Skeptical Science New Research for Week #5, 2020

More Thwaites

This past week we heard disturbing news about Antarctica's Thwaites Glacier. Helping to fill in the longer term history of Thwaites' behavior and especially helpful in interpreting results of the recent drilling project and what it may say about the future of this unstable mass of ice is Revealing the former bed of Thwaites Glacier using sea-floor bathymetry, by a heavy duty multi-institutional team of authors. Happily this work is open access. Abstract excerpts:

The geometry of the sea floor beyond Thwaites Glacier (TG) is a major control on the routing of warm ocean waters towards the ice stream’s grounding zone, which has led to increased mass loss through sub-ice-shelf melting and resulting accelerated ice flow. Nearshore topographic highs act as pinning points for the Thwaites Ice Shelf and potentially provide barriers to warm water incursions. To date, few vessels have been able to access this area due to persistent sea-ice and iceberg cover. This critical data gap was addressed in 2019 during the first cruise of the International Thwaites Glacier Collaboration (ITGC) project, with more than 2000 km2 of new multibeam echo-sounder data (MBES) were acquired offshore TG. Here, these data along with legacy MBES datasets are compiled to produce a set of standalone bathymetric grids for the inner Amundsen Sea shelf beyond both Pine Island and Thwaites glaciers.


Using existing ice-flow theory, we also make a first assessment of the form drag (basal drag contribution) for ice flow over this topography. Ice flowing over the sea-floor troughs and ridges would have been affected by similarly high basal drag to that acting in the grounding zone today. We show that the sea-floor bathymetry is an analogue for extant bed areas of TG and that more can be gleaned from these 3D bathymetric datasets regarding the likely spatial variability of bed roughness and bed composition types underneath TG. Comparisons with existing regional bathymetric compilations for the area show that high-frequency (finer than 5 km) bathymetric variability beyond Antarctic ice shelves can only be resolved by observations such as MBES and that without these data calculations of the capacity of bathymetric troughs, and thus oceanic heat flux, may be significantly underestimated. 

64 Articles

Physical science of global warming & effects

A framework for understanding how dynamics shape temperature distributions

Polar amplification due to enhanced heat flux across the halocline

Effects of sea salt aerosol emissions for Marine Cloud Brightening on atmospheric chemistry: Implications for radiative forcing

21st century climate change hotspots in the light of a weakening Sun

Assessment of pre-industrial to present-day anthropogenic climate forcing in UKESM1 (open access)

Observations & observational methods of global warming & effects

Trend of extreme precipitation indices and analysis of long-term climate variability in the Upper Awash basin, Ethiopia

Modeling & simulation of global warming & global warming effects

Climate change impacts on South American water balance from a continental-scale hydrological model driven by CMIP5 projections

Evaluation of Evaporation Climatology for the Congo Basin Wet Seasons in Eleven Global Climate Models

Arctic Ocean Surface Energy Flux and the Cold Halocline in Future Climate Projections

Projected seasonal changes in large-scale global precipitation and temperature extremes based on the CMIP5 ensemble

On the time evolution of the Arctic Oscillation and related wintertime phenomena under different forcing scenarios in an ensemble approach

Comparison of past and future simulations of ENSO in CMIP5/PMIP3 and CMIP6/PMIP4 models (open access)

Climate and air quality impacts due to mitigation of non-methane near-term climate forcers (open access)

Projections of Climatic Extremes in a Data Poor Transboundary River Basin of India and Pakistan

Coastal inundation due to tropical cyclones along the east coast of India: an influence of climate change impact

Climate model advancement

Equilibrium- and Transient-State Dependencies of Climate Sensitivity: Are They Important for Climate Projections?

The ongoing need for high-resolution regional climate models: Process understanding and stakeholder information (open access)

Climate sensitivity and the direct effect of carbon dioxide in a limited-area cloud-resolving model

Using Co-Behavior Analysis to Interrogate the Performance of CMIP5 GCMs over Southern Africa

Large difference in aerosol radiative effects from BVOC-SOA treatment in three ESMs (open access)

Contribution of the coupled atmosphere–ocean–sea ice–vegetation model COSMOS to the PlioMIP2 (open access)

Bias in CMIP6 models compared to observed regional dimming and brightening trends (1961–2014) (open access)

Biology & global warming

Complexity revealed in the greening of the Arctic

Persistent Quaternary climate refugia are hospices for biodiversity in the Anthropocene

Shifts in migration phenology under climate change: temperature vs. abundance effects in birds

Influence of climate change on flowering season of birch in the Czech Republic

Autumn growth of three perennial weeds at high latitude benefits from climate change

Decadal losses of canopy?forming algae along the warm temperate coastline of Brazil

Hotspots of biotic compositional change in lakes along vast latitudinal transects in northern Canada

A socio?ecological model for predicting impacts of land?use and climate change on regional plant diversity in the Austrian Alps

Community diversity outweighs effect of warming on plant colonization

High Arctic ecosystem states: Conceptual models of vegetation change to guide long-term monitoring and research (open access)

Status and trends of tundra birds across the circumpolar Arctic (open access)

Local extinction risk under climate change in a neotropical asymmetrically dispersed epiphyte

GHG sources & sinks, flux

Climate?driven changes in dissolved organic carbon and water clarity in Arctic lakes of West Greenland

Origin and accumulation of an anthropogenic CO2 and 13C Suess effect in the Arctic Ocean

Generating Spatially Robust Carbon Budgets From Flux Tower Observations

Lower?than?expected CH4 emissions from rice paddies with rising CO2 concentrations

Soil GHG fluxes are altered by N deposition: New data indicate lower N stimulation of the N2O flux and greater stimulation of the calculated C pools

Impact of forest plantation on methane emissions from tropical peatland

Climate change communications & cognition

Understanding the dynamic nature of risk in climate change assessments—A new starting point for discussion (open access)

Localized climate reporting by TV weathercasters enhances public understanding of climate change as a local problem: Evidence from a randomized controlled experiment (open access)

Broadcast Meteorologists’ views on climate change: A state-of-the-community review

Weather literacy in times of climate change

Climate change knowledge at the grass roots: the case of Bequia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines

Humans dealing with our global warming

Climate change induced socio-economic tipping points: review and stakeholder consultation for policy relevant research (open access)

Future interactions between sea level rise, tides and storm surges in the world's largest urban area

Humans trump climate

Fiscal effects and the potential implications on economic growth of sea-level rise impacts and coastal zone protection

A global analysis of heat-related labour productivity losses under climate change—implications for Germany’s foreign trade (open access)

Climate change and winter road maintenance (open access)

Global change can make coastal eutrophication control in China more difficult (open access)

Migration as climate adaptation? Exploring discourses amongst development actors in the Pacific Island region (open access)

From agriculture to food systems in the IPCC. Commentary on Porter et al. (2019) “IPCC, Agriculture and Food – A Case of Shifting Cultivation and History”

“Youth is not a political position”: Exploring justice claims-making in the UN Climate Change Negotiations


Should we expect each year in the next decade (2019-2028) to be ranked among the top 10 warmest years globally? (open access)

Revealing the former bed of Thwaites Glacier using sea-floor bathymetry (open access)

A phase-space consideration of changing climate-PDF

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Posted by Doug Bostrom on Wednesday, 5 February, 2020

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