Tuesday, June 14, 2011
Icebergs ... an effort to look at this and see that ...
A huge mass of ice slowly flowing over a land mass, formed from compacted snow in an area where snow accumulation exceeds melting and sublimation.
A massive floating body of ice broken away from a glacier. Only about 10 percent of its mass is above the surface of the water.
Informal. A cold, aloof person.
Tip of the iceberg - a small noticeable part of a problem, the total size of which is really much larger.
NOVA produced a documentary, Extreme Ice, which is about the effects and potential effects of global warming on the planet's glaciers and ice sheets ... with an eye towards likely consequences. I've looked at several presentations on this topic in the past several days. While I believe Extreme Ice pretty much covers my narrow range of interest, I will note a few of other places to remember:
Climitgate 2010 (report of a massive climate data fraud)
places to look at: Colombia Bay, Glacier Bay, Disco Bay
I'm not trying to write about global warming or even specifically about glaciers. I just want to know a little bit about how an enormous chunk of ice might ... dissipate or not.
Temperature exchanges would have to be a driver of the strong feedbacks within the climate system of epic ice. I believe it would be an over simplification to try to transfer what I
understand about Aviation Wx to ... ice sheets, but some of the major concepts must be very similar ... it's science.
Ice has a dynamic existence within a "climate". I like to look at cirrocumulus clouds ... ice crystals floating in shallow convective currents at high altitudes. What I found out is that glaciers may be compared to those icy clouds in that they are ice and they may float on convective currents made up of relatively warmer meltwater. Someday, I would love to visit the leading edge of a glacier field and see icebergs calving. I'd love to see the unique color palette of the very old super compressed ice ... elegantly tinted shades of blue-green derived from rich sapphire and an ephemeral turquoise ... otherworldly colors cultivated over time as Mother Nature squeezes the air bubbles (and the white) out of the ice leaving behind the raw material which might have inspired stained glass windows in houses of worship. I want to feel the tremors reverberate to an explosive crescendo as an iceberg is born. Wouldn't I love to glide my hand through the melt water cascading down over the bulk of an iceberg ...a tactile representation of change over time. I would love to taste the freshness that centuries distilled ... Pure H2O, fresh and over ice! Okay ... I came to this subject for a look at this as I try to come to terms with that. It's time for me to think about the ice inside a soul ...
Glaciers form as snow compacts. Lots and lots of snow ... bunches of snow. The base of the glacier rests on bedrock ... the foundation. I didn't think to look at the heights of any of the glaciers, and even an estimate doesn't really matter to me ... they reach way on up there, in to some real cold where they are blanketed with snow ... all that weight pressing down forms a beautiful stratified dynamic system called a glacier. One of the sources likened a glacier to a conveyor belt with snowy input on one end and an iceberg floating free off the other end ... an ice factory. Meltwater is formed by the melting snow and ice at warmer altitudes (and in warmer phases of the planet's flight on it's celestial course). Meltwater is interesting. It can cut serpentine canyons through the glacier, and it can carve magnificent ice sculptures ... the results depicted on the NOVA special were awesome. I'm sure Mr. Balog captured some incredible photographs during his time on the ice. Worth looking for if you want a look. Vanishing meltwater lakes were my favorite meltwater thing ... manifestation. Meltwater pools and eventually forms a lake. Satellite images showed meltwater lakes disappearing over night, and it was assumed that they were absorbed to refreeze ... this is cool: What actually happened was that pool of warmer water was slowly drilling a hole beginning at the low point in the lake which eventually lead to a "failure" of the ice below. I'm thinking a slushy burrow percolating through the ice and eventually opening up as a hole through which billions of gallons of water drops all the way down to the bedrock below. I'm not making that number up! That's what they said ... and it flows with a velocity comparable to Niagara Falls. Whoosh ... no more meltwater lake. The reservoir of fresh H2O plummets and at the bedrock level the glacier is lifted and lubricated ... which accelerates its slide dramatically and increases the rate of retreat and the explosiveness of the calving phase. Sometimes jagged chunks of ice are violently thrust up from the lake beds ...think Newton's equal and opposite idea. All that water suddenly slamming in to bedrock sends a reaction back at'cha. Raw natural beauty. Yeah ... cool! The holes look something like what I think I've heard Mr. "Man Verses Wild" call crevasse.
Another contributor to ice melting seems to be something like front lines colliding ... Frontogenesis... the coastal water temperatures are warmer then the meltwater at the leading edge of the ice sheet, and the heat transfer between the fresh cold meltwater near the surface and the denser warmer salty ocean water at depths below, may be creating a little icy havoc. Yeah, I'm not a meteorologist, but I do know that when cool hooks up with hot ... stuff happens.
Once an iceberg floats free it continues to melt. Because it has progressed to a warmer place, it will melt ... unless some steps are taken to keep it frozen. When I first began trying to learn about icebergs, I thought icebergs were what I wanted to know about, but icebergs, as ginormous as they can be, are really just a tiny piece of the process ... near the tail-end of a very lengthy process.
Some of this information provides insights that help me as I think about that. I'm thinking about the deep cold places in our spiritual doings. I'm thinking about what our bedrock is exposed to ... what is being built there and what the implications of that are for our soul and the souls we do the planet ride with. I'm thinking about freeze burn and I'm wondering about the possibility for thaw. If I stand in the snow, so to speak, I'm going to get cold. I may even turn in to a glacier. Every introduction of meltwater in to this system represented change. The state of the ice deteriorated every time meltwater was present. Meltwater appeared when heat was introduced ... even just a tiny bit of heat delivered relief from the numbing cold. Water pried the ice apart like a powerful lever. As the "cold" was fractured, more water resulted setting up an ever tightening cycle of bigger results delivered faster and faster. For whatever combination of factors the ice on our planet is disappearing ... They are documenting the acceleration of it's disappearance all over the globe. And, as far as the planet goes, an icing and deicing process does seem to be part of the planet's history and future.
Airplanes ice. Airplanes need to be de-iced ... anti-ice chemicals are important for airplanes operating in icy conditions ... Those are maybe companion thoughts.
I want to figure out how to get rid of ice ... the foundation is good. The meltwater is derived from the ice chunk ... when the climate changes.
Well ... it's something to think about.
23 Nov. 2011 this note copied from C.H. Spurgeon's sermon The Miracle of Love
See the summer's sun assail and vanquish the iceberg which has floated from it's Northern home! Winter's ruder storms could not dissolve the monstrous mountain of ice, nor could a thousand hurricanes and storms break it in pieces - but the sun shot a strange tremor through its heart the moment he smiled on it and every beam that fell from the fair orb of day shot through it like a blast, till at last, yielding to the mysterious glow, the iceberg lost it's hardness of heart, bowed itself from its chilly loftiness, fell in to the warm gulf stream and was no more to be found.
Was it not so with you when the eyes of Jesus darted love into your heart?