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Alarmist Predictions

From: The Age, August 4, 2008

Our melting planet: ominous warning signs in the Arctic

THE vast Arctic sea ice that spreads across the North Pole could disappear during the summer within five years, leading ice and snow scientists are warning.

The Canadian Coast Guard’s strongest icebreaker, the Louis S. St Laurent, (pictured above) took The Age and an ABC 4 Corners crew with a team of scientists going to the Arctic at the beginning of this summer’s melt last month to examine first hand the extraordinary changes there.

Only a few years ago, climate modellers predicted the Arctic sea ice would not melt out in summer until at least the end of the century. “Then they said 2070, and then they said 2050 and then they said 2030,” said Robie Macdonald, a leading Canadian Arctic scientist on board the Louis. “Not only do I see the change but it’s like they’re moving the goal posts toward me and it’s an amazing thing.”

The team on-board the Louis are some of the thousands of scientists from 60 nations working to draw attention to the rapid changes in the Arctic and Antarctic during International Polar Year. The Louis’ route took us through thick sea ice at the entrance to the fabled Northwest Passage where over the centuries navigators perished, most famously Sir John Franklin, the former governor of Tasmania. Last year the Northwest Passage was virtually ice free for the first time in memory, when the Arctic sea ice shrank to its lowest level since satellite observations began.

US Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne announced in May the drastic loss of Arctic sea ice had forced him to list the polar bear as an endangered species because its populations could collapse within a few decades. Hopes that the Arctic sea ice would return to robust levels after last year’s record low are now unlikely to be realised, the latest figures from the US National Snow and Ice Data Centre reveal. While this year’s melt is not expected to shatter last year’s record, the sea ice is already significantly below average as the melt season peaks. “We might see an ice-free Arctic Ocean by the year 2030, within some of our lifetimes,” said Mark Serreze from the centre. “There are some scientists out there who think that even might be optimistic.”

The loss of the Arctic sea ice in summer would be unprecedented in human history, said Don Perovich from the US Army’s Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory. “As near as we can tell looking at the historical record, there’s been ice in the Arctic in the summer for at least 16 million years,” he said.

“There’s a group that makes a very strong case that in 2012 or 2013 we’ll have an ice-free (summer) Arctic, as soon as that. It’s astounding what’s happened,” said Ted Scambos, another research scientist from the Snow and Ice Data Centre. The sea ice melt is leading Arctic nations, including Canada, Russia and the US, to seriously examine new shipping routes through the Arctic, including the Northwest Passage, and the potential expansion of huge oil and gas fields. “As the ice recedes, it’s opening up not only the Arctic passage but all the resources in the Arctic Ocean,” said Scott Borgerson, from the US Council on Foreign Relations.

Last year’s melt was produced by a “perfect storm” of natural weather patterns and the rising temperatures in the Arctic from global warming, caused in part by burning fossil fuels. The Arctic is warming at twice the average rate of the rest of the planet and the sea ice is now considered by many scientists to be a “coalmine canary” for monitoring the speed of global climate change. The more the bright white sea ice melts, exposing dark ocean, the more the Arctic absorbs sunlight, melting more sea ice and feeding back into global warming.

The disappearance of the Arctic sea ice could have serious ramifications for the earth’s climate and weather patterns, polar scientists say, explaining that it would be like leaving the refrigerator door open on the planet. “We could think of the Arctic as the refrigerator of the northern hemisphere climate system,” Dr Serreze said. “What we’re doing by getting rid of that sea ice is radically changing the nature of that refrigerator. We’re making it much less efficient. “But everything is connected together, so what happens up there eventually influences what happens in other parts of the globe.”

Scientists are now rapidly working to understand how much the loss of the Arctic sea ice in summer might change weather patterns amid fears it will intensify extreme storms and rainfall in some regions and prolong drought in others. “The Arctic really can feed back into the global climate system,” said Dr Macdonald, who has worked with the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. “You know what happens when you get feedbacks – you get surprises, and we don’t like surprises.” The Louis’ ice specialist, Erin Clark, explained that much ice at the entrance of the Northwest Passage this July was “first-year ice”, frozen over just last year and prone to melting. The extent of this year’s melt will not be known until mid-September, with six weeks still left in the melt season.

“A race has developed between the waning sunlight and the weakened ice,” the US Snow and Ice Data Centre’s report for the end of July says. Despite a colder winter in parts of the Arctic and cooler temperatures in the last weeks of July, the size of the sea ice is expected to shrink to levels close to the second or third-lowest on record by September, the centre’s analysis shows.

Arctic researchers are trying to understand how much of the record melting is due to the extreme natural variability in the northern polar climate system and how much to global warming caused by humans. The Arctic Oscillation climate pattern, which plays a big part in the weather patterns in the northern hemisphere, has been in “positive” mode in recent decades, bringing higher temperatures to the Arctic.

Igor Polyakov, of the International Arctic Research Centre in Fairbanks, Alaska, explained that natural variability and global warming are crucial to understanding the sea ice melt. “A combination of these two forces leads to what we observe now and we should not ignore either force,” Dr Polyakov said. “There have been numerous models run that have looked at (the two forces) and basically they can’t reproduce the ice loss we’ve had with natural variability. You have to add a carbon dioxide warming component to it.” As the sea ice fails to recover, there are concerns it will become one of the tipping points pushing the planet to faster climate change.

A number of scientific papers are now raising concerns that global warming, especially in the Arctic, will begin to thaw some of the region’s vast areas of permafrost, especially in Siberia and Alaska. If that happens, infrastructure including roads, railways, bridges and pipelines could collapse. ————————————————————————————-

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1. Darryl Pendlebury - December 19, 2008

What a bunch of mindless pathetic losers to believe such rubbish. If Rudd was serious about the environment just think of what he could have done with the 10 billion he just handed out to Australias bludging class to buy plasma TV’s and playstations. Please give me a break.

2. Joel Black - March 9, 2009

Interesting way to keep up with the “facts” as predicted by “scientists”. Could you also go back in the timeline and list similar predictions, say beginning with Hansen’s first testimony, and give short bullet-point summaries of the real world results?

3. honestclimate - August 9, 2009

Click below for the Climate Change Alarmism Timeline 1895-2009:


4. co2co2co2 - September 14, 2009

what solar peak? the sun is at an extensive solar minimum right now!

5. Robert Godwin - November 19, 2009

It is discouraging and undermines the AGW argument when temperature data only goes back to 1950. There is data available for the 1920’s and 1930’s, which is the warmest period of the century.

Using more data would lead to a different result in terms of top ten warmest years.

Disheartening that apparently the data is chosen based on the outcome being sought.

6. Larry W. Smith - November 21, 2009

Why is the Scientific Method not being used by all of these wrold renound scientists and such on Global Warming?

7. Harpo - November 28, 2009


“Why is the Scientific Method not being used by all of these wrold renound scientists and such on Global Warming?”

That is the $64,000 question….

I found this in a US Senate report………. Paltridge is just one of 400 scientist quoted in the report.

Atmospheric Physicist Dr. Garth W. Paltridge, an Emeritus Professor from University of Tasmania, is another prominent skeptic. Paltridge who was a Chief Research Scientist with the CSIRO Division of Atmospheric Research before taking up positions in 1990 as Director of the Institute of Antarctic and Southern Ocean Studies at the University of Tasmania and as CEO of the Antarctic Cooperative Research Center. Paltridge questioned the motives of scientists hyping climate fears.

“They have been so successful with their message of greenhouse doom that, should one of them prove tomorrow that it is nonsense, the discovery would have to be suppressed for the sake of the overall reputation of science,”

Paltridge wrote in an April 6, 2007 op-ed entitled “Global Warming – Not Really a Done Deal?”

The use of the scientfic method in this case may destroy the credibility of their science. Catch 22.

8. rogerthesurf - January 18, 2010

I enjoyed all the alarmist statements, but I agreed with the one about the petrol price.
Meeting IPCC emission targets will make sure the price of energy is a lot higher than that!

Well there might be global warming or cooling but the important issue is whether we, as a human race, can do anything about it.

There are a host of porkies and not very much truth barraging us everyday so its difficult to know what to believe.

I think I have simplified the issue in an entertaining way on my blog which includes some issues connected with climategate and “embarrassing” evidence.

In the pipeline is an analysis of the economic effects of the proposed emission reductions. Watch this space or should I say Blog


Please feel welcome to visit and leave a comment.



PS The term “porky” is listed in the Australian Dictionary of Slang.( So I’m told.)

9. Stefan Mitich - July 27, 2011

Because oxygen & nitrogen expand when they warm up, into place of -90C, intercept extra coldness in 3,5seconds to equalize = extra heat in the atmosphere is not acumulative. When it gets colder, as in solar eclipse, O+N shrink = release less heat = cooling of the whole atmosphere is imposible! Part of the atmosphere always get warmer expands – intercepts extra coldnes, that coldness falls somwhere ellse because of winds and speening of the planet – but equalizes. IPCC are monitoring on 6000 places; what about on the other 60 billion places, where is not monitored? Are those places irelevant? What about on 67, 180m, 2km up in the air? Laws of physics say: when more CO2 +H2O in atmosphere, upper atmosphere warmer – on the ground days are cooler. Clear sky – days hotter, nights colder. Before you guys abolish the laws of physics; should only talk about localized warming and cooling; not GLOBAL! get corect info /fackts and formulas on http://www.stefanmitich.com P.s. why nobody thold me about this blog before?!

10. Stefan Mitich - July 27, 2011

About 80% of all the water in every sea and ocean combined is below 5C, water below 4degrees, when cools further down – it expands. Fill up a bottle of seawater at below zero – warm it up few degrees = will shrink. Fill the bottle at 4C and cool it few degrees = will explode. The sealevel goes up – when gets colder! Get corect scientific info on http://www.stefanmitich.com 2] when is warmer = more ice on the polar caps, not when colder. Water freezes on zero degrees, on polar caps is average temp -35degrees below zero. It depends on the amount of raw material for replanishing the ice, not on temperature. I.e. On Greenland is 1km thick ice; same latitude in Finland potatoes are growing; same latitude in Russian permafrost no ice. Sceptic’s warmer 1200AD was actualy colder northern hemisphere. Because Arctic’s water didn’t have enough ice cover as insulator. Was absorbing extra coldness and currents were spreading it south = less raw material for ice on Greenland. 3]Antarctic gets more ice on one side, when is El Nino, another side in La Nina. Ice on Antarctic is melted constantly by the thermal heat. Because ice as insulator is protecting that heat from the unlimited coldness on the surface. Sceptics are honest people with outdated theories. Find on my website, why the temperature changed in northern Europe from 1880’s and much more, on my website. Only solid evidences can stop the misleading. Active Sceptics are using Alarmist’ wrong data – to prove the Alarmist wrong… Laws of physics, boys! Sceptics become bigger Warmist than the Alarmist, because both camps ate acting as if they have abolished the laws of physics. those laws say: part of the planet’s atmosphere can get warmer, but another part simultaneously gets colder. Believing in warming and cooling of the whole planet makes both camps ”non believers in the laws of physics” = guilty about the ”flat rate carbon tax” shame, shame…!

11. Stefan Mitich - July 27, 2011

2009 for the first time engineers made powerfull filter, to make picture directly of the sun /to look at the sun. Talking about sunspots for the last 12 century was invented /incerted as a gues work = then they made it as factual. Teling that was or wasn’t sunspots in some previous century – doesn’t mean that has any substance – is only hint / proof that the person saying it is dishonest. When they realise that: solar and galagtic influence doesn’t make warmer or colder planet… The laws of physics /oxygen nitrogen shrinking and expanding regulation is so powerfull … Talking about solar ang galactic influence should be left to horoscope people. Interference with the earth’s magnetic field damages electronic equipment, but has nothing to do with the temperature. Please keep record what any alarmist predicts = on the base of their predictions, billions of tax $$$ has being laundered. People go to jail for $1000. Crime shouldn’t pay !!!

12. stefanthedenier - March 5, 2012

If Nigeria was supposed to sink by 2059, I would have believed, BOO!!! But 2058… NO!

Their crystal balls have lots of thin air in, to harvest from…. but tarot cards reading is much more reliable. In the name of science, they should go back to reading tea-leafs; if they want to be taken seriously,

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