Lomborg is a champion cherry-picker when he isn’t just getting his facts wrong, as I argued in Part I. He has a deceptively misleading — and outright erroneous — discussion of sea level rise projections in Cool It. Let’s start with a few all-too-typical howlers:
Antarctica is generally soaking up more water than Greenland is shedding, as the IPCC predicts. The IPCC estimates that the very worst additional increase to be expected from Greenland could be 8 inches over the century, but this is possible only in a model where CO2 levels rise two to four times more than expected by 2100 (p. 64).
No, no, and no. First, as was widely reported back in 2006–and thus well known to Lomborg while writing Cool It–the first-ever gravity survey of the entire Antarctic ice sheet by NASA and German scientists using a satellite launched in 2002 found “Antarctica’s ice sheet decreased by 152 (plus or minus 80) cubic kilometers of ice annually between April 2002 and August 2005.” That’s as much water as the U.S. consumes in three months.
Second, the IPCC clearly states “models [of sea level rise] used to date do not include uncertainties in climate-carbon cycle feedbacks nor do they include the full effect of changes in ice sheet flow.” Indeed, the IPCC goes out of its way to make clear that its projections exclude “future rapid dynamical changes in ice flow”–changes we are already seeing in both Greenland and Antarctica (subs. req’d). So the “very worst additional increase” possible from Greenland is much more than 8 inches. The IPCC explicitly says “larger values cannot be excluded.”
And this “very worst additional increase” does not require “CO2 levels rise two to four times more than expected by 2100.” It applies to the standard range of IPCC scenarios — and as I have written, since 2000, carbon dioxide emissions have grown faster than any IPCC model had projected.
This all goes beyond cherry-picking and sloppiness — it is outright deception. And Cool It has much more intellectually dishonesty.