Mona Charen

On the other side of the globe, a new survey using satellite technology has found that there are twice as many emperor penguins in Antarctica as previously thought. Science Daily reports, "Using a technique known as pan-sharpening to increase the resolution of the satellite imagery, the science teams were able to differentiate between birds, ice, shadow and penguin poo or guano. They then used ground counts and aerial photography to calibrate the analysis." The results: 595,000 birds dressed in black tie, almost double the previous estimates.

Less beguiling, but no less important for symbolic value, are the melting glaciers. The U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (co-winner of the Nobel Peace Prize with Gore) predicted in 2007 that "Glaciers in the Himalayas are receding faster than in any other part of the world and if the present rate continues, the likelihood of their disappearing by the year 2035 and perhaps sooner is very high if the Earth keeps warming at the current rate." The melting glaciers, we were told, would "devastate" the lives of more than a billion people living in Asia and eventually, swamp Manhattan and other coastal cities.

In 2010, the IPCC admitted that the melting Himalayas prediction was not based on science but on a 1999 media interview given by one scientist. They said they regretted the error.

Now, a study in nature, based on satellite imagery, has shown that some melting of lower altitude glaciers is taking place but that higher glaciers have been adding ice. The range called Karakorum, which includes the K2 peak, has been adding mass over the past decade, while other regions have lost mass. None of the glaciologists knows why.

Nature reports that the loss of ice from the Himalayas, once estimated at 50 gigatons per year, was actually measured at only 4 gigatons per year between 2003 and 2010. That's quite a difference.

That the climate is warming is not, if you ask most scientists, in question, though it hasn't warmed much -- if at all -- in the past decade. But the panic mongering of the global warmists has not just undermined their own cause -- it has diminished the prestige of science generally, and that is a serious loss.


Mona Charen

Mona Charen is a syndicated columnist, political analyst and author of Do-Gooders: How Liberals Hurt Those They Claim to Help .
 
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