With the United States' climate initiatives hanging by a thread, the agencies that fall under the authority of the Cabinet and Environmental Protection Agency seem intent on shoring up the United Nations Climate Change goals, even if those goals are based on natural events that have exsisted for hundreds of years. Using a tiny bit of accurate information that is stated as fact rather than explained in context, these scientific efforts mislead not only the general public but the leadership who relies on honest interpretation of the science.
|Photo from The HIll Publication Website|
The latest is news coming from the 70 or so internationally supported Antarctic weather stations which dot the continent. In what appears to be a joint statement on which the United States Antarctic Program (www.usap.gov) likely had input, these groups used a twice-annual event to send panic through the climate change community at the same time as the UN was holding meetings on the topic of climate change. Claiming a 70 degree warmer temperature in Antarctica, the news was, of course, picked up by The Guardian, the Washington Post (see their article here ), and countless other radio, television and print editions. Obviously, taking the information at face value, reporters sacrifice the credibility of their publication when the information is simple to check and found to be misleading.
Here's what these scientists neglected to explain about "extreme" weather changes that are now occuring at each of the poles.
Temperature Extremes are Short Lived
Every year, twice a year, the Earth moves to a position so that half of the planet directly faces the sun at one time. We call this the first day of Spring and the first day of Fall (aka. Equinox). This means that every point on the Earth, from the poles to the Equator gets about 12 hours of sunshine and the sun's rays are hitting the Earth directly, not at an angle as they typically do. For the poles, this means that the sun's rays are the strongest and warmest of the year. Just like the USA expects a week of warmer temperatures for Spring Break or Indian Summer in the Fall, the poles can see a high temperature spike that is predictable, normal and very, very temporary. What no one wants to admit though, is that those high extremes are at least 20 degrees BELOW freezing and is a needed part of the cycle to keep the ice shelf viable and healthy.
Ice Shelf Collapses
A followup story, has one ice shelves collapsing in satellite images (see photo above). Again, this is good news, not a sign of impending doom. All ice, even in a pond or lake during the winter, collects air pockets underneath. This destabilizes the ice and causes it to crack. When it cracks, especially during warm weather, the ice breaks and briefly sinks below the surface just long enough air to escape and a new coating of water to fill in imperfections in the ice. Within a few hours, if left alone, the ice refreezes and the ice shelf becomes stronger and thicker. This process happens at both poles as well as in any large glacier, lake or sea which experiences colder temperatures for a long periods of time.
USAP Website Used for Documentation
Information about the annual temperature difference (approximately 72 degrees annually) is posted on the USAP website. clearly states the difference is between the summer and winter temperatures and that it occurs annually.
Trust Issues with Climate Experts
Another scenario pushed by a BBC reporter this week was the idea that these normal temperature flutuation were caused by soot from wildfires reaching the poles and causing the ice to melt (black absorbs heat, right?). What the author nor apparently the unnamed scientists who promote such a concept realize is that 1) the air temperature is still below zero and as soon as the sun went down any melted ice would refreeze and 2) once the carbon soot caused melting it would sink into the ice and not absorb heat because of the ice's reflective qualities. These are the dangers or scientists who make predictions based on book knowledge and computer printouts rather than life experience.
This type of marketing for support rather than honest information is the greatest factor in solving the climate change issue. Using annual events and geological cycles to describe apocalyptic futures serves no purpose but to waste money and divert attention from the human element in climate change. Fantasy science is more likely to be a cause of climate change than carbon-based gases and fossil fuels ever were.
For more information about the climate change mythology that is promoted by the media, consider purchasing Air Pollution's the Answer! How Clean Air Policy Compromised the Planet and Public Health.