Today, let's talk about a new kind of ghost-water, which is different, in terms of physical characteristics, from the ghost-water this series usually talks about.
Nevertheless, in terms of why this new ghost-water has not been "seen" before, it is the same.
That is, the ghost-waters are the same, in that, they are somehow hidden in plain sight (The Ghost-Water Constant, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8).
II. Someone With Eyes
Wrote It Down
There are many ways to keep people from seeing what is in plain sight, but more often than not, pretty soon some light shines through, and the ghost appears.
For example, let's start with a new paper, printed in the journal Nature, which says this about the new ghost water:
"Surface meltwater drains across ice sheets, forming melt ponds that can trigger ice-shelf collapse ... acceleration of grounded ice flow and increased sea-level rise ... Numerical models of the Antarctic Ice Sheet that incorporate meltwater’s impact on ice shelves, but ignore the movement of water across the ice surface, predict a metre of global sea-level rise this century ... in response to atmospheric warming ... To understand the impact of water moving across the ice surface a broad quantification of surface meltwater and its drainage is needed. Yet, despite extensive research in Greenland ... and observations of individual drainage systems in Antarctica ... we have little understanding of Antarctic-wide surface hydrology or how it will evolve. Here we show widespread drainage of meltwater across the surface of the ice sheet through surface streams and ponds (hereafter ‘surface drainage’) as far south as 85° S and as high as 1,300 metres above sea level. Our findings are based on satellite imagery from 1973 onwards and aerial photography from 1947 onwards. Surface drainage has persisted for decades, transporting water up to 120 kilometres from grounded ice onto and across ice shelves, feeding vast melt ponds up to 80 kilometres long. Large-scale surface drainage could deliver water to areas of ice shelves vulnerable to collapse, as melt rates increase this century. While Antarctic surface melt ponds are relatively well documented on some ice shelves, we have discovered that ponds often form part of widespread, large-scale surface drainage systems. In a warming climate, enhanced surface drainage could accelerate future ice-mass loss from Antarctic, potentially via positive feedbacks between the extent of exposed rock, melting and thinning of the ice sheet."(Nature, emphasis added). Wow, recently a river disappeared abruptly (Climate change stole a Yukon river almost overnight), surprising scientists who were studying it.
Now, in another location, rivers surprisingly "appear out of nowhere" on top of "it will never melt" Antarctica?
III. Really, It Wasn't Discoverable?
Those seasonal rivers said to "appear out of nowhere" on top of Antarctica's ice sheets and shelves had been there for decades.
So, this "for the first time" discovery of them is suspicious IMO.
Remember, we have eye witness accounts of suppression of some types of scientific discovery:
"I suspect the existence of what I call the `John Mercer effect'. Mercer (1978) suggested that global warming from burning of fossil fuels could lead to disastrous disintegration of the West Antarctic ice sheet, with a sea level rise of several meters worldwide. This was during the era when global warming was beginning to get attention from the United States Department of Energy and other science agencies. I noticed that scientists who disputed Mercer, suggesting that his paper was alarmist, were treated as being more authoritative.(On Thermal Expansion & Thermal Contraction - 8, quoting Dr. James Hansen). I am sure he was sincere when he indicated "there is a pressure on scientists to be conservative."
It was not obvious who was right on the science, but it seemed to me, and I believe to most scientists, that the scientists preaching caution and downplaying the dangers of climate change fared better in receipt of research funding. Drawing attention to the dangers of global warming may or may not have helped increase funding for relevant scientific areas, but it surely did not help individuals like Mercer who stuck their heads out. I could vouch for that from my own experience. After I published a paper (Hansen et al 1981) that described likely climate effects of fossil fuel use, the Department of Energy reversed a decision to fund our research, specifically highlighting and criticizing aspects of that paper at a workshop in Coolfont, West Virginia and in publication (MacCracken 1983).
I believe there is a pressure on scientists to be conservative. Papers are accepted for publication more readily if they do not push too far and are larded with caveats. Caveats are essential to science, being born in skepticism, which is essential to the process of investigation and verification. But there is a question of degree. A tendency for `gradualism' as new evidence comes to light may be ill-suited for communication, when an issue with a short time fuse is concerned."
I am also sure where that "pressure" has been coming from (Smoke & Fumes, The Shapeshifters of Bullshitistan - 5).
IV. The Ghost-Water Knowledge
Has Been Ignored
Has Been Ignored
It has been indicated here on Dredd Blog that the ice sheets began melting in the late 1700's.
That time frame is only a couple of decades or so after the beginning of the industrial revolution (Weekend Rebel Science Excursion - 54).
V. So, What Now?
We need to do two things (at least?).
The first is to embrace the reality of acceleration (The Question Is: How Much Acceleration Is Involved In SLR?, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9).
The second is to stop denying the reality around us, and let our "eyes" see it all (You Are Here).
You think of some other things we need to do, if there are any.
If officials continue with their denial it will result in catastrophes that are beyond our imagination.
The previous post in this series is here.