To The Daily Sun,
Don Ewing was wrong about the war on women and the tea party's parasitic relationship with corporate funding; now he is wrong about the Little Ice Age (LIA).
Russ Wiles used a site that has an demonology expert for his anti-vaxxer claims and now he is mostly wrong about polar ice.
Mr. Ewing wants to equate the warming that began around 1850 with our present warming but that claim ignores important data. The best evidence for the cause of the warming trend of the mid-1800s is that solar activity increased. A decrease in volcanic activity is also in the cards. Contrary to what climate change deniers claim, volcanic activity causes global cooling due to the release of Sulfate aerosols. The problem with Mr Ewing's explanation is that around 55 years ago, solar activity began a trend downward while warming continued to pick up. This cooling reversed itself after a decade for about a decade but for the last 35 years the sun has been on a cooling trend.  What this clearly suggests is that while post-LIA warming may be connected to increased solar activity, its rather imaginative to claim the climate forcing of the 19th century is responsible for our present trend. Solar activity, which brought us warming, has decreased overall since 1960 yet the warming continues. Solar activity and global warming are going in opposite directions.
Mr Wiles chimed in recently, "The Antarctic has record levels of ice while the Arctic has regained much of the ice lost over the past decade". Not so quick, Russ. The Arctic Sea ice reached its annual maximum ice extent on Feb 25, 2015. The winter peak extent of Arctic ice this year is the lowest on record and one of the earliest since satellites went up in 1979. The Arctic has not regained any lost ice over the decade. On the contrary, satellite data shows that summer minimums and winter maximums have declined and the Arctic has lost an average of 20,800-square-miles of ice a year.  In the matter of the Antarctic, there are two kinds of ice to be measured because it is a continent while the Arctic is mostly sea ice and some of Greenland. Continental ice is not the same animal as sea ice. Also consider that while ice advances and recedes in two dimensions, how thick is it and what is its volume? Measuring ice is a three dimensional job. Using satellite laser and radar altimetry, the elevation and thickness of land ice across the Antarctic ice sheet can be measured. The data so far says the West Antarctic and Antarctic Peninsula sheets are losing ice steadily while the East Antarctic sheet has gained slightly. Added up, the continent lost 1,350 billion tons of ice into the oceans between 1992 and 2011.
On the other hand, Antarctica sea ice has gained some. According to to the National Snow and Ice Data Center, Antarctic sea ice covered a record 7.72 million square miles on September 19, 2014. The average maximum extent in Antarctica between 1981 and 2010 was 7.23 million square miles. The Arctic has lost a yearly average of 20,800 square miles of sea ice while the Antarctic gained 7300 square miles. The Antarctic sea ice gains make up only a third of the ice lost each year in the Arctic. That's a net loss of 13,500-square-miles of sea ice a year while the continent is losing around 70 billion tons of land ice each year. Greenland is no longer stable and is losing 286 billion tons of ice per year.
Just about everything else Mr Wiles and Mr Ewing claim can also be refuted quite easily but space prohibits today. I will certainly take them up if they wish. Next up? Another edition of Tea Party Potty Tricks!
- Category: Letters
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