HomeEnvironment & Climate NewsClimate Change Weekly #473: Polar Ice Defies Climate Crisis Narrative
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Climate Change Weekly #473: Polar Ice Defies Climate Crisis Narrative



  • Polar Ice Defies Climate Crisis Narrative
  • Podcast of the Week: Rights Reclaimed: The Sackett v. EPA Triumph for Property Rights & Small Government
  • Climate Finance Funding Waste, Fraud, … and Gelato
  • Antarctic Ice Was Thinner in the Past
  • Climate Comedy
  • Video of the Week: Climate and Energy Potpourri

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Polar Ice Defies Climate Crisis Narrative


Almost every projection made by climate models, and as a result every dire warning issued by alarmists based on the models’ simulations, has been refuted by time and evidence over the years. Even the one projection that seemed for a short time most likely to be proven accurate—the disappearance of sea ice in the Arctic—has become a bit of a non-issue, especially once additional research put in context the steep decline in Arctic sea ice after 1996.

Even as recent research puts in stark relief the fact that, just as the rate of temperature rise, the rate of sea level rise, the extinction of polar bears, and the increase in extreme weather events of all types projected by climate models have all proven false, the actual data from the poles is disproving claims that Antarctica is melting, leading to a massive rise in sea levels, and that sea ice at either pole is anywhere near disappearing.

Let’s look at the sea ice data first. A 2021 paper from the Global Warming Policy
Foundation (GWPF) examined the data in detail and found no evidence sea ice at either pole was in the process of imminently disappearing.

GWPF’s report notes former Vice-President Al Gore referenced research he said showed Arctic sea ice was “falling off a cliff,” soon to disappear due to the continued use of fossil fuels, in his Nobel Prize acceptance speech in 2007. Gore’s claim was based on research from scientists at the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School “who used a regional model of the sea ice–ocean system in the Arctic, constrained using observational data for the 12-year period 1996–2007,” to conclude the Arctic would become virtually ice-free during the summer sometime between 2013 and 2019.

The projection was wrong; sea ice still exists. And, it turns out, subsequent research indicates the present extent of summer Arctic sea ice is not unusual even for recent history, much less over long periods. Indeed, the evidence indicates Arctic sea ice has expanded and retreated dramatically in the past, in the space of a few years or decades, with the sea ice from the early 1900s to the 1940s similar in extent to present summer sea ice levels. After that, there was a large growth in summer sea ice in the Arctic, accompanying the modest global cooling trend from the 1950s through the early 1980s. During this period, Arctic sea ice reached a peak for the century.

It appears the predictions of Arctic summer sea ice disappearance based on a few years’ data extrapolated by climate model projections into a long-term trend, which included a steep decline beginning in 2006, lacked a grounding in the region’s historic ice behavior. The decline was from a peak period in the century, not from the long-term average of sea ice extent. The decline of summer sea ice in the Arctic has slowed significantly since 2007, in some years growing and in others shrinking. Based on the current slow rate of decline, the data indicates if the trend experienced in “the most recent 15-year period were maintained, it would take over 500 years for the Arctic to become ice-free in September,” according to the analysis by J. Ray Bates, an adjunct professor of meteorology in the School of Mathematics and Statistics at University College Dublin, who wrote the GWPF paper.

Sea ice in Antarctica is even more confounding to climate model projections. Whereas models’ projections consistently indicate the sea ice there should be undergoing a decline similar to what they predicted for the Arctic, sea ice extent in the Antarctic has actually grown modestly over time. Antarctica’s sea ice extent grew steadily from 1980 through 2015, setting modern records in 2014 and 2015, before falling sharply for a couple of years. Since 2019, Antarctic sea ice has recovered to levels common in the 1980s and early 1990s, during the early part of an extended growth period. In defiance of climate model projections, since the 1980s the sea ice around Antarctica has expanded overall and the growth trend has been upward.

Sea ice isn’t the only story there. The ice and snow accumulating on the Antarctic continent has also been growing. While climate alarmists focus on glacial decline on the West Antarctic ice sheet and the adjacent Antarctic Peninsula, on the whole Antarctica is adding significant amounts of ice. One must remember the West Antarctic and the Peninsula compose a relatively small portion of the continent, areas of which are underpinned by subsurface, geologically active heat sources. The Peninsula is surrounded on three sides by open seas and thus is more directly affected by sea surface temperatures and currents than the inland portions of the continent.

Ice shelves stabilize and slow or block the flow of grounded ice to the sea. A paper recently published in the peer-reviewed journal Cryosphere examined the net results of the Antarctic ice sheet resulting from observed and measured changes in the ice shelves ringing the continent. The researchers used satellite data and imagery to measure changes in 34 ice shelves across the breadth of Antarctic from 2009 through 2019. They discovered the ice shelf growth in East Antarctica far exceeded the decline in West Antarctica and on the Antarctic Peninsula so often discussed by the mainstream media:

Over the last decade, a reduction in the area on the Antarctic Peninsula (6693 km2) and West Antarctica (5563 km2) has been outweighed by area growth in East Antarctica (3532 km2) and the large Ross and Ronne–Filchner ice shelves (14 028 km2). …

Overall, the Antarctic ice shelf area has grown by 5305 km2 since 2009, with 18 ice shelves retreating and 16 larger shelves growing in area. Our observations show that Antarctic ice shelves gained 661 Gt of ice mass over the past decade.

The net growth in the ice shelves over the past decade is consistent with the findings from NASA for the ice sheet as a whole. Using satellite data, NASA found Antarctica averaged a net gain of 112 billion tons of ice per year between 1992 and 2001, slowing to a net gain of 82 billion tons of ice per year between 2003 and 2008.

Antarctica’s gains in sea ice, shelf ice, and the fixed ice on land defy the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s claims that climate change is (or should be) causing a net loss of ice and snow on Antarctica. Those claims, by the way, are based on computer model projections that have consistently misidentified other climate trends.

Source: Global Warming Policy Foundation; Climate Change Dispatch; The Cryosphere

Podcast of the Week

The Supreme Court ruling in the United States’ case of Sackett v. EPA has emerged as a pivotal decision, significantly impacting individual liberty, the constitutional balance of power, and the containment of the regulatory state for the first time in decades. The verdict mandates that wetlands must be categorically “wet” and directly connected to navigable waters. As a result, landowners, developers, farmers, and other property holders now have clearer guidelines about whether they need to seek approval from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency before using their properties for routine purposes.

Subscribe to the Environment & Climate News podcast on Apple Podcasts, iHeart, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts. And be sure to leave a positive review!

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Climate at a Glance for Teachers and Students Heartland Institute

Climate Finance Funding Waste, Fraud, … and Gelato

Under the Paris climate agreement, developed countries committed to provide $100 billion annually to a green climate fund to help mitigate the impact of climate change on developing countries and to help them adopt green technologies. The commitment is nowhere near being met, as Reuters discovered when it examined the program. Only $182 billion was delivered from all countries and all sources (public and private) from 2015 to 2020, the last year for which records are available.

Almost as bad as the ongoing missed funding targets is the fact that, as Reuters found, much of the money is largely unaccounted for, because of poor tracking and a lack of transparency. For the funds that can be tracked, much of it is going to support projects which have little, if anything, to do with helping developing countries respond to climate change.

Per Reuters:

… Reuters and Big Local News, a journalism program at Stanford University, examined thousands of records that countries submitted to the U.N. to document contributions.

The system’s lack of transparency made it impossible to tell how much money is going to efforts that truly help reduce global warming and its impact.

Countries are not required to report project details. The descriptions they disclose are often vague or non-existent—so much so that in thousands of cases, they don’t even identify the country where the money went. Even receiving countries listed in the reports sometimes couldn’t say how the money was spent.

“You cannot really follow the money, track the money, track the impact,” said Romain Weikmans, a senior research fellow specializing in climate finance at the Finnish Institute of International Affairs.”

Reuters examined approximately 10 percent of the reports delivered to the United Nations. The analysis uncovered some surprising results.

“It turned up at least $3 billion spent not on solar panels or wind farms but on coal-fired power, airports, crime-fighting or other programs that do little or nothing to ease the effects of climate change,” Reuters reports. “More than $65 billion was reported so vaguely it is impossible to tell what the money paid for. Some of those records don’t even specify a continent where the money was sent.”

Among the report’s specific findings is that more than $3 billion was spent on projects clearly unconnected to fighting climate change. As reported by CBC News, “climate funds” from Italy helped a retailer open chocolate and gelato stores in various Asian countries; climate funds from the United States were used to finance a coastal hotel construction and expansion in Haiti; Belgian climate funding went to finance a film, a love story set in the Argentine rain forests; and climate funding from Japan was spent on building an airport in Egypt and a coal-fueled power plant in Bangladesh.

These projects might be worthwhile in their own right, but they have nothing to do with fighting climate change, and there is no reason developed countries should have financed them at all, much less be given credit for fighting climate change through such spending.

“This is the wild, wild west of finance,” Mark Joven, Philippines Department of Finance undersecretary, who represents the country at UN climate talks, told CBC in commenting on the problem. “Essentially, whatever they call climate finance is climate finance.”

Sources: CBC News; Reuters

Heartland’s Must-read Climate Sites

climate realism website heartland institute

Antarctic Ice Was Thinner in the Past

Research recently published in the peer-reviewed journal Cryosphere found the recent decline of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet is not unprecedented even during the past 12,000 years since the end of the last ice age, much less throughout the long-term geologic history of the Earth.

The International Thwaites Glacier Collaboration, a team of researchers representing universities and research institutes spanning three continents, found the ice sheet nearest the Thwaites Glacier has been thinner at times in the last few thousand years than it is at present, indicating glaciers on Antarctica have expanded and retreated in the region without any anthropogenic cause.

The Pope and Thwaites Glaciers are Antarctica’s largest contributors to sea level rise. The question in need of answering is why they are declining and how they might respond to changes in climate conditions.

“By studying the history of glaciers like Thwaites, we can gain valuable insight into how the Antarctic Ice Sheet may evolve in future,” Jonathan Adams, a study coauthor with the British Antarctic Survey, said in a press release. “Records of ice sheet change from rocks that are presently exposed above the ice sheet surface end around 5,000 years ago, so to find out what happened since then, we need to study rock presently buried beneath the ice sheet.”

The researchers used drills designed to cut through both ice and rock, to take samples from deep beneath the ice sheet next to Thwaites Glacier. Then, measuring specific atoms in the rock samples that are made when the surface is exposed to cosmic radiation, they found the surface had been exposed in the past, meaning either the glaciers were absent or, at a minimum, significantly reduced.

The measurements indicated, for example, that during the past 5,000 years the ice sheet near the Thwaites Glacier was at least 35 meters thinner than it is now, followed by a slow, sporadic expansion since then, to its current size. The expansion has taken 3,000 years.

My question, which the researchers did not really address, is what the sea levels were when the ice sheet was significantly smaller. Were they rising? The evidence from elsewhere indicates the answer is yes and at times faster than at present—so what accounts for that? Maybe a smaller ice pack on the Antarctic has been the norm historically and its current decline represents a return to normalcy. In addition, it’s claimed Thwaites’ decline will contribute significantly to sea level rise, but if so, should its previous expansion have contributed to falling sea levels? Just a few thoughts for further research.

Sources: Phys.org; The Cryosphere

Is Geothermal the Perfect Energy Source? Not Quite

This week’s Climate Change Roundtable, Climate and Energy Potpourri is a show about nothing and everything.

Host Anthony Watts and expert panelists Sterling Burnett and Linnea Lueken discuss a variety of topics from this past week – sort of a free for all show! Topics include WOTUS/Sackett, the Jane Fonda climate denier rant, Goats and wildfire and impossible labor laws, NetZero = impossible/lower quality of life, Mt. Everest, The Guardian, and Climate Change (wait till you see this one!) and finally the revelation that a sitting member of congress thinks “We need to stop drilling for fossil fuels completely.”

Climate Comedy

via Cartoons by Josh

Recommended Sites

Climate at a Glance Climate Realism
Heartland’s Climate Page Heartland’s Climate Conferences 
Environment & Climate News Watts Up With That
Liberty & Ecology Heartland’s Energy Conferences
Junk Science (Steve Milloy) Climate Depot (Marc Morano)
CFACT CO2 Coalition
Climate Change Dispatch Net Zero Watch (UK)
GlobalWarming.org (Cooler Heads) Climate Audit
Dr. Roy Spencer No Tricks Zone
Climate Etc. (Judith Curry) JoNova
Master Resource Cornwall Alliance (Cal Beisner)
International Climate Science Coalition Science and Environmental Policy Project 
CAR26.org Gelbspan Files
1000Frolley (YouTube) Climate Policy at Heritage
Power for USA Global Warming at Cato
Science and Public Policy Institute Climate Change Reconsidered NIPCC)
Climate in Review (C. Jeffery Small) Real Science (Tony Heller)
WiseEnergy C3 Headlines
CO2 Science Cartoons by Josh
The Climate Bet Steve Milloy on Twitter
H. Sterling Burnett
H. Sterling Burnett
H. Sterling Burnett, Ph.D. is the director of The Heartland Institute's Robinson Center on Climate and Environmental Policy and the managing editor of Environment & Climate News.


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