Dateline on SBS on 23rd October had a report on the melting ice in Greenland.
This recent record decrease in sea ice in Arctic Ocean has received widespread publicity, but I have not seen any reporting on the fact that at the other end of the world there was also a sea ice record being set.
NASA reports: “Two weeks after a new record was set in the Arctic Ocean for the least amount of sea ice coverage in the satellite record, the ice surrounding Antarctica reached its annual winter maximum—and set a record for a new high. Sea ice extended over 19.44 million square kilometres (7.51 million square miles) in 2012, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Centre (NSIDC). The previous record of 19.39 million kilometres (7.49 million square miles) was set in 2006”. The article is accompanied by a map of the ice surrounding the Antarctic continent September 26, 2012, “when ice covered more of the Southern Ocean than at any other time in the satellite record”. Satellite images of the Arctic and Antarctic regions have been used since 1979 to monitor the amount of sea ice and over that period there has been a downward trend in Arctic ice, but an upward trend in Antarctic ice. The increase is not evenly distributed around Antarctica with some areas gaining ice and others losing it. Sea ice scientists Claire Parkinson and Donald Cavalieri of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Centre commented in an article in The Cryosphere, 6, 871-880, 2012: “The strong pattern of decreasing ice coverage in the Bellingshausen/Amundsen Seas region and increasing ice coverage in the Ross Sea region is suggestive of changes in atmospheric circulation”.
Satellite images of the poles date only from 1979, yet the period from 1979 to the present is supposed to be a time that dangerous man-made global warming is causing catastrophic ice loss.
There is no doubt the ice on top of the world has been decreasing, but there is no longer any doubt that the ice down under is growing.
Therefore, as the sea ice scientists quoted above acknowledge, the uneven distribution of ice loss is most likely due to changes in “atmospheric circulation”, i.e. wind patterns, and perhaps variations in ocean currents. These are natural phenomena, and out of control of human beings, and we need to be humble enough to admit that, and give honour to the Creator who can control them.
Could it be that the one sided reporting about ice melting in the Artic and not about the ice forming in Antartica is an indicator that most of the politicians, media moguls etc have already become so dependent on future revenues from Climate Change Taxes and investments, that they can’t let the truth about climate change be known?
Another question. Could it be that Greenland has it’s name because it was once a green land, long before industrialisation? All sorts of interesting things have been discovered under a retreating glacier in Switzerland which shows that the area was once much warmer and traversed by humans. http://climateaudit.org/2005/11/18/archaeological-finds-in-retreating-swiss-glacier/ So, just maybe, the earth has been warmer in the past than it is now, which means that a tax on carbon dioxide is going to do absolutely nothing for the planet.
Finally, you may have read that an Italian court has found six Italian scientists and an ex-government official guilty of manslaughter and sentenced them to six years in jail. Their crime was minimising the risk of the 2009 L’Aquila earthquake which killed 309 people.
The men were all members of the National Commission for the Forecast and Prevention of Major Risks. The judge found that they issued “inaccurate, incomplete and contradictory” information which falsely reassured the public.
Scientists around the world are aghast. The leaders of the current commission resigned in protest. The world’s leading science magazine, Nature, thundered that “The verdict is perverse and the sentence ludicrous.”
I’m inclined to agree. Earthquake prediction is a very inexact science and science communication is a very difficult art. I hope that the verdict is overturned on appeal.
The moral of this might seem to be that the public is stupid. But, isn’t it the opposite: that the public has a superstitious faith in scientists? They are the new high priests of progress whose incantations bring prosperity, health and knowledge. They can even predict earthquakes.
They can even predict catastrophe from future climate change. Or can they? I find that they are not always accurate with the weather in Melbourne day by day, never mind way out into the future.
If scientists are honest with themselves, I think that they have to admit that their press releases foster this image of knowing everything and being the final authority on things. When, however, that faith is betrayed, the public revolts. The L’Aquila earthquake scandal ought to lead scientists to be cautious about over-selling their wisdom.
As a scientist by training, I wouldn’t like to see all the climate change scientists in gaol if there predictions turn out to be wrong – would you?