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« "What is the greatest threat to freedom and prosperity?" | Main | "Liberal Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Valise" »

May 28, 2014

Two fine pieces on the politics of climate change

Ross Kaminsky, "Brass Balls and Climate Change: The Regime's Final Pivot Into Permanent Cynicism".

Greenland is a favorite subject for climate alarmists because its ice sheet has been losing mass for a couple of decades. (They seem to forget that the Vikings settled on a verdant Greenland beginning a millennium ago, leaving about 500 years later just before the Little Ice Age.) Antarctica, pace the report’s distortions, has been gaining mass for at least as long. The dirty little secret: Antarctica’s ice mass is 9 times that of Greenland. And Antarctica by itself holds roughly 90 percent of the world’s sea ice.

To disguise the fact that the huge ice sheet is gaining mass while the (relatively) small one is losing mass, the National Snow & Ice Data Center (NSIDC), demonstrating the many grains of salt with which to swallow the current Assessment, says, “Together, the Greenland and Antarctic Ice Sheets contain more than 99 percent of the freshwater ice on Earth.” Right. And together, blacks and Asians make up 79 percent of players in the NBA.

Salena Zito, "Climate Gravest Threat Only in D.C.".

One thing Dutton already has won is the sentiment of a country dumbfounded that President Barack Obama last week defined climate change as the most pressing issue facing the country. Obama did so as part of a huge public relations campaign — yes, campaign — that included asking people to pressure Washington to act on the issue.

Not jobs. Not the economy. Not rebuilding our aging infrastructure. Not gang violence, or education.

Climate change.

And he and his party ridiculed anyone who disagrees.

A couple of things about all of this smack the sensibilities of regular folks.



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Joe R.

I'm no scientist, but if all of this Greenland ice is melting, how does that RAISE sea levels? Even I know ice has more mass than water.
If I'm wrong, would someone enlighten me?

Tenney Naumer

Ice when it melts becomes water, so its larger size on land as ice is not related to sea level rise, only its volume as liquid water, which is smaller.

"Sea" ice around Antarctica is "perennial" -- that is, it melts away each summer, so the fact that it is growing due to more water vapor down there has no bearing on sea level rise caused by disintegrating ice sheets on land.

The excess heat going into the oceans is now affecting the ice under the sea (there is so much ice on Antarctica that the land beneath it has compressed downwards). Warmer water is eating away at the margins of the ice on Antarctica. Up until a few years ago, the ice was held back by undersea ridges on the sea floor, but so much has been melted back inland (albeit under water) that the ice is free of the ridges and can just come on out.

Tenney Naumer

Also, please note that all archaeological work on Greenland has shown that the Vikings had a very harsh existence even at the best of times. They did not grow grapes, they imported wine and raisins.


the Vikings named Greenland as green to deceive other Europeans into settling there, while they named the suitable island for settlements Iceland to discourage anyone else from coming to what they knew was a habitable place...

Tenney Naumer

Actually, frozen water has less mass for the same volume than liquid water. Ice has a lower density than liquid water.

For a given weight, ice has a larger volume.

Tenney Naumer

I personally sent off an email two weeks ago to Dr. John Wahr, who collects the GRACE satellite data on the mass balances of both the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets, and asked him for the latest data. According to the data, there is a net loss of an average of 72 gigatons per year since 2002 of the total ice sheet of Antarctica.

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