Greenland's glaciers are melting 100 times faster than estimated

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The loss of ice mass from Greenland is already staggering; no disputing more ice is being lost there than anywhere else. Grace satellite data shows 280 billion metric tons of ice lost per year over the 2002-2021 period - enough to affect sea levels globally by 0.8mm per year. Local to Greenland the effect is the other way around - sea level has been falling in response to the loss of mass and the reduction in the gravitational pull of Greenland on ocean water.

No alarmist exaggeration - this will have enormous consequences over the coming decades and centuries, especially if commitment to zero emissions lags or gets abandoned. And then there is Antarctica already losing 150 billion tons a year and getting faster. And then there are potential ice sheet collapses that can rapidly accelerate the ice loss.
 

PWB

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Nonsense. The mass and extent are well within the decadenal norms going back 40 years. And the Antarctic is the same. More hysteria based on models rather than observation.
 
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Nonsense. The mass and extent are well within the decadenal norms going back 40 years. And the Antarctic is the same. More hysteria based on models rather than observation.
Not nonsense, not hysteria - based on satellite data -

gris_with_velocity_black_2021-07_print.jpg


It is the claims that global warming and Greenland ice loss are nonsense and hysterical that are nonsense and hysterical.

From different satellites, measuring sea levels, the effects of those mass losses can be observed - in this case the reduction in local gravity causing sea level fall around Greenland -

 

PWB

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It's the AGW that is nonsense. Climate changes, and it always has. The .8mm per year sea level increase. Perhaps. But that's 8cm per century. A little more that 3 inches. Woopee.
 
The U of Texas article referenced addresses glacier fronts, and not the entire glacier. They report that the melt rate of the floating portion of Antarctic glaciers was the model used for Greenland fronts and other areas where fiords were too problematic for scientists to study. Now robot craft are beginning to get the job done.

As I see it, it’s not the glaciers that are melting 100x faster, but the ice that reaches the open water (fronts). A 100x increase in glacier melt — as the misleading headline states (UT as well) — would require the flow rate of the entire glacier to have suddenly increased by 100x. That’s not likely!
 
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You have your stats, I have mine. Greenland is well within the norm.
Surface Conditions: Polar Portal
But there are all those satellites showing real world changes in keeping with, within the range of what has been predicted. I'll continue to take the top level science based expert advice, including IPCC reports as my principle guide and expect and call on my nation's government to have policies in line with it.

Sure, the climate has always been changing but this argument doesn't work the way you appear to think; the natural propensity of climate to change is why it is so susceptible to raised CO2 levels from fossil carbon burning. If the climate didn't change then raised CO2 would have no warming impact.

Evidence of past climate changes tells us how serious it can be - which has included mass extinctions and vast regions becoming uninhabitable to humans, with significant global population reductions during the time humans have been around.

BTW did you actually read that source you linked to? It shows the same ice mass loss as I cited, from the same primary source (Grace satellites). Nowhere does it say Greenland is "within the norm", but all through it says it undergoing significant change. (I keep getting "Something went wrong" when trying to insert the graph image at the link, but - )

This data shows that most of the loss of ice occurs along the edge of the ice sheet, where independent observations also indicate that the ice is thinning, that the glacier fronts are retreating in fjords and on land, and that there is a greater degree of melting from the surface of the ice.

The .8mm per year sea level increase. Perhaps. But that's 8cm per century. A little more that 3 inches. Woopee.

It is like the first water getting through an ice dam when the Spring thaw starts - it is only getting started and is observed to be accelerating and will accelerate more and accelerate yet more and continue a lot longer if efforts to reach zero emissions are abandoned. There is a lot of uncertainty, but most of that is uncertainty about tipping points that can greatly accelerate ice loss, not uncertainty that ice loss will continue and grow.

The contribution of Greenland is in combination with thermal expansion and ice mass loss elsewhere, which is also accelerating. ~1 m of global average sea level rise by 2100 will be a lot more than that in many places, eg the US Gulf Coast, where sea levels are already rising about 2x the global average and it doesn't stop at 2100. It is bit like those - "but if we stop our emissions that's not enough" arguments against reducing emissions, that ignore that it isn't just "our emissions", that a whole lot of nations are trying to stop their emissions too, some of them with a lot more commitment and success.

As I see it, it’s not the glaciers that are melting 100x faster, but the ice that reaches the open water (fronts). A 100x increase in glacier melt — as the misleading headline states (UT as well) — would require the flow rate of the entire glacier to have suddenly increased by 100x. That’s not likely!
It won't take this being correct for global warming and sea level rise to have serious impacts. Like the potential for the West Antarctic Ice Sheet to collapse, it can bring the impacts faster but if it doesn't happen like that the impacts will still happen, just taking longer. And abandoning or downgrading efforts to get zero emissions raises the likelihood and the severity.
 
But there are all those satellites showing real world changes in keeping with, within the range of what has been predicted. I'll continue to take the top level science based expert advice, including IPCC reports as my principle guide and expect and call on my nation's government to have policies in line with it.
The IPCC had the level at 2 to 5 inches by 2100.

see this Smithsonian article.
"The new 10-inch metric, which represents about 3.3 percent of Greenland’s total ice, is a higher figure than sea-level rise estimates in other recent forecasts. Last year’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report, for example, only predicted that Greenland’s melting ice would cause 2 to 5 inches of global sea-level rise by 2100,"

Regarding satellite data...."This new paper may have come up with a higher number for a few reasons. For one, it relied on satellite measurements instead of the computer modeling that past research used, which are "not up to the task,"

Reliance on satellite data will change in time, no doubt. Or, they may find the model needs tweaking more than the data. As usual, "More science is needed."

There is also the question as to when we will see a 10", or more, sea level rise.
"But Ted Scambos, an ice sheet expert at the University of Colorado Boulder who did not contribute to the study, tells the Post that a longer timescale is probably more accurate: “A lot of the change they forecast would happen in this century, but to get [that level of retreat] would require several centuries, more perhaps.”

Others disagree, of course.

Sure, the climate has always been changing but this argument doesn't work the way you appear to think; the natural propensity of climate to change is why it is so susceptible to raised CO2 levels from fossil carbon burning.
This is the big question that has yet to be answered. Just how sensitive is our climate to CO2 and many of the other more important variables. How many variables are there? I suspect I could quickly spit out 20, but it may be a hundred more. These variables aren't all independent on a net temperature derivation, they will produce feedback (positive and negative) effects on some of the other variables. It's not just complicated, it's super complicated.

If the climate didn't change then raised CO2 would have no warming impact.
Water vapor, methane, etc. also play a roll, thus complicating the ability of modeling.

Perhaps even more important is understanding the levels of natural variability. The first two assessments from the IPCC favored natural variability as the key to climate change, reportedly.

Evidence of past climate changes tells us how serious it can be - which has included mass extinctions and vast regions becoming uninhabitable to humans, with significant global population reductions during the time humans have been around.
It also, at times, allowed huge improvement to the flourishing of thousands of species. What is the ideal temperature for these flourishings?

We need to transition to better energy sources, but we shouldn't ignore the cost of excessive transitioning at the cost of poor people's lives.

It is like the first water getting through an ice dam when the Spring thaw starts - it is only getting started and is observed to be accelerating and will accelerate more and accelerate yet more and continue a lot longer if efforts to reach zero emissions are abandoned.
I'd like to understand, because I lack the knowledge, of what role calfing has on melt rates. From what little I've read, the issue of the ice-ground boundary layer is a big deal, but very complicated.

It seems clear that zero emissions will likely still give us about 10 inches, at some point. You can't come out of an ice age without melting.
 
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Helio, would it be fair to say that until you are personally convinced you are not going to support net zero commitments? And that you are not convinced? And that it doesn't move you any closer to being convinced by knowing every science agency that studies climate, every peak science body as well as every IPCC report for more than 30 years says it is real and very serious?

I think you have every right to hold that position - people who have no specific responsibility around it should be free to think what they like, but I don't think people who do hold relevant posts of high trust and responsibility should have that freedom to pass over the expert advice - which governments have called for and commissioned for the very purpose of informing their decisions. I think governments have a duty of care to seek out the best available expert advice and take it seriously and I think the IPCC reports are representative of that advice, being a summary of and essentially the same as what every science agency and institution doing climate research says.


We can discuss different aspects and cite various sources and expert opinions back and forth here, as well as our personal ones but I don't expect to convince you that changing the planet's climate is an extremely dangerous and irresponsible thing to do and worth serious effort to limit. If 3 decades of every top level science agencies and their advice saying it is real and serious won't convince you nothing I say here is likely to move you. On the other hand you can't expect to convince me making serious commitments based on that advice is a premature and dangerous thing to do - let alone more dangerous than treating it seriously will be.

I notice you have clear preference for the lowball estimates and for seeking out and citing reasons to maintain your doubts and oppose zero emissions commitment: finding a ice sheet expert who thinks Greenland ice loss will be a lot slower than the ones that think it is being underestimated: wondering if maybe warming after the last glacial maximum is a cause of sea level rise ("can't come out of an ice age without melting") - nonsense of course; temperature and sea level rise from that topped out 6,000 years ago, which you could look up. You suggest climate change extinctions will end up being a good thing (seriously?). You express concerns that the transition to low emission could hurt the poor - more than unaddressed global warming can - as if this isn't something that climate policy makers haven't been obsessing over all along. Simply your arguments don't sound compelling.

It seems to me that you will always prefer to find cause to set the mainstream advice aside, just as you make counter arguments to each point I have made, even falling back on ones that are easily shown to be wrong. I don't think you are open to being convinced, I think you are already convinced - that it is overstated ie the expert advice is wrong. That you are optimistic about very little harm from global warming and pessimistic about serious economic harm from zero emissions commitments seems clear. Whereas I am inclined to pessimism about the extent of climate impacts and optimism about the efficacy of solutions.

I admit to a personal inclination to pessimism but that is not the principle reason I am more inclined to be moved by the higher end projections. In part it is basic risk management - to prepare for the worse case no matter the hope that it doesn't happen.

But the largest part of my expectation we will remain on a high emissions pathway (and reason I get moved by considering the worse outcomes) is the widespread popularity of views such as PWB's and yours - lots of people that not only don't support strong action to reach zero emissions but lots of people - and political parties and leaders of commerce and industry - who steadfastly oppose it.
 
Ken, While I generally agree with you that global warming has some strong inputs from human activity and that we need to seriously reduce those inputs (and not just CO2 emissions), I think you are hurting your cause in a couple of ways with the rhetoric you are using.

First, on the science level, there is no ability to claim that "temperature and sea level rise from [the end of the last ice age] topped out 6,000 years ago." Actually, looking back at the geological indications of climate over the previous million years, there isn't any sort of "smooth curve" in ice coverage or sea level that one might expect from instantaneous effects from the Milankovitch cycles. There are all sorts of steps and peaks in just one ~100,000 year ice age cycle. Based on geologic evidence, there is no good reason to expect sea level in this particular interglacial period to top out where it stands today. In the previous interglacial period, about 120,000 years ago, sea level topped out about 25' higher than it is, today. So, there is no good evidence that we can actually control sea level so it will stay where it is, right now. The real issue is how fast it might rise in the near future. That is one of the main effects on human well being because of its effects on the infrastructure that support us at this high population density. So, while we do need to work to get our CO2 emissions down, we also need to pull our heads out of the sand and start thinking about how we are going to deal with a sea level rise that we have no hope of preventing, and are having a very hard time figuring out how to even slow down. If you look at the geological records of how fast sea level has risen in the past, naturally, the peak rates are much faster than even the IPCC worst cases. So, reality does not look very convenient.

Now to the politics. Whenever something like this comes up scientifically, the activists and politicians jump on it to make arguments for their own pre-existing agendas. They tend to distort and even completely misrepresent the science and its implications - usually in both directions. The general public is used to that, and takes government and activist pronouncements with more than the proverbial grain (1/7000 of a pound) of salt. So, my suggestion for maximizing your credibility, and thus your ability to be influential, is never blow smoke about the science! There is too much political talk today about "preventing" or "stopping" sea level rise, when the scientists are actually saying that it is already happening and is going to keep happening at an increasing rate even if we could somehow completely stop emitting CO2 right now.

The reality is that climate should be expected to change, and if humans had never done anything to affect climate, we could be looking at the beginning of an ice age about now (or 20,000 years from now). We would not like that, either. Humans have used the latest of the rather brief warm periods that have been coming between much longer cold periods to greatly expand our population. What we are enjoying right now is representative of only about 10% of the climate conditions over the last few million years. So, demanding that things be kept as-is is probably well beyond our capabilities.

But I am not saying that humans can't mess up the climate (and the rest of our environment) to the point that it could be extremely detrimental to us as well as most of the other living inhabitants of our biosphere. I do think we are messing it up to a dangerous level. And, looking at the population dynamics of other species that have had sudden population spikes, those spikes usually end with a crash that takes out the majority of the expanded population - often due to the deleterious effects of the over-population on the environmental factors that allowed for the population explosion to begin.

So, to me, the real question is whether humans are sufficiently smarter than the other species to foresee the trends and deal with them effectively in time. Frankly, I am not betting on us. But, that doesn't mean I am not rooting for us.
 
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Helio, would it be fair to say that until you are personally convinced you are not going to support net zero commitments?
I support and applaud a net zero program. What I question is the science that determines what that term really means. How many tons/year of greenhouse emissions give us net zero? Do you happen to know? The UK seems to be aggresive in acheiving this goal by 2050. Following this announcement was news of funding for a new coal power plant and gas plants. China is shooting for 2060, though "China is planning to build 43 new coal-fired power plants as well as 18 new blast furnaces fueled by coal over the next several years." here

I happen to know a retired coal plant president. They are in W. Virgina and they elected to sell out. The company that bought them is out of Russia, and coal production is now being shipped to Russia. So, was this a good thing for the US or not?

And that it doesn't move you any closer to being convinced by knowing every science agency that studies climate, every peak science body as well as every IPCC report for more than 30 years says it is real and very serious?
I have already mentioned that the first two IPCC assessments showed likely natural variability for the warming. They have improved the modeling because that is what "more science" does. I support more science until it becomes obvious to the highly qualified scrutinizing scientists that the model is adequately accurate. The IPCC, as I've also mentioned, has lowered that probability for their top temperature increase range by 2100. Why have they brought their worst-case scenario down several notches? Their modeling is improving, and they are adding more variables to their latest models, including volcanism, IIRC. Am I wrong? Let's talk science. I am indeed an amateur at this, but I have some science background that allows me to ask questions.

...but I don't think people who do hold relevant posts of high trust and responsibility should have that freedom to pass over the expert advice - which governments have called for and commissioned for the very purpose of informing their decisions.
"Informing" or "supporting" their decisions. What pressures were placed on these worthy (not sarcasm) scientists by politicians after that first and second assessment? Of course, not all scientists are worthy, IMO. You do recall Climategate, right?

We can discuss different aspects and cite various sources and expert opinions back and forth here, as well as our personal ones but I don't expect to convince you that changing the planet's climate is an extremely dangerous and irresponsible thing to do and worth serious effort to limit.
Which comes first, climate activism or human suffering?

Responsible science must address the consequences of activism. What were the consequences to human suffering when the W.H.O. rejected, for over a year, the claim by aerosol scientists that Covid is also an aerosol? Although "more science" resolved the question, it was the medical "experts" that failed to give it hardly any consideration. [The solution came not from the work at the WHO, but from a small team that went back to the 1930s to find the physics that the WHO and others were using incorrectly. I can give references, but I don't want to get off topic with Covid.]

If 3 decades of every top level science agencies and their advice saying it is real and serious won't convince you nothing I say here is likely to move you.
Judith Curry is certainly qualified to help address climate science. That's the opinion of other scientists. She was a member of the IPCC, though she states that it was only a minor role. But it's not about her, but about the science. Scrutiny isn't a detriment to science; it is science!

When Einstein was shown a declaration signed by 100 prominent experts (one or two physicists) that his General Relativity Theory was wrong, he simply said something like, "Why 100 when only one is needed?" That's how science should work, accolades and personal beliefs aren't even a close second.

You suggest climate change extinctions will end up being a good thing (seriously?).
Once again, you're twisting what I said into something foolish. I never remotely suggested extinctions of any kind would be a good thing. What is the ideal temperature for the benefit of all species? A tiny bit more might be better, but I'm open to the science that might say otherwise. A large temp. increase, of course, would be bad.

You express concerns that the transition to low emission could hurt the poor - more than unaddressed global warming can - as if this isn't something that climate policy makers haven't been obsessing over all along. Simply your arguments don't sound compelling.
There is a big difference between a "transition" and a rate of transition. Once again you're twisting what I've stated.

It seems to me that you will always prefer to find cause to set the mainstream advice aside, just as you make counter arguments to each point I have made, even falling back on ones that are easily shown to be wrong.
If I'm so anti-science, why am I constantly defending mainstream astronomy and cosmology? And, what have you shown me that is contrary to what I've claimed? Again, the questions I ask are so I can learn as an amateur, so I expect to be wrong. I also appreciate any corrections.
 
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How we get to "net zero" is going to be a highly political process, because it is going to affect the lifestyles of most of the people who vote (or even could rebel and take down even totalitarian governments).

Most people on the planet are worried about near-term survival, and don't consider longer-term negative effects of their immediate choices. Worse, politicians who actually are better informed and responsible for long-term planning are mostly focused on the short-term problem of getting re-elected, or at least not dragged out of their seats of power by irrate mobs of miserable subjects.

So, the real problem is how to forge an acceptable transition process that is complete enough and timely enough to avoid both the environmental disasters and the political/social disasters.

In that regard, there are many issues that people are simply not looking at in rational manners. Nuclear power is one thing that many people simply will not rationally consider. But, even wind turbines and solar farms are getting opposition for a variety of reasons, some of which are environmental, many of which are NIMBY.

And then there is the false alure of the simplistic approaches, such as the efforts to shut-off uses of natural gas and propane for things like space heating. Yes, those do emit some CO2, but let's look at the alternatives that are immediately available as well as the long-term goal alternatives. Modern condensing furnaces are 95% or more efficient in putting the heat of combustion heat into the area to be heated. Electric heaters may be 100% efficient turning electricity into heat, but they need electricity, which is often produced by burning natural gas with only about 30-something % net efficiency by the time that electricity is turned into heat in a building. And natural gas is only the best choice for making the electricity if the other options are oil and coal - assuming that nuclear is being phased out and not approved for new installations. It will be a very long time before we have both enough renewable power generating capacity and enough energy storage capacity to displace all of our other generation infrastructure.

So, the science says we need to stage our switches to electricity consuming things like space heating and electrified transportation in a manner that minimizes the total CO2 emissions over the duration of the transition process. But, what we see instead is politicians grabbing at the "low-hanging fruit" policies like outlawing new buildings hooking up to natural gas. And, the activists supporting them "pile-on" the psuedo-science by publicizing all of the trace chemicals that result from burning things like natural gas in furnaces and cooking stoves, implying that those issues are important enough in themselves to ban the use of open flames in appliances.

In reality, we are all going to have to take a hit on our lilfetyles to even come close to net zero CO2 emissions in our lifetimes. Whether that can be done without sparking political upheaval that negates the policies needed to achieve the emissions goal is the real issue. We need to get smarter as a species, because our "leaders" are not going to reflect just the brightest and most educatated opinions - they are going to respond to the masses at best, and some will delude the masses in the most convenient way for their own short-term political asperations.
 
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Climate activism is a community reaction to failures of mainstream leadership to grasp this issue firmly and demonstrate strong and committed leadership that is based on the expert advice - which advice has consistently said is is real and serious for more than 3 decades now. The straight reading is that is an extremely serious problem that is cumulative, ie delay makes it worse, and that it is effectively irreversible other than at much greater cost and difficulty than prevention ie delay makes it worse. Much leadership has not just failed to make any such commitments but has embraced doubt, deny and delay as their principle "policy" and engaged in organised efforts to prevent and discredit them.

In the face of such profound failures it can become our civic duty to be activists. And the principle way to defuse activism is to have credible mainstream policies.

And lots of climate activism - the sorts that are widely supported - is first and foremost calling on governments and business and community leaders to commit to policies based on that expert advice. No matter what specific actions any specific activists might call for and promote it has never been in their power to insist on anything. I see an excessive focus on the extremes of activism and not on the well informed and reasonable voices. And a notable lack of focus on those enduring mainstream failures of commitment or the widespread climate science denial and the blaming of activists by influential mainstream leaders.

When mainstream politics takes up the issue and commits to doing the most we are capable of instead of the least that can be gotten away with the climate activist bogeyman loses it's power, including it's (alleged) power to decide the pathways taken.

But I think we got renewables because mainstream politics handed the issue and the podium to known anti-nuclear environmental activists in "you care so much, you fix it" style - and by that sought to reinforce public perceptions of the issue as driven by fringe extremists and not by mainstream science advice.

Renewable energy failing spectacularly was expected - and was no doubt expected to discredit the climate "cause". It is to the credit of people apart from activists taking the clean energy challenge seriously - scientists, engineers, entrepreneurs - that renewable energy has exceeded all expectations and is changing energy generation in profound and now unstoppable ways.

I think the greatest impact renewable energy has had so far isn't reduced emissions - although they already have reduced them a lot from what they would have been (reduced the extent of emissions growth); it's greatest impact has been on community perceptions of low emissions being something that is achievable. Renewables have been the best counter to the alarmist economic fears of going without fossil fuels - the fears that have been one of the most potent arguments by climate science deniers against commitment to zero emissions.
 
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Unclear Engineer - I think we never got strong mainstream support for nuclear because the political parties that support nuclear the most all turned climate science denier - and chose to support fossil fuels and blame anti-nuclear activism for that choice. Climate science denial - by influential people who would have supported nuclear the most if they took the problem seriously - hurt nuclear much more deeply and profoundly in the face of it's great chance to save the world from global warming than anything green activists could have done.

Not a case of overwhelming strength of anti-nuclear opposition but underwhelming weakness of mainstream support. Green activism could never get captains of industry to choose climate science denial to keep using fossil fuels and not commit to nuclear- they did that themselves.

Not that I think nuclear was ever the simple and easy, low cost sure thing that climate science deniers who don't want zero emissions claim it to be - and I do find it interesting that the loudest voices doing the "renewables are crap, why don't greens support nuclear" refrain are people who don't want commitment to emissions reductions.

As I see it the additional solutions nuclear would need to be a 100% fix that includes transport emissions (eg batteries or clean hydrogen) are the same solutions that renewables need to reach 100% - and U235 fission would never work as an enduring solution at large scale; there isn't enough of it; like with renewables nuclear energy based solutions depend on ongoing development of new and better technologies.

Low cost, mass manufactured modular nuclear power plants would really help - the sort that could be installed and running in less than an election cycle - but they are 6 decades overdue and only just approaching viable but won't be low cost and more like the most expensive option .

Now solar pv is the majority of all new electricity generation being added in the world - with (depending on location) the lowest cost electricity ever achieved. It isn't even especially driven by concern for emissions and even a decade ago solar and wind being 75% of new energy was considered impossible. If nothing else the fossil fuel driven status quo has been shaken up and I don't think a half hearted commitment to nuclear, even with hypothetical green activist support, would have done that. With fossil fuels at record high prices - increased costs almost entirely made by profiteering - I expect that trend will continue.

Unclear, I also think there is much good to be had by mandating clear decarbonisation goals, including for things like electrification of heating to replace gas or requiring low emissions transport by a set date - with support and assistance given to doing so. When we have to we will get solutions and so long as we don't have to we won't.

I seriously doubt we risk ruination by doing so; likely we will see much more energy efficient options and overall net benefits even apart from the emissions. And if there are real and serious problems achieving the set goals that will become apparent and I don't doubt the policies will be changed. Alarmist fear of economic ruin by committing to renewable energy is losing it's power to influence - and more mainstream policy ambition, to push wind and solar further and faster is one result.
 
Ken,

It is not sufficient to have "experts" on problems say "we must do" something - what we need is real experts on solutions actually doing the how for solving those problems.

There are entrepreneurs actually researching and building solutions, and government policies to economically support them and their customers with grants and tax credits.

But, the government (read us tax payers) can't afford to buy everybody a new car, a new house, etc. as well as pay for the new electric generating and transmission and storage systems to support all of those things in a short period of time. And we can't even get the necessary raw materials out of the ground fast enough. And doing all of that is going to emit more CO2.

It is not only going to take time, it is going to take a lot of societal restructuring, which most of us are not going to like. Remember the resistance to COVID vaccines and mask mandates? Well consider what people will do when we end up killing their jobs, telling them they need to move to new locations to get training and new jobs, raise their taxes, raise the costs of their food, raise the costs of their housing, etc. etc. etc. There is going to be massive push-back, and if not handled well, that can topple governments. Without governments, people are not going to be "following the experts".

So, what we need is social planners who also have an understanding of what available technologies can do on what time frames and at what financial and sociological costs. Having once been the Director of a small but government-wide program with a similar multi-discipline staff with the task of coming up with multi-discipline optimum policy recommendations, and getting multiple government agencies to sign-off on them, I can personally vouch for the complexity of the issues, the difficulty in getting people to adopt a common set of policies, and tell you that the program was ultimately stopped by political repurcussions.

So, it is not that I don't understand the problems, it is that we are having a hard time finding acceptable solutions. For example, we had a lot of nuclear powerr plants 50 years ago, but people did not like them, so they got phased out and no new ones were planned or constructed for 40 years. That was lost time in reducing CO2 emissions that will take us at least another 10 years to begin correcting. At least France stuck to its nuclear goals, so we can probably buy the expertixe that we threw away in the U.S. But, it took the "activists" on climate change to overcome the "activists" who are against nuclear power to even stop shutting down the old reactors that are still in operation, right now. And, those old reactors have a lot of materials and system degradation issues that need continuing attention to prevent the kind of accident that can once again set off the antinuclear activists to make the politicians stop the further use of nuclear power.

So, in my opinion, the antinuclear activists needed to be listening to the climate activists 40 years ago, as well as the experts on nuclear safety issues and climate modeling. Do you "get it" that it isn't just the political "leaders" who "aren't listening"?
 
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Ken , we cross-posted.

In response to you latest post, you are advocating the worst possible public policy - outlaw what everybody is using now and force everybody to somehow come up with a solution that you can't specify. That is what people fear, and what will kill the policies you advocate.

Your statistics are cherry-picked to be misleading. For instance, your stats on "new generation" are true, but misleading. We are not adding much new generation except wind and solar because we are getting opposition to any other types. But, we are not adding enough total new generation to keep up with the growth in demand, and certainly not enough to supply for total electriciation of transportation, building heating, etc. And the "costs" you are talking about are subsidized to residential consumers and many industrial produces, but those government subsidies are not going to continue until everything is electified - they are to be phased out as the "industry matures". The big problem soon will be storage of power to keep the grid up when there is little "renewable" generation available and everybody wants to charge their cars overnight in the winter when its cold or the summer when its is hot. Energy storage does not seem to be in you statistics, but it becomes vital as soon as renewables become a major part of our electrical power sources.

It is far smarter to push new solutions than to try to outlaw existing solutions. Doing it your way is essentially an admission that the alternatives are going to be more costly and less desireable. And, you aren't even offering the old sales pitch of "new and improved". You can't even advertise "available today".

Which brings up an interesting test: what vehicle(s) do you drive, how do you heat and cool your residence, and how much solar and wind generation equipment do you have installed on your property? Do you still eat meat? Did you fly anywhere for pleasure or employment? In other words, how good of an example are you personally setting? If you are like me, you are looking at all of those things and finding that most are not really easy or inexpensive steps.
 
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We may be entering a new geological epoch, maybe. Those alive 100-200 years from now will know and can mutter about how we couldn't be more insightful. For now, I'll forego that ocean front beach house, "just steps from the water".
 
In response to you latest post, you are advocating the worst possible public policy - outlaw what everybody is using now and force everybody to somehow come up with a solution that you can't specify. That is what people fear, and what will kill the policies you advocate.
Nicely put. The backlash to bad policies that impact the average tax-payer could prove detrimental to advancing the very policies that should have occurred had greater sobriety and prudence been in place from the start. We've all seen how the pendulum can swing foolishly in both directions over time. It's an inconvenient truth.

What I'd still like to see is the science behind one claim over another. Are the glaciers of Greenland melting 100x faster, as implied in the OP? I simply looked at it as an amateur scientist and offered my interpretation in hopes someone would address my often not-so-brilliant interpretation of the crux of the article.

We likely all have strong subjective views on "Climate Change", which is another reason to spend more time on objectivity, IMO.
 
What I'd still like to see is the science behind one claim over another. Are the glaciers of Greenland melting 100x faster, as implied in the OP? I simply looked at it as an amateur scientist and offered my interpretation in hopes someone would address my often not-so-brilliant interpretation of the crux of the article.

I think you are asking the right question. Media writers, particularly editors, have a well earned reputation for writing attention-grabbing headlines and story titles that exagerate the message in the article, even if the author has already exagerated the story from the scientific facts available. Now that the financial incentive for such writing has progressed from issues of paper publications sold to "clicks" counted on computer screens, this problem seems even more amplified.

The down-side of this is that the public tends to develop a cynical expectation that the issues being reported are surely exagerated with misleading implications. That really hurts the process of getting the public to objectively assess their positions on the associated government policy proposals.

That said, the writers and editors here on Space.com do seem to set a better example, at least for the real technical articles - I don't care if they hype TV shows and movies. I had to go back 3 pages before I got to an article that had a headline that seemed somewhat more exciting than the article text seemed to support - and that was this article.

And this article does say that the glacier fronts are melting back 100 times faster than models that use the Antarctic data based model instead of the data from this one Greenland glacier.

So, my only comment is that a bit more context seems in-order to create an objective perspective. The article does say that the total amount of ice on Greenland is enough to raise sea level by 20 feet. That sort of implies, but does not explicitly say that we are headed towards 20 feet of sea level rise (from Greenland) 100x faster than previously predicted.

The extra perspective I want to see is whether this measurement of glacier face melting is representative of the whole ice sheet melt rate. I suspect it is not. But, on the other hand, there have also been previous articles that I have seen elsewhere that reveal that there are additional melt processes for other parts of the ice pack, particularly surface melt waters flowing down through the ice to bedrock and flowing to the ocean through under-ice channels that are eroding the ice pack from below.

So, while I think Space.com is doing a much better job of being objective than, say CBS/NBC/ABC/CNN/FOX (not to mention the other wilder ones), I still think they could up their game a little more in the context department.
 
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"An Improved and Observationally-Constrained Melt Rate Parameterization for Vertical Ice Fronts of Marine Terminating Glaciers" - a study that shows Greenland glacier terminus melt has been seriously understimated - deserves it's due consideration, review and critique and potential inclusion in estimates of Greenland ice loss and contributions to sea level rise. It isn't alarmist activism.

It doesn't change the observed rates of ice mass loss but it may contribute to improved estimates of future contributions to sea level rise that may be higher than current ones, but even that hasn't happened yet. The outlook for sea level rise in the latest IPCC report is for between 0.5m (and stabilising) to 1m (and rising) by 2100 with a low likelihood high emissions plus ice sheet instability possibility of 1.5m included. It also cites 0.5 (and stable) up to 7m and still rising out to 2300. But that 0.5m lowest and stable is entirely predicated on zero emissions by 2050 and sustaining zero emissions thereafter, which, even without continuing strong opposition to zero emissions targets and support for fossil fuel use seems very unlikely.

Those estimates are without the possibility Greenland glacier melt (for certain kinds of glaciers) being seriously underestimated being included. If it is true we should know, but it is not yet included in ice loss estimates and no-one is making any changes to any policies because of it. I haven't even seen any activist rhetoric using it - nor do I expect it would have any power to influence if some did; we don't need it to be worse than already expected to hold to the conviction that is more than serious enough to merit serious commitment to zero emissions.

I still expect the most recent IPCC reports to be the bottom line for government policy, with sea level rise just one of many problem outcomes from failure to lower emissions - and for most people it is not the most urgent or near term. Yet for a still significant number of people it is near term enough to be urgent - especially given many places experience sea level rise higher than the global average. 0.5m global sea level rise could be greater than 1m within the lifetimes of people now living in places like the US Gulf Coast that have been getting a lot more sea level rise than the global average.
 
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"An Improved and Observationally-Constrained Melt Rate Parameterization for Vertical Ice Fronts of Marine Terminating Glaciers" - a study that shows Greenland glacier terminus melt has been seriously understimated - deserves it's due consideration, review and critique and potential inclusion in estimates of Greenland ice loss and contributions to sea level rise. It isn't alarmist activism.
Yes, that simply notes that the faster rate "at terminus" needs due consideration.

But why not agree that the claim that "Greenland's glaciers are melting 100 times faster than estimated" fits nicely to quench the thirst for alarmists. It's not Space.com's fault (that much) since they are repeating the university's article title.

The outlook for sea level rise in the latest IPCC report is for between 0.5m (and stabilising) to 1m (and rising) by 2100 with a low likelihood high emissions plus ice sheet instability possibility of 1.5m included. It also cites 0.5 (and stable) up to 7m and still rising out to 2300.
But aren't there four or five estimates based on their different scenarios, namely RCP2.6, RCP4.5, RCP8.5, the latter having been demoted to highly unlikely (thankfully)? I think there is an RCP1.9 in AR6. [I tried to get something straightforward for the AR6 report but only found some info in the FAQ report.]

The AR5 report seems to show a range of 0.29 to 0.59m by 2100, using the RCP2.6 scenario. Has this changed much in the AR6 assessment?
 
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Helio - As long as you are more concerned about "alarmists" than about the climate problem itself I don't think you will add anything of value or use to addressing the climate problem or to debating it.

It is pretty much only people already primed and inclined by decades of climate science denial messaging to see all claims of alarming possibilities as alarmist, as in for the purpose of creating false fears, that do. Without that context of decades of persistent counter messaging and major political parties and leaders giving an air of legitimacy to denial a lot fewer people would jump to the conclusion their distrust of climate science is the result of the false claims of "alarmist activists".

It's a neat bit of circular self justifying logic to make climate science itself the cause of climate science denial but it is bunk. But anyone who's response to satellite data showing serious Greenland ice mass loss - enough that entirely different satellite data shows strong local sea level response to the gravity changes from that mass loss - is to suggest maybe there'll be different satellite data and anyway sea levels rise after an ice age - is someone who will go above and beyond to hold to his doubts no matter what. And will prefer the bunk.

Even your choice to emphasise the existence of low range possibilities for sea level rise ignores that these are only considered possible with the kinds of strong climate policies and commitments that you oppose. It isn't false or exaggerated science claims that makes the low range possibilities so unlikely and higher range outcomes more likely, it is lack of committed action and persistent opposition to committed action.

And of course you don't acknowledge the cumulative and irreversible nature of the problem when you suggest delay on zero emissions commitment. I am glad it is not up to you
 
Helio - As long as you are more concerned about "alarmists" than about the climate problem itself I don't think you will add anything of value or use to addressing the climate problem or to debating it.
There you again with your derogatory hyperbole. I'm not more concerned with "alarmists" than the obvious fact that our climate is warming, in part due to anthropogenic activity.

It's worth noting that, historically, excessive cries of "wolf" or "fire" when there is neither, do little to help any cause. Wasn't there a 75% (Al Gore) that the arctic ice cap would have no ice during some summer months by 2013? The false claims and deception examples are numerous. Fortunately, the IPCC consists of real scientists that are far more serious and, generally, responsible, AFAIK.

It is pretty much only people already primed and inclined by decades of climate science denial messaging to see all claims of alarming possibilities as alarmist, as in for the purpose of creating false fears, that do.
Yes. The very few that try to argue against climate science will likely do this. This works both ways, of course. For me, it boils down to objective science, and never an issue of kind but degree -- just how sensitive can we make our models to changes to the key variables, namely CO2. Are these models retrodictive? Can they give results for the short term? If not, why not?

Without that context of decades of persistent counter messaging and major political parties and leaders giving an air of legitimacy to denial a lot fewer people would jump to the conclusion their distrust of climate science is the result of the false claims of "alarmist activists".
Yet, are they not countering the huge push to get us off fossil fuels to the point of great suffering in the name of climate activism. The call for a balanced transition needs to be seen by all parties.

It's a neat bit of circular self justifying logic to make climate science itself the cause of climate science denial but it is bunk. But anyone who's response to satellite data showing serious Greenland ice mass loss - enough that entirely different satellite data shows strong local sea level response to the gravity changes from that mass loss - is to suggest maybe there'll be different satellite data and anyway sea levels rise after an ice age - is someone who will go above and beyond to hold to his doubts no matter what. And will prefer the bunk.
I favor satellite data, but my point was that many scientists preferred other data, which btw, gave a faster warming result. Is that proper science or bias with pecuniary benefits? I'm not qualified to say, but it is a bit odd.

Even your choice to emphasise the existence of low range possibilities for sea level rise ignores that these are only considered possible with the kinds of strong climate policies and commitments that you oppose. It isn't false or exaggerated science claims that makes the low range possibilities so unlikely and higher range outcomes more likely, it is lack of committed action and persistent opposition to committed action.
What's likely today may not be likely tomorrow. That's one of the points I'm trying to convey. The IPCC has all but kicked-out their RCP8.5 scenario. Their models are improving, and the extremes have come down. That's how science works. But will new variables, including natural variability, and many others be accurately incorporated? How will we know? Models are theories and they can be tested. If they are truly comprehensive and accurate, they should be able to predict more near-term results. They aren't there yet because the complexity is mind-boggling. It's not too far from the "Butterfly Effect" analogy, which was presented to show an impossibility to any long-term weather prediction.

And of course you don't acknowledge the cumulative and irreversible nature of the problem when you suggest delay on zero emissions commitment. I am glad it is not up to you
I tried to get some chemical engineer relatives to invent a carbon scrubber (from CO2) in the form of a tennis shoe since most people would buy them to reduce their own CO2 footprint. But for now, I'll keep breathing normally.

Net zero is a worthy goal, but so is providing warmth to freezing people, air conditioning during high heat days. How do we do both? Transitional engineering is how, but the zealots in bandwagons and on pedestals won't want to hear from engineers, IMO.
 
Ken, you seem to have ignored my question about how much you personally have done to reduce your own carbon emissions.

I guess that is just as well, because we have no way of varifying whatever you tell us.

But, you do come across as blaming others for the climate change problem. Have you considered how your lifestyle will have to change to meet the goals you support? Perhaps you could tell us about that? What sacrifices have you made or you intend to make soon?
 

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