning that time is very short. So at the end of this article we'll take a very short look at some serious prophecies which predicted quite a few of these side effects of global warming-some given by God to Moses, and some given directly by Jesus. Let us begin. By the way, I always wanted to be an oceanographer and marine biologist, but being a remedial reader prevented me from pursuing the field, due to the heavy college requirements, which my remedial reading level would have torpedoed. So I thoroughly enjoyed putting this article together. Being a bygone qualified Submarine sailor lent some knowledge of the ocean and C02 scrubber systems to the article as well. My hat is off to all the wonderful and highly qualified scientists whose works lent themselves to this article. You are unsung and highly dedicated heroes who are attempting to warn this world of coming calamity in a very professional but serious manner. Dennis Quaid and Ian Holm portrayed all of you and your dedication to this selfless task [cf. The Day After Tomorrow].


Chapter Headings


I.                 Side Effects of Global Warming

II.             Mechanics of Global Warming

III.         The Carbon Cycle

IV.         Oceanic Biology 101

V.             Ocean & Atmosphere, How They Interface

VI.         Earth's Big Heat Bucket, or Where the Missing BTU's Are Going

VII.     The Earth's "Global Heat Engine"

VIII. Earthquakes

IX.         What Did Jesus and the Old Testament Prophets Predict That Matches What We Have Studied?


I. Side Effects of Global Warming

    Weather: Increased extreme weather patterns, increased evaporation and destabilization of local climates.

         Oceans: Sea level rise. Ocean surface temperature rise. Acidification. Shut down of thermo cline circulation.

          Ecosystems: Ecosystem productivity hurt, decline of agriculture.

          Environment: Water scarcity, deforestation, desertification as a result of glacier retreats, and expansion of tropical zone climate.

          Health: Spread of diseases following climatic changes.

Projected Climate Changes that are already occurring: 1) Slowing of ocean circulation that moves warm water to the North Atlantic, Iceland, the British Isles and Europe. 2) Large reductions in Greenland and West Antarctic Ice Sheets. 3) Accelerated global warming due to Carbon Cycle feedbacks in the terrestrial biosphere, and, 4) the release of Terre sphere carbon from permafrost regions and methane from hydrates in coastal sediments in far northern latitudes.

            Some significant negative side effects are already beginning to show themselves, rise in sea levels, higher local temperatures, and changes in rainfall patterns. Higher sea levels even now exacerbate coastal flooding and lead to an increase in salinity of aquifers and estuaries in countries with lower level landmasses, close to sea-level. Increase in temperature leads to increasing precipitation, but with that comes more violent weather patterns. Worldwide, the proportion of hurricanes attaining levels of Category 4 and 5 has risen from 20 percent in the 1970's to 35 percent in the 1990's. The World Meteorological Organization has suggested a possible link between global warming and increasing extreme weather events."Hurricanes, simulated under warmer, high-C02 conditions are more intense.Greenhouse gas-induced warming may lead to increasing occurrence of highly destructive Category-5 storms." ( )

         "The hurricanes we are seeing are indeed a direct result of climatic change" says Greg Holland, Director of the Mesoscale & Microscale Meteorological Division at the National Center For Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado. He says that the wind and warmer water conditions that fuel storms that form in the Caribbean are "increasingly due to greenhouse gases.''

( )

         Increased evaporation: As the climate grows warmer, evaporation increases. Heavier rainfall in tropical latitudes (especially in Africa) and desertification and/or shifting of weather patterns will become more common. Example: Stephen Mwakifwamba, National co-coordinator of the Centre for Energy, Environment, Science and Technology for Tanzania says climate change is happening already in Tanzania right now. "In the past, we had a drought about every ten years. Now we just don't know when they will come. They are more frequent, but then so are floods. The climate is less predictable. We might have floods in May or droughts every three years.Water levels are decreasing every day. The rains come at the wrong time for farmers and it is leading to many problems." (,12374,1517935,00.html)

            Destabilization of local climates: "In the northern hemisphere the southern part of the Arctic region has experienced a temperature rise of 1 degree to 3 degrees Celsius over the last 50 years. Canada and Russia are experiencing initial melting of permafrost. This may disrupt ecosystems and by increasing bacterial activity in soil lead to these vast areas becoming Carbon (CO2) sources instead of Carbon sinks ( ) Similar melting of permafrost in Western Siberia is also taking place, and the melting of this permafrost is likely to lead to release of large quantities methane-a major greenhouse gas. This will occur over decades, but is beginning right now. ( )

            Oceans: Increasing average global temperatures makes the water in the oceans expand in volume. Coupled to this the additional water entering from double the volume of normal ice-melt, the IPCC paper of 2001 says an increase of 1.5 to 4.5 degrees C is estimated to lead to an increase in sea level from 8 inches to 12 feet during the 21st century. From 300 years ago to the 19th century sea levels remained nearly constant, rising only 0.1 to 0.2mm per year. Since 1900 the rise rate has shifted to 1-2mm per year. And since 1992 satellite altimetry from TOPEX/Poseidon indicates a rate of about 3mm per year. ( )

         Temperature rise: The temperature of the Antarctic Southern Ocean rose by 0.17 degrees C (0.31 degrees F) between the 1950's and the 1980's, twice the rate of the world's oceans as a whole. Warming, especially in the colder polar oceans, reduces the ocean's ability to absorb CO2.

            Temperatures are rising in the Gulf of Mexico. As hurricanes cross the Warm Loop current coming up from South America they can gain great strength in under one day (i.e. Katrina and Rita in 2005) with water temperatures above 85 degrees F promoting Category-5 storms. (I learned that temperatures of 95 degrees F were reached in the Gulf of Mexico that year.) To view NOAA's buoy data for yourself from their National Buoy Data Center (NBDC) for the Caribbean, which monitor ocean surface temperatures click on

When the map comes up, just click on the buoy number you want to access, and it's data will come up on the screen.

           Hurricanes were thought to be an entirely North Atlantic phenomenon, but in April 2004 the first hurricane to form south of the Equator hit Brazil with 144 km/h winds

          Acidification: The world's oceans soak up much of the CO2 produced by living organisms, either as dissolved gas, or in the skeletons of tiny marine creatures that fall to the bottom to become chalk or limestone. Oceans currently absorb 1 metric ton of CO2 per person per year. Estimates are that the oceans have absorbed one half of all the CO2 generated by human activities since 1800 (120 billion tons). For all you nuke sub sailors, the earth's oceans you're used to cruising under the surface of is the earths giant CO2 scrubber system.Terrestrial plants do not absorb nearly as much CO2 as do the oceans. We'll get into this more later. ( )

             CO2 becomes a weak carbonic acid (HCO3), and thus increases of atmospheric CO2 since the 1800's has already lowered the ocean's PH by 0.1 to near 8.2 on the scale of 1 to 14. ( ) Acidification could destroy corals and other marine organisms with calcium carbonate shells and skeletons, which will also contribute to slower CO2 absorption resulting in further rise in atmospheric CO2. All these living oceanic organisms help "scrub" CO2 from the atmosphere, placing it safely locked away in the form of CaCO3 skeletons and diatomic "plant matter" on the ocean floor. From there it compacts down to become chalk, and then eventually limestone. Under greater time compression it becomes marble. [see also]

           Shutdown of the thermo haline circulation: Desalinization due to the doubled volumes of ice-melt and glacier speeds in Southern Greenland could cause a shutdown of the Gulf Stream and/or the North Atlantic Drift current. Currently, over the past 30 years the Gulf Stream has slowed by 30 percent, registering a 10 percent slowdown per decade. (This is The Day After Tomorrow stuff, right in front of our eyes!) Alterations to the ocean currents due to increased freshwater inputs from glacier melt, and the potential alterations to thermo haline circulation of the world's oceans may impact fisheries upon which humans also depend.

           Ecosystems: Rising global temperatures are beginning to impact ecosystems. Butterflies have shifted their ranges northward by 200 km in Europe and North America. In the Arctic the waters of Hudson Bay are ice-free for 3 weeks longer than they were 30 years ago. That's a one week per decade shift!

                Two 2002 studies found changes in range or seasonal behavior by plant and animal species, with four out of five changing their ranges toward the poles or higher altitudes-creating "refugee species". Frogs breeding, flowers blossoming, birds migrating 2.3 days earlier each decade and moving toward the poles by 6.1 km per decade! (6.9 days in 3 decades or 1 week shift in 30 years!)

                  Forests face an increased risk of forest fires. Boreal forest burned in North America was 10,000 square km annually (2.5 million acres). It has now, since 1970 almost tripled to 28,000 square km (7 million acres) annually. ( )

                  Glacier retreat: Since 1980 glacier retreat has become increasingly rapid, so much so that it has threatened the existence of many of the glaciers of the world. This process has increased markedly since 1995. Want to get a little scared? Click on this link ( ). Currently glacier retreat and mass balance losses have been increasing in the Andes, Alps, Himalayas, Rocky Mountains and North Cascades. The total surface area of glaciers worldwide has decreased by 50 percent since the end of the 19th century. ( ) Effects of increased glacier melt and retreat could become catastrophic to mankind. Increase in annual variation in water flows in rivers fed by glacier runoff will take place. Glacier runoff declines as glaciers decrease in size, and this is already observable in several regions. The situation will become even more dramatic in the earth's arid zones. For example, 70 percent of the water in the Ganges comes from Nepalese rivers which are mostly fed by melt-water. Nearly all of the water in Lake Aral comes from glaciers of the Tien Shan and Pamir mountains. Many glaciers are being lost to melting, raising concerns about future local water resources in these glacierized areas. As runoff declines in summer as these glaciers decrease in size, river flow will become flashy, with extremely low water levels in summer, where they were sufficient before. What a glacier does: They retain water in high precipitation years, as their snow-cover accumulates on them, protecting the ice from melting. In warmer and drier years glaciers offset lower precipitation by their higher melt-water input to lakes and rivers. But if the glaciers sufficiently and steadily shrink or disappear, this balance goes out the window. The continual shrinking of mountain glaciers in Western North America, Franz-Josef Land, Asia, the Alps, Indonesia and Africa, as well as the tropical and sub-tropical regions of South America is raising serious concerns about local water resources in these glacierized areas.   Lewis Glacier is only one out of 47 North Cascade glaciers which are all retreating. These glaciers are very important water sources to their respective human populations, and they only comprise 1 percent of all the ice-sheets by volume. [this information adapted from along with other articles from other sources, listed as they are used] That was an overview of current trends.


Let's Take A Closer Look At What's Occurring

Is Warming Causing Alaska Meltdow. "Alaska's glaciers are retreating, reports glacial geologist Bruce Molnia. Significant glacier retreat, thinning, stagnation, or a combination of these changes characterize all 11 mountain ranges and three island areas that presently support glaciers. Alaska is home to around 2,000 valley glaciers, including nearly 700 that are named. Fewer than 20 are advancing."We are certainly experiencing a climatic change that's having a pronounced effect in some areas of the world. But we don't know what component of the change is natural versus what's human induced."The popular perception of global warming is the entire Earth is warming everywhere. The record doesn't show that" said Molnia. Alaska's temperature changes are far more dramatic than in other regions of the world, and the retreat of Alaska's glaciers is quite significant, concludes Molnia.The glaciers in Alaska, Chile, Indonesia, New Zealand, and Iran are all temperate glaciers. Temperate or "warm" glaciers are always very close to melting. They tend to lose mass in the summer heat, but gain it from winter precipitation. Nearly all of the world's temperate glaciers are retreating, thinning, or stagnating." [Emphasis mine] (National Geographic News, December 18, 2001)

Alaskan Glacier Melting Faster: "The researchers say the resulting melt waters are sufficiently large to drive up global sea levels by 0.14mm per year [this from only the retreating Alaskan glaciers, not taking into account Greenland or West Antarctica]. The study by Dr. Keith Echelmeyer, of the University of Alaska Fairbanks Geophysical Institute, and colleagues used laser altimetry to measure the volume changes of 67 Alaskan glaciers from the mid-1950's to the mid-1990's. Their work, published in the journal Science, adds to the growing evidence that the level of recent glacier wastage-from polar regions to the tropics-has been underestimated."What we see over the last 50 years is that they have thinned quite substantially and over the last 10 years there has been an acceleration." "The climate is changing and this is affecting the glaciers-and they are being a good indicator of that," he said.Glaciers in Alaska and neighbouring Canada cover 90 thousand square kilometers, or approximately 13 percent of the mountain glacier area on Earth. Dr. Echelmeyer's team surveyed the volume and area changes of part of this region from an aircraft equipped with a laser altimetry system. The researchers measured the volume loss by checking glacier elevation and volume data on US Geological Survey maps from the 1950s. "Most glaciers have thinned several hundred feet at low elevations in the last 40 years and about 60 feet at higher elevations," Dr. Echelmeyer said. The team calculated that Alaskan glaciers are responsible for at least 9 percent of the global sea-level rise during the past century, and Alaska's glaciers raise the level of Earth's oceans by more than one-tenth of a millimetre each year. The study fits with a review of data by Professor Meier and Mark Dyurgerov, of the University of Colorado at Boulder, US. They said glacier wastage had been seriously underestimated by the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).One of the reasons for this, they said, was the IPCC had not had access to the latest Alaskan data. "For the first time we have some hard data from these glaciers which we have suspected, but didn't know for sure, are major contributors to sea level change caused by glacier melt," Professor Meier said after the Fairbanks study was published. The contribution from Alaska's glaciers to the worldwide sea level rise "is even more than what we expected," he added." (BBC News, July 18, 2002)

Tibetan Glaciers Melting at a Rapid Rate: "BEIJING-Glaciers in western China's Qinghal-Tibet plateau, known as the "roof of the world", are melting at a rate 7 percent annually due to global warming, the country's official Zinhua News Agency said.Statistics from the Tibet weather bureau show that average temperatures in Tibet have risen by 0.9 degrees Celsius (2 degrees Fahrenheit) since the 1980's, Xinhua reported, quoting Han Yongxiang of the National Meteorological Bureau. The glaciers in the Qinghai-Tibet plateau account for 47 percent of China's total glacier coverage.The melting glaciers will eventually lead to drought, more desertification and an increase in the number of sandstorms, Xinhua quoted researcher Dong Guangrong at the Chinese Academy of Sciences as saying." (Associated Press, May 3, 2006)

More Impacts of Glacier Retreat: In areas that are heavily dependent on water runoff from glaciers that melt during summer months, a continuation of the current retreat will eventually deplete the glacial ice and substantially reduce or eliminate runoff water supplies. A reduction of runoff will affect the ability to irrigate crops and will reduce summer stream flows necessary to keep dams and reservoirs replenished. This situation is particularly acute for irrigation in South America which has numerous artificial lakes which are almost entirely filled by glacial melt (BBC)

MEXICO CITY-Droughts, floods, changing rain patterns and rising sea levels are threatening development in the world's poorest countries, experts and aid workers said Monday at an international water forum. Regions including Africa, South Asia-home to most of the 1.1 billion people who live without clean water-will be among the hardest hit by changing weather patterns, experts at the 4th World Water Forum said. They blamed the threats largely on changes in the global climate. "Drought will worsen. We will see deforestation of the environment," said Michel Jarraud, Secretary-General of the World Meteorological Organization. "The least developed countries don't have the resources to mitigate the impact.".Greenhouse gases such as CO2 have been increasing in the atmosphere since the Industrial Revolution, raising fears they are warming the planet's climate by trapping heat from the sun.Gana Unnayan Sangstha, an aid worker who helps install community water systems in Bangladesh's poor coastal Province of Satkahira, has already seen the effects of global warming. "Bangladesh is the lowest country in the world. There are salinity intrusions into larger areas due to climate change, and a rise in sea-water levels," Unnayan Sangstha said. When salt gets into ground water-such as in the wells used in many Bangladesh projects-it becomes useless for drinking or irrigation. Increasing salinity is also a problem in areas around Karachi, Pakistan, where Tanver Arif works on a rural-aid project aimed at building ponds that collect water in an arid environment. "Since about two decades ago, there is some climate change, and the rains are moving to the east," Arif said. Joe Madiath, of the India-based rural development organization Gram Viras, said climate change is devastating Orissa, one of the country's poorest states."Floods, typhoons-you name it, we have it.while the amount of rainfall remains constant from previous years, it comes all at once, a problem he said is getting worse. Jamie Pittock, Executive Director of the World Wildlife Fund, said major rivers could be affected by global warming. "Rivers like the Indus and Ganges could see reduced flow," he said. "At the moment they have a steady base flow from melting glaciers, but when those glacier flows are reduced [as they currently are becoming], the rivers will become more flashy, with greater flows in the wet season and lower flows in the dry season."."That will be devastating, not only for people, but for the environment," he added. [Associated Press]

The Polar Regions-'Climatic "Canary" in the Mineshaft'

Polar ice is made up of two distinct types which are radically different from each other, based upon how they are created. The first is sea-ice, which floats upon the surface of the polar ocean surfaces and is formed from salt-water or sea-water freezing. Of course when it snows on sea-ice, that snow will compact down into a growing layer of fresh-water ice on top of sea-ice, especially in the northern polar regions that stay below freezing in both summer and winter, or do not suffer complete melt-down over the summer. Global sea-ice covers 25 million square kilometers of the northern polar regions, or roughly the size of the North American Continent.

Ice sheets and glaciers: Ice sheets and glaciers cover 15 million square kilometers, or about 10 percent of the Earth's land surface area. Don't forget, ice sheets reside on land (but can flow via glaciers into the sea). They are created by falling snow, which is then compacted down into ice sheets. These ice sheets form into frozen rivers, which most often flow into the sea, but sometimes they flow into major river systems or lakes (both natural or man-made).

Sea and Land Ice as Climate Regulators: As with snow, sea and land ice sheets and glaciers reflect 90 percent of the sun's radiated energy back into outer-space and absorb only 10 percent of it. Oceans, on the other hand absorb a full 90 percent of the sun's radiant energy and reflect back a mere 10 percent of it into outer-space. If say global cooling were to start to occur, more sea-ice would form and ice sheets and glaciers would extend over land and open ocean, providing a positive feedback for global cooling, bringing on an acceleration of global cooling. In like manner, if conditions continue with the global warming trend, and sea-ice and ice shelves continue to shrink, a positive feedback for increased global warming will be triggered as increased square mileage of ocean are exposed to sunlight (absorbing 90 percent of the sun's radiant energy). [ see ] "The Greenland ice sheet is warmer than the Antarctic ice sheet, thus global warming could produce serious melting on Greenland while having less effect in the Antarctic. In the Antarctic, temperatures are far enough below freezing that even with some global warming, temperatures would remain sufficiently cold to prevent surface melting." [] But where ice sheets extend outward to the ocean, the ice tends to move out over the ocean forming "ice shelves". The big concern with the current global warming trend is this, the sea-water under these "ice shelves" (Larsen A, B, C, and the Ross Sea, etc) would grow warmer, causing these shelves to break up more readily (which has started to occur [Larsen B], thus releasing more inland ice in an irreversible process (i.e. speed up the flow of major Antarctic inland ice sheets). The positive feedback scenario isn't endless though, because with increased ocean surfaces comes increased evaporation, bringing back the ice, but only after decades of damaging global warming side-effects, since formation of major ice sheets and then ice-shelves takes multiple decades, whereas, we've witnessed the breakup of some of these ice shelves in very short periods of time.

Sea Ice Melting: Sea-ice melting does not effect sea level. But sea-ice-with its very high solar reflective properties and insulation properties for the ocean under them-is an important part of the heat exchange regulatory system of the Earth. Right now sea-ice in the northern polar regions is retreating, as will be seen in a few pages of this article. But sea-ice is known to change both seasonally and interannually, so it bears watching to see if its shrinkage continues over the next three or four years, indicating a more serious trend in global warming.  

A look at what's happening:  99 percent of all glacier ice is contained in the great ice sheets of the polar and sub-polar regions of Antarctica and Greenland. These continuous continental-size ice-sheets are 3km or 1.8 miles or more thick. They cap the polar and sub-polar land masses. These great ice rivers flowing from huge frozen lakes transport ice from the margins of the ice-sheet to the ocean. In periods of relative climatic stability the amount of snow precipitation inflow matches the glacier out-flow into the oceans. The oceanic rise in sea level has been extremely small over the centuries, but has recently increased dramatically. As the planet enters a period of steady global warming, as it is doing, let's see what is happening with these huge glaciers. Glacier retreat has been observed in these outlet glaciers, resulting in an increase of their flow-rates. In Greenland the period since 2000 has brought retreat in three very large glaciers that used to be stable. They jointly drain more than 16 percent of the Greenland Ice Sheet. Satellite images and aerial photos from the 1950's through the 1970's show the front of the glacier as being stable. "But in 2001 it began retreating rapidly, at a rate of 7.2 km between 2001 and 2005. Jakobshavn Isbrae in Western Greenland is the fastest moving glacier in the world. It had been moving continuously at 24m a day (65' a day) with a stable terminus since 1950. In 2002 the 12km long floating terminus entered a phase of rapid retreat. The ice front started to break up and the floating terminus disintegrated, accelerating to a retreat rate of over 30m (98') per day!" The rate of retreat of Kangerdlugssuaq Glacier is even larger. Portions of the main trunk that were flowing at 15m (49') a day in 1998-2001 were flowing at 40m (131') a day in the summer of 2005." ( )

          Glacier retreat is also apparent on two important outlet glaciers of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet. Pine Island Glacier, which flows into the Amundsen Sea thinned 3.5 +/- 0.9m (11.5 +/- 3 feet) per year and retreated 5km in 3.8 years. The terminus of this glacier is a floating ice shelf and the point at which it is afloat is retreating 1.2km a year. This glacier drains a substantial portion of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet ( ). This same pattern of thinning is evident on the neighboring Thwaites Glacier.

               January 20, 1999: "There is a large range of uncertainty in trying to predict how much the ice sheets will contribute to sea level rise over the next century as Earth's climate warms. Reports published by an international government panel estimate a rise in sea level by 2100 that varies in range from 20 cm (about 8 inches), which is minimal and the present rate, to 96 cm (about 36 inches, or 3 feet). The West Antarctic Ice Sheet is believed to be the most likely source of this rise, but there is still debate concerning the ice sheet's stability and those mechanisms that could cause the ice sheet to melt. If this extreme prediction comes true, Anderson says, Texas's Galveston Island would not survive, South Louisiana would be flooded, and Bangladesh would be under water. To date, research has focused on the Ross Sea, where 50 percent of ice sheet drainage into the ocean occurs..."Undermelting now seems to take on greater importance." (

April 9, 1999: "Two ice shelves on the Antarctic Peninsula, the Larsen B and Wilkens, are in "full retreat" and have lost nearly 3,000 square kilometers of their total area in the last year according to scientists in Colorado and the UK. On the opposite side of the peninsula from the Larsen B Ice Shelf, the Wilkens Ice Shelf retreated nearly 1,100 square kilometers in early March of last year according to Ted Scambos, Research Associate at Boulder's National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC). "The radar images showed a large area of completely shattered ice, indicating an ice front 35 kilometers back from its previous extent. The sudden appearance of thousands of small icebergs suggests that the shelves are essentially broken up in place and flushed out by storms or currents afterward" Scambos said. (

January 20, 2001: "Warmer surface temperatures during summers can cause more ice on Antarctica ice shelves to melt into standing water ponds, then leak into cracks and increase the odds of collapse, according to a new study published by an American team of scientists.The result [of this study] implies that other ice shelves are closer to the breaking point than we previously thought," said Scambos. "The shelf retreats that have occurred so far have had few consequences for sea-level rise, but breakups in some other areas like the Ross Ice Shelf could lead to increases in ice flow off the Antarctic and cause sea level to rise."."The process can be expected to be more widespread if Antarctic summer temperatures continue to increase."."Warmer summer temperatures on the much larger Ross Ice Shelf in Antarctica could have severe repercussions because the ice shelf is part of the "braking system" for some very large glaciers," Scambos said. "If we begin to get significant water ponding there, and the shelf is eventually destroyed, we would likely have ice pouring off the Antarctic at a much faster rate. That would increase sea level significantly." "We need to monitor the summertime temperatures to see what the future holds for these ice sheets," said Hulbe. "While some areas of the Antarctic have warmed by as much as 4.5 degrees Fahrenheit in the past 50 years, few records have been kept of seasonal temperatures over ice shelves," she said. (

December 17, 2001: "Global mean temperatures have risen one degree Fahrenheit over the past 100 years, with more than half of the increase occurring in the last 25 years, according to University of Colorado at Boulder Senior Researcher Richard Armstrong. "As slight as that may seem, it's enough to make a difference.Now, long-term monitoring of a series of cold region, or cryospheric, parameters shows that for several decades the amounts of snow and ice around the world have been decreasing.In the world of climate change, trends are most readily observed in the Earth's cold regions, where the sensitivity of ice and snow to temperature changes serves as an early indicator of even relatively small differences," he said. "Today's receding and thinning sea ice, mountain glacier mass losses, decreasing snow extent, melting permafrost and rising sea level are all consistent with warming.Examination of springtime ice thickness in the Arctic Ocean indicates that the mean ice thickness decreased by 1.5 meters between the mid-1980's and early 1990's.At low altitudes, glacial changes are pronounced, uncontested and solid evidence of climate warming," said Eric Rignot, a researcher at the Radar Science and Engineering Section of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory."My study shows that a number of areas previously believed to be gaining mass in the Antarctic are in fact close to being balanced or even losing mass. The only areas which stands out as clearly out of balance is the Amundsen Sea sector of Antarctica drained by the Pine Island and Thwaites glaciers." "We know that the retreat of the Pine Island, Thwaites and Smith glaciers was due to a widespread thinning of ice that extended from their termini to over 200 kilometers inland," said Andrew Shepherd of the Centre for Polar Observation and Modeling at University College London. These glaciers are the principal ice drainage channels for the Amundsen Sea sector of the West Antarctica Ice Sheet. According to Shepherd, between 1991 and 2001 the Pine Island , Thwaites and Smith glaciers thinned by more than 15, 25 and 45 meters respectively where they leave the continent and begin to float, losing a total of 157 cubic kilometers of ice to the ocean." ( )

Larsen Ice Shelf: "The Larsen Ice Shelf is a long, fringing ice shelf in the northwest part of the Weddell Sea, extending along the east coast of the Antarctic Peninsula from Cape Longing to the area just southward of Hearst Island.the Larsen Ice Shelf is a series of three shelves that occupy (or occupied) distinct embayments along the coast. From north to south, the three segments are called Larsen A (the smallest), Larsen B, and Larsen C (the largest). The Larsen A ice shelf disintegrated in January of 1995. The Larsen B ice shelf disintegrated in February of 2002. The Larsen C ice shelf appears to be stable. The Larsen disintegration events were unusual. Typically, ice shelves lose mass by iceberg calving and by melting at their upper and lower surfaces. The disintegration events are linked to the ongoing climate warming in the Antarctic Peninsula, about 0.5 degrees C per decade since the late 1940's (almost certainly a result of global warming)." (

Larsen B ice shelf: "During January 31st to March 7th, 2002 the Larsen B ice shelf collapsed and broke up. 3250 square kilometers of ice 200 meters thick broke off. The shelf had previously been stable for 10,000 years.according to Queen's University researchers." (

September 2, 2002: NASA Study Finds Rapid Changes in Earth's Polar Ice Sheets: "Recent airborne measurements and a new review of space-based measurements of the thickness of Earth's polar ice sheets concludes they are changing much more rapidly than previously believed, with unknown consequences for global sea levels and Earth's climate.Large sectors of ice in southeast Greenland, the Amundsen Sea Embayment in West Antarctica and the Antarctic Peninsula are changing rapidly by processes not yet well understood, said researchers Dr. Eric Rignot of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., and Dr. Robert Thomas of EG&G Services at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility, Wallops Island, Va. .Earth's polar ice sheets are changing over relatively short time scales, that is, decades versus thousands of years," Rignot said.Rignot said understanding how polar ice sheets evolve is vital to society. "The Antarctic and Greenland's ice sheets together hold enough ice to raise sea level by 70 meters (230 feet)," he said. Even a small imbalance between snowfall and discharge of ice and melt water from ice sheets into the ocean could be a major contributor to the current sea level rise rate of 1.8 millimeters (0.07 inches) a year and impact ocean circulation and climate. During past periods of rapid deglaciation, ice sheet melting raised sea level orders of magnitude faster than today. This is the real threat of the ice sheets.The review reports Greenland's ice sheet is losing 50 cubic kilometers (12 cubic miles) of mass a year due to rapid thinning near its coasts. That's enough to raise sea level 0.13 millimeters annually. "Rapid coastal thinning cannot be explained by a few warm summers and is attributed to a dynamic ice sheet response," Rignot said. "A possible contributor to the observed trend is increased lubrication from additional surface melt water reaching glacier beds through crevasses and moulins." (taken from and )

September 24, 2004: Scientists Report Increased Thinning Of West Antarctic Glaciers: "Glaciers in West Antarctica are shrinking at a rate substantially higher than was observed in the 1990s. They are losing 60 percent more ice into the Amundsen Sea than they accumulate from inland snowfall.Dr. Bob Thomas commented that as the glaciers flow to the ocean, they become afloat to form ice shelves. "The ice shelves act like a cork and slow down the flow of the glacier," Thomas said. "Ice shelves in the Amundsen Sea appear to be thinning, offering less resistance to their tributary glaciers. Our measurements show an increase in glacier thinning rates that affect not only the mouth of the glacier, but also 100 kilometers (60 miles) to 300 kilometers (190 miles) inland." Thomas said.Thomas pointed out that the observed increases in velocities and thinning rates apply only to a short period of time, so it is too early to tell if the accelerated thinning is part of a natural cycle or is a sign of a longer-term change. "Continued observation is important," he said. "The rates of glacier change remain relatively small at present," said Dr. Rignot. "But the potential exists for these glaciers to increase global sea level by more than one meter. The time scale over which this will take place depends on how much faster the glaciers can flow, which we do not know at present" ( )

April 25, 2005: Antarctic Peninsula Glaciers in Widespread Retreat: "The first comprehensive study of glaciers around the coast of the Antarctic Peninsula reveals the real impact of recent climate change. Results from the study by researchers at British Antarctic Survey (BAS) and U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).show that over the past 50 years 87 percent of 244 glaciers studied have retreated, and the average retreat rates have accelerated.Fifty years ago, most of the glaciers we looked at were slowly growing in length but since then this pattern has reversed. In the last 5 years the majority were actually shrinking rapidly.On average the glaciers we studied retreated by 50 meters per year in the last five years, faster than at any other time in the last fifty years.It's the change from advance to retreat that suggest warming is the key cause.These glacier retreat patterns combined with dramatic ice shelf break-ups leave us in no doubt that the Antarctic Peninsula ice sheet is extremely sensitive to recent warming" says BAS Glaciologist Dr. David Vaughan. ( )

December 20, 2005: NASA's Grace Finds Greenland Melting Faster: "In the first direct comprehensive mass survey of he entire Greenland ice sheet, scientists using data from the NASA/German Aerospace Center Gravity Recovery and Climate experiment (GRACE) have measured a significant decrease in the mass of the Greenland ice cap.In an update to findings published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, a team led by Dr. Isabella Velicogna of the University of Colorado, Boulder, found that Greenland's ice sheet decreased by 162 (plus or minus 22) cubic kilometers a year between 2002 and 2005. This is higher than all previously published estimates, and it represents a change of about 0.4 millimeters (0.16 inches) per year to global sea level rise. "Greenland hosts the largest reservoir of freshwater in the northern hemisphere, and any substantial changes in the mass of its ice sheet will affect global sea level, ocean circulation and climate," said Velicogna. "These results demonstrate Grace's ability to measure monthly changes for an entire ice sheet-a breakthrough in our ability to monitor such changes." [see ]

March 2, 2006: "Antarctic Ice Sheet Losing Mass, Says University of Colorado Study. University of Colorado at Boulder researchers have used data from a pair of NASA satellites orbiting Earth to determine that the Antarctic ice sheet, which harbors 90 percent of Earth's ice, has lost significant mass in recent years. The team used measurements taken with the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment, or GRACE, to conclude the Antarctica is losing up to 36 cubic miles of ice, or 152 cubic kilometers, annually."This is the first study to indicate the total mass balance of the Antarctic ice sheet is in significant decline," said Isabella Velicogna of CU-Boulder's Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, chief author of the new study.The most recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change assessment, completed in 2001, predicted the Antarctic ice sheet would gain mass in the 21st century due to increased precipitation in a warming climate. But the new study signals a reduction in the continent's total ice mass, with the bulk of loss occurring in the West Antarctic ice sheet, said Velicogna.Launched in 2002 by NASA and Germany, the two GRACE satellites whip around Earth 16 times a day at an altitude of 310 miles, sensing subtle variations in Earth's mass and gravitational pull. Separated by 137 miles at all times, the satellites measure changes in Earth's gravity caused by regional changes in the planet's mass, including such things as ice sheets, oceans and water stored in the soil and in underground aquifers.A study spearheaded by CIRES researchers at CU-Boulder and published in September 2004 concluded that glaciers on the Antarctic Peninsula-which juts north from the West Antarctic ice sheet toward South America-sped up dramatically following the collapse of Larsen B ice shelf in 2002. Ice shelves on the peninsula-which has warmed by an average of 4.5 degrees Fahrenheit in the past 60 years-have decreased by more than 5,200 square miles in the past three decades (30 years). The Earth's fifth largest continent, Antarctica is twice as large as Australia and contains 70 percent of Earth's fresh water resources. The ice sheet, which covers about 98 percent of the continent has an average thickness of about 6,500 feet. Floating ice shelves constitute about 11 percent of the continent. The melting of the West Antarctic ice sheet alone-which is about eight times smaller in volume than the East Antarctic ice sheet-would raise global sea levels by more than 20 feet, according to researchers from the British Antarctic Survey [BAS]."   ( )

March 30, 2006: "Rapid Temperature Increases Above the Antarctic: A new analysis of weather balloon observations from the last 30 years reveals that the Antarctic has the same 'global warming' signatures as that seen across the whole Earth, but is three times larger than that observed globally. The results by scientists from the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) are reported this week in Science. Although the rapid surface warming in the Antarctic Peninsula region has been known for some time, this study has produced the first indications of broad-scale climate change across the whole Antarctic continent. Lead author Dr. John Turner of the British Antarctic Survey says, "The warming above the Antarctic could have implications for snowfall across the Antarctic and sea level rise. Current climate model simulations don't reproduce the observed warming, pointing to weaknesses in their ability to represent the Antarctic climate system. Our next step is to improve the models.Analysis of the radiosonde data showed a winter season warming throughout the troposphere, which extends up to about 8km, and cooling in the stratosphere above. The largest warming of almost three quarters of a degree Centigrade per decade was found close to 5km above the surface. This is over three times the rate of warming observed for the world as a whole. The warming has occurred across the whole of the Antarctic and is apparent in the balloon data from Amundsen-Scott Station at the South Pole to the many stations along the coast of East Antarctica.Data shows the atmosphere in recent decades has in fact warmed most some 4-5km above the surface, with the stratosphere cooling above. There is increasing evidence that levels of greenhouse gases have provided a blanket above the Earth trapping heat at lower levels and giving cooling in the layers above. Air temperatures in the Antarctic region have risen by over 2.5 degrees C in the last 50 years, about 5 times faster than the global mean rate." ( )

Dwindling Arctic Ice: According to the Canadian Ice Service, "the amount of ice in Canada's eastern Arctic Archipelago decreased by 15 percent between 1969 and 2004" "In parts of the Western Arctic the ice has receded by 36 percent ( )".

   2002: "In 2002, a series of scientific studies pointed to dramatic changes in Arctic sea ice. Sea ice that survives the summer remains year round-called perennial sea ice-is melting at the alarming rate of 9 percent per decade, according to a study by NASA Goddard Space Flight Center senior researcher Josefino Comiso. The extent of Arctic sea ice at summer's end reached a record low in 2002, reported NASA-funded researchers at the University of Colorado's National Snow and Ice Data Center, in Boulder.Most of the Arctic warmed significantly in the 1990s compared to the 1980s.The seasons when sea ice melts, between early spring and late fall, have gotten longer and warmer each decade. Arctic regions within North America have warmed more per decade than other Arctic areas, data taken from satellites between 1981 and 2001 shows. Such shifts in the Arctic are likely early indications of a global climate in a state of flux. "People talk about global warming, and the Artic really is the best place to detect global warming because the effects are amplified there," Cosimo says. [ and ]

Walrus Calves Stranded by Melting Sea Ice: "Scientists have reported an unprecedented number of unaccompanied and possibly abandoned walrus calves in the Arctic Ocean, where melting sea ice may be forcing mothers to abandon their pups as the mothers follow the rapidly retreating ice edge north. Nine lone walrus calves were reported swimming in deep waters far from shore by researchers aboard the U.S. Coast Guard icebreaker Healy during a cruise in the Canada Basin in the summer of 2004. Unable to forage for themselves, the calves were likely to drown or starve, the scientists said.The sightings suggest that increased polar warming may lead to decreases in the walrus population. "We were on station for 24 hours, and the calves would be swimming around us crying. We couldn't rescue them," said Carin Ashjian, a biologist at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and a member of the research team. The researchers found evidence of warmer ocean temperatures that may have rapidly melted seasonal sea ice over the shallow continental shelf where the walruses dive to feed on bottom-dwelling animals such as clams and crabs. Walrus need the ice to rest themselves and to leave the pups to rest while the mothers feed. Ice remained over very deep water. "If walruses and other ice-associated marine mammals cannot adapt to caring for their young in shallow waters without sea-ice available as a resting platform between dives to the sea floor, a significant decline of this species could occur," the research team wrote. The lead author of the study is Lee W. Cooper, a biologist at the University of Tennessee.The researchers measured a mass of water as warm as 44 degrees F (7 degrees C) moving onto parts of the shelf from the Bering Sea to the south in 2004. The warm water intrusion was more than six degrees higher than temperatures for the same time and location in 2002. The warmer water apparently caused seasonal sea ice to melt rapidly over the shallow continental shelf and retreat to deep water over the Arctic Ocean basins, where the water remained colder. In the areas where ice remained, the bottom is up to 3,000 meters (about 9,000 feet) deep, too deep for even adult walrus to dive to feed." (excerpted from "News Release, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, April 13, 2006. )

November 8, 2004, New Scientific Consensus: Artic is Warming Rapidly. This is according to a paper given by the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment, in Reykjavik, Iceland. The 140 page paper basically shows in great detail that the Arctic is warming much faster than previously known or realized, at nearly twice the rate as the rest of the planet, and increasing greenhouse gases from human activities are projected to make it warmer still.At least half the summer sea ice sheet in the Artic is projected to melt by the end of this century, along with a significant portion of the Greenland Ice Sheet. The region is projected to warm an additional 4-7 degrees C (7 to 13 F) by 2100.The assessment's projections are based on a moderate estimate of future emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.Says Robert Corell, chair of the ACIA, "The Arctic is experiencing some of the most rapid and severe climate change on earth. The impacts of climate change on the region and the globe are projected to increase substantially in the years to come.".Warming over Greenland is projected to lead to substantial melting of the Greenland Ice Sheet, contributing to global sea-level rise at increasing rates.Over the long term, Greenland contains enough melt water to eventually raise sea level by about 7 meters (about 23 feet).Over the next 100 years, climate change is expected to accelerate, contributing to major physical ecological, social, and economic changes, and Assessment has documented that many of these changes have already begun. ( [see ]

February 17, 2006, SAINT LOUIS-Greenland's southern glaciers have accelerated their march to the Atlantic Ocean over the past decade and now contribute more to the global rise of sea levels than previously estimated, researchers say. Those faster-moving glaciers, along with increased melting, could account for nearly 17 percent of he estimated one-tenth of an inch annual rise in global sea levels, or twice what was previously believed, said Eric Rignot of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif.That stepped-up flow accounted for about two-thirds of the net 54 cubic miles of ice Greenland lost in 2005. That compares with 22 cubic miles reported in 1996, Rignot said. Rignot and his study co-author Pannir Kanagaratnam of the University of Kansas, said their report is the first to include measurements of recent changes in glacier velocity in the estimates of how much ice most of Greenland is losing.If warmer temperatures spread to northern Greenland, the glaciers there too should pick up their pace, Rignot and Kanagaratnam wrote."

             Dr. Eric Rignot is a research scientist for the Jet Propulsion Laboratory's Radar Science and Engineering Section. His research interests are in geoscience applications of radar interferometry and polarimetry. He is a principal investigator on several NASA-funded projects to study the mass balance of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets using radar interferometry combined with other methods; tiny interactions of ice shelves with the ocean; and the dynamic retreat of Patagonian glaciers. He received the JPL Lew Allen Director's Award for Excellence in 1998. Dr. Rignot is a member of AGU and of the International Glaciological Society. (NASA Quest> Archives::)

Expected current melt rates: Combined current glacial melt coupled to thermal expansion is expected to cause a 3.2 foot rise in ocean levels during the 21st century. From 1880 to the year 2000 the oceans have risen by 20cm, or about 8 inches. They were pretty much steady before then

Quotes from "Time on the Shelf" by David Herring: "When Bindshadler and his colleagues first visited Antarctica in 1980, they brought with them the traditional wisdom gleaned by generations of explorers and glaciologists before them that large ice sheets are slow, plodding things that wax and wane on cycles ranging from centuries to millennia. But the evidence they painstakingly pieced together over the course of 13 expeditions to Antarctica over 25 years suggests that the perceived permanence of Antarctica's ice sheets is an illusion. They focused their studies in West Antarctica where the ice sheet is draped over a layer of marine sediments that is much more slippery than rock. They suspected that this slippery sediment layer and the above-average amount of subterranean heat the Earth vents in West Antarctica, including numerous volcanoes, made the West Antarctic Ice Sheet more prone to movement than scientists had previously thought."When I first got into Antarctic studies, ice sheets were thought to be very slow to respond," he recalls. "We had this preconception that any changes would be on scales of centuries. Yet there were rapid changes taking place. Ice streams would start and stop suddenly. And they are organized in a vast, interconnected network of streams." Similar to tributaries on land that flow into larger rivers, Bindschadler's team discovered a vast network of coalescing tributaries feeding into ice streams flowing toward the ocean.

                 Based on those discoveries and others over the past few decades, glaciologists began to suspect that Antarctica's ice sheets are not only sensitive to global warming, but that there could be observable changes in our lifetime. What does that mean for sea level? Spread across a land area roughly equal to that of the United States, the southern continent contains about 90 percent of all ice on our planet.".Bindschadler asserts, Antarctica's ice sheets are entirely relevant. "The West Antarctic Ice Sheet has, does, and will continue to affect sea level. We know that if this sheet changes in size, it will change sea level. That connection is direct and irrefutable.".Today, locked up in the West Antarctic Ice sheet-roughly the size of Greenland-is enough water to raise global sea level by another 5 meters (16 feet). Speaking of Greenland, its ice sheet has seen dramatic melting in the last decade [see E. Rignot's research, JPL]. Greenland contains about 9 percent of all ice on Earth-also enough water to raise sea level by 5 meters. Should either West Antarctica or Greenland surrender its ice sheet to the ocean, much of the southern half of Florida would be under water. Today, scientists see serious signs of stress on both ice sheets [Greenland and West Antarctica]. Should they both collapse, sea level will be 10 meters (32 feet) higher, and cartographers will have to redraw the contours of all Earth's continents." [ . For a good satellite image of Antarctica, click on this article.]

Positive Feedback Loops

What is Positive Feedback? Positive feedback is when a side-effect of global warming contributes to further global warming-thus accelerating the global warming that is already in progress.

1) One major side-effect of global warming are the retreat of glaciers and ice sheets. This retreating becomes a positive feedback to global warming. Why? Oceans absorb 90 percent of the solar energy that hits them (esp. infrared spectrum) and reflect back only 10 percent of the suns radiant energy into outer-space. Ice sheets and glaciers and even snow-covered land reflect back into outer-space 90 percent of the suns radiant energy and absorb only 10 percent of it. So as ice sheets and glaciers retreat exposing more ocean, a 90 percent increase in radiated solar energy is absorbed by the earth and the ocean in particular, accelerating the warming process. So melting ice sheets and glaciers provide a huge positive feedback to global warming.

2) Another major positive feedback is "climatologists reported in August 2005 that a one million square kilometer region of permafrost peat bogs in western Siberia is starting to melt for the first time since it was the end of the ice-age." This will release methane, an extremely potent greenhouse gas, possibly as much as 70,000 million tons over the next 20 years. Similar melting in eastern Siberia is occurring ( ). The discovery of permafrost peat bogs melting in 2005 implies that warming is likely to happen faster than was predicted in 2001. As we stated earlier, methane is a powerful greenhouse gas, and even when it is "burned up" in the atmosphere by lightning combining it with oxygen (O2), or through UV photo-disassociation in the upper atmosphere, it breaks down into water and CO2, both themselves greenhouse gases. So the effects of released methane linger far beyond its natural life cycle in the atmosphere.

3) Carbon cycle feedbacks. Forest fires caused by drying of rain patterns and rising global temperatures cause forest fires to occur on a larger scale and more regularly. This releases stored carbon in the form of CO2 into the atmosphere faster than the Carbon cycle can naturally absorb, as well as reducing the overall forest area on the planet, creating another positive feedback loop. Burning large sections of the Amazon has also created another very large positive feedback loop in South America.

4) Warming in the UK has caused the ground to release 8 tons more CO2 into the air than before, totaling now 12.7 tons a year, virtually canceling out the 13 ton reduction in CO2 emissions the UK has been able to achieve in compliance with the KYOTO accord. ( )

Water Scarcity

Water Scarcity & Decline in Agriculture: Decline in agriculture (as the world's population reaches over the 6 billion mark). While there may be a very few isolated benefits to global temperature rises, recent evidence shows global yields will be negatively affected. "Rising atmospheric temperatures, longer droughts and side-effects of both are likely to bring about a substantial reduction in crop yields in the coming decades." ( ) The region likely to be worst affected is Africa both because its geography makes it particularly vulnerable, and because 70 percent of the population rely on rain-fed agriculture for their livelihoods. Tanzania is a good example of what has started to take place. Tanzania's official report on climate change suggests that the areas that usually get two rainfalls in the year will get more, and those that get only one rainy season will get far result.33 percent less maize-the country's staple crop. (,12374,1517935,00.html ).

Water Scarcity:  Coupled to the affects of shrinking temperate zone glaciers, sea level rises also threaten to contaminate groundwater, affecting drinking water and agriculture in coastal zones. Most affected are the nations of Bangladesh and low portions of Pakistan. Increased evaporation, and due to higher temperatures, retention of more water vapor in the atmosphere, will reduce the effectiveness of reservoirs and rivers. Increased extreme weather will cause rain to fall in such heavy amounts when it does rain, that the ground will not be able to properly absorb it, leading to flash floods, but less useful replenishment. The retreat of glaciers in the mountains of southern Kazakhstan is creating environmental hazards that will affect the lives of millions and the geopolitics of central Asia, says Stephen Harrison." ( ) There has been a 25 percent decrease in annual rainfall in the Sahael over the past 30 years (one percent per year). What this amounts to is that the Sahara desert's arid conditions are extending five hundred miles further south into densely populated central Africa. The Sahel's northern border, as you can see, is the Sahara. So a semi-arid condition is moving south into Africa's tropical "rainy" area. This is quite serious.

[See also to read about the dangerous and steady shrinking of Africa's Lake Victoria.]

Earth's Tropical Belt Moving North and South: Over the past 26 years the Earth's tropical belt of warmer air has widened by over 140 miles (2 degrees in latitude) moving towards the north and south poles, according to Qiang Fu, and Thomas Reichler, professor of Meteorology at University of Utah and Professor John M. Wallace of University of Washington in Seattle, and who were all part of a study team investigating this. This warming of the atmosphere at these latitudes causes the troposphere to bulge toward each pole, which gently pushes the north and south jet streams farther north and south respectively. Such an event is believed to be causing the expansion of the subtropical deserts into heavily populated mid-latitudes (i.e. the Sahel area of Africa just south of the Sahara region, southern Europe and the southern part of the United States, lower parts of South America, just to name a few areas.) "It's a big deal. The tropics may be expanding and getting larger," says study co-author Thomas Reichler."If this is true, it also would mean that subtropical deserts are expanding into heavily populated midlatitude regions." This will, if it continues, shift rain and snow precipitation toward the poles. Currently, the troposphere over the period of this 26 years has warmed 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit. [To read the full News Release from the University of Utah, click on ]

Health: Global warming is expected to extend favorable zones for vectors conveying infectious diseases such as malaria. (,12374,1517940,00.html )

NASA Study Suggests Extreme Summer Warming in the Future


A new study by NASA scientists suggests that greenhouse-gas warming may raise average summer temperatures in the eastern United States nearly 10 degrees Fahrenheit by the 2080s.

Image above: A computer model projection of average daily maximum temperatures over the eastern United States for July 2085 (left) and July 1993 (right). Areas in violet shading show temperatures of 26°C (79°F); green 30°C (86°F); yellow 34°C (93°F); red 38°C (100°F); dark purple 42°C (108°F). Credit: NASA/GISS

"There is the potential for extremely hot summertime temperatures in the future, especially during summers with less-than-average frequent rainfall," said lead author Barry Lynn of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies and Columbia University, New York.

The research found that eastern U.S. summer daily high temperatures that currently average in the low-to-mid-80s (degrees Fahrenheit) will most likely soar into the low-to-mid-90s during typical summers by the 2080s. In extreme seasons – when precipitation falls infrequently – July and August daily high temperatures could average between 100 and 110 degrees Fahrenheit in cities such as Chicago, Washington, and Atlanta.

To reach their conclusions, the researchers analyzed nearly 30 years of observational temperature and precipitation data and also used computer model simulations that considered soil, atmospheric, and oceanic conditions and projected changes in greenhouse gases. The simulations were produced using a widely-used weather prediction model coupled to a global model developed by NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies.

Still from animation demonstrating the increase in annual mean temperature in five year increments from 1880 through 2006. Image/animation right: The animation to the right shows a basic demonstration of the increase in annual mean temperature in five year increments from 1880 through 2006. Warmest temperatures are in red. Click image to view animation. + Click for hi-res still image Credit: NASA/GISS

The global model, one of the models used in the recently issued climate report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), was utilized in this study to identify future changes in large-scale atmospheric circulation patterns due to the build up of greenhouse gases. This information was then fed into the weather prediction model to forecast summer-to-summer temperature variability in the eastern United States during the 2080s. The weather model showed that extreme summertime surface temperatures developed when carbon dioxide emissions were assumed to continue to increase about two percent a year, the "business as usual" scenario. These findings are too recent to be included in the latest IPCC report.

The weather prediction model used in this research is advantageous because it assesses details about future climate at a smaller geographic scale than global models, providing reliable simulations not only on the amounts of summer precipitation, but also on its frequency and timing. This is an important capability for predicting summer temperatures because observed daily temperatures are usually higher on rainless days and when precipitation falls less frequently than normal.

Observational climate data also showed that sea surface temperatures in the Pacific Ocean have a significant influence on summer air temperatures in the eastern U.S.

"Relatively cool waters in the eastern Pacific often result in stubborn summer high-pressure systems over the eastern states that block storms, reducing the frequency of precipitation below normal,” noted study co-author Richard Healy of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, Mass. "Less frequent storms result in higher surface and atmospheric temperatures that then feedback on the atmospheric circulation to further reduce storm frequency and raise surface temperatures even more."

The global model simulated rainfall too frequently, so that its surface temperatures were not appropriately sensitive to interannual changes in Pacific sea surface temperatures. "Since the weather prediction model simulated the frequency and timing of summer precipitation more reliably than the global model, its daily high temperature predictions for the future are also believed to be more accurate,” added co-author Leonard Druyan, NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies and Columbia University.

In comparison, the researchers say that a number of the global models used in previous studies of future climate change predict too frequent precipitation that often falls too early in the day. As a result, they tend to underestimate the amount of future warming by reflecting solar radiation back to space before it can warm the surface and by simulating excessive evaporation from the wet ground.

To the authors' knowledge, this is the first study that has documented the impact of precipitation simulation imperfections on model predictions of surface air temperature. "Using high-resolution weather prediction models, we were able to show how greenhouse gases enhance feedbacks between precipitation, radiation, and atmospheric circulations that will likely lead to extreme temperatures in our not so distant future," said Lynn.

The study is published in the April 2007 issue of the American Meteorological Society's Journal of Climate.

Mike Bettwy
Goddard Space Flight Center

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“This expansion of the tropical zone could come upon the US and southern to mid-Europe, mid-Africa, India etc a lot sooner than this NASA article predicts due to the various positive feedbacks that are presently occurring, such as the disappearance of Artic sea ice and melting of frozen tundra vegetation and subsequent massive methane releases into the atmosphere.  Nobody can predict accurately how strong the positive feedbacks will be.  Europe and the southern portions of the US have already experienced some of this projected rise already.  A visitor to Holland remarked that air-conditioners, once used as a luxury in summer are now a necessity.  The Dutch are also planning ahead for sea-level rises, and are very worried.  Does the Bible predict this side-effect of Global Warming?  God talking to the Israelite nations, the nation of Israel, as well as the nations descended from the 10 northern tribes of Israel, wherever they ended up in the world says this in  Leviticus26:19-20, “And I will break the pride of your power; and I will make your heaven as iron, and your earth as brass: and your strength shall be spent in vain: for your land shall not yield her increase, neither shall the trees of the land yield their fruits.”  Most of prophecy, news in advance, is God just predicting what we would do to ourselves, through sin, greed, avarice.”

What A Highly Qualified Christian Science Writer Thinks About Global Warming


“So how do we show we’re thoughtful on an issue like, say, global warming?  Now, first, I’m no expert on global warming.   [He’s more of an expert than he admits to in collating the information available, but he’s extremely cautious about drawing dogmatic conclusions, the way I have become]  I still consider myself in an information-gathering phase, but I am seeing a few facts that I think are significant, that we ought to be thinking about, especially if we plan to tell anybody what we think.   The main thing we don’t want to be guilty of is what’s called confirmation bias.   This is an extremely important principle in science, and being on the lookout for this is one of those things that make science work so well, one of those things that, like Scripture, warns us that human nature is deeply flawed.


Confirmation bias


Confirmation bias is a kind of selective thinking; it means that, by nature, we all tend to look for those pieces of evidence that confirm what we already believe, and we tend to reject or rationalize away those pieces of evidence that don’t line up with our beliefs.   Francis Bacon had a lot to say about this problem of human nature, as he was developing some of the modern rules of science.   So let me just give you a few pieces of evidence that have come to me about global warming and let you do with them what you will, but give them some thought. 


The evidence


Here’s one piece of information that’s come up in the science journals lately after some studies have been done: and it’s based on the fact that global warming skeptics have been claiming that experts in the 1970s were all saying that the Earth was cooling, not warming.   And global warming skeptics keep showing this is true by quoting from articles and news stories from the media back then.  Well, it turns out that this claim is mostly myth.   A survey of major journal papers published between 1965 and 1979 found that while 7 articles did see a cooling trend for global average temperatures, over the same period, 44 journal papers showed that average temperatures were expected to rise.  It turns out that today’s global warming skeptics usually cite media reports rather than journal articles.  But a study of the media stories shows that even among the journalists, there was no consensus.  The most cited journal paper that predicted possible global cooling is a 1971 article in the journal Science, but soon after it was written, the author, climatologist Stephen Schneider points out that better estimates on the effects of aerosols came out, and better measurements of other greenhouse gases and their warming effects came out, changing his mind, so that now he says “it’s absolute nonsense” to draw misleading comparisons between early understanding of effects of these gases in the 1970s compared to the level of knowledge today. [Sid Perkins, “Cooling climate ‘consensus’ of 1970s never was,”  Science, )ct. 29, 08.]  A second piece of relevant information to be aware of, to throw a little monkey wrench into the works, is that today, at least some researchers, in particular, Kyle Swanson and Anastasios Tsonis, at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in the February Geophysical Research Letters, see evidence for a temporary superposition of global cooling right now over the longer trend of global warming caused by greenhouse gases.   [This seems to be coinciding was a strong Solar Minimum we’ve been in for about three years, 2007 to 2009, and it’s still going.  See .]   In fact, they report that mean global temperatures have been mostly flat since 2001 and that they project that they may drop over the next few decades, because the combined natural forces of sunspots and volcanoes that have already triggered the short-term cooling trend.  The libertarian Cato Institute is using their work as part of a large ad campaign to question global warming.  But to be clear, even these two researchers say they believe that the tremendous increase in human-produced carbon emissions is sure to have the greater long-range effect on global temperatures.  A third factor to be aware of is that it’s true that, as geologists know, there have been times in the past when CO2 concentrations have ben much higher than they are today.   You could use these facts to say that lots of carbon in the atmosphere doesn’t make a lot of difference.   Life went on.  The problem with saying that is at the time when CO2 concentrations were so high in the deep past [dinosaur times], the temperature was about 6 degrees [Centigrade] higher, too, and the pole ice had melted, resulting in seas that were 6 to 7 feet higher [I think he means meters, not feet].   If that were to happen today, with human populations being where they are, a sea rise of that magnitude would about wipe out places like Bangladesh, the ports of New York, the Gulf coast, Galveston, Sacramento, the Netherlands, and much of Indonesia.   That’s something to think about.  


The consensus


I’ve seen global warming skeptics claim that, with this knowledge of large CO2 concentrations in the past geologists don’t buy the global warming idea.   But here’s another fact to think about: When a poll was taken of all earth scientists for the January 19 issue of journal Eos Transactions, 90 percent said they believe that the earth has warmed significantly since 1800.   82 percent of earth scientists supported the idea that humans have caused this increase.   [btw, in boarding school and high school, earth science and chemistry were my favorite subjects.]  Among climatologists surveyed, 97 percent supported the idea that humans are causing global warming.  [So Dennis, you weatherman is in a distinct minority.]   Now there was one group whose support took a nose dive compared to everyone else, but it’s interesting that this was not a group that necessarily had better knowledge of the relevant climate facts but was a group that happened to make a living from the fossil fuels that are being accused of causing global warming: only 47 percent of petroleum geologists supported the idea that humans are causing global warming [that’s pretty good, almost 50% of petroleum based geologists haven’t been warped by dollars and support the facts.]   So their vested interest may or may not be significant, but it’s an interesting consideration in the context of our talking about confirmation bias. 

          I’m not going to give you any grand conclusions about global warming today.  This is only meant to encourage you to keep gathering information, and be thoughtful about it, especially if you talk about the subject with unbelievers.   But since I mentioned Stephen Schneider, here’s a remark he made that I think can be useful, from the May/June 2009 issue of Skeptical Inquirer.   I think this is useful when we want to help unbelievers think about what it means to bed skeptical, particularly when they may find it convenient to avoid making a decision about Jesus because of their skepticism.   Schneider says: “All good scientists are skeptical:  I changed my mind from cooling to warming in 1974 when the preponderance of evidence shifted… But real skeptics still accept a preponderance of carefully examined evidenced even when some elements of a complex systems problem remain unresolved, and they do not pretend  that when   there are loose ends some well-established preponderances don’t exist---that is beyond skepticisms to denial, or often political convenience.   [And I might remind you, the earth’s cooling system is a very complex biochemical system, as you will see as you read through this section titled Global Warming.]  So a skeptic questions everything but accepts what the preponderance of evidence is, and a denier falsely claims that until all aspects are resolved we know nothing and should do nothing.”

          If you followed that, you know why I love that quote.  It uses the global warming issue to show that when a self-proclaimed skeptic sees there’s a preponderance of evidence for a claim, but there continue to be some loose ends, some unresolved complexities, if that claim requires some action, a real skeptic will take action rather than do nothing until every last   loose end is tied up.   And so the same reasoning can be used with all the evidence   we looked at in the first two-thirds of this information report for God breaking into our history.   The thing that keeps a person from waiting for all the unresolved complexities to be resolved when there is a preponderance of evidence---isn’t healthy skepticism---it’s denial.”  “Fred Heeren, Info Report to Friends of Day Star Ministries, May 2009.”

          From what Fred Heeren just said here, and what I have been able to gather together as evidence in this section, the preponderance of evidence show that global warming has been occurring from the early 1970s to around the year 2004, where a slight dip or leveling off in warming has occurred due to a deep solar minimum we’re in.   But due to the severity of the warming histerysis curve earth is in, the next solar maximum we enter will drive us back into warming again, with all the projected dangers this article brings out.   If you believe in God, it looks like he has thrown in a slight delay to the prophecy mentioned about earth of iron and skies of brass.   And yes, if you believe in God, you also believe he created not just the earth but this vast universe of stars, which the sun is one of that vast number.   Now how hard would you think it would be for God to bring on a slightly larger solar minimum to slow down a warming of earth’s climate, all to fit into his timing of prophecied events?   Although man through his greed in using earth’s resources is causing warming of our climate, God is going to make sure the shit hits the fan just when he prophecies it will, which may be sooner than you think.   The next solar max is due to occur in the latter part of 2009, and then the warming trend will continue on it’s way.  





I put this article together about Global Warming in 2005, and just got a confirming update from two independent sources, dated in the Fall of 2016, and these two updates are scary, to say the least. 


Breakup of Larsen-A & B, Now What About The Largest Ice-Shelf, Larsen-C?


From NPR International we get this:  “Antarctica’s Ice Sheets Are Melting Faster—And From Beneath” by Christopher Joyce, “October 25, 2016, 11:01 AM ET.  Antarctica is bigger than the U.S. and Mexico combined, and it’s covered in deep ice—more than a mile deep in some places.  Most of the ice sits on bedrock, but it slowly flows off the continent’s edges.  Along the western edge, giant glaciers creep down toward the sea.  Where they meet the ocean, they form ice shelves.  The shelves are the specialty of Ala Khazendar, a geophysicist and polar expert at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif.  “You have this floating plate of ice being fed by the glaciers flowing from the interior of the continent,” he says, “while having ocean water underneath it.”…Although the shelves float, they’re still connected to the mainland…A team from JPL has been studying that grounding line in several places [where the glacier, ice flow, is no longer supported by bedrock, but is over open ocean] along the edge of the West Antarctica ice sheet.  They used radar to look beneath the ice…They’ve found that the ice is melting faster than they’ve ever seen.  The researchers believe the cause is warm water circulating beneath the ice shelf.  Khazendar says the more the bottom of the shelves melt, the more ice is exposed to warm water.  “It becomes a runaway process,” he explains, “which makes it unstable.” …There’s been a spate of research lately showing that Antarctic ice is melting faster than previously thought—and raising global sea levels.  Khazendar says the melting process appears to be irreversible.”  [for the complete article, see ] 


What else could possibly cause the acceleration of glacier-flow to the seas, as well as the breakup of Larsen A & B Ice Shelves, with Larsen C now in real jeopardy?  This next set of quotes from a recent National Geographic online article will fascinate you.


“Mysterious Winds Cause Rapid Melting of Antarctic Ice  Scientists suspect fohn winds may be responsible for calving ice shelves… by Douglas Fox, “After studying Antarctica’s warming climate for decades, scientists are making a surprising discovery:  In some places, much of that abnormal warmth is invading in the form of powerful, downhill winds called fohn (pronounced “fone”) winds.  Pettit, a glaciologist from the University of Alaska in Fairbanks and a National Geographic explorer, now suspects that these winds contributed to a series of dramatic glacial collapses that have been steadily redrawing the map on the eastern side of the Antarctic Peninsula for the last 30 years…”They seem to impart a lot more melt onto the ice shelf than we had imagined,” says Adrian Luckman, a glaciologist at Swansea University in the United Kingdom, who studies this region of Antarctica.  The winds result from subtle changes in the atmospheric circulation due to climate warming; they could have major consequences…” 




“Antarctica sits isolated at the bottom of the world, surrounded by a vortex of circumpolar winds and ocean currents that swirl endlessly around it.  “The Antarctic Peninsula is the only barrier” to these winds, says Pettit, “the only thing they have to slam into.”  The peninsula stretches 700 miles upward into the Southern Ocean.  Its mountainous spine rises 5,000 to 9,000 feet above sea level, capped with a plateau of ice—forming a wall that usually diverts the circumpolar winds northward around it.  The east side of the Peninsula, shielded from these winds, is especially cold.  For thousands of years, it was flanked by a series of vast ice plains—so-called “ice shelves,” 800 feet or more thick, which float on the ocean, extending up to 150 miles out over it.  The ice shelves had formed as dozens of glaciers oozed off the coastline of the peninsula, merging their ice into a vast apron that spread over the sea.  But all of this began to change in 1988.  One by one, the ice shelves on the east side of the peninsula began to collapse.  The first two ice shelves simply went missing—present at the beginning of a summer, then gone by the end.  But the collapse of Larsen A ice shelf in 1995 and Larsen B in 2002 were more violent events, documented by human witnesses and satellite photos.  Larsen B, covering an area larger than the state of Rhode Island, shattered over a matter of days into thousands of shards, each larger than an aircraft carrier.  Larsen A and B showed similar symptoms leading up to their disintegration.  Both ice shelves lost their insulating cover of snow, laying bare a darker, icy surface that absorbed more heat from the sun.  Melt ponds grew and metastasized across their surfaces.  Then this water drained into deep cracks in the ice.  Its weight pushed the cracks ever deeper, like a wedge, until it broke through the bottom, says Theodore Scambos, a glaciologist at the National Snow and Ice Data Center [in Boulder, Colorado], who has studied these ice shelves for many years and camped with Pettit in Antarctica last February.  These insights seemed to explain the sudden collapse of four ice shelves in 15 years…Scambos, Pettit, and a handful of other scientists now suspect fohn winds helped set the stage for recent ice shelf collapses.  These events continue to have far-reaching consequences.




“The collapse of the Larsen A and B ice shelves in 1995 and 2002 removed a buttress that slowed and stabilized glaciers flowing off the peninsula’s coastline.  With that backdrop removed, the glaciers have accelerated to as much as nine times their original speed—vastly increasing the rate at which they dump ice into the ocean and fuel sea level rise.  Continued climate warming is expected to increase frequency and strength of fohn winds on the peninsula, says Pettit.  The weather stations installed by her and Scambos have already recorded temperature spikes as warm as 60 degrees F…Scambos is already seeing their impact, as does the surface of the sea ice that sits in front of the ice shelf.  “The areas of high wind speeds and warm winds are evaporating the snow, probably melting it a bit too,” he says—exposing older, bluer ice on the surface.  That darker ice will absorb more heat during the Antarctic summer from November to February, creating large melt ponds that cold trigger the final collapse of Scar Ice Shelf…




“Just a few miles south sits the next ice shelf inline, aptly named Larsen C.  It dwarfs the others, covering an area as large as Maryland, and stabilizing more glaciers than all four previously collapsed ice shelves combined.  On June 10 [2016], a team of British scientists led by Luckman reported a disturbing discovery on its north end.  Larsen C should be covered by 200 feet of insulating snow.  But they found that in some places, all but 10 feet of it had already vanished—erased, in part, by fohn winds.  That finding raises the specter that melt ponding will continue to increase until it threatens the stability of Larsen C.”  [emphasis mine.  For the complete article, see: ]


So in the fourteen years since I put this article together, with all the current data I could collect, the warming and melting processes have  accelerated their rate of increase, along with the times-9 increase in glacial flow-rates in Western Antarctica.


“The Pine Island Ice Shelf is a slow-motion train wreck…Its edges are shredded by rifts a quarter mile across.  In 2015 and 2016 a 225-square-mile chunk of it broke off the end and drifted away on the Amundsen Sea.  The water there has warmed by more than a degree Fahrenheit over the past few decades, and the rate at which ice is melting and calving has quadrupled.


the Pine Island Glacier [is] one of several large glaciers that empty into the Amundsen Sea.  Together they drain a much larger dome of ice called the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, which is up to two and a half miles thick and covers an area twice the size of Texas…That makes it especially vulnerable to the warming ocean.  If all the vulnerable ice were to become unmoored, break into pieces, and float away, as researchers increasingly believe it might, it would raise sea level by roughly 10 feet, drowning coasts around the world…The ice sheet is held back only by its fringing ice shelves—and those floating dams…are starting to fail.” [National Geographic, July 2017, p. 32, sel. portions] 


“But even more worrisome is the neighboring Thwaites Glacier, which could destabilize most of the West Antarctica Ice Sheet if it collapsed.  “These are the fastest retreating glaciers on the face of the Earth,” says Eric Rignot, a glaciologist at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.  Rignot has studied the region for more than two decades, using radar from aircraft and satellites, and he believes the collapse of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet is only a matter of time.  The question is whether it will take 500 years or fewer than a hundred—and whether humanity will have time to prepare.  “We have to get these numbers right,” says Rignot.  “But we have to be careful not to waste too much time doing that.”” [ibid. p. 41, sel. portions]


The melt rates were ‘just crazy,’ researcher Adrian Jenkins says. ‘It was beyond our concept that a glacier would melt that fast.’



“It took scientists a long time to realize just how quickly West Antarctica’s ice could melt…warm water was coming from the South Pacific, more than 200 miles north.  It was so heavy with salt that it was following the floor of a submarine canyon, which sloped down toward the glacier…Now that same canyon was channeling warm ocean water under the Pine Island Ice Shelf.  Somewhere tens of miles inland, the warm water was finding the “grounding line”:  the place where the glacier lifts off the seafloor and becomes a floating ice shelf.   Hitting that wall of ice, the warm water was eroding it, producing a steady stream of melt-laden seawater.  Because it was cooler and fresher, it was less dense, and so it was rising above the warmer, incoming water and flowing back out to sea just under the shelf.

            By measuring the amount of this freshwater, the researchers could estimate how much ice was being lost.  The melt rates “were just crazy,” says Adrian Jenkins, a glaciologist from the British Antarctic Survey in Cambridge...the ice shelf was losing 13 cubic miles of ice per year from the underside; back near the grounding line, the ice was probably thinning up to 300 feet per year.  “It was just beyond our concept that a glacier would melt that fast,” Jenkins says.  Over the next 13 years he and Jacobs tried three times to return to Pine Island…When they finally got back there on the Palmer in January 2009, they found that the melt rate had increased by about 50 percent.  This time they came equipped with a new tool:  a yellow robotic submarine called Autosub3…On its first three dives, Autosub3 discovered that the ice shelf had thinned enough to lift off a submarine ridge that, running across its width, had once supported and stabilized the ice shelf.  That had opened a gap that was allowing warm water to flow in and melt the underside of the ice even faster…LARGE SWATHS OF WEST ANTARCTICA are hemorrhaging ice these days…Average annual temperatures on its west side have risen nearly 5 degrees Fahrenheit since 1950—several times faster than the rest of the planet—and the winters have warmed an astonishing 9 degrees.”  [ibid. pp. 42-43, sel. portions]


Research indicates that the collapse of major glaciers that flow into the Amundsen Sea is now unstoppable


“Ian Howat, of the Byrd Polar and Climate Research Center in Columbus, Ohio, is another glaciologist who’s watching Pine Island closely…It’s unclear when the entire ice shelf might disintegrate.  The “warm” water flowing underneath it from offshore is only 4 to 6 degrees Fahrenheit above freezing.  But roughly 3,000 cubic miles of it arrives every  year, which means the ice shelf is receiving an amount of heat that exceeds the output of a hundred nuclear power plants, operating 24/7…In fact, research by Rignot and others over the past few years indicates that the collapse of several major glaciers flowing into the Amundsen Sea is now unstoppable…Each increment of retreat exposes a greater ice surface to warm ocean water.  It’s a runaway process—and scientists are urgently trying to figure out how fast it will run.

            The ice shelves, Fricker says, “are the canary in the coal mine.”  Because they’re already floating, they don’t raise sea level themselves when they melt—but they signal that a rise is imminent, as the glaciers behind them accelerate…The retreat and hemorrhage of these glaciers “will accelerate over time,” agrees Rignot….To consider the worst case, then, scientists must turn their eyes toward East Antarctica, home to more than three-fourths of all the ice on Earth.”  [ibid. pp. 46-47, sel. portions]


If Totten Glacier were to collapse, sea level could rise 13 feet—threatening many of the world’s largest cities.


“Until recently the East Antarctic Ice Sheet was considered secure; unlike West Antarctica, it sits on high ground.  But mapping with ice-penetrating radar has revealed a low-lying region cut by glacially carved channels that drop as far as 8,500 feet below sea level—perfect for guiding warm ocean water deep into the heart of the ice sheet.  The Totten Glacier is the largest coastal outlet in the region.  If it collapsed, global sea level could rise 13 feet—“roughly as much as all of West Antarctica,” Rignot points out, “One glacier alone.”  In January 2015, the Australian icebreaker Aurora Australis became the first ship to reach the front of Totten…it found deep, warm water flowing under the ice shelf, at a rate of 4.5 cubic miles a day.” [ibid. p. 48, sel. portions]







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