THE CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE PROVIDES COMPREHENSIVE REPORTS ON ALL MANNER OF TOPICS BEFORE CONGRESS OR AT THE REQUEST OF MEMBERS OF CONGRESS.
A Few Are Relevant To Some Of Our Recent Posts:
|Image Credit : NOAA|
|Image Credit: U.S. Dept. of Energy|
Most of the reports are also available to the public once published. We find these reports well prepared and usually reported from a fairly neutral stance. However we don't always agree with every aspect of every report.
For example in this latest batch of monitored reports we find the one on Changes in the Arctic to be based in large part on the assumption as fact that global temperatures will continue to rise and that Arctic ice will continue to disappear. This ignores recent facts reported in some of our more recent posts. The fact is that global temperatures are falling after remaining steady for nearly 200 months. We attributed and indeed predicted that this would happen due to solar flare activity reported nearly two years ago. None the less we agree with many of the predictions in this report.
We believe that Arctic vessel traffic will continue to increase despite steady or increasing ice cover compared to recent years. As we have noted before we think that this increase will be mostly in Arctic destination traffic as oil exploration and military /coast guard out posts continue to increase and require supply by sea. Even with decreased ice cover we don't see the High Arctic evolving into a major by pass for the Panama Canal or other regular through traffic. Conditions are likely to remain too unpredictable for regular liner service into the foreseeable future. Tramp through traffic may increase in season slightly even if ice conditions increase. These sorts of things are well covered in the relevant report. In addition to seeing economic forces driving these changes in the High Arctic regardless of changes in ice conditions, we note the political correctness of assuming global warming, despite all contrary indications. This assures that commercial interests that rely on government weather/climate pronouncements will plan and expend funds as if gradually improving arctic ice conditions during the navigation season are a fact. Based on the predictions of the scientist who predicted the present cooler than recent winters based observations of solar flare activity we suggest that the present cooling trend will continue through 2020. We also predict that if the Democrats continue to dominate the U.S. government, the government will continue to predict global warming and all that it implies for the High Arctic so ultimately most of the activity and traffic conditions in the Congressional Research Service Report will prove fairly accurate. Traffic is increasing now while there is still considerable navigation season ice cover and the short term projections are for increases in ice cover. We do not recommend that commercial interests plan major capital expenditure projects for the High Arctic that are weather /ice cover dependent based on any predictions beyond 2020. Additionally we suggest that any predictions between now and 2020 that call for continuing increasing melt be carefully considered with an eye for a contingency involving steady state or increasing ice cover conditions.