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Drowning in numbers

25 Mar 2020 | News Roundup

NBC hyperventilates that the ice in Greenland and Antarctica is melting faster than the fastest thing ever. You see both “are losing ice six times faster than in the 1990s, a pair of studies in the journal Nature show” and “the unprecedented rate of melt has already contributed 0.7 inches (1.78 centimeters) to global sea level rise in the last three decades, putting the planet on track for the worst-case climate warming scenario laid out in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) latest report. The dreaded scenario... predicts a total sea level rise of 23.6 inches (60 cm) by the year 2100.” Whoa. Math is hard and all, but 1.78 cm over 30 years is 0.6 cm per decade whereas 60 cm over 80 years is 7.5 cm per decade, more than ten times faster. In other words the new studies show that we are nowhere remotely close to the worst case scenario, nor are we ever going to be. Unless the scholars at NBC are the ones holding the ruler.

Like a prophet uneasy about his flock’s reaction to the world not ending as predicted, the Guardian just doubled down and assured us that the end is actually upon us. Sea levels have risen 2.2 millimetres and it’s all over due to a massive summer melt in Greenland hottest year ever etc. sea ice vanishing etc. But even if we were on track for NBC’s worst case IPCC scenario, if we can’t build a two-foot sea wall over 80 years we deserve to suffer the dreaded stupidity.

There are other problems with the article as well. Starting with the fact that if the melt was reassuringly slow in the 1990s and has taken off since then, that means it did not respond to all the greenhouse gases before then which makes us question how strong the connection is. Just saying. Also, as we think we might have mentioned at some point, there’s very little sign of warming in Greenland over the past 60 years, one of its iconic glaciers is now growing not shrinking and at the current melt rate the ice will be gone in only 26,000 years and besides its melt rate has been declining since 2013 as part of what looks like a natural cycle.

As for Antarctica, it seems to have been cooling for the past 20 years and if ice there is shrinking it’s doing it after decades of growing in a… not again… natural cycle. Apart from that we’re all going to die, however.

One comment on “Drowning in numbers”

  1. If these "experts" would just listen to the highly qualified real scientists like Richard Lindzen and Will Happer instead of calling them "fossil fuel funded deniers", and find out just how truly insignificant CO2 is as a greenhouse gas, they would wake up and worry about something important. The whole foundation of the "anthropogenic global warming/climate change" religion is ludicrous, and all real scientists know it.

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