Monday, October 19, 2015

The latest non-science from the non-science guy

Bill Nye is not a scientist.  He is an entertainer.  His degree was in mechanical engineering.  But we see here a claim from him that Miami is sinking due to global warming.  Che??  How does global warming do that?  It is true that Miami is going underwater to a degree but it is not due to global warming.

There are various parts of the world -- the S.E. coast of England notably -- where the land is sinking.  And Florida is one of those.  To the casual observer, the rise of the sea and the sinking of the land look the same but they are not.  And accounting for crustal movements is an important part of geology, with satellites and all sorts of other observations being used to differentiate sea level rise from land movement.  If he were a scientist, Nye would know that and make proper allowance for it.  He is however aiming at drama rather than informing people.

Prof. Tim Ball has written a short article on the subject and he has in addition emailed the following comments:

"Yes Miami is sinking and it is partly due to water extraction. It is also due to the porous limestone that compresses easily and also has extensive cave structures because it is essentially a Karst topography. This is why sink holes are common.

This sinking of major cities is occurring everywhere with some more pronounced than others. Mexico city is a good example.

However the major reason for Miami sinking is because the entire Gulf coast of the US is sinking as post glacial isostatic adjustment occurs.

During the last glaciation the weight of the ice pushed the entire northern half of the continent down relative to the geoid line and sea level.  Since the removal of the ice the north is rising and the south is sinking. Some think the New Madrid fault line across the centre of the US adn site of the largest earthquake in modern US history is a result of the continent 'cracking’.

This is another example, of people like Nye taking a normal event and exploiting it for his political agenda. I think a RICO charge is required for such deliberate deception or at least for blinding ignorance"

Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).

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