Easterbrook To Panicky Potsdam Institute: “Look At Real Data If You Want To Predict Real Events”!

There’s been some discussion in the media about the Potsdam Institute’s (PIK) recent paper claiming that Greenland is much closer to a collapse than previously expected.


Don Easterbrook calls PIK scenario “nonsense!” (Photo: nofrakkingconsensus.com)

However, few scientists outside the circle of IPCC alarmists are taking the PIK claims seriously. Recall that the IPCC 5th report is pathologically desperate for climate horror stories – because the planet hasn’t warmed at all in 15 years and is now actually cooling.

For example Professor Don Easterbrook at WUWT has called the PIK’s computer model generated scenario:

Nonsense! The Greenland ice core data show that almost all of the past 10,000 years was warmer than present and the ice sheet didn’t disappear.  The ice core data show periods of warming many times more intense as recent warming without melting the ice sheet.  So much for computer modeling!  Look at real data if you want to predict real events.”

Good advice. But the problem is that real climate data don’t produce any disaster scenarios.

U.S. planes abandoned in Greenland in 1942 recovered – after being buried in 100 meters of ice!

Here’s an anecdote that illustrates how Greenland ice thickened and not thinned as the PIK would like us to believe (hat-tip to a German reader by e-mail).

According to this news report from 2008, a group of plane enthusiasts, scientists, business people and adventurists founded WoRAG (Worldwide Recoveries AG) with the mission to conduct an expedition to Greenland.

The purpose? To recover US WWII planes buried under about 100 meters of ice in eastern Greenland.

In 1942 two U.S. bombers and 6 Lockheed P-38 Lightning fighter planes were being flown to England by American pilots to join up with British forces. But the pilots had to abandon their planes over Greenland because of bad weather and low fuel. The pilots were rescued a few days later by the US Marines.

One of the P 38 planes (pictured below) was recovered in 1992 – from under 80 meters of ice!

P 38 Lightning “Glacier Girl,” dug out from 268 feet of ice in eastern Greenland in 1992. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Ben Bloker)

According to the above-linked report, WoRAG set off to recover 5 more planes from under 100 meters of ice (just 16 years later in 2008) – a challenge that could be met only with specially developed and produced ice melting equipment. Why not wait for the rapid global warming to melt the ice away? The report writes:

Waiting for climate change to melt the ice would take way too long.”

Now how do you suppose the planes got buried by 100 meters of ice over 70 years? Boy, that sure is some ice melt!

(And check out the Himalayas: http://theresilientearth)


9 responses to “Easterbrook To Panicky Potsdam Institute: “Look At Real Data If You Want To Predict Real Events”!”

  1. Emeritus Eng

    I recall an experiment done in a school physics lesson where a steel wire with weights attached at each end was hung across a block of ice. The pressure under the wire caused the ice to melt and the wire slowly made its way down through the block, with the ice refreezing above it.
    Does this effect explain how the plane came to be so deep in the ice?

  2. Emeritus Eng


    However the plane is only able to ‘float in air’ because it is being powered by powerful engines. Static on the ice it is still a dead weight.

    In the experiment the pressure under the wire is probably quite high because the area is small and I do not know if there is a minimum pressure required to produce the effect. However even if the effect becomes very small because the area touching the ice is large it has certainly had a long time to progress.

    1. Bernd Felsche

      The nett density of the aircraft is less than that of the ice. The volumetric displacement is too large for it to sink.

      Although the landing gear may sink (if lowered), the fuselage and eventually the wings will exert such a low pressure on the ice, that it’ll be less than the fall of snow on the ice. Even with the aircraft “full” of drift snow, it’s still not substantially more dense overall than the surrounding ice.

      A P-38 has a mass of less than 6 tonnes, spread over more than 30 square metres of wing area alone; less than 2 kPa pressure if horizontal on snow/ice; about one fifth of the pressure of a person standing in the same spot.

  3. nofreewind

    I read the book about that. They have a picture dated 1992 of a tractor they left out on the ice in 1990, in 1992 it was covered by about 20 feet of ice. The book described all the difficulties of reccovering the buried tractor. I even have a scan of the picture of the tractor 20 feet in a hole from the book.

  4. Easterbrook To Panicky Potsdam Institute: “Look At Real Data If You Want To Predict Real Events”! | JunkScience.com

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  5. slimething

    I heard it argued the ice melted and remelted each year allowing the planes to sink. The problem with that argument is the planes were found as hollow shells. If water got into the cavities of the engines, fuselage and other components, the ice would have rendered the planes unrecognizable. Oops, next fallacy please……

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  7. Doug

    Sheesh folks, regelation melting (which is what you’re talking about with the wire) only works on very small scales (< ~1 m); a plane is way to big to have that process operate, but also way too light to "sink" through ice. Even huge erratics don't sink through glaciers.

    The explanation is that the planes landed well up in the accumulation zone of the ice sheet, near the crest of the southern Greenland ice divide, so even with warming conditions, it still gains a net of several meters of snow every year. The end affect is that the planes got buried in a big hurry, and if they hadn't been recovered, they would have been progressively buried until ice flow brought them out near one of the outlet glaciers near sea level. Basic glacier physics. None of this has any bearing whatsoever on climate change.

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