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Aw snap!

12 Jun 2024 | News Roundup

Many snaps, in fact. Of ice. In Antarctica, the supposedly defrosting refrigerator of the blazing Earth or whatever. Apparently some idiot took pictures back in 1937 that got forgotten about in the ruckus over World War II and were recently rediscovered and they show, well, what’s this? 85 years later there is no ice loss, instead even a bit of increase. As Phys.org grumps “A local bright spot among melting glaciers: 2,000 km of Antarctic ice-covered coastline has been stable for 85 years”. A local bright spot? Glaciers melting though not? Say it ain’t so.

We’re afraid it is so, kid. Thus:

“A whaler’s forgotten aerial photos from 1937 have given researchers at the University of Copenhagen the most detailed picture of the ice evolution in East Antarctica to date. The results show that the ice has remained stable and even grown slightly over almost a century…”

No! No! What? Bad! Bad ice! Hit it with a rolled up academic paper! So the piece immediately sobs “though scientists observe early signs of weakening.” Right. So the whole of the last century showed no melting despite hottest year blah blah relentless melting blah blah Doomsday glacier blah blah and when they get photographic evidence of the lack of melting the “scientists” nonetheless see doom looming.

Incidentally if you’re wondering, yes, someone really did fly seaplanes over that forbidding land mass and nearby ocean and took some 2,200 photos, of which 130 were chosen and combined with “modern satellite data to create 3D reconstructions of the glaciers” and 165 photos from Australian surveyors from 1950 to 1970. (The prime mover of the earlier ones was a Norwegian whaler named Lars Christensen, but the project to create maps was derailed by the minor issue of the Nazi invasion of Norway and the photos were forgotten until now.) So it’s pretty cool and also pretty reassuring, right? Especially since:

“Compared to modern data, the ice flow speeds are unchanged. While some glaciers have thinned over shorter intermediate periods of 10–20 years, they have remained stable or grown slightly in the long term, indicating a system in balance.”

Hooray. There is no crisis. Or is there? The story follows up that “early signs of weakening” straw-clutch by claiming “The research offers new insights that enhance predictions of ice changes and sea level rise.” But not if they can help it, because what the study really just found is that despite cyclical fluctuations and nature’s marvellous tendency to stay in balance the new insight therefore is WE ARE ALL GOING TO DIE!

Seriously. The article goes on that, as everybody knows:

“Higher temperatures, extreme weather, melting glaciers, and rising sea levels – all indicators that the climate and the world’s ice masses are in a critical state.”

Except for the bit where they’re not melting. And if such a finding when the “area covers approximately 2,000 kilometers of coastline and contains as much ice as the entire Greenland Ice Sheet” is “a local bright spot” what would constitute a large expanse?

It gets worse, a word here meaning better:

“By comparing the historical aerial photos with modern satellite data, the researchers have been able to determine whether the glaciers have retreated or advanced and whether they have thickened or thinned. The study reveals that the ice has not only remained stable but grown slightly over the last 85 years, partly due to increasing snowfall.”

And there’s not much way to lemon-coat it. Instead:

“‘We constantly hear about climate change and new melt records, so it’s refreshing to observe an area of glaciers that has remained stable for almost a century,’ says Ph.D. student Mads Dømgaard, the study’s first author.”

Until you remember that the science is settled and not that way:

“However, the researcher emphasizes that the study also shows the first signs of changes in the sea ice off the glacier. This could mean that the stable East Antarctic glaciers might shrink in the future.”

Yeah. They could. Unless they don’t. Pity the poor researcher, though, needing to make his way in a world hostile to heretics where grants depend on orthodoxy. Hence:

“‘Our results also indicate weakening sea ice conditions, making the glaciers’ floating ice tongues more vulnerable and unable to grow as large as seen in the early aerial images from 1937. We know from other parts of Antarctica that the ocean plays an extremely important role and drives the massive and increasing melt we see in, e.g., West Antarctica,’ says Dømgaard.”

So don’t worry. We are all going to die. Pay no attention to that ice in front of the curtain.

8 comments on “Aw snap!”

  1. Facts are not easy to deny. If there was e evidence of melting ice caps on the Pole we would have seen it by now.

  2. We have seen multi decade ice loss. Since the ice extent peak in lat 70’s. We also know from satellites that 72 thru 79 was a time of tremendous ice growth. The fact that we have seen a recovery from the more recent minimum is reassuring . We are in a cycle of its own making.

  3. This only goes to show that climate change is no longer a science but has become a religion (humankind must atone for its sins and live on bugs and grass as penance). Clear evidence that the antarctic ice hasn't changed in 85 years is seen as blasphemy and must be resisted by any means possible. Be prepared for strenuous efforts in the next few weeks to prove that the 1937 photos are fakes.

  4. This is a familiar story. I've also read about some silly fishermen who took pictures of their trophy catches on the shores of Greenland in the 1930s. Those photos were lost in an attic for decades, too - only to be discovered in the 2000s and compared to contemporary photos of the same locations in Greenland. Any guesses as to what they showed?

  5. National Geographic released a 3 part special Arctic Ascent With Alex Honold. A climate researcher was there to record glacier movement to alarm the world about melting glaciers. After recording time lapse photos she disclosed that the glacier wasn’t moving any faster than it had 15 years earlier. She was so disappointed that she couldn’t warn the world the end is near if we don’t start living live Neanderthals.

  6. The east antarctic ice sheet is not the same as the west antarctic ice sheet (doomsday), which IS melting but from the underside. How many hundreds or thousands of years it will take, if current trends continue, for collapse of the western sheet, if ever, is unknown.

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