Over the past few years the Arctic expert, Professor Peter Wadhams, has strongly predicted an ‘ice-free’ Arctic no later than 2016. Late this year he changed it to 2020 without apparently giving an explanation.
Guest post by WUWT reader Jimbo
Peter Wadhams is a Professor of Ocean Physics at the University of Cambridge and an expert on Arctic sea ice and waves. He has studied the Arctic since 1970. In the last few years he has predicted that the Arctic will be ‘ice-free’ no later than September 2016. (It is generally accepted that an ‘ice-free’ Arctic is 1 million km2 or less, as it is very difficult to melt the thick multi-year ice in the Canadian Archipelago).
Late this year Prof. Wadhams changed his prediction of an ice-free Arctic to 2020.
Q) Has Professor Wadhams given the reason[s] for his changed prediction? As a ‘denier’ I just want to know so that I can have a better understanding of when we are likely to see an ‘ice-free’ Arctic.
Below are his repeated predictions of an ‘ice-free’ Arctic no later than 2016.
Daily Telegraph – 8 November 2011
Arctic sea ice ‘to melt by 2015’
Dr Maslowski’s model, along with his claim that the Arctic sea ice is in a “death spiral”, were controversial but Prof Wadhams, a leading authority on the polar regions, said the calculations had him “pretty much persuaded.”
Prof Wadhams said: “His [model] is the most extreme but he is also the best modeller around.
“It is really showing the fall-off in ice volume is so fast that it is going to bring us to zero very quickly. 2015 is a very serious prediction and I think I am pretty much persuaded that that’s when it will happen.”
BBC News – 27 August 2012
Professor Peter Wadhams, from Cambridge University, told BBC News: “A number of scientists who have actually been working with sea ice measurement had predicted some years ago that the retreat would accelerate and that the summer Arctic would become ice-free by 2015 or 2016.
“I was one of those scientists – and of course bore my share of ridicule for daring to make such an alarmist prediction.”
Guardian – 17 September 2012
Arctic expert predicts final collapse of sea ice within four years
“This collapse, I predicted would occur in 2015-16 at which time the summer Arctic (August to September) would become ice-free. The final collapse towards that state is now happening and will probably be complete by those dates”.
Financial Times Magazine – 2 August 2013
“It could even be this year or next year but not later than 2015 there won’t be any ice in the Arctic in the summer,” he said, pulling out a battered laptop to show a diagram explaining his calculations, which he calls “the Arctic death spiral”.
The Scotsman – 12 September 2013
Arctic sea ice will vanish within three years, says expert
“The entire ice cover is now on the point of collapse.
“The extra open water already created by the retreating ice allows bigger waves to be generated by storms, which are sweeping away the surviving ice. It is truly the case that it will be all gone by 2015. The consequences are enormous and represent a huge boost to global warming.”
Arctic News – June 27, 2012
My own view of what will happen is: 1. Summer sea ice disappears, except perhaps for small multiyear remnant north of Greenland and Ellesmere Island, by 2015-16. 2. By 2020 the ice free season lasts at least a month and by 2030 has extended to 3 months…..
TheRealNews – 29 May 2014
[Q] WORONCZUK: And, Peter, what’s your take? Do you think that we’ve already passed the point of no return in terms of controlling polar ice cap melting?
[A] WADHAMS: Yes, I think we have. A few years ago, I predicted that the summer sea ice–that’s the September minimum–would go to zero by about 2015. And at that stage, it was only really one model that agreed with me. My prediction was based on observations from satellites and from measurements from submarines of ice thickness, which I’ve been doing from British subs, and Americans have been doing the same from American subs. And the trend was so clear and so definite that it would go to zero by 2015 that I felt it was safe to make that prediction, and I still think it is, because next year, although this year we don’t expect things to retreat much further than last, next year will be an El Niño year, which is a warmer year, and I think it will go to zero.
I knew earlier this year he would change his mind. I was just waiting for the reason he would give, but I can’t find it.