Sunday, July 25, 2010

Putting Dire Global Warming Predictions in Context

Here is an attempt by Nigel Calder in his blog Calders Updates trying to give some context and some history to the latest outcry over "warmest year on record" and "the arctic ice will melt within 5 years":
The Silly Season Again for Melting Ice

At this time of year, while the Arctic sea ice dwindles under the midnight sun and the wind pushes it around, silly stories are needed to fill the pages of summer newspapers. So it’s party time for the global warming alarmists and their editorial cronies. For example, Nature magazine today laments:
“Arctic melting: The Arctic has set another record for losing sea ice. Last month saw the lowest extent of sea ice in the Arctic for any June since satellite records started in 1979.”
[Note added 25 July: The day after I posted this, CNSNews reported Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) as saying, "Instead of waiting until 2030 or whenever it was to have an ice-free Arctic, we’re going to have one in five or 10 years.”]

It’s a replay of the polar stories of 2007, mentioned in a 2008 talk on the Tradecraft of Propaganda that I posted earlier:

Here’s the relevant extract from that talk:
Last year [2007] you were told – shock, horror! — that Arctic sea ice was at its lowest extent since satellite measurements began. How that news was trumpeted on television and radio and in all the newspapers! What went completely unreported was that simultaneously, at the other end of the world, Antarctic sea ice was at a record high. Although the big freeze in Antarctica was again plainly announced in a press release from the US weather bureau, NOAA, not a single newspaper in North America or Europe carried this news unfavourable to the global warming brigade.
Let’s check what’s going on this year, around the southern end of the Earth’s axis.

Antarctic winter sea ice extent is currently running at roughly 1 million sq. km. above the 1979-2000 average for the time of year, while the Arctic summer sea ice extent is roughly 1 million sq. km. below the average. Taking both poles together, the present global sea ice extent is almost exactly on the 1979-2008 average. The relevant graph from Arctic Climate Research at the University of Illinois is too wide to post legibly here, but you can see it at

So the big news ought to be:
Hooray! Satellites detect no lasting change in the extent of global sea ice over the past 30 years

Yet few pro-global warming scientists or reporters seem to have learnt anything about the dangers of climatic hype and prejudiced reporting, from the collapse of the Copenhagen Conference, from the East Anglia e-mails scandal, or from the growing scepticism of the general public.

Nor has cold winter weather in South America and Australia deterred a media chorus about 2010 being the hottest year on record (since 1880). That’s based on wishful thinking after a NOAA release last week at

What we saw earlier in 2010 was the well-known warming effect of a strong El Niño. That has now given way to a cooling La Niña, so I’ll be surprised if 2010 still seems exceptional by the end of the year. When the time comes, you can mock me if I’m wrong.
If you want hard facts, then go look at this page of data maintained by the Watts Up With That? blog. It embeds all the major data sources on artic and antarctic ice.

If you want to see what climate skeptics are saying, read this post on Popular

You can get a sense of the "realism" of the global warming crowd by this post by Tom Nelson who has brought together a number of claims about "warming". As he points out: the average is a statistical fact, only half of any population can be above average, or rising faster than the average, etc. But look at these claims from all around the world!

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