Thursday, May 22, 2014

Embarrassed Experts

After our return from Antarctica, a letter writer was embarrassed that I dared argue with the “experts.” Following her lead, I will feign embarrassment for the experts on our trip, James Balog and Dr. Robert Bindschadler. They, along with many glaciology experts, are alarmed by the “collapse” of the West Antarctic Peninsula ice sheet. The source of my embarrassment is that none of the experts mentioned that this ice sheet has been retreating, often at a much greater rate, since the Ice Age ended over 12,000 years ago. Since then it retreated over 545 miles, including a phenomenal 190 miles in only 800 years (7,600 to 6,800 years before present), according to a 1999 study
Dr. Bindschadler is an expert researcher of the Antarctic Pine Island glacier. I doubt  ignorance prevented him mentioning that this glacier retreated similarly 8,000 years ago.

James Balog did most of his “Chasing Ice” work on Greenland’s Jakobshavn glacier, a famously fast moving glacier that retreated 21 miles 1851-1964, and only 9 miles since.

Embarrassingly, all of these periods of previous larger glacier retreat were either not in their expert knowledge base, or the facts were inconvenient since atmospheric CO2 levels were then only 72% of current levels. I asked, and received no answer, how was current glacier retreat caused by increased CO2 when previous greater retreat wasn’t?

Mr. Wiesner writes we should only pay attention to the experts. Presently, the experts’ predictions for temperature and sea level rise are both embarrassingly far higher than observations. Karl Popper, Richard Feynman, and other critical-thinking scientists would have concluded the experts’ predictions have failed.

Charting a course of action “to save the World” based on failed concepts is illogical. Mr. Wiesner and Mr. Landecker, you do agree, don’t you?

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