Friday, February 12, 2016

Proof of Concept - 7

Fig. 1 Satellite Record
Yesterday I criticized a paper published in a scientific journal (Questionable Scientific Papers - 6).

In that post I provided a graph I had made which came from a NASA database which anyone can download (NASA Satellite Data).

Fig. 2 Columns 6, 8, 9, 11, 12

Fig. 3  Columns 6, 8
Today I am adding some additional graphs made from various columns in that data, with the intent to bolster my criticism of the paper.

BTW, I updated yesterday's post by adding a paper from Science (12 Feb 2016: Vol. 351, Issue 6274).
Fig. 4  Columns 9, 11

Fig. 5 Column 12
That paper details a good many of the dynamics causing a lack of scientific understanding in the U.S.A, much of it because of what is taught by an inordinate number of middle and high school teachers.

So, let's get on with today's closer look at that "the rain did it" paper.

The graph at Fig. 1 is the graph that was also presented in yesterday's post.

In that graph, a circle was placed around the area of the sea level fall I will expand upon today.

The other graphs in today's post zoom in on that area, much like a microscope takes a closer look at specimens on a slide.

As you read this post, you might want to remember Dr. Mitrovica's statement made in his recent video.

He said that global mean average sea level usage has led us astray for the past hundred years (The Ghost-Water Constant - 4).

As a quick example, Fig. 1 shows what is claimed to be a radical aberration in the incessant sea level rise trend shown since 1993 in global mean average trend lines.

But notice that Fig. 3 and Fig. 4 pull the covers off of that choreograph song and dance, showing the raw data as well as the effect of the "smoothing" of that data.

The raw data lines in those graphs, made from the same database of the same events, by the same satellites at the same time, show what, in contrast to the smoothing, looks to the untrained eye like radical gyrations.

For instance, at the very beginning of the year 2010, there is a sharp drop in sea level, followed by a sharp rise in sea level, followed by another sharp drop.

The paper, mimicking global mean average smoothing type cover ups, begins the scenario with "But for an 18-month period that began in the middle of 2010, " skipping the rises and falls earlier in the same year.

Classic cherry picking eh?

The article then describes the following rise and fall events as "something surprising ... one-and-a-half-year, 7-mm fall", even though the earlier rise and fall scenario in that same year involves as much as 10mm of sea level change.

There are rises and falls all the time during the "18 month" period (compare column 6 to column 8, Fig. 3, and column 9 to column 11, Fig. 4).

In fact, it looks like typical pattern shown in tide gauge records that have been kept for hundreds of years.

Those records contain sea level changes of hundreds of millimeters (Questionable "Scientific" Papers).

The paper fails to explain why a "7 mm" sea level fall is "something surprising" when in fact it is "something common" and "something to be expected."

Here is the comma delimited data used in Fig. 2 - Fig. 5  which was graciously provided by NASA:


The previous post in this series is here.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Questionable Scientific Papers - 6

Fig. 1 The ghost of SLF?
This series is about scientific papers that exhibit the widespread ignoring of scientific realities now effectively lost in the old filing systems.

Lost because of no retrieval work, which elitist scientists relegate to others.

Then, hangovers in their college students, who seek Phd's, cut corners so they can make enough money to pay for booze and their crushing educational debt.

Or something like that.

Thus, they do not dust off some of the classic scientific papers and then digitize them.

One example is the paper Woodward (1888).

One professor does not accept that level of academic performance from his students:
To our knowledge, Woodward (1888) was the first to demonstrate that the rapid melting of an ice sheet would lead to a geographically variable sea level change. Woodward (1888) assumed a rigid, non-rotating Earth, and therefore self-gravitation of the surface load was the only contributor to the predicted departure from a geographically uniform (i.e. eustatic) sea level rise. This departure was large and counter-intuitive. Specifically, sea level was predicted to fall within ∼2000 km of a melting ice sheet, and to rise with progressively higher amplitude at greater distances. The physics governing this redistribution is straightforward.
(On The Origin of the Sea-level Seesaw). The Mitrovica team found a paper as important as some of Einstein's papers, which everyone else seems to have overlooked.

Especially this guy:
For the past couple of decades, the oceans have been steadily rising. Each year, sea-level increases by about 3 millimeters, a constant and ominous creep responding to climate warming.

Scientists have been measuring this rise from satellites since 1993, using instruments called altimeters. But for an 18-month period that began in the middle of 2010, something surprising happened. Instead of rising, sea levels fell.

"Every few months we check in on sea level and try to get some idea as to what's happening and why ..."
Fasullo, who was trying to balance out the Earth's "water budget," sought an explanation for where that water, normally ocean bound, might have ended up.

Now he believes he has one. His paper explaining the sea-level drop was recently accepted into the journal Geophysical Research Letters.

Fasullo worked to determine where the water might be, if it wasn't contributing to sea-level rise. In an earlier paper, the researcher and other scientists concluded it had probably gotten stored on the land somewhere. They also thought La Niña might have something to do with this.
(A Scientist Explains the Mystery, emphasis added). The man is clueless about the sea level fall reality as well as what causes it and what doesn't (Proof of Concept , 2, 3, 4, 5, 6).

This sea level fall and sea level rise dynamic is a reality that has been happening since circa 1775.

Nevertheless, he concludes: "I see lakes in Australia full of water."

Like Professor Mitrovica says, usage of the ill-advised "global mean average" has led us astray for 100 years" (The Ghost-Water Constant - 4).

He looks at that deceptive global mean average "every few months" and bases everything he thinks he knows on it.

A bad, but common, mistake, which endangers us all:
"Although more than 95% of active climate scientists attribute recent global warming to human causes and most of the general public accepts that climate change is occurring, only about half of U.S. adults believe that human activity is the predominant cause, which is the lowest among 20 nations polled in 2014. We examine how this societal debate affects science classrooms and find that, whereas most U.S. science teachers include climate science in their courses, their insufficient grasp of the science may hinder effective teaching. Mirroring some actors in the societal debate over climate change, many teachers repeat scientifically unsupported claims in class. Greater attention to teachers' knowledge, but also values, is critical."
(UPDATED from Science, 2/12/16, emphasis added). A new post in the Agnotology series is in order (Agnotology: The Surge, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17).

BTW, the graph @ Fig. 1 is from a new database I just acquired from NASA.

More on that later.

The previous post in this series is here.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Proof of Concept - 6

Fig. 1 Sea level fall near Greenland
When you ask the question "why is sea level falling" you hear crickets from sites that parrot the mistaken notion that "thermal expansion" has been the major cause of sea level rise (SLR) for 200 years.

Even very good sites have been led astray by that false dogma (The Warming Science Commentariat).

Today, I want to mention a scientist who has not been fooled, because he has a concept of sea level change (SLC) that is the antithesis of thermal expansion.

Furthermore, since water expands both when it gets colder, and when it gets warmer, that has been pointed out to high school students since the dark ages:.
Most of us, when we take our first science classes, learn that when things cool down, they shrink. (When they heat up, we learn, they usually expand.) However, water seems to be the exception to the rule. Instead of shrinking as it cools, this common liquid actually expands.
(Why Does Water Expand When it Cools?). The same high school students are taught that water also expands when it is warmed (ibid).

The dogma about thermal expansion of ocean water being a major cause of sea level rise (SLR) for 200 years is in error (Questionable Scientific Papers - 4).

There is no doubt at all that the ocean is warming, and has been for a long time, however, there is insufficient data to conclude that thermal expansion of ocean water is a major cause of SLC.

The major causes are ice sheet and glacier disintegration (The Gravity of Sea Level Change, 2, 3, 4), and ghost-water (The Ghost-Water Constant, 2, 3, 4).

Anyway, there are scientists who know that the ocean is both rising and falling as a result of global warming, and that it is induced by our burning of fossil fuels.

One such scientist, William Colgan, gives us an inkling of SLF speed in the vicinity of the Greenland ice sheet:
Colgan said this change will have implications for places close to Greenland like Nunavut [a recently created Canadian province].

"Actually close to Greenland, sea level rise is negative, or sea level is dropping, in part because the gravitational field is weakening so quickly that the water in the ocean is migrating to more gravitationally massive places on Earth."

Colgan said the sea level has been decreasing in Frobisher Bay at around one centimetre per year [10 mm], an effect that can be as damaging as sea level rise.

"Iqaluit will not be flooded out by rising sea level but to have the harbour in Iqaluit, which is already really shallow, get shallower at one centimetre per year going forward, that can also be a very damaging sequence of sea level change," he said.

The melting of Greenland ice also produces more icebergs which are being discharged from the glaciers on land.

"There's actually more icebergs now being spat out into Baffin Bay and floating around as potential navigation hazards than there were 50 or even 10 years ago," said Colgan.
(Melting Greenland Ice, emphasis added). The sea level falling there is exactly what is to be expected (Proof of Concept - 3, Proof of Concept - 5).

Regular readers will remember that I did a post about this, the impact it has, and will continue to have on seaports (Peak Sea Level - 2, The Extinction of Robust Sea Ports - 2).

If you want more information concerning these issues go to the Series Tab page and scroll down to "SEA LEVEL CHANGE" sections.

The next post in this series is here, the previous post in this series is here.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Watch The Ice Shelves - 3

Fig. 1 Ice Shelf loss
In previous posts of this series I focused on research that implicates Antarctica's ice shelves as harbingers of things to come (Watch The Ice Shelves, 2).

Since they hold back or resist the flow of the ice streams on the land mass, when those ice shelves go, the ice streams go faster.

I mean, more ice from the ice streams on land can flow faster and reach the ocean more easily.

Which will cause sea level change (SLC) in the form of both sea level rise (SLR) and sea level fall (SLF).

So, today let's do three things:
1) review some new research regarding ice shelf integrity,

2) further discuss ice sheet gravity as it relates to ice shelves,

3) engage in a hypothesis concerning ice shelf gravity.
I. New Research

Here is the abstract at the journal Nature concerning new research:
The floating ice shelves along the seaboard of the Antarctic ice sheet restrain the outflow of upstream grounded ice. Removal of these ice shelves, as shown by past ice-shelf recession and break-up, accelerates the outflow, which adds to sea-level rise. A key question in predicting future outflow is to quantify the extent of calving that might precondition other dynamic consequences and lead to loss of ice-shelf restraint. Here we delineate frontal areas that we label as ‘passive shelf ice’ and that can be removed without major dynamic implications, with contrasting results across the continent. The ice shelves in the Amundsen and Bellingshausen seas have limited or almost no ‘passive’ portion, which implies that further retreat of current ice-shelf fronts will yield important dynamic consequences. This region is particularly vulnerable as ice shelves have been thinning at high rates for two decades and as upstream grounded ice rests on a backward sloping bed, a precondition to marine ice-sheet instability. In contrast to these ice shelves, Larsen C Ice Shelf, in the Weddell Sea, exhibits a large ‘passive’ frontal area, suggesting that the imminent calving of a vast tabular iceberg will be unlikely to instantly produce much dynamic change.
(The Safety Band of Antarctic Ice Shelves). This paper attempts to describe some of the characteristics of the shelves and identify weak and strong parts.

A member of the scientific commentariat at ESA explains it this way:
It transpires that about 13% of the total ice-shelf area contains what is called ‘passive shelf ice’. This is the part of the floating ice body that provides no additional buttressing – so if lost there wouldn’t be an instant increase in glacial velocity.

However, behind this – there is an area of ice called the ‘safety band’, which is the most critical portion of the ice shelf restraining the ice flow.

Dr Johannes Fürst, from the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg’s Institute of Geography explained, “For some decades now satellite remote-sensing has allowed us to track changes and movement of Antarctic ice fronts. In some regions we have seen continuous ice-shelf recession.

“Once ice loss through the calving of icebergs goes beyond the passive shelf ice and cuts into the safety band, ice flow towards the ocean will accelerate, which might well entail an elevated contribution to sea-level rise for decades and centuries to come.”

However, there are some contrasting results across the continent as not all ice shelves have this passive ice.

Dr Fürst added, “The Amundsen and Bellingshausen seas have limited or almost no passive ice shelf, which implies that further retreat of current ice-shelf fronts will have serious dynamic consequences.
(Antarctic Safety Band At Risk). I guess this is at least a code yellow or perhaps even a code red for some locations there  (Proxymetry3 - 3).

II. Ice Sheet Gravity vs. Ice Shelf Gravity

The ice sheets have gravitational pull that pulls sea water toward the coastline and holds it there (The Ghost-Water Constant - 4).

Additionally, this ice sheet mass created gravitational pull must have an impact on the ice shelf.

It would be in the form of pressure put on the ice as the ocean water is pulled toward the landmass coastline.

Lunar and solar gravity caused tides do the same, except much more intensely I would think (Tidal Impact On Glaciers).

The ice shelves must also have that same effect on the sea water near them, a pull.

When the ice shelf breaks away, sea water is going to have an easier time getting to the shoreline.

III. Ice Shelf Gravity

Some of the ice shelves around Antarctica are massive, larger than some states or countries.

Fig. 2 Ice shelf impediments
They must add resistance to the ice sheet mass gravity pull on sea water (Fig. 2).

That is a pull that would bring sea water up against the coastline like a high tide or a storm surge.

But the ice shelf on top of the water would resist that.

So, when the ice shelf breaks away, a contradictory thing takes place.

Water will flow to the coast, the ice shelf now ice berg will float away and melt, then the resulting melt water will flow towards the bulge at the equator.

Back at the shore, the ice stream will speed up and dump ice into the sea, thereby losing mass and gravity.

Then, finally that will cut loose some ghost-water too.

In other words, ultimately near shore there will be SLF.

The bottom line, then, is an increase in both SLF and SLR, depending on location (latitude, longitude).

IV. Conclusion

While it may be true that SLC is not complicated, it is also true that it has a lot of moving parts.

And it is all happening at once .... I mean Greenland is losing ice at the same time Antarctica and Glacier Bay are.

And doing it on their own schedule.

So, predicting the intensity of catastrophes that SLC is bringing and will continue to bring for a long time, is not an exact science in terms of exactly predicting precise future time frames.

But it can determine what is coming, and give useful warnings.

Then it is up to those who should do something about it to do that something.

The previous post in this series is here.