Guest post by Rud Istvan
Willis Eschenbach’s most recent post on clouds and cloud feedbacks and my comments on it got me thinking again about other possible examples of ‘logical omission’ climate fallacies. Or to paraphrase Mamet, “To pretend to believe some things, you have to pretend not to know some other things.”
As chance would have it, today’s (3/15/2021) Google News Science featured a CNET article example. The Google News headline: ‘Scientists stunned by fossils found deep beneath Greenland’s ice sheet.’ Google editor comment: ‘Discovery could have HUGE implications for climate change studies’. Google supporting sublead story from Gizmodo: ‘Million year old plants show Greenland was once ice free!’ Google News reporting paraphrased from Gizmodo: ‘We are all going to die from 8 meters of sea level rise as Greenland melts again’.
The backstory shows ‘science’ reporting at its worst. The CNET lead, and Gizmodo sub, both discuss a new PNAS paper concerning a new analysis of ‘dirt’ found at the bottom of an old ice core drilled down to the grounding of Greenland ice in the mid-1960’s (the Camp Century core). The ‘dirt’ was newly discovered only because its ice core repository was being ‘purged’ for new stuff, and so they reviewed the inventory of the old stuff before discarding it. What was found in the newly rediscovered nearly 70-year old core bottom Greenland ‘dirt’ was obvious plant matter, newly radiocarbon dated to about 1 million years ago, (mya).
Greenland melted before! So we are all going to die from Sea Level Rise of about 8 meters! Or so the above cited media reported based on the new PNAS.
The plant matter stuff reported in PNAS is obviously true. So Greenland did mostly melt about 1 mya; otherwise those plants could not have existed there then, however briefly. But this ‘climate fact’ ignores two big ‘other things.’
First, Greenland used to) sit over a very active tectonic zone, still forming Iceland. 1 mya Greenland was further south, not north oriented, and considered a separate tectonic plate. (It is now mostly snuggled up to the North American plate, with a lot of tectonic earthquakes along the border.) It has uplifted as it approached North America, drifted further north, and tilted more North/ South in the past million years. So its present climatology is not its climatology 1 mya. It remains (maybe until recently) a separate tectonic plate because Greenland also contains some of the oldest known exposed crustal rocks, dated to 3.7-3.8 mya. (Only also isolated Australia competes in the age of oldest rocks, zircon dated.)
Second, about 1 mya in the mid Pleistocene (which itself started maybe about 2.7 mya, arguably with the tectonic closure of the Panama Isthmus), the glaciation/deglaciation (two chaotic strange attractors?) system provably shifted from about a symmetric 40 kya ice age/40kya non-ice interval to an asymmetric about 100 kya ice age/about 20 kya non-ice interval. Nobody knows why, but it geologically provably did. So, a 40/40 cycle 1 mya would have meant much less icecap on Greenland, much more melting, and thus plants during at least part of the non-ice intervals. NOT NOW, with the new asymmetric 100/20 ice cap cycle.
So, the MSM grabbed a new ‘true’ PNAS result, ignored its context, and proclaimed climate doom. That is just more warmunist belief amplification, not the contextual science reporting done here now.
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