Throwback Thursday #2 – Al Gore’s Arctic Facepalm Forecast

This is #2 in an ongoing series of serial forecast failures (that need to be thrown back in their faces) by climate alarmists and their helpers, the mainstream media. Here, USA Today  helped Al Gore make a forecast about Arctic sea ice that had no chance of ever being right. Of course, this was in 2009 at COP15 in Copenhagen, considered by many leaders to be the “last chance” for planet Earth.



And, the Arctic ice is still there:


It didn’t disappear in 2014, and in fact it appears to not be all that much different from 2009 around the time of the peak summer melt in mid-September:



The result of this failed forecast:


See other Throwback Thursday failed predictions here

85 thoughts on “Throwback Thursday #2 – Al Gore’s Arctic Facepalm Forecast

  1. Yep, the failed doomsday prophesies just keep coming. Hansen keeps adding to them as well.
    How anyone can believe any of this nonsense is a testament to our easy lifestyle and failure to use common sense.

  2. You misunderstood. Gore didn’t say arctic ice would disappear, or even might disappear. He said it may disappear, meaning it had Gore’s permission to do so if it wished.

    • lolz. Headline:


      ‘Nobel-winning’ Al Gore gives permission for seas to take the Venusian way.

    • Let’s look at his exact statement: “New computer modeling suggest the Arctic Ocean may be nearly ice-free in Summer as early as 2014″ It is so loaded with vague qualifiers it could be true at this very moment no matter how much ice there is in the Arctic Ocean.

      • Another Scott

        But was the intention to have those – unashamed – qualifiers bruited?

        Or was it meant to be understood as:
        New computer modelling means the Arctic Ocean will be ice-free in Summer no later than as 2014 (and winter by 2016 at the very latest) as a bracketty undertone.

        Or am I just a pico-tad cynical? Huh?


      • Auto, you are definitely cynical. Unfortunately in the present environment, that is the correct position to be taking.

      • We could try putting in those qualifiers with a statement from An Inconvenient Truth: “If we fail to act, it is suggested that the World may be nearly on fire in Summer as early as 2014″. Hmm. This could be a fun game.

  3. Off topic, but Lubos Motl has a very interesting post concerning false postings by John Cook.

  4. Well at least the computer modelers who made the projections were fired, right? I can’t imagine anyone who blew that forecast so bad would have continued employment, unless the point of the forecast was not accuracy but political talking points, in which case the computer modelers did exactly what they were expected to do.

      • That’s a massive insult to the writers and cartoonists of a revered publication!
        (Cartoonists…wonder if Cookie could get a job there?)

    • They weren’t fired because they are not meteorologists. When a meteorologist is wrong again and again, he is sacked. When a climatologist is wrong again and again, he is promoted.

      • When a reputable guy like Joe Bastardi is off or wrong with a forecast, at least we get an explanation. Is it too much to ask for an explanation? An examination into what went wrong is how we get better. Sure would be nice to get an explanation about what went wrong with the ice free Arctic prediction. Maybe there is a teachable moment here, something to be learned. Unfortunately there is no intent to “get better” and more accurate with the global warming climate modelers, we don’t get explanations or teachable moments, we get nothing, except more lines of propaganda to swallow, no questions allowed.

      • I wrote WADHAM’s again this year about his prediction of ice-free arctic in 2015. He actually responded with a snark last year saying…IT ISN’T 2015 YET…to which I replied, Fine…I’ll wait. I just sent him a reminder….he has not replied. Idiot.

  5. Could you do James Hansen’s New York underwater by 2008 please. He is back in the news, still predicting New York will go under…

    • Hansen claims that the reporter didn’t quote him properly. The reporter claims that he reviewed his notes and that, magically, Hansen is right – he wasn’t quoted properly. What’s funny is that Hansen never complained until after his prediction failed. I think the corrected quote only gave him a 10 year extension – which means that the predication still fails in 2018 (because there’s no chance that the West Side Highway will be underwater by then) – I think.

      But I agree that this prediction should be revisited.

  6. ‘new computer modeling’….this worked so magnificently for IPCC in the lat 25 years; can’t wait until the ‘newer’ modeling surfaces.

    The models employed by the Federal Reserve work so efficiently that the 2001 market fall completely took Greenspan by surprise and ditto for the 2007 plunge was missed by Bernanke.

  7. level in the Great Lakes is up 3-4 ft as I heard this morning. Reason is increased precipitation, snowfall, cold because of these darn polar vortexes. The root cause of all these strange wether phenomena is of course: global warming.

    • Levels were pretty low a few years ago and they’re up 30-36 inches from the lows, which puts them above average, But fairly cold water temps for this time of year, which will, likely, lead to more ice next winter
      and ….

      Having a family residence in Northern Michigan for 139 years I can tell you that this kind of cyclical stuff is pretty normal, The only man-made tragedy up here are those pseudo-estates at Bay Harbor

    • Great Lakes levels were going to rise as surely as the sun will come up tomorrow. It’s just that the recovery is…unprecedented!

      Remember when rising temperatures seemed to be “working”? For a while there was a “nice” surge in Hurricanes. Then it was polar ice.

      Now, you’ve got to bear in mind the tactics of the New Activism: I’ve got just one word for you—extremes.

      • It takes a long time to get dry, and a very short time to get wet.
        Water levels rose 3 feet in 2 years. That is on pace for 150 feet per century right?
        Only a moron would extrapolate a long term cyclical phenomenon on a short term basis. Yet we pay billions to people who do just that.

    • They spend a lot of money dredging out my Lake Michigan harbor this spring because of the low water conditions 2 years ago. No one ever said government spending was efficient.

  8. Love the new Throwback Thursday feature. It alone is worth the price of admission :)

  9. My all-time favourite is Hansen’s boiling oceans prophecy. That alone should have discredited him forever. Why didn’t it?

    • He serves the political and other interests to the Washington well connected.

      The media knows that what they publish is difficult to prove when it comes to climate science. Can’t prove the future.

    • The Arctic is ice-free now: if you can get there, you can get all the ice you want for $0.00.

      Offer limited to one gigaton of ice per customer; customer must arrive in rowboat; whiskey not included; consuming arctic ice mixed with whisky is known to the State of California to cause cancer in laboratory animals and is not recommended for pregnant women or women who may become pregnant; the effects of consuming arctic ice with whiskey on pregnant men or men who may become pregnant are not known, but a court decision is expected shortly; void where prohibited by law; mandatory where not prohibited by law. Ask your doctor if arctic ice is right for you.

      • You left out the missive about being in or from areas where fungal infections are frequent or common.

  10. I would suspect that if every week you highlighted one “expert” or politician who made a forecast similar to Gore’s or reiterated such a forecast as being authoritative there would not be enough weeks in the year to cover them all.

    • Truths are facts honest people can freely forget. Lies are burdens dishonest people are forced to remember their entire life … maybe longer.

  11. Record sea ice for every month of the year in the Antarctic.

    Sudden increase in ice mass on the Greenland ice sheet. Sudden increase in multi year sea ice in the Arctic.

    If it walks like a duck, looks like a duck, and quacks, it’s a duck. Yup the planet is cooling.

    The cult of CAGW will very shortly require a plan to B to explain why the planet is abruptly cooling which should be impossible based on what they have spent the last 30 years telling us, blah, blah, blah, ….

    Unequivocal significant planetary cooling, is only possible if there are one or more fundamental errors in the cult of CAGW’s surface warming calculations and if the majority of the surface warming in the last 30 years was due to solar cycle change modulation of planetary cloud cover, rather than the increase in atmospheric CO2.

    The cult of CAGW’s no feedback calculation for a doubling of atmospheric CO2 which is the foundation of CAGW, fixed the lap rate for the calculation and ignored the fact that the absorption spectrum of water and CO2 overlap. There is no scientific basis for either assumption however both are necessary to create any significant surface warming. The so called ‘no feedback’ calculation determined the forcing for a doubling of CO2 is 4 watts/meter^2 which was later changed to 3.7 watts/meter^2.

    Question: How does taking into account reality/physics facts affect the doubling of the atmospheric CO2 calculation? Do you remember Al Gore’s analogy of millions of tiny light bulbs heating the surface of the earth?

    Effect of correcting Cult of CAGW’s known calculation errors for the no ‘feedbacks’ double atmospheric CO2 forcing case
    1) Effect of surface warming if the fact that the Absorption spectrum of CO2 and water overlap is not ignored. As there is a great deal of water vapor lower in the lower regions of the atmosphere, particularly in the tropics (no surprise 70% of the earth is covered with water), there is a significant reduction in surface warming due to the CO2/water absorption spectrum overlap.

    Redoing the double atmospheric CO2 level, no feedback calculation with an atmospheric model that takes into account the amount of water vapor in the atmosphere and the radiation effects of water/CO2 absorption overlap reduces the surface forcing for a doubling of atmospheric CO2 from 3.7 watts/meter^2 to 1.1 watts/meter^2 ( reduction in surface forcing of a factor of four, see figure 2 in the linked to paper). The 1.1 watts/meter^2 increase in forcing will result in surface warming of ball park 0.1C to 0.2C which is so small, the no feedback case is the same as with feedback case.

    (Check out figure 2 in this paper.)

    Radiative Heating Due to Increased CO2: The Role of H2O Continuum Absorption in the 18 mm region
    In the 18 mm region, the CO2 bands (William: CO2 spectral absorption band) are overlapped by the H2O pure rotational band and the H2O continuum band. The 12-18 mm H2O continuum absorption is neglected in most studies concerned with the climate effects of increased CO2.

    2) Effect of surface warming if the fact that Greenhouse gases cause an increase in convection cooling is not ignored. It is a fact that greenhouse gases increase the lap rate (hot air rises and hot air rising must be balanced by colder higher elevation air falling, convection cooling dominates up to 20 km).

    Collapse of the Anthropogenic Warming Theory of the IPCC

    4. Conclusions
    In physical reality, the surface climate sensitivity is 0.1~0.2K from the energy budget of the earth and the surface radiative forcing of 1.1W.m2 for 2xCO2. Since there is no positive feedback from water vapor and ice albedo at the surface, the zero feedback climate sensitivity CS (FAH) is also 0.1~0.2K. A 1K warming occurs in responding to the radiative forcing of 3.7W/m2 for 2xCO2 at the effective radiation height of 5km. This gives the slightly reduced lapse rate of 6.3K/km from 6.5K/km as shown in Fig.2.

    The modern anthropogenic global warming (AGW) theory began from the one dimensional radiative convective equilibrium model (1DRCM) studies with the fixed absolute and relative humidity utilizing the fixed lapse rate assumption of 6.5K/km (FLRA) for 1xCO2 and 2xCO2 [Manabe & Strickler, 1964; Manabe & Wetherald, 1967; Hansen et al., 1981]. Table 1 shows the obtained climate sensitivities for 2xCO2 in these studies, in which the climate sensitivity with the fixed absolute humidity CS (FAH) is 1.2~1.3K [Hansen et al., 1984].

    In the 1DRCM studies, the most basic assumption is the fixed lapse rate of 6.5K/km for 1xCO2 and 2xCO2. The lapse rate of 6.5K/km is defined for 1xCO2 in the U.S. Standard Atmosphere (1962) [Ramanathan & Coakley, 1978]. There is no guarantee, however, for the same lapse rate maintained in the perturbed atmosphere with 2xCO2 [Chylek & Kiehl, 1981; Sinha, 1995]. Therefore, the lapse rate for 2xCO2 is a parameter requiring a sensitivity analysis as shown in Fig.1.

    The solar cycle has been interrupted, this is a big deal. The public and media will of course notice that the current abrupt change to the sun correlates with current abrupt cooling.

    In addition to abrupt cooling which will be fun to talk about, the explanation of what is happening to the sun will result in the most important scientific discovery of the last 70 years. Comparable to the discovery of nuclear energy or quantum physics.

    This is the solar so called gray scale display which enable one to see tiny sunspots that are no longer visible with broad spectrum.

    • The clearest evidence that the Church of CAGW high priests know their orthodoxy is in trouble is by the Karl et al, 2015 Science paper vainly trying to create some (any) warming for 18 years of rising CO2.

  12. Poor Al made the mistake of prognosticating a testable event. The “new and improved” politicians now know to blame the World’s terrorists on climate change, which is not only non-testable, but only discussable in the realm of foreign policy and political analysis…an area that’s so fuzzy and nebulous that you can claim virtually anything, which folks are happy to do.

    • To be fair they have started to make their predictions for so far in the future that they will not be around to be reminded of their claims when they fail . Now I wonder why that is ?

  13. Seeing that fat, flabby face reminds me to ask: Has anyone made an estimate of the ‘negative carbon footprint’ attributable to each one of us, and the ever increasing billions of inhabitants of Planet Earth? Even a wattle-and-daub hut has wooden supports, a thatched roof and contains wooden furniture. How much carbon is sequestered, on average, by each new addition to Earth’s population? If CO2 actually were a problem the population explosion would seem to me to be counteracting it quite significantly.

  14. 2014 seems to be a very cautious estimate from Al Gore in the light of even more alarming predictions.

    How about a prediction of ice-free by 2000

    Arctic Ocean to be ice free by Year 2000, by Bernt Balchen (who is recognised as a leading specialist on the Arctic) – He also says that the Northern USA would be 20 to 25 degrees warmer than it is now.,3200988&dq=ice+free+arctic&hl=en

    0r 2008

    “It seems unthinkable, but for the first time in human history, ice is on course to disappear entirely from the North Pole this year” (Steve Connor ‘Science Editor’, The Independent 2008)

    or 2012

    Arctic Sea Ice Gone in Summer Within Five Years? (National Geographic, 2007)
    “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.”

    or 2013

    Arctic summers ice-free ‘by 2013’ (BBC 2007)
    “Our projection of 2013 for the removal of ice in summer is not accounting for the last two minima, in 2005 and 2007……So given that fact, you can argue that may be our projection of 2013 is already too conservative”

    And, whilst we are laughing, the best of all…

    LONDON ON THE BORDER OF DESTRUCTION. To Be Wipel Out by a Huge Wave. According to a recent theory of some geologists…..due to break up of Antarctic ice cap (1901)

    So, the moral of this story is: Don’t lose too much sleep on end-of-the-world scare stories.

  15. Technically, he said “may.” Watch their language- that’s how these tools succeed in scaring people “to action” (read: to support handing more of their social power to goverments).

    • Interesting comment at 1::35

      It’s quite difficult to disentangle natural variations from climate change

      Obviously using the IPCC definition of climate change, being unnatural and caused by humans.

    • Thanks for the Video, I found myself laughing at the fool making failed prediction after failed prediction. It is hilarious.
      Hopefully she no longer has a job and is no longer filling British subjects with such drivel.

  16. There is nothing wrong with counterfactual reasoning. If my aunt had a certain appendage, she would be my uncle.

    Mr. Gore never said “polar ice cap will disappear 2014”, but “polar ice cap may disappear by 2014″. And, of course, it’s exactly what’s happened. It might have disappeared (eg. in a world with different physics), the fact it did not, has nothing to do with Mr. Gore’s proposition. In fact no fact whatsoever has anything to do with the man, who used to be the next president of the US.

  17. To be fair, Algore did base his prediction on computer models and Al did put in the CYA “may” so he wasn’t wrong. The ice did/may have “virtually” disappeared in 2014.
    Lots of things have “virtually” happened in the various “virtual realities” out there.
    (I think there are name for those who can’t tell the difference between virtual reality and real reality or attempt to blind others to the difference for some sort of personal gain.)

  18. The periods dominated by any single form of atmospheric circulation have alternated with a roughly 30-year period for the last 100 years. These periods were named “Circulation epochs”. These may be pooled into two principal groups: meridional (C) and combined “latitudinal” epochs (W + E): (W + E) = – (C)

    Meridional (C) circulation dominated in 1890-1920 and 1950-1980. The combined, “zonal” (W+E) circulation epochs dominated in 1920-1950 and 1980-1990. Current “latitudinal”(WE) epoch of 1970-1990s is not completed yet, but it is coming into its final stage, and so the “meridional” epoch (C-circulation) is now in its initial stage. (It will be useful for the reader to note here the relation that shows that the “transition” from C to W-E is continuous, and the equation balances to 100%, in the form of a simple graphic without any other variables included).

    It was found that “zonal” epochs correspond to the periods of global warming and the meridional ones correspond to the periods of global cooling. (Lamb 1972; Lambeck 1980). The generalised time series on the atmospheric circulation forms for 1891-1999 were kindly placed at our disposal by the Federal Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute (AARI) in St. Petersburg (Russia). This is also consistent with the theories and observations described by Leroux (1998).

  19. We must demand, that Al Gore must return his Noble Prize, for failures in his forecasts on which he received Noble Prize.

    Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy

  20. It was not Al Gore’s forecast, he was referring to some of the forecasts done by science teams.

    • Harry,
      When you are speaking before a major Conference of alarmists, and refer to alarmists quotes, you OWN it.
      The exaggerations become yours unless you clearly state that the predictions are unlikely or have a low probability
      Gore also incorporated about a dozen lies in his movie as determined by a UK court, if he is not capable of judging reality that is part of his reputation. His record is clear, no excuses accepted here.

      [28 lies, as recalled from the UK court case. .mod]

    • No he was not “referring” to those forecasts. He was preaching them as if they were the Gospel! Go soft peddle your spin too fools that would buy it!

    • Luke

      Does anyone here deny that the arctic sea ice extent is declining rapidly? If so, please provide evidence that it is not.

      Well, the past two years, Arctic sea ice has averaged right at 6-7 percent below its long-term averages through the year – going above that difference only as sea ice gets near its annual minimums in mid-September, we are “denying” nothing.
      Further, since Antarctic sea ice is expanding and setting new record extents at 11% to 37% ABOVE its long-term averages all year long, and since this excess Antarctic sea ice reflects some 1.68 TIMES the solar energy over the year that any “missing” Arctic sea ice absorbs, and sicne this excess Antarctic sea ice has been regularly larger than the entire area of Hudson Bay, and has been equal to the entire Greenland icecap while setting that new record sea ice extent,
      And, since today’s “missing” Arctic sea ice loses more energy through increased evaporation, conduction, LW radiation and convection losses than it gains through increased solar exposure 8 of the 12 months of the year,
      and since Arctic sea ice cannot in any way go “lower” than a potential complete loss in mid-September (by which time the Arctic is receiving some 10 TIMES less energy than the Antarctic (which is unlimited in sea ice expansion),

      I’d say there is not only no reason to worry about any subsequent potential future loss of Arctic sea ice, but that there is very little current Arctic sea ice loss, and yet much more to worry about if current trends continue: Arctic sea ice loss from today’s levels and Antarctic sea ice gain from long term averages. BOTH of today’s trends cause irrevocable heat loss from the earth.

    • What makes you think a decline in Arctic ice (assuming that’s the case, and assuming it’s a result of warming due to CO2 increase caused by human activity, which is a stretch) is a bad thing?

      Planetary warming is good, but cooling is bad, very bad.

      If increasing CO2 would warm the Earth, that would be another good reason to pump it out as fast as we can. The other, primary reason is that nearly all life on Earth depends on it for survival.

      Reducing CO2 by half, I.e., 200 ppmv, would result I’m massive loss of life, both plant and animal. Global cooling would suck CO2 out of the atmosphere, which would exacerbate loss of life (at least on dry land) caused by cooling itself.

      Why are CAGW alarmists so anti life? A cold, CO2 starved existence is not something to be desired.

  21. It makes one wonder just what all the delusional global warming alarmist freaks will be declaring at the coming Paris climate conference in December.

    Remember the Copenhagen Conference? Leading up to that December 2009 conference, It was touted as “the most important meeting to save the world”.

    Now, it’s happening all again. United Nations climate chief, Christiana Figueres, stated during an interview of the Associated Press in Paris, France, Wednesday, July 22, 2015 that the upcoming climate change conference in Paris is the last chance for a meaningful agreement.

    Once again, the scaremongering. Always “the last chance” etc etc etc. Soon we will have the heavies also come on board… like Al Gore and Prince Charles, and the usual army of enviro-eco-terrorists hoping Paris will be the green light for the implementation of the UN’s AGENDA 21 triggering the dismantling of capitalism.

    Yet when will these climate change charlatans calmly sit back and reflect on all the dire predictions made over the last two decades about coming climate catastrophes, which have not come true, and pose the question how did they get it so wrong?

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