25 September 2011

Alarmist Arithmetic

Climate alarmists like to warn us that there is enough ice on Greenland to raise sea levels by 7 metres when anthropomorphic global warming melts it away, e.g. here.  So when the new Times Atlas depicted Greenland as having lost 15% or 1/7th of its ice during the last twelve years, and this claim was backed by a leading climate change scientist, alarm bells were sent a clanging e.g. here. 

How alarming is that? Well according to my primary school arithmetic: if all of Greenland’s ice would raise sea levels by 7 metres when melted, 1/7th of that would raise sea levels by one metre (actually a bit more due to growing expanse later, but let's not quibble)! Hmmm, I think I might have noticed that!

The Times, however, remains “categorical”. Some alarmists decided this one couldn’t “be winked away”. Their scientists claim that Greenland has lost 0.1% of its ice over the last 12 years – 1/150th of what the Times cartographers claim. The climate scientists who endorsed the cartographers, however, were just running true to form.