Now, while this [ the breakup] is a significant event, I think any conclusions based on the article are a little premature, another example of looking out the window and calling it climate. The G&M notes that Dr. Warwick Vincent of Laval who in 10 years of studying the Arctic flows had never seen it's like. That is true. Nothing as significant has happened in ten years. However, if you look back a little farther, you can see that significant events happen to the ice shelves (sea, glacial or composite) on a regular basis.
First, let's note an inaccuracy here. The claim in the original story is that the break-up is the largest such event in the last 30 years, not the last ten (that's just how long Dr. Vincent has been on the case). But whatever. The article goes on to state:
The largest observed ice island calving occurred at Ward Hunt Ice Shelf (Fig. l), where almost 600 km2 of ice broke away at some time between August 1961 and April 1962 (Hattersley-Smith, 1963.
In comparison, last's year's incident produced an ice island of about 66 km2. Hardly a big deal, right? Except that:
As noted...the amount of ice in the ice-shelves in only about 10% of what they were in 1905. In fact, from Point Moss on the north coast of Ellesmere down the west coast to the Ice Plug in Nansen Sound is estimated to have been one gigantic ice shelf.
So today, when there's about a tenth as much ice, when we see break-ups producing ice-islands about the tenth of the size as recorded previously. Warm a bigger ice-mass, and it can break into bigger pieces. Is that surprising? What is more telling is that the figures Lance provides actually show that this latest incident is just one in a chain date back about a century. And, oopsie!, look at the graph below!
Even moreso, [the event] isn't exactly something that you can bring to bear on a government that has been in power for almost a year.
True, Lance, but nobody was attempting to blame the Harper government for the incident, not in the post you first referenced or in anything I have written on the topic. However, I personally, and I imagine many others, would like to see him take the science seriously and GET ON WITH DOING SOMETHING ABOUT IT, GODDAMN IT!