Inconvenient truths

Matthew Hoy
By Matthew Hoy on June 27, 2008

CNN's top story right now is another one of those Al Gore specials: "North Pole could be ice-free this summer, scientists say"

By Alan Duke

(CNN) -- The North Pole may be briefly ice-free by September as global warming melts away Arctic sea ice, according to scientists from the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder, Colorado.
Scientists say it's a 50-50 bet that the thin Arctic sea ice will completely melt away at the geographic North Pole.

Scientists say it's a 50-50 bet that the thin Arctic sea ice will completely melt away at the geographic North Pole.

"We kind of have an informal betting pool going around in our center and that betting pool is 'does the North Pole melt out this summer?' and it may well," said the center's senior research scientist Mark Serreze.

It's a 50-50 bet that the thin Arctic sea ice, which was frozen last autumn, will completely melt away at the geographic North Pole, Serreze said.

The ice retreated to a record level in September when the Northwest Passage -- the sea route through the Arctic Ocean -- opened up briefly for the first time in recorded history.

"What we've seen through the past few decades is the Arctic sea ice cover is becoming thinner and thinner as the system warms up," Serreze said.

Specific weather patterns will determine whether the North Pole's ice cover melts completely this summer, he said.

Not mentioned anywhere in that story is this inconvenient fact from earlier this week. (via Watts Up With That)

An international team of researchers was able to provide evidence of explosive volcanism in the deeps of the ice-covered Arctic Ocean for the first time. Researchers from an expedition to the Gakkel Ridge, led by the American Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), report in the current issue of the journal Nature that they discovered, with a specially developed camera, extensive layers of volcanic ash on the seafloor, which indicates a gigantic volcanic eruption.

"Explosive volcanic eruptions on land are nothing unusual and pose a great threat for whole areas," explains Dr Vera Schlindwein of the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research in the Helmholtz Association. She participated in the expedition as a geophysicist and has been, together with her team, examining the earthquake activity of the Arctic Ocean for many years. "The Vesuvius erupted in 79 AD and buried thriving Pompeii under a layer of ash and pumice. Far away in the Arctic Ocean, at 85° N 85° E, a similarly violent volcanic eruption happened almost undetected in 1999 – in this case, however, under a water layer of 4,000 m thickness." So far, researchers have assumed that explosive volcanism cannot happen in water depths exceeding 3 kilometres because of high ambient pressure. "These are the first pyroclastic deposits we've ever found in such deep water, at oppressive pressures that inhibit the formation of steam, and many people thought this was not possible," says Robert Reves-Sohn, staff member of the WHOI and lead scientist of the expedition carried out on the Swedish icebreaker Oden in 2007.

A major part of Earth's volcanism happens at the so-called mid-ocean ridges and, therefore, completely undetected on the seafloor. There, the continental plates drift apart; liquid magma intrudes into the gap and constantly forms new seafloor through countless volcanic eruptions. Accompanied by smaller earthquakes, which go unregistered on land, lava flows onto the seafloor. These unspectacular eruptions usually last for only a few days or weeks.

Of course, hot magma beneath the Arctic ice has absolutely nothing to do with ice melting -- it's got to be you and your SUV.

0 comments on “Inconvenient truths”

  1. You're retarded. You realize how big the Arctic is right? And you think one volcano is responsible for the entire area melting?

  2. Whoever posted that anonymous comment is a complete moron. Maybe they should look into the fact that in the past 100 years (yes, one century) the earth has warmed a measly 6/10 of ONE DEGREE. SIX TENTHS of a single degree.

    Mark Serreze and his comments aiding the global warming myth and the plot of the powers that be, can also be found on - you guessed it - the Democratic Party web site. Isn't that "convenient."

    It's disgusting that the so called "environmentalists" really care nothing about the environment and more so about their own hidden agenda. Why don't they crack down on... say, the REST OF THE WORLD? The US is the ONLY country that doesn't use it's own natural resources, has laws and federal regulations against it, and the majority of the government strangling the freedom of the people. Notice how they only attack America, when other nations use cars and emits CO2 (which by the way is PLANT FOOD)but only cry about us? They certainly speak a ton about what's "wrong" with the country. Maybe if they stopped flapping their lips we could cut back on some of that carbon dioxide.

    Its all about control. They want it all. Take the gas crisis. They want gas prices to be high, they want things to be out of hand so they can step up and "solve" the problem. The same "they" as in - the people who brought the problems upon us in the first place! The same government officials who can even run a profitable cafeteria want control over the oil industry. The same ones who ruined Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. And, they want to run a universal healthcare system? ha! WAKE UP PEOPLE. Your being choked of your freedoms as an American.

    In a related subject to the volcano, there is even new research in the history of the earths climate ( ) showing that mega, or super volcano's were responsible for extreme - cooling - of the earth. Also discovery of more super volcano's (one in the US) that may erupt and do the same again.

    A vote for Obama is a stupid one, because it gives the government an opportunity to do more of what they're already doing - taxing you more, controling more, destroying wealth and opportunity.

    For more reasons why the you should note vote Democrat, in particular Obama, go to:

  3. Anonymous,

    While your point is valid, I would also like to point out that the Arctic has been ice-free and much warmer than it is now at various points in the 4.6 billion year history of the Earth. Clearly, mankind had nothing to do with those episodes of warmth.

  4. Bruce,

    Well put. I had to laugh about the ice-shelf that collapsed in Antarctica, because in the story it said this ice-shelf had been there for "several hundred years". So to get to your point, was there global warming “several hundred years” ago? No, it’s Earth making adjustments to itself. How can any scientist in their right mind use a snapshot of Earth’s history and make a sound judgment? They can’t, but they sure try. year ice shelf collapse antarctic&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=2&gl=us

  5. Really? Ice melting in the summer? Who'da thunk?

    Also included in the article is this gem of a quote...

    "The brief lack of ice at the top of the globe will not bring any immediate consequences, Serreze said."

    Weren't these globalist koolaide drinkers telling us that if this happens, we here in Florida would be underwater???? Now nothing's gonna happen???? Pleeeeez!

  6. So, I should take the word of a metro page designer over the words of scientists who have devoted their lives to the study of weather and the artic. Look at the source people, take off your idealogical glasses and attempt to comprehend the evidence. Then, after all the evidence is examined, make a rational argument.

  7. Travis,

    It is you who should look at the evidence. Look at this link. It shows the earth's temperature over the last 2 billion years or so. It clearly shows that the Earth's current temperature is on the cooler end of the spectrum. So while there may be a chance that there is a degree of antrhopogenic global warming it is literally the proverbial mosquito on the elephant's behind, relatively speaking.

    This link also shows that the earth is bound to get significantly higher than it is now REGARDLESS of what humans do. So chill out (no pun intended).

  8. Serreze said those who suggest the Arctic meltdown is just part of a historic cycle are wrong.

    "It's not cyclical at this point. I think we understand the physics behind this pretty well," he said. "We've known for at least 30 years, from our earliest climate models, that it's the Arctic where we'd see the first signs of global warming.

    "It's a situation where we hate to say we told you so, but we told you so," he said.

    Ha! I'll bet they'd hate to tell us I told you so...I just got back from a Canadian fishing trip about 100 miles north of the US border. In mid-June, we wore our winter coats, and the lilacs had not yet bloomed. I've been up there 10 times before and never experienced that. So, after the coldest spring and winter in decades, these "scientists" are telling us the north pole is going to melt? Puh-leeze. That makes about as much sense as Al Gore winning the Nobel Peace Prize. One thing has changed...Years ago, the terms "Scientist" and "Nobel Peace Prize" used to mean something. It used to convey respect.

  9. Travis,

    "A scientist, in the broadest sense, refers to any person that engages in a systematic activity to acquire knowledge or an individual that engages in such practices and traditions that are linked to schools of thought or philosophy. In a more restricted sense, scientist refers to individuals who use the scientific method.[1] The person may be an expert in one or more areas of science."

    The problem with today's scientist(not all), they tend to incorporate their agenda to fit the science. Or the science to fit their agenda. Take your pick.

  10. Jake and Bruce

    I have looked at the evidence. It was presented to me to make my own judgments while an undergraduate studying chemistry. Since then, I have seen more and more evidence that atmospheric CO2 has is steadily increasing with the variances that exists due to seasonal changes. But overall, the line of best is trending upwards. There is no debate on this issue.

    As a scientist, I am well aware of such fun concepts as conservation of matter and energy. I know this is a simplistic argument, but it makes the most sense for anyone who is not well versed in various scientific measurements. It is actually quite simple. Matter, and thus energy, can neither be created nor destroyed through any chemical reaction. When we burn fossil fuels, we are releasing into our atmosphere massive amounts of stored potential energy that was locked in the ground. Additionally, that same matter (carbon) was locked into the ground when it was taken out the atmosphere by plant and animal life millions and billions of years ago. This matter and energy when brought from the ground and given an ignition source undergoes combustion. The basic combustion reaction releases several compounds, but the two major products are carbon dioxide and water, both of which are greenhouses gases. Water, in its vapor form, is the predominant greenhouse gas and carbon dioxide, the one we are all familiar with, is second. Either way, the release of such compounds back into the atmosphere is going to have an effect. You cannot release millions of years of new particulate matter, gases and energy back into a system where it was missing and not expect effects. The effect is world wide warming. Now, what effects this warming will have are largely unknown. They could, in fact, cause a cooling trend. But, sufficient to say global warming is happen. It makes scientific sense and rests on sound fundamentals of science.

  11. Travis, I'm impressed by your first resort to an ad hominem attack.

    Second, don't take my word for it. I encourage you to Google S. Fred Singer or Richard Lindzen -- both of whom have stellar academic credentials and far more expertise than either you or I on this subject.

    I also encourage you to check out some recent posts at Anthony Watts' site -- Watts up with that -- the link is on the right. In short, there is zero evidence of warming over the past 11 years -- while CO2 has continued to rise.

    Contrary to too many scaremongering scientists, I look at both sides arguments and make my judgments. It would benefit everyone if they did the same, instead of appealing to a non-existent consensus and slandering their opponents.

  12. I didn't attack your character nor did I appeal to emotion. I just stated a fact that you are a metro page designer and not a member of the scientific community. On matters of scientific study, I tend to pay more credence to people who have devoted their lives to the scientific method. I would believe my doctor before I believe you on subject regarding medicine, just as I would assume you would believe a lawyer on legal matters before you would believe an english teacher.

    I have always found it amusing that people who do not have a science background like to criticize their findings when such findings conflict with their world view. See Galileo.

    You in fact have engaged in ad hominem attack when you referred to "scaremondering scientists" and those of us who believe in the scientific consensus as "slandering" those we disagree with. Well, the defense to slander is the truth (in fact since we are writing, it is libel not slander).

    Global temperatures have risen in the past 11 years. Possibly, not as high as some people would think, but they have risen.

    If the scientific consensus turns out the be plain wrong, I will be the first to admit it. It is the way science works. A hypothesis is proposed. It is tested. It may lead to a theory, which may be correct or in the end wrong. Then we move on and study more.

  13. Travis, I took your disparaging reference to my profession as the ad hominem attack.

    I may not have a bachelor's degree in a science, but I was admitted to Cal Poly SLO as an electrical engineering student and took four quarters of calculus, two quarters of chemistry, one quarter of physics, another quarter of biology and a handful of electrical engineering courses. I was reading Scientific American in junior high. In short, I'm not your average journalist.

    I'm far more well read on this issue than 99 percent of the people in the United States. Unlike some who only read what appears in their newspaper or national news magazines, I read what the critics have to say too. I encourage you to read the entire site. The proprietor there, Steve McIntyre isn't a scientist either. He's a statistician. Yet, he's also the guy who discovered the now-discredited hockey stick.

    I also encourage you to go to Watts site and read these two articles:

    Warming on 11 year hiatus

    If Global Warming was a company decision how would you vote?

    I also encourage you to visit Watts' site and take a look at the meat from which the sausage of the GISS is made. In short, I think that Hansen is cooking the GISS numbers -- and he's not been exactly open and honest about having his work reviewed by critics.

    As for my decrying those on your side for slander. I refer specifically to the likes of Boston Globe columnist Ellen Goodman (not a scientist either) who likened critics like me to Holocaust deniers. I also refer to NASA scientist James Hansen who called on energy company executives to be indicted for crimes against the planet because they don't pay homage to him.

    I concur with your description of how science should work. Unfortunately, your side hasn't been following the typical rules. McIntyre continues to have to fight tooth and nail to find out if peer reviewers are doing their jobs. He and his colleagues have had to submit FOIA request after FOIA request to get stuff that any honest scientist on the public dole would be providing willingly. Your side uses "scientific consensus" as a hammer to marginalize and silence those who have valid questions or point out valid problems with the data or the way it is interpreted. You even marginalize people like Bjorn Lomborg who believe global warming is occurring, yet warns that the money being thrown at that problem could do more good by buying things like mosquito nets for poor Africans. Any scientist brave enough to raise questions is immediately dismissed as being a shill for Big Oil.

    None of this is the way science is supposed to work and frankly, it's not how it works on just about any other scientific issue.

    Finally, I point you to this post over at Q and O that really demonstrates that too many scientists are too sure of themselves and the lengths that they're going to to hide the fact that they just don't know everything.

  14. Travis,

    While you may be an esteemed scientist with impeccable credentials, this certainly doesn’t discount the fact that you do have an opinion on this matter. It is human nature to formulate thoughts and ideas based on our previous experiences in life and this includes you.

    Your comment:
    “Global temperatures have risen in the past 11 years. Possibly, not as high as some people would think, but they have risen.”

    After visiting this link, I came to the following conclusion, albeit simple; I find your conclusion is based on a snapshot of earth’s history. The earliest date that I could find on these charts dated back to the year 1880. Earth on the other hand is approximately 4.5 to 4.6 billion years old. Your conclusion would be the equivalent of a scientist basing his study on one Petri dish, while “billions” of Petri dishes are waiting to be studied.

    As an unbiased and impartial scientist to political agendas, I’m sure you understand my point.

  15. The "What If" factor comes into play with this so called Global Warming. But there is enough evidence to prove it just may not be all that it is cracked up to be. It's just something the extreme liberals can grab on to for a little ride.

    I thought this would be an interesting read for Travis. global warming real&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=6&gl=us

    From the website:
    What are the take-home messages:
    The temperature effect of atmospheric carbon dioxide is logarithmic, not exponential.

    The potential planetary warming from a doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide from pre-Industrial Revolution levels of ~280ppmv to 560ppmv (possible some time later this century - perhaps) is generally estimated at around 1 °C.

    The guesses of significantly larger warming are dependent on "feedback" (supplementary) mechanisms programmed into climate models. The existence of these "feedback" mechanisms is uncertain and the cumulative sign of which is unknown (they may add to warming from increased atmospheric carbon dioxide or, equally likely, might suppress it).

    The total warming since measurements have been attempted is thought to be about 0.6 degrees Centigrade. At least half of the estimated temperature increment occurred before 1950, prior to significant change in atmospheric carbon dioxide levels.

    Assuming the unlikely case that all the natural drivers of planetary temperature change ceased to operate at the time of measured atmospheric change then a 30% increment in atmospheric carbon dioxide caused about one-third of one degree temperature increment since and thus provides empirical support for less than one degree increment due to a doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide.

    There is no linear relationship between atmospheric carbon dioxide change and global mean temperature or global mean temperature trend -- global mean temperature has both risen and fallen during the period atmospheric carbon dioxide has been rising.

    The natural world has tolerated greater than one-degree fluctuations in mean temperature during the relatively recent past and thus current changes are within the range of natural variation. (See, for example, ice core and sea surface temperature reconstructions.)

    Other anthropogenic effects are vastly more important, at least on local and regional scales.

    Fixation on atmospheric carbon dioxide is a distraction from these more important anthropogenic effects.

    Despite attempts to label atmospheric carbon dioxide a "pollutant" it is, in fact, an essential trace gas, the increasing abundance of which is a bonus for the bulk of the biosphere.

    There is no reason to believe that slightly lower temperatures are somehow preferable to slightly higher temperatures - there is no known "optimal" nor any known means of knowingly and predictably adjusting some sort of planetary thermostat.

    Fluctuations in atmospheric carbon dioxide are of little relevance in the short to medium term (although should levels fall too low it could prove problematic in the longer-term).

    Activists and zealots constantly shrilling over atmospheric carbon dioxide are misdirecting attention and effort from real and potentially addressable local, regional and planetary problems.

  16. Travis,

    I think it is also important to point out that the notion of harmful anthropogenic global warming (AGW) is not a falsifiable hypothesis and therefore not subject to the scientific method. The narrow hypothesis that the burning of carbon-based fuels releases CO2 is a falsifiable hypothesis. However, the broad-based question that we all face today is not. Therefore, the notion that the "science is settled" is laughable on its face, a claim that I am happy to see you don't seem to be making.

    We are therefore left to statistical inference to make an informed judgment about AGW. My own view of the current state of play is that the models of AGW have become quite sophisticated and therefore their authors should be willing to subject them to subsequent mesurement viz-a-viz their predicted outcomes. So pick the best models out there and see how they do predicting the future. The problem, of course, is that in such a complex, open system such as the earth's climate with 4.6 billion years of history, the correct way to test the models would be to collect data over a long period of time. In my mind that would be 50 years at an absolute minimum, if you care about doing things correctly and realistically much, much longer. This presents the obvious problem that to do things correctly requires collecting data well beyond the lifespan of the models' creators. It also doesn't fit the timeframe of those who believe "we must do something now". But that is the price people must be prepared to accept to analyze this complex issue in the right way.

    So AGW is a hypothesis, and not a falsifiable one. To claim it is anything beyond that at this point is to be intellectually dishonest

  17. Travis,

    Where are you? You must have more extreme liberal studies to distract us from the real facts. You're not drinking that green punch at Al Gores parties again are you??? Did you ever notice, he isn't actually drinking the punch, but he is making money off of it. Huh?


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June 2008



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