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Opening Arguments

Complex and surprising

Why, yes, it makes perfect sense that global warming would result in more Antarctic ice:

While the North Pole has been losing sea ice over the years, the water nearest the South Pole has been gaining it. Antarctic sea ice hit a record 7.51 million square miles in September. That happened just days after reports of the biggest loss of Arctic sea ice on record.

Climate change skeptics have seized on the Antarctic ice to argue that the globe isn't warming and that scientists are ignoring the southern continent because it's not convenient. But scientists say the skeptics are misinterpreting what's happening and why.

Shifts in wind patterns and the giant ozone hole over the Antarctic this time of year - both related to human activity - are probably behind the increase in ice, experts say. This subtle growth in winter sea ice since scientists began measuring it in 1979 was initially surprising, they say, but makes sense the more it is studied.

"A warming world can have complex and sometimes surprising consequences," researcher Ted Maksym said this week from an Australian research vessel surrounded by Antarctic sea ice. He is with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts.

"Complex and surprising circumstances." You don't say! Doesn't that very uncertainty justify skepticism, and isn't skepticism the proper scientific approach? The people who are absolutely, positively certain of what climate change will bring, and know without question that it's going to be bad, and accept without protest that human activity must be severely controlled because of it, are the blind fools.