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An ice-free Arctic Ocean has happened before

August 30, 2016

By Paul Homewood 




A bit of common sense from Matt Ridley:


When the Arctic loses all its sea ice one summer, will it matter?

My Times column on how the Arctic sea ice has melted in late summer before, between 10,000 and 6,000 years ago:

The sea ice in the Arctic Ocean is approaching its annual nadir. By early September each year about two thirds of the ice cap has melted, then the sea begins to freeze again. This year looks unlikely to set a record for melting, with more than four million square kilometres of ice remaining, less than the average in the 1980s and 1990s, but more than in the record low years of 2007 and 2012. (The amount of sea ice around Antarctica has been increasing in recent years, contrary to predictions.)

This will disappoint some. An expedition led by David Hempleman-Adams to circumnavigate the North Pole through the Northeast and Northwest passages, intending to demonstrate “that the Arctic sea ice coverage shrinks back so far now in the summer months that sea that was permanently locked up now can allow passage through”, was recently held up for weeks north of Siberia by, um, ice. They have only just reached halfway.

Meanwhile, the habit of some scientists of predicting when the ice will disappear completely keeps getting them into trouble. A Nasa climate scientist, Jay Zwally, told the Associated Press in 2007: “At this rate, the Arctic Ocean could be nearly ice-free at the end of summer by 2012.” Two years later Al Gore quoted another scientist that “there is a 75 per cent chance that the entire north polar ice cap, during the summer months, could be completely ice-free within five to seven years” — that is, by now.

This year Professor Peter Wadhams of Cambridge University has a new book out called Farewell to Ice, which gives a “greater than even chance” that the Arctic Ocean will be ice-free next month. Not likely.

He added: “Next year or the year after that, I think it will be free of ice in summer . . . You will be able to cross over the North Pole by ship.” The temptation to predict a total melt of the Arctic ice cap, and thereby get a headline, has been counterproductive, according to other scientists. Crying wolf does not help the cause of global warming; it only gives amusement to sceptics.


Read the full article here

  1. dangeroosdave permalink
    August 30, 2016 5:19 pm

    I think it’s time to declare victory in the climate war and start to popularize how effective we humans have been in keeping out little planet alive another ten million years. And set up a Federal Agency to regulate things and keep it that way. Another legacy victory for our First Black President. 🙂

  2. August 30, 2016 5:27 pm

    Reblogged this on Climate Collections.

  3. August 30, 2016 5:36 pm

    There is much global warming ballyhoo in reports about ships currently in the Northwest and Northeast passages, but it looks to me that sea ice conditions now in the Arctic are similar to those encountered in 1903 and 1878 (respectively) when those passages were first traversed, involving winter stops back then, but without the benefit of modern technology, especially diesel propulsion and knowing where the ice is not present.

  4. Bloke down the pub permalink
    August 30, 2016 6:03 pm

    Don’t forget that when they make claims that the Arctic will be ice free, they don’t actually mean that there won’t be any ice. They like to keep a bit of wriggle room.

  5. August 30, 2016 6:11 pm

    One of my favorite books is by Cmdr. William R. Anderson, U.S.N. Published in 1959 and bought for me at that time, it chronicles the nuclear submarine’s attempt to cross under the North Pole. At 11:15 p.m., Sunday, August 3, 1958, Nautilus squeezed under the North Pole Ice. Once they reached a patch of open water where they could surface to send a message, a coded one went out: “Nautilus 90 North”.

  6. August 30, 2016 10:23 pm

    Caught some of BBCnews this a.m. interviewing Prof Wadhams.Apparently Arctic sea ice is disappearing,and causing the jet stream to move,something about methane and weather,and so on.He even mentioned Feynman,at which point I went to talk to my apple tree for a more sensible conversation.

  7. Gordon Triggs permalink
    August 31, 2016 8:51 am

    You may be interested.

    Atomic submarines at the North Pole while I served in the Royal Navy

    Keep up the good work.

    Gordon W. Triggs

  8. TonyM permalink
    August 31, 2016 9:08 pm

    Here is a Wash9ngton Post Article from 1922 It is amusing to read this to warmists, lying of course that it was recently published last week in the NY Times. After they tell me what a fool I was not to believe in global warming, I mention that the article is really from 1922. The expressions on their faces is priceless as they usually abandon any further conversation.

    “The Arctic Ocean is warming up, icebergs are growing scarcer and in some places the seals are finding the water too hot, according to a report to the Commerce Department yesterday from Consulafft, at Bergen, Norway
    Reports from fishermen, seal hunters, and explorers all point to a radical change in climate conditions and hitherto unheard-of temperatures in the Arctic zone. Exploration expeditions report that scarcely any ice has been met as far north as 81 degrees 29 minutes.
    Soundings to a depth of 3,100 meters showed the gulf stream still very warm. Great masses of ice have been replaced by moraines of earth and stones, the report continued, while at many points well known glaciers have entirely disappeared.
    Very few seals and no white fish are found in the eastern Arctic, while vast shoals of herring and smelts which have never before ventured so far north, are being encountered in the old seal fishing grounds. Within a few years it is predicted that due to the ice melt the sea will rise and make most coastal cities uninhabitable. ”

    November 2, 1922, as reported by the AP and published in The Washington Post – 94+ years ago. A check on provided the following verification:

    The article was based on information relayed by the American Consul in Norway to the US State Department in October 1922 and published in the “Monthly Weather Review”

  9. Sleepalot permalink
    September 2, 2016 1:52 pm

    You already can “cross over the North Pole by ship” – so long as it’s an ice-breaker.
    50 Let Pobedy (50 Year Victory) was at the North Pole in early July.


  1. An ice-free Arctic Ocean has happened before | co2gasoflife

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