Hawaii Senator says 97 percent of Greenland's ice sheet thawed in July 2012; it was just surface ice
From PolitiFact July 24, 2013 (excerpts)
...On July 24, U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz, a Democrat from Hawaii, whose state stands to face some serious consequences if warmer temperatures cause sea levels to rise and storms to become stronger, was on the floor of the Senate speaking about an event in July 2012 that produced a dramatic change in the massive ice sheet covering Greenland.
Because of global warming, "glaciers continue to retreat. The Greenland ice sheet provides a stark example of the rapid recession of the world's ice," Schatz said. "For several days in July of 2012, Greenland surface ice cover melted more than at any time in 30 years of satellite observation. During that month, an estimated 97 percent of the ice sheet thawed."
One way to read that is that only 3 percent of Greenland's ice sheet remained. That would be A LOT of melting, especially for a mass of ice that is, over large stretches, a mile or two thick.
Losing that much arctic ice would have a HUGE impact. Not only would sea level rise by roughly 20 feet, the ice would no longer be reflecting sunlight back into space, warming the planet even faster....
(But) the melting the satellites tracked was at and near the surface, often to a depth of no more than an inch. The ice sheet itself never thawed, or came close to thawing.
Dorothy Hall, a senior scientist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, whose examination of the event is to be published in Geophysical Research Letters, said ... "Sen. Schatz's statement is very misleading.... In fact most of the ice sheet surface re-froze within hours or days of the big melt event."...
When we asked Schatz's office if the senator misspoke, spokeswoman Xochitl Hinojosa stood by his comment. "The senator said that 97 percent of the ice sheet thawed . . . which means to become soft, and does not mean vanish. He also specifically said 'for several days in July of 2012,' so that it would be clear that he was not implying that the ice vanished forever. To suggest that the senator said it disappeared is inaccurate."
Thomas Mote, a geographer at the University of Georgia, says it's a "common mistake" to confuse the thawing of the surface ice with the thawing of the ice sheet. "Certainly we did not lose 97 percent of the ice. Sea levels would quickly go up 20 feet," he said. "We would notice that pretty quickly."
read ... PolitiFact
PostScript: If Schatz were right and the UH Manoa proposal to build the Obama Library in Kakaako (elevation 3') is adopted, the entire legacy of the Obama Presidency would be 17' under water. These clowns don't believe their own propaganda, why should you?