Scientists fear that what's happening with Arctic ice melt will be amplified so that ominous sea level rise will occur sooner than they expected. They predict Arctic waters could be ice-free in summers, perhaps by 2013, decades earlier than they thought only a few years ago.
Unfortunately, it appears that this is not only bad science, but bad basic science:
James O'Brien, an emeritus professor at Florida State University who studies climate variability and the oceans, said that global climate change is very important for the country and that Americans need to make sure they have the right answers for policy decisions. But he said he worries that scientists and policymakers are rushing to make changes based on bad science.
"Global climate change is occurring in many places in the world," O'Brien said. "But everything that's attributed to global warming, almost none of it is global warming."
He took issue with the AP article's assertion that melting Arctic ice will cause global sea levels to rise.
"When the Arctic Ocean ice melts, it never raises sea level because floating ice is floating ice, because it's displacing water," O'Brien said. "When the ice melts, sea level actually goes down.
"I call it a fourth grade science experiment. Take a glass, put some ice in it. Put water in it. Mark level where water is. Let it met. After the ice melts, the sea level didn't go up in your glass of water. It's called the Archimedes Principle."