Arctic Ice Scare — Climate Price Tag Claim Melts Under Scrutiny

By:  William F. Jasper
07/29/2013
       
Arctic Ice Scare — Climate Price Tag Claim Melts Under Scrutiny

Sixty trillion dollars? Global warming fright peddlers continue claiming the Arctic ice cap is melting so rapidly we are headed toward an eco-apocalypse. And now they’ve attached a very scary price tag to it.

“Scientists warn on Arctic ‘economic time bomb,’” screamed the story headline on CNBC on July 24. 

Here is the article’s opening line: “The rapidly melting Arctic is an ‘economic time bomb’ likely to cost the world at least $60 trillion, say researchers who have started to calculate the financial consequences of one of the world's fastest changing climates.” 

Sixty trillion dollars is not exactly chump change. In fact, it’s a big chunk of the global gross world product (GWP), which the CIA and IMF put at somewhere around $71.83 trillion in 2012. But climate experts say that the science and the computer models used to produce this latest nightmarish global-warming scenario are no better than many of the others that have proven false time and time again.

The CNBC article is, actually, a reposting of a story from the British newspaper, the Financial Times, which is based on a lengthy op-ed in the July issue of Nature magazine by Gail Whiteman, Chris Hope, and Peter Wadhams. The author bios for the trio at Nature tell us: “Gail Whiteman is professor of sustainability, management and climate change at Erasmus University Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Chris Hope is a reader in policy modelling at Judge Business School, University of Cambridge, UK. Peter Wadhams is professor of ocean physics at the University of Cambridge, UK.”

The academic trio makes some extraordinary claims, among which are: 

We calculate that the costs of a melting Arctic will be huge, because the region is pivotal to the functioning of Earth systems such as oceans and the climate. The release of methane from thawing permafrost beneath the East Siberian Sea, off northern Russia, alone comes with an average global price tag of $60 trillion in the absence of mitigating action — a figure comparable to the size of the world economy in 2012 (about $70 trillion). The total cost of Arctic change will be much higher. 

According to Whiteman, Hope, and Wadham, anthropogenic (human-generated) CO2 is the cause of this approaching catastrophe. “It will be difficult — perhaps impossible — to avoid large methane releases in the East Siberian Sea without major reductions in global emissions of CO2,” they assert. Ergo, humanity must adopt rigorous restrictions on energy production from traditional carbon-based sources: coal, oil, gas.

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