An ice-free Arctic by 2013?

Maybe Climate Progress isn’t alarmist after all. Maybe this future is nearer than everyone thinks:


I was called “over-alarmist” by one of the people who took my bet that the Arctic would be ice free by 2020. But one of the country’s top ice experts, non-alarmist Professor Wieslaw Maslowski of the Naval Postgraduate School, told an American Geophysical Union audience this week:

My claim is that the global climate models underestimate the amount of heat delivered to the sea ice….

Our projection of 2013 for the removal of ice in summer is not accounting for the last two minima, in 2005 and 2007. So given that fact, you can argue that may be our projection of 2013 is already too conservative.

No, I haven’t spent the $1000 yet, but I might take some more bets….


31 Responses to An ice-free Arctic by 2013?

  1. jcwinnie says:

    Hey, you know what would be cool, Jo-Jo, if you could get a Nobel laureate to play Lenny.

  2. Ben says:

    I am currently reading your book and I would definitely not say that you are an alarmist.

    I don’t really like the use of the word alarmist. It’s a word that the PR departments who claim global warming is junk science love to hear.

  3. paul m says:

    Will the melting of the Ice Sheets have an effect on the orbit of the earth around the sun?

    For that matter does a rising/falling sea levels have an effect on the earth’s orbit (5ft-50ft-200ft-tides)?

    Is the suns radiation still increasing over what it was in the past and do the climate models take this into account?

  4. DocHolliday says:

    The Artic ice is melting, while Antartcic ice is accumulating. I wish there was some consensus :(

    Earth’s Fickle Climate: Lessons Learned From Deep-Time Ice Ages
    “We currently live in an “icehouse” — a climate in which large continental ice sheets exist, in this case at both poles. The onset of this icehouse began in Antarctica 34 million years ago and in the Arctic about 2 million years ago. The latter stages of human evolution occurred in this bipolar icehouse, and human civilization unfolded during the relatively stable, most recent interglacial phase of this icehouse (the glacial times are popularly known as ice ages). This particular climate state, however, represents only a fraction of 1 percent of Earth’s history. Thus, humans evolved during, and are adapted to, an atypical climate state.”

  5. Doug F says:

    I take issue with the almost blind acceptance that global warming can somehow be laid at the feet of mankind and the debate is over. The science of climate change is not about consensus as to its causes. Skepticism is the well-spring of scientific thinking. When the outcomes from a field of scientific research are deemed by its supporters to be of such certainty that further debate or research is pointless, then it ceases to be science and enters the realm of propaganda.

    Is our climate warming? As Professor Carter, at James Cook University in Queensland, Australia, so ably points out; “It depends”. If the measure is the trend from the beginning of the last Ice Age to the present day, based on sampling of ice cores taken from Greenland, then yes, the climate is warming. If the measure is the temperature trend from the beginning of the Holocene period (10,000 years ago) until the present day, then the climate is cooling. If the measure is the temperature trend from say, 2000 years ago until the present day the cooling is even more dramatic. If the measure is the earth’s temperature over the last 700 years from the beginning of the “Little Ice Age” the temperature trend is stable. Over the last 100 years the climate shows a warming trend and over the last 10 years the temperature has been demonstrated to be stable.

    Of course, advocates for anthropogenic warming in countering any questioning of their pet theory will point to climate models that show rising levels of man–made CO2 are indeed the cause. What they do not point to is that these same models, when applied to historic climate data, are unable to recreate past known conditions (also known as ‘hindsight forecasting’).

    What we need is an honest assessment of the situation by scientists, politicians and the media, not sycophantic agreement with those who have a scientific, political or financial axe to grind, such as Al Gore who now as a partner at venture capital giant, Kleiner Perkins, stands to make millions.

    I do not have a problem with a concerted effort to encourage and establish new clean sustainable energy sources. I do have a problem with the effort being based on a theory that is now being slowly disproved and the spending of billions unnecessarily on carbon credits and other such nonsense. So before we go tilting at windmills, let’s pause and focus on the things that do matter, like bringing clean water to the billions of people who don’t have it.

  6. “What we need is an honest assessment of the situation by scientists, politicians and the media, not sycophantic agreement with those who have a scientific, political or financial axe to grind”

    We do have a consensus you silly twit. As to whether the planet has been warmer in the past, yes it has. The problem is the RATE of CHANGE now, you stupid bastich, and how it will effect the population of homo sapiens which are well and truly packed into this planet like sardines. Six billion people cannot survive a major climatic shift.

    If this warming trend was occurring over the next millennia or two we could adapt, but you are asking a couple of billion people who have NO RESOURCES to fall back on to lose everything in two decades.

  7. Doug F says:

    As they say Dana, there is nothing so ugly as the truth when it is not on your side.

  8. Jon C. says:

    Does it make any difference whether global warming is anthropogenic or not? Would it do any harm to err on the side of caution and say, Yes it is, let’s do something about it? I don’t mind skepticism, but it’s not as though we’ll have a planetary escape hatch should the worst come to pass. Fiscal responsibility and ensuring that everyone has clean water are no-brainers, but in the grander scheme of things, to stop there is kind of like repainting lane lines, installing new guardrails, and filling in potholes on a bridge that a majority of civil engineers warns is at risk of imminent collapse. “Ah ha, but will it collapse?” the governor asks, tongue clucking. “And if so, when? I fear your evidence lacks objectivity. After all, what bridge isn’t at risk of collapse? Furthermore, an ex-state representative with no engineering experience whatsoever warned mightily of such a ‘disaster’ the other day – and now he’s striking gold in the free market! The burden of proof lies squarely with you. So while you wave your arms about this impending ‘collapse,’ I’ll do what it takes to keep our drivers truly safe.”

  9. Joe says:

    If humans weren’t the cause, humans wouldn’t be the solution. Simple as that. I’ll do a post on this later.

  10. Ronald says:

    Dana F.

    So you want to bring clean water to billions of people who don’t have it. There’s a plan. What we need to do is find a way to fund the clean water.

    Global warming has among its possible solutions a tax on carbon fuel burning or carbon dioxide release tax. Making carbon fuels more expensive will help in reducing their usage.

    Have a worldwide tax on burning carbon and have the tax money to this go to funding the great ‘clean water to billions of people who don’t have it’ program.

    We’ve just help solve 2 problems.

    Do I think you will be for this program? No. You bring up clean water to billions of people not because you care about billions of people, but you want those who may want to solve the global warming problem to feel guilty about those without clean water.

    But we can have win-win. I hope you will get behind this.

  11. Jon C. says:

    Joe – Sorry if I was unclear; my point is less that humans can make a difference irrespective of gw’s cause than that the time in which we might effect change – if indeed we are responsible, and meaningful change still possible – is squandered while the worst skeptics demand more evidence. The “didn’t cause it/can’t fix it” argument, however true, too easily justifies indifference. Look forward to your post.

  12. Dano says:

    Shorter Doug F:

    I refuse to believe every scientific magazine, journal or article, virtually every scientific body on the planet, or the scientific literature extant in hundreds of journals; but gee whiz whenNewsMax runs a story saying what they want to hear by gosh, that’s good enough for me.



  13. BobN says:

    Personally, I’ve never considered the climate of the Holocene to be “our climate”. Then again, perhaps I’m not as old as some folks…

  14. Jay Alt says:

    DocHolliday wrote:
    The Artic ice is melting, while Antartcic ice is accumulating. I wish there was some consensus

    All in good time, see esp the last paragraph.

  15. Ron says:

    Loss of UV-absorbing ozone may have cooled the stratosphere and strengthened the polar vortex, a pattern of spinning winds around the South Pole. The vortex acts like an atmospheric barrier, preventing warmer, coastal air from moving in to the continent’s interior. A stronger polar vortex might explain the cooling trend in the interior of Antarctica.

    If so, this is good news! Global warming may not have affected Antarctica yet. And if the ozone hole is to blame, that’s good news too, because the hole is closing up unexpectedly fast. The consensus is that the CFC ban is working faster than the science predicted, so maybe in a few years, as the ozone hole heals further, Antarctic temperatures will stabilize again. And in the short term, maybe the build-up of ice on Antarctica can offset the melting Arctic ice and reduce the rate of sea level rise so all those folks in the South Seas can live on their coral reefs a little bit longer.

  16. Nigel says:

    Ron, and I admit I’m no expert (in fact I’m just some impressionable high school student), but I think you’re misinterpreting the data. Sure, for now the South pole is cooling, and ice is accumulating there. However, from what I see, the warming in western Antarctica is not compensated by the cooling at the pole. The Ross ice shelf will continue to melt, as will other parts of Antarctica’s perimeter, which will only exasurbate the problems observed in the Arctic and Greenland. Furthermore, if the stronger polar vortex is the cause of this cooling, and the CFC ban will help restore ozone and mitigate this phenomenon, than the Antarctic temperatures wouldn’t “stabalize.” In fact, it would only make the South pole more susceptable to warming. Also, bear in mind that one possible reason for the cooling is the surrounding, warming water. In any event, I am under the impression you totally missed the point of this article.

    If someone can contradict my interpretation of this data with sound, scientific evidence to support their claims, I would greatly apprecitate their expertise.

  17. Ronald says:

    What you wrote seems to agree with what I have read in other places. Nice job.
    To add to what you wrote, a good website is
    That website was suggested by someone else on this one, of which I am grateful.

  18. Lorna says:

    I appreciate the science of what everyone is debating, and while I would argue that global warming is not exclusively able to be laid at the feet of humans, it does exist, it is dramatic, and we’ve done so much to contribute to it that surely we should feel a moral imperative to do what we can to slow it. Regardless of politics or who stands to gain what, the facts are pretty straight forward regarding the effects of burning fuel and the changes we can make as a race to our effect on our planet. I can only think that people can’t be bothered because they don’t perceive the effects as being close enough geographically or imminent enough to personally impact them. I rehab marine mammals, so for me to see that 4000 walruses died in a haul-out crush in the Bering Strait because there was insufficient ice hits me pretty hard. What does it take to convince people this is a very real issue? If those deaths were human, it would be all over every news station in the world and there would be a major outcry to do something.

  19. TRACIE ELEU says:

    Every thing is important, all imput is nessary to reach an overall projection of our future. With out the masses, who’s to say, there is no creativity in the quest for humans to over come the problem of ‘climate progress’. Will the internet servive this current crisis? (how will we stay connected) who has the solution? the government? the independent? the self-efficant? Who’s majority will strive . . . the rich? the resorceful?

  20. SodyShusy says:

    Very nice collection of information on that question. Thanks to the author. I have been looking for such an article since January! Thank you again!

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