Wither The Water, Fox News?

Monica sent me a link to a Faux News story on global warming, which makes the claim that global warming is not real because ice is expanding, and not contracting, in Antarctica. It also makes the claim that 90 percent of the earth’s ice and 80 percent of the earth’s fresh water is in Antarctica, which I assume is mentioned because it would make Antarctica seem more important than other parts of the world, and thus the “fact” that global warming is not happening there is proof of … whatever.

I’d like to clarify.

To start with, let’s get the fresh water thing straight. Most of the fresh water that matters to the average person on the average day is not in Antarctica. It is in the sky. From where I sit right now, I can see this lake, and the lake is charged from groundwater, and most of this groundwater comes from another lake uphill from this lake, etc. etc. But all of this … the local lakes and groundwater … is charged from rain, and this rain comes from the sky, and the clouds in the sky picked up most of this moisture from the Gulf of Mexico and the Pacific. Around the world, a huge percentage of the rainwater comes from either the ocean or from continental sources which in turn came from the ocean.

In other words, the vast majority of immediately relevant fresh water comes from salt water. Most of the fresh water that matters comes from the huge reservoirs of salt water known as the oceans and seas, and beyond this, knowing the percentage of fresh water that is either here or there is neither here nor there. What matters is the process.

But even so, Fox has it wrong. It is true that about 90 percent of the world’s ice is in Antarctica. I’m not sure why that matters to Fox news. If ten percent of that ice melted, sea levels would rise catastrophically. It is not true that 80 percent of the worlds’ fresh water is in Antarctica. Just under 70% of the world’s fresh water is distributed among the frozen reservoirs (Antarctica, the northern ice fields, and mountain glaciers); Just over 30% is in the form of ground water, and just under one percent is evenly distributed between water that is in the air and about to fall on us, and water that is on the surface (lakes, rivers, etc.) most of which is on it’s way back into the ocean.

So, let’s characterize the whole water situation on the earth like this: Most of the water is in the ocean. Over time, a small percentage of this water evaporates and falls as rain back on the ocean. Of this, a small percentage falls temporarily on land and re-joins the ocean in a matter of days or months.

As this is happening, two great reservoirs are formed and grow or shrink over time, one in ice and one in groundwater.

Regarding the seeming inability of Antarctica to cooperate with the conspiratorial liberal agenda to make up this whole “Global Warming” thing; There is nothing going on here. Globally, averaging out the entire planet, there is warming. This warming is severe in the Arctic, and less severe in the Antarctic, and there are even regions in the Antarctic that are cooler and/or have more ice forming. However, there are also parts of the Antarctic where there are ice masses that are melting down and/or falling into the ocean.

So this is Fox News as an Insurance Appraiser:

“So, this is your car, and you claim it was in an accident?”

“Yes, see how the front is all mashed up?”

“Hey, what I’m looking at is the trunk, and it’s fine. I see no evidence of an accident.”

“But look, the engine is sitting in the front seat and the windshield is busted up, and the fenders are all crumple…..”

“No, no, no … look here. The gas tank … which holds the gas which could blow up in an accident … is fine. The gas tank is totally intact.”

“But wait, the front half of the car is crumpled and in pieces because that is where the accident happened….”

“The back half of the car, where the trunk is where we keep the spare tire, and the gas tank which could explode, are just fine. No accident. No insurance payment. ….”

Whack!!!

(That was the sound of the car’s owner slapping the Fox Insurance Appraiser upside the head.)

So instead of reading some stupid-ass article from Fox News, check out this alarming Liberal Agenda Scare Tactic piece from the BBC

Comments

  1. #1 noel
    April 21, 2009

    Cherry picking evidence is all they’ve got.

  2. #2 khan
    April 21, 2009

    Denying warming is so last century; this century it’s ‘part of the natural cycle’.

  3. #3 Brian D
    April 21, 2009

    Greg, the BBC link is to a section page, not any piece in particular.

    As for the right, I think my favorite recent denial claim was Boehner’s blunder. Note the absolute lack of cognitive dissonance.

  4. #4 itzac
    April 21, 2009

    Denying warming is so last century; this century it’s ‘part of the natural cycle’.

    Why do one or the other when you can do both? Even if doing one obviates the other.

  5. #5 mark
    April 22, 2009

    This morning I read an article in Science about the Western Antarctic Peninsula. It has gotten warmer there. As the climate is changing, the humid marine condition is heading toward the pole, following the retreating polar climate. The ecology is shifting along with the climatic conditions. I can understand how Fox broadcasters, talking heads, bloggers, and other noisemakers can be entirely ignorant of what’s going on, but I can’t understand how they so utterly lack the curiosity to ask specialists (and by “specialists,” I don’t mean the clowns on Sen. Inhofe’s List of Bozos).

  6. #6 Max
    April 22, 2009

    Saw an interesting video about Antarctica’s tourism problems and how it’s affecting the environment down there, http://www.newsy.com/videos/earth_day_at_the_end_of_the_world/

Current ye@r *