GLOBAL WARMING: WORSE THAN WE THOUGHT….The LA Times reports on the work of Jay Zwally and Konrad Steffen, two climatologists studying the Greenland ice sheet:
Climate experts have started to worry that the ice cap is disappearing in ways that computer models had not predicted.
….By 2005, Greenland was beginning to lose more ice volume than anyone anticipated ? an annual loss of up to 52 cubic miles a year ? according to more recent satellite gravity measurements released by JPL.
The amount of freshwater ice dumped into the Atlantic Ocean has almost tripled in a decade.
“We are clearly seeing the effects of climate change starting to kick in,” Zwally said.
Since Steffen started monitoring the weather at Swiss Camp in 1991, the average winter temperature has risen almost 10 degrees. Last year, the annual melt zone reached farther inland and up to higher elevations than ever before.
There was even a period of melting in December.
“We have never seen that,” Steffen said, combing the ice crystals from his beard. “It is significantly warmer now, and it happened quite suddenly. This year, the temperatures were warmer than I have ever experienced.”
The problem is that the computer models didn’t take into account the dynamics of Greenland’s glaciers. So in a way, the skeptics have turned out to be right: the computer models aren’t as reliable as we thought. They’re too optimistic.