Sunday, February 11, 2018

Hot, Warm, & Cold Thermal Facts: Tidewater-Glaciers - 3

Fig. 1a
Fig. 1b
Fig. 1c
I. Why?

Why make a big deal out of a chunk of ice that is out of sight and out of mind?

Why make a big deal out of a chunk of ice that only twenty-eight (28) humans have ever set their feet upon?

Because it is a doomsday glacier:
"Thwaites Glacier in West Antarctica is so remote that only 28 human beings have ever set foot on it.
'If there is going to be a climate catastrophe,' says Ohio State glaciologist Ian Howat, 'it's probably going to start at Thwaites.'
With 10 to 13 feet of sea-level rise ..."
(Rolling stone, The Doomsday Glacier). That has been said of several glaciers in the cryosphere (e.g. Totten Glacier).

II. What?

Another thing that is said about them is that they bathe in "warm water" without mentioning the temperature of that water:
"In this part of Antarctica, the warm, salty, deep ocean current that circles the continent comes near land, and warm water can flow onto the continental shelf. This warm seawater now seeps beneath Thwaites Glacier, melting it from below.

The new study, published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, finds that numerical models used in previous studies have overestimated how rapidly ocean water is able to melt the glacier from below, leading them to overestimate the glacier's total ice loss over the next 50 years by about 7 percent."
(Jet Propulsion Laboratory, emphasis added). OMG !! ... is seven percent variation in models what we should do research on or is the ninety-three percent what we should focus on?

Ninety-three percent is an "A" grade isn't it?

(Majoring in the minors is a fools errand.)

Did the 28 humans walking on the top of the bitter cold ice at Thwaites think of a "warm, salty, deep ocean current" composed of "warm water ... warm seawater" down there at the sometimes coldest place on Earth?

Fig. 2a
Fig. 2b
Fig. 2c
Fig. 2d
Fig. 2e
Fig. 2f
I remember Dr. Eric Rignot saying, while giving a presentation on Antarctic glaciers, "don't bathe in this 'warm' water, you will freeze" (paraphrased).

Since I pointed out the reality about the myth of Totten Glacier bathing in "warm water" (Hot, Warm, & Cold Thermal Facts: Tidewater-Glaciers - 2), I am going to point out the same myth about Thwaites Glacier.

III. Cold Water Melts Cold Ice

The graphics at Fig. 1a - Fig. 1c show three different ways to point out where Thwaites Glacier is located.

It is in WOD Zone 5710,  so I present graphs (Fig. 2a - Fig. 2f) of that zone (along with graphs of the two zones that border it) as I recently did with the Totten Glacier .

That area is quite remote so SOCCOM and ARGO use automated drone mini-subs to probe the deeps in order to take measurements of temperature, salinity, and depth (SOCCOM).

Scientists (as well as the warming commentariat: The Warming Science Commentariat, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11) should use a nomenclature that communicates succinctly with their audiences, especially in life and death matters (Good Nomenclature: A Matter of Life and Death).

This morning it is cold outside, so I bring in the water bowls that the cats drink out of as the water in those bowls freezes.

I leave the kitchen sink faucet on slightly while it is a few degrees or so below freezing outside (so the cold water lines don't freeze too).

I put the water bowls under that cold water dripping from the faucet, and in no time at all the ice that was in the water bowl is gone (only cold water remains).

Bathing in the water from that dripping water faucet, at that temperature, would give me hypothermia!

In this series I am pointing out (hopefully not ad nauseam) that a similar thermodynamic phenomena takes place at the face of tidewater glaciers.

Cold seawater melts colder glacier ice because that is the law, Baby, (2nd law of thermodynamics).

Glaciers and seawater are law abiding citizens even if current civilization is not (MOMCOM's Mass Suicide & Murder Pact, 2, 3, 4, 5).

IV. Conclusion

I have been asked betimes "Why do you do this research Dredd, it will not work in terms of causing the powers that be to stop what they are doing to the Global Climate System."

My answer has always been: "I don't do it because it will work. I do it because it is the proper thing to do."

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

Slow, but sure ...


  1. Best way to start the day! Powdermik biscuits, Quaker Oats, Folgers coffee and this site!

    Many thanks!

  2. Arctic sea ice is gyrating:

  3. Thwaites would make a good villian novel. Super-billionaire villian seeks to craptilize upon world suffering and plans icepocalypse and dispatches secret missions to Thwaites. Mercenaries plant multiple rows of massive charges throughout the ice and then disappear. After enough time has passed, Thwaites is destabilized and the world is never the same again.

    Or we could just wait a few decades.