The Thwaites Glacier in West Antarctica has been a source of concern for global warming alarmists who hysterically suggest that the melting of the glacier will cause a global catastrophe. But a new study has put forth an inconvenient truth for the alarmist crowd: ice loss from the Thwaites Glacier is slower than originally expected.
The study, conducted by scientists at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and UC Irvine, and published in the Geophysical Research Letters, used computer models of the Antarctic ice sheet and data from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge on the Southern Ocean to determine that prior studies of the glacier had overstated ice loss by the glacier by 7% over the next 50 years.
The previous studies had two major flaws: they only focused on an ice sheet computer model and they assumed that the warm ocean water would cause cavities forming in the glacier to melt at the glacier's current melting rate. The problem with the latter assumption is that the water is unable to have as much reach in these tighter cavities, therefore the glacier melts at a slower rate. Hence, lower sea level rises.
The study also noted that increases in the sea level will be slower than the current rate even if ocean temperatures were to increase.
According to Phys.org, the Thwaites Glacier is "nearly as large as the state of Washington," causing alarmists to cite it as a source of disastrously high sea levels. Some research has suggested that sea levels will increase by two feet over the next 200 to 900 years as a result of the melting glacier. Then there's this Rolling Stone article suggesting that the melting of the Thwaites Glacier will cause significant parts of the world to be underwater:
The trouble with Thwaites, which is one of the largest glaciers on the planet, is that it's also what scientists call "a threshold system." That means instead of melting slowly like an ice cube on a summer day, it is more like a house of cards: It's stable until it is pushed too far, then it collapses. When a chunk of ice the size of Pennsylvania falls apart, that's a big problem. It won't happen overnight, but if we don't slow the warming of the planet, it could happen within decades. And its loss will destabilize the rest of the West Antarctic ice, and that will go too. Seas will rise about 10 feet in many parts of the world; in New York and Boston, because of the way gravity pushes water around the planet, the waters will rise even higher, as much as 13 feet. "West Antarctica could do to the coastlines of the world what Hurricane Sandy did in a few hours to New York City," explains Richard Alley, a geologist at Penn State University and arguably the most respected ice scientist in the world. "Except when the water comes in, it doesn't go away in a few hours – it stays."
With 10 to 13 feet of sea-level rise, most of South Florida is an underwater theme park, including Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Tampa and Mar-a-Lago, President Trump's winter White House in West Palm Beach. In downtown Boston, about the only thing that's not underwater are those nice old houses up on Beacon Hill. In the Bay Area, everything below Highway 101 is gone, including the Googleplex; the Oakland and San Francisco airports are submerged, as is much of downtown below Montgomery Street and the Marina District. Even places that don't seem like they would be in trouble, such as Sacramento, smack in the middle of California, will be partially flooded by the Pacific Ocean swelling up into the Sacramento River. Galveston, Texas; Norfolk, Virginia; and New Orleans will be lost. In Washington, D.C., the shoreline will be just a few hundred yards from the White House.
And that's just the picture in the U.S. The rest of the world will be in as much trouble: Large parts of Shanghai, Bangkok, Jakarta, Lagos and London will be submerged. Egypt's Nile River Delta and much of southern Bangladesh will be underwater. The Marshall Islands and the Maldives will be coral reefs.
This is coming from the same magazine that had to retract a story about a rape case at the University of Virginia due to the outlet's desire to advance the narrative of campus rape culture.
But the global warming alarmist hysteria coming from the likes of Rolling Stone is undermined by this new study showing that the glacier isn't melting as fast as expected. Even if the glacier is still on track to dissolve completely, then there is still plenty of time for mankind to adapt and to find solutions in the private sector that don't require the government to promote economic devastation.