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

NATGEO_All_ice_melted

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: http://on.fb.me/1iJR5t6

And here is their new one: http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2013/09/rising-seas/if-ice-melted-map

===============================================================

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

Arctic is about 1 standard deviation below the average line:

N_stddev_timeseries[1]

The Antarctic is above two standard deviations:

S_stddev_timeseries[1]

Globally, sea ice is at normal:

global.daily.ice.area.withtrend[1]

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Eliza

Just Boycott the magazine. easy.

Cheshirered

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.

Rob

Wild and desperate stuff. Oh, I haven’t read that magazine in decades.

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…

Paul Barys

I dumped it years ago. I just couldn’t take their ignorance!

FeSun

5000 Years? Which scientist does not get the interglacial part?

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.

TBraunlich

Next month:
“IF ALL THE VOLCANOES ERUPTED”

Steve Keohane

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.

George Lawson

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.

Jeff L

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

JimS

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.

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?
“…if the sea level rises 216 feet…”
Oh, no.
I just invested in waterfront property in the Maldives.
🙂

JohnWho

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.
🙂

GlynnMhor

George, you need to realize that if my grandmother were a bus, she’d have wheels.

D Johnson

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.

redjefff

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.

DrTorch

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!

Patrick Hrushowy

National Inquirer printed with fancy colour on thick glossy paper. What a joke!

lurker, passing through laughing

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?

Kev-in-Uk

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?

JimS

Does National Geographic depend on federal government grants to stay afloat?

Theo Goodwin

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.

Jim Clarke

[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.

DavidB

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

Admad

“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 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.

David

If my uncle had no balls, I would call him auntie.

NG grasps the concept of the contour map!

Alan the Brit

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?

tty

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).

DC Cowboy

“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.

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???

Marcos

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…

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.

R. de Haan

NYT and National Geographic subscription cancelled years ago without any regrets.

chris y

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.
http://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/2012/05/08/hansen-smoking-gun-sea-level-to-rise-1000-metres/
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-
http://bostonherald.com/sports/other/2013/03/american_hansen_wins_1000_meters_in_speedskating
🙂

H.R.

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.

Tad

Imagine the great scuba diving and snorkeling opportunities! I’m rooting for a big ice melt.

MikeP

You show updated Arctic and Antarctic plots. Why has the sea ice page not been updated in many weeks?

RC Saumarez

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!

Gary Hladik

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! 🙂

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.

Joe Public

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.

David Ball

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.

Neo

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

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 ….

Jtom

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.

Crispin in Waterloo

@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. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon_dioxide
Does anyone else see a problem with this chilling scare story? It doesn’t hold water.

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:
http://www.zazzle.com/gifts?ch=climaterealist
I particularly like the one that says, “Cooking the planet—or cooking the books? Turn up the heat on climate alarmists!”
/Mr Lynn