Veteran German Journalist Calls Claims Of “Unprecedented” Arctic Ice Melt “Gross Nonsense”

Veteran German journalist Ulli Kulke at his website writes about the Arctic ice melt: Never Say “Like Never Before“. German media have fallen all over themselves ringing the alarms over the “new record” – as if we have an Arctic Fukushima on our hands.

USS Skate at the North Pole in September, 1958. (US Navy photo)

Thankfully, however, there are still a few sane journalists left among us. Kulke is among that very small group and reminds us: “Is the ice melt at the North Pole really unprecendented? There are indications that show otherwise.”

Kulke labels claims of Arctic ice melt reaching “unprecedented” levels “gross nonsense” and reminds us that “during changeovers between warm and cold periods there have been already completely ice-free Arctics on multiple occasions.”

Kulke also quotes Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI) physicist Rüdiger Gerdes (in Bremerhaven, Germany) who says the high Arctic temperatures are not only because of man-made greenhouse gases, but also because of natural periodic fluctuations with a rhythm of 60 to 70 years. Kulke quotes Gerdes:

Right now we are in a warm phase.“

Kulke explains, citing NSIDC Director Mark Serreze, “…the summer of 2012 was not especially warm at the higher latitudes” and that the sea ice development was unusual this year. Kulke writes that in March 2012, sea ice area was greater than at any time in the last 5 years and ice melt proceeded normally during almost the entire melt season until early August when a huge storm caused the sea ice area curve to turn sharply downwards to a level never seen – in at least 30 years, that is.

Kulke tells his readers that there’s a lot more to the Arctic than just temperature. Over the years scientists are finding out that it is a lot more complex and involves ocean currents, drifting, precipitation, freezing and thawing cycles. he adds:

That’s why serious scientists refrain from making statements such as ‘like never before’ when discussing the ice situation in the Arctic. Statements about the Arctic during times before satellites are made only with great reservations. About 50 to 70 years ago – a time when there was no systematic measurement and evaluation of temperature and sea ice area – we are finding a growing number of newspaper reports about dramatic disappearances of ice all around the North Pole, and could have been worse than today. The Franz-Josef-Land islands, which can be reached by boat only a few weeks a year, could be reached for 8 months in some years. Especially interesting, during one trip underneath the Arctic ice in the summer of 1958, the US submarine ‘Skate’ was able to emerge in open water 9 times – with one of those directly at the North Pole. At the end of the 1930s, Soviet scientists observed along the Arctic coast that it was 6°C warmer for an extended time than it was during the times of the Nansen ice drift  – somewhat warmer than today. The time period corresponds to the rhythm that AWI scientist Gerdes mentions.”

And Kulke cites Steven Goddard’s blog:

At the website“ there’s an entire series of international newspaper article facsimiles from various years that document a number of profound Arctic climate fluctuaions earlier. The tenor of those articles, like today: The sea ice at the North Pole threatens to disappear”.

After a years-long spell where climate catastrophe alarmism had to go without without new record data, it can now enjoy a warm shower with Arctic sea ice. But on whether we are dealing with a record that goes way back, that is however very much in question.”


14 responses to “Veteran German Journalist Calls Claims Of “Unprecedented” Arctic Ice Melt “Gross Nonsense””

  1. Ric Werme

    I no longer think your lead photo is at the North Pole. In the dialog to my post I concluded the photo record is entirely confused, but there are credible efforts to clean things up, including comments from the photographers. They were there. 🙂

    The best note about the lead photo is in comments at which says

    Graham P Davis says: (October 30th, 2011)

    USS Skate did indeed surface at the North Pole but not until 17 March 1959. Ice conditions in August 1958 were too heavy at the Pole for the Skate to surface, as they were for the Nautilus some days earlier. The Skate did surface in several other leads and polynya that August, including one near Ice-station Alfa. The above picture may have been from one of those.

    Near the pole in 1958, at the pole in March 1959. A photo from a memorial service at the pole is at

  2. John F. Hultquist

    Just adding a second to Ric’s comments. These photos, timing, and location thereof have been noted in the last few years. This does not change the facts about lack of ice on the Arctic Ocean in the past.

  3. Bob W in NC

    …and wasn’t there an article in the NYT from circa 1922 about the an ice-free Arctic? I’d really like to see (bullet point) a history documented of the really low level ice or ice-free conditions in the Arctic. Further, WUWT noted from an IMS sea ice plot (see ) that there is no reason to think that current Arctic conditions are unusual or abnormal.

    Unprecedented Arctic Ice melt? Much ado about nothing…

  4. Ric Werme

    Bob (and everyone else…) – see – it’s a copy of something I found elsewhere four years ago.

  5. tckev

    Please note Steven Goddard no longer runs However he runs a blog at

  6. Renewable Guy

    Artic amplification is happening as we speak. The warming will effect all of the northern hemisphere.

    But what happens in the Arctic, doesn’t stay in the Arctic. The rapid disappearance of sea ice cover can have consequences that are felt all over the Northern Hemisphere, due to the effects it has on atmospheric patterns. As the ice pack becomes smaller ever earlier into the melting season, more and more sunlight gets soaked up by dark ocean waters, effectively warming up the ocean. The heat and moisture that are then released to the atmosphere in fall and winter could be leading to disturbances of the jet stream, the high-altitude wind that separates warm air to its south from cold air to the north.

    The accumulation of heat in Arctic waters also influences other frozen parts of the Arctic, such as glaciers and ice caps on Greenland and in the Canadian Archipelago. As there is less and less sea ice to act as a buffer, more energy can go into melting glaciers from below and warming the air above them. This has a marked effect on Greenland’s marine-terminating glaciers and the Greenland Ice Sheet. Not only are glaciers flowing faster towards sea, but there is also a rapid increase in the summer surface melt Greenland experiences, leading to accelerating mass loss from the Greenland Ice Sheet. As the Arctic warms, an increased contribution to sea level rise is inevitable

    1. DirkH

      “As there is less and less sea ice to act as a buffer, more energy can go into melting glaciers from below and warming the air above them. ”

      Renewable Guy, what is below a glacier, and what thermal conductivity does it have?

      Think sharply.

      1. Wombat

        If the sea ice is gone, then sea water.

        About 0.6 W/mK, but convection will dominate if there is a decent temperature differential.

        … by which I mean that its clear from the context that renewable is talking about the end of the glacier, not the underside, as perhaps you are misinterpreting.
        That submarines found places in the pack ice that they could punch through in the past doesn’t show that the sea ice extent was less than it is now.

        1. Renewable Guy


          That submarines found places in the pack ice that they could punch through in the past doesn’t show that the sea ice extent was less than it is now.


          The sea ice has thinned substantially.

      2. Renewable Guy

        Sea ice has warming seas. And yet you talk about a glacier. I’m not sure if you have made a mistake or that is your intention to talk about the land under a glacier.

        The moulons transport energy down to the bottom of the glacier which is what lubricates the glacier to speed up into the ocean off of Greenland. The rivers practically exploded with runoff this summer.

        There are many other factors causing the melting and freezing of the glacier. If you would like, try reading this person Jason Box who studies the Greenland ice melt.

  7. Pierre Gosselin: Veteran German Journalist Calls Claims Of “Unprecedented” Arctic Ice Melt “Gross Nonsense” |

    […] No Tricks Zone Share this:PrintEmailMoreStumbleUponTwitterFacebookDiggRedditLike this:LikeBe the first to like this. This entry was posted in Climate Change and tagged arctic sea ice, climate hysteria, climate research. Bookmark the permalink. ← Pierre Gosselin: Southern Westerly Wind Belt “Might Be Ultimately Forced By Solar Variability” […]

  8. slimething

    Was Steve Mosher consulted on this? He says the current Arctic ice extent is basic physics; AGW in action.

  9. slimething

    Renewable Guy,
    Alaska was called the ‘canary in the coal mine’ 7 years ago. Why is it getting colder and record ice/snow/cold this past winter? The Bering Sea had record ice.

    Time to turn the brain on and spark a few neurons.

    1. Renewable Guy

      If one area of the artic has record sea ice while the artic as a whole sets a record for low sea ice, what does that do for you in your thinking?

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