Much Ado About Nothing in Greenland

Earlier in the month, a chunk of ice broke off the Petermann Glacier in northern Greenland. The press of course ran with the story as proof of Global Warming, as Anthony forecast they would.

European Space Agency Animation

So what really happened there? The video below shows movement during the last month.

During periods of time when there is no sea ice abutting the glacier terminus, the glacier is exposed to waves. The waves rock the end of the glacier and produce stresses on the ice, which cause it to crack. The cracks can be clearly seen in the ESA image ahead of separation from the glacier.

Then southerly winds pulled the ice lose and moved it towards the north. You can see in the YouTube video above how the glacial and sea ice (to the north) are continuously being blown around by the wind. The ice island is stuck in the strait and rocking back and forth in the wind.

Similar events happen in the Antarctic and are also immediately blamed on Global Warming.

WHEN it comes to Antarctica’s disintegrating ice shelves, climate change often gets fingered as the cause. But it turns out global warming was not the only culprit behind the continent’s biggest ice break-up in recent years.

The 3200-square-kilometre Larsen B ice shelf broke apart between January and March 2002 following a series of warm summers, and after melt ponds had formed on the ice shelf. The abruptness of the break-up led many scientists to lay the blame squarely on climate change. “But the picture is much more complicated,” says Neil Glasser of Aberystwyth University in the UK.

When Glasser and Ted Scambos of the University of Colorado at Boulder – who has been tracking the increased movement of glaciers near the erstwhile Larsen B – reviewed satellite images from 1987 onwards, they saw giant rifts and crevasses created by long-term glaciological processes. These alone could not have caused the break-up, but probably came into play once a warming climate had thinned the ice (Journal of Glaciology, vol 54, p 3).

The Petermann ice island is 625 feet thick. Not likely that “thinning” had much to do with it breaking off.

NPR reports incorrectly (of course) on the chunk of ice :

August 13, 2010 The ice island is now drifting south through the Nares Strait between Greenland and Canada. Experts aren’t sure whether it will make it all the way to the Atlantic and what damage it might cause on its way.

The ice island is stuck in the channel and has not made it to the Nares Strait, which is now choked with ice.

Trudy Wohlleben of the Canadian Ice Service discovered the ice island. This is what he had to say :

On the northwest coast there is a glacier, Petermann Glacier, which is known for calving off large tabular icebergs or ice islands. We’ve been monitoring this glacier for a while expecting a large piece to fall off, and on August 5 a large section actually did break off – much larger than we actually anticipated. It was about 30 kilometers (18.6 miles) long and 10 kilometers wide…..Calving of ice islands is indeed quite average. I think what’s special about this instance is just that it’s so much bigger than any other one that’s calved. The last large one of this size was back in the ’60s. So I think it’s just the sheer size of this ice island which has everyone so excited – and perhaps also that it’s all in one enormous piece.

Conclusion : There is little or no evidence  that “global warming” had anything to do with this event, but the press has done their damage by misinforming the public once again.

“Even a big piece like this over 50 years is not that significant.  It’s just the normal rate,” he said. Muenchow warns people not to jump to conclusions. “An event like this, this specific event, all flags go immediately up, ‘Oh, let’s explain this by global warming.’ I cannot support that,” he said.


“All the global warming hysteria that is fit to print”

About Tony Heller

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