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Christopher Booker: Arctic Scare Story Has Frozen Over

Christopher Booker, The Sunday Telegraph

Spare a thought for the people of eastern Canada, still in the grip of their most terrifying winter for decades

A snow plow clears a road in Canada's Nine Mile Creek

A snow plow clears a road in Canada’s Nine Mile Creek Photo: AP

As Britain emerges from an unusually sunny and comparatively mild winter, spare a thought for the people of eastern Canada, still in the grip of their most terrifying winter for decades. Recent pictures online of “Photographic proof that Canada’s east coast is basically the ice planet Hoth” show hapless residents standing below ice cliffs and snow drifts 20ft high. This month the Globe and Mail of Toronto, which endured its coldest February on record, described 2015 for Canada’s Atlantic provinces as having been like living in a “prison of snow and ice”.

But if this is just “weather”, consider what is going on further north, in that vast area at the top of the world long promoted by propagandists for global warming as the ultimate proof that their scare story was coming true. In 2007 we were told on all sides that, by the end of the summer melt in 2014, the entire Arctic would be “ice free”. Polar bears were disappearing. The mighty Greenland ice cap was melting. Even as late as 2013 the National Geographic warned that the great expanse of Hudson Bay was warming so fast that it would soon reach “tipping point”, changing its ecosystem for ever.

How have all those predictions turned out? In fact last year’s Arctic ice melt was the smallest in nine years and its thickness is now back to its level in 2006 (for graphs, see Paul Homewood’s Notalotofpeopleknowthat blog). Several studies show that across most of the Arctic, polar bears have never done better (for map see“Healthy polar bears: less than healthy science”, written by Canadian biologist Dr Susan Crockford for the Global Warming Policy Foundation). A recent study by the Danish Meteorological Institute shows the Greenland ice cap having recently grown to more than its average level over 25 years. Last week’s daily reports by the Canada Ice Service showed that, even in late March, Hudson Bay is still entirely frozen.

Add in the record expansion of sea ice at the other end of the world and we see that the global extent of polar sea ice is now almost exactly as great as it was when satellite measurements began in 1979. The people of eastern Canada, as they shovel away snow “for the 100th time”, might be forgiven for not being convinced that the world is in the grip of runaway global warming. I’m not sure President Obama and our own politicians should be forgiven for continuing to disagree with them.

The Sunday Telegraph, 29 March 2015