Report: Arctic Ice Melting Faster Than Previously Estimated

Sea ice is melting faster than researchers previously estimated according to a United Nations report that hasn’t been officially released yet. via Bloomberg

Greenland’s ice added six times more to sea levels in the decade through 2011 than in the previous 10 years, according to a draft of the UN’s most comprehensive study on climate change. Antarctica had a fivefold increase, and the UN is raising its forecast for how much the two ice sheets will add to Earth’s oceans by 2100. [...]

Greenland’s contribution to rising sea levels “very likely” rose to an average of 0.59 millimeters a year from 2002 to 2011, from 0.09 millimeters a year in the prior decade, according to the draft. The rate in Antarctica “likely” rose to 0.4 millimeters a year from 0.08 millimeters, it said.

Greenland may add a total of 4 centimeters to 21 centimeters to ocean levels by the period 2081 through 2100, across a range of carbon-emissions scenarios assessed in the study, compared with the period 1986 through 2005. That’s up from a 2007 forecast of 1 centimeter to 12 centimeters, when the UN carried out its last major assessment of climate science.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/felonious.grammar Felonious Grammar

    It’s going to hurt and kill a lot of people from now on. A pox on the house of all the adult children in Congress.

    • Schneibster

      The AGW deniers are close to dead, socially, though they blather on; I did my part, but walked away from James Randi’s site when he came out as a denier, and from Bad Astronomy and Ars Technica when deniers took their administrations over. I also walked away from a site that was following EEStor, an ultracapacitor startup, and I rarely ever visit the polywell site because of the deniers there, too. Unbelievably enough, the polywell site actually has creationists on it. The EEStor fans are all climate deniers, and no criticism of their statements is allowed. I actually had to tell the site owner that I would sue him if he called me on the phone any more. I had to block the administrators of JREF on my firewall. These people are the most incredibly chickenshit you will ever encounter; there’s no point in even arguing with them. They will just lie, and if you prove everything they are saying is lies then they’ll get you in trouble with the site admins (if they’re not already site admins themselves).

      There are a couple other subjects that bring that kind of response; I suspect after watching what happened to me here you will have a good idea what they might be. I’m still wary of bringing them up here as a result. This is the exact way AGW deniers behaved toward me.

      I don’t think I should go any further down this road.

      • Christopher Foxx

        They will just lie, and if you prove everything they are saying is lies then they’ll get you in trouble with the site admins (if they’re not already site admins themselves).

        There’s an irony there. But I don’t bring that up to rehash old discussion. Rather to compliment you, Schneibster, on your recent comments and tone. I don’t always agree with you, but I’m appreciating some of your recent contributions to actual discussion. Thanks!

        • Schneibster

          Like I said I think I should close that road. Still pisses me off, but you know, I’ll get over it, and cheaters never prosper.

          And I’m not one to borrow trouble. If there’s no trouble then we can argue, but not hate, and get along fine. Sometimes people don’t see all the implications of their arguments; me too.

          My initial read was we basically agreed. ;)

          • Christopher Foxx

            I always thought we agree too much to fight.

            I’m beginning to suspect (worry?) that we do….

        • mrbrink

          Seconded.

      • mhr52

        No they arent actually. I used to be an AGW believer, now I am much more skeptical, having learned that newer evidence contradicts Al Gores evidence.

    • Schneibster

      And on the science front, a different subject, my estimate is that 2.5-3.5 billion people– excess over who would die simply from age attrition– will die of climate change in the next twenty years. The question is whether they or their governments will use nuclear, radiological, biological, or chemical weapons to try to bring attention to their plight.

      • joseph2004

        2.5-3.5 billion people? What’s the basis for your projection?

        • Schneibster

          The biggest issue is that as the temperate growing zone creeps north it will move onto the Canadian and Siberian granite shields, which have had all their topsoil scraped down into the US and Belarus etc. by glaciers for the last couple million years, and are now granite, with no place to grow the food the world’s expanding population requires. So the places where there’s dirt will be too hot and the places where there’s good temperatures won’t have dirt.

          That will take 1.5 to 2.5 billion depending on exactly how bad the shield soils and any remediation measures are.

          Another billion will die from lack of water.

          Looks like a pretty good estimate to me.

          • joseph2004

            Wow, and I thought I was a pessimist.

          • Schneibster

            No, the pessimists think it will lead to thermal runaway and kill everything larger than a rat.

      • http://www.facebook.com/felonious.grammar Felonious Grammar

        I could die from my air conditioner not working— MS. There seems to be an especially high death toll for the elderly during heat waves. A lot of lives could probably be saved with window coverings to block out sunlight during the hot months.

        • Schneibster

          People die here too– Monterey CA. But only up on the hills, and only on a couple years out of a decade.

          I got a place that on the very hottest days inland, gets fog. The locals call my town “the ‘fridge.” :D

          And on days when there’s no fog, there’re breezes in and out, that cool the house; we just open the windows. I don’t expect it to be much different by the time I die; it should stay like San Francisco and be foggy, since it is almost all the way down to LA even today. I don’t need air conditioning, but I have lived places where it’s mandatory.

          I think the heat mostly serves as a power source to provide air conditioning, if things are correctly arranged.

      • Christopher Foxx

        Half the current population? In less than the next generation? Really??

        I don’t doubt there will be climate change related deaths. Hell, there already have been, I’m sure. But more than all the wars ever combined?

        • Schneibster

          I think we’re in real trouble, and we’ll realize it when the heat waves that have been being held off by the bottom of the solar cycle fire up as we get further into the solar cycle and the heat starts up again. I’ve been fooling with politics for a year and a half so I’d have to check up on the state of the ENSO and the NAO, but my expectation is that ENSO is going EN, and the NAO is heading up.

  • Schneibster

    Damn.

    First bad news in a while.

    Of course we’re all waiting for the temperature to catch up as we get further into the solar cycle, so we can expect an abrupt increase starting in the next couple years and extending to 2020 or so, then another plateau in the early 2020s leading up to the solar minimum in 2023. And if that mid- to late-2010s temperature bubble coincides with an El Niño then we could have some incredible fire years in the US southwest and Mexican northern states.

    At this point it’s up to people choosing to stop burning fossil fuel, or to capture the carbon and make faux fossil fuel. This last is probably the way the problem will be solved; the question is how bad it will have to get before everyone insists on it.

  • joseph2004

    Not surprising. When the ice melts away and land is exposed, the land is going to absorb more heat. It’s like throwing a pile of ice on a parking lot. The outer edges melt fastest first, and when pockets of exposed pavement increase, the melting accelerates.
    That might be a simplistic explanation for the process, but it seems like common sense that land masses experiencing the melt off would experience more rapid melting as more land is exposed.

    I can’t believe climate science models didn’t/don’t predict such things. Maybe NOW they will. As it is, the models relied upon up to this point, and which the UN has used and is using to make its assessments, are nothing if not flawed. Doesn’t mean the trend isn’t in place, but come on.

    That[ latest forecast of 4 to 21 cm is] up from a 2007 forecast of 1 centimeter to 12 centimeters, when the UN carried out its last major assessment of climate science.

    Are the models any better today than they were in 2007, a mere six years ago? That’s what we’re supposed to believe. That’s progress.

    People aren’t going to throw out their heaters and air conditioners and other creature comforts over a 70-year forecast. And as the world continues to modernize, the need for more energy will only increase. If that means cheap coal and gas for places like China, that’s what they’re gong to use. And it will be supplied.
    Just ask Australia.

    http://www.dfat.gov.au/publications/trade/trade-at-a-glance-2012.html#p1

    • Schneibster

      Climate models started as GCMs, which only dealt with the atmosphere, and with the sea and land as heat sinks and sources with limited resolution.

      That was like thirty years ago. When that was current science computer programming, Windows 3.1 was the latest greatest. Floppy disks had barely stopped being soft plastic 5″ and gone to 3.5″ hard plastic with a metal window. SCSI was brand new. Your monitor was probably green on black.

      They got a lot more sophisticated since then.

      Just sayin’.

      • joseph2004

        Really? Seems like a work in progress to me.

        • Schneibster

          So are cell phones.

          What you didn’t notice?

          Time marches on.

          • joseph2004

            Does indeed, and even now, the projections for Greenland’s impact on ocean levels range from 4cm to 21cm. More work is needed. Maybe next year.

          • Schneibster

            Do you really think we need more information to know it’s going to be Bad with a capital B?

          • joseph2004

            I just think that you are assuming every possible worst case scenario. The biggest number I’ve seen was in an article in Mother Jones a few years back that suggested 200-300 million, but the author qualified it by saying that even the guy who came up with it noted it would require a perfect storm of nasties, and then some.
            Don’t anyone jump out of a window over this.

          • Schneibster

            You’re off your nut.

            The extremists think Earth will turn into Venus.

            I’m a moderate; I think the human race will survive.

            Wake up.

          • joseph2004

            Yeah, the human race will survive, you say, except for half the world’s population… hardly a moderate point of view. Keep it up, though, and, uh, thanks for all the warnings.

          • Schneibster

            Haven’t seen you give a fact that opposes it yet.

          • joseph2004

            Really? You want facts? Facts for what? Facts to “prove” that the world isn’t going to spontaneously combust in the next 20 years and wipe out up to half the world’s population?
            Wow, got me there.

          • Schneibster

            “the world isn’t going to spontaneously combust in the next 20 years”

            Strawman alert. http://www.nizkor.org/features/fallacies/straw-man.html

          • joseph2004

            Oh, now I’m the one exaggerating. Ha!

          • Schneibster

            Spammer flagged.

          • joseph2004

            Hey, well, you may get some sympathy over that one. I am, after all, considered a “troll” here by many…
            Sorry I don’t agree with your premise and exaggerating. Call that spamming if you like.

          • Schneibster

            13,950 to 24. http://desmogblog.com/2012/11/15/why-climate-deniers-have-no-credibility-science-one-pie-chart

            You’re still spamming. AGW was done years ago.

    • D_C_Wilson

      Gee, our modeling efforts have improved over the last few decades. They’re getting more accurate even as we realize that the earlier ones were underestimating the impact it would have on the Greenland ice sheet. I’m sure on planet wingnuttia, that means global warming is hoax.

      • joseph2004

        I don’t think global warming is a hoax. I question the alarmism sewn into this topic. I grew up reading and taking to heart Ehrlich’s books in the 70’s talking of “rivets popping on an airplane” and population bombs. Time has a way of taking doomsday projections and putting them in their place. Most seem to assume without stating as much that such and such will occur all things staying the same – in other words, they assume that the human race will remain oddly static, frozen in inaction while all these terrible environmental things start piling on top of each other, one after another.
        I don’t buy it, which isn’t that same thing as saying global warming isn’t happening or doesn’t or won’t have consequences.
        But the answer from so many in the dooms-day camp implies drastic changes, the kind that are easy to theorize about but are impossible to contemplate in terms of actual implementation, such as the apparent call to cease and desist world-wide (not to mention US) use of fossil fuels. The social and economic upheaval that would result is hard to imagine.
        Either way, projecting, as one other here has, that 2.5-3.5 billion people will die in the next 20 years as a result of global warming (or climate change) fits neatly, in my opinion, into the over-the-top, fear-mongering category.

        • D_C_Wilson

          No one seriously expects the world to “cease and desist” immediately the use of fossil fuels, but a gradual phasing out of them is not only desirable but inevitable given that they are a limited resource.

          Likewise, I never heard anyone claim that 2.5 billion people (that’s nearly a third of the global population) were going to die in the next 20 years. I’d love to see your source for that. Otherwise, your arguments are a bunch of straw men stacked in a row.

  • Schneibster

    We can expect from now on, an onslaught of warming problems over the solar cycle late rise and early fall times, and a plateau during periods surrounding the solar minimum.

    What amazes me is that people see the seasons change, but don’t “believe in” global warming.

    Global warming and global cooling happen every year. Deniers are denying the seasons, which are driven by global warming and global cooling.

  • mhr52

    And then theres the report out from NASA showing more ice than last year. Lets stick to the facts, kids. Even the IPCC now has to reevaluate its reports.