Climate lulz: Rings around Antarctica

by Gareth on April 16, 2013

Two things made me laugh out loud today — great gusts of guffaws enough to wake the trufflehound from her slumbers. The first was a perfectly pitched piece of satire in the Southland Times, the second a reinvention of the ocean atmosphere interface by astrological long range weather forecaster Ken Ring. Both are worth your time, but do not drink hot fluids while reading…

Here’s the Southland Times, asking for proof of Antarctica’s existence:


To point to Antarctica’s presence on maps is a fatuous nonsense. When was the last time a scientist came out and acknowledged that Antarctica didn’t feature in the early maps used by some of the world’s most intrepid and admired explorers? Has anyone even asked who first added it, and for what reasons? Certainly not the uncritical mainstream news media. What proof do we have, beyond anecdotal reports from those who claim to have been there – a perfect way for any ne’er-do-well who needs to cover his tracks to disappear from scrutiny for long stretches at a time?

…and…

The breathtaking vanity of those who believe in anthropomorphic global warming must also be confronted and rejected. Not necessarily in that order. If history has taught us anything – and the jury is still out on that – it’s that mankind’s assumption that we could materially influence the glorious majesty of the natural world speaks of nothing other than our failure to accept our own insignificance. An unspeakable vanity.

Enough of those vanities, I say. A bonfire of them! Let’s move on to Ken Ring, who — and this will come as no surprise — is wrong about everything, again. Don’t waves cause winds, he asks, riffing on cause and consequence after an Archimedes moment in his bath:

But the only thing that can heat the ocean surface is the sun and the only thing that can drive ocean currents is the moon.

It had to be the moon, but then it might also be so much more (seriously, put that drink down, swallow before reading):

Deep ocean currents are a fact but science does not link them to winds. Seismic activity generates ocean currents, and earthquakes are waves through solid rock. It is not likely that ocean currents go downwards to generate earthquakes, because some shakes originate up to 400kms below the seafloor. It is more likely that the wave regimes that earthquakes are part of, transmit through rock to vibrate the ocean floor enough to generate the ocean currents and on into the air via oscillating waves to generate unstable airflows. The coincidental occurrence of larger earthquakes around full moons and perigees, together with stronger currents and kingtides, and as well tropical cyclones that form around these times, attest to this connection, and point to the moon and larger gravitational forces responsible for all three.

By the good Lord Monckton, Ringworld is surely a very strange place…

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

cynicAl April 17, 2013 at 7:03 am

A good time to remind ourselves of his forecasting skills too. Anyone remember the 8th April torrents (of sunshine)?

“The wettest day of the year for the North Island may be at or near 8 April, with torrential rains that last on and off for about a fortnight, with flooding in low-lying areas”

Of course, for one of the driest NZ Marches recorded, there was “March – wet with heavy rains and floods”

http://nz.news.yahoo.com/opinion/post/-/blog/15090402/the-heat-waves-and-floods-of-2013/

Thomas April 17, 2013 at 8:52 am

The definition of Lunatic comes in handy when looking for an explanation of the Ringsters fascination with things Lunar…
http://www.thefreedictionary.com/lunatic

Lunatic:
1. Suffering from lunacy; insane.
2. Of or for the insane.
3. Wildly or giddily foolish: a lunatic decision.
4. Characterized by lunacy or eccentricity.
[Middle English lunatik, from Old French lunatique, from Latin lnticus, from lna, moon; see leuk- in Indo-European roots.]

Rob Taylor April 17, 2013 at 12:10 pm

Wow – next to Ken Ring, even Ian Wishart seems rational…

Macro April 17, 2013 at 6:36 pm

I see our old friend AndyS offering his “pearls of wisdom” in the comments on the Southland Times – of course continuing to perpetuate the falsehood that Jim Hansen and others have “admitted” no warming over the past decade. The truth of the matter has been explained to him not only here but elsewhere, but yet he persists with his utter tosh. As sad a fellow as Ring….
Fortunately people are beginning to see him for what he is… a deluded fanatic.

Thomas April 18, 2013 at 11:11 am

As far as the mix, intentional or otherwise, of satire masquerading as right wing red neck stupor or right wing red neck stupor self mutilating into a farcical satirical spectacle like the dumb & dumber show goes, its always good for a laugh or a cringe or to get rid of a bad meal quickly the way it entered, to have a peek into one of the darkest places where the right wing nut case wizards of tosh attempt to torture the last remnants of intelligence out of the minds of their incarcerated audience: Rush Limbaugh’s Website.
Make sure a sturdy bucket is ready at the desk side before entering…

Tony April 18, 2013 at 11:42 am

Speaking of watching the ice melt, you can’t get more graphic than this:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/video/2012/dec/12/chasing-ice-iceberg-greenland-video

About half way through, see if you can identify the bit that looks like a whale has just surfaced.

Is it possibe that as warming accelerates that the chunks of ice that calve off also get bigger?

Copie April 20, 2013 at 6:23 pm

Record ice expansion of Antarctica and the global warming religion fanatics claim this is because of global warming. These people have no credibility.

Rob Painting April 20, 2013 at 6:50 pm

Temporary expansion of the Antarctic sea ice was predicted by climate models some twenty years ago – which is good example of their usefulness.

Copie April 21, 2013 at 7:24 am

So we are supposed to believe that global warming is causing temporary expansion in Antatctica and catastrophic shrinking in the Arctic!

Thomas April 21, 2013 at 8:42 am

Believing has nothing to do with Science. We leave this to those who don’t want to look at evidence.

bill April 21, 2013 at 1:53 pm

Asinine use of Argument from Incredulity. Pure troll. Next.

Rob Painting April 21, 2013 at 3:00 pm

Copie – you are just parroting contrarian blog nonsense. You are supposed the read the scientific literature, and appreciate what is says, before making claims based on a fundamental lack of understanding.

Antarctica is a colossal slab of ice sitting atop a continent surrounded by ocean. The increased calving of ice into the surface waters around Antarctica – a consequence of warming (and the ozone hole perhaps) – increases the freshwater content of the surface ocean (ice formation rejects salt) so that the volume of sea ice increases. This occurs due to the higher ice formation temperature threshold of fresh water when compared to salty water.

This isn’t going to last due to the fact that the oceans continue to grow warmer. Eventually the higher sea surface temperatures around Antarctica will overwhelm the increased freshwater’s influence over sea ice formation.

And it is important to note that land ice loss in Antarctica is still accelerating, even though the sea ice trend is not.

Rob Taylor April 22, 2013 at 11:10 am

Never mind, Copie, at least your mindset has been immortalised in literature:

Humankind cannot bear very much reality

T.S. Eliot, “Murder in the Cathedral”

Previous post:

Next post: