Politicised science led by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) holds that the only change in climate for the last 100 years has been caused by humans releasing carbon dioxide by burning fossil fuel. The proposition is nonsense of course but it is designed to enforce a collectivist Net Zero project. It is easily debunked by the mass of scientific knowledge suggesting natural causes play the dominant climate role. Now comes further news that rises in atmospheric CO2 occur after temperatures rise. A new paper from an international group of scientists has discovered that half of the current retreat in Antarctica sea ice occurred many thousands of years before CO2 levels started to rise.
According to ice core samples, considerable melting seems to have occurred in Antarctica from 21,000 to 19,500 years ago. This appears to be about 2,000 years before the local Antarctica climate started warming by up to 8°C, which led to a naturally occurring rise of CO2 of 80 parts per million (ppm). At the time, the Earth was in a period of severe and potentially dangerous CO2 denudation. Much below 150 ppm and plants start to die away. Modern levels at around 400 ppm are more beneficial, although recent research has indicated that plants are genetically disposed to thrive best at levels around 1,000 ppm. This harks back to many periods in the past when CO2 levels were much higher than they are today.
The early warming is attributed to an increase in energy from the Sun over the wider Antarctica area. The paper notes that the break-up of the ice, and the invigoration of currents in the southern ocean, may have led to substantial outgassing of deeply sequestered oceanic CO2. There is of course no reason why similar processes are not at work today, with a small 1°C increase in temperature since the start of the industrial revolution leading to oceanic outgassing. Many scientific papers have shown that temperatures rise ahead of CO2 levels in the historic and prehistoric record.
Commenting on the paper, the science web site No Tricks Zone said that the Antarctica time-lag not only suggested that CO2 was not a contributing factor in local sea ice retreat, but that the sea ice retreat may have been the factor sequentially instigating Antarctica warming and CO2 rise.
Modern climate apocalypse reporting requires every melting ice cube at the Poles to be portrayed as a sign of imminent Armageddon. Ahead of the forthcoming COP28, the BBC is in full campaigning mode, noting that Arctic sea ice has long been in decline and Antarctica sea ice has been “far lower than usual” in 2023. In fact, the natural cyclical decline of Arctic sea ice seems to have more or less stopped since 2012, and there has been a small recovery. In Antarctica, the ‘far lower’ observation only holds if you ignore similar levels identified by early weather satellites in 1966. Previous highs in sea ice around Antarctica, a continent that has seen little overall warming for at least 70 years, are said by the BBC to have “largely defied predictions and remained relatively stable”.
The BBC concludes that the “devastating climate impacts currently being experienced” highlight the challenges the world is already facing. These “devastating impacts” are of course little more than a dot-joining exercise with a number of recent climate anomalies. Needless to say, most of these involve heat, so there is little room for all the cold records that have occurred in 2023. In the interests of balance, it might be briefly noted that Argentina has just recorded its lowest November temperatures since records began, including 0.2°C at Cordoba Airport. Huge amounts of snow in parts of Europe have led to early starts in the skiing season in the French Alps. Further details of these records, and many others, ignored by mainstream media, can be seen here.
None of this is of much relevance in trying to understanding the changing, chaotic climate, whatever the role ascribed to human-caused CO2. It is just playing politics. A recent paper from two American glaciologists found that over half of the Arctic’s glaciers and ice caps (GIC) that exist today did not exist or were smaller 10,000 to 3,400 years ago. The period between 7,900 to 4,500 years ago was noted to be the peak of the interglacial Arctic warming, when temperatures were many degrees warmer than today.
The Arctic’s current ice extent is “among the largest of the last 10,000 years”, the glaciologists reported. The largest glacier and ice cap extent of the current Holocene epoch has been seen in the last millennium. This is said to suggest that any reduction in glaciers and ice caps in the last few centuries “is but a partial return to a former period of much greater warmth”.
Chris Morrison is the Daily Sceptic’s Environment Editor.