Thursday, October 8, 2015


A study by the York University recently demonstrated that Arctic Sea Ice is still too thick for commercial shipping despite widespread and mostly government originated information to the contrary. Numerous studies in the recent past have looked at the "extent" of the sea ice, but few have studied it's thickness. In a number of recent years it has been apparent there were some years of progressive retreat of ice from the margins of the Arctic ice cover. More recently, government studies confirmed that the marginal sea ice had actually increased recently, but noted that "old ice" was rare. That of course would make sense since the ice had melted in recent years. However the absence of "old ice" was cited in the government reports as evidence of continued "global warming".  No one looked at the overall thickness of the main ice sheet. We think too much was made of multi year variations of the periphery ice .

 The researchers at York are not convinced that the recently measured thickness of the Arctic ice cover is a sign of relative long term climate stability, and speculate that this thickness will not be reduced to a level suitable for commercial shipping for "at least a few decades to come". Of course, in a few decades the researchers should be retired and safe from losing a job over a prediction that will probably prove inaccurate. Meanwhile by taking such a stand they avoid the politically correct and Obama Administration enforced charge of being a "Climate Change Denier". They aren't jailing the "Deniers" yet, but "Deniers" should not look for any federal grant monies. 

 The York researchers admit that the extent and type of ice at the periphery are important factors in marine  transportation planning,but sea ice thickness plays a critical role in High Arctic marine transportation planning as well. Conveniently such a statement allows the climate change apostles  to cite the study as an explanation of why the sky hasn't fallen as predicted by Al Gore et al.  The study also avoids any indication that the persistent thickness might signal a certain level of climate stability , despite annual and multi year variances in the periphery ice. Of course such a statement would be almost as speculative as all of the predictions of catastrophic global warming. 

 Today the extent of sea ice is now easily measurable by satellite. It wasn't in the past so of course we have no long term records to compare variations with. Thickness still isn't yielding to satellite inquiry. To measure thickness the researchers had to use electromagnetic induction sounders mounted in air craft. They still don't have much of a data base for comparison.   

Assuming the politically correct position that climate change is underway, how might it affect summer ice in the navigable passages of the High Arctic? More melting which is what the Al Gore School predicts, could cause more "multi year ice" from the Arctic ocean ice cover to drift into the Northwest Passage  making it less passable. Thus Russia and other governments that have bet millions in  tax payer funds on increased vessel traffic can excuse themselves for assuming more open waters while still clinging to the belief that there is global warming , or "climate change". 

 You can find the complete study in  the Journal Geophysical Research Letters.


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