Science deniers who congregate at blogs like WUWT are really, really odd creatures. I wonder what proportion of them also follow non-climate conspiracy theory blogs. Today I found on Anthony Watts reformatted blog, another article about ice (archived here). It's about a science trip on the highest mountain in the British Isles, Ben Nevis, probably the most famous mountain in Scotland. The team reported new finds of fauna as well as spots of "compacted, dense, ice hard snow call neve" on the the mountain's North Face, which I guess is the cold side of the mountain (seeing it's in the northern hemisphere).
Eric Worrall decided that this means an ice age cometh. He wrote:
This is how ice ages start – a buildup of snow which does not melt in the Summer, which leads to a positive feedback loop, as the growing ice sheet reflects more and more sunlight back into space.
Well, no. Not exactly. How an ice age starts is Earth starts to lose more heat than it gains from the sun. A build up of snow and ice happens because it's colder. It's not colder because of the build up of snow and ice. One could argue that it's a chicken and egg thing but it's not. Not usually. Once the snow and ice builds up then that hastens the cooling, because the snow and ice surfaces tend to reflect more radiation back into space. What causes the snow and ice to build up is the earth getting colder. Most of the time. Sometimes it could be changes in ocean currents for one reason or other. The system is complicated.
Anyway, without getting too bogged down in details, the BBC had an article about the survey that's being done on Ben Nevis. There was no suggestion that what was being recorded and observed was anything new. It was just that some things hadn't been reported before. Like:
So far, many new populations of rare fauna [sic] such as highland saxifrage, tufted saxifrage and wavy meadow grass have been recorded.Sou: fauna?
Lead survey botanist, Ian Strachan, said: "Many of the rare arctic-alpine species we are searching for are relics from soon after the last ice age.
"Ben Nevis and a few other peaks in the Scottish Highlands provide the most southerly refuge for some of these species which can only survive due to the altitude and presence of semi-permanent snow fields."
Cathy Mayne, of SNH, said work so far had exceeded the project team's expectations.
She said: "Not only have we gathered potentially ground-breaking geological data and significantly added to the known populations of arctic-alpine species, the team have also discovered alpine saxifrage, which has never been found on the mountain before."
You can read the article here on the BBC website.
From the WUWT comments
WUWT-ers must be bored. There were 132 comments, almost none of them having any value whatsoever. Many deniers are falling for the line that just because compacted snow is on cold Ben Nevis, it means an ice age cometh.
fenbeagleblog August 24, 2014 at 4:07 am
I guess that doesn’t fit in terribly well with the narrative, does it……Another re-write needed.
johnmarshall August 24, 2014 at 4:15 am
I am surprised that the BBC reported this sign of global cooling. Out of character.
David Johnson August 24, 2014 at 4:30 am
I wonder how old these climbers and scientists were! I used to go rock climbing in Scotland quite a lot back in the 70s and 80s. It was nothing unusual to see patches of old hard snow that had survived the summer in North facing corries and gullies On one occasion, as late as August 1990, it was quite difficult to get to the start of my chosen climb on Ben Nevis because of a small bergschrund!
jdseanjd August 24, 2014 at 4:42 am
Looks like the 1974 CIA report may be on right track.
How the Eugenicist 1%s who have birthed, marketed & profited from this deadly scam must be laughing.
They’ve been selling the World global warming caused by deadly plant food, while a very possible New Little Ice Age approaches.
Holdren & Ehrlich will also be pleased.