A Republican lawmaker on the House Science, Space and Technology Committee claimed on Thursday that “rock or whatever” falling into the ocean is to blame for rising sea-levels and that global warming was actually causing the Antarctic ice sheets to grow, not shrink, trade publication E&E News reported.
During a hearing on how technology can be used to address global warming, Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL) attempted to convince Philip Duffy, the president of the Woods Hole Research Center and a former senior adviser to the Global Change Research Program, that soil and rocks falling into the ocean from the White Cliffs of Dover and the California coastline was causing sea levels to rise.
The lawmaker also argued that sedimentary and silt deposited into the oceans by large rivers, like the Mississippi, were contributing to the problem.
“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,” Brooks said, according to the report.
“I’m pretty sure that on human time scales, those are minuscule effects,” responded Duffy.
Brooks then argued that ice sheets in the Antarctic are growing, not shrinking, which, according to E&E News, was accurate a few years ago, but is not relevant to the global warming debate because “different factors affect the Arctic and Antarctic rates of melting.”
Duffy told Brooks that he had satellite records that show “an acceleration” of the shrinkage of the Antarctic ice sheet.
“Well, I’ve got a NASA base in my district, and apparently, they’re telling you one thing and me a different thing,” Brooks reportedly said. “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.”
“The rate of global sea-level rise has accelerated and is now four times faster than it was 100 years ago,” Duffy told the panel.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) scientists determined Thursday that April was the 400th consecutive month with higher-than-average temperatures, a direct result of global warming.
We need @BillNye to help out Rep. Mo Brooks and explain sea level rise.
Rep. Brooks believes that land erosion could be the primary cause for rising sea levels.
Its not our fault, its the rivers and waves that are causing this. pic.twitter.com/WgP42IJ77e
— Red T Raccoon (@RedTRaccoon) May 17, 2018