Saturday, April 25, 2009

Peter Garrett keeps his head above water

Did Greg Roberts intend the pun when he said:

FEDERAL Environment Minister Peter Garrett has moved to water down his claim that sea levels could rise by 6m as a result of the melting of Antarctic ice.

Opposition environment spokesman Greg Hunt said Mr Garrett had been alarmist. "...but using alarmist and patently wrong information to back his case will do nothing to instil confidence in his arguments," hesaid. "If Mr Garrett is going to get it so wrong on sea-level rises, how can people have confidence in comments he makes on glacier melts?"

Interesting, because most glaciers in the world are now advancing

James Cook University geophysicist Bob Carter said Mr Garrett's claims were typical of the political misinformation surrounding the global warming debate. "Like Al Gore and the other dark greens that they seek to mollify, politicians completely fail to comprehend that we live on a dynamic planet Earth," Professor Carter said.

Definition from RITA (Research and Innovation Technology Administration):
Ice Shelf: Seaward extension of an ice sheet, floating but attached to the land on at least one side and bounded on the seaward side by a steep cliff rising 2 to 50 m or more above sea level.

If a floating ice shelf melts, sea level will not rise, Peter.

Facts from Landcare Research:
• Antarctica is the 5th biggest continent and 10% of the earth's land area.

• Antarctica's total area is 14 million km2 In summer, there is another 2.5 million km2 of sea ice, which increases to 19 million km2 in winter, more than doubling the size of Antarctica!

• Antarctic ice which at its thickest reaches 5 km in depth, comprises almost 70% of the earth's fresh water.

• Antarctica has the lowest recorded temperature; -90°C at Vostock in 1983. Inland, temperatures range from -70°C in winter to -35°C in summer. Corresponding figures for coastal regions are -30°C and 0°C.

It is a rare occasion when the temperature rises above freezing, so most melting must come from rises in ocean temperature.

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