The melt rate of West Antarctica's Thwaites Glacier is an important concern, because this glacier alone is currently responsible for about 1 percent of global sea level rise. A new NASA study finds that Thwaites' ice loss will continue, but not quite as rapidly as previous studies have estimated."Numerical models" apparently "overestimated" how rapidly the glacier can melt.
The new study, published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, finds that numerical models used in previous studies have overestimated how rapidly ocean water is able to melt the glacier from below, leading them to overestimate the glacier’s total ice loss over the next 50 years by about 7 percent.
But the science is settled?
This kind of thing emphasizes why I'm skeptical of the entire "anthropogenic global warming" thing. The claim that "the science is settled!" asserts a certitude about the functioning of the ecosystem that does not actually exist, except in the minds of climatologists.
Simple fact is, we don't know what the climate is doing, and furthermore we don't know WHY. We're a significant distance from that; right now, we're just about to figure out what are the right questions to ask. But we don't know enough yet to say, with any authority, that the climate is definitely warming due to human carbon emissions. There's a lot wrong with that assertion, such as how carbon lags temperature, and the current situation where carbon is increasing but the temperature anomaly is stagnant, and a host of other issues besides.
That's the real problem here: every time the climate models are tested against reality, they end up being wrong. Every time evidence is presented to support AGW, upon further examination it turns out either to be vastly overinflated or simply incorrect. In some cases (such as Mann's infamous "Hockey Stick" graph) it's outright fraud, but the researcher(s) involved in perpetrating that fraud are never discredited for it. When a prediction is made about how AGW is going to cause this or that catastrophe, the prediction never comes to pass, such as Al Gore's prediction that by 2017 it would no longer be snowing in North America. And anyone who questions the AGW dogma is dismissed as a "denier"; adherents state that "deniers" should be imprisoned for their heresy.
The one thing that we do know for certain about Earth's climate is that it changes. It changes all the time; the climate of 1817 is not the climate of 2017, and neither of them is the same as the climate of 1617 or 1417. And we don't know why that is. We think the Little Ice Age has something to do with the Maunder Minimum, when the sun went into an extended minimum, but at the same time the solar variability doesn't seem like it's quite enough to account for it. The solar magnetic field might have more effect on Earth's climate than we realize (consider the Svensmark Hypothesis) but again we don't know.
We don't know; we don't even know what we don't know. Certainly we are a long way from knowing enough to definitively say "This is what is happening, and why!"
But what we can see, and know, is that there is a lot of money to be had (and power to be gained) in eco-doomsaying. Consider how much money Al Gore has made since leaving office. Consider that governments do not issue grants for research into how global warming isn't happening. Consider that if human carbon emissions are causing an eco-castastrophe, it requires draconian and far-reaching government control of peoples' lives to prevent, which means millions of bureaucrats spending billions of taxpayer dollars. Consider that the people who most want AGW to be true are the ones who stand to gain the most, in money and power, from it, and who will suffer the least from what would be done to curb carbon emissions.
The AGW movement is a political movement, rather than a scientific one.