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Geothermal Heat Contributing To West Antarctic Ice Sheet Melting

Soulskill posted about 2 months ago | from the i-blame-the-schools dept.

Earth 387

bricko sends this news from The University of Texas at Austin: Thwaites Glacier, the large, rapidly changing outlet of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, is not only being eroded by the ocean, it's being melted from below by geothermal heat, researchers at the Institute for Geophysics at The University of Texas at Austin (UTIG) report in the current edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The findings significantly change the understanding of conditions beneath the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, where accurate information has previously been unobtainable. The Thwaites Glacier has been the focus of considerable attention in recent weeks as other groups of researchers found the glacier is on the way to collapse, but more data and computer modeling are needed to determine when the collapse will begin in earnest and at what rate the sea level will increase as it proceeds. The new observations by UTIG will greatly inform these ice sheet modeling efforts.

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Queue the deniers (-1, Troll)

NoKaOi (1415755) | about 2 months ago | (#47209871)

Queue the climate change deniers, who will try to skew this as meaning it's geothermal activity and not our CO2 contributions that are causing ice melt, not realizing that this really means curbing CO2 emissions is that much more important so we don't accelerate it.

And who will be pushing the accelerator (2, Insightful)

Trachman (3499895) | about 2 months ago | (#47209895)

I am siding with those that the climate changes. In my opinion it does. If CO2 curbing means more direct taxes on me, then I am against it.

Re:And who will be pushing the accelerator (3, Insightful)

sg_oneill (159032) | about 2 months ago | (#47209923)

If CO2 curbing means more direct taxes on me, then I am against it.

Then quit pissing in the commons, disconnect your power, buy a solar powered (ONLY) car, avoid anything made with , well anything.

And then, after your satisfied your not increasing the risk to me and everyone else, I think it would be ok to not have any taxes go to cleaning up your mess.

Otherwise, quit freeloading off others, denialist commie.

Re:And who will be pushing the accelerator (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47210057)

Then quit pissing in the commons, disconnect your power, buy a solar powered (ONLY) car, avoid anything made with , well anything.

And then, after your satisfied your not increasing the risk to me and everyone else, I think it would be ok to not have any taxes go to cleaning up your mess.

Otherwise, quit freeloading off others, denialist commie.

I'm a denialist commie (Well, socialist actually, but what's the difference.) who lives in a country with carbon neutral energy production.
Since I live close enough to work I don't own a car. I don't see how buying a solar powered one would help.

Now, if you are so concerned with carbon emission, how about you stop emission carbon instead of paying taxes for it. The taxes aren't used to stop the emissions anyway so in the end it is just a feel-good tax that you pay so that you can keep living you current life-style but not feel bad about it.

Re:And who will be pushing the accelerator (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 2 months ago | (#47210201)

I'm a denialist commie (Well, socialist actually, but what's the difference.) who lives in a country with carbon neutral energy production.

No [r] way!

Re:And who will be pushing the accelerator (5, Funny)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 2 months ago | (#47210665)

No [r] way!

Kenya imagine a worse country-name pun than that?

Re:And who will be pushing the accelerator (4, Funny)

MancunianMaskMan (701642) | about 2 months ago | (#47211337)

No [r] way!

Kenya imagine a worse country-name pun than that?

Oman that's awful!

Re:And who will be pushing the accelerator (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47210465)

I like commies! They are funny in a deadly kinda way.
The only way to stop emmiting CO2 is to stop breathing. Major greenies were always against humans.
That is why commies and greenies have that much in common.

Re:And who will be pushing the accelerator (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47210483)

(Well, socialist actually, but what's the difference.)

Socialist will take what you wroked for by majority vote.
A communist will just take it by force and probably shoot you for being able to make that much.

Re:And who will be pushing the accelerator (1)

morgauxo (974071) | about 2 months ago | (#47211385)

Why would he buy a solar powered car? Or any car at all? Is he going to drive it on the public roads?

Re:And who will be pushing the accelerator (3, Insightful)

riverat1 (1048260) | about 2 months ago | (#47209979)

What is not curbing CO2 means 2 or 3 times the cost of curbing it? That's what a lot of economic analyses show.

Re:And who will be pushing the accelerator (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47210679)

and that is crap math and loads of biased bollocks.

fuck off and Go live in a cave if you want to but stop trying to force the rest of us too.

Re:And who will be pushing the accelerator (1, Flamebait)

dave420 (699308) | about 2 months ago | (#47210615)

Translation: "I agree that CO2 is changing the atmosphere, but as I am selfish, if it inconveniences me at all to do something about it, I won't, and I will happily condemn future generations to deal with the problem as I simply can't be fucked". Lovely person.

Re:And who will be pushing the accelerator (2)

BreakBad (2955249) | about 2 months ago | (#47211021)

Indeed. But nobody ever wants to talk about population. If simply 'curbing' CO2 is so hard, wouldn't it be easier to just have one big ass war? Sure it would be messy at first, but the long term benefits of nixing a few trillion people would be worth considering.

Re: And who will be pushing the accelerator (2)

Brian (2887359) | about 2 months ago | (#47211205)

Killing a trillion people would definitely solve earth's problens

Re:Queue the deniers (5, Insightful)

Karmashock (2415832) | about 2 months ago | (#47209941)

And queue the alarmists that will take every little thing and blow so moronically out of proportion that it bears no resemblance to the data or science.

Both sides are enemies of reason and science. If you have a vested emotional interest in a given conclusion and are inclined to ignore evidence that contradicts that position or inclined to exaggerate/fabricate evidence that supports your position then you're an enemy of reason and science.

And BOTH sides of this issue have lots of those people.

There is a moderate middle that just wants to hear the science and deal with this in a reasonable fashion. But they're shouted down by the fanatics on either side that scream "YOU"RE WITH US OR AGAINST US" while foaming at the mouth like diseased animals.

That is what needs to stop. This issue have been hijacked by political interests... left and right when really it should supersede the factional struggles in our political system.

Global warming is not an issue to be used to profit the political ambitions of democrats or republicans. Socialists or capitalists... or any other label you'd prefer.

Global warming must be an issue that is dealt with in a respectful, bipartisan, and transparent fashion.

Anything short of that and any claim to scientific purity is GONE. Utterly irrelevant. It becomes nothing more then a political struggle with the issue of truth being irrelevant to the process. Power politics against power politics. One screaming stupid face against another screaming stupid face... the winner being decided by who can shout louder and longer.


Do you want this to be about science or do you want this to be about who can yell louder? Because if you want it to be about science, the politics need to be put away.

And for that, you're going to have to stop trying to twist people's arms and ACTUALLY convince them. Which will mean compromises and respect for contradiction. It will mean going through a long drawn out process where there is no roughshodding, steamrolling, or other terms for the attempt to push things through without going through due process.

Will this take awhile? How fast is the currently process going? What we have no is sort of like stop and go traffic. Everything rushes forward for a moment and the alarmists think they've suddenly broken through. Only to have the whole thing either stop or outright reverse itself taking away most of those gains. Graph the progress over time and its not going fast if its going at all.

So why not try something else? It can't be slower then what you already have and you might find it more pleasant to actually talk respectfully with people rather then try to undermine their very right to participate in the process at all.

Re:Queue the deniers (5, Insightful)

MadKeithV (102058) | about 2 months ago | (#47210157)

I have to respond to this, because it's clearly an attempt at a "balanced" view but missing some very important key points that distort your opinion.

First of all reducing the AGW debate to "both sides" with a neutral "middle ground" is disingenuous - in the count of number of people the balance is very strongly in favor of accepting AGW to degrees ( e.g. this recent set of studies arriving at between 91-97% consensus [] ). The denialists get disproportionate attention, which is actually a known type of political manipulation (e.g. argument to moderation [] ) and this type of attention has been shown to disproportionately affect people who aren't specialized in the subject matter to moderate their position when no such moderation is required (more on this subject, though I can't find the scientific paper about it right now [] .

Second, appeal to "scientific purity" is overshooting. Science is constantly advancing, improving models, replacing wrong assumptions with less wrong assumptions. There is nothing "pure" about it, and in no way does it need to be to advance the cause and be useful to our lives. Words such as "purity" are much too loaded to be used, exactly because of the scientific approach. There's no need to deny - the scientific world does not have all the T's crossed and the I's dotted on AGW, just as it doesn't on gravity, physics and quantum theory, but we still happily cross bridges every day. The degree of certainty has long reached sufficient levels to warrant seriously looking at how to realistically (not politically, stupid carbon credits) mitigate instead of discussing a black and white position on AGW's existence.

And thirdly the AGW debate is much bigger than the USA. I understand that you have bipartisan issues across the board (not just AGW, and to be clear: I think both parties are in the wrong) but that doesn't extend to the rest of the world and this is a global issue.

So I think that while I don't entirely agree with your argumentation, I agree with your position. AGW is a science thing - and science has agreed that it exists though not to which degree. The challenge is to find solutions, and that's also with science.

Finally, I find the actual article very intriguing and somewhat challenging to my own views on AGW, as evidenced by my first thoughts on this: could it be that the geology of the antarctic is becoming destabilized because of the lessening of the weight of the ice sheet, in turn causing more geological activity? But that's a conjecture from an explanation that wouldn't challenge AGW, and real science must of course also look for other hypotheses.

Re:Queue the deniers (3, Insightful)

Karmashock (2415832) | about 2 months ago | (#47210323)

You're just trying to justify the ongoing politicization of the issue.

Which is fine. The price of that is that the science is irrelevant and that the issue becomes one purely of politics.

That is the price. And that is not a decision I can make for you. You must make that decision yourself for yourself. But I do think its important that you understand that this choice has a cost.

You are calculating that it is more expedient to attain your goals by applying political pressure rather then go through the tedious process of actually gathering consent.

However, in doing that you force opposing forces to likewise employ political pressure. And when political pressure meets political pressure - logic is irrelevant.

I find it to be rather puzzling that people that think they have the stronger scientific argument have done more then any other to make the science irrelevant to the discussion. You've dramatically undermined your position by doing this and none of the science will be relevant in the discussion until the nature of the discussion changes.

You're going to bring up poor little villagers in the pacific that have lost their village or something due to encroaching tides due to AGW... and the opposition is going to talk about rust belt cities turned into urban wastelands due to punitive ecological controls.

You are not winning the political argument. The international coalition is toothless and if anything more against you then for you. And that is made all the stronger by the poor economy.

In short you have two options.

1. You can have the humility to have the discussion the way you should have in the first place without dismissing people or calling the science settled.

2. You can make this political, render the science irrelevant, and lose to entrenched economic forces.

Choose. You can moderate your position and actually get somewhere while enlightening everyone to the risks and problems of the issue. Or get downed out in a political screaming match and lose.

I know you don't like your choices but those are your choices. Pick one.

Re: Queue the deniers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47210603)

"You're just trying to justify the ongoing politicization of the issue." -- No reasonable Individual could read the comment to which You refer and come to that conclusion. GP was clearly stating how the existence of AGW is not a political issue anymore than asking "Is 15 bigger than 5?" is a political issue.

Re: Queue the deniers (3, Insightful)

ganjadude (952775) | about 2 months ago | (#47211357)

just saying its not political, doesnt make it true. This is a topic that has been abused by politicians in the same way immigration and drug reform have been. Both sides like to pay lip service but they only talk about it because they know it divides, We have real pressing issues that are affecting us *TODAY* that politicians dont talk about in any real substance because they would rather have americans bickering about abortion, something that is a blip on the radar in reality, or the death penalty, where we have had an avg of 2 executions a year since 76, in other words a non issue.

meanwhile they fundraise on global warming and these other issues while our bridges rot away, our people are living paycheck to paycheck more and more, and no one wants to talk about those issues seriously

Re:Queue the deniers (1, Flamebait)

dave420 (699308) | about 2 months ago | (#47210677)

1. The science is settled. This is not up for negotiation just to make some scientifically-illiterate numpty happy
2. The science is not political, but the solutions are, as they require broad cooperation to implement. That is non-negotiable, too.

The real options are:

1. Accept the scientific method, accept the findings of the world's climatologists, and implement solutions.

oh, wait, that's it. You don't seem to understand the difference between the science and the politics.

Re:Queue the deniers (3, Insightful)

narcc (412956) | about 2 months ago | (#47210741)

The science is settled.

I don't know what that can possibly mean. Science, last time I checked, does not work that way.

Re:Queue the deniers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47210961)

For lunatics or those who rely on funding for their science based on AGW... they'd love the "science settled".

Re:Queue the deniers (2)

Kythe (4779) | about 2 months ago | (#47211251)

All scientists rely on funding. And if I were looking to get rich, I'd be producing results favorable to the denialists. There's a lot more money there, and a lot less competition.

Re:Queue the deniers (3, Insightful)

AthanasiusKircher (1333179) | about 2 months ago | (#47211189)

The science is settled.

I don't know what that can possibly mean. Science, last time I checked, does not work that way.

Yes, it does. It's the only way for practical research to ever happen. You can't go around questioning fundamental assumptions at every turn. This doesn't mean that those fundamental assumptions are "settled" for all time, but from a practical standpoint, science must treat some core assumptions as effectively "settled" in order to get on with any detailed research.

Example: I accept that in normal everyday life, that light obeys the "Law of Reflection." That is SETTLED science. When I'm driving my car, I don't wonder: "Gee, maybe I should do another experiment with the rearview mirror just to be sure," nor do I worry, "Oh, maybe the Law of Reflection won't work today, so I should be careful and not rely on my mirrors to tell me where things are."

More importantly, if something goes wrong with my mirrors in the real world, my first thought is definitely NOT "Oh, the Law of Reflection is probably wrong." Instead, I assume the mirrors are damaged or poorly designed or something else. At this point, that's the ONLY reasonable conclusion to come to -- as a scientist.

The science is settled.

That's what we mean by "settled" in everyday life. When we say a disagreement is "settled," for example, we don't mean that we are denying the possibilityof ever disagreeing again. We mean that we've reached a practical stability point, and it's not worth continuing the discussion further at this time.

From a scientific standpoint, it's necessary to establish these core assumptions within a research paradigm so that we can work on actually refining our work without running around questioning fundamental assumptions all the time. If you think Thomas Kuhn's notions of paradigms and scientific "revolutions" [] is too extreme, a very reasonable alternative is Imre Lakatos's notion of research programs [] , which was developed in response to Kuhn. From the Wikipedia article:

A Lakatosian research programme is based on a hard core of theoretical assumptions that cannot be abandoned or altered without abandoning the programme altogether. More modest and specific theories that are formulated in order to explain evidence that threatens the 'hard core' are termed auxiliary hypotheses. Auxiliary hypotheses are considered expendable by the adherents of the research programme - they may be altered or abandoned as empirical discoveries require in order to 'protect' the 'hard core'. Whereas Popper was generally read as hostile toward such ad hoc theoretical amendments, Lakatos argued that they can be progressive, i.e. productive, when they enhance the programme's explanatory and/or predictive power, and that they are at least permissible until some better system of theories is devised and the research programme is replaced entirely.

For the majority of climate scientists today, the assumption of global warming has become part of a "hard core" in their research programs. They believe that it's now more productive to treat this assumption as "settled" and focus on investigating other aspects of climate problems, rather than worrying about continuing to debate this fundamental question.

I suppose there are a few scientists who would continue to debate this issue specifically about global warming. But you simply cannot deny that actual scientific research in general necessarily has to accept "core assumptions" as "settled" in order to make any progress.

Re:Queue the deniers (1)

tbannist (230135) | about 2 months ago | (#47211235)

I don't know what that can possibly mean.

It means there is a large and growing body of research that has collected diverse and disparate lines of evidence that support the major governing theory on the topic. In particular, it's enough that we can say with a high degree of confidence that the fundamental aspects of the theory of global warming are well founded and reasonably accurate.

Science, last time I checked, does not work that way.

That's what some pendants would like you to think. They want you to ignore the fact that science is both a process and the body of knowledge collected (and verified) through that process.

Re:Queue the deniers (1)

Kythe (4779) | about 2 months ago | (#47211241)

Fine -- let's an a condition: "The science is as settled as the scientific conclusion that cigarette smoking causes cancer". I hope that clarifies things.

Re:Queue the deniers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47211101)

you obviously don't either. just another biased eco nutter.

1. nope, fake 97% consensus claims don't make it true, and that's not science anyway.
2. It is political, scare the voters so that when you take money off them with the excuse you are doing it for the environment (money actually gets shoveled into pockets of their funders), they don't tell you to fuck off and vote for the other guy.

1. nope they are not scientists so they are talking bollocks.

2. stop panicking you fucking idiots.

Re:Queue the deniers (1)

ganjadude (952775) | about 2 months ago | (#47211381)

1. The science is settled

I know right? and the world is flat, I mean the science is settled!

Re:Cue the radical activists (2)

satch89450 (186046) | about 2 months ago | (#47211391)

I will believe the science is settled when the journals that carry articles about climate stop rejecting articles that are not "in line" with the alleged settled science, especially those articles that are brought forward by scientists who don't put the word "climate" in front of "scientist" or "researcher" when they describe themselves.

"Science" is about exploring boundaries and ideas, and a "memory hole" has no place at all in science. "Science" is about evaluating the data and resulting theories, not the person bringing the data and theories forward. "Science" is about recognizing new facts and incorporating them into existing theories...or throwing out the old theories when the new facts require those theories to be stretched all out of shape to shoehorn in the new facts, much like politicians gerrymander the boundaries of voting districts to achieve a desired result.

Why have the various predictions been so drastically wrong? That says the science is not settled. If it were, the results would better match the predictions. Especially the doomsday predictions. Not to mention the flip-flops between "global warming" and "global cooling" -- how does the settled science square with those changes in view? I'm reminded of the boy crying "Wolf!"...

I agree that there are trends in temperature change that needs to be watched closely, but I disagree that there is one "magic" solution. Indeed, I look at reduced industrial CO2 emissions as only one of many things we should look to do. For example, have you considered growing grass on the roof of your house, and on the body of your car? How about roofing over car parks, and growing plants on them? Have you looked into dense, CO2-consuming flora on the top of your office building? How many trees have you planted on your property, especially large-leaf ones?

"Climate change" is not a "Someone else's problem" -- it's YOUR problem, too. Why do I see lots of talk but little personal action? Show us how to solve the problem, don't just say "you do it."

Re:Queue the deniers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47210519)

I wouldn't rely on a poll in the Gardian for being balanced. Their small and shrinking readership is made up increasingly of those with hard left views, due to the content of the paper.

Incidentally the BBC advertises its jobs in there, which is why it also has such a biassed view toward left issues ( such as the famous notice board with "stop the cuts" type newspaper clippings )

Re:Queue the deniers (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47210715)

Your talking bollocks,

that 97% consensus is just garbage that keeps getting repeated, no matter how many times you say it it still is not fucking true!!.

Any science that tries that is just political bollocks.

Re:Queue the deniers (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47210309)

WTF? Global warming must be dealt with? WHY? You think trading carbon credits is going to do a fucking thing to save the planet? Do you think anything you do in your first world country makes a fucking bit of difference when it's the rest of the world making the crap you buy, spewing out the toxins? By all means, drink more bottled water, and drive an electric car. all of which causes more harm to the planet to go "green" so you can feel better. Go visit a 3rd world country and see where your copper, nickel, and rare earth metals come from to make your "green" parts. You're living in a fantasy world, and there's NOTHING you can do, short of killing yourself to stop spewing more co2 yourself. Don't eat, don't drink, and don't buy a damn thing.

Re:Queue the deniers (1)

Karmashock (2415832) | about 2 months ago | (#47210369)

I never said anything about carbon credits. Kindly don't put words in my mouth or assume you know all my positions simply because I said we should do something about it.

Something is an extremely vague statement. Something could be just talking about it. Something could be a great deal more. You can't assume what I would do simply because I said "something".

As to my preferred means of dealing with the issue. I'd like to move more to closed loop fuel systems. That is, rather then taking oil out of the earth, I'd like to grow the fuel or create it using atmospheric carbon which can safety be reemitted without altering the background level of CO2 because all the CO2 used to create it came from that source.

Obviously such systems are more expensive so I wouldn't suggest we throw a huge amount of money at them. But we can do things like us solar, geothermal, nuclear (I am a big fan of nuclear power), wind etc to power chemical plants that produce fuel FROM atmospheric carbon. These plants could ramp up their production and ramp it down with the supply of power from the renewable source. This would allow us to store solar energy in a way that we cannot do right now because batteries are frankly terrible places to store energy.

I do not believe in carbon credits. I do not believe in big taxes on CO2 emitters. And I do not believe in anything that significantly increases the price of anything.

Furthermore, the sort of technology I'm talking about can be miniaturized. That means you could have a fuel refinery in your garage that makes enough fuel to keep your car filled and is supplied entirely by solar power on your roof or maybe just electricity from the grid turned into fuel.

I am not an enemy of the modern world and I'm very happy to be reasonable on everything. Don't assume I'm a fanatic please... I'm a nice guy and my ideal solution is one where EVERYONE is happy.

Re:Queue the deniers (1)

dave420 (699308) | about 2 months ago | (#47210711)

Your closed loop system doesn't work as it's woefully inefficient, and as energy demands increase, the amount of temporary CO2 in the atmosphere will increase. It will help (slightly) but is rather short-sighted, and is no long-term solution. Also using electricity to create fuel from the atmospheric CO2 suffers from the same issue - it will not reduce the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere, which will continue to rise even if everyone used your system.

The real solutions are:

1. Carbon sequestration (a fair bit of research is required)
2. Sensible nuclear power (new reactors & fuel cycles)
3. Improved use of renewable and carbon-neutral energy sources.

Carbon credits make sense as they limit the amount of CO2 released into the atmosphere by the companies in the market, allowing companies to buy and sell the permission to release CO2. They are not a solution, but they are a quick fix to lessen the problems in the short-term while long-term solutions are found.

A solution where everyone is happy will not be found, as people will find problems with anything, even if it's simply because the person suggesting it is from the wrong "team", hence the need for politics.

Re:Queue the deniers (1)

Karmashock (2415832) | about 2 months ago | (#47211271)

The system I'm offering would be powered by systems that don't power the grid efficiently as it is or systems that generate so much power that no one cares if they're used efficiently.

That would be renewable energy which is all but useless because its unreliable. However, if you're using it to power a fuel generation plant then the unreliability doesn't matter so much. Grid power must meet demand at all times. No exceptions. Supply cannot go up or down randomly. It has to be meet demand period. Renewable energy is typically unable to do that because the output fluxuates constantly and often stops alltogether. If the wind stops... the power stops... if the sun goes down... the power stops. You can't use that in grid power without storage system and we don't have one.

So instead of wasting our time and money pouring that into the grid, you can instead use it to power a fuel generation plant which won't care so much if the power goes up and down. The power goes down... the plant shuts down and waits for the power to start again.

Alternatively you can use nuclear power which generates so much power that it renders the question of inefficiency irrelevant.

As to temporary carbon levels... no... the levels would be constant. You'd be taking out as much as you're putting into the system at any given time which would mean human industry would generate zero net carbon if it used this system for all fuel.

You can look at forests as an example. They suck up carbon when the trees grow and then release most of it when the trees die and decompose. Trees don't really sequester much or any carbon. They just hold on to it for a time and then release it. The a rotting tree and a tree on fire are ultimately the same thing in the end. The only difference really is that the fire releases the carbon faster but on a global scale and over time periods relevant to climate the difference is irrelevant.

Further, I'd like to point out that just because current processes for fuel conversion are not very efficient there is no chemical reason that they must be inefficient. That's more a matter of the technology not being very refined more then anything. Simply attempting it will likely improve efficiency in and of itself. And over time the efficiency will improve more.

As to your three solutions. I have no problem with any of them.

As to carbon credits, they're a great idea if you're willing to go to literal war over them.

No really. How badly to do you want to do that idea... because you're going to have to nuke cities to do it.

I know you think you can just sweet talk people into that idea... but you can't. Its a dead idea. Still born. Blue, gnarled, and strangled by its own umbilical cord.

You can clutch the corpse of that idea to yourself and pretend it lives still... but its dead. The price of bringing to life is subjugating a few billion people on the planet that won't accept it.

You don't have the military strength, moral will, or political support to do that. So at best you can delude your political allies as to the possibility and waste the opposition's time playing whack-o-mole with you.

But that's it.

I strongly suggest you come up with an idea that won't get people to come out with their pitch forks and torches.

Re:Queue the deniers (1)

dave420 (699308) | about 2 months ago | (#47210655)

Any problem which requires cross-the-board action to resolve will quickly become political, and will never be separated from politics. In more sane countries where the them-vs-us mentality isn't so pronounced, the politics doesn't degrade into a yelling match. That seems to be reserved for developing countries and the US.

Now, that being said, that does not reflect on the science one bit. The science is sound, the problems are real, and the time to implement solutions is now. How loudly people argue over it doesn't change the research, so your claim about "scientific purity" is abject nonsense from the get-go - science doesn't work like that.

There is no respect in a scientific discussion for those who ignore the scientific method and the findings that result from it. There simply can't be, by very definition. If we are having a discussion on scientific findings, and someone says they're bogus (but can't show how, or tries to show but their claims are demonstrably bogus themselves, as is the case with every AGW cynic) and sticks to their guns even though their issues have been debunked time and time and time again, how should the discussion proceed? Accept their opinion as equally valid as the scientific findings so as to not upset them by highlighting their inanity? That's no answer.

Re:Queue the deniers (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47210755)

Check the fucking math's and crap stats they use, AGW eco nutters don't seem to be able to do that.

so sorry, they won't show the raw data, methods. so you can't check the bollocks they spout, It is NOT the fucking scientific method in any form !!!.

(and don't say it's been peer reviewed, it hasn't it's been PAL reviewed (again not bothering to check method and data are valid, due to being too dumb).

When they show the data and methods I might believe them, but so far I see fuck all worth listening too.

Re:Queue the deniers (1)

dargaud (518470) | about 2 months ago | (#47211151)

I have to point out that Antarctica is geothermally balanced. There's about 4km of ice in W Antarctica (much less in the east), with only a few cm added each year it turns out that the oldest ice at the base is only about 1 million years old. Why is that since it's been a continent of ice for tens of times that duration ? Glaciers calving in the sea are not enough to explain it as they run too slowly in the center. It's simply because the ice at the base melts off and the water runs to the ocean in underground (or rather under-ice) river runways. At the base of the ice, there is a thermal equilibrium between the weight of ice (lower melting point, only about -6C in the center) and the geothermal flux.

Re:Queue the deniers (1)

Xyrus (755017) | about 2 months ago | (#47211331)

You can't have a balanced discussion when the people involved want to remain willfully ignorant of the science. Check that, you can't have a balanced discussion when the people involved want to deny reality (hence the term "denier"). If science and reality can't convince someone that something is happening, you're just wasting time and resources that could be better put to use elsewhere.

Re:Queue the deniers (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47209971)

It means that geothermal activity is caused by CO2 emissions too.

When I drop something, I usually blame gravity.
Everything else that happens, I blame global warming, um... climate change.

Re:Queue the deniers (3, Informative)

Layzej (1976930) | about 2 months ago | (#47210705)

To be clear, the researchers did not find an increase in geothermal activity under the west Antarctic ice sheet, they just mapped sources of geothermal activity and found that there were significant sources. If the models do not take these into account they may greatly underestimate the rate of collapse.

Re:Queue the deniers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47210017)

Geological processes tend to reduce the global temperature, due to the release of sulpher dioxide which reflects sunlight in the upper atmosphere. Until the 1970s, coal fired power stations had a similar cooling effect, but then scrubbers were added to remove the sulpher, since the resultant acid had other bad effects. So, if we get uncomfortably hot, then we can remove the scrubbers from the smoke stacks and pretend that they are volcanoes.

Re:Queue the deniers (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47210061)

Queue the climate change deniers

...but what if I don't like being labeled with an epithet (ha, take that, you alarmist!), and furthermore, what if I don't feel like being forced to stand in a line?

Your imperative sentences are strange.

I suppose a queue is better than a stack. Fine. Queue the deniers, but stack the alarmists!

Re:Queue the deniers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47210329)

stack yo mama

Re:Queue the deniers (1)

WinstonWolfIT (1550079) | about 2 months ago | (#47210295)

It's clear the apocalypse is coming -- whether it takes the form of Communists vs. the West, a new Crusades, or climatic change, our grandchildren are well and truly fucked.

Re:Queue the deniers (1)

CurryCamel (2265886) | about 2 months ago | (#47210393)

Well, at least our children (we?) are not fucked, as the previous generation managed to thwart the nuclear apocalypse.
Should we do any less with the threat of the apocalypse we are facing now?

Re:Queue the deniers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47210321)

Queue: To get in line. A favorite pasttime of the British.

Cue: A prompt to tell an actor it's time to go on stage. "That's my cue".

It's tricky, which one to use to alert a waiting group of deniers that now's the time to get in line for the echo chamber? Cue the queue?

Unless we built power plants on Mars, it's both (1)

raymorris (2726007) | about 2 months ago | (#47210425)

Quick fact: earth has warmed more than the neighboring planets have.

Mercury, Earth, and Venus have gotten warmer. What do Mercury, earth, and Venus have in common? The sun, of course. Sun cycles are probably the cause of this warning.

Earth has warmed more the other two. What's special about earth? A) our atmosphere b) humans and c) water. The additional warming of earth probably has to do with our atmosphere being more affected by the increased solar output, by water holding the heat, by human activity, or by a combination of these.

Re:Unless we built power plants on Mars, it's both (1)

dave420 (699308) | about 2 months ago | (#47210725)

Nope - the sun's influence has been shown to not be as important as CO2 when it comes to global warming.

You can't use such simple, childish logic to try to establish the cause of a phenomenon in such a complicated system. You end up looking incredibly foolish, and learning nothing in the process.

Re:Unless we built power plants on Mars, it's both (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47210969)

not been shown at all, just more fucking dumb presumption

Re:Unless we built power plants on Mars, it's both (1)

Layzej (1976930) | about 2 months ago | (#47210727)

Neighboring planets are poor proxies for solar output, especially since we have direct measurements from the sun itself. Solar output has been dwindling since the 80's: []

your theory on solar system warming? Aliens? (1)

raymorris (2726007) | about 2 months ago | (#47211389)

Do you have a theory as to what is causing Earth, Mars, and Venus to warm? Certainly not invisible aliens building invisible power plants on Mars.

Re:Queue the deniers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47210507)

Climate is change dear. Saying "Climate change" is like saying "TCP Protocol" or "NSA Agency".
There is a long way between accepting that weather patterns are changing and that a corrupt but popular, politician can assign a beurocrat the task
of deciding who can produce what, where and how much it should cost the consumer. That is in short the goal of all greenies and commies.
Full control of production ability.

Re:Queue the deniers (1)

peragrin (659227) | about 2 months ago | (#47210663)

The problem isn't climate change. the problem is that glacier melts every 5,000 years or so. guess when it last melted? 5,000 years ago, Maybe it melted back then because the pharaohs were putting out too much CO2 with their slave labor in building the pyramids.

Is CO2 having an affect and should we try to curb it. Of course. is the planet getting warmer, Of course. Do we Want clean air to breath, of course. Those are good reasons why to clean the air. The planet however under goes constant temperature shifts. it shifts from 4 degrees colder to 4 degrees warmer every 20-40 thousand years. We don't have accurate non localized temperature maps for more than 50 years. Ice core Samples, tree samples, etc are all immediately affected by the local temperature. and we are trying to guess planetary temperature from two or maybe three locations. I am sorry but that is not statistically possible.

Re:Queue the deniers (1)

Layzej (1976930) | about 2 months ago | (#47210743)

That is not true. The WAIS last lost mass as we came out of the last glacial maximum 20,000 years ago. It melted to its current state at that time: []

Re:Queue the deniers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47210975)

The pyramids were not built with slave labor.

Let me get this straight (2, Insightful)

techno-vampire (666512) | about 2 months ago | (#47209887)

The Thwaites Glacier is melting because of Geothermal heat rather than AGW? I must admit that I'm astonished. Not by the cause of the melting, but by the fact that the discovery is being announced without any attempt to spin this as proof of AGW.

Re:Let me get this straight (2, Informative)

polar red (215081) | about 2 months ago | (#47209909)

AGW has a straightforward reasoning behind it : 1/ the greenhouse effect of CO2, which you can test for yourself: see youtube. if you have other results, warn the nobel price committee. 2/amount of CO2 released can be estimated as well, by calculating how much oil, coal has been burned the last centuries. this amount is far larger than any removal of forest cutting has been responsible for, and far greater than volcanoes.

Re:Let me get this straight (0, Offtopic)

sg_oneill (159032) | about 2 months ago | (#47209933)

Nobody needs to "spin proof" of AGW, any more than they need to "spin proof" of evolution, the solar centric motion of planets or anything else in science thats already proven.

Re:Let me get this straight (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47210779)

nope not even fucking close.

At this point it's all fucking spin, I've see fucking everything spun as being AGW caused, hot weather, cold weather, not finding aliens was the latest news turd applied to it.

Re:Let me get this straight (1)

Thanshin (1188877) | about 2 months ago | (#47209957)

"Do owls exist?"

"Are there hats?"

Re:Let me get this straight (5, Insightful)

Arty Choke (3690395) | about 2 months ago | (#47209963)

You don't have it straight yet. That would require reading the source article, which you obviously have not done. The study shows that geothermal heat is CONTRIBUTING to the melting, not the sole cause. The warming ocean is causing the surface melt, while it appears that geothermal heat may be melting the underside, increasing instability. There is not a word in the article that contradicts AGW. Sorry to disappoint you.

Re:Let me get this straight (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47211179)

I was about to say. For geothermal to be the sole cause would be a stupendous amount of energy on display from the Earth. Wow! Just wow!

Re:Let me get this straight (1, Informative)

riverat1 (1048260) | about 2 months ago | (#47209997)

Some parts of the Thwaites Glacier are melting because of geothermal heat, not all of it. In fact probably less than 10% is affected directly by the geothermal heat. Why should you be astonished when scientists report science?

Re:Let me get this straight (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47210035)

Everything is due to AGW and it is turtles all the way down...

Re:Let me get this straight (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47210237)

Congratulations! Your post beat the "cuethedeniers" tag being added to this story. It's not as good a prize as first-post, but it's just as tired a meme.

Extra meta points for the actual first-post on this story, "Queue the deniers". See what he did there?

Re:Let me get this straight (2)

Layzej (1976930) | about 2 months ago | (#47210789)

The researchers mapped geothermal sources, but didn't find an increase in geothermal sources under the WAIS, Something else likely triggered the melting, but the geothermal sources may make this ice sheet more unstable than previously thought. This may explain why we hit the tipping point so much sooner than we had expected.

The Gods (3, Funny)

Thanshin (1188877) | about 2 months ago | (#47209893)

It was so much nicer when we could just attribute disasters to the Gods, sacrifice one or two goats and all be happy about it.

Re:The Gods (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47209927)

It was so much nicer when we could just attribute disasters to the Gods

Or Global Warming.

Re:The Gods (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47211069)

It was so much nicer when we could just attribute disasters to the Gods

Or Global Warming.

Or Liberals and Socialists and Muslims and gay marriage and eeeeeeeeeeeeeevil Scientists.

Re:The Gods (1)

Bob_Who (926234) | about 2 months ago | (#47209937)

It was so much nicer when we could just attribute disasters to the Gods, sacrifice one or two goats and all be happy about it.

You have goats?

I ran out....

Re:The Gods (1)

Thanshin (1188877) | about 2 months ago | (#47209953)

*Pro tip*: From a distance. Dirty, long-haired dogs are surprisingly similar to goats.

Re:The Gods (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47210257)

Homeless don't like being called dogs

Re:The Gods (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47210959)

*Pro tip*: From a distance. Dirty, long-haired dogs are surprisingly similar to goats.

And from inside they feel much the same too.

Re:The Gods (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47210511)

You have goats? I ran out....

There should be some virgins around here somewhere, this is Slashdot after all.

Re:The Gods (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47210051)

Nope, one is not enough - it would be an insult. According to the Illiad, which is the definative guide on all matters, you need to sacrifice a hecatomb at least (100 goats) if you want to have any hope of appeasing the gods.

Regardless (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47209913)

of whether humans are the cause of global warming, we should stop pollution for it's own sake! Even if we are 0% responsible, we should still cut the amount of stuff we put into the air and water.

Re:Regardless (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47210927)

this is something I can agree with

Re:Regardless (3, Insightful)

bigwheel (2238516) | about 2 months ago | (#47211121)

In that case, we should be focused on pollutants rather than CO2. CO2 is a trace gas that is essential to life.

CO2 is not even listed among pollutants in the Clean Air Act. It was put into that category by EPA as an executive measure, after the Supreme Court authorized them in 2007 to do so. [] This was done for the sole purpose of furthering the global warming agenda.

Re:Regardless (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47211187)

And we need to do this because, as a global community, we all need to give a damn about how one country with a mere 4.3% of the world's population defines pollutant.

where is west (1)

YoungManKlaus (2773165) | about 2 months ago | (#47210101)

if you stand at the pole?

Re:where is west (1)

PhilHibbs (4537) | about 2 months ago | (#47210303)

Walk towards Greenwich and turn left.

Re:where is west (1)

Melipone (1458593) | about 2 months ago | (#47210977)

Oh damn you both I can't resist. It's only left if you're standing on the south pole. From the north pole it's right.

meaningless, unless the geothermal is new (3, Interesting)

dltaylor (7510) | about 2 months ago | (#47210167)

Usually (Yellowstone, Iceland, ...) geothermal sources are present tens of thousands, if not tens of millions, of years before present. Unless this is a newly-formed hot spot, the ice sheet has survived millions of years of it. Only the OTHER (read: us) source of heat is now exposing the ice sheet to more heat than it can withstand.

Re:meaningless, unless the geothermal is new (1)

PhilHibbs (4537) | about 2 months ago | (#47210311)

The continents move over hotspots, which is why the Hawaii island chain exists. I don't know much about the Antarctic continental plate, whether it is moving or not, but it may have drifted over a hotspot some time in the last few million years.

Ya' think? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47210233)

Bring on the geothermal heat "deniers"

It doesn't matter. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47210289)

We are basically at the end of a mini ice age right now.
Earth will simply return to it's natural hot state. I for one hope I live long enough to see what was buried under the ice for all those years.
People on the coast can move or build sea walls or something.
It's not that big a deal. There is plenty of uninhabited non-coastal land.

Re:It doesn't matter. (1)

dltaylor (7510) | about 2 months ago | (#47210349)

We were at the end of the last ice age thousands of years ago (Holocene Optimum). Rather than begin the next cooling cycle, we've been adding energy to the biospere at an almost-unprecented rate, other than mass extinction events such as the PermianTriassic Mass Extinction.

Given that we started burning forests for cropland at about the middle of the Holocene Optimum, it is not true to say that the natural state is hot. On occasion, in fact, the globe has been totally iced over. Since the closing of the Panama isthmus changed global ocean circulation patterns millions of years ago, the Earth has been in a constant glacial-interglacial cycle, which is now its "natural: state.

Re:It doesn't matter. (1)

C0R1D4N (970153) | about 2 months ago | (#47210913)

He is presumably thinking of the Little Ice Age [] .

Re:It doesn't matter. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47210915)

presuming a lot there, why would the planet have a fucking "natural state".

Nothing stays the same. it's never been fucking stable and never will be.

It may have periods that are assumed to be "the natural state" but your just lying to yourself.

I'm sure Cambrian lifeforms presumed there world was stable and on going forever, but it wasn't.

Re:It doesn't matter. (1)

dave420 (699308) | about 2 months ago | (#47210737)

Your lack of scientific literacy is astounding, as are your hand-waiving of problems which will affect many millions of people (and important cities which can't be walled in) severely hurting the global economy in the process.

You, and those who think as lazily as you, are dangerous.

Re:It doesn't matter. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47211201)

Sorry, what page of the Bible is that on? Citation needed.

Right .... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47210389)

Wow, so many degrees, so much research, so many educated morons, and yet, they still don't understand the greater issue. Climate changes are already here, over-long droughts, seasonal changes, abnormal floods, strange winters etc etc.
Stop squabbling about why it's happening and find a solution to stop it.

Clearly this means (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47210541)

That all of climate science is a complete scam, and the entire scientific community is too stupid to figure it out while I, an anonymous internet commenter, have discovered the truth.

Geothermal heat isn't 'AGW-approved' (0)

dtjohnson (102237) | about 2 months ago | (#47210877)

Just a few days ago, global warmers were suggesting that Antarctic ice losses were doubling [] due to global warming. Of course, the problem with that is that the warmest temperature recorded at Amundsen-Scott South pole station during the last 12 months was -21F in January, 2014 which is not exactly bikini weather and is still 53 degrees F lower than the temperature needed to melt water. Obviously, if antarctic ice is melting, it is due to volcanic or geothermal heat inputs rather than balmy surface temperatures brought about by too much carbon dioxide.

Re:Geothermal heat isn't 'AGW-approved' (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47211155)

Is that a typical example of your logic, or are you trolling, or just hoping to fool stupid people? On a continent that's 5.4 million square miles, with 11,000 miles of coastline, you pick the stats for the far inland south pole station -- probably one of the coldest places on Earth at that altitude -- and conclude that since no melting can occur there, it can't occur anywhere on the whole continent?

Here's a little hint for you: you know that 11,000 miles of icy coastline I just mentioned? Guess what's rubbing up next to the ice? Liquid water. Get where the warmest temperatures are? Near that big mass of liquid water: []

For God's sake, educate yourself. Because Fox News and El Rushbo aren't doing the job.

You mean it isn't necessarily humanity's fault? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47210991)

Hurry up! Hide this data!
It's all humanity's fault!
All our fault!

Is the sheet Increasing or Decreasing ? FUD! (1)

fygment (444210) | about 2 months ago | (#47211047)

There was an article here in /. just a week or two ago saying that the Antarctic Sheet is perplexing to climatologists because it is _increasing_, not decreasing. So a glacier sloughs off, why would it alone contribute to sea level rises, while the rest of the sheet is growing? Show me your models, tell me its assumptions and approximations, demonstrate its predictions when there are deviations from those assumptions and approximations, and you will likely be apologising or rationalising the results so that they agree or can be seen to align is some way with whatever desired results you had in mind when you built it.

You know what? It isn't even worth looking up. Clearly there is FUD on this issue from all sides. Who cares? We humans will do what we do best: adapt.

Please humans, jump more! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47211181)

We are heating the Earth surface with too much contact human contact. Please jump in the air 100 times a day. It's not much to ask. And don't you dare rub your socks on the ground to shock your sister!

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