Jason Box interviewed by Mill Maher

Glaciologist Jason Box was recently a guest on Bill Maher’s show. Worth watching.

7 responses to “Jason Box interviewed by Mill Maher

  1. Bill Maher.

    That was a good interview, glad you posted it for all the people who don’t get HBO.

  2. Thanks Tamino.

  3. The Rolling Stone article, written by Bill McKibben:

    Box has his own blog:

    I first learned about Box in an interview in the Danish newspaper Information, in which he explained the background for the dark snow project.

    A week ago there was a new article about Greenland based on NSIDC data:

    “Den grønlandske indlandsis er netop nu ramt af en voldsom afsmeltning, der langt overstiger den gennemsnitlige smeltning gennem de seneste tre årtier.”
    (The Greenland ice sheet is now undergoing melting far beyond the average of the last three decades.)

    Box notes that the temperature isn’t much higher than normal, but that the albedo is much lower. At this time of year it’s normal for 20% of the ice sheet to be affected by melting, but now it’s up to

  4. Aaron Lewis

    Current sea level is ~70 feet below what would be expected for current CO2 concentrations. The problem is the time frame for the system to come to equilibrium.

    Now we know that much of the big ice has deep fjords under it. Ice in the fjord can fracture in a progressive collapse and float out to sea.. See minute 64 of the movie “Chasing Ice”. Then, ice from above can move into the fjord.

    Reality violates all of the rate limiting assumptions in all of our ice dynamics models.These models are all systems of differential equations that cannot capture the quantum physics of ice fracture. Thus, the models contain an unstated assumption that mechanical stress on the ice will be less than the mechanical strength of the ice. We know this is not always the case.

    A good example of the failure of ice models is their failure to account for the formation of moulins. A lake on top of an ice sheet can form a moulin and drop liquid water through the ice sheet in a matter of hours. In those hours, the energy released by the falling water may exceed the energy released at Niagara Falls. This violates all of our assumptions about heat conduction into ice sheets. A gram of water vapor can melt 7.5 grams of ice resulting in 8.5 grams of run off – to form moulins.. In the past, sea ice condensed water vapor out before it got to the GIS, Now winds from every direction can carry water vapor. Now, the entire northern hemisphere can act as a solar collector and energy storage for heat to collapse the GIS. A moist breeze from the south can carry more energy than sunlight. Box does not consider these effects as he promises an extended time frame for the loss of ice sheets.

    In planning and engineering, time frame is everything.

    Noise from El Nino in California tide data is interesting in the short term, (e.g., old dirt levees keeping salt water out of drinking water ), but on the 50 to 100 year scale of planning public infrastructure, it is not a big deal.

    There is a lot of liquid water in the firn over SE Greenland Ice Sheet. At this time the firn keeps the water super cooled so that moulins do not form, but liquid water on top of 2 km of ice is not stable, and when it starts to fall, it will all fall. The volume of this liquid water is only a fraction of millimeter of global sea level, but we do not how how much ice the flow will carry into the oceans.,

  5. Headline says “Mill” Maher, s.b. “Bill” Maher

  6. Bella Green

    It was especially disturbing to hear him say he didn’t think it would be safe to live in the US during his children’s lifetime. I’ve been half-jokingly telling my kids that they need to keep in touch with our friends in Norway, but now – it’s not a joke any more. Sad.

    • Is it safe to live in the US now? I left when I got so used to violence that my reaction to news of a shooting a block from my office window was not horror but wonder at how it was that I hadn’t heard it.