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Shocked by ice

03 Apr 2019 | Science Notes

One of Greenland's largest glaciers, Jakobshavn, has long been a poster child of global warming alarmism because of its rapid rate of decline. So when NASA scientists went recently to measure just how badly it was getting on, imagine their surprise when they discovered the glacier is growing, not shrinking. Rather like the shock among Icelandic scientists who discovered that all Icelandic glaciers are now growing again. No doubt we'll soon be told that glacier expansion is actually proof of global warming.

The article about the Greenland glacier doesn't do so. Well, not exactly. Instead it plays the "nevertheless we're right even when we're wrong" game. See, the glacier is growing because conditions in the North Atlantic have swung much colder in recent years, causing water temperatures near the glacier to plunge back to levels not seen since the 1980s. Wait, weren't the oceans supposed to be warming? Well yes. Due to climate change. Except when they're cooling. Then it's just a natural cycle. Long term they are warming and we'll be proven right eventually which proves us right now.

Thus Josh Willis, a NASA scientist and study co-author, said it’s bad news in the long run because "Jakobshavn is getting a temporary break from this climate pattern. But in the long run, the oceans are warming. And seeing the oceans have such a huge impact on the glaciers is bad news for Greenland's ice sheet." And so (drum roll please) “In the long run we’ll probably have to raise our predictions of sea level rise again.” And Ian Joughin of the University of Washington, who wasn’t involved with the study, told the Associated Press that it is “to a large extent, a temporary blip. Downturns do occur in the stock market, but overall the long term trajectory is up. This is really the same thing.” So even though we're wrong, we're right. A variant of the “cold is weather, heat is climate” trick, in this case including NASA headlining their press release “Cold Water Currently Slowing Fastest Greenland Glacier”. So it’s still the “fastest-flowing and fastest-thinning” even if it’s flowing the wrong way right now.

The World Meteorological Organization goes all in on extreme weather, riding cyclone Idai in Mozambique. But the reason so many people died in Mozambique is that it’s a poor country, not that it got hit by yet another storm. And so Climate Change News, in reporting the WMO position, does a classic rhetorical contortion, saying “Although it is impossible to attribute a single weather event to climate change alone, current science is clear that global warming intensifies certain meteorological phenomena.” So we can’t but we will anyway.

Even the Daily Telegraph can report “’Doomsday vault’ threatened by climate change” because a Norwegian Climate Centre report says the Svalbard Global Seed Vault “designed to safeguard millions of the world's most genetically important seed from nuclear war, asteroid strikes and other disasters” is threatened by melting permafrost flooding its access tunnel. They go on that “the report predicts that the average temperature in the town will increase by a further 8.3 ˚C” then quote the report author “I don't know of any other town which has experienced such warming.” Which suggests something local is happening not something global, right? Like Ottawa’s late March snowstorm. Ah but nay. Cold is weather, heat is climate. Remember?

Sometimes even they forget. Despite their claims to have predicted everything, there’s no mistaking the look of shock on the scientists faces at seeing the Jakobshavn glacier getting bigger. Indeed, one researcher with NASA’s Oceans Melting Glacier project (OMG for short, aptly in this case) said bluntly “At first we didn’t believe it” while Jason Box of the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland, who wasn’t involved in the study, said in words NBC had the good sense to highlight “That was kind of a surprise. We kind of got used to a runaway system.”

No, they didn’t see it coming.

4 comments on “Shocked by ice”

  1. How do we change the channel on AGW and the CO2 non-sense? There must be a way to leverage scientists such as William Happer and Judiyt Curry and to bring their messages to the public and subsequently to the politicians. How do we stop the liberals from talking about Carbon Polution? How do we start talking about plastic polution for example?

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