The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not Eureka! (I found it!) but rather, "hmm.... that's funny...." Isaac Asimov

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Climate Change Contrarian Nonsense

There's been a recent spate of contrarian nonsense regarding climate change. There's no better evidence that the earth is warming than the relentless rise of the seas everywhere. Recent data show that the rate of sea level rise is accelerating. (See chart in McCarthy, James, 2009, Reflections on: Our planet and its life, origins, and futures, Science 326, 1646-1655, reproduced here)

The ocean is rising for two reasons only; melting of glaciers and thermal expansion. It takes added heat to do this - a lot of it. If we humans don't get serious about dealing with this problem, fifty years from now, as floods hammer unprepared coastal cities, folks who egregiously misinformed people will deserve some of the blame. Several books that cut through the confusion are Storms of My Grandchildren by James Hansen, The Long Thaw, by David Archer, and The Rising Sea, by Orrin Pilkey and Rob Young.

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