By Dr. Tim Ball
All the scares generated by the false climate science promoted by political agendas disappear from the mainstream media and are rarely heard of again. There’s no follow up in the mainstream media, no apologies for providing false or inadequate information.
Nasty old Mother Nature causes the demise by going about her normal business. As the old advertisement said, it’s not nice to fool with Mother Nature. The Northern Hemisphere winter is already proving once again that global warming is another undelivered government promise.
The sequence begins with identification of an issue. This occurs in several ways including reporters scanning science journals for articles to sensationalize; a scientist or Environmental group publicizing an issue. If the story catches, they’ll push it from various angles. If it loses traction, they bring in a different scientific angle or raise the level of potential damage.
Arctic Ice A Classic False Scare
Melting Arctic ice grabbed attention and became a major part of Gore’s propaganda movie An Inconvenient Truth. Dying polar bears grabbed emotions and rising sea levels flooded fertile land inhabited by much of the world’s poor people. Context quickly appeared as historic reconstructions of Arctic temperatures and the natural annual variation of ice amounts showed everything within normal variability. Polar bear experts, like Mitch Taylor, debunked the endangered polar bear claims. What to do? Everyone is familiar with the dangers of thin ice so spread the claim the ice is thinning rapidly and as usual intimate it is unnatural.
We’ve only had satellite measures of ice cover since 1980. Launched in 1978 it took two years to establish reliable procedures and determine accuracy. Since then various computer models have used different methods to measure and display what is going on. There is still disagreement between them. One of the differences is how they determine old, young, and new ice. Another was the problem of ice with water lying on top. However, the satellite never measured ice thickness.
Fritz Koerner, a Canadian glaciologist who also drilled ice cores on Baffin and Ellesmere Island, produced an excellent early (1973) assessment of the situation. Fritz was the first person I heard report to an Ottawa conference, that his cores were showing CO2 levels changing after temperature change. In his paper Koerner notes, “The mean end-of-winter thickness of the ice is calculated to be 4.6 m in the Pacific Gyral and 3.9 m in the Trans Polar Drift Stream.” This difference is important because it reflects the influence of ocean circulation on ice thickness.
The threat of unnatural thinning introduced in the late 1990s was based on the original ice thickness measurements taken by USS Sargo, a submarine that traversed under the ice in 1960. It followed the surfacing at the North Pole in 1958 by the USS Nautilus, the first nuclear submarine.
These early interests and experiments were driven by military concerns triggered by the discovery that Soviet submarines were getting into the north Atlantic by transiting under the Arctic ice by passing through the deepest channel out of the Arctic Basin, the East Greenland Channel, thus bypassing the submarine and air barrier set up between Iceland and Scotland.
Ironically we now have access to the extensive Russian material, but nobody pays much attention, but that’s been the course of the climate debate all along. I reviewed a paper recently and there was no mention of Koerner or most of the Canadian Arctic ice studies.