Yet more garbage has been published by scientists who believe that their job is to force the facts to fit their theories, and that if they say a thing it must be true and everybody else should just accept it as fact. Because they're scientists, you see, so they know everything. The rest of us are just ignorant saps.
According to "researchers" (a term to be used loosely, these days. What does it mean? Someone who looks around at the world and thinks "Aha! I see something that just might happen, so I'll say it actually is happening and everyone will believe me and give me lots of money to be a researcher"?) the oceans are losing the capacity to soak up rising man-made carbon emissions, which is increasing the rate of global warming by up to 30 per cent. The Southern Ocean in particular is absorbing an ever-decreasing proportion of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. The excess carbon, which cannot be absorbed by the oceans, will remain in the atmosphere and accelerate global warming. They say.
The scientists from countries including Britain, France and Germany, said their findings marked the first time that one of the world's natural "carbon sinks" had been shown to be weakened by Man's own actions. Ian Totterdell, a climate modeller at the Met Office Hadley Centre, said "This is the first time we have been able to get convincing evidence that a change in the uptake of CO2 by the oceans is linked to climate change."
The weakening of the Southern Ocean's absorption rates - which could be in the range of 5 to 30 per cent - is likely to result in an increase in the rate at which temperatures rise. "This is serious," said Corinne Le Quéré, of the University of East Anglia (UEA) and the British Antarctic Survey (BAS). "This is the first time that we've been able to say that climate change itself is responsible for the saturation of the Southern Ocean sink. With the Southern Ocean reaching its saturation point more CO2 will stay in our atmosphere. Since the early 1980s the carbon sink hasn't changed. In the same period the emissions have gone up by 43 per cent."
According to calculations by the research team led by Le Quéré, the net quantity of carbon dioxide absorbed by the Southern Ocean remained at 0.3 billion tonnes a year from 1981 to 2004. In 1981 it absorbed 0.6 billion tonnes from the atmosphere but emitted 0.3 billion tonnes back into it. In 2004 it absorbed 0.8 billion tonnes but emitted 0.5 billion tonnes.
Well, it's wonderful to know that we have these dedicated teams of researchers looking out for our interests without fear or favour. And, it goes without saying, with no thought of safeguarding the funding of their own departments without which they'd be forced to go out and get proper jobs.
But wait a minute … let's just hear those figures again, the ones that show how the Southern Ocean is no longer able to absorb CO2, the deadly poison we all exhale with no thought for the consequences?
"The net quantity of carbon dioxide absorbed by the Southern Ocean remained at 0.3 billion tonnes a year from 1981 to 2004." OK, fine. That's clear enough.
For example, "in 1981 it absorbed 0.6 billion tonnes from the atmosphere but emitted 0.3 billion tonnes back into it." So 0.3 billion tonnes remained in the ocean, just as they said. OK.
But then, shock horror, "in 2004 it absorbed 0.8 billion tonnes but emitted 0.5 billion tonnes." Ri-i-ight … so it took in 0.8 billion tonnes but gave 0.5 back … so it actually absorbed 0.3 billion tonnes, then? The same as the year before, and all the years before that?
So, Professor Le Quéré, in what sense, exactly, has the ability of the Southern Ocean to absorb CO2 decreased? It's absorbed 0.3 billion tonnes in the past, it's still absorbing 0.3 billion tonnes - but suddenly that's wrong and we need to panic?
Look, missis, I know you've got to do something to justify your continued existence as a drain, one way or another, on the public purse, and I know that the more spectacular you can make it, the better it is for you. But I do think you ought to try and confine yourself to pronouncements that us ignoramuses can't immediately see through?
Oh, and if I've misunderstood - and I'm sure you'll be very quick to point out that because you're a scientist and I'm not, I don't really have the right to an opinion at all - then I think you might consider whether that isn't your fault as well. It either is, or ought to be, part of your job to explain your conclusions so that us ordinary mortals can understand and accept them.
The alternative is to expect us to believe what you say just because of your official position. And if you persist in doing that, then you're no better than any other priest, imam, witch-doctor or quack.
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