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You Can’t Ignore SCIENCE!

May 20, 2013

With CO2 levels rising, we’re starting to harken back to those days, as science tells us, that sea levels swamped the land.  Well, we think that’s what science tells us, because that’s all that news is telling us that science tells us. But that might not be what science is telling us…

I’ll let The Register explain:

Not so much, according to new research.

The idea that the seas were 35 metres higher 3 million years back comes mainly from scientists examining ancient high-tide marks found along coastal cliffs and scarps – particularly some often-used ones on the US eastern seaboard. By determining the ages of the rocks and marks, scientists have come to the conclusion that the seas were much, much higher then – and thus, that the Greenland ice and large parts of the Antarctic ice as well must have been melted at the time.

According to a crew of top boffins led by Professor David Rowley of Chicago uni, the problem with this is that over these sorts of timescales, areas of the Earth’s crust rise and fall as much as the sea does. And nobody thus far has taken account of that – it has just been assumed that the rocky coasts have remained fixed with respect to the centre of the Earth, which means that the studies thus far have been – basically – wrong.

Oh, continental drift?  Yea, we forgot about that when we were predicting doom.

Look, I’m down with the fact that the environment is changing.  It always changes.  Is it because we humans are so positively messing up the planet that we’ll not survive as a species?  I doubt it.  Of course, I have no proof.  So therefore, I’m not out predicting that we’re all going to die of being dumb, which would be legitimate given how, um, dumb we can be.

What I do argue is that people take one piece of science and come to a stunning conclusion.  While I’m happy to cite contrarian intelligence to make an argument against, I’m not doing it to say my point is right.  I’m testing the corner cases to see if your theories and strategies hold up.  If all that does is make you mad, then maybe your theories and strategies aren’t really that good.

But enjoy your little panic.  It gets the blood flowing.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. May 20, 2013 10:56 am

    Not just continental drift, of course, but isostatic uplift as well. Greenland, for example, is rising at the rate of approximately a quarter-inch per year. This is despite a net increase in Greenland ice, because it is recovering from having much more ice during the last glaciation — and is part of Canada’s rebound from the Laurentide Ice Sheet.

    It’s interesting that ERS satellite measurements of Greenland by bouncing radio from the ice showed the increase — but the GRACE satellite pair showed a dramatic decrease in ice beginning coincidentally enough at the moment they were launched and the other taken off-line. In fact, I now see that mention of any results from ERS-1 and ERS-2 have been scrubbed from the Greenland Wikipedia article. But here’s a paper, for example:
    http://www.uio.no/studier/emner/matnat/geofag/GEO4420/h07/papers/Greenland-johannessen.pdf

    As an aside, the admission that GRACE was in error by as much as 63% — and that the “ice loss” detected for “Greenland” was a loss of mass centered in the ocean east of Greenland — has also disappeared. The GRACE website has removed this material.

    ===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

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