GLOBAL COOLING? Arctic ice rebounds strongly this year
Gloomy predictions said Arctic would be ice-free in summer by 2013; the opposite is true
Will wonders never cease? As was accepted by most people, the earth was heating up, with summer predicted year-long by the middle of the 21 Century. The exact opposite has been learned - in fact, the Arctic summer has left nearly a million more square miles of ocean covered with ice than at the same time last year, at an increase of 60 percent!
The Northwest Passage from the Atlantic to the Pacific has remained blocked by pack-ice all year. More than 20 yachts have been left ice-bound. A cruise ship attempting the route was forced to turn back.
Furthermore, the Northwest Passage from the Atlantic to the Pacific has remained blocked by pack-ice all year. More than 20 yachts have been left ice-bound. A cruise ship attempting the route was forced to turn back.
Then... NASA sattelite images showing the spread of Artic sea ice 27th August 2012.
A group of scientists now believe that the world is heading for a period of cooling that will not end until the middle of this century. If so, this would send all previous predictions of imminent catastrophic warming sailing into the dustbin.
This revelation arrives 11 months after the United Kingdom newspaper and Web site The Mail inspired intense political and scientific debate. The news agency had revealed that warming has "paused" since the beginning of 1997, which is an event that the computer models used by climate experts failed to predict.
The pause "that refreshes" is important, because the models' predictions of ever-increasing global temperatures made many of the world's economies divert billions of pounds into "green" measures to counter climate change. It appears now that those predictions were deeply flawed.
And now, much bigger: The same NASA image taken in 2013
The BBC reported six years ago that the Arctic would be ice-free in summer by 2013, citing a scientist in the US who claimed this was a "conservative" forecast.
The BBC's 2007 report quoted 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."
Confident his results were "much more realistic" than other projections, which "underestimate the amount of heat delivered to the sea ice."
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.
Also quoted was Cambridge University expert Professor Peter Wadhams, who backed Professor Maslowski, said that his model was "more efficient" than others because it "takes account of processes that happen internally in the ice.
"This is not a cycle; not just a fluctuation. In the end, it will all just melt away quite suddenly," he said.
At the heart of this dissension lies two questions: the extent to which temperatures will raise with carbon dioxide levels, as well as how much of the warming over the past 150 years is down to human greenhouse gas emissions and how much is due to natural variability.
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