Growing Antarctic ice is actually shrinking. That’s what a study by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) is claiming in a new paper published by Nature.
This is precisely in line with the global warming logic that a warmer globe leads to colder, snowier winters. The peer reviewers at Nature simply have no qualms about such creative, yet contradictory logic. Addition is now subtraction. 2+2 now equals 3!
The PIK here writes that as the globe warms, more precipitation will result over Antarctica, which in turn will lead to thickening ice. Logically, that should act to slow down sea level rise. Not so the PIK now claims: “Stronger snowfall increases future ice discharge from Antarctica” and “that a lot of the ice gain due to increased snowfall is countered by an acceleration of ice-flow to the ocean. Thus Antarctica’s contribution to global sea-level rise is probably greater than hitherto estimated”.
A greater rate of ice flow from Antarctica into the ocean is plausible. But an accelerated sea level rise is only possible if the exit ice mass flowrate into the ocean is greater than the mass flowrate from precipitation onto the Antarctic ice. A positive ice gain on Antarctica means a subtraction from sea level.
So how much of the quantity of ice added from precipitation flows out into the oceans? To add to sea level rise, that figure would have to be greater than 100%. The PIK writes:
‘Between 30 and 65 percent of the ice gain due to enhanced snowfall in Antarctica is countervailed by enhanced ice loss along the coastline,’ says lead-author Ricarda Winkelmann.”
That means that net ice gain on the continent is 35 – 70% of what comes down as precipitation. So how do they come up with more ice leaving the continent than what is piling up on it? Here, the creative assumptions of a child are necessary. The PIK claims: The effects of surface warming and basal ice-shelf melting more than offset the gains from precipitation and thus lead to a net ice loss from Antarctica.
For the first time, an ensemble of ice-physics simulations shows that future ice discharge is increased up to three times because of additional precipitation in Antarctica under global warming.”
In summary, when reality shows that Anatarctica is not contributing to sea level rise, then just fudge the models until there’s a net positive sea level rise contribution. With the right assumptions, you can show anything! In this case they simply assume that changes in the ice-flow dynamics (yes, precisely!) more than offset the ice growth from precipitation.
But the PIK then admits that is doesn’t know how fast the ice is flowing into the oceans:
…the big question is: How much more mass within the ice sheet will slowly but inexorably flow off Antarctica and contribute to sea-level rise, which is one of the major impacts of climate change.”
This is where the PIK comes in with the dubious assumption: ice flow dynamics will certainly more than offset precipitation. That is after all the answer they want.
The Nature abstract claims:
This results in a dynamic ice loss of up to 1.25 metres in the year 2500 for the strongest warming scenario. The reported effect thus strongly counters a potential negative contribution to global sea level by the Antarctic Ice Sheet.”
Of course, this is only if their preposterous assumption is correct.
Clearly the science has gone off the rails.