Record Hotspot

Not by Fire but by Ice




Snow Job
The truth about the great overhyped glacier melt
Thus reads the cover of National Review, June 5, 2006


Here are a few excerpts from “Scare of the Century.”

The alarms and assertions about global warming have gone reprehensibly too far,”
says Steorts. 

“Suddenly and unexpectedly,” Time announced in a recent issue, “the crisis is upon us. The climate is crashing, and global warming [what else?] is to blame.”
“We see a photograph of a polar bear, standing all by his lonesome at the water’s
edge, and are told that the poor fellow might drown because “polar ice caps are
melting faster than ever.” Later, we learn that “the journal Science published a
study suggesting that by the end of the century, the world could be locked in to an
eventual rise in sea levels of as much as 20 ft.”

”The policy implications of such reportage are clear, but in case you missed them,
Time connects the dots: “Curbing global warming may be an order of magnitude
harder than, say, eradicating smallpox or putting a man on the moon. But is it moral
not to try?”

“The answer is, yes, it may indeed be moral not to try. What is not moral is to
distort the truth for political ends—which is precisely what has been done with the
ice-caps story. Here’s what you haven’t read.”

 “The world has two major ice sheets, one covering most of Greenland and the
other covering most of Antarctica but the chances of the ice caps fully melting are
about as high as the chances of Times giving you an honest story on global

University of Virginia climate scientist Patrick J. Michaels is direct: “What has
happened is that Antarctica has been gaining ice.” Michaels explains that there has
been a cooling trend over most of Antarctica for decades. “At the same time, one
tiny portion of the continent—the Antarctic Peninsula —has been warming, and its
ice has been melting. The peninsula constitutes only about 2 percent of Antarctica ’s total area, but almost every study of melting Antarctic ice you’ve
heard of focuses on it.” (Which I’ve been saying all along.)

Antarctica has gained 45 billion tons of ice per year between 1992 and 2003,
says Steorts, “enough to lower sea levels by roughly 0.12 millimeters annually.”
(Lower sea levels, not higher, which is also what I've been saying.)

 But those figures take us only to 2003. A study released earlier this year, says



Order Book l E-Mail Robert l Q & A l Book Reviews l Plant Hardiness Zone Maps l Radio Interviews l Table of Contents l Excerpts l Author Photo l Pacemaker of the Ice Ages l Extent of Previous Glaciation l Crane Buried in Antarctic Ice Sheet l Ice Ages and Magnetic Reversals l Expanding Glaciers