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Earth Science

Greenland Ice Sheet Not Covered In Soot 119

An anonymous reader writes with word of a a new study of the Greenland ice sheet led by Dartmouth adjunct assistant professor Chris Polashenski, which maintains that the darkening sensed there by satellites is not caused by dust and soot deposited by forest fires and industry, but rather by the slow degradation of the sensors on the satellites themselves. [Polashenski] and his colleagues analyzed dozens of snow-pit samples from the 2012-2014 snowfalls across northern Greenland and compared them with samples from earlier years. The results showed no significant change in the quantity of black carbon deposited for the past 60 years or the quantity and mineralogical makeup of dust compared to the last 12,000 years, meaning that deposition of these light absorbing impurities is not a primary cause of reflectivity reduction or surface melting in the dry snow zone. Algae growth, which darkens ice, also was ruled out as a factor. Instead, the findings suggest the apparent decline in the dry snow zone's reflectivity is being caused by uncorrected degradation of sensors in NASA's aging MODIS satellites and that the declining trend will likely disappear when new measurements are reprocessed.
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Greenland Ice Sheet Not Covered In Soot

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  • this is how they will explain away the other post from earlier stating that ice is growing. Blame the sensors!
    • Conveniently Global Warming initiative somehow morphed into the Climate Change, or, more accurately, fight against Climate change. I have to believe that every educated person will agree that the only thing that is constant it is change itself, including climate. Climate is changing slowly, also changes in cycles and has many variables. And yes, human are f***king up the biosphere.

      NASA has issued new study saying that Antarctica stated that since 1992, a lot of ice has been added to the continent this is th

      • by buchner.johannes ( 1139593 ) on Sunday November 01, 2015 @10:08PM (#50844593) Homepage Journal

        Conveniently Global Warming initiative somehow morphed into the Climate Change, or, more accurately, fight against Climate change. I have to believe that every educated person will agree that the only thing that is constant it is change itself, including climate. Climate is changing slowly, also changes in cycles and has many variables. And yes, human are f***king up the biosphere.

        Your stage of denial is 3, and you are implying a appeal to nature fallacy. Here are the relevant links:
        http://grist.org/climate-energ... [grist.org]
        http://grist.org/climate-energ... [grist.org]

        NASA has issued new study saying that Antarctica stated that since 1992, a lot of ice has been added to the continent this is the link to NASA: https://www.nasa.gov/content/g... [nasa.gov]

        See here: http://grist.org/climate-energ... [grist.org]

        Most cynical opponents to those who were pushing Global Warming were citing that it was about the money and carbon tax in the particular.

        ... are you arguing that now? Do you think scientists are warning about human-made global warming for money and the carbon tax?

        I am convinced that in my lifetime I will see another initiative related to the fight against Global Cooling. As such Climate Change is much more convenient because bureaucrats can fight any change irrespective of the direction of the change.

        Here is some information about various cooling claims:
        http://grist.org/climate-energ... [grist.org]
        http://grist.org/climate-energ... [grist.org]
        http://grist.org/climate-energ... [grist.org]
        http://grist.org/climate-energ... [grist.org]

        • Debunk this [www.ipcc.ch] - smarter people with far more resources than you have tried and failed.
          • I am unsure what should I debunk and what I am failing in. The report you refer to is very insightful though (I am looking at http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessm... [www.ipcc.ch] ). I don't see anything I should disagree with? They report human-made global warming and its measurable effects. Thanks for the resource, it is very detailed and interesting.

        • by Kim0 ( 106623 )

          A former musician, Coby Beck, writes about climate on Grist, and you want us to accept him as an expert on climate.
          That is stupid.

          I am a physicist, a real expert on stuff like that, and I know that the global temperature has not increased for almost 20 years.

      • Conveniently Global Warming initiative somehow morphed into the Climate Change

        Yes the US government deliberately changed the terminology in the early 2000's, both phrases are technically correct but have different meanings, both phrases have been (properly) used by researchers since the 1950's. Frank Luntz (GWB's political advisor) suggested the change in official communications to sow doubt about the science in a now infamous memo [theguardian.com]. It backfired, so the GOP tried to pin the charge of "doublespeak" on the scientists.

        • Conveniently Global Warming initiative somehow morphed into the Climate Change

          Yes the US government deliberately changed the terminology in the early 2000's

          The IPCC was formed in 1988.

    • by AK Marc ( 707885 )
      Apparently nobody has ever seen snow or ice. In Alaska, when the snow falls in October, some of it doesn't melt until spring. But as it starts melting, it turns black and muddy. Dust and such from 6 months starts melting to the top as the snow/ice above melts. When exposed, the dark particles heat faster, melting down rough texture. This makes for more pits, shadows and such that makes it look darker. Nothing brightens up the melting ice like a fresh coat of snow.
    • by Layzej ( 1976930 )

      Greenland ice is not growing. In fact the decline in volume is accelerating: https://andthentheresphysics.f... [wordpress.com]

      I think maybe the article you were looking at was regarding antartica?

      • Greenland ice is not growing. In fact the decline in volume is accelerating

        They said the same thing about Antarctic ice volume. Repeatedly. They were even saying it after those alarmists got themselves stuck in the growing ice in 2013 and needed an international rescue effort. They were saying it until this week.

        • by Layzej ( 1976930 )
          Are you sure? Here's a NASA paper from 2012 that says: Mass Gains of the Antarctic Ice Sheet Exceed Losses [nasa.gov]. Same title as the current study. You may be thinking of the Arctic, which is losing volume at an accelerating rate: http://neven1.typepad.com/blog... [typepad.com]
        • No, I have been following this argument for 30yrs, the data itself said the same as NASA and the IPCC - "stable or slightly decreasing", with better measurements and longer satellite records it turns out it's slightly increasing. The numerous permanent ice shelves in Antarctica that have been lost over the last couple of decades have not suddenly reformed because of this new paper, the antarctic peninsula is still melting at an alarming rate. Sea ice behaves very differently at the north and south pole, pai
        • by dave420 ( 699308 )
          You seem to be confused about sea ice and land ice. It's not too surprising - those who attack climatology don't usually understand it.
          • To be fair, many people who defend the climatologists don't really understand much of it either. Even the climatologists seem to not understand how science works. Repeatability is important, but yet there appears to be a major refusal to share the data so that others can run models. Also, the appeal to consensus is repugnant, a consensus means nothing in science.

    • this is how they will explain away the other post from earlier stating that ice is growing. Blame the sensors!

      NASA will just do one of its famous "adjustments" to the observations, like it has for the land-temperature network. If you cool the past and heat the present one time for an adjustment, you have randomly selected one of the six possibilities. When you do it ten times in a row, the odds of that being a random correction are one in 6^10 = 60-million.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    One of the most important parts of performing real science is the act of critically reviewing past results when new evidence comes to light or new observations are made, and admitting that earlier conclusions may have been completely wrong.

    Now that there's evidence to suggest that at least some of their claims may be wrong, will we actually see those who support the notion of "global warming" (or "climate change" or whatever it is being called today) review their work, and admit that they were wrong if it t

    • you expect them to admit that? no, instead they will double down based on past experiences
    • by Trachman ( 3499895 ) on Sunday November 01, 2015 @05:33PM (#50843745) Journal

      Do you expect Retractions? There will be none. Part of the reasons is because those "99% of the scientists were non-existing from the beginning.

      What you witnessed is a classical social manipulation, human tendency to conform and to be part of the group. If television tells you that "99% of the scientists" believe that Global warming is real, then you will probably accept additional carbon taxes easier.

      The problem is that most of the scientists do agree that humanity is changing the earth. You no longer need to be a scientists to see that. For example, in Europe there are no more large populations of bears, tauruses, wolves and wild horses. These animals became extinct before industrial revolution. Last mammothes on Earth died when humans already knew how to write. Heck, some of the rhinoceros will probably be extinct this decade.

      However most of discussions were about a) bankrupting US coal industry and closing coal factories (while China opens new coal electric plant almost every week) and b) imposing additional taxes on the taxpayers of industrialized nations.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Carbon taxes? That's just an instrument to get around to carbon credits and a carbon trading market.

        Market speculation thrives on abstraction. If you have to take physical possession of commodities in order to trade them, you can't speculate much, because you're hauling around tons of grain or metals. If you can trade ownership of commodities that other people store and use, then you can speculate much more and make more money. If you trade the future ownership of commodities rather than present, it gets

      • by delt0r ( 999393 )
        Wolf populations are bouncing back in a big way. To the point you need to know about them even in the black forest last time i was there. Bears are also coming back in the south east.
    • by TapeCutter ( 624760 ) on Monday November 02, 2015 @01:45AM (#50845197) Journal
      Yes, they claim to have found a slight accounting error in the work that attributes the inputs for the observed sea level rise, it was found with new satellites, improved data resolution, and longer time scales. That small portion of the rise must now be accounted for 'elsewhere', it probably won't be until we make similar measurement improvements 'elsewhere'. Remove the politics and this paper is only interesting to beancounter geeks, it does not challenge existing theories or observations, let alone disprove them. Most importantly, it does not change the observed sea level rise.

      This paper is actually a continuation of the valuable and ongoing work that the 'climategate' beat up was desperately trying to discredit and disrupt via character assassination. ie - Robust climate data. Climate data sets are collected, cleaned, maintained and published by NASA and other organisations, here's a list of the main data sets used by climate researchers. The IPCC does not perform or fund research or data collection, it summarises existing peer-reviewed publications into various reports aimed at different audiences.

      Anyone who genuinely wants to debunk global warming should start here [realclimate.org], trust me, climate scientists will respond with collective sigh of releif should anyone succeed.
      • Anyone who genuinely wants to debunk global warming should start here [realclimate.org], trust me, climate scientists will respond with collective sigh of releif should anyone succeed.

        RealClimate.org maybe wouldn't be the best place to start. There's a lot of very aggressively close minded chaps dominating the forums. I know, who'd have thought that could happen on an internet forum?

        Real climate is also co-founded by Michael Mann, whom I really take some issue with. Tell me I'm making a mountain out of a mole hill, but his paleo reconstructions of temperature have really bothered me in the past. Nothing to do with the results, not as much to do even with his methodology now that his later work is addressing and correcting problems. The presentation and usage of the 'hide the decline' trick in graphs is just disgusting. When your paleo reconstruction ends around 1900, just end the graph there. If your paleo reconstruction doesn't show the same temperature rise since 1900 as instrumental, then show that too. What you DO NOT DO, is paste in the instrumental record with a thick enough line to hide the paleo reconstruction since 1900 [psu.edu]. Even further, don't point to the overlapped instrumental part of the graph as startling and clear evidence of an abrupt trend in the data starting at 1900.

        If your wanting to have an open and honest discussion about the evidence, that's a difficult environment. Even scientists with a decent publishing record within the field like Lindzen [realclimate.org] are put under a microscope for criticism for not conforming to the 'consensus'. Even researchers widely embraced and accepted like Mauritsen [researchgate.net] have their results heavily disputed and interpreted there [realclimate.org]. When statisticians like McShane and Wyner [projecteuclid.org] take issue with the statistical methods in Mann and others work, Mann takes to his blog [realclimate.org] for the 'final' word while leaving out any response to their real and legitimate questions and arguments. I'm not anticipating that it's going to be a particularly receptive audience as you seem to believe.

        • Great post, for some reason it didn't get modded up.
  • by r-diddly ( 4140775 ) on Sunday November 01, 2015 @04:46PM (#50843613)
    ...observation of the truth. You're always looking through a sensor of some type.
  • I live near a large lake which has a number of buoys which sense temperature and water quality. NASA (JPL) uses this "ground truth" to calibrate their satellites temperature readings, etc.
    Sounds like they need to do some "ground truth" for Greenland to recalibrate things.

    • It's not necessary. The science is Settled.
    • What? You mean you can't just say "satellites" and magically your data becomes the gold standard? You mean you actually need to calibrate your satellite data to ground stations? Impossible.

      Next you're going to tell me that the buoys need to be taken out and calibrated to a NIST-traceable reference once or twice a year. That's crazy talk. Science=magic, and you must believe!
  • by nickweller ( 4108905 ) on Sunday November 01, 2015 @05:05PM (#50843679)
    These surface images do seem to show lots of " Dark Ice [motherjones.com]
    • by Anonymous Coward

      And if you read the article you link to, they are due to wildfires in Canada, something that has happened since long before humans were around. The increased warming is likely more than made up for by the cooling while the soot was in the air. Another cause of this kind of phenomenon is volcanic eruptions.

      So, move on, nothing to see here.

    • "Dark Snow" is not caused by anything climate related. This is the result of allegations that Silicon Valley and Greenland do not have enough diversity. Activists in the US for more diversity charged that Greenland had way to much white snow, and Silicon Valley didn't have enough dark Computer Scientists working there.

      So Greenland, for their part, introduced the "Dark Snow". A noble an politically correct to do. We'll see what Silicon Valley comes up with . . .

    • Go anywhere that ice melts slowly and you will see that kink of darkness in the fall. That dark layer is covered up by snow next year.The question is whether or not the snow is darker that is was. Has that darkness been increasing? One set of photographs will not tell us that and even photographs over they years will not usually suffice as exposures, contrasts, medium will make a difference. To make a valid comparison there needs to be a common reference that is in all the pictures so that the brightness me

  • Who's stupid enough to believe this paid-for study?
    • What is wrong with it?

      Even if it is paid for, that in and of itself is not enough reason to dismiss it out of hand. Neither is it being negative to some beliefs you hold.

  • Picard: Are we sure the alien planet is gonna be poisoned by ass gas?

    Data: Sensors confirm.

    Riker: Run a level 5 diagnostic just to be sure.

    Data: Running...oh yes. Sensors are old pieces of crap. Correcting...ah, nothing wrong with the planet.

    Picard: Very good. I am beaming down for my vacation at Hedonism XVII. I heard they have androids in the form of ancient 21st century supermodels. Riker, you have the con. Cara, here I come!

  • As it melts it gets darker. The water flows through the snow to the bottom while the impurities generally stay on the surface. When we get the next snow fall the snow is bright and white again and then as it melts it gets darker again.

    Now if the second melt doesn't melt all of the second snow fall be for another fall and you dig into the snow you will see two bands where the previous melts extended to.
    However if a melt melts all the way past the last snow fall you will notice the snow surface suddenl
  • The global warming effect ! www.lombokwandertour.com
  • Greenland Ice Sheet Not Covered In Soot

    Somehow read that as "Not Covered in Snot".

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Seriously, is GL dead? This research coupled with some some stuff I read last week (not the anti-GL hack sites either), it appears that Global Warming is cooling down. I sense Al Gore is quietly backing down.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    NASA or some other agency/political group made some alarmist statement that the ice on Greenland was getting darker without bothering to ask anyone on Greenland what they were seeing?

  • ...to not know those sensors were degrading, and just goes to show that much of whats passed off as "science" is actually social manipulation.

    Normally, when someone makes dire claims, and is incompetently wrong, there's some sort of consequences for the people making the claims.

    I doubt this incident will sway many people, as people in general tend towards a childish conformity, and the internet helps maintain that with the same tired crap as always; superstition, fear, and rage.

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