Ho hum, another headline story in the NYTimes about the coming End of Days… I think that the paper’s elevation of Justin Gillis to a front-pager is a low point in their journalism not seen since they swallowed the WMD line of the Bush years, hook, line, and sinker.
So, what do we have? Some scientists feel that the ice sheet covering the Antarctic land mass is moving towards irreversible “collapse” into the sea, and that this could raise the oceans by several feet. When will it happen? Maybe in a few centuries, and maybe in 1,000 years. And why is it happening? Not clear, but it has something to do with wind patterns in the Antarctic, and nothing to do with global warming…which isn’t happening at the south pole anyway. BTW, the amount of ice at the south pole has been steadily increasing each year and is at an all-time high right now.
Reading the article in the Times, you might think if we all stopped burning oil and coal right now, today, everywhere! this could be avoided, but of course, the two issues have nothing to do with one another. [Of course, if AGW comes about, it will make the situation at the south pole worse. So let’s be worried!]
I like this comment on the article from a scientist-reader:
Mary Portland, Or 20 hours ago
We could use a little ice melt. Antarctica ice mass is at an all time high…at least since we’ve been able to measure it via satellite.
So, this ice “could” break off and it “could” take centuries and there is no clear link to anthropogenic global warming (AGW) and right now, Antarctica is very near record ice mass (actual real data.)
So, relax. Climate change is real but just not nearly as scary as these headlines make it out to be. Amazing how there is no mention in the article about the complete lack of warming in Antarctica and the record ice levels.
But what do I know. I’m just an atmospheric scientist.
And this one too:
Paul Greensboro, NC 23 hours ago
As usual, the article identifies that the warming is coming from multiple sources, but fails to break down how much is from man-made causes. This is probably because they really don’t know. They are, at best, guesses. Remember that these models have been wildly inaccurate in the past. (I’m not being critical. This climate modeling stuff is extremely difficult, and some inputs into the models cannot be empirically determined.) So, given that we don’t know whether stopping all CO2 emissions 100% will make a difference, how much industry would you like to export to China and India?
At least some people have some sense. Even Andy Revkin has had to weigh in and try to cool down the climate vigilantes:
Some headlines are completely overwrought — as with this NBC offering: “West Antarctic Ice Sheet’s Collapse Triggers Sea Level Warning.” This kind of coverage could be interpreted to mean there’s an imminent crisis. It’s hard to justify that conclusion given the core findings in the studies. (Am I trying to maintain a hold on reality or am I a “scold”?)
But stuff like this is more typical:
James Jordan Falls Church 32 minutes ago
The evidence mounts. The planet Earth is warming. The consequences can seriously disrupt the human food supply and perhaps affect the ability of our species to reproduce. Can the plants and animals adapt with sufficient speed to survive? Can the wise ones (homo sapiens) adapt its complex carbon combustion lifestyle in time to save our own, or shall we go the way of the Dodo bird?
Bill Appledorf British Columbia 16 hours ago