I was in Cleveland last week, so I stopped by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, don’t worry I didn’t see any climate propaganda at the home of Elvis and the Beatles. I had a great time and recommend it to anyone wandering close to Cleveland.
The Rock’s parking lot is at the Cleveland Science Center, which meant I had to walk through the lobby of the science center…and there it was smack dab in the center of the lobby, a plea for help for Polar Bears. A very nice 4 sided display, with pretty pictures of Polar Bears floating on an iceberg.
Please send money to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) to help save the Polar Bear. My favorite part, two diagrams of the Arctic, one in 2005 and the other in 2050. In the 2050 diagram…there is no summer ice. Okay. Let’s assume for a minute or two that the diagrams are both accurate (that the second is something other than a wild ass guess), what could the WWF possibly do to stop it?
Sure the ice cap might melt, and man might be at least partially to blame. What plans does the WWF have to stop the melting? Are they going to get China and India to stop their coal fired power plants, or better still get them to quit building new ones? Maybe they have a secret way to get the 55 mph speed limit through Congress or they have a way to make Solar power economical. And would it matter?
The Polar bear has been a species for 600,000 years, that’s 5 ice age cycles. The Ice Cap probably melted 130,000 years ago when the world was lots warmer than it is today. The Polar bear survived. If it melted then, it could happen again with our without man’s assistance.
2050 is only 38 years into the future. The National Snow and Ice Data Center provides regular updates on the status of the Arctic Ice Sheet. Their records indicate that the ice has been melting at a rate of 2.6% per decade since the late 1970’s and it peaked at least temporarily in 2007. If the rate of melt stayed steady…. it would take 400 years to melt completely, not 38.
But the rate is not steady!
As of April 2012, the extent of the ice is about average. If one took all the April data and averaged it, April 2012’s value is the one that would come up. Yes AVERAGE. Ice has been building in the Arctic since 2007. 2012 has been a very cold period, particularly from February through mid April.
Not to worry, I’m not predicting the next Ice Age advance, or the end of global warming…I’m just saying that the 2050 display was there to generate cash for the WWF….and it really was a wild ass guess.