December 17, 2008

The Ice Caps Are Melting! So? What?

Living on the Edge with Tiny Tim!

Same bullshit sandwich served up by Fat Al.

So, Al, would all the Arctic ice melting raise the sea level?

[Pointers via Moonbattery and Maggie's Farm. ]

Posted by Vanderleun at December 17, 2008 4:37 PM
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"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper N.B.: Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately. Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged.

Unfortunately people are very, very, very stupid........

Posted by: Buffoon at December 17, 2008 9:06 PM

It isn't the ice in the water that's the problem, it's the water on land. Now true, large areas or Antarctica are depressed by all the ice on top, but over the millennia that land will rebound.

On the other hand, many times in the past it was not a case of the water being higher, but the land being lower. Europe for instance, being a collection of tropical islands in the Cretaceous because Africa had yet to push everything up as it moved north. That's right, at one time Bern was beachfront property and the Swiss Navy had access to the sea.

Posted by: Alan Kellogg at December 18, 2008 12:43 AM

I'm aware of the ice on the land that isn't floating on the water and hence cannot displace it.

I'm simply pointing to the Goresque alarmism of the ice-cap melting meme.

As far as the land ice, well, there's lots of argument about that as well from Mt. Kilimanjaro on down and out.

Posted by: vanderleun at December 18, 2008 12:49 AM

1. Ice floating on water (in a glass or a lake) displaces a volume of water given by the mass of the ice. As the ice compresses (melts) it will still displace the same volume of water. So there will be no change.

If the ice should compress to be denser than water -- well, that won't happen.

1a. But that doesn't take into account that ice is necessarily fresh water (the salt doesn't freeze in) and the oceans are salty. So that melting fresh water ice reduces the density of the oceans, expanding them.

See this page. They claim a 4 cm rise in the oceans is possible from this effect.

2. Ice on land (Greenland and the south pole) can melt and drip into the oceans. This is like pouring water into the ocean and will raise the oceans.

3. Water expands as it warms. If the oceans warm up, the sea level will rise.

3a. Land should also expand as it warms but I haven't seen estimates of volume.

The primary raisers of sea level are currently thermal expansion of water and melting ice on land. The ice in the glass experiment is not faked, but not a good model of the earth, either.

Wikipedia has this explanation.

Posted by: Fred at December 18, 2008 3:25 AM