Sunday, 9 December 2012

Un-Scientific American at it again

Have you noticed how many "warmist" blogs and websites have names or titles which are the exact opposite of the theme of what they post or publish? "Open Mind" is one that immediately springs to my mind, or "Skeptical Science" which  is totally un-sceptical of anything which supports the warmist disaster scenario. Another is one which used to live up to its name, but over the years has slipped away from that shining adjective "scientific" and fallen into regurgitating decidedly unscientific mumbo-jumbo, is Scientific American. Decades ago it was vibrant, exciting, informative and I subscribed to it, happy to find it lying inside my front door when I returned home from work. Now I wouldn't line my cat's litter-tray with pages torn from dog-eared copies thrown out from clinic waiting rooms. Here's a short but still rubbish-strewn article from the mighty-but-fallen SA.
Earth May Be Warming Even Faster Than Expected
Scientists have thought that if planetary warming could be kept below a 2-degree Celsius increase, perils such as catastrophic sea-level rise and searing heat waves could be avoided.
Scientists haven't thought anything of the kind; the "2-degree target" was thought up at the 2009 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen. That's well-known and attested. Would 1.9 degrees be liveable with but 2.1 degrees spell disaster?
Ongoing data, however, indicate that three global feedback mechanisms may be pushing Earth into a period of rapid climate change even before the 2-degree C "limit" is reached: Ice melting into the oceans, which warms surface seawater, leading to more melting; thawing of permafrost, which releases carbon dioxide and methane into the atmosphere, raising the air temperature and melting more permafrost; and glaciers breaking up and falling into the sea, which lessens the amount of sunlight reflected into space, thereby heating the atmosphere and further degrading glaciers.
"Ice melting into the oceans" absorbs heat from the seawater, cooling it. How could cold water at the melting point of ice warm the seawater which melted the ice, when that seawater must have been warmer than the ice to in order to melt it? The meltwater can't add heat to the sea, when the heat to create the meltwater came from the sea in the first place.

"glaciers breaking up and falling into the sea" - do they mean whole glaciers, or just the bits which have been falling into the sea (calving) as those bits of glaciers have been doing for thousands of years?
The feedbacks could ultimately alter weather by changing the jet stream's path, magnify insect infestations and spawn more and larger wildfires.
Indeed they could, but long-term alteration of the jet streams could equally well trigger the next ice-age. We're well overdue for that event already.

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