How to ride a hobby horse whilst pushing a barrow

Maybe it is because I have an engineering degree that I like facts and figures and the correct context for said facts and figures. Maybe I am just an oddball because I like to see the scale of graphs and so on.? Maybe no one else in the world cares and that is why the mainstream media do not generally satisfy me when they breathlessly spout their latest doomsday number.

What got me going this time was last week’s TV One report on the Thwaites Glacier potentially completely collapsing and raising sea levels by one metre.

Screengrab Whaleoil

You see, all this “warming” sea water is melting the glacier from underneath and we need to spend a heap of money and burn lots of fuel sending scientists down there to study this, just in case.

Just look how far back the dotted line indicating “future cliff calving front?” is. That’s scary stuff, right? Well actually no, it’s not. Anyone who has enjoyed a drink chock full of ice cubes knows that?ice that is floating (like?ice shelves, sea ice and icebergs) does not contribute to sea level rise upon melting. Only land ice above sea level will contribute to sea level rise.

All the ice downstream from the dotted line is an “ice shelf” so we can breathe easy.

But, nevertheless, we were told if the entire Thwaites Glacier collapsed it would raise the sea level by one metre.

The likelihood of the entire glacier sliding into the sea is reasonably close to zilch. The average temperature there is minus 28 degrees Celsius so there will have to be one heap of a lot of global warming to get that whole area to melt.

But anyway, leaving that aside, how much ice has to melt to raise the sea level by one metre?? Fortunately, there is always someone on the web who has worked all this out and the answer is: Quote:

We can calculate the volume of water required to raise global sea levels by 1 mm:

Volume = area x height

Area = 3.618 x 108?km2

Height = 10-6?km (1 mm)

Volume (km3) = (3.618 x 108?km2?) x (10-6?km) = 3.618 x 102?km3?= 361.8 km3?water.

We can convert km3?of water to Gt of water. 1 km3?water = 1 Gt water.? In the same way, 1 Gt of ice = 1 km3?water. So, 361.8 Gt of ice will raise global sea levels by 1 mm. 361.8 Gt of ice is equivalent to 394.67 km3?ice. End of quote.

The Thwaites Glacier is approximately the size of Britain and to raise the oceans by one metre would require 394,670 cubic kilometres of ice.? Britain is 209,331 square kilometres so the ice over the entire Thwaites Glacier would need to be an average of 1.88 kilometres deep, and it would all need to melt.

I don’t know about you but, frankly, I call BS on this media beat up.

And that’s not all …

At the end of the news item about the Thwaites Glacier, Wendy Petrie talked about New Zealand scientists’ involvement and segue straight into a statement “If it [the entire west Antarctic ice sheet] collapsed then the ocean could rise by more than three metres” and then moved on to the next topic.


Most people listening to that bulletin would have followed the serious report from the BBC ‘science’ reporter, forgotten that he said “one metre” and completely missed the change of subject from the Thwaites Glacier (with the pretty pictures) to “the entire West Antarctic ice sheet”, and were left with “scientists” and “three metres of sea level rise.”

I had to go back and listen again a couple of times to find out how Wendy suddenly got from one to three metres as it went straight past?me on the first pass.

Since global warming is now the all-encompassing climate change, and even this does not seem to be following the script, it seems that the current scare story has changed to sea level rise. Throw in three metres here, a graphic of Auckland underwater there and then a virtual reality headset for visualising Wellington drowning and one could almost believe they had an agenda.

Not unlike a transgender weightlifter getting praised for the dignity of its failure at the Commonwealth Games, followed by a TV interview about the transgender model at Dunedin’s fashion show, followed by a TV report on the transgender BMX rider.

What’s next week’s big story?? Transgender climate scientist journeys to Antarctica to study glacier melt and its impact on penguin sexuality.

That’s got to be worth some grant money!