Sustainable Postponements…Germany’s Alfred Wegener Institute Pushes “Ice-Free Arctic” Back To 2050!

In 2009 Al Gore predicted an ice-free Arctic by 2014. It never materialized – not even close.

Not to be outdone, John Kerry upped the ante and boldly proclaimed an ice-free Arctic by 2013. That too was utter nonsense.

In 2010 oceanography researcher Wieslaw Maslowski claimed: “Near ice-free summer Arctic might become a reality much sooner than GCMs predict“. This was reported in the press as “US Navy predicts summer ice free Arctic by 2016“.

Louis Fortier, scientific director of ArcticNet, a Canadian research network, said the sea ice was melting faster than predicted by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

An earlier National Climate Assessment report wrote that models that best match historical trends project a nearly ice-free Arctic in the summer by the 2030s.

Other real experts were less dramatic with their predictions. For example in 2009 Overland & Wang predicted that there would be an ice-free Arctic in the summer by 2037. A 2006 paper by Marika Holland et al. predicted “near ice-free September conditions by 2040”. Tony Heller, a.k.a. Steve Goddard, has an entire list of ice-free Arctic predictions.

Postponed again to 2050

Now polar conditions have stopped cooperating, and sea ice looks poised to defy the projections. A couple of days ago I wrote here about how natural cycles are now aligning to lead to more sea ice cover over the next one or two decades, and that global sea ice levels are back to normal levels – a fact that the end-of-world obsessors are finding difficult to come to terms with.

The recent sea ice developments even have the government-funded alarmist institutes now in a state of anyxiety. Already we are beginning to see them push back the predicted date of an ice-free Arctic. The latest example come from Germany’s prestigious, yet alarmist, Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI) for polar and ocean research – so reports Germany’s Deutschland Funk national public radio here in an interview with Christiane Habermalz, Arctic Ny Alesund station engineer of the AWI.

In the interview Habermalz insists that the Arctic is the “hot-spot” of global warming, and that sea ice is melting faster than expected (Fact: it isn’t at all). She claims that the Arctic is warming 1.3°C per decade, basing that on only two decades of data: from 1993 to present. She also did not hold back from giving the impression that the trend would continue unabated, but then adding:

…in any case during the Arctic summer more and more of the sea ice is melting further and there are increasingly greater ice-free zones. That is something that also the scientists here at Ny Alesund have said, and that when the melting of the sea ice continues the scenario of an ice-free pole by 2040/2050 is very likely.”

2050? That’s a far cry from what we’ve been hearing from other experts over the last years.

There are some interesting statements here. First Habermalz is implying that it will take a sustained 1.3°C per decade of Arctic warming for this to happen. But as most people who have read about the Arctic know, temperatures there go in cycles. The warm cycle has already reached its peak and so the temperature level there needed to melt the ice by 2030 will not be reached. Thus the 2040/50 ice-free scenario won’t happen as calculated by the AWI. (By ice-free, we mean over a number of years, and not a single outlier year, which cannot be excluded). The AWI knows it, and so now we are seeing a conscious postponement of an ice-free Arctic.

Of course expect the AWI and similar institutes to keep ringing the alarm bells, but at the same time quietly move the goalposts back as reality dawns.

Finally, what do the experts project this summer’s Arctic sea ice minimum to be this year? Joe Bastardi tells us at his Saturday Summary here at the 13:15 min mark:

2015 Arctic sea ice forecast

US government NCEP forecast for Arctic sea ice anomaly this year. Source: Weatherbell.

Obviously the AWI has gotten the message, and so now the Arctic horror predictions have been pushed back to a future time, one far enough into the future that by then everyone will have forgotten all the silly, hysterical predictions made during the 2000s.


23 responses to “Sustainable Postponements…Germany’s Alfred Wegener Institute Pushes “Ice-Free Arctic” Back To 2050!”

  1. BobW in NC

    I love it! They just keep moving the goal posts back and back.

    The whole AGW foolishness is reminiscent of “Move along. Nothing to see here.”

    Or, “Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!”

    That they are not called out by the media on this is outrageous.

  2. AndyG55

    This little video tells the reality of the current slightly warm period.

  3. AndyG55

    2013 and 2014 had the shortest time above freezing in the whole of the DMI record.

    Yes there are some warm peaks in the Arctic winter when temp has lifted from a long-term average of 245K to 250K, but that is not going to melt ice !

  4. Roger L.

    Moving the goalposts …
    Anywy, german angst will still be online and dominate the MSM.
    Ich kann gar nicht so viel essen wie ich kotzen möchte (german idiom).
    Being in the federal system in geology i know what politics is about – and it is not about facts.

  5. David Appell

    “32% of the 56 CMIP5 ensemble
    members evaluated for the RCP4.5 emission scenario
    reach nearly ice free conditions (less than 1.0×10^6 km2) by
    the end of this century, with some showing a nearly ice-free
    state as early as 2020. However, we must acknowledge the
    large uncertainty in future greenhouse gas emissions. While
    on time-scales of decades the sea ice projections are relatively
    insensitive to the prescribed greenhouse gas forcing,
    this is not the case by the end of the century. Thus, the range
    of available results does not necessarily represent the “true”
    uncertainty as to when a seasonally ice-free Arctic may be

    J Stroeve et al, Trends in Arctic sea ice extent from CMIP5, CMIP3
    and observations, GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH LETTERS, VOL. 39, L16502, doi:10.1029/2012GL052676, 2012

    1. Kurt in Switzerland


      The statement, “While on time-scales of decades the sea ice projections are relatively insensitive to the prescribed greenhouse gas forcing, this is not the case by the end of the century” (or something similar) is made often.

      What evidence exists to suggest a long-term correlation between atmospheric CO2 concentration and polar sea ice extent?

    2. AndyG55

      Ahhh.. 5 Chimps have their say. 🙂

      The climate models are un-validated, or more correctly invalidated, junk.

      They can’t even get the main thing, ie temperature, within cooee!

      Why are you bothering to even quote them ???????

  6. Herve D

    In front of present and past alarmists’ predictions, those of Nostradamus do not look as stupid as these….
    By the way, why no longer are there Nostradamus predictions (about imminence of “end of the world”)? Has it been substituted with AGW?

  7. Craig Austin

    They define 2 million square kilometers as “ice free” that is a lot of area to call zero. Bigger than 90% of he world’s countries.

  8. Rich

    What’s the big deal with an ice-free Arctic anyway? Why all the fuss?

    1. Kurt in Switzerland

      The early- to mid-Holocene was peppered with Arctic Ice Melt events:

      None of these led to a “tipping point”; indeed, the Little Ice Age transpired thousands of years later. But for ALL interglacial periods, the eventual temperature trend has been downward at some inevitable point. This suggests either a strong natural cooling force or a strong negative feedback somewhere in the system.

      Warmists believe that the current atmospheric CO2 concentration is so elevated as to be sufficient to prevent descent into a full-fledged ice age. I’m not so sure.

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