Arctic Sea Ice Could Be Holding Back An Economic Boom, Pompeo Says

From The Daily Caller

Tim Pearce | Energy Reporter

The melting sea ice in the Arctic region might uncover a vast wealth of resources and open up new international trade routes, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Monday.

Pompeo delivered remarks from Finland, where he attended a meeting of nations with territory in the Arctic region. Pompeo largely focused on Chinese and Russian interests in the area but mentioned that melting sea ice afforded the U.S. economic prospects. (RELATED: Trump Approved The First-Ever US Oil Facility In Arctic Waters)

“The Arctic is at the forefront of opportunity and abundance,” Pompeo said, according to CNN. “It houses 13 percent of the world’s undiscovered oil, 30 percent of its undiscovered gas, an abundance of uranium, rare earth minerals, gold, diamonds, and millions of square miles of untapped resources, fisheries galore.”

“Steady reductions in sea ice are opening new passageways and new opportunities for trade,” Pompeo added. “This could potentially slash the time it takes to travel between Asia and the West by as much as 20 days.”

Pompeo warned that Russia is increasingly aggressive about the region, and he said China appears to have a vested national security interest in the region. Pompeo said both countries could be trying to claim the Arctic’s vast natural resources for themselves, Reuters reported.

Pompeo’s criticisms “were totally out of sync with the facts,” China Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said, according to Reuters. “It is inconsistent with the general trend of peaceful cooperation in the Arctic, completely confuses right with wrong, and has ulterior motives.”

Front row from left, Foreign Ministers of Russia, Sergey Lavrov, Sweden, Margot Wallstrom, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Finland's Foreign Minister Timo Soini pose for a picture during the Arctic Council summit at the Lappi Areena in Rovaniemi, Finland May 7, 2019. Mandel Ngan/Pool via REUTERS

Front row from left, Foreign Ministers of Russia, Sergey Lavrov, Sweden, Margot Wallstrom, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Finland’s Foreign Minister Timo Soini pose for a picture during the Arctic Council summit at the Lappi Areena in Rovaniemi, Finland May 7, 2019. Mandel Ngan/Pool via REUTERS

The Finland meeting brought together the Arctic council composed of eight member countries. Besides Finland, Russia and the United States, the rest of the council is made up by Canada, Denmark, Iceland, Norway and Sweden. China obtained observer status on the council in 2013.

The council sought to agree upon a joint declaration of goals for the Arctic, but could not get the U.S. to sign on to a proposed document, The Associated Press reported.

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52 thoughts on “Arctic Sea Ice Could Be Holding Back An Economic Boom, Pompeo Says

  1. “Steady reductions in sea ice …” Huh? Let me introduce you to periodic oscillations.

    • Natural oscillations in natural systems doesn’t fit doomsday scenario propaganda.
      Linear extrapolations on ascending or descending nodes of a sine wave are what sells climate porn.

    • Wait a minute!!! First, it’s all melting, then it’s not melting but getting thicker, then it’s melting, then it’s getting thicker. So now it’s melting and thinning out again?

      I can’t keep up with this stuff. I just can’t. Either it’s melting or it isn’t, and if it is, does that explain cloud fairies and seeing CO2?

      • It seems netither can Pompeo stay abreast of the present trends. As for increase trade traffic, I’m afriad that ship has sailed. And it got stuck in the ice if I recall.

        • Well he sure hasn’t looked a changes in Artic sea ice in the last 10years. But that’s too easy we have data on all that, any one can work that out.

          “It houses 13 percent of the world’s undiscovered oil” . Wow, that’s clever. He knows quite precisely how much “undiscovered oil” there is. I’ll bet he even knows how many unknown unknowns there are in climatology.

    • Yeah -what exactly are they going to tell people when the cool phase of the AMO makes the sea ice extent the way it was in the 1970s?

  2. “Pompeo warned that Russia is increasingly aggressive about the region, and he said China appears to have a vested national security interest in the region. Pompeo said both countries could be trying to claim the Arctic’s vast natural resources for themselves, Reuters reported.”
    First come, first served. Russians are rapidly enlarging their nuclear powered ice breakers fleet.
    A cording to wikipedia USA has only two coast-guard Arctic active ice breakers (one 40+, the other 20 old old) and one for great lakes, probably unsuitable for Arctic
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_icebreakers#United_States_Coast_Guard
    without larger number of purpose built ice-breakers not much can be done up there.

  3. **“Steady reductions in sea ice are opening new passageways and new opportunities for trade,” Pompeo added**
    Why are not these politicians up to date?
    Where is the CIA?
    I thought the intelligent services would have noticed what a few of us have noticed. that the Arctic ice has STOPPED DECREASING in the summer.
    So what is next? An increase? It has as good a chance of increasing as decreasing.
    So much for shipping. What happened in 2018?

    • Gerald Machnee

      “… what a few of us have noticed: that the Arctic ice has STOPPED DECREASING in the summer.”

      Here are the numbers for September’s absolute sea ice extent in the Arctic since 1979:

      1979 | 9 | 7.05
      1980 | 9 | 7.67
      1981 | 9 | 7.14
      1982 | 9 | 7.30
      1983 | 9 | 7.39
      1984 | 9 | 6.81
      1985 | 9 | 6.70
      1986 | 9 | 7.41
      1987 | 9 | 7.28
      1988 | 9 | 7.37
      1989 | 9 | 7.01
      1990 | 9 | 6.14
      1991 | 9 | 6.47
      1992 | 9 | 7.47
      1993 | 9 | 6.40
      1994 | 9 | 7.14
      1995 | 9 | 6.08
      1996 | 9 | 7.58
      1997 | 9 | 6.69
      1998 | 9 | 6.54
      1999 | 9 | 6.12
      2000 | 9 | 6.25
      2001 | 9 | 6.73
      2002 | 9 | 5.83
      2003 | 9 | 6.12
      2004 | 9 | 5.98
      2005 | 9 | 5.50
      2006 | 9 | 5.86
      2007 | 9 | 4.27
      2008 | 9 | 4.69
      2009 | 9 | 5.26
      2010 | 9 | 4.87
      2011 | 9 | 4.56
      2012 | 9 | 3.57
      2013 | 9 | 5.21
      2014 | 9 | 5.22
      2015 | 9 | 4.62
      2016 | 9 | 4.51
      2017 | 9 | 4.80
      2018 | 9 | 4.71

      Are you serious?

      • And, just what do you fear?

        We only have 40 years of September sea ice records.
        12 years of near-flat, with a peak in 82-84.
        16 years of declining sea ice minimums.
        12 years now of steady (flat!) sea ice minimums: 2007-2018.

        Just the beginning of a 66-80 year oscillation:
        Late 1978 was the start of the satellite record.
        82-84 was maximum.
        2007-2018 was the minimum.
        It may continue increasing, it may remain steady.

        The less Arctic sea ice all year round, the more heat is lost to the infinite cold blackness of deep space.

        Do you truly believe a simplistic straight line exaggeration is correct into the future?
        Your exaggeration starts off higher than any recorded value, continues straight down until it is lower than any recorded value.

        • RACookPE1978

          What should I fear?
          What about you keeping at bare numbers, instead of guessing?

          Linear estimates in Mkm /decade for extent (15+ % ice) / area (100 % ice):

          1. 1979-2019: -0.74 ± 0.07 / -0.64 ± 0.07
          2. 2007-2019: -0.46 ± 0.13 / -0.34 ± 0.13

          “12 years now of steady (flat!) sea ice minimums: 2007-2018.”
          Under steady (flat!) I inderstand something quite different.

          And by the way: do you know what happens when instead of cherry-picking and starting in front of the 2007 increase you start in 2008?

          2a. 2008-2019: -0.65 ± 0.14 / -0.65 ± 0.14

          Nice try, like starting a UAH trend in 1998!

          • Yes. And would you now please tell what do you fear? Can you answer a simple question without that blaablaa?

            It´s just water, harder or softer, less or more.

          • What you fear is that Arctic ice has natural cycles and is not in freefall. When you have 200 years data then you might be able to make reasonable predictions. Until then might be best to keep quiet with the fearmongering.

      • You’ll note that there’s no further downward trend for the past 12 years.

        Also a since 2012, the downward trend in receding glaciers in Greenland has come to an almost dead halt, with many now advancing.

        Perhaps a change is afoot.

  4. They better start building new and heavier nuclear fuelled ice management vessels, also called icebreakers. I don’t think the ice in the arctic will suddenly stop forming, even though IPCC’s models and Al Gore say so…

      • Well clearly he’s made sufficient squillions $$$ from his scamming operation, that’s why he’s gone all quiet, I presume!

  5. The DC article featured here is over three weeks old. The Monday remarks by Sec. Pompeo mentioned in the first paragraph are from May 6, 2019.

  6. Maybe he should read up a bit about arctic sea ice and not count his golden chickens before the eggs are laid. Arctic sea ice could just as easily expand.

  7. A whole lot of people are going to upset when the current Dalton Minimum becomes apparent.
    If the farm belt gets going at all, there are rumors of summer freezes this year….

  8. I’ve been saying it on these pages for many years: Arctic sea ice is NOT desirable. More is not good news; less is good news.

    • Good news for the environment, however the strident whine will become evermore shrill as the alarmists continue to spin good news into doom.

  9. It is good to see that the current US administration is consistent. They believe
    in global warming if it will allow open up new areas for oil and gas drilling
    but disbelieve in it if it shuts downs existing areas for oil and gas drilling.

    • Izaak Walton May 30, 2019 at 11:53 am

      “but disbelieve in it if it shuts downs existing areas for oil and gas drilling.”

      Actually it does not matter. Just build some ice breakers. Just like the Russians and the Chinese.
      If the ice is going to melt why build ice breakers? Surprise.

      michael

    • A false strawman.
      Pompeo stated neither U.S. doctrine nor beliefs. He simply stated facts according to a popular mindset.

      “The Arctic is at the forefront of opportunity and abundance,” Pompeo said, according to CNN. “It houses 13 percent of the world’s undiscovered oil, 30 percent of its undiscovered gas, an abundance of uranium, rare earth minerals, gold, diamonds, and millions of square miles of untapped resources, fisheries galore.”

      “Steady reductions in sea ice are opening new passageways and new opportunities for trade,” Pompeo added. “This could potentially slash the time it takes to travel between Asia and the West by as much as 20 days.”

      Nor does the USA require less ice to find and tap into oil deposits. Only that less ice makes it easier.

      • It only needs to invade an oil-rich country and steal its oil resources so it can establish democracy and provide humanitarian aid. Thanks.

    • LOL. An official single climate change voice is lacking in the Trump administration.

  10. If the South China Sea is any indication how China views international sea boundaries and just outright bullying and theft of the EEZ of claimant countries resources, then Canada/USA/Europe better be prepared to cooperate together in the Arctic to beat back these land/ocean grabbers. China has little scruples when it comes to respecting the rights of other countries, and even less about the health of the local environment. For these reasons and many more, it will take the re-election of DJT to keep China in line in the Arctic just as we see with the current trade issues where China had been given a free pass on almost everything it had been involved with since Tiananmen Square. While the Arctic will probably freeze up again in the long term climate cycling between warmer and cooler weather, let’s ensure that all countries adhere to maritime rule of law in the Arctic and the rest of the planet.

    • Many of us don’t respect China and its lack of human rights for citizens, however, it doesn’t have 1000+ military bases or installations around the world, it doesn’t control NATO, etc.

      • Can you imagine what kind of world we would have if USA didn’t have the 1000+ military bases and installations around the world? The world we have today is because of USA and Nato allies and the fact we won WW2 both in Europe and Asia.

  11. Wooden Boat Magazine has an article (May/June 2019, no. 268) about a double-ended gaff rigged sailboat named LADY FREE, design based on a pilot boat. In summer 2017 they went through the NW passage from W to E in order to complete circumnavigation of N and S America. With help from Canadian Coast Guard they made if with small difficulties. They mostly sailed in a low wind situation along with a few others holding cans of fuel on their deck. Article has photo of crew of 4 inspecting an ice floe. A toughly built boat, fascinating story. WBM is not PC, these guys know about oceans and scale.

    Boat owner is a mathematics professor from University of Bergen who sailed from Norway to Brazil solo, doing math in his head.

  12. There is very little to suggest that any new areas will become accessible anytime soon. The Northeast Passage might possbly become passable for ice-reinforced vessel the whole year when Russia finishes their new giant Nuclear Icebreakers (at present it is only passable July-November).

    The Northwest Passage (southern route) is at best open a few weeks a year in August-September for shallow draft vessels (max 6 meter draught). The northern deepwater route through Mc Clure Strait requires very powerful icebreakers that doesn’t exist in either Canada or USA.
    Last year c. 40 vessels tried to go through the Northwest Passage. Two, both small yachts, succeeded. Out of seven major cruise vessels that were planning to show wealthy tourists how the Arctic is melting, not a single one got through. All cancelled or turned back, one grounded trying out a badly surveyed alternate route and one couldn’t even get as far as the starting point of the cruise in Resolute.

    And as for going straight across the Polar Basin, the Swedish icebreaker Odin, the most powerful non-nuclear icebreaker in the World, reported extreme difficulties in getting as far as the North Pole, the ice conditions being the worst in 15 years.

  13. Despite the periodic oscillations, could these “heads” in the pic have had anything to do with deliberately manipulating the temporary melting ice for their own financial gain?

  14. Arctic politics have been an ongoing game nearly 100 years!

    The “legal” relocation of indigenous families became a tactic employed by all the “polar bear countries” in an international chess match to stake claims on Arctic resources. In 1925, Denmark relocated families in Greenland to counter any Norwegian claims to the island. The following year the Soviet government moved a small Eskimo community to Wrangel Island in order to replace an occupation of Alaskan Eskimos that had been established there by American interests. The relocation of families was also a crucial cold-war tactic by Canada to insure their claims on the Arctic, but not just against any Russian threats, but more so from perceived encroachments by the United States.

    read McGhee, R. (2007) The Last Imaginary Place: A Human History of the Arctic World. University Of Chicago Press.

  15. Pompeo tossed that out as a throwaway bridge building line for his Northern nation companions. When in Rome…

  16. Is it just me or does it seem strange to put a definitive % on anything undiscovered? Just sayin…….

    • Actually, you already paid for that in salary and benefits for the studies at USGS. They did the same for Afghanistan in case you want to invest there.

  17. Is that guy on the right a representative of the latest “haulout” or bit part player from the Simpsons?

  18. Having the blanket gone, oceans will struggle to keep their heat stored and circulating. Which means access to all those supposed goodies will not last long.

    • Yeah, I have often thought about the insulation effect from the ice cover. It seems to me like the water should loose more heat energy without ice cover. Does anyone really know how it works out, energy budget wise? Is this yet another thermostat? I find it hard to believe that CO2 would make much difference for sea ice build and melt.

  19. We humans have a bizarren tendency to believe that people in authority in one area, are more knowledgeable in all areas. History has shown this belief to be completely unfounded.

  20. Have to say, I’ve not yet seen anything about significant territorial claims by China in the Arctic.

    I was under the impression that they are aggressively asserting claims in the South China Sea, where there may be large petroleum deposits. I can easily believe the motives and desires, but action in the Arctic Ocean is still surely a long way beyond their reach?

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