All linky and a little thinky

I saw this at Phil’s place, and I am so glad that he is pointing this out.

Melting of the Arctic ice cap does not contribute to sea level rise. Floating ice, like that around the North Pole, already displaces water, like ice cubes in a glass of tea. When the ice melts, sea level remains unchanged, though salinity can be altered.

That quote isn’t from Phil, but rather from an article in the Seattle Times.  I am absolutely shocked that the ST would actually print a basic fact like the displacement of water.  That pretty much made my morning.

So, the next time some Global Warming Nutbag is hollering about the seas rising to consume us, just go ahead and point that out.


  1. And along with salinity, senility can be altered in humans who are members of the Global Warming Death Cult when they forget basic science facts after mistaking the bloated AlGore for the Kool Aid man.

  2. That’s almost right. Except for the bit where Antartica is an actual continent, and had a lot of real land under all that ice. Thus, when that ice melts, water levels do rise, because a lot of it wasn’t displacing water to begin with.

    Basic physics, right. Basic geography, very wrong. I suggest Phil brush up on his continents. He might try asking a first-grader.

  3. Oh, and he might also want to fact-check the bit about Antartica thickening. I seem to recall a sizable ice shelf breaking off less than a year ago, and it’s not easy to generalize so broadly over an entire farking continent without a citation.

    Plus, there’s the issue of the relative mass of salt verses fresh water. The icecaps are fresh water. The oceans are not, last I checked. Difference in density, meaning that the ice-cube-logic bit isn’t quite so simple.

  4. Having given it slightly further thought, I’m fairly certain that the differing densities of salt and fresh water invalidates the reasoning in question. It’s right as far as it goes, but it assumes that the ice and the surrounding liquid are of the same material. An incorrect assumption, in this case.

    A chunk of freshwater ice floating in saltwater will displace less water than it would floating it freshwater. This is because saltwater is denser. So when the freshwater ice melts, the result is a greater volume of saltwater, as the same volume of freshwater is replacing a lesser volume of saltwater.

    Wrong. QED.

  5. I’m only addressing your first post, Kalumimiminum right now. He did say that Antarctica was a continent, and that the ice melting off of would cause the sea levels to rise. He mentioned that right after Greenland.

    The paragraph ends stating that the only way for the sea level to rise is if water frozen on land melts into the sea, like that on Greenland or Antarctica.

    With regards to the displacement/density, for some reason I think you are missing something in your argument, which has led me to the conclusion that I need to test this in my kitchen when I get home. It’s relatively easy to rig up two bodies of an equal volume of water, where one container contains freshwater and one container contains saltwater. Then melt an ice cube (of equal volume) into each container.

    Crude, but since it’s an easily repeatable experiment you should be able to generate a sufficient data curve.

  6. While I applaud the urge to test, I have my doubts about whether a home test will be conclusive. The differences at work are small enough to be significant when talking about an ocean and giant freaking iceburgs, but are not likely to show up when tested in a kitchen with relatively gross measurements.

  7. Bitch, you’ve never seen my kitchen. I’ve got tubes and beakers all over the place.

    And besides, I wouldn’t be trying to prove anything conclusive, just whether or not Volume X of freshwater, when melted into both salt and fresh water produces a higher net volume of water in either salt or fresh water.

    Since that is the basis of your theory, it’s relatively easy to establish a general operating principle.

  8. That is sufficient for my level of proof, I will thusly accept that floating sea ice will raise the sea level.

    Although it’s worth noting that 1.5 inches isn’t all that significant.

  9. All I can say is that I left the ice from my whiskey/coke toddy in the glass last night when I went to bed. I awoke this morning to a glass rimfull of water and 2 1/2 ft of water on my bedroom carpet. Oh, yeah and three drowned polar bears in the hallway.

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