Voice from the Commonwealth
Commentary, World Views and Occasional Rants from a small 'l' libertarian in Massachussetts

"If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest for freedom, go home and leave us in peace. We seek not your council nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen." - Samuel Adams

Friday, February 28, 2003

Think the enviro-lobby will even consider this evidence? Maybe we should ask Bjorn Lomborg how they take to proof that maybe they are wrong.

Data compiled from the journals of early Arctic explorers casts doubt on the assumption that recent thinning of Arctic ice is the result of human-induced climate change. A Norwegian study using the explorers' ancient logbooks suggests that dramatic shrinkage of sea ice, widely cited as evidence for global warming in recent years, has occurred before.

That doesn't necessarily prove that recent disappearance of sea ice is natural, but raises the possibility that it could be, researchers say.

Adventurers of the 1700s, who took meticulous notes on their voyages, encountered ice conditions similar to those seen today, researcher Chad Dick said in an interview from Norway. "If you go back to the early 1700s you find that sea ice extent was about the same then as it is now," said Dick of the Arctic Climate Systems Study, an international research program.

In Canada there has been alarm at reduced ice cover in Hudson's Bay which is causing problems for polar bears. There's also been debate about disappearing ice in the Northwest Passage, which could result in challenges to Canadian sovereignty over the passage. Those phenomena have been cited as evidence that humans are causing the global climate to warm.

But similar shrinkage has occurred before, according to the Norwegian researchers who have drawn up Arctic ice charts covering 500 years. The charts show sea ice has declined by about 33 per cent over the past 135 years, but much of that thinning occurred in the early part of that period, before the industrial revolution unleashed greenhouse pollution on a large scale.

In the more distant past, ice conditions were similar to those seen today.

< email | 2/28/2003 11:01:00 AM | link

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