A fellow by the name of Pen Hadrow set sail in mid-August on an Artic mission. He left from Alaska on an attempt to be the first person to sail to the North Pole.
His team consists of ten men and one dog, sailing in two 50-ft sailing boats. But the boats do have engines.
They left from Nome, in Alaska. The two boats are called Bagheera and Snow Dragon.
The plan is to sail about 5 500 km right to the geographic North Pole. The objective of the mission is to highlight the problems of global warming and climate change. Regular readers of this column will know that I do not believe in man-induced climate change or global warming.
Readers are sure to recall the infamous Hockey Stick graph, which purported to show dramatic global warming. The graph was produced by a fellow called Michael Mann. It whipped up huge excitement among the warmist crowd. But the Hockey Stick graph was faked.
At first, scientists like me were suspicious. Then two fellows, Stephen McIntyre and Ross McKitrick, using the path of scientific good manners, gently suggested that Mann might have made a mistake. Mann ranted and raved. Then McIntyre and McKitrick accused Mann of deliberate fraud.
At that point, former US Vice President Al Gore made his first movie, An Inconvenient Truth, and he used the Hockey Stick graph, even though, by then, it had been shown to be a fraud. Gore collected more fraudulent material for his movie and then won the Nobel Prize for it. Note that Gore’s Nobel Prize was awarded by politicians of the Norwegian government and not by the Swedish Academy of Sciences, which awards all the other Nobel Prizes.
Earlier this year, Gore brought out another movie, a sequel, called An Inconvenient Sequel. It has flopped horribly. One scene shows Gore standing in front of a large graph, a Maxwellian Distribution, also known as a Bell Curve, showing that the middle third is ‘average temperature’ and that the right-hand third is ‘above average temperature’. Gore is crying about the ‘above average’. But that is what a Bell Curve does, any Bell Curve – it shows ‘average’ in the middle third, ‘above average’ in the right-hand third, and ‘below average’ in the left-hand third. That is what a Bell Curve is. So, Gore pointing out that one-third of a Bell Curve of temperature is ‘above average’ is just plain dumb.
Anyway, let us return to Pen and Pals. They want to highlight the apparent evils of global warming by showing that the Arctic is melting so much that they can sail there in two boats over an area that is normally covered in ice.
Yes, there is some global warming, about 1 ºC, since the days when horse-drawn wagons in London were giving way to the newfangled trams. But the evidence that this it is linked to man-produced carbon dioxide is approximately equal to zilch. In contrast, the evidence that the slight warming is linked to magnetic activity on the sun is great.
Now, for some basis physics: ice melts at 0 ºC. Okay, got that? So, if a piece of ice is at a temperature of –10 ºC and then warms to –9 ºC, or –8 ºC, or . . . it still will not melt. So, if ice is at –10 ºC and the atmospheric temperature rises by 6 ºC, it will not make the slightest difference to any potential melting.
Images projecting that an atmospheric warming of 1 ºC or maybe 2 ºC over the Artic will lead to the ice melting are just plain bunk, to put it mildly.
Yes, I concede that warming of 1 ºC or 2 ºC can lead to air movement, winds, or maybe shifts in cloud density or maybe have other macro effects. But if claimed warming is leading to any Arctic ice melt, then it is a much more complex process than just the air warming by 1 ºC or 2 ºC. So, what is the mechanism?
Pen wants a publicity picture of him in his boat at the North Pole. In the meantime, Professor Mark Serreze, director of the US National Snow and Ice Data Centre, has said that the North Pole was surrounded by 1 200 km of solid pack ice at the beginning of August.
For those readers who know some physics, I have not even discussed the heat required to convert a cubic centimetre of ice at 0 ºC into a cubic centimetre of water, also at 0 ºC. That is 80 calories per cubic centimetre. Where could such heat conceivably come from?
I will pen some more about Pen as his pent-up energy is expended and as he pene- trates the ice-water barrier ahead of him.