Correction: Gore Did Not Predict 220 Foot Sea Level Rise in 10 years

Marc Sheppard
Last Tuesday, Arab Internet services company Maktoob.com posted the article Gore beats climate change drum in Dubai, which covered the speech our favorite greenhouse gasbag gave that day to the Leaders in Dubai Business Forum.

Here’s a portion of Gore’s rhetoric as reported in the original article on Tuesday: [my emphasis]

“Each one metre of sea level rise [SLR] is associated with 100 million climate refugees in the world,” the Nobel laureate told a business forum in Dubai, which could see its famous man-made islands disappear under the waves if his predictions prove true.

“The North Pole ice cap is 40 percent gone already and could be completely and totally gone in the winter months in the next 5 to 10 years,” he warned.

If the North Pole were to melt it could increase sea levels by 67 metres, Gore said, speaking in the heart of an oil-rich region not known for its regard for the environment"

Needless to say, there was just so much wrong in those 105 words I felt compelled to respond with this now recalled Friday blog entry, pointing out that, based on those figures, by 2020 the oceans could rise 220 feet and the entire population of the planet might be forced to wander the globe as “climate refugees.” 

I challenged the statement that the North Pole ice cap is 40% gone, assuming he retrieved the figure from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) 2007 announcement that arctic sea ice extent was 40% below its 20-year mean.  I pointed out that NOAA also reports that the ice began recovering in 2008 and is now at about 32% below that same average.  (BTW – Joe D’Aleo at Icecap points outs that “actually the sea ice has increased in two years during the peak melt by 26% since 2007).

I wondered whether, had he been aware of these recent recoveries, Gore would have nonetheless forecasted that winter ice will be gone in 5-10 years?

For starters, the controversy over arctic ice has been of whether or not it may vanish in summer months. Ice extent variance is a seasonally cyclical phenomenon, retreating in summer and recovering in winter.

Yes, there have been alarmist projections of ice-free summers occurring as early as 2020, but even those predictions were recently walked back in a report from UK’s Met office, which confirmed the ice to currently be in recovery and predicted that “the first ice-free summer [is] expected to occur between 2060 and 2080.”

More importantly, even should the highly alarmist Met’s highly unlikely 50 to 70 year predictions come true, melting sea ice has little or no effect on SLR as it displaces an approximately equal weight of sea water in either physical state.

I suggested that perchance Gore had conflated the floating polar ice cap with the land-based Greenland ice sheet.  The Met does predict it holds enough water to effect 7 meters of SLR should it disappear.  Of course that’s only a fraction of the figure Maktoob claimed Gore predicted, but I was willing to cut the man some slack for rounding.  But there was still a problem -- according to Met, even “if man-made emissions are not controlled,” Greenland melting “would take a few thousand years.”

I pointed out that Gore’s co-Nobel awardees at the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) maintain a midrange prediction of 1.26 inches per decade.  And that even his fellow uber-alarmist James Hansen is only predicting 1.5 meters SLR by 2100!  And Joe D’Aleo helped out again:  “Holgate showed sea levels slowing the later part of the century and Topex showed sea levels stopped rising in 2006 in sharp contrast to Al’s dire predictions.”

So if Gore really made these statements, he was truly ratcheting up the terror way beyond even what had been his previously longstanding level of lunacy.

Which is why I also disclosed that my information came from one source and one source only, as media coverage of Tuesday’s event appeared to have been somewhat sparse.  And added that Maktoob Business is a major player in the region, and that the author, Shakir Husain, boasts rather impressive credentials.  And that due to Gore’s world-renowned large on shock-value, short on facts style, I was inclined to believe his words to be as reported.  But I also revealed that I had contacted Mr. Husain for further confirmation and that I’d update this entry should I receive relevant advice.

Yesterday, I received such advice from Mr. Husain, who wrote to me in an email: 

“In the second quote, it should be 6-7 metres… not 67… It has been rectified on the website.”
It certainly had.  But that’s not all that had been “rectified.” 

In fact, they appear to have revisited a number of issues I brought to their attention.

The paragraph that originally stated “If the North Pole were to melt it could increase sea levels by 67 metres” was replaced with:

“Gore said if Greenland and West Antarctica, made up of massive ice sheets, were to melt it could increase sea levels by 6-7 metres, speaking in the heart of an oil-rich region not known for its regard for the environment.”

"Greenland and West Antarctica are such massive amounts of ice each one of would lead to a six to seven metre increase in sea level if it were to melt. And both West Antarctica and Greenland are beginning to melt," he said.
So not only did they flub the measurement, they also got the location of the ice all wrong.  A crucial point, indeed.

Interestingly, Maktoob, which blames the blunders on tape transcription errors, stands behind its reporting that Gore referred to north polar ice disappearing in winter rather than summer months in 5-10 years, which still makes no sense even were the ice indeed in retreat. But by changing the originally reported SLR predictions from 67 meters to 6-7 meters and its cause from melting sea to melting land-based ice, Gore’s North Pole Ice Cap predictions, while still nutty, become appropriately irrelevant to the SLR discussion.

Granted, the 6-7 meter figure isn’t nearly as massive a whopper as the 67 Maktoob originally reported – but it’s a howler nonetheless.  Remember, he bases that rise on the thawing of ice his fellow-alarmists at Met state “would take a few thousand years” even if we do nothing.

Let’s face it -- had these words been attributed to any other person on Earth, they would have been dismissed as a reporting error right out of the gate.  But they were instead ascribed to the man who truly does warn of catastrophic 20 foot SLR this century.  Who did claim that warming could stop the Gulf Stream and throw Europe into an ice age. Who does attempt to blame everything from fictional polar bear extinctions and seasonal wild-fires to the misery of Hurricane Katrina and the thousands killed in a last year’s Myanmar Cyclone on global warming. 

And who did, incidentally, state on Tuesday that each meter of SLR creates 100 million climate refugees and the North Pole will be ice-free in the winter within 10 years.

So then, it still appears that even faced with the reality that the public’s disbelief in his hilariously impossible doomsday scenarios has likely played a major role in cooling the fear of the threat of global warming, Al Gore nevertheless continues to ratchet up the terror.

And that’s still not likely to please more moderate anthropogenic global warming believers.  Just last Friday, Britain’s Timesonline reported that “senior scientists” are quite concerned that such exaggerations from clueless politicians and activists undermine the efforts of serious researchers to get the word out:

“Excessive statements about the decline of Arctic sea ice, severe weather events and the probability of extreme warming in the next century detract from the credibility of robust findings about climate change.”
I closed with this on Friday and I’ll close with it again today, despite Maktoob’s corrections:

So the incessant, insidious bloviating of the Gorebotic greenhouse gasbags might help impede drastic and disastrous action where no action at all is what’s desperately needed?  Both in Washington and in Copenhagen?

Speak out, Al Gore.  And Barbara Boxer.  And John Kerry.  And Henry Waxman.  And Ban Ki-moon.  The lot of you!

Speak out loudly.  And speak out often.

One thing we can agree on – the future of the world as we know it may just depend on it.

Last Tuesday, Arab Internet services company Maktoob.com posted the article Gore beats climate change drum in Dubai, which covered the speech our favorite greenhouse gasbag gave that day to the Leaders in Dubai Business Forum.

Here’s a portion of Gore’s rhetoric as reported in the original article on Tuesday: [my emphasis]

“Each one metre of sea level rise [SLR] is associated with 100 million climate refugees in the world,” the Nobel laureate told a business forum in Dubai, which could see its famous man-made islands disappear under the waves if his predictions prove true.

“The North Pole ice cap is 40 percent gone already and could be completely and totally gone in the winter months in the next 5 to 10 years,” he warned.

If the North Pole were to melt it could increase sea levels by 67 metres, Gore said, speaking in the heart of an oil-rich region not known for its regard for the environment"

Needless to say, there was just so much wrong in those 105 words I felt compelled to respond with this now recalled Friday blog entry, pointing out that, based on those figures, by 2020 the oceans could rise 220 feet and the entire population of the planet might be forced to wander the globe as “climate refugees.” 

I challenged the statement that the North Pole ice cap is 40% gone, assuming he retrieved the figure from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) 2007 announcement that arctic sea ice extent was 40% below its 20-year mean.  I pointed out that NOAA also reports that the ice began recovering in 2008 and is now at about 32% below that same average.  (BTW – Joe D’Aleo at Icecap points outs that “actually the sea ice has increased in two years during the peak melt by 26% since 2007).

I wondered whether, had he been aware of these recent recoveries, Gore would have nonetheless forecasted that winter ice will be gone in 5-10 years?

For starters, the controversy over arctic ice has been of whether or not it may vanish in summer months. Ice extent variance is a seasonally cyclical phenomenon, retreating in summer and recovering in winter.

Yes, there have been alarmist projections of ice-free summers occurring as early as 2020, but even those predictions were recently walked back in a report from UK’s Met office, which confirmed the ice to currently be in recovery and predicted that “the first ice-free summer [is] expected to occur between 2060 and 2080.”

More importantly, even should the highly alarmist Met’s highly unlikely 50 to 70 year predictions come true, melting sea ice has little or no effect on SLR as it displaces an approximately equal weight of sea water in either physical state.

I suggested that perchance Gore had conflated the floating polar ice cap with the land-based Greenland ice sheet.  The Met does predict it holds enough water to effect 7 meters of SLR should it disappear.  Of course that’s only a fraction of the figure Maktoob claimed Gore predicted, but I was willing to cut the man some slack for rounding.  But there was still a problem -- according to Met, even “if man-made emissions are not controlled,” Greenland melting “would take a few thousand years.”

I pointed out that Gore’s co-Nobel awardees at the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) maintain a midrange prediction of 1.26 inches per decade.  And that even his fellow uber-alarmist James Hansen is only predicting 1.5 meters SLR by 2100!  And Joe D’Aleo helped out again:  “Holgate showed sea levels slowing the later part of the century and Topex showed sea levels stopped rising in 2006 in sharp contrast to Al’s dire predictions.”

So if Gore really made these statements, he was truly ratcheting up the terror way beyond even what had been his previously longstanding level of lunacy.

Which is why I also disclosed that my information came from one source and one source only, as media coverage of Tuesday’s event appeared to have been somewhat sparse.  And added that Maktoob Business is a major player in the region, and that the author, Shakir Husain, boasts rather impressive credentials.  And that due to Gore’s world-renowned large on shock-value, short on facts style, I was inclined to believe his words to be as reported.  But I also revealed that I had contacted Mr. Husain for further confirmation and that I’d update this entry should I receive relevant advice.

Yesterday, I received such advice from Mr. Husain, who wrote to me in an email: 

“In the second quote, it should be 6-7 metres… not 67… It has been rectified on the website.”
It certainly had.  But that’s not all that had been “rectified.” 

In fact, they appear to have revisited a number of issues I brought to their attention.

The paragraph that originally stated “If the North Pole were to melt it could increase sea levels by 67 metres” was replaced with:

“Gore said if Greenland and West Antarctica, made up of massive ice sheets, were to melt it could increase sea levels by 6-7 metres, speaking in the heart of an oil-rich region not known for its regard for the environment.”

"Greenland and West Antarctica are such massive amounts of ice each one of would lead to a six to seven metre increase in sea level if it were to melt. And both West Antarctica and Greenland are beginning to melt," he said.
So not only did they flub the measurement, they also got the location of the ice all wrong.  A crucial point, indeed.

Interestingly, Maktoob, which blames the blunders on tape transcription errors, stands behind its reporting that Gore referred to north polar ice disappearing in winter rather than summer months in 5-10 years, which still makes no sense even were the ice indeed in retreat. But by changing the originally reported SLR predictions from 67 meters to 6-7 meters and its cause from melting sea to melting land-based ice, Gore’s North Pole Ice Cap predictions, while still nutty, become appropriately irrelevant to the SLR discussion.

Granted, the 6-7 meter figure isn’t nearly as massive a whopper as the 67 Maktoob originally reported – but it’s a howler nonetheless.  Remember, he bases that rise on the thawing of ice his fellow-alarmists at Met state “would take a few thousand years” even if we do nothing.

Let’s face it -- had these words been attributed to any other person on Earth, they would have been dismissed as a reporting error right out of the gate.  But they were instead ascribed to the man who truly does warn of catastrophic 20 foot SLR this century.  Who did claim that warming could stop the Gulf Stream and throw Europe into an ice age. Who does attempt to blame everything from fictional polar bear extinctions and seasonal wild-fires to the misery of Hurricane Katrina and the thousands killed in a last year’s Myanmar Cyclone on global warming. 

And who did, incidentally, state on Tuesday that each meter of SLR creates 100 million climate refugees and the North Pole will be ice-free in the winter within 10 years.

So then, it still appears that even faced with the reality that the public’s disbelief in his hilariously impossible doomsday scenarios has likely played a major role in cooling the fear of the threat of global warming, Al Gore nevertheless continues to ratchet up the terror.

And that’s still not likely to please more moderate anthropogenic global warming believers.  Just last Friday, Britain’s Timesonline reported that “senior scientists” are quite concerned that such exaggerations from clueless politicians and activists undermine the efforts of serious researchers to get the word out:

“Excessive statements about the decline of Arctic sea ice, severe weather events and the probability of extreme warming in the next century detract from the credibility of robust findings about climate change.”
I closed with this on Friday and I’ll close with it again today, despite Maktoob’s corrections:

So the incessant, insidious bloviating of the Gorebotic greenhouse gasbags might help impede drastic and disastrous action where no action at all is what’s desperately needed?  Both in Washington and in Copenhagen?

Speak out, Al Gore.  And Barbara Boxer.  And John Kerry.  And Henry Waxman.  And Ban Ki-moon.  The lot of you!

Speak out loudly.  And speak out often.

One thing we can agree on – the future of the world as we know it may just depend on it.