Arctic Bounces Back, World Returns To Sea Ice Levels Seen In 1980s

arctic sea iceJust one cool summer caused the much-worried-about Arctic icepack to swell by no less than a third in 2013 and it has grown even more since – more than making good its losses during the previous few years. Meanwhile of course, the southern sea ice around Antarctica has continued to spread out and cover bigger areas all the time, a circumstance which has frankly stumped climate scientists as their models cannot account for it. Antarctic ice hit a new all-time record last year, in fact. –Lewis Page, The Register, 21 July 2015

Dr Benny Peiser, director of The Global Warming Policy Foundation, said the paper “doesn’t change anything”. “We’ve been monitoring both Arctic and Antarctic ice caps for a long time, and the basic problem for everyone trying to understand what’s going on is that our observational data only starts with the satellite age – so it goes back about 30 years. We don’t fully know what the ice caps looked like 50 or 100 years ago, and therefore it is difficult to make long-term predictions. The melting of [Arctic sea ice] may be slower than thought, as there were predictions it would be gone by now. Basically it all depends on what global temperatures are going to do in the coming decades. The good news about this study is it is not a one way street, there are periods where the ice can recover. I don’t think one paper can tell you much, we know global temperature has more or less stalled over the past 10 to 15 years. We are increasing CO2 emission at an accelerating rate but temperatures aren’t rising as fast as predicted.” –Lucy Sherriff, Huffington Post, 21 July 2015

Arctic sea ice may be more resilient than previously thought, according to new research. Satellite data reported in a new paper shows that sea ice volumes in the spring months have been stable over the four years from 2010 to 2014 and that Autumn sea ice volumes in 2013 and 2014 were significantly up on prior years. —Reporting Climate Science, 20 July 2015

Dr Benny Peiser from the Global Warming Policy Foundation says that the poles are “much more stable” than climate scientists once predicted and could even be much thicker than previously thought. He said: “The Antarctic is actually growing and all the evidence in the last few months suggests many assumptions about the poles was wrong. Global sea ice is at a record high, another key indicator that something is working in the opposite direction of what was predicted.” –Levi Winchester, Daily Express, 25 December 2014

The Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) may have moved into a warming phase during the last year, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) of the US. The PDO plays an important role in the overall transfer of heat between the world’s ocean and the atmosphere. NOAA suggests that the Pacific may have moved to a phase where the Pacific Ocean surrenders more heat to the atmosphere than it absorbs. Some climate scientists believe that these changes in the Pacific Ocean may presage an end to the so called pause – or hiatus – in global warming that has been apparent in some surface and atmospheric temperature records since the late 1990s. —Reporting Climate Science, 20 July 2015

The Papal Encyclical on the environment (see below) may have come as a surprise to non-Catholics, but an even greater surprise came with Pope Francis’ appointment this month of radical author and anti-capitalist campaigner Naomi Klein as his ally in the battle against climate change. Apparently, Klein is to lead a high-level conference on the environment set up by the Catholic Church. But you can’t help wondering why one of the world’s greatest communicators (the Pope) needs or even wants the help of Klein. True, she is a great communicator. But she’s also an atheist. It turns out that it’s not really her climate change credentials that he is after. –Alex Benady, PR Week, 21 July 2015

A senior figure in the Vatican has questioned the Pope’s authority to pronounce on climate change. Cardinal George Pell, who was appointed by Pope Francis last year to manage the Vatican finances, said the Roman Catholic church had ‘no mandate’ to lay down doctrine on scientific matters. His remarks indicated concern among some high-ranking Catholics at the direction and tone of Francis’ encyclical on climate change last month. His criticism of the Pope’s encyclical was carefully phrased – the Pope said in his own paper that ‘The church does not presume to settle scientific questions’ – but it reflects signs of dissent among other prominent Catholics. –Steve Doughty, Daily Mail, 20 July 2015

There have been concerns in the Church of England that many churchgoers have failed to be impressed by their leaders’ anxiety over climate change. The CofE’s environmental adviser David Shreeve wrote earlier this month that the church had not been ‘successful in dragging environmental concern into its mainstream’. He added: ‘The majority of those who do link their faith with environmental concern are still on the edges – members of special environmental groups rather than in the main body of the church. –Steve Doughty, Daily Mail, 20 July 2015