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Earth Science

Shrinking Waves May Save Antarctic Sea Ice 298

sciencehabit (1205606) writes "It's a nagging thorn in the side of climatologists: Even though the world is warming, the average area of the sea ice around Antarctica is increasing. Climate models haven't explained this seeming contradiction to anyone's satisfaction—and climate change deniers tout that failure early and often. But a new paper suggests a possible explanation: Variability in the heights of ocean waves pounding into the sea ice may help control its advance and retreat."
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Shrinking Waves May Save Antarctic Sea Ice

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  • News at 11 (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 29, 2014 @03:10AM (#47117145)

    Both sides of a debate ignore facts that don't match their veiw of the world. Shocker.

  • by raymorris ( 2726007 ) on Thursday May 29, 2014 @03:39AM (#47117217) Journal

    This is just another one of the many, many balancing mechanisms in nature. Another obvious one is that more heat causes more evaporation, which causes more clouds, which causes less heat. Mother nature I has thousands of such negative feedback cycles that tend to buffer against changes.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 29, 2014 @04:10AM (#47117319)

    let's say the ice is thinning in shedding a lot of frigid water... that stuff may make new ice at the edges which makes it look bigger in terms of area, but volume has been lost. It's the loss of volume that translates into rising sea levels.

  • by magarity ( 164372 ) on Thursday May 29, 2014 @04:23AM (#47117365)

    On any other topic this name calling is derided as an ad hominen attack.

  • by BasilBrush ( 643681 ) on Thursday May 29, 2014 @04:29AM (#47117383)

    There's no such beneficent entity as Mother Nature, keeping everything just so. Species go extinct often, because their environment changes.

  • by BasilBrush ( 643681 ) on Thursday May 29, 2014 @04:42AM (#47117445)

    No avenue of anti-science earns respect.
    Deniers of the earth being millions of years old.
    Deniers of man being a species of ape.
    Deniers of evolution.
    Deniers of tobacco being a carcinogen.
    Deniers of the moon landings.

    When you put your politics, religion or paranoia ahead science, you deserve to be marginalised.

  • by KeensMustard ( 655606 ) on Thursday May 29, 2014 @05:18AM (#47117573)

    On any other topic this name calling is derided as an ad hominen attack.

    I'm not convinced that that is true. For one thing, it pre-supposes there is debate, which would require an exchange of ideas, which requires at least two sides to present axioms they consider to be true with some foundational reasons why we should think that those ideas are true. That is not what is happening here. It is not clear, for a start, that many denialists think of their arguments as factual - merely as a position that they hold because they self identify with a group of people who hold that as a position - a political/tribal 'view' if you like. They expect a debate on this in much the way that two opposing political ideologies might debate for the sake of finding a common ground. So they will repeatedly make the same debunked claims, e.g. Ice mass in the Antarctic is increasing! because even though this statement is debunked by observation they expect to negotiate from some middle ground. Whether the statement is factual or not is irrelevant - what matters is that an opposing view is stated, regardless of how extreme, because after that, we try to compromise on a position that is mutually satisfactory. That is how the world works, right?


    Reality is more powerful than ideology. Reality will always win. Doesn't matter if you reject gravity, gravity still acts. You can't negotiate for, say, acceleration due to gravity to be 4.5 m/s/s. You can't negotiate with Global Warming either. It is, and will continue to be.

    People who deny it, like people who deny gravity, or a terminal cancer diagnosis after a biopsy, are in denial. Thus the term "denialist" or "denier". It describes a mental condition. It doesn't preclude debate, as an ad hominem would. It's just coincident with tthe fact that there is no debate, just a group of people reporting on observations, and another group of people stating a position absent observation or factual grounding.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 29, 2014 @06:18AM (#47117705)

    You can't reason a man out of a position he wasn't reasoned into.

    Blind faith doesn't exist, there is always reasoning no matter how shallow it is. Thinking that someone didn't reason is just another way of dehumanizing him.
    Everyone can be reasoned out of a position, you just can't do it by calling him an idiot.
    Claiming that someone is following blind faith when your argument is referring to authority is also not a good choice. If I don't know the climatologist refereed to and believe in him then there is just as much blind faith in that argument as there would be if you referred to a priest.
    You have to listen to the other persons point of view and argue from that context. It takes a lot of time but I have occasionally done it.
    Having a whiteboard available helps tremendously but you also need to understand why the person reasons as he does and where he made an incorrect conclusion.
    Also, if you patronize him for just a moment you might just as well give up for the day, you are never going to convince anyone that way.

    Personally I think that the environmental movement have taken the wrong approach to global warming.
    If you want to shut down coal power plants and make people switch to electric vehicles it would be a lot easier to argue about the health benefits of not having the emissions.
    There are plenty of studies about the subject and it is a lot more tangible for people to see the difference between how often you have to clean the windows in a city compared to a rural area and it is not hard to imagine the difference that does on your lungs.

    It also doesn't help that a lot of environmentalists are more concerned about fighting the opposition rather than to convince them.

  • by AgNO3 ( 878843 ) on Thursday May 29, 2014 @07:18AM (#47117865) Homepage
    Yeah deniers. Round em up and put them all in one place where the are concentrated. The can have their own camps and stop ruining our society. Yeah thats worked in the past. SIGH
  • by physicsphairy ( 720718 ) on Thursday May 29, 2014 @08:03AM (#47118051) Homepage

    By all means, less likely views should be marginalized, but they should be marginalized as a side effect of their having only a marginal chance of being correct, not because you've built up some vicious characterization of their adherents. It's interesting that in the reasons you list for your opposition -- politics, religion, mental illness (?) -- you forgot to include anything about their explanations of the observed phenomena being less satisfactory.

    My first problem with this attitude is, who decides when the best response is simply treating the adherents as unworthy neanderthals and making sure that no legitimate scientific criticisms get swept in? Will that be you? I don't trust that this is always going to work out. I do, however, always trust in a dispassioned comparison of evidence, or at least, there's nothing I trust more.

    My second problem is that it much more difficult to reason with people when you start your arguments by giving them a bloody nose. At that point they're just in it to retaliate for the bloody nose, assuming they don't stop reading entirely. IMHO you are making it ten times more difficult to actually stamp out these bad thinkings just so you can have the satisfication of wielding a few insults. What does referring to anyone snidely actual accomplish in the scientific discourse?

  • by tmosley ( 996283 ) on Thursday May 29, 2014 @09:04AM (#47118387)
    What if you just refuse to see the reasoning that lead them there?

    Creationism would be a reasonable position if there were significant evidence of a creator (there isn't). AGW "denial" would be reasonable if there were an argument that the amount of CO2 we have put and are putting into the atmosphere won't cause a feedback loop.

    And there is, if you would put pen to paper and make the calculations yourself, assuming you understand a little physical chemistry. CO2 has a very thin IR spectrum chart that integrates to a very low number, meaning it is shit at absorbing heat. Water vapor has a gigantic broad "peak" that swamps most other signals to the point that you can't even tell when other stuff is present with highly sophisticated equipment that only looks at the IR spectrum.

    Of note, the other product of combustion is water vapor. Irrigation forces more water vapor into the air. Paving forces more water vapor into the air. Even the cooling towers of nuclear power plants force more water vapor into the air. These things happen on a continuous basis, so the world is on average more humid by perhaps 1% than it was 100 years ago. Which would be more than enough to account for ALL observed warming.

    What are the implications for this? It means that most of the wild scenarios dreamed up by the AGW people that lead to mass death and starvation or extinction are unlikely. CO2 stays in the atmosphere for hundreds of years on average, where water vapor falls out in a few days. This tight equilibrium means that we can self correct easily, as economic deterioration due to climate change will decrease the amount of water vapor we push into the air by a mechanism of tearing up unused roads (seen in recently in Detroit), reducing combustion, less irrigation, etc.

    But by all means, paint everyone who doesn't blindly agree with the god "Science" (rather than following the scientific method) with the same brush. It's not like your nonsensical belief will change physics in your "favor". One can only hope that those of you who continue to cling to AGW theory are rightfully marginalized, and removed from your priest-like positions in government, as those guys can and do do REAL damage based off of bad theory.
  • by tbannist ( 230135 ) on Thursday May 29, 2014 @09:14AM (#47118487)

    Is this Richard Lendzen MIT dude not at all respectable?

    Would that be the Richard Lindzen [] who has been funded by Exxon and OPEC, who actually does accept the basics of anthropogenic global warming, but disagrees with exactly how high the earth's climate sensistivity is (ie the amount of temperature increase you'll see from a doubling of CO2 levels). The man who been a keynote speaker at the Heartland Institute [], who writes opinion pieces for the Rupert Murdoch owned Wall Stree Journal, and who recently joined the Cato Institute []?

    Not so much, no. []

  • by raymorris ( 2726007 ) on Thursday May 29, 2014 @09:28AM (#47118587) Journal

    > On balance, scientists aren't entirely sure what effect clouds will have on global warming. Most climate models predict that clouds will amplify global warming slightly.

    That sentence lumps professional alarmists in with actual scientists. Never been outside on a cloudy day? Those "scientists" (alarmists) who say clouds make it hot are the same ones who you said San Francisco would be underwater by the year 2010. Don't let their silly pseudo-science make you doubt the obvious facts of your experience. You know that when it's cloudy, it's cooler.

    What you may not know not know is that islands near San Francisco have recently re-appeared after having been underwater for the last 60 years, the exact opposite of what the alarmists claimed. There is some important science around climate change. Earth HAS warmed a bit more in the last 100 years than the other planets have. There's also a metric ton of snake oil being sold by alarmists whose pseudoscience is nothing more than patter for their act. Confusing one with the other ends up getting you confused and making you look silly. You end up believing things like "it gets hot when it's cloudy", which is of course ridiculous.

  • Re:News at 11 (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 29, 2014 @09:57AM (#47118845)

    Both sides of a debate ignore facts that don't match their veiw of the world.

    Just one problem. "We don't know why this apparent contradiction exists, but we're researching it" is pretty much the exact opposite of "ignoring facts".

  • by drinkypoo ( 153816 ) <> on Thursday May 29, 2014 @10:46AM (#47119297) Homepage Journal

    the amount of money and societal upheaval this incurs means that the level of demonstrable proof required here goes up significantly.

    No, no it doesn't. The level of demonstrable proof required to believe the theory doesn't change depending on how much it might cost. That's politics, not science.

    You want us to spend all that cash your case better fucking be bulletproof.

    You have this shit seriously backwards. You want us to continue to permit you to tear apart the biosystem upon which we all depend, your case had better fucking be bulletproof. "And it isn't."

    So fuck you, that's what.

    Yes, that's what the denialist argument always boils down to. Fuck you, and fuck everyone else, while they do whatever they were going to do anyway.

  • Hockey Sticks (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 29, 2014 @11:23AM (#47119753)

    Most deniers dispute CATASTROPHIC global warming, of the runaway type as espoused by Gore, Hansen, Mann, et al. Most deniers make simple claims about the fundamental claims made by global warming cheerleaders, such as CO2 sensitivity (Arrenhius got it right, the second time), the existence of negative feed backs (really, all feedbacks are positive?), the existence of past warming without a human influence, the existence of mega-cycles (also called ice ages), the lack of any warming for the last X number of years, the perversion of peer review, the lack of error bars, the splicing together of differing data sets, the removal of data that doesn't support the cause, that adjustments are made yearly to the temperature record including adjusting past years multiple times, and on and on and on.

    If the world had warmed as predicted by Gore, Hansen and Mann, then I would understand calling your opponents 'deniers'. I don't mind or care about the 'creationist' label, because that is accurate. Deniers aren't claiming God did it. They claim your science is weak and flawed. They claim your models don't match reality. They claim your solutions won't solve the problem.

    And your answer is 'neener, neener'.

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