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If You Thought the Southern Antarctic Peninsula Glaciers Were Stable, Think Again


If You Thought the Southern Antarctic Peninsula Glaciers Were Stable, Think Again

Sarah Lazare, staff writer

A group of scientists on Thursday published evidence that the Southern Antarctic Peninsula, a region where glaciers were previously thought to be stable, is now undergoing sudden—and dramatic—ice loss due to the warming of the ocean.

Published in the journal Science under the title Dynamic thinning of glaciers on the Southern Antarctic Peninsula, the research was led by a group of University of Bristol researchers.


Yet another piece of observed field data demonstrating clearly that SERIOUS TIPPING POINTS HAVE BEEN PASSED. This kind of clear data has been pouring in for over a decade now.

“Scientists expressed great surprise at the data…” How many times do you need to read this reaction from scientists to reports of field data, to stop expressing great surprise, and notice the clear trend?

To my mind, any scientist quibbling over anything today, and not forcefully asserting the IMMEDIATE NEED for a MAJOR PULL-BACK of not only fossil fuel extraction and the fossil-fueled economy, but the overall human economic chemical and industrial assaults on the ecology, is simply unable and unwilling to take a sober look at the simple math and the obvious trend lines regarding destabilization of the basic systems of the Earth’s ecology.


We have a problem with tipping points. Once they’re passed, too many people shrug and go home.

Now we’re in for a long boiling frog period where the water gets ever hotter. People keep saying over and over, “you know, I really should do something”. Most of them never do anything. A few of them will finally decide to do a few things like write love letters to their congresspeople, who thereupon will set up a romantic tryst at some motel. That’s politics for you.

Anyways, eventually the death counts will get high enough that many people will abandon their free marketeer dreams that the market will take care of climate change, just like always.


seriously, webwalk, you probably noted just this week the repulsicans’ likely presidential candidate calls all this talk about global warming a “convoluted” scenario. then he took a sharp dig at folks like you, me, and those like us, when he mentioned something about “intellectual arrogance.”

that is, of course, a lot better than being a member of the bush crime syndicate and carrying the burden of being intellectually deprived.

our gooses are so far beyond cooked.



i keep trying to do what i can; on a personal level walk bike no car no AC keep heat at 61F etc.; at political level work with others who are able to acknowledge that truth is more important than spin or ego or “winning,” and work to interfere with business as usual and rhetoric as usual and politics as usual.

But it gets rough when i point out that truth is actually more important than job, or income, or material goods / toys / tools, or social standing.

“No Ecology? No Economy!” Simple truth. But who walks away from job / income / the ability to provide money for food and material goods for family? Who cuts anchor and launches a new business with serious dedication to ecological accounting, faced with competition from an enterprise environment in which businesses that externalize ecological costs “out-compete” those that do not?

Who walks away from the entire construct of mediated social “reality” simply because one notices that there is a fundamental flaw and the whole system is hurtling toward dis-integration? We live inside the construct of mediated social reality, it permeates our consciousness, it feels like a sort of death to deconstruct it. And it IS a sort of death when it comes to walking away from the ability to be “employed” and receive money.

Certainly “we” must not wait on experts or leaders, we must wrestle with our own power and our power in solidarity to turn society and the economy away from the cancerous delusions of ego and authority and corporate rule / capitalism. All i can do here is call on everyone to seriously think along these lines, and talk with family friends and coworkers along these lines, and keep moving toward the truth.


As we read this on electronic entertainment.


There is something that even the most marginally committed can do. Eat organic vegetables and grass fed or pastured meat, dairy and eggs. Regenerative agriculture (Rodale Institute study) can return to the soil more carbon than is being produced burning fossil fuels. It sounds fantastic but the soil holds 2-3 times the carbon as the atmosphere. Photosynthesis is constantly pulling CO2 from the air combining it with H2O and creating biomass that can create soil that holds much more water than crop land dedicated to industrial agriculture.
The more of us that eat organic and grass fed, pastured the more the small farmers will turn to those practices. A search of SOIL CARBON COWBOYS, ALLAN SAVORY, JOEL SALATIN AND RODALE INSTITUTE will provide enough info and positive results to make you realize that it is possible to reverse the CO2 build up and avoid global warming very rapidly.


You advocate a sound policy with respect to the use of fossil fuels. However, fossil fuel use powers many technological systems that society is committed to use.How quickly can land, sea and air transports stop using fuel from oil?The question is how quickly can society adopt measures that will realistically moderate the climate change that was the unintended consequence of using fossil fuels for technological systems.


That is only one variable of many that must be addressed by humankind as a whole.


There’s a lot of good thought here in these posts, but is it focused on something or is it blather? Would it pass the muster of a college debate? Or any debate? I sometimes feel that people who are the most concerned about the environment are too diffuse and talk too much and aren’t competitive by nature at a time when that is exactly what they must be.

As I look through the material, the item about the year 2009 as changing point in Antarctica stands out. The fact that the disintegration didn’t start before then, and this can be quantified, might be compelling even to a denialist nutcase. We should at least force the nutcase to confront the information. We should engage with the enemy, in other words, and not so easily let them off the hook and try somewhat to conceal that we think he or she is a nutcase.

I did not belong to any debate team in college, just was rowing in eight-oared shells, but kind of wish I had. Not that the 2009 fact would be enough to swing any debate but it might help. If you really want to be depressed, consider that Ted Cruz was a successful debater at Princeton. He was, when holding forth, the living embodiment of the title of J.P. Donleavy’s novel, WRONG INFORMATION IS BEING DISPENSED AT PRINCETON.


Brings to mind the classic saying: “When you find yourself trapped in a hole, the first thing to do is stop digging.” i don’t think that just means, find non-carbon substitutes for all the energy we now use. Many things that use energy can and should simply stop.

This is basically “unthinkable” to economists, business planners, war makers, and consumers, but just because we cannot process the thought, does not mean the changes will not take place. We are trapped in our own beliefs about what is necessary and what is impossible. And we are not served well by accommodating ourselves to false understandings of reality that parade around as “normal.”

i recognize that there is massive social inertia, and powerful interested parties, keeping us “on the road” to devastating climate chaos. We are “committed to use” many technological systems, as you put it. But realistically, as “unrealistic” as it appears to the “normal” mindset today, massive reduction of nonessential transport is coming fairly soon, in a period of a few years. We need to “stop digging” this climate chaos cavern we’re in, and we will, but the sooner the better, and the worse for everything the longer we put it off. What appears as “essential” or “normal” today will shift quickly, and look very differently, soon enough.

i wish there were some “Ghost of Christmas Future” who could visit each of us, and show us that chaotic world of tomorrow, in a visceral experiential way, so we would react with shock to our present day behaviors, and walk into the world as changed people.

We need more and more people all the time who can see where we are headed, and who take the “drastic” step of breaking the hold that “normal” and “unrealistic” have on our consciousness. We need to grow ever more “committed to use” the living systems of the Earth, and our fellow humans, in honorable ways, above all else.


Very much so. I just finished reading a book that made me feel that I never want to eat or otherwise ingest anything ever again. The book is “Born With A Junk ?Food Deficiency: How Flaks, Quacks, and
Hacks Pimp Public Health” by Marsha Rosenberg.

But PaulK’s point that “People keep saying over and over, ‘you know, I really should do something’. Most of them never do anything.” I’m there. What is that “something” that people should go do? The entire energy driven chemically complex concatenation that passes itself off as “civilization” needs to be redesigned and reconstructed from the bottom up, but there is no way that an agreed upon plan to do that can even be thought up in time.

So whether we’re aware that we’re frogs in the rapidly reaching fatal boiling point temperature or not, it will happen at the pace it will happen. I would love hear a plan to save the day, but thus far I have not.


While your point is well taken, I’m disheartened by the fact that I feel my individual effort is overshadowed by the knowledge that millions of acres of rainforest are burned every year to make way for palm oil plantations; releasing billions of tons of CO2…Rainforest Rescue

Therefore, I follow an organic vegetarian diet because I don’t want to contribute to the problem and do want to enjoy good health, but I feel that my efforts will in no way offset the harm being done by others on a scale that is beyond fathom…

There has to be another way to slay the beast…