Huge quantities of Arctic ice expected to hold up Shell’s Alaska drilling

As Kim Murphy writes in the Miami Herald (H/T NWC), this year’s build up of Arctic sea ice could significantly delay the start of Shell’s Alaska drilling. 

Why such a buildup? Well, according to the U.S. National Weather Service it is happening this year because of several natural factors, such as a high pressure zone over the coast of Alaska combined with low winter temperatures and certain ocean currents.

In response to the news, Shell’s Vice-President Pete Slaiby is quoted as saying:

“We’re seeing multiyear ice that they’ve not seen in such large quantities in over a decade, and it could impact our ability to start the well [in Alaska].Of particular concern…is the region of the Chukchi Sea around the company’s Berger Prospect – potentially the crown jewel of the company’s offshore oil inventory – which in normal years would be accessible by mid-July. This year, it may be unreachable until late July or early August.”

Now, consider what is written on Wikipedia about climate change in the Arctic

“Projections of sea ice loss suggest that the Arctic ocean will likely be free of summer sea ice sometime between 2060 and 2080,while another estimate puts this date at 2030, and another at 2013 or earlier.Because of the amplified response of the Arctic to global warming, it is often seen as a high-sensitivity indicator of climate change. [My highlighting.]

Now, while the extent of Arctic sea ice may not be back to what it was in the 1980s over a single winter, the fact that the projections of sea ice loss are already proving to be wrong, might that suggest that anthropogenic global warming or climate change science, or whatever it is called this year, is not actually settled?

16 thoughts on “Huge quantities of Arctic ice expected to hold up Shell’s Alaska drilling

  1. “the fact that the projections of sea ice loss are already proving to be wrong, might that suggest that anthropogenic global warming or climate change science, or whatever it is called this year, is not actually settled?”

    I keep trying to write something, and get caught up trying to address the claim that the science is not settled. I think that phrase means different things to different people. I want to bracket that question for a moment, and address the sea ice projections.

    Extra ice hanging around near Alaska at the moment doesn’t mean that the overall level of arctic sea ice is increasing or holding steady. The article you link to also says that there is less ice than usual on the other side of the continent.

    Also, the 2013 projection is one of several. The others you quote are much further in the future: 2060, 2080, 2030. And those sources seem to be from scientific papers. The footnote for the 2013 estimate leads one to a BBC article from 2007 (out of date, and from a date when we had an unusually low level of sea ice).

    I think when it comes to arctic sea ice, we need to look at the whole of the arctic, over the whole of the year, over many years, if we are to identify trends. It will be interesting to look back at this blog post/comment around September, when arctic sea ice reaches the yearly minimum, and see what is happening then…

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  2. Pingback: Huge quantities of Arctic ice expected to hold up Alaska drilling | Quixotes Last Stand

  3. Anon1152, you need to know that I will not allow this blog to be used by a global warming, climate change alarmist. If that is your honest to goodness belief, then just skip Crux of the Matter when you see a title on that subject.

    Why? Because there is absolutely no need for any kind of balance on this particular topic because the alarmists have most of the ink as it is.

    Sorry. I know you are a grad student and have to argue and accept a certain line of thinking to conform to your university dept. But, I don‘t.

    Like many, I remained neutral for years — until the lies and exaggerations were too frequent to ignore. Then, there were the cap and trade systems and the outright fraud.

    Check out Paul Kusters blog — http://www.quixoteslaststand.com. Paul and his family and neighbours live with the consequences of that kind of green ideology. Dalton McGuintys wind farm folly. Huge turbines everywhere the eye can see. No public consulations, no public appeals. No input by municipalities at all. For example, kids with autism who live near the huge turbines are negatively affected because they are usually sensitive to sounds in their environment. Does that matter to the McGuinty government. Not one bit.

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  4. To anyone who is tempted, don‘t bother promoting the notion that scholarly papers linked via Wikipedia prove the alarmists are right or that their computer model projections are right. If some are wrong, all are suspect! Besides, models are man-made — meaning they can be accurate or a way off. That humans would be so arrogant as to assume they can predict climate in fifty years, just blows my mind.

    Then, there is the peer-review schtick.

    Look, I have been a peer reviewer and know how it works. If grant monies are only being directed to one side of this debate, then those who are on the opposing side do not get their papers read, let alone published.

    When someone is a reviewer, they review based on at least three criteria: (1) the editorial policy of the journal, (2) the method of the research, and (3) how well it is written and documented. The reviewers do not redo the research to make sure it is correct. So, if (1) the editorial policy is pro warming, that‘s the end of the story. Opposing views get returned immediately.

    So, besides the end of truth in climate research (due to claims the science is settled), peer-review is another casualty of this whole topic.

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  5. Check out this article in WUWT from National Geographic December 12, 2007 — that by the end of this summer (end of September), the Arctic ice would have disappeared completely. We must not forget these earlier claims and projections. Thats four months from now! Yet, we know there are huge quantities of ice in the Bering Strait as I write.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/05/12/the-arctic-ocean-could-be-nearly-ice-free-at-the-end-of-summer-by-2012/

    Someone in the climate change, sustainability field has to stand up and say enough already. We want the truth!

    Oh, right James Lovelock just did that and he was put down as either senile or a philospher.

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  6. Wikipedia has become nothing more than a left wing propaganda machine anyway. They are known to scrub any information that considers AGW a subject worth discussion, as opposed to settled. They scrub any politically sensitive subjects that don’t follow the left wing view. I stopped visiting the site long ago. I don’t know if a given topic could be considered political or not, so why take the chance on getting disinformation?

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  7. Unfortunately what you say Greg, is all true.

    Science has always been a propaganda tool but now so is truth. As I said in a previous thread, gone is dialectic, the skill of actually being able to debating and acknowledge two sides of an argument.

    Yet, if I try to allow that to happen here, which I have done in the past, it all ends up the same — the alarmists are always right and those who dare question are simply deniers. One such thread a while back continued on Twitter with the usual ad hominem attacks against me.

    That climate changes is a given. The issue is what is causing changes now. And, by making it man-caused CO2 emissions, the UN and its collaborators can make billions. So, who are the real deniers I wonder?

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  8. I will take the pro-warming sect more seriously (my professional association is hugely in the tank for that view) when they can explain the madieval warming period or how the Vikings used to have grazing lands in Greenland without the world coming to an end. Just one visit to any Scandinavian museum would put to rest this debate.

    When I was a younger person and in school I was taught the scientific method. Generally, if a hypothesis fails in a test repeatedly it is failed and you move on. If all you come up with is data that invalidates your theory, it is for the dustbin. To this end, the global warming “theory” has failed too many times to count. This further illustrates the point that global warming has nothing to do with science and all to do with politics.

    Yes, climate does change, but we don’t understand it fully enough to know exactly why. I do think it is linked very strongly to the sun, but there are other factors. I am very heartened to see that the pro-warming crusade has just about run its course. Then we can get back to real issues like heavy metals, particulate pollution, droughts, floods and so forth.

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  9. Richard said: ”Then we can get back to real issues like heavy metals, particulate pollution, droughts, floods and so forth.”

    Exactly.

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  10. Richard:
    “I am very heartened to see that the pro-warming crusade has just about run its course”
    Possibly true, but the real danger is from politicians with the power to formulate draconian legislation as a last go-around, before they are retired. Though wind energy schemes have been a complete failure wherever implemented, including Ont., Dalton McGuinty is poised to double the 1200 wind turbines in the next few years. This story in London Free press last week:

    http://www.lfpress.com/news/london/2012/05/18/19776631.html

    The Liberal government with the help of the NDP plans to make the wind factories in rural Ont irreversible, by beginning construction of as many as possible, before they are defeated. It will be small comfort for rural residents to know they were correct about the wind energy scam, but be left with massive wind towers polluting their environment for years to come.

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  11. “Anon1152, you need to know that I will not allow this blog to be used by a global warming, climate change alarmist. If that is your honest to goodness belief, then just skip Crux of the Matter when you see a title on that subject.”
    –I didn’t think I sounded alarmed. The message of my post was mainly: “it will be interesting to wait and see what happens”. I didn’t try to convert anyone. I didn’t bring in different information. I just looked at the article to which you linked.

    “Sorry. I know you are a grad student and have to argue and accept a certain line of thinking to conform to your university dept. But, I don‘t.”
    –I must defend my department. I have every confidence that I could be a climate contrarian and still pass. But my field is political theory, not science. Still, my department has a large number of professors with a wide range of views. They argue all the time (but they still seem to get along reasonably well).

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  12. Anon1152 — Ah yes, political theory. When I worked for the MPP we hired a new grad from a dept like that at York. He knew a lot about theory but couldnt do the job because he had no knowledge of what politics is really about. Like how to write a Members Statement or write a political speech or put together a Householder or answer correspondence.

    So, if you get a chance to do some intern work, go for it.

    Anyway, glad to hear your professors argue a lot and still get along. That is my experience as well. But, that was before everyone was supposed to sing from the same hymnal — the religion of climate science. And, from what my colleagues (who are still teaching) tell me, that particular religion is not only in the earth sciences departments.

    Richard is right. That particular science is now mainly about politics. So, maybe there should be some collaboration between disciplines. Ten years ago, that statement would have been a joke. Now, it isnt.

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  13. – Surely other grads have had better luck? Though an instructor I TA’d for last year said that a friend of his (a lawyer) kept having to fire his fresh-out-of-university-hires because they were “illiterate”. That’s frightening (though surely also a bit hyperbolic).

    – I would agree that more interdisciplinary collaboration is needed. It is happening in some circles. But I think it needs to happen more. Science literacy is important. Though according to something that Stephen Taylor points us to today, more science literacy doesn’t mean more agreement (http://www.stephentaylor.ca/2012/05/from-the-pages-of-natures-climate-change-journal/).

    – I’d love to be an intern at an MP or MPP’s office. Though I doubt anyone would hire me.

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  14. Anon1152 — To get hired, just send in a resume. Take a look on the Ontario Legislature website. From what I recall, it is a non-partisan hire. I met a few in the QP cafeteria during my tenure and they were always keeners. But, after a few months, they were more realistic. LOL

    MPP’s don’t have the budget for interns. So, it is either through the Clerk of the Legislature’s office (the bureaucrat who runs the Legislature, and where new MPPs swear their oath of allegiance), or the the three parties. If you are looking for a phone number, they are called “Government Member Services” for the Libs because they are the governing party, PC Member Services and NDP Member Services. They are where research is done, etc.

    That said, I do know of a situation where an intern was assigned to a Minister.

    Anyway, O/T but interesting.

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