Antarctica Is Melting Three Times as Fast as a Decade Ago

The continent’s rate of ice loss is speeding up, which is contributing even more to rising sea levels.

Comments: 236

  1. The data that supports this story has in my view three interesting notes. First, there seems to be a global tipping point in the mid-90's that was met and caused drastic change. Similar drastic changes can be demonstrated in geological time, such as the effects of the asteroid impact that formed the Chicxulub Crater.

    Second, massive population migrations will force nations to further compete for ever dwindling space, water and food as their populations continue to expand, much as we are doing now. The immigration battle we see politically is a part of that.

    Third, Faux News will continue to avoid reporting on this story or advocate the deniers, causing millions of people in our country, including trump, to avoid taking steps to curb increases in carbon dioxide output.

    This is far bigger looming disaster than all others combined. Armageddon? You bet.

  2. Armageddon out of here.

  3. This will make Armageddon look like a Sunday picnic.

    Come to think of it, a number of my Sunday picnics with Grandma did include a discussion of Armageddon.

  4. I have seen climate projection maps that not only immerse our coasts in water, but gut out the Mississippi River all the way to the Great Lakes. We should have acted on this in the 1970s, but big oil, greed, and making fun of everyone from Jimmy Carter to Al Gore is more fun and more important than year-2100 scenarios. 2100? I doubt it, I'll bet it will be faster than anyone even dreamed. And with Trump as king with a potential second term it's quicker still. All the Koch money in the world isn't going to stop that.

  5. Old men like Trump and the Koch brothers get to die decades before they would personally feel the damaging impacts. Unfortunately my grandchildren and great grandchild will feel these impacts. No justice.

  6. Regarding Al Gore - it seems pretty hypocritical to me to be flying around in a private jet, a motorcade, and live in a mansion while screaming the sky is falling, the sky is falling.

    Bill Gates travels around the country telling high-school kids to turn down the heat, wear a hoody indoors, and ride a bike to work. Then he hops into a private jet and flies back to his 24 bathroom mansion.

    Does this behavior sound like someone who believes the world is facing catastrophe?

  7. It's so funny, or I guess it's just a really hard concept to grasp; " And with Trump as king with a potential second term ...". Well, no, kings don't run for reelection, they are, well, kings. You got the climate change concepts down, now it's time to get the king/dictator/autocrat/president for life concept down. The likelihood of elections in 2020 are dismal. This fall's elections are already understood to be compromised. People need to face this stark reality. It's happening.

    As to "Koch money in the world isn't going to stop that", well, first, the Koch money would NEVER be employed to try to stop it, quite exactly the contrary. And in terms of "stop" as a concept, well, like you said, the time to seriously have a chance to change course was decades ago - 1970s or thereabouts - but now? No chance. No way. And the USA is not the whole world in any case. China is #1, India #3, Russia #4 in terms of carbon emissions. We are #2. China is DOUBLE us. So no matter what our king does we are, in fact, doomed.

  8. Well, I know what to do about this.

    Let's step out of the Paris accords and double down on coal.

  9. Right? It’s all a Chinese hoax

  10. From a 2016 paper regarding a numerical ice sheet model which doubled our assessment of potential sea level rise under business-as-usual (BAU) emissions over the next century. 1

    "Incorporating these mechanisms in our ice-sheet model accelerates the expected collapse of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet to decadal time scales, and also causes retreat into major East Antarctic subglacial basins"

    According to Richard Alley, the glaciologist that the MIT atmospheric physicist Kerry Emanuel described as the world's foremost expert on the relationship of ice and climate, that numerical model “specified a maximum retreat rate that has already been exceeded in Greenland for short times, and the wider glaciers and deeper beds of Antarctica will likely allow faster or much faster retreat than has been achieved in Greenland”, so the several meters of sea level rise over the next hundred years which DeConto said their model produced under BAU may be conservative. 2

    1. Michael Mann a few months ago: "We have literally, in the space of a year, doubled our assessment of the potential sea level rise we could see by the end of this century. That is simply remarkable. And it is sobering," he said.”


  11. Bittersweet is being too ignorant to surpass the Great Filter yet sentient enough to realize it.

  12. "Suicide Planet," starring Donal Trump as "Industry" and Scott Pruitt as "Denier," with Jimmy Stewart as "Science" and a cast of billions.

  13. Oh no! 6 inches of water in 80 years. Help (yawn) help!

  14. That figure is from Antarctica alone, and is likely conservative.

    A rise in sea level of one foot, on average globally, moves the shoreline in 300 feet.

    It's worse in places like S Florida and Bangladesh.

  15. You don’t get the implications because you want to is my guess. But, of course, you know better than those who have studied this for years.

  16. I take it that you don't understand this issue?

  17. With the United States abandoning their place on the world stage as a dependable voice of reason, other countries - perhaps the G6 - will need to step to the plate and continue this research.

    I see a time, if it isn't already happening, where the best and brightest minds find a more welcoming home away from the States as the US continues its decline into a once proud country run by clueless leaders, a toothless government and pseudo-Right Wing Christian dogma.

    I'll just move to Paris.

  18. Parts of Paris are also going to disappear.

  19. Although we as individuals can be intelligent and can avoid most dangers, we as a species seem like, to use a simile, some short-sighted lumbering stupid and slothful animal which has likely already fallen of the cliff toward oblivion, yet it knows hardly anything of its present status and the infinite depth toward which it is plunging.

    In the gargantuan scheme of things our race will perish, of course, but it is becoming manifestly clear that oblivion is much closer than most of us would like to think. And those of us who are the most ignorant, willfully or not, are a grim reminder of the dangers of our general nature as a species.

    At least the literal flat-earthers of my youth held an opinion that posed no harm to us.

  20. There is literally zero chance humans will be able to stem the rising tide even if the GOP thought it was a good idea. In 30 years from now New Yorkers will be kayaking to work and the Inuit will be growing corn.

  21. the "liberals" are right. will the "liberals" be ready for the rightwing rhetorical onslaught when their predictions come true and the rightwingers are on the back foot?

  22. Considering the rightwing is in charge and is refusing to do anything, we were not ready. But then again, fear does much better at winning than rational thought. And the rightwing is great at using fear.

  23. A hundred years from now, historians will ask why stories like this were not above the fold, with headlines in 72-point font spread across the top of the page. Equivalently for broadcast media, why would this and others like it not be lead stories on every newscast.

    They may come to the conclusion that news organizations being businesses first and foremost, cost us enormously, on a par with the Supreme Court's declaration that money equals speech.

  24. Exactly. As a species we are pretty dumb right now.

  25. I see this "a hundred years from now..." concept rolled out a lot. It's hysterically funny. We are literally facing calamity of huge proportions, and yet folks are so inherently resistant to what it really means in terms of massively devastating outcomes, that they bizarrely assume that it will all be fixed up such that generations to come will be able to sit back, reflect, and shake their heads at our folly. They ain't. The few stragglers will be barely hanging on a hundred years from now, maybe. There certainly will not be any "historians" coming to "conclusions" the way we imagine them sitting in college campuses. Things, are, in fact, going to get really, really nasty. The daily-compounding devastating effects of runaway climate change coupled with degradations of environments globally are not to be taken lightly. At the moment it's holding together, but the stresses are humongous, and at some point there will be massive failures of all resources - quite likely within the lifetimes of people reading this. Food being, of course, the biggie. 7,600,000,000 souls on board, all angling to secure themselves within this dwindling gameboard, rigged with incredibly complex dependencies and pockmarked with nukes and veering towards global autocracy. Nothing can go wrong, right? (Wow, I checked the population just 5-6 months ago and it was 7.3bn. We added 300,000,000 more in that short time frame. Insanity - why are people having kids??)

  26. I have a feeling a hundred years from now people will know why this story didn't seem to merit the same attention to our treasonous criminal waving around a big empty promise as a treaty with NK. They will still be suffering the effects of this era.

  27. The ice that is melting is actually on the water, all the other ice on the land, and that’s most of it, is growing. I guess no film at 11.

  28. "The ice that is melting is actually on the water, all the other ice on the land, and that’s most of it, is growing. I guess no film at 11"

    Not on planet earth...

  29. William, the study was concerned with land-based ice, not sea ice. It is the ice on the land -- the ice that raises sea levels -- that is being lost (as well as sea ice).

  30. Wrong. I guess it is much easier to repeat the lies of the Climate denying industry than actually read the article you are commenting on.

  31. I’m frightened for my kids. I’m frightened for me!

  32. :) All of my kids and I will be dead before 2100. I might as well be afraid of some war destined to take place in 2523.

  33. From NASA's former lead climate scientist James Hansen two years ago.

    "There’s no argument about the fact that we will lose the coastal areas, now occupied by most of the large cities of the world. It’s only a question of how soon. That message, I don’t think, has been clearly brought to the policymakers and the public."

    The paleoclimate record suggests that if we raise temperatures just 1.5-2 degrees C over pre-industrial temperature we are committing the system to 6-9m of sea level rise, and we're not stopping at 2C.

    If fact we may already be there between West Antarctica and the marine sectors of Greenland alone.

  34. 2.5 billion Indians and Chinese want refrigerators, cars, air conditioning, 24/7 electricity, and all the good stuff we 325 million Americans have. And nothing is going to stop them from trying to reach that goal. That means lots more coal, and lots more CO2.

    So let's stop blaming the US for this problem. Our emissions per capita are down to 1990's levels, and they continue to fall. Yes, even with Donald Trump as president.

  35. Erik, "That means lots more coal..." No, that means lots more energy. We just have to figure out how to obtain energy without burning stuff -- in a more 21st century and less 19th century kind of way. Let's hope we figure it out before the warming we're already committed to is too large (noting some scientists think we're already at or beyond that point -- uncertainty is not our friend). Cheers.

  36. Well, come on, no president can re-tool enough stuff quickly enough to change emissions, which have a funny habit of not respecting borders. Not even you best pal "Trump" (maybe he could build a wall to keep out Canadian emissions??).

    I know it's hard, but please keep in mind things are really complex out there.

  37. Meanwhile, Ford has committed to halting all production of passenger cars, opting instead to produce only pickup trucks, and very large SUV's (higher profit margins).

    Contrast that with Swedish Volvo, which has committed to ONLY producing cars that have some form of an electric motor.


    NASA Study: Mass Gains of Antarctic Ice Sheet Greater than Losses

    A new NASA study says that an increase in Antarctic snow accumulation that began 10,000 years ago is currently adding enough ice to the continent to outweigh the increased losses from its thinning glaciers.

    The research challenges the conclusions of other studies, including the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) 2013 report, which says that Antarctica is overall losing land ice.

    According to the new analysis of satellite data, the Antarctic ice sheet showed a net gain of 112 billion tons of ice a year from 1992 to 2001. That net gain slowed   to 82 billion tons of ice per year between 2003 and 2008.

  39. Ahhh….the AGW rejector mantra...misrepresent science.

    You leave out the part where the author of the study indicated that the gains in parts of the Antarctic were offset by losses elsewhere on the planet. Plus, the satellite had to measure ice sheet level changes of about 1 cm accurately...which made the results a bit of stretch.

    So, still warming.

  40. The problem is that it is 2018 and things have changed since then. Which is what the article is about. Your data is 10 yrs old and is not pertinent anymore.

  41. I believe the current article explains that the conclusion of this article you link have been re-evaluated due to this new evidence.

  42. The smart thing to do is to drop "President Denial" and the head of the "Expensive Pricey Agency" off on the ice and let them see for themselves what their policy changes are doing.

    It probably wouldn't change their minds (as little as they are) but we could leave them there and that would make for a better world.

  43. This is the most serious and concerning news of the door.

    We , all of us must face reality and start thinking of how we can enable consumer growth around the world and at the same time slow down climate change to the best of our ability.

    The Paris agreement was a step in the right direction our Federal Governments withdrawal a major step in the wrong direction.
    Thankfully many States are trying to compensate for lack of policy from the Federal Government. Cannot expect anything from Pruitt he is too busy buying face cream, mattresses and trying to find his wife a job.
    As for Trump he is too busy planning Beach front condos in North Korea , condos that could be well be under water pretty soon.
    No big deal Trump has seen many of his projects go " Under water"

  44. Will not be around come the year 2100. So more to the immediate.
    Arctic and Anarctic ice is melting faster as first reported.
    Result, hurricanes are lasting longer. The city of Houston, Texas and the people of Puerto Rico are feeling those effects now. What to do now?

  45. The 6-inches-in-80-years prediction is a linear extrapolation from the observed rate of mass loss. Feedback loops and other non-linearities in melting as yet unknown could make the actual increase much larger. This will not go well for any place near the sea, nor for many of today's agricultural areas.

  46. At the current rate of acceleration of ice sheet mass loss of 44Gt/y2 (each year an additional 44Gt of ice moves into the ocean) we get 78cm of sea level rise by 2100 from the ice sheets alone. Add in 20-30cm for thermal expansion and mountain glaciers and we're already on pace for around a meter by 2100.

    But will that acceleration rate remain the same or diminish in a rapidly warming world? Not likely.

  47. As much as I used to worry about the effects of climate change I also know that we (humanity) will not do much to solve anything on this front until it is unfortunately way too late. I realize this is a pessimistic view but I have seen little to convince me the the vast majority of people care much for anything other than money. I used to fret about it quite a bit but now, nah, I can't be bothered with this anymore. Live and let live folks and come what may.

  48. I am glad that I am not predicted to live more than another 15 to 20 years. Our children and our grandchildren will rightly curse us for what we have done to the earth.

  49. I agree, we move too slowly at times and greed has a way of winning long enough that we are too late at times.
    When I see that all we have done is to slow the rate of increase of CO2, that instead of 5PPM this year and 7PPM next year, it is only 6PPM, we are still increasing the CO2. we just slowed it from 7 to 6.
    Disclaimer, I am just using figures to show how it works, not the actual figures.

  50. Yes, so much easier than actually trying to do something about it.

  51. Missing from the discussion is the isostatic adjustment of the earth’s mantle as portions rebound and others compress. Yes, water levels are increasing but the redistribution of crustal stresses may be just as important. Add to that the rotating core and the redistribution of forces may create some less than interesting side effects.

  52. Rural America - This is not missing from the discussion at all. Glacial isostatic adjustment (GIA) is accounted for in all scientific estimates for sea level rise. The numbers you are reading about already take this into consideration. It won't save us.

  53. That’s for geologists. Rural Americans are not so much interested in science.

  54. Maybe Oklahoma and other drilling states should consider that. Because Oklahoma went from a state with few earthquakes to far more than CA now as they drilled and emptied the ground.
    Also not taken into consideration is that drilling requires a great deal of water which empties the aquifer.
    So they created a double headed monster for earthquakes.

  55. Fun fact: The US coal mining industry employs 50,000 people. The second-tier fast food joint Arby's employs 74,000 people. Think about that the next time someone tells you how our entire national energy policy and the future of our country should be driven by the priority of preserving coal jobs.

  56. More fun facts:
    In 2016 there were 260,000 jobs in the US Solar industry. And another 100,000 jobs in in the US wind energy industry. Both of these industries are growing super fast, almost geometrically fast in employment.

    So, Mr. GOP please explain to US why we should support coal industry from the 19th century when even the utility executives who own these legact coal plants are closing them as fast as they can due purely to economic inefficiencies.

  57. Another reality is that green energy employs far more people than coal does. In fact with all the jobs considered, inc transportation etc, the green energy employs about twice as many people as all the carbon industries combined.
    So which is more important to our economy? The one that employs twice as many or the one that employs less and pollutes more.

  58. So you think ex-coal workers should go to work at Arby’s? Why don’t you share your wealth with them instead?

  59. We desperately need to maintain, and expand, satellite observations of the cryosphere. Civilized countries will need to step up to the challenge as the US turns further away from reality. Crowd-funding is another possibility.

  60. There are numerous studies that point out we passed the point of no return a while back. Every article like this confirms our fears. What concerns me most is that we are doing that typically human thing of doing nothing in full knowledge that we are in for it.

    With mounting deaths and disaster from storms and sea level what will it take for us to move from theorizing to making the investments in preparedness? It is not going to matter anymore who wins the blame game on why this is occurring. We need to look at getting in front of infrastructure, building safely and appropriately, and having adequate response capabilities and better technologies so when trouble comes (like Puerto Rico for one) we are really ready with more than paper towels.

  61. Actually, ygj, the "blame game" is tremendously important. It serves as a basis for justifying why we fully expect certain parties to pay through the nose to help fix this. Sorry, but I'm not accepting "Whoops, you guys were right after all! Our bad!" as a viable response. Heavy taxes on the fossil fuel industries and their executives is a reasonable source of revenue for these efforts. And maybe a little jail time for the ones who buried the data and lied for decades.

  62. Actually we are not past the point of no return. If we implemented the Paris accords, warming could be slowed down significantly, if go further than the Paris accords, the impact would be greatly lessened. Now people are using "its too late" as a further excuse to do nothing.

  63. Today it's a rarity to find a conservative who admits to supporting the Iraq War, despite the 90% Republican support at its start. It's also virtually impossible to find an older person who admits to opposing the civil rights movement in the 1960s. Twenty years from now you'll be hard-pressed to find a conservative who admits to be a climate science denier in the 1990s and 2000s. Such is the power of shame and self-delusion.

  64. What or who is a climate denier? Maybe one who rejects the climate apocalypse prophecies? If that is the definition then count me in.

  65. I keep wondering how many direct indications of global warming need to be hit the headlines before essentially everyone realizes the looming problems that are going to hit future generations very hardly. Sea level rise due to land ice melting is a direct indication of global warming and until it stops, the planet is getting cooked.

    We should be in the full mitigation mode of changing out fossil fuels for alternatives. With the finite limits of fossil fuels, we need to make the transition anyhow. Replacing 400 quads is going to be very tough to accomplish in a reasonable time scale. Currently, as a planet, we are not even stepping up to the plate to combat climate change.

  66. Not just future's happening now. Particularly affected are pacific islanders, sub-Saharan Africa, arctic regions... It's a matter of how bad it's gonna get and how much of humanity survives 3-4 generations from now.

  67. Another alarmist article & not many questions are asked.

    So let's go to the video tape. The study shows that the increase in the time frame 2012-2017 is primarily due to an increase in ice loss in east antarctica where it has gone from historically gaining ice to losing a little. The change was small given the size of E Antarctica and probably nothing more than natural variation or measurement issues. The rate of loss for the rest of Antarctica increased but only by 12 gigatons or about 6.7%.

    Then there is the confidence interval issue (1 sd)-- which for some periods and areas are bigger than estimated ice loss -- particularly EA.

    Then add in that EA gained ice over the brief period of time under study (1992-2017) & comprises roughly 2/3 of Antarctica. Now, if you've got adjacent regions and one is gaining and the losing ice what does that mean? How does that happen? Shouldn't that cause the curious to ask a question or two? Could it have something to do with the larger ice shelves in West Antarctica?

    And 25 years is a very short period of time to extrapolate from -- Now remember the scientists are suggesting what might happen in the next 82 years based on 25 years worth of data (out of billions of geological time)-- and claim they've found acceleration in the last five -- but only in one area -- which has historically been gaining. Natural variation anyone?

    I'm not setting my hair on fire over this.

  68. "Natural variation anyone?"

    Since the sea levels have risen essentially constantly for over 100 years--and have accelerated from about 1.5 to 3 mm/yr since the mid 90s---while the sun has been cooling for decades, the natural variations indicate that the sea level should be dropping. So, it is not natural.

    WMGHGs are the only significant positive forcing at 2.9 W/m2.

  69. Republicans are unconcerned because they are the sole political body on the entire planet that denies the facts of climate change.

  70. Good, there are people in Miami, Norfolk, Carolinas trying to sell their homes now...should be a good investment for you.

  71. Large parts of the U.S. are going to disappear, the islands in the east, most of Maryland, parts of the Carolinas, most of Florida and all of Louisiana, the Texas Gulf coast, etc. River valleys everywhere will expand, with record flooding in much of Europe as well as the Midwest. Venice will disappear entirely. The Dutch are already building houses that float, they're way ahead of the curve.

    Many islands are already gone, in the Pacific entire nations. The geopolitical disaster that's coming will make today's refugee crisis seem insignificant. Some of the low-lying countries, such as Bangladesh, have very large populations. In other words, this entirely man-made climate change is going to lead to wars in every part of the world. Wars are often about resources--climate change deniers must think they won't be affected by this personally, so ... no problem.

  72. I'm bothered by how this data was presented in the article. While the article makes the statement several times that the rate of ice loss in Antarctica has increased since 2012, the graph does not support that conclusion. The graph plots the cumulative change by year. To draw conclusions about the rate of change the article should have presented a graph of the rate of change of ice mass per year. In simpler terms, the important graph is the slope of article's graph at each year (gigatons/year rather than gigatons). And an increase in the rate of ice loss since 2012 would show up as an increase in the slope of the line on the current graph. And the current graph has a nearly constant slope from 2006 to present. There is no apparent increase in the rate of ice loss. I'm a deeply disappointed in the authors for their failure to present their data in a clear form. I'm also disappointed in the NYTimes' reporter for apparently not making a clearer presentation of the data and conclusions. I highly respect the NYTimes but continue to find that your reporting on climate change is more sensation focused rather than trying to help your readers understand a complex topic.

  73. I am very disappointed in your nearly incoherent comment on a very clear article, with very clear graphs. Apparently the ONLY thing you deniers can do is present nonsensical absurdities.

  74. Glad I lived in SF (85-88, 99-01)and NYC (96-99) when I did...nice knowing you...

  75. Ten to one that data was cherry picked to arrive at this conclusion. Too bad "climate" science has been so polluted by "progressive" politicians that any and all claims and numbers are subject to question.

  76. Yes, jaco, "we can't know anything". Where do you get these ideas?

  77. jaco,

    They cherry picked the entire ocean?

  78. This has to be the lamest of all of the very lame responses from climate deniers on this article.

  79. I have felt for some time that in the absence of concerted efforts to address the more serious effects of climate change, that in time, at least in this country, pretty much every major coastal city would be compromised to the point of forcing massive population transfers to the interior. Wide swaths of rural, currently sparsely populated areas in states such as North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Wyoming, Montana and Idaho, to name just a few, could change dramatically in the next 2-3 generations. The day may come when Denver is one of the 10 most populous cities in the world, with Albuquerque and Boise among the 10 most populous cities in the U.S.

    If such a fate befalls this country, then it will surely befall many other countries as well. The U.S. may have the economic and political wherewithal to achieve such a transfer with relatively minor upheaval. Other countries, with less developed economies, less stable political systems and/or natural obstacles such as the Sahara Desert, will likely be considerably less lucky.

  80. That kind of migration, even just within US, would be driven by one catastrophic loss after's the only plausible reason millions of people would up root and move.

  81. Keep Denver's name out ya mouf!

    We already have a metro population of around 2.8 million, with roads designed for 1 million!

  82. I hope our most distinguished scientist/administrator is reading this article.

  83. Neil DeGrasse Tyson and Bill Nye are our only hope!

  84. Probably was, until he/she got too drunk to focus... America seems to be getting less intelligent, and incredibly more ignorant, faster than the water is rising. How depressing.

  85. Now this cracks me up....from the article on why EA doesn't show the same ice loss as the rest of A --

    "East Antarctica has sometimes been a focus of attention for people who deny the science of global warming. “A lot of the argument has been made from stakeholders that are not quite as interested in dealing with climate change that the East Antarctic ice sheet is actually gaining mass — therefore we don’t need to worry,” said Michele Koppes, a glaciologist at the University of British Columbia who was not involved with the study.

    East Antarctica, which makes up two-thirds of the continent, is a remote region of an already remote location, where data is scarcer because there are fewer measurement stations, Dr. Koppes said. Researchers must extrapolate a smaller amount of data over an area the size of the United States, which can make the analysis less precise."

    Climate scientists & journalists know (but don't admit) the entire global temp record is an estimate because we have not had extensive coverage of most of the globe with data collection stations. Africa had 30 stations in 1900, most along the coast, none in the interior. Ditto most countries and continents except US. Today Africa has 500 stations, most in bad shape, not using common methods -- about 1% the density of coverage that the US has. Meanwhile the globe shows dramatic warming (based on estimates) but US not so much (based on much better measures).

    Measurement error is an issue in climate science.

  86. Ralphie, the article goes on to state: "To get around those problems in this study, more than 80 researchers from around the world collected data from about a dozen different satellite measurements dating to the early 1990s. 'We used different satellite missions and techniques because the various approaches we have at arriving at this number have different strengths and weaknesses. And we find that by combining all of the available measurements we can iron out the problems that individual techniques have.'

    So we can be respectful of the conclusion of 80 researchers with a dozen different satellite measures that Antarctica is melting and take prudent preventative action, or we can be like Ralphie, and put our heads in the sand.

    So far, our Republican government is like Ralphie.

  87. No, measurement error is not an issue, the scientific method takes error into consideration. Though when science does take it into consideration, people like you cry foul. As if the error should be used for the calculations.

  88. Jaco, this is sad. Are you imagining an old timey mercury thermometer like your mom had? If so, yes, you're so rightly correct. But we have satellites to take earth's temperature now. So let's just let the scientist study and report, shall we?

  89. Fake news according to Scott Pruitt, Trump crime family, Ryan Zinke, Michael Cohen, Jeff Sessions, Betsy DeVos... pretty much the whole Cabinet de Sade says global warming is a hoax.

  90. Volcanic Warming!

  91. Look where this article appears. Down the list on People don’t care.
    A raccon climbing a building in St Paul is riveting, but news of our collective peril, our willful destruction of our planet, is one giant yawn.

  92. That was my very first thought, too. People simply cannot face this, not even enough to report on it adequately.

  93. same goes for the ongoing war in Yemen...

  94. The earth will do just fine, once the human race is gone.

  95. It'll take a while to recover though. Mere nanoseconds in cosmic time, however.

  96. Hope Florida floods.

  97. Well, so will parts of NYC, New Orleans, Long Island, Cape Cod, and various other locales far from Florida.


  98. When you don't want something to be true - you just deny it. Its that simple. Let your emotional need dominate your rational brain. Its the easiest thing in the world. Time will tell if the human race can have the foresight to mitigate the growing climate threat, or if instant gratification will supersede longtime survival. The same people who rave about 'terraforming' Mars for human habitation, can't bend their mind around engineering earth's own climate for stable habitation, and claim, its just all natural.

  99. Hard to believe this is possible, given that our own government has made it clear to us that this is all a Chinese hoax.

  100. of course the so called leaders care nothing but for their profit from drilling more oil. This is shameful how the United States has become the evil empire. This is horrific. People will die from floods and horrible rains and animals will disappear and nob ody hardly talks of it in Washington or anywhere. Kids will wonder why you did nothing to save the planet.

  101. "Climate change is a myth!" Sayeth the Republican from Alabama, whilst standing in chest deep water caused by floods from massive storms that have become the new normal.

    "Climate change is a myth!" Sayeth the Republican farmer from California that doesn't have the water to grow crops because deserts are expanding.

    "Climate change is a myth!" Sayeth the Republican oil mogul while being evacuated from their mansion in Breckenridge, CO due to severe fires caused by decreasing snow-pack totals.

    etc. etc.

  102. Sometimes I wonder if the Trump desire to keep non-whites out of the USA is pure hatred, or if it is pure greed that preemptively plans for the near future mass migrations certain to come with rising sea levels.

    But I'm sure it's both.

  103. It's entirely the first.

  104. I'm reading this at the beach. Think I'll move my lawn chair a bit further up the sand...

    There's a better view there of the sandbags protecting the rich people's homes from king tides.

  105. Let us never forget that the political party that got us into this mess, whose science denial and reckless indifference to carbon pollution will sink the cities of this world and deprive us of the calm and mild climate we have enjoyed up to now, is the GOP. Too bad it is not just them and theirs that will suffer from their criminally negligent and morally bankrupt leadership.

  106. William Proxmire, who inherited a Senate seat from Joe McCarthy, ushered in an era of upper atmosphere greenhouse gas injection when he forced NASA to build the space shuttle for half its pared-down budget it set for a two part LOX/Liquid hydrogen system, a booster vehicle carrying a low orbit to high orbit work vehicle, both of which would land on runways, ready for refueling. Cheap solid-rocket boosters used on every new rocket since put greenhouse gasses where they do the most damage.
    Launching the best research tools has, at least symbolically, worsened conditions they measure, cheap dirty rockets, effectively burning tires for fuel, have been added to our new privatized space program - Proxmire, prided himself on his ignorance, and hateful attitude to all science.
    Ignorance by another and his rejection of science is also the reason we haven’t closed our coal and trained miners to make clean safe windmill generators, suitable for placing above every high-voltage power pole running along mountaintop ridges and through both desert and planes agricultural land, and in pristine coastal waters recently opened to oil drilling platforms.
    The reason: Donald Trump thinks the graceful machines are “ugly” while coal mines, which pollute many thousands of miles in the US and offshore oil rigs apparently appeal to his taste in industrial architecture.
    Personal power to permanently blight the world are his style in everything he does, environmentally and diplomatically.

  107. I have even worse news for people who think that flooding and land loss is the worst thing in store for us. Higher atmospheric CO2 and global warming aren't just raising sea levels, they are decimating the very ecosystem of the oceans themselves, and this will be a disaster for us. Higher atmospheric CO2 means more dissolved CO2 in the ocean, which forms carbonic acid, leading to ocean acifidification and destruction of the world's coral reefs and fish populations. In addition, the warming of the oceans is causing phytoplankton populations to plunge. For those of you unfamiliar with phytoplankton, it's the source of 50-80% of our atmospheric oxygen. The oceans are the lungs of the world. Moving to higher ground won't do you any good if there isn't enough oxygen to breath. Here, let NASA explain the rest:

  108. A population of a few million human hunter-gatherers was apparently beyond the carrying capacity of the planet as everywhere we showed up the megafauna disappeared.

    Around 10-12,000 years ago, when large climate oscillations settled down, we developed agriculture which allowed us to double our population many times into the billions.

    But agriculture faces big challenges if we don’t change our ways soon (1), as do our fisheries, and if they both decline significantly, forcing us back to being largely hunter-gatherers, history tells us that out of every 1000 people you see maybe one survives.

    1 IPCC Western N America drought 1900-2100

  109. Even though I have children, I can't mourn the loss of the human species. We are a destructive, nasty, ungrateful infestation on this planet. I do feel sad about the various cute mammals we'll take with us though.

  110. The most important issue in any election should be climate change. Unfortunately for our planet, Republican voters don't pay attention to crises unless those crises are right up against their noses. So the destruction caused by climate change is simply a far-off concept that they needn't bother themselves with, particularly because solutions will actually require real work and sacrifice.

    I've always wanted to live on the ocean. Now, thanks to Trump and the Republicans, I might actually get my wish -- without even having to move. As for the Republican voters currently living on the coasts, I just hope my tax dollars won't have to be spent on flood insurance to cover the impending damage to your houses.

  111. No, the most important issue should not be climate change. It should be how people who are not of the same means as us and live much further inland than us put bread on the table and ensure the well-being and stability of their families. And that is why the Dems lost the last election, yet they continue to keep their eye on other things (e.g., climate change).

  112. They’re not mutually exclusive. Citizens can rightly be concerned about ‘keeping their heads financially above water,’ as well as keeping their heads literally above water.

    If you focus only on the short term, there won’t be any bread or tables — or humans, for that matter — left to worry about.

  113. You don’t think survival of the human race is the priority here?

  114. A few points that David Archer (professor of Geophysical Sciences at U of Chicago) makes in THE LONG THAW come to mind. IPCC forecasts are consensus language. IPCC sea-level rise forecasts are much less dramatic than data points from millennia past suggest we might expect. Of GHGs emitted today, a certain portion will remain in the atmosphere 100,000 years from now (yes, even after ocean absorption, rock weathering, etc.); as natural as it is for humans to think in terms of a 100-year horizon, we need to remember that the projections for 2100 are just the preface to the climate story we're writing now. Evidence from some previous changes in climate suggest sudden, dramatic shifts from one equilibrium to another.

    The globe's packed with people who understand the science better than I do. But does anyone else who's been following the projections for a couple decades notice that when they change, it's almost always in the wrong direction?

  115. "Antarctica has the potential to contribute more than a metre of sea-level rise by 2100 and more than 15 metres by 2500, if emissions continue unabated."

  116. Echoing others here, it saddens me deeply that this article is buried so far below the fold. Whereas any inanity, lie, or just pure narcissistic outburst from this administration is automatically given top billing. Don't you see, NYT, how this helps form your readership's reality? You can do better.

  117. It's only "below the fold" if you read a physical copy of the paper—and many now read it on-line (like this right here), where we're making comments on it.

  118. Get ready for a bank crisis a la Reagan, as oceanfront property finally gets downgraded to no property. Hedge now.

  119. The other huge pain point will be the collapse of carbon asset values. If they can’t be burned, how much are Exxon’s oil wells/fields/contracts really worth?

  120. A fundamental question is whether the melting will continue at the high rates the study revealed. This article doesn't directly address the question. The Washington Post does a much better job:

    "There is no proof the current rate of change in Antarctica will continue. Scientists can’t see the future, but they do fear continuing and even worsening losses." "Strong compliance with the Paris climate agreement, while unable to stop changes happening now, could help to control how much they worsen."

    The message I get from the Times is that Brooklyn is doomed. The message I get from the Post is that prompt action will help. I think the Post nailed it.

  121. Instead of relying on newspapers, try the science, here's two papers from 2014 indicating the retreat of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet is likely irreversible.

    Widespread, rapid grounding line retreat of Pine Island, Thwaites, Smith, and Kohler glaciers, West Antarctica, from 1992 to 2011

    Marine Ice Sheet Collapse Potentially Under Way for the Thwaites Glacier Basin, West Antarctica

  122. I don't really see the difference. We know we need to take prompt action. We needed to take prompt action long ago. And Brooklyn probably is doomed because we won't take prompt action.

  123. The following is from a 1981 paper by Hansen that at the time hit the front page of the NY Times, all the projections in it have either come to pass or are well underway.

    "Potential effects on climate in the 21st century include the creation of drought-prone regions in North America and central Asia as part of a shifting of climatic zones, erosion of the West Antarctic ice sheet with a consequent worldwide rise in sea level, and opening of the fabled Northwest Passage."

    That paper also warned of the potential for multi-meter sea level rise within 100 years and that also seems to be prescient.

  124. Given the scale of the problem of global warming and Hansen's decades of groundbreaking science and his tireless efforts to communicate the science I think history will look back on him as one of our more important scientists.

    If there's anyone to write the history of course.

  125. It is after all the end times predicted by the climate apocalypse prophecies.

  126. No worries, folks--the White House is on top of this problem, all over it, and actively implementing solutions. The answer *is* to burn more coal, isn't it?

  127. This is by orders of magnitude the largest existential threat facing humanity.
    The population explosion at 7.6 billion, increasing 80 million annually drives everything. Antarctica melting is just one of thousands of looming disasters.
    Alas, we are not going to do anything about it (Pruitt anyone?). It's bigger than the US anyway. It's all over folks, it's been great know ye ...

  128. In truth, the most significant existential threat facing us all as Americans is a White House that neither acknowledges nor cares whether climate change is real or not. Climatologists can raise the alarm all they want, but sadly the reality is that there is no one to hear them either in our current Executive or Congressional branches of government. Especially when there is somewhere near 40% percent of our citizens who hear government news that is selling it as all a hoax.

  129. We're incapable of saving our own human race, because....we fear we won't win the next election. That seems to be what it boils down to.

  130. It's not clear from the article, but it seems like the prediction of six inches contemplates the melt continuing at the current rate (if my back of the envelope math is right). I sincerely hope that I'm wrong about that because, if I'm right, seas will rise much more quickly than their prediction.

    Surely scientists understand acceleration. The graph itself contemplates a rate of change. Why are they so reticent to 'give it to us straight'?

    One more thing not contemplated by these predictions is glacial collapse. The ice does not have to melt completely to raise sea levels--it just has to fall into the sea.

    And given the 'lubrication' provided by ice melt below glaciers, that doesn't seem unlikely to me. Again, I hope I'm wrong.

  131. Contrary to what deniers will tell you, the climatologists have been very conservative with their predictions. And their conservative predictions are failing, climate change is happening faster than they predict.
    From the Arctic to the Antarctica the poles are melting faster than predicted. And the rate of change is increasing. As the article states the rate of ice loss has increased since 2012. And the rate of change most likely will stay on the same trajectory of ever increasing speeds.
    The best we have done so far is to slow the rate of increase of CO2 on a yearly output. So every year we throw more CO2 into the air than the last, just not going as fast as we use to. Which means that the goals of not reaching certain CO2 levels in the future most likely won't happen. We are not on track to have a neutral CO2 where we just maintain the current level. And even if somehow we reach that maintenance, polar ice will continue to melt with our current heat levels.

  132. As Greenland and Antarctica lose their ice mass, they will rise, displacing more water, which will also add to the sea rise.

  133. I had lunch with Professor Peter Wadhams from Cambridge University, the author of Farewell to Ice; he worked studying the Arctic for 40 years. In his book he states that sea level rise will occur much more quickly than what the IPCC predicts. He stated that the earth is warming so quickly that it could reach a tipping point within 20 years or less that will result in intensified warming, at a much faster rate than we are now seeing. He feels that that at this point our only hope is to remove CO2 from the atmosphere thru new technology. We need a modern sort of Manhattan project to remove CO2 from the atmosphere. This is possible and small companies were working on this; sadly this plan is dependent on governments having the will to tackle climate change. He feels that it is too late to stop global warming with emissions reductions. That's too little, too late at this time. Why are scientists reticent? I'm not sure but I do know that on his book tour in the US, Professor Wadhams was instructed by his publisher to not mention climate change or global warming to his Florida audiences. Oh, you mean that state that is being reclaimed by the sea? His book is excellent but disturbing.

  134. Below is the link to Dr. Judith Curry's presentation from a June 12 debate at the University of Charleston that also included:

    Dr. Michael E. Mann, Director of the Earth System Science Center at Pennsylvania State University

    Dr. David W. Titley, Rear Admiral USN (ret.), Professor of Practice in Meteorology; Professor, Pennsylvania State School of International Affairs; and Director, Center for Solutions to Weather and Climate Risk

    Dr. Patrick Moore, former president of Greenpeace Canada

    While Dr. Curry is sometimes accused (wrongly) of being a "denier," she makes scientifically based and common sense points about our inability to accurately determine the causes of current global warming trends. She's above partisan politics, and her site, Climate Etc, is worth checking out:

    Here's the link to the presentation:

  135. More heads in the sand are what we don’t need.

  136. "she makes scientifically based and common sense points about our inability to accurately determine the causes of current global warming trends."

    No she doesn't. Since the Earth was on average gradually cooling for the 6000 years leading up to the Industrial Revolution it is easy to say how much of the current rapid warming is due to human activity.

    More than all of it.

  137. Thank you for an interesting article, but it is too late to stop this trend. Add in the effects from developing countries and the only logical conclusion is we are doomed. We have killed the planet.

  138. Killed the planet? Possibly, but not very likely. We have almost certainly killed our civilization though, and perhaps even our species as well as many others.

    And the band plays on.

  139. See Al Gore's movie An Inconvenient Sequel for more visual images on the increase in ice loss and difficulty getting people to do something about it...

    Important plus, seeing Gore in action as the kind of statesman we used to have as a leader....

  140. ok, look, as long as the population keeps growing, the demand for energy, and stuff in general, keeps growing. If we don't stop the growth in population we outgrow the planet. simple.

  141. Global warming deniers have realized that the best way to deal with inconvenient data is not to gather it at all. And the Trump administration is likely to support that approach over time.

  142. I dream of a day when Trumpists and the GOP believe in science. To bad for the planet that their ideology is stronger than the facts around them. At some point they will accept what educated people have known for decades. By then we may see most of the coastline of the earth underwater and weather patterns so changed that we can not raise enough food for the hungry mouths of the planet. Much of the biodiversity will be gone and the earth will not be a good place to live even if you are in the .01 percent.

  143. Man's contribution to rising sea levels is DENIED by Trump and Republican Know-Nothings.

    After Presidential tweet that "There is no longer Nuclear Threat from North Korea", maybe more citizens will question Trump's lack of Science Advisor; and, frankly, whether he has any concept of reality.

    Recently, China put brakes on solar and wind installations as grid integration was affecting utilization percentage of the already installed renewables. Not a good development.

    In today's home news: Maine's Rep-governor-appointed utility commissioners TOSS OUT a previously negotiated power purchase agreement for floating wind farms. Killing progress for this job-making move away from fossil fuels THAT will get expensive, and eventually deplete.

  144. Several people have talked about Hansen and 1988. It is interesting to look at the actual history of knowledge about greenhouse gas effects, starting with Eunice Foote (1856 - ), Tyndall, Arrhenius, and getting properly going in the mid 1950s. Here's a link to 4 early references:

    Bell Labs 1958, Lyndon Johnson 1965, Asimov and Margaret Thatcher 1989. By the mid-1980s there was sufficient clarity to act. 30 years later arguers are still stonewalling (the real skeptics are most scientists; the real money is in science denial for profit). In this era of fake news you can see how it's done. Just turn meaning around and make any claim, bother reality and evidence.

    At this point, it's just how much and how fast. We are easily misled. In geological time "rapid" is centuries, and we think in terms of our own lifetimes. These changes are acceleration on our scale, which is unbelievable fast.

    Clarifications are valuable signposts along the way: we cannot survive if we continue to be complacent.

    There is only one way forward that doesn't result in the kind of hell on earth science fiction writers and movies depict (without the choreography, illusion, and happy endings).

    We can, because we must, work together to solve problems.

    Going against the market to protect pollution makes no sense whatsoever.

  145. Error analysis is a critical part of any scientific paper, since no data set is perfect. Looking at the Nature paper, it’s clear that the authors of this study have done their homework. The uncertainties in their estimates are fully and explicitly quantified. There really is no wiggle room; the rate of ice loss has increased dramatically in recent years, and the implications for sea-level rise are unambiguous.

    We can and probably will build sea walls to protect some urban areas, but significant flooding of many highly-developed regions is a given. Rural coastlines will change dramatically in my children’s lifetimes. The net cost cannot be quantified in trilllions of dollars; a larger unit is needed.

  146. The Yale economist William D. Nordhaus recently wrote that the expected economic costs of global warming are infinite.

  147. "We can and probably will build sea walls to protect some urban areas"

    From the NYT a year or two ago regarding Alaskan towns and cities threatened by global warming impacts and the lack of help they are getting from the government (Note, the cost to move one village of around 600 people will cost an estimated $180 million.)

    "The government has identified at least 31 Alaskan towns and cities at imminent risk of destruction . . .

    At least two villages farther up the western coast, Shishmaref and Kivalina, have voted to relocate when and if they can find a suitable site and the money to do so. A third, Newtok, in the soggy Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta farther south, has taken the first steps toward a move.

    But, after years of meetings that led nowhere and pleas for government financing that remained unmet, Shaktoolik has decided it will “stay and defend,” at least for the time being, the mayor, Eugene Asicksik, said.

    “We are doing things on our own,” he said."

    If the government won’t appropriate the funds to move a few dozen small cities and towns, what will they do about the 1,400 cities and towns in the US threatened by sea level rise like Houston, New Orleans, Miami, NYC and Boston?

    We’ll all be “doing things on our own.”

  148. From the world’s largest general scientific association, The American Association for the Advancement of Science:

    "The range of uncertainty for the warming along the current emissions path is wide enough to encompass massively disruptive consequences to societies and ecosystems: as global temperatures rise, there is a real risk, however small, that one or more critical parts of the Earth’s climate system will experience abrupt, unpredictable and potentially irreversible changes.

    Disturbingly, scientists do not know how much warming is required to trigger such changes to the climate system."

    If you look at things like the rate of loss of sea ice, permafrost melt, shrinking glaciers and ice sheets, and changes to the northern polar jet stream and deep ocean circulation, it could be argued we are seeing the beginning of such changes now.

  149. Is there a parallel study on the increased acidification of coral reefs?

    Does increased fresh water counteract this?

    Would cooling the planet slow the melting and acidification?

    If so, I suggest artificially igniting volcano eruptions to produce nuclear winter ash. Of course, that caused other problems! But it will certainly cool us down.

  150. So Antarctic melt has tripled in a decade. The thing about acceleration is that it can get explosive.

    "Doubling times of 10, 20 or 40 years yield multi-meter sea level rise in about 50, 100 or 200 years."

    The record is too short to be able to accurately extrapolate future rates of sea level rise, but it doesn't look good.

  151. It is already baked in that the sum of emissions of fossil CO2 by human activities since 1800 will increase by 50% over the next 25 years. That is what explosive population growth with fossil fuel technology is doing.

  152. There are two consequences of increasing human global emissions that are consistently overlooked though far more destructive than just the threat of personal and industrial emissions.

    The first is the devastation of ocean acidification. The ultimate result of this phenomena is decalcification and destruction of shell life: clams, coral, muscles, etc. While the direct effects are mostly confined to near shore habitats, ultimately (and not far in the future) the result will be collapse of entire ocean ecosystems.

    The second is Arctic permafrost melt. Permafrost sequesters billions of metric tonnes of carbon. The amount of carbon that will be released through melt exceeds that of total human carbon output. As more melt results in increasing carbon and methane release, which the results in more heat trapped, ultimately it becomes a self-feeding and unstoppable feedback system.

    Unlikely total Antarctica melt? Don’t count on it.

  153. Regarding chemical changes to the ocean, it's been posited that anoxic ocean conditions caused three major extinctions.

    "Simple calculations show that if deep-water H2S concentrations increased beyond a critical threshold during oceanic anoxic intervals of Earth history, the chemocline separating sulfidic deep waters from oxygenated surface waters could have risen abruptly to the ocean surface (a chemocline upward excursion).

    Atmospheric photochemical modeling indicates that resulting fluxes of H2S to the atmosphere (>2000 times the small modern flux from volcanoes) would likely have led to toxic levels of H2S in the atmosphere. Moreover, the ozone shield would have been destroyed, and methane levels would have risen to >100 ppm.

    We thus propose (1) chemocline upward excursion as a kill mechanism during the end-Permian, Late Devonian, and Cenomanian–Turonian extinctions, and (2) persistently high atmospheric H2S levels as a factor that impeded evolution of eukaryotic life on land during the Proterozoic."

    There's a paper on what it might take to make an ice-free planet.

    "Combustion of available fossil fuel resources sufficient to eliminate the Antarctic Ice Sheet"

  154. No reason to worry. Problems caused by global emissions have a natural solution. It is called human extinction.

    As global emissions increase and the world population explodes unchecked, the food supply will inevitably collapse. The supply of potable water will diminish and vast populations will perish from thirst. The sea coasts will be flooded, reducing the habitable land mass. Hurricanes will kill and drown hundreds of thousands. The increase in global temperature will destroy plant life in much of the world.

    But there is a bright side to these inevitable changes. The death of huge populations across the globe will relieve pressure on our natural resources. Unless, of course, civilization collapses, and all humans die in one global catastrophe. Then, global emissions would not be a good thing.

  155. 6" in 80 years.

    The average lifespan of a house is 40 years.

    New houses can be built at higher elevations.

    Space is not a problem as vast mountain ranges are barely populated.

    Anyway, in 80 years new technology may allow the economic conversion of water into hydrogen and oxygen.

  156. Houses last longer than 40 years on average. Buildings and infrastructure in places like Houston, New Orleans, Miami, Manhattan, Boston and various places around the world...etc. cannot simply move to higher ground.

    The 15 cm rise is Antarctica's contribution...Greenland and 95% of glaciers around the world are melting as well. A enhanced feedback could make it all worse.

  157. T.O., a few issues with your "head for the hills" approach. I'm afraid that modern life, post-huts, means it's not easy-peasy. So please clarify the following details:

    First, homes won't just suddenly find the ground floor is underwater for the forseeable future - homeowners near rivers and coasts will be facing ever-increasing nuisance flooding, filing claims, spending money on repair before insurance companies bail then people abandon investments. So how will these people afford the new mountainside homes and the more-expensive roads and other infrastructure that mountainside living requires?

    How would you move sewage treatment systems from nice, flat land to mountains?

    Have you noticed that most of the population lives close to coasts or rivers? How would you replace the ports in a mountain situation?

    As for 80-years for hydrogen, it's possible today to store excess renewable energy as hydrogen - have wind turbines, which produce lots of power at night when demand is low, use that energy to split water. No need to wait for the full duration of two house replacements as people retreat from the coasts.

  158. As Will Durant put it:
    "Civilization exists by geological consent, subject to change without notice."

  159. More and more, humanity has disrespect other people, species and now Mother Nature. So she is taking everything back.

  160. I am glad the authors mentioned Eastern vs Western Antarctica. The primary reason the western portion is melting so rapidly is a major increase in volcanic activity along the Pacific rim of the ocean floor raising temperatures of the Pacific Ocean. One can include the massive flow of lava into the ocean from Hawaii's recent volcanic eruptions. This is the main cause of Western Antarctica's ice dissolution. This is one of the area where pseudo science fails. It is their politicization of climate science. Without a doubt, we need to be much more responsible with our relationship to the environment, especially countries like China and India. The USA has made tremendous progress but we can do better. We need to depoliticize the discussion so we can join together to make better progress.

  161. No we don't need to "depoliticize" the discussion; we need to get rid of the politicians who have collectively denied the science on behalf of the fossil fuel industry -- Republicans -- and replace them with prudent and responsible people who understand we need to regulate polluters, invest in non-polluters, and plan for the future -- Democrats. We need to stop voting for those who are guided only by freedom of business to maximize quarterly profits, and instead elect visionary, powerful leaders unafraid to deny such ill-gotten gains (such as development of dirty oil sands so dear to David and Charles Koch) and steer us out of harms way. The only party that has shown a shred of prudence and responsibility are the Democrats.

  162. What worries me more concerning this scenario are the dangers that we don't see, the second domino already in motion below the water levels is the damage that is being created to the earths tectonic plates due to the increasing imbalance of the polar ice caps. Every year the stresses created at the winter solstice puts us at risk of catastrophic earthquakes and tsunamis as was demonstrated by the Boxer day events at the winter solstice in 2004. As the imbalance at the poles increases with the rate of melting ice, so will the potential for the destruction of our way of life. The days of severe weather and costal flooding we will long for if we ever have to deal with the nuclear fallout from the disruption of the Hanford reservation on the Columbia River, very probable events in our future we are not yet adequately prepared for.

  163. The Manhattan Project created a mess that will cost $trillions to contain over the long haul.

  164. Go to Woods Hole Research Center,
    to get a look at some of the latest in Geophysical science.
    It is the world's #1 climate change think tank.

  165. Here's our regular alarmist story on climate change! Does the fable of 'The Little Boy Who Cried Wolf' mean nothing to these researchers or the 'Times'? The scientific information is very interesting, but the moralistic accompaniment has long since been a bore.

  166. I'm sure you lie awake at night worrying about sea level rise in Kansas City!

  167. Trump and the GOP say global warming is a myth, so it must be true, right! And they are also saying this is all false news, so that must be true, right!

  168. This is a symptom of abrupt climate change. The unmentioned reality is the possibility that replacing fossil fuels much faster is a requirement for human survival.

    Existing renewable energy technology will not do the job fast enough. New science has opened hard-to-believe alternatives that hold the necessary potential.

    Four surprising breakthroughs open the door to much more rapid replacement of all fossil fuels.

    One is engines that need no fuel, and can run 24/7 on ambient heat, a huge untapped reservoir of solar energy, larger than earth's fossil reserves. See

    On the same site read an introduction to each of the other three under the heading MOVING BEYOND OIL.

    Each is by a small firm. Work of this nature is presently poorly supported. Partly due to the fact that science seems to progress "funeral by funeral". We no longer have that luxury.

    Trolls attack, as they are certain such "impossible" technologies must reflect fraud and dishonesty.

    Ironically, no government support is needed. Only a few bold individuals with a tolerance for high risk.

    The rewards might include, but are clearly not limited to, financial gain. They could enable the continuation of human life on an increasingly threatened planet, where the emergency remains unrecognized by all but a small minority.

    The surprising benefits encompass replacement of gas, diesel & jet fuel with water in combustion engines. And future systems which need no combustion.

    Imagine the implications!

  169. Again I point out that your constant fishing for "a few bold" individuals to fund you is not going to produce an energy revolution.

    There are very intelligent people around the planet, all investing money in R&D into a huge, diverse array of new energy creating or harvesting technologies. There was even research in a space drive that uses the energy of the virtual particles that quantum theory shows constantly appear and disappear. (it doesn't appear to work).

    Many of these smart, wealthy investors could easily toss the crumbs you claim are needed to you out of their spare change. Why aren't these millionaires and billionaires, many who made their money by taking risky bets, unconvinced by your 20+ years of asking people to fund just that little extra bit you constantly need?

    I know last time you said the DOE energy project people didn't think your stuff was worth investment, and they've invested in lots of different long-shots. How do you define "bold" when describing your dream funders?

  170. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it" (Genesis 1:28). Well, we did what we were told; and look at the result.

    Why didn't God, in his infinite wisdom, also say "But don't overdo it. And by the way, just leave that stuff I buried underground right where it is".

    The only thing we should worship is the Earth itself. It is the source of all life. Instead we're destroying it.

  171. The most stupid thing the US did during my life was to decree itself "under God" to give free rein to the worst liars on Earth.

  172. Let's start a new religion! Count me in, I'm all for Gaia worship. The old ones seem to have run their course and aren't providing answers for many of the newer problems we face.

  173. At least Pope Francis is trying.

  174. We all know from school that ice floats on water because it has a 10% lower density. We also know – or should know - that 85-90% of an icebergs' masse is submerged. In other words, a melted iceberg will always be contained in its original submerged volume. Producing zero-inundation.

  175. The glaciers of Antarctica are sliding from the land into the sea, and one major underwater choke point is nearing a breach that could cause a sudden rapid increase of sea level.

  176. Sure, Manuel. And we know from school that icebergs are formed from land-based glaciers or (in Greenland and Antarctica) from continental ice sheets that spill pieces off their edges into the oceans.

    Greenland and the ice sheets of western and peninsular Antarctica are creating more icebergs, raising sea levels. Ocean-adjacent glaciers in Alaska and elsewhere are, too.

    Every splash of a new berg is raising sea level that little extra bit, as long as the berg falls off of land, not off of a coastal ice shelf. But as Steve B points out, the shelves are declining, and as they lose mass, they become ever less effective at braking the advance of land ice into the oceans.

  177. The consequences of the rate of melting of Antarctica, of the Greenland ice sheet and of most glaciers is faster than scientists had calculated. At the same time notwithstanding the 2015 Paris Climate accords emissions are increasing, even not counting the atrocious climate policies of the Trump Administration.

    To counter these very dangerous threats to people, planet and species a transformational change has to take place in the attitudes of people and governments in the global North and South leading to socially, economical and ecologically sound sustainability policies and programs.

    The conceptual, institutional, ethical and strategic dimensions of one of such transformational system are presented in Verhagen 2012 "The Tierra Solution: Resolving the climate crisis through monetary transformation" where the unjust, unsustainable and, therefore, unstable international monetary system is transformed by basing it on the carbon standard of a specific tonnage of CO2e per person.(

    Globally recognized climate and economic specialist Bill McKibben stated about the Tierra system: “The further into the global warming area we go, the more physics and politics narrows our possible paths of action. Here’s a very cogent and well-argued account of one of the remaining possibilities.”

  178. This is the story.

    Not the side show in Singapore, not the petty shenanigans in primaries, not Brexit, not the dissolution of the western alliance.

    This is the story.

    The Gulf Stream in the Atlantic has slowed by 15%. Antarctic ice is not melting in isolation, so is the Greenland ice sheet.

    Slowing the gulf stream will bring freezing temps to New England and Europe among many other effects.

    The greater volume of less briny melt water from the Antarctic will disrupt ocean currents and weather all over the southern hemisphere, and of course this will spill into the northern hemisphere.

    This is THE story.

  179. With the revisions Trump is making these eighty year projections we can easily make in twenty or thirty can't we?

    Even sooner if there are enough profit opportunities don't you think?

    (And yes, I'd love this to be sarcasm that gets people thinking but with the lying opposition even facts agreed upon by 99% of the experts in the field of study are quickly buried under propaganda aren't they?)

  180. It always makes me laugh when I watch alien invasion movies where the aliens are the bad guys, like locusts who come down and want to strip the earth, harvest all the goodness and leave the earth as an empty shell. We don't need aliens to do that, humans are doing a great job of destroying the planet. I think it's too late and it can't be stopped or reversed and we just have to live with the consequences. I'm so glad I didn't bring children into this mess, and I hope I'm well-gone before the really bad stuff happens. I despair, though, I will live long enough to see the Great Barrier Reef and the world's rainforests destroyed, and many, many beautiful animals go extinct. We really are the locusts who are harvesting the planet and will leave it an empty shell.

  181. 50% more fossil fueled CO2 over the next 25 years will take us well past the knee of the hockey stick curve.

  182. 4 trillion tonnes of melted ice within the past couple of decades or so. 4 TRILLION TONNES!!!!! Think about this figure alone. It's almost absolutely incomprehensible to fathom such an enormous amount.

  183. The number cited in the article is 3 trillion tonnes. If you find that number incomprehensibly enormous, then here is a number that will blow your mind wide open: 3,000 TRILLION TONNES!!!!! That is the approximate total volume of ice in Antarctica. So, over the past few decades, according to an estimate in a computer model, the volume of ice in Antarctica has varied by 1 / 10,000.

    So think about this figure alone: 0.0001. It's almost absolutely incomprehensible to fathom such a miniscule amount. It is perhaps even more incomprehensible to view it as reason for concern, or somehow outside the bound of natural variability. Yet that is exactly what the climate faithful are doing, along with taking a short 10 year trend and extrapolating it to the end of time. How many exclamation marks does that abusurdity warrant?!!!!!!!!!!!

  184. Defeaning silence from the GOP and Trump. Climate change has been expunged as a concept from our government. Top to bottom.

  185. By our own actions we have set in motion implacable, inhuman, forces which strive for only one goal. Balance of all the dynamic planetary systems. And balance they will find; regardless how we shriek, scream or drown.

    The human species, at this point, is a geological force of nature folks. By our sheer numbers and actions, some less wise than others, we effect all those systems that have managed the Earths systems to date. You can literally see our effect in all our planet encircling satellite and monitoring systems. In effect we are as children now driving, unaided, the family car.

    The question becomes do we understand well enough what we are doing to prevent it careening into catastrophe (for us)? Or do those forces proceed apace and make decisions for us. Decisions we will not like?

    At this point it seems the latter case is the one that is setting up because despite the awareness this article should be bringing to the species most continue to live their lives, conduct themselves, in blithely ignorant fashion. Like unaware passengers on the S.S. Titanic.

    History may gasp at our ignorance in the face of such obvious signals and alarm bells being rung. They may wonder at the stupidity.

    But so it may go.....

    American Net'Zen

  186. None of this matters to the GOP because they choose to instead believe that Jesus is coming back to save them. (While amassing as much money as possible.)

  187. Who knew that Jesus was a crook like Trump?

  188. I was under the distinct impression that Antartica was one of the driest places on earth..."snow falls" . I don't think so.

  189. Anywhere you get moisture in the air that then is cooled below freezing you can get snow. Air at the high-altitude, extremely cold top of the East Antarctic ice cap is not going to be producing snow, but ocean air masses moving onto land will produce snow in areas around Antarctica.

    You might not "think so" but people who have actually been there have seen it. They win that argument.

    Some of those same people are also the ones measuring ice mass loss around the edges, particularly West Antarctica and the Antarctic Peninsula. But yes, Cynthia, it can snow in places on the continent.

  190. It is pretty clear that the Trump administration will not recognize this as reality. Trump says he believes the "scientific" studies about how long it will take to end the North Korean nuclear program, but he will completely ignore any clear evidence of global environmental threats. This charade of a presidential administration environmental policy has to end.

  191. As another recent Times article opined, the earth will survive. We won't. I'll be dead and gone, thank goodness. I don't weep for our species-- we did it to ourselves, and thousands of other species, who had no voice to raise in their own defense. This is why I support only organizations devoted to natural causes, rocks, forests, seas, and animals, but not any that support this human species that is determined to destroy itself. Let it happen. We were too stupid to figure it out.

  192. Spoken like a true turtle. I hope no one breaks your shell.

  193. Yeah, here's news: “They’re melting the ice at rates that far exceed anything that would change in the air, and these are forces that you can’t reverse easily.” The "reverse easily" is pure self-serving comedy. Next Dr. Koppes will be telling us that with a big enough B-B-Q "snowball" earth could have been prevented.

    Short of stopping--if you believe the latest propaganda--all human industrial activity and animal methane production, "climate change" will continue to have a momentum-dynamic of its own making--e.g., in Augustine's time North Africa was a fertile belt and the Mediterranean was not so deep.

    Al Gore's Savonarola lecturing aside, the world wags on oceans four feet deeper in a hundreds or not.

  194. Saving our planet for future generations is worth the time, energy and research. Over 12,000 Climate presenters and a wealth of non-profit environmental organizations would love to inspire you beyond the word "propaganda." Africa is the continent most affected by the harmful effects of climate change.

  195. (Clutching my pearls) Oh dear, oh my....

  196. Why are we talking about climate change when we can be talking about a much more important subject: Mrs Clinton’s emails!

    That was my takeaway when I accidentally tuned in Fox News today.

  197. That is eye opening and depressing for pointing out the deceit and obfuscation being used for the last 50 years(!) to allow the destruction of our biological niche for profit. It's despicable and frightening because these tactics never cease. I was not familiar with your work but I would like to thank you for doing more than most to shed light on how we are misled. I do appreciate the note of faint optimism you end with:

    "Hopefully, the American people will learn to politically and legally control corporate supremacy before it is too late for all of us."

    Well said.

  198. We are just sooo doomed. Sad! :(

  199. Nothing that a few more snowballs in the Senate can't fix.

  200. "What do i care? I'll be dead!" Spoken by an old man in a nursing facility during an interview on TV. Poor human's.

  201. Don't you have children or younger relatives?

  202. Humanity's future is at a critical juncture & our "president" blew off meetings about the threat w/ allies who he clearly disdains to go legacy shopping in Singapore.

  203. Scott Pruitt is on it, folks. He has a plan. [Eyes rolling]

  204. It's unfortunate that the human species can't be exterminated before we destroy our planet. I feel more compassion & sadness for the non-human animals that live here than for my worthless species which refuses to control its population & change its habits.

  205. A bit hyperbolic: "before we destroy our planet"? Aside from blasting earth into little, little bits and pieces or somehow sending it into the sun--which will happen one day, kinda--earth cares not. And haven't seen any "non-human animals" build a Hubble telescope and put into space so that "the human species" might observe what's happening beyond its ken.

    Humans have many flaws, to be sure, but to be "exterminated" because they're a bit messy, sounds like what Stalin and Hitler were up to a few years back.

    Point of fact--nature creates and destroys at will. Been to Hawaii recently?

  206. When will rising sea levels flood Mar-a-Lago, Trump Plaza in NYC, and Trump Tower?

  207. Nature reports on the “modeling” of Antarctic ice sheets with a claim that melting ice raises sea level between 0.15 to 0.46 mm per year which accumulates over a century to a sea level rise between 0.6 to 1.8 inches per 100 years! Hilarious!

    NASA Study: Mass Gains of Antarctic Ice Sheet Greater than Losses - NASA October 30, 2015

    Mass gains of the Antarctic ice sheet exceed losses - Journal of Glaciology July 10, 2017

    Huge snowfall increases over Antarctica could counter sea level rise, scientists say - WaPo January 3, 2018

  208. iRail -- great. You don't understand that for the progressive left the only science that counts is that which supports their political views. Finding counter evidence for this crowd is simply irrelevant.

    And I suppose you think the Times ClimateTeam is simply a group of highly trained scientists who are objectively weighing all the evidence re Climate? No, I think not. They are partisan journalists on a crusade with only one objective -- to prove regardless of how weak the data -- that CC is REAL!

  209. Meanwhile, I can watch the rising sea eat out the salt marsh right below my house. You folks blow my mind.

  210. As always from people that don't read the actual reports, you leave out the fact that the data in the Nasa report you cite is from prior to 2008 and the author clearly stated that sea level is still rising, just land ice melting from other, sea level rise is still there and still due to AGW.

  211. Politics aside, our lifestyles will need to change.
    How's this for a starter: the commercial airline industry will need to cease to exist (baring some miraculous non-polluting fuel source). Tourism will become local rather than global. Are you prepared to make that sacrifice?

  212. Are we trying to create 1 trillion brains in bottles to live a life of virtual reality or something?

  213. "will need to change?" How about right now? We must change. The evidence and charts aren't lying. I like your idea of local. Taking fewer business trips and vacationing at home are great ways to live simply.

  214. All that beachfront property in korea....going away.

  215. To start, I am old. That may be why I am not at all worried about the climate change.
    To my mind, this is just another chapter in the evolution of good old Earth. Ice Age changed things, now Warm Age will change things. The creatures who can adapt will survive and the others will not. Maybe better, maybe different from what we think of as better.

    Well, I got to get into my F150 and go buy some GMO potatoes.

  216. And like everything that isn't right under our noses, we are lazy enough to mostly be unaware of how this is a symptom of a planet that has been sickened by human development. I am reminded of the children's story of the Ants and the Grasshopper. We understood the message when we were in preschool, but like Nero, are now playing our violins while Rome burns. Too bad that intelligence and reason don't naturally mature along with our bodies.

  217. Factors largely leading to climate change have been at play since the onset of the Industrial Age, fueled by technological advancements and profit motives. The effects have been compounded significantly by population growth, an insatiable drive for transportation and movement, and the belching of innumerable tons of pollutants into the air. Astute scientists early on predicted the effects and outcome, but it did nothing to reshape our thinking or behavior. I don't know a single person who has abandoned their car, cancelled their airline flight, or turned off their air conditioner in order to make a difference in the outcome. Multiply that by several billion people. We could have made a difference if absolutely draconian measures were taken several decades ago, but it would have had to be by those industries in this country that had everything to lose by making the change. It is way too late now. The Earth will survive, as she always has, but life as we know it will certainly be altered. Probable organic material was recently discovered, buried in Mars' dead surface. Perhaps the remnants of life long long ago squandered by shortsightedness, ignorance, and hubris?

  218. I disagree. It would have taken only the slightest shift in regulation and investment to avoid global warming back when we were first warned about it. It is only because we have been lied to, because Fox News gave 70% of its airtime to climate change deniers, because too many people still vote Republican and the US Supreme Court stopped the recount giving the 2000 Presidency to George W. Bush instead of Al Gore, that we have come to this day. Even now we don't need "draconian" measures; all we need is to stop subsidizing the beef and fossil fuel industries, give a lift to clean energy and electric cars, and make building codes more efficient. Unfortunately, now when regulation like Obama's Clean Power Plan are proposed there are too many Republicans in power who scream like stuck pigs.

  219. There ain't no free lunch, folks. We have been living on a petroleum high for far too long, and that bill will be paid in significant, perhaps massive, disruption of our happy biological niche. The chance of humanity going cold turkey off the oil-based lifestyle is vanishingly slim. I don't think it's hopeless, but the path to preserving what we're accustomed to gets narrower by the day.

  220. Try some math. NOAA estimates there are about 1.5 billion, trillion tons of water in the oceans. What percentage of this do you think 4 trillion tons of water is?
    Which is why you see nobody refusing to pay high prices for beach front houses. All that melting has been insignificant and will likely stay that way.

  221. All that water is subject to thermal expansion, dude.

  222. The scientists say if Antarctica melts the sea levels would rise by roughly 200 feet. It's no longer a question "if" that's going to happen, it's "when", and they are saying that predictions thus far have been too conservative, that the rate of melting is rising. So when that ice melts the entire Atlantic seaboard will vanish including Florida and the Gulf Coast; California's central valley will become a giant bay and San Francisco an island; and the Gulf of California will swallow San Diego; the Amazon basin will wipe out Buenos Aires and most of Paraguay; Tokyo and Shanghai would be submerged. Take comfort in your simple math if you want, but science doesn't lie, and the science says we're looking at a likely sea level rise of 200 feet, sooner rather than later; this article confirms the absolute worst-case scenario.

  223. If I have understood the research correctly, much of this ancient ice holds bacteria and other organisms frozen thousands of years ago. With the melting of the ice, won't these ancient organisms be released and potentially cause new Worldwide illnesses, along with flooding?

  224. pretty simple - Move to the high ground.

  225. Climate Change appears to be beneficial to agriculture in India, according to news this week:{9E3C8561-EE5E-43C3-AAE0-6166E895AD39}

    WASHINGTON, D.C., U.S. — India’s food grain production in 2017-18 is expected to reach a record high of 279.5 million tonnes, according to a report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS).

    The total beat the previous estimate of 277.5 million tonnes and is 4.5 million tonnes higher than last year’s record harvest, according to an estimate released by India’s Ministry of Agriculture.

  226. No single human belief is more stupid than the ludicrous notion that some kind of divinity created the Earth and us to enjoy it. It is evidently a universal key component of the self destruction of technological civilizations.

  227. Of course, Trump and coal CEO Murray want us to subsidize coal fired power plants even in the face of facts from the energy industry that says we DON'T need it. It's a criminal act, pure and simple to purposely destroy the environment, just as pouring used oil down a storm drain that runs to the ocean is breaking the law. Yet, the lawmakers and GOP enablers do nothing!

  228. On the NYT website we get news like glimpses in boxcars on a passing train. This news -- that Antarctica is melting three time as fast as before (at the highest end of predictions) and that the added volume in Eastern Antarctica will not counteract that ruinous trend -- has already disappeared from the front page. Even the most respected journalists in the country cannot keep the most elemental threat we face in our minds for more one day. This whizzing by and disappearing of proof that the worst predictions of global warming and sea level will come to pass is one reason why there will never be enough public pressure on the powers that be to reduce and mitigate carbon pollution, or even prepare us for threats arising.

  229. Oh boy. What a mess. We are missing the silver lining. Reading that 60% of the world's fresh water is frozen as Antarctic Ice will release that water for those living in Saudia Arabia to use. Right? Pump the oil to make fuel for the tankers that will go to Antarctica, load up on the fresh water and bring it back. Makes perfect sense to me and I am sure there are those in 'murica who agree. And spell check tells me 'murica should be America - ain't that a hoot.