By now, I am sure you have seen the many news reports that this summer’s Arctic Sea Ice extent has hit a shockingly low historical minimum – at least for the time period when satellite observations have been possible. Without boring you too much with this issue, as you read through the articles describing what has been going on up there, try to examine how the articles discuss the actual problems caused BY the melting sea ice. You will of course run into many, many observations that the melting ice is indeed a sign that global warming is happening (did we need a sign, I thought this was pretty obvious?), but you will find very little discussion (serious discussion) about the problems caused by the lost sea ice.
We know this contributes nothing to sea level rise. We are less sure about how important this sea ice loss is in terms of its contribution to the positive feedback in the climate models – we suspect it will exacerbate warming. What might be interesting to consider is that the AGW models include estimates of what would happen to the arctic sea ice, but none predicted it would melt at this rate. This surely is valuable information. Finally, as you consider what is happening in the Arctic, you might ask what we actually know about polar bears and how they adapt to lost ice – and whether in fact polar bear populations have been hurt by the warming thusfar. Or finally, it may of interest to check out what has been happening down in the Antarctic. That ice sheet, after all, is the mother of all ice sheets, and if some of that slides into the oceans rapidly, we really would see a problem. I’m not sure it proves anything, but it sure would be nice to see any report on the melting Arctic at least reference what has been going on down South.
But why would we expect that? After all, when it comes to “the scientific consensus on climate”:
It is journalistically irresponsible to present both sides as if it were a question of balance. Given the distribution of views, with groups like the National Academy of Science expressing strong scientific concern, it is irresponsible to give equal time to a few people standing out in left field.
The overall weight of evidence” of global warming “is so clear that one begins to feel angry toward those who exaggerate the uncertainty.
— Stephen Schneider, Stanford Climate Scientist (Boston Globe, May 31, 1992)
Speaking of that, the overall weight of the damage of socialism and price controls is so clear that … oh, never mind.
Happy Friday. Where will Santa make his toys this year?