The hypocrisy of willful blindness

Activity levels in the deniosphere have been very high this week, following the publication of the usual nonsense from David Rose in the Mail on Sunday on 8 September 2013. Whilst I cannot be bothered to even try and engage with people on that blog, I did attempt to do so with readers on Mike Adams’ Natural News (NN) blog (see my previous post on this blog). Sadly, even on that very ill-judged republication, the levels of selective deafness amongst Mike Adams’ readers would appear to be very high. As anyone who has attempted to reason with those who believe climate science is a Communist conspiracy will tell you, circular arguments are very common. However, I think the example below is an absolute classic.

Swindon’s so-called ‘Magic Roundabout’ (Image credit: Van Rhijn Aerial Photography)

The same blogger who drew my attention to the NN article also pointed me in the direction of a rebuttal on the WordPress blog of the UK’s Meteorological Office. In response to a number of comments on that blog, I have posted a number of replies (all of which are currently awaiting moderation). However, in a style reminiscent of ‘Denier Comment of the Day’ on uknowispeaksense, I would like to draw attention to one comment in particular (and my response to it):

Judge Fudge (@jdey123) (16:27:20) 13/09/2013 Records of arctic sea ice extent starting only in 1979 are way too recent to make meaningful conclusions. Antarctic sea ice extent is in any case increasing. How come this is continually ignored? We are told that global surface temperature pause is due to the ocean absorbing more heat, yet this year, arctic [sea ice] extent has increased more than 50% from that recorded last year and Antarctic sea ice extent is above average. The myth has unravelled. Why are taxpayers paying for the Met Office to promote Marxist ideology hidden as environmental concerns? It’s time for the Coalition government to stop funding these people. Rick Altman (10:37:46) 14/09/2013 So, what you’re saying is this: You cannot draw any firm conclusions from a 34-year accelerating loss of sea ice but you want the World to do just that on the basis of a 15-year pause in a multi-decadal warming trend.

For the record, the above was actually my second reply to Judge Fudge. This was my first:

Rick Altman (20:50:30) 13/09/2013 The Antarctic is colder than it would otherwise be because of the hole in the ozone layer above it (another example of how humans can affect the environment). Antarctica is also completely surrounded by a huge expanse of uninterrupted, cold ocean. Despite all of this, however, the Antarctic Peninsula is the fastest-warming place in the southern hemisphere. The only myth that is unravelling is the 50-year-out-of-date paranoia that everything you don’t like the sound of must be part of a Communist (or Zionist) plot for World domination.

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About Rick Altman

Possibly just another 'Climate Cassandra' crying 'Wolf' in cyberspace. However, the moral of the old children's story is that the Wolf eventually turned up!
This entry was posted in Climate Science, Denial, Junk Science and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to The hypocrisy of willful blindness

  1. duncan says:

    Oh, Chr!st; the Jews have entered in to the scheme. The plot begins to thicken along with the mental capacity of many to understand facts, figures and maths. Who is “JudgeFudge”? Is he related to Judge Dread? I think the people have a right to know! Those who wish to refute all that science can achieve will willingly, willfully and underhandedly resort to that apology of a newspaper [Daily Mail / Mail on Sunday] – where cures for every malady are hawked about like Snakeoil at a Western Fair. Keep at it, Mr.Altman. Do not become despondent. The truth will out. As is said in Germany; lies have short legs!

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  2. Rachel says:

    It’s my understanding that Antarctica is actually losing ice. It might be gaining sea ice but this is more than outweighed by the loss of ice from the ice sheets sitting on the continent.

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    • Rick Altman says:

      Thanks Rachel. To my shame I am not certain but, it it my understanding that: 1. Even allowing that Antipodean sea ice will always be nearing its maximum extent at this time of year, it is also entirely possible that it is not decreasing year-on-year (for all of the reasons given above). 2. With regard to terrestrial ice melt (i.e. that which causes sea level rise), it is often said that most of Antarctica is not warming (although the Peninsula is). This is probably why things like the Pine Island Glacier are melting faster than at any time in the last 100 years.

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      • Lionel A says:

        There have been a number of recent posts about ice behaviour in the Antarctic including some sea ice increase in some areas, but reductions in others. I found an animated graphic at either NOAA/NCDC or NASA showing development of Antarctic sea ice, positive and negative over a decade or so. I could find it again, I thought I had bookmarked it. There is this, admittedly three years old, article from NASA. Also this more recent article explores other aspects: East Antarctica Ice-Sheet more vulnerable to melting than we thought: new research. Drilling around at those sources may yield more of interest.

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      • Rick Altman says:

        Many thanks Lionel. Might I suggest you point Rachel towards this comment too (or shall I do it)?

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      • Rachel says:

        Thanks. The NASA page mentions a paper I’d seen before called “Increasing rates of ice mass loss from the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets revealed by GRACE”. From the abstract: “In Antarctica the mass loss increased from 104 Gt/yr in 2002–2006 to 246 Gt/yr in 2006–2009, i.e., an acceleration of −26 ± 14 Gt/yr2 in 2002–2009.” source: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2009GL040222/abstract It looks to me like Antarctica is losing ice overall.

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      • Rick Altman says:

        Thanks for pulling these numbers out of the abstract, Rachel. I was struggling to visualise or contextualise these numbers, so have done some quick research: 1 Gt of water is 1 cubic kilometre (km3). When frozen it takes up 10% more volume. Earlier this year the BBC reported that Antarctica contains 26.5 million km3, which implies a total mass of about 24 million Gt. That being the case, it is losing a 100-thousandth of its mass every year. This will seem trivial to skeptics but, as the SkepticalScience website makes clear: (a) the overall rate of terrestrial ice loss is accelerating; (b) the West Antarctica ice sheet (WAIS) is melting the fastest; (c) 1 mm of sea level rise (SLR) is caused by every 360 Gt that melts; (d) Global terrestrial ice loss is already causing 1 mm SLR every year; and (e) the WAIS could now disintegrate rapidly (causing a total of 3.3 metres of SLR).

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      • Rachel says:

        There’s so much ice in Antarctica that it will take 1000 years or more to melt completely from what I understand. But we will probably see it contribute to at least 3m of sea level rise by the end of the Century. And I imagine that ice, once it has melted, is not so easily refrozen.

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      • Rick Altman says:

        Agreed. Glaciation of Antarctica began 45 million years ago and 10 million years to reach anything like its current extent. It is therefore already disappearing between 10 thousand times faster than it developed.

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