Friday, November 2, 2007

Hmmm...incomplete truth?

According to the November-December MIT Technology Review (B6, today's WSJ), scientists can't accurately predict the course of global warming because WE DON'T EVEN UNDERSTAND ICE SHEETS! Not to mention the convenient omission by the media of the Antarctic ice sheet being at an all-time high thickness...

Initially, scientists believed that as the Earth's temperatures rose, water would flow off the surface of the ice sheets into the sea. But now it appears that cracks have formed in the sheets as they warm, allowing water to travel to the bottom of the ice. That would speed the rate at which water flows into the ocean. Meanwhile, other climate changes such as increasing snowfalls could mitigate the impact ice sheets have on sea levels.

So, to increase their knowledge (like all scientists should, unlike a certain unnamed author who extrapolated too much for his own good some decades ago), these same scientists plan to go to Greenland and investigate these sheets. Drilling down to something formed "115,000 to 130,000 years ago" sounds like a good academic pursuit. Let's see what becomes of it.

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