Climate Change Deniers vs Climate Scientists – Who’s Right on Arctic Sea Ice?

In the never-ending non-contest between climate change deniers and climate scientists, there is plenty of gloating to go around. Tossing down the gauntlet once again, Peter Sinclair challenges Joe Bastardi, the King of Climate Change Deniers, to a six-year review of Bastardi’s 2010 prediction on Arctic sea ice behavior. Award-winning climate writer and videographer Sinclair is the mastermind behind the highly acclaimed Climate Crocks series, Climate Denial Crock of the Week.

Sinclair noted last week that his sea ice video from September 2011 “is interesting because I included climate denier Joe Bastardi’s predictions from 2010, for what sea ice was going to do from that point.”

Joe Bastardi, Climate Change Deniers' Darling - proving to the world how wrong he is. Credit: Screen capture from
Joe Bastardi, Climate Change Deniers’ Darling – proving to the world how wrong he is. Credit: Screen capture from

Joe Bastardi, the Climate Change Deniers’ Darling, is Full of… Himself

Forwarding six minutes and 37 seconds into Sinclair’s video, we can witness Joe Bastardi, the climate change deniers’ darling, confidently stake his self-proclaimed scientific reputation on regrowth and restoration of Arctic sea ice within the next year.

Bastardi: “You can see we’re clearly above 2008 and 2007. You see that 2005? ‘Cuz I think that’s where we’re gonna be next year (meaning 2011).”

Joe Bastardi, King of Climate Change Deniers, makes bad prediction that 2012 arctic sea ice will return to 2005 level
Joe Bastardi, King of Climate Change Deniers, makes an absurd prediction that 2011 arctic sea ice will return to 2005 level. Credit: Screen capture from youtube video – Climate Denial Crock of the Week with Peter Sinclair”

Did Bastardi call it right? Not only “no,” but “Hotter’n Hell, No,” as you can see from this screen capture of the 2014 arctic sea ice minimum with data charted through 2013:

NASA arctic sea ice levels plotted through 2013. Screen capture from NASA youtube video
NASA arctic sea ice levels plotted through 2013. Screen capture from NASA youtube video

Ironically, as climate change deniers base their beliefs on an eroding island of false “scientific” claims and predictions, their reputations are diminishing as quickly as Earth’s Arctic sea ice. Bastardi’s credibility, and base of fellow climate change deniers, keep dropping to lower and lower levels.

Not only did the 2011 arctic sea ice level not rebound, as Bastardi had confidently predicted it would, but it dropped precipitously to 2007 levels. In fact, it continued its negative trajectory all the way into 2012, when arctic sea ice melted to its all-time record low. And, if you think Bastardi maybe just missed it by one or two years, that upward spike in 2013 also didn’t make it to the 2005 level. Keep reading…

2016 Arctic Sea Ice is Shrinking to 2012 Levels

Just last April, addressing the annual General Assembly of the European Geosciences Union meeting 2016 in Vienna, sea ice physicists from the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI), stated that they “anticipate that the sea ice cover in the Arctic Ocean this summer may shrink to the record low of 2012.”

Unfortunately, as seen in the following chart from the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC), June 2016 Arctic sea ice has already melted below the June 2012 level:

June 2016 Arctic Sea Ice Level. Credit: National Snow and Ice Data Center
June 2016 Arctic Sea Ice Level. Credit: National Snow and Ice Data Center

Warming twice as fast as the rest of Earth, the Arctic is critically vulnerable to climate changes due to rising carbon and other greenhouse gas emissions. Air temps at around 3,000 feet above the Arctic surface are now measuring two to four degrees centigrade higher than the long-term average, according to a recent NSIDC report.

Arctic Sea Ice Conditions are “Catastrophic”

Recently speaking to Deutsche Welle, Larissa Beumer related her experience as a team member on the Greenpeace ship, Arctic Sunrise. Checking on ice conditions in the Arctic archipelago of Spitsbergen, Beumer said the team found ice conditions are “catastrophic and way outside of normal variations.”

Very few of the fjords on the west coast were frozen over, reported Beumer, and the east coast also had much less ice than normal. “On the east coast,” said Beumer, “there is no solid, stable ice, frozen through like it normally is.” She continued, “The ice there is moving a lot, it has often broken apart and been blown together again by the wind, so it’s not reliable.”

“Normally, there is so much ice up there in winter that the route is only navigable from June or July,” said Beumer. “We sailed north along the west coast, then east along the north coast to the Hinlopen strait, and we didn’t encounter any large stretches of ice masses anywhere on route.” She explained that most of the ice is only from the last year, and has lots of open water between many breaks. Additionally, many of the snow mobile and dog sled routes were no longer accessible, creating transport problems for the local residents.

Why Melting Arctic Sea Ice is Important

Hot off the press in June 2016, What happens in the Arctic doesn’t stay in the Arctic is the latest Greenpeace Research Laboratories Technical Report. Noting that the total area of Arctic sea ice has decreased significantly in the last 30 years, Greenpeace warns that this is negatively impacting the rest of our planet.

“Significantly more heat is being exchanged between the Arctic ocean and the surrounding atmosphere,” states the report. “The Arctic environment is integral to global climate systems, and this higher heat flux not only results in profound changes within local Arctic ecosystems, but also impacts climate systems throughout the world.”

Greenpeace offers in this new report a review of global climate changes that are becoming evident through current scientific evaluation of Arctic changes. The purpose of the report is to increase public awareness of the Arctic’s high vulnerability and incredible significance.

“The area within the Arctic Circle is around 6% of Earth’s surface area,” states Greenpeace, “yet is currently afforded no legally binding international protection.” Demanding urgent protection of Arctic ecosystems, Greenpeace is tirelessly promoting “a network of protection that will actively and adaptively manage exploitation, encroachment throughout the Arctic.”

Greenpeace ship, Arctic Sunrise. Credit:
Greenpeace ship, Arctic Sunrise. Credit:

OK, now it’s my turn for a totally un-expert prediction – I think the Bastard-i will pay, what do you think? Check out Bill Nye “the Science Guy” challenging the king of climate change deniers to two $10,000 bets. The first one is that 2016 will be among the top 10 hottest years on record, and the second is that this will be the hottest decade on record. Nye is responding to Bastardi’s November 2015 nonsense published by the Patriot Post:


(PS: Under the total disclosure act, I feel proud to share that I am now a volunteer activist with the Vancouver chapter of Greenpeace, Canada. All of the opinions I have expressed here, however, are mine, alone.)

3 thoughts on “Climate Change Deniers vs Climate Scientists – Who’s Right on Arctic Sea Ice?”

  1. Two seconds of googling reveals this statement from National Geographic News (December 2007): This week, after reviewing his own new data, NASA climate scientist Jay Zwally said: “At this rate, the Arctic Ocean could be nearly ice-free at the end of summer by 2012, much faster than previous predictions.” So, how come climate scientists like Zwally get a free pass when they are totally wrong? How come you don’t call them out for bad predictions?

    1. nosmokewithout

      Because it is not a prediction, you buffoon, merely an observation about the rate of melt in 2012.

      1. Do you not know how to read? The statement was made in 2007. It was a prediction about what could happen by 2012. You idiot….he even uses the word PREDICTION.

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