This picture spoke a thousand words about ‘climate change’ – until it didn’t @CNN @BBC @AlGore

Bjorn Lomberg writes on Facebook:

Oops, remember that viral sled-on-water picture showing “our ongoing climate catastrophe” (CNN)?

Turns out it is entirely normal, happened in the 1800s, and will probably happen *less* with higher temps.

But Al Gore wants permission to use it in his slideshow.

In the article Lomborg cites, it says:

Spring in Greenland interpreted as climate change: “This is completely normal”

CNN has presented a photo as evidence of the devastating impact of a warming planet, but that is not necessarily what the photo shows. Scientists say this is a typical and damaging climate doomsday story.

Sometimes a picture speaks more than a thousand words. Sometimes the picture merely speaks what the viewer wants to hear. Over the past week, a photo of a dog sled moving through melt water in a fjord near Thule in north-west Greenland went global.

Sometimes a picture speaks more than a thousand words. Sometimes it deceives. Over the past week, a photo of a dog sled moving through melt water in a fjord near Thule in north-west Greenland went global as supposed evidence of climate change. The photo was taken by Steffen M. Olsen, a PhD researcher at the Danish Meteorological Institute (DMI).
Foto: Asger Ladefoged

The picture was taken by a scientist at the Danish Meteorological Institute (DMI) and appears ominous. As if the ice is melting fast under the feet of the dogs and might at any moment crack and pull the sled down into the deep water. As if the very foundation of humanity is melting before the camera.

The photo has been shared by CNN, the BBC and several of the world’s leading papers, and even the former U.S. Vice President and one-time presidential candidate Al Gore, who joined the fight against climate change in 2001, has asked the DMI for permission to use the picture in his efforts to convince the world that action is urgently needed to prevent a looming climate disaster.

Full story here (paywalled)

82 thoughts on “This picture spoke a thousand words about ‘climate change’ – until it didn’t @CNN @BBC @AlGore

    • This thread is a disaster! An unprecedented disaster! Such a thread has never happened before in the history of mankind, so much doubt, scorn, and hate. It’s just outrageously unprecedented. It has to be some kind of record!

      • I roll my eyes over how they speak of “billions” of tons of Greenland’s ice melting, failing to mention two important things. First, that the melt amounts to roughly 1/30,000th of the total ice, and second, that more “billions” of tons of snow fall than ice melts every year, and the only way the icecap can stay in balance is to squeeze ice out to sea as glaciers and have huge icebergs calve off.

  1. Incredible, if imaq is normal, and is written about in historical texts, then why isn’t it spoken of on a national level… I joined this site due to the mass amount of climate scare mongering that is constantly thrown at us in every news report. I hate being lied to, it seems its the scare mongers way or no way!

    • The early 21st century will be remembered by historians as the era of the Big Lie. Just pray it’s ONLY the early part that will be remembered that way.

      Glad you joined!

      • It will be all or nothing. If the Big Lie triumphs, all the truly inconvenient facts will go down the Memory Hole for a thousand years.

      • Problem is … that the BIG LIE is now … too big to fail.

        The same people who brought you the LITTLE Russian Collusion LIE … will not allow this whopper to melt away like the top of a glacier in July. Nope. Just imagine all the “jobs” that will be lost … HELL! Ending the BIG LIE would throw the entire globe into a 50-year-long economic Depression.

        Preserving the BIG LIE … is the “moral” thing to do.

    • Sunny, every one of us skeptics were in the same place you are at once. Most of us were believers in the science studies/reporting we were getting until we realized, as you are realizing, that we were not getting the whole truth from some segments of the scienfific community and from reporters covering the subject. It became apparent that a political agenda was overriding the scientific truth.

      It’s unfortunate, but that’s where we are today. There is a LOT of money driving the public dialogue promoting CAGW (Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming) and the truth is being mangled in the process.

      Hang in there, Sunny. The truth is on the skeptics’ side. That’s because skeptics pursue the truth no matter where it leads. 🙂

      • This mirrors my own experience pretty much exactly. When the “issue“ arose, seems like a lifetime ago now, I was prepared to put my faith in what “the scientists“ were saying. When I learned who was generating the propaganda and driving things forward – a failed Presidential candidate and a hand-picked fanatic whose field of expertise was the atmosphere of Venus – my Spidey senses started tingling. Al Gore is a born power-seeker, and we can only try to imagine what happened when he was thwarted; rage, the desire for revenge, and above all the unquenchable lust for power.

        When Climategate broke I was already fairly convinced that something huge was happening behind the scenes that had absolutely nothing to do with the welfare of the environment or of human beings, but that pretty much sealed the deal. As I started to learn about people like Maurice Strong, George Soros, and the Club of Rome, I realized my view of the situation had to evolve from merely skeptical and dismissive to scared and outraged.

        Flash forward and the propaganda is being rammed down our throats 24/7/365 – as if any rational person needed still more evidence that this is nothing more or less than the greatest mass effort at global social control ever conceived. They just keep piling up the lies one on the other, knowing perfectly well that their target audience has already been conditioned to be addicted to negativity and doom prophecy and will swallow everything they say. Like I’ve been saying for years, it’s not a “conspiracy” – it’s just governments and wealthy people doing what they’ve always done, just that the Internet has now made it possible to saturate everyone’s consciousness with the message of absolute obedience.

        It’s pure evil, and unless more people wake up, speak out, educate their children, and vote against any “green“ measures intended to restrict their freedom, it will be remembered with horror by future generations, in exactly the same way that Nazism and Stalinism are remembered today.

        • Worth adding I think that all of this made me think much harder about what science is and how it’s conducted in the real world. My stepfather of blessed memory (Doctorates in psycholinguistics and statistics) tried many years ago to help me understand that scientists are just as fallible as anyone else and subject to exactly the same foibles as anyone else. Everything he said is coming home to roost in the last few years.

        • Having rudely experienced the maligning rhetoric coming from those claiming to save the earth from an industry I grew up in and was intimately aquatinted, skepticism was front and center from the start.

      • You are exactly correct on the CAGW popularity, Tom. It’s just as our parents told us-if you want to know the reason for something just follow the money! In this case it’s our hard-earned tax money!

      • I never have a scribed to CAGW. The whole idea of it has always seemed illogical and dubious. If the Global Climate wants to change there is f-all we could do about it. It would be like trying to change the direction of modern oil tanker using a kite.

        As funny, weird and, as improbable as this will sound, I did a term paper for English and Composition 101 in college. I knew I was heading down the path to be either a scientist or engineer and wanted practice writing a technical paper and convinced my English prof that I needed to write about a technical and scientific subject – my subject was Global Climate Change circa 1988/1989. He agreed but said I needed to prepare myself to defend my thesis with the staff. My conclusion at the time was that climate on planet Earth was cyclical. Received an A-. Successfully defended my thesis.

      • These alarmist are very concerned if information that does not follow the party line is present, such as in this case where these remarks of mine were never to see the light of day.
        I recently submitted these comments to:
        The Antarctic ice sheet is melting and, yeah, it’s probably our fault.
        Filed under: 
        Climate Science
         — eric @ 14 August 2019
        Glaciers in West Antarctica have thinned and accelerated in the last few decades.  A new paper provides some of the first evidence that this is due to human activities.
        by Eric Steig

        These comments did not pass the moderators muster and therefore were not presented in the comments section. Would could wonder, why when the claim made by Real Climate is that it is “Climate Science from Climate Scientist”. Oh Really!

        The question is; if Mawson was able to do this below in 1911 to 1914, then why did this that I will furnish the link for happen in 2013?
        1911 to 1914 Australasian Antarctic Expedition (AAE)
        Explorers during this time were focused on being the first to reach the South Geographic Pole. However, Mawson’s passion for advancing scientific knowledge inspired him to develop an Australian-led Antarctic research expedition.
        Embarking on the Australasian Antarctic Expedition(AAE) with Mawson, John King Davis captained the Aurora with a crew, 31 expeditioners and materials for living huts, and wireless masts to establish the first radio communications in Antarctica. Five men set up a base at Macquarie Island, while the remainder sailed on the Antarctic continent to establish two bases: the Main Base at Commonwealth Bay led by Mawson, and the Western Base at Queen Mary Land led by Frank Wild.

        A photoprint of Commonwealth Bay, taken during the Australasian Antarctic Expedition in 1912.

        Sir DOUGLAS MAWSON’S second expedition on SCOTT’S Discovery to Antarctic waters south of the Indian Ocean and Australia is by this time already near the coast which he skirted and explored in the Summer of 1929-30. He identified Enderby and Kemp Lands, first seen by British explorers a hundred years before.

        • This is the second comment that I presented to “Climate Science from Climate Scientist”.
          I would like an explanation of what caused these conditions in 2013, 100 years after Douglas Mawson being able to reach the shore of Antarctic in a sailing ship?

          “A Russian vessel is stranded in ice off the coast of Antarctica with 74 people onboard, including the scientific team recreating explorer Douglas Mawson’s Australasian Antarctic Expedition from a century ago.”
          Had the ship carrying the trio of explorers in 1912, the Aurora, gotten icebound the same way the M.V. Akademik Shokalskiy did, there would have been no rescue option and certain death.
          One hundred years after Mawson’s journey, we still don’t know much about the Antarctic.
          As may be expected, global warming might play a role in this, he suggests, particularly with respect to melted ice in the East Antarctic.
          […]Had the ship carrying the trio of explorers in 1912, the Aurora, gotten icebound the same way the M.V. Akademik Shokalskiy did, there would have been no rescue option and certain death.”

      • It appears that Eric Steig has no intentions of allowing my post of 8/30/2019 being exposed for others consideration and it is obvious that Eric Steig does not feel that it is worth his time to address the issues that I presented regarding what the conditions were over 100 years ago when Mawson SAILED on the Antarctic continent to establish two bases: the Main Base at Commonwealth Bay led by Mawson, and the Western Base at Queen Mary Land led by Frank Wild. I will bring up another issue that I will receive no answer for either. Where did these sea level rise figures come from? “The contribution to sea-level rise from Antarctica averaged 3.6 ± 0.5 mm per decade with a cumulative 14.0 ± 2.0 mm since 1979, including 6.9 ± 0.6 mm from West Antarctica, 4.4 ± 0.9 mm from East Antarctica, and 2.5 ± 0.4 mm from the Peninsula (i.e., East Antarctica is a major participant in the mass loss).”

        I will present to you what the NOAA Tides and Currents (NOAA / National Ocean Service) that was Revised: 08/08/2018 puts forth for the Relative Sea Level Trend for 999-003 Argentine Islands, Antarctica;
        The relative sea level trend is 1.38 millimeters/year with a 95% confidence
        interval of +/- 0.39 mm/yr based on monthly mean sea level data from
        1958 to 2014 which is equivalent to a change of 0.45 feet in 100 years.

        This is for the Relative Sea Level Trend for 999-001 Bahia Esperanza, Antarctica;
        The relative sea level trend is -4.82 millimeters/year with a 95% confidence
        interval of +/- 2.58 mm/yr based on monthly mean sea level data from
        1961 to 1993 which is equivalent to a change of -1.58 feet in 100 years.

        It is obvious that there is a large discrepancy in what you want your loyal followers to believe and what is shown by these two valid reporting stations regarding sea-level rise in Antarctica. This brings about this observation; the duty of science is to search for the truth and then report that truth. Have you and the rest of your team done that in this instance?

        • Yes, this is an article from a parrot cage liner rag that is entirely supportive of the hysteria narrative. Did we miss something?

          • Compare the two photos. The point being is that to publish a picture and misinterpret it can be attributed to ignorance alone. To doctor the picture suggests deliberate propaganda. I think you’ll find the doctored photo all over the web, the original not so much. Why take out all the ice? To make it “look worse”, I suspect– at least in their minds.

    • Michael H Anderson

      Your comment is an insult to all “piles of oozing filth”. “piles of oozing filth” do not want to be associated with Al Gorey Baby !

      • I know, and I feel pretty bad really. When I think of him, I think of H.P. “he was a Raaaycisss!” Lovecraft’s critters. I just can’t help it! But Azathoth and Cthulhu deserve more respect than the Goreacle – they only wanted to be worshiped by the common people, not to take everything they have and make them and their descendants huddle in the dark and worry about jackboots kicking the door in to check their energy use.

        So yeah, he’s lower than ooze. I just can’t find the right words to describe him.

    • Steve, quite right, you can see just how much warmer it’s getting from the sky. It’s definitely sunnier and warmer in 2019.

      • Just as it was much, MUCH warmer in the 1930s and 40s. Variability certainly is a b1tch – I guess.

      • Observing a 60 year temperature chart for Alabama U.S. shows no change in average temps.

        If anyone thinks its warmer then show us.

        Also, just came back from Miami Beach and they are building multimillion dollar hotels right on the water front. Maybe they are just idiots? Thats it, they made billions making catastrophic decisions.

  2. One doesn’t have to go to Greenland to observe that wintertime “emergent phenomena”, because it use to happen quite often in late winter in Upstate New York after all the lakes had frozen over with 6” to 2 feet of ice.

    A “quickie” spring thaw (warm-up) and 2” to 10” of meltwater or rainwater would flow out over the lake ice …….. then it would freeze on top.

    And iffen you rode your snowmobile out on that ice, …… and it broke through, ….. it would scare the bejesus out of you …… if you didn’t know the thick ice was underneath.

  3. This reminds me of the song “Sunny Day Women”:

    Well, they’ll climate you when you’re trying to be so good
    They’ll climate you just like they said they would
    They’ll climate you when you’re trying to go home
    And they’ll climate you when you’re there all alone
    But I would not feel so all alone
    Everybody must get climated
    Well, they’ll climate you when you’re walking on the street
    They’ll climate you when you’re tryin’ to keep your seat
    They’ll climate you when you’re walkin’ on the floor
    They’ll climate you when you’re walkin’ to the door
    But I would not feel so all alone
    Everybody must get climated
    They’ll climate you when you’re at the breakfast table
    They’ll climate you when you are young and able
    They’ll climate you when you’re tryin’ to make a buck
    Then they’ll climate you and then they’ll say “good luck”
    Tell ya what, I would not feel so all alone
    Everybody must get climated
    Well, they’ll climate you and say that it’s the end
    Then they’ll climate you and then they’ll come back again
    They’ll climate you when you’re riding in your car
    They’ll climate you when you’re playing your guitar
    Yes, but I would not feel so all alone
    Everybody must get climated alright
    Well, they’ll climate you when you walk all alone
    They’ll climate you when you are walking home
    They’ll climate you and then say you are brave
    They’ll climate you when you are set down in your grave
    But I would not feel so all alone
    Everybody must get climated

  4. As acorn-on-the-head devastating as Leonardo deCaprio encountering a warm wind in Calgary in winter. How did we get a population that concludes that anything they have not personally experienced, seen or understood must never have happened before?

    There is a fact to be realized however–that Al Gore’s request to use the photo is evidence of either his ignorance or dishonesty. Have I missed any possible conclusions?

  5. This is the new tactic in the age of the “climate crisis”
    To scare people with weather and convince them that normal events are “unprecedented”

    All to create an alarm of emergency to take away freedoms and destroy our industrial and technological society.

  6. The locals may already have a word for it, but the “developed” world is still working on their verbiage. I would suggest “opportunistic idiocy” but there may be other candidate terms.

  7. It’s quite apparent that the locals are accustomed to this occurrence, if it were a new condition, they wouldn’t travel out onto the scrim of water. They value their Dogs far more than to be otherwise so cavalier

  8. If New York City was still under a mile of ice, the “Fake News” MSM would still report that 1 inch of the top of ice mass had melted temporarily…

  9. It sure got cold in the Arctic in a big hurry during August. Sea ice extent was on pace to test the 2012 low. However, it quit melting almost a month early.

    It will be interesting to see what happens between now and the equinox.

    • Yup. The melt slowed way down in the middle of this month. More open sea meant more heat loss. Arctic air temperatures are still fairly warm, but the water is cool.

      This week actually saw two consecutive days of Arctic sea ice build:

      25 Aug: 4.670 million sq km
      26 Aug: 4.656
      27 Aug: 4.667
      28 Aug: 4.669
      29 Aug: 4.665

      The Aug 26 low isn’t likely to remain the summer minimum. A low that early would be “unprecedented”! But should it do so, then this year will tie last year’s minimum extent, which didn’t happen until Sept 23, ie in the fall.

      • Minimum summer Arctic sea ice extent in 2017 was slightly higher, equalling yesterday’s number, but came earlier than in 2018.

      • The five years after 2012 averaged higher than 2007-11. The average for 2013-17 was 4.6692 million sq km. Last year was slightly below that average, and this year will be, too, but still above 2007-11.

        Arctic sea ice summer minima, 000 sq km:

        2007: 4155
        2008: 4590
        2009: 5119
        2010: 4615
        2011: 4344
        Ave: 4564.6

        2012: 3387
        2013: 5054
        2014: 5029
        2015: 4433
        2016: 4165
        Ave: 4413.6

        2017: 4665
        2018: 4656

        Good chance that 2017-21 will beat 2012-16 and maybe even 2007-11, confirming that Arctic sea ice extent is growing. In any case, the trend has been at least flat since 2007 and up since 2012.

  10. The new water is thinner and more fragile than the older thicker water. Its worse than we thought…

    • Yes, that new thinner water is a direct result of Climate Weirding which is causing the rotten water.

    • And they determined this by studying the ICE-otopes?
      (sorry, couldn’t restrain myself. I’m worse than I thought)

  11. I wrote an article on the warming arctic from 1908 to the 1940’s. Water on top of ice is absolutely normal. This from my article

    “This was noted by the author in the library of the Scott Polar institute in Cambridge and has parallels in one of the news items previously quoted;

    ‘Observational data of the drifting station 1950-51-by M Somov -Volume 1 of 3 of this Russian North pole station on an ice floe.’

    Middle of June onwards ‘the melting of the snow and ice took place very quickly although the air temperature remained close to freezing’

    ‘the sun shone…could walk about without a coat…some even tried to get a sun tan.’

    ‘because of the thaw an enormous amount of water accumulated on the ice’

    ‘walking was only possible if one wore high rubber boots reaching above the knees’ (because of the water sitting on the ice.)

    ‘many problems because of the thawing.’

    The book described how later in the season some high spots became dry and these were little hillocks in a sea of icy water sitting on solid ice. This caused me to ask the following question of NSIDC;

    “ … did pre satellite researchers estimating sea ice extent tell the difference between water, water floating on ice, and solid ice, and how can satellites differentiate between the three states? I was struck by Russian reports from the 1950’s at The Scott Polar institute in Cambridge when staff at the floating research stations commented about using Wellington boots in order to walk around the station, and how little dry ice islands eventually formed by the end of the summer surrounded by water on top of ice.”

    I received the following reply from Julienne Stroeve ;(reproduced with permission)

    “ … using passive microwave data it is very easy to tell the difference between ice and water as the dielectric constant differs quite a bit and this is reflected in large differences in the microwave emission. The main advantage of using passive microwave is that it can see the ice even if it’s cloudy or dark. There is a problem however in summer when melt ponds form on the ice since the sea ice algorithms then underestimate how much ice there really is (they think it’s open water). That’s one reason why we focus on extent rather than true ice area for the NSIDC sea ice news and analysis web site.

    Visible and thermal imagery provides higher spatial resolution but is often hampered by clouds. Trying to do this work using earlier visible and thermal imagery requires the scientists to go through each image and manually filter out the clouds and determine where the ice is.”


  12. Living in California knowing this is nothing more than a scam and having Newsom push it as though it’s a real emergency we need a lawyer to sue his ass. Are you listening lawyers of America? You can be rich if you take this case!! We need it to end.

  13. from the bbc report
    “”It’s very unusual to have this much melt so early in the season,” William Colgan, senior researcher at the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland, told the BBC.
    “It takes very rare conditions but they’re becoming increasingly common.”
    Mr Colgan compared the melt to 2012, when record-breaking ice sheet loss was recorded in Greenland. He said the same two factors were thought to have caused last week’s ice melt and the historic event of 2012. ”

    It is not a one off end of world story!

  14. CNN says one of many
    Thomas Mote, a research scientist at the University of Georgia who studies Greenland’s climate, told CNN last week that while previous melt periods occurred in 2007, 2010 and 2012, “we didn’t see anything like this prior to the late 1990s.”
    This could have a major effect on sea level rise, one of the most dangerous effects of climate change that could drive millions of people living in coastal communities from their homes.

    Is the bbc and cnn not reporting facts.

    Its been bad before just not this early in the season

    • “Its been bad before just not this early in the season”

      And how do you know what it was like 1000 years ago? 2000?

      This is like waking up one morning and seeing that it’s raining. Then when it’s still raining 20 minutes later, you claim catastrophe, since the trend is clearly horrific!

  15. F fatazz Al gore. Another fat, useless lying con man. If he believed in so called global warming he wouldn’t be laying down a carbon footprint a thousand times larger than an average person. Its all about power and globalization. The guy has and always will be a fraud. GTH clown.

  16. One starving polar bear and polar bears are in danger. Never mind that their populations are at peak numbers. A picture of water in Greenland where there should be ice. Never mind that this is a normal phenomenon that occurs very frequently as documented from a century ago. Climate Catastrophism seems to be too big to fail so their attempts to scare the people become ever crasser and their lies ever more outrageous. They feel that there will be a reckoning and it will come quite soon and now they are losing their nerve.

    • Too late, the photo went around the world in a day, front page news, planting the desired seed in reader’s minds. Clarifications, corrections will be on page 27, a month later with no photo, the page before the obits….Without a spin doctoring department and a couple of dozen plausible fictionaists putting garbola on the ‘net ever day, people who point out the truth will be the losers.

  17. Maybe they should have done what Al did. He used a CGI segment from a movie of “calving glaciers” in that “Truth” thing he made.
    That way no one could find an picture from the past to show the bogusness.
    (Unfortunately for Al, he used a video clip that someone involved in making it recognized.)

  18. Hmm… there are plenty of interviews out there with local Inuit folk who say that the ice is certainly NOT what it used to be and that it is affecting their way of life.

    It may be water runs off over thick ice – but surely that’s not what is happening in the picture: it is a section of ice melting where locals don’t expect it to?

    Example of Inuit experience

    (bonus: it is from everyone’s favorite website)

    you can find any number of similar accounts on the web

    • Nobody denies natural climate change, except alarmists and grantologists. SkS shows their ignorance and dishonesty once again.

      Do Inuits live 9000 years?

  19. Global Warming, Global Cooling, Climate Change, Climate Science all supports the new fiat Carbon Credit, which will make Al Gore richer than God.

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