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Rapid melt of Antarctic Ice happened 8000yrs ago

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posted on Apr, 26 2014 @ 03:08 AM
I came across this while looking up some other things and thought it would be interesting to share with everyone. It seems the melting and glacier loss we're seeing in West Antarctica today has been seen before. Long before.

Their findings reveal that 8000 years ago the glacier thinned as fast as it has in recent decades, providing an important model for its future behaviour. The glacier is currently experiencing significant acceleration, thinning and retreat that is thought to be caused by ‘ocean-driven’ melting; an increase in warm ocean water finding its way under the ice shelf.

After two decades of rapid ice loss, concerns are arising over how much more ice will be lost to the ocean in the future. Model projections of the future of PIG contain large uncertainties, leaving questions about the rate, timing and persistence of future sea level rise. Rocks exposed by retreating or thinning glaciers provide evidence of past ice sheet change, which helps scientists to predict possible future change. The geologists used highly sensitive dating techniques, pioneered by one of the team, to track the thinning of PIG through time, and to show that the past thinning lasted for several decades.
Source (emphasis mine)

I'll also note that I found some interesting things while searching to see if this story had been covered here before. The source is a British Antarctic Survey site, BTW. It's a solid report, and worth reading.

The abstract of a journal had this to say on a March 5th article...

We combine measurements of ice velocity from Landsat feature tracking and satellite radar interferometry, and ice thickness from existing compilations to document 41 years of mass flux from the Amundsen Sea Embayment (ASE) of West Antarctica. The total ice discharge has increased by 77% since 1973. Half of the increase occurred between 2003 and 2009. Grounding-line ice speeds of Pine Island Glacier stabilized between 2009 and 2013, following a decade of rapid acceleration, but that acceleration reached far inland and occurred at a rate faster than predicted by advective processes.
Source (emphasis mine)

For the technically minded, I looked it up and a good chart with time ranges to climatic events at one educational source here. It comes between a period described as rapid cooling then rapid warming, followed by the Climactic Optimum which is termed as possibly being a couple degree Celsius above what we are now between 5000 and 3000 BC.

I think it's fascinating to see what science is finding as time goes on. Things are defined, then redefined as more is found and new things are understood.

It's known now, for example, that there is a vast network of liquid water lakes as well as rivers beneath the kilometers of ice. Lake Vostok, Lake Whillans and Lake Ellsworth are three large ones with national efforts to drill, reach and investigate.

There is another interesting factor involved here and it's a hot one. Literally. It's not man and it's not even the sun. It's more primal and runs to the current day.

Unlike lower-latitude volcanoes which are typically obscured extensively by vegetation, volcanic outcrops in Antarctica are characteristically very clean and beautifully exposed. In places such as northern Victoria Land, cliff sections up to 2 km high extend 10 or 20 km laterally [8]. However, many volcanoes have minimal exposure or have been extensively removed by multiple overriding ice sheets, particularly in the Antarctic Peninsula. A curiosity of subglacially erupted volcanoes is that, because they are formed of alternating thick sections of lavas and fragmental rocks and are therefore technically stratovolcanoes, the frequent development of lava-fed deltas (see below) has resulted in volcano profiles with slopes less than 15° that are normally associated with (lava-dominated) shield volcanoes. Both terms have been used to describe Antarctic volcanoes.

Antarctica is a land I think we still have volumes to learn about. Although reading about the acceleration that area is currently experiencing and that, based on history, it could run decades more? It's not terribly encouraging.

Overall, by overlapping with what seems to be known as a period of elevated global temps, and higher than we have now? I wonder....could one be related to the other? If so, what relation?

We're also seeing odd behavior from marine animals, rapid warming across the oceans whether the air temp for the overall region is consistent to contribute or not, and changes in overall ocean behavior for currents and flow. I wonder if the last point might have a relation? Not sole cause, of course, but relation. It's something to think about anyway, I'd say.

Earth may not be quite as fragile as it may sometimes seem. It may also have a distance to run with the changes.

It's fair to note the Ice in East Antarctica is reported to be moving in an unexpected way while some areas around the continent are thickening. Of course, Antarctica is almost big beyond frame of reference, as I've read people who have served there describe it.

It's that real rush of melting with historical precedent to suggest possible natural causes or even longer term cycles than we've yet been aware of that, gets my attention.

Whatever the cause, and however much or little it's by man's action vs. something else, I do hope they focus with purpose on that area of the world. That is an area, and the largest by far, which could actually raise sea levels to map changing levels.
edit on 26-4-2014 by Wrabbit2000 because: (no reason given)

+1 more 
posted on Apr, 26 2014 @ 03:29 AM
a reply to: Wrabbit2000


My 7th grade science teacher was correct then, in stating that the Earth has evolved and will continue to evolve, with or without Man, huh?

True, our actions --or lack of -- may have a little effect with Mother Nature but when it comes down to it, the bottom line is She's gonna do Her thing -- regardless if we're here or not

Heating/Cooling is all part of the cycle....
Species come and species go
We are arrogant if we think that we can control Earth and it's whims of changes


edit on 26-4-2014 by snarky412 because: (no reason given)

posted on Apr, 26 2014 @ 03:33 AM
a reply to: Wrabbit2000

Great thread Wrabbit2000 absolutely fascinating. I suspect anyone with common sense that knows global warming has happened in the past before man toddled onto the scene, knows that this is a natural phenomena of our planet.

Politically we have vested interest by the serpent with its tail in its mouth eg. the petrodollar group, the bankers and the politicians, manipulating country's governments trying to fool the public they are going green whilst keeping their investor safe. Were we actually going green, wave power would really be the thing because its free - apart from the machinery - and we have powerful tides. Instead we have panels chasing the sun regardless of the clouds and modern windmills which only work if there is wind. The stupidity of our scientists and investors is beyond belief.

Antartica has always fascinated me because of the Piraeus R map which I do wonder if it is accurate. Perhaps you know?
The level of water today in the UK, where we have had terrific flooding in low lying land and where the water table is very close to the top of the soil layer, is worrying because as I drive between two counties here I can still see that this water has not gone away yet. When we get rainy days it simply refills so I suspect we have a problem with a rising water table, which is extremely serious and bodes badly for the future. With the economic cutbacks to services the government has granted some money to deal with the immediate problem, but I suspect it is ignorring completely the 'depth' of the real problem (couldn't help that).

Although I read that some parts in Antartica are getting thicker, as you rightly point out there is much water held there in lakes, which if this joins the outflow perhaps we could see considerable sea rise. We concentrate on the coastline normally but its the water table itself, having lived in an area badly affected by this problem for a short time, that also poses a considerable danger to safety, food, transport and the loss of homes. If one adds the melting at the other end of our planet perhaps we should all invest in life jackets in the future.

posted on Apr, 26 2014 @ 03:51 AM
a reply to: Wrabbit2000

Wrabbit...... really? Ice is melting?

Holy cow, there is way too much info there and between you and the other posters I am subdued. This is why I'm banned from the science forums.

So does this mean global warming is real, or false, or has nothing to do with any of this? Not kidding, and Snarky, by the 7th grade all my teachers did was suspend me.

posted on Apr, 26 2014 @ 03:57 AM

originally posted by: Bassago
a reply to: Wrabbit2000

Wrabbit...... really? Ice is melting?

Holy cow, there is way too much info there and between you and the other posters I am subdued. This is why I'm banned from the science forums.

So does this mean global warming is real, or false, or has nothing to do with any of this?

Shhhhh......don't tell Al Gore
*tip toes quietly*

Not kidding, and Snarky, by the 7th grade all my teachers did was suspend me.

Dare I ask.............NOT!!

Don't think I want to touch that one. LOL

posted on Apr, 26 2014 @ 04:05 AM
a reply to: Wrabbit2000

i guess it depends on a persons definition of rapid

8000 years ago:
now thats man made global warming
lol...must be when man discovered fire

edit on Satam4b20144America/Chicago09 by Danbones because: (no reason given)

posted on Apr, 26 2014 @ 04:11 AM
i totally agree except for one little point
in the interest of profit without accountability we have turned the whole planet into a toxic waste dump
as of 1960 I was told be a certified chemistry expert...
while he was adding to the pile

posted on Apr, 26 2014 @ 04:13 AM
Well, no doubt that Earth and the weather has changed back in the days and still does, the big question is, with what speed?

As a sailor i have seen the seaice, ice in canals and rivers going from completly frozen every year at winter time to completly gone in around 15 to 20 years in the sea around scandinavian countrys.
We normally had frozen sea in the last half of winter, now not even the rivers are freezing over, and the icebreakers who normally had more than plenty to do, have not been out for the last 7 to 8 years, and the government are now talking about selling them to save money as they are doing nothing.

It's all about the speed it's happening that could give a clue to if humans are helping nature with warming, but as long as we cant seperate the human cause VS the natural cause, we will just have to wait and see unfortunately.

edit on 26-4-2014 by Mianeye because: (no reason given)

posted on Apr, 26 2014 @ 04:14 AM
a reply to: Bassago

Well, the problem here is a simple one, and don't go running up the white flags of the debate over man's contribution entirely yet. I tend to think the journal articles and data for this suggest nature is behind a good deal of it. Perhaps not, but perhaps it is. There is precedent and support for the idea, based on the science in the first article.

Now, if you look at Antarctica, the air temp absolutely is not getting into T-shirt weather to be melting off, as a general rule. Cold is Cold and freezing IS still freezing. 30 degrees would still be a cigar short of a melt off.

If it's not melting from factors ABOVE the ice, then it's below it. Now, where is that coming from and I say we ought to get to narrowing down the possible volcanic sources in both Antarctica and the deep oceans.

It bothers me more than anything else that history from Ice cores and other records like this, now being added, show nature is capable of swinging quite a bit further than we've yet come close to experiencing. All without any of man's help. Imagine if we are, somehow, even adding a little to it ...but even if we're not adding anything to the impact, it's apparently an impact drawing attention.

Some of it is suggesting the rising of the underlying ground is becoming evident as well. That's predicted, and enormous weight of water running off into the ocean is what brings that about. It was interesting reading about all this for the thread.

posted on Apr, 26 2014 @ 04:23 AM
a reply to: Danbones

I should probably mention, even among scientists and down the headlines of the same science and journal collections? There are a variety of theories and opinions on almost everything related to Antarctica. It's the last frontier above water on Earth and it's virgin for use (not a bad thing in my view) as well as almost virgin for survey of meaningful data.

I say almost because flights coming across the ice are using technology to very precisely map what is beneath. I've yet to see any which show air pockets or...perhaps more like toxic gas pockets, for voids formed out of eruptions, but eventually they'll get it refined far enough for distinguishing that far down. Right now, what I've seen in GIS stuff is ridge lines and rock formation for the strong contrasts they make to record. By that, Antarctica is an alien landscape beneath all that ice in some ways. Exciting place though.

A place where true unknowns and mysteries still exist...for a while longer, anyway.

posted on Apr, 26 2014 @ 05:08 AM
a reply to: Wrabbit2000
So scientists (of the geologist, climatologists and physicist variety) tell you about the history Antarctica you believe them because you distort the message into your global warming skepticism. But when those same group of scientists (using the same investigative methodologies) say that the current warming trend is not natural and is due to man's burning of fossil fuels you dismiss and deride them.

It's called hypocrisy. If you need to by hypocritical to defend your belief then your belief is nonsense......unless you are simply showing a woeful lack of understanding about science, which wouldn't be the first time here on ATS.

Come on throw the pelters at me I don't give a damn.

posted on Apr, 26 2014 @ 05:26 AM
Maybe 8000 years ago, the previous technical civilization did the same things we're doing now.

(ducks and runs)

posted on Apr, 26 2014 @ 06:16 AM
Since the sun is the real climate driver in the solar system,it seems that any climate change would have to do with the relationship between the sun and the earth.There are three cycles that exist,which change over time, the relationship of the sun and earth.These cycles were discovered quite a while ago and are conviently left out of discussions of climate change.I wonder why? link provided by Zantimisfit

posted on Apr, 26 2014 @ 06:28 AM
This sounds like a bunch of bovine flatulence. Seriously. Probably bison too

posted on Apr, 26 2014 @ 06:48 AM
a reply to: Wrabbit2000

Isn't the thinning of the ozone layer (hole?) situated over Antarctica?

That could one of the factors as well.

posted on Apr, 26 2014 @ 07:01 AM
a reply to: lonegurkha

Because then humans can be blamed for climate change and the resulting guilt can be used to justify the taxes that are being levied against us by various parties and any other money spinners that take advantage of this but do nothing to help.

If you read about climates in Wiki then you will see that there are more factors in them changing than just mankind. The earth has under gone many changes since its creation. It is also worth mentioning that the earth has twice experienced complete global surface-ice coverage in its lifetime. The sea level has been different levels and the continents have been in different places. Whose to say they have stopped? We still have quakes and volcanoes so there will continue to be change which will affect the climate.

I tend to think that this is part of a natural cycle it is inevitable, whatever we try to do to prevent it. Unfortunately, because we have vast populations living in the flood plains and places that will be affected, there will be huge economical and humanitarian consequences. That is, unless we stop building houses where coastlines are eroding and places where rivers need to flood and move the populations away from them. It is common sense really.

We would all benefit. Our house insurance will be cheaper and the insurers (and govt./taxpayers) will be paying out less in the wake of future disasters.

Now that society does not revolve around us being sea faring traders, we can live inland and above sea level and away from places that will flood. We should be investing our time into doing this and working out ways of producing clean efficient energy and growing food sources should the land in future become infertile and reduced.

We could also use this opportunity to become more localised with our food production and our work and reduce unnecessary travel. We have the internet so why do we all still need to travel into work? I am sure that there are many people could work from home and don't need to drive to an office or a meeting. Why don't we let this technology work for us and to our benefit?

I think we would greatly our lives bringing back the off button so that our appliances are not on constant standby, wasting electricity, and reduce our dependency on electrical goods. We might even reduce our obesity epidemic if we got off our butts to change the channel! We could also build more efficient housing with each house having solar panels, water recycling and efficient insulation against heat and the cold. If we reduce our dependency on huge power stations (whatever kind they are) and make use of individual power creation then that can only help things.

It is true however that we do heavily pollute our environment (earth/air and water) and the only losers will be ourselves. Nature will probably react by adapting and we will fall into decline and back to the dark ages - if it hasn't already happened a number of times before.

posted on Apr, 26 2014 @ 07:41 AM
a reply to: YarlanZey

Everything you have said makes perfect sense to me,and probably to alot of other folks as well.But then how will the rich get richer? How will the political power mongers stay in power and get rich off lobby money?

Money is always the driver in this world.Anytime you wonder about something that happens that just doesn't seem right,The people behind it and the reason for it happening can be discovered by just following the money.Track it back to it's source and all will be revealed.

Thanks for the excellent reply.I think that you hit the nail on the head.

edit on 4/26/2014 by lonegurkha because: aliens in the shift key

posted on Apr, 26 2014 @ 07:50 AM
a reply to: Wrabbit2000

This is what I am constantly talking about.

So many "climate-doomers" think that the science is settled. But there is still so much we are learning and studying before we can make ANY assumptions.

posted on Apr, 26 2014 @ 08:56 AM
a reply to: lonegurkha

Actually, the Milankovitch Cycle is and always has been part of the discussion on causes of our current global warming. It was the 1st thing to be discussed... it's when scientists realized that based on our current obliquity, eccentricity, and precession, Earth shouldn't be warming that other causes started being looked at.

posted on Apr, 26 2014 @ 09:04 AM
a reply to: beezzer

Yet, you have made an assumption. It's long been thought that AGW should not be affecting the Antarctic for a long, long time. Climate science has never stated that the ice melt in Antarctica is due to AGW, if they had... the OP wouldn't exist. When ice melts or droughts happen or any other climate related uh-oh happens... it's not just assumed that it's because of AGW. The exact cause is always sought. Many sensationalist blogs, sites or news outlets may make lazy assumptions about climate and AGW, science doesn't.

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