It’s late Sunday morning in Taipei and I don’t want to spend the day in front of my computer. That means this will hopefully be succinct.
Watt’s Up With That highlights a new paper by Jay Zally, a person who previously had published work showing that Antarctica was losing ice. His new paper comes to the different conclusion that it is in fact gaining ice. This is important for two reasons–the first being that climate change theory postulates that Antarctica should be warming (not nearly as much as the Arctic, but there should be some). Increased ice can occur because warmer temperatures mean more snow over an area, but the finding is still surprising. The second important part of the paper, as Zally notes, is that if there isn’t as much Antarctic ice melting into the ocean, then where is the extra water coming from? That will keep scientists busy for a few years.
Over in Alarmist land, And Then There’s Physics tries to explain away a similar gain in ice in Greenland. The huge ice cap is gaining mass. This leads inevitably to more pressure on the rivers of ice we call glaciers and more ice gets pushed into the ocean as a result. ATTP says we should still be worried because more ice is calving into the ocean than is forming on the ice cap. So climate is causing more ice to form, but the normal action of physics is causing more ice to fall into the sea. Of course, all this falling into the sea stuff actually amounts to 0.01% of the ice in Greenland–most of the ice is held in a ‘bowl’ carved out by the weight of the ice. It isn’t going anywhere. It’s not melting.
Of course, ATTP gets distracted in comments, holding a lively discussion on whether or not it is legitimate to use the term ‘climate denier.’ Interested parties can navigate over there to see the result. It will surprise no-one. ATTP held a lively debate on whether climate scientists should quit traveling by air to conferences. He bravely decided they should. Oh, I’ll spoil the surprise–ATTP thinks it’s perfectly okay to call people ‘climate deniers’, for the same reasons that it’s okay to call Jews ‘kikes’, Hispanics ‘greasers’, Italians ‘wops’, etc. Ya see, we’re all just pretending to be offended at being compared to Holocaust deniers. We are cynically using their insults to gain an advantage in the climate debates.
Of course it doesn’t occur to the ‘struggling to understand’ ATTP that they could take away our new-found weapon by… quit using a degrading term coined by Fenton Communications and pushed actively through the media by DeSmogBlog in 2005. C’mon ATTP–make us weaker! Quit calling us deniers.
Never happen, though. Those using the term get too much of a testosterone charge when they call someone a ‘denier.’
Representative Lamar Smith has issued a subpoena for emails and records from NOAA scientists participating in Thomas Karl’s rather desperate attempt to prove the ‘pause’ in global warming never existed.
The pause did exist, and Karl’s paper is being contested where it should be–in the scientific literature.
What Representative Smith is doing is both wrong and stupid. Wrong, because we don’t need to create a climate of fear in science. Scientists should be able to communicate via email without re-reading every word they write with an eye on future investigations. Stupid, because witch hunts don’t increase your stature, reputation, amount of information or even the size of your… big toe.
When Cuccinelli did this with Michael Mann I opposed it, writing an open letter to Cuccinelli equating what he was doing with Salem’s search for witches. What Smith is doing is no different and I oppose it just as strongly.
To be clear, I have no objection for asking for data, models, calculations. But emails between scientists? No. That way lies poorer science.
Representative Lamar Smith, call off your dogs.
Update: Sorry for those in the comment thread. I just booted ATTP and yanked his posts. It will disrupt the threading. That’s four people I’ve booted in four years. Sigh…