Saturday, June 27, 2015

Weekend Rebel Science Excursion - 45

Fig. 1 Lake & River System of Antarctica
The greatest invasion danger to the United States is not what vast amounts of money are being spent on in the name of "security."

It is not terrorism or disease which the media incessantly talks about (Obola: Art Thou Dying Properly?).

Nor is it anything that causes us to have the most expensive spy system in the world (Why The Military Can't Defend Against The Invasion) or the most expensive military in the world (American Feudalism - 6).

Fig. 2 Location of Lake Vostok
No, we know that sea level rise (SLR) is the greatest danger in the long-run, but we don't know that it is also a short-run danger because of something which we habitually ignore (Greenland & Antarctica Invade The United States, 2).

That short-run danger (Fig. 1) is lurking in the shadows under the ice sheets of Antarctica and Greenland.

Under Antarctica is a lake and river system that could be the size of the largest river basin, the Amazon.

Its largest lake, Lake Vostok, is under the Totten Glacier Catchment (compare Fig. 1, Fig. 2, and Fig. 3, and see Video 1 below @ 3.30).

According to the two videos below, large lake and river systems are under both of those ice sheets.

In accord with that:
UCL Professor Duncan Wingham, who led the team, said: "Previously, it was thought water moves underneath the ice by very slow seepage. But this new data shows that, every so often, the lakes beneath the ice pop off like champagne corks, releasing floods that travel very long distances.

"A major concern has been that by drilling down to the lakes new microbes would be introduced." he added. "Our data shows any contamination will not be limited to one lake, but will, over time, extend down the length of the network of rivers.

"We had thought of these lakes as isolated biological laboratories. Now we are going to have to think again."
(Antarctic Subglacial rivers, emphasis added). Lake Vostok, under the Antarctica ice sheet, is a lake which is about as large as Lake Ontario.

Fig. 3 Totten Glacier Location
It is only one of about "400" Antarctic subglacial lakes we know of (see Lake Vostok).

A large concern is that something is holding back the water of some of those lakes.

Should the ice dam or other impediment on some of these subglacial lakes and/or rivers give way, the water could be released in a cataclysmic surge as has been the case in geologically recent times (e.g. "Pulse 1C", which caused a 1m / 3 ft. of SLR "in a few years or less" ... The Surge: A Forgotten Aspect of Sea Level Rise).

Warming of the subglacial lakes that are nearer to warming ocean waters along the coast, could also cause melting or weakening of glaciers from underneath them (basal melt).

That happened about 7,000- 8,000 years ago when 100,000 km3 of water caused a 1m / 3 ft. SLR "in a few years or less."

An ice dam gave way and a large lake flowed into the ocean (The Surge: A Forgotten Aspect of Sea Level Rise).

Antarctica's Lake Vostok, one of about 400 subglacial lakes, has about 5,400 km3 of water itself (Lake Vostok).

If the other subglacial lakes have an average of only 237 km3 each (100,000 − 5,400 ÷ 399 = 237), that adds up to 100,000 km3, which is the amount that caused that 1m / 3 ft. SLR about 7,000- 8,000 years ago (and don't forget the additional water in the vast subglacial river system that "rivals the Amazon").

We know the calamity to civilization that such a surge would cause (Weekend Rebel Science Excursion - 44).

Video 1: Amazon-sized river system under Antarctic ice sheet ...

Video 2: Lake / river systems under Greenland ice sheet ...


  1. Thanks Dredd. i watched both videos after reading your post. Very few realize how tenuous our lives actually are, or how it can all change in a matter of weeks or days.

    Did you happen to catch the video (which showed up at the end of the lower one, that says LOOK in large letters, lower left: purporting to show some large object - like miles in length and width - (from Google Earth) being revealed in Greenland from the melting ice and snow cover?


    1. Tom,

      At your suggestion I looked at the video link.

      It is sensationalist UFO speculation.

      I would have to see the issue discussed in peer reviewed papers in good journals before considering it seriously.

      Lakes on the surface can get quite large and leave strange shapes when they drain through a moulin.

      Also, volcanic debris from Iceland, Canada, or even Greenland itself, can leave strange patterns too.

      I noticed that Guy @ NBL has had to clarify some to distance himself from undue speculation.

      He, for example, shunned date specific prediction by explaining the difference between predictions and scenarios.

      Oil-Qaeda loves for us to speculate that way so they can discredit when the time comes.

      Let's stay within the evidence and advance scenarios supported by that evidence.

      When we use dates let's do so in a range scenario ("this could happen in x to y years if thus and such happens").

      I am not saying wimp out, because in life or death situations underestimating is worse than overestimating in my opinion.

      I am saying keep the scenarios within the reasonable limits supported by the evidence.

  2. Far more research funding needs to take place ... that one scientist (video 1) had to wait years to get only $10 mil to study the lakes.

    Survival of civilization as we know it could be at stake.

    Meanwhile, hundreds of millions are easily secured to study the moons of Jupiter or Saturn.

    We need both IMO.

  3. And the military budget of bloat and waste dwarfs them both, eh Randy?


  4. jff
    Some physicists believe we're living in a giant hologram — and it's not that far-fetched


    1. They are.

      No doubt about it.

      But, they are assholes when they presume to speak for everyone else (link).