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Greenland’s Melting Ice Is No Cause for Climate-Change Panic–Steve Koonin

February 28, 2022

By Paul Homewood

Steve Koonin has just had this article published in the Wall Street Journal.

It’s behind a paywall, but he has sent me his original PDF:







Steve Koonin’s analysis closely correlates with the findings of a study last year by Mankoff et al, “Greenland ice sheet mass balance from 1840
through next week”

The black line is the one to track, as this is the total change in ice mass, combining surface mass balance and glacial discharge. Mankoff found that ice losses were similar to now around the 1920s to 40s:



There should be little surprise about this, because temperatures in Greenland were generally similar to now back in those decades:



There is absolutely no evidence to suggest that Greenland will get significantly warmer anytime soon. Indeed the opposite appears likely.

Historically, the Greenland icecap has been smaller than now for most of the Holocene, so the current situation is not in anyway unusual.

  1. February 28, 2022 12:20 pm

    “Climate unfolds over decades”. Actually, 1 climate data point is 30 years, so you you likely need HUNDREDS of years to establish any sort of trend.

    • Phoenix44 permalink
      March 2, 2022 9:22 am

      But the 30 years is wholly arbitrary. Climate is a man-made idea, not something we can observe in nature temporally. We have ice ages and non-ice ages. The variation within non-ice ages is apparently random, perhaps chaotic.

      • March 2, 2022 12:05 pm

        30 years is the typically accepted/quoted climate trend data point period, but I agree, it is wholly arbitrary.

  2. Ben Vorlich permalink
    February 28, 2022 1:25 pm

    What is the base temperature for the anomaly chart for the SW Greenland temperature?

    Looking at Promice data temperatures in SW Greenland are running between -12’C and -25’C in today’s data. I’m sure a couple of degrees warming would be welcomed by residents although whether they’d notice is moot.

    PS The temperature in central Greenland has warmed up to to balmy -47’C

  3. Harry Passfield permalink
    February 28, 2022 2:04 pm

    Sorry for the O/T Paul, but you have to see He’s getting slaughtered in the comments…

    • February 28, 2022 3:47 pm

      A close friend was one of the planning inspectorate for Sizewell C, and their report has just gone into Kwarteng. I agree we need some nuclear (although not at daft prices), but he’s definitely lost the plot re: renewables and fracking though – totally backwards thinking (belief?).

    • The Informed Consumer permalink
      February 28, 2022 6:34 pm

      He said: “Remember: renewables are cheaper than gas.

      OK, so why have our ‘energy’ bills quadrupled (BG sent me an offer for 6 times my current cost) if effing renewables are so cheap?

      Where is all this ‘cheap’ electricity that allegedly comes from renewables?

      Or is there something that requires 25% of household energy bills to be handed over to rent seeking landowners, like 10Bn+ in subsidies from the public purse?

      Kwarting, another sodding con man.

      • Phoenix44 permalink
        March 2, 2022 9:24 am

        Maybe when gas prices spike they are, but obviously gas prices have been and could be much lower than now.

        And he ignores capital costs for renewables but includes arbitrary tax on gas.

      • jimlemaistre permalink
        March 2, 2022 6:50 pm

        All-in capital costs Yes. But Also the ‘Embedded Costs’ . . . Always left out of the discussion.

        One Lithium-Ion battery in one Electric Car weighs about 1,000 lbs. They each contain at least 25 pounds of lithium, 60 pounds of nickel, 44 pounds of manganese, 30 pounds cobalt, 200 pounds of copper, and about 400 pounds of aluminum, steel, and plastic. In those batteries there are about 6,800 individual lithium-ion cells.
        This should concern us all ! These toxic components all come from mining. While manufacturing each Electric Car battery, we process about 25,000 pounds of brine to make the lithium. 30,000 pounds of cobalt ore. 5,000 pounds of nickel ore, and 25,000 pounds of copper ore. All told, we dig up 85,000 Lbs of the earth’s crust . . . for just . . . ONE . . . Electric Car Battery . . . To store 100 kwh of Electricity that took 128 kwh of production.

        Wind Turbines, these are The Ultimate in Embedded Costs and Environmental Destruction. Each one weighs about 1,688 tons (equivalent to 23 houses) and they contain 1,300 tons of concrete and 295 tons of steel for the masts (Concrete and Steel = 15% Global CO2). 3.5 tons of copper, 48 tons of iron, 24 tons of fiberglass Then there are the rare earth minerals . . . 800 lbs. of neodymium-boron per turbine, praseodymium, and dysprosium. The leaching into the environment from tailings ponds, the radiation released into the environment and the mining of these minerals are all Embedded Costs. Where are all the calculations for all of these in The Environmental reports? Each blade weighs 81,000 pounds and will last about 15 to 20 years, then, it must be replaced. Oh, we cannot recycle used blades yet either! That is why we see them lying on the ground at wind farms after they have been replaced. What about the coal burned and electricity used at all the production facilities processing these essential components and the CO2 generated during their production? Somehow is this ‘Green Magic’ without pollution, because it will be used to produce Green Energy? Not likely! It all gets brushed under the ‘Big Green Rug’ and seems irrelevant because ‘It’s for a Good Cause’ . . . Absolutely NOT !!

        Solar Panels, the main problem with them is the Heat and the chemicals needed during processing using the ‘Czochralski Method’ turning all that silicate into the silicon used to make these panels. Producing pure Silicon requires the processing of raw silicate. Including the 1,425o C Heat required to melt the quartz crystals, usually by burning coking coal or gas. The Glass covers are made by heating sand, soda ash and limestone to the incredibly high temperature of 1,700o C with gas. Then they are Re-Heated to 450o for tempering. What about the CO2 going up the chimneys where that quartz or that glass was melted? Then, silica, we use hydrochloric acid, Sulfuric Acid, Nitric Acid, Hydrogen Fluoride, Trichloroethane, and Acetone. Do we recycle that waste? What happens to all the ‘left-overs’ from using these highly toxic chemicals? Solar Panels need gallium-arsenide, copper-indium, gallium-diselenide, and cadmium-telluride. All of which are highly toxic even radioactive. Furthermore, Silicon dust is a hazard to workers where silicone is made and where it used. Oh, and last, the Silicone infused Solar Panels cannot, as yet, be recycled. What happens to all the by-products from making and processing all these chemicals? Furthermore, it has been suggested that the energy input to build solar panels exceeds their energy output in their productive lifetime.

        From . . .

      • Phoenix44 permalink
        March 2, 2022 9:25 am

        Should say “all in” costs, not “capital”costs.

  4. dennisambler permalink
    February 28, 2022 2:11 pm

    “even as the globe continues to warm” Is that really the case/

  5. Chaswarnertoo permalink
    February 28, 2022 2:22 pm

    But east Antarctica ice is growing. Bigly.

  6. Gamecock permalink
    February 28, 2022 4:35 pm

    These “Ice is melting OH MY!” stories crack me up.

    The rate of sea level rise hasn’t changed in a hundred years. Falsifying their belief that ice melting matters. It would be far smarter for them to claim that ice is NOT melting, to match the actual observations of sea level.

  7. Jeremy permalink
    February 28, 2022 6:22 pm

    If ice loss depends at all on CO2, it is on how much CO2 is in the atmosphere. It’s now clear that how much CO2 is in the atmosphere has little to do with human emissions.

    It’s time to get these chaps off our back.

  8. jimlemaistre permalink
    February 28, 2022 7:17 pm

    A History of Global Warming
    Today, the Glaciers of South Western Greenland are slowly melting. The receding ice is telling of lives lived long ago, bringing a message to Humanity of Early-Stage Global Warming and its Phases. The Vikings lived and prospered in Greenland for 500 years. 100 years longer than European settlements have existed in North America. In 950, Eric the Red and 20 boat loads of his fellow countrymen sailed into Greenland and established settlements that would thrive until the onset of ‘The Little Ice Age’. What glaciers are revealing, as our Planet is warming and as the ice melts, is the frozen remains of Old Forests where 60’ trees once grew. Carbon dating of these once thriving forests place them as having grown in what is described as the Medieval Warming Period which lasted from 950 to 1450. What is interesting, is that today there are Minimal Forests in Greenland, even though we are in an “Unprecedented” period of Global Warming. The ice would have receded by at least 10 to 20 % farther than where glaciers stand today. If these forests are going to start growing to be that tall. Does this infer that during the Medieval Warning Period, little more than 500 years ago, Global temperatures were that much warmer than they are today? Yes! Does this simple fact teach us that our beliefs about Man-Made Climate Change of the late 20th century are flawed, even false? Probably, Yes! Human influence is negligible compared to the Extreme Power of Nature.

    Eric The Red’s House in Greenland, circa 950 -1450 . . .

    Vikings lived, Traded and Prospered for 500 Years . . .

    Farming – Harvesting Corn & Barley – raising cattle, goats and sheep . . .

    This is one example of Early-Stage Global Warming that needs to bs examined . . .

    “The economy of the Norse Greenlanders depended on a combination of pastoral farming with hunting and some fishing. Farmers kept Cattle, Sheep and Goats – shipped into the island – adjusted to Greenlandic conditions and were kept mostly for their milk and the subsequent cheese and butter. Sheep’s wool coming in handy too for clothing. Most of the consumed meat came from hunted Caribou and Seals. Both individual farmers and groups of farmers organized summer trips to the more northerly Disko Bay area where they hunted Walruses, Narwhals and Polar Bears for their skins, hides and ivory.

    Although cattle had to be kept inside for many months, sheep and goats managed to survive outside, grazing. Until the mid-15th century AD a mysterious silence kicked in and all word from them stopped reaching beyond the island. Among factors, the climate turning a much colder courtesy of the Little Ice Age’, 1300 – 1850 AD. The period the Earth is now evolving out of. This Cooling Period is generally seen as having played a major role in the disappearance of Vikings from Greenland by the mid 1400’s.

    Today . . .The Earth’s cycles are at the same point as it was when the Vikings first moved to Greenland around 900 AD.

    Verification is easy . . . We must learn to look back and compare . . .
    A scientific imperative . . .

    From The Environmentalist and The Neanderthal pages 14 – 16 . . .

    My Thoughts . . .

  9. Mikehig permalink
    February 28, 2022 7:43 pm

    I can’t help wondering whether there’s some double-counting going on in climate scientology.
    When we are warned that temperatures will rise *and* ice sheets will melt.
    We all know that melting ice takes a lot of energy and that, when ice melts, it lowers the temperature of its environs.So, when talking of ice sheet melt, are the warmists accounting for the heat required which will thus not be available to warm the atmosphere?
    This question was prompted by a post I read some time ago, maybe on WUWT, from a professor at MIT who had calculated the energy required to melt the Greenland icecap. He commented that if, somehow, said energy could be extracted from the atmosphere and oceans, it would lower global temps by about 6 deg C and tip us back into an ice age. (I don’t remember his timescale).

    • jimlemaistre permalink
      March 5, 2022 2:35 am

      So True ! That evidence is why Planet Earth is cyclical . . . Cooling to warming and back . . .

  10. Peter permalink
    March 1, 2022 3:44 am

    Wiki says about the greenland ice mass:
    Area 1,710,000 km2 (660,000 sq mi)
    Thickness 2,000–3,000 m (6,600–9,800 ft)

    Let’s assume the 2,000m thickness. This gives a volume of 3.4 mln sq km.
    This is roughly 3.2 x 10^18 kg ice or 3.2 mln Gigaton of ice.

    The graph mentions losses of up to 300 Gigaton per year.
    So there is a 0.01% loss in a year. This seems to be within the margin of error of the mass/volume of the ice sheet.

    – why should we worry about such a small change?
    – how was this small change measured at the beginning of the last century?

    • Stuart Hamish permalink
      March 1, 2022 6:28 am

      Greenland’s ice mass losses may have been underestimated in the 20’s 30’s and 40’s Peter as there was no satellite observational data …The Greenland and Icelandic long term station temperature datasets and to some extent Western Arctic sea ice cover track the positive and negative phases of the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation … You may be familiar with the infamous Tom Wigley Climategate email discussing the removal of the “1940’s blip’

      • Phoenix44 permalink
        March 2, 2022 9:29 am

        Dors that graph show clearly when satellite data started?

    • Stuart Hamish permalink
      March 1, 2022 6:30 am

      Watch Tony Hellers video ” NASA Confirms Their Own Conspiracy Theory ‘

      • jimlemaistre permalink
        March 1, 2022 5:55 pm

        Mr. Hamish . . . Excellent report . . . Thank you . . .

        A MUST see !!

  11. Phoenix44 permalink
    March 2, 2022 9:35 am

    UAH March 2022 satellite temperature anomaly was 0.0 degrees.

    • Gamecock permalink
      March 2, 2022 10:19 pm

      Anomalies are a trick. What was it in Kelvin?

  12. March 5, 2022 1:02 am

    Weren’t 1940s warplanes ditched in Greenland covered by hundreds of feet of ice?

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