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Page added on November 22, 2017

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Ice Apocalypse


Eric Holthaus at Grist has a look at Antarctica’s melting glaciers – Ice Apocalypse.

In a remote region of Antarctica known as Pine Island Bay, 2,500 miles from the tip of South America, two glaciers hold human civilization hostage.Stretching across a frozen plain more than 150 miles long, these glaciers, named Pine Island and Thwaites, have marched steadily for millennia toward the Amundsen Sea, part of the vast Southern Ocean. Further inland, the glaciers widen into a two-mile-thick reserve of ice covering an area the size of Texas.

There’s no doubt this ice will melt as the world warms. The vital question is when.

The glaciers of Pine Island Bay are two of the largest and fastest-melting in Antarctica. (A Rolling Stone feature earlier this year dubbed Thwaites “The Doomsday Glacier.”) Together, they act as a plug holding back enough ice to pour 11 feet of sea-level rise into the world’s oceans — an amount that would submerge every coastal city on the planet. For that reason, finding out how fast these glaciers will collapse is one of the most important scientific questions in the world today.

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18 Comments on "Ice Apocalypse"

  1. Shortend on Wed, 22nd Nov 2017 7:17 am 

    Everything MUST be Documented! There MUST be a record of every DETAIL.
    Orders from the Ministry of Homeland Security.
    In another words, nothing will be done about it..

  2. Ghung on Wed, 22nd Nov 2017 8:49 am 

    “In another words, nothing will be done about it..”

    Nothing can be done about it. It’s already baked in and humans are essentially trapped in short-term concerns and current levels of energy use. We have words for that like “conundrum” and “predicament”….

  3. Jef on Wed, 22nd Nov 2017 8:52 am 

    Sea level rise certainly captures the imagination mostly thanks to hollywood but there are several things that can/will happen that will end life as we know it way before rising water levels.

  4. Apneaman on Wed, 22nd Nov 2017 9:01 am 

    November heatwave a 150-year record

  5. Apneaman on Wed, 22nd Nov 2017 9:09 am 

    The oceans are coming for the world’s cities — and we aren’t ready, according to a new book

    By the end of the century, experts predict that we could see between two and eight feet of sea level rise.

    Some cities, like Miami and New York, are already dealing with flooding at high tides and many cities are experiencing worse storm surges.

    Cities are doing a lot to try to prepare, but a new book on sea level rise makes the argument that the seas will still transform our cities.

    Miami, New York, Tokyo, Mumbai, Lagos, Los Angeles — look anywhere in the world and humanity has decided that the places we want to congregate look out to sea. Close to 40% of the US population lives in coastal counties. Many of the most expensive and desirable locations in coastal cities are the ones with the best access to the ocean.

    But these oceanside places are becoming more and more vulnerable to rising seas, as journalist Jeff Goodell details in his new book, “The Water Will Come: Rising Seas, Sinking Cities, and the Remaking of the Civilized World.”

    “Miami as we know it today, there’s virtually no scenario under which you can imagine it existing at the end of the century,” Goodell told Business Insider. As a large low lying city built close to a storm-prone coast on top of land that makes coping with sea level rise particularly complicated, Miami has serious sea level rise issues to deal with.”

  6. Apneaman on Wed, 22nd Nov 2017 9:51 am 

    Melting polar ice poses a serious global risk

    The title of a new book says it all — “A Farewell to Ice: A Report from the Arctic.” – This story is based on a radio interview. Listen to the full interview

    “The book, by Peter Wadhams, head of the Polar Ocean Physics Group at the University of Cambridge, is the result of nearly a half-century of personal ice research, mostly in the Arctic.

    “The Arctic is changing from being a permanent ice cover to becoming a seasonal one,” Wadham explains, “and that will cause big changes to ocean currents, to circulation of the atmosphere, to fisheries and especially to the air temperature, which will warm up because there isn’t any ice cooling the surface anymore. That will have an effect, for instance, on air currents over Greenland, which will increase the melt rate of the Greenland ice sheet.”

    Year by year, Arctic sea ice cover is dwindling, driven towards seasonal extinction by global warming — and the vanishing ice is having profound effects on the rest of the world. The rapid rise in atmospheric CO2 levels is the main reason for the accelerating melt of sea ice, but the melting ice itself is causing the release of another greenhouse gas, methane, that could be even more damaging.

    “Methane gets released from shallow waters in the Arctic, where, underneath the shallow Arctic continental shelves, there’s frozen ground, called permafrost, left over from the last ice age,” Wadhams explains. “That permafrost acts as a cap over lots of methane contained in the sediments. That cap is being removed as the permafrost melts, and the methane is being released.”

  7. Davy on Wed, 22nd Nov 2017 10:06 am 

    Good read for the mad kat when he walks down by the bay.

    “Projections of mean sea level change for the Philippines”

    “Satellite observations from 1993 to 2015 show that the tropical Western Pacific region, to the east of the Philippines, has experienced a sea level increase of 5-7 mm/yr, which is about twice the global average.”

    “by the end of the century, the high end scenario adds approximately 20 cm to the projected mean sea level. The increase in the mean sea level do not differ substantially across the Philippines but in some coastal cities, such as Manila, land subsidence will make an additional contribution to sea level rise.”

  8. Sissyfuss on Wed, 22nd Nov 2017 10:44 am 

    Agree Jef. While the loss of ice is eventually damaging the most immediate threat is the sudden and runaway temperature increases that will disrupt harvest cycles and make much of the globe unbearable. Focusing on SLR is almost a distracting temporary respite.

  9. Duncan Idaho on Wed, 22nd Nov 2017 10:46 am 

    The PIG is going fast.
    Not much to stop it now.

  10. deadlykillerbeaz on Wed, 22nd Nov 2017 10:51 am 

    A 10,560 foot thick ice sheet by 268,597 square miles (Texas) will be 537,194 cubic miles of water.

    One mile thick will cover 1,074,388. One-half mile thick ice sheet will cover 2,148,776 square miles.

    10.56 feet is 1/500th of a mile.

    10.56 feet of water will cover 134,298,500 square miles of the earth’s surface. The earth has 196.9 million square miles of surface area.

    67 percent covered by oceans, about 139 million square miles.

    If that much ice sheet would melt, it would raise the oceans to levels about 11 feet like the estimate says.

    Just doing the math to confirm what could happen.

    I wont hold my breath or stand on one leg.

  11. bobinget on Wed, 22nd Nov 2017 4:28 pm 

    Make a note dear. ‘We really must move the beach house back’. (to Idaho)

  12. Makati1 on Wed, 22nd Nov 2017 5:11 pm 

    As the ice melts, the continent lifts.
    As the continent lifts it releases pressure on the volcanoes under it (90+).
    As the pressure lowers, the chance of a volcano’s erupting increases.
    The question should be: How will this affect the volcanoes? Not: How soon the ice will melt from climate change?
    A block of ice in a pot set on a table will take longer to melt than a pot set on a hot burner.

    Mother Nature has a deadly arsenal that she is unveiling slowly. When will the tipping point be reached and Hell comes to the planet we call Earth? We shall see.

  13. peakyeast on Wed, 22nd Nov 2017 7:01 pm 


    “They found that approximately every 32 years, there is an uptick in these large quakes. The only factor that strongly correlates is a slight slowing of the Earth’s rotation in a five-year period before the uptick.”

  14. Apneaman on Wed, 22nd Nov 2017 7:32 pm 

    peaky, they are not mutually exclusive and post glacial rebound is even a little older than the idea of AGW.


    Before the eighteenth century, it was thought, in Sweden, that sea levels were falling. On the initiative of Anders Celsius a number of marks were made in rock on different locations along the Swedish coast. In 1765 it was possible to conclude that it was not a lowering of sea levels but an uneven rise of land. In 1865 Thomas Jamieson came up with a theory that the rise of land was connected with the ice age that had been first discovered in 1837. The theory was accepted after investigations by Gerard De Geer of old shorelines in Scandinavia published in 1890.[”

  15. Makati1 on Wed, 22nd Nov 2017 7:43 pm 

    Ap, thanks for clarifying peaky’s post.

  16. ________ on Wed, 22nd Nov 2017 8:18 pm 

    Putas vs motherpunks. Universe vs Al Gore’$ butt boys aka pro-ice-agers. Donkey cunts like u need to suffer or at least die.

    Never met a sane person on this planet

  17. Go Speed Racer on Thu, 23rd Nov 2017 4:08 am 

    Well………. all those drought afflicted
    fields in California? Should get nice and
    wet again, when the ocean floods them.

    Good thing Pops sold all the waterfront

  18. peakyeast on Thu, 23rd Nov 2017 9:10 am 

    @mak&ape: Actually – what I was just imagining was that an increase in earthquakes just might be the straw that breaks the ice-plug together with volcanic activity.

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