Antarctica is a big-time global warming player. Nothing is
comparable. It is the world heavyweight, and nothing can impact the
world with so much calamitous clout. As such, it would be a huge
mistake to discount its capability to turn mean-spirited, striking
all of a sudden, catching scientists and humanity unawares. In fact,
it’s already turning heads, and it alone is equivalent to 170 feet
early signals of destabilization have been detected at Totten
Glacier/ East Antarctica, where, according to accepted science for
years and years, we are not supposed to worry until the next century.
Scientists have always said East Antarctica’s a “not to worry
region,” nearly impervious to the impact of climate change.
along those lines, over time it’s becoming increasingly evident
that one of the horrors of the global warming story is a failure of
mainstream science to know what’s really going on in a timely
fashion, always late to the party. Repercussions could be cascading
ecosystems crushing societal norms and flooding of the great cities
well ahead of any kind of preparations, such as building dykes around
major urban centers.
what the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the
prototype of mainstream science-lite, has said regarding the outlook
1995, the IPCC projected “little change in the extent of the
Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets… over the next 50-100 years”.
The 2001 IPCC report suggested that neither the Greenland nor the
Antarctic ice sheets would lose significant mass by 2100. The 2007
IPCC report said there were “uncertainties… in the full effects
of changes in ice sheet flow”, and a suggestion that “partial
loss of ice sheets on polar land could imply metres of sea-level
rise… Such changes are projected to occur over millennial time
scales”. The reality is very different.” (Source: David Spratt &
Ian Dunlop, What Lies Beneath – The Understatement of Existential
Climate Risk, Breakthrough, National Centre for Climate Restoration,
the 2014 IPCC report said that Antarctica’s contribution to rising
sea levels would “not exceed several tenths of a meter… during
the 21st century.” Wrong again!
fate of the world’s coastlines has become a classic example of how
the IPCC, when confronted with conflicting science, tends to go for
the ‘least drama’ position… Yet extraordinarily, the 2014 IPCC
assessment report repeated the mistake and actually produced a
numerically smaller figure… despite mounting evidence of polar
ice-mass loss,” Ibid.
as the IPCC twiddled its thumbs, West Antarctica’s meltdowns turned
serious, losing three massive ice shelves 1995- 2002- 2017, the third
loss a one trillion ton behemoth, forcing National Geographic to
redraw the World Atlas. Somebody noticed!
there’s this: The Totten Glacier in East Antarctica is
destabilizing. It alone carries enough ice melt (16 feet) to flood
NYC and Tokyo, forget Miami, it’s already a goner. Totten is less
than 10% of the mass of East Antarctica. Still, Totten brings more
potential sea level rise than all of West Antarctica, where major
destabilization of glaciers continues ongoing with gusto.
to a recent telling article in Geophysical Research Letters: Yara
Mohajerani, Isabella Velicogna, and Eric Rignot, “Mass Loss of
Totten and Moscow University Glaciers, East Antarctica, Using
Regionally Optimized GRACE
July 25, 2018: Totten lost 18B tons of ice every single year from
2002-2016, a clear signal that risk of inordinate sea level rise is
now officially “on the move.”
of these glaciers are vulnerable to the intrusion of warm ocean water
and hold considerable potential for sea level rise,” said co-author
Eric Rignot, Donald Bren Professor and chair of Earth system science
at UCI. “This work highlights that East Antarctic glaciers are as
important to our future as those in the continent’s western
say that is surprisingly bad news is comparable to the Fukushima
Daiichi nuclear disaster’s surprisingly bad news, both ecosystem
degradations have potential to “come down like a ton of bricks on
overall perspective, Antarctica is the world’s largest desert at
5,400,000 square miles (the United States is 3,500,000 square miles).
It is the highest, driest, coldest, windiest, brightest of the seven
continents, roughly the size of the United States and Mexico
combined, and almost completely covered by a layer of ice that
averages more than one mile in thickness and up to three miles in
some areas. The ice has accumulated over millions of years through
snowfall. It represents 90% of the ice on Earth and would raise sea
levels worldwide by over 200 feet were it to melt.
Antarctica has been quiescent for centuries upon centuries… until
now. It is the one piece of the climate puzzle that scientists don’t
want to see turn ugly, so fast. But, it is misbehaving very, very
badly and sending up smoke signals that humanity best get its act
together soon and halt CO2 emissions or buy lots of scuba gear.
only is The Big Kahuna or East Antarctica starting to shake rattle
and roll, it’s kissing cousin West Antarctica has already been on a
roll for some time now. The “Mass Balance of the Antarctic Ice
Sheet from 1992 to 2017,” Nature, 219-222 (2018) shows the rate of
ice loss from West Antarctica increasing three-fold over the past 15
years. That’s a lot. No science models came close to predicting
that rate of increase since 1992, 2002, or 2012 (every 10 years), but
it was and still is happening at ever-increasing rates of speed.
and again the same storylines about “scientists surprised by how
much faster the climate system is changing… way ahead of the
models,” should start sinking in that anthropogenic climate change
is on the march in a big way. Yet, leadership, especially in America,
is as cavalier about the risks as General Custer was when informing
his courier: “It looks like we caught’em sleeping.” It is
axiomatic that wipeouts are never anticipated!
to James Hansen of Earth Institute – Columbia University, whose
strong ethical straightforward honesty was totally unacceptable
(actually taboo) for the Bush/Cheney administration: “The last time
that ice sheets disintegrated 14,000 years ago, sea level went up (on
average)… one meter (3.3 feet) every 20 years.” (The Yale Forum
on Climate Change & The Media, Dec. 2013) Oops!
is an early warning signal clanging loud and clear, if ignored, it’s
comparable to Custer’s courier riding off in the distance to inform
reinforcements of “good news.” Somebody somewhere, everywhere,
better start planning to move to higher ground or building dykes, or
do something other than sit around waiting for additional stronger
evidence that impending worldwide chaos is right around the corner.
Wipeouts are never anticipated. If it were otherwise, they’d never