Latest warmist doomsday fantasy: Massive Thwaites Glacier in Antarctica will 'fall apart overnight' and raise sea levels by ten feet

Some people love to be scared.  Mary Shelley knew that when she wrote Frankenstein, and genres of fiction and film exist mining that desire for innocent fun and profit.  But when politics enters the fray and fears are stoked to scare people into accepting costly and harmful policies, it is important to push back.

Two articles from last week illustrate the panic-mongering and the responsible citation of fact.

Breitbart highlights a prophet of doom from Rolling Stone magazine, home of the University of Virginia rape hoax story:

The massive Thwaites Glacier in Antarctica could "fall apart overnight" and raise sea levels by 10 feet, declares an article Thursday in Rolling Stone magazine.

The essay by Jeff Goodell, titled "'The Fuse Has Been Blown,' and the Doomsday Glacier Is Coming for Us All," states that cracks and fissures in the Thwaites eastern ice shelf suggest the Florida-sized ice mass "could fracture like a shattered car window in as little as five years."

The West Antarctic ice sheet "is one of the most important tipping points in the Earth's climate system," Goodell asserts. "If Thwaites Glacier collapses, it opens the door for the rest of the West Antarctic ice sheet to slide into the sea."


Thwaites Glacier tongue on 2012.
Photo credit: James Yungel, NASA ICE, CC BY 2.0 license.

Cue the special effects crew for a Hollywood disaster film.  Great visuals of a wall of water crushing Miami or New York City.

Except that the relationship between glacier size and atmospheric CO2 is far from clear.  And glaciers don't seem to be receding, as Wattsupwiththat chronicles:

The cryosphere is failing to cooperate with the anthropogenic global warming narrative that says rising greenhouse gas emissions should be catastrophically melting Arctic ice.

Scientists (O'Regan et al., 2021) report Ryder Glacier in north Greenland has advanced 2,881 m from 1948-2015 given its advancing rate of 43 m/yr-1. Its modern ice extent is about 50 km greater than 6,300 years ago.

Nearby, the ~60 km-tongued Petermann Glacier, didn't even exist during the Roman Warm Period. (snip)

Another glaciologist (Winker, 2021) asserts there is "no evidence" that Jostedalsbreen, a southern Norway glacier, even existed during the first several thousand years of the Holocene, or when CO2 hovered near 260 ppm. The glacier reached its maximum advanced phase during the Little Ice Age, which had CO2 concentrations in the 275 to 280 ppm range. (snip)

Interestingly, after wasting away rapidly during the 1930s and 1940s, the glacier stabilized. From the 1950s to 1980s, there was a "slight overall advance" in ice extent. This corresponds to a similar melt pattern for the Nigardsbreen glacier.

Arctic and Antarctic ice caps often don't grow or shrink in unison.  But if CO2 were driving glaciers and ice caps, they would.

There is a lot that we simply know or understand.

Hat tip: Bill Schanefelt.

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