I forget...if we are worried about Anthropogenic Global Warming (TM) weren't we supposed to be expecting glacial melting? Antarctic glaciers surge to ocean
UK scientists working in Antarctica have found some of the clearest evidence yet of instabilities in the ice of part of West Antarctica.
If the trend continues, they say, it could lead to a significant rise in global sea level.
The new evidence comes from a group of glaciers covering an area the size of Texas, in a remote and seldom visited part of West Antarctica.
The "rivers of ice" have surged sharply in speed towards the ocean.
Now, as we have been told numerous times, any retrograde movement in glaciers is seen as a clear indication of global warming. Now, we are told, any forward movement (one is tempted to use the word "growth") is also a sign of something sinister. But what??
David Vaughan, of the British Antarctic Survey, explained: "It has been called the weak underbelly of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, and the reason for that is that this is the area where the bed beneath the ice sheet dips down steepest towards the interior.
"If there is a feedback mechanism to make the ice sheet unstable, it will be most unstable in this region."
There is good reason to be concerned.
Satellite measurements have shown that three huge glaciers here have been speeding up for more than a decade.
The biggest of the glaciers, the Pine Island Glacier, is causing the most concern.
They have been growing for more than a decade? Why wasn't Al Gore informed?
Julian Scott has just returned from there. He told the BBC: "This is a very important glacier; it's putting more ice into the sea than any other glacier in Antarctica.
"It's a couple of kilometres thick, its 30km wide and it's moving at 3.5km per year, so it's putting a lot of ice into the ocean."
So...we were told (by Al Gore among others) that the "problem" in Antarctica is glaciers that are over land will melt, dumping the newly released water into the oceans. Now, we are being told the problem is glaciers that are getting larger because of a "feedback mechanism to make the ice sheet unstable" (hmmm...could that be because much of Antarctica has been getting colder?)
I'm not an expert on glaciers by any stretch of anyone's imagination, but go read all of the BBC article and tell me if it doesn't seem "carefully worded." One basic question that the article leaves unasked and unanswered is if the glaciers are getting bigger (i.e. growing) or if they are simply sliding around. Call me a cynic, but I get the feeling the reporter is trying everything in his power to not say the glaciers are growing when they obviously are. AGW believers would probably see that as a heroic effort of self censorship for a higher cause.
I see it as crappy journalism.