Whale Oil cites a social anthropologist as a climate change expert

Cameron Slater continues his anti-climate change agenda at Whale Oil, yesterday posting TURNS OUT THE POLES AREN’T MELTING, NOT THAT OUR MEDIA OR GOVERNMENT WILL SAY ANYTHING.

He quotes from an article featuring claims by Dr Benny Peiser from Global Warming Policy Forum (GWPF). Does Peiser sound like a well educated climate scientist?

Sourcewatch claims:

Benny Peiser (b. 1957) is a UK social anthropologist and AGW denier listed among the Heartland Institute “Global warming experts” despite having no evident expertise in climate science or policy.

Peiser was educated in West Germany and studied political science, English, and sports science in Frankfurt.

Although Peiser is described by Local Transport Today as a ‘climate policy analyst’, it is unclear what academic expertise Peiser brings to bear on his climate policy analyses.

According to a search of 22,000 academic journals, Peiser has published 3 research papers in peer-reviewed journals: Sports Medicine, 2006; Journal of Sports Sciences (2004); and, Bioastronomy 2002: life among the stars (2004). None of these studies are related to human-induced climate change.

Peiser also runs CCNet (network) to counter ‘doomsday scaremongering about the possible effects of climate change’.

Slater would ridicule someone with Peiser’s lack of relevant scientific credentials if they were on the other side of the argument. Ironically he concludes:

I can’t wait for the global fraud trials to begin…if you did in business what these so-called scientists have done you’d be sharing a cell with Bernie Madoff or David Ross.

I doubt if he means Peiser as a “so-called scientist”.

And what about whether the poles are melting? It’s not hard to find alternate more scientific views to Dr Benny Peiser and Cameron Slater.

Smithsonian: Ice Melt at the Poles

It’s confirmed: both Antarctica and Greenland are losing ice—around 350 billion tons each year—and, as a result, sea level has risen 11.1 millimeters worldwide since 1992. This photo shows a summertime channel created by the flow of melted ice, which ultimately carries the water away from the glacier to the sea.

It’s not easy to measure melting ice. But by using data from 10 satellite missions, an international team of 47 scientists put together the most accurate estimate of ice melt to date. Ice melt doesn’t just affect sea level, however: the influx of fresh water could change the salinity of the North Atlantic enough to alter weather patterns in North America and affect ocean organisms.

National Snow and Ice Data Center – Artic Sea Ice News and Analysis

Arctic sea ice extent for November was the 9th lowest in the satellite record. Through 2014, the linear rate of decline for November extent over the satellite record is 4.7% per decade.

Antarctic sea ice has continued to decline at a faster-than-average pace (approximately 122,000 square kilometers, or 47,100 square miles per day through the month of October, compared to the average rate of 112,000 square kilometers or 43,200 square miles per day), and is now about 650,000 square kilometers (251,000 square miles) below the level for the date recorded in 2013. Currently ice extent remains about 700,000 square kilometers (270,000 square miles) higher than the 1981 to 2010 average for this time of year.

But what would they know? They aren’t social anthropologists or agenda promoting bloggers.

But an alternate view has been allowed to counter Slater’s claims. See the thread started by Mythrandir.

Another comment, by Gaynor, remains unchallenged:

What would be so wrong with ice free poles? Don’t we need more land for our growing population?

An ice free north pole (Arctic) would not provide more land, there is no land there.

An ice free Greenland would raise sea levels by about 7 metres.

An ice free Antarctic would raise sea levels by about 61 metres.

That would flood a huge amount of land in more habitable parts of the world.

Source: If the polar ice caps melted, how much would the oceans rise?

If the rising temperature affects glaciers and icebergs, could the polar ice caps be in danger of melting and causing the oceans to rise? This could happen, but no one knows when it might happen.

The main ice covered landmass is Antarctica at the South Pole, with about 90 percent of the world’s ice (and 70 percent of its fresh water). Antarctica is covered with ice an average of 2,133 meters (7,000 feet) thick. If all of the Antarctic ice melted, sea levels around the world would rise about 61 meters (200 feet). But the average temperature in Antarctica is -37°C, so the ice there is in no danger of melting. In fact in most parts of the continent it never gets above freezing.

At the other end of the world, the North Pole, the ice is not nearly as thick as at the South Pole. The ice floats on the Arctic Ocean. If it melted sea levels would not be affecte­d.

There is a significant amount of ice covering Greenland, which would add another 7 meters (20 feet) to the oceans if it melted. Because Greenland is closer to the equator than Antarctica, the temperatures there are higher, so the ice is more likely to melt

Of course it’s very unlikely all the world’s ice will melt in the forseeable future. But a metre or two of sea level rise would cause far more problems than it would help.