Friday, December 4, 2015

Global Warming Debate

The Wall Street Journal published an op-ed by Matt Ridley and Benny Peiser as a salvo in the debate about global warming.  Twelve scientists responded at ClimateFeedBack.Org in great detail.  It is very worthwhile reading the discussion.  The main issues are in common with all published denials of global warming, cherry picking.  For example, they mention the finding that East Antarctica is gaining in ice, an issue about which I've posted.  But they neglect to mention that something different is happening in West Antarctica, not to mention just about everywhere else there is land ice.
   The claim that Antarctic ice is increasing is based on an isolated paper that has numerous uncertainties associated with it and is contradicted by many other observations. But more importantly, everywhere on Earth, it is clear we are losing ice and that we have likely already entered a period of major ice shelf retreat, with no mechanisms in sight to stop this retreat over the next hundreds to thousands of years. As University of Bristol Professor Jonathan Bamber has written: “West Antarctica has been losing mass at an increasing rate since the 1990s and that trend looks set to continue. The Greenland ice sheet has also been losing mass at an accelerating rate since around 1995. These trends at both poles are huge signals that are unequivocal and uncontested.”
Using the gain in land ice at East Antarctica to support their global warming denial is cherry picking at its worst.  It is seriously dishonest to try to represent a small part of the globe as representing its entirety.  

There is a great deal more described at the link above.   I think I can understand why the Wall Street Journal would publish their article, they see themselves as the standard bearer of global warming denial.  But what I do not understand is why Ridley and Peiser would write this dishonest article.