Thursday, January 21, 2010

Sir James Clark Ross

You probably haven't heard his name before. He was an explorer. He explored the Arctic on four voyages under Admiral Parry; and later led his own expeditions into the Antarctic.
Ross was employed on the magnetic survey of Great Britain. He was also tasked with discovering the magnetic south pole, and discovered/named many features and bays in Antarctica. Ross ice shelf and the Ross Sea are among things he first identified (later named for him).

Ross was a fanatic recorder, recording tidal, astronomical, and meteorological observations. He sailed to The Isle Of The Dead not far from Point Arthur (Tasmania)with the purpose of providing a benchmark. These are excerpts from his journal, made in 1841..

"The fixing of solid and well secured marks for the purpose of showing the mean sea level of the ocean at a given epoch was suggested by Baron von Humboldt..." (Another traveller, and hero of mine)....
"My principal object in visiting Port Arthur was to afford a comparison of our standard barometer with that which had been employed for several years by Mr. Lempriere, (the Deputy Commissary General) and also to establish a permanent mark at the zero point, or general mean sea level as determined by the tidal observations which Mr. Lempriere had conducted with perseverance and exactness for some time; by which means any secular variation in the relative level of the land and sea, which is known to occur on some coasts, MIGHT AT ANY FUTURE PERIOD BE DETECTED, AND ITS AMOUNT DETERMINED."
Ross gave Lempriere laborers and specific instructions to cut this mark in the exact spot which his tidal observations indicated as the mean sea level of the ocean.
July 1st 1841 the mean sea level mark was made. Careful present day observations put mean sea level, over a century and a half later, more than 4 inches below Ross's mark.
Thanks for the effort, Mr. Ross, but you wasted your time. Science ain't based on keen observation anymore. When your ice shelf seasonally recedes, it's due to our industrial greed. If you ask your average Joe, they'll insist the oceans have significantly risen in spite of the benchmark you provided.


Lee said...

Not sure if you read this

Dr Murari Lal also said he was well aware the statement, in the 2007 report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), did not rest on peer-reviewed scientific research.

In an interview with The Mail on Sunday, Dr Lal, the co-ordinating lead author of the report’s chapter on Asia, said: ‘It related to several countries in this region and their water sources. We thought that if we can highlight it, it will impact policy-makers and politicians and encourage them to take some concrete action.

‘It had importance for the region, so we thought we should put it in.’

The claim that Himalayan glaciers are set to disappear by 2035 rests on two 1999 magazine interviews with glaciologist Syed Hasnain, which were then recycled without any further investigation in a 2005 report by the environmental campaign group WWF.

It was this report that Dr Lal and his team cited as their source.

The WWF article also contained a basic error in its arithmetic. A claim that one glacier was retreating at the alarming rate of 134 metres a year should in fact have said 23 metres – the authors had divided the total loss measured over 121 years by 21, not 121.

Last Friday, the WWF website posted a humiliating statement recognising the claim as ‘unsound’, and saying it ‘regrets any confusion caused’.

Dr Lal said: ‘We knew the WWF report with the 2035 date was “grey literature” [material not published in a peer-reviewed journal]. But it was never picked up by any of the authors in our working group, nor by any of the more than 500 external reviewers, by the governments to which it was sent, or by the final IPCC review editors.’

flyingvan said...

At first I thought it odd the World Wrestling Federation was even weighing in with an opinion on this, then I realized the WWF has more credibility than the IPCC so it sorta works.
I had seen this. There are all sorts of little scientific hypotheses being funded and carried out, all using sound scientific process. The problem is, they are all within the basic premis that there IS man made global warming. I don't know of any research project objectively studying that basic question.

Lee said...

Due to a lawsuit World Wrestling Federation renamed itself to World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE)