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Providing Insight
Into Climate Change
The Arctic Yet Again

NZ CLIMATE TRUTH 56
NOVEMBER 12TH 2004


The greatest embarrassment of the computer-based climate modellers is that all the models, without exception, predict that temperatures should be rising more sharply at the poles than at the equator. This arises from the fact that infra red absorption by carbon dioxide is greater from a lower temperature source (ice), and from the lower water vapour concentration in cold reasons. The proof that this is wrong is the temperature records from the South Pole. Both the surface readings and the NASA satellite readings (MSU) show a fall in temperature since records began (in 1955 for the surface measurements and 1979 for the MSU). The most reliable, the MSU record for the Antarctic is attached. It will be seen that there was a fall in temperature from 1979 to 2002, but a small upwards blip from 2002 to 2004 which could hardly be attributed to greenhouse gases.The whole record is quite incompatible with all the climate models.

In an attempt to cover up this proof that their models are worthless there is a concentration on the Arctic, where matters are extremely complex, and where selection of data can provide spurious support for a belief in an influence of greenhouse gases.

The last time this happened was 2000 when a lead author of the IPCC, James McCarthy, was overwhelmed when he witnessed open areas of ocean in the Arctic summer and considered this to prove "global warming". He was unaware that this behaviour was normal and characteristic. At the time much attention was given to a current successful negotiation of the North West passage, in ignorance of the success of Roald Amundsen in 1903-6. The explanation provided at the time by John Daly "The Top of the World" is still available on his website http://www.john-daly.com/polar/arctic.htm and is still well worth reading.

Well, they are at it again. An "Arctic Climate Impact Assessment" is about to be published, claiming the support of 300 scientists and using their discredited models to project dire disaster, particularly for polar bears.

In 925AD Erik the Red, escaping from a murder charge, founded a colony in Grennland which lasted until 1500 AD, but eventually foundered on a change to a much colder climate. There are no records from the period suggesting that for the 575 years of the colony polar bears were under threat, or that the sea level rose unduly.

A recent review of the literature on Arctic Sea Ice extent has been made by http://www.co2science.org/print.php3. They summarise 27 recent papers which reveal an extremely complex picture.

In contrast to the Antarctic, the Arctic is an ocean. There is no "ice cap", only a constantly moving set of icebergs and ice floes. Although largely covered in ice, it is broken into many parts and there are many areas of free ocean in the summer, which is, after all, 24 hours a day. Ice thickness is extremely variable, ranging from old, thick, ridged and collapsed portions to thin, recently frozen surface water. The average thickness is extremely difficult to measure, and its variability means that two measurements separated in time could give a misleading impression of trends.

The ice temperature and thickness is determined less by the sun's rays, than by the passage of the ocean beneath it, running from the Pacific to the Atlantic. The temperature and speed of this process is extremely complex and variable, and is thought to be influenced by the North Atlantic Oscillation, the exact path of the Gulf Stream, and many other factors. There does seem to be evidence that the average ice thickness and extent have both decreased in recent years.

The temperature of the region around the North Pole, as measured by the MSU, (attached) was almost constant from 1979 to 1998; behaviour completely at odds with all of the models. There have been several upward blips between 1998 and 2004 which, also, could hardly be attributed to greenhouse gases. The one in 1998 has been blamed on El Niño. The whole record shows that most of the measured changes in surface temperature were due to changes underneath the ice, not on top of it.

The authors of the Arctic Climate Impact Report do not play fair, by considering only temperature rises of the "last fifty years" and assuming, against all past evidence, that there will be an indefinite future upwards trend.. An examination of temperature records from weather stations close to the Arctic show, in many cases, that there have been several periods of higher temperatures before 1964. . I attach two examples.

The first, Jan Mayen Island, is particularly significant since the island is right in the middle of the Arctic Ocean flow. The temperature record shows a sudden drop in temperature from 1957 to 1968, followed by a slow increase, which today has reached temperature figures similar to those in 1959 and 1939. There is a similar picture from two sites in Iceland, Reykjavik, the capital, and Akureyri on the North coast (attached). Here we see a period of higher temperatures from 1925 to 1945 and from 1952 to 1962 followed by a sudden fall and a slow recovery until the present, which is again no hotter than the previous peaks. To argue from both of these records that the Arctic temperatures are steadily increasing is absurd.

Study of the many other weather stations near the North Pole gives a similar picture. If you want to try, they are at:

http://www.giss.nasa.gov/data/update/gistemp/station_data/

http://john-daly.com/stations
The Arctic Climate Impact Assessment particularly mentions Alaska, Western Canada and eastern Russia. Alaska and Western Canada could be affected by local heating, and recent information has indicated that Russian data is often defective.

All of you, of course, know about the Principle of Archimedes. It states that when an ice floe melts the water produced exactly fills the space left in the water by the departing ice. In other words, it does not raise the level of the sea. Many people seem to be ignorant of this fact. Ice that is on land could raise sea level if it melts, but there is no evidence that the temperature of Arctic islands is increasing on a long-term basis.

There is widespread evidence going back to the beginning of human history, that the temperatures and the ice around the Arctic Ocean have always fluctuated up and down in an unpredictable manner. Modern attempts to relate these to ocean movements and sunspot changes have only been partially successful. The use of discredited Climate models to "project" disastrous future changes is irresponsible, however many "scientists" support it.

Cheers

Vincent Gray
75 Silverstream Road
Crofton Downs
Wellington 6004
New Zealand
Phone/Fax (064) 4 9735939
Email vinmary.gray@paradise.net.nz

"It's not the things you don't know that fool you.
It's the things you do know that ain't so"

Josh Billings


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