Visit to Greenland May Chill Hot Air Hoax
AFP’s science and health correspondent Jack Phillips recently took a trip to Greenland, the world’s northernmost landmass, to see for himself whether stories about global warming that have been promoted in the mainstream are true or false. His report follows.
SCORESBYSUND, GREENLAND—Mainstream newspaper, Internet and TV reports claim global warming is causing extensive melting of glaciers, icebergs and permafrost, which might lead to drastic increases in sea level and threaten inundation of coastal cities. But there is no evidence that the sea level is actually rising, only forecasts by computer models that have been based on thousands of assumptions.
Photographs of the shore of Greenland show the sea ice surrounding it has been melting. But upon my visit, this reporter was shown evidence that the icecap, where most of the ice is located, is growing significantly.
In Antarctica, temperatures on the icecap are decreasing. Satellite radar surveys of Antarctica and Greenland have shown that the icecaps are getting larger. Reports from the Mohn Sverdrup Center for Global Ocean studies in Norway state that, in the past 11 years, Greenland’s icecap has
increased over 21 inches.
A recent paper published in Science claims that ice is being deposited at the net rate of 26.8 billion tons a year in Antarctica.
Greenland, a Danish possession, is the largest island in the world, with an area of 1 million square miles. About 5 percent of the world’s ice sits in a cap that covers its entire interior. Only 200,000 square miles on the coast is not under the cap.
In some places the cap is almost 10,000 feet thick. Greenland’s northern extremity is the closest land to the North Pole. Water from the Arctic Ocean flows southward along the East Coast carrying icebergs from Greenland, which help cool the North Atlantic Ocean.
On my recent visit to Scoresbysund, about halfway up the eastern coast of Greenland, I had an opportunity to observe glaciers and icebergs first hand in the world’s largest complex of fjords.
A few hours in this region provided a glimpse of life above the Arctic Circle. This municipality, first settled in 1925, contains about 500 people, whose principal occupations are hunting and fishing. It is about the size of Great Britain and is relatively close to the largest national park in the world, encompassing about a third of the icecap.
This reporter saw firsthand how some glaciers near the mouth of Scoresbysund and the open ocean had melted away, leaving beds of stones at the water’s edge.
However, as the ship I was on, the Professor Molchanov, a former Russian Arctic research vessel, sailed deeper into the sound, away from the sea and toward the central icecap, I saw many glaciers that were not melting, and lots of icebergs produced by glaciers, which are clearly growing.
One glacier I saw was said to be six miles wide. One of the largest, I was told, is a 60-mile-wide glacier located some distance away on Greenland.
Inspecting a group of icebergs in a rubber Zodiac boat at close range is awe-inspiring. I saw several bergs that were at least 30 to 50 stories tall. Someone in the group I was traveling with estimated a height of more than 80 yards for one.
As we got close to one of these mammoths I could see its foundation deep under the water. Most of the ice, about 66 percent of the berg, remains submerged as it floats on the surface. These icebergs are part of the Earth’s conveyor system, which is responsible for the movement of air and
ocean currents that influence weather conditions. As the icebergs from the polar regions melt, the cold water they generate travels toward the equator.
In the equatorial regions, heat from the sun is more intense than elsewhere and it produces both currents of warm water and clouds of water vapor, which travel toward the poles. Some of the water vapor is deposited as snow on the ice caps and subsequently turns into ice. The heat released by the conversion of water vapor into liquid water, snow and ice in the polar regions is mostly radiated into outer space. This process creates very low temperatures in the icecaps. For example, –94 degrees Fahrenheit has been found in Greenland.
Despite what has been reported in the mainstream press, many scientists do not subscribe to the theory of global warming and believe that, overall, objective science is showing that the Earth is cooling, not warming.
The Physics of Glaciers, now in its second edition, by retired Canadian scientist Dr. W.S.B. Patterson, discloses that the maximum temperatures of the Holocene, the epoch in which we live, occurred about 5,000 years ago and that the Earth has been cooling since then.
Of course, superimposed on this long-term trend are shorter-term fluctuations in temperature. For example, in A.D. 1000 it was warmer than it is now and Northern Europe had a “Golden Age” when Vikings farmed Greenland.
However, Nordic settlements quickly disappeared when the Earth cooled from about A.D. 1300 to 1700, in what has been known as “the Little Ice Age,” an historical fact. Man’s actions did not cause this. It was Mother Nature’s work.
Subsequently, the Earth has been warming for the past 300 years. Consequently, it is reasonable to expect some ice to melt after that many years of warming.
However, the fact that temperatures now are lower overall than they were in A.D. 1000 indicates that the long-term trend is still in force. There is no evidence that a mere 300 years of warming has reversed the 4,600-year cooling trend. It is a fact that carbon dioxide increased during the last 100 years as a result of the industrial revolution and increasing population. But what caused temperatures to rise during the first 200 years? Many scientists argue that it was Mother Nature at work again.
The available data do not support the contention that the minuscule increase in carbon dioxide concentration—from 0.03 percent to 0.04 percent of the atmosphere—has significantly affected Earth’s temperatures.
On the other hand it is easy to find a close connection between cyclical changes in the radiation supplied by the sun and conditions on the Earth. In fact, Serbian scientist Milutin Milankovic, while incarcerated in a jail cell, provided mathematical support for the theory that variations in the orbits of the Earth, sun and moon were responsible for recurrent ice ages without the aid of a computer.
Nature is highly cyclical: night follows day, winter follows summer, global cooling follows global warming, and glaciations follow interglacial periods. All of these cycles can be explained in terms of movements of the Earth-moon system around the sun.
Dr. Willard Libbey carbon dated material connected with the end of the last glaciation and found that it was 11,000 years old. Other scientists have found that, during the past 20 million years, these periods have never lasted longer than 13,500 years. Therefore it is reasonable to believe that we are coming to the end of our present interglacial period and that sometime, within the next 1,700 years, it is likely the Earth will get much colder and less hospitable.
Don’t think that there are not doomsday scenarios associated with increased cooling. As heat from the sun diminishes during the end of interglacials, the increasing mass of the growing icecaps stresses the Earth’s crust. According to one theory, this increases volcanic activity.
About 80 percent of Earth’s volcanoes are underwater. When they erupt ocean temperatures will likely increase. Then air temperatures will increase and temperate zone glaciers will melt. Sea ice and ice on coastal areas will melt.
Evaporation will increase in the tropics, and more water vapor will travel to the poles, where it will deposit as snow. When this volcanic action diminishes, as the crust adjusts, the Earth will cool faster, and the probability of glaciation will likely increase.
Perhaps people should be grateful for the present warmth, disregard the politically modified science promoted by the global warmers, and pray that the warmth continues. Conditions in the Arctic leave a great deal to be desired, in my experience.
(Issue #52, December 26, 2005)