Friday, February 5, 2016

The Warming Science Commentariat

"A slight drizzle"
I. The Fuzzy Warm

The dictionaries don't vary much when they define 'commentariat':
"All the pundits and commentators of the news media collectively" - Wictionary; "a group of powerful and influential commentators" - Miriam-Webster; "Members of the news media considered as a class" - Oxford; "the journalists and broadcasters who analyse and comment on current affairs" - Free Dictionary; "the group of people who regularly write about subjects in the news or discuss them on television" - Macmillan; "the journalists and broadcasters who analyse and comment on current affairs" - Collins; "the journalists and broadcasters who analyse and comment on current affairs" - Dictionary.Com.

II. It Is Warm So Cover Up

Those definitions above do not apply when the subject matter is The Damaged Global Climate System (The Damaged Global Climate System, 2, 3, 4, 5).

"A warm southern breeze"
Which is now a worldwide system of damage, yes, a system of automated damage which they choose to either ignore or cover up on behalf of their cohorts in the epigovernment (Epigovernment: The New Model - 11).

It is a damaging system which they have greatly helped to bring about by way of, among other things, deliberate geoengineering of the flow of information through "the innertubes" (MOMCOM 2.0).

And boy howdy, they are by now consummate deceivers:
"Mass-media coverage of climate change is not simply a random amalgam of newspaper articles and television segments; rather, it is a social relationship between scientists, policy actors and the public that is mediated by such news
"Hurricane Patricia Big Nuthin"
packages. This paper demonstrates that consistent adherence to interacting journalistic norms has contributed to impediments in the coverage of anthropogenic climate change science. Through analysis of US newspaper and television coverage of human contributions to climate change from 1988 through 2004, this paper finds that adherence to first-order journalistic norms – personalization, dramatization, and novelty – significantly influence the employment of second-order norms – authority-order and balance – and that this has led to informationally deficient mass media coverage of this crucial issue. By critically scrutinizing US print and television media as a ‘public arena,’ we improve understanding of how journalistic activities have shaped interactions at the interface with climate science, policy and the public.
(Power of media to shape public response, PDF, emphasis added). So, I think the Dredd Blog definition tends to be more accurate (In the Fog of The Presstitutes, 2, 3; Blind Willie McTell News, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6).

III. This Dredd Blog Series Will Expose Their Mythical Memes

I intend to go through the memes which they promulgate, the myths they perpetuate, and the distortions which they originate.

I intend to do that one, two, or three myths at a time per post.

For example:
In this series I have been pointing out mythological memes that are promoted by main stream media (McTell News) as science and as news, even though they are neither.

The news media is not giving much true information about the President's climate change trip to Alaska.

After all, there are the real news makers, the Kardasians, Trump, and shootings, so how can they talk about the President's first-time-in-history-trip for any president to the Arctic (National Geographic) ?
Like most of us, the President is unaware of the nature of climate change, that is, the part of the story in the sea level change (SLC) category.


For one thing, deliberate suppression of the information.

For another, reality is scary as hell, "so don't tell me what I don't want to hear."

Sea level fall (SLF) is unheard of.

Since I found out about it, a short while ago, I have been posting about it.

Some bloggers have been asking me to "stop with the obsession already."

Yeah, right, my reality obsession bothers them.

Too bad, on Dredd Blog reality gets first place, junk science and similar rubbish gets last place.
(False Climate Change Meme Infects The President - 2, emphasis added). Would you please show me McTell News articles that talk about SLF caused by the burning of fossil fuels which in turn causes global warming?

I mean articles in McTell News since 1888 when scientist Woodward first published a scientific paper in a journal:
To our knowledge, Woodward (1888) was the first to demonstrate that the rapid melting of an ice sheet would lead to a geographically variable sea level change. Woodward (1888) assumed a rigid, non-rotating Earth, and therefore self-gravitation of the surface load was the only contributor to the predicted departure from a geographically uniform (i.e. eustatic) sea level rise. This departure was large and counter-intuitive. Specifically, sea level was predicted to fall within ∼2000 km of a melting ice sheet, and to rise with progressively higher amplitude at greater distances. The physics governing this redistribution is straightforward.
(Mitrovica Team, quoted @ On the West Side of Zero, emphasis added). Again, show me one McTell News article that talks accurately about global warming induced SLF would you?

IV. Myth Number One

Let's get down to business, then, and start with "thermal expansion."

It is touted as the original cause of sea level change up until a few years ago.

That is because the commentariat did not want to know about, and was therefore unaware of, among other things the existence of "ghost-water" (The Ghost-Water Constant, 2, 3).

It has been shown, by a century of observations, that Woodward (1888) had a valid hypothesis (see e.g. Proof of Concept - 3, and Proof of Concept - 5).

It has also been shown that the Greenland Ice Sheet began to melt circa 1774 (Weekend Rebel Science Excursion - 54).

That is the time when SLF began to take place.

Thermal expansion in the ocean can not and does not cause SLF.

I mean SLF as recorded in many tide gauge station records, some going as far back as more than two centuries (ibid).

Nor does thermal expansion, or any other form of SLC for that matter, happen uniformly.

Thermal expansion happens more like a "warm water iceberg" in the sense of staying together in a warm water area within a larger cold water area:
In one sense, it's [El Niño is] like an iceberg; most of it is submerged, but part of it sticks out above the sea's surface, as the wedge floats in the surrounding ocean. Partly because warm water is less dense than cool water, and also partly because El Niño waters are less salty than normal seawater. (It's always raining over an El Niño, and the rainwater dilutes the sea.) Both of these conditions contribute to buoyancy. A sharp temperature and density change—called the thermocline—floats about 100 meters below the surface, and marks the bottom of this warm "iceberg." The top layer of water may protrude 150 or more centimeters above sea level. This isn't so hard to picture if you think about tides, which also pile water up above sea level.
(On The Origin of the Sea-level Seesaw - 2, quoting NOVA @ PBS). Thermal expansion in the vast ocean is not at all like thermal expansion in a small beaker warmed by a Bunsen Burner.

V. Conclusion For Today

I will continue to name individual members of the commentariat, and their myths as this series proceeds.

In the mean time, as regular readers know, you can go to the Series Posts tab at the top of this page to read more of this type of information in posts listed under the SEA LEVEL CHANGE headings on that page.

The next post in this series is here.

From Media Matters:


  1. There are collaborators in this ... (link)

    1. That site is unclear about SLC, mentioning thermal expansion as a significant current cause ("sea level rise is probably the best marker for how fast the world is warming. It’s a sign of heat build-up that’s thermally expanding the ocean.")

      That is erroneous.

  2. "Climate Change Keeps Coming Up At GOP Campaign Stops -- And People Are Clapping" (link).