You Can Always Find Junk Science For Pay

A reader has been spamming the site today with claims that Greenland is rapidly losing mass, which was based on a spectacularly incompetent study out of the University of Texas

Climate Change: Are the Polar Ice Caps Melting Slower Than We Thought?

Those are scary numbers, but a new study published in the September issue of Nature Geoscience suggests that the true melt rate might be much slower than that. (Access a PDF of the study here.) A joint team of American and Dutch scientists took another look at the GRACE data and found that Greenland and West Antarctica may be melting  just half as fast the earlier studies estimated. As researcher Bert Vermeersen, a professor at Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands, told the AFP, the earlier estimates failed to account for glacial isostatic adjustment—the rebounding of the Earth’s crust after the end of the last Ice Age:

The experts who did the original study should be banned from future publication.


About stevengoddard

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41 Responses to You Can Always Find Junk Science For Pay

  1. Gond says:

    All spaceborne techniques agree that Greenland is losing mass. Want me to post references?

  2. Gond says:

    Gravimetry measures mass, altimetry measures height and SAR interferometry measures ice flow. With all of these three methods it’s possible to measure the mass-balance – that’s what glaciologists do. Greenland recent mass-loss is amply documented – this landmark Nature-paper is a good starting point for studying the issue:

  3. Gond says:

    oops, in Science, not Nature.

  4. Gond says:

    Greenland is not that wide and geologists know quite a bit about how rock and the mantle behave. Besides, the increase in surfacfe-melt and ice-stream speed are both directly observable, as is the elastic rebound of the rock happening as the ice-sheet gets lighter.

    • squid2112 says:

      I am curious as to how “…the ice-sheet gets lighter.”, when the interior of Greenland is shaped like a bowl. Can you tell me where all of that melted ice went? Does water become lighter as it become a liquid?

    • johnmcguire says:

      I note that in an above comment you state you have access to opinions of learned scientists , a comment which I believe aptly describes the situation . Steven mentioned it upstream , comfirmation bias . The zealots that want America to return to the stoneage to salve the consciouses of the warmist , alarmist idiots have opinions ? What is new about that ? Let go of whatever you have ahold of and get a grip on reality . The ice will melt and the ice will return and the earth will go on . That is unless some fools start a nuclear exchange . If nature is allowed to continue it’s natural course twenty years from now , or more likely far sooner , people will be looking at the historical record and laughing their asses off at your comments . By the way , I’m curious as to what you do for a living .

    • glacierman says:

      And all of that cold meltwater is apparently observable around the land mass from where it melted? And the corresponding rise in sea level?

  5. Gond says:

    Actually we have a very good idea on how much snow is accumulating over Greenland. The surface-mass-balance (SMB) is computed by a high resolution local weather model called RACMO2 that works very well in Greenland according to validation data. RACMO2 is driven from the boundaries by the ECMWF weather reanalysis dataset. This shit has been validated and it works, and the errors can be estimated.

  6. Calculating mass balance is not a simple undertaking and we only have a few years of data accumulated so far and we do not yet know what sort of decadal variability is involved. Or how reliable the measurements. I would not be making a case for or against any particular position with that data just yet. However, it’s important to clarify a major confusion here. Again, this is the difference between Global Warming Theology and Global Warming Theory.

    Global Warming Theory has very little to say about mass balance. When we are looking at mass balance we are probably looking at geologic and climatic processes operating over centuries. What Global Warming Theory does have something to say about, however, is SMB (surface mass balance). However, even this is not so simple. SMB is expected to increase in Antarctica due to increases in atmospheric water vapour. (Opposite to what is expected in Global Warming Theology.) The Arctic is more complex however, as we have to deal with issues relating to black carbon, increases in SST’s and many many other factors. It’s also worth noting that you will observe big changes in SMB from year to year due to all kinds of processes going on, on short time scales. If you’re prepared to cherry pick you can present any sort of argument you want.

    • Frylock says:

      Still, a scientific theory is well grounded. The idea that the Earth goes around the Sun is also a scientific theory.

      • Evolutionary theory is well grounded, but back in the early 20th century most mainstream scientists believed it justified their racial prejudices. It is very easy to spin a scientific theory to fit into a political (or other type of) belief system.

      • Shooter says:

        Scientific theories should be subject to numerous criticisms before they can be confirmed.

  7. Shooter says:

    Gond, we’re not conspiracy theorists. It’s not a conspiracy, just bad science.

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