Utah Utes Fan Board

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Ice shelves propping up two major Antarctic glaciers are breaking up

(CNN)Satellite images show that two important glaciers in the Antarctic are sustaining rapid damage at their most vulnerable points, leading to the breaking up of vital ice shelves with major consequences for global sea level rise.

The Pine Island and Thwaites glaciers, which sit side by side in West Antarctica on the Amundsen Sea, are among the fastest changing glaciers in the region, already accounting for 5% of global sea level rise. Scientists say the glaciers are highly sensitive to climate change.
A new study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on Monday, found that the glaciers are weakening at their foundations and this damage over the past few decades is speeding up their retreat and the possible future collapse of their ice shelves.
  • Charlie
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    In the short term picture, the sea level has been rising for the last 100 years. In the longer term picture, the sea level has been raising for the last 20,000 year cycle. In Ireland, study of the shoreline shows over all time than can be studied by science, the sea level has been 200 feet higher and 200 feet lower than the current level. What CNN does not mention is that humans can’t change the climate and can’t hold the climate in the same spot, any more than we can control the weather.

    What humans can do is make the air and water dirty and create trash. History has shown that this impact can very much influence our quality of life. As an example, by the 1700s most rivers in Europe were too dirty for fish to live in them. Technology has helped improve air and water quality, however there is more to understand about Human Impact if you remove the politics. The well accepted formula is I = P * A * T. From a math perspective, it is well accepted that P (population) is the most impactful term in the expression. A (affluence), which can be viewed as a modifier or multiplier of population, makes population such a strong factor. T (technology) is the collection of all the things we can do to make a difference on Impact. Mathematically, technology changes since WWII have not been able to keep up with a population increase of 2.5X. But truly sad, the percent of affluence (people that heat or cool their home our use transportation) has remained low.

    We need to understand science without filters like politics. We need science free to study and report both sides of the hypothesis. We also need media that does not take a side but instead reports both sides and allows you to form your own opinion. Then we need to make informed decisions about how we can benefit our environment which I am sure will include steps to make our water, land and air cleaner.

    • Tony

      “We need to understand science without filters like politics.” –well I’m afraid this is a pipe dream now. Not sure science and journalism will ever be unbiased again.

      • UteThunder

        I saw a great meme the other day:

        “The news used to tell you what happened and left it up to you to decide how you felt about it.

        Now the news tells you how to feel about something and leaves it up to you to decide if it really happened.”

        • Tony


        • bopahull

          Science and journalism without the politics, what a concept.

      • UtMtBiker
        1 4

        When we started calling FOX News news, it was over.

    • Stone
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      Wait, what!? Charlie, how could you? But… but… SCIENCE! How dare you look at the big picture, with rational, logical analysis. 

      I think everyone agrees that the climate changes. The question is simply how much do humans really influence it. The media conflates those two to mean that questioning human influence means you deny climate change. Wrong.

      The earth apparently had an ice age and thawed from that ice age. Are humans to blame for both of those climate change events? Imagine if our current media environment had been around at that time. If only the humans living in caves during the ice age had used solar panels, could have prevented that massive warming that occurred. 

      • Central Coast Ute
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        Don’t quote me on it but I read somewhere that the globe is still way colder than it was hundreds of millions of years ago before the last ice age, suggesting we still have a lot of warming to go through still. I’m not an expert on any of this but that seems to make sense to me.

        • UteThunder
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          I’ve seen similar reports. Our planet has gone through several heating and cooling periods. Currently, we are still emerging from the last ice age. Eventually, the Earth will enter another ice age, regardless of what humans do. 

          One stat the media loves to use is to say that “97% of scientists agree that CLIMATE CHANGE IS REAL!” (cue the ominous music) What they don’t tell you is that only a fraction of those 97% agree that climate change is MAN MADE. In other words, most scientists agree that evidence suggests climate change is real and will happen regardless of human behavior.

        • Stone
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          Even assuming we (humans) could stop climate change (we cannot), there is a false supposition that climate change is only negative and must be stopped. Go tell that to the humans that lived during the ice age. Life of all kinds has adapted throughout history to a variety of climates. Life evolves. Is evolution also negative? Should we enact legislation to stop plants and animals from evolving or are you an “Evolution Denier” that doesn’t understand science and the devastating effects of plant/animal change?

          Lake Bonneville once covered massive swaths of northern Utah and Nevada…but it doesn’t anymore (due to changing climate and environment). But it seems to have worked out fine. It also would have worked out fine if it were still there (would have been some epic waterfront in Utah). It would just be different. Life evolves.

  • Charlie

    The 97% of scientist agree climate change is human caused – is an interesting story. A university back east sent out a survey that 30 or 40% responded to. But the critical criterion to be retained in the survey was checking the box that indicated that you consider yourself to be a climate expert. You might expect that these folks were meteorologist or climate scientists; however the top three groups of experts were pollsters, political scientist, and psychologist. Currently, the odds of getting approval for research that challenges the current climate narrative is very low due to immediate opposition coming from everywhere. As a result, we may soon have no idea what scientist think.

    But our hearts are in the right place if we can get the politics out. Cleaner air, land and water have been one of our great achievements as we grew population. We still have much to do if we do want to continue our growth towards ‘peak population’ or improve the affluence of our poorest population. Can we manage those decisions in a sober clinical way, with actual scientist rather than politicians?

    My home was once covered by a mile think sheet of ice, then it was covered by a great inland lake, it was so much a desert when settlers arrived, and now we have it watered. The cycles will continue, solar activity has much, much more influence than humans can muster for good or bad, but there is so much more we need to learn. Until then, help keep the water, land and air clean.

  • UtMtBiker

    Thanks for posting! Not the best forum for informed logical discussion but keep fighting the good fight.

    • Central Coast Ute

      You know as much about it as we do. Which is what you’ve heard and what you’ve read. If you want to blindly believe what MSNBC tells you, that’s your choice, but quit putting others down for having questions.

  • leftyjace

    This thread warms my heart. Something more than one-sentence zingers and sound bytes.
    Long live thoughtful, respectful discussion and achieving a greater understanding through collaboration!