Washington, D.C. 1/24/2009 1:32:28 AM
News / Green

Stephen Schneider’s sea level alarm without scientific merit, reports SPPI

Claims by Stephen Schneider, a biologist, that melting Greenland ice will drown today’s coastlines and trigger a worldwide belief in the need for action to combat imagined “catastrophic global warming” are scientifically-unjustified and unjustifiable, says the Science and Public Policy Institute – a Washington, D.C. research organization.

A recent blog posting by Schneider saying, “We cannot pin down whether sea levels will rise a few feet or a few meters in the next century or two” is unfounded. The UN’s climate panel, the IPCC, says sea level will rise just 17 inches in the 21st century, compared with 8 inches in the 20th. The IPCC also says Greenland would only lose half of its vast ice sheet if global surface temperatures remained at least 2 degrees Celsius higher than the present for several thousand years. Since the turn of the millennium on 1 January 2001, global temperatures have fallen for eight straight years at a rate equivalent to 1 degree Celsius per century.

The SPPI ScareWatch briefing note also contains photographs of two US early-warning radar stations taken 20 years ago and more recently, showing a very rapid increase in snow and ice surrounding the stations. Greenland’s ice sheet has been thickening at an average rate of more than 2 inches a year, probably contributing a small overall reduction to sea level in the past decade or two. This considerable increase in the ice-mass of Greenland more than compensates for a reduction of just 0.3% in the area covered by ice over the past 30 years.

Bob Ferguson, President of SPPI, said: “Mr. Schneider does not cite a single scientific paper or fact anywhere in his posting. A recent paper by me, also available at our website, points out that many of Greenland’s glaciers have stopped receding and are advancing again.

Adds SPPI adviser, Christopher Monckton, “Temperatures in Greenland are actually lower today than they were in the 1930s and early 1940s. And there was no ice anywhere in Greenland 850,000 years ago: the whole ice sheet melted away. We cannot have been to blame, because we did not exist that long ago. Even if Greenland were to melt again, it would be impossible to state that humankind was chiefly to blame. As it is, there is no danger of major ice loss from Greenland at any time in the near future. To suggest otherwise is fantasy.”

The paper can be accessed here:  http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/images/stories/papers/scarewatch/monckton_scarewatch_greenland.pdf

Contact:  Robert Ferguson, Science and Public Policy Institute