Mountain glacier melt to contribute 12 centimeters to world sea-level increases by 2100

Jan 10, 2011

Melt off from small mountain glaciers and ice caps will contribute about 12 centimetres to world sea-level increases by 2100, according to UBC research published this week in Nature Geoscience.

The largest contributors to projected global sea-level increases are glaciers in Arctic Canada, Alaska and landmass bound glaciers in the Antarctic. Glaciers in the European Alps, New Zealand, the Caucasus, Western Canada and the Western United Sates--though small absolute contributors to global sea-level increases--are projected to lose more than 50 per cent of their current ice volume.

The study modelled volume loss and melt off from 120,000 mountain glaciers and ice caps, and is one of the first to provide detailed projections by region. Currently, melt from smaller mountain glaciers and ice caps is responsible for a disproportionally large portion of sea level increases, even though they contain less than one per cent of all water on Earth bound in .

"There is a lot of focus on the large ice sheets but very few global scale studies quantifying how much melt to expect from these smaller glaciers that make up about 40 percent of the entire sea-level rise that we observe right now," says Valentina Radic, a postdoctoral researcher with the Department of Earth and Ocean Sciences and lead author of the study.

Increases in sea levels caused by the melting of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets, and the thermal expansion of water, are excluded from the results.

Radic and colleague Regine Hock at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, modelled future glacier melt based on temperature and precipitation projections from 10 global climate models used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

"While the overall sea level increase projections in our study are on par with IPCC studies, our results are more detailed and regionally resolved," says Radic. "This allows us to get a better picture of projected regional ice volume change and potential impacts on local water supplies, and changes in glacier size distribution."

Global projections of sea level rises from mountain glacier and ice cap melt from the IPCC range between seven and 17 centimetres by the end of 2100. Radic's projections are only slightly higher, in the range of seven to 18 centimetres.

Radic's projections don't include glacier calving--the production of icebergs. Calving of tide-water glaciers may account for 30 per cent to 40 per cent of their total mass loss.

"Incorporating calving into the models of glacier mass changes on regional and global scale is still a challenge and a major task for future work," says Radic.

However, the new projections include detailed projection of melt off from small glaciers surrounding the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets, which have so far been excluded from, or only estimated in, global assessments.

Explore further: NASA sees Tropical Storm Lowell's tough south side

More information: Nature Geoscience www.nature.com/ngeo/

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geokstr
1.9 / 5 (9) Jan 10, 2011
12 centimeters are 4.7244094488 inches.

HaHaHaHaHaHaHa.

Why not 12.63427 cm by 2098, at 12:13 AM on January 11th?

Anybody who believes they know enough about the most complex, chaotic system ever studied can predict anything about it to this degree of accuracy is insane, literally. There are tens of thousands of factors that go into climate which interact in totally unknown ways over centuries and millenia, but these "scientists" have a computer model which assumes all feedbacks are positive and will lead us to Venus-like conditions - and they claim to know when it will happen too.

And this 4+ inches will undoubtedly result in 100 foot walls of water crashing on NY City, Belgium, and the Maldives.

Notice how there are absolutely NO, as in zero, zip, zilch, nada, nil, articles here that do not "prove" "Global-whatever-they-call-it-this-week". This is a "political science" site.
Howhot
3.6 / 5 (9) Jan 11, 2011
A global 4.7in rise. Not just in your back yard pool, but globally. And sure joke all you can, but 4.7" could drown New Orleans, sink the coasts of Florida, and give all kinds of grief to folks up the eastern sea board.
Howhot
3.5 / 5 (8) Jan 11, 2011
Notice how there are absolutely NO, as in zero, zip, zilch, nada, nil, articles here that do not "prove" "Global-whatever-they-call-it-this-week". This is a "political science" site.

You know; I have to ask this: Who made "This" political? It wasn't me! I'm just responding to your "anti global warming" (AGW) stuff and all that B and S you put out there.
geokstr
1 / 5 (6) Jan 11, 2011
A global 4.7in rise. Not just in your back yard pool, but globally. And sure joke all you can, but 4.7" could drown New Orleans, sink the coasts of Florida, and give all kinds of grief to folks up the eastern sea board.

HaHaHaHaHa

4.7 inches can drown New Orleans? Right.

You do know that water, on average, is self-leveling don't you? That "sea level" is pretty much the same all over the world? Do you really mean to say that "sea level" can be several feet higher in the Carribean than in, say, Hawaii? For brief periods of time, perhaps, caused by localized conditions, like a hurricane, maybe.

And my commenting on the politics obviously built into this site by the owners is what makes it political? What, is their now a Schrodinger's Cat Theory for science sites, too?

They have every right to do as they wish, but I also have every right to comment on it.
Skeptic_Heretic
4.4 / 5 (7) Jan 11, 2011
4.7 inches can drown New Orleans? Right.
You do know that during a walk through New Orleans you're actually as low as 14 feet below sea level, right?
You do know that water, on average, is self-leveling don't you? That "sea level" is pretty much the same all over the world?
Well technically you're wrong on two counts here. Water isn't "self-leveling" beyond the fact that it is a liquid, and sea level is not the same all over the world.
Do you really mean to say that "sea level" can be several feet higher in the Carribean than in, say, Hawaii?
Outside fo tidal events, no not several feet, but the two do not have the same level.
And my commenting on the politics obviously built into this site by the owners is what makes it political?
Actually 'they' just posted a news article on a research finding, you politicized it.
geokstr
1 / 5 (6) Jan 11, 2011
You do know that during a walk through New Orleans you're actually as low as 14 feet below sea level, right?

Please. They could be 400 feet below "sea level". The levees aren't high enough to prevent another 4.7 inches from drowning the city?
...sea level is not the same all over the world.

Cites, please. To the extent that the earth is not a perfect globe, but is flattened at the top and bottom, the differences in gravity there will make "sea level" slightly different. Why do you think that "sea level" is never referred to by a specific place, like "Pacific sea level", or even "New Orleans sea level"?
Actually 'they' just posted a news article on a research finding, you politicized it.

And "they" just always happen to find only articles that confirm "global-whatever-they-call-it-this-week". You mean every study and analysis ever done by a reputable scientist confirms "Climate Whatever?"
Skeptic_Heretic
3.9 / 5 (7) Jan 11, 2011
Please. They could be 400 feet below "sea level". The levees aren't high enough to prevent another 4.7 inches from drowning the city?
No one mentioned levees, and last I checked, they weren't exactly in good condition. Could NO be washed away in sealevel+4.7", answer is yes.
Cites, please. To the extent that the earth is not a perfect globe, but is flattened at the top and bottom, the differences in gravity there will make "sea level" slightly different. Why do you think that "sea level" is never referred to by a specific place, like "Pacific sea level", or even "New Orleans sea level"?
Sea level is often referred to by a specific place, ie: Indian Ocean Sea level. References for sea level disparity:
http:/www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,,4555709,00.html
http:/www.theecologist.org/News/news_round_up/538930/uneven_sea_level_rises_threaten_indian_ocean_coastal_regions.html
You mean every study... confirms "Climate Whatever?"
Not all, but all within climatology do.
geokstr
1 / 5 (6) Jan 11, 2011
Not all, but all within climatology do.

Pure, unadulterated, bull.

Of course, to the acolytes of the Religion of Climate Chaos, EVERYTHING is proof of it, EVERYTHING bad is caused by it, and EVERYTHING about it has negative implications for the whole friggin' planet. It cannot be falsified, therefore it is NOT science.

And, I suppose, "sea level" + only 3.7432 inches would be perfectly safe for NO.

Barf.
Skeptic_Heretic
4.3 / 5 (6) Jan 11, 2011
You mean every study... confirms "Climate Whatever?"
Not all, but all within climatology do.
Pure, unadulterated, bull.
Show me a current study from a peer reviewed journal that disagrees with Anthropogenic Climate Change.
geokstr
1 / 5 (4) Jan 11, 2011
First you show me how the East Anglicans didn't deliberately conspire to prevent publication of such articles because the were "inconvenient".
Skeptic_Heretic
4.3 / 5 (6) Jan 11, 2011
First you show me how the East Anglicans didn't deliberately conspire to prevent publication of such articles because the were "inconvenient".
They didn't.

One man, in a fit of frustration, said something really stupid and was browbeat for it by his collegues in meetings after the fact.

The paper spoken of was accepted and published. Do you even know what the name of it is?

This is all available in the 2 reports that have been made by the investigations into the matter. Those emails were very selective quotemining, and had no real substance. You might want to keep investigating things for yourself.
geokstr
1 / 5 (3) Jan 11, 2011
I just googled "peer reviewed articles contrary to agw". This is only one of many results:
800 Peer-Reviewed Papers Supporting Skepticism of "Man-Made" Global Warming (AGW) Alarm

Is that enough or do you need more? If so, run the same google query.

And those "investigations" are otherwise known as "whitewashes", the "investigators" including "scientists" with a known strong predisposition in favor of AGW and even worked at EA.

I suggest you try "ClimateAudit.org" whose owner proved Mann's "hockey stick" was a phony and "wattsupwiththat" who had volunteers physically examine a large percent of the temperature stations in the US and proved that that over 80% were worthless for any accurate measurements. (And yes I am aware that this was "whitewashed" over as well, the absurd conclusion being that, yes, these are all worthless stations, but their incorrect measurements, most of which tended to overstate the temp, did not adversely affect the database.)

More HaHaHaHaHaH
Skeptic_Heretic
4 / 5 (4) Jan 11, 2011
In regards to Mann's tree ring data, you may want to stay a little more current.

http:/climateprogress.org/2010/08/16/hockey-stick-paper-mcshane-and-wyner-statisticians/
Links to the peer reviewed literature are on that page.
I'm going through that site of yours, lots of older stuff and a few current papers. Give me a little time, it's a lot of material.
geokstr
1 / 5 (4) Jan 11, 2011
Of course there will be dueling analyses.

If I recall correctly, Mann airbrushed the entire Medieval Warm Period right out of existence because it didn't fit the narrative. Even Phil Jones admitted that the MWP, if it wasn't just a regional phenomenon, presented real problems for AGW because the temps in both Greenland and Europe were warmer than today. He then claimed there weren't enough studies of any other areas to know for sure.

But this very site recently published an article that said that the rise of the Incan Empire in Peru was due to the MWP.

Oopsie.
Skeptic_Heretic
3.7 / 5 (3) Jan 11, 2011
He then claimed there weren't enough studies of any other areas to know for sure.
Then, ten years later, after a great many researchers, skeptic and non-skeptic dug up the observational evidence to flesh out a period of warmth that appears to be global by most accounts during the supposed MWP. I don't deny that Mann's initial analysis was wrong about the MWP, but...

The hockey stick component, the end piece that shows aggressive warming and a unique aspect to the speed of that warming is legitimate. The MWP being a global thing is up for debate, but really it doesn't change my understanding of the realities in the systems, and I incorporate the MWP or no MWP into that. It doesn't affect my argument.

As for the article, I read that as well. That one wasn't yet reviewed if I recall, but it was interesting none the less.
geokstr
1 / 5 (6) Jan 11, 2011
I need to be clear so that you know where I am coming from, since it seems to be you and I debating this most of the time.

I am not a "denialist". Global warming may very well be happening, at least in this last couple hundred years. But I an skeptical that even if that is true, we have no idea of the actual cause, which also is occurring just when it should be naturally since we are still coming out of the little ice age of just a few centuries ago.

Our technology, despite the hubris of science, is still quite primitive. Computers of any power have only been around a few decades, yet we are supposed to believe that we know enough already about the most complex system ever studied, climate, to have developed accurate "models" of the interactions of literally tens of thousands of contributing factors.

And the worst thing is that the "science" has been captured by the most noxious political power grab ever devised, Marxism, and only their solutions are allowed to be considered.
Howhot
4.2 / 5 (5) Jan 12, 2011
And the worst thing is that the "science" has been captured by the most noxious political power grab ever devised, Marxism, and only their solutions are allowed to be considered.

Sorry SH, I had to reply to this ignorant lame mofo. It never ceases to amaze me how the right-wing party has figured out that an ordinary joe geek is a "Marxist". Sure it's a fun label to toss around and see if it sticks; perhaps it makes you feel like one of the exclusive club members. I can see through you. You are not a scientist in anyway. You are just a political hack sent here by your Limpballs overlords to cause trouble.

So what is your agenda? You Marxist-righty
Howhot
3 / 5 (2) Jan 12, 2011
@Geokstr POS; Seriously, what is your agenda? Besides being a Marxist-righty; you seem to want to stifle free speech too if that speech is not to your liking. So are you American? You are certainly not an American Scientist. You must be a political aid for some wingnut congressman getting paid extra to harass the open forums. How much are they paying you man? Is it by the word? How many people slap you on the back and say good job? Details I want to know!
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (2) Jan 12, 2011
I am not a "denialist". Global warming may very well be happening, at least in this last couple hundred years. But I an skeptical that even if that is true, we have no idea of the actual cause, which also is occurring just when it should be naturally since we are still coming out of the little ice age of just a few centuries ago.
Ok, so the little Ice Age was explainable by solar forcings and current analysis. There is more than one way to heat or cool a planet as you say further on in your statement.

We've spent the past 50 years and billions of dollars in satellites and observation stations to rule out thousands of other potential causes. Climate science didn't say, "It's CO2" and close the books. Many of the arguments that you invoke have been ruled out, and when appropriate I try to inform you of that. Some of your arguments are purely political, and can be tracked back to Frederick Seitz, and a lot of youor arguments are completely irrelevant due to other forcing factors
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (4) Jan 12, 2011
Now I'm not trying to say you're ignorant, or you're a shill, (like some of the other posters on here are), but I jsut don't think you've been skeptical of the statements on both sides.

As for the whole "Marxist power grab" there's nothing marxist about creating an investment market. That's about as un-marxist as you can be. High end taxation on unearned income is a Free Market ideology, direct from the pages of Adam Smith.

I think someone has taken advantage of you. I don't intend to change your mind on this topic, only you can do that. If you have questions, I'm happy to answer to the best of my ability. In the end, what you believe is your choice, but don't let the news media influence you in either direction, go purely on the facts, and the research because the truth of the matter is there. I had the same viewpoint you did until about 2 years ago and I'm furious over how wrong I was due to politicization of this issue. I think you may come to the same conclusion in time.
geokstr
1 / 5 (4) Jan 12, 2011
As for the whole "Marxist power grab" there's nothing marxist about creating an investment market.

An "investment market" in what? Plant inhalations and mammalian/reptile exhalation and flatulence?

Investment markets in products, in ideas, in commodoties, in stocks, these all make sense, but one that trades air? Please. This is nothing more than couching new onerous regulations in phony free market language, designed to realign the entire economy and make the AGW religion palatable to the masses.

This "market" would have vast unintended consequences, like all the plans of the Collective, but they are all genii who know better than us stupid proles. And it's all for our own good, isn't it?

Again, we're laughing at the "superior intellects".
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (4) Jan 13, 2011
Again, we're laughing at the "superior intellects".
No, we're jsut scratching our heads wondering what happened to your intellect.
Howhot
4 / 5 (4) Jan 13, 2011
I am not a "denialist". Global warming may very well be happening, at least in this last couple hundred years. But I an skeptical that even if that is true, we have no idea of the actual cause, which also is occurring just when it should be naturally since we are still coming out of the little ice age of just a few centuries ago.

Well as a skeptic myself (skeptical of all things BS), dig into some of these articles. The global warming issue is real, dangerous, and global in consequence.
thermodynamics
5 / 5 (4) Jan 14, 2011
geokstr: I would like to stay away from the name calling for a few minutes and look at the science.

You seem to be saying that it is unlikely that sea level could be different at two different point in your post responding to that idea: You said:

"Cites, please. To the extent that the earth is not a perfect globe, but is flattened at the top and bottom, the differences in gravity there will make "sea level" slightly different. Why do you think that "sea level" is never referred to by a specific place, like "Pacific sea level", or even "New Orleans sea level"?"

I am trying to figure out exactly what you are saying. But I am going to assume you think that sea level is similar to what we would see in a swimming pool where if we measured the depth of the water and its flatness with respect to one corner to the other corner of from any point to the center - it would measure flat. (continued)
thermodynamics
5 / 5 (3) Jan 14, 2011
Continued: By that reasoning if we were to fill the earth to a specific height above see water in Scotland it would be very closely followed by a rise in the increase in height of the rise seen in Australia. Is that about right?

The problem is that you are completely incorrect. There is a whole science that has been working for a couple of hundred years to figure out what happens to the gravitational force at each point on the surface of the earth. The science is called Geodesy and a good description can be found by looking in Wikipedia under "Geodesy"

It seems that because of the complex mass heterogeneity in the Earth there is a complex resulting gravitational field at every point on the earth. The result is that the rises in sea level are not homogeneous. (continued)
thermodynamics
5 / 5 (3) Jan 14, 2011
Continued: If you think about the inhomogeneity of the earth for a minute it would be difficult to believe for a second that gravity would be the same everywhere and would pull on a sea the same at each place.

Now, but that aside and realize that the height of a column of water - even under the same gravitational force - will change with its temperature, salinity, mineral content.... That means that each column of water that is NOT being subjected to the same gravitational force and is of different thermal and chemical composition will form columns that are significantly different at height. For that reason you are completely wrong in considering there to be only a single sea level height and monotonic changes in height due to increase in water. When scientist talks about a number with respect to sea level and they do not qualify it with a location, it is an average of all locations they have looked at or it is a misrepresentation. Your single number view is unscientific.
Quantum_Conundrum
5 / 5 (1) Jan 15, 2011
geokstr:

I hate to admit this, but on this thread your comments about variable sea levels are wrong.

Because the earth spins and because of tidal action from the sun and moon, liquid water likes to "pile up" in the tropics.

Melting glaciers, particularly in the poles, is roughly equivalent to the ice skater who extends her arms. This will cause the water to gradually build up more in the tropics, which will also, due to conservation of angular momentum, cause the earth's spin to slow very slightly, perhaps increasing the length of a day by a fraction of a second.

Deeper, wider oceans and other basins also increases the maximum potential high tide, because there is more depth of water to work with across a larger surface area.

Increasing the mean water level by 4.7 inches might increase the high tide by a foot or so, and it would obviously make the basin slightly deeper and slightly wider, increasing the maximum potential intensity, size, and duration of hurricanes.
Quantum_Conundrum
3 / 5 (2) Jan 15, 2011
The gradient in Louisiana is very low, and NOLA falls along the 30th degree mark, which is about roughtly where I would expect local mean sea level rise to equal global mean sea level rise. With a low gradient it means that an inch of sea level rise could result in some locations losing hundreds of feet or more worth of land as the water encroaches.

We also have a very serious problem of subsidence, as the ground sinks because of all the oil that has been removed from the ground by the billions of gallons over the years. So if the land sinks by half a foot, and the water rises by half a foot, then the cities and surrounding areas are 1 foot lower relative to sea level...

So now, not only do you have water levels about a foot higher relative to population centers, but because of the shallow shore line, you enable more wave setup and storm surge from storms of the same size. So storms will be stronger due to bigger basin, and the same size storm will already be worse.
fixer
5 / 5 (1) Jan 16, 2011
So, everyone tell me why the suez canal has locks...
rgwalther
5 / 5 (1) Jan 16, 2011
@Geokstr POS; Seriously, what is your agenda? Besides being a Marxist-righty;


It is very wrong to demonize any person just because he likes Groucho Marx and his brothers!
rgwalther
1 / 5 (1) Jan 16, 2011
So, everyone tell me why the suez canal has locks...

So the Israelis won't be able to steal it.
rgwalther
not rated yet Jan 16, 2011
The Suez canal does not have locks. It is at sea level on both ends. There is a a gateway that allows teleportation to alternate realites, and a vacuum tunnel to Washington DC.
Bog_Mire
not rated yet Jan 16, 2011
So the Israelis won't be able to purchase then sublet it...
rgwalther
not rated yet Jan 16, 2011
Alert Inspector Clouseau! Mon dieu! The Suez Locks have been stolen! Round up the usual suspects. Oui Mon capitain!
rgwalther
not rated yet Jan 16, 2011
So the Israelis won't be able to purchase then sublet it...


Revisionist!
ubavontuba
1.8 / 5 (5) Jan 16, 2011
This article is ridiculous. It's already been shown that many mid-lattitude glaciers are growing, and likewise the Arctic and Antarctic icesheets are generally growing too.

Skeptic_Heretic
3 / 5 (2) Jan 16, 2011
This article is ridiculous. It's already been shown that many mid-lattitude glaciers are growing, and likewise the Arctic and Antarctic icesheets are generally growing too.
That's factually inaccurate. Some glaciers are advancing, some are declining.
ubavontuba
1.8 / 5 (5) Jan 17, 2011
That's factually inaccurate. Some glaciers are advancing, some are declining.
How's that different from what I said?

Seriously, many mid-latitude glaciers are growing...

http:/www.springerlink.com/content/a3581383141m4126/

http:/news.discovery.com/earth/himalayas-glaciers-shrink.html

...the Northern icesheet is expanding...

http:/www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1242011/DAVID-ROSE-The-mini-ice-age-starts-here.html

...and the Antarctic is accumulating more ice than it's losing.

http:/www.cpom.org/research/djw-ptrsa364.pdf

Therefore it seems doubtful there's a significant net loss of ice.

This link is pretty cool (pun intended):

http:/www.liveweatherblogs.com/prometweatherblogs/12/2/3447/Winter-of-2011-and-Beyond..-New-Ice-Age-Upon-Us-

Skeptic_Heretic
1 / 5 (1) Jan 17, 2011
...the Northern icesheet is expanding...

http:/www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1242011/DAVID-ROSE-The-mini-ice-age-starts-here.html

...and the Antarctic is accumulating more ice than it's losing.

http:/www.cpom.org/research/djw-ptrsa364.pdf
This is the inaccurate piece I'm referring to.

Here's the problem: The David Rose article is an unsourced editorial, founded on complete and utter bullshit and misrepresentation of research.

The antarctic paper you're citing for the ice mass balance focuses on eastern antartica and proclaims an offset for seasonal ice through altimitry measurement. That's fine, how are they accounting for crustal rebound, and west antarctic ice loss which is over water? It was one contribution of 14 to a discussion on Ice loss. It was the only paper that attempted to state there was a mass increase and was refuted by subsequent papers for lack of thorough error correction.
ubavontuba
2 / 5 (4) Jan 17, 2011
This is the inaccurate piece I'm referring to.

Here's the problem: The David Rose article is an unsourced editorial, founded on complete and utter bullshit and misrepresentation of research.
What are you talking about? It was a nice lay article. But, since it's not good enough for you, perhaps the London Times will serve?

http:/www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article7086746.ece

The antarctic paper you're citing for the ice mass balance focuses on eastern antartica and proclaims an offset for seasonal ice through altimitry measurement. That's fine, how are they accounting for crustal rebound, and west antarctic ice loss which is over water? It was one contribution of 14 to a discussion on Ice loss. It was the only paper that attempted to state there was a mass increase and was refuted by subsequent papers for lack of thorough error correction.
Bold claims, but no references. Therefore, my reference stands, unchallenged.
ubavontuba
2 / 5 (4) Jan 17, 2011
@SH:

I also noticed you made no challenge to the growing mid-latitude glaciers, I referenced.

GSwift7
1 / 5 (1) Jan 28, 2011
A global 4.7in rise. Not just in your back yard pool, but globally. And sure joke all you can, but 4.7" could drown New Orleans, sink the coasts of Florida, and give all kinds of grief to folks up the eastern sea board


except the latest satellite data show that the atlantic coast sea level has been falling rather than rising lately.

Do you really mean to say that "sea level" can be several feet higher in the Carribean than in, say, Hawaii


The sea level on each side of the Panama Canal is about 20 cm higher on the Pacific side. There are many factors, such as prevailing winds and uneven gravity that cause the oceans to 'pile up' in some places. Even a moderate sized hurricane can cause several feet of water to 'pile up' in front of it's windward side. That's called storm surge. Katrina's storm surge is estimated at about 28 feet for example. There's one recorded at 43 feet in Australia, but that's not proven.