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‘UNSTOPPABLE COLLAPSE’ OF THE WEST ANTARCTIC ICE SHEET IS NOT HAPPENING


Dr. Don J. Easterbrook,
Western Washington University,
Bellingham, WA

May 19, 2014

A New York Times headline reads “Scientists Warn of Rising Oceans From Polar Melt” and goes on to say:

“A large section of the mighty West Antarctica ice sheet has begun falling apart and its continued melting now appears to be unstoppable, two groups of scientists reported on Monday. If the findings hold up, they suggest that the melting could destabilize neighbouring parts of the ice sheet and a rise in sea level of 10 feet or more may be unavoidable in coming centuries.”

The story, based on studies of the Pine Island and Thwaites glaciers in West Antarctica, went ballistic in the news media with dire predictions of the ‘unstoppable’ catastrophe about to unfold.

The authors of the Pine Island paper, Justin Gillis and Kenneth Chang say in their paper: “…we find no major bed obstacle that would prevent the glaciers from further retreat and draw down the entire basin.”

In a second paper, “Marine Ice Sheet Collapse Potentially Underway for the Thwaites Glacier Basin, West Antarctica,” the authors (Joughin, Smith, and Medley) also infer that the entire West Antarctic ice sheet will soon disappear, resulting in a sea level rise of up to 10 feet. The governor of California is now suggesting moving LAX and San Francisco airports!

WHAT’S HAPPENING NOW

Since last week’s press releases, thousands of Antarctic photos and text items on the internet have been relabeled, and you can scarcely find any mention of Antarctica now without reference to ‘the unstoppable, collapsing Antarctic ice sheet.’ From all of the media hype, you would think that the West Antarctic ice sheet is presently in the process of collapsing and drastic sea level rise is imminent. THE WEST ANTARCTIC ICE SHEET IS NOT COLLAPSING! The retreat of the Pine Island and Thwaites glaciers is NOT caused by global warming, and sea level is NOT going to rise 10 feet.

Read the full document: http://carbon-sense.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/the-west-antarctic-ice-sheet-is-not-collapsing.pdf [PDF, 1.6MB]

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