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Setting the record straight on the Antarctic continent

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: December 13, 2013

By A Sayers

Comments (1)

On November 15, you published a letter from me which I had submitted weeks earlier calculating the amount of energy to melt the ice on the Antarctic continent.

Antarctica contains 90% of the world's fresh water and if it were to melt it would raise the sea level by 170metres. 48 hours later you published a rebuttal from David G Tubby which, unfortunately, contains the denigrating statement 'the adage that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing is well illustrated by the letter from A T Sayers'.

I have never met or spoken to Mr Tubby, he knows nothing about my education or qualifications, yet he presumes to himself some intellectual and knowledge-based superiority with respect to climate science.

If he had read my letter carefully he might have concluded that I had carried out a simple calculation that a child of ten could have done. He/she only needs the starting temperature, the specific and latent heat of ice to calculate the heat required to melt a litre of water. Multiply that by the number litres of ice and the heat to kilowatt-hours conversion factor and you have the result I published in my letter. One does not need a Doctorate in Climatology to do it.

He insults the intelligence of the WMN readers by explaining the meaning of the word "average".

He doesn't know what the average temperature of Antarctica is. For his information, the summer coastal temperature reaches -0.5C for 2 months and is -7C to-26C for ten months. At the south magnetic pole, it ranges between -38 and -70C. Mr Tubby confuses the sea-ice surrounding Antarctica, which was not the subject of my letter, with the glacial ice on the mainland, which was. He says that as the ice of the polar caps melt the proportion of ice to sea changes. There is more sea, less ice. No – there is more land, less ice.

The continent is 14,000,000 sq kilometres in area. Nearly 4000km across and 2 to 4000 metres high.

Mr Tubby needs to explain how the heat will travel 2000km to the centre, climb about 3000 metres, raise the temperature by 70C and have enough left over to provide the latent heat. He says that global warming is happening. I suppose it is. Records show that the temperature now is 0.8C higher than it was in 1850. He says that the sea level is rising. He is right. The records show that the sea is 7inches higher than it was 100years ago. Is it really necessary to press the panic button?

His final two paragraphs read like a lost chapter from the Book of Revelations with their armageddon predictions of billions of deaths. Where is the proof? The latest IPCC report doesn't support them.

He headed his article: "Majority of scientists accept global warming theories". How does he know?

There has never been a poll. In the USA, 48% of the meteorological society declared their opposition to the society's pro-global warming policies.

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