Those Polar Caps & Our Sea Levels – What We Don’t Know


We’ve all watched the scenes in various global warming scary movies that show the ice melting from the caps.  We’ve heard the various global warming religious fanatics claim that "the polar caps are melting!"

But when it comes to the science, there is no definite answer.  The data and the science does NOT show that ALL the ice is melting.  In fact it shows some are melting, some are growing.  So any zealot who claims the polar caps are melting, meaning the whole damn thing, is being dishonest.

Roger Pielke Sr.has a great post up with all the details:

As discussed on Climate Science, when climate metrics are investigated in detail, the reality of the real world often conflicts with the pronouncements of the climate assessments. With respect to glaciers, this mismatch between reality and the assessments has been presented before.

[…]An article in the November-December 2006 issue of the Earth Observer entitled “The GLIMS Glacier Inventory of the Antarctic Peninsula” by Frank Rau, Jeffrey S. Kargel, and Bruce H. Raup provides an update on the recent behavior of glaciers in the northern Antarctica peninsula (see the November-December pdf on pages 9-11). This is a region where significant regional surface temperature warming has been recorded.

An excerpt from their article, however, shows that the response of the glaciers is more complex in response to this reported regional warming. They write,

“Analysis of high resolution ASTER data co-registered to Landsat Thematic Mapper ™ and Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus (ETM+) data provide information on glacier front variations between the years 1986 and 2002. In regional case studies, more than 300 glaciers were examined, covering a variety of glacial systems distributed over the northern Antarctic Peninsula. Of these, only 40 (12.8%) displayed advancing glacier fronts accounting for a gain of 7.1 km², while 171 (54.6%) showed retreating ice fronts accounting for a loss of 146.1 km². In addition, 102 (32.6%) were found to be in invariant conditions. The glaciers examined displayed no indications of dynamic flow instabilities. The observed glacial variations are therefore interpreted as direct consequences of the rapidly changing climatic conditions in the region that are affecting accumulation and ablation.

[…]This article indicates that 45.4% of the glacier fronts are either advancing or are invariant over the period from the 1980s to 2001. While the retreating glaciers have lost more area than has been gained by the advancing glaciers, this also need to be placed in context of the total area of the glaciers in this region (which was not done in this article).

Nonetheless, even without that information, the general message that glaciers are receding almost everywhere is clearly not accurate when the data is evaluated in detail.

What does all this show?  Well, for one thing, it shows us the dishonesty involved in the global warming religion.  They speak in such definite terms about these caps when the reality is something completely different. They speak in these terms to scare people.  Then those scared people contribute money to the cause which keeps the life blood of the movement rolling.

Now how about those sea levels?  The World Climate Report cites a recent article by S.J. Holgate of the Proudman Oceanographic Laboratory in Liverpool:

To begin with the results, Holgate notes that “All the stations in this study show a significant increase in sea level over the period 1904–2003 with an average increase of 174 mm during that time. This mean rate of 1.74 mm/yr is at the upper end of the range of estimates for the 20th century in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Third Assessment Report.” Well, it seems sea level is rising at what many would call an alarming rate of 174 mm (6.8 inches) per century, although this hardly seems alarming to us.

But here comes the big surprise. The Figure 2 shows decadal rates of sea level change over the past century, and as noted by Holgate “the two highest decadal rates of change were recorded in the decades centred on 1980 (5.31 mm/yr) and 1939 (4.68 mm/yr) with the most negative decadal rates of change over the past 100 years during the decades centred on 1964 (-1.49 mm/yr) and 1987 (-1.33 mm/yr).” How about that – the greatest global sea level rise occurred around 1980, well before the greenhouse scare got off the ground. Also, it is immediately obvious that the rate of sea level rise during most recent couple of years has been, well, unremarkable, with declining sea levels for a short period in the mid-to-late 1990s.

[…]From this article, we learn from the actual data that (a) sea level is generally rising, (b) the rate of rise decelerated during the 20th century, (c) the rate of sea level rise over the past two decades has been both positive and negative, (d) the rate of sea level rise has been quite small over the last few years, and (e) stations can witness an increase or decrease of sea level quite independently of one another.

At the very least, Holgate shows that the global warming – sea level linkage is far more complicated than typically presented to the public. Or the results show that what the public has been told about sea level rise is simply wrong.

So from Antarctic glaciers to the worlds sea levels we find that the climate is a bit more complicated then just "humans are causing global warming".  The scaremongers continue to spout their talking points in definitive terms:

"Scientific evidence is now very strong that humans are changing the climate," Richard Alley, a Penn State University professor and a lead author of the report, said in an interview. "This is getting to the pound-on-the-table point now."

Greenland’s Ice Sheet Is Slip, Sliding Away: The massive glaciers are deteriorating twice as fast as they were five years ago. If the ice thaws entirely, sea level would rise 21 feet

“I think the debate is over,” said Sheila Watt-Cloutier, the former president of the Inuit Circumpolar Council, and a prominent climate change activist.

Thankfully some in the MSM are trying to counter the scaremongers, but they are definitely in the minority:

There’s just one problem with these nightmare scenarios: The consensus of global warming scientists is that the sea level won’t rise by 20 feet, or even 5 feet. Instead, they predict seas will rise by at most 23 inches, and as little as 7 inches. And even that will take 100 years to occur. That’s not nothing, but it’s hardly the sort of thing that would suddenly displace millions of people.

What’s more, the scientific consensus has become less worrisome, not more, as global warming science has improved.

In the late 1970s, scientists were predicting a 25-foot sea level rise from global warming. By the mid-1980s, the consensus had dropped to about 3 feet. The U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report from 1990 put its "best estimate" for sea level rise at 25 inches. By 1995, that dropped to 19 inches.

And if you take the midpoint from the latest U.N. report, the prediction now rests at 15 inches between now and 2100.

In other words, the better the science, the lower the predicted rise in sea level. Don’t take our word for it. Here’s what the scientists themselves said in their 2001 report:

"Despite the higher temperature change projections in this assessment, the sea level projections are slightly lower, primarily due to the use of improved models, which give a smaller contribution from glaciers and ice sheets." (Emphasis added.)

So what do global-warming scaremongers do in response to these findings? They dismiss the scientific consensus.

Global warming zealots dismissing studies they don’t agree with…that just can’t be! 

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The problem simply has to be caused by mankind

This belief is on par with “the earth being the center of the universe.”

And people wonder why Galelio Galelie had such a hard time. For all of the contribution he did to astronomy, he was asked to give up his beliefs by the church.

Today, it’s just a different (informal) church, with a different orthodoxy. Perhaps we need a separation.

Drudge Report has a stunning interview with the Czech President who just blasts global warming baloney.

I’m going to see if I can’t beat you to posting on this one 🙂

I posted a comment, but as a post on my blog. I’ve just covered the ice cap measurement issue for now. You guys are always misrepresenting those types of studies, which seem conflicting, as skeptical arguments. If you read the actual research paper that Pielke cites, you’ll see that the data clearly points to global warming.