Moooo! My Calf is missing!

I’m bogged down understanding ice-cap physics and ‘geology’ and Greenland is the present focus of work. I’ve always wondered at what rate snow is deposited on the Greenland ice cap and how snow deposited at the peak of the icecap affects ice removal at the ice cap’s periphery. So I did the usual internet search, choosing my search terms carefully, and came across a CBS News report of 24 August, 2015 headlined – “Greenland Glacier Loses Chunk the size of Manhattan”.

(Image copied from CBS report)

This is a satellite image of the Jacobshavn Glacier in western Greenland showing the calving front at the right of the image.

“The glacier keeps retreating rapidly into a deep canyon…. We are likely to see more of those calving events in the coming years as the glacier retreats into deeper ice.”

A glacier calves as the result of an enormous ice flow pushing ice into the sea. As the leading ice tongue goes further out to sea it becomes physically stressed by sea tidal forces and breaks off forming an iceberg.

The glacier is by no means retreating into deeper ice, but is actually being advanced by the enormous pressure of the growing ice cap behind it.

Glaciers retreat by melting that is the direct opposite of calving, which is evidence of advancing ice.

This is another example of the logical fallacy of arguing the consequent, the topic of logic, something which is apparently no longer taught in universities.

About Louis Hissink

Retired diamond exploration geologist. Trained by Western Mining Corporation and polished by De Beers.
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