For the first time, researchers have been able to obtain data from underneath Thwaites Glacier, also known as the “Doomsday Glacier.” They find that the supply of warm water to the glacier is larger than previously thought, triggering concerns of faster melting and accelerating ice flow.
With the help of the uncrewed submarine Ran that made its way under Thwaites glacier front, the researchers have made a number of new discoveries. Professor Karen Heywood of the University of East Anglia commented:
“This was Ran’s first venture to polar regions and her exploration of the waters under the ice shelf was much more successful than we had dared to hope. We plan to build on these exciting findings with further missions under the ice next year.”
The submersible has, among other things, measured the strength, temperature, salinity, and oxygen content of the ocean currents that go under the glacier.
Global sea level is affected by how much ice there is on land, and the biggest uncertainty in the forecasts is the future evolution of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, says Anna Wåhlin, professor of oceanography at the University of Gothenburg and lead author of the new study now published in Science Advances.
Impacts global sea level
The ice sheet in West Antarctica accounts for about ten percent of the current rate of sea level rise; but also the ice in West Antarctica holds the most potential for increasing that rate because the fastest changes worldwide are taking place in the Thwaites Glacier. Due to its location and shape, Thwaites is particularly sensitive to warm and salty ocean currents that are finding their way underneath it.
This process can lead to an accelerated melting taking place at the bottom of the glacier and inland movement of the so-called grounding zone, the area where the ice transitions from resting on the seabed to floating in the ocean.
Due to its inaccessible location, far from research stations, in an area that is usually blocked by thick sea ice and many icebergs, there has been a great shortage of in situ measurements from this area. This means that there are big knowledge gaps for the ice-ocean boundary processes in this region.
First measurements performed
In the study, the researchers present the results from the submersible that measured strength, temperature, salinity, and oxygen content of the ocean currents that go under the glacier.
“These were the first measurements ever performed beneath Thwaites glacier,” says Anna Wåhlin.
The results have been used to map the ocean currents underneath the floating part of the glacier. The researchers discovered that there is a deep connection to the east through which deep water flows from Pine Island Bay, a connection that was previously thought to be blocked by an underwater ridge.
The research group has also measured the heat transport in one of the three channels that lead warm water towards Thwaites Glacier from the north. “The channels for warm water to access and attack Thwaites weren’t known to us before the research. Using sonars on the ship, nested with very high-resolution ocean mapping from Ran, we were able to find that there are distinct paths that water takes in and out of the ice shelf cavity, influenced by the geometry of the ocean floor,” says Dr. Alastair Graham, University of Southern Florida.
The value measured there, 0.8 TW, corresponds to a net melting of 75 km3 of ice per year, which is almost as large as the total basal melt in the entire ice shelf. Although the amount of ice that melts as a result of the hot water is not much compared to other global freshwater sources, the heat transport has a large effect locally and may indicate that the glacier is not stable over time.
Not sustainable over time
The researchers also noted that large amounts of meltwater flowed north away from the front of the glacier.
Variations in salinity, temperature, and oxygen content indicate that the area under the glacier is a previously unknown active area where different water masses meet and mix with each other, which is important for understanding the melting processes at the base of the ice.
The observations show warm water approaching from all sides on pinning points, critical locations where the ice is connected to the seabed and give stability to the ice shelf. Melting around these pinning points may lead to instability and retreat of the ice shelf and, subsequently, the upstream glacier flowing off the land. Dr. Rob Larter of the British Antarctic Survey commented:
“This work highlights that how and where warm water impacts Thwaites Glacier is influenced by the shape of the sea floor and the ice-shelf base as well as the properties of the water itself. The successful integration of new sea-floor survey data and observations of water properties from the Ran missions shows the benefits of the multidisciplinary ethos within the International Thwaites Glacier Collaboration.”
“The good news is that we are now, for the first time, collecting data that is necessary to model the dynamics of Thwaite’s glacier. This data will help us better calculate ice melting in the future. With the help of new technology, we can improve the models and reduce the great uncertainty that now prevails around global sea level variations,” says Anna Wåhlin.
Reference: “Pathways and modification of warm water flowing beneath Thwaites Ice Shelf, West Antarctica” by A. K. Wåhlin, A. G. C. Graham, K. A. Hogan, B. Y. Queste, L. Boehme, R. D Larter, E. C. Pettit, J. Wellner and K. J. Heywood, 9 April 2021, Science Advances.
Given that ocean warming, where it may be happening, occurs at the top 50 meters when caused by “climate” factors makes it unlikely that temperatures at depth under the ice are influenced by climate. What was found, or being reported out here is probably a condition that has existed for centuries. It has only now being spun as something catastrophic. The circumstance that it comes from East Anglia is a guarantee it has a climate change spin to it.
You being a trump supporter guarantees you would dismiss science
What a narrow minded reply. Correcting with an educated response is just beneath you.. no no you got to crucify people with invisible knowledge in order to win an argument ..well at least in your mind anyways. Verbal destruction with each compulsion eh.. by the way the scary orange bad man is gone you don’t need to obsess over him anymore he can’t hurt you no more
East Anglia is a reputable institution. The internal communicatuons released were actually not as damning as some have said if you understand how the evidence has to be interpreted. In any case this data can be independently verified. It is true that there could have been warm water there in the past but now we have a baseline. Additionally, the warm water could indicate global warming is happening so should be investigated.
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The authors correctly observe, “Global sea level is affected by how much ice there is on land, and the biggest uncertainty in the forecasts is the future evolution of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet,”
And then they describe their adventures under the floating ice, which has already displaced as much water as it will contribute when it melts. That is, nothing!
Implicit in the concern about how existing ice might influence the ice on land, is the oft repeated but poorly supported conjecture that the floating ice acts as an effective buttress to the ice on land. If that were the case, one would not see tension cracks on land, near the coast, or in the pack ice often frozen to the glaciers. The friction between the glacial ice and the bedrock is the dominant controller of the glacier movement, not the floating ice that has the same forward momentum as the ice still on land.
“These were the first measurements ever performed beneath Thwaites glacier”
So, if these are the “first measurements,” how can they cause any concern? It does not make sense.
You being a trump supporter would explain why it makes no sense to you.
Republicans often refuse to accept scientific proof
Lol you sound like a republican he ask a question and you make an assumption on who they supported 6-7 months ago for the American presedency which has nothing to do with the question . You didn’t even answer his question. You literally look like a idiot then claim to have a scientific point if view without even proving it
Very interesting but the spin on global warming we’ve been warming since the Ice Age and when the salinity change is enough in the ocean we will go back to Ice Age I happen to like warmer weather
It amazes me the ignorance you display
How does one look at the great wonder, that is the machines built by man, and say “yeah that’s not having any effect on climate.”?
I wonder if there will be real scientific facts in the comments section here, rather than simple opinions.
They,(opinions) are a dime a dozen!
Ronmcox You being a Democrat assures me that you are an idiot and a fool
Hey crabby the man said if these are their first measurements they mean nothing because they have nothing to compare to just because anything a university in East bump f*** puts out is gospel to you does not make it real you fool
Ya just keep blindly hating Trump and the 75 million people that voted for him. Now our election was decided by people too lazy to go to the polls and show an id. So we got sleepy joe making America look like tards. Where’s the science in that. The media made Trump out to be a nazi and Joe to be a saint. Other countries are watching and it’s making us look weak and foolish. We are not all as ignorant as u haters.
Who told all these people to hate Trump. Oh let me guess they all came up with it on there own. Science! Remember all those kids in cages . We should send all these migrants up north to over crowd schools in democrat run states. They are the ones who voted to let them all in. They have no clue what it’s like down here in Texas. And they don’t care because it’s not effecting them. No one cares until it’s in there face happening to them.
I made a comment similar to this article last year about this type of behavior of water silanity and increase of glacier melt off. Some models give glacier life span 100 years while I question these projections and think a more realistic number maybe 30 to 50.
If It’s The First Time Scientists Have Been Able To See Whats Going On Under The Glacier…… Then Everything Else Was Just A BIG Guess………..🤦♂️
Well I guess we can agree to disagree, but until we have more data to compare from, which in a year, will determine whether this is normal, or not. There can only be speculation, but let’s worry, and get everyone panicking, and go crazy, and do something like run everyone out of toilet paper, because somebody said this, and it’s got be true. Wow, lol
Here’s the spin toward funding.
“Although the amount of ice that melts as a result of the hot water is not much compared to other global freshwater sources, the heat transport has a large effect locally and may indicate that the glacier is not stable over time.”
Notice the 1st use of “hot water” followed later by the conditional “may” and then the more scare words that tell you nothing. After reading that sentence I immediately knew the plea for more money would follow. You can bet the simulator will predict doom. This article should be about a robot submarine that collects data. Everything else is conjecture.
Ronmcox, Rinmcox and Crabby offer nothing of any significance. No science supporting, or dismissing the subject of the article. Not even an opinion on the subject, beyond assuming anyone that questions a proven fraudulent scientific establishment, is a Trump supporter. Being in denial that East Anglia jokes internally about global warming, is irresponsible and a sure sign of stunted mental development.
I love how Julian made a valid point and the response was “You don’t understand because your a Trump supporter”. So I took 2 hours and researched what he said and he was correct. If your so blind you don’t see the alarmist slanted writing your being willfully ignorant. But beware the “Doomsday Glacier” 😆
Both comments addressing the slanted viewpoint of the writing and actual opposing viewpoint were deleted. Mine included,so let’s try again. I researched and Juliann is correct and anyone’s counter argument against his correct statement being “Your a Trump supporter” is being willfully ignorant of the slanted journalism on display here.
According to the Tide Pod Eating generation, if you question anything (which is actually a part of the scientific process) you are a Trump supporter and denying science.
Climate change is a constant. It has been changing since the earth was created. The earth temp cycles up and it cycles down. Been that way for centuries. It seems pretty arrogant of the’climate change’ keyboard commandos to claim we humans dictate the planets climate. To be clear…you’re full of it. Get over yourself!
It astounds me that the same people who reject the science of biology, I.e. there only being two genders, so willingly accept whatever science tells them about climate change. You cannot pick and choose what science is acceptable, that is called hipocracy.
Why are we worried about a ice cube on a rock flying through a bunch of other rocks threw space.. We could be snuffed out in 2 secs by a 1,000,000 other things b4 the ice melts..
My first question would be, is there anything we can do about it? My guess is probably not. It’s great we get this data but it’s like trying to put out fire on the sun
Climate change is happening I agree, it’s been happening on earth since the beginning. Earth has cycled through all of them many times we couldn’t stop it no matter what we did to stop the process earth’s gonna do it’s thing. We may delay it a few years but don’t be fooled it will happen. When glacier’s melt they’re releasing tons of trapped gases they hold. As ice melts it’s going back in time and we don’t have a clue what may be trapped in ice that’s been around for tens of thousands of years. It releases more co2 then we ever will in 100 life times. Viruses, other life forms from a long time ago could be what does the human race in. Volcanic activity around the world now so something is going to shift. The volcano under antarctica is melting it faster from beneath creating gap’s in The ice and seafloor letting ocean water in escalating the melt. It’s a losing fight we can’t win. We should be looking for the way we carry on life with the next chapter of earth’s life. We are just spectators in the events on planet sit back and enjoy the ride cause there is only one thing you are garanteed in life and that is you Will die I guarantee you will
I wrote this Global warming paper in like 11th grade, it gets worse quickly is all I can say, but in the end, everything balances out.
I find all of this fascinating, and I’m optimistic it will result in meaningful data with further research. I support research on Earth over space at this point. Just a suggestion to those bickering, be open to outcome and honor what others have to say. Find a way to communicate your truth without blame or judgement. It’s not a contest, we’re in this together and should find a way to root and support each other.
Partisans engaging in political drivel…on a site for scientific discovery and study. Y’all are the reason we (humanity) can’t have nice things.
Is human machinery impactful to the environment? Sure, real pollutants (NOT CO2) are created and discarded. But much like the concern over CFCs, mother nature is sending us another reminder that we aren’t as important as we think we are. My. Pinatubo spewed out in one eruption 700Mx the amount of CFCs that mankind would have to dedicate to nothing but creating those chemicals for 10k years. Y’all are worried about ice ages and warming…I’m worried about the next flood and the solar lul. Our core is warming up likely due in part to the polarity shifting, volcanic activity on the sea floor is increasing daily (which naturally would warm the oceanic waters…duh much?), and you guys want to gripe about whether Trump matters in this conversation. Talk about myopic! Look, here’s short, realistic facts you should consider: communism sucks for everyone except the ruling class, and there’s always a ruling class, that’s just the natural law. There will always be hierarchy, can’t be avoided. So can we PLEASE focus on becoming a type 2 civilization BEFORE we get to meet the date of the dinosaurs and what ever God does or doesn’t exist please? And if you’re an ideologue, you’re not a scientist, so stop pretending you are for the love of Christ already. Geez!
We need more people like you. Thanks for your comment.
Please political discussion is on other channel..Global warming is a process.Ice glaciers at one time existed in mexico..Warming is a fact.No shock to anyone. Rivers flowed in Sahara desert..Human race has progressed a process in motion for thousands of years.Dont fool yourself you or others will not stop the earth from changing. Political matters are so worthless.
All I’m going to say to my friend Bud, I totally agree with you 100%. We are in for a huge surprise people. I’m not a trump supporter either. Can’t stand the idiot. This story isn’t even about the f#?ker geez people. Someone always wants to summon that Idiot trumpet. 🤦♂️
Ran… The goddess of the drown. What a name for a submarine. Good thing she’s unmanned.
Liberals….quick to hand over the keys based on high school rumors. First of all, the banks have not stopped lending money to seaside developments, in fact, trillions being spent as we speak. These guys aren’t in it to lose money. Only blathering Biden supporters who think universal basic income is a grand scheme (morons) is a good idea are all for global warming even though Japan and Sweden have already disproved these conspiracy theories…and they are conspiracy theories. As a Native American, I find it hilarious that these globalist sychophants are so willing to hand over human rights to the super rich elite who actually want to depopulate these very same supporters (although I’m not opposed to getting rid of most of them) I find it disappointing that the sheep are quick to bleet for any hay that they are fed, even if it at cost 9f human life and suffering. Dementia Joe is already on his way to infamy as worst leader of any country ever and the fake ass virtue signaling being done on super rich Dems behalf is sickening. There is no such thing as moral superiority and global warming is another fund raiser for Soros and the rest. Call me when you degenerates decide to hold China accountable for all their pollution band attempts at destroying western ideals and economies.
Global warming……the earth will shed humans like fleas when it’s ready and the arrogance of you ants thinking you can affect any change in the environment or climate is pure ignorance. So go feed your social network addiction and fall for any lie they push BECAUSE THEY TOLD YOU TO and either pay taxes or contribute meaningful to society. And don’t forget….13% is not a majority.
It must be very difficult to gather scientific data in those regions, if weather is not up to par during research.Ibelieve more research needs to be done to have different variables to compare. Science is wonderful when research is done extensively, to fully understand ever aspect of what is being studied. These comments aren’t fuel by politics.
I love to see the intolerance and ignorance of democrats how they think Only they have a brain or believe in science lol. Not to mention their willingness to believe whatever they’ve been told as long as some Dr. Or scientist said it. They never are willing to look into the inquiries and do homework themselves. As a Dr. Myself I’d like to propose they research my claim they believe Obama’s prostate has the distinct taste of Margaret Sangers tounge which also resembles Michelle’s phallus. Go research and tell me for yourself. In the Name of Science you lab specimen.
Warm water rises and colder water sinks. Ocean currents thus rise and sink as they warm and cool through interaction with surface atmospheric temperature: warmer near the equator, cooler near the poles.
Boring. This article is mainly a rehash on the history of this glacier. The authors knew the only hope of people clicking on it was calling it ‘the Doomsday Glacier’. Next time, at least attempt to explain how it acquired that nickname so readers can get more from their reading than a boring research summary.
Global warming is made up I’ve measured Florida coast waters to California coast waters and they haven’t risen one f**king inch nuff said fake global warming is like believing in the tooth fairy
Has anyone considered that introduction of a submarine and the disturbance and cavitation they create in any body of water they touch…could be vastly upsetting the ecology of the water beneath the glacier…which btw has been adding ice mass for quite some time now. It seems all these armchair scientists have forgotten that warm water makes ice faster than cold water…a simple fact of thermo physics.
Nothing in nature has ever maintained stasis. Most of the great water features of the world were created by the movement of great ice sheets in both growth and retraction. Sticking a stupid submarine into a place we’ve never touched before is a great example of an ecological disaster created by man and should be banned globally. It will surely be the cause of some kind of devastation in that part of the ocean. But as long as the fascist imbiciles on the left are busy linking destruction of habitat to pay day for their marxist corruption and treachery via the great scam of global warming they won’t stop destroying the earth. If we simply demand that zero tax dollars go to this charlatan pseudo science and academia must actually do something good for once to create the monies they claim to need, then we’ll see legitimate science being done again! Until we demand such accountability they’ll just keep jamming foriegn objects in places they don’t belong and calling it success.
Hi,I’m pitakianungasali from BIOCRAFT RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT in LAE,411,Papua new Guinea. I wish to share only two of my research summaries from two different researches but only if you are interested. It might shed some light on melting polar ice and global warming effects and alternatives to suppress it..
We keep learning how this climate change is working. And it’s affects.
Even though it’s the first survey. It’s showing the cycle of melting.
Though I’m chuckling to myself after reading the comments.
Climate change is not political. It’s just plain facts. 98% of climate scientist’s agree it is happening and it’s human caused.
Doesn’t matter it your republican or democrat.
Also we are not scientist’s, maybe we should listen to the people who spent decades learning their craft.
Here’s a scientific fact: The Left destroys whatever it touches. Art, religion, politics, women’s sports, history and yes, even science. Scientific fact: Red states are better off than blue states. Scientific fact: Gender is set in the womb and can’t be changed, no matter how much mutilation of the body occurs. Scientific fact: Carbons emissions went down in the US after Trump got us out of that stupid Paris accord. Scientific fact: Left wing dictators have killed more people that any religion ever has, save one. We don’t have to worry about climate change. An unchecked Left will destroy us way quicker than any weather will. If your worried about rising sea levels, MOVE!!. Cause you ain’t stopping it from happening. I left Cali not because of rising sea levels, but because of rising stupidity from the Left.
There’s no one worried about iso-static depression
Crabby get a life. My family all has never alligned with half baked loose science. God is in control, not you ,not trump and never stupid demonrats who want to control everything in order to control everyone. Worthless endeavors by you.
Still spreading your climate change bs I see
Everyone is losing sight of the real problem. This planet is all we have its all are children and grandchildren have so taking care of it should be everyone’s number one goal . People need to Stop with the politics and start using your brain. Now obviously this planet has been abused by human and like anything that has not been taken care it has started to show effects. Everyone knows when u don’t take care of something properly you shorten its life span Earth is no different .
Always, every time, again n again, this God thing plops (correct spelling) up! I do not need to go to a place every week and be revered for being without violance that week. I believe that like minded people gathering to creat energy to support their custom ideas is a great platflorm. But thinking about this pre neanderthal discipline of, be good, get good; be bad, get bad; along with a list of whats good or bad is just….well…childish. We all know, if listening has been learned, what is violance. God, religion, judgement will inevatably be the downfall of the human race. Rah rah rah, you didn’t screw your brothers wife or slaughter someone who believes we are all able to rase humans (parenting should be a test prior to conception, lets FINALLY face it, some people’s dna combined is not going to creat bliss, lol). I’m going back to being homeless, with a masters, and get off this soapbox!
kind & gentle= laughter= magic
Anyone who denies Climate change are A$$ holes. Trumper !diots too…
Once every 25000yrs. Give or take, for time is only relative to grav-atomic., pressure of a influenced area. This event occurs, it started approx. 1960s and will start to subside in 100yrs. unless there is major volcanic eruptions. A major factor added to the mix 10B. Humans plus food chain. 5th-grade math problem, average 100 degrees every second. If you count nothing else. You have unleashed the power of a sun within our planet. This reality is, to effect anything 4B would have to be sacrificed very soon, and zero population growth active. All your reality makes no difference. Good luck to all. Above all things protect your freedoms, they came at a great cost. We fled from Kings and Queens, Communist, Socialists. In 200yrs did what they did not do in 2000yrs. May whatever is looking over us, we do not waste it.
Yep. When you have have Bill Gates funding fooling with mother nature. The Chinese labs don’t seem so scary.
Who would have thunk, a cli-sci article garnering fisticuffs and ego jabs.
In the meantime, we’re leaving a largely unlivable planet behind for our children and grandchildren and us Xers and Boomers can’t figure out how to talk to one another about PROVEN science that is of the utmost importance. As in “everything between 10N and 10S fried, underwater, off-kilter, or otherwise effed up by 2100.
Not 2460 or 2390 or 2230. 2100. Looking at a potential 8° rise in global average temp. Who cares who they voted for…even if Trump is a total asshat giving a bad name to asses, hats, and dunes to boot.
Science shouldn’t be an argument; science is facts. Get all the scientific knowledge to make an opinion and release a paper of your own if you disagree.
We lost 4 years of truth, while the worse admin in our history got paid for doing nothing to help our nation or planet, and that’s the truth.
Crabby. You sound as stupid as your
How can they come up.with that conclusion when they have no previous data ,because they have never been there before ,again scare mongering by the financially addicted greens with a anti everything agenda
Wow. I am just amazed that people cannot seem to discuss this science without bringing up a politician. Here is how it works. Trump thinks global warming is a myth because he is an idiot. Biden thinks he has the cure to global warming through windmills and solar panels because he is an idiot. Pence has tried to wax multiple times scientifically about climate change because he too is an idiot. Harris has tried to give long talks on climate science, but makes no sense because she too is an idiot. See the theme here? Further, Bush said climate change was not as severe as the data obviously showed because he is an idiot. Clinton and Gore both promised they would have climate change under control by 2015 because they are idiots. Did you pick up on the theme yet? Probably do not listen to a single solitary politician about science. Their educations are in law, and business, not chemistry, physics, or biology. Why does anyone trust politicians opinions on science? If it is not clear, everyone trusting in some kind of nonscientist about science is in the wrong here. At best, the most any politician will be able to tell you about any kind of science will be as if it were from a game of telephone. Every time anyone listens to a politician about science it is important to remember one thing. Every word of science they tell you came through the filter of someone who understands very little about science. Why do every single one of you want your science tainted by an idiot? Food for thought i suppose. I hope you all have a brilliant day.
Trump haters are still obsessed with him even after he’s gone , just can’t let go of the hate . Haters gonna hate they can’t help it . Maybe Parkinson’s Joe and sleep your way to the top Harris will save the world , I wouldn’t hold my breath or stick my head in the sand , dumbest admin ever . Truth ! Peace Out !
Scientists have also learned that the earth’s orbit around the sun has a lot more to due with the planet warming and cooling.. every 10k years the sun is closer and then begins moving further away. This causes warming and cooling!!
I would like to point out all the findings that scientist find are symptoms the planet is showing. I think we can all agree that humanity role has contributed to these symptoms. The problem here in the US is conflicting expectations of people role. Should people be more careful to environment; yes. Should people allowed to make choices on how to live?….
I am a Reublican and also a performance analyst and from my point of view is the major problem is over population. I can right now there is so much social decay fueled from seperatist groups, widespread drug use, and fear mongering social media websites that cause more division than help. Think about it, what are children today are seeing. Do you think children see the constant attacks, riots, propaganda, and hate statements are going to acheive higher learning to help save the world? We need to have a strong economy, a strong education system, strong police force to remove crime, develop strong community and family values that are not self-centered and come together developing technology that will work for everyone and keep balance in the world.
No, we can’t agree on humans contributing to anything.
Where there are deserts were once seas. Humans are not capable of causing global “Climate change”. Are people unaware of how arrogance that is. How big is the Earth anyways? Literal famed Climate expert…comes out of the closet and admits they have zero basis for their claims.
Death is guaranteed water world is coming
Drama queen. Hurr during, yes we all die eventually.
Will this stop the Sun from going supernova?would it have stopped the ice age? Oceans turning into deserts? Did humans do those things?
“Climate change” is a euphemism for coming draconian control over an ever increasing global population.
You. An call me whatever you want in terms of politics but your silly statements don’t add anything and we know your tactics. Dimiss with emotion based blabbering.
A quick message from forbs for all you climate alarmist…
Jan 6, 2015,
‘97% Of Climate Scientists Agree’ Is 100% Wrong
This article is more than 6 years old.
If you’ve ever expressed the least bit of skepticism about environmentalist calls for making the vast majority of fossil fuel use illegal, you’ve probably heard the smug response: “97% of climate scientists agree with climate change” — which always carries the implication: Who are you to challenge them?
The answer is: you are a thinking, independent individual–and you don’t go by polls, let alone second-hand accounts of polls; you go by facts, logic and explanation.
Here are two questions to ask anyone who pulls the 97% trick.
1. What exactly do the climate scientists agree on?
Usually, the person will have a very vague answer like “climate change is real.”
Which raises the question: What is that supposed to mean? That climate changes? That we have some impact? That we have a large impact? That we have a catastrophically large impact? That we have such a catastrophic impact that we shouldn’t use fossil fuels?
What you’ll find is that people don’t want to define what 97% agree on–because there is nothing remotely in the literature saying 97% agree we should ban most fossil fuel use.
It’s likely that 97% of people making the 97% claim have absolutely no idea where that number comes from.
If you look at the literature, the specific meaning of the 97% claim is: 97 percent of climate scientists agree that there is a global warming trend and that human beings are the main cause–that is, that we are over 50% responsible. The warming is a whopping 0.8 degrees over the past 150 years, a warming that has tapered off to essentially nothing in the last decade and a half.
Sources: Met Office Hadley Centre HadCRUT4 dataset; Etheridge et al. (1998); Keeling et al. (2001); MacFarling Meure et al. (2006); Merged Ice-Core Record Data, Scripps Institution of Oceanography
Even if 97% of climate scientists agreed with this, and even if they were right, it in no way, shape, or form would imply that we should restrict fossil fuels–which are crucial to the livelihood of billions.
Because the actual 97% claim doesn’t even remotely justify their policies, catastrophists like President Obama and John Kerry take what we could generously call creative liberties in repeating this claim.
On his Twitter account, President Obama tweets: “Ninety-seven percent of scientists agree: #climate change is real, man-made and dangerous.” Not only does Obama sloppily equate “scientists” with “climate scientists,” but more importantly he added “dangerous” to the 97% claim, which is not there in the literature.
This is called the fallacy of equivocation: using the same term (“97 percent”) in two different ways to manipulate people.
John Kerry pulled the same stunt when trying to tell the underdeveloped world that it should use fewer fossil fuels:
And let there be no doubt in anybody’s mind that the science is absolutely certain. . . 97 percent of climate scientists have confirmed that climate change is happening and that human activity is responsible. . . . . they agree that, if we continue to go down the same path that we are going down today, the world as we know it will change—and it will change dramatically for the worse.
In Kerry’s mind, 97% of climate scientists said whatever Kerry wants them to have said.
Bottom line: What the 97% of climate scientists allegedly agree on is very mild and in no way justifies restricting the energy that billions need.
But it gets even worse. Because it turns out that 97% didn’t even say that.
Which brings us to the next question:
2. How do we know the 97% agree?
To elaborate, how was that proven?
Almost no one who refers to the 97% has any idea, but the basic way it works is that a researcher reviews a lot of scholarly papers and classifies them by how many agree with a certain position.
Unfortunately, in the case of 97% of climate scientists agreeing that human beings are the main cause of warming, the researchers have engaged in egregious misconduct.
One of the main papers behind the 97 percent claim is authored by John Cook, who runs the popular website SkepticalScience.com, a virtual encyclopedia of arguments trying to defend predictions of catastrophic climate change from all challenges.
Here is Cook’s summary of his paper: “Cook et al. (2013) found that over 97 percent [of papers he surveyed] endorsed the view that the Earth is warming up and human emissions of greenhouse gases are the main cause.”
This is a fairly clear statement—97 percent of the papers surveyed endorsed the view that man-made greenhouse gases were the main cause—main in common usage meaning more than 50 percent.
But even a quick scan of the paper reveals that this is not the case. Cook is able to demonstrate only that a relative handful endorse “the view that the Earth is warming up and human emissions of greenhouse gases are the main cause.” Cook calls this “explicit endorsement with quantification” (quantification meaning 50 percent or more). The problem is, only a small percentage of the papers fall into this category; Cook does not say what percentage, but when the study was publicly challenged by economist David Friedman, one observer calculated that only 1.6 percent explicitly stated that man-made greenhouse gases caused at least 50 percent of global warming.
Where did most of the 97 percent come from, then? Cook had created a category called “explicit endorsement without quantification”—that is, papers in which the author, by Cook’s admission, did not say whether 1 percent or 50 percent or 100 percent of the warming was caused by man. He had also created a category called “implicit endorsement,” for papers that imply (but don’t say) that there is some man-made global warming and don’t quantify it. In other words, he created two categories that he labeled as endorsing a view that they most certainly didn’t.
The 97 percent claim is a deliberate misrepresentation designed to intimidate the public—and numerous scientists whose papers were classified by Cook protested:
“Cook survey included 10 of my 122 eligible papers. 5/10 were rated incorrectly. 4/5 were rated as endorse rather than neutral.”
—Dr. Richard Tol
“That is not an accurate representation of my paper . . .”
—Dr. Craig Idso
“Nope . . . it is not an accurate representation.”
—Dr. Nir Shaviv
“Cook et al. (2013) is based on a strawman argument . . .”
—Dr. Nicola Scafetta
Think about how many times you hear that 97 percent or some similar figure thrown around. It’s based on crude manipulation propagated by people whose ideological agenda it serves. It is a license to intimidate.
It’s time to revoke that license.
Alex Epstein is founder of the Center for Industrial Progress and author of The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels.
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Alex Epstein is the author of the New York Times best-selling book The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels and an expert on energy and industrial policy. Called “most original…
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Ok now that I am done sharing this knowledge or how I would like to say facts and if you made it all the way through that beautiful segment, I have a question relating to this article.. I am interested in the findings that you didn’t claim such as hot spots from volcanic activitie or the geothermal hot spots to this glacier and if you were able to get a reading on the sulfur levels.. you can’t claim there isn’t any due to the fact there is a active eruption in iceland and how most of the artic is is on thee western side which is directly over thee fault line.. I wonder if that has any relevance??
Why are there so many trump supporters arguing on here? Take a nap because you’re either a 14 year old nihikist or a boomer idiot
Is there always so much angst and disrespect shown in the comments here? Why?
It seems like y’all come here to yell at each other and fight. Why?
Are we interested in science or are we interested in political skewering of each other?
Sad, pathetic, embarassing, and uninteresting comments .
Wasting my time but it’s not just a few scientists opinionoil companies use same argument cigarette companies did.really thousands got together and said let’s makeup a story,spend billions and devote lives.4 what
It’s 98percent of scientists agree.follow the $ to truth.power companies, politicians is where it’s at