Climate change deniers cherry-pick glacier study data to ‘cancel global warming’

A critical glacier in Greenland is growing again, after melting at an exponential rate for over 20 years. The Jakobshavn Isbrae glacier started growing again two years ago at about the same rate as it was retreating, according to a NASA study. And, wouldn’t you know it, climate change deniers are using this information to say that “global warming is canceled” and attack Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s (D-N.Y.) Green New Deal.

Until it started growing again, Jakobshavn was one of the fastest melting glaciers on Earth. It melted by 1.8 miles and 130 feet each year. The lead scientist running the study, Ala Khazendar, said:

“At first we didn’t believe it. We had pretty much assumed that Jakobshavn would just keep going on as it had over the last 20 years.”

That’s because Jakobshavn contributed to more sea level rise than any other glacier on Earth. To have it start building up again surprised them.

Although it is good news that the glacier is growing, the study authors think it is only temporary, and for a very good reason. The science doesn’t work the way climate change deniers would like to think it does. Not to mention, they are cherry-picking data from the NASA study to make their point that climate change doesn’t exist.

One theory of climate change has to do with ocean cooling and heating cycles of the ocean, which is what the North Atlantic Oscillation does. The cooling and warming cycles work much the same way that El Nino does, and Khazendar thinks that a natural flipping of the cycle is what caused the build-up of new ice on the glacier – the ocean got cold enough to retain ice instead of continuing to melt it. Not to mention that even though the glacier is re-forming, it is still melting at a rate faster than it is gaining, which means it’s shrinking than it’s growing, and contributing to sea level rise still. This is the part of the study the climate change deniers apparently forgot to read.

According to Marco Tedesco, from Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, said:

“The response of a single glacier does not imply that things have shifted.”

This is because the overall trend of the warming climate hasn’t changed, regardless of local climate variables. In other words, climate change isn’t canceled just because we might see the coldest winter in decades in one region in the United States, or elsewhere in the world.

Local variables always have a hand in temporary weather patterns. The long-term trends are what matter. And, currently, the long-term trend is that Greenland’s ice loss over the decades has hastened, and the country is shedding “about 270 gigatons of ice per year.” That trend has not changed, despite the recent gains, and 97 percent of scientists don’t expect it to any time soon.


Featured Image by NASA via CNN

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