As the ‘blue Arctic’ expands thanks to global warming, an icebreaker finds no ice to break

By Tom Yulsman | January 30, 2016 5:36 pm

Shrinking Arctic sea ice — now at record-low levels — has implications for ecosystems, climate, weather, and people


The KV Svalbard, a Norwegian Coast Guard icebreaker. (Source: L. Karsten via Wikimedia Commons )

During a recent mission off the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard, a Norwegian Coast Guard icebreaker encountered unusual winter conditions for an area just 800 miles from the North Pole.

Open water.


Dec. 2015 average Arctic sea ice extent compared to average.  (Source: NSIDC)

At this time of year, sea ice usually closes in around Svalbard’s northern and eastern coasts. But not this year. The sturdy 340-foot-long, 6,375-ton KV Svalbard had no ice to break, reports Oddvar Larsen, the ship’s First Engineer.

I spoke with Larsen and other sailors on board the icebreaker during the kickoff event of the 10th Arctic Frontiers conference in Tromsø, Norway on Jan. 24, 2016. This is the first post of several I have planned based on reporting I did at the conference. (Please see the note at the end for important details about the reporting that went into this story.)

Larsen told me that he has observed “big changes” in the Arctic during his nearly 25 years at sea. In addition to shrinking in extent, “most of the ice we encounter now is young — just one year old.”

In the past, thicker, multi-year ice was dominant, including old ice greater than nine years of age. Today that oldest ice is almost gone.

You can watch the Arctic’s old sea ice disappear, literally before your eyes, in this animation:

The lack of sea ice that Oddvar Larsen and his crewmates experienced around Svalbard this winter wasn’t just a small geographical anomaly. At 301,000 square miles below the long-term average, Arctic sea ice extent in December was the fourth lowest for the month in the satellite record.

To give you a sense of just how much below average that extent was, consider that 301,000 square miles is almost the size of California, Oregon and Washington combined.

Since December, conditions have not improved. In fact, the extent of Arctic sea ice overall now is at record low levels for this time of year:


A time series of Arctic sea ice extent for the months October through February showing the long-term average, 2011/2012, and how conditions have played out so far in the 2015/2016, shown with the blue line. Note that ice extent is now trending lower than in 2011/2012, which went on to set a record low. (Source: NSIDC)

As Oddvar Larsen’s experience suggests, the lack of sea ice that his icebreaker recently encountered around Svalbard comprises just one data point in a broader, long-term trend. Since satellite monitoring began in 1979, Arctic sea ice extent in December has declined at a rate of 3.4 percent per decade.

That’s in winter, when the region is typically gripped by polar cold. In September, when Arctic sea ice reaches it’s lowest annual extent after the relatively warm months of summer, the decline has been much more rapid: 13.4% per decade.


Patchy sea ice in Baffin Bay between Greenland and Canada, as seen from 35,000 feet on a commercial aircraft, Jan. 29, 2015. (iPhone photo: ©Tom Yulsman)

The shrinking geographic extent of Arctic sea ice is just one measure of the impact of human activities on Earth’s climate. Its total volume is another — and that has been declining over the long run too.

If you pay too much attention to data cherrypickers looking to cast doubt on global warming, you’ll hear a different story. But the full data record, backed up by the personal experiences of sailors like Oddvar Larsen and others (keep reading; more to come below…), show conclusively that Arctic sea ice continues to decline.

Given the heat energy building up in Earth’s natural systems from greenhouse gas emissions, we shouldn’t expect anything different. In the end, it’s really just a matter of physics.

Moreover, fully 90 percent of the heat energy our activities are generating has been going into the oceans. How much energy are we talking about?

To help Arctic Frontiers’ conferees wrap their heads around that question, a geoscientist at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory offered a startling comparison. Citing recent research, Peter Schlosser noted that since 1997, the heat energy going into the oceans has been equivalent to “one Hiroshima-sized atom bomb being exploded every second for 75 years.”

The result: an increasingly “blue Arctic” whose relatively dark waters (compared to white sea ice) are helping to amplify warming in the high north even further. And this, in turn, is possibly contributing to extreme events like the brutal winter weather that parts of the United States have endured in recent years.

In her own talk at the conference, NASA’s chief scientist, Ellen Stofan, explained the process this way: “As we expose more ocean, the dark water absorbs more heat, and that heat is pumped back into the climate system as added energy.” This Arctic amplification process, she added, could be implicated in “a lot of the extreme weather events that have been occurring.”

A connection between shrinking Arctic sea ice, Arctic amplification, and extreme weather is supported by research conducted by Jennifer Francis at Rutgers University, including a paper published last June.  Here’s how the connection works, at least theoretically:

The disproportionate warming experienced in the Arctic has weakened the difference in temperature between the lower and higher latitudes, causing the jet stream to become wavier for longer periods of time. The result: deep meteorological ridges and troughs that tend to be more persistent.


A NASA animation shows waviness developing in the polar jet stream, creating ridges and troughs. Arctic warming may be causing these features to become more persistent, thereby contributing to extreme weather events. (Source: NASA)

In the ridges, warmth flows up from the south; in the troughs, wintry weather spills from the north. And in both cases, longer-lasting jet stream waviness tends to cause these weather patterns to stick around for awhile.

“As emissions of greenhouse gases continue unabated, therefore, the continued amplification of Arctic warming should favor an increased occurrence of extreme events caused by prolonged weather conditions,” Francis and her colleague concluded in their recent paper.

It’s an intriguing theory. But it’s also still the subject of a robust scientific debate.


Sea ice zooplankton: Calanus glacialis. (Allison Bailey / Norwegian Polar Institute)

Declining sea ice is known to be driving other changes in the Arctic, including to a surprisingly vibrant realm of life thriving in the harshest of environments. These species include single-celled algae that live under and even within the ice, and shrimp-like zooplankton that feast on these organisms.

As the frozen mantle over north polar waters has declined, “the abundance and diversity of organisms living under the ice in the Arctic has been going down,” said Jan-Gunnar Winther, director of the Norwegian Polar Institute.

Even as some species at the base of the food chain have been declining, research also shows that warmer Arctic waters have been luring fish farther and farther north. And they are not alone.

Aboard the KV Svalbard, the Commander of the Norwegian Coast Guard, Commodore Sverre Nordahl Engeness, noted that fishermen are also being lured north into the increasingly blue Arctic. Joining them have been ships seeking to navigate the Northern Sea Route, and vessels involved in oil and gas exploration — and production too.

“This is affecting the way the Norwegian Coast Guard operates in the Arctic,” Engeness says. “We have larger areas that we must operate in” — for search and rescue,  guarding against illegal fishing activities, and protecting Norway’s sovereign interests.


Admiral Robert J. Papp, Jr., speaking at the Arctic Frontiers 2016 conference.
(Photo: Pernille Ingebrigtsen/Arctic Frontiers 2016)

The sailors of Norway’s KV Svalbard have not been alone in their personal experiences of climate change. Admiral Robert J. Papp, Jr., retired Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard, has experienced them firsthand too. The Arctic Ocean “is now opening up” for economic activities. “Will we be ready?,” asked Admiral Papp, now the U.S. Special Representative for the Arctic.

I asked him a what kinds of changes he has seen himself since he began his career on the seas 40 years ago. Here’s what he said:

In 1975, my first assignment was to a small Coast Guard ship, which was home-ported in Adak, Alaska in the Aleutian island chain . . . Our area of responsibility was the Bering Sea, the Arctic Ocean, and the Gulf of Alaska. As a young sailor, and someone who aspired to be a ship captain, there was no better training ground because I saw the absolute harshest weather on Earth on a sustained basis.

Weather that you will find on a sustained basis in the Bering Sea for sometimes weeks on end is at a level that you would call a hurricane if it was in the Caribbean. Except in the Caribbean a hurricane passes through within 48 hours and it’s over. In the Bering Sea, you can experience it for weeks.

Admiral Papp experienced more than severe weather while he served in the Coast Guard back in the 1970s:

In July I 1976 crossed the Arctic Circle for first time in the Bering Straight. We ran into sea ice that we could not get through. We ultimately wound up having to turn around to avoid damage to the ship because the ice was so bad.

He also got a more synoptic view:

In 1976, I flew on a helicopter, and there was ice as far as the eye could see. In 2010, I flew in a Gulfstream aircraft to the same location at the same time of year, and as far as I could see, which was probably at least 100 miles, there was no ice.

What I saw in 1976 was normal then. What I saw in 2010 was the new normal.

I’m telling you what you know already. The ice has receded. But for me it was a very dramatic demonstration of how much things had changed over the course of my career of 40 years, and it gave me a greater sense of urgency for getting the United States prepared for increasing activity in the Arctic.

For most people, 40 years is a very long time. But from the perspective of NASA’s science chief, Ellen Stofan, it’s the blink of an eye:

As a geologist, I’m used to thinking of things that are rapid as happening on a timescale of 10 to 20 million years. When you see the rate of change happening in the Arctic, it is quite concerning. As scientists we’re not used to seeing such a rapid pace of change . . . This is a warning of the worst effects of climate change.


|Note: I attended the Arctic Frontiers conference as a journalist, as a professor of journalism, and as a moderator for one conference session. Also, in the interest of full transparency: My expenses, as well as those of other journalists from the United States, Canada and Europe, were covered by a program of the Norwegian Foreign Ministry designed to encourage coverage of the conference and Arctic issues in general.

As in past years, I wrestled with the issue of journalistic independence. I decided to accept the support because otherwise these stories would not be told. As in the past, the Foreign Ministry exercises no input on the stories I choose to cover, and on how I cover them. |

  • go2green

    Seems very clear the world is warming especially in northern latitudes.

    • OWilson

      It has been “clear” for a long time, that humanity is thriving more strongly than ever!

      Certainly more than when this almost similar in content lament about Arctic warming was penned :)



      The Arctic seems to be warming up. Reports from fishermen, seal hunters, and explorers who sail the seas about Spitzbergen and the eastern Arctic, all point to radical change in climatic conditions, and hitherto unheard-of high temperatures in that part of the earth’s surface.

      In August, the Norwegian Department of Commerce sent an expedition to Spitzbergen and Bear Island. Its purpose was to survey and chart the lands adjacent to the Norwegian mines on those islands, take soundings of the adjacent waters, and make other oceanographic investigations.

      The oceanographic observations have, however, been even more interesting. Ice conditions were exceptional. In fact, so little ice has never before been noted. The expedition all but established a record, sailing as far North l0 29′ in ice-free water. This is the farthest North ever reached with modern oceanographic apparatus.

      Capt. Martin Ingebrigtsen, who has sailed the eastern Arctic for 54 years past. He says hat he first noted warmer conditions in 1915, that since that time it has steadily gotten warmer, and that to-day the Arctic of that region is not recognizable as the same region of 1865 to 1917.

      Many old landmarks are so changed as to be unrecognizable. Where formerly great masses of ice were found there are now often moraines, accumulations of earth and stones. At many points where the glaciers formerly extended far into sea, they have entirely disappeared.

      The change in temperature, says Captain Ingebrigtsen, has also brought about great change in the flora and fauna of the Arctic. This summer he sought for whitefish in the Spitzbergen waters. Formerly great shoals of them were found there. This year, he saw none, although he visited all the old fishing grounds.

      There were very few seal in Spitzbergen waters this year. This, however, did not surprise the captain. He pointed out that formerly the waters around Spitzbergen held an even summer temperature of about 8 degrees C; this year recorded temperatures up to 15 degrees C, and last winter the ocean did not freeze over, even on the north coast of Spitzbergen.

      With the disappearance of white fish and seal has come other life in these waters. This year herring in great shoals were found along the west coast of Spitzbergen, all the way from the fry to the veritable great herring.

      The Monthly Weather Review October 10, 1922

      (as published in the Washington Post November 2, 1922)

      • go2green

        Why do you keep posting this when you have been told so many times it’s irrelevant?

        As interesting as this nearly century-old article might be from a modern perspective, however, it isn’t substantive evidence either for or against the concept of anthropogenic global warming. As documented elsewhere, the warming phenomena observed in 1922 proved to be indicative only of a local event in Spitzbergen, not a trend applicable to the Arctic as a whole.

        • OWilson

          Or, indeed even “relevant” to the globe at large :)

          But in the court of public opinion, you don’t get to decide what is irrelevant, no matter how many times the folks have been “told”.

          You post your facts and let the folks decide :)

          Or do you have a problem with free speech?

          • go2green

            No. Do you have a problem with me pointing out that what you are posting is irrelevant and proves nothing?

          • OWilson

            I never expected you to agree!

            Nobody is stopping from building your political Ark, just keep your hands out of my wallet :)

          • CB

            “Nobody is stopping you from building your political Ark”

            …and no one is stopping you from telling the truth.

            Mr. Wilson, has there been a reduction in Arctic sea ice since satellites began observing it in 1978?

            “Since 1978, satellites have monitored sea ice growth and retreat, and they have detected an overall decline in Arctic sea ice. The rate of decline has steepened in the 21st century.”


          • OWilson

            Yes, according to the NSIDC.

            Since 2006, there has been no further decrease.

            It is at the same level it was 10 years ago.

          • CB


            That’s right!

            There has been a reduction in Arctic sea ice since satellites began observing it!

            If you understand each and every previous time CO₂ went as high as it is today, complete polar meltdown followed, is it likely the missing ice in the Arctic sea is going to come back any time soon?

            “The continent of Antarctica has been losing about 134 billion metric tons of ice per year since 2002, while the Greenland ice sheet has been losing an estimated 287 billion metric tons per year.”


          • OWilson

            Your old fax machine needs service :)

            Deny this!

            Latest News from NASA:

            “Oct. 30, 2015

            NASA Study: Mass Gains of Antarctic Ice Sheet Greater than Losses

            Antarctic Peninsula

            A new NASA study says that Antarctica is overall accumulating ice. Still, areas of the continent, like the Antarctic Peninsula photographed above, have increased their mass loss in the last decades.

            Credits: NASA’s Operation IceBridge

            Map showing the rates of mass changes from ICESat 2003-2008 over Antarctica.

            Map showing the rates of mass changes from ICESat 2003-2008 over Antarctica. Sums are for all of Antarctica: East Antarctica (EA, 2-17); interior West Antarctica (WA2, 1, 18, 19, and 23); coastal West Antarctica (WA1, 20-21); and the Antarctic Peninsula (24-27). A gigaton (Gt) corresponds to a billion metric tons, or 1.1 billion U.S. tons.

            Credits: Jay Zwally/ Journal of Glaciology

            A new NASA study says that an increase in Antarctic snow accumulation that began 10,000 years ago is currently adding enough ice to the continent to outweigh the increased losses from its thinning glaciers.

            The research challenges the conclusions of other studies, including the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) 2013 report, which says that Antarctica is overall losing land ice.

            According to the new analysis of satellite data, the Antarctic ice sheet showed a net gain of 112 billion tons of ice a year from 1992 to 2001. That net gain slowed to 82 billion tons of ice per year between 2003 and 2008.”

          • CB

            “NASA Study: Mass Gains of Antarctic Ice Sheet Greater than Losses”

            That’s true! One study says Antarctic ice is growing, whilst the majority of other studies say it’s shrinking.

            If you understand polar ice sheets have never before in Earth’s history been able to withstand CO₂ so high, why would this surprise you?

            What does the author of the paper you’re citing have to say about liars like yourself misrepresenting his work?

            Do his findings mean Antarctica is not in trouble?

            “The findings do not mean that Antarctica is not in trouble, Zwally notes. “I know some of the climate deniers will jump on this, and say this means we don’t have to worry as much as some people have been making out,” he says. “It should not take away from the concern about climate warming.” “


          • OWilson

            I didn’t say YOU shouldn’t “worry” and “be concerned”.

            NASA says “says that Antarctica is overall accumulating ice”.

            and, here’s some more actual news!


            Nov 24, 2014 – Not only is the amount of Antarctic sea ice increasing each year, but the ice is also much thicker than previously thought.

            Researchers measured ice at 17 metres thick. It was previously thought most ice is thinner than a metre.

            But. enough of your name calling, you are done here!

            Go troll somewhere else :)

      • Tom Yulsman

        If you copy and paste this here again Mr. Wilson, I will take it down. If I am not mistaken, I debunked this one time already. I’ll do it only once more: These observations were limited to one small area of the Arctic, the waters around Svalbard, and they were very time limited. They say absolutely nothing about what is happening now to the overall extent and volume of Arctic sea ice. And before you say something like, “Svalbard has seen a lack of ice before, so there is nothing unusual about the lack of it now,” let me point out that such a statement is irrelevant when we are talking — again — about a long-term trend. Svalbard itself has seen a long-term decline in sea ice. And I don’t just take the word of scientists studying satellite data. I’ve heard it firsthand from people who have lived in Svalbard for a long time.

        You see, Mr. Wilson, I am a reporter. I do reporting. And I do my best to let readers know what I find out.

        • Tom Yulsman

          Before you claim that by taking this down if you post it again I would curtail your freedom of speech, let me say two things: First, I run and moderate this blog at a commercial endeavor, so I get to decide what goes in it and what does not. Second, I will, in fact, let you post it again — but only if you respond in a substantive and credible way to this objective fact: It was an event that occurred over a short period of time in a small geographical area 94 years ago. How can this possibly say anything about a long-term trend to the entire Arctic region? Please be specific. Also, how does repeatedly harping on this nearly irrelevant observation from long ago advance the conversation here? You see, Mr. Wilson, my goal here is to actually move things forward, not to whirl around in endless exhausting circles. That might be your goal. But it’s not mine. And as I said, this is my blog. So say something credible and reasonable from a skeptical perspective or move along.

          • OWilson

            I would never dream of accusing you of curtailing my freedom of speech, such as it is in a proprietary blog.

            On the contrary, you and your publisher are to be commended for allowing the opposing opinions on a very politically sensitive subject.

            I believe in this age of the internet, where every utterence is archived for ever, you will be well served by this approach, should the AGT stall or even decline.

        • OWilson

          I will defer to your authority.

          You are the moderator.

          I will not post this article again, but I would like you to let me clarify that:

          A: The first time I posted it you thanked me and asked for the cite, as relevant to your travel to Norway, and

          B: You debunked only the last paragraph of a later clone posting which the poster had apparently forged.

          And finally the point of the post, juxtaposed with yours is that they are almost identical in theme, almost 100 years apart.

          My point is that the alarm was not warranted then, because humans have actually thrived in the intervening period.

          Whether that same alarm is warranted now is a matter of opinion.

  • Rich Persoff

    Warming seems as if it might have benefits for inhabitants of Canada, Russia, Greenland, Alaska, and the Scandinavian countries, and perhaps southern Argentina and Chile. Increased heat, reduced population carrying capacity very bad news for equatorial peoples.

  • OWilson

    “My expenses, as well as those of other journalists from the United States, Canada and Europe, were covered by a program of the Norwegian Foreign Ministry designed to encourage coverage of the conference and Arctic issues in general”.

    Looks like a win/win.

    They got their money’s worth and you get to help save the planet :)

    Not a good idea, though, to pre-empt critcism by using the term “cherry pickers” while you are quoting a couple of old seafarer’s anecdotal recollections :)

    But on to more pressing issues, how was the beer?

    I hear there are more bars and restaurants per capita in that city than anywhere else in Norway :)

    • nosmokewithout

      Was citing Arctic sea ice “expansion” from 2012 to 2014 not cherrypicking. After all the Sunday Mail article by David Rose proclaimed the “Myth of Arctic Meltdown”. Do you believe that Arctic meltdown is a myth?

      • OWilson

        When citing “polar ice” fluctuations, I like to remind the viewers that we have TWO Poles, and perspective is needed when discussing sea ice.

        • go2green

          That doesn’t really answer the question you were asked does it?

          • OWilson

            See above, but if that is not the question you require answered, please state it clearly (not throwing everything at the wall to see what sticks) and I’ll try to answer.

          • go2green

            So is the ice in the Arctic rapidly melting or not? Or are you going to talk about the antarctic instead?
            It looks to me you are just being evasive.

          • OWilson

            According to the chart published daily by the authority on the subject, the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC), the amount of sea ice at the North Pole is at the same level it was 10 years ago.

          • Tom Yulsman

            The amount of sea ice at a small point says almost nothing about the negative ~13%/decade trend of overall Arctic sea ice extent over the past 40 years. At least try to stick to the actual question at hand. As for the Antarctic, the two places are are completely different. So comparing them is like comparing apples to oranges. Because Antarctica is a large continent surrounded by a huge ocean (versus an ocean surrounded by continents), meteorological patterns are different there — and they offer part of the explanation for expansion of sea ice there. Which, by the way, seems to have stopped. At least for now. Also, if you look at the long-term trend in global sea ice, it is down despite the apparently temporary rise in Antarctica.

          • OWilson

            Thanks for your comments.

            I’ll rest my case :)

          • nosmokewithout

            You don’t have one to rest!

          • OWilson

            From you, a compliment :)

            Go build that ARK. Time’s awastin’

          • OWilson

            It says what it says.

            Nothing more, nothing less :)

          • OWilson

            Too clever, by far.

            For the low info reader, I meant Arctic ice, rather than the “small point” where, presumably, they would plant the flag :)

          • Tom Yulsman

            Unfortunately, this is a common tactic of Mr. Wilson’s and others like him. Debating with them is like playing whack-a-mole.

          • OWilson

            Sure why use “kook” when you can use whack-a-mole. :)

          • Tom Yulsman

            As far as I can tell, you are not a “kook.” But discussing these issues with you is most definitely like playing whack-a-mole. As the former high school debating champion of New York City (with a classmate — true!), I know that this can seem like a good debating tactic. It sure drives your adversaries to distraction. But this isn’t really a debate. We’re trying to get at the truth here, not score debating points.

          • paul h

            I don’t think some of the other commenters are interested in trying to get at the truth…

          • OWilson

            In my business career I ran my own very successful land acquisition business for all levels of governmental agencies and the major private utilities covering transportation, telecommunications and and energy transmission.

            My role was conflict resolution with some of the most irate landowners, the biggest developers in the country (and their lawyers)

            I can assure you they paid me well to settle difficult cases with logic, reason, and a respect for the needs of the opposing side.

            They most certainly didn’t pay me to confuse, dissemble, call names, to score points, or drive their future partners to “distraction”.:)

          • nosmokewithout

            An appeal to authority…really! :-)

          • OWilson

            Governments like yours made me the “authority” in certain matters where they actually needed to get something actually done, instead of just talking about it.

            Without private consultants nothing would ever get done.

            If voters were a little more careful with their vote, governments could actually do a few of the simple things themselves. Like a simple email back up, or say, a web site :)

            But as long as they choose a street organizer, or a “congenital liar” (NYT) or a socialist to manage the Greatest Economy The World Has Ever Seen, , there will be fortune to be made in consulting to government.

            Now, if I were a selfish person I wouldn’t want them to change a thing :)

          • Common Sense

            Are you aware that there is satellite data which shows the Arctic sea ice extent in the early seventies to be the same as today?

          • nebakhet

            no there isn’t

          • Common Sense

            Yes there is and it was included in the 1990 IPCC report.

          • nebakhet

            the 1990 IPCC report doesn’t show the recent extent decline which falls far below that of the 70s

          • Common Sense

            It also doesn’t show the recovery in ice of the last four years. What it does show is that 1979 is a year of peak ice and that the ice levels were much lower in the early seventies. The alarmists like to pretend that they don’t know that.

          • nebakhet

            Arctic sea ice extent was over 2 million sq km lower than normal last summer. That’s far lower than any of the years in the IPCC 1990 graph of sea ice extent.

          • nosmokewithout

            Are you aware that effective sea ice extent monitoring did not begin until 1978?

          • Common Sense

            Not true. I posted the graph from the 1990 IPCC report.

          • nosmokewithout

            If you are not bright enough to understand why your graph is different from the anomaly graph that I posted, it is a waste of my time trying to teach you anything.

            Both graphs are true, but they will be different.

            See if you can figure it out for yourself in the next 24 hours. In other words, if you can’t figure it out for yourself, then I will have to tell you.

            Try to impress me though. You haven’t so far!

          • Common Sense

            I don’t need to impress someone that believes in CAGW.

        • nosmokewithout

          When When citing “polar ice” fluctuations, I like to remind the viewers that we have TWO Poles, and a Global perspective is needed when discussing sea ice, and it’s feared effects. That global perspective is that 90% of humanity lives in the Northern Hemisphere, and it is here that the greatest effects of global warming are felt. In fact, ice in the Antarctic is a peripheral issue, important to understand the contribution to sea levels, but Greenland is where it’s at.

          It’s surprising how few people are informed enough to understand this!

          • OWilson


          • Tom Yulsman

            Come on Mr. Wilson. Give me a break. Can’t you disagree with people without demonizing them?

          • OWilson

            Just brushing off the flies :)

            All in fun.

            You should read what they say about me in your blog :0

          • OWilson

            Richardson used the derogatory term.

            I was merely quoting him :)

            You know me Tom. I usually draw the line at “low info”

            How is it that “Moron”, “known liar”, “mental deficient” from your supporters always get a pass ? :)

          • Mike Richardson

            I don’t think he was referring to the term “brainwashed communist,” though your implication was that this is the goal of those with whom you disagree — you know, re-education camps. But if I need to be your scapegoat, go right ahead. Wouldn’t want you to actually have to face up to and acknowledge that scary criticism or anything. 😉

          • Mike Richardson

            Yes, because disagreeing with someone automatically leads to totalitarian solutions (massive eye-roll). I’d just appreciate a little more critical thinking, and less of the political hyperbole implying that anyone who disagrees with you is some brainwashed communist. But if that’s too much, at least there’s some entertainment value in the absurd, kind of like this X-files episode I’m watching.

          • OWilson

            Sadly there are still lots of “brainwashed communists around” :)

          • Common Sense

            Great. So in five years when the ice extent and volume have fully recovered in the Arctic, you will have to admit that there is no crisis.

          • nebakhet

            I predict that within 5 years we’ll have another record loss of ice in the Arctic. Just like we saw in 2007 and then again 2012. I have no idea why you would predict the opposite.

          • Common Sense

            And Al Gore predicted that it would be gone by now. The CO2 keeps rising and the ice keeps refusing to melt. So far no correlation and none of the dire predictions from the early eighties have come to pass. Not one.

          • nebakhet

            No Al Gore did not predict that it would be gone by now. It’s a verifiable matter of record what he did say. Perhaps you could look that up.

            Arctic sea ice is in a declining trend. The world is in a warming trend. CO2 keeps rising. It all correlates.

          • Common Sense

            I know what he said and the fact is none of his dire predictions have come to pass.

          • nebakhet

            you claimed “Al Gore predicted that it would be gone by now”.

            What Al Gore actually said in 2008: “One study estimated that it could be completely gone during summer in less than 22 years. Another new study, to be presented by U.S. Navy researchers later this week, warns it could happen in as little as 7 years”

          • Common Sense

            And that study was wrong. All of his dire predictions have turned out to be wrong.

          • nebakhet

            You claimed Al Gore had predicted that it WOULD be gone by now.

            Whereas he actually said it COULD be gone by now.

          • Common Sense

            And when you listen to the video clip of Gore what message do you believe that he was trying to convey?

          • Tom Yulsman

            Excellent point. But he still tends to dwell on the most extreme predictions because he thinks this will motivate action. He probably does motivate folks who are already committed climate activists. But for others, I think he undercuts himself. And the distinction between WOULD and COULD is lost on many people.

          • OWilson

            Especially the primarily left wing cheering section.

          • Leslie Graham

            More to the point, Gore was simply referring to

            the projections made in one study by Wieslaw

            Maslowski at the Naval Post Graduate School in

            Monterey in 2007

            This what Professor Wieslaw Maslowski actually


            “We can run a fully coupled model for the past

            and present and see what our model will predict

            for the future in terms of the sea ice and the

            Arctic climate.”

            And one of the projections it comes out with is

            that the summer melt could lead to ice-free Arctic

            seas by 2016 – “plus or minus three years”.



            Within that margin of error, it could happen by

            2019 and Maslowski’s projections would turn out

            to be correct. Maslowski’s projections are

            generally regarded as the most pessimistic of all

            the projections but, considering the pace at which the ice is diminishing, he may not be too far off the mark.

            The deniermyth ‘Al Gore said the ice would all be gone by 2013’ is just the usual deceit we have all come to expect from certain quarters.

          • Common Sense

            No more to the point his speech, which is on youtube for everyone to see, speaks for itself. His message is clear. Anyone can see it for themselves. So don’t act like he was being reasonable now.

          • OWilson

            Just Hillarious!

            But get up date, they have already (to quote Al himself) thrown him off the cliff. :)

          • OWilson

            Here comes the clean up detail, as expected.

            Need help moving those goalposts?


          • Tom Yulsman

            At the Copenhagen COP Gore did quote one scientist as saying Arctic sea ice could be gone in five years. And then he said, “We will see.” So he didn’t really predict it. But he did pass along the thoughts of a scientist. (And again, he’s a politician — not a scientist, not a journalist. He has an axe to grind, so he does indeed tend to exaggerate.)

            The fact that this one scientist with whom Gore spoke was so very wrong is a reminder that science is messy, it doesn’t give perfect answers, its practitioners say things that turn out to be wrong all the time, and we should treat ALL extraordinary claims with extraordinary skepticism. Earlier, I think Mr. Wilson mentioned the problem of ‘confirmation bias,’ and scientists surely are not immune to this. They are only human.

            That said, we should remember that climate operates on a timescale of decades, not years. So ice extent will bounce around a bit on a year-to-year basis purely because of natural variability — which has not been repealed, last time I looked. But if you look at the decadal record, the trend in both extent and volume is clear.

            Are there problems with that record? Of course. Do scientists have as clear a picture of what happened prior to the satellite record as they do of what has been happening since its advent? Of course they don’t. Does this mean natural variability could have produced declines equal to what we are seeing today? I think that’s probably true.

            But we have the data that we have, and it spans 40 years. It shows a decline in extent of 13.4 percent per decade, which is certainly significant. Moreover, as I point out in my story, this is precisely what you’d expect to happen as a result of the heat energy being generated by enhanced greenhouse warming. Moreover, what’s happening in the Arctic is not an isolated trend. There is copious evidence of warming’s other impacts. It all tells a consistent story.

          • OWilson

            Ah, how the mighty have fallen :)

            Good riddance Al!

            Go join James Hansen former NASA head and his hockey stick.

            Say hi to ex-IPCC Chairman Pachauri, but don’t sit too close :)

            3 down

            Who’s left, Bernie, Kerry, and Obama?

            Soon, baby, soon!

          • Tom Yulsman

            Common Sense: Can you tell me what science discipline Gore operates in? What research institute or university he works for? What peer-reviewed publications he publishes in? Can you cite any research that he has done in this field?

            Of course these are rhetorical questions. Al Gore is a politician, not a scientist. So if you insist on treating what he says as scientific, then I would suggest you also consider seeing someone like Donald Trump for treatment should, God forbid, you ever contract cancer.

            If you want to talk about science, let’s do it. If you want to talk about politics, this ain’t the place. And please don’t quote Al Gore as a scientist.

          • Common Sense

            How about Richard Lindzen?

          • OWilson

            There’s your problem.

            Nobody can reliably predict the future of an open chaotic system, but you, and a few others think you can deny real science and do just that.

            Never works out though :)

            Hanson. We are well past his “TIPPING POINT”

            Gore. We passed his “TIPPING POINT” last weekend, during the mother of all winter storms, without even a mention in the press.

            Kerry, Gore. Their predictions, based on the “CONSENSUS’ of “SETTLED” science said the Arctic Ice may be gone by 2015.

            That was last year :) The Arctic is still frozen solid, and in spite of the Norwegians, in the real world Obama is calling for more Ice Breakers.

            Now I’m not saying that eventually one of your Doomsday Scenarios will not actually come to pass, because even a stopped Doomsday Clock can be right twice a day. :)

          • Leslie Graham

            Point is the Arctic Ice is gone.
            It doesn’t matter if it takes another 3 years or another 30 years. Both time periods are a blink of a geological eye. We have just witnessed what is, to all intents and purposes, the sudden and instant loss of the entire northern ice cap in not much more than a single human life span.
            It simply beggars belief that there are still a few individuals out there who are prepared to claim – and in all seriousness apparently – that this is somehow not a major problem.
            Sometimes I think the human race deserves what’s coming down the line.

          • OWilson

            “Point is the arctic Ice is gone”

            No, it isn’t :)

            “The human race deserves what’s coming down the line”

            I think that if we re-open the gulags and re-education camps, we can avoid this outcome.

            Apparently today’s educators can’t do it all by themselves :)

          • Emkay

            This lovely planet has always, and will always, take care of itself..

          • nosmokewithout

            The Arctic ice volume is the most important measure of Arctic health.


            So while freezing does take place, it is far less effective than it was in the past at generating large volumes of ice. It also, if the trend continues, makes possible large areas of dark Arctic oceans appearing in summer months and accelerating warming in the Arctic ocean.

            The reason more ice breakers are required is that you only have one, as more and more people are venturing into the Arctic ocean. Not because they are expecting more ice.

            For someone who has no vested interest in this, your view certainly glances only one way.

          • nosmokewithout

            It would be nice to do so. Unfortunately, the trend is clear. Arctic temperatures continue to rise at 1.22 C per decade and if you want to put $100 on the recovery of the Arctic to mean levels in 5 years time I’d be happy to accept the bet!

          • JonF

            The problem with this, because I actually used to be deluded into thinking this same thing, is that while the two poles do go in opposite cycles, the south is not growing nearly enough to compensate the loss from the north… This is because global temperatures are rising more than they should for the current cycle. And while yes, at some point the earth does go into a warming period before dropping off again leading back into an ICE age, we are a bit early for this cycle to have started (by a solid 3-400 years). The CO2 levels are also double what they should be at the start of this cycle. Go look up the charts on ICE ages and overlap that with CO2 levels and you will see exactly what is happening.

            Two main fears are that:
            1: we have pushed the cycle super early
            2: we have put excessively large amounts of CO2 in the air which is likely to make this cycle worse than any others that have happened.

            At this point the hope is that by curbing emissions we can just keep it from getting any worse that it likely already will. Note that this is one of those things that is only just starting… And won’t be full emergency mode until 30-50 years from now. By then it is FAAAR too late to go, oh lets just stop emmitting now.

            Fact: the earth goes through hot cold cycles.
            Fact: increased CO2 causes the hot cycle
            Fact current atmospheric CO2 is at least double what it is been at the peak of any other warming event
            Fact it doesn’t take a large temperature rise or fall (+/-5 C is enough) to make living on this planet rather crappy.

            So if we as humans can stop needlessly sticking CO2 and methane into the air that was buried and trapped from millions of years ago and not part of the natural carbon cycle, then why shouldn’t we do that given the above facts? We have the technology to go 100% clean energy, why should we keep playing Russian roulette with our only habitat?

          • nosmokewithout

            Yuval Harari has coined an excellent description of human beings as the apes that tell each other stories.

            We all have our own internal narrative that we create to suit ourselves. Culture is the stories we tell each other which are often self justifying and we seek confirmation bias as a means of self justification.

            There are some excellent examples of this found just reading through the posts of utter scientific dross here.

            Reality seldom enters into the thoughts of many people. Humanity has consumed this planet like no other species in the last 18,000 years since we gave up being a hunter gatherer. I cannot think of a single achievement of humanity that does not have a down side.

            We were a small insignificant ape, half-way up the food chain, then by an unfortunate quirk of evolution, we, in one leap, vaulted to the top. Nature has not had a chance since then.

            We have written our story over the face of the earth, and now sit at the edge of the next great extinction event, that unfortunately will probably include our own species.

            Life will go on after us, but the planet will be much the poorer for our depredations. The bizarre thing that I find is that most of this behaviour is driven by the male need to reproduce. Males out-competing each other to be the alpha winner and seen as dominant in the group. We are a weird species.

          • Tom Yulsman

            People may well excoriate you for this comment. And if they do, I’m sorry about that. Even if they disagree with you, I would hope that they could appreciate the time and thought you put into this and other responses. I certainly do. So thank you.

            I hope you are wrong that our species will not make it through the Anthropocene event horizon. As you imply, we’re mighty adaptable and clever. Perhaps we’ll do better than you think. Let’s hope.

          • OWilson

            Heard it all before, Chuckles.

            Repent now! Before it is too late!

            The End is Nigh!

            Give up your wordly goods and ye shall be saved!

            (Second oldest profession) :)

          • OWilson

            That competition starts with our sperm, chuckles.

            I can see the day will come that to satisfy folks like you, the strong spermatoza will have their tails clipped so as to make the race less competetive and more equal, and “fair” :)

        • nosmokewithout

          You din’t seem to answer the question. I’ll repeat it in case you missed this. Was citing Arctic sea ice “expansion” from 2012 to 2014 not cherrypicking. After all the Sunday Mail article by David Rose proclaimed the “Myth of Arctic Meltdown”. Do you believe that Arctic meltdown is a myth?

          • OWilson

            We are in one of the Earth’s inter-glacial periods, and gradual melting of the polar ice caps is to be expected.

            I disagree that the correct scientific word for this natural and recurring phenomena is “meltdown”.

            Webster’s defines “meltdown” as “a rapid or disastrous decline or collapse”.

            After all, wasn’t New York City once covered in ice kilometers thick, and hasn’t the melting given us that great resource, the Great Lakes, and North America’s breadbasket prairies?

          • nosmokewithout

            You are truly off your rocker. 13% plus per decade isn’t interglacial melting, it is infact meltdown. At a rate of 13% per decade, even an ice cap covering new york would have taken no time at all to disappear. And that my uninformed friend was tens of thousands of years ago! You are off your rocker, by the sandard of most kooks here!

          • OWilson

            OK, you win :)


          • Tom Yulsman

            Let’s avoid ad homs, please. You make good, fact-based points. (And thank you for those!) No need for anything else.

          • nosmokewithout

            Point taken

          • deadeyedan

            As you point out, OW, earth is now in an interglacial so there is no ice where I stand now (Northern Illinois) and that means we are in that stage of the Milankovitch Cycle which does not allow for northern continental type glaciers. (It’s the same stage that allowed for the Mars approach to earth in 2003 that was closest in nearly 60,000 years, BTW.) But we are now in a different PHASE of that stage that initially allowed for massive melting, because the perihelion point has precessed to allow southern summer to have closest approach to the sun (early January). This does NOT mean earth is cooling down. With the southern hemisphere being predominately oceanic the heat becomes more latent (thus more buoyant hence greater lift for storminess). This is also the case owing to the slow decrease in axial tilt since the end of the Pleistocene allowing sunlight to more directly face the tropics, also dominated by ocean. Between the tropics of Cancer and Capricorn there is also more territory, six times greater than that included within the Arctic and Antarctic circles combined. This would provide more territory for solar radiation to be more directly aimed at. It would also provide more heat to poleward-directed oceanic currents. Notice how in the graphic that ice always empties out toward Greenland and into the Labrador Current as it gets pushed away from the Bering Strait as the ever-warming Japan Current gets through it. There’s way more to this story – stay tuned!

            CLIMATEGATE – the revelation that the pseudo-scientists at East Anglia University know just as much about the atmosphere as Harvard law professors know about the Constitution

          • Leslie Graham

            “gradual melting”
            Are you having a laugh?
            13% per decade is virtually instantaneous.
            Especially when one considers that the Earth was in a natural cooling period for over 6000 years until we reversed the entire accumulated temperature drop over that period within a single century.
            Your ‘argument’ is risible to the point of being insulting.

          • OWilson

            “Per decade” is a relative term. It depends on where you measure it from, and which of our TWO Poles you are talking about :)

            In today’s world, in which most normal folks live, there has been no reduction in sea ice cover in the Arctic for the last 10 years, and during that time there has been significant growth of sea ice cover in Antarctica.

            When “instantaneous” melting occurs, we’ll let you know.

            Now go back to sleep :)

          • nosmokewithout

            I apologise publicly for using the phrase, you are off your rocker. I do think your judgement is misinformed and misguided though.

          • Tom Yulsman

            Thank you for this! I appreciate it. I’m trying to keep things reasonably civil here, even though I myself sometimes want to yell! 😉

          • Emkay

            I always raised an eyebrow at people who use the phrase ‘I myself’…

          • nosmokewithout


            There’s the last 10 years sea ice extent with a trend line fitted.
            Choose the Antarctic data, and that is definitely a seasonal maximum and shrinks right back to less than the Arctic sea ice cover minimum.

            The poles respond in totally different ways to seasonal trends. In other words, the driving mechanisms are very different.

            Now for the real measure of Arctic ice volume.


            Even over that last 10 years that is still dramatic. It is still above 13% over that last decade.

            You are plain and simply wrong on that.

            Go do some maths on volume data!

          • OWilson

            I don’t do Michael Moore, Al Gore, or “Wood for Trees” :)

            Anything more official, say, NSDC, NASA, or NOAA?


          • nosmokewithout

            Try calculators and spread sheets. Woodfortrees is used by people on both sides of the argument. It is a ridiculous thing to say about a graphing tool.

          • OWilson

            I’m sure the tool is fine, I use a lot of graphing tools in my daily work. :)

          • Mobius Loop

            I don’t do Michael Moore, Al Gore, or “Wood for Trees”


            More fool you. It is just a tool for looking at the data and a very useful one at that.

          • Mark Sottile

            Hello Sir
            i’d like to make a comment on the antarctic polar ice cap if you don’t mind. Although the size of the cap hasn’t changed much in the past decade, the more crucial factor is WHEN the ocean freezes over; it’s up to 90 days later than “normal” which has a huge negative chain reaction effect on the polar food web, namely the krill population, which feed and breed on the bottom surface of the ice! The krill need the algal blooms to feed on, and depend on the early ice to trap the algae in popsickle form while the blooms are abundant in summer and fall. Also, the feeding cycles of the krill are dependant on circadian rythums and the long daylight of the summer polar summers, up to 24 hrs of daylight. By freezing much later, most of the algae have died off, rendering the popsickle less densely packed with nutrients. Also, the melting ice in the normal scenario reseeds the ocean with fresh algae. It’s the When that really matters. It’s beyond the scope of politics at this point.
            Thank You
            Mark Sottile, fellow scientist

          • OWilson

            I take it you disagree :)

          • Mark Sottile

            yes, somewhat, mainly the political part. All my science comes from Nova programs. They’re very well put together. Thanks for the reply

          • Common Sense

            It is only dropping that fast because they start with a year of peak ice. If they started in the early seventies the trend would be flat.

          • nosmokewithout
          • Common Sense

            This graph is a one off propaganda piece with no data to back it up.

          • nosmokewithout

            You have no idea what you are talking about.

          • Common Sense

            Really? Then where did the data from this graph come from?

          • nosmokewithout

            Show me yours then!

          • OWilson

            Looks like an orphan :) (No name)

            Got a link or cite?

          • Mitch_Ocean

            Right now we are in the phase of the milankovitch cycle where there should be gradual cooling, after the geologically rapid warming between 18 and 12000 years ago, a 5 degree C warming in 6000 years, or less than 0.1 deg per century. Such warming did remove the glacial North American ice sheets.

            We have experienced a 1 degree C warming in the last 100 years, and it is being driven by addition of CO2 to the atmosphere primarily by burning fossil fuels. All but a handful of scientists find this rate of warming to be of grave concern.

    • Tom Yulsman

      Yes indeed, Mr. Wilson, it was ‘win/win’ — for me as a reporter and, I believe, for Discover’s readers. (And yes, Tromsø is a hard drinking town, but the beer is too expensive there to buy very much of it.)

      More seriously, in this time of severe financial limitations within the news media industry, these important issues would receive much less coverage without programs like this. Discover could never afford to send me to the Arctic to cover what’s happening there, at least not for the web. This Norwegian program has enabled me to do it. And readers of Discover can benefit from — and judge for themselves — the information I report. The funding is provided with absolutely no strings attached.

      Transparency may not be a perfect antiseptic for bias (or the impression of bias) that can creep into my reporting as a result of the funding. But it is still pretty powerful. And the bias, such that it might be, probably is more one of emphasis than anything else. I don’t have the funding to go to the Canadian Arctic to report firsthand from there. (But at Arctic Frontiers I have spoken with Canadian scientists and policymakers about Arctic climate issues.)

      As for other kinds of bias, if you look at my reporting over the years from the conference, it has not exactly been PR for Norway. I’ve pointed out the paradox inherent in their public statements of concern about climate change while at the same time they pursue an aggressive policy of developing their fossil fuels. I’m not saying that they should not. We will need fossil fuels for some time to come. But I have brought the paradox to readers’ attention in a very pointed and direct way.

      • OWilson

        I don’t believe for a moment that you are the kind of person that would sell your convictions for a few pieces of silver.

        I merely point out, mostly for the benefits of your more radical followers, that their knee jerk catagorization of me, as “a paid shill”, “a known liar for Big Oil”, when their ranks are mostly comprised of paid government employees, government paid teachers, and paid journalists, is hypocritical, bordering on delusion :)

        I’m just an independent semi retired older guy, who has no skin whatsoever in the debate. No dog in the race.

        This allows me the freedom to speak my mind without the necessity of a Political Correct stance that inhibits most trying to get through life and career with reputation intact.

        I would normally state my opinion then go on to something more important, but the vehemence, ad hominem attacks and outright lies in the responses I get from some of your more radical followers that these blogs attract, leads me to believe that some balance and common sense is sorely lacking in their strident and closed minded beliefs.

        I try to do bring that, as long as it amuses me :)

        • Mike Richardson

          In all fairness, I’ve never suggested anyone had to pay you to be a shill. :)

          • OWilson

            Here’s one now :)

            You’re late!

          • Jason Marrow

            I am not late. I have been reading your garbage for a long time!

          • OWilson

            Keep it up, you might learn to think for yourself :)

        • Mitch_Ocean

          In science it is not whether a theory is politically correct or not, it is whether it is correct at all. Unfortunately, the conservative view of “Political Correctness” about global warming also happens to coincide with the physics of greenhouse warming.

          You should spend more time investigating whether your views coincide with facts.

          • OWilson

            You too!

          • Mitch_Ocean

            Go to the IPCC website and look at the data ( Incidentally this is a review of research, not a research program.

          • OWilson

            IPCC is a left wing political organization of the U.N.
            Their ex-Chairman Pachauri is a sexual molester who was forced to step down.

            The U.N. is a failed “Peace”: organization that cannot stop wars, terrorism, government corruption or nuclear proliferation.

            Their attempts to change the earth’s climate a hundred years from now by re-distribution of wealth, don’t interest me either.

            But they have their dupes, and true believers.

            As Barnum said, so eloquently, “There’s a sucker born every minute!”.

          • Scooper

            Don’t like the message, attack the messenger.

          • Mike Richardson

            As you can see, politics trumps any set of facts for some folks. Nice try at attempting to inform, though.

        • Mobius Loop

          Your comment is predicated on all government employees having an agenda to mislead the public on the subject of climate change.

          In my experience their agenda is to find out the truth about the subject as clearly observable during the GWB ‘presidency’ when US climate scientists maintained the same position in the face of howling opposition from a republican administration.

          In opposition to this there are any number of documented instances of funding links between the AGW denial lobby and vested interests such as the fossil fuel industry.

          • OWilson

            The government “agenda” is to raise taxes and expand their franchise into every aspect of life.

            Hype a so called “threat to the nation” and most of the dupes will go along. Government then becomes the “solution” to their own “problem”.

          • Mobius Loop

            If that were true then we may as well just give up on civilization, roll up the roads, knock down the schools, get rid of anything that generations of tax payers have built for the common good, so that we can all retreat to timber shacks at the end of mud track, and polish our guns in anticipation of the moment when the social mess we’d have created comes to kick the doors in.

            Alternative, in the real world you can accept that government (while far from perfect), if correctly regulated and balanced, can be a force for good and can help to protect us against threats that individually we have no chance of addressing.

            The problem with the US is not that government per se. but that so much of government has been hijacked by a cabal of vastly wealthy organizations and individuals, who have:

            – purchased one whole party and much of the other.
            – pumped millions of dollars into anonymous donor funds that drive right wing think thanks and conservative media outlets which dominate US political discussion.
            – used every mechanism possible to secure their hold on power, resulting in the stripping away of any limits on their ability to buy even more political influence.
            – just demonstrated the extent of their power, by setting the Supreme Court against the President, against the wellbeing of the US people and indeed the wellbeing of all the people on Earth.

            These people and organizations have an infinite appetite, no limiting mechanism and no off switch, they and not government are the danger, They have become a parasite that is killing their host country, their host population and their host planet.

          • Robert

            Thanks for taking the time to write such a well reasoned post!

          • Mobius Loop

            Thanks Robert, through looking at the issue of climate change, its become clear just how extensive and pernicious the psychotic influence of people with (to all intents and purposes) unlimited access to money has become.

          • Robert

            Unfortunately, all too true. However, the poll tend to show the general populace understanding that as well as gaining an understanding of the science basics and a sense of what purposeful actions are needed.

            I think it’s time to shift from attempting to explain the science to the dwindling body of denialist and focus on more local politics and policy.

          • OWilson

            I couldn’t have described Hillary any better.

            Problem is, government, and those who would ‘correctly regulate and balance it’ are the just the same flawed humans.

            I happen to believe, as institutions, the government is far more corrupt than the public at large because they are not constrained by budgets or accountability, but rather an obligation to the folks that gave them the $1,000,000,000.00 or so it takes to win the Presidency.

            There are no morally superior sainted saviors from the outside who are not part of the problem

            Just more of same.

            That’s why limited government makes the most sense.

            Their unsustainable borrowing on the backs of our generations unborn, is even more insulting when they don’t know how to build a functional web site, a simple email backup app, and lie incessantly.

          • Mobius Loop

            Your opening line says it all, a hamfisted blame game that ignores the wider issues.

            You then bring the same targeted blame and partial examination to the matter of corruption, …. governments fault …. with no attempt to address the role of the paymaster in the relationship.

            Yes you could kill government but that would still leave a group of people and organizations with an insatiable appetite for wealth and power, the only difference would be that the population would have even less counter power to oppose them. How does small government work in that context?

            To be clear, I’m not arguing for an increase in Government size, but I am arguing for the need to recognize then tackle rampant corruption in the US political. This is not a party issue but a systemic one.

            You mention the $1,000,000,000 as the price of a purchased presidency, but never really question who pays it or why. That’s a lot of favor to be paid back to those who ensure they are first in line.

            If you want to see any change, first and foremost you have to fight corruption.
            – Kill the superpacs.
            – Put an upper limit on campaign spending.
            – Severely limit campaign donations to any candidate.
            – Legislate so that media licenses come with an obligation to provide equal air time for all parties.
            – Enact legislation requiring that all political think tank funding is transparent.
            – Enact legislation requiring that all donor organizations with an annual throughput of >$250K publish a paper trail of funds in funds out.

            These are just some steps that you could take that would start to tackle corruption head on.

            As to requiring payment from citizens you raged about the $1,000,000,000 without understanding what the people who pour this obscene amount of money into US politics know in every fibre of their being…… you get what you pay for….. and that in the case of the little man is not slavery but society.

          • OWilson

            I don’t know what you are rambling on about.

            It was me that brought up the $1,000,000,000.00 paymaster issue.

            “He who pays the piper, always calls the tune”

            I love your contradiction, “If you want to see any change, then (fill in your bucket wishlist of yet more gummint regulation)

            There are millions like you who all have their own gummint bucket list.

            And we have corrupt criminal unscrupulous pols who listen to you and promise it all.

            YOU ARE the problem:)

          • Mobius Loop

            “He who pays the piper, always calls the tune”


            We both agree there is a problem, and I’m more than open to debate.

            You have put forward a proposal regarding Government, but my question is this ….

            …. how do you deal with the person who pays the piper?

          • OWilson

            The Founding Fathers warned against the vulnerability of their brainchild Constitution.

            That a government could get itself elected and stay in power indefinitely by looting the Treasury and bribing the electorate.

            The only logical defense defense as they saw it, was a “Free Press”, and a well armed Militia.

            The free press is gone, they will all retire to cushy jobs in Costa Rica working for the Clinton Family Foundation, George Steponallofus at ABC and Judy Woodruff at PBS who softballed Hillary last night are all eager financial contributors to the Clintons. Hillary’s Huma is working for Hillary, the Clinton Campaign, the Clinton Family Foundation, the U.S. State Department, and her private Consulting Company, all at the same time?

            The only other hope, a well armed Militia can’t save you either. They took care of that one.

            Nobody wants guns on anybody but Homeland Security. :)

            It’s over, pal, you are officially a Banana Republic and that’s a compliment.

            You are talking about climate change when you have millions living on the Democratic plantations, illiterate, in vandalized gang banging crime infested ghettos, dependent for ever on more government handouts.

            Black lives matter?

            No, Black VOTES matter :)

            All my life, I was always edging close to the U.S. for my retirement, but I’ve found some real Banana Republics that don’t pretend to be anything else, and they are happy.

            Might as well face it, “The Show is Over”.

          • Mobius Loop

            You didn’t answer my question.

          • Michael Stone

            It’s against the denier’s code of injustice.

          • OWilson

            Typical leftist debate logic.

            You warn ’em, they go full steam ahead like bulls in a china shop, break everything in sight, and then ask, But, but, how would YOU put it all back together?

            You’ll see ’em tonight out in force on TV asking Republicans candidates, “so how would YOU fix the spiraling debt, and how would YOU fix the exploding Middle East?

            A fair question for the right, but you’ll never hear it from a PBS Judy Woodruff to her idols. :)

            To answer the question, I could say it is too late. The china is in shreds, your Treasury is empty, you have more looters on your streets, and Russia is bombing our allies.

            There are some obvious steps that could be taken. A Balanced Budget Amendment for a start.

            Why let these corrupt opportunists spend (reward their donors) with money that can’t possibly be raised from future generations?

            There’s much , much more, but somehow I don’t think you on the Left are really interested in making America great.

            We have no shared values, as the example we set here, so morality, and sovereignty are meaningless and relative, and whatever you want them to be.

            Historically, only an armed insurrection would clean house, but today’s Kardashian Iphone generation never learned how freedom was won, and they don’t even care.

          • Scooper

            Stay off my lawn! (that means you sound like a crotchety old man)

          • jmac

            I like it.

          • Mike Richardson

            But Wilson, haven’t you done much the same with regards to “terrorists,” “Islamists,” “Leftists,” and the other assorted threats you hype? It’s kind of important to have a sense of perspective regarding what’s a realistic threat, a concern, or a manufactured problem. Then we can discuss realistic solutions to the things that don’t fall into that last category.

      • Hopsgegangen

        Here’s a link to the UAH data set. While the global trend is 0.14C/decade, Arctic Ocean is 0.47C.

        It’s an interesting exercise to paste it into a spreadsheet and do some analysis. If you sum the anomalies for N Pole, it adds up to enough warming to turn the Arctic air into boiling hot steam for a month.

    • Common Sense

      There is no journalism taking place here. He is just regurgitating the alarmist talking points that he is being spoon fed. The reality is that the Arctic has the same amount of ice now as in the early seventies. If you don’t believe me then check the IPCC report from 1990.

      • nebakhet

        The IPCC report from 1990 shows that the arctic had an amount of ice extent in the 70s that was far greater than today

        • Common Sense
          • nebakhet

            Page 224 of IPCC 1990 report has a graph showing the 1970s sea ice extent was just 0.3 million sq km below the 1990s.

            According to the National Snow and Ice Data Center the 2000s sea ice extent is over 2 million sq km below the 1990s.

          • Leslie Graham

            Your graph ends in 1990.
            Do you think we are all stupid?
            Did you even bother to watch the animation showing the disappearing ice?
            I just don’t understand why low-ranking deniers want to confuse the public about climate change. What’s in if for you? You have to live here as well. It just doesn’t make any sense.

          • Common Sense

            The graph was from 1990, so where should it end? I would ask you why the alarmists choose to start with a year of peak ice?

          • Ben Strik

            With that kind of a reply it has become high time you abandon your pen name. There ARE more recent data, common sense says that one would use up to date data. Find it and use it.
            That data is readily available, so again common sense has it that you didn’t use it because it doesn’t narrate your preferred storyline.

          • Common Sense

            Why would you ignore that the ice was lower in the early seventies? Why would anyone start with a year of peak ice?

          • nosmokewithout
          • Common Sense

            False graph with no data to back it up.

          • nosmokewithout

            Feel free to post your own graph which contradicts this data!

          • Common Sense

            What data. No one has ever produced the data for this graph.

          • Lakota Clearwater

            I’m with you, Common Sense, I only trust my common sense too. I don’t trust thermometers, satellites, education, smart people, computers, electricity, or physics. All of these are propaganda tools for the alarmists. I, like you, only believe in what I feel good about. Like you, I reject all forms of logic, all data that conflict with my beliefs, and anything with the word “science” in it. I’m with you, Common Sense. Let’s stop these awful people with their facts, theories, research publications, data, and above all, their agenda to learn about what is actually happening. We need to stop all funding of scientific research and shutter all of the schools because they’re all causing people to stop using their Common Sense. I’m with you, Common Sense, my brother. Let us use Common Sense to figure things out, instead of reading books and using telescopes and all these other demonic technological devices that interfere with our God-given Common Sense. I’m with YOU, Common Sense. I AM you.

          • Common Sense

            Actually what you do is to blindly trust the experts without considering alternatives or bias. Have you ever looked into what Lindzen, Christy, or Curry have to say on the subject?

          • Lakota Clearwater

            Child, I’ve been studying climate and critiquing research papers since before you ever heard of global warming. You’re an idiot and a troll, and you deserve no further attention from anyone other than your fellow drooling free-market fetishists who are completely incapable of comprehending the fact that capitalism has leveraged the earth’s resources, and the future of life on earth itself, to deliver an absurd, obscene, unnatural level of wealth to people in industrial nations. We’re going to pay for our hubris and we’re going to pay soon. Hopefully things will get extremely interesting before I die, but I probably won’t be around long enough to see anything remotely like the worst of what’s to come. It’s OK to believe as you do, reality is what it is regardless of our beliefs about it.

          • Lakota Clearwater

            I’ve been “considering” far more than you’ll ever begin to fathom in your tiny hillbilly brain. You believe in nonsensical conspiracies and because they’re emotionally appealing to you and they validate your lifestyle preferences. I understand that change is threatening, but you have absolutely no clue just how much change is about to be thrust upon us due to the willful ignorance of the majority of people who can’t comprehend that there are consequences to all of our actions. The wealth to which you childishly cling for your happiness and comfort is a mirage, brought to you by leveraging the health of our planet and our future. We’re starting to pay the price for our gross indulgence and all of us will suffer as a result. It doesn’t even matter at this point. There is no way that political leaders will do enough to prevent the punishment we’re going to receive.

            Celebrate your victory while you can, hillbilly. We may still have a few good years left, but sooner or later we’re gonna be screwed because tens of millions of people like you are too hung up on idiotic conspiracy nonsense to bother getting a valid education and support intelligent policies to preserve our heritage. Thanks for dooming our only planet to climate chaos, mass famine, and mass migrations that make the Syrian exodus look like a chicken crossing the road. Make no mistake: YOU will personally suffer vastly more, due to your own negligence, immaturity, and selfishness. It’s not you by yourself, of course, but all of you together, you right-wing money-worshipping libertarians, people who elevate self above all else. Selfishness has always been humanity’s greatest weakness, and now it dooms human civilization.

          • Common Sense

            Wow! What a delusional Debbie Downer you are. Sorry that I am not interested in joining your religion. Death cults are passe.

          • Lakota Clearwater

            Well, to be completely honest, I only gave you a dose of the most negative side of my multi-faceted mind. It was a mood. There are times when I think that it’s possible we’re going to be just fine, and that we can even utilize the additional CO2 to increase the total biotic carbon on the planet, making it a greener and more productive place. But whether things get horrible or awesome, there’s going to be a lot of change. And I’m incapable of predicting most of it. Thus, I really have no business raining on your parade. If dredging up all this fossil carbon turns out to be a good thing then so be it, amen, hallelujah! We may lose Miami, coastal Bangladesh, and a few hundred coastal airports on our way from here to there, but maybe that’s just part of the journey. I wish I could live long enough to see what happens!

          • Common Sense

            Well at least you are open to new information. It would appear that climate sensitivity is much lower then the alarmists thought. Therefore CO2 is unlikely to cause a crisis. So we should pivot our efforts to more pressing issues.

          • Centrist Force

            you can’t face it, can you? things are about to change. Dinosaurs like you do not handle change well. So die and get over with. Please take the rest of your friends with you. The human race is going to adapt, over your dead body if need be. But we are going to survive this.

          • Common Sense

            Are you more concerned about chemicals in our food, air, and water or CO2 levels?

          • Centrist Force

            all of the above. All caused by the same problem. Our corporations and our culture place profits higher than human life or the planet. What is the harm in preparing this nation’s coastal cities for rising water before it happens? People like you make very little sense. You are focused on NOT believing that you miss the obvious. I read your other posts on this subject. You are either insane or an operative for the energy companies that don’t wish us to stop them until they have every dollar made. What good is that dollar without a planet, culture and safe place to spend it?

          • Common Sense

            Listen carefully. There is no crisis from CO2. There are other pressing environmental issues. Focusing on CO2 is a mistake.

          • Centrist Force

            keep telling yourself that. over and over. there is no problem here. it’s all a lie. Then kill yourself. You might as well go on ahead.

          • Common Sense

            It isn’t me it is the actual observations. BTW this is good news.

          • Mitch_Ocean

            For readers that would like to look at the data rather than have some cherry-picked graph, please go at Cryosphere today (, or National Snow and Ice Data Center ( The data is there, even if “Common Sense” doesn’t want to look at it.

          • Common Sense

            Neither link works.

          • Ray Franklin

            Here are some link alternates and updates.

            National Snow and Ice Data Center, much data, many graphs The original SOAC link

            Cryosphere Today

            The problem was with the parends – they corrupted the links.

          • OWilson

            What happened to the last 4 years?

            Dog ate ’em? :)

          • nosmokewithout

            If you thought about it, you’d probably be able to figure it out. It contextualises a series of anomalies graphs to inform people like yourself. You want a more recent one, try this sea ice extent graph for January. See if you can spot the ‘hiatus’

          • CB

            “I just don’t understand why low-ranking deniers want to confuse the public about climate change. What’s in if for you? You have to live here as well.”

            No! They don’t!

            Death is now their goal.

            Climate Denialism is a suicidal mental disorder.


          • Centrist Force

            these fools simply do not have the backbone to face this problem. Denial is the most predictable of all human emotions. Some people just cannot deal with reality. We need to start preparing our coastlines for raising waters. We need to start rethinking our building concepts. We can survive this, if we adapt.

          • Common Sense

            That is what they said thirty years ago. Guess what? Nothing happened.

          • coloradobob1

            Lie, deny, rinse, repeat. Lie, deny, rinse, repeat. Lie, deny, rinse, repeat

        • CB

          “The IPCC report from 1990 shows that the arctic had an amount of ice extent in the 70s that was far greater than today”


          Arctic sea ice has undergone a precipitous decline, and is on track to disappear completely within a matter of years at the current rate it’s melting.

          When it does finally disappear completely, it’s very likely to disrupt thermohaline circulation and send the climate of the entire northern hemisphere into complete chaos.

          We don’t have time to pretend up is down. We have to acknowledge this now.

          “Arctic Sea Ice Volume Anomaly… September 2015 volume was 5,800 km³… 65% below the maximum September ice volume in 1979”

      • Tom Yulsman

        Mr. Common Sense: You are welcome to comment here if you have something constructive and rational to say, including things that call into question what I’ve written. But if all you are capable of is infantile name calling, then you will be gone. Your call.

        • Common Sense

          Where is the name calling exactly? Are you aware that your article uses the exact same points as the website Skeptical Science?

        • Luke101

          Like calling people “deniers”?

        • ernldo

          You fake science, and the name calling and follow with a threat. You called Common infantile?

          • Gene Maxwell

            I would call Common Sense a Science Denier. If the show fits….

          • ernldo

            The “show” fits? You alarmists are getting as bad as muzlim bomb throwers, and as gullible….

      • Jason Marrow

        And you are regurgitating, period.

        • Common Sense



        Yes there is an earth cycle of more and less ice but if you denounce the human effect on this planet and cause others to disbelieve in global.warming then you are effectively aiding in the destruction of iur habitat. Scientists have been warning for years of our effect and we have more proof now then ever that humans negatively and continually disrupt ths natural order of give and take. We are the cause of one of the largest extinction events in earths 4 billion year history. When your grandkids grow up they will only know Polar Bears from zoos or books and the same with 40% of all other subspecies on our only known spot to harbor life.

        • OWilson

          And snow will be a rare event!

          Add another Doomsday scenario to the long list :)

  • Alice Cheshire

    Definition of cherry picking: What the other guy is doing, never what the speaker/writer is doing.

  • Earl_E

    “I will make the Arctic great again.” ~Trump

    • OWilson

      “This (my election) is the day when the sea will cease to rise and the planet will begin to heal” – Oblameo.

  • Common Sense

    Here is what a balanced conversation about global warming looks like:

  • Common Sense
  • Earl_E

    “The people of the Arctic will love me.” ~Trump

    • OWilson

      Flash, today!

      Government Official:

      “Withheld Clinton emails contain ‘operational’ intel, put lives at risk”


      “There “IS” no classified “MARKED” information on those emails sent or received by “ME”,” she said.

      She learned well from her husband how to parse a lie.

      “There “IS” no sex with that woman, Ms Lewinsky.

      Of course it all depends what “IS” is :)

  • Common Sense
  • OWilson

    To bring us back on topic it should be mentioned that AGW advocating sites use the “kitchen sink” approach to Global Warming alarmism.

    It’s as if only they can find enough examples of warming, including personal anecdotes, obsolete “peer reviewed papers” specially selected or out of date graphs, inclement weather it will all add up to catastrophic warming in the minds of a gullible public.

    Simple truth is, we have the published monthly record that is what it is, and no amount “studies”, “warnings”, “I have seen the changes….” anecdotes or “photoshopped floods and Polar Bears, can add even one hundreth of a degree to the record.

  • Common Sense
    • OWilson

      Also in 1922, according to the Washington Post Spitsbergen was ice free!

      • nosmokewithout

        Yes indeed. Does it give a date of the original observations. It does mention the gulf stream being very warm and that would suggest a strong gulf stream. Not reflected in today’s Atlantic ocean!

    • nosmokewithout

      And you think the map represents winter cover?

      • Common Sense

        Prove that it doesn’t

        • nosmokewithout

          Oh dear!

    • nosmokewithout

      This map doesn’t actually show arctic ice extent, but multi-year ice extent, and it provides good evidence as to how much the multi-year ice extent has disappeared since 1971.

      • Common Sense

        Meanwhile the temperatures aren’t rising and it is well below freezing in the Arctic for most of the year. So why would the ice disappear if the temperatures never went up?

  • Philip

    I guess I am a “Cherrypicker”, but the Antarctic ice was well above average last year. It is GLOBAL warming, is it not? Or should we be calling it “Northern Hemisphere Climate Blinders”?

    The part that disturbs me the most is we are basing this on 30 years of data. It snowed in Tampa FL, but you would never know that looking back only 30 years, and that’s weather, not climate.

    • Common Sense

      The interesting thing is that once the Arctic sea ice rebounds (as it has in the past) they will have to admit that CO2 is not the primary driver of temperature. They can try to pretend that the ice extent wasn’t just as low in 1971, but we can post the maps that prove that it was.

  • Common Sense
  • Common Sense
    • nosmokewithout

      A pretty dumb post, it’s winter dear boy!

      • Common Sense

        I didn’t write an article claiming that they no longer needed their ice breakers….

  • Common Sense
    • nosmokewithout

      Today 13.886 million km^2. Only 2006 had a lower ice extent at this time of year. What is your point?

      • Common Sense

        The article said that they no longer needed their ice breakers. Your data only goes back to 1979, which was a year of peak ice, so what is your point?

      • Common Sense

        Yeah and it has been recovering for several years despite ever rising CO2 levels.

  • Mike Richardson

    I suppose the silver lining, if there is one, would be that we here in the U.S. won’t have to worry about running so far behind the ice-breaker race with other nations possessing Arctic territory. After all, it looks like there will be less and less ice to break. Seriously, though, the impacts of this melt go far beyond the Arctic, and ease of access to oil and gas deposits in this region threaten to heat things up both in terms of further greenhouse gas emissions and strategic political and military tensions. Let’s hope the Arctic doesn’t become the Middle East of the 21st century.


    If that much ice has melted, why isn’t there coastal flooding, as was predicted if that were to happen?

    • OWilson

      It’s all in the future you see.

      If it New York and Miami were underwater now, nobody would be interested in increasing our current unsustainable debt, to try to prevent it :)

  • coloradobob1


    Sharyn Alfonsi reports from the top of the world on one of the most significant efforts to study climate change happening today

    • OWilson

      CBS “60 Minutes” interviews an AGWer!

    • Common Sense

      Yeah they are bypassing the ice core, because it disproves their case, and are no looking in the mud.

  • Common Sense
  • Common Sense
  • Common Sense
    • OWilson

      The one chart that says it all!

      • Common Sense

        I know it is very scary stuff. I am selling my car and downsizing to a tiny house.

        • OWilson

          Please be gentle with the folks, most have “good” intentions.

          Please, please, don’t show them the margin of error in gathering the temperature of the entire planet, when they are talking of increases of hundredths of a degree :)

          That would be too much :)

          • Common Sense

            I won’t. And I won’t ask them what the correct average temperature is for the planet either.

          • OWilson

            That would be an interesting poll, starting with the Eskimos, and ending with the Tunisians.

            Hell, there are ants that can forage at 160 F, and life thrives frozen solid in ice, or in boiling vents.

          • Common Sense

            I have to say Eskimos fascinate me. They are the descendants of the people that stop walking before making it to a more hospitable climate. What amazes me is that they are still there. They have satellite tv’s. They sit there in their shacks eating whale blubber watching Baywatch reruns and it never seems to occur to them that they are a bus ride away from a decent life. And we are supposed to believe that it would be a tragedy if they had to relocate? They are living in shacks.

          • OWilson

            The Inuit, please!

            Indigenous Peoples are the darlings of the left.

            They live in complete harmony with nature (that is, if they manage to live past 50 :)

            They make a good living selling their hunting licenses to German and American tourists so they can run down, with motorized, smoky snow machines, even helicopters, and kill those nearly extinct cute are furry Polar Bears.

          • Common Sense

            Does the left realize that the women are not allowed to work?

          • OWilson

            All “traditional” lifestyles, and their religions, are encouraged by our wonderful government.

            All, except the white anglos that built the place, that is :)

          • Common Sense

            I just read an article that said the Inuit are now finally wising up and moving to Ottawa and other cities in droves. It only took two hundred years! Are they dialed back?

          • OWilson

            They do, like all our native people, have a “special” relationship with our Federal Treasury.

            ETF banking is rather slow up in Baffinland :)

  • Common Sense

    “The whole thing is held together by duct tape”

    • nosmokewithout

      So how does it go Common Sence….

      Nebakhet posts

      “The IPCC report from 1990 shows that the arctic had an amount of ice extent in the 70s that was far greater than today”

      You say “no it’s not! and post the following graph.

      But the truth is this…

      You think one graph is false, yet all are true at the same time.

      Have you managed to get your head round your silly mistake yet?

    • Mitch_Ocean

      Why don’t you see what the National academy of science said about the hockey stick in 2006–basically that the data post 1400 were good, but more data were needed back earlier.

      • OWilson

        10 years ago is a long time in climate science.

        Al Gore was a hero back then :)

        Now they’ll tell you Gore never even actually predicted global warming, and besides they say, who listens to politicians, what do they know?

        When they start using the very same arguments from our side, you know it;s all but over :)

      • Common Sense

        Get real. The IPCC has completely walked away from the hockey stick.

  • OWilson

    A little warming gets the Left salivating over the possibility of finally making good on their 100 year old promise of finally ending Western Capitalist Culture once and for all.

    “Cold” as in Cold War couldn’t do it, but the magic word now is “Warm”.

    Like the Cold War this too will fade away, as their false projections of economic wealth failed to materialize.

    It’s already fading, despite a few hard core true believers.

    Thay have already disowned Al Gore. James (Hockey Stick) Hanson is out at NASA, and IPCC Chairma Pachauri is out at the IPCC.

    The latest polls show that 91% of folks living real lives, don’t think Global Warming is an important issue, while only 9% (about the same number that believe the Earth is flat.

    Man will continue to cut down pollution, has he has been doing since the caveman moved his fire outside, and the farmer cut a hole in his mud hut to ket out smoke.

    And bad weather, droughts and floods will remain a challenge to be met.

    Ask the dutch how they controlled the ocean and stole a third of their agricultural land from the sea almost a century ago.

    Ask the South Koreans why they are building a new city for 3,000,00 people on landfill in the sea.

    Ask the Chines why thay are Building Military Airstips on Pacific Coral Atolls

    ASk why humanity is today reclaiming far more urban land from the sea, than is being lost.

    Then contemplate giving the third world the standard of living YOU enjoy by the use of cheap fossil fuels. They are going to take it anyway, and probably, if history is any indication, by force.

    • Mike Richardson

      Now that was a nice little rant. Feel better? :)

      • OWilson

        Actually, yes :)

  • rjdavison

    Yeah the open water wouldn’t have anything to do with the volcano erupting underneath it. This has nothing to do with “Global Warming”.

  • diecuts

    We all know that Greenland was named as part of an early advertising ploy to get Norwegian settlers to migrate there, in 800 AD parts of it were green enough to farm, but then something caused the weather to turn cold, the dreaded ‘climate change’. I suspect they didn’t have enough animals ‘farting’ at the time, but the founder of Greenpeace offers this short, commonsense video as an explanation, and many of us ‘non-scientists’ actually understand it. Is he wrong???

    This is given by the founder of Green Peace and is not what you would have expected.

  • Mr. Smith

    What’s happening to Antarctica?

    • Common Sense

      Nothing. Nothing is happening anywhere. This whole scare is one big lie.

      • allin58

        Except the seas are rising.

        • Common Sense

          From the ice that hasn’t melted? The oceans have been rising at the same rate for hundreds of years.

          • allin58

            Wrong. Sea level rise was very small for the last 6000 years (about 1/2 mm/yr) until about 150 years ago. It’s now over 3 mm/yr.

          • Common Sense

            Yeah was the end of the little ice age.

          • allin58

            Why did it start to accelerate 150 or so years ago and is even more rapid now?

          • Common Sense

            Why would it accelerate when the temperatures are flat?

          • allin58

            Exactly. Therefore, since the sea levels are obviously rising your assumption on the temperatures not rising must be wrong. You may want to learn a bit about thermodynamics before posting. I’ll give you a hint on where to start: study thermal time constants and heat capacities.

          • Common Sense

            I will give you a hint. Your data showing rapid sea level rise are wrong. You are looking at propaganda.

          • allin58

            The data I’m using is accepted by every major science and engineering association in the world, including the US Navy (which I work with on a regular basis). But I have an open mind, what data are you using?

          • Common Sense

            The data that John Christy uses.

          • allin58

            You mean the guy who screwed up the satellite measurements? You’re the one falling for propaganda. Exxon executives thank you.

          • Common Sense

            Okay. Whatever I am off to enjoy a day in a world with no CAGW.

          • Common Sense
          • allin58

            Exactly, but you have to overly the rate now (over 3 mm/yr) to see the change because the timescale is so long in the graph:
            Here’s a view with a smaller timescale:
            Enjoy your day.

          • Common Sense

            There is a serious dispute about the validity of the adjustments to the data.

          • Common Sense

            So how much of the rise is natural and how much is due to man?

          • Common Sense

            You seem to have some misconceptions about Christy. On the off chance that you would like to learn something new, here is a link:

          • Common Sense

            Yeah that is one inch a decade. That is alarming to you?

          • allin58

            You clearly don’t understand what acceleration means.

          • Common Sense

            Tell it to Lindzen, Christy, and Curry. None of them agree that sea levels are rising at a rate that indicates CAGW.

          • allin58

            Ah yes, the three musketeers of skepticism. I really can’t argue with them because all their arguments are just opinions, no data, no models nothing. Lindzen has tried a couple of times but has been shown to be wrong each time; most recently even having to pull a paper that was so bad he had to retract it after it got published (he’s still working on it apparently).

            So I’m left with the question: who is more trustworthy a trio of outcast extremist scientist with a regal sense of their own authority, or the work of thousands of independent observers and scientists over decades of time? I know my answer.

          • Common Sense

            Very convincing. It won’t convince the temperatures to go up.

          • Common Sense
          • Common Sense
          • allin58

            Seriously? A link to a corporate PR shill’s blog with a reference
            to a serial liar’s opinion piece? You’re
            really getting dispirit here.

          • Common Sense

            Name calling won’t make the planet warm. There is no CAGW. The observations show that the predictions aren’t true. Therefore the theory has been disproved. This is good news. You should be happy.

          • allin58

            Not name calling, just stating their actions; but you’re right, that won’t change anything. As far as CAGW is concerned I don’t know if that’s going to happen or not, it’s a risk not a guarantee. Of course we only have one planet so we won’t get a second chance of we’re wrong. The theory of CO2 forcing has been empirically
            verified, it’s not a question of if we’re warming the planet it just a question of how much and how quickly.

          • Common Sense

            Of course I agree with you. Now based on your logic the logical next step would be a cost benefit analysis of any proposed remedies. This is where the precautionary principle that you have alluded to falls down. We were told by Hansen in 1988 that if we did nothing there would be runaway warming by now. We did nothing (in fact we produced more CO2 then he predicted) and nothing has happened. Therefore the amount of the forcing from a doubling of CO2 is much smaller then the amount that Hansen used. And therefore there is no crisis and because CO2’s effect is logarithmic it is unlikely that it could be an issue for hundreds of years. Are you saying that we should spend trillions now for something that may be a factor hundreds of years from now? You will never get widespread support for such a notion no matter how much scare mongering and name calling you engage in. Never. So argue all you want, politically this is a dead issue. It consistently ranks dead last. And if you follow the congressional testimony you can clearly see that Congress is hearing from very credible scientists that there is no reason for alarm. There are much bigger environmental issues then CO2 that should be addressed. So while you may be well meaning you are giving cover to large corporations that are poisoning are air , food, and water.

          • allin58

            You’re confusing risk analysis with cost benefit analysis; there’re quite different things. As far as potential costs go I’ve seen estimates that are all over the place, economics
            is the blackest of arts. You can get any result you want depending on your input assumptions. Don’t get me wrong I’m no Cassandra, I think there are reasonable steps we can take to minimize the accumulated CO2 in the atm without breaking the bank, indeed; I think there are
            win-win scenarios with new technology developments that always help the economy and efficiency gains. I don’t see where any of this has to compromise air or water quality.

          • Common Sense

            You don’t see how this obsession with CO2 distracts from cleaning up real pollution? Wow!

          • Common Sense

            BTW the fact that oil companies are anti global warming is not in any way proof that there is a crisis

          • allin58

            True. The oil company executives are against it because it is a threat to their vested short term interests. Even though their own scientists tell them there’s a potential threat, the pressure they are under to make money or get fired is too great (oh, and the money is good too). They will do everything they can to delay and obfuscate the issue.

        • OWilson

          Didn’t the Seas Stop Rising, and the Planet Begin To Heal when Obama got elected? :)

          • allin58

            They were hoping for that change! 😉

          • OWilson

            Looks like they are in luck.

            See today’s news. NASA is trying to find out why the seas have STOPPED or slowed their rising.

            They’ve floated a new excuse, I mean “explanation”

            Haven’t mentioned Obama yet, though.


    • allin58
      • Common Sense

        Why is the study so limited in its’ scope?

      • OWilson

        In case there are any non low info folks around here, the actual news is:

        Study: Mass gains of Antarctic ice sheet greater than losses

        Nov 6, 2015 – A new NASA study says that Antarctica is overall accumulating ice. …

        • allin58

          Interesting, I thought all climate scientists we’re in lock step, guess not; some notes:
          -The authors note that this doesn’t mean the artic isn’t melting it would only mean it’s delayed 20-30 years.
          -As the author noted; if true then scientist have to figure out where all the water is coming from, the world tally doesn’t add up. So, if true, sea rise could be considerably worse than predicted in 20-30 years.
          -More snow accumulation is a sign of global warming because there is more moisture in the air.
          As NASA notes: Additional scrutiny and follow-up research will be required before this study can be reconciled with the preponderance of evidence supporting the widely accepted model of a shrinking Antarctic ice sheet.
          So this adds to some good science. It will be interesting to see how these data sets are rectified over the next few years.

          • OWilson

            Everything is Global Warming to the true believers :)

            Here’s some more proof of Global Warming :)


            Nov 24, 2014 – Not only is the amount of Antarctic sea ice increasing each year, but the ice is also much thicker than previously thought.

            Researchers measured ice at 17 metres thick. It was previously thought most ice is thinner than a metre.

  • Common Sense
  • wangweilin

    Yep, there’s never been anything like this ever happen before.

    Skate (SSN-578), surfaced at the North Pole, 17 March 1959. Image from NAVSOURCE

    • allin58

      That image is not USS Skate at the pole in 1959. Wikipedia has that image along with the right one. Skate was the first sub to surface at the pole. In March 1959 she surfaced through fairly thick ice having found no nearby open water in which to surface. The crew stood on that ice as they held a memorial service for Sir George Hubert Wilkins, MC and Bar, and scattered his ashes.

  • geode

    Has anyone here seen that picture of the Nautilus submarine sitting at the surface at the north pole in 1958? No ice.

  • OWilson

    I admit to feeling sorry for the poor polar bear family with no ice to sit on, (they’re probably dead by now) but I can’r quite bring myself to feel sorry for a poor Ice Breaker with no ice to break :)

  • geode

    Thanks for the clarification about the subs at the north pole, and the links. Didn’t occur to me it would have a Wikipedia page; I should have known. Upon reading the account clearly the picture is a bit misleading. There was definitely more ice than at least some recent years.

  • M.Alphan Namlı

    Yes there is an earth cycle of more and less ice but if you denounce the human effect on this planet and cause others to disbelieve in global.warming then you are effectively aiding in the destruction of iur habitat. Scientists have been warning for years of our effect and we have more proof now then ever that humans negatively and continually disrupt ths natural order of give and take. We are the cause of one of the largest extinction events in earths 4 billion year history. When your grandkids grow up they will only know Polar Bears from zoos or books and the same with 40% of all other subspecies on our only known spot to harbor life.

    • OWilson

      “The end is nigh. Give up your worldly goods and ye shall be saved”.

      World’s second oldest profession!

      (Just add this “largest extinction event in earth’s 4 billion year history”, it to the long list of Doomsday predictions we’ve managed to survive over the last 50 years) :)

  • Alphan Namli

    As emissions of greenhouse gases continue unabated, therefore, the continued amplification of Arctic warming should favor an increased occurrence of extreme events caused by prolonged weather conditions

    • OWilson

      Ah, there’s that word, “should’ again :)

      To paraphrase Niels Bohr to Einstein, “Stop telling nature what she “should do”. :)

      A hundred years ago Amundsen sailed his wooden ship through the Arctic Northwest Passage.

      If the warmista hype is to be believed, after a hundred years of “rapid warming” and “rapid, unprecedented meltdown”, unprecendented C02 pollution, and the rest, it “should” be possible to do it now.

      But mother nature has her own way of silencing fools, it’s been named the “Gore Effect”, and it is an official part of our language.

      it is still frozen solid :)

  • Centrist Force

    we may be looking at the last decade of civilization as we understand it. I think it’s too late to turn now. We have to adapt to survive.

    • Common Sense

      You do know that since this article was written the ice has returned. As it does every year….



ImaGeo is a visual blog focusing on the intersection of imagery, imagination and Earth. It focuses on spectacular visuals related to the science of our planet, with an emphasis (although not an exclusive one) on the unfolding Anthropocene Epoch.

About Tom Yulsman

Tom Yulsman is Director of the Center for Environmental Journalism and a Professor of Journalism at the University of Colorado, Boulder. He also continues to work as a science and environmental journalist with more than 30 years of experience producing content for major publications. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Audubon, Climate Central, Columbia Journalism Review, Discover, Nieman Reports, and many other publications. He has held a variety of editorial positions over the years, including a stint as editor-in-chief of Earth magazine. Yulsman has written one book: Origins: the Quest for Our Cosmic Roots, published by the Institute of Physics in 2003.


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