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It is an oft-repeated myth that the Arctic's ice is growing

Dr GM Lindsay (Letters, February 16) claims "recent measurements of Arctic ice shows the highest gain in ice levels since satellite measurement records began in 1980".

In fact Paul Holland of the British Antarctic Survey explained in November that "the Arctic is losing sea ice five times faster than the Antarctic is gaining it, so, on average, the Earth is losing sea ice very quickly. There is no inconsistency between our results and global warming".

The myth that Arctic ice is growing is repeated endlessly despite the facts.

Dr Lindsay also quotes statistics on wind turbine capacity from the Renewable Energy Foundation (REF). The biographies of REF's technical advisory group on its website show it includes David White, who was a senior manager for Esso and Exxon "over a 30- year period".

It also includes Professor Michael Jefferson, who worked for Shell Oil in several senior positions.

Another is Hugh Sharman, whose company Incotecto is involved in enhanced oil recovery, which is a way of getting more oil out of existing oilfields by pumping carbon dioxide into them, with the hoped for bonus of storing it in them to stop it going into the atmosphere.

There is some doubt about whether this will work permanently, especially if there is seismic activity.

Not all of the foundation's members were or are employed in the oil and gas industry, but enough that we should perhaps be wary of accepting their statistics without checking other sources first.

Wind would certainly be far more effective as a source of power if we had more storage capacity, and investing in that storage capacity would be expensive, but we will need it sooner or later anyway.

Renewables are not the main cause of rising electricity bills either – that would be growing global demand combined with systematic overcharging by energy companies, as found in a study by Manchester University.

Duncan M McFarlane,




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