May 8, 2009
"the beer in my cooler is much colder below the ice "
Media Propaganda and the Wilkins Ice Shelf Collapse
by Timothy Birdnow
The media is lying by omission to the public about the collapse of the Wilkins Ice Shelf in Antarctica.
Recent news stories have trumpeted the collapse of a chunk of the Wilkins Ice Shelf, and to hear the mainstream media tell it the Antarctic is melting away like butter down in south Texas. The collapse of Wilkins has been blamed-of course-on Anthropogenic Global Warming. The truth is that Antarctic ice is up considerably, and has been rising steadily.
Yet the MSM continues to push the propaganda (there is no other word for it) that Antarctic ice sheet collapses are a result of Global Warming, and this means we will witness a dramatic rise in sea levels as a result. The reality is that nothing can be further from the truth.
First, an ice shelf is not land ice; it floats on the sea. This is very important, because sea ice displaces as much water as it will add when melted. There is no change in sea levels when sea ice melts-only when land ice ends up in the sea.
Now, these Antarctic ice shelves frequently break up when they become too massive. I would like everyone to think of a tube of toothpaste; how do you get that toothpaste onto your brush? (I know, many of the liberals who read this blog doubtlessly do not use such artificial means to retain their teeth ) You SQUEEZE IT in the middle, and the paste squirts out the opening at the end. In many ways, that is how glaciers work; an increase in ice helps force the flow of glaciers. Granted, there has to be a certain amount of lubrication on the underside of the ice, and a warmer world may mean faster glacial flow, but if Global Warming is being driven by atmospheric CO2 then logic would dictate that the ground under a glacier would be the last place to warm; the beer in my cooler is much colder below the ice than is the beer above it-and that without any greenhouse gases to warm the upper part of the cooler box. It stands to reason that ice shelves would collapse if the interior ice on the continent is increasing.
But the ice in Wilkins isn`t glacial ice, but rather the result of snowfall. It does not require lubrication on the underside of glaciers, but rather simple snowfall and wave action to move them about.
Bear in mind that much of the ice loss in Antarctica is also around the Antarctic Peninsula, which has always been considerably warmer (relatively, of course) than the rest of the continent. More...
Now, it is important to understand what has been happening in the South Pacific; the ENSO (El Nino Southern Oscillation) has been very active, and this triggered the intense heat in Victoria and South Australia that was all the rage in global media. While Antarctica is garroted by the Antarctic Circumpolar Current which prevents heat transfer as in the Arctic, there will still be air movement and some convection.
At any rate, the media is breathlessly reporting that this recent collapse at Wilkins is “proof” of Global Warming. (a Google search for “collapse of the Wilkins ice shelf” produced 107,000 results, for instance. A search for “Antarctic ice disappearing” yielded 89,600 results, as well, despite the fact that the ice is growing.) Yahoo news has a classic example of such misleading reporting by a major news service. An article by Alister Doyle of Reuters (see Green-Yahoo.com) tells about the collapse of a section of the Wilkins ice shelf and, of course, blames Global Warming. There is no attempt whatsoever to balance the article; in fact, they do not even ask the expert they consulted (Angelika Humbert) if it is a result of Global Warming, but rather paraphrase another scientist from the Antarctic Survey who is willing to blame it on AGW.
Below is an excerpt from an interview with Angelika Humbert about what is happening at Wilkins:
Q:How would you put the recent break-up of the Wilkins Ice Shelf into the context of the break-up of other ice shelves along the peninsula over the past 30 years? Isn’t this the furthest south on the peninsula that an ice shelf has broken up?
A:It’s difficult to put it into context because the Wilkins is a very special kind of ice shelf. It consists mainly of ice that is formed by ACCUMULATION OF SNOWFALL (emphasis added). There’s not much glacier inflow. It has brine infiltration, which means it has a completely different crystalline ice matrix. It runs aground on the so-called ice rises. It has an extraordinarily large number of ice rises, which here destabilised the ice shelf and created failure zones. It’s quite difficult to compare that with the break-up events of other ice shelves along the peninsula.
And it’s also important not to confuse ice shelf disintegration with ice shelf break-up. What we’re seeing with the Wilkins Ice Shelf are break-up events. Ice shelf disintegration is a different process. The Larsen B Ice Shelf disintegrated in just a few days. And now with the Wilkins Ice Shelf we’re seeing break-up events, which always release large masses of ice, but the ice shelf is still there.
Q:How does the ice shelf grow to begin with?
A:You have inflow from glaciers. An ice shelf needs to have reasonable speed at which its advance can happen. But the Wilkins Ice Shelf is advancing at a very low speed, something like 60-90 metres per year. If 1,200 km2 were to break off, it would take a very long time for it to grow back.
You get the idea; there is no suggestion that this is a direct result of global warming. On the contrary, it is a result of other factors which may, or may not, be a result of GW-whether anthropogenic or natural.
It should be pointed out that these shelves collapse regularly; there is nothing unusual about that.
According to a piece in Ecoworld by Ed Ring:
“The assumption in all these stories that report on the Wilkins Ice Shelf, and other melting ice around the Antarctic Peninsula, is that global warming is the cause, and that they are representative of a general melt occurring throughout Antarctica. And if this were true, this would be alarming, since 90% of the world’s land based ice is in Antarctica. So is the ocean warming around Antarctica, and is Antarctica’s overall total mass decreasing?
The answer to both of these questions is almost certainly no. As this recent imagery from NOAA indicates, the southern ocean is actually colder than average. Except for a few areas directly south of the Indian Ocean, and in the area south of Patagonia and surrounding the Antarctic Peninsula, the rest of the ocean surrounding Antarctica - virtually all of the South Pacific and South Atlantic - is cooler than average. This data indicates no reason to believe ocean temperatures are causing overall loss of ice mass in the Antarctic; with the exception of the insignificant quantity of ice on the Antarctic Peninsula, they suggest the opposite.
post resumes below image
What about the ice mass of Antarctica? Along with land based ice, which can raise sea levels when melted into the ocean, another significant indicator of polar temperature is the extent of floating sea ice. As the above table prepared by researchers at the University of Illinois indicates, the actual sea ice surrounding Antarctica is well above average. The black line represents the last 12 months of sea ice area, based on satellite data. You can see the sea ice reached a peak of 15 million square kilometers around September, during the peak of the southern winter. You can see it dropped to a low of 2 million square kilometers in mid-February, at the height of the southern summer. Currently the sea ice surrounding Antarctica is 7 million square kilometers and rising. The red line, however, is what is significant, because the red line indicates whether or not the sea ice is above or below the historical norm. And as you can see, as of May 2009, Antarctic sea ice is about 1.0 million square kilometers above normal.
Just like last year, to assist in the research for this post I contacted Dr. Roger Pielke Sr., a climatologist at the University of Colorado whose blog www.climatesci.org is one of the most balanced forums and respected sources of technical information on global climate anywhere. In response to my inquiry, he wrote the following: “The sea ice around the continent is far above average (ref. UIUC). Also, note the colder than average sea surface temperatures around Antarctic (ref. NOAA). If the media is going to discuss the Wilkins Ice Shelf, they should also discuss this other data. The expansion of the sea ice coverage implies a cooling.”
Yet the media continue to report on Antarctica as if it were disintegrating before our very eyes. This is worse than slipshod or lazy reporting; one has to believe in incompetence on a breathtaking scale to believe this is accidental. No, what is happening is a willful, purposeful distortion of the events to the public.
Why are they doing this? It should be apparent that they have their own agenda, one they hope to stampede Americans into accepting (much like people were stampeded into accepting the TARP nationalization of the banking system) a new world order-one predicated on international regulation of industry and the American economic system. The absolute refusal to publish dissenting opinion smacks of the worst sort of propoganda from the Soviet heyday of Pravda.
This illustrates a desperate need for regime change in the American media. Barack Obama owes his election to a virtually unanimous backing of his candidacy by the old guard, who hid his disturbing skeletal matter in numerous closets so as not to queer his chances, and who continue to this day to cover for The One. Global Warming is just another such issue. Conservatives simply do not have the power to influence the public discourse in the manner that the MSM can, and so many-especially the young children who are having their heads filled with lies such as the above-fall into the trap of believing that Antarctica is melting like the Wicked Witch after Dorothy doused her, and are in a panic about what is at most a minor scientific debate.
Science-real science-is about facts and testable hypotheses. Anthropogenic Global Warming has failed that test repeatedly, yet it continues to be “settled science” to the forces of statism who use it as a tool. This science has become a pack of lies. Consider Michael Mann, the author of the infamous, now TWICE debunked “hockey stick graph” that was so influential in it`s day. Mann refused to give Steve McIntyre the data sets he used, and so McIntyre had to reverse engineer Mann`s approach both times. Consider Hansen`s Goddard Institute release of September temperature data as October data a while back-thus giving the impression that October was the warmest on record. Also consider the fraud perpetrated at Albany University by Climate Alarmist Professor Wei-Chyung Wang, who has been caught making up data (see Scientific Misconduct.blogspot.com) It seems that the Gang Green has a problem with the truth.
And why not, when the media will run interference for them? Al Gore`s movie is full of mistakes-which I suspect are intentional-yet the media helps to keep Gore from the hot seat. He refuses to debate on this issue, and the media with their motto “the public`s right to know” remains strangely silent.
The public`s confidence in the old guard media is shrinking faster than they claim those glaciers and ice shelves. Those of us who honor the truth need to consider hostile takeovers of the media, buying up shares and forcing regime change. Of course, BHO may beat us to it.
At least we can concentrate on the truth, and the truth is that AGW theory is a failure. No matter how the MSM tries to spin things, they cannot hide such truth.