There is beautiful interactive New York Times article called Greenland is melting away. In the spirit of climate science denial, the Global Warming Policy Forum has promoted a couple of other articles on Greenland, with the title Greenland blowing away all records for ice gain (H/T Stephen Marshall, who contacted me to point this out.).
They show the figure below, which appears to show a substantial increase in ice mass. What they do not highlight very well is that it comes from here, which says
Over the year, it snows more than it melts, but calving of icebergs also adds to the total mass budget of the ice sheet. Satellite observations over the last decade show that the ice sheet is not in balance. The calving loss is greater than the gain from surface mass balance, and Greenland is losing mass at about 200 Gt/yr.
In other words, the figure shown by the GWPF only shows the surface mass balance, and doesn’t include mass loss via calving. Overall, Greenland has typically been losing > 100 Gt/yr.
For completeness, it’s probably worth at least mentioning this NOAA Greenland report, which indicates that the 12 months ending June 2014 saw a loss of only 6Gt. However, the previous 12 months saw a loss of 474 Gt, and the figure on the left shows that typical losses – for the last decade or so – have been in the 100 Gt/yr range.
So, this brings me to a problem that I think I face. Richard Betts wrote a guest post a while ago about labelling the behaviour, not the person. This was largely motivated, I think, by people complaining about being called climate science deniers, or being associated with climate science denial. The problem, though, is that some seen to continue associating with science denial. The GWPF, for example, continue to promote this kind of nonsense. In fact, one of the posts they’re highlighting is by someone who is – IMO – undisputably a climate science denier. According to this, Matt Ridley has praised the article that we criticised here (I have asked Matt Ridley on Twitter if this is true; he hasn’t responded). The article is a gish-gallop of science denial. I had a discussion on Twitter with someone who was rather put out when I pointed out that much of their views on science (climate science in particular) appeared to be coming from science denial sites.
So, as far as I can tell, the complaints about the use of climate science denier are mainly coming from people who want to associate with science denial, but to do so without criticism. Well, tough. If you don’t like people pointing out the association, stop doing it. If you think it’s right, own it. You can’t have it both ways. I also have a suggestion for a possible social science project. Search the internet, and other media, and find all occasions when someone associates climate science denial, or climate science denier, with the Holocaust. Then determine the ratio of those who are complaining about its use, to those who are actively using it.