New Research on Antarctic Ice melting faster than expected


The fact that such warm water was just now recorded by our team along a section of Thwaites grounding zone where we have known the glacier is melting suggests that it may be undergoing an unstoppable retreat that has huge implications for global sea-level rise,” David Holland, director of New York University’s Environmental Fluid Dynamics Laboratory and NYU Abu Dhabi’s Center for Global Sea Level Change, which conducted the research…

I read about that last night. This is not good news for any species on the planet Earth. We’re in serious trouble.

Mriana: " We’re in serious trouble."

I think you’re right. It seems likely that over the long term we will have to abandon the seaside lands up to as much as 200 feet above current mean sea level. How we approach abandoning the first 20 or 30 feet will set a precedent for the next couple of centuries.

Building structures a la the Dutch would be a band-aid. I think it will come down to a fight over property owners getting compensation for their losses. I suspect we are going to wind up with a really different new normal along the coasts.

The good bad news is that the sun seems to be going into a prolonged period of fewer sunspots. If so, we could be in for another little ice age. In other words, it just might be very cold for the next 150 to 250 years while the sea level rises. It could be that sea level rise won’t reach maximum until global temperatures reach minimum. I think we need to plan for the worst and enjoy life if it doesn’t happen that way.

Speaking of icebergs, remember the Saudi prince who wanted to pull one to Saudi for fresh water? One engineer I knew ran the numbers. He calculated that if he could fix 30 Saturn V S-1C (first stage) rockets, the most powerful engines on the planet, to the back of the berg the Prince wanted to move, he might be able to do it. It would take all 30 rockets at full power, burning 3000 pounds of fuel a second, for 30 days to accelerate the berg to 1 mile an hour. God only knows how he would have stopped it before it would have plowed into the coast and fractured the African continent.

God only knows how he would have stopped.


There’s a lot of this planet we can and will destroy, splitting African ain’t one of them.

As for 200 years out, sorry but guess you haven’t been paying much attention to what we’ve “accomplished” over the past 50 years. :frowning:

Lets lay down some wagers: our society has at best a couple decades, ability for human’s to survived, which believe it or not is dependent on a healthy biosphere - by next century about this time habitability of complex life such as humans will be very much in question.

And between Democrats cluelessness and Republican totalitarian stupidity and viciousness, and the ultra-rich’s utter sociopathy, you can bet we’ll be doing nothing but speeding up our self-destruction as the politics of anger and revenge comes to the fore.



The devil is in the details:

The Pacific Ocean is so acidic that it’s dissolving Dungeness crabs’ shells
By Scottie Andrew, CNN - January 27, 2020

@Bob, no one wants to drag an iceberg to Saudi. Why? 1. The iceberg would probably melt greatly by the time it reached Saudi Arabia. 2. The process alone would tip the scale of Climate Change. 3. Even it didn’t, the berg would be polluted due to the exhaust the rockets put out.

As for being in trouble, you pretty much have it concerning enjoying life. I don’t about another ice age, because I don’t know what the end result of climate change will be, giving that the earth is warming.

Equip the ice berg with sails.

LOL, here we are talking about towing icebergs to harvest fresh drinking water, while we’re trying to preserve the polar ice-caps to keep our oceans from evaporating.

Well done folks, we destroy the great climate cycle of 4 seasons, where each season provides an ideal period for temporary growth or decay, and having to choose our method of dying, fast or slow.

And now we’re planning “terraforming” of uninhabitable planets, while we do nothing to keep the earth itself “terraformed”!

We could tow small moon-sized space icebergs to crash on Mars, to terraform it.

The forces of climate change denial will not let us do anything to save the Earth from us. But our new dictator will likely be proud to have the “Space Force” have a big project.

Mriana: " no one wants to drag an iceberg …"

I’m never surprised by what people think they can do. Some people believe with enough money and fuel we could put a man on the moon. My search on “towing icebergs” produced dozens of hits. I won’t bet against it happening.

“Every year the Antarctic sheds around 2,000 billion tons of ice - more than the total global consumption of freshwater.”

“Every year that’s around 140,000 icebergs, or 2,000 billion tons of ice. “There is a never-ending supply. These all melt in the sea. So, all we would be doing is bringing one or two a bit further north.”” :

“October 1973: The RAND Corporation dives 96 pages deep on “Antarctic Icebergs as a Global Fresh Water Source” for the National Science Foundation. By far the most comprehensive scheme to date, J.L. Hult and N.C. Ostrander went far beyond previous speculations to create an actual paper model of how an “iceberg train” could work. This is classic RAND work with lots of math and appendices.”

“October 17, 1977: TIME Magazine reports on a conference of like-minded iceberg lovers. The most promising scheme was proposed by Prince Mohammed al Faisal, a nephew of Saudi Arabia’s king.”

TimB: “The forces of climate change denial will not let us do anything to save the Earth from us.”

I fear you are right, at least in the short term. I do expect there will be too much happening by the end of the century for it to be denied. The consequences of sea level rise, especially along the east coast of the US will be huge. Even if the rate of sea level rise doesn’t increase we will still see major population displacements. Look at the topo maps. There are sand dunes outside of Columbia SC showing a former coast line there 200 ft higher than it is today.

At that level most of the structures in New York and Washington DC would be homes for fish. The Savannah River Site (anyone who doesn’t know what this is should find out) would be under 100 ft of water. The cooling towers at the Vogtle nuke plant just across the river would poke up out of the water but the rest of the plant would be submerged. Tallahassee Florida would sit on a small island 200 miles south of the new coast line in middle Georgia while the rest of Florida would be under water. The great southern pine forest from South Carolina to Texas which provides much of our lumber would be flooded to above the tree tops. Much of US petroleum refining capacity along with all of the strategic petroleum reserve would be under water and inaccessible, a potential 700 million barrel oil spill.

What I list is just a very small fraction of the problems. Globally, tens of millions if not hundreds of millions of people would be displaced, some into different countries. Political and economic chaos. Imagine the impact on the oceans with the tops of the locks on the Panama Canal 100 ft below sea level. We could probably handle a big asteroid coming at us easier than this.

@Bob We already put men on the moon. We’ve even put men and women on a space station orbiting the earth. We’ve done that, but we should not move an iceberg from the Arctic or Antarctic. It would disrupt the climate more, making climate change worse with melting and fuel emissions.

TimB said ; Equip the ice berg with sails.
Gotta learn how to tack upwind....... :)
I do expect there will be too much happening by the end of the century for it to be denied.
Bob, come on, where do you get your information from?

There’s too much happening now for manmade global warming to be denied.

But christ we got people seriously convincing themselves that the Earth is Flat and that there’s only one way to some “everlasting” lunacy fantasy of a heaven/hell.

People are capable of denying anything they want. But the physical reality don’t give a damned about our opinions.

It also seems you have way to little appreciation for this vast absolutely interconnected interdependent biosphere we depend on for everything.


But, serious, where have you gotten most of your AGW information from, how about our biosphere, have you learned much about that?

It would take all 30 rockets at full power, burning 3000 pounds of fuel a second, for 30 days to accelerate the berg to 1 mile an hour.
3000*30*24*3600 = 777,600,000,000 pounds of jet fuel. To accelerate the iceberg 1 mile. Oops, that's for just one rocket engine. Okay times another 30.

For an ocean voyage of what - 4, 5 thousand miles?

It’s actually quite the calculation to wrap one’s head around.

Of course, one mile an hour head of steam isn’t particularly impressive in the face of ocean currents and cross currents between there and Saudi.

Hell just getting out of the roaring 40s without winding up heading for South America would require a fair amount of calculation to guesstimate properly.

How much fuel is burned to process those trillions of pounds of jet fuel to begin with? How much CO2 would be produced during the inefficient rocket burns?

How about the amount of carbon-dioxide that would be produced manufacturing those rocket engines and fuel holding containers.


There are sand dunes outside of Columbia SC showing a former coast line there 200 ft higher than it is today.
Bob, are you familiar with the Atlantic Seaboard Fall Line ? Interesting geologic stuff there. BC: The Year Civilization Collapsed (Eric Cline, PhD)

One of the best history lessons I’ve watched. Links climate change to the decline in civilization especially through disruption of trade. Even if our ports survive as sea levels rise, the transportation routes to and from will be disrupted. International trade is critical to all economies. Many countries may not have the resources we do to respond and rebuild.

That’s a dodge. :wink:


Good video though. I listened to the book a couple times years ago and then watched the video when YouTube suggested it. But I don’t understand what it has to do with the preceding comments. Other than the overall story of how societies rise and fall. Apparently diseases had a bit to do with it according to some historians. Can you explain how you see this relating to our current situation?

1177 B.C. The Year Civilization Collapsed
By: Eric H. Cline
Narrated by: Andy Caploe
Length: 8 hrs and 3 mins
Unabridged Audiobook
Release date: 04-01-14

IF climate change continues to be denied, humans won’t make it to the end of the 21st century. No species will. Every living being on earth will cease to exist by 2060.

Citizenschallenge-v.3: “Can you explain how you see this relating to our current situation?”

You’re certainly right about the geology of the east coast being interesting. The part we can see above sea level now and the part out to the continental shelf show how dynamic sea level has been over the millennia.

Cline made a connection between climate change (drought) and earthquakes to the decline of civilization into a dark age. All of the factors he described are present today. The interdependence among autonomous states made them vulnerable to disruptions in trade in everything from raw materials and food to weapons and luxury goods. The nations today are probably more dependent on trade than ever before. I’m surprised he did not identify the implications of volcanoes during that period. He did not include disease only because he did not have direct evidence of a it as a significant influence.

The rise in sea level will disrupt every sector of every nations’ economy and in big ways. As Cline said the decline of society leads to political instability, the decline of the elite, destruction of wealth and a decline in standards of living. Add the otherwise normal pressure of disease and the usual periodic natural disasters to that and civilization can go into a downward spiral. 80+ % of US population is urban. They are most the vulnerable to disruption. I’ve heard that 50 % of the US population lives within 50 miles of a coast. They will be impacted first.

I know there are people working on identifying the scale of the problem but I think in their quest to not be seen as alarmists they under-report it. I fully believe humans will survive it and we’ll come back probably better than before, but there will be much suffering in the centuries before nature corrects the problem. I believe there is not much we can do to correct it, and even less that we will do. We don’t see people moving even after suffering multiple floods.