Jan 19, 2010

Melting glaciers: the canary in the mine shaft of global warming

The career-driven, social agenda-driven scaremongering frenzy of the IPCC over global warming is totally unnecessary when glaciers already tell the tale.

Ben Sandilands — Editor of Plane Talking

Ben Sandilands

Editor of Plane Talking


Kayaking at Hooker Glacier, with Mt Cook beyond. Picture courtesy mtcook.com

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46 thoughts on “Melting glaciers: the canary in the mine shaft of global warming

  1. Mark Duffett

    As an earth sciences practitioner myself, I dips me lid to you, Mr Sandilands. You’ve got this absolutely spot on.

    A pox on both denialists and apocalypse pornographers.

  2. Evan Beaver

    Has anyone seen the actual passage in the report that is at the centre of these shenanigans? I went looking through the section on Asia: Himalayas in IPCCAR4 and could not see the claim that the Australian are referring to.

  3. baal

    Can’t wait to read the armchair deniers hoeing into Mr Sandilands – how dare he know because he’s been there and seen it!

  4. JamesH

    A bit excessive Ben,

    The IPCC have publicly acknowledged that they got their prediction of Himalayan melting wrong and said they will remove that bit in the next report. I’ve yet to hear any “skeptic” retract any claim, ever.

    The original mistake seems to have stemmed from a mistype of “melting by 2350” to “melting by 2035”. Convenient mistake, perhaps, but easily made and easily corrected. Since, as you say, the research “points inescapably to fossil carbon induced warming as real and serious”, how can the IPCC’s reports which document this fact also be a “lie” or a “dogma”? Sure, Pachauri now looks stupid. Big deal. Given the level of animosity and abuse which climate scientists now face (Michael Mann had to have a Secret Service escort last time he went to Texas because of credible death threats), they’ve taken on a defensive mentality. Hardly suprising.

    “inferred warming that “eliminates” pesky ground station readings that show cooling” – what on earth are you referring to? who/what are you quoting? If the glaciers are indeed melting as you say (even though the Himalayan glaciers are not melting at the rate the IPCC stated) why is sea level rising so implausible to you?

  5. Ben Sandilands

    I’d better be quick and point out that the caption on the chosen photo is wrong in that it is taken on the big pond at the foot of the Mueller Glacier and not on the Hooker which is hidden up valley in the middle distance.

  6. Ben Sandilands


    I was referring to the problem of the main Antarctic stations which was made to ‘go away’ by inferring the high latitude snow domes had really warmed contrary to down trend recorded on the ice. And it was such a pointless exercise because last winter they really did ‘warm’. The weather records for the landmark bases last winter recorded some very sharp breakouts compared to previous winters, and it will be interesting to read the papers on very recent trends when they come out.

    Sea level rises are not implausible. They are real, and persistent, but they are not showing any signs of fulfilling predictions in the tens of metres, and most likely not even single metres, by 2101 in terms of geologically stable coastlines.

  7. A government big enough to give you everything, is strong enough to take everything you have.


    Interested to know what you think of Bjorn Lomborg?

  8. Johnfromplanetearth

    The IPCC are dealing with the Himalayan non problem and the voodoo science that goes with it as we get this news about New Zealand. Glaciergate is brewing!

  9. JamesH


    Interesting (re: main Antarctic stations). Got a cite for that?

    The IPCC’s prediction of sea level rise by 2100 is 18-59 cm by 2100, with an as yet unquantifiable addition from non-linear ice melt. So far they seem to be on target for that. So if you are accusing the IPCC of “outrageous scare tactic crap about decametre rises in sea levels within 20 years”, you’re firing at the wrong target. Various individual scientists have made efforts to quantify that uncertain ice melt and produced higher figures, but they aren’t in IPCC AR4.

  10. Andrew Baker

    I don’t have a view on whether the world is warming abnormally, and if so whether it is man-made. But this is a thoughtful, well written article which makes its case in a way which so much climate change hysteria has not. Nice one. I enjoyed it.

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