The Arctic, Al Gore and better understanding
Extract from Chapter 6 at:
Here placed 02 April 2009

Al Gore said in July 2007: "Just in the last few months, new studies have shown that the north pole ice cap - which helps the planet cool itself - is melting nearly three times faster than the most pessimistic computer models predicted"[1] A few months later, he, together with the IPCC, were honored with the Peace Nobel Prize in December 2007 for "for their efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change". The awarding Committee was presumably not aware that neither of the two Nobel laureate had hardly anything achieved in explaining why the Arctic warmed the Northern Hemisphere during the first half of the last century. Al Gore's had paid the North Pole a visit by submarine before becoming Vice President of the U.S.A:

                "We were crashing through that ice, surfacing, and I was standing in an eerily beautiful snowscape, windswept, and sparkling white, with the horizon defined by little hummocks, or 'pressure ridges' of ice that are pushed up like tiny mountains ranges when separate sheets collide. But here too, CO2 levels are rising just as rapidly, ...As the polar air warms, the ice here will thin; and since the polar cap plays such a crucial role in the world's weather system, the consequences of a thinning cap could be disastrous" [2]

Al Gore's North Pole visit took place about 1990. As almost two decades have passed, one can only wonder that he and his fellow alerter on global and arctic warming still understand so little about at least the early part of the warming in the Arctic. Instead he claimed recently:

  • "We - the human species - have arrived at a moment of decision."

  • "What is at risk of being destroyed is not our planet itself, but the conditions that have made it hospitable for human beings".

  • "We - all of us - now face a universal threat. Though it is not from outside this world, it is nevertheless cosmic in scale." (NYT, 1 July 2007).

How can someone talk about a cosmic scale threat if he is not able and obviously not interested in understanding a 'climatic revolution' that occurred under the eyes of modern science only 90 years ago? The explanation is presumably simple. Whoever is talking about climate without thinking comprehensively in the terms conditioned by the oceans and seas, will get not far in understanding what makes climate tick and where and when human activities are changing climate due to altering the 'natural structure and course' of the oceans and seas.  

The excerpt is from the recently published book:

How Spitsbergen Heats the World
The Arctic Warming 1919 -1939

COMMENT: The book elaborates historical and resent research papers comprehensively and discusses them in such detail that seems no longer possible to assume that the earlier Arctic warming is due to “natural variability”. Calling the ice melting an: “Apocalypse Now”, should be met with reservation, as long as the first Arctic warming from 1919 to 1939 is not thoroughly understood. With the material and information presented, the climate change debate will be enhanced with astonishing new aspects.


1] The New York Times (2007); Al Gore, "Moving Beyond Kyoto", Sunday, the 1st of July 2007, WK 13.
Gore, Al (Albert), (1992); "The Earth in Balance", London, 1992.