"ALL CAPS IN DEFENSE OF LIBERTY IS NO VICE."

Saturday, December 30, 2006

HOW COME ARCTIC SEA-ICE IS MELTING BUT LAND-ICE IS NOT?


Amid the latest polar bear panic I am reproducing part of a 2003 article that explains LOTS about the Arctic -- but no Greenie will ever mention it. Read it and I will point out some of the implications below.

Note that my post yesterday concerned Arctic ice sitting on land in Canada, Greenland and elsewhere. Today I am looking at sea-based (floating) Arctic ice; (to Greenies they are all the same, but that is what you expect of simplistic thinkers):
Results from a German-American Arctic expedition to the Gakkel Ridge have implications for the understanding of the generation of new seafloor. The Gakkel ridge is a gigantic volcanic mountain chain stretching beneath the Arctic Ocean.... The scientists had expected that the Gakkel ridge would exhibit "anemic" magmatism. Instead, surprisingly strong magmatic activity in the West and the East of the ridge and one of the strongest hydrothermal activities ever seen at mid-ocean ridges were found. These results require a fundamental rethinking of the mechanisms of seafloor generation at midocean ridges (Nature, January 16 and June 26).

The Gakkel ridge extends about 1800 kilometers beneath the Arctic Ocean from north of Greenland to Siberia. It is the northernmost portion of the mid-ocean ridge system, the global 75,000 kilometer long volcanic chain where the ocean crust is generated by erupting magma....

Current theories of oceanic crustal production predict that volcanic activity deminishes as the spreading rate of the tectonic plates decreases and only little or no hydrothermal activity. Instead, the scientists found high levels of volcanic activity. "We expected the volcanic activity to gradually decrease from West to East as the magmatic systems shut down. Instead, approximately in the middle of the survey area, the magmatism shut down completely, then dramatically increased," says Dr. Jonathan Snow, the leader of the research group from the Max Planck Institute. This group was responsible for the petrological and geochemical investigations.

Hydrothermal hot springs on the seafloor were also far more abundant than predicted. "We expected this to be a hydrothermally dead ridge, and almost every time our water measurement instrument came up, they showed evidence of hydrothermal activity, and once we even 'saw' an active hot spring on the sea floor," noted Jonathan Snow. (H/T Ice Age Now)
Note how much the above explains. The sea-borne Arctic ice has undoubtedly been melting in recent years. Yet the land-borne ice in both Greenland and Antarctica has been thickening. There is very little comment about that oddity, but the above work explains it: The melting sea ice is melting, not because of global warming, but because of volcanism -- heat coming up from under it. Greenland and Antarctica are not affected by such volcanism so they are not melting. It also would seem to explain why SOME polar bear populations are decreasing. Most bear populations are doing fine or expanding but the ones dependent on sea-ice SHOULD be shrinking as the sea-ice shrinks.

For the benefit of any ignorant Greenie who might read this, I guess I should point out again a basic fact of physics: Even if the WHOLE of the sea-ice melted, it would not effect world sea-levels one iota. In other words, the bit of the Arctic that is melting doesn't matter.


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1 comment:

reliapundit said...

all i know is that there is no proof any of this climatic change is anthropogenic.

i think that much of the land up thee gets green every summer.

and if it stays green longer that this aint necessarily a bad thing.