Antarctic ice melt accelerating

One of the fears of global warming was that past a ‘tipping point’ the warming and the effects of the warming could accelerate. A report suggests this could be happening.

DW: Rate of Antarctic ice melt triples since 2012, study finds

The rate of ice loss in Antarctica has tripled since 2012, causing global sea levels to rise at their fastest rate in 25 years, a new study published by an international team of experts said Wednesday

Over the last quarter century, about 3 trillion tons of Antarctic ice melt made ocean levels rise by 7.6 millimeters (0.3 inches), according to the study published in the journal Nature.  About two-fifths of that rise, or 3 millimeters, has occurred since 2012.

The study of Antarctic ice mass changes by scientists working for NASA and the European Space Agency is the most comprehensive to date. It combined 24 satellite surveys and involved 80 scientists from 42 international organizations.

The study found that from 1992 to 2011, Antarctica lost about 83.8 billion tons (76 billion metric tons) of ice per year, causing an annual sea level rise of 0.2 millimeters. Between 2012 and 2017, ice loss per year tripled to 241.4 billion tons, amounting to a 0.6 millimeters sea level rise per year.

“Under natural conditions we don’t expect the ice sheet to lose ice at all,” said lead author Andrew Shepherd of the University of Leeds in England. “There are no other plausible signals to be driving this other than climate change.”

Scientists said much of the retreating ice shelf is caused by ocean-induced melting, when warmer water causes melting from the edges and below ice sheets.

No doubt some will continue to argue against ‘climate change’ but evidence suggests that is increasingly untenable.

The signs look increasingly ominous.

Stuff:  ‘Grim future’ on the horizon as Antarctic ice melt triples

Scientists are uncertain whether this acceleration will continue at the same rate but fear unless political decisions are made to protect Antarctica the results could be catastrophic.

Sea level contribution due to the Antarctic ice sheet between 1992 and 2017, from data gathered by international ...

Better understanding in recent years about ice loss means they now also believe that if greenhouse gas emissions continue to increase as they have done in the past, sea levels could rise by up to two metres by the end of the century – double the previous estimates – putting half a billion lives at risk.

Professor Tim Naish, of the Victoria University of Wellington, who contributed to the study, said the scenario had “sent shockwaves around the world” and painted a “grim future”.

But he said there is still hope if there is concerted global collaboration to tackle global warming.

“There is still time to prevent major meltdown of the ice sheets, and other far-reaching dangerous impacts if nations collectively reduce their emissions in line with the Paris Climate Agreement target of 2C warming above pre-industrial levels,” he said.

“I think the acceleration from Antarctica represents the beginning of the effect on the ocean, which we haven’t seen until about a decade ago.

“But there is still a very valid question as to how we predict that into the future, and whether we can keep that acceleration going for 100 years or whether that part of Antarctica will stabilise a little bit and things will slow down.”

A one to two metre rise in sea levels by the end of this century would have major implications for places like Dunedin, Christchurch, Wellington, Tauranga and Auckland.

There are already issues with the current sea level. ODT: Edgar Centre warped by subsidence

Dunedin’s Edgar Centre sports complex is being lifted and lowered by the tide, as water strips away sand and leaves voids in the reclaimed land beneath the complex, reports show.

…they also showed the entire complex was being warped by subsidence, having dropped by up to 1m, and being affected by the tide as water washed through the sedimentary layers of reclaimed land the venue was built on.

And ‘Bill’ raises a valid concern at The Standard in Let’s Build a Hospital! – they are planning to build a new hospital in Dunedin on reclaimed land, but new buildings – like the stadium, have foundation piles driven down to solid rock.

How much of a rise would be needed to cut Auckland off from New Zealand? It probably isn’t the biggest issue there if the sea rises a metre or two.

Other parts of the world have much bigger worries if they take the increasing amount of scientific evidence seriously.



  1. Trevors_Elbow

     /  June 15, 2018

    “No doubt some will continue to argue against ‘climate change’ but evidence suggests that is increasingly untenable.”

    No one argues that the Climate is Changing Pete and it is disingenuous to argue that.

    What people argue is whether the KEY driver is human activity…. they argue the models postulated when we left ‘The next Ice Ace is coming’ rhetoric of the 70′ behind and the updated models of recent times don’t fit the real world observations.

    And the follow on argument is about does it matter and why are all their proposed greenie solutions about taking money from the supposed rich and giving it to their favoured people and countries.

    How do we know whether the Climate Changes we are experiencing are not driven by changes in mega influences like the Sun? Or our position in space relative to cooling or heating materials?

    Instead what we hear is man is driving the change and we need to be taxed and the tax spent on dubious technology solutions or sent off to who knows where in the ‘third world’….

    Personally I think we are having some impact but the real drivers are completely out of our control… Why? because I look at history and ask why did the Sahara completely dry out, ditto the American South West… why did we have repeated Ice Ages and then Warming periods … all when man was pottering around in his prior evolutionary forms or in our modern homo sapiens form pottering around with simple tools?

    Queue Griff to launch in to a rant about how I’m and any other sceptics are idiots and don’t understand…

    Hopefully Maggy W drops in and gives Griff a bit of gip ; )

    • “No one argues that the Climate is Changing ”

      I’ve seen a lot of arguments that claim exactly that.

      The ‘real world observations’ point increasingly towards a significant human effect that is making an increasingly concerning difference.

      • Trevors_Elbow

         /  June 15, 2018

        real world observations point to something happening… caused by what though Pete, caused by what…

        • You surely can’t rule out a significant human effect on top of natural fluctuations?

          • Trevors_elbow

             /  June 15, 2018

            Did you read what I wrote? I have little doubt human activity plays a role. But climate in earth has shifted radically with no human activity and it will again….

            Too much certainty bandied around about a very complex system we have poor models of… all to justify redistributive political policies…

    • Griff

       /  June 15, 2018

      Its the sun.

      Global cooling scare in the 70’s

      Models dont match reality?

      Climate changed before ?
      Your honer just because my client was found standing in front of the corpse with a smoking gun he can not have killed him because peploe have always died of natural causes.

      If the right simply deny the problem the left are the only ones offering solutions.

      Hiding behind granny Maggy’s skirts Trevor?
      Hand in your man badge at the desk.

      • Trevors_elbow

         /  June 15, 2018

        Nah Griff… I just can’t be arsed arguing with you… it turns septic in about five seconds

        • Gezza

           /  June 15, 2018

          Tru dat.

        • Griff

           /  June 15, 2018


          Yesss .
          Poor wee snowflake.

          Other than making fun of your cry for granny Maggy to come and protect you I posted nothing nasty just facts my friend .
          I welcome Dr Maggy as it is just as fun pointing out her sources are a bunch of conspiracy pushing nutters as it is pointing out the massive holes in your denial.
          Of course Maggy does the same thing as you.
          Concern trolling .
          Griff called me a nutter rather than addressing how Griff carefully explained why I am a nutter .

          You even come back with the same illogical stubidty above even though I have pointing out why you are wrong .

          Did you read what I wrote? I have little doubt human activity plays a role. But climate in earth has shifted radically with no human activity and it will again….
          Too much certainty bandied around about a very complex system we have poor models of…

          As pointed out the claim climate changed before so its not us now is illogical. CO2 is a green house gas it has been known for over a century* increasing the amount in the atmosphere will increase surface temperatures. No other forcing on the earths climate are measurably increasing . You are making an argument based on magic climate pixies found only in your imagination.

          The models are within range of what we are measuring.

          If the right deny the problem the left own the solution by default.

          all to justify redistributive political policies

          This is nothing but conspiracy fuckwittery. The worlds scientific establishment is not involved in a lefty plot to steal your money.

          The collective opinion of the worlds scientific establishment?. Climate change is real and we are causing it.
          The result of RWNJ denial will place more of the burden for our actions on future generations .
          This reality makes me treat ignorant stupidity like yours with the upmost contempt .
          It shows .

          *Title: On the Influence of Carbonic Acid in the Air upon the Temperature of the Earth
          Authors: Arrhenius, S.
          Journal: Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, Vol. 9, No. 54, p.14
          Bibliographic Code: 1897PASP….9…14A

          Arrhenius discovered the greenhouse effect as a result of looking into ice ages and why they happen. Without CO2 amplifying the effects of small changes in the earths obit around the sun ice ages can not happen.

          • I posted nothing nasty just facts

            Alternative facts Griff, old sock.

            CO2 is a green house gas it has been known for over a century* increasing the amount in the atmosphere will increase surface temperatures.

            CO2 is not some control knob that we can dial up and down, old bean. Typically misleading oversimplification of a complex nonlinear dynamical system. Natural internal variability will drive climate shifts far greater than anything “man-made”.

            If the right simply deny the problem the left are the only ones offering solutions.

            “Your” cure is worse than the disease, old fruit.

            Arrhenius discovered the greenhouse effect as a result of looking into ice ages and why they happen.

            The Arrhenius model is too simple for policy making tasks, is not accurate enough and only gives you temperature information, old boy.

            Hey ho.

            • Fight4NZ

               /  June 16, 2018

              Archaic opinion, me ol fossil.
              But pointless shutting down NZ matchbox scale industries and pretending that’s important or even worthwhile.

    • chrism56

       /  June 16, 2018

      According to one glaciologist in a recent peer reviewed paper, Antarctica is gaining ice overall
      But the ice losses claimed don’t match the ones from GRACE, so there is data being adjusted. How much of the loss is reinterprwtation of data?

  2. George

     /  June 15, 2018

    Currently today the temperature at Ross is -30c
    Any-one want to explain how ice/water interaction occurs at 0c can be working ON the Antarctic continent.????
    The only ice melting in the Antarctic is already in the sea where temperatures of 0c and above occurs.

  3. Zedd

     /  June 15, 2018

    As long as those in power (MrT & fossil fuel industry mates) are ‘climate change deniers’ a percentage of their supporters will happily just ‘jump on the C-C denier bandwagon’

    a few things are clear: ice sheets & glaciers on land are melting, the global CO2/CH4 emissions are still rising & the sea level is too. Maybe those ‘in ivory towers’ can keep IGNORING this, but they may start to find they are in an increasing minority ?!

    btw; Its been a few years since I have seen snow in my garden (Sth Dn) & there is genuine concern about this issue.. we are in a region; <1 meter above high tide mark 😦

    • Zedd

       /  June 15, 2018

      its good to see that more people are using the more suitable name; Climate Change as opposed to Global warming. Whilst it does seem that overall the temperature averages have increased, some places are getting the opposite effect; blizzards & cyclones

      there is still talk that (as I learned in school; evaporation causes cooling) this could even trigger an ice-age ??

    • Zedd

       /  June 15, 2018

      4 climate change deniers, present ? (downticks)

      • Corky

         /  June 15, 2018

        Make that five. Although I don’y deny the climate is changing.

        • MaureenW

           /  June 15, 2018

          I don’t know anyone who thinks that the climate doesn’t change. It has been changing for millennia. Some just want to see the evidence that this particular climate change cycle is being caused by human activity, when in the past it changed quite happily alone.

          • Corky

             /  June 15, 2018

            That’s it in a nutshell. Science has a set of protocols that must be followed to prove or disprove a hypothesis. That hasn’t happened with CC. Religious fervour isn’t science.

          • 2Tru

             /  June 15, 2018

            Don’t forget the warming impact of sunspots; and volcanic eruptions spewing out large amounts of CO2 amongst other gases. Climate change is a natural cycle from ice age to ice age – we are still in a warming phase, but that could change with more erupting volcanoes and an asteroid or two. The question is how much is contributed by humans and what can we do without going back to the stone age. We all breathe out CO2, so perhaps one solution is much less of us on this planet. We seem to have been trying to achieve that throughout history. Perhaps Trump will finally do the job for us even if he doesn’t believe in climate change!

  4. admiralvonspee

     /  June 15, 2018

    It’s quite straightforward chaps.
    CO2* is taxable.
    Natural variability is not.

    * Also superb plant food.

  5. 2Tru

     /  June 15, 2018

    Sea level rise turning Auckland northwards into an island is an interesting concept. Some Aucklanders I know consider that NZ ends at the Bombay Hills and should be a separate state. Perhaps sea level rise will eventually mean that NZ does begin south of the Bombay Hills.

    • 2Tru

       /  June 15, 2018

      Oh bummer! I’ve just seen the map of what will happen to NZ with sea level rise. Way too much land loss. I live on a North Wellington hill so safe, but can’t go anywhere cause all the roads will be gone. Time to stop arguing about climate change and start doing something about it – but USA, India and China need to be onboard as well.

  6. Gezza

     /  June 15, 2018

    Featured on 1ewes at 6 tonight. Bridges has written to the PM offering Bipartisan support to the government on climate change. James Shaw very appreciative.

    (I posted this in Open Forum but it might be more relevant here.)