BBC Polar Bear Tragedy Porn Dressed Up As Science

polar_bearsIt is now safe to confirm that the minimum Arctic sea ice extent has now been passed this year, with an area of 4.083 million sq km on 7th September. This is 22% greater than in 2012, despite two major storms in August that led to break up of ice. The ice has been regrowing remarkably rapidly for the last week, and already stands above the start of the month. Tentatively, we may be seeing one of the fastest September growths on record. — Paul Homewood, Not A Lot Of People Know That, 15 September 2016

Time’s up, Professor Wadhams. It is now exactly four years ago that you forecast the demise of Arctic sea ice this summer. Of course, this was not the first time you made a fool of yourself, was it? At various times in the last few years, you have issued many predictions of ice free Arctics by 2013, and then 2015. Even as recently as June this year, you were still forecasting: “The Arctic is on track to be free of sea ice this year or next for the first time in more than 100,000 years.” Be honest. You are not actually very good at your job, are you? –Paul Homewood, Not A Lot Of People Know That, 17 September 2016

The Arctic sea ice extent has been generally below normal since the middle 1990’s at which time the northern Atlantic Ocean switched sea surface temperature phases from cold-to-warm and it is likely to return to pre-mid 1990’s levels when the ocean cycle flips back to cold. –Paul Dorian, Vencore Weather, 16 September 2016

NSIDC’s satellite record shows that there is now 22 per cent more ice than there was at this time in 2012. And, far from these people being the first ever to sail in a yacht through both the North West and North East Passages, Nikolai Litau himself – as revealed by Paul Homewood – not only made both those journeys between 1996 and 2002; he took in the Antarctic as well. But we didn’t hear about that from the BBC. It wouldn’t have fitted their “narrative”. –Christopher Booker, The Sunday Telegraph, 18 September 2016

This new effort by the BBC would make the PR department of the Center for Biological Diversity proud, with it’s prominent use of animal tragedy porn pretending to be science. In contrast, the actual science shows something quite different: though summer sea ice since 2007 has declined to levels not predicted until 2040-2070, there has been virtually no negative impact on polar bear health or survival, a result no one predicted back in 2005. Watch the videos and weep not for the plight of the polar bear, but for the downfall of science journalism. –Susan Crockford, Polar Bear Science, 17 September 2016

The global cooling weather phenomenon La Niña in the equatorial Pacific is steadily increasing in strength – and the NOAA has not recognized this: NOAA Cancels La Niña Watch While La Niña Conditions Exist. The NOAA has even removed its “La Niña-Watch” last week from its ENSO weekly reports even though the sea surface temperature anomalies (SSTA) in the main Niño-area 3.4 around August 31 had -0.7 K. Despite these clear indications in both the atmosphere and in the water at the equatorial Pacific region, the ENSO models remain completely in dispute over the development up to November. —No Tricks Zone, 17 September 2016

This year, as every year, there has been much excitement in the media about ‘catastrophic’ melting of Arctic sea-ice, run-away melting, tipping points, death spirals and “ice-free” summers. Claims of ‘ice-free’ conditions at some time in the summer have been bandied about for years in various forms but as the reality sinks in that it’s not as bad as some had claimed, the dates when this is expected happen have often been pushed out beyond the life expectancy of those making the claims. The meaning of “ice-free” has also been the subject of some serious goal-post relocation efforts, we are now told that ‘ice-free’ does [not] actually mean  free of ice, it means there will be less than one million square km of ice left. This special branch of mathematics is apparently based on the axiom that zero = 106. –Greg Goodman, Climate Etc., 18 September 2016

Meanwhile, the habit of some scientists of predicting when the ice will disappear completely keeps getting them into trouble. A Nasa climate scientist, Jay Zwally, told the Associated Press in 2007: “At this rate, the Arctic Ocean could be nearly ice-free at the end of summer by 2012.” Two years later Al Gore quoted another scientist that “there is a 75 per cent chance that the entire north polar ice cap, during the summer months, could be completely ice-free within five to seven years” — that is, by now. This year Professor Peter Wadhams of Cambridge University has a new book out called Farewell to Ice, which gives a “greater than even chance” that the Arctic Ocean will be ice-free next month. Not likely. It seems that the quantity of Arctic sea ice varies more than we used to think. We don’t really know how much ice there was in the 1920s and 1930s — satellites only started measuring it in 1979, a relatively cold time in the Arctic — but there is anecdotal evidence of considerable ice retreat in those decades, when temperatures were high in the Arctic. –Matt Ridley, The Times, 29 August 2016

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