Back in March 2011, writing on this very blog, I described the efforts of global warming rejectionists, who tried to get the American Physical Society (APS) to water down or reject its earlier statement on global warming. Instead the APS strengthened its statement.
One result of the kerfuffle was the creation of a Topical Group on the Physics of Climate (TGC). John Mashey, writing a comment on the realclimate.org blog, provided a very illuminating brief history behind the creation of the TGC. Gentle readers of Rabett Run (are they any other kind of readers?) are referred to Mashey's masterful history.
Meanwhile, while randomly twiddling the teevee dial over the holidays, I accidentally discovered a new PBS Nova film about the melting of arctic glaciers, Extreme Ice . The Greenland ice is melting in ways that are not fully understood, but the melting is occurring faster than many climate scientists believed in the recent past. The film is actually quite frightening.
The latest (2007) IPCC document includes global sea level rise from the warming up of the oceans (thermal expansion), but does not include any contribution to the sea level rise from melting terrestrial glaciers, because there was no agreement on how to model the melting process.
This brings us to a point: skeptics and rejectionists stress the uncertainties in the predictions of global warming. However, glacier melting is one factor which, if included, makes the future predictions more alarming, not less alarming. As climate science advances, the case for doing nothing becomes even more untenable.