Climate: Better Put Some Ice on That

The climatistas have long been fond of warning us about “tipping points,” which will unleash a torrent of “perfect storms,” or some other mashup of overused clichés.  Blink, and you’ll miss them. (Sorry, couldn’t help it.)  Al Gore famously predicted that we’d have an ice-free arctic by this year if we did nothing.

Now one problem with letting climate clichés do your thinking for you is that there’s a very weak theoretical basis for them, as climate models do not have the ability to forecast definite inflection points (a slightly better term for sudden shifts in climate feedback effects).  The other problem is empirical: pesky real world facts get in the way.  Such as the slowdown in arctic ice loss, and the small rebound that appears to be under way.

The Journal of Climate has a study coming out shortly, conducted by the Scripps Institute of Oceanography and financed by the Koch brothers U.S. government, that concludes the panic over ice loss has been exaggerated, and that “tipping point” scenarios are not well founded scientifically. The full article, “How Climate Model Complexity Influences Sea Ice Stability,” is behind a paywall, and the abstract is typically abstract, but there’s no mistaking the meaning of this part of it:

We find that the stability of the ice cover vastly increases with the inclusion of spatial communication via meridional heat transport or a seasonal cycle in solar forcing, being most stable when both are included. If the associated parameters are set to values that correspond to the current climate, the ice retreat is reversible and there is no instability when the climate is warmed. The two parameters have to be reduced by at least a factor of 3 for instability to occur. This implies that the sea ice cover may be substantially more stable than has been suggested in previous idealized modeling studies. (Emphasis added.)

The “meridional heat transport” refers to decade-scale oscillations in ocean currents, and “solar forcing” means variations in the sun—long factors that climate skeptics have argued explain much of the observed changes in arctic ice. Nice to see the “consensus” science community coming around on yet another key point. Here’s the complete Scripps press release about the study.

And no, the article wasn’t written by Emily Litela.