Why hasn’t the Arctic still not disappeared despite all the announcements that it would?
By Dr. Dietrich E. Koelle
[Translated, edited by P Gosselin]
Announcements that the Arctic sea ice would soon disappear have been among the most favorite of claims made by publicity-seeking climatologists and leading American politicians. According to the following, there isn’t supposed to be any Arctic sea ice left today:
10 Failed Forecasts
(1) M. Murphy, New Scientist, 1960: “The Arctic ocean will be ice free the entire year before the end of the 20th century” (i.e. by the year 2000),
(2) “Arctic specialist Bernt Balchen 1972: “The warming trend can produce an ice-free Arctic Ocean by the year 2000.”
(3) Jay Zwally (NASA) said in December 2007 : “The Arctic Ocean could almost be ice-free in the summer of 2012” (National Geographic)
(4) Louis Fortier (Arctic Net, Canada) 2007: “The Arctic could be ice-free in the summer by 2010 or 2015”.
(5) David Barber (Univ. of Manitoba), 2008: “The North Pole could be ice-free this summer for the first time”: June 2008 (2) (3)
(6) Prof. W. Maslowski (US Naval Postgraduate School), 2008: “In summer 2013 we will have an ice-free Arctic”.
(7) Mark Serreze, NSIDC (National Snow and Ice Data Centre, Colorado, USA) in 2008: “The Arctic could be ice-free in 2012”.
(8) Al Gore, former US Vice President at the Copenhagen climate conference 2009: “Arctic will be ice-free in five years” = 2014.
(9) US-Senator John Kerry 2009: “The Arctic will be ice-free in 2013”.
(10) Prof. P. Wadhams (Cambridge University), 2007: said in 2007 that the Arctic ice was in a “death spiral”, and in 2011: “the ice could be completely gone in four years”, i.e. 2015.
So what happened?
The Arcic ice has not disappeared, rather after shrinking from 1980 to 2012 it has risen over the past years (Figure 1). 2015 saw a Northwest Passage that was no longer possible to cross – too much ice.
Figure 1: Arctic ice volume from 1979 to 2015. Source: Dominiklenne, Wikipedia. Public Domain.
While we shouldn’t be surprised that politicians like Al Gore or John Kerry would say such things and latch on to claims about the end of the Arctic, it is completely baffling that experts such as Mark Serreze (NSIDC) or Prof. P. Wadhams would reach such estimations.
What do all these false forecasts have in common?
They fully ignore statements that point out polar ice mass and extent are cyclical in nature. This means that it is not possible to simply extrapolate outwards from a short-term trend. There are foremost phases of expansion and retreat. The main causes for this are temperature fluctuations and changes in oceanic and atmospheric currents. Only one thing is certain: The supposedly responsible-for-everything CO2 rise here plays no role. The proof is delivered by the development of Antarctic sea ice, which, at the same atmospheric CO2 level as at the North Pole, has risen steadily over the past 35 years and reached a record in 2014 (Figure 2). Strangely this rarely gets brought up by the media. It just doesn’t fit with the hysteria template.
Fundamentally many conventional climate scientists have a problem with natural climate factors and climate cycles. For them climate first began in 1880 along with the systematic measurement of temperature. Before that there is only proxy data, which however are imprecise and thus are best ignored. That’s why there’s a widespread lack of understanding when it comes to the natural climate factors that were at play long before man appeared on the planet.
Figure 2: Antarctic sea ice area from 1979 to 2015. Source: Cryosphere Today – Arctic Climate Research at the University of Illinois.
Figure 3 below shows the global temperature from 1860 to 2000, along with the Arctic temperature. Clear to see is the 60-year cycle temperature fluctuation between 0.2 and 1.2°C. Russian Autor Frolov shows in Figure 4 a similar trend for the Barents Sea (70-90° N) and extrapolated accordingly for the coming 50 years. Here a temperature drop of about 1.5°C is expected. Also in a new GEOMAR-paper from 2014 that factors in the NAO impact reaches the result that the North Atlantic region is going to cool.
Figure 3: Temperature in the Arctic, 1860-2000
Figure 4: Temperature and projection at the Barents Sea 1900-2060 (Frolov, 2014)
Clearly there is absolutely no indication anywhere that points to the Arctic sea ice disappearing. American climate researcher David Dilley, who worked 20 years at the NOAA, even said that according to his analyses, cooling will continue over the next 120 years (4). This can be expected due to the anticipated temperature decline associated with the natural 230 year climate cycle that reached its peak in 2005. This trend is shown also in Figure 4 with the reduced maximum in 2060 compared to 2000.
To the contrary, scientists at the Alfred Wegener Institute in Bremerhaven, Germany, are anticipating a long-term-reduction in sea ice cover at the North Pole area in the summer time over the coming decades (5). Ms. C. Habermalz, AWI, believes (8) the Arctic will be ice-free by 2040-2050.
No matter, there is no need to fret over the poor polar bears having their icebergs melt away, which a number of wildlife protection organizations have announced in attempts to get people to donate. Polar bears have already survived a number of warm periods – the most recent being the Holocene Maximum 7000 years ago when global temperature was some 1.5°C higher. Sea ice at the North Pole, David Dilley says, was only half as much back then (see ref. (6)).
(1) Ice-free Arctic Forecasts, Real Science Blog, 27 Aug. 2012
(2) National Geographic News, 20 June 2008 and Telegraph (UK), 27 June 2008
(3) Arctic ice recovers from the great melt, J.Leake, Sunday Times, London, 4 April 2010
(4) “Dramatic Cooling in the Arctic, Extremely Cold from 2025 to 2050″, P.Gosselin,, 12 August 2015, notrickszone.
(5) Press Release AWI “Arktis: Meereisbedeckung – erste Prognosen für 2009″, Sept. 2008
(6) Gudmund Lovo: Less ice in the Arctic Ocean 6000-7000 years ago, , NGU (Norway), 20 Oct 2008
(7) I. E. Frolov et al: Climate Change in Eurasean Arctic Shelf Seas, Springer-Verlag, 2010, 166 pages
(8) P. Gosselin, NoTricksZone, 13 April 2015, Sustainable Postponements
(9) Nick Collins “Arctic Ice to melt by 2015″ (Wadhams), The Telegraph, UK, 8 November 2011
(11) Analysis Shows That Arctic Sea Ice Melt Extent Mostly Occurs In Natural Cycles, by P Gosselin on 17 July 2013
(10) Was macht eigentlich das arktische Meereis? Sebastian Lüning and Fritz Vahrenholt, 17 July 2013, Kalte Sonne Blog
(12) Ian Johnston: Polar History shows Melting Ice-Cap may be a Natural Cycle”, The Scotsman, 9 März 2005
50 responses to “Large Number Of Climate Scientists, Officials Baffled Arctic Sea Ice Still Hasn’t Disappeared, But Has Grown Instead”
As I’ve said before…
current Arctic sea ice levels are almost exactly where they should be for the phase of the AMO.
Just below 1sd from the mean of the 1980-2010 period that was the upward leg of the AMO.
Here I’ve shaded that period in blue and tried to estimate the 1sd range in pink (maybe a tad narrow?), with the current position as a blue dot.
And here are unadjusted Reykjavik temps overlaid over the AMO.
Marcia Wyatt and Judith Curry’s “Stadium Wave” (Mexican wave in Britain) predicts recovery of Arctic sea ice.
“The stadium wave forecasts that sea ice will recover from its recent minimum, first in the West Eurasian Arctic, followed by recovery in the Siberian Arctic,” Wyatt said. “Hence, the sea ice minimum observed in 2012, followed by an increase of sea ice in 2013, is suggestive of consistency with the timing of evolution of the stadium-wave signal.”
“2015 saw a Northwest Passage that was no longer possible to cross – too much ice.”
What is the basis for this claim?
All information that i saw so far, shows that the passage was open last summer!
Even an article critical about the use of the passage declares it open:
and with pictures from ships:
Yes it is closed to ships, sod.
“and with pictures from ships:” – sod
No, sod, that is NOT a “ship.” It’s a boat, a sailboat, and a little one at that. They are able to navigate the waters, though I suspect it’s a risky business.
Now, let’s review
These are their little BOATS
These are merchant SHIPS – the kind that we would like to be able to navigate the passage, but can’t.
This is the difference
“No, sod, that is NOT a “ship.” It’s a boat, a sailboat, and a little one at that. They are able to navigate the waters, though I suspect it’s a risky business.”
You are turning things upside down. If those small sailing boats can navigate it, bigger ships will have an eassier job.
And open does not just mean “oil tankers can make it on autopilot”.
Here is a report of a cruise ship making the passage this year.
But of course, we can ignore the ships that passed the passage and simply insist that it was closed. Facts just do not matter.
PS: I was just asking for the source of the claim in the translated original message. Is that to much to ask?
“You are turning things upside down. If those small sailing boats can navigate it, bigger ships will have an eassier job. ”
Because the gaps between the ice floes are easier to pass for a bigger vessel? You do realize that a normal ship is NOT an icebreaker? Well you probably don’t.
“Because the gaps between the ice floes are easier to pass for a bigger vessel?”
Yeah, the passage opened just in a way, that exactly this boat could slip trough, while i slightly broader one could not. You are 100% right!
Please, i did ask a simple question: Where is the link supporting the claim that the passage was closed?
Still swallowing camels and straining at gnats I see sod.
“Here is a report of a cruise ship making the passage this year.” – sod
Not just any “cruise ship,” sod: it was the “Akademik Sergey Vavilov – [a] Russian ice breaker [and research vessel] now used as a cruise ship for polar regions.”
Do you ever bother to do more than a superficial and sloppy job of researching anything?
“Do you ever bother to do more than a superficial and sloppy job of researching anything?”
Sorry for my sloppy work. “One cruise”, the company running that ship has different categories of ships, among them an ice breaker category. Can you tell me, in which category they put this ship?
Hint: you might not find it among ice breakers, even though some random picture selling page might name it one!
Of course it is a ship made for the arctic region. You should not go there with your rubber boat, that you bought last holiday at the beach kiosk!
Here is a list of all the boats which transited the north-west passage from 1906 to 2015.
Only 3 small boats transited in 2014.
In 2015, 10 small yachts transited the passage, 2 cruise boats and 2 ice breakers which traveled together.
Unlike the NE passage along the coast of Russia which has been a maritime route for almost a century, no ship carrying commercial freight transited the NW passage this year.
In 2015, the N-W passage is still not a commercial shipping route.
For small yachts, can use the narrow Bellot strait as a short cut. Admunsen’s fishing vessel (the Gjoa) who was small enough to pass through the Bellot strait too in 1903-1906.
“You should not go there with your rubber boat,…” – sod
But do bring it along. Just in case.
And thanks, PaulA. Nice.
“Not just any “cruise ship,” sod: it was the “Akademik Sergey Vavilov – [a] Russian ice breaker [and research vessel] now used as a cruise ship for polar regions.””
“Do you ever bother to do more than a superficial and sloppy job of researching anything?”
sod has repeatedly shown that he wants to actively spread desinformation. He basically takes the lies of the journalists and lies more on top of it. (Omitting that the cruise ship is an ice breaker is a lie by omission. This can happen accidentally – ONCE IN A WHILE. With sod it ALWAYS happens. AND: He shows repeatedly that he knows NOTHING about ANY technology – yet claims superior knowledge (his “math education” for instance for which he has NEVER shown any HINT of existence))
There are many seasons in the past 100 years when it has been open. It’s not a big deal, although you might like to think it is.
“There are many seasons in the past 100 years when it has been open.”
No. Please provide us with links and data on those many occasions.
“A record number (30) of vessels transited through the Northwest Passage in 2012. In 2013, for the first time, a large bulk carrier transited the Northwest Passage. Only 17 vessels managed the full northwest passages in 2014, due to a short and cold summer.
Since the first crossing of the Northwest Passage by Amundsen in 1906, few ships (less than 1 every 10 years on average) had successfully completed the full passage until 1969, when the oil tanker SS Manhattan, refitted with an ice-breaker bow, crossed the Passage from east to west, and then returned east. That trip resulted in ten transits being recorded that summer, as four icebreakers escorted the oil tanker. The number of completed trips through the Arctic Ocean increased in the late 1970s, mostly due to the availability of icebreakers and other ships capable of navigating in difficult northern waters. This is particularly the case for Arctic tourism”
The numbers are increasing. and it is getting eassier, even for those icebreakers. And we have a simple explantaion for that: Since we have the data (70s), there has been a significant reduction in arctic sea ice area/extend and especially volume.
The open passage is just another indicator of the change!
I assume it was “open” in 1906 in order to be “discovered? Poor Sod doesn’t seem to know the difference between a few ships forcing their way through and the “ice-free” status predicted.
“I assume it was “open” in 1906 in order to be “discovered?”
It was not open. It was a 3 year trip, which was started in 1903.
“Poor Sod doesn’t seem to know the difference between a few ships forcing their way through and the “ice-free” status predicted.”
That is a strange thing you are telling me, after naming the 1906 expedition as an example:
“Although his chosen east–west route, via the Rae Strait, contained young ice and thus was navigable, some of the waterways were extremely shallow (3 ft (0.91 m) deep), making the route commercially impractical.”
so the cruising ships today are “forcing their way trough”, while these expedition moving along the beach in water that one could stand in was using the real “open passage” of 90 cm water?
I live in Canada Sod and know the history. I believe 9 of the 10 statements say “ice-free”. Why the need for icebreakers if the passage is “ice-free”?
No, they are all out there in the public domain, you do some work and find them yourself. It might open your eyes
Poor sod, you can read, obviously, but have you considered taking remedial therapy to improve your reading comprehension? From the first of the references you cited:
“According to Canadian government sources, as many as 30 passages were made as recently as 2012.” http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=86589
That gives the impression that no passages were made since 2012, but the article from which that was quoted states also,
“In 2013, for the first time, a large bulk carrier transited the Northwest Passage. Only 17 vessels managed the full northwest passages in 2014, due to a short and cold summer.”
Thereby the article not only fails to mention that only a total of 22 passages were made in 2014 but also that any, if any, or how many, passages were made in 2015.
At any rate, it is clear that even with the aid of all of the icebreakers that international shipping could muster, the business of making passages through the North-West Passage declined from 30 completed passages in 2012, to 22 in 2013, and then to 17 in 2014, apparently due to increasingly more cold and short summer weather. It is to be expected that the summers in the Arctic are becoming shorter and colder, as that appears to be the reason why the Arctic sea ice has been on the increase since the lowest extent on record since 1980 was reached in the summer of 2011.
Can you comprehend that, or do you need further help?
“only a total of 22 passages were made in 2014 ”
This passage should be closed. The number should be ZERO.
but also that any, if any, or how many, passages were made in 2015.”
well, looks like the number is “only” 13 (link in comment below).
If you look at the graph at the top of this page, you will notice that in comparison to the 80s we are missing 10000 km³ of ice. So those places that have 13 ships today (even small sailing boats and ships carrying passengers) simply were utterly impassable, even for icebreakers, some decades ago.
Not sure one can declare the passage open just because a few daring ships spent weeks finding a hole through it. I doubt a city would declare a lake “frozen and open” for skating just because a few suicidal skaters have ventured to skate on it. Again you are playing with semantics and using a minor point to distract from the overall message.
“Not sure one can declare the passage open just because a few daring ships spent weeks finding a hole through it.”
I have difficulties thinking of another definition.
Wikipedia gives a good description of the recent history. in 2000, two ships made use of the shrinking ice. Then it got better:
“On September 14, 2007, the European Space Agency stated that ice loss that year had opened up the historically impassable passage, setting a new low of ice cover as seen in satellite measurements which went back to 1978. According to the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment, the latter part of the 20th century and the start of the 21st had seen marked shrinkage of ice cover. The extreme loss in 2007 rendered the passage “fully navigable”. However, the ESA study was based only on analysis of satellite images and could in practice not confirm anything about the actual navigation of the waters of the passage. The ESA suggested the passage would be navigable “during reduced ice cover by multi-year ice pack” (namely sea ice surviving one or more summers) where previously any traverse of the route had to be undertaken during favourable seasonable climatic conditions or by specialist vessels or expeditions. The agency’s report speculated that the conditions prevalent in 2007 had shown the passage may “open” sooner than expected. An expedition in May 2008 reported that the passage was not yet continuously navigable even by an icebreaker and not yet ice-free”
Three points should be noted:
1. In 2007, people did not believe the open passage, because it was only visible on (satellite) pictures, but nobody passed the passage.
2. Back then, icebreakers could not make it (!!!!).
3. If people passed the passage, it was an EXPEDITION, a singular big achievement, undertaken by (semi)professional adventurers for only that purpose in itself.
The contrast with the situation today (multiple ships passing, small and big ships, tourism, …) is stark at best.
I hereby declare the Northwest Passage officially open for September crossing! (Travel at your own risk)
W.H.Schneider provides the link that contains this pie chart.
Still having trouble coming to grips with the TYPE of “vessel” that is able to make the transit, are we?
“I have difficulties thinking…” – sod
FINALLY! Now we’re getting somewhere.
“Still having trouble coming to grips with the TYPE of “vessel” that is able to make the transit, are we?”
I do not have any trouble. These are exactly the type of ships that i spoke about.
and “adventurer” is a word with a wide definition. The ships making the passage in the past, were expeditions, ready for a multiple year trip. What is happening over the last few years, is ships slipping through as a one week holiday. If you can not sees the difference, you must be blind.
Have you figured out if the Akademik Sergey Vavilov is an icebreaker?
“Have you figured out if the Akademik Sergey Vavilov is an icebreaker?”
Why would a liar care?
“These are exactly the type of ships that i spoke about.” – sod
If the number of ships transiting the passage is not a proxy for abnormally decreased ice extent, but for advances in human technology** (e.g., improved ship construction and navigation) which makes the otherwise impassable passage periodically possibly passable, then you have no point to make.
“Sound general quarters! Red herring sighted off port bow. All eco-warriors man your cameras.” – arctic cruise director
Besides, if the trend in Arctic ice extent continues, all this fuss over a few tenths of a degree warming will be mute. And if not, disaster will still not ensue.
**America’s landing men on the moon was made possible because of our technological advancement, not because the moon got closer. Of course, there are those who, like climate skeptics who dismiss AGW, say we’ve never been to the moon.
“Large Number Of Climate Scientists, …, And Has Grown Instead”
Must be all that grant money available.
Yup, it’s in the Billion$
The monster keeps growing, and saying FUND ME!
But hey, at least it’s green. =)
The Russians have had an index for jet stream loopiness (polar vortex) called the ACI for arctic circulation index for decades. http://www.fao.org/docrep/005/y2787e/y2787e03c.htm#FiguraC
This also will give an idea of what is happening to Arctic sea ice.
Useful link Gail. Once again a sixty something year cycle appears to raise it’s head.
I too can make a prediction about Arctic ice in the year 2040. It doesn’t matter what the prediction is, I will either be gone or mumbling into my oatmeal.
Predictions used to be useful -3 years, five years. Now we have 2040 – 2060. Useless.
And beyond the career of the prognosticators. Nice trick.
I see they have fixed their PIOMAS model like they do every year after the previous version totally fails.
This list claims 13 vessels made it through the NW passage in 2015. Two were cruise ships, each with about 50 people on board.
Thanks for the link. All those ships can not exist (as we were told that the passage was not open).
Or they do not count, because they are small. Or they do not count, because someone labels them as icbreakers.
A.: The 10 failing “specialists” use a crystal ball of ice that melts every year and they get a new one from their handlers. Much as Paul Ehrlich and the Energizer Bunny they just keep on going in circles and beating the drum. They are clueless about that mass of dynamic floating ice on the Arctic Ocean.
Josh could do a cartoon about these fools.
B.: Real shipping will not come anytime soon. Businesses need stability to operate profitably. Corporations are, by design, supposed to make money and return some to the owners, aka know as share owners. Sailing giant ships among still larger chunks of ice is a fool’s errand and likely a breach of fiduciary duty.
“Much as Paul Ehrlich and the Energizer Bunny they just keep on going in circles and beating the drum“
“Josh could do a cartoon about these fools”
Josh should do one about sod…
All that ice will go soon, that is why the number of icebreakers operating around the Arctic Seas are
Further to my comment …
Russia has expanded its fleet massively over the last few decades.
Sod want’s you to check Wikipee? OK, but just be sure to give him a ten minute lead. 😉
From the article…
“No one with any real understanding of global climate change would suggest that 2013 and 2014 can be held as the “end of global warming”;…” – Capn D.
LOL! Good one, Capn D.
Oh, wait. He was serious. Well, he does have to maintain his “street cred,,” so it’s understandable.
“No one with any real understanding of global climate change ”
The state does not only want you to believe his lies. He also wants you to MEMORIZE them and calls this “understanding”.
“All that ice will go soon, that is why the number of icebreakers operating around the Arctic Seas are decreasing increasing.”
Yes. Please read the wikipedia article that i linked above.
This makes perfect sense, as in the past even icebreakers would not be able to make it through.
So what we will see, is more icebreakers allowing bigger vessels to pass in good years. And we might still get years with no passage.
I would actually like to move away from the northwest passage.
so those predictions were wrong. and i do not like that, as false predictions are obviously weakening my side of the argument.
What shall i do now, quote 10 “sceptics” who made “recovery ” claims that never turned out to be real?
Sod queries – “What shall i do now, quote 10 “sceptics” who made “recovery ” claims that never turned out to be real?”
GO FOR IT!
Sod, regardless of your wiki quote, it makes no sense that $millions is spent on new icebreakers when the ice is supposed to be gone soon.
Outside normal natural variation, the predicted extra loss of polar ice has not happened, is not happening, and is very unlikely to happen soon! If you believe otherwise please provide proof that the ice loss is to any degree out of normal natural limits.
In as far as those alarmist scientist comments and the so called science is concerned, any talent at predicting polar ice coverage badly lacks credibility.
[…] ‣ That darned ice! […]