Republican Rep. Mo Brooks of Alabama claimed that rocks falling into the ocean were causing the rise of sea level, not climate change, on May 16.
Brooks pushed his bizarre claim during a hearing of the U.S. House of Representatives Science, Space and Technology Committee, notes E&E News:
Every time you have that soil or rock or whatever it is that is deposited into the seas, that forces the sea levels to rise, because now you have less space in those oceans, because the bottom is moving up.
Philip Duffy, president of the Woods Hole Research Center in Massachusetts and former senior adviser to the U.S. Global Change Research Program, shot down Brooks’ false claim:
I’m pretty sure that on human time scales, those are minuscule effects.
Undeterred by facts, Brooks claimed Antartica was growing, but Duffy shot him down again:
That was true a few years ago, and scientists say it does not disprove the theory of global warming because different factors affect the Arctic and Antarctic rates of melting.
We have satellite records clearly documenting a shrinkage of the Antarctic ice sheet and an acceleration of that shrinkage.
Brooks questioned Duffy’s evidence.
Once again, Duffy humiliated the climate science-denying Brooks with his sources:
The National Snow and Ice Data Center and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).
Brooks claimed NASA as his source as well:
Well, I’ve got a NASA base in my district, and apparently, they’re telling you one thing and me a different thing. But there are plenty of studies that have come that show with respect to Antarctica that the total ice sheet, particularly that above land, is increasing, not decreasing. Now, you could make a different argument if you want to talk about Greenland or the Arctic.
E&E News debunked Brooks:
Earlier this year, NASA researchers determined that Antarctica’s ice loss has accelerated in the last decade. More broadly, sea ice extent at both poles set a record low last year.
Scientists are racing to better understand the changes occurring in Antarctica because much of its ice is land-based, meaning it could drive sea-level rise around the world as it melts.
(Source: E&E News via Science, Photo Credit: MSNBC)