Record return of Arctic ice cap as it grows by 60% in a year with top scientists warning of global COOLING 1

  • Almost a million more square miles of  ocean covered with ice than in 2012
  • BBC reported in 2007 global warming would  leave Arctic ice-free in summer by 2013
  • Publication of UN climate change report  suggesting global warming caused by humans pushed back to later this  month

By  David Rose

PUBLISHED: 18:37 EST, 7  September 2013 |  UPDATED: 18:40 EST, 7 September 2013

A chilly Arctic summer has left nearly a  million more square miles of ocean covered with ice than at the same time last  year – an increase of 60 per cent.

The rebound from 2012’s record low comes six  years after the BBC reported that global warming would leave the Arctic ice-free  in summer by 2013.

Instead, days before the annual autumn  re-freeze is due to begin, an unbroken ice sheet more than half the size of  Europe already stretches from the Canadian islands to Russia’s northern  shores.

global cooling

The Northwest Passage from the Atlantic to  the Pacific has remained blocked by pack-ice all year. More than 20 yachts that  had planned to sail it have been left ice-bound and a cruise ship attempting the  route was forced to turn back.

Some eminent scientists now believe the world  is heading for a period of cooling that will not end until the middle of this  century – a process that would expose computer forecasts of imminent  catastrophic warming as dangerously misleading.

The disclosure comes 11 months after The Mail  on Sunday triggered intense political and scientific debate by revealing that  global warming has ‘paused’ since the beginning of 1997 – an event that the  computer models used by climate experts failed to predict.

In March, this newspaper further revealed  that temperatures are about to drop below the level that the models forecast  with ‘90 per cent certainty’.

The pause – which has now been accepted as  real by every major climate research centre – is important, because the models’  predictions of ever-increasing global temperatures have made many of the world’s  economies divert billions of pounds into ‘green’ measures to counter   climate change.

Those predictions now appear gravely  flawed.

THERE WON’T BE ANY ICE AT ALL! HOW THE BBC PREDICTED CHAOS  IN 2007

Only six years ago, the BBC reported that the  Arctic would be ice-free in summer by 2013, citing a scientist in the US who  claimed this was a ‘conservative’ forecast. Perhaps it was their confidence that  led more than 20 yachts to try to sail the Northwest Passage from the Atlantic  to  the Pacific this summer. As of last week, all these vessels were stuck  in the ice, some at the eastern end of the passage in Prince Regent Inlet,  others further west at Cape Bathurst.

Shipping experts said the only way these  vessels were likely to be freed was by the icebreakers of the Canadian  coastguard. According to the official Canadian government website, the Northwest  Passage has remained ice-bound and impassable  all summer.

The BBC’s 2007 report quoted scientist   Professor Wieslaw Maslowski, who based his views on super-computer models and  the fact that ‘we use a high-resolution regional model for the Arctic Ocean and  sea ice’.

He was confident his results were ‘much more  realistic’ than other projections, which ‘underestimate the amount of heat  delivered to the sea ice’. Also quoted was Cambridge University  expert

Professor Peter Wadhams. He backed Professor  Maslowski, saying his model was ‘more efficient’ than others because it ‘takes  account of processes that happen internally in the ice’.

He added: ‘This is not a cycle; not just a  fluctuation. In the end, it will all just melt away quite  suddenly.’

BBC

The continuing furore caused by The Mail on  Sunday’s revelations – which will now be amplified by the return of the Arctic  ice sheet – has forced the UN’s climate change body to hold a crisis  meeting.

The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate  Change (IPCC) was due in October to start publishing its Fifth Assessment Report  – a huge three-volume study issued every six or seven years. It will now hold a  pre-summit in Stockholm later this month.

Leaked documents show that governments which  support and finance the IPCC are demanding more than 1,500 changes to the  report’s ‘summary for policymakers’. They say its current draft does not  properly explain the pause.

At the heart of the row lie two questions:  the extent to which temperatures will rise with carbon dioxide levels, as well  as how much of the warming over the past 150 years – so far, just 0.8C – is down  to human greenhouse gas emissions and how much is due to natural  variability.

In its draft report, the IPCC says it is ‘95  per cent confident’ that global warming has been caused by humans – up from 90  per cent in 2007.

This claim is already hotly disputed. US  climate expert Professor Judith Curry said last night: ‘In fact, the uncertainty  is getting bigger. It’s now clear the models are way too sensitive to carbon  dioxide. I cannot see any basis for the IPCC increasing its confidence  level.’

She pointed  to long-term cycles  in  ocean temperature, which have a huge influence  on climate and  suggest the  world may be approaching a period similar to that from 1965 to 1975, when there  was a clear cooling trend. This led  some scientists at the time to forecast an  imminent ice age.

Professor Anastasios Tsonis, of the  University of Wisconsin, was one of the first to investigate the ocean cycles.  He said: ‘We are already in a cooling  trend, which I think will continue for  the next 15 years at least. There is no doubt the warming of the 1980s and 1990s  has stopped.

Then... NASA satelite images showing the spread of Artic sea ice 27th August 2012Then… NASA satelite images showing the spread of Artic  sea ice 27th August 2012

...And now, much bigger: The spread of Artic sea ice on August 15 2013…And now, much bigger: The same Nasa image taken in  2013

‘The IPCC claims its models show a pause of  15 years can be expected. But that means that after only a very few years more,  they will have to admit they are wrong.’

Others are more cautious. Dr Ed Hawkins, of  Reading University, drew the graph published by The Mail on Sunday in March  showing how far world temperatures have diverged from computer predictions. He  admitted the cycles may have caused some of the recorded warming, but insisted  that natural variability alone could not explain all of the temperature rise  over the past 150 years.

Nonetheless, the belief that summer Arctic  ice is about to disappear remains an IPCC tenet, frequently flung in the face of  critics who point to the pause.

Yet there is mounting evidence that Arctic  ice levels are cyclical. Data uncovered by climate historians show that there  was a massive melt in the 1920s and 1930s, followed by intense re-freezes that  ended only in 1979 – the year the IPCC says that shrinking began.

Professor Curry said the ice’s behaviour over  the next five years would be crucial, both for understanding the climate and for  future policy. ‘Arctic sea ice is the indicator to watch,’ she said

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