Down to 90 days?

UPDATE: this discussion comes from a posting about loss of arctic ice on the Seemore Rocks blog here. It’s worth a visit.

I know, I promised not to bum people out anymore on my blog. Sorry. This came across my feed from FB friend Robin Westenra, who edits the blog Seemorerocks. He’s a fastidious researcher on all things climate related, and he doesn’t want to overstate the idea of NTHE. However, when information comes and he can verify it, he posts it. 

This brings me to Torsten Viddal, also a believer in NTHE He’s moderating a group on FB on NTHE, and he’s a bit more forward with his ideas. And he has no patience with subtlety. The two of them had a rather energetic exchange of ideas last night. I’m picking up the pieces here.

For those of you not in the know: This is the start of the Summer ice season, when much of the ice mass in the Arctic melts (and ice mass picks up in Antarctica, where it’s winter). Arctic ice will continue to melt for about five months, until October when cold weather comes and the ice starts to be restored. Except for this last year. There hasn’t been much in the way of ice reviving itself this year. There are charts all over my blog about the fall-off of winter ice, and the unprecedented high temperatures during the winter, left the Arctic with a mere 17,944 cubic kilometers. That sounds like a LOT of ice, but due to record summer temperatures ALREADY, it may not last the entire season. 

So let’s start with the math. Again, the Arctic is starting with almost 18,000 cubic kilometers of ice. Let’s say the melt rate is around 2,041 cubic meters a week. That probably wouldn’t be a problem IF the ice had come back last winter. But remember last winter and how the ice didn’t come back? Hint: Here’s the chart for December:


See how the red line is virtually crashing out? That was last December. 

So here’s the math: 17,944 km³ of ice currently in the Arctic. We’re losing  around 2041 km³ /week. At that rate in nine weeks, we no longer have summer ice in the Arctic. That would be early August.

THAT’s 9 weeks from now. 

However, the last few days have been exceptionally warm. tens of degrees warmer than the Arctic should be. Daily losses of ice are on the order of 515 km³ per day. Do the division: 17,944 km³ – 515 km³/day = 17944/515 = 35 days. I.e. July 4th @ Zero km³.”

Torsten added this rejoinder, addressed to the climate ‘personalities’ who are saying we don’t really need to worry until 2100, when the real reckoning will come:

“Tell me now that the shit is going to hit the fan in 2099!!! Lol!”

Here’s the handy chart put together to illustrate all of this. 

westenra ice

Remember my personal assurances. I could be completely wrong about this. We didn’t talk about ice mass in my Masters program in English/Creative writing. 


  1. How do you mean that Robin Westenra doesn’t want to “overstate the idea of NTHE”? His blog seems to be full of it

    1. Westenra had some disputes about the severity of global warming leading to NTHE. If you frequent the websites or facebook pages of groups such as the Arctic Methane, Westenra is a bit more cautious than many of the credentialed posters. That doesn’t put him on the same page as, say, Michael Mann, but he has frequently been the last to post on impending disaster.

      1. So he associates with NTHE just like Torstein Viddal,but unlike others doesn’t want to “draw attention” in case the extinction prediction didn’t work out?

  2. Marshall · · Reply

    Interesting read… How does Torsten view this after all? He seems to be predicting the same things and dates as McPherson but call him a liar anyway… Am I missing something?

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