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The Times Recycles Melting Ice Sheets Nonsense

January 27, 2021

By Paul Homewood



This story goes around every few months:




It is all so predictable that it is barely worth rebutting – I might just as well dig out my response from last year.

The claim of course revolves around Greenland and Antarctica, but offers no perspective, either historically or quantitively. Instead all we get is stupidly scary soundbites about trillions of tonnes and the like, guaranteed to frighten the children.

As I reported just last week, Greenland’s ice mass loss is just a part of post Little Ice Age trend. It has actually decelerated in the last decade, and comparison with 1990s needs to acknowledge the fact that temperatures there fell sharply between the 1950s and 90s.

Most of all, the effect on sea level rise is tiny, just 10mm since 2000.


As for Antarctica, scientists still can’t agree whether the ice cap is increasing or getting smaller.


The proof of the pudding, of course, is in the sea level rise. And when we look at long running tidal gauge records, it is painfully obvious that nothing at all unusual is happening – merely a continuation of the slow rise which began in the late 19thC.




One thing is certain though. I will be writing exactly the same article in a few months time. (Probably after a few days of sunshine over Greenland!)

  1. Christopher Hall permalink
    January 27, 2021 4:42 pm

    What really gets me about the ramblings of the uneducated is that, coincidentally, proper weather records began around the end of the Little Ice Age. Not really a good place to start. Unless of course it would have continued until today without some anthropogenic input. As for sea level rise, nobody seems to get the fact that the coral reefs survived sea level being 200m lower than today so a slight rise and a bit of warming and acidification is hardly a crisis.

    • dennisambler permalink
      January 28, 2021 11:38 am

      There is no ocean acidification, it is another fraudulent claim. IPCC AR4 WGI stated that the mean pH of surface waters ranges between 7.9 and 8.3 in the open ocean, so the ocean remains alkaline.

      The frequent claim that “ocean acidity” has increased by 30% since before the industrial revolution was calculated from the estimated uptake of anthropogenic carbon between 1750 and 1994, which shows a decrease in alkalinity of 0.1 pH unit, well within the range quoted by IPCC.

      “Acid Seas – Back To Basic”

      NOAA says its 100 year Ocean pH record is not fit for purpose:
      They make a statement: “anthropogenic carbon dioxide (CO2) has caused a pH decrease of approximately 0.1, which is about a 26% increase in the hydrogen ion concentration over the past 100 years.” (the “30%” claim). Then they say, without blinking,

      “The data collected prior to 1989 are typically not well documented and their metadata is incomplete; therefore, such data are of unknown and probably variable quality.

      The reasons for this are manifold. The uncertainty of these older pH measurements is rarely likely to be less than 0.03 in pH, and could easily be as large as 0.2 in pH. [and yet they are stating that oceanic pH has decreased by 0.1, a factual claim, repeated constantly around the world]

      This data set is thus not at all well-suited to showing a change of 0.1 in pH over the last 100 years — the amount of pH change that would be expected to occur over the 100 years since the first seawater pH measurements, as a result of the documented increase in atmospheric CO2 levels and assuming that the surface ocean composition remains in approximate equilibrium with respect to the atmosphere.”

      A masterpiece of scientific statements! Our data doesn’t show it but we are still going to claim it. Lots of assumed expectations.

  2. Dave Andrews permalink
    January 27, 2021 5:00 pm

    The Guardian also ran a piece by Fiona Harvey quoting lead author, Thomas Slater, as saying “Sea level rise on this scale will have very serious impacts on coastal communities this century,”

    She then went on to say that global sea level over the 1994 – 2012 study period had risen by 35mm. Apparently she was unable to do the maths and realise this was 1.5mm per year and if we carried on at this rate for a century the total rise would be a really scary 150mm; ie 15 cm or 6inches!

    • Cheshire Red permalink
      January 28, 2021 10:01 am

      So SLR rates are barely average then. Not too much to get worked up about there.

  3. January 27, 2021 5:03 pm

    Ice melt doom is always accelerating, on top of all its previous accelerations, until…the date of doomsday gets pushed further and further into the future. Does not compute.

  4. Coeur de Lion permalink
    January 27, 2021 5:18 pm

    Is Griff there to take my £100 bet that Arctic ice will bottom out above four Wadhams next September? If he’d taken it last year he’d have won, for heaven’s sake!
    As we enter a thirty year cooling period, the alarmist case will erode but slowly. There’ll be nearly a decade of “global warming causes global cooling” before everyone tells them to shut up.

  5. Tym fern permalink
    January 27, 2021 5:53 pm

    And at this moment, 17:50 wednesday, coal is generating more electricity than renewables!

    • January 28, 2021 9:20 am

      Excuse me while I search the Guardian for the relevant headline 😆

  6. BC Dale permalink
    January 27, 2021 6:07 pm

    Yes, Paul, as you say, you will be writing about this again soon. Did you see this in the Wall Street Journal a couple days ago? Sad to see the WSJ publishing junk science.

  7. Chaswarnertoo permalink
    January 27, 2021 6:51 pm

    Why can’t these morons ( BOJO) do maths. or logic?

    • tamimisledus permalink
      January 28, 2021 1:36 am

      When the pandemic started, I suggested that the best thing the country could do was improve the maths ability of its citizens. I even proposed that you couldn’t vote if you couldn’t show a grasp of basic maths. Elitist you might say. But why should my vote (I have adequate but not exceptional mathematical abiility) be nullified by somebody who has difficulty in adding up two single digit numbers?
      Since then I have amended my propsal. No politician should be elected if s/h/it could not at least follow a “high-level” mathematical proposition.
      Of course, maths is useless unless you apply logical rigour to any argument involving maths.

  8. Nancy & John Hultquist permalink
    January 27, 2021 6:53 pm

    No need to worry. Biden and Kerry have a plan.
    Those in the climate-scam-industry will be very please.
    They don’t know the difference between 6 mm or 6 cm or 6 inches.
    Harvesting of money from average tax payers will accelerate.
    The “climate” continues not to care.

    • Allan Shelton permalink
      January 28, 2021 1:28 pm

      Plus the likelihood that they think CO2 is CO.
      Schwarzenegger, I think , really believes that when he talks about CO2 being a pollutant.

  9. REM permalink
    January 27, 2021 7:43 pm

    Seriously disappointed with The Times but not surprised. It is now churning out the same unchecked, unbalanced press releases as The Guardian. The Telegraph died years ago. BBC is a hopeless case. Sky ditto. Is there anything out there which might just report facts “without fear or favour”? Nominations would be gratefully received.

    • January 27, 2021 8:27 pm

      Strangely Sky News Australia have a good go. I am quite fascinated by the climate doom recycling industry. Sea Level rise scare/ pacific islands refusing to drown…extinction events…polar bears….. storms…..when you think that trillions of dollars have been poured into this scam that they could come up with some new faux ideas to be debunked. Someone is putting the bought press up to this. They are not that clever on their own. It speaks volumes about their contempt for the public when their ideas are debunked they just disappear for a few months then the same claime is out there again. They just have nothing new and worst of all THEY NEVER GOP NEAR THE SUPPOSED CAUSE which is unproven…. a small issue! All the blablabl is about effect. If there is no scientifially proven cause there can be no proven effect! QED!

      • Paul H permalink
        January 27, 2021 9:24 pm

        The Climate Scam is political. There is an agenda afoot. It doesn’t have to make sense, the sheople will buy into it and do as they’re told. Its quite sinister really.

    • Gerry, England permalink
      January 28, 2021 5:57 pm

      Even The Mail has these sorts of stories as it is just journalism by press release. Much easier than actually doing any real journalism and fills the space. Sadly, if newspapers did write proper articles and actually researched news items they would lose the few readers they have left. We have a dumbed down population incapable of handling serious news.

  10. Andrew Dickens permalink
    January 27, 2021 8:32 pm

    The Times article did not appear in their online edition, so sane people were stopped from commenting.

  11. MrGrimNasty permalink
    January 27, 2021 9:37 pm

    The summer Siberian heatwave would be a blessing at the moment.

    And as if we needed confirmation that Richard Betts is more activist than scientist:-

  12. Gamecock permalink
    January 27, 2021 9:53 pm

    “Speed that ice sheets are melting ‘confirms the worst-case scenario’”

    Climate Change™ is the global Unifying Cause, with which the Cultural Marxists will unite the world. A fabricated cultural hegemony. This headline is just a periodical reminder that we are headed to a global government. It has nothing to do with ice. Above comments citing actual data are irrelevant: you can’t counter politics with facts. It’s not about science.

  13. tom0mason permalink
    January 27, 2021 10:18 pm

    Lawd, wont it be grand when all the Arctic ice has melted. Then cargo and pleasure trips can take the short way to the Pacific side of the Americas and back again. Problem is the ice and the climate does not wish to cooperate. So far places like Greenland tends to put on more snow & ice than they lose to calving and melting. And the average rate at which the sea levels rise is minuscule.
    Oh-hum, maybe it will happen for some future generation then, say in 100-200 years time.

    “The mathematics of accurate forecasting relies on knowing everything about all the variables”

    • Gamecock permalink
      January 28, 2021 1:08 pm

      “The mathematics of accurate forecasting relies on knowing everything about all the variables”

      Not exactly. The time factor matters. We have incomplete knowledge of weather, yet our meteorological forecasts are quite good for a day, maybe two. Forecasts around here are pretty good for up to a week out.*

      One would laugh at the suggested accuracy of a forecast for a month out. Yet there are “scientists” who believe in forecasts for 30 years out.

      *It’s easier here in the SE U.S. The period of our weather cycles is usually several days.

  14. Mack permalink
    January 27, 2021 10:46 pm

    “I will be writing exactly the same article again in just a few months time”.

    Indeed Paul, and I’ve just heard John Kerry, on behalf of the Biden administration, announce that Glasgow, COP26, is the very ‘last chance’ for the nations of the world to solve the ‘Climate Crisis’.

    I’m sure you could knock out a very amusing and timely ‘Last Chance Saloon’ article of failed predictions by the climate Pharisees just to keep us all amused at their complete ignorance and incompetence going back almost half a century. I dare say, you could knock that out on the back of a fag packet in under 5 minutes, a bit like John Kerry’s plans for converting the Western economies to ‘net zero’. Unsurprisingly for us, your summation would be accurate: the ouija forecasts of the nutters in charge of our destiny, won’t!

    • January 28, 2021 9:41 am

      Soon to be published, hopefully!!

      • Cheshire Red permalink
        January 28, 2021 10:06 am

        Better make it a good one Paul, as this’ll be your last chance to produce a last chance piece.

    • Gerry, England permalink
      January 28, 2021 6:02 pm

      Last chance? What? Again? There have been nearly as many ‘last chances’ as there were ‘deadlines’ for the UK-EU trade deal.

  15. Harry Davidson permalink
    January 27, 2021 11:07 pm

    I subscribed to The Times for a year. Then came two articles riddled with falsehoods where I happened to know the facts from other sources. Others pointed out the errors BTL and posted links, their posts were deleted, any post that questioned the article was deleted.

    These days I don’t trust press articles unless there is BTL comment, and even then I am cautious.

  16. January 27, 2021 11:30 pm

    This story come from a Reuters article which isn’t paywalled at

    The website “Informed American” has a similar story titled in part “Earth’s Ice Melting Faster Than We Thought” at:

    That title is false. Who thought? Not the IPCC.

    The article says “The melting of land ice – on Antarctica, Greenland and mountain glaciers – added enough water to the ocean during the three-decade time period to raise the average global sea level by 3.5 centimeters.” This is 1.17 mm/yr of sea level rise. For context, the tidal range in the Bay of Fundy is about 16 metres.

    The last IPCC report, chapter 13 shows Figure 13.11(b) giving projections of components of sea level rise, a part of which is copied here:

    Red is thermal expansion, dashed purple is water storage, black is total. Ice loss from all sources is total less thermal less water storage. For 2020, that is 4.5 – 2.0 -0.5 = 2.0 mm/yr. So the IPCC projected ice-melt sea level rise for 2020 is 0.83 mm/y greater than the actual of about 1.17 mm/yr over the last 30 years.

    The article says “The melt rate is more than 50% faster than three decades ago.” Using that factor, the average over 30 yrs is 1.17 mm/y and algebra, the the 2020 melt rate is Y = 1.5 x (2 x 1.17 mm/yr – Y). Y = 1.5 x 2.34 mm/yr /2.5 = 1.40 mm/yr. Thirty year ago it was 1.4/1.5 = 0.933 mm/yr. The IPCC projected 2.0 mm/yr. The ice melt is only 70% of what the IPCC thought it would be in 2020. It is not greater than “We Thought”, so the article is dead wrong.

    Is the current 1.4 mm/yr sea level rise from ice melt alarming? No. The sea level rise rate at 2020 is 3.5 mm/yr according to altimetry data including the effects of glacial isostatic adjustment of -0.3 mm/yr. The FUND integrated assessment model, ECS = 1.0 C, calculates that the economic impact of a decade of sea level rise from all sources, 2010 to 2020 is US$1.9 billion, or 0.00021% of gross world product (US$87 trilllion) each year. That is utterly insignificant.

    ECS from energy balance is shown at;

  17. Douglas Dragonfly permalink
    January 28, 2021 5:53 am

    OBEY !
    That’s all that matters here. Not the fine detail. You’ll never see those graphs painted large on the side of an old tobacco factory.
    Drowning polar bears stir up strong emotions and the brain switches off.

  18. A C Osborn permalink
    January 28, 2021 10:08 am

    Undersea and under Ice Geothermal Activity.
    They really do need to keep up.

  19. Pieter C permalink
    January 28, 2021 10:11 am

    The sea levels at Newlyn (Cornwall) are affected by Glacial Isostatic Adjustment. During the last Ice Age, the ice sheet did not extend south of a line roughly along the Severn amd Thames estuaries. As a delayed reaction to the removal of the weight of ice, the mid/north of the British Isles is very gradually tilting upwards, and the south is moving downwards. The movement at Newlyn is 0.4mm-0.7mm per year, which obvoiusly adds to the “tidal rise”. One does not usually see this mentioned in debates about rising sea levels.

  20. Earl Goudie permalink
    January 28, 2021 10:43 am

    One thing to realize and remember is if the ice is sea-ice and it melts it does not raise sea levels because it was already floating. Only land based ice and snow melt adds more water to the oceans.

  21. MrGrimNasty permalink
    January 28, 2021 12:06 pm

    The BBC has accidentally published some real science and undermined the credibility of the modern day extinction crisis and supposed unprecedented warmth.

    “The radiocarbon dating found the beetles and the oak to be 3,785 years old.
    Back then, in what was the Bronze Age, we think these islands experienced relatively dry and warm conditions.”

    Of course climate alarmists claim GISP2 was local and/or is inaccurate.

    This bug guy and the BBC have just confirmed the Minoan warm period in the UK!

  22. John Calton permalink
    January 28, 2021 12:16 pm

    As a new “climate change” observer I am bewildered by the vast amount statistical “facts” that are bandied about by weather girls (on Lorraine ITV this morning) and children in primary schools. So I need some help from you all.
    Not more stats please, but where I can access information on how the “experts” have correlated the sea level information from 1890 with that from today’s satellite information.
    Also the methods used in collecting information, whilst making allowances for the influence of the Moon, tides, time of day, winds and atmospheric pressure etc., at the exact time the measurements were taken.
    I have never heard the font of all climate change Dr(?) Dave A, mention anything about the specifics of data collection, but there again, I am a new boy who who would love to lean more.

  23. Douglas Dragonfly permalink
    January 29, 2021 3:11 am

    My apologies for a spelling error when I posted the web address.
    The corrrect address is below because although the text is irrelevant – it is the image I wish to share …

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