December 5 2012

Settled “Science” Not So Settled

Vicki E. Alger

“Picture all of Manhattan covered in a layer of ice that's 11,800 feet thick—eight times the height of the Empire State Building. That's the net amount of ice that melts each year in Greenland,” warns CBS News. Yikes!

Hurricane Sandy was blamed on rising sea levels resulting from Greenland’s melting ice sheet—which is happening because of human-triggered global warming, right?

Not so fast. Princeton researchers used improved data-gathering methods from dedicated satellites and found ice loss is localized, “with ice mass in the center of Greenland steadily increasing over the decade.”

Ah, ha! The ice melt isn’t accelerating, but some ice is melting. Yes it is, according to Princeton University researcher Christopher Harig—but not nearly as fast as now un-settled science once thought.

The annual ice loss acceleration is not 30 billion tons, but 8 billion tons.

So how long do we have to grab our life vests and floaties before the rising sea sweeps us away?

Oh, about 13,000 years before all of Greenland’s ice is gone, says Harig. As UK’s Register puts it, under the 13,000-year scenario “we would be looking at 5cm of sea level rise from Greenland by the year 2130: a paltry amount.”

That’s a far cry from the “unprecedented” July melt NASA was reporting last summer from its Pasadena lab. 

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