The Warmer The Icier

Watts Up With That?

Guest Post by Willis Eschenbach

A WUWT commenter emailed me with a curious claim. I have described various emergent phenomena that regulate the surface temperature. These operate on time scales ranging from minutes to hours (e.g. dust devils, thunderstorms) to multi-decadal (e.g. Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation, Pacific Decadal Oscillation). He suggested that there is also a much slower thermostatic mechanism at play over thousands of years and longer.  Here’s how I understand it.

He said that when it gets warmer, the atmosphere is more moist, so there is more snow on Antarctica. This translates into more ice on the ice cap, which puts increased pressure on the ice below. Now, the ice gain at the surface and the ice loss in the calving of the Antarctic glaciers is in some kind of long-term very slow-moving steady state. Pressure at the top squeezes out the ice on all sides. So increasing the…

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