Monday, October 08, 2007

Arctic Ice Nonsense


Argghhh. Are journalists just getting stupid?
From the Oct 1, 2007 issue in Time magazine on page 30:
"This summer, however, saw something new: for the first time in recorded history, the Northwest Passage was ice-free all the way from the Pacific to the Atlantic."

OK, we are all to believe that global warming is real based on this fact.
Later in the magazine they clinch the environmental danger from the opening of the passage with this:

"The idea of Liberian-registered tankers chugging through the Northwest Passage or oil spills that can't be cleaned up--that's what terrifies me," says Mike Beedell, an Arctic adventurer who sailed a small sailboat through the passage 20 years ago.

Wait a minute. This summer is the first time the passage is open, and they are quoting a guy in the same article who sailed the passage 20 years ago?

I can understand the reporter not researching their own Time magazine archives and missing an article from 1944 describing Henry Asbjorn Larsen's trip through the Northwest passage. (which by the way mentions a previous trip through the passage by Roald Amundsen). But to miss something later on in the current article?

So we are to believe this is the first time in history the passage is open when the magazine itself mentions three previous maritime voyages through the Northwest passage?
Do the editors of Time think the excessive heat from global warming is addling our brains and we won't notice? What do you think?


JohnFx said...

Ummm. Didn't you get the memo? We don't question global warming. There is a consensus on after all.

If nothing else, science is a field where you accept conventional wisdom and don't rock the boat. Oh wait, I was confusing it with religion.

Now what was I talking about again?

Jason said...

In the 1944 article, they used an icebreaker, you can tell from lines like "Her hull is sheathed in Australian ironbark—the only wood that can stand the grinding pressure of the pack ice." So... that wasn't ice free.

The article could have been more clear about Mr. Beedell, he used a catamaran with retractable rudders. they sailed over the ice. for example.

Good to see you trying fact checking though.

Mitch Fincher said...

Thanks Jason for clearing up those details. I take back those unkind words I said about the Time reporters not reading their own story.
But regarding the ice-free status of the passage, the BBC reported in 2000 that the passage was free of ice when the St Roch II made a trip through.
Also the Vagabond seems to have made it through the passage without significant ice, although the article does not say the passage was ice-free.

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