The most recent Global Warming scare piece comes from the Washington Post and reporter Doug Struck. The title, “At the Poles, Melting Occuring at an Alarming Rate”, is patently false. While the North Pole has seen accelerated warming recently, the South Pole, in particular, Antarctica, has seen an increase in the ice pack and no significant change in the overall temperature on the continent.
Struck trots out the usual doom & gloom. His opening spells it all out:
For scientists, global warming is a disaster movie, its opening scenes set at the poles of Earth. The epic already has started. And it’s not fiction.
Depends on the extent of the warming, Doug. We are, after all, coming out of a Little Ice Age. Aren’t things supposed to get warmer? If the temperature record goes back to the middle of the LIA, and we are now approaching a climate optimum, much like the Medieval Warm Period, the world will warm up, and it will be the “warmest years on record” when you compare them to a stunted ice age.
More doom & gloom:
Animals are on the move. Polar bears, kings of the Arctic, now search for ice on which to hunt and bear young. Seals, walrus and fish adapted to the cold are retreating north. New species — salmon, crabs, even crows — are coming from the south. The Inuit, who have lived on the frozen land for millennia, are seeing their houses sink into once-frozen mud, and their hunting trails on the ice are pocked with sinkholes.
Let me rewrite that paragraph.
Animals are on the move. Polar bears are now adapting to new hunting grounds and their numbers are increasing. Seals, walrus and other species are migrating further north to find their comfort zone. The Inuit, who have lived on the frozen land for millennia, are now experiencing warmer temperatures. Their hunting periods are now longer, and their hunting grounds now have new game which has come from the south.
Whew! I thought we were all goners. Now, notice his selective reporting on the South Pole:
At the South Pole, ancient ice shelves have abruptly crumbled. The air over the western Antarctic peninsula has warmed by nearly 6 degrees since 1950. The sea there is heating as well, further melting edges of the ice cap. Green grass and beech trees are taking root on the ice fringes.
Things are growing where they weren’t growing before! Heavens to Betsy! Also, notice that he neglects to mention anything about thickening ice sheets and temperatures elsewhere on Antarctica. Why? It would blow a hole in his fearmongering, that’s why. And then he trots out Larsen B:
When the Larsen B, an Antarctic ice shelf the size of Rhode Island, collapsed in 2002, “it was a big glaring clue that something not natural was happening,” said Hugh Ducklow, director of ecosystems for MBL Laboratories in Woods Hole, Mass. “The geological evidence suggested that was stable for at least 10,000 years, back to the last ice age. And it literally disintegrated in three weeks.”
The Larsen B Ice Shelf is on a peninsula which sticks far out from the center of Antarctica. To make such a broad statement about the warming dangers based upon the collapse of Larsen B is akin to making a diagnosis on the health of a patient by only examining their finger.
Two long-term studies examined the temperatures in Antarctica, and found the continent was cooling. One, from Nature, reports on the decline in temperatures over the past few decades. The other shows the thickening of the Antarctic ice sheets.
As the air warms over Canada, Alaska and Siberia, the melting permafrost releases millions of tons of trapped carbon and methane, further accelerating the encroaching disaster. Greenland’s moving glaciers pick up speed, likely bringing in this century the first three feet of a possible 23-foot rise of the seas that would ultimately inundate New York City and South Florida and drive millions of people from low-lying areas of Asia.
So, if the temperature is rising, and the release of CO2 and methane from the permafrost is going to cause more greenhouse warming, then why do we have to curb CO2 emissions? Permafrost GW gas contributions would dwarf anything mankind produces. That just means we’re doomed. DOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOMED!
Or are we? The world warmed about 1000 years ago. There wasn’t any significant disruption in the world climate then. In fact, the human civilization boomed. It was a spectacular time for architecture, agriculture, & learning.
The ice shelves collapsing in western Antarctica bring glacier melting there, pouring as much water into the sea as Greenland. Eventually, the giant frozen continent of eastern Antarctica, so far insulated from the rest of the warming planet, may begin to melt. The thermohaline ocean circulation pattern begins to slow.
“I just don’t see a happy ending for this,” said Ted Scanbos, who studies the polar ice at the National Snow and Ice Data Center at the University of Colorado.
“Every computer model I run shows the world flooding. It’s so depressing, my computer jumped out of my window last week and fell 3 stories to its death,” said Scanbos.
And later in the article, he cranks out the “Day After Tomorrow” scenario. Sadly, I wish I was making this up.
As the Arctic ice melts and ice shelves collapse in the Southern Ocean, vast areas of open water are exposed. The water absorbs heat from the sun that until now was reflected by the ice. As that heat warms the seas, the treadmill is expected to slow, the IPCC has reported. In the worst case, it could stop. The previous time that happened, 15,000 years ago, the Northern Hemisphere was plunged into a brief and brutal ice age, apparently within decades.
So let me get this straight. If it continues to warm, then it will suddenly get cold again. And when that happens, the glaciers will reform, the North Pole will be covered in ice again, and the overall temperature of the planet will adjust back to “normal” for Laurie David and Al Gore. In other words, the world has a built in mechanism to deal with warming, just as it has for the past 100 million years! What an idea!
In other words, when the world warms, it’s a short-lived phenomena that we should enjoy and take advantage of.
So, please stop scaring your readers, Doug. Everything is going to be fine. Smell a flower or two. Watch some “Three Stooges”. Enjoy life instead of concentrating on imminent destruction.
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