First, let’s get one thing clear, Joe Romm of the Center for American progress is paid to write stuff with headlines like this:
Oh noes! The headline gives the impression that this is a newsworthy event, it isn’t, all he had to do was to check the history of icebreakers in the Arctic:
NS Arktika (Russian: «Арктика») is a retired nuclear-powered icebreaker of the Soviet (now Russian) Arktika class. In service from 1975 to 2008, she was the first surface ship to reach the North Pole, on August 17, 1977.
And then there’s this:
First Ship to “End the the Earth”
The Arktika was the second nuclear-powered icebreaker built by the Soviet Union (now Russia). Built in Leningrad, it was launched in 1975 and was designed to operate in the sea routes of the Northeast Passage. The North Pole expedition was described as a “scientific-practical experimental voyage” to test the new icebreaker in conditions that were more extremethan it would ordinarily encounter.
The trip to the Pole was not repeated for another decade, but since the 1980s, the voyage has become popular with tourists who can now travel in great comfort to the “top of the world”.
Gosh, popular with tourists.
I suppose that explains the cheeky photo Romm provided of the event:
The biggest howler in Joe Romm’s article was this:
Icebreakers have been visiting the pole for years, but as Mark Serreze, director of the U.S. National Snow and Ice Data Center, told Mashable, this year even a sailboat “could actually sail nearly all the way to the North Pole, since sea ice cover is largely absent to about 86 degrees north.”
So, show me a picture of a sailboat at the north pole that sailed there, and you might actually have something to say. As the story stands, an icebreaker? They’ve been there, done that, back in 1977. And I’ll bet they didn’t make a cheeky photo op with “Santa Claus”.
While Romm and others wail about “death spirals” since 2008 when the term was first coined by Mark Serreze, here we are 9 years later, and Arctic Sea Ice extent has been just slightly below two standard deviations for most of the melt season, and isn’t close to the 2012 event caused by a large storm which broke up and dispersed ice. This year, two storms also had an effect, but failed to create a new record low in sea ice extent.Romm doesn’t seem interested in revisiting his article where he said there would likely be a new record low this year.
And it looks like the melt season may be about to turn the corner, perhaps a bit earlier than usual. So much for the doomster predictions of an ice-free summer.
It seems, the more they all wail about it, the less nature actually pays attention.