Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Atlas Takes Heat For Melting Glacier Claim

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the cooler-heads-will-prevail dept.

Earth 429

dtjohnson writes "The 'Times Atlas of the World' claims, while publicizing its newest edition, that global warming has turned 15 percent of Greenland's former ice-covered land 'green and ice-free.' Now, however, scientists from the Scott Polar Research Institute say those figures, based on data from the National Snow and Ice Data Center, are wrong. 'Recent satellite images of Greenland make it clear that there are in fact still numerous glaciers and permanent ice cover where the new Times Atlas shows ice-free conditions and the emergence of new lands,' they say in a letter that has been sent to the Times. Others have pointed out that if 15 percent of Greenland ice cover had been lost, then sea levels would have risen by 1 meter... which has not happened. Perhaps yet another climate controversy is brewing." An update to the Sciencemag.com story pinpoints the probable source of the error: a 2001 map from the NSIDC illustrates Greenland's central ice sheet without showing any of the peripheral glaciers. The Atlas editors may have seen this map and misinterpreted it. Says the article, "Now glaciologists are left trying to figure out how not understate the importance of the extent glacial ice melt, while at the same time correcting the error."

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Global warming has become hopelessly politicized (5, Insightful)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 3 years ago | (#37447322)

What started out as a well-supported observation that the earth was starting to slowly warm, followed by the suggestion that humans pumping tons of excess carbon dioxide into the atmosphere may be at least partly to blame, has turned into a goddamned politicized mess. On one side you have grant-whores and alarmists, who have taken this reasonable observation and hyped it more-and-more over the last fifteen years into some increasingly alarmist Chicken Little hyperbole. On the other side you have a bunch of bible-thumping right-wing corporatists who think that if we just let mega-corporations do whatever the fuck they want (including pumping whatever shit into the air they feel like), then we would all live in some libertarian utopia.

Frankly, I'm sick of all the bullshit from both sides. I've got a grant-whore "environmental scientist" (when did that even become a hard science?) screaming in one ear that we're all going to die if we don't go all-solar/all-wind in the next twenty years. In the other ear, I've got Jesusy McAnnRaynd telling me that Exxon only wants to give me love and flowers, and would never, ever hurt me. And frankly, I just want to punch BOTH of them at this point.

Both sides have taken to over-exaggerating and over-hyping every bit of evidence they touch. And I've come to distrust them both.

False Dichotomy (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37447352)

False dichotomy. There are definitely reasonable scientists publishing papers ...

Re:False Dichotomy (1)

Shatrat (855151) | more than 3 years ago | (#37447778)

That's not a false dichotomy. False dichotomy would be saying "Either my chair is made of wood, or it's made of metal" when it could actually be a wooden chair with metal legs.
I think you may be looking for 'straw man'?

Re:False Dichotomy (3, Insightful)

blueg3 (192743) | more than 3 years ago | (#37447926)

The false dichotomy suggested is that one side consists solely of "grant-whores and alarmists" and the other side, of "bible-thumping right-wing corporatists". There are certainly people who both (a) have a "side" and (b) say things about global warming that fall under neither description.

Re:False Dichotomy (1)

SengirV (203400) | more than 3 years ago | (#37448020)

Thank you. Seems that most folks passionate about the subject would have the other sided labeled as the OP described.

Re:False Dichotomy (2)

blueg3 (192743) | more than 3 years ago | (#37448216)

Seems that most folks passionate about the subject would have the other sided labeled as the OP described.

Probably, but that doesn't make it an apt description. :-)

There certainly are alarmists, grant-whores, and people making money off of the prospect of green technology. There are certainly corporatists. There are also a lot of entirely reasonable scientists. There are also a whole lot of people -- celebrities, journalists, TV persons, and regular people -- who could not science their way out of a paper bag and have some opinion on the matter.

When you're looking for scientific opinions, only one of these groups is worth listening too.

Re:Global warming has become hopelessly politicize (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37447386)

As opposed to under-exaggerating?

Re:Global warming has become hopelessly politicize (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37447492)

Both sides have taken to over-exaggerating and over-hyping every bit of evidence they touch. And I've come to distrust them both.

That's how the rich-ruling-class wing operates, son. The public media through PR can produce bullshit that is 10x misleading and uncorrected than what the science does, but with this reasoning they're all equally bad and you find you distrust both; status quo shit-pumping megacorps win. You're on the side of freedom, son; freedom for them to fuck up the world for your children, your family, our future.

Re:Global warming has become hopelessly politicize (2, Insightful)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 3 years ago | (#37447622)

The rich ruling class are dicks and always have been. But their bullshit doesn't explain the increasingly shrill voices from the pro side of this argument. Fifteen years ago, proponents of global warming were saying this could me a 1 or 2 degree average temperature increase over the next 100 years. Now some of them are blaming localized WEATHER patterns on it.

If there are reasonable voices in this, they're being drowned out at this point. A 1 or 2 degree average temperature increase over the next 100 years is not causing a fucking drought in Texas.

Re:Global warming has become hopelessly politicize (1)

whizbang77045 (1342005) | more than 3 years ago | (#37447674)

No, it isn't causing a drought in Texas. There were droughts in Texas at least this bad, long before the argument started.

Re:Global warming has become hopelessly politicize (0, Flamebait)

Genda (560240) | more than 3 years ago | (#37448510)

The problem is complicated. Tens of thousands of scientists working in hundreds of different disciplines from experts in plant reproduction to experts in satellite imaging have added pieces to puzzle. Things are accelerating much faster than expected (in most areas and slower than expected in others, remember I said its complicated.) We now have literally more data than we know what to do with, but as we sift through it, the patterns are becoming clearer and clearer.

The polar regions will be hit hardest by warming.

Billions of people worldwide will face water shortages as glaciers vanish and famines when glacier fed waters stop irrigating crops.

Loss of arable land and viable living space will put increasing pressure on growing populations, and fixed national borders will make migration virtually impossible

Changes in ocean chemistry are already causing die offs and increasing blooms of jellyfish, and will probably fuel a mass extinction of key fish populations we rely on today for food.

Forests around the world will experience drought and burn off, resulting in significant loss of plant base carbon sequestration further exacerbating the problem

Increases average temperatures will increase the decomposition of plant matter release increasing amounts of CO2 and methane both greenhouse gases and further exacerbating climate change.

There are thousand of simple facts, including rising sea levels, enhanced storms, enhanced flood/drought occurrence and the spread of tropical diseases. In fact we're seeing all these things right now (check the stats for the last 130 years, its all right there.) Look at trends not instances. The water was muddied by pandering spin doctors working for global fossil fuel interests. There has been an endless campaign of FUD and deception designed to allow billionaires the right to continue pillaging the environment without personal cost. Scientists are primarily interests in exposing the truth. Yes there are exceptions, but I would trust a scientist hands down before I trusted an industrialist. For every point of contention the business folks point at, I'm seeing 10,000 points that nobody can argue with. The bible had a phrase "Straining the gnat and swallowing the camel...".

The fact it has become politicized demands that we get clear that people are willing to continue to block all meaningful action by obfuscation. It it well past time to take meaningful action for cleaning up our mess and preserving a world worth bequeathing to our children.

Re:Global warming has become hopelessly politicize (1)

Jeremy Erwin (2054) | more than 3 years ago | (#37447986)

. A 1 or 2 degree average temperature increase over the next 100 years

Would that be Celsius or Fahrenheit?

Re:Global warming has become hopelessly politicize (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 3 years ago | (#37448150)

First one, then the other.

Re:Global warming has become hopelessly politicize (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37448172)

Angle.

Re:Global warming has become hopelessly politicize (2)

hsthompson69 (1674722) | more than 3 years ago | (#37447500)

Parent is definitely Insightful Flamebait.

My big bitch is that Jeusuy McAnnRaynd is the last person in the world I'd ever expect to be busy out there *defending* the scientific method. It's like previously KKK Democrats taking credit for the civil rights movement.

It is indeed a cold day in hell.

Re:Global warming has become hopelessly politicize (3, Insightful)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 3 years ago | (#37447552)

Except I don't buy that "environmental science" is any more an unbiased field of science than I buy that "ethnic studies" is an unbiased field of history.

Re:Global warming has become hopelessly politicize (2)

HBI (604924) | more than 3 years ago | (#37447594)

There's no such thing as unbiased history. It's more biased than environmental science, even. Just some guy's opinion about stuff that happened long ago.

Re:Global warming has become hopelessly politicize (2)

rickb928 (945187) | more than 3 years ago | (#37447702)

Amen. For instance, the fact of the destruction of the World Trade Center towers is just someone's opinion. Actually, many opinions.

There's history, and there's opinion. Knowing the difference is helpful.

Re:Global warming has become hopelessly politicize (1)

HBI (604924) | more than 3 years ago | (#37447758)

I was there that day. There are divergences to every story that cannot be documented by unadulterated video. You were saying?

Re:Global warming has become hopelessly politicize (1)

rickb928 (945187) | more than 3 years ago | (#37448070)

You mean they might nit gave been destroyed?

Re:Global warming has become hopelessly politicize (2, Insightful)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 3 years ago | (#37447716)

And what is this "environmental science" but some scientists' INTERPRETATION of data? This isn't a field where the experiments can be replicated in some lab in Oslo, only where the interpretations of the data can be debated (and implications considered).

Re:Global warming has become hopelessly politicize (3, Insightful)

skids (119237) | more than 3 years ago | (#37447882)

Well, a few more things it is: COLLECTION or the data, CORRELATION of the data, and CONSOLIDATION of the data with physics.

Seriously, you think these people just kibitz all day like talk-show pundits? I guess it's easy to look down on someone from miles away.

Re:Global warming has become hopelessly politicize (1)

Arlet (29997) | more than 3 years ago | (#37447942)

Thermometer readings are not subject to interpretation. The post-processing is, but that part can be replicated in some lab in Oslo.

Re:Global warming has become hopelessly politicize (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 3 years ago | (#37448030)

The post-processing is, but that part can be replicated in some lab in Oslo.

That's the "human interpretation of the data" part, subject to the various foibles and subjectivity of the humans doing the interpretation (just as historians interpret historical data and documents). I doubt you can replicate that in a test tube.

Re:Global warming has become hopelessly politicize (3, Informative)

Arlet (29997) | more than 3 years ago | (#37448132)

Other humans, with different interest, could re-interpret the same data, and publish their findings in a paper. It's a lot of work, but it's not impossible.

Actually, several group of people have done exactly this, and their results are in pretty good agreement.

Re:Global warming has become hopelessly politicize (2)

hsthompson69 (1674722) | more than 3 years ago | (#37448322)

Agreement with what? That the climate warmed over the past century? That's one of the predicates to a statement of CAGW, but hardly a resounding endorsement.

Natural climate change happens and is our default null hypothesis here. What observations of data could convince you that observed climate change is not due to CO2, or not due to humans, or is not going to be catastrophic?

Re:Global warming has become hopelessly politicize (1)

Arlet (29997) | more than 3 years ago | (#37448422)

You can't be talking about normal statistical variation, since the temperature over the past century is in a statistically significant upward trend. Since there is an effect, there must be a cause.

So, what is the cause of this "natural climate change" ?

Re:Global warming has become hopelessly politicize (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37448456)

Depends on where the thermometers are located.

Science is often politicized (1)

drnb (2434720) | more than 3 years ago | (#37447930)

Parent is definitely Insightful Flamebait.

My big bitch is that Jeusuy McAnnRaynd is the last person in the world I'd ever expect to be busy out there *defending* the scientific method. It's like previously KKK Democrats taking credit for the civil rights movement.

It is indeed a cold day in hell.

Parent is definitely Insightful Flamebait.

No. The GP is correct. Good science gets distorted by politics and fashion. The Big Bang theory was initially dismissed by the scientific elite because it was developed by a member of the clergy and "smelled of creationism". Grad students are often told not to pursue an area of interest or curiosity because it is out of fashion or unpopular with those who award grants, and conversely if you submit a grant app in this topic with this goal you will find many more funding opportunities.

Real scientists agree that global climate change is occurring. However the degree of human responsibility is an open question. While it is certainly plausible that humanity has made a significant contribution it is worthwhile to investigate other causes. Good luck getting funding though - some will label you a denier simply for asking if humanity is not the prime cause. Whether human activity, changes in solar activity and other things are minor or significant contributors we should look at them all. Doing so increases our understanding and leads to better predictive models.

Re:Science is often politicized (2, Interesting)

hsthompson69 (1674722) | more than 3 years ago | (#37448274)

I'm more than willing to stipulate GGP was Correct Insightful Flamebait :)

My problem with the whole CAGW "science" is that it fails to start off with your basic falsifiable hypothesis, without which, playing the science game is pretty much impossible. NGW and AGW (natural global warming and anthropogenic global warming), when asserted simply in a given direction without magnitude, are almost trivially true (as well as falsifiable). Once you decide to place a magnitude on it, your falsifiable hypothesis statement gets even more important to have - typically, this is glossed over and we get nothing but ad hoc special pleadings for any observation contrary to models.

Re:Global warming has become hopelessly politicize (2, Informative)

bonch (38532) | more than 3 years ago | (#37447666)

What started out as a well-supported observation that the earth was starting to slowly warm

This isn't even true; global temperatures haven't risen since 1998. This contradicts computer simulation--the primary source of current global warming consensus--to such a degree that climate scientists are searching for hypotheses to explain the missing heat [reuters.com] . So now people are coming up with explanations for the observations that don't match their predictions. Truly the scientific method at work.

Note that the the research in the article I linked also comes exclusively from a computer simulation; there isn't actually any recorded observation that the "missing heat" is in the oceans. It's just a guess. I suspect many environmentalists are unaware that global warming consensus comes entirely from simulations written by humans and not actual recorded observation.

Re:Global warming has become hopelessly politicize (3, Insightful)

rickb928 (945187) | more than 3 years ago | (#37447742)

"global temperatures haven't risen since 1998"

There is no point in making this claim. The scientists will refute it with copious data, and the deniers will bring out their own. Then everybody argues over what the data really means.

Lost. We are lost.

Re:Global warming has become hopelessly politicize (5, Informative)

Arlet (29997) | more than 3 years ago | (#37447814)

This isn't even true; global temperatures haven't risen since 1998

Except that 9 of the 10 hottest years in our measurements have been after 1998.

1998 was a statistical fluke, an out-lier, due to a very active El-Nino during that particular year. In 2010, the same temperature was reached under very average circumstances.

Re:Global warming has become hopelessly politicize (2)

increment1 (1722312) | more than 3 years ago | (#37447864)

This isn't even true; global temperatures haven't risen since 1998.

Facts tend to disagree with your statement.

Wikipedia temperature chart [wikipedia.org]

Re:Global warming has become hopelessly politicize (5, Informative)

blueg3 (192743) | more than 3 years ago | (#37448118)

global temperatures haven't risen since 1998

I'm not going to talk at you about how to do data analysis and averaging. Picking 1998 as a starting point is a canary for someone who is measuring "increase" as "difference since start of plot" and then cherry-picking a high value as their start point.

Even if you use that highly-deceptive "analysis" technique, though, it's not true:
NASA GISS Global Surface Air Temperature Anomaly
1998: 0.70 C
2010: 0.83 C
2010 is the most recent year for which there is data.

NASA GISS Land-Ocean Temperature Index
1998: 0.56 C
2010: 0.63 C

If you look at the tabular data [nasa.gov] , anyone reasonably familiar with analysis should spot immediately that 1998 is an outlier and that there is an overall positive trend that continues up to 2010.

Re:Global warming has become hopelessly politicize (1)

SleazyRidr (1563649) | more than 3 years ago | (#37448186)

Um, yeah, that is pretty much how the scientific method works. You make observations, then you come up with ideas about the reasons those things happened, then you work out what would happen if you were correct, then you see if that actually happens, then you refine your ideas about why things happen.

Everybody loves it when we use that method to cure and prevent diseases from killing people, but when we try to use that method to make sure the planet's atmosphere remains habitable for humans all of a sudden nobody likes it.

Re:Global warming has become hopelessly politicize (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37447766)

Fucking glibretarians and their false equivalencies. This is why we are where we are, idiots like this can't tell the difference between scientists and hillbillies who know truthiness.

Re:Global warming has become hopelessly politicize (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 3 years ago | (#37447898)

If this so-called "environmental science" were as hard a science as physics or chemistry, you would have a point. And even physics or chemistry aren't completely above being subjected to the games of those willing to cook numbers and grant-whore. And in case you didn't read my post, you would see that I don't trust the hillbillies either.

Misprepresenting Libertarian Position (2)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 3 years ago | (#37447876)

if we just let mega-corporations do whatever the fuck they want (including pumping whatever shit into the air they feel like), then we would all live in some libertarian utopia.

No, that's the corporatist position. Libertarians tend to be anti-corporate and would advocate for individuals suing those corporations for polluting their property. They favor stronger property rights than is typically* allowed in Western courts.

* sometimes courts do allow this, e.g. MTBE in groundwater, but it's pretty rare.

Re:Misprepresenting Libertarian Position (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 3 years ago | (#37447974)

Libertarians tend to be anti-corporate and would advocate for individuals suing those corporations for polluting their property.

Strictly speaking, wouldn't anti-corporate mean piercing the corporate veil and suing the execs directly?

Re:Misprepresenting Libertarian Position (1)

ArsonSmith (13997) | more than 3 years ago | (#37448362)

Even farther, the investors directly. Why the F... would you put your money in a company you didn't research and make sure they were legit?

Re:Global warming has become hopelessly politicize (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37447920)

HTF did this get modded Funny? It succinctly and clearly sums up the position of a lot of people, including myself.

Re:Global warming has become hopelessly politicize (1)

na1led (1030470) | more than 3 years ago | (#37447946)

7 Billion people poluting this planet, it's all comming to end either way!

Re:Global warming has become hopelessly politicize (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37448092)

I remember the 70s and into the 80s when this began, they called global cooling then. Which is the problem some people are having, including myself, believing the current concepts. If it was cooling then, and the data supported it, why is it now warming data? And what happened to the cooling data? Were they wrong, if they were then why not now? How can a group of scientists mistake warming for cooling? If there were trends towards cooling then, where are they on current projections?

Re:Global warming has become hopelessly politicize (4, Insightful)

Layzej (1976930) | more than 3 years ago | (#37448166)

Good on the scientists for noticing the error of the Atlas company and working to publicly correct it. That is certainly above and beyond the call of duty. I'm not sure how that makes them 'grant whores' though. They are not responsible for the misstatement. They are only responsible for publicly correcting it.

Re:Global warming has become hopelessly politicize (1)

Howitzer86 (964585) | more than 3 years ago | (#37448194)

I'm in total agreement, except... Ayn Rand was an Atheist.

Re:Global warming has become hopelessly politicize (2)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 3 years ago | (#37448298)

Ayn Rand was an Atheist.

Just don't tell the Tea Partiers.

Re:Global warming has become hopelessly politicize (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37448294)

Your comment failed with "goddamned". I didn't read any further.

Re:Global warming has become hopelessly politicize (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 3 years ago | (#37448514)

And yet you took the time to respond.

Re:Global warming has become hopelessly politicize (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37448310)

Please do punch them in the face, how else will they learn.

Re:Global warming has become hopelessly politicize (1, Insightful)

pecosdave (536896) | more than 3 years ago | (#37448444)

You make many valid points, bravo!

Any research that disagrees with exactly what Al Gore dictates causes a scientist to lose their funding and to "get kicked out of the club". Good luck ever working in your field again if you dissent.

Extra planetary bodies are also heating up. Mars, Venus, some Jovian moons, they're all increasing in temperature meaning humans probably aren't the cause of all of what's happening here at home.

There's tons of profit on exploiting the hype.

I am a hard-core Libertarian, but I do believe some environmental regulation is warranted. I hate the face that the issue even has to be addressed as it is, but it does. Industrial pollution harms the environment, and by extension does harm to another, it is NOT a victimless act. My biggest personal dilemma when it comes to regulation and enforcement is exactly what is the right way to do so (who enforces) and what should the limits be. A polluted waste land is paradise to no-one.

I don't think humans are the main cause of any temperature variances here on earth, but I think "going green" is a good thing. Any capitalist (not in the energy field) should love clean energy. There's no fuel cost (wind, solar, tidal, geothermal). I wish everyone could take a reasonable perspective like you so we could get over the fight and move towards the solutions.

glaciology? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37447382)

sounds like a shrinking field!

Lol! (0)

MokuMokuRyoushi (1701196) | more than 3 years ago | (#37447414)

Hahahaha! It's funny because he said "heat" while we were talking about cold stuff... Hahahaha!

Water Vapor? (1)

lawnboy5-O (772026) | more than 3 years ago | (#37447424)

What about the stark increase in atmospheric water vapor. Its not all about whats in the oceans, but whats in the soil and air as well.

Re:Water Vapor? (1)

Coldmoon (1010039) | more than 3 years ago | (#37448110)

What about the stark increase in atmospheric water vapor. Its not all about whats in the oceans, but whats in the soil and air as well.

Which is actually a greenhouse gas more powerful than either CO2 or Methane...

Re:Water Vapor? (2)

Arlet (29997) | more than 3 years ago | (#37448262)

Water vapor only stays in the atmosphere for a week or so, and then it rains out. CO2 will stay for centuries, and will gradually build up as we emit more than is absorbed. Methane is also fairly short lived.

Since when do we equate the makers of an atlas... (1)

Rei (128717) | more than 3 years ago | (#37447430)

to peer-reviewed scientific papers? Seriously, what's next -- complaining about an eight-year-old's drawing of Santa at the north pole showing a doubling in the thickness of sea ice?

And yes, I flew over southeast Greenland twice this July, and I can assure you, it's still very much icy ;)

You know what else? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37447434)

Those lines aren't really there, I checked.

But I digress, my only hope it that these incorrect assumptions of glaciers and ice cover has no impact on my my upcoming trip to that compass shaped island, it is quite close to Antarctica...

Re:You know what else? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37448178)

I hear Rand McNally is beautiful this time of year.

Error in ornamental coffee-table atlas! (2)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 3 years ago | (#37447438)

See more of this horrible scientific fraud in our 11 o'clock coverage!

It's too late (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37447446)

I don't see why worrying about it one way or another even matters. If we stopped, right now, all emissions of any kind, we're still in for hundreds of years of "locked-in" feedback effects. And that's if we zeroed it out completely worldwide. We should stop worrying about what will happen when the sea levels rise and the thermohaline circulation stops (causing massive climate changes) -- we should start preparing for how to cope with the effects.

Re:It's too late (2)

vlm (69642) | more than 3 years ago | (#37448066)

we should start preparing for how to cope with the effects.

Most insightful post to /. ever. Climate doesn't change only because of some displacement of catholic guilt that we're all evil, or only because most american's have white skin, or because we don't hire enough motivational climate change speakers to make us feel guilty.

Climate changes, because thats what it does over time. Doesn't matter a whole heck of a lot if its natural or artificial, it would be wise to prepare for it. And the best way to prepare is not to deindustrialize, destroy our economy, and go all Pol Pot on our population.

I'm going to take the wild guess that turning our country into another Japan is likely to result in a better human outcome than turning our country into another Somalia.

Re:It's too late (1)

ponchietto (718083) | more than 3 years ago | (#37448354)

There are two big problems with reducing CO2 emissions:

1) green energy, efficient cars and houses costs a lot, hard to convince people to cut on their lifestyle.

2) global competition: if industries in China keeps emitting will be more competitive, and it's kinda hard to convince
        everybody.

Deindustrialization has nothing to do with the problem.

About climate changing, the problem is not the change, is the speed of the change.

I thought water expanded when it froze (2)

TheFakeMcCoy (1485631) | more than 3 years ago | (#37447458)

So when it melts wouldnt it take up less space and the sea level would have lowered.

Re:I thought water expanded when it froze (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 3 years ago | (#37447470)

That's true, but unfortunately a lot of this ice is sitting on land...

Re:I thought water expanded when it froze (1)

Arlet (29997) | more than 3 years ago | (#37447504)

When it's frozen, it's stacked up high on the Greenland bedrock., and does not effect sea level at all. When it's in the sea (frozen or not), it raises sea level.

Re:I thought water expanded when it froze (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37447574)

Except that, free floating ice melts and leaves the water level unchanged: the amount of the ice submerged has the same volume as the whole chunk would if melted. Buoyancy means that a mass of ice must displace an equal mass of water to float. So when it's liquid and they're a the same density, they take up the same space.

Re:I thought water expanded when it froze (2)

Spectre (1685) | more than 3 years ago | (#37447694)

Icebergs, floating chunks of ice, like all floating objects, displace the exact same mass of water as the object. Sea levels would neither rise nor fall due to a change in the amount of icebergs.

Glaciers, which sit primarily on land, are not displacing any sea water. If there is a change in "glaciation", or "land-shelf-ice", that would change the sea level. Note, though, that the oceans are freakin' huge in terms of surface area compared to the surface area covered by glaciers/shelf-ice, with the only real exception being Antartica ... this means it takes a pretty large change in glaciation to have a noticeable effect on sea level ... also, note, that sadly there is a LOT of inhabited land area that is at, roughly, sea level, so a small change would have a large impact on some very rich and diverse eco-systems (river deltas, etc).

The problem with politics (3, Insightful)

Daetrin (576516) | more than 3 years ago | (#37447482)

"Now glaciologists are left trying to figure out how not understate the importance of the extent glacial ice melt, while at the same time correcting the error."

They wouldn't have this issue if there wasn't an opposition that will shout it to the heavens every time a mistake or revision is made in relation to global warming but every statement made in support of it is ignored, even if the two are part of the same package. "It's bad, but not as bad as this" will only be interpreted as "they've admitted they're wrong so it's all a hoax!" If we could actually have a clam and reasoned discussion about the issue without people with vested interests in it dominating the debate then this wouldn't be a concern.

Re:The problem with politics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37447688)

It also wouldn't be a concern if they just wouldn't exaggerate their claims in the first place. If they're so sure about being right, then the evidence they find should speak for itself.

Re:The problem with politics (1)

Daetrin (576516) | more than 3 years ago | (#37448072)

One group made what appears to be an honest mistake, and another group is correcting that mistake. It would be nice if they could always be 100% right the first time as you seem to be suggesting, but that's just not possible. On the other hand the most vocal supporters of the other side seem to never admit when they get something wrong and only listen to the people who generally support the idea of global climate change when they admit they're incorrect about something.

Re:The problem with politics (-1, Troll)

bonch (38532) | more than 3 years ago | (#37447818)

They wouldn't have this issue if there wasn't an opposition that will shout it to the heavens every time a mistake or revision is made in relation to global warming but every statement made in support of it is ignored, even if the two are part of the same package.

Well, if global warming alarmists didn't appeal to the perceived authority of "scientific consensus," there wouldn't be loud shouting whenever a mistake in the supposedly unshakable research of climate scientists is pointed out. The left-of-center faction of the political spectrum has latched onto global warming because the solutions just so happen to coincide with their political beliefs (e.g., increased taxes, increased regulation of industry, etc.).

Unfortunately, there is a climate (pardon the pun) that shuns scientists who oppose the current view of global warming [ibtimes.com] . That view is itself based entirely on computer simulations rather than recorded observations. The global temperature record hasn't risen since 1998, which is so contradictory to predictions made by computer simulations that climate scientists are using computer simulations to find explanations for the missing heat that was predicted by the previous computer simulations.

Welcome to climate science.

Re:The problem with politics (0)

Tailhook (98486) | more than 3 years ago | (#37448060)

If we could actually have a clam (sic) and reasoned discussion

Not in this lifetime.

Aug 29, 2011: Al Gore compares climate deniers (sic) to racists [mnn.com]

If you're going to advocate policies that condemn the prosperity and liberty of people born to both you are going to face some acrimony. If that make you uncomfortable then get back to your WoW account and leave the fight to those of us with the fortitude to face it for you.

Re:The problem with politics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37448492)

Al Gore isn't a glaciologist. I've no idea why you think his might be.

Just be honest? (4, Insightful)

LBArrettAnderson (655246) | more than 3 years ago | (#37447584)

Now glaciologists are left trying to figure out how not understate the importance of the extent glacial ice melt, while at the same time correcting the error.
 
How about you just be honest in the first place? If you are right about climate change, you don't need to exaggerate your claims. They should speak for themselves.

Re:Just be honest? (5, Informative)

Arlet (29997) | more than 3 years ago | (#37447696)

It wasn't a matter of exaggerating a claim. Somebody grabbed the wrong map, and didn't consult with a scientist.

Re:Just be honest? (1)

rickb928 (945187) | more than 3 years ago | (#37447844)

I'm not sure it started out as a matter of exaggeration. When warming was first being discussed, the anarchists, anti-industrialists, and America-haters leapt on board and took this up as proof of their cause's righteousness. They did most of the exaggerating. Now it's all these groups fully invested in warming.

Remember when the next Ice Age was the big concern? For some of these groups, any disaster will do, thank you.

Re:Just be honest? (2)

Nimey (114278) | more than 3 years ago | (#37448106)

From your caricature of those who think AGW is happening, I see that you are a denialist.

Re:Just be honest? (1)

Asic Eng (193332) | more than 3 years ago | (#37448296)

Remember when the next Ice Age was the big concern?

No I don't. Typically the claim is made that this happened in the 70s, that in the 70s "all the scientists believed in global cooling". Out of curiosity: do you personally really remember the 70? I suppose many Slashdotters don't, but I was alive then, and there was no big concern about the next ice age.

Re:Just be honest? (1)

jandrese (485) | more than 3 years ago | (#37448232)

The problem is getting the wording just right so some spin doctor can't come around and twist it to make it look like you said the opposite thing. This happens a lot in climate science and has made the entire community very careful in what they publish.

Stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37447646)

Stop worrying about the politics and just publish correct facts. Nobody should be "worried about understating" if the data doesn't support what you don't want to understate. This and the whole debacle with APS stating that man-made impending doom from rising global temperatures is "incontrovertible" (really? wtf is ever incontrovertible in real science? especially when dealing with such enormous datasets from varied sources over long periods?), make me sad for science. I love science. Science: please try to just be science, and not politics :P

Wow, what a crisis! (1)

loftwyr (36717) | more than 3 years ago | (#37447698)

I for one want absolute accuracy in my coffee-table books. That's why I routinely scan all my books for even the most minor error and write a letter to the Times. Coffee table or not, someone might look in it and make broad assumptions on how the world works incorrectly and then run for office!

An Inconvenient Truth Is It Not? (-1, Troll)

TaleSpinner (96034) | more than 3 years ago | (#37447738)

> Now glaciologists are left trying to figure out how not
> understate the importance of the extent glacial ice
> melt, while at the same time correcting the error.

In other and simpler words - how to continue claiming global warming is proven in spite of yet another failure of truth on the part of the GW believers.

Re:An Inconvenient Truth Is It Not? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37447910)

Are you trolling?!

Re:An Inconvenient Truth Is It Not? (2)

skids (119237) | more than 3 years ago | (#37447958)

Inability of people who publish coffee table material to understand the maps you draw hardly constitutes a failure of truth on your part.

Re:An Inconvenient Truth Is It Not? (2)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 3 years ago | (#37448026)

This situation reminds me very much of Kilimanjaro. The loss of snow and ice on Kilimanjaro has oft been cited by warming alarmists as proof of their theories, and in fact a picture of Kilimanjaro featured prominently in Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth".

However, the inconvenience was ultimately for the alarmists, since it has long been known (well before his movie came out) that the loss of snow and ice on Kilimanjaro is due to deforestation (logging by humans) at lower altitudes, and has little to nothing to do with ambient temperature. Less vegetation means less moisture for the air to pick up at lower altitudes, in turn meaning less precipitation for it to drop on the mountain when the air is blown up to high altitudes and cools down. And with drier air comes sublimation from the constant wind.

I do not claim the globe isn't warming. I'm not even claiming that CO2 isn't part of it... but I doubt it amounts to very much. But it's really kind of hard to tell, when the "authorities" and the media keep spouting such blatant bullshit.

Mr Bubbles! (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 3 years ago | (#37447756)

Ever since Andrew Ryan passed away that Atlas guy keeps insisting we're all gonna end up living underwater.

Am i in the minority? (1)

Bardwick (696376) | more than 3 years ago | (#37447810)

I'm personally not convinced on MMGW. Two well respected smart folks sitting in a room looking at the same raw data (if they are willing to share it, or maybe they just lost it) come up with two different answers. Not discounting it, but just not buying it either. What I have seen with my own little untrained eyes is the before and after pictures of the smog in china around the olympics. Without studies or grants, I know that sucking diesel fumes is mostly likely bad for me and my kids. I'm a huge fan of nuclear/solar. I'm a bigger fan of a gradual approach. Too many times I worry that the cure is worse than the disease. Wrecking the world economy because we "have to do this in the next X years" is just as bad (economy is one steak dinner from a heart attack right now). I'm a huge conservative but I'm all about funding alternative energy research until it becomes a viable free market alternative (no patent for govt. funded research. I'm not about subsidizing AF products that aren't market ready. Would be happy for the GOVT. to put up an X-prize. Solar panel at X cost that generates X power in x number of square feet get's $537 million dollars, not the other way around...

Re:Am i in the minority? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37448318)

So, if the government decided that they wanted cleaner air, they should start spouting that "aliens are going to come and suck out our brains in order to protect the universe from our global warming habits", instead of "smog is bad for your health"?

That is how the government scientists are handling this. If they were really upset about poisonous air, why would they try some stupid round-about method to try to fix it? Instead of "use less salt because it is bad for you" they should advertize "sodium attracts alien killer space bees from outer space".

If this GW nonsense is just a cover for a completely different program, then this just shows us that the government believes that lying to us will give them a better result than telling us the truth. It shows that they think you are completely stupid, and will follow their lies, giving them more power over your life, than a simple "reduce air pollution" option would give them.

Mercator projection distortion? (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 3 years ago | (#37447912)

May be its all a mercator projection distortion?

The totally stereotypical complaint is Greenland always looks as big as all of south america, despite only being about the size of Argentina. Or in the wiki article, looks bigger than Africa but Africa has 14 times the land area.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mercator_projection [wikipedia.org]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Map_projection [wikipedia.org]

Improved Communication (1)

lymond01 (314120) | more than 3 years ago | (#37447938)

I am happy that our improved communications allow this sort of thing to be found and sorted quickly. 100 years ago and you'd just have different people coming to different conclusions based on different base data.

Well then if that's the case (1)

hilldog (656513) | more than 3 years ago | (#37447994)

Aerosol can party at my place!

Give it ten years or so... (1)

SwedishChef (69313) | more than 3 years ago | (#37448038)

Give it another ten years or so and the maps will probably be right on.

Re:Give it ten years or so... (1)

Petron (1771156) | more than 3 years ago | (#37448506)

That's what they said ten years ago...

Doing the right thing for the wrong reasons (1)

pedrofdmp (2465164) | more than 3 years ago | (#37448120)

I'm all out for reducing co2 emissions since that saves fossil fuel. By watching the race between human impact on global warming and human impact on fossil fuel reserves the latter is probably more worrisome. The the cure for both is more or less the same, consume less fossil fuel and develop renewable energy sources. If depleting fossil fuel reserves news were to be mentioned in mainstream media as much as human impact global warming news, it would probably be disastrous for our economy sending oil prices spiking. So in the end exaggerated reports about human impact global warming will probably saves us from the more immediate problem of fossil fuel depletion before alternatives are in place.

"Cathechism" vs. Truth (1)

srussia (884021) | more than 3 years ago | (#37448282)

"Now glaciologists are left trying to figure out how not understate the importance of the extent glacial ice melt, while at the same time correcting the error."

Same thing happens when scientists find health benefits from smoking and alcohol consumption. They always hasten to add, "but it's still not a good idea to smoke/drink".

Same thing with abstinence vs. condoms. Obviously, abstinence is more effective than sex with condoms in preventing unwanted pregnancies/STDs/AIDS. That is truth. But health authorities insist it's better to teach condom use rather abstinence. That's "cathechism".

At least they didn't just... (1)

feepness (543479) | more than 3 years ago | (#37448288)

...shrug it off...

Greenland going green? (1)

dpayton (588658) | more than 3 years ago | (#37448466)

If Greenland were to get warm enough to, say, farm wheat [nasa.gov] , surely we'd be seeing the end of civilization as we know it, right?

Right?
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?