This is what passes for journalism at the right-wing newspaper, the Australian:Peter Garrett shifts from claim of 6m rise in sea levels
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.
Mr Garrett has also been forced to qualify his suggestion that ice across the whole of the Antarctic continent is melting.
The Weekend Australian reported that while some ice-shelf melting is under way on the peninsula and in other parts of west Antarctica that may be related to global warming, ice shelves in east Antarctica remain intact.
East Antarctica is four times the size of west Antarctica.
At the same time, the area of sea ice around the continent is expanding, with sea ice growth in east Antarctica and the Ross Sea more than compensating for losses in west Antarctica. Contrary to public perceptions, parts of Antarctica have been cooling.
Mr Garrett claimed that ice was melting across the Antarctic continent. "I don't think there's any doubt that global warming is contributing to what we've seen both on the Wilkins ice shelf and more generally in Antarctica."
Opposition environment spokesman Greg Hunt said Mr Garrett had been alarmist. "There is a need to take practical action to tackle global warming, 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?"
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.
In response to questions from The Australian, Mr Garrett said he had received advice suggesting the impacts of global warming in east Antarctica were "less pronounced" than in west Antarctica. "However, it remains critically important that we continue to work collaboratively with our international partners on the important scientific endeavours under way across the Antarctic."
Mr Garrett said through a spokesman that the suggestion of 6m sea level rises had been made by Lateline and not by him; he was commenting only that those "kinds" of predictions were consistent with IPCC forecasts.
A few facts:
* Though ice is growing in east Antarctica, and east Antarctica is larger than west Antarctica, that does not mean, as the article implies, that ice is growing over the majority of Antarctica. Ice is growing in parts
or Antarctica, the sea ice is spreading in certain places
around Antarctica. In other places, vast ice sheets are in danger of collapse.
* The Arctic is melting a lot faster than the Antarctic is freezing. The north pole is dropping about 4% of its ice cover per decade, the South Pole is gaining about 0.97%.
* This was a known, but not proven, phenomenon already, and is built into various climate change models.
* There's no ozone hole over Greenland, that is going to be a huge problem before long unless we can do something about it.
* Climate change is not about left vs right, and I sincerely doubt the qualifications of Bob Carter, as he seems unable to separate his obvious massive bias from any scientific opinion he might have. And Greg Hunt is a wanker who can't be trusted in any capacity over the environment for the same reason.
* The title of this article and its introduction are deliberately misleading. But who's going to read all the way to the bottom of the article?