Yesterday NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory published “The Anatomy of Glacial Ice Loss.” For the most part it’s an interesting, though not particularly revolutionary, discussion of the various forces that add to and subtract from glacial ice. Nothing wrong with that.
But its authors took the opportunity to insert a poison pill, a little bit of fearmongering, in a video caption:
Did you catch that little trick? “Combined, the two regions also contain enough ice, that if it were to melt all at once, would raise sea levels by nearly 215 feet ….”
Well, yes, but at what rate is the ice from the two regions melting, and at what rate can we, with any confidence, predict they’ll continue to melt, and over what period of time?
There is absolutely no chance of their melting “all at once”—barring, I suppose, Earth’s collision with some enormous asteroid that sends Earth careening into the Sun!
So, how fast is the ice melting?
For Greenland, about 0.1% of its ice mass per decade—1 percent per century.
For Antarctica, about 0.0045% per decade—1% in 2,200 years.
Combined, those contribute to sea-level rise of about 1 mm per year, i.e., 3.94 inches per century.
(See “Lying with Statistics: The National Climate Assessment Falsely Hypes Ice Loss in Greenland and Antarctica.”)
So, if the actual rate is about 3.94 inches (0.3283 foot) per century, how long would it take to raise sea level by 215 feet? The answer: 215 ft. / 0.3283 ft. per century = 654.889 centuries, or 65,488.9 years.