Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Peak Sea Level - 4

Fig. 1 Greenland melt zones
I. The New Stuff

Regular readers and I know that the Greenland Ice Sheet (GIS) is getting curiouser and curiouser as we learn more and more about it.

In that department, the latest in the past few weeks around here has been a discussion about the sea level around Greenland going to fall a lot lower (Weekend Rebel Science Excursion - 48).

Yes, you read that correctly, the sea level around Greenland, counter-intuitively, is not going to rise as its ice sheet melts (The SLC Software Model Beta).

Don't feel alone in not knowing that.

It is not even well known to port professionals, some of whom are planning to build cargo shipping ports in Iceland where there will likely not be adequate sea water to fill the sea port when all the ice sheet on Greenland finally melts (Peak Sea Level - 2).

That is, unless Antarctica can send some sea water up that far, as the sea level around Antarctica falls lower too (The Gravity of Sea Level Change).

The sea level fall (SLF) around those two ice sheets will cause sea level rise (SLR) many miles away from their coastlines (A Timeline of Endangered Sea Ports).

II. Growing Controversy

But, there is some controversy about what impact, other than SLF, will be caused to the
Fig. 2 NEGIS
buttressing ice shelves around Greenland and Antarctica.

Traditionally those ice shelves slow down the ice sheet flow toward the sea (Peak Sea Level - 3).

IMO, any damage to those buttressing ice shelves will allow the ice streams, which those ice shelves have been holding back, to speed up.

Anyway, the march of the ice sheets to the sea continues (Robert Scribbler, h/t Tom).

Peak sea level has been reached along the coasts of Greenland & Antarctica, so the water exiting that area now, as the ice sheet gravity diminishes, is perhaps headed for a sea port along the East Coast of America (Greenland & Antarctica Invade The United States).

III. Dredd Blog Software Design Holds Up

Regular readers know that I designed an SLR projection program designed around the concept of ice sheet zones (The Evolution of Models - 5), and that it is being updated to deal with all SLC (The SLC Software Model Beta).

The reality of the zone concept, which that software model uses, can be seen by noting that the melt this year is mainly in the coastal zone (Fig. 1).

Both the Jakobshavn and NEGIS ice streams are melting at their terminus.

The Pacific "Blob" area of warm water does flow through the Bering Strait to the Chukchi Sea, over to the Beufort Sea, and also up "over the top" via the Arctic Ocean.

Those currents then flow across to the Greenland Sea and Fram Strait on the west side of Greenland, but split to also flow into Baffin Bay on the east side of Greenland (The Question Is: How Much Acceleration Is Involved In SLR? - 4).

The ice streams shown in Fig. 2 are being impacted by those dynamics this year, as shown in Fig. 1 (the software is designed with a "the coastal zone melts first" bias that is holding up).

I think the other bias in that software, which is that the ice buttressing will suffer from SLF near the coasts, will hold up too.

The software model will be shown to be correct in not projecting a slow down of ice stream flow toward the sea.

Any loss of, or damage to, ice shelves connected to the ice sheet but also floating on the sea, as its level falls, will be more likely to allow the ice streams on the land to accelerate (Peak Sea Level - 3).

IV. The Lowering Sea Level May Destabilize Methane Clathrates

I wrote about the Arctic methane clathrate situation recently (The Methane Hydrate / Clathrate Controversy).

It seems intuitive that as the Arctic Ocean and other seas within the Arctic Circle go through SLF, more methane hydrate / clathrate release will take place.

For one thing, the pressure level at the bottom will decrease as the volume of water atop the sea floor gets shallower.

Methane hydrates / clathrates are sensitive to pressure, so the cages may crumble at some pressure point, to allow the methane to enter the water column, then float upward toward the surface.

The piercing rays of the Sun will penetrate closer to the bottom as the sea becomes shallower, and the shallower water will likely warm up more easily during the summers.

That would also signal a time of increased loss of sea ice cover (Arctic Ice Extent: 2015 Struggles For First Place - 3).

V. Conclusion

Events are converging toward a rude awakening in the U.S., where the media are constantly talking about what is going to happen to other nations.

Yet, they are in the cross-hairs of the coming invasion (The 1% May Face The Wrath of Sea Level Rise First).

Professor Mitrovica, when he spoke in Washington, D.C., pointed out that the focus of SLC is just off the east coast of the U.S., near where he was speaking (see video below).

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

Professor Mitrovica, @ Harvard


  1. That area called "the blob" has very warm water and is where whales are dying (link).

  2. Good call Randy. Seems the whole Pacific is dying - there's a recent article out (i'll try to find it again) saying that along the sea floor for miles out and hundreds of miles up and down the coast are practically devoid of life, between the various star-fish, mollusk and others on-going die-off. This is getting serious in a hurry now. Soon we'll be overwhelmed with the number of concurrent calamities befalling us and that will trigger the end of civilization. There will be no "adapting."

    Dredd - SPLENDID, my good man! Do keep up the fine-tuning of your model. Lovely, yet terrifying tool, don't you think?

    Well, carry on all!


  3. The troll Eerie Ass (a.k.a Etyere Petyere) wanted me to post a message concerning his latest trance (Choose Your Trances Carefully).

    It was about SLC not having any impact on the U.S. economy until he gets smart or his operator Inhofe says so (he also furnished a youtube video about mining dirt to prove his point).

    Eerie Ass does not get Dredd Blog commenting policy yet ("But for those who ... comment, be sure to note that Dredd Blog does not suffer foolishness lightly ..." -Dredd Blog About Page).

    Eerie Ass also does not get the fact that SLC (SLF / SLR) is a part of Global Warming Induced Climate Change which has been affecting the economy for decades via one climate catastrophe after another.

    Concerning SLR, for example, sea level has been and will continue to have an imact on American citizens:
    The surge that's scheduled to hit the American coastline Wednesday isn't coming from a hurricane, but it could still leave a feeling of helplessness in its wake.

    Flood insurance rates are set to skyrocket when a new bill goes into effect on April 1. Known as the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2014 (HFIAA), it's going to drive the prices of flood insurance plans through the roof for residents of all U.S. coastlines.

    How much could they increase? In some areas where flood maps show maximum risk, premiums that were previously $500 could be raised to as much as $20,000 a year or more, according to estimates released in 2013.

    "My insurance is more than my mortgage," said Nancy Loft-Powers, a resident of Deerfield Beach, Florida, who told the Washington Post that her premium will be raised from the $7,500 she already pays annually. "I live by the beach in an old neighborhood. I pay [too much] insurance for a crap house that’s not great.

    (Flood Insurance Rates To Increase, cf. this).

    It does not get better.

    Let's hope that Eerie Ass does.

  4. tha mining video was supposed to show you how just mining and its feasibility or (un) will render industrial civilisation with all its BAU processes unviable .. With that by the time SLR SLC or whatever your concern is will not be an issue . By than everyone who could be impacted departed from the flooded areas either to the great beyond(more likely most of them ) or the very few to the great white north (or very south ...even fewer ) where there is still some habitable places left where they will try to carve out a subsistence survival . SLR SLC is NONE ISSUE and will be the sea will take over and wash away empty places first row houses anyway are occupied by the obscenely rich they will buy up the second row or move inland no problem with that ever second row guys with all that money running uphill no problem there 3rd row guys will never see slr or slc they will just die of hunger and the usual collapse brought by inconveniences . Read my lips NON ISSUE !!! mining energy food issues will drive people out or make them dead before your slr comes to town by than civilisation have ceased to exist .

    1. Evidently better Eerie.

      But your typical focus misses the relevant point.

      The issue is about sea ports upon which current civilization depends for survival.

      Individuals will scatter like an ant-hill when water is poured on it.

      You obviously have not studied sea ports and their part in civilization.

      Regular readers know the issue is about sea ports, as do the thousands of officials around the world who are very aware of what is happening now.

    2. Eerie Ass,

      What is a NONE ISSUE is your reading comprehension.

      This post and series is about why port authority officials around the nation are spending the big bucks to react to SLR (You Are Here - 5).

      Your comments are the NON ISSUE and are a waste of everyone's time.

      Except for Inhofe's troofieness research team (Agnotology: The Surge - 16).