As any internet search confirms, climate change doomsayers use Greenland as a key indicator of “global warming”. At least some of the phenomena they observe are clearly not the effect of greenhouse gases. Take for example the following item from page 159 of the February 1818 issue of The Gentleman’s Magazine:
“Voyage of Discovery. – Government, with a laudable desire to promote the interests of science, is equipping four vessels for the purpose of exploring the Greenland Seas, which, according to the reports of persons employed in the fishery, were never known to be so free from ice as in the last season.”
The item goes on to briefly describe preparations by Captain Buchanan to reach the North Pole and Captain Ross to explore Davis’s Straits, the extent of which was then ” still utterly unknown”.
This expedition followed the 1773 voyage to the Arctic by Captain Constantine Phipps, again in the interests of Science.
Lord Sandwich commissioned Phipps to test a fashionable scientific theory of the day. Since scientists unanimously agreed that sea water could not freeze, it followed that all sea ice must be made from fresh water, and consequently must come from land. Hence the southern ice which Cook sighted on his first voyage added force to the argument of the existence of a southern continent.
Unfortunately Phipps’ expedition was inconclusive. He got as far as the Northern tip of Spitzbergen and extricated himself from the ice with difficulty. As N.A.M Rodger points out in his biography of Lord Sandwich (Harper Collins 1993) Phipps’ expedition is usually forgotten today. His discovery was a purely negative one and anyway did not convince the enthusiasts of the “ice-free Arctic theory”.
Elizabeth (Jo) Page