August 29, 2009: "Why the Greenland and Antarctic Ice Sheets are Not Collapsing", by
, PhD, School of Earth and Geographical Sciences, The University of Western Australia, Crawley, WA 6009, Australia and
, PhD, 803/222 City Walk, Canberra City ACT 2601, Australia. Published in AIG NEWS, The Quarterly Newsletter of the Australian Institute of Geoscientists, No 97, August 2009.
The new paper by Cliff Ollier & Colin Pain "Why the Greenland and Antarctic Ice Sheets are Not Collapsing" is a must read. Writing in the newsletter of the Australian Institute of Geoscientists, -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 0px;">Ollier and Pain detail the basic mechanics of ice sheet movement (a process called "creep"), compare and contrast the movement of valley and continental glaciers, and describe in fair detail why glaciers move in the first place (weight of accumulated ice, plus gravity). The authors also discuss the effect of cold on glacial movement, that geothermal heat -- heat from the Earth itself at the base of the ice cap -- is the more likely cause of melting, as opposed to global warming. (Keep in mind that temperatures in the central Antarctic are exceptional: Vostok has the lowest reliably recorded temperature on Earth (21 July 1983) of -89.2C; the highest recorded temperature, recorded in January 1992, was -19C). The authors also provide a short discussion on the age of ice sheets, both Greenland and Antarctica date back nearly 3/4 million years!
Link to download pdf