Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Greenland & Antarctica Invade The United States - 5

Fig. 1 On The East Side of Zero
We have all incessantly heard the McTell News stories about an invasion of, or terror attack against, the United States by al-Qaeda or ISIS.

And, regular readers of Dredd Blog have heard about the incredible odds against being killed in any such imaginary misadventure (Terrorism We Can Believe In? - 3).

Not only that, in this series Dredd Blog posts have been pointing out the real invasion
Fig. 2
danger, and why it cannot be defended against by military means (Why The Military Can't Defend Against The Invasion).

The invasion being blogged about is happening now on the East Coast as depicted in Fig. 1, Fig. 2, and Fig. 3, which are graphs showing some of the details about the results of the melting of ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica.

Fig. 3
On the East Coast of the U.S.eh? the sea has already penetrated the sea ports, and is intent on heading further inland.

I am talking about now (You Are Here - 5).

I am not talking about 1,000 years from now, as the timid, brow-beaten, Stockholm Syndrome sufferers in the scientific community squeak about (Combustion of available fossil fuel resources sufficient to eliminate the Antarctic Ice Sheet).

Mature climate scientists know better than to talk about what is going to happen in "1000 years" in a paper about sea level change.

A mature scientist explains why those who speak of far off fantasy lands in the unimaginably distant future are so scientifically timid:
"I suspect the existence of what I call the `John Mercer effect'. Mercer (1978) suggested that global warming from burning of fossil fuels could lead to disastrous disintegration of the West Antarctic ice sheet, with a sea level rise of several meters worldwide. This was during the era when global warming was beginning to get attention from the United States Department of Energy and other science agencies. I noticed that scientists who disputed Mercer, suggesting that his paper was alarmist, were treated as being more authoritative.

It was not obvious who was right on the science, but it seemed to me, and I believe to most scientists, that the scientists preaching caution and downplaying the dangers of climate change fared better in receipt of research funding. Drawing attention to the dangers of global warming may or may not have helped increase funding for relevant scientific areas, but it surely did not help individuals like Mercer who stuck their heads out. I could vouch for that from my own experience. After I published a paper (Hansen et al 1981) that described likely climate effects of fossil fuel use, the Department of Energy reversed a decision to fund our research, specifically highlighting and criticizing aspects of that paper at a workshop in Coolfont, West Virginia and in publication (MacCracken 1983).

I believe there is a pressure on scientists to be conservative. Papers are accepted for publication more readily if they do not push too far and are larded with caveats. Caveats are essential to science, being born in skepticism, which is essential to the process of investigation and verification. But there is a question of degree. A tendency for `gradualism' as new evidence comes to light may be ill-suited for communication, when an issue with a short time fuse is concerned."
(The Evolution of Models - 12, quoting Dr. James Hansen). So, I am not talking about 1000 years, 1000 months, or even 500 months, away from now.

I am talking about the here and the now (The 1% May Face The Wrath of Sea Level Rise First, Greenland & Antarctica Invade The United States, 2, 3; Weekend Rebel Science Excursion - 44).

The previous post in this series is here.


  1. Right! And what started it all was humans (over)use of fossil fuels that pollute the atmosphere with "greenhouse" gases like CO2 (primarily) and NOW CH4 (which is an even worse greenhouse gas) - which CAUSES the global temperature to rise (because it traps the heat from escaping into space), which, in turn, causes the oceans to absorb this excess heat and WA-LA (dat's french, m'kay?) we have melting glaciers, ice sheets, and sea level change!

    Now what YOU'RE doing is plotting it all so people can SEE it in real time! You're analysis may even be able to PREDICT FUTURE SLR and SLF.


  2. I agree Tom.

    Dredd, those graphs say GeoZone "ak" but those are in zone "al".