“It’s politics, not science, driving climate mania: Why are environmentalists and scientists so reluctant to discuss long-term increases in southern hemisphere sea ice?”

July 19, 2014


I left a comment on this blogpost, debunking several of his arguments, but I have a suspicion the guy who wrote the article (entirely on the basis of what the Daily Mail tells him, for Pete’s sake!) might not clear my comment for publishing. So I thought I’d better re-blog his post, with my comment included in the intro, to prevent any ‘ideological censorship’ ( I think that’s a polite way of putting it) on his part.
ANDREW MOUNTFORD SAYS, “Across the globe, there are about 1m sq km more sea ice than 35 years ago”

This is actually not true, but even if it were, you are guilty of a schoolchild error that borders on embarrassing; you are using two-dimensional maths to calculate a three-dimensional proportion. It is not area-covered that determines the amount of ice, it is the *volume* of the ice i.e. its thickness and density, that are most important. Another factor is how much water is permanently frozen, rather than melts during the summer and re-freezes during the winter.

Thickness of ice in the Arctic has decreased by over 40% in the period you are stipulating, while the average age of ice found in these formations has reduced from millennia to just years.

As for the Antarctic, the Daily Mail is always reluctant to acknowledge that some of the increases in ice there are in fact predicted by the very climate models you are trying to debunk. Your mistake there is on a number of levels, but the biggest is in assuming that ‘Global Warming’ means the whole world getting uniformly hotter at all times, when it actually means that the net amount of heat being stored up in the atmosphere around the planet as an average is increasing.

The problem with your over-simplistic interpretation of that is that the upper atmosphere is *above* where all the extra carbon dioxide is blocking most of the heat. Therefore the upper atmosphere remains far cooler than near ground level. It stands to reason. Increased CO2 reflects more infra-red heat* back towards the surface of the planet, therefore much of the extra heat being trapped simply can’t climb up into the stratosphere before being intercepted.

With the Earth getting warmer, more water in the rivers and seas turns to steam, and where does the steam go? Up of course. So it will still reach the stratosphere, where it starts to cool down, and will often even freeze.

Now Antarctica is different from the Arctic Ocean in a very obvious way. IT’S MADE OF LAND, NOT OF WATER. And a lot of that land is quite high up; there are literally scores of mountains on the continent, and hundreds and hundreds of tall hills. A lot of the water that has turned to steam further north travels on air-streams to the south, where it eventually falls as snow over Antarctica. And because so much of Antarctica is high up, way above sea level, much of the new snow never lands far enough down to be inside the parts of the atmosphere with the higher CO2 concentration i.e. near sea level. So it remains as snow and/or ice.

With the increased amount of water vapour caused by Global Warming, the amount of snow and ice at high altitudes is likely to increase accordingly, as there is more water in the atmosphere to become frozen and get ‘dumped’ in high-up places.

It’s actually quite simple to understand if you just take the time to study it, but instead, you choose to study the Daily Mail.

Now, I know from reading your petulant remarks on the Vox Political blog that you will either delete this rebuttal, or make a squealing, non-factual objection to it without ever explaining why I’m wrong. But I’m going to give you a hint that you should take on board; –

Never look to a newspaper for scientific fact. Least of all the Daily Mail, but frankly, not *any* newspaper. Accredited scientific journals are the only repository for accurate information coming from the scientific sector.

As for politics driving climate mania, has it really never crossed your mind that politics might be what’s driving climate denialism? For instance, the exceptionally powerful oil industry has a vested interest in keeping people overusing cars and electricity because it keeps their sales of high-carbon fossil fuels steadily rising? Therefore, isn’t it just possible that the oil industry would want to discredit science that finds against fossil fuel overuse, and get allies in the media and politics to try and muddy the waters accordingly?

* Please note that solar rays are not infra-red heat. They travel on a much shorter wavelength than infra-red, a very high frequency that the carbon-dioxide particles in the atmosphere cannot block or reflect. Only when solar radiation makes physical contact with particles that can intercept it (usually solids or liquids) does it convert into infra-red radiation – this is why we feel warm when the sun touches our skin, because the solar rays are turning into heat as they make contact with us.


EDIT 23-7-2014:

Just thought I should now add that, having visited Mr Mountford’s blog again last night, I found that my comment had indeed been deleted. Not just “still in the queue for publication”, I mean deleted outright. Mr Mountford shows all the hallmarks of a man with an agenda, and who will censor anyone who has better information than he can offer in his attempts to forward that agenda.

This is of course quite ironic for a supporter of a political party i.e. the UK Independence Party, which keeps publicly raging against being supposedly ‘shouted down’ by what it calls ‘the liberal media’ (usually left undefined).

Jez Pen

Adult chinstrap penguin (Pygoscelis antarctica), Port Lockroy, Antarctica, Southern Ocean, Polar RegionsClick here for original story

UN computer predictions subject of ridicule: not got it right for 18 years
Across the globe, there are about 1m sq km more sea ice than 35 years ago
Authorities are now guessing global temperatures based on nearby weather stations
PUBLISHED: 22:01, 5 July 2014 | UPDATED: 00:54, 6 July 2014

For years, computer simulations have predicted that sea ice should be disappearing from the Poles.
Now, with the news that Antarctic sea-ice levels have hit new highs, comes yet another mishap to tarnish the credibility of climate science. Climatologists base their doom-laden predictions of the Earth’s climate on computer simulations. But these have long been the subject of ridicule because of their stunning failure to predict the pause in warming – nearly 18 years long on some measures – since the turn of the last century.

It’s the…

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