NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


May 5, 2009

Last week Al Gore said the world must act quickly to slow the melting of the world's polar ice packs and glaciers before it reaches a critical rate for global warming. 

"We have to act and we have to act quickly because we don't want to cross this tipping point," the Nobel peace laureate and former U.S. vice president told a meeting of foreign ministers, experts and scientists from the most affected countries.

But it turns out the world acted very quickly indeed, as Germany's Radio Bremen reports:

  • The research aircraft "Polar 5" concluded its Arctic expedition in Canada.
  • During the flight, researchers measured the current ice thickness at the North Pole and in areas that have never before been surveyed.
  • The sea-ice in the surveyed areas is apparently thicker than scientists had suspected.

According to a spokesperson for Bremerhaven's Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research:

  • Normally, newly formed ice measures some two meters in thickness after two years.
  • In the surveyed area, scientists measured ice thickness up to four meters.
  • At present, this result contradicts the warming of the sea water, according to the scientists.

Is it possible that global warming is neither a catastrophe waiting to happen nor a fraud but merely the result of confusion induced by the metric system, asks the Wall Street Journal?

Source: Blog, "Global Warming on the Rocks," Wall Street Journal, April 29, 2009; based upon Doug Mellgren, "Al Gore calls for prompt action on melting ice," Associated Press/Seattle Post Intelligencer, April 28, 2009; and Radio Breman, "North Pole Sea Ice twice as thick as expected," Canada Free Press, April 29, 2009.

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