Researchers find major West Antarctic glacier melting from geothermal sources

Jun 09, 2014
Antarctic glacier
Antarctic glacier. Credit: British Antarctic Survey

Thwaites Glacier, the large, rapidly changing outlet of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, is not only being eroded by the ocean, it's being melted from below by geothermal heat, researchers at the Institute for Geophysics at The University of Texas at Austin (UTIG) report in the current edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The findings significantly change the understanding of conditions beneath the West Antarctic Ice Sheet where accurate information has previously been unobtainable.

The Thwaites Glacier has been the focus of considerable attention in recent weeks as other groups of researchers found the glacier is on the way to collapse, but more data and computer modeling are needed to determine when the collapse will begin in earnest and at what rate the will increase as it proceeds. The new observations by UTIG will greatly inform these ice sheet modeling efforts.

Using radar techniques to map how water flows under ice sheets, UTIG researchers were able to estimate ice melting rates and thus identify significant sources of geothermal heat under Thwaites Glacier. They found these sources are distributed over a wider area and are much hotter than previously assumed.

The geothermal heat contributed significantly to melting of the underside of the glacier, and it might be a key factor in allowing the ice sheet to slide, affecting the ice sheet's stability and its contribution to future .

The cause of the variable distribution of heat beneath the glacier is thought to be the movement of magma and associated volcanic activity arising from the rifting of the Earth's crust beneath the West Antarctic Ice Sheet.

Knowledge of the heat distribution beneath Thwaites Glacier is crucial information that enables ice sheet modelers to more accurately predict the response of the glacier to the presence of a warming ocean.

Until now, scientists had been unable to measure the strength or location of under the glacier. Current ice sheet models have assumed that heat flow under the glacier is uniform like a pancake griddle with even heat distribution across the bottom of the ice.

The findings of lead author Dusty Schroeder and his colleagues show that the glacier sits on something more like a multi-burner stovetop with burners putting out heat at different levels at different locations.

"It's the most complex thermal environment you might imagine," said co-author Don Blankenship, a senior research scientist at UTIG and Schroeder's Ph.D. adviser. "And then you plop the most critical dynamically unstable ice sheet on planet Earth in the middle of this thing, and then you try to model it. It's virtually impossible."

That's why, he said, getting a handle on the distribution of geothermal heat flow under the has been considered essential for understanding it.

Gathering knowledge about Thwaites Glacier is crucial to understanding what might happen to the West Antarctic Ice Sheet. An outlet glacier the size of Florida in the Amundsen Sea Embayment, it is up to 4,000 meters thick and is considered a key question mark in making projections of global sea level rise.

The glacier is retreating in the face of the warming ocean and is thought to be unstable because its interior lies more than two kilometers below sea level while, at the coast, the bottom of the glacier is quite shallow.

Because its interior connects to the vast portion of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet that lies deeply below sea level, the glacier is considered a gateway to the majority of West Antarctica's potential sea level contribution.

The collapse of the Thwaites Glacier would cause an increase of of between 1 and 2 meters, with the potential for more than twice that from the entire West Antarctic Ice Sheet.

The UTIG researchers had previously used ice-penetrating airborne radar sounding data to image two vast interacting subglacial water systems under Thwaites Glacier. The results from this earlier work on water systems (also published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences) formed the foundation for the new work, which used the distribution of water beneath the glacier to determine the levels and locations of heat flow.

In each case, Schroeder, who received his Ph.D. in May, used techniques he had developed to pull information out of data collected by the radar developed at UTIG.

According to his findings, the minimum average geothermal heat flow beneath Thwaites Glacier is about 100 milliwatts per square meter, with hotspots over 200 milliwatts per square meter. For comparison, the average heat flow of the Earth's continents is less than 65 milliwatts per square meter.

The presence of water and heat present researchers with significant challenges.

"The combination of variable subglacial geothermal heat flow and the interacting subglacial water system could threaten the stability of Thwaites Glacier in ways that we never before imagined," Schroeder said.

Explore further: Antarctica's Whillans Ice Plain ice flows are highly variable

More information: "Evidence for elevated and spatially variable geothermal flux beneath the West Antarctic Ice Sheet," by Dustin M. Schroeder, Donald D. Blankenship, Duncan A. Young, and Enrica Quartini. PNAS, 2014: www.pnas.org/cgi/doi/10.1073/pnas.1405184111

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Eddy Courant
Jun 09, 2014
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
SoylentGrin
4.4 / 5 (14) Jun 09, 2014
Dham that CO2! Oh wait...


Nobody has said that natural events don't occur. But when they do, and they break out into a world where we have removed the buffers, they become catastrophic in ways they wouldn't have otherwise.
Osiris1
2 / 5 (8) Jun 09, 2014
How much CO2 are the volcanoes putting out. Are those volcanoes in a chain or a mountain range....or a brand new continental boundary. Enuf output and that glacier is history, especially if a major eruption.
antigoracle
1.2 / 5 (21) Jun 09, 2014
Whoops, another dent in the CO2 lie. The AGW Cult better start brewing that batch of suicide Kool Aid.
Anonym
1.8 / 5 (8) Jun 09, 2014
Article seems to imply "climate change" (TM) is partly responsible, via the "warming" ocean. However, the author creates a delicious ambiguity: did he mean that the ocean itself is warming up, or that the ocean is warming up the ice, as it obviously must, being in its liquid phase. I notice there is no mention of the warm current known to flow there.
OdinsAcolyte
1.3 / 5 (16) Jun 09, 2014
Yes. Geothermal sources. I knew this because it sure isn't the atmosphere...
Skepticus_Rex
2.1 / 5 (14) Jun 09, 2014
Told you so! There indeed are geothermal sources at work on Western Antartica, as I claimed years ago. Yet more really cool science is on the horizon on Antarctica. Watch for it. :-)
thermodynamics
4.1 / 5 (9) Jun 09, 2014
Told you so! There indeed are geothermal sources at work on Western Antartica, as I claimed years ago. Yet more really cool science is on the horizon on Antarctica. Watch for it. :-)


You have indeed SR. I will keep an eye peeled. :-)
aksdad
1.4 / 5 (17) Jun 09, 2014
Whether western Antarctica glaciers are melting due to seawater or geothermal activity and whether or not their "collapse" is unstoppable, the relevant questions for governments are:

Will it cause major problems?
Does human activity significantly contribute to melting?
If so, can we reduce or stop the melting?

So far, we see no acceleration in sea level rise over the last 20 years, so there's no evidence it's having any immediate impact on sea level rise.
http://sealevel.colorado.edu/

It appears it may take hundreds of years for the glaciers to melt.
http://news.psu.e...ce-sheet

In other words, no imminent catastrophe.

There is no evidence (yet) that human activity is contributing to melting of western Antarctica glaciers. Since it is not known (yet) if human activity is contributing to melting, it's unlikely any human solutions will reduce or reverse melting.
Seareut
4.7 / 5 (18) Jun 09, 2014
Settle down climate change conspiracy theorists: There is ample evidence that increasing climatic temperature is anthropogenic. Yes, it may be geothermal energy that is heating up the Antarctic ice sheets, and no, this does not disprove global warming-- although I see most climate change skeptics would love to latch onto any excuse to further distance themselves from nature and reality.

The real issue here, though, regardless of the cause, is that this is a BAD thing for any coastal inhabitants of the not-so-distant future. So will we bicker about climate science versus climate skepticism, or will we converge to come up with practical solutions to this matter?
thermodynamics
4.8 / 5 (16) Jun 09, 2014
The real issue here, though, regardless of the cause, is that this is a BAD thing for any coastal inhabitants of the not-so-distant future. So will we bicker about climate science versus climate skepticism, or will we converge to come up with practical solutions to this matter?


You are correct and the impact of the geothermal input is in addition to the warming of the oceans that is melting the ice from below. This can only be a bad thing. However, SR has been making noise about the impact of the geothermal energy on the glaciers for a long time so he deserves his due. It remains to be see what the relative contributions are and you are right to point out that it is important for us to work together. Unfortunately, the deniers on this site will not listen to reason (as I am sure you have seen) and they (unlike SR) completely deny any impact of humans. Keep putting forward a reasonable approach but don't be surprised at the dimwits that deny science.
RealityCheck
4.4 / 5 (14) Jun 09, 2014
Calm down you conspiracy theorists/deniers. The heat load from underground/volcanoes has been present for millennia. No-one just 'discovered' it 'now'.

The point you miss is that NOW man's added CO2 warming has removed the 'brakes' which previously acted to stop glacial acceleration/shrinking there.

Consider before again making rash 'noise'. Before now, any melting underneath due to volcanic/fumerole heat loads was quickly dissipated to colder air/water when any molten water reached the open environment and FROZE again so that the brakes are still there.

NOW what is happening is that air/water is no longer cold enough to act as before and 'plug' the meltwater/glacier into its valley/basin 'bottle', and so meltwater and glacier ice will move faster than before.

It is the marginal difference caused by man's global-warming activities that ADDS to whatever heat load was there all along from underground. That is what you are missing. So calm down. Think it through properly. Cheers :)
Kenneth Richard
1.3 / 5 (14) Jun 10, 2014
http://www.nature...710.html
[O]ur spatial analysis of Antarctic meteorological data demonstrates a net cooling on the Antarctic continent between 1966 and 2000

http://www.the-cr...2013.pdf
"a clear increase in accumulation of more than 10% has occurred in high Surface Mass Balance coastal regions and over the highest part of the East Antarctic ice divide since the 1960s."

http://www.iceage...cker.htm
Ice and snow piling up over a large area of Antarctica
- 19 May 2005 - According to a new study published in the online edition of Science, the East Antarctic Ice Sheet gained about 45 billion tons of ice between 1992 and 2003. The ice sheets are several kilometers thick in places, and contain about 90% of the world's ice.
Maggnus
4.6 / 5 (11) Jun 10, 2014
http://www.nature...710.html
[O]ur spatial analysis of Antarctic meteorological data demonstrates a net cooling on the Antarctic continent between 1966 and 2000
Yes, in 2002 this was a bit of a puzzle. Back then, it was not well understood how the effect of ozone depletion would impact temperature, especially in the mid-continental ice mass, nor had the subsequent discoveries of increased SCC windspeeds and satilite measurements of increasing ice loss yet occurred.

Now, because of better continental coverage and satellite measurements, it is known the Antarctic is warming overall ( http://www.nature...71.html) and that the continent has lost gigtonnes of ice mass (http://www.nasa.g...ng.html) which has led to some interesting discoveries, such as isostatic rebound (http://www.rdmag....ur-feet) Ken R is quote mining, a typical deny tactic.
The Alchemist
1.3 / 5 (12) Jun 10, 2014
My CO2 meter reads 407 ppm, what does yours read? It increases by about 80 ppm when I am with 3 meters of it. Somebody tell me Mona Loa's active volcano doesn't affect results... I am 30km from 2 large cities, and 50 km from a major city and that should affect results.

Anyway, what are we really seeing? A recession of Arctic allowing weather fronts to better penetrate the arctic inversion. What does that mean, more humidity-from the Greenhouse effect of water, not CO2, condensation, which means heating, the release of energy through condensation, and of course, the effect of our waste HEAT in the oceans.

But seriously, lets keep arguing about a negligible/arguably reasoned increase in temperature, and an insignificant increase in CO2. Obviously the ice sheet understands and once you all get it sorted out, everything will be fine.
Lino235
2 / 5 (8) Jun 10, 2014
Vendicar:

Do you remember discussing this with me? Would you like to take back your comments?
Lino235
1.3 / 5 (12) Jun 10, 2014
Seareut:

CO2 is 0.04 % of the atmosphere. Human contribution to the CO2 cycle is 4%. So, multiplying these two together, we get that humans are contributing 0.0016% to CO2's effect on 'warming.' This is just nonsense.

OTOH, on or around 1910, major volcanic eruptions occurred around the globe. With that, temperatures began to rise----slightly!

The best, and most logical, explanation of what we're seeing is this: magma, heated from below, is moving towards the surface of the planet, and is manifesting itself in the following various ways:

(1) increased volcanic activity, (2) increased geothermal activity (3) slight warming at the bottom of the world's oceans, and (4) because of this 'warming' of oceanic WATER, warming associated with greater MAGMATIC activity, we now have more 'water vapor' and CO2 in the atmosphere, of which, water vapor, being the more powerful "greenhouse" gas, and representing not 0.04% of the atmosphere, but 3-4%, is the most likely cause of the warming.
thermodynamics
4.6 / 5 (11) Jun 10, 2014
Lino235 said:
CO2 is 0.04 % of the atmosphere. Human contribution to the CO2 cycle is 4%. So, multiplying these two together, we get that humans are contributing 0.0016% to CO2's effect on 'warming.' This is just nonsense.


The only nonsense is your lack of understanding of heat transfer. Nitrogen, argon, and oxygen do not have any significant interaction in the IR. That means that those constituents do not contribute to greenhouse warming. Your factoid is devoid of science. The ONLY gases contributing to IR retention are the GHGs including water vapor, CO2, methane, and other trace gases. It is not even a straight fraction of those that count. Instead, it is how water vapor decreases with altitude and CO2 remains constant up to the end of the heterosphere. Do the math lame brain and then tell me how much nonsense your numbers are.
thermodynamics
4.6 / 5 (11) Jun 10, 2014
Alche said:
My CO2 meter reads 407 ppm, what does yours read? It increases by about 80 ppm when I am with 3 meters of it. Somebody tell me Mona Loa's active volcano doesn't affect results... I am 30km from 2 large cities, and 50 km from a major city and that should affect results.


My bullshit meter reads 100% when I read this.

1) Mona Loa's active volcano does not interfere with the readings and readings are now take all over the world that verify that the Mona Loa readings are correct. Just because you can't take reliable readings does not mean the rest of world can't.

2) Your readings have nothing to do with the well mixed bulk of the atmosphere. This just shows the fuzzy thinking you apply to the concept of global warming. I saw this before in your lack of understanding of the importance of lapse rate of water vapor and temperature.

Tell us how the gradient of water vapor is taken into account in your vaunted model that doesn't work.
thermodynamics
4.6 / 5 (11) Jun 10, 2014
Alche said:
Anyway, what are we really seeing? A recession of Arctic allowing weather fronts to better penetrate the arctic inversion. What does that mean, more humidity-from the Greenhouse effect of water, not CO2, condensation, which means heating, the release of energy through condensation, and of course, the effect of our waste HEAT in the oceans.


Why are you talking about the Arctic when this article is about the Antarctic. Did you know the two are different? I can see how the similarity of the two words could confuse someone with reading problems. :-)
thermodynamics
4.6 / 5 (11) Jun 10, 2014
Alche said:
But seriously, lets keep arguing about a negligible/arguably reasoned increase in temperature, and an insignificant increase in CO2. Obviously the ice sheet understands and once you all get it sorted out, everything will be fine.


We were arguing about that. However, you ran screaming from the discussion.

1) You thought that CO2 decreased in the atmosphere near the surface of the earth. Do you now understand it does not?

2) You thought the thermal lapse rate was not important. Do you understand why it is?

3) You thought that the water vapor lapse rate was not important. Do you understand why it is?

Your comments are still available on the other thread to verify this was your lack of understanding.

http://phys.org/n...firstCmt

Have you changed your model to reflect these real world parameters?

Do you understand these yet?
Faux Science Slayer
1.4 / 5 (11) Jun 10, 2014
In January 2013 Russian scientists drilled through 4,000 meters of ice, recording the lowest ever surface temperature of -89 C into a warm pool of water containing 3,500 unique gene sequences. This water was WARMED, and was supplied by elemental water and elemental nutrients with NO atmospheric component. See "Earth's Missing Geothermal Flux", under Geo-nuclear, and "New ! Amazing ! Wrongo Proxy Crock !" under Satire at the FauxScienceSlayer site.
thermodynamics
5 / 5 (10) Jun 10, 2014
In January 2013 Russian scientists drilled through 4,000 meters of ice, recording the lowest ever surface temperature of -89 C into a warm pool of water containing 3,500 unique gene sequences. This water was WARMED, and was supplied by elemental water and elemental nutrients with NO atmospheric component. See "Earth's Missing Geothermal Flux", under Geo-nuclear, and "New ! Amazing ! Wrongo Proxy Crock !" under Satire at the FauxScienceSlayer site.


I encourage everyone to go to the FauxScienceSlayer site and see what a real anti-science Luddite looks like. This guy has an answer to everything that science has to say and he shows how really uneducated he is by denying all of modern science. Along the way he takes swipes at climate change - from the perspective of someone who also denies the expansion of the universe and jumps on the neutrino bandwagon for geothermal energy. Even Anthony Watt won't have him on his site. What a crock.
mauro48it
1 / 5 (8) Jun 11, 2014
I suspect that all or a wall of energy which is spoken may come from changes in Earth's magnetic field, caused by the solar wind, which induce electrical currents in the sub-glacial water.
Among other things, this system is self-regulating, since the conductivity of the water should decrease with the amount of ice melted and increase with decreasing energy causing reformation of ice but the increase of salinity.
Probably the areas subject to the phenomenon of heating are areas where the intensity of the magnetic field is increased.
There could also be contributing factors as geothermal activity where there was there would probably be more magnetic material in the magma.
To be continued.
mauro48it
1 / 5 (8) Jun 11, 2014
Another clue could be the aforementioned uniformity of energy distribution.
Following other considerations.
I think there is a chance to capture the magnetic energy associated with changes in Earth's magnetic field determined from solar storms or even from the normal variations in the solar wind.
I know that changes in the Earth's magnetic field have been analyzed and are so small that it does not seem possible to use, at least on a small scale. From the information on the article "Getting Ready for the Next Big Solar Storm" (NASA) about the effects on power lines with long route, staggers me this certainty.
I believe that the variations of the magnetic field can be maximum in proximity with the magnetic poles, and in particular there may be areas in which the field thickens significantly.
To be continued.
mauro48it
1 / 5 (8) Jun 11, 2014
My doubt is that with the construction of a large wire loop around the above particular areas of the poles , in which the earth's magnetic field is more intense, it is possible to extract a considerable amount of electrical energy.
Following this hypothesis , I then ventured into a search for data on specific abnormalities may be present at the poles, and I think I found something suspicious.
The two particular sites, near the magnetic pole, are the buried Lake Vostok in Antarctica and a buried lake near the town of Qaanaaq in northwestern Greenland.
These two lakes have a deep liquid phase that appears to be derived from a geothermal energy.
I suppose it is appropriate to investigate carefully whether this is due to the heat dissipated by the currents induced in the salt water.
End.
Frank_Lowe
1 / 5 (9) Jun 11, 2014
I told you many times THE EARTH IS HEATING FROM THE INSIDE OUT.It got cooled down from the out side then it stoped.Now it is heating up again from the inside.Because the the Core
is alive and well ( Prove me wrong) and i will stop smoking or go and kiss my mother inlaw .
Lino235
1 / 5 (7) Jun 11, 2014
thermodynamics:

I would assume that the 0.04% figure for CO2 is for the lower atmosphere. You say this: "water vapor decreases with altitude and CO2 remains constant up to the end of the heterosphere." So, this means that H2O is 3-4% near sea-level, and decreases with altitude. But CO2 already BEGINS! at 0.04%. So what if it remains constant! This means that there would have to be an almost 100-fold decrease in H2O for it to reach the same level that CO2 BEGINS WITH! And, H2O has a much larger GHG effect, meaning that probably a 500-fold decrease in H2O is needed before it decreases to the GHG caused by CO2. It seems like you're the "lame brain" here. And, tell me, where do they measure global temperatures: 500,000 feet in the air, or near the ground?
thermodynamics
5 / 5 (7) Jun 11, 2014
thermodynamics:

I would assume that the 0.04% figure for CO2 is for the lower atmosphere. You say this: "water vapor decreases with altitude and CO2 remains constant up to the end of the heterosphere." So, this means that H2O is 3-4% near sea-level, and decreases with altitude. But CO2 already BEGINS! at 0.04%. So what if it remains constant! This means that there would have to be an almost 100-fold decrease in H2O for it to reach the same level that CO2 BEGINS WITH! And, H2O has a much larger GHG effect, meaning that probably a 500-fold decrease in H2O is needed before it decreases to the GHG caused by CO2. It seems like you're the "lame brain" here. And, tell me, where do they measure global temperatures: 500,000 feet in the air, or near the ground?


I meant the "end of the homosphere" but you, apparently didn't catch that. :-)

As for your other numbers, they show your ignorance of heat transfer. Let me explain in small words. Continued
thermodynamics
5 / 5 (6) Jun 11, 2014
Lino235 said:
So, this means that H2O is 3-4% near sea-level, and decreases with altitude. But CO2 already BEGINS! at 0.04%. So what if it remains constant! This means that there would have to be an almost 100-fold decrease in H2O for it to reach the same level that CO2 BEGINS WITH!


Actually, H2O drops to about 10 ppm by the time you get to the top of the troposphere. I don't suppose you bothered to look that up did you? Tell me how much of a drop that is?

Compare it with CO2 at 400 ppm. Go ahead, look it up and give us links.

Then have the guts to come back and admit you were wrong (unlike Alche who just gives up and calls names). :-)

Do I have to look it up for you? Do you know how to search?

Lino235
1 / 5 (7) Jun 11, 2014
Thermo says: (a lot of things)

Here's this from an expert: (http://stevengodd...he-co2/)

Part I:
I'm a professional infrared astronomer who spent his life trying to observe space through the atmosphere's back-radiation that the environmental activists claim is caused by CO2 and guess what? In all the bands that are responsible for back radiation in the brightness temperatures (color temperatures) related to earth's surface temperature (between 9 microns and 13 microns for temps of 220K to 320 K) there is no absorption of radiation by CO2 at all. In all the bands between 9 and 9.5 there is mild absorption by H2O, from 9.5 to 10 microns (300 K) the atmosphere is perfectly clear except around 9.6 is a big ozone band that the warmists never mention for some reason. From 10 to 13 microns there is more absorption by H2O.
Lino235
1 / 5 (7) Jun 11, 2014
Part II:

[[Starting at 13 we get CO2 absorption but that wavelength corresponds to temperatures below even that of the south pole. Nowhere from 9 to 13 microns do we see appreciable absorption bands of CO2. This means the greenhouse effect is way over 95% caused by water vapor and probably less than 3% from CO2. I would say even ozone is more important due to the 9.6 band, but it's so high in the atmosphere that it probably serves more to radiate heat into space than for back-radiation to the surface. The whole theory of a CO2 greenhouse effect is wrong yet the ignorant masses in academia have gone to great lengths trying to prove it with one lie and false study after another, mainly because the people pushing the global warming hoax are funded by the government who needs to report what it does to the IPCC to further their "cause".]]
Lino235
1 / 5 (7) Jun 11, 2014
Part III:

[[I'm retired so I don't need to keep my mouth shut anymore. Kept my mouth shut for 40 years, now I will tell you, not one single IR astronomer gives a rats arse about CO2. Just to let you know how stupid the global warming activists are, I've been to the south pole 3 times and even there, where the water vapor is under 0.2 mm precipitable, it's still the H2O that is the main concern in our field and nobody even talks about CO2 because CO2 doesn't absorb or radiate in the portion of the spectrum corresponding with earth's surface temps of 220 to 320 K. Not at all. Therefore, for Earth as a black body radiator IT'S THE WATER VAPOR STUPID and not the CO2.]]
thermodynamics
4.8 / 5 (6) Jun 11, 2014
Lino235:

1) You did not address my assertion that H2O drops to 10 ppm by the top of the troposphere. Did you just decide to railroad the conversation and think I would forget about your assertion that it would have to drop by a miraculous 100 times to matter (and it drops by more).

2) Your link does not work.

3) Approximately 18.8% of the IR radiation from the earth falls between 13 and 17 um. How does your IR astronomer not know that? Oh, that is right, he is an IR astronomer. He does not deal in radiant heat transfer. You should be able to work that one out by yourself. It is taught in an introduction to heat transfer. Just look at the black body power between 13 and 17 um for a black body at 288.15K. Is 18.8% of the power from the earth inconsequential? As you and your expert note, he doesn't care about that range because he has an IR window he can look through.

http://en.wikiped...d_window

Now, answer my statement about water vapor.
thermodynamics
4.4 / 5 (7) Jun 11, 2014
Lino235 states:
Starting at 13 we get CO2 absorption but that wavelength corresponds to temperatures below even that of the south pole.


Just to emphasize how wrong Goddard is, the wavelength range from 13-17 um can correspond to any temperature. The radiation from a body above 0K is governed by Plank's law.

http://en.wikiped...%27s_law

If you look at the curve you will see it always has components in the 13-17 um range. It is just a smaller fraction for higher temperatures.

What your source misunderstood is the difference between Plank's law and Wien's displacement law.

http://en.wikiped...ment_law

The Wien displacement law addresses the peak, not the area under the curve (which addresses energy and power). Please learn a bit from the two references I just gave you and then try to say something that is technically correct.

You still have not addressed my statement that water vapor drops to 10 ppm before the tropopause.
Lino235
1 / 5 (6) Jun 11, 2014
thermo:

Since you insist. I fly in jets. Do you? Have you noticed that if jets want to avoid "clouds" they go up to around 32 to 33,000 ft. (6 miles). The troposhere is anywhere from 5 to 8 miles high. At it's lowest, 5 miles, I assure you, water vapor is NOT 10 ppm, Let's say that it's 2%, or 20,000 ppm, decreasing linearly to 10 ppm. That means that from the 5 mi to 8 mi limit, it would hit 400 ppm (using a linear gradient of 5 ppm decrease for each 4 feet) around 312 feet below the upper limit of the troposphere. Your argument is bogus.
Vietvet
4.4 / 5 (8) Jun 11, 2014
thermo:

Since you insist. I fly in jets. Do you? Have you noticed that if jets want to avoid "clouds" they go up to around 32 to 33,000 ft. (6 miles). The troposhere is anywhere from 5 to 8 miles high. At it's lowest, 5 miles, I assure you, water vapor is NOT 10 ppm, Let's say that it's 2%, or 20,000 ppm, decreasing linearly to 10 ppm. That means that from the 5 mi to 8 mi limit, it would hit 400 ppm (using a linear gradient of 5 ppm decrease for each 4 feet) around 312 feet below the upper limit of the troposphere. Your argument is bogus.


The altitude jets fly at has nothing to do with clouds, it's all about fuel effiency.

http://www.decode...des/9815
Lino235
1.6 / 5 (7) Jun 11, 2014
thermo:

Here's an article from 2010. https://www.scien...full.pdf

("Contributions of Stratospheric Water Vapor to Decadal Changes in the Rate of Global Warming")

Here's the abstract. Read it and weep.

Stratospheric water vapor concentrations decreased by about 10% after the year 2000. Here we show that this acted to slow the rate of increase in global surface temperature over 2000–2009 by about 25% compared to that which would have occurred due only to carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. More limited data suggest that stratospheric water vapor probably increased between 1980 and 2000, which would have enhanced the decadal rate of surface warming during the 1990s by about 30% as compared to estimates neglecting this change. These findings show that stratospheric water vapor is an important driver of decadal global surface climate change.
thermodynamics
4.4 / 5 (7) Jun 11, 2014
thermo:

Since you insist. I fly in jets. Do you? Have you noticed that if jets want to avoid "clouds" they go up to around 32 to 33,000 ft. (6 miles). The troposhere is anywhere from 5 to 8 miles high. At it's lowest, 5 miles, I assure you, water vapor is NOT 10 ppm, Let's say that it's 2%, or 20,000 ppm, decreasing linearly to 10 ppm. That means that from the 5 mi to 8 mi limit, it would hit 400 ppm (using a linear gradient of 5 ppm decrease for each 4 feet) around 312 feet below the upper limit of the troposphere. Your argument is bogus.


Lino235: from wikipedia:The troposphere is the lowest layer of Earth's atmosphere. It extends from Earth's surface to an average height of about 12 km, although this altitude actually varies from about 9 km (30,000 ft) at the poles to 17 km (56,000 ft) at the equator,[7] with some variation due to weather." Continued
thermodynamics
4.4 / 5 (7) Jun 11, 2014
Continued: So, lets look at what the profile of atmospheric water vapor looks like.

http://www.esrl.n...;type=vp

I picked the middle of the Pacific so you would not be able to complain about the amount of water around.

In this case, if I choose about 12 km I am at about 50 ppmv water vapor. If I go up to 15 km I am at about 10 ppmv and at about 17 km I am at 3 ppmv (remember this is a log scale). So, if you only fly over the pole I am off a bit, but if you fly over the equator you are well under my estimate.

I asked if you had looked this up and your response showed you couldn't so I did it for you.

Do you see that the decrease is not linear (hint, the scale is log)?

You and your expert have missed the boat in all cases so far. Do you want to show your ignorance on something else?
thermodynamics
4.4 / 5 (7) Jun 11, 2014
Lino235: I have no idea who you are, but you have really shown me how ignorant you are. Let me summarize.

1) You do not understand how water vapor changes with altitude, yet you assume it has a greater concentration at the tropopause than CO2. That is wrong as I have shown.

2) You then switched to a quote from Goddard who stated that the 13-17 um band was only for temperatures colder than anywhere on earth. That is wrong.

3) You also quoted Goddard stating that the 13-17 um band was unimportant. Is 18% of the radiation from the earth unimportant?

4) You then tried to use a linear gradient to explain why you are "right" but the gradient is not linear (log plot). You didn't even try to look it up.

I suggest you stop while you are only behind. It could get a lot more embarrassing for someone as Ignorant as you are. Just wait until Run jumps into the conversation.
thermodynamics
4.4 / 5 (7) Jun 11, 2014
Lino235: And now you are trying to divert the conversation to stratospheric water vapor content.

I suggested you stop while you were just behind but you didn't listen.

So, lets look at that. Did you go to the esrl site I linked you to?

OK, what is the concentration in the stratosphere? Less than 10 ppmv.

What does that mean when you talk about a decrease in stratospheric H2O of 10%?

Does that imply that the there is more H2O than CO2 (your initial contention)?
Whydening Gyre
4.2 / 5 (5) Jun 11, 2014
Lino235: And now you are trying to divert the conversation to stratospheric water vapor content.

So, lets look at that. Did you go to the esrl site I linked you to?

OK, what is the concentration in the stratosphere? Less than 10 ppmv.

What does that mean when you talk about a decrease in stratospheric H2O of 10%?

Does that imply that the there is more H2O than CO2 (your initial contention)?


Wow... This is gettin' good...
DIELibtards
Jun 11, 2014
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
Captain Stumpy
4.3 / 5 (6) Jun 11, 2014
Thermo says: (a lot of things)
@lino235
and you would do well to listen
Since you insist. I fly in jets. Do you?
and this is relevant because? I can dance: https://www.youtu...Qp-q1Y1s
Here's an article from 2010. https://www.scien...full.pdf
and this proves what, exactly? You linked an article and an abstract but you've not made a point! for all I know, your point could be
the colored bars as in (A) above and show the average monthly standard deviations
(from your link)
Read it and weep
weep about what? you still haven't made a point. I'll give you kudo's for posting a link to a reputable paper but without a point, this is like my link above...

trying to follow your conversation is like trying to play pat-a-cake with an epileptic in a disco with strobe lights...
you are all over the place

keep teaching us Thermo! at least runrig didn't have to tear the guy apart...
runrig
4.4 / 5 (7) Jun 12, 2014
keep teaching us Thermo! at least runrig didn't have to tear the guy apart..

LOL
Capt...

Couldn't better Thermos demolition!

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