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back to article Greenland ice sheet not going anywhere in a hurry, say boffins

Doom-laden predictions that the seas are set to rise by a metre or more this century due to the melting of the Greenland ice sheet are well off the mark, a team of scientists has announced in a new study of the matter. "It turns out that the ice sheet, in relation to this point, behaves more dynamically and is able to more …

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Anonymous Coward

I didn't bother reading it

Because Lewis Page's articles have as much credibility as a Ryanair press junket by Michael O'Leary .

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Bronze badge

Re: I didn't bother reading it

Well read it on WUWT which has a lot more credibility. And if you think WUWT doesn't have any credibility at all then you show yourself to be someone who is easily fooled because you don't do any basic research yourself like looking into both side of the argument.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I didn't bother reading it

LALA LALALA LALA I'm not listening!

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Re: I didn't bother reading it

I had to laugh at your suggestion, because in my opinion Lewis Page has far more credibility than WUWT.

Imagine a group of people desperately trying to deny and ignore and attack the science and making countless errors doing so. You've just imagined WUWT. It was the site that pushed the now discredited "Watts paper" that told everyone NOAA had adjusted stations two times too warm. We were told it was a "game changer". Days later fatal flaws were discovered in the logic of the paper which rendered that conclusion unsupportable. But funnily enough the claim still got cited as fact in senate testimony.

Then consider the double standards. When Professor Muller of Berkeley released a draft paper without the backing data and code and made a song and dance about it in the media, WUWT and climate skeptics viciously attacked him for doing so. Label it as "science by press release". See how this article handles it for example:

"However each announcement has been aggressively trialled in the press not only before the peer review process had judged them ready for publication - which may not be a major issue - but also before anyone outside the BEST project could examine the papers at all. This requires the ordinary reader to take BEST's accompanying press releases on blind faith - which is not a barrier for some journalists, but is far short of acceptable practice."

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/07/31/best_barnum/

But the Watts paper wasn't peer reviewed either. It was released suddenly and with much hype in a "press release" and the data and code were not made available (and are still not available) for others to "examine the papers". Yet climate skeptics had no problem with this because the paper is cosy for climate skeptics. So it gets the "game changer" treatment:

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/07/30/watts_et_al_temperature_bombshell/

To really grasp the double-standard bear in mind that both the above articles were published just a day apart by the same author.

The pattern is simple: Skeptics clearly don't believe their own complaints about "science by press release" if they are happy to do it themselves. What they are actually doing then is finding any excuse to attack papers they don't like, and heavily advocating the ones they do.

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Re: I didn't bother reading it

Watts refers to his process as "online pre-peer review". I see nothing wrong with that.

For me, the bottom line is this: Any and all doomsday prophecies (inkan or otherwise) have the burden of proof.

Especially when one of the main ingredients in photosyntesis is suddenly portrayed as the gas from Hades. That, combined with what is basically a tax on the very air we breathe smells of very bad science (aka religion).

Meanwhile, in my part of Europe we are "enjoying" the coldest summer in my recollection. Global warming, where art thou? Heck, we'd love to see improved plant growth from all that CO2 we keep hearing about, and we'd love to sit outside in the summer without wearing wool underpants.

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Re: I didn't bother reading it

You're obviously forgetting the "Global" part of Global Warming - the USA is busy baking away this summer, with no relief in sight.

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Re: I didn't bother reading it

"Watts refers to his process as "online pre-peer review". I see nothing wrong with that."

LOL WUWT is 'armchair science' for people who find real science too difficult. Unfortunately 'armchair science' tends to have more in common with armchairs than science.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I didn't bother reading it

"WUWT is 'armchair science' for people who find real science too difficult"

Perhaps, but plenty of scientists with proper scientific credentials post and comment there. It's so easy to dismiss anyone that does not agree with you as a crackpot, amateur or shill, and perhaps you feel comfortable inside your own mental cocoon that way, but there are very intelligent people on the other side of the debate my friend. That simple fact alone should give you an inkling that the truth will probably be somewhere in the middle.

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Re: I didn't bother reading it

Stan, that is exactly why I mentioned the conditions in my part of the world. While certain people in the US cries "GLOBAL WARMING!" because they happen to have a record hot summer (in their own mind), I'm happy to point out that the warming is hardly global at all.

I expect, hope and want next summer to be a warm one. Bring on the sun!

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Re: I didn't bother reading it

"That simple fact alone should give you an inkling that the truth will probably be somewhere in the middle."

http://www.skepticalscience.com/pics/2012Toon05.jpg

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I didn't bother reading it

"...Watts refers to his process as "online pre-peer review". I see nothing wrong with that...."

Except that pretty much by definition the people on the Internet are not peers of climate scientists.

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PT
Coat

Re: I didn't bother reading it (@Stan Smith)

"You're obviously forgetting the "Global" part of Global Warming - the USA is busy baking away this summer, with no relief in sight."

Ah, that's not due to global warming, it's due to the economic depression. Severe depressions cause severe droughts in the American mid-west, according to my meticulous scientific research of economic and climate patterns over the last hundred years.

Mine's the one with the copy of "Correlation and Causality" in the pocket, thanks.

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Re: I didn't bother reading it

Dear NomNomNom, Thanks for the reminder on the recent Watts paper. I remember the fanfare in el Reg, but not the announcement of the withdrawal. Interesting. One thing I note is that these "game-changing" discoveries are rarely significant, and are often wrong. I look forward to the scientific debate on this, although sadly not in this part of the web (yourself excepted, of course).

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Anonymous Coward

Good work as always Lewis!

Good work as always Lewis! Too bad that climate alarmists will use the LALALA tactic, to keep their massive grants from the world governments, who in turn will get their "reasons" for justifying massive tax increases.

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Re: Good work as always Lewis!

You are almost beyond parody. Massive grants from the "world governments"? The conspiracy theory is not even about a "world government" anymore, there are now several of them. I guess the Illuminati run one and the reptilians another? Do clue me in.

The conspiracy theory of a long-game to raise taxes is a joke. If governments wanted to raise taxes they could do so far quicker and easier by simply using any old short-term excuse - oh look we need taxes for the war, we need taxes for the economic downturn to bail out the banks, etc.

The idea that politicians would plan to fund an otherwise esoteric field of science just so in 40 years time some completely different politicians have a setup to levy a specific tax is utterly ludicrous. It doesn't even make sense from a motive point of view, let alone a human behavior point of view.

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Trollface

Re: Good work as always Lewis!

The real puzzle is why El-Reg keeps publishing this stuff from Lewis and Orlowski. Maybe it's good for page impressions and click throughs or something.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Good work as always Lewis!

giant windmills.....wind to high or low, the govenment pays them, the sweet spot only works for a fraction of the time its actually needed.

sounds like a giant bung of you ask me

"we'll build all this crap so you look good, if they work we get paid via the network, if they dont you pay us, and you'll need to help with the setup costs too

sorry but when govenments and money combine, there will always be corruption at some level so there are always possibilites for dodgy tax increasing schemes.

whats better than a tax increase? a tax increase the public vote for!

ergo, deception and missinformation are key to govenment revenues.

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Rob
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Coffee/keyboard

Re: Good work as always Lewis!

I'm not commenting on anything else you've said other than the fact that you used the word politician and somehow tried to suggest that ludicrous and sense don't happen and exist (in that order) for a political type. That alone will keep me chuckling for the rest of the day.

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Mushroom

Re: Good work as always Lewis!

"It doesn't even make sense from a motive point of view, let alone a human behavior point of view."

It makes sense if you're a paranoid conspiracy theorist looney tune. 20 years ago they were all banging on about how the moon landings were faked by "The Man" and meetings with extraterrestrials were being kept secret by "The Man". Now for reasons best known to themselves they think "The Man" is behind the warnings on climate change so that he can ... well do whatever their idiotic minds dream up. The fact that governments ignored all the climate change warnings (and a lot such a china and the USA still are) that started in the 70s right up until almost the start of 21st century is a fact conveniently forgotten by the fruitloops as they desperately thrash about trying to read between lines that haven't even been written.

Pathetic , the bloody lot of them.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Good work as always Lewis!

"Massive grants from governments"

In the words of The Jam: "Don't believe everything you see or hear"

State funded climate scientists, post doctoral reserachers specifically, get significantly less than average UK salary.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Good work as always Lewis!

Good! Useless lying spongers! ;)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Good work as always Lewis!

"State funded climate scientists, post doctoral reserachers specifically, get significantly less than average UK salary."

It's an outrage they get paid at all.

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WTF?

Re: Good work as always Lewis!

"It's an outrage they get paid at all."

Yes , who dare they spend money on researching something that could directly affect the wellbeing of the whole planet, never mind the UK. Much better to spend say , oh , 10 billion quid to host a glorified sports meet for 2 weeks.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Good work as always Lewis!

"Yes , who dare they spend money on researching something that could directly affect the wellbeing of the whole planet, never mind the UK"

Why research it at all? I thought the science was settled?

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Re: Good work as always Lewis!

"I thought the science was settled?"

The fundamental science is settled , its the details resulting from complex interactions of those fundamentals that still arn't known for sure.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Good work as always Lewis!

"...its the details resulting from complex interactions of those fundamentals that still arn't known for sure."

Right... thanks for that. I think.

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Re: Good work as always Lewis!

The fundamental science is settled , its the details resulting from complex interactions of those fundamentals that still arn't known for sure.

+1 because I agree, but when you look at how complex the system being modelled is, these uncertain details lead to some pretty major variations in the range of possible outcomes.

That's why more of the genuine kind of climate research is needed than ever before, and not the lobbyist funded cherry picking to support pre-existing agendas we've seen so much of recently.

For an example of the uncertainties concerned, I'm unsure the genuine scientists are fully knowledgeable about whether global warming at sea level could result in reduction of sea level, due to more water being held in Greenland and Antarctic ice caps at high altitude, due to more snow precipitation freezing and staying frozen at high altitude, where warming isn't about to bring temperatures down below freezing point for extended thawing any time soon. This all depends upon glacial flows - to what extent does warming at sea level increase flows of ice from high altitudes downhill, and currently they don't seem to have a very full picture of this at all.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Good work as always Lewis!

"I'm unsure the genuine scientists are fully knowledgeable about whether global warming at sea level could result in reduction of sea level"

I don't think anyone funding climate research wants to hear about sea level reduction PyLETS. The message needs to be: catastrophic heat, dangerously high sea levels, more tornadoes, unprecedented floods, we're all gonna die!! Act now, fund me, gimme power, before it's too late!! We're almost at a tipping point. You know it makes sense.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Good work as always Lewis!

"You are almost beyond parody."

Whereas YOU have gone beyond it long ago.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Good work as always Lewis!

The fundamental science "might" be settled. Its clear the model aren't accurately forcasting the magnitude of the trend. So, there are potential problems with either inverted signs or how different parts of these models talk to each other. A model being what it is, a simplified attempt to show the chief elements of a more complex process, it remains posisble that either not all the salient parts are included, or possibly the fundamental science is not unerstood. One should never forget Trenbert's immortal, "the data must be wrong."

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Black Helicopters

Now a true scientist...

Would simply take this data, plonk it into his/her climate model, see what the results are, and re-extrapolate from that.

Not that I'm a climate scientist, but I'm damn well trained in the scientific *method* , which quite clearly implies, if not demands, that a model is only that, and may or may not equate to reality depending on the available data.

If the data changes the model needs to be readjusted. Period.

Even if the results are not in Vogue with the current Pollytickal or Awkwardemic trends.

The suggestion that Lewis is somehow responsible for an article in *Science*, which last time I checked was indeed a peer-reviewed publication of some note is as ludicrous as some of the Commentards accuse climate-sceptics to be , equating them to the Tinfoil Hat Brigade they, judging from their comments, are card-carrying members of.

And really, lads and lasses, anyone who has ever studied the process of *how* to become a Politician cannot have failed to notice that this "career" involves careful planning, serious jockeying, and a general frame of mind that looks towards the cushy Future where the crap you take today will Pay Off with a nice comfy chair in some Boardroom ensuring your pension and a fat bank account.

With a little help from the friends who were already in that boardroom when you helped them push their agenda just a little bit for the Common Good.

It really is not a matter of fruitloopery or tinfoil hattery to assume an underlying framework in politics that does support "the Man" , because there is, and has always been wherever and whenever. It's simply the way Government combined with Greed works, regardless of the system used.

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Facepalm

Re: Now a true scientist...

"It really is not a matter of fruitloopery or tinfoil hattery to assume an underlying framework in politics that does support "the Man" , because there is, and has always been wherever and whenever. It's simply the way Government combined with Greed works, regardless of the system used."

Ok , so whats in it for the governments that go along with climate change? What advantages do they get compared to governments who "ah screw it" and just get on with business as normal and don't bother to spend lots of money on investigation or mitigation? Supporting eco industries? Why bother when you can support all your boardroom mates in the oil/gas/coal industries instead. You think current politicians are looking for cushy spots on the board of Vestas? Oh , hold on , the UK subsid was allowed to go bust and we now buy our kit from Denmark.

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Re: Now a true scientist...

" Pollytickal or Awkwardemic"

Why use terms like this? It makes you sound like an idiot, if you will forgive me for saying so.

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Re: Now a true scientist...

"Ok , so whats in it for the governments that go along with climate change? What advantages do they get compared to governments who "ah screw it" and just get on with business as normal and don't bother to spend lots of money on investigation or mitigation? Supporting eco industries? ..."

This is actually a question that all interested parties should be asking, sceptic and faithful alike. The existing "eco industries" are generally neither. You have not seen environmental degradation until you visit a large solar electric farm, and in the US, Fish and Game is looking to establish "take" limits for wind farms so that when a 'mill kills a bald eagle or some other listed beastie, they get off the hook with a tick against their take limit. There is nothing "green" about either.

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So some kind of limit cycle?

An obvious question now that there is data from the 1930s, 1980s and 1990s to compare is the Greenland ice sheet on a *trend* ratcheting down to zero.

Or is it a case of rapid thinning/stop/regrow?

And of course if the latter what *drives* this cycle (and what starts it in the first place and could you stop it)?

Thumbs up for people going out and finding out the *facts*.

I'll remind people that I'd "Thumbs up" people even if the result was *worse* than existing models simply because it is *not* a model and IRL empirical evidence *always* trumps a model *provided* people have stated their methodology, given their data and stated their assumptions (IE everything can be *independently* verified, unlike the East Anglian CRU data).

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Anonymous Coward

Re: So some kind of limit cycle?

"is the Greenland ice sheet on a *trend* ratcheting down to zero"

It's 2 km thick on average. I don't know if you realise how long it would take to melt, but you won't be around to see it even if temperatures did sky rocket. And neither will your kids, or your grandkids, or their kids, or theirs, or theirs, or theirs, or theirs, etc (carry on about 30 times)

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Boffin

Re: So some kind of limit cycle?

Time was when we didn't need to use Ryanair to get to Holland and Germany, we could have walked.

These people making pots and metals are to blame, bastards.

I blame it on any/all of those gods and minor deities for giving the walking monkey fire to play with.

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Re: So some kind of limit cycle?

"It's 2 km thick on average."

I did not specify a time limit and the fact is that the change is *measurable* was what mattered. Since the Earth is more or less a closed system either that water gets re-absorbed *somewhere* in the ecosystem or the sea level rises or a bit of both.

As for how long.

Id'd factor air temp, humidity and the fairly major non linear effect of what happens once a liquid layer has formed on top of the ice.

But I'm no expert.

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Anonymous Coward

"Doom-laden predictions that the seas are set to rise by a metre or more this century due to the melting of the Greenland ice sheet are well off the mark, a team of scientists has announced in a new study of the matter."

The worse case sea level rise is likely to be 119 cm by the end of the century and the IPCC predicts 59 cm (though that certainly looks like an under estimate judging by current observations).

http://www.skepticalscience.com/graphics/slr_prediction.jpg

Secondly it is rather hard to judge sea level rise by ignoring the Antarctic - though it wouldn't be the first time research has been twisted to fit a denialist agenda.

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Anonymous Coward

"the IPCC predicts 59 cm (though that certainly looks like an under estimate judging by current observations)"

Here, go have a look:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Recent_Sea_Level_Rise.png

Does that look like it is a trend of 59cm by the end of the century to you? Current rise is a steady 2.2 milimetres per year. I make that roughly 22 centimeters per century, but we're already 12 years into the 21st, so let's call it 20 centimeters by 2100. You reckon that's going to be a problem?

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Would that perhaps be the difference between a linear rise and an exponential rise, which is what the CO2 level seems to be rising by.

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Blah de blah de blah, etc.

Looking on as a dispassionate observer (I'll be dead before anything significant happens/fails to happen) I can only say that the opposing arguments amount to one thing: "We don't know".

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Silly season

Either that, or El Reg is one of the new internet elephant graveyards for those having a long slo-mo 2012 moment.

Hey, trolls, it's T-9 days to the Glorious 12th. Cantchu wait?

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Pint

A refresher on scientific method

I always find this clip good for keeping a perspective amongst all the confusion & cynicism thats continually propagated around climate.

Feynman on Scientific Method

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EYPapE-3FRw

listen & enjoy.

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Thumb Up

Brilliant !

Thank you for that.

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Lewis Page has a perfect record of selective (mis)reporting of results that support his own maverick opinion rather than the near universal view of actual climate scientists.

That's not science reporting.

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Does it fatten as well as thin?

The article talks about periods of thinning and periods of no thinning... does it ever fatten, or are all the changes thinification?

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