Archive for the ‘Arctic’ Category

New Nature paper: Polar ice melt would only raise sea level by 10cm (4″) by 2100

November 25, 2015

I am surprised first that Nature, given its blatant bias, accepted such a paper for publication, and second that it was published so close to the Paris conference (end of this week). Perhaps they felt it would just get lost among the massive propaganda blitz that is currently going on.

  • Catherine Ritz, Tamsin L. Edwards, Gaël Durand, Antony J. Payne, Vincent Peyaud, Richard C. A. Hindmarsh. Potential sea-level rise from Antarctic ice-sheet instability constrained by observations. Nature, 2015; DOI: 10.1038/nature16147

Right now the ice cover at the poles (Antarctic and Arctic) are each within one SD of the long-term average. So is the global ice cover. If now any future excess melt, if it occurs, can only cause a rise of sea level of 4 inches by 2100, one wonders what the IPCC and the Paris conference are actually trying to prevent.

Global ice cover 22Nov2015  From sunshinehours

Global ice cover 22Nov2015 From sunshinehours 

It is not the first time that the IPCC has exaggerated (and it won’t be the last). But their scare scenarios of 1 metre sea level rise are themselves plain rubbish; which make the doomsday scenarios put out by the global warming “enthusiasts”, of upto 10 metres (30 feet) or more of sea level rise by 2100 just religious fantasy.

Four inches of seal level rise is what is at stake.


The risk of the Antarctic ice sheet collapsing and flooding coasts around the world has been exaggerated, according to researchers.

Previous studies had claimed that melting Antarctic ice could contribute one metre to the rising sea levels by the end of the century, flooding the homes of 150 million people and threatening dozens of coastal cities.

However, a team of British and French scientists has found that the collapse in the ice sheet is likely to raise sea levels by 10cm by 2100. An increase in sea levels from the ice sheet becoming unstable is “extremely unlikely to be higher than 30cm” this century, they say, describing previous, more apocalyptic predictions, as implausible.

The study, published in the journal Nature, found that there was a one in 20 chance that parts of the ice sheet breaking off could contribute more than 30cm to the sea level by the end of the century and more than 72cm by 2200.

The sea level has already risen by 19cm since 1901 and the annual rate has almost doubled since then to about 3.2mm a year, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

The UN agency predicted in 2013 that sea levels would rise by about another 60cm by 2100. The panel was unable to calculate, and did not include in its prediction, the risk of substantial parts of the Antarctic ice sheet collapsing.

Some studies suggested that the risk was high and that the overall increase in the sea level would be well over a metre by 2100 once the collapse of the ice sheet was included.

Tamsin Edwards, an author of the new study — which involved scientists from the University of Bristol and Grenoble Alpes University — said that earlier reports were likely to be wrong because they were based on simpler computer models which contained many uncertainties.

One cool summer increased Arctic ice by 30% – another indicator of the coming ice age?

July 22, 2015

A new paper in Nature geoscience confirms that the “cool” summer of 2013 increased Arctic ice volume by a third. It increased again in 2014 by 25%. Two cool summers have increased Arctic ice volume by 1.33 x 1.25 = 1.41 (41%).

The authors claim that this indicates that Arctic sea ice may be more resilient than has been previously considered, but I would  suggest that this also indicates something much more significant. It suggests to me that the conditions needed to trigger a little ice age (lasting 3 – 5 decades) are not so difficult to conceive of. With low solar activity, a few cool summers and a volcanic eruption or two would more than suffice. Even the long term shift from the current interglacial and back to glacial conditions (where interglacials last for 10 -20 millenia and glacial periods last even longer) could also probably be triggered by a few key events occurring together.

It is worth noting that for the last few years, ice cover in the Antarctic has been higher than it is has ever been since records began. The Arctic ice cover reached a very low level in 2012 but has rebounded quite strongly. Arctic ice levels are at the same level as in the 1980s.

By constantly rewriting historical data, the global warming orthodoxy try to show that every year is warmer than the artificially cooled past. Raw data shows no such warming. Satellite records show no such warming. It is only data sets where raw data is recalculated every year by very dodgy algorithms to give a calculated value for “global temperature” that warming shows up.

Global climatic changes must also show up as local weather. And this has been a miserable summer so far. June was colder and wetter – as perceived – than usual and July is proving to be colder and wetter than I have any memory of. My personal empirical observations would suggest that the shift into another little ice age has started.

Increased Arctic sea ice volume after anomalously low melting in 2013

Abstract: ……. Between autumn 2010 and 2012, there was a 14% reduction in Arctic sea ice volume, in keeping with the long-term decline in extent. However, we observe 33% and 25% more ice in autumn 2013 and 2014, respectively, relative to the 2010–2012 seasonal mean, which offset earlier losses. This increase was caused by the retention of thick sea ice northwest of Greenland during 2013 which, in turn, was associated with a 5% drop in the number of days on which melting occurred—conditions more typical of the late 1990s. In contrast, springtime Arctic sea ice volume has remained stable. The sharp increase in sea ice volume after just one cool summer suggests that Arctic sea ice may be more resilient than has been previously considered.

Even the BBC which is religiously fanatic (only exceeded by The Guardian) in its adherence to global warming orthodoxy, has been compelled to report the increase in Arctic ice. But of course they continue to deny that real data in conflict with model expectations can invalidate the models predicting man-made global warming:


The volume of Arctic sea ice increased by around a third after an unusually cool summer in 2013. Researchers say the growth continued in 2014 and more than compensated for losses recorded in the three previous years. The scientists involved believe changes in summer temperatures have greater impacts on ice than thought. 

Why do they have to then add pure rubbish?

But they say 2013 was a one-off and that climate change will continue to shrink the ice in the decades ahead.

No evidence of any global warming in robust Arctic and Antarctic ice extents

July 8, 2015

After 40+ years of an imagined, man-made, global warming, the ice extent at the poles and in the Greenland Ice Sheet seem pretty robust – individually and collectively.

No further commentary is necessary.

Arctic Ice Extent – 6th July 2015

Arctic Ice Extent 6 July 2015

Arctic Ice Extent 6 July 2015

Antarctic Ice Extent – 6th July 2015

Antarctic Ice Extent 6 July 2015

Antarctic Ice Extent 6 July 2015

Mass of Greenland Ice Sheet 

Greenland Icesheet mass 2015

Greenland Icesheet mass 2015

Even BBC admits that Arctic ice shows “modest growth”

December 15, 2014

I rely on the BBC for factual news and even consider their opinion pieces as being of high quality except when politically correct subjects are involved. Then the BBC always abides by the “politically correct” view. This actually is what the BBC’s alleged bias consists of; politically correct views which – by and large – tend to be left-leaning, “do-gooding”, self-righteous, sanctimonius views. They do sometimes ignore reports which do not support their “politically correct” memes. But if one makes allowance for the opinion bias, I find the BBC to be one of the most reliable disseminators of news.

The BBC is a strong adherent of the global warming orthodoxy. In the last two weeks they have published their share of alarmist reports in support of the Lima conference. Now that the Lima agreement is virtually devoid of any obligations they have joined the “politically correct” chorus that the Lima agreement is a good step towards Paris! So it is of significance when they start reporting observations – which have been reported for a long time elsewhere – that Arctic sea ice cover is increasing and is now at the same levels as the average for the last 3 decades.

Of course Antarctic sea ice cover is at the highest levels ever recorded (which gets little space at the BBC).

There is just no evidence that the poles are melting (any more than the variations seen normally).

BBCArctic sea ice may be more resilient than many observers recognise.

While global warming seems to have set the polar north on a path to floe-free summers, the latest data from Europe’s Cryosat mission suggests it may take a while yet to reach those conditions. The spacecraft observed 7,500 cu km of ice cover in October when the Arctic traditionally starts its post-summer freeze-up. This was only slightly down on 2013 when 8,800 cu km were recorded.

Two cool summers in a row have now allowed the pack to increase and then hold on to a good deal of its volume. And while the ice is still much reduced compared with the 20,000 cu km that used to stick around in the Octobers of the early 1980s, there is no evidence to indicate a collapse is imminent. …….

……… Indeed, Cryosat’s five-year October average now shows pretty stable volume – even modest growth (2014 is 12% above the five year-average).

Annual walrus and melting ice alarm regurgitated by gullible media

October 2, 2014

The Gullible Guardian has this headline today:

Flights re-routed to avoid walrus stampede on Alaska beach

But far from being anything unusual this is an annual event.

Back in 2010 I posted

Walrus and melting ice story was a hoax

These claims of melting ice and unprecedented walrus behaviour are regurgitated by the Global Warming media year after year and by the ever less credible WWF. As zoologist Dr Susan Crockford points out, such stampedes are nothing new and are not due to low ice cover and the alarmist hype is blatant nonsense. 

Mass haulouts of Pacific walrus and stampede deaths are not new, not due to low ice cover

Large haulouts of walruses — such as the one making news at Point Lay, Alaska on the Chukchi Sea (and which happened before back in 2009) — are not a new phenomenon for this region over the last 45 years and thus cannot be due to low sea ice levels. Nor are deaths by stampede within these herds (composed primarily of females and their young) unusual, as a brief search of the literature reveals.

The attempts by WWF and others to link this event to global warming is self-serving nonsense that has nothing to do with science.

This may have been one of the biggest onshore gatherings of the animals documented in Northwest Alaska that has been photographed but it is not the only time this has happened.

At least two documented incidents like this have occurred in the recent past: one in 1978, on St. Lawrence Island and the associated Punuk Islands and the other in 1972, on Wrangell Island (Fay and Kelly 1980, excerpts below). …….. 

The Walrus Islands — State Game Sanctuary was founded in 1960 and walrus numbers are up sharply since that time.

Best known among the WISGS islands is Round Island, where each summer large numbers of male walruses haul out on exposed, rocky beaches. Round Island is one of four major terrestrial haulouts in Alaska; the others are Capes Peirce (Togiak NWR), Newenham (Togiak NWR), and Seniavin (near Port Moller). Male walrus return to these haulouts every spring as the ice pack recedes northward, remaining in Bristol Bay to feed they haul out at these beach sites for several days between each feeding foray. The number of walrus using the island fluctuates significantly from year to year. However, up to 14,000 walrus have been counted on Round Island in a single day.

That environmental alarmists try and hype this annual event is understandable since they need to justify and reaffirm their religious beliefs. That the mainstream media are gullible enough to regurgitate this nonsense year after year is more disappointing.

When it comes to climate change, “hot” = “cold”!

May 9, 2014

Why climate change is “bad” when nobody really knows what static climate is to be desired, and where climate stagnation would mean that the earth was dead, escapes me.

Taking pot shots at The Guardian on climate change is not very intellectually challenging, but sometimes the temptation cannot be resisted.

June 2011: Britain’s hot spring could be result of shrinking Arctic

March 2013: Scientists link frozen spring to dramatic Arctic sea ice loss

The first article was written by Robin Mckie, “Science Editor” and the second by John Vidal, “Environment Editor”. Which leads to the inevitable conclusion that for The Guardian, “hot” may be synonymous with “cold” but “environment” and “science” have entirely different values.

arctic ice guardian 2


arctic ice guardian 1



Coal is still king in Svalbard

January 29, 2014

Svalbard, ranging in latitude from 74°N to 81°N,  is about as close as you can come to the “top of the world”. The mining of coal would not normally be thought of in the Arctic and that close to the North Pole but the Svalbard economy is dominated by coal mining. The population of Svalbard had increased by two percent, to 2,158 at the end of 2012.

CIA Factbook: The settlements on Svalbard are essentially company towns. The Norwegian state-owned coal company employs nearly 60% of the Norwegian population on the island, runs many of the local services, and provides most of the local infrastructure. There is also some hunting of seal, reindeer, and fox. Goods such as alcohol, tobacco, and vehicles, normally highly taxed on mainland Norway, are considerably cheaper in Svalbard in an effort by the Norwegian government to entice more people to live on the Arctic archipelago. By law, the Norwegians collect only enough taxes to pay for the needs of the local government. None of tax proceeds go to Norway.



Science Nordic reports:

The economy of Svalbard, the Norwegian arctic archipelago that lies between the country’s mainland and the North Pole, is still dominated by coal even as its value dwindles and employment in the mines drops. …

Tourism, a college and polar and space research activities have yet to make this community independent of coal. This has been verified by a recent analysis of Svalbard’s socio-economic status by the Norwegian Institute for Urban and Regional Research (NIBR).

“Coal mining has always been the mainstay here, and it still is,” says researcher Steinar Johansen, who wrote the report with his colleague Hild Marte Bjørnsen. ….. In addition to all who are directly employed by the local coal company, Store Norske, mining requires a number of sub-venders, and services need to be provided to family members who move to Svalbard’s little town, Longyearbyen, at the chilly latitude of 78° N. …

But can the Svalbard community surive without coal? Not without major changes, according to the researchers.

Tthe statue of the coal miner in the town of Longyearbyen is a reminder of who – or what – really dominates the economy. (Photo: Georg Mathisen)

The real interests in the Arctic

January 26, 2014

Much of what is said or written about the Arctic – especially by governments or government funded institutions – is political positioning for military reasons, for staking a claim to the resources in the region, or to ensure potential sea transportation routes. Denmark’s positional strength is entirely dependent upon Greenland being part of Denmark whereas Iceland is only a second-tier country as far as rights in the Arctic are concerned. Without Alaska, the US would be in a very much weaker position (and in 1867 the purchase price paid to the Russians was just $7.2 million, or about 2 cents per acre!)

The region is divided into five sectors of responsibility between Russia, the US, Norway, Canada and Denmark. But there are others wishing to develop rich Arctic resources. Among them there are Sweden, Finland and Iceland. 

Arctic Circle  Image

Arctic Circle Image

The Russians have just had a conference about future development of the Arctic Region:

The Arctic is in the zone of Russia’s special interests. During the last week,

  • the Russian authorities, experts and the international community were actively engaged in the issues of developing the Arctic region.
  • President Vladimir Putin held a meeting on the issue of military presence in the Arctic;
  • leading political scientists and scholars participated in a round table discussion of the development of infrastructure in the Arctic;
  • and the International Maritime Organization announced an adoption of the Polar Code in the coming days.

……. It’s not a secret that a conflict is swelling between the countries making bids for the development of this territory rich of hydrocarbons and having a unique transit potential. Last year, Putin urged the Ministry of Defense “to pay special attention to the deployment of infrastructure and military units in the Arctic direction.” Today, the military industry is ready to supply the Defense Department with weapons that may be required in Northern latitudes. ….. Next to Russia, the US announced the increasing of its military presence in the Arctic. In these circumstances, Moscow needs to adhere to the course that was chosen during the Soviet times, member of the Federation Council Nikolay Fedoryak says.

“Back then, a serious contingent of Soviet troops was present in the Arctic. The troops located there mainly defended us from a possible air attack of the enemy. It’s not a secret that all strategic routes of US bombers were laid through the North Pole. Now, American capabilities of using high-precision weapons are significantly higher than in 1970-80ies. Therefore, it is inevitable that we need to restore the infrastructure and even do it on a higher level, so that we can protect our national interests. And if we don’t do it now, we may be late.”

…..  Russia puts great hopes on the development of the Northern Sea Route, which may become the most popular route from Europe to Asia. Its use will be strictly regulated in two years. The International Maritime Organization has announced its readiness to adopt the Polar Code of shipping. It will define international standards of the use of the Arctic for transportation purposes. The voluminous document will define in details what vessels and their crews, whose route passes above the 72nd parallel north, can and cannot do.

Until now, strange as it may seem, there were no international conventions regulating navigation in the Arctic. In other words, the same rules as those applied to the Adriatic Sea or in the Mediterranean with their mild climate were applied to the severe Northern region. However, the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea of 1982 stated that each state could introduce its own rules of Arctic shipping, head of the Center of Maritime Law Vasily Gutsulyak says.

“The international community can establish provisions on the environmental protection in Northern areas. Thus, it provides a carte blanche to extend the application of a number of international conventions to the Arctic. But the Polar Code quite clearly determines the order of requirements to vessels.”

The game is really worth it. Enormous reserves of hydrocarbons – for example, more than 90 billion barrels of oil – are concentrated in the Arctic. Hence, he who is the most active player in the Arctic direction will secure economic and geopolitical influence in the region.

The positioning of each country is immediately obvious in news articles and the statements of politicians. But it it is also discernible in most scientific papers about the Arctic and especially those about climate and the potential for ice-free regions giving rise to potential new sea routes. Many so-called “scientific expeditions” to the Arctic (just as with the Antarctic) are merely for demonstrating a presence or establishing a claim, for

he who is the most active player in the Arctic direction will secure economic and geopolitical influence in the region.

The next frontier after the Arctic and Antarctic which will see countries similarly jostling for position will surely be the moon. Positioning is one of the key drivers for the Chinese Chang’e-3 moon mission and for the Jade Bunny’s gambolling there. Similarly the Japanese and Indian Space Programmes have political and commercial positioning goals among their key drivers.

Science fiction is coming to life. Within 100 years we shall probably see Japan and China playing out their terrestrial island territorial disputes also around planets and asteroids in space. I have visions of some astronauts being left on asteroids by one country or the other to establish territorial claims!! Maybe we will see mining companies “occupying” mineral rich asteroids.

Global Warming gone missing: Arctic ice back to “normal” and Antarctic ice at highest ever recorded levels

October 20, 2013


Arctic Ice levels are increasing fast and are within 1 standard deviation of the 1979-2000 mean.

Arctic Ice Extent 20131018 DMI Centre for Ocean and Ice

Arctic Ice Extent 20131018 DMI Centre for Ocean and Ice

In the Anatrctic ice extent should normally have started reducing by 22nd Sepptember but kept increasing till about 1st October. At maximum it reached levels never recorded before. It is currently at a level more than 2 standard deviations higher than the long term 1981 – 2010 average.

Antarctic Ice Extent 20131018 NSIDC Boulder

Antarctic Ice Extent 20131018 NSIDC Boulder

This leads to obvious but simple conclusions:

  1. Over the last 34 years therefore, Arctic ice extent has shown great variability but is currently at values within one standard deviation of the 30 year average.
  2. Global warming – if it is taking place – has not left any significant signature in the extent of Arctic Ice which is larger than “natural variability”.
  3. Over the last 32 years Antarctic ice extent has consistently shown a small but steady increase.
  4. Global warming – if it is taking place – is completely absent in the record of the ice extent.

It could be argued – but it would stretch credulity – that heat is being stored in the deep ocean (having bypassed the surface waters by a hitherto unknown form of “deep sea radiation”)  and that this will all be released in a coming catastrophic event (to be known as the Ehrlich Rapture) in 2047.

Or, it could be argued – again with little credibility – that man-made particulate emissions from China in the Northern Hemisphere and from Indonesian forest fires in the Southern Hemisphere have reflected away the Sun’s radiation and prevented the warming that should have taken place. This argument then fails since it would appear to describe a very successful  application – if inadvertent – of geo-engineering.

Or we could choose the parsimonious explanation. There has been no global warming for the last 2 decades or so.

Any discussion about whether or how much warming is caused by carbon dioxide emissions becomes moot if there is no warming.


Arctic ice past minimum and growing fast and Antarctic ice reaching maximum at record level

October 5, 2013

Arctic ice extent reached its minimum about 2 weeks ago and is now growing fast.

Arctic Ice extent 20131005

Arctic Ice extent 20131005 source: COI

At the Antarctic however, the sea ice extent is just about reaching its maximum level which is at a record level.

Antarctic sea ice extent 20131004

Antarctic sea ice extent 20131004 source: cryosphere


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