'We are all going to die!' - Well, maybe...

In previous interglacial periods, namely about 125,000, 240,000 and 340,000 years ago, temperatures were about three degrees warmer than now. Or so we had thought.

If you found out that the temperatures in Antarctica were actually about six degrees warmer then, or three degrees warmer than you had thought before, what would you conclude?

The obvious conclusion would be that current temperatures, and even those predicted by man-caused global warming models, are even less alarming than you thought before. We are even further away from an all-time high than we had thought.

But if you are a climate researcher, all evidence must conclude that global warming is man-made and bad, and any new evidence must show things are even worse than we had thought before. If it doesn't, no more grants or for you and you won't get published.

So what would you, climate researcher whose livelihood and reputation depends on grants and getting published, then conclude? As reported in Nature, you would conclude thusly, 

"East Antarctica is more sensitive than it seemed to global warming."

Don't get it yet? "More sensitive" means that, if the rest of us gets hot, Antarctica gets even hotter. If the globe gets five degrees hotter, Antarctica will get 10 degrees hotter. See? Then even more Antarctic ice will melt. There is about 10 times more land ice in Antarctica than Greenland. If Greenland melting causes the oceans to rise seven meters, Antarctica melting will cause them to rise 70 meters! We will all die! Ted Turner was right. Cannibalism in 30 or 40 years.

Question for the audience: what if the new data showed Antarctica in previous interglacial periods was three degrees cooler than we had thought, meaning current temperatures match those previous all-time highs?

I'm thinking our climate researcher would say, "The earth is currently as hot as it's ever been, and we are making it even hotter! We are at the precipice - on the edge of unprecedented hotness and pushing the planet outside its natural boundaries! We will all die!"