A GOP lawmaker who’s a member of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee said this Thursday that rocks and sediment falling into the ocean are contributing to rising sea levels globally.
Speaking during a hearing on technology and climate, Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL) posited his theory during a Q&A on climate science.
As E&E News reports, climate scientist Philip Duffy addressed lawmakers’ questions about climate change, saying that the “rate of global sea-level rise has accelerated and is now four times faster than it was 100 years ago.”
But according to Brooks, erosion also plays a factor.
“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.
Duffy was having none of it.
“I’m pretty sure that on human time scales, those are minuscule effects,” he replied.
The committee, which is headed by Texas Republican Lamar Smith, has a history of politicizing the debate surrounding climate change, even accusing the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) of pushing a “political study” that concluded there has not been a 15-year pause in global warming as some climate skeptics claim, The Hill reports.
In his opening remarks at the hearing, Smith said that part of addressing the “challenges” of climate change is acknowledging that “uncertainties” exist when it comes to the science.
“Then we can have confidence that innovations and technology will enable us to mitigate any adverse consequences of climate change,” he said.
According to a report published by NOAA scientists this Thursday, April was the 400th consecutive month with higher-than-average temperatures, a result of global warming.
Additionally, NASA reported last year that both Antarctic and Arctic sea ice levels were at a record low, which could also be a major contributor to rising sea levels.
But Brooks still tried to refute Duffy’s data.
“We have satellite records clearly documenting a shrinkage of the Antarctic ice sheet and an acceleration of that shrinkage,” Duffy said.
“I’ve got a NASA base in my district, and apparently they’re telling you one thing and me a different thing,” Brooks fired back.
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