Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Arctic Ice Expands, Dispelling Myths of Climate Change

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According to a report in the U.K. Mail on Sunday, a rapidly expanding ice sheet in the Arctic has definitively refuted the computer models used by advocates of the theory of man-made climate change. But the latest facts regarding “global cooling” have done little to cool the ardor of the theory’s advocates. And, in the assessment of some critics of the theory of global warming, the theory’s advocates would rather resort to ad hominem attacks than face the facts.

The report from the Mail presents a picture of a theory that has now been refuted on the basis of observation. As David Rose writes:

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.

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.

The BBC report that Rose references was a December 12, 2007 article which proclaimed, “Arctic summers ice-free ‘by 2013.’” It continued:

Professor Wieslaw Maslowski told an American Geophysical Union meeting that previous projections had underestimated the processes now driving ice loss.

Summer melting this year reduced the ice cover to 4.13 million sq km, the smallest ever extent in modern times.

Remarkably, this stunning low point was not even incorporated into the model runs of Professor Maslowski and his team, which used data sets from 1979 to 2004 to constrain their future projections.

"Our projection of 2013 for the removal of ice in summer is not accounting for the last two minima, in 2005 and 2007," the researcher from the Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, California, explained to the BBC.

"So given that fact, you can argue that may be our projection of 2013 is already too conservative."

It could be argued that 2007 was a low point for the long-term credibility of reporting on the theory of global warming. It was, after all, the year that former Vice President Al Gore and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) shared the Nobel Peace Prize, and Gore declared: “The climate crisis is not a political issue; it is a moral and spiritual challenge to all of humanity." 

When the “Climategate” scandal broke in November 2009, the global-warming theory suffered a public relations backlash from which it has never fully recovered. The latest data of the growth of the Arctic ice sheet may not have the emotional impact of the photos of polar bears standing vigil on dwindling chunks of ice that accompanied hundreds of articles a few years ago reporting on the retreat of the Arctic ice, but the facts continue to accumulate that cast doubt on the credibility of the theory that was pushed alongside the photos.

As Rose explained in his most recent article, the extensive growth this year in the Arctic ice is consistent with expectations published in The Mail on Sunday earlier this year:

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.

In March, this newspaper further revealed that temperatures are about to drop below the level that the models forecast with "90 per cent certainty."

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.

Although the new data should, at the very least, be a cause for measured reconsideration of both the global-warming theory, and the computer models that purportedly support that theory, such a reconsideration will have to wait for the attacks on Rose (and other critics) to die down. For example, Phil Plait came out swinging in an article for Slate.com:

When I heard that the Mail on Sunday ran a climate change article over the weekend, I knew it would be bad. But when I clicked the link and saw it was written by David Rose, I braced myself for the worst.

Man, sometimes I hate being right.

Rose is a guy who denies climate change in the way creationists deny evolution, and flat-Earthers deny the Earth is, well, not flat. That is to say, with claims so ridiculously wrong it’s charitable to call them "ridiculously wrong."

Plait’s attack was hardly an isolated event. While Nuccitelli’s article for The Guardian was a little less blunt, the attack was just as sweeping: 

When it comes to climate science reporting, the Mail on Sunday and Telegraph are only reliable in the sense that you can rely on them to usually get the science wrong. This weekend's Arctic sea ice articles from David Rose of the Mail and Hayley Dixon at the Telegraph unfortunately fit that pattern.

Both Plait’s and Nuccitelli’s articles do attempt to counter the information presented by the Mail on Sunday, and elsewhere the increasingly shrill tone that has been emitted by advocates of the climate-change theory in the aftermath of “Climategate” shows little sign of moderating. 

Rose’s story broke just as NASA was attempting to blame the industrial revolution for changes in European glaciers during the 19th century. Even as evidence continues to mount that fundamentally challenges the entire theory of man-made climate change, the theory’s advocates seem bent on converting it into the climatological equivalent of a “theory of everything."