Last week another alarmist story appeared in the Guardian quoting Richard Alley, professor at the once great Penn State University in which it reported on the natural calving of a large chink of the Petermann glacier in Greenland. They noted “Greenland shed its largest chunk of ice in nearly half a century last week, and faces an even grimmer future, according to Richard Alley, a geosciences professor at Pennsylvania State University.
Sometime in the next decade we may pass that tipping point which would put us warmer than temperatures that Greenland can survive,” Alley told a briefing in Congress, adding that a rise in the range of 2-7 C would mean the obliteration of Greenland’s ice sheet.”
We asked a real expert on sea level, Nils-Axel Morner to comment. Here is what he had to say:
No “huge rise in sea level” to foresee: Observation rules out modelling.
Recently, “a panel of leading geoscientists told the US Congress” that sea level is likely to rise by 7 metres within this century. What nonsense, we must say. Not only, is this against observational facts, it is also against physics.
At the Last Ice, the huge ice caps over Europe and North America had their southern margins way down at mid latitudes (at Hamburg in Europe and at New York in North America). When climate changed, the ice melted at a very rapid rate. At Stockholm, for example, the ice margin was displaced northwards at a rate of about 300 m per year. Indeed, an enormous speed. Still, global sea level did not rise more than about 10 mm per year or 1 metre in a century. This rate sets the absolutely ultimate physically frame of any possible sea level rise today. Any claim exceeding this value must be classified as shear nonsense. It is as simple as that.
The Greenland Ice Cap did not melt during the postglacial hypsithermal (some 5000 to 8000 years ago), when temperature was about 2.5 C higher than today. Nor did it melt during the Last Interglacial when temperature was about 4C higher than today. As to time, it would take more than a millennium (with full thermal forcing) to melt the ice masses stored there.
The panel also talk about a possible “tipping point”. Well, the only event of that type we can be fairly sure about, seems to be the approaching turn from a Solar Maximum (just passed) to a Solar Minimum (calculated at around 2040).
The view presented by the panel is another sad expression of IPCC propaganda. What they say is not founded in geoscientific knowledge and physical laws. The World is far too full of real problems that call for immediate consideration to waste time on wild exaggerations.
(Sea level specialist from Sweden)
Paleogeophysics & Geodynamics
ICECAP NOTE: In actual fact, Alley’s own chart should tell you we do not have a problem in Greenland. In fact, if anything, the data may be suggesting a movement towards a new ice age.