Cue the Jaws Thump-Thump Music: And Scientists’ Phrases to be Dreaded

Ponder these:

“That really shocked me.”
“We had no idea how bad it was.”
And “Reality is well ahead of the climate models.”

To respected veteran science editor Sharon Begley of Newsweek – no favorite among those denying the established climate change science – those are precisely the kinds of phrases “you really, really do not want to hear from climate scientists.”

So that’s how she started her “Climate-Change Calculus: Why it’s even worse than we feared” Newsweek posting.

That plus a reminder of the “thumping refrain” from Jaws.

Get the picture?

She fills the pallet with an image of Arctic sea ice loss preceding faster than models can keep up with. And with satellite measurements showing Greenland melting accelerating, now losing about 52 cubic miles per year. As opposed to the 16 inches projected by IPCC for this century, “a more likely figure is one meter [39 inches] at the least,” she quotes the International Polar Year’s David Carlson … “chest high instead of knee high.”

Another point: Begley reports on what Jim Watson, of the University of Sussex, has called “a new breed of climate skeptic” – those thinking the policy responses to the scientific evidence will be far from adequate.

Concluding with what she sees as a growing consensus that “the Greenland icesheet will disappear,” Begley intones, “Cue the Jaws music.”

Begley and her writing on climate change are no strangers to the outbursts and e-mail blasts such coverage routinely generates from readers holding decidedly different views. Chances are this one will tilt the postal scales … even if it is August. Again, cue for Jaws music.

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