Global cooling: Arctic ice cap grows 60% in a year
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Global cooling: Arctic ice cap grows 60% in a year

Global cooling: Arctic ice cap grows 60% in a year

A chilly Arctic summer has left nearly a million more square miles of ocean covered with ice than at the same time last year – an increase of 60 per cent. - mailonline 7 Sept 2013.

The rebound from 2012’s record low comes six years after the BBC reported that global warming would leave the Arctic ice-free in summer by 2013.

Instead, days before the annual autumn re-freeze is due to begin, an unbroken ice sheet more than half the size of Europe already stretches from the Canadian islands to Russia’s northern shores.

 arctic ice sheet

The Northwest Passage from the Atlantic to the Pacific has remained blocked by pack-ice all year. More than 20 yachts that had planned to sail it have been left ice-bound and a cruise ship attempting the route was forced to turn back.

Some eminent scientists now believe the world is heading for a period of cooling that will not end until the middle of this century – a process that would expose computer forecasts of imminent catastrophic warming as dangerously misleading.

The disclosure comes 11 months after The Mail on Sunday triggered intense political and scientific debate by revealing that global warming has ‘paused’ since the beginning of 1997 – an event that the computer models used by climate experts failed to predict.

The pause – which has now been accepted as real by every major climate research centre – is important, because the models’ predictions of ever-increasing global temperatures have made many of the world’s economies divert billions of pounds into ‘green’ measures to counter  climate change.

Those predictions now appear gravely flawed.


Only six years ago, the BBC reported that the Arctic would be ice-free in summer by 2013, citing a scientist in the US who claimed this was a ‘conservative’ forecast. Perhaps it was their confidence that led more than 20 yachts to try to sail the Northwest Passage from the Atlantic to  the Pacific this summer. As of last week, all these vessels were stuck in the ice, some at the eastern end of the passage in Prince Regent Inlet, others further west at Cape Bathurst.

Shipping experts said the only way these vessels were likely to be freed was by the icebreakers of the Canadian coastguard. According to the official Canadian government website, the Northwest Passage has remained ice-bound and impassable  all summer.

The BBC’s 2007 report quoted scientist  Professor Wieslaw Maslowski, who based his views on super-computer models and the fact that ‘we use a high-resolution regional model for the Arctic Ocean and sea ice’.

He was confident his results were ‘much more realistic’ than other projections, which ‘underestimate the amount of heat delivered to the sea ice’. Also quoted was Cambridge University expert Professor Peter Wadhams.

BBC ice sheet story

He backed Professor Maslowski, saying his model was ‘more efficient’ than others because it ‘takes account of processes that happen internally in the ice’.

He added: ‘This is not a cycle; not just a fluctuation. In the end, it will all just melt away quite suddenly.’


Al Gore: “Entire north polar ice cap will be gone in 5 years”

On the 13th of December 2008, in Saarland, Germany, at the opening of the new prehistoric exhibit, Gondwana Park, Al Gore stated that the “entire north polar ice cap will be gone in 5 years.”


ABC report - Arctic Ocean ice could melt by 2013


AM - Thursday, 13 December , 2007  08:08:00

Reporter: Barbara MillerTony Eastlet

TONY EASTLEY: A year ago US scientists caused alarm when they predicted the Arctic Ocean could be free of summer ice by 2030, but now researchers say those estimates were far too conservative.

A US-based team has told a conference in California that the northern polar waters could be ice-free in summer by 2013.

Barbara Miller reports.

BARBARA MILLER: This year summer melting in the arctic reduced the ice-cover to just over four million square kilometres.

That might sound like a lot, but it's the smallest ever amount recorded in modern times.

And it's this kind of data, which has led researchers to say previous estimates of when the Arctic waters will be completely free of ice in summer, are far too conservative.

Professor Wieslaw Maslowski from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California, has been presenting his work to a meeting of the American Geophysical Union.

WIESLAW MASLOWSKI: We're just moving this date closer and closer to us simply because I believe what is happening, the system in the Arctic Ocean is very complex and from a mathematical point of view, it's non linear.

So there is a feedback loop that may accelerate this harder (phonetic) in a linear sense. Mainly they're forcing from the atmosphere, forcing from the ocean. The ice will Albedo effect which is simply where you remove ice, you heat, you warm the ocean, which can melt more ice even further, and those kind of feedbacks are actually in place in Arctic right now, which is possibly causing this accelerated melt.

BARBARA MILLER: What would the impact be if these projections were correct? That by 2013 and there was no summer ice?

WIESLAW MASLOWSKI: Well, there are two major impacts from the climate point of view.

One impact is that if we remove the sea ice, which is a very reflective ice cover in the high northern latitudes, we'll be observing much more solar radiation into the ocean and the feedback from the warmer ocean - one is feedback (inaudible), that the ocean will expand so we may see some associated increase of sea level due to the warmer ocean in the Arctic, which currently is at freezing temperature about 92 degrees centigrade.

Second effect or second important thing to keep in mind is that if we melt all this ice that is currently out there in the Arctic, every summer we will be exporting a lot of fresh water, much more than currently into the North Atlantic and this fresh water export from the Arctic may affect the ocean circulation, which in turn can affect regional or global climate.

BARBARA MILLER: When he accepted his Nobel Peace Prize earlier this week, Al Gore referred to Professor Maslowski's work.

AL GORE: Last September 21, as the northern hemisphere tilted away from the sun, scientists reported with unprecedented alarm that the north polar ice cap is in their words, falling off a cliff.

One study estimated that it could be completely gone during summer in less than 22 years. Another new study to be presented by US Navy researchers later this week warns it could happen in as little as seven years. Seven years from now.

BARBARA MILLER: As the world meets in Bali, Al Gore went on to repeat his calls for tough action on climate change.

The trouble is, it looks increasingly like it may already be too late.



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