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Rising Seas Alert! Watch How Climate Modelling Becomes A Sensational News Story

Larry Kummer, Fabius Maximus

Another day, another interesting study about our changing climate misreported by journalists to ignite fear in their readers. The subject is rising seas from the melting of Antarctica. First we look at the science, then at journalists’ hype. You decide how this news should influence the public policy debate about the best response to climate change.

Greenpeace artwork about sea levels

[…] This study provides useful speculation — it is a bold work to advance science — but lacks the methodological safeguards necessary to be an input to public policy. How do we know if this model accurately predicts the future? What validates a computer model other than time and successful forecasts? For more about this vital subject see these posts.

All research has weaknesses. For example, the science (and climate science) literature warns about the danger of “tuning” models so that they fit historical data. This paper provides some classic examples…

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