Wednesday, December 05, 2007
Stinging the CGW-E Bee
The Sacramento Bee is a disciple in the
Let’s star with a key paragraph in the editorial:
"How high will these oceans rise? Some computer models show that, without a significant reduction in greenhouse gases, the
Bzzzt! Wrong….and misleading…on many counts, as pointed out by Mr. Schwartz. To summarize:
1 - the computer models that predict melting of the
Greenlandice sheet were run with the assumption that the CO2 concentration in the atmosphere starts out and stays at four times the pre-industrial level and nearly three times the current level.
2 - Even with atmospheric CO2 at three times current level, the models say it would take 270 years for Greenland to lose even 20% of its ice, and more than 1,700 years to lose 80% of its ice.
Greenlandwas warmer than it is now for several long periods during the last few thousand years.
4 - The top of IPCC's range for 21st Century sea-level rise is 23 inches.
5 - Sea level has been flat for the last three decades or so, after rising steadily from the 1920s through the 1970s.
The IPCC wasn’t scary enough so the Bee had to embellish. However, had the Bee done some real reporting and fact checking into the IPCC report itself, they would have found that the IPCC report has a few flaws to start with:
"...the IPCC's estimate includes melting of land-bound ice and thermal expansion of the oceans, but excludes dynamical changes in ice flow—meaning it excludes the possibility of, for example, the Antarctic ice sheets sliding into the sea."
One fear that many informed people have is that one day soon, one of the glaciers in Greenland could just break loose and start sliding at 5 kph rather than kpy and the sea level would start rising daily rather than annually.
Given that Greenland has a history of higher temperatures than we are currently experiencing, or rationally expecting, it's not likely that those who "fear" a 5kph ice slide are actually "informed."