EDITORIAL by Peter WestmoreNews Weekly
Another scare to fuel global warming alarmism
, August 1, 2015
If the carbon-dioxide-induced “global warming” theory were true, we would expect that average temperatures would be increasing across the globe as the level of CO2 in the atmosphere increases. It is not happening.
There can be no doubt that CO2 levels in the atmosphere have risen over the past 200 years, from about 250 parts per million (ppm) to 400ppm today. While this increase is substantial, it should be remembered that CO2 is a minor trace gas in the atmosphere, and CO2’s 400ppm compares to about 780,000 for Nitrogen (N2), 210,000 for Oxygen (O2) and 9,000ppm Argon (Ar).
The amount of water vapour (H2O) in the air is generally higher than the amount of CO2.
CO2 output rose substantially over recent decades as a result of economic development in China and India. However, the rising levels of CO2 have not seen steady increases in the earth’s temperature, despite the computer models’ predictions.
Since 1998, temperatures have risen and fallen, but there has been little net change.
As usually happens at this time of the year – when Australians are shivering in winter, and snow has fallen in Queensland for the first time in years – reports emerge from the northern hemisphere of “unprecedented melting” of the Arctic ice cap due to global warming.
For example, the Boston Globe on July 11 published a feature article headed “The big unchill” which began: “The Arctic ice is melting faster than ever recorded, the warmth tied to the emissions of modern life.”
The article added: “Here, as close to the top of the world as you can get in America, the signs are serious indeed: the Arctic Ocean is melting faster than at any time on record. This February, the sea ice that stretches from North America to Russia reached its lowest-known winter extent and began melting 15 days earlier than usual.
“That continued a three-decade trend that has seen the ocean’s ice lose about 65 per cent of its mass and about half of its reach during the summer.
“In 20 or 30 more years, the Arctic Ocean could be nearly devoid of ice in the summer, climate scientists believe.”
This scary scenario has been published many times in years past.
For example, National Geographic News published an article in 2007 headed: “Arctic sea ice gone in summer within five years?”
It quoted scientists from the US Government’s Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder, Colorado, pointing to the alarming melting of the Arctic sea ice.
“This week, after reviewing his own new data, NASA climate scientist Jay Zwally said: ‘At this rate, the Arctic Ocean could be nearly ice-free at the end of summer by 2012, much faster than previous predictions’.”
Well, 2012 has come and gone, and the Arctic sea ice is still there.
In 2012, Cambridge University climate scientist Professor Peter Wadhams emailed the British Guardian newspaper to say that the Arctic sea ice would disappear by 2015–16. “I have been predicting [the collapse of sea ice in summer months] for many years. The main cause is simply global warming: as the climate has warmed there has been less ice growth during the winter and more ice melt during the summer,” he wrote.
He added: “This collapse I predicted would occur in 2015–16, at which time the summer Arctic (August to September) would become ice-free. The final collapse towards that state is now happening and will probably be complete by those dates.”
There is no sign that this prediction will be fulfilled this year or next.
In fact, data from the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Colorado shows that the extent of sea ice is now much higher than it was in 2012.
It also shows that the typical variation in sea ice in the Arctic between winter and summer is enormous: from around 15 million square kilometres maximum to about 6 million square kilometres minimum, with large variations from year to year.
We know from history that there have been years when the Arctic sea ice did melt far more than we see today, potentially opening a shorter route from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific.
The search for the Northwest Passage was one of most celebrated maritime dreams of the Spanish, Portuguese, French and British empires from the 16th to the 19th centuries.
The most celebrated of these was the Franklin Expedition of 1845, which disappeared north of Canada and was never seen again. Later expeditions found evidence that some members of the crew had lived for years marooned in the frozen sea before all succumbed.
The US National Snow and Ice Data Center relies on satellite data. Incidentally, it also shows that the area of sea ice surrounding the frozen Antarctic continent is higher than average for this time of the year. No publicity was given to this fact – perhaps because it contradicts the alarmist scenarios being promoted by many climate scientists.
Peter Westmore is national president of the National Civic Council.