18 Billion Tons of Greenland Ice Melts in 3 Days

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by litesong, Jul 30, 2022.

  1. litesong

    litesong litesong

    During mid-July 2022, July 15-17, 2022, much of Greenland became comparatively warm, some Ice Sheet temperatures at 60degF. During a 3 day period, 18 BILLION TONS of Greenland Ice Sheet ice melted. Some articles tried to compare the loss to such & such millions of Olympic sized swimming pools per day.

    I have a better visualization comparison that is quite straight-forward. One billion tons of water (ice) is the same as a cubic kilometer of ice…..an ice cube of 1 kilometer by 1 kilometer by 1 kilometer. Taking the cube root of 18, gives 2.621. This means that a cube of 18 billion tons of ice is the equivalent of an ice cube, 2.621 kilometers long, by 2.621 kilometers wide, by 2.621 kilometers high, or an ice cube 1.625 miles long, by 1.625 miles wide, by 8580 feet high.

    During breaks in their Ice Sheet scientific work, the scientists played volleyball…….while wearing shorts!

    Yeah, the big ice cube, all turned to water. Global warming to you……
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2022
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  2. BillLin

    BillLin PV solar, geothermal HVAC, hybrids and electrics

    We're doomed. The scale of ice loss is so massive that even the 18 billion tons mentioned above are tiny in comparison. Here's one source I just looked up.

    Screenshot_20220730-111922.jpg

    One irony that strikes me is that of scientists studying the ice loss and their presence in shorts. The fact that people are flying in from around the world to study the problem, is also adding to the problem. Even lower on the necessity scale is the tourism aspect of cruise ships going into those regions to see the caving of iceburgs from the ice sheets. There ought to be a law against eco tourism.
     
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  3. RedylC94

    RedylC94 Well-Known Member

    One billion metric tons (each being 1000 kg) of water is a cubic kilometer of water. Ice is 0.917 times as dense as water. so your 18-billion-ton ice cube would be about 19.6 cubic kilometers in volume.
     
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  4. Trollbait

    Trollbait Well-Known Member

    They'll just elsewhere, and it doesn't matter where the CO2 is emitted.
     
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  5. BillLin

    BillLin PV solar, geothermal HVAC, hybrids and electrics

    You're right. I was going for the easier sell. :D
     
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  6. litesong

    litesong litesong

    Yes, 3 days’ Greenland ice loss is tiny…..if 18 billion Metric Tonnes(OK, OK, OK) can be called tiny.
    Of course, Greenland, in the last 20 years, has had 5500 billion Metric Tonnes of ice melt. The equivalent 20 year old ice cube is 17.65 kilometers wide by 17.65 kilometers long by 17.65 kilometers tall……..or 10.97 miles wide by 10.97 miles long by 57,920 feet high! But, its no longer an ice cube…….
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2022
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  7. Trollbait

    Trollbait Well-Known Member

    If they can see these places, it might easier to get them interested in protecting them.
     
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  8. BillLin

    BillLin PV solar, geothermal HVAC, hybrids and electrics

    Seems a bit optimistic, but ok. Let's go with that. :)
     
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  9. litesong

    litesong litesong

    5500Gigatons of Greenland ice loss over the last 20 years vs. a bit optimistic. Yeah, Let’s go with that. :) I’ll even add a “:D”.

    The alternative if we don’t do anything to reduce emissions, one conservative estimate(maybe much higher?) is by 2100, Greenland ice loss will be 35,900 Gigatons. My visualization is, a melted ice cube, 33 kilometers wide, 33 kilometers long, by 33 kilometers high…..or 20.46 miles wide, by 20.46 miles long & 108,000 feet high.
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2022
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  10. BillLin

    BillLin PV solar, geothermal HVAC, hybrids and electrics

    Smileys or not, your tone and your comparison of your statement (which I will concede as fact without any checking) with my flippant response to Trollbait, indicate to me that I may have been understood. Therefore, I feel I must explain myself to avoid misinterpretation.

    My initial response to the original post was to say that the annual loss of Greenland ice cover is massive and damning for the likelihood of any positive outcome for the world, hence the "We're doomed." That was not in jest. The reported total ice loss of the 3 day meltage was, per my response to the OP, still a small percentage of the annual loss. The news articles are dramatic (temperatures warm enough for scientists to be out and recreating in shorts) and therefore receive greater attention. I pointed out the irony of good intentions resulting in added damage to the ice reserves. And what's the purpose of converting tons of ice loss to cubic kilometers of a giant ice cube? Tonnage is quite sufficient for many of us to grasp the situation.

    My pessimism and "lets go with that" statement was to Trollbait's comment that in-person experience and proximity to the ice breakage may serve to raise awareness and support for working toward averting the climate calamity. I have little to no faith in humanity in general based on what I see every day, hence the pessimistic statement. People are selfish in general and are not willing to take difficult steps to help turn climate change around.
     
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  11. litesong

    litesong litesong

    “Billions of tons” doesn’t help people, who don’t understand numbers. My “ice cube” visualization is much better than the generally mentioned “millions of ice-filled Olympic swimming pools” melted to water.
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2022
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  12. RedylC94

    RedylC94 Well-Known Member

    All those versions of a very large quantity of ice are subjectively hard to grasp. I might more easily visualize how much that much ice would raise sea level worldwide. In other words, water volume divided by combined surface area of all earth's oceans (& sea-water seas, inlets, etc.). Or even water volume divided by the surface area of Greenland.
     
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  13. Trollbait

    Trollbait Well-Known Member

    The real issue isn't the sea level rise. It is the fact that this is cold, low density fresh water. Where it is entering the ocean can lead to interrupting the Atlantic current bringing heat from the equator up to Europe. The UK is at the same latitude as Alaska. It is that warm ocean water keeping it temperate.
     
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  14. litesong

    litesong litesong

    Isn’t it amazing how far north, Europe & the Mediterranean are! Even Africa has 2/3rds of its area, north of the equator & parts of Northern Africa are the same latitude as Norfolk, Virginia.
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2022 at 6:20 AM
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  15. litesong

    litesong litesong

    Bet Trollbait doesn’t have 5foot elevation land with a “nice” view of the ocean waves making the shore disappear. Wait till Thwaites Ice Shelf collapses & the big glaciers really start dumping their ices, & Greenland’s 5500 billion Tonnes’ ice loss over the last 20 years, becomes very conservatively 35,000 billion Tonnes of ice loss by (before?) 2100.
     
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