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Scare Watch: 'Arctic warming is unprecedented'
American Thinker ^ | January 25, 2009 | The Viscount Monckton of Brenchley

Posted on 01/25/2009 12:32:59 AM PST by neverdem

The scare:

In late January 2009, a U.S. government report on Arctic climate, prepared by an international team of 37 climatologists, concluded that the recent rapid warming of polar temperatures and shrinking of multi-year Arctic sea ice are "highly unusual compared to events from previous thousands of years". The report's summary says, "Sustained warming of at least a few degrees" is probably enough "to cause the nearly complete, eventual disappearance of the Greenland ice sheet, which would raise sea level by several metres."

The report continues, "Temperature change in the Arctic is happening at a greater rate than other places in the Northern Hemisphere, and this is expected to continue in the future. As a result, glacier and ice-sheet melting, sea-ice retreat, coastal erosion and sea-level rise can be expected to continue."

The report says that ice cover in the Canadian Arctic and throughout the polar world has experienced record-setting melts in the past few years. The summer of 2007 saw polar ice cover shrink to its lowest extent in recorded history. The summer melt in 2008 came close to matching that record, and recent research indicates that overall ice volume -- because of the continual replacement of thicker, multi-year ice with thinner new ice -- was lower in 2008 than 2007.

The report also mentions "unusual warming" of the Canadian Arctic in the summer of 2008, including record-setting high temperatures in Iqaluit, Nunavut, the re-opening of the Northwest Passage, an "unprecedented" clearing of ice from the Beaufort Sea and the collapse of hundreds of square kilometres of ancient ice shelves on Ellesmere Island.

The report concludes: "Some projections of future human-induced climate change exceed documented natural variability. The past tells us that when thresholds in the climate system are crossed climate change can be very large and very fast. We cannot rule out that human-induced climate change will trigger such events in the future."

The truth: This report reveals very little that is new, and is predicated on a number of unproven assumptions, not the least of which is that the "global warming" that began 300 years ago, when the Sun was at its least active for 10,000 years, and continued until the latter part of the 20th century, when the sun was at its most active for 11,400 years, is chiefly anthropogenic. The mere fact of this warming, nearly all of which took place before humankind can possibly have had any significant influence, does not tell us its cause. Likewise, the mere fact that the warming has had effects on the climate does not tell us the cause of the warming. According to Scafetta & West (2008), some 69% of the warming of the past half-century was natural.

"Arctic warming and sea-ice shrinkage are highly unusual": The report itself later admits that the current state of the Arctic is not, in fact, either unprecedented or outside natural variability of the climate.

"Sustained warming of at least a few degrees may melt Greenland": Even this event, if it were to occur, would not be unprecedented: Greenland's ice sheet was entirely absent 850,000 years ago, when humankind could not have been responsible because we were not there. The report is merely echoing the previously-published conclusion of the IPCC, in its 2007 report, that warming of several degrees Celsius, sustained over several millennia, and could cause half of the Greenland ice sheet to melt, raising sea levels by about 10 feet.

"Warming is faster in the Arctic than elsewhere": Any warming, whether natural or anthropogenic, will occur disproportionately in the Arctic, because the atmosphere is, in effect, a giant engine transferring heat from the tropics, where temperatures change little, to the Poles. A point that the report carefully fails to mention is that, though the Arctic has warmed, most of Antarctica has cooled over the past half-century.

"Glacier and ice-sheet melting will continue": Like much else in the report, this is not evidence but a guess. In fact, several of Greenland's glaciers have been advancing recently, probably in response to the eight-year global cooling trend that the report somehow fails to mention -

chart 1

"Sea-ice retreat can be expected to continue": The retreat of the sea ice has been noticeable in recent summers, but the winter sea ice extent (shown in purple in Figure 2) shows very little change in the 29 years of satellite observation -

earth image comparison

The scientists were writing about the Arctic, but it would surely have been fairer if they had mentioned that the decline in Arctic sea ice has been matched by an increase in Antarctic sea ice, which has recently been at a near-record extent (though we shall be honest enough to mention, unlike those who reported the scientists' results, that the "record" only goes back 30 years) -

Sea Ice

Note the peak in Antarctic sea-ice extent in the late summer of 2007, exactly coinciding with the record low in Arctic sea-ice extent at the same time. The latter event has been reported repeatedly in the media, which have been almost entirely silent about the former.

Overall, there has been no uptrend or downtrend in the global extent of sea ice since satellite monitoring began 30 years ago -

Gobal Sea ice

Source: University of Illinois

"Sea-level rise can be expected to continue": It certainly can. It has been rising for 10,000 years, at a mean rate of 4 feet/century. For 9,950 of those 10,000 years, humankind cannot have had anything to do with it: it was natural. In the 20th century sea level rose by just 8 inches and in the 21st century the official projection is that it will rise by little more than 1 foot - a quarter to a third of the long-run rate -

sea level

Source: University of Colorado

There is no sign of an accelerating trend in sea-level rise. The IPCC, in its 2007 report, said that though sea level had risen 8 inches in the 20th century it was now rising at 12 inches/century. However, the IPCC did not say that the difference may well have been attributable to the change in measurement from tide-gauges to satellites that occurred in 1993 - the moment from which the IPCC dates its "acceleration" in the rate of sea-level rise.

"Record-setting high temperatures in Iqaluit, Nunavut": This type of reporting is a demonstration of the "Wisden Fallacy", named after the famous compiler of Victorian English cricket statistics. In any object - such as the climate or the game of cricket - that generates a wide variety of complex statistics, records will tend to be broken very frequently. But it is fallacious to assume that the breaking of an individual record, or even of several records, indicates a dangerous trend. The summer of 2008 also set records for cold weather in a number of Arctic locations, and the winters of both 2007 and 2008 have been particularly cold, with Inuit reports of polar bears approaching human settlements in the hope of obtaining food because the intense cold has interfered with their usual feeding habits.

"Unprecedented" clearing of ice from the Beaufort Sea": This is another instance of the Wisden Fallacy. It can readily be dispelled by displaying the 30-year trend in sea ice in the Beaufort Sea, which has been rising gently throughout -

"Some projections of future human-induced climate change exceed documented natural variability": Indeed they do: that point is scarcely new. But note that we are talking of "projections", not of observations. The central question in the debate about the climate is the extent to which the "projections" are likely to prove accurate. Not one of the numerous computer models on which the IPCC's "projections" are based was able to predict the eight-year global cooling trend that occurred throughout the presidency of George Bush.

"When thresholds in the climate system are crossed climate change can be very large and very fast. We cannot rule out that human-induced climate change will trigger such events in the future." Since we do not know what events caused the rapid changes in temperature at the beginning and end of previous interglacial periods, and we do not know why global temperatures in the present interglacial period have been up to 6 degrees C cooler than in previous interglacial periods, it is not possible to predict whether, let alone when, a little warming will suddenly trigger "very large and very fast" climate change. It was Edward Lorenz, in 1963, who demonstrated that we cannot predict future phase transitions in the climate, for we can never know its initial conditions to a sufficient precision for reliable prediction. There is, therefore, no basis for saying that warmer weather, or cooler weather, will or may precipitate a phase transition. Indeed, the most dangerous event of all might be the prolongation of a stable climate. We do not know.

End of scare.

TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Editorial; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: agw; climatechange; globalcooling; globalwarming
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1 posted on 01/25/2009 12:33:00 AM PST by neverdem
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To: neverdem

I thought the fear was gone. LOL!!!

2 posted on 01/25/2009 12:39:24 AM PST by Stayingawayfromthedarkside
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To: neverdem

3 posted on 01/25/2009 1:05:32 AM PST by wastedyears (April 21st, 2009 - International Iron Maiden Day)
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To: Stayingawayfromthedarkside

Bookmarked. One of the best point by point refutations I’ve seen.

4 posted on 01/25/2009 1:05:49 AM PST by Islander7 (LOST TAGLINE - If found, please return. LARGE Reward.)
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To: neverdem

I am sick of all this back and forth. I live on the beach but not RIGHT ON THE WATER. If the water would just rise about 3 feet, i would have a waterfront lot. Dammit Jim, i need greenland to melt so my property value will go back up, cus it certainly isn’t going to with Obama in power.

I guess i just have to have HOPE that the glacial ice will CHANGE and restore my lost equity.

5 posted on 01/25/2009 1:10:21 AM PST by ritewingwarrior (Just say No to socialism.)
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To: Islander7

When glaciers came down to the Ohio River and they started to recede, these folks would have sworn the world was in crisis.

Instead, we got Cincinnati and Pittsburgh. :>)

6 posted on 01/25/2009 3:41:18 AM PST by xzins (Retired Army Chaplain, Pro Deo et Patria)
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To: neverdem
Excellent stuff, and right on point by point. The Sun is not cooperating with the scientific agenda, which is excellent otherwise the otherwise respectable scientific establishment would be leading us by our noses down the garden path of (relative at least) bankruptcy. It is absurd to establish MAJOR public policy based on such weak science. In fact, it is probably criminal.

Our "guvmint" is looking to blow TRILLIONS of dollars on a highly questionable scheme with clear government-involved beneficiaries (I'm looking at you algore among others), screwing every taxpayer in the country.

Anyone else see a problem here?

Sic Sarah Palin on Washington.

7 posted on 01/25/2009 4:06:53 AM PST by PreciousLiberty
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To: neverdem

“Cyclical? What’s that?” -Al Gore

8 posted on 01/25/2009 4:37:20 AM PST by Illinois is a Red State
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To: neverdem; Normandy; According2RecentPollsAirIsGood; Fiddlstix; TenthAmendmentChampion; Horusra; ...

Beam me to Planet Gore !

9 posted on 01/25/2009 4:45:03 AM PST by steelyourfaith (Hope. Change. Impeach.)
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To: neverdem

In the face of mountains of evidence to the contrary, anti american’s cling the their religious fervor in blatant denial of reality and facts, including the ONE most recently making the White House, home.

10 posted on 01/25/2009 4:55:52 AM PST by wita
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To: neverdem

These people do nothing else but cost us money needlessly.
Global Warming
Global Cooling
Air Pollution
Ozone Holes
Pseudo-Endangered Species

Socialists know that they cannot win anything by just preac hing the benefits of socialism; there are none.
They indoctrinate through causes. They need for school children to perform some meaningless contribution to an artificial cause that will save mankind. They preach recycling and make everyone feel good about saving the planet. They preach against ozone holes and eliminate life saving materials used for asthma inhalers and make the costs of air conditioning our homes sky rocket. They preach against coal and make us use petroleum where coal sould be cheap this take money out of our pockets so that they can feel good.
Socialists cannot exist without their causes and we will suffer as a result.

11 posted on 01/25/2009 5:07:54 AM PST by BuffaloJack
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To: neverdem

betya AlGore will take the 1/17/80 picture and switch it with the 1/18/09 picture. Now, there’s an impressive difference.

12 posted on 01/25/2009 5:22:58 AM PST by gusopol3
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To: xzins

Exactly, when the glacier crept back from Kansas that part of the United States became a breadbasket to the world. Of course, it took laying Interstate 70 to generate enough warming to roll the glacier back...

That is always my favorite question for the alarmists:

“You’ve told me the bad things that can happen, can you tell me what good things will happen from global warming?”

13 posted on 01/25/2009 5:30:17 AM PST by steveyp
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To: steveyp


14 posted on 01/25/2009 6:05:41 AM PST by LiveFreeOrDie2001 (Keep plenty of food and batteries on hand.)
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To: neverdem

It recently SNOWED in the United Arab Emirates for only the second time in recorded history and even Baghdad had snow for the first time in nearly 100 years. Why isn’t the MSM screaming that these are signs of imminent global cooling and a new ice age?

15 posted on 01/25/2009 7:52:02 AM PST by The Great RJ ("Mir we bleiwen wat mir sin" or "We want to remain what we are." ..Luxembourg motto)
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To: neverdem

—needs a repost now that everybody is up—

16 posted on 01/25/2009 8:00:58 AM PST by rellimpank (--don't believe anything the MSM tells you about firearms or explosives--NRA Benefactor)
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To: rellimpank


17 posted on 01/25/2009 11:49:24 AM PST by Don W (People who think are a threat to socialism)
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To: wardaddy; Joe Brower; Cannoneer No. 4; Criminal Number 18F; Dan from Michigan; Eaker; Jeff Head; ...
Climate/Energy Special

Climate: Change You Can't Believe In

The Age of Anti-Carbonism

Coal Will Still Be King - But can capturing and storing it make it climate friendly?

Correlation demonstrated between cosmic rays and temperature of the stratosphere

HyperPhysics This is an excellent reference for Physics, IMHO.

Some noteworthy articles about politics, foreign and military affairs, IMHO, FReepmail me if you want on or off my list.

18 posted on 01/25/2009 12:54:27 PM PST by neverdem (Xin loi minh oi)
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To: rellimpank
—needs a repost now that everybody is up—

Go for it.

19 posted on 01/25/2009 1:24:00 PM PST by neverdem (Xin loi minh oi)
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To: Stayingawayfromthedarkside

The earth will begin to heal it self!

20 posted on 01/25/2009 1:39:44 PM PST by Holicheese (Get up Tom Brady, get up! PLEASE!!)
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