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Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Saturday, April 10, 2021

Glaciers all over Antarctica are in trouble as ice there rapidly melts. There's no Antarctic glacier whose fate is more consequential for our future than the Thwaites Glacier, and new research shows that things aren't looking good for it.

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"100 scientists drilled a hole 2,000 feet into the glacier"

Between this and sending ice breaker boats to the North Pole for the past 150 years, what could possibly go wrong?

#1 | Posted by sentinel at 2021-04-10 07:02 PM | Reply | Funny: 1

There's less ice because the scientists keep taking it all

#2 | Posted by GOnoles92 at 2021-04-10 07:08 PM | Reply

Whenever I eat out, I always tell them not to put ice in my drink. Because I care about the environment.

#3 | Posted by sentinel at 2021-04-10 07:24 PM | Reply

Between this and sending ice breaker boats to the North Pole for the past 150 years, what could possibly go wrong?

#1 | POSTED BY SENTINEL

This is a joke, right?

#4 | Posted by jpw at 2021-04-10 07:57 PM | Reply

#3 SLIME, IN THE ICE MACHINE!!

You had to have been a Houston resident to get that one.

#5 | Posted by madscientist at 2021-04-10 08:18 PM | Reply

Whenever I eat out, I always tell them to warn me first if they're on their period.
#3 | POSTED BY SENTINEL

#6 | Posted by madscientist at 2021-04-10 08:19 PM | Reply

#6, that too.

#7 | Posted by sentinel at 2021-04-10 08:59 PM | Reply

"This is a joke, right?"

Not sure what you're asking about here. That these human actions could have a cumulative adverse effect on the environment?

#8 | Posted by sentinel at 2021-04-10 09:14 PM | Reply

Phytoplankton live for five years and lay eggs under the ice sheet.

If there's no ice sheet for five years, phytoplankton go extinct.

Phytoplankton produce about half of the oxygen in the atmosphere.

Happy Extinction!

#9 | Posted by snoofy at 2021-04-10 09:23 PM | Reply

#8 They are just trying to distract us from the Aliens. Seriously, I mean look at #9.

The Aliens don't want you to have a Big Gulp.

#10 | Posted by HeliumRat at 2021-04-10 09:43 PM | Reply

It's like how they don't want us to have decent parking.

#11 | Posted by HeliumRat at 2021-04-10 09:44 PM | Reply

Besides, it's probably just *named* the 'Doomsday Glacier'. That's why they put it in scare quotes!

I'm sure all the glaciers on the Plateau of Leng beyound the Mountains Of Madness have similar names....

#12 | Posted by HeliumRat at 2021-04-10 09:58 PM | Reply

Names like Bones Ozone and initials like SST.

#13 | Posted by LesWit at 2021-04-10 10:06 PM | Reply

#13 The aliens figured out that if they disguised themselves as weather balloons, marsh gas, or the planet Venus, nobody would find out if it was them....

#14 | Posted by HeliumRat at 2021-04-10 10:17 PM | Reply

That these human actions could have a cumulative adverse effect on the environment?

#8 | POSTED BY SENTINEL

I'm not sure you understand the scale of the amount of ice present.

Ice cores and ice breakers (who's paths would be refrozen as soon as they passed) aren't going to meaningful impact the ice we're talking about.

Especially in the old arctic sea ice (centuries old ice) and antarctic ice.

#15 | Posted by jpw at 2021-04-10 10:30 PM | Reply

JPW

Isn't seasonal ice melting freshwater from existing ice shelves and glaciers?

#16 | Posted by AMERICANUNITY at 2021-04-10 10:32 PM | Reply

Isn't seasonal ice the result of melting freshwater from existing ice shelves and glaciers?

#17 | Posted by AMERICANUNITY at 2021-04-10 11:02 PM | Reply

Isn't seasonal ice the result of melting freshwater from existing ice shelves and glaciers?

#17 | POSTED BY AMERICANUNITY

I'm no expert but IIRC seasonal ice (sea ice) is frozen sea water, not fresh water from glaciers.

#18 | Posted by jpw at 2021-04-10 11:37 PM | Reply

I'm going to dump a lot about Antarctica right here. It's a place I love.

Seasonal ice is due to changes in the Earth's tilt and the drop in temperatures. What freezes is the ocean, not fresh water on the Antarctic Continent. Antarctica is a desert, so what you're seeing is the little bit of snow that's built up over hundreds of thousands of years*. It doesn't get warm enough for any of that ice or snow to melt, so there is no fresh water melt to freeze in winter.

If you hear something referred to as an "ice shelf" that means that the ice and snow (not saline) have been around for a long, long time. Snow accumulation and glacial activity (perpetually frozen fresh water rivers) have extended these ice shelves out into the ocean - cantilevered out and/or suspended at multiple points.

What makes this so different for Antarctica from the Arctic is there is no continent, no land at all for the Arctic. In the Arctic there really aren't any ice shelves. If you ever hear someone talk about Arctic ice shelves, they're going to be talking about ice shelves extending from Canada's most northern land mass, or Greenland. Extremely small in comparison to the Antarctic.

Antarctica is also the highest continent on Earth. These massive ice shelves are attached to and supported by the continent itself, and by islands and other land masses. When these ice shelved break, they drop. The oceans rise. That does not happen in the Arctic**. The Arctic is like ice cubes in a glass. The water level doesn't change as they melt.

* True for the main continent, the peninsula extends into warmer water and further out, and accumulates snow and melts seasonally with summer temperatures sometimes reaching ~60F. The warmest parts of main Antarctic Continent have not historically gone above freezing.

**Arctic in comparison to Antarctic is the ice cap extending from the poles, and does not include Greenland for the Arctic, for obvious reasons.

#19 | Posted by YAV at 2021-04-10 11:46 PM | Reply

One more point to make, since someone was concerned about drilling in Antarctica - Antarctica is more than the size of the US and Mexico together, or if you prefer, Antarctica is the size of the entire United States including Alaska, and then add 2 and a half more Alaskas on, or just multiple the entire US plus just (just shy of) half again.

It is huge.

#20 | Posted by YAV at 2021-04-10 11:55 PM | Reply

Thanks for the explanations

#21 | Posted by AMERICANUNITY at 2021-04-10 11:57 PM | Reply

BTW, several years ago, a friend was excited to be going to "South America" as an entertainer on a small cruise ship. He only packed shorts and short sleeved shirts to wear when he wasn't performing.

Turns out it was a cruise down to Tiera Del Fuego, up and down fjords. He had to borrow warm clothing from the crew LOL

#22 | Posted by AMERICANUNITY at 2021-04-10 11:59 PM | Reply

Too funny, AU!
A beautiful part of the world, though, and an awesome opportunity. Too bad he was clueless about where he was going!

That place is always windy, too.

#23 | Posted by YAV at 2021-04-11 12:14 AM | Reply

#22 Watch out AU, that's how they get you.

#24 | Posted by HeliumRat at 2021-04-11 12:31 AM | Reply

Ice cores and ice breakers (who's paths would be refrozen as soon as they passed) aren't going to meaningful impact the ice we're talking about.
Especially in the old arctic sea ice (centuries old ice) and antarctic ice.
#15 | POSTED BY JPW

Pssh, the scientists seized the mantra of "drill baby, drill!" and drunk with power, decided to store some of their hoard of polar sediment ice core riches in sunny Florida: www.research.gov

#25 | Posted by GOnoles92 at 2021-04-11 12:33 AM | Reply

#23 | Posted by YAV

What was equally funny to me was the description of his 'opening act' for the patrons on the ship, whose average age was 80+: a guy giving a 3 part seminar on corns and bunions LOL

#26 | Posted by americanunity at 2021-04-11 02:22 AM | Reply

Why can't leftists just learn the backstroke?

#27 | Posted by HeliumRat at 2021-04-11 02:30 AM | Reply

Seasonal ice is due to changes in the Earth's tilt and the drop in temperatures. What freezes is the ocean, not fresh water on the Antarctic Continent.

I'll add it fluctuates from year to year due to the complexity of interactions between currents, wind and Other environmental factors.

That's why climate change deniers point to years where sea ice is high, but all they're talking about is area whereas climate scientists are talking about ice volume that's on land.

Yav, have you spent time in Antarctica?

#28 | Posted by jpw at 2021-04-11 10:21 AM | Reply

JPW - Yes. I have.

#29 | Posted by YAV at 2021-04-11 12:14 PM | Reply

Oh - and bingo on the sea ice vs ice volume. You clearly understand the ramifications and why surface ice is rather meaningless as a metric at this stage of things.

#30 | Posted by YAV at 2021-04-11 12:17 PM | Reply

I would love to see Antarctica some day, but I can't quite imagine the biotech work that would get me there.

Very cool Yav.

#31 | Posted by snoofy at 2021-04-11 04:25 PM | Reply

Same here. I'm sure they need a relatively healthy chemist to do something down there. Besides making pipe bombs, of course.

#32 | Posted by madscientist at 2021-04-11 06:29 PM | Reply

#29 what did you do?

I watched a cool Netflix documentary on the main research station there and their experiences wintering there.

Was amazed at the facilities and diversity of jobs that are there. Looked into what jobs were hiring and what the pay was. My wife said she'd kill me if I left for a year for $35K lol.

#33 | Posted by jpw at 2021-04-11 09:10 PM | Reply

JPW, I don't mind talking about it generically.

I got to do a lot of hiking, spent a lot of time on Zodiacs, and lots of photography, documentation, and visiting the Argentine bases, Esperanza, Brown, Base Primavera.

#34 | Posted by YAV at 2021-04-11 10:58 PM | Reply

Here's a few things no one tells you about Antarctica that I found interesting:

  1. It is ungodly dry there.
  2. UV light is intense.
  3. You need serious sunglasses.
  4. Unless you are near penguins, there is no odor, smell as much as you want, there's nothing there.
  5. Penguin guano is intense
  6. Suncreen and skin lotion are not optional
:)

#35 | Posted by YAV at 2021-04-12 10:30 AM | Reply

From JPW's lookup of Antarctic salaries, seems like it would be a young person's type of job/career move, and I had to give it a Google search.
What's the dating scene like on the neutral continent?
"The odds are good, but the goods are odd:"
worldcrunch.com

#36 | Posted by GOnoles92 at 2021-04-12 11:18 AM | Reply

#36 - haha! that's great, GoNoles - and Brown Station, too. Fun find and post.

#37 | Posted by YAV at 2021-04-12 02:25 PM | Reply

#9 where do you get that phytoplankton lives for five years?

#38 | Posted by ichiro at 2021-04-12 03:36 PM | Reply

www.imdb.com

This is the documentary I watched.

Most of it was at the US McMurdo station which seems quite large. If you saw the clips of the cafeteria during dinner service you'd have thought it was at some normal US university during winter.

Fascinating documentary and the parts that I found amazing were when during the blackest part winter people would step outside (when the weather wasn't a gale) and see the stars and aurora. I can't even begin to imagine what that would look like. I'm sure it's also small compensation for the rest of the winter you're there LOL

One other thing that amazed me was during a particularly nasty storm they pulled people into the more robust buildings until it passed. When they went back to some of the dorms after the storm was over they were basically solid blocks of snow on the inside because the wind was so strong it pushed it into every available weak crack or spot that wasn't sealed completely.

#39 | Posted by jpw at 2021-04-12 03:40 PM | Reply

JPW - since you just checked it out, and I could look it up, but I think McMurdo has about 1,000 people? Did they show the a shuttle bus named "Ivan the Terrabus"? :)

#40 | Posted by YAV at 2021-04-12 07:30 PM | Reply

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