This is absurd!

From the Scientific American "Ask a Question" page.

Recent NASA photos showed the opening of the Northwest Passage and that a third of the Arctic’s sea ice has melted in recent. Are sea levels already starting to rise accordingly, and if so what effects is this having?

In their response they talk about the Greenland, West and East Antarctic ice sheets (which would indeed cause problems for sea levels):

“That may not sound like a lot, but consider the volume of ice now locked up in the planet’s three greatest ice sheets,” she writes in a recent issue of Scientific American. “If the West Antarctic ice sheet were to disappear, sea level would rise almost 19 feet; the ice in the Greenland ice sheet could add 24 feet to that; and the East Antarctic ice sheet could add yet another 170 feet to the level of the world’s oceans: more than 213 feet in all.” Bell underscores the severity of the situation by pointing out that the 150-foot tall Statue of Liberty could be completely submerged within a matter of decades.

Decades? Look, for this sort of thing to happen, even under the worst scenarios, we\’re talking sometime between 2500 AD and 2700 AD.

And, perhaps more pertinently, nowhere do they make the point that the Arctic ice largely sits upon the ocean already meaning that the melting of such ice does not impact sea levels at all (subsequent thermal expansion might, but not the melting itself).

I realise that it\’s a fairly harsh charge to level at a magazine like Scientific American, but this is simply lies.

No, this isn\’t just me being a sceptic or anything, this is so far from the scientific consensus that it\’s passed over into the realms of pure moonbattery. It\’s shameful, deeply so, that a purportedly scientific magazine should publish such tripe.

18 thoughts on “Good Grief!”

  1. The so-called scientific consensus invoked is a sham. It doesn’t exist.

    As for the rest, yes its preposterous. The icesheets of Greenland and Antarctica have persisted through much warmer times than the present without breaking off or melting.

    The major ice sheets represent an enormous amount of latent heat . Yet by some miracle, they are vulnerable to collapse “within decades”.

    Scientific American has been producing moonbattery like this for quite a while, so this is hardly exceptional. In 2004, Sci Am named Michael “Hockey Stick” Mann as one of the the year’s most important people. That gives you an idea of how bad SciAm has become.

    SciAm even published a ludicrous profile of Mann that I couldn’t resist lampooning in the early days of Climate Audit: http://www.climateaudit.org/index.php?p=95

  2. John A has it right Tim – he understands the subject much better than I can. However you don’t need to be a scientific genius to realise, after a bit of research, that the whole global warming hoax is just that. It is the motives of the alarmists, and their willingness to corrupt the scientific method, that is deeply depressing, and frankly sinister.

    You keep an admirably open mind on the subject; but the proposition that man-made global warming, if it exists, is significant and requires the destruction of our economies is a fraud.

  3. However you don’t need to be a scientific genius to realise, after a bit of research, that the whole global warming hoax is just that.

    You don’t realise quite how right you are.

  4. I read an interesting piece a couple of years back (I wish I could remember where it was) by a scientist part of whose job is to monitor sea levels. Says his employers (a government) ring up every few years to ask him how much sea level has risen lately and simply refuse to believe him when he says that, in his long experience, it never has. Keep paying him, though.

  5. Goggle for NOAA Sea Levels and you can get a plot of sea level for at least 25 years and some for many more for the various USA coastal states. I can’t find any that are rising more than about 3 mm/yr, i.e., one foot/century and the trend seems to be declining compared to the 1930’s .

  6. “The major ice sheets represent an enormous amount of latent heat . ”

    Just to be a pedant, they don’t represent an enormous amount of latent heat. They would require a huge amount to energy to melt, said melt water is what would contain the huge amount of latent heat. Other than that, spot on.

  7. About 16 years ago at school I had to give a speech on something geographic. A last minute trawl of the Sunday suppliments led me to cadge an article on ‘the environmental threat’ – new and unfashionable at the time.

    It’s focus was on the twin worries of the destruction of the Ozone layer (whatever happened to that issue?) and greenhouse gasses.

    The article made the point (and so did I in my speech) that the sea levels could rise, not because the holes in the Ozone let in more light and melt the ice caps, but because of thermal expansion of the seas.

    If you can excuse the well-worn pun, the ice caps are a drop in the ocean compared to thermal expansion. It’s a shame that even today, even the environmentalists don’t really get that point. But then it’s not really about the physics, is it?

  8. Coincidently, about 18 yrs ago I had to do a speach for GCSE English, and chose the twin threats of Ozone depletion and the greenhouse effect. I wish I’d chosen something else now!

    IIRC the same guy came up with CFCs, Tetra Ethyl Lead, and DDT.

  9. What about the fact that ice ice less dense than water, which is why 10 % of the iceberg towers out of it. Does this not mean that an iceberg, melted, would take up less space, as water ? As for also being less dense when hot, at what temperature does it expand to a volume greater than the volume of ice.

    You may guess I’m no way a scientist – am I asking nonsense questions ?

    Alan Douglas

  10. Alan:
    When ice melts it occupies less volume as water. But when floating ice melts the water level doesn’t change, (except for changes caused by temperature changes).

  11. “What about the fact that ice ice less dense than water, which is why 10 % of the iceberg towers out of it. ”

    I wondered that as well. However I have since the mathematic proof that the level is in fact unchanged. Empirically you can verify for youself using a glass of water and an icecube.

    ” As for also being less dense when hot, at what temperature does it expand to a volume greater than the volume of ice.”

    This will happen under no combination of temperature and pressure that water is likely to experience on earth’s surface. At 100deg C (when of course it turns to steam at 1 atmoshpere of pressure), it still takes up less volume than ice. At very high temperatures and pressues, water will behave more weirdly. But for the purposes of sea levels, it is accurate to say water is always less dense than ice. Usually as things get hotter they expand due to thermal expansion (as water does about about 4 deg C). Ice expands due to a change in crystal structure. Hydrogen bonding keeps molecules further apart than when the water melts and such bonding is partially over come allowing the molecules to come close to each other.

  12. “You may guess I’m no way a scientist – am I asking nonsense questions ?”

    I would guess that some of the greatest strides in science have come from someone asking a question everyone else thought was nonsense.

  13. This topic used to be covered in the first year of secondary school: did you all have flu that day?

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