Thursday, March 27, 2008

Wilkins Ice Shelf Breaking Away

In yet more dramatic news of global warming sure to be ignored and rationalized away by the deniers, the Wilkins ice shelf, a 6,000 square mile chunk of ice the size of Connecticut, is on the verge of breaking up and falling into the ocean. This would mark the largest breakup recorded. This also just happens to be in the Antarctic, you know, the area the AGW deniers have been trying to claim is getting colder.

The wiggle room continues to shrink...


alex said...

There's plenty of wiggle room still:,27574,25348657-401,00.html

"Antarctic ice is growing, not melting away"

ScienceAvenger said...

Hardly. When will you denialists understand that it is completely unreasonable to think that AGW would result in uniform warming everywhere, and therefore finding sections of the world that are not warming proves nothing? The articles you link to are simply more sophisticated versions of "the earth can't be warming because it's snowing in Connecticut" arguments.

alex said...

On the contrary, your original post did the exact thing you're accusing the denialists of!
You're just too invested to see it.

ScienceAvenger said...

You are making shit up. I have no personal investment in global warming, it effects me personally not one whit. Any further ad hominem comments like that will result in a longer ban. I have zero patience for people attributing arguments to me I'm not making, and motivations they couldn't possibly know.

But I digress: I did not do what the denialists do (cherry pick data to claim mainstream science is false), but rather pointed out some of the effects of the scientifically established global warming patterns.

You are making a common error of confusing the act of using anecdotes as evidence (what the denialists try to do) with using anecdotes as examples of something (what I am doing). Not the same thing at all.

It all goes back to the fact that there is no scientific substance against the AGW hypothesis, and I won't pretend there is merely to appease your overblown sense of balance. Reality is not balanced.

alex said...

Sorry for the ad hominem attack. I hope this next question is fair:

Why is it that my example of the increasing ice is merely an anecdote (oddly enough, I never intended it to be a proof of no global warming -- rebutting your third paragraph above) while your example of the breaking ice /is/ "dramatic news of global warming?" Please educate me. (Or, if it's faster to point me to an article, then by all means.)

ScienceAvenger said...

If you didn't intend your example to be a rebuttal of the AGW theory, then what was the point of posting it?

The answer to your other question is that the plural of "anecdote" is not "data". The AGW theory is the result of thousands of peer-reviewed papers and the collection of countless pieces of evidence. Among these pieces are dramatic examples like the Wilkins Ice Shelf collapsing.

Contrarily, there is no comprehensive study of climate that concludes that there is no global warming. The best the deniers are able to do is to toss criticisms at the evidence gathered, and to collect up counter examples, like your example of a cooling Eastern Antarctic. That's cherry-picking, collecting anecdotes, and it's bad science.

It would be like you conducting a thorough study of the population and concluding that people are living longer on average, citing some 110 year old lady as an example, only to have me say "yeah, but I know this guy that died at 50". See the difference?

alex said...

My purpose was not to rebut the AGW theory (or even the GW theory, I'll also mention, since your response mentions both), but to rebut /your/ argument /for/ the theory. Subtle difference.

I still don't know why the melting Wilkins ice shelf is considered "evidence" as opposed to "anecdote." You've simply repeated the claim without explaining, except for your appeal to authority. Surely there are places getting warmer on this planet that are not proofs of global warming, just as there places getting cooler that aren't proofs of global cooling (or the absence of global warming). It's just that I don't know how scientists go about classifying a case like this.

ScienceAvenger said...

Your "subtle differences" never cease to strike me as irrelevant. I have no unique argument for the theory: the overwhelming consensus of scientists supports it. That's it, so sare me the pedanticism dresed up as subtlety please.

The Wilkins ice shelf collapsing is an EXAMPLE rather than anecdote because it is part of the huge body of evidence suporting the AGW theory. It's not an appeal to authority to say this, it is appeal to the EVIDENCE.

Scientists don't do this "classification" that you mention, cranks do. Scientist look at all the data, cranks only at the part that tells them what they want to hear. The former is evidence, the latter is cherry-picking anecdotes. It seems pretty simple, I don't understand why you are having trouble with it.