Reports of Record Arctic Ice Melt Disgracefully Ignore History
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24 September 07
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Reports of Record Arctic Ice
Disgracefully Ignore History
9 Sep 07 - In the past couple of days, the media have reported "grim" melting of ice in the Arctic while disgracefully ignoring the history of the region prior to 1979 and explorations of the area as far back as 1903.
Most press outlets conveniently ignored a crucial element of the NOAA study.
An August 28 National Post article explained: "The record melting of the passage comes two weeks after the NSIDC and two other ice-monitoring agencies in the U.S. and Japan declared that the Arctic Ocean ice cover has shrunk to its smallest size since regular satellite imaging of the polar cap began in 1979."
"[A]nalysts at the Canadian Ice Service and the U.S. National Ice Center confirm that the passage is almost completely clear and that the region is more open than it has ever been since the advent of routine monitoring in 1972."
Get the picture? Claims of "grim consequences" and "record low" ice levels are based on a satellite record which began in 1979, and routine monitoring starting in 1972.
"How can anyone make a claim with a straight face that ice conditions in the Arctic are either historically low or grim when we've only been monitoring these levels for the last 35 years? Is everything that happened in this region - in thousands of millennia since the Big Bang occurred - totally irrelevant? "
"Such is especially the case given the history of successful sea-based explorations of the Arctic dating back as far as 1903."
Roald Amundsen, a Norwegian explorer, successfully navigated the Northwest Passage on August 26, 1905. (Meaning that this Passage was clear enough of ice for a wooden sailboat, with a crew of seven, to successfully navigate it more than 100 years ago.)
This Passage was also conquered several times in the 1940s. The St. Roch - built for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Force to serve as a supply ship - navigated the Northwest Passage in 1942, the second ship to make the passage, and the first to travel the passage from west to east. In 1944, St. Roch returned to Vancouver via the more northerly route of the Northwest Passage, making her run in 86 days. The epic voyages of St. Roch demonstrated Canadian sovereignty in the Arctic during the difficult wartime years, and extended Canadian control over its vast northern territories.
"When you consider that serious monitoring of Arctic ice levels only started in 1972, and that explorers successfully navigated these seas in relatively archaic ships 60 and 100 years ago, how can anybody honestly claim that today's conditions in this region are in any way unprecedented, historic, or grim?
"Sadly, this is the disingenuousness we see from today's press which continually make hysterical historical claims that intentionally ignore historical facts.
See entire article by Noel Sheppard, economist, business owner, and Associate Editor of NewsBusters
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