Desperately Denying Arctic Warming

This is the age of rapid public access to satellite images.  If you want to know what is happening to the Arctic ice you can see for yourself.

There are some people who don't want you to look.  They want you to read their drivel instead, and go away believing that the Arctic ice isn't really melting, or if it is then that is nothing unusual.

On Saturday, May 01, 2010, Paul Driessen wrote a piece of blatant propaganda called "(Desperately) Looking for Arctic warming".  It was "co-authored by scientist Willie Soon".

The article has been multiply published, see e.g.
DRIESSEN&SOON: Desperately seeking Arctic warmth

Scientists are usually content to publish once and then let the media pick it up - or not.  Propagandists, however, need to disseminate their BS themselves, since no discriminating journalist would take them seriously.

I call the article blatant propaganda because that is what it is.  Here are some quotes from it, with evidence in rebuttal.

Actually, the Arctic ice has been rebounding since its latest low ebb around September 2007.
That was published May 01 2010.  Please check the NSIDC graph for 03 May 2010:

Is that 'rebounding'?

“Not only in the summer, but in the winter the ocean [in the Bering Sea region] was free of ice, sometimes with a wide strip of water up to at least 200 miles away from the shore,” Swedish explorer Oscar Nordkvist reported in 1822.
A Google search for "Oscar Nordkvist" finds lots of climate change denier websites, but nothing about the explorer.  That's hardly surprising - Oscar Frithiof Nordquist was not Swedish - he was Finnish.   Now, it could be that there was another Oscar Nordqvist who was Swedish.  But the Finnish Oscar Frithiof Nordquist could not have written those words in 1822.  He was born in 1858.  He was hydrographer and Russian interpreter on the steam/sail ship Vega, home to Adolf Erik Nordenskiöld's expedition of 1878 - 1879 to find a way through the North East Passage.  The expedition took two years because the open water only let the ship get so far, and then froze it in for the winter.

“We were astonished by the total absence of ice in Barrow Strait,” Francis McClintock, captain of the “Fox,” wrote in 1860. “I was here at this time in 1854 – still frozen up – and doubts were entertained as to the possibility of escape.”
Francis McClintock was an Arctic hero.  Following the loss of the Franklin expedition various searches had been mounted, after which the British government gave up.  Lady Franklin obtained the Fox and the services of Francis McClintock as captain through public subscription.  The voyage is described in detail in his book The Voyage of the 'Fox' in the Arctic Seas: A Narrative of the Discovery of the Fate of Sir John Franklin and His Companions. Ticknor and Fields, Boston, 1860.

McClintock describes going into the Barrow Straight the first year, being beset by ice and drifting helplessly down Davis Strait between August 11 1857 and April 24 1858.  Nothing daunted he tried again.  He attempted Franklin Channel which after 25 miles of open water was blocked by ice.  He tried Prince Regent's Inlet and Bellot Strait but was again blocked by ice.  After many attempts to find free passage the Fox was forced to over-winter in Bellot Strait.

McClintock's discoveries relating to the fate of the Franklin expedition were made by sledge parties.  There was a sound reason for this - his ship was iced in and immobile.

In 1903, during the first year of his three-year crossing of the Northwest Passage, Roald Amundsen noted that his party “had made headway with ease,” because ice conditions had been “unusually favorable.”
Roald Amundsen had great difficulty during the whole of his expedition with the exception of one small part of the voyage where he noted afterwards that he “had made headway with ease”.  Shortly after that entry in his log he encountered worsening conditions.  He found an uncharted natural harbor in which to overwinter, which he named Gjoahavn.  He remained iced in for two winters before there was enough open water to proceed.

Open any book on Arctic exploration and discovery and you will find references to open water and easy going.  Commonly, the open water and easy going refer to a leg of the journey of a day or less in duration - perhaps only an hour.  Countering that progress you will find a ship locked in ice being forced to overwinter; a ship making a mile in ten hours through pack ice; a ship making a few yards in one day as ice is blasted and hacked to make a path.

The Arctic was considered to be so generally un-navigable that the British government stopped funding exploration.  Prior to the voyage of the RCMPV St Roch in 1944 no vessel ever passed through the entire Arctic in a single season.  In a previous voyage the St. Roch had taken from 1940 to 1942 to make the passage in the opposite direction.

If anyone wants to challenge the idea of global warming with scientific methods and debate that's fine.  But bad science gets jumped on.  This opinion piece by Driessen and Soon masquerading as fact isn't bad science.  There is no science.  Just blatant agendist propaganda which tries to belittle the splendid achievements of Arctic heroes.