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Without putting too fine a point on it .....this weather makes me think of Dr. David Viner -somewhere in the east of England I seem to remember.... Here

Feb 25, 2018 at 12:37 AM | Unregistered CommenterKleinefeldmaus

Supertroll, thank you!
I remember Roche moutonneés from school, because we couldn't quite make sense of our simple translation. Now I know!

"The 18th-century Alpine explorer Horace-Bénédict de Saussure coined the term rôches moutonnées in 1786. He saw in these rocks a resemblance to the wigs that were fashionable amongst French gentry in his era and which were smoothed over with mutton fat (hence moutonnée) so as to keep the hair in place.[1] The French term is often incorrectly interpreted as meaning "sheep rock".

Having looked it up on Wikipedia, I now know that "stoss" means the upstream side in glaciology, but the downstream side is the lee side (as in sailing). Curious!

I do get the pressure equals heat bit, it is how a skater skates. I am still not sure why ice and snow does not insulate, or help to insulate the heat of the earth's core from sub-zero air temperatures! I am also intrigued by the increasing extent of discovered volcanoes beneath the Antarctic Peninsular. Climate Science had blamed excess heat(?) on Global Warming.

Feb 24, 2018 at 11:01 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Brian Hargreaves

I found it ironic that you called any science except physics non-Newtonian. Physics has been non-Newtonian since " “On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies” in 1905.

I think you will find that the chaotic behaviour of the climate system is discussed within the field. Words like stochastic also pop up regularly. Random elements are routinely added to otherwise deterministic climate models. Read the literature.
For example:

On longer scales climate is not regarded as chaotic, being limited by the constraints of physics, geology and energy budgets.

Discussing such matters in the Daily mail would probably be unproductive.

Feb 24, 2018 at 10:45 PM | Unregistered CommenterEntropic man

GolfCharlie. Normally permafrost grows in the areas beyond the ice caps, but then as the ice caps grow they override the permafrost areas preserving them. Ice sheets may be wet based or dry based. It is my understanding that below a certain depth, all fractures heal because the ice flows sealing any openings. This means that water from surface melting cannot penetrate to the floor of the ice sheet. Wet-based ice sheets have basal water because of pressure melting. Far north of your tropical home there are roche rôche moutonnées which are rocky hillocks that were overriden by ice. Upflow the ice presses down on the rock, partially melts, and rock material still attached to the moving ice grinds the rock surface smoorh. Downflow, as the ice moves away from the projection, downward pressure drops, the water refreezes and rock fragments now become bound to the moving ice and are plucked out to create a rugged surface. So upstream the rock has been smoothed, downstream it has been roughened. Thus, we can determine the ice movement direction thousands of years after all the ice has disappeared. We also know that the ice sheet floor can vary from wet based to dry based over short distances.

Proof that deep cold conditions can persist at depth for thousands of years is where ancient permafrost areas have been drowned by the Holocene transgression and have survived for thousands of years.

Here endeth almost every thing I know.

Feb 24, 2018 at 7:50 PM | Unregistered CommenterSupertroll

Minty: that would be an argument to address with the person who proposes this idea. He does state that he kept things simple; it is a “small” asteroid, with no atmosphere, and a model using principles that he was quite familiar with – but, and this is where it gets interesting, the results were a complete surprise to him. He fiddled it and tweaked it, but gets the same results – it happens, and each cycle gave a shorter inter-ice age, and a longer ice age than the one preceding it. Now, isn’t that rather similar to what has/is happening on Earth? Okay, things are a little more complex: there is an external energy source, and an insulating atmosphere, plus a whole range of other variables (surface structure, composition, etc., for a start) but the basic cycle is not too different.

I am not saying that this is the answer, as there is undoubtedly a lot more involved, but it is an interesting insight into one factor that does seem to have been completely overlooked. Do not be too quick to dismiss. Having followed the author for quite a while, now, he has displayed a true skill in construction of mathematical models, and models that have been validated by observations, as well as an enchanting, almost child-like glee with what he does: “What happens if…?” I can almost hear him muttering, as he sticks a thru’penny banger in an Airfix model of the Bismark. He does not care about the result; he just wants to see what happens.

The gentleman concerned is quite willing to discuss it, and does offer quite detailed explanations about the mathematics that he has used, complete with figures and formulae. He has set out on a hypothesis, and has returned interesting results – with and about which he is happy to discuss and debate with anyone! So refreshingly unlike others we have encountered, directly or indirectly, in this field.

GC: it is a situation that could answer your query about meltwater flowing from under the ice sheet – but, and here is the point, there could be a time or a scale where the whole ice does not need to melt; just sufficient for the core to resume its cooling.

Feb 24, 2018 at 6:30 PM | Registered CommenterRadical Rodent

Feb 24, 2018 at 3:41 PM | Supertroll

Doesn't the extra thickness of ice and snow insulate the ground from the well-below freezing air above? Swiss chalets have low pitched roofs for this purpose, and so do houses in Canada and northern USA.

I am curious, due to claims about Greenland Ice Sheets sliding en masse into the sea. Are they supposed to slide on a layer of lubricating slushy water from ice melted by the warm sun and air on top, or from melting at the bottom? My query would also refer to meltwater streams flowing out from underneath glaciers!

Feb 24, 2018 at 4:33 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

"The lifespan of a wind turbine offshore is supposed to be 25 years.  Back in 2012 land-based wind farms in the UK were found to show signs of wearing out in just 12 years."

Wind turbine blades are everything they are cracking up to be. I thought it was just transmissions and bearings that were failing prematurely, under normal conditions.

Feb 24, 2018 at 4:02 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

RR. As you write interesting. Unfortunately I think it's fundamentally flawed. I don't believe the geothermal heat flow is bottled up by an overlying icecap. Heat flows through the ice at a rate slower than it is lost from the surface. Consequently the depth at which formation water freezes grows. In Saskatchewan, the permafrost beneath and ahead of the Laurentian ice sheet was more than a kilometre thick. There is no evidence of a buildup of heat, if anything rather the reverse. Because the rate of heat flux is so slow, the almost instantaneous addition of a thick ice sheet means that the original surface temperatures are buried and now lie at much deeper depths than they should be.

Feb 24, 2018 at 3:41 PM | Unregistered CommenterSupertroll

Feb 24, 2018 at 11:41 AM | Uibhist a Tuath

I don't know that Julius Caesar was anymore ignorant about tides, than anyone else growing up with access limited to the Mediterranean.

Caesar did not sail to Gaul, or arrive on the French Channel Coast via the sea.

The Ancient Greeks, Egyptians, Romans etc were Mediterranean seafarers, with rowed galleys, triremes etc, using sails as auxillary power, if wind was blowing, and if it was blowing from behind them. Neither they nor their ships were suitable for ocean passage making.

The Eastern end of the Channel is relatively straightforward for tides and currents, especially on the English side. If you are travelling along the coast, the tide is either with you or against you. If you are crossing the Channel, the tide is either pushing you east or west. There aren't many swirly eddies. Julius Caesar may have crossed the Channel to have a look, but I doubt there were sufficient ships in existence in the Channel to invade with an army.

When Romans did invade, and trade by sea, it would not have been with boats/ships of Mediterranean design. Oars may have been used for manoeuvring, but probably not passage making. When rowing a small boat in a swell, it is difficult to keep a pair of oars in the water.

A thousand years later, William the Conqueror did cross with an army, using what were Viking Long Ships, see Bayeux Tapestry for details.

Feb 24, 2018 at 3:00 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

stewgreen / Pcar

I feel pretty safe an claiming that The EU Landfill Tax pays for the 40 or so Wildlife Trusts across the UK - who are notionally independent bodies...

I'm not so sure that it impacts the economics of the "recycling" industry that much...

Where the "recycling" industry struggles is in dealing with the toxic boobs at The Environment Agency. The EA insist on a waste carrier licence for just about any tradesman, their officials regularly impose themselves on situations regarding storage of waste (customarily with v.poor results) and they regularly contrive entrapments on waste processors to keep their overstuffed (and incompetent) legal department busy.

Feb 24, 2018 at 2:54 PM | Registered Commentertomo

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