Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL) on Wednesday claimed that falling “rock or whatever” is contributing to 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 before the House Science, Space and Technology Committee on how technology can be used to address global warming, Brooks tried 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 off of cliffs along the coast of California was causing sea levels to rise. He also argued that sedimentary and silt from 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.
Duffy said that the impact of rocks falling into the ocean was causing “minuscule effects” when assessed on “human time scales.”
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.”
Brooks was just one of several Republicans making skeptical claims about the evidence of global warming and what contributes to rising sea levels, according to E&E News.
Read the full report here.