Friday, October 28, 2016

Uplifting Myths

Fig. 1 Indian Ocean
"Uplift is the process by which the earth's surface slowly rises either due to increasing upward force applied from below or decreasing downward force (weight) from above" (Uplift).

Fig. 2 Southeast Alaska
Some scientists use the term promiscuously in a manner, whether intended or not, that is akin to politicians who use "dog whistles" to send messages to a targeted audience:
Dog whistle is a type of strategy of communication that sends a message that the general population will take a certain meaning from, but a certain group that is "in the know" will take away the secret, intended message. Often involves code words.
(Urban Dictionary, "dog whistle", cf. AGU).  In that sense, "uplift," like "thermal expansion," is a "dog whistle."

This use of isostasy promiscuously has been spread far and wide for decades by the Oil-Qaeda funded disinformation apparatus (Smoke & Fumes).

It is used in a certain way in sea level change (SLC) discussions to gloss over the reality presented by massive quantities of evidence from scientific observation and measurement.

Fig. 3 West Africa
I have criticized the improper use of uplift / isostatic application to SLC scenarios for a long time, because like satellite use for gathering SLC evidence, it is relatively new (GPS history).

Remember that the "S" in "GPS" means satellite.

It is not an exaggeration to say that satellite usage has had some advances as well as some set backs in the effort to study uplift as it applies to SLC.

So, sometimes "uplift models" are used in place of measured and observed values:
The correction for glacial isostatic adjustment (GIA) accounts for the fact that the ocean basins are getting slightly larger since the end of the last glacial cycle. GIA is not caused by current glacier melt, but by the rebound of the Earth from the several kilometer thick ice sheets that covered much of North America and Europe around 20,000 years ago. Mantle material is still moving from under the oceans into previously glaciated regions on land. The effect is that currently some land surfaces are rising and some ocean bottoms are falling relative to the center of the Earth (the center of the reference frame of the satellite altimeter). Averaged over the global ocean surface, the mean rate of sea level change due to GIA is independently estimated from models ... The magnitude of this correction is small (smaller than the ±0.4 mm/yr uncertainty of the estimated GMSL rate) ...
(What is GIA, emphasis added). In that article they do not give measurements such as those stored in the World Ocean Database (WOD) or the Permanent Service for Mean Sea Level (PSMSL) database.

Nor do they seem to be in touch with the growing awareness that ice sheet gravity loss goes hand and glove with ice sheet mass loss, which goes hand in glove with SLC  (Sea level fingerprints, Cryosphere, PDF; The Gravity of Sea Level Change, 2, 3, 4; Proof of Concept , 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8).

I quote one of the movers and shakers quite often, because he has a firm grasp of the entire subject matter:
Fame of the academic variety came early to Mitrovica and mushroomed about a decade ago, when he reminded people what happens to local sea levels in the vicinity of a melting ice sheet, like those covering Greenland and Antarctica. The effect was first described a hundred years ago, but “people had forgotten how big it was,” he says. “It’s big.” If Greenland’s ice sheet melted entirely, sea level would fall 20 to 50 meters at the adjacent coast. That’s counterintuitive, but the ice sheets are so massive (Greenland’s ice, one-tenth the size of the Antarctic ice sheets, weighs on the order of 3,000 trillion tons) that two immediate effects come into play. First, all that ice exerts gravitational pull on the surrounding ocean. When an ice sheet melts, that gravitational influence diminishes, and water moves away from the ice sheet, causing sea levels to drop as far as 2,000 kilometers away. (The drop is most pronounced close to the glacier, because gravity’s effects dissipate with distance.) But because the sea level has fallen where the ice sheet melted, it rises everywhere else beyond that 2,000-kilometer boundary, and on distant shores this rise is far greater than the global average. The effect amplifies the rise in average global sea level attributable to the addition of the meltwater itself to the oceans. (Greenland alone contributed a trillion tons of melted ice from 2011 to 2014.) Second, the land beneath the now-vanished ice sheet slowly rebounds, rising as the weight of the mass above diminishes, a process that continues for thousands of years after the ice sheet is gone.
(Harvard Magazine, emphasis added). These quotes and links sum up the large and small of the dynamics of SLC, as well as the fast and the slow of SLC.

What that adds up to is that the dog whistles "thermal expansion" and "uplift" need to be brought back to the reality depicted by the abundant evidence now available.

Anyway, let me move on and demonstrate why much of the "uplift hypothesis" is falsified, in its current dog whistle form, by discussing it in the context of the evidence (or lack thereof).

As regular readers know, we have recently taken a look at ocean dynamics near West Africa and the Indian Ocean (Questionable "Scientific" Papers - 11, On the West Side of Zero - 2).

Less recently we have taken a look at Southeastern Alaska (Proof of Concept - 3).

Notice Fig. 1, (which graphs areas of the Indian Ocean), Fig. 2, (which graphs areas of Southeastern Alaska), and Fig. 3, (which graphs West Africa).

Note that I added the comparatively short satellite record (the red line beginning in the year 1993) of global mean sea level (GMSL) to these graphs, adapted to the PSMSL RLR of the zone (I acquired the satellite data from NASA).

The trend line on Fig. 1 shows upward and downward movements, which is typical of tide gauge records at specific tide gauge stations around the world.

These trends are not primarily caused by uplift or thermal expansion (the minor players, the "small" in the GIA link above), rather they are primarily caused by displacement and ghost-water (the It’s big that professor Mitrovica mentioned in the Harvard Mag. quote above).

All of the locations in those three graphs have abrupt trend changes in relatively short time frames that are too short for the Earth's crust to be fostering.

Thermal expansion and uplift are "dog whistles" when misused by the warming commentariat in a degenerating society:
Former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg attempted to explain the sentiment of Donald Trump’s supporters, noting that many would be “flipping hamburgers” after they lose their jobs to technology.

“One thing that has to be said here is Donald Trump really does represent 40% to 45% of this country. They are petrified of their future. Their next job once they get laid off is going to be flipping hamburgers. They’re going to live until 85 and their Social Security is not enough to live on and they’re being forced out of their jobs in their fifties or whatever,” the multi-billionaire media and technology magnate said at Bloomberg’s “The Year Ahead” conference in New York on Tuesday.

He acknowledged that technology, not global trade, is destroying an enormous number of jobs. Indeed, this explains why manufacturing activity is up even as manufacturing jobs falter. This is a problem that affects the constituents of both political parties.
(Blomberg News). In times when the public is preoccupied with social survival, various mental dynamics can take the focus off of the warming commentariat to the point that it degenerates too (Etiology of Social Dementia, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14; Agnotology: The Surge, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17).

Not only do we have "to serve somebody," but we also have to trust somebody (The Pillars of Knowledge: Faith and Trust?) ... unless we put on our lab coats (Put Your Lab Coats On).

1 comment:

  1. The exact same phenomenon (melting ice) can't make the land both fall and uplift at the same place at the same geological time.

    Reminds me of Dr. Mitrovica's statement about tide gauge station variation in areas of Europe a century ago --which stumped some scientists ("nobody had a clue").