National Geographic's Needless Scaremongering

I suppose they haven’t learned anything from the last beat down skeptics gave them on their Statue of Liberty Fiasco


Bjørn Lomborg writes: 

National Geographic is at it again. They present the world “if all the ice melted” — and they have the temerity to suggest it will happen with more global warming.

“If we continue adding carbon to the atmosphere, we’ll very likely create an ice-free planet, with an average temperature of perhaps 80 degrees Fahrenheit instead of the current 58.”

This, of course, is only the outcome of continuing ever larger carbon emissions for many hundreds of years, something that no one is realistically expecting.

Could we please have a sensible, non-scare conversation back at the venerable National Geographic?

National Geographic’s last scare:

And here is their new one:


[Anthony] Meanwhile both Arctic and Antarctic ice are within normal parameters of standard deviation:

Arctic is about 1 standard deviation below the average line:


The Antarctic is above two standard deviations:


Globally, sea ice is at normal:[1]

148 thoughts on “National Geographic's Needless Scaremongering

  1. It’s their reputation they’re trashing. They’re making themselves look incredibly silly, and such weapons-grade stupidity will be wheeled out to remind everyone of their detachment from reality for years to come.
    Let them get on with it.

  2. We should stop using ‘skeptic’ and replace it with ‘thinkers’ because it’s only by not thinking at all that anybody could fall for National Scaremongering magazine.
    As Sagan would have said, if the supermarket cashier says the rest has been stolen by a supersonic invisible pixie, any thinking person would not believe a word of that…

  3. Another question to ask – is the period 1980 – 2010 even “normal”. While we can probably discount the period of 10k years ago (as one we would not want to be “normal”), how do we know the ice levels of the past 30 years are even remotely normal? It could be that 2013 is “normal”, and the period of 1980-2010 was abnormally high.
    That is the problem with too little data to develop a baseline.

  4. Cancelled my subscription 20 years ago. My father had all issues back into the late 40’s. By the time I got interested circa 1960, I enjoyed four decades of NG. By the 90s they started editorializing, and I stopped reading it.

  5. What you lot don’t realise is that if the sea level rises by 432 feet it will be twice as bad and worse than we thought.

  6. This is the kind of stuff why I canceled NG & pretty much all other “science” journals. What do these type of articles suggest they think about their readership : that we are all left wing politicos who will mindlessly soak this drivel up? that we have no scientific training to be able to think critically about a presentation like this (bad assumption for a science based journal) ? that we are all so weak minded we will just simply convert to their worldview ?
    No good scenarios there – boycott this journal

  7. If alcohol loving aliens arrived and took all our ice to mix their drinks, at least we would not have to worry about all that flooding.

  8. “If we continue adding carbon to the atmosphere, we’ll very likely create an ice-free planet, with an average temperature of perhaps 80 degrees Fahrenheit instead of the current 58.”
    Uh, and at what level of atmospheric CO2 do they predict this will happen?
    “…if the sea level rises 216 feet…”
    Oh, no.
    I just invested in waterfront property in the Maldives.

  9. JimS says:
    November 5, 2013 at 7:43 am
    If alcohol loving aliens arrived and took all our ice to mix their drinks, at least we would not have to worry about all that flooding.

    Why, I believe I wouldn’t mind a close encounter with one of those aliens.

  10. I’ve been a subscriber for years, tolerating the bad editorial policy because of their coverage of non-controversial subjects (e.g. wildlife, archeology, geography). This past year their bias has become too much for me, and I’ve let my subscription lapse.

  11. Let’s be honest… reading these types of scare scenarios are entertaining. In a ‘What would the world look like if…’ kind of way. The problem is when the ignorant start to believe.
    And here we are.

  12. What most of you, including NG, are missing is that if all the ice melts, that Blob they froze up in the Arctic will wake up! And Steve McQueen isn’t around to save us this time!

  13. This is no different, really, than when the great pregressive intellegentsia of the early 20th century were obsessed with eugenics and raical purity.
    It only took forced steriliaztion, the emergence of Planned Parenthood and an angry Austrian WWI veteran to get people to reconsider the wisdom of that particular progressive obsession. I wonder what it will take for the pregressive intellegentsia of today to reconsider their CO2 obsession?

  14. What if, what if…………
    I know, what if NG stopped printing rubbish onto our valuable resources – they might annually save half a dozen or so trees from pointless destruction?
    Better still, what if NG actually looked objectively at science AND its reporting, instead of with simple advocacy in mind?

  15. For most of my rather long life, I found National Geographic to be highly addictive. Those wonderful photos! Those wonderful photo journeys! No one makes maps as beautiful as NG.
    But I simply cannot read it any longer. I cannot bring myself to visit their website. The reason is that both magazine and website are crammed with images that mislead and claims that are false. It is as if the magazine’s editors were suffering from a communal auto-immune disease. They are destroying what made the magazine great, the photos and the photo journeys. Far too many images now serve only the purpose of propaganda. Seeing those images distorted to the purposes of propaganda causes me to suffer a painful cringe.
    History has taught us that images can be poisoned by the people who use them and the purposes to which they are put. Monumental architecture suffered an incredible setback at the hands of the people who erected monumental buildings in Italy and Germany during the Thirties. The editors of NG seem determined to do the same to their once glorious magazine.

  16. [NG]“If we continue adding carbon to the atmosphere, we’ll very likely create an ice-free planet, with an average temperature of perhaps 80 degrees Fahrenheit instead of the current 58.”
    [Bjorn]”This, of course, is only the outcome of continuing ever larger carbon emissions for many hundreds of years, something that no one is realistically expecting.”
    Sorry, Bjorn, but with the logarithmic impacts of ever increasing CO2 essentially falling to zero, and with climate sensitivity to CO2 being well below what the IPCC has claimed (and very close to what the skeptics always said it was), the NG scenario is ridiculous no matter what our emissions are over the next ‘hundreds of years’.
    While Mr. Lomborg has been a champion of rationality in environmental issues, he readily admited that he doesn’t know that much about climate and accepted the IPCC projections at face value. This makes him a dangerous ally in the fight for truth about climate change.

  17. I’ve canceled my subscription because of their lunatic stance on AGW. I don’t want this trash in my house.

  18. “omnologos says:
    November 5, 2013 at 7:26 am
    We should stop using ‘skeptic’ and replace it with ‘thinkers’”
    I believe we should refer to “skeptics” as “realists”, as in grounded in reality.

  19. I canceled NG a while back because of this type propaganda. Also canceled Scientific American when they gave a monthly column to Jeffrey Sachs to espouse his Marxists diatribe that had nothing to do with science.

  20. Why do they always say “if it carries on at that rate……….” What evidence is there of anything ever carrying on at any rate! Besides, as I understand it, the Earth’s crust under both Antarctica & Greenland has effectively formed a dish shape due to the weight of ice above. Water weighs more than ice, so allowing or some water to escape seaward on both land masses, there would surely e much left in place in the form of an inland sea?

  21. Actually a temperature rise of 22 degrees Fahrenheit is too small to “melt all the ice”. It requires a temperature rise of about 17-20 degrees Celsius (31-36 deg F) to melt the East Antarctic Ice Cap (which holds about 80% of the ice).

  22. “If we continue adding carbon to the atmosphere, we’ll very likely create an ice-free planet, with an average temperature of perhaps 80 degrees Fahrenheit instead of the current 58.”
    Hmm, well, given that the effects of CO2 are logrithmic, not linear …. Okay, just for grins lets make some assumptions and see what concentration of CO2 it would take to raise the earth’s average temp from 58 to 80.
    Let’s be generous and assume that Hanson, et. al. have it right and the sensitivity is 3C (5.4F) / doubling of CO2.
    To raise the average temp of earth 22F we’d have to raise the CO2 concentration from its present 400parts/million to roughly 6400
    Temps would follow the table
    CO2 concentration Temp increase from 58
    400 – 800 +5.4
    800-1600 +10.8
    1600-3200 +16.2
    3200-6400 +21.6 (close enough to 22F for … government work)
    I’m not entirely certain about this, but, I’m 95% certain (using the IPCC certainty model) that if we burn every lump of coal, turn every drop of oil into gasoline, and suck every drop of oil from shale, and burned it all, we could not raise CO2 concentration in the atmosphere to from 400 parts/million to 6400 parts / million.

  23. Umm – what about isostatic rebound? I don’t think the Antarctic map takes account of the removal of trillions of tonnes of ice…
    Still, it is fun. Can we have maps of the coastline during the next glaciation as well please???

  24. Am I the only one that gets frustrated when Warmists use ‘Carbon/Carbon pollution’ in place of CO2? It just screams of trying to make words mean something different than they actually do for propaganda purposes…

  25. Thanks, Bjørn, Anthony. Good article and addendum.
    One of these days NatGeo will have to wake up and realize scaremongering is making them to be seen as an alarmist outlet.

  26. National Geographic has not yet matched Hansen’s 2005 pronouncement on sea level rise-
    In 2005, James Hansen told Tim Radford of The Guardian that the current 1 W/m^2 energy imbalance will raise temperatures 0.6 C by 2100, and over 10,000 years would raise sea levels by 1000 meters.
    This is a remarkable claim. Global ice is 33 million km^3, which if melted, would raise sea levels by about 80 meters. The 3900 meter average ocean depth, when heated to boiling (!), would thermally expand an additional 164 meters. The maximum increase is 244 meters, a factor of 4 less than what Hansen reportedly claimed. Maybe he was proposing a new Hydropause, many hundreds of meters above sea level, where the boiling ocean’s splattered droplet density falls below some arbitrary value.
    In related news, American Hansen wins 1000 meter contest in March 2013-

  27. The Great Lakes appear to be unchanged. I would think Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois would go back to being shallow seas. I’m not convinced that their “IF” image is correct.

  28. Actually, the US doesn’t come off too badly. You would lose Disneyworld and Cajun cooking. What about the Netherlands and east coast of the UK? We’d be swamped!

  29. If all the land ice melted and sea levels rose, we’d all grow gills and webbed feet, like Kevin Kostner in “Waterworld”. See? Problem solved. A fantasy solution for a fantasy problem!
    This is fun. Now do one about a zombie outbreak! 🙂

  30. They are simply continuing a long history of supporting bogus claims whenever they might gain from the sensationalism. The National Geographic Society sponsored Robert Peary’s expedition and then for decades, championed Peary as the first to the North Pole despite little supporting evidence and a growing legion of skeptical experts. Due to their efforts Peary’s bogus claim was formally accepted by the U.S. Congress, which promoted him to rear admiral and gave him a corresponding pension.
    As the Arctic countries battled for claims to the Arctic resources after World War 2, governments began shipping natives to desolate Arctic frontiers. Henry Larsen, who had sailed the Northwest Passage in the 1940s and helped augment Canada’ claim to the region, was put in charge of relocating Inuit families to the most desolate northern reaches to further bolster Canadian government claims. The Canadian media portrayed the relocation as a humanitarian effort dedicated to protecting the “unspoiled Inuit society” from the evils of a modern world. While the relocated Inuit suffered tremendously, Canadian newspapers glamorized the move and published glowing accounts of the new, improved lives the Inuit were living. National Geographic lent their support to the ruse by sending journalist Andrew Brown to interview Canadian officials about this wonderful humanitarian effort. To entice the Inuit to move, Larsen promised immediate return passage if the new settlement was not as advertised, but failed to keep their word. The Canadian government finally made a public apology in 2008 and paid reparations to the offended families.

  31. Ah, Nat Geo, the magazine which a few years ago published a ‘green’ supplement in the UK. The supplement was stuffed full of adverts for holidays to exotic, far-away locations.

  32. Marcos says:
    November 5, 2013 at 8:27 am
    You are not alone. I find it a great weapon to pull out when someone starts spouting the “carbon pollution” thing. I simply ask to which “carbon” they are referring.
    The first thing one learns in debating is to address the basic assumptions. Pull out the foundation, and the house of cards crumbles.
    Simply asking questions is usually enough to reveal the “spouter’s” ignorance.

  33. At least if all the ice melts, the headquarters of the National Geographic Society would be under water .. a service to all.

  34. When my kids were young, I used to buy National Geographic and Canadian Geographic as educational tools. Then they became a “misinformation” tools and I taught my kids they needed to think for themselves and the dropped the subscriptions. The photography was/is? wonderful but the accompanying text was/is? so bad ….

  35. How about an article, “What if we stopped all of our CO2 emissions, and the atmosperic levels fell to 150 ppm?” then describe a lifeless, snowball earth. Perhaps some of those spouting off the ills of ‘poisonous CO2’ would learn something about it.

  36. @JohnWho
    >>“If we continue adding carbon to the atmosphere, we’ll very likely create an ice-free planet, with an average temperature of perhaps 80 degrees Fahrenheit instead of the current 58.”
    >Uh, and at what level of atmospheric CO2 do they predict this will happen?
    They are overlooking the tiny fact that melting ice becomes water and fresh water absorbs CO2. In the case of ‘new’ water, it absorbs more than 1100 ppm. The ‘if CO2 rises all the ice will melt’ meme is dependent on willful avoidance of the physical fact that a cubic mile of melted ice will absorb 4.5 million tons of CO2 immediately upon becoming a liquid.
    This slight inconvenience to the narrative will eventually raise its unsightly head – an absorbing thought. If, after melting all the ice, there is any CO2 left at all, it will be coming out of the oceans to replace what has gone missing from the atmosphere.
    If anyone has any doubt that freshly melted water absorbs CO2, remember that the whole ‘acidifying oceans’ story is based on the partial pressure of CO2 gas leaving the atmosphere and entering the oceans when the concentration increases. Well, it enters fresh water too, until a gas balance is reached.
    The math is simple: 5 million cubic miles x 4.5 million tons per cubic mile = 2.29×10^13 tons = 23,000 gigatons subtracted from their CO2 Halloween story. The total CO2 in the atmosphere is 3,160 gigatons.
    Does anyone else see a problem with this chilling scare story? It doesn’t hold water.

  37. Admad says:
    November 5, 2013 at 8:09 am
    “omnologos says:
    November 5, 2013 at 7:26 am
    We should stop using ‘skeptic’ and replace it with ‘thinkers’”
    I believe we should refer to “skeptics” as “realists”, as in grounded in reality.

    I have long argued that “Climate Realist” is the better appellation. Some folks I know (not I) have made some cool-looking “Climate Realist” and other products (hats, T-shirts, mugs, bumper stickers, etc.) available here:
    I particularly like the one that says, “Cooking the planet—or cooking the books? Turn up the heat on climate alarmists!”
    /Mr Lynn

  38. That bogus map is of absolutely no interest for me.
    What I urgently need, instead, is a map (preferably interactive), showing the world’s sea level variation ranging from the eemian warm period over the height of the past glaciation until today for research purposes, because I am writing a novel actually and need this map to research the most probable paths of mankind’s migration over the past 50.000 years, or so.
    Any help is welcome!

  39. Jim Steele, National Geographic have had conflicting versions of the Robert Peary story. One writer who extensively studied the Robert Peary journals decided that Peary’s claims were impossible but a couple of years later that was all forgotten and at present NG stands behind Peary’s claim of being first to the North Pole.

  40. I unsubscribed from Nat Geo about thirty years ago (?) after an issue devoted completely to ENERGY, was similarly replete with gaffe after gaffe after gaffe, without any hint of rational reality. Alexander Graham Bell has been turning over in his grave ever since, at the poor science now displayed in that magazine.

  41. redjefff says:
    November 5, 2013 at 7:49 am
    Let’s be honest… reading these types of scare scenarios are entertaining. In a ‘What would the world look like if…’ kind of way. The problem is when the ignorant start to believe.
    And here we are.

    Just like science fiction. Only, heavy on the fiction and very, very light on the science.

  42. Eliza says:
    November 5, 2013 at 7:19 am
    Just Boycott the magazine. easy.

    Make sure your local schools cancel their library subscriptions as well.

  43. The northern ice cap is already displacing its mass in sea water.
    Sad that even in this era people don’t understand what that means.

  44. FeSun says:
    November 5, 2013 at 7:29 am
    The previous interglacial, the Eemian, lasted about 5000 years longer than our current one, the Holocene, & was much warmer. Yet all the ice didn’t melt. Indeed, far from it.
    Nor would an 80-degree F earth happen even with CO2 at its Cretaceous highs of 1000 to 3000 ppm. Global average T might have been as high as 70 degrees F then, but not because of the CO2. Rather it was the very active volcanism that in part was responsible for the CO2 that pumped heat into the seas & air, which in turn caused more gas to come out of solution in the oceans.
    NG’s lies are ludicrous, anti-scientific, sensationalist scaremongering.

  45. mogamboguru says:
    November 5, 2013 at 9:29 am
    You can use digital bathymetric maps. Sea level was about 140 m lower at the last glacial maximum. Disregarding the weight of ice & geologic events of the past 20,000 years, that contour line will give you a rough idea of coastlines at that time.

  46. They should also do pictures of the Earth if all the water froze, all the water turned into wine, and what Earth would look like spiked on a unicorn horn.
    All perfectly modelable scenarios, I’m sure.

  47. The NG ‘House Style’ of a yellow border is beginning to identify them for what they are: Yellow Journalism (
    When I was a boy being brought up in a ’50s orphanage, the NG was a quality magazine we read cover-to-cover. We got a good education from it – not to mention a love of photography. It is now a comic and I don’t even bother to look at its covers on the newsagents’ shelves (but then, perhaps it should be on the top shelf).

  48. “In time the Rockies may crumble, Gibraltar may tumble – They’re only made of clay…”

    But the NG will tell us that it was caused by CACC – and will likely happen in our lifetime!! (with many apologies to Nat King Cole and the Gershwins)

  49. tadchem says:
    November 5, 2013 at 10:26 am
    Perhaps National Geographic is trying to capture the tin-hat demographic from Fate Magazine.
    I have a different viewpoint. NG is controlled by elitists/statists who are working tirelessly to bring to fruition their agenda of control over and massive reduction of the human population.

  50. In todays’ episode of the flat earth sosciety realists joke about n.g. and other
    Warmist propaganda while our beloved tyrant obama pushes through climate change regulations
    And carbon taxes without congress or senate approval.

  51. This stuff goes along with the Weather Channel’s new program called “Tipping Point”. More scary weather junk.

  52. Roy Spencer says:
    November 5, 2013 at 9:37 am
    I want to see a “what-if” global temperature map if the sun exploded.
    Can’t no earth.

  53. As near as I can tell from their map (or whatever other description one may wish to overly dignify it with) it appears the entire East Coast of the USA is going to be under seawater for a couple hundred miles inland. So that would have to include Washington D.C. wouldn’t it? So are we supposed to be concerned about that?
    Oh, I guess we should be because that would be the end of FEMA and their heroic efforts of providing substandard mobile homes to the displaced. That would also be the end of the NSA which has kept us safe by snooping on the (insert appropriate word here) lives of political adversaries. That might also be the end of the TSA (and I won’t go there with how they snoop). Oh, and the IRS too, which has protected us from those terrorist Tea Part types. Oh, and the ATF which has enhanced our safety by ‘accidentally’ handing out 1,200 weapons (including Barrett .50 caliber’s) to Mexican drug gangs. And that flooding might endanger the FBI which has diligently investigated fraudulent abuse by (insert federal agency name here) of tax returns by diligently not investigating fraudulent abuse of… Plus there’s a chance that flooding could disrupt NASA’s Muslim outreach program which has done such a stellar job of promoting peace in the Middle East. And let us not forget Fannie May and Freddie Mac, and the DOE, and the NHTSA promoting any national speed limits that will save our lives. Oh, nearly forgot, it would certainly disrupt the EPA. Not to mention the NOAA, DEA, DOE, HUD, HHS…and, and, THE ACA!
    Yep, I guess that flooding would be a disaster after all. But never fear. Notice how that flooding has not affected the Great Lakes, in particularly, Lake Michigan. That means Chicago lies untouched. Phew! After having taken decades for its machine style politics to have finally found their way to D.C., at least the coastal flooding will leave the epicenter intact.

  54. Gary says: @ November 5, 2013 at 9:50 am
    “Time to rename the magazine Fantasy Geographic. They still make nice maps, though.”
    I prefer Notional Geographic”

  55. I seriously wonder if National Geographic might be on a death spiral. Being what it was it seemed to be ripe pickings for the Left to take it over; after all, we just ‘know’ they have a lock on science and intellectualism. And like every other, formerly more or less neutral publication the Left has sunk its claws in, the subscription rates may have gone down. What to do? – environmental disaster stories to grab attention at the news stands. And yet, with each new whopper of a catastrophe the magazine gets taken less seriously. So it just spirals downward. Sad, but in the end, the bankruptcy of the Left gets paid in kind.

  56. 5,000 years? Yup, if that life prolongation research pans out REALLY WELL, then I guess our grandkids WILL see all of this.
    But is this before or after Hansen’s seas boil? (…with a 22°F rise…)

  57. Anthony, the big difference between these two press releases is that you did not get the government grant (nor the sales figures that NG gets)….
    Follow the money.

  58. In many sea girt countries a majority of the people live near the coast. When these unscrupulous scientsists threaten the coasts, they are bidding for increased legislation, regulation, and control of the habitable land.
    For example,

    At 30 June 2001 more than 8 in 10 Australians (85%) lived within 50 kilometres of the coastline of Australia, up slightly from 1996 (83%). Most people living near the coast live in capital cities as seven of these are situated on the coast. However, there has been rapid growth of coastal areas outside of Australia’s capital cities (table 5.23).
    In 2001, Tasmania had the highest proportion of its population (99%) living within 50 kilometres of the coast, followed by South Australia and Western Australia (both 91%) and Queensland (88%). The Northern Territory (66%) had the second lowest proportion of its population living within 50 kilometres of the coast (after the Australian Capital Territory, which is wholly inland) because a large proportion of the population lives in the inland centres of Alice Springs and Katherine.

  59. Let’s do the math, they said a rise of 216 feet over 5,000 years. That comes to about 1/2 an inch per year or 4 feet 4 inches per 100 years. Even if we accept the number and there’s no reason to believe it, the rise is so slow that people have more than enough time to adjust to it.

  60. omnologos says: November 5, 2013 at 10:58 am
    When I discovered about the stupid issue with the statue of liberty, I have sent a letter personally to the Editor via snail-mail.
    And that is the way to change things. If an editor gets 10,000 snail-mail letters of complaint on his/her desk, they are likely to take notice and change something. Even though 10,000 people amongst the population of the US is a drop in the ocean, nevertheless 10,000 letters still looks like an intimidating mountain of complaint.

  61. I grew up in a house where Science, Scientific American, and National Geographic were treasured. Their decline is a true catastrophe from AWG.

  62. Haha. The title says “in 5,000 years”.. That will be right in the middle of the next ice age.
    How uneducated are these politically motivated media types?

  63. Seriously though I was terrified before I first started coming here. I’ve recently become a father and we did question bringing children into the world when the threat of global warming seemed so certain and so
    imminent. I work with children and many of them are seriously anxious as a result of just this kind of article that sits in the school library. It reminds me of how I worried about nuclear war years ago. Fear is damaging our young who should grow up with optimism and hope.

  64. One often wonders if the entire staff and contributors of publications like National Geographic believe this crap or is it just a handful of people in key positions pushing their own agenda.
    It wouldn’t surprise me if the majority of people associated with NG are quietly cringing in shame at the hijacking of their once prized brand.

  65. Crispin in Waterloo said that if all the ice melts then it can absorb 23 GT of co2 but there is only 3 GT of co2 in the atmosphere. So does that mean when the planet enters the next hot house period all life becomes extinct ? But equally the warmer temperatures should mean that the oceans will hold less co2 so maybe life survives. As the world would have to heat up before the ice melted that would release extra co2 which would then be reabsorbed by the melting ice. Could make for an interesting graph.

  66. Years ago someone gave me a coffee mug with a map of the globe on the outside. When you put in hot coffee the coastlines would disappear to show what would happen as Global Warming melted the ice. I used it this morning.
    Who gave one to the NG editors? Al Gore?

  67. If it takes more than 5,000 years to melt all the worlds land ice, if we carry on as we are, then that assumes we have 5,000 years worth of oil, coal and gas? I thought we are about half way through or somewhere near peak oil or is that not the case?

  68. looks ok to me,
    looking at the maps I see a very small and acceptable percentage change in land area,
    especially as the new land of the antarctic and greenalnd etc would be `new land` and you cant suggest that just because some inland areas would be below see level they would automatically be filled with water, and why would there be less vegetation with all that heated water around ?
    I dont see the big problem (apart from who would believe that we could influence the earth to do something it wasnt going to do anyway)

  69. Roy Spencer says:
    November 5, 2013 at 9:37 am
    I want to see a “what-if” global temperature map if the sun exploded.
    A good thought experiment. Another would be to let the Sun’s mass stay the same but turn off that thermonuclear light bulb with its lovely life-promoting heat. I wonder how long the warmists believe life on Earth would continue. Maybe about the time the CO2 freezes out? It would give a new meaning to global warming (and cooling).

  70. I don’t believe that earth can possibly lose its ice as long as there is land at the South Pole.
    Wake me up in a 100 million years time when Antarctica has drifted away from the geographic pole.

  71. I’ll believe this crap when I see prestige waterfront properties in Sydney going for a song.
    I cancelled my son-in-law’s gift subscription a few years ago. You’d think the head honchos at NG would wake up to themselves with all the cancellations. The fools probably blame the internet.

  72. jono1066 says:
    November 5, 2013 at 1:45 pm
    I don[‘]t see the big problem …
    The lovely new land in the Antarctic and Greenland would be dark 6 months of the year (so would the tropics (as they are now) but not all in one long period).

  73. pwl says:
    November 5, 2013 at 12:37 pm
    Thanks for the Greenland calculation. Now run the numbers for the West & East Antarctic Ice Sheets. The EAIS has existed for over 30 million years, starting when Earth was much warmer than now & CO2 much higher.

  74. I’m with Jono. Looks like I’ll be living on beachfront property pretty soon.
    Speedoes and Magaritas for me. Pour on the coal.

  75. Yawn.
    So what? It can’t happen. As others have pointed out, there isn’t enough
    sequestered FF (Fossil Fuel) to create enough CO2 to melt all the ice.
    If we tried, the plants would just love it and all the little beasties in the seas
    which created all the lime-stones and chalks would soon soak it all up.
    But no, won’t happen. We’re not in control despite what the Witch Hunters
    think. We’re in an Ice Age. To be a wee bit more precise, we’re in the
    Holocene Interstadial (about the 17th or 18th Interstadial) of the Quaternary
    or Pleistocene Ice Age.
    The Ice Age is about 2.5 MegaYears old, It’s very young, as Ice Ages go.
    It’s got another 60 or more MegaYears to run before this planet returns to
    ice-free conditions.
    Ice Ages are made up of Stadials (the icy cold bits) and Interstadials
    (the warmer less icy bits). In this Ice Age, stadials have lasted from
    about 40kYears (in the early days) to about 100kYears for the
    more recent ones. Hmm, it must be getting colder.
    Interstadials (the warm bits between glaciations), are not as long as the
    Stadials. To quote that untrusted and unreliable source, Wikipedia,
    `most Interstadials last about 5kYears.’ The last glaciation (Wisconson
    Glaciation) melted about 12kYears ago. So we must be nearly due for
    another glaciation if this interstadial has lasted 12kYears already.
    According to this (the Wiki) source and others such as NG, the
    Milankovich Cycles trigger the glaciations. (So where-abouts are
    we in the current MC?)
    Now, NG should know all the above. Most, if not all, of it was published
    in the NG pages over the last four or five decades. Have they got such
    short memories to not know it? Or do they not read or believe any of
    what they publish? They certainly seem very short of intellectual capacity
    to not take any of it into account. How and why can they think their own
    readers can’t remember and put all this together, to be able to publish
    such bare-faced scare-mongering? Shame on you NG.
    Perhaps it’s just as well I’ve always read, and liked reading. Other People’s
    NGs …

  76. In all seriousness though, lets ask the question “what if…?”
    First thing to observe is water is heavier than ice. So if all this extra water is compressing the Pacific basin, the land around the edges (Oregon California Peru Chile Japan Russia) is going to be pushed up. Spectacular earthquakes and eruptions will occur as the ocean plate is subducted by the coastal plates, but the net effect will be slim to no change in apparent sea level.
    On the bright side: San Francisco’s death grip on California politics will be shaken up.

  77. “If all the ice melted.”
    To be followed by:
    If the moon crashed into the earth…
    If a frog had wings…
    If your Auntie had balls…

  78. lowercasefred says:
    November 5, 2013 at 2:23 pm
    “If all the ice melted.”
    To be followed by:
    If the moon crashed into the earth…
    If a frog had wings…
    If your Auntie had balls…
    and my all time favorite Marine Corps Gunnery Sgt comment:
    Yeah, and IF crickets had machine guns, crows wouldn’t mess with’em, would they?(language severely modified for the children’s sake.

  79. Why focus on the “what if” part of NG’s Rising Seas topic? There is a feature article as well:
    “In a state exposed to hurricanes as well as rising seas, people like John Van Leer, an oceanographer at the University of Miami, worry that one day they will no longer be able to insure—or sell—their houses. “If buyers can’t insure it, they can’t get a mortgage on it. And if they can’t get a mortgage, you can only sell to cash buyers,” Van Leer says. “What I’m looking for is a climate-change denier with a lot of money.”
    And why bring in sea ice extent? Melting of sea ice will not produce sea level rise (but note that sea ice volume is on a downward trend), but thermal expansion of ocean waters will (oceans are warming) and so will loss of glacier ice (they are declining in total, a few glaciers may increase because of increased precipitation though), and greenland ice (increasing loss has been observed), and antarctic ice (increased loss in total, west antarctic losing much, east antarctic gaining some because of increased precipitation but not enough to undo west antarctic loss).

  80. Bjorn Lomborg says, “This, of course, is only the outcome of continuing ever larger carbon emissions for many hundreds of years, something that no one is realistically expecting.”
    This is ignorant scaremongering from Bjorn Lomborg, A completely idiotic statement. There is no way in many hundreds of years we could ever get to an average of 80 degrees. The effect of increased CO2 is always diminishing – the greatest impact occurs over the first 100 PPM.
    This guy is an embarrassment to all serious scientists.

  81. “…if the sea level rises 216 feet…”
    I’m still above sea level 74′ see proper planning prevents p*** poor performance or in this case drowning.

  82. Sisi,
    What’s your point? That CO2 is causing a loss of Antarctic ice? Sorry, but that is wrong.
    And your snide comment that WUWT games the ratings is equally wrong. Anthony has gone out of his way to instruct readers to not game the Weblog Awards by voting more than once. He has posted those instructions in every Weblog vote. OTOH, alarmist blogs crow about how many votes they have gamed in that way. So your complaint is typical alarmist projection.
    You just cannot face the fact that your side is in the minority, and losing the debate. If you would stick to verifiable, testable science, instead of making ad hominem remarks abot the Koch’s, you would start to have some credibility.

  83. What’s ‘National Geographic’?
    It sounds like some sort of hero-less Saturday morning cartoon show? Lots of disaster hype for kids to fantasize mighty mouse heroic ‘save the day’ dreams?

  84. After Peter Gleick committed forgery and identity theft to smear Heartland Institute, National Geographic rewarded him with a high profile blog. IMO, that makes National Geographic accomplices after the fact.

  85. My arithmetic doesn’t agree with theirs, either.
    They say that melting 5,000,000 cubic miles of ice would raise the oceans 216 feet. I don’t think that’s right.
    216 ft x 12 in/ft x 25.4 mm/in = 65,836.8 mm
    5,000,000 / 65,836.8 = 75.9 cubic miles of ice per 1 mm of sea-level rise.
    But I calculate the ratio as 94.7 cubic miles of ice per i mm of sea-level rise.
    The oceans cover about 3.618×10^8 sq-km, so a one mm global average increase in sea-level requires 10^-3 m x (3.618×10^14 m^2) = 3.618 x 10^11 cubic meters of water. A cubic meter of fresh water weighs 1000 kg, so (disregarding the salinity/density effects of mixing fresh meltwater with seawater) a one mm increase in sea-level requires about 3.618 x 10^14 kg = 361.8 gigatonnes. Ice has a density of about 0.9167, so that’s about 394.6 cubic km, which is 94.67 cubic miles.
    In other words, by my arithmetic, about 94.7 cubic miles of ice must melt and run into the ocean to raise the seas by one millimeter (and a bit more than that if you raise it a lot, due to increasing ocean surface area as the coastlines retreat). So, unless I made a mistake, melting 5 million cubic miles of ice would only raise the oceans about 172 feet, not 216 feet.
    Did I make a mistake, or did National Geographic?

  86. OMG I will cycle to work today to try to stop the entire Antarctic ice sheet from melting. It is the least I can do in the face of such human tragedy. [/sarc]

  87. Steve Keohane says:
    “Cancelled my subscription 20 years ago. My father had all issues back into the late 40′s…”
    Not to worry, Steve, every year there is a new DVD available with every past issue of NG. No need to clutter up the garage with paper copies.
    Excellent comments in this thread! Some global warming funnies:

  88. Yea. Scaremongering alright. Still, it is interesting thought. In the Eocene the earth was ice free at both poles, is this correct? If so, would the oceans have still been stratified by temperature as they are today? I mean just as a glass of icewater is kept close to freezing throughout until the ice has melted, wouldn’t the same be true of the oceans? If I drill a well in the middle of the continent, geothermal gradient will get me into quite hot temperatures by 12,000 ft, but the ocean is near freezing at that depth. Without ice at either pole, what would the temp profile of the oceans be like. Would geothermal heat be significant?

  89. How about the Biblical Flood…when the waters rose thousands of feet…and only Noah’s party survived…lots of people believe that was literally true

  90. How about them showing what the world would look like when the sun turns into a red giant or super nova or the moon leaves orbit or it gets hit by a comet/large asteroid all things that might could may happen sooner or later and mankind needs to know (worry) about!
    James Bull

  91. We need another verse –
    If all the ice had melted…

    If All the World Were Paper
    “If all the world were paper
    And all the sea were ink,
    If all the trees were bread and cheese
    What would we do for drink?
    If all the world were sand O,
    Oh then what should we lack O,
    if as they say there were no clay
    How should we take Tobacco?
    If all our vessels ran-a,
    If none but had a crack-a,
    If Spanish apes ate all the grapes
    How should we do for sack-a?
    If all the world were men
    And men lived all in trenches,
    And there were none but we alone,
    How should we do for wenches?
    If friars had no bald pates
    Nor nuns had no dark cloisters,
    If all the seas were beans and peas
    How should we do for oysters?
    If there had been no projects
    Nor none that did great wrongs,
    If fiddlers shall turn players all
    How should we do for songs?
    If all things were eternal
    And nothing their end bringing,
    If this should be, then how should we
    Here make an end of singing?
    Anonymous Americas

    Or is this the staff at GISS morning song.

  92. sisi says:
    but note that sea ice volume is on a downward trend
    eh? Wrong.
    The Southern Hemisphere is just coming out of its winter and into its
    summer. At the beginning of October (that’s just last month1!) Antarctic
    sea ice was covering a record sized extent! That’s an upward trend!
    The Southern Ocean’s pack ice area has been increasing steadily, decade
    on decade since at least the 1950s.
    it’s only the Arctic Ocean’s pack ice which has been melting away.
    This winter, it’s starting to look as though that trend may be reversing.

  93. Here is an attachment I prepared for a letter to the Editor of National Geographic about a year ago, suggesting Nov 2014 as appropriate for 10 years on from the Nov 2004 issue on global warming. I suggested a sample of mistakes needing correction. There were plenty that are no longer contentious, but in true warmist style they will be left out there, uncorrected, to further prostitute the good name of science.
    True scientists publish corrections when they are wrong.
    Not hard to predict, I did not receive any response from National Geographic.

  94. I cancelled my subscription about two years ago. NG continued to send reminder notices for twelve months and I found it hard to write them a cease and desist letter because Australia only has a renew address. They were at it again this past week with a special offer. Maybe there have been a lot of lost subscribers. Serves them right.

  95. It seems to me that the people at the time that NG projects to will think that the climate that they live in is completely normal like we do today in our various climates. Humans will adapt to any and all climates on the earth. We are smart enough to do that. We have been doing so for several hundred thousand years and will continue to do so barring some sort of cataclysm that affects all life on earth. Climate change is slow, on the order of tens to hundreds of generations, and people will move on generation by generation.
    Right now I am enjoying the beautiful fall weather (not climate) in Knoxville, Tennessee.

  96. If we keep adding “Carbon” to the atmosphere, then it’s Lucy in the sky with… time.
    That map is all wrong, don’t those dunderheads at the Internationale Geographic ever read Mann, or that other nice man, the one who looks like Homer?
    If we keep on keeping on with the Carbon addition, then we know (Climate Science TM) that it
    will get hotter and hotter until the ice melts, then it gets hotter and hotter until the seas boil,
    and then,
    then all the liquid on the planet will evaporate into the atmosphere, and there will be gazillions
    of miles of dry land, everywhere, and not a drop of drink.

  97. National Geographic is just doing climate porn again.
    Its publisher is apparently addicted to the stuff. A venerable magazine is now just an over priced badly written porn pusher.
    How sad.

  98. NG Magazine upcoming stories:
    “NIBIRU, Planet, Comet or Alien Spacecraft?………………………..”
    “Al Gore Credits Lucid Dreaming for Climate Consensus….”
    “Carbon Poachers, Fracking Pushes Earth Past the Tipping Point!!!…..”
    Actually I favor pre-shipment recycling of NG, it’s the environmentally correct response.

  99. Average summer temperature in Antarctica = 20ºF (12 deg F below freezing)
    Average winter temperature = -30ºF (62 deg F below freezing)
    At the South Pole, it’s even colder.
    Average annual temperature at S. Pole = -55 ºF (87 deg F below freezing)
    It’s a HOT day, today, at the S. Pole, in mid-Springtime, with at 8:50 am 11/6/13 EST:
    Mostly Cloudy Wind: 14 mph Temperature: -38°F (60 deg F below freezing)
    Would somebody please whack Nat’ Geo upside their stupid heads?

  100. The NG is a typical manifestation of the corruption of Main Stream Journalism in trall to the great Man(n) Made Global Warming lie.
    I am sitting here looking out to the iconic Bell Rock lighthouse 15 miles from my window, across a pristine Carnoustie bay. Within a couple of years my view will be poisoned by an array of useless offshore windmills dwarfing the lighthouse.
    Here in Scotland we have a paranoid leader named Alec Salmond. His stated aim is to supply Scotlands entire energy requirements from ‘renewables’.by 2020. I have yet to read any journal or hear any broadcaster seriously question this harebrained scheme.
    On the subject of rising sea level, we have a particular issue in the east of Scotland. The North East of Britain is rising as we are still recovering from the vast amount of ice which melted with the receeding ice age. Meanwhile the south of England is sinking, hence the need for the Thames Barrier flood gates.
    Because of the rising up of the land it is impossible to determine if the North Sea is rising – yet we have an organisation called Scottish Environmental Protection Agency which advises insurance companies that we are all threatened with catostrophic inundation.
    Recently we had a couple move into a house across the road. They were refused a mortgage on the house because it was situated less that 250 yards from the sea.The refusal was based on the advice given to the insurance company by SEPA. A mortgage is given subject to an insurance policy being issued. They eventually got their mortgage but had to pay an enhanced premium for same.
    Below is a little bit of doggerel ‘wot I ‘rote’ recently.
    Preffered Lies.
    The North Sea is not rising
    It’s just steady as she goes,
    We’re in an interglacial
    We’ve got rid og giant ice flows;
    Old fishermen now tell me
    That it really is a beach,
    Trying to launch their lobster boats
    When the sea is out of reach.
    This land was once encumbered
    Wit a massive load of ice,
    Thank God the world is warming
    The last ice age was not nice;
    I cannot walk on water Like that savant Albert Gore,
    I’m glad it’s just a sandwedge
    From the sea up to my door.
    So come and play Carnoustie
    The course runs round the shore,
    Some parts below sea level
    That should not affect your score;
    We have no global warming
    You may well prefer your lies,
    ThThe locals know their weather
    They do not relay on scrys.

  101. hunter says:
    November 6, 2013 at 5:20 am
    National Geographic is just doing climate porn again.
    Its publisher is apparently addicted to the stuff.

    And he’s bringing more alarmists on board. NG recently hired away the head of NPR to a top position at NG. He says he moved because he has a chance to make more of a difference there.

  102. I would be far more worried about events like Fukishima, which appears to be getting worse with every day.
    Don’t know how accurate , but i read other planets in our neck of the woods are experiencing climate changes as well, if this is true is this just coincidence?
    Personally i’m believer in climate change, our little rock has been doing it’s own thing long before we where around, and will continue to do so long after we are gone, i just don’t believe all the propaganda that we humans are responsible for everything , or that a carbon tax would make any difference except to line some peoples pockets and make others poor, with fear mongering, there are people out there making money out of selling fear.

  103. Marcos says:
    November 5, 2013 at 8:27 am
    Am I the only one that gets frustrated when Warmists use ‘Carbon/Carbon pollution’ in place of CO2? It just screams of trying to make words mean something different than they actually do for propaganda purposes…
    No, you are not the only one.
    Why would somebody replace carbon dioxide with carbon or “carbon pollution”?
    I guess in progressive minds political correct trumps truth, carbon/carbon pollution is the pc replacement for carbon dioxide and shows how bad is it.
    Too bad there are still carbon based life forms talking about carbon pollution…

  104. SadButMadLad says:
    November 6, 2013 at 11:39 am
    Now the Daily Mail has picked up on the Nat Geo work and put it on the top of their front page as of 6/11/2013 at 19:38 (UK time)
    I found this pearl on the Dayli Mail site:
    The Eocene epoch was a period of increased global temperatures that lasted from 56 to 34 million years ago.
    During this period of time, little to no ice was found on Earth and there was little difference in temperature at the equator compared to the poles.
    The planet slowly cooled as carbon dioxide from the air locked inside seafloor sediments.
    During this decrease ice began to reappear at the poles, and the Antarctic ice sheet began to expand rapidly.”
    I thought the planet cooled once the circumpolar current formed around the Antarctica isolating it from the rest. This is why the Antarctica is much colder then the Arctic.
    The frozing started with double CO2 ppm in the atmosphere and the cooling oceans absorbed half of it.
    The warmist seem to replace cause and effect again. Maybe in their theory there is a huge CO2 “hole” above the Antarctica causing the freeze?

  105. @dbstealey
    “What’s your point? ”
    The sea ice section in the above the line post has no relevance for the “what-if” section.
    Did you really need that spelled out?
    Crazy World!

  106. Sisi says:
    November 6, 2013 at 5:50 pm

    Volume, Sophocles, volume. It may well be that there is an uptick in global sea ice volume this year, there is still a downward trend. See
    (I know this doesn’t include antarctica, but as the sea ice over there is for the greatest part new ice, then there is hardly any increased volume).

    False. ALL of the exaggerated CAGW hype about sea ice melting is based on the supposed “extra heat absorbed” by open ocean water compared to that solar energy reflected by pristine sea ice. Supposedly, if the sea ice goes away, more energy is absorbed, the water heat more, more ice is melted, more open ocean is exposed, and more sea is melted.
    but that doesn’t happen. After 2007’s very low sea ice extents up north, sea ice in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 increased. NO season-to-season effect.
    After the record low 2012 sea ice extents, sea ice in 2013 expanded more than it had been since 2006! The myth of any arctic sea ice death spiral is a lie used to take your money and justify policies that kill people by increasing energy prices and reducing worldwide health, food, and security: food, fuel, fodder, fruit, fiber, and farms.
    On the other hand, reduced ice area in the artic occurs in mid-September between 75 and 80 degrees north latitude. At these latitudes at this time of year, the sun is NEVER higher than 15 degrees above the horizon, and most of the time that it is above the horizon, it is between 4 and 10 up. At these solar elevation angles, the albedo of open ocean is 0.30 – 0.40, very close tho that of the melting sea ice (0.65 to 0.060), and sol little difference in heat absorption actually happens. Worse, heat LOSS from the exposed open ocean (evaporation, convection, conduction, radiation) are ALL greater compared to what is lost when sea ice blankets the water.
    thus, loss of arctic sea ice in September from the normal COOLS the planet.
    but Antarctic sea ice is expanding between 60 degrees and 58 degrees south latitude; There, the sun is much higher in the sky, penetrating much less atmosphere, and IS reflecting much more solar energy!
    Thus, exactly contrary to your statement of the CAGW religion, more energy is reflected from the planet by increased antarctic sea ice, more energy is lost from the planet by decreased arctic sea ice … and the planet faces even more cooling.

  107. The current publishers and editors are like teens gifted with a huge inheritance. They have neither wit nor will to build on it, only to spend. But once the credibility account fell far enough, the service fees exceeded interest earned, and the decline accelerated. Closure is now virtually inevitable.

  108. RACookPE1978 says @ November 6, 2013 at 7:03 pm
    ….. exactly contrary to your statement of the CAGW religion, more energy is reflected from the planet by increased antarctic sea ice, more energy is lost from the planet by decreased arctic sea ice … and the planet faces even more cooling.
    Excellent, I never put those facts together.
    Perhaps you could expand that a bit and make it into an article. It sort of explains how the “reactivation of the bipolar seesaw” may be linked to “glacial inception.”

  109. Sisi says:
    “I know this doesn’t include antarctica…”
    Antarctica has ten times the amount of ice that the Arctic has. But your typical alarmist cherry-picking doesn’t want to acknowledge that.
    Next, your cherry-picking of the WAIS is seen in perspective here. The rest of the Antarctic continent is cooling.
    In fact, global ice cover is above its 30-year average [red line], so please go peddle your climate alarmism elsewhere. Because here, we know better.

  110. Just how does Australia gain the new inland sea?
    I’ve zoomed in and still cannot see a path from the sea. Did they just do a theoretical sea rise DEM, with no thought?

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