Some irresponsible wingnut scientists are trying to discredit climate change science with a bizarre violation of generally-accepted scientific methodology.  Instead of relying on established and time-tested computer modeling, the Norwegian Polar Institute (1) employed actual temperature readings taken at the Fimbul ice shelf:

“Previous ocean models … have predicted temperatures and melt rates that are too high, suggesting a significant mass loss in this region that is actually not taking place,” says Tore Hattermann of the Norwegian Polar Institute, member of a team which has obtained two years’ worth of direct measurements below the massive Fimbul Ice Shelf in eastern Antarctica – the first ever to be taken.

According to an article in the UK Register:

Hatterman and his colleagues, using 12 tons of hot-water drilling equipment, bored three holes more than 200m deep through the Fimbul Shelf, which spans an area roughly twice the size of New Jersey. The location of each hole was cunningly chosen so that the various pathways by which water moves beneath the ice shelf could be observed, and instruments were lowered down.

Pretty radical.  If you want to know what the water temperature is — you take the temperature of the water?  Why bother, when you have computers?  Still, the results of the study have not been confirmed by any reliable authority, have they?  After all, those Norwegians can be pretty shifty.  Also from the Register article:

According to a statement from the American Geophysical Union, announcing the new research:

It turns out that past studies, which were based on computer models without any direct data for comparison or guidance, overestimate the water temperatures and extent of melting beneath the Fimbul Ice Shelf. This has led to the misconception, Hattermann said, that the ice shelf is losing mass at a faster rate than it is gaining mass, leading to an overall loss of mass.

The team’s results show that water temperatures are far lower than computer models predicted …

Well, it’s just a little ice shelf, right?  It’s actually only…twice the size of New Jersey.

Well, you decide.   Are you going to listen to a bunch of Scandinavian nobodies from some fly-by-night agency using primitive technology like drills and thermometers — or leading edge technicians at respected universities with the latest in computer technology?  The choice seems obvious.

(Thanks to Bill Quick at the Daily Pundit.)

1.  From the Institue’s website: “The Norwegian Polar Institute is active within the fields of scientific research, mapping and environmental monitoring in the Arctic and Antarctica. The Institute advises Norwegian authorities in strategic and thematic matters relating to the polar regions, represents Norway internationally on various occasions and is Norway’s competent environmental authority in Antarctica.”