Wednesday, October 07, 2009

A Greenist’s Dilemma!!

What a truly exquisite dilemma is posed for the doom-mongering proselytizers of the Green Religion by the revelation that, if Arctic ice sheets really were in the cataclysmic permanent decline which they claim, one of the consequences would be to open up access to substantial reserves of currently untapped oil and gas – as much as 13% of the world’s previously undiscovered oil and no less than 30% of its previously undiscovered natural gas.

Not that it’s going to happen any time soon, of course.

The latest data and models from the University of Colorado’s National Snow and Ice Data Centre show that, even though the rate of seasonal summer ice-melt is up (although it’s lower this year than in 2007 and 2008), the rate of over-winter recovery is such that total ice coverage has only decreased at the rate of 2.6% per decade (yes, that’s right – about a quarter of one per cent per year) over the last 30 years – hardly the cataclysmic decline that the alarmists postulate.
What’s more, polar explorers have been observing fluctuations in Arctic ice coverage and temperatures for 200 years. The data readings entered in the 1818 ship’s log of the HMS Isabella, recently released from the records of the National Archives as part of the UK Colonial Registers and Royal Navy Logbooks Project, suggest that there has been minimal or even no significant change in sea temperatures in large parts of the Arctic. The ship’s log of the HMS Dorothea from its 1818 expedition to the Norwegian Arctic show that the summer weather of 1818 in the high northern latitudes was not significantly cooler than that of the last 30 years.
However, Clameur de Haro must acknowledge that there is a contrary view, for he is aware of the alternative report submitted to the Admiralty which contained the following –
“A considerable change of climate, inexplicable at present to us, must have taken place, by which the severity of the cold that has, for centuries past, enclosed the seas in the high northern latitudes in an impenetrable barrier of ice has been, during the last two years, greatly abated. This affords ample proof that new sources of warmth have been opened.”
The date of this? November 1817. That’s right, 1817. It seemed to be getting warmer and ice coverage seemed to be decreasing. Must have been the carbon footprint of all those Laplanders and Inuit importing their polenta from Tuscany and their winter strawberries from Kenya, and driving their 4x4s to Starbucks on their way to their EasyJet holiday flights.
And even the Hadley Centre, in its latest report bout of scaremongering, can do no more than confine itself to warning that the Greenland ice sheet could recover to only (yes, only) 80% of its current size were it decrease through ice-melt by 15% over the next 300 years – and it could even disappear entirely over several thousand years.
Clameur de Haro couldn’t hope to top the erudition of the scorn rightly poured on this by Tim Worstall here, so a grateful H/T to Tim for this one.
But - oh dear, oh dear, whatever will the Peak Oil doomsters do now? If the “Greenland Ice Melt Through Catastrophic Man-Made Climate Change” part of their faith comes to pass, that blows an even bigger hole than the one that exists already in their Peak Oil belief, because substantial additional reserves become economically extractable. But if they want to continue to adhere to their Peak Oil credo, those additional reserves have to remain discounted from their calculation of remaining finite resources - which requires them to admit, ahem, that the Arctic ice sheets won’t actually be melting to the degree predicted.
Not that Clameur de Haro thinks that any of this will deter the Greenists of course - after all, mustn’t let the Inconvenient Truths of science and reason get in the way of the true religion…..
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Nick Palmer said...

Crikey Clam, you don't half talk a load of old cobras. Fighting though your battalions of strawman arguments isn't much fun.

I normally accuse people like you, most of the civil service and economic giants, like Ozouf and Maclean, of being one dimensional thinkers in a three dimensional world but I'm temporarily giving you a free upgrade to two dimensionality of thought. You'll see why shortly.

There is a huge difference between ice COVERAGE and ice VOLUME in the papers you and your denier website sources half understand. Ice coverage (area) is two dimensional (geddit?). Ice volume is three dimensional. Summer ice melt is up because the ice that forms in winter is nowhere near as thick as it used to be, so when summer comes around again, it melts quickly therefore exposing dark sea water to solar radiation - as opposed to reflective ice. The pole absorbs more heat than normal - the subsea methane clathrates will bubble up, the permafrost is melting releasing frozen up carbon and methane and we'll have a massive positive feedback effect like in the dim and distant past when there was a mass extinction of species caused by clathrate release.

The IPCC forecasts haven't yet taken into account methane release due to the polar warming because it is happening much faster than expected. Your lot are constantly implying that the IPCC predictions are wrong but with your two dimensional logic you don't seem to have considered that they could be wrong the "other way" and that what we have in store for everyone probably will be worse than expected.

As far as peak oil and potential new supplies go, you obviously haven't got the foggiest about what peak oil really means.

BTW, if even 15% of Greenland ice melted then low lying areas of Jersey would be drowned, particularly St Clement!

Anonymous said...

If (and it is a big if) the Greenland ice-sheet melts in the near future, the human species will be facing much bigger problems than the economic and social disruption caused by peak oil.