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April 10, 2004

European Scientists Moan, Whine

This was absolutely insane

Global warming may melt Greenland's ice, scientists warn

This is the kind of crap scientists print up when they can’t think of anything to do that’s actually related to science.

Greenland's icy mountains and the island's entire ice cap could disappear in the next 1,000 years because of global warming, European scientists warn today.

This provides the clearest and most convincing evidence yet that the European brain-drain to America has nearly run its course. They’re obviously getting down to the raisins left in the bottom of the old brain barrel.

Point 1. Global warming models neglect or fudge the water vapor, which is the major green-house gas, because it’s too much of a bitch to bother with. So their models of warming are wildly suspect to begin with.

Point 2. If you pull a big enough number out of your ass for the warming figure, predicting that ice will melt is pretty easy.

Point 3. If your ass numbers aren’t big enough, just stretch the prediction out so far into the future that all data becomes completely meaningless. Hell, just predicting 100 years into the future is rather pointless, because although you can scare the inhabitants of modern Europe with stories about the coming desertification of Europe, Europe’s future inhabitants, all Arab of course, are used to that environment.

Point 4. If you throw in “may” you can hedge your bets, yet still get your garbage research published.

Point 5. Vikings used to farm on Greenland. It used to be way warmer. The path of the gulf stream can vary quite a bit, and their analsysis doesn't seem to account for the major variable.

If that occurs sea levels will rise by seven metres, drowning low-level coastlines around the world.

But that will simply get the water further inland to help irrigate those future deserts, so maybe it all works out well in the end.

Greenland is covered by the biggest ice sheet in the northern hemisphere: almost 772,000 square miles of ice which is up to 1.9 miles thick, the base of which is below sea level.

That's the geography lesson, or as they call it in grade-B disaster movies, “backstory”.

But Jonathan Gregory, of the Hadley Centre for climate prediction at the University of Reading, and colleagues from Brussels and Bremerhaven, report in the journal Nature that an average annual warming in the region of 2.7C (37F) would mean that the rate of melting would outpace the annual snowfall.

But if the climate is changing, the amount of precipitation would likewise be changing, which gets us back to the fact that these models that aren’t taking water vapor into proper account. One recent report even said that global warming would likely drop drop sea levels, since global warming would cause more precipitation, which would fall in Antartica, where it would remain locked up.

The greater the warming, the faster the snow melts. The worst-case predictions for Greenland, made by an intergovernmental panel of scientists, involve an average warming of 8C (46F). At those temperatures oceans that have risen by 2.5mm (less than one-tenth of an inch) a year will start to rise by a steady 7mm a year.

Notice that they’ll only report the worst-case predictions, not the most likely predictions, and especially not the one’s that say the whole thing is so uncertain that even writing about it borders on the inanely stupid.

There are already signs of consistent melting in Greenland. Researchers reported in 1999 that the ice sheet was thinning by about a metre a year.

Each year some glaciers grow, while others thin. To grab a sample and project a constant line all the way to infinity is a nice shorthand way of writing “Hey, look at me! I’m a jackass with a piece of chalk.”

The latest research confirms the picture of an increasingly mild polar world. Alaskan glaciers are in retreat. The Arctic Ocean icepack has thinned by more than 30% in the past three decades and has been shrinking by an area equivalent to the Netherlands each year during the same period. If warming continues by the end of the century the Arctic could be free of ice altogether during summer months, British scientists predict.

That they would repeat this laughable piece of research is itself indicative of how far off this planet they’ve gone. The polar ice story is bunk. As was noted, “Arctic ice oscillates with the winds in 50 year cycles. The submarines' measurements didn't take the movement into account.” Thus the whole “30% thinning” turned out to be an artifact. The rest of their crazy predictions are crushed by a similar observation. They artic temperatures make huge swings over century time spans, so projecting from a decades worth of data is worse than useless. If you took, say, 1938 as the baseline, they’d be predicting another ice-age. And yet despite all this, they’re going off and making predictions 1000 years into the future.

Dr Gregory and his colleagues looked at computer models of climate change and the complicated links between ocean and atmosphere in a world warmed by greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and oxides of nitrogen. Of 35 combinations of warming and changes in the circulation of ocean currents and winds, 34 involved Greenland heating up by at least 2.7 C. In many cases the predicted warming exceeded 8 C.

So their computer models predict everything from next to nothing to global catastrophe, and yet they’re willing to base public policies on them? If your results include just about everything, why not just throw darts at a thermometer?

The scientists also warn that once the ice sheet has melted it might not return. Icy regions stay cold because ice reflects light and heat, whereas rock and blue water absorb warmth.

So even though we’ve had periods of higher temperatures in the past, such as the medieval warm period, and yet still have ice caps, this won’t hold in the future, because climatologists need funding. As one climatologist has noted, global warming is a theory, while we know repeated ice ages are real.

Dr Gregory said: "If you get to a level of carbon dioxide which implies a certain warming that is going to be sustained. If of course you did manage by some means to return the carbon dioxide to its current concentration, the climate might cool down a bit and the melting might stop. But there may be a point of no return.

Our planet so far seems to have only one "point of no return", which is if the oceans completely freeze over. Apparently this happened at one point in the past, and only continued volcanic activity snapped us out of it. But I like how they throw out scary phrases, skipping over a dozen of what Rumsfeld would call "unknown unknowns" in their rush to blame civilization for the collapse of civilization.

"The reason why it would be irreversible is because the sea and rocks are much less reflective than ice, and because [ground level] is much lower if you remove the ice sheet - the topography of Greenland is mostly ice sheet and the base of it is below sea level, so if you remove the ice sheet you have a low-lying piece of land and that makes it warmer anyway."

The main reason why it’s called “irreversible” is because the word “irreversible” looks so good in an alarmist piece of tripe. Otherwise it might slip through the journals without garnering any press coverage. Obviously if the ice cap loss were irreversible, then Greenland wouldn’t have one, since Greenland wasn’t always up there. And they might point out that albedo isn’t very important when you spend the winter in perpetual darkness. Not unless starlight is a significant factor in melting off snow. But combine all these screw-ups, and project it out a thousand years, and you have the basis of European scientific research. Yes sirree Bob, top notch, cutting edge research. It’s kind of like astrology, without all the accuracy. I wonder if their hung up on these thousand year predictions so they can know what to wear to the party celebrating the demise of their next thousand year Reich?

So in short, the article might as well go something like this.

European scientists say they can predict disaster in the infinite future, if they use invalid conclusions from a misinterpretation of recent ice-flow data, ignore known cycles and longer term data, use a climate model that neglects the major green house gas (water vapor), and forget to take into account one of the major determinants of Greenland's temperatures, the Gulf Stream.

American's make observation on European scientist's report, and say they remain unsurprised that garbage comes out if garbage goes in.

April 10, 2004 in Science | Permalink


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Beautiful, just beautiful. But I swear I remember during my publick sckules "Scandanavian Pride" month they told us that Leif Erikson could farm corn and tomatoes on that solid sheet of ice! :-) Honestly, why do people think the Vikings called it "Greenland" in the first place? As a way to trick their people into settling on a glacier? Well, they were white European men....sigh

Posted by: amyc at Apr 10, 2004 10:45:36 PM

"report in the journal Nature that an average annual warming in the region of 2.7C (37F)..."

That's not how you convert temperature differences. An increase of 2.7C is the same as an increase of 4.9F (you don't add 32). Thinking this (wrong) way, it would be an average annual warming of 275.8 degrees Kelvin. If someone can't even convert temperatures, arguing the details of complicated atmospheric models is pointless.

Plus... an average ANNUAL warming? Somehow I think we would have noticed temperatures rising that quickly.

Oh, and while writing this comment I did a lookup to find what the temperature is in Greenland, and found http://www.co2science.org/journal/1998/110198c1.htm:

"The data revealed that temperatures on the Greenland Ice Sheet during the Last Glacial Maximum (approximately 25,000 years ago) were 23 ± 2 °C colder than at present. After the termination of the glacial period, temperatures increased steadily to a maximum of 2.5°C warmer than at present during the Climatic Optimum (4,000 to 7,000 years ago)."

Obviously those people 25,000 years ago didn't do enough to control greenhouse gasses, and we're stuck with the results.

Posted by: Wayne at Apr 11, 2004 11:10:20 AM

And this guy calls himself a "science editor"? I asked my 12 year old son how much a rise of 2.7°C would be in °F. He got it right. Shows how little this "science editor" realy knows about science.

Dr. Joe D'Aleo at intellicast.com has a large number of excellent articles about the global warming myth. One of his conclusions is that long term changes in climate are primarily driven by changes in the output of the sun (I'd like to see them blame that on Bush), and that anthropogenic (man) causes are most likely insignificant.

Posted by: Mike D in SC at Apr 11, 2004 1:16:53 PM

Good post.


Posted by: James R. Rummel at Apr 11, 2004 9:40:15 PM

Global warming theory isn't science. Its a religion. In case anyone hasn't seen it:

Aliens Cause Global Warming

It isn't what you think.

Posted by: Calliope at Apr 12, 2004 8:07:03 AM

The climate models used by many of these climatologist also ignore another major factor in climate change - solar output. If the amount of solar energy reaching the earth changes, then so will the climate.

Some consider the variations of solar output to be the main causes of the Medieval Warm Period and the "Little Ice Age" that followed.

More info on the effects of solar output on climate can be found here.

Posted by: DCE at Apr 12, 2004 11:10:17 AM

I tried to let TrackBack handle this, but obviously I need to dig some more into how it's supposed to work. In the meantime, there's this:


Short form: Never ascribe to stupidity what can be explained by computers.

Posted by: Clayton D. Jones at Apr 13, 2004 12:36:20 AM