It is time for one last look at the snow graph. It is a little over a month since The BFD last reported on the amount of snow in the northern hemisphere winter, so time to look again.


Eyeballing that, it appears to have peaked at 3250 Gigatons, up some 18% on the 1982-2012 average of 2750 Gigatons. Maybe we have not seen the end of snow yet and children will still be able to make snowmen snowpersons next year.

How dare you! What about the recent headlines?


Well we can’t have that now can we? Either it’s ‘worse than we thought’ or it is getting better. After all, snow falls and becomes ice, so what’s the deal?

These headlines are based upon a paper done by a group of scientists running a project called the “ice sheet mass balance inter-comparison exercise” (IMBIE). What does their paper show?


Looks drastic! But …

It is pretty difficult to pin down to the last cubic metre but there some generally agreed estimates of the total ice mass in the Greenland and Antarctica ice sheets. Namely approx thirty million cubic kilometres in Antarctica and around a tenth of that, three million cubic kilometres, in Greenland.

One cubic kilometre is about 0.95 Gigatons of ice giving totals of approx 28.5 million gigatons of ice in Antarctica and 2.85 million gigatons in Greenland.

The graphs above show a loss of about 4000 gigatons in Greenland and 2800 gigatons in Antarctica. Percentage-wise that looks about 0.14% up north and 0.001% down south.

That is total loss over 38 years for Greenland and 15 years for Antarctica so the annual loss for Greenland is a ridiculously small percentage of less than four thousandths of one percent and less than one thousandth of one percent—something too small to comprehend—for Antarctica.

“The rapid ice loss puts the world right on track for the ‘worst case’ climate scenario.”

Live Science

Really? One-seventh of one percent over 38 years and one-hundredth of one percent over 15 years are a worst case climate scenario?

How Dare You?

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