Subject: „Ice-cap found to be thinning“

July 14, 2007

Welcome Visitor,

 How good do we understand how climate works? In so far the subject ‘ice-cap thinning’ is of interest, as it is frequently raised in connection with man made global warming. Since 1979 until 2005, the size of the summer polar ice cap has shrunk more than 20 percent has been claimed[1]. Only recently the Oscar price winner Al Gore said that the North Pole ice cap is melting nearly three times faster than the most pessimistic computer models predicted[2]. Can we rely on such claims? Lets make a test.

The London Times reported that measurements showed an average reduction in thickness of about 30 per cent in an area north of Greenland, and that this substantial thinning of the Arctic polar ice-cap has been discovered by scientists at Cambridge University, who believe it could be evidence of the greenhouse effect on Earth’s climate. Actually the average thickness of the ice cap has been fallen from an average of six to seven metres to four to five metres in just 12 years. Does that prove AL Gore correct? Actually presumably not, as The Times article had been published on September 1, 1989[3]. Between the Cambridge University analysis and Al Gore’s recent statement lay a time period of 18 years.

Each claim alone, but particularly if compared with each other, can hardly be regarded as a serious contribution to understanding what caused the warming when viewing the graph on arctic temperatures anomalies from 1880 to 2004 by Steven Milloy[4]. Nevertheless, this is not the only problem and not the most serious flaw of the mentioned claims which is actually the linking of the ice-cap thinning to the greenhouse effect with no regard to the sudden big warming of the Arctic in the Spitsbergen region since winter 1918/19. Suddenly the winter temperatures ‘exploded’ within a very short period of time and continued to rise for 20 years until 1940. This has recently been investigated: .

Without a full understanding of the arctic warming in the first half of the last Century any claim whether by Cambridge University, or by Al Gore, should be treated with suspicion.

Have an interesting reading about ‘Who did it’.

Arnd Bernaerts