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[First posted at Forbes]
Editor’s note: An update from the author has been added to this article on September 20, 2012.
Antarctic sea ice set another record this past week, with the most amount of ice ever recorded on day 256 of the calendar year (September 12 of this leap year). Please, nobody tell the mainstream media or they might have to retract some stories and admit they are misrepresenting scientific data.
National Public Radio (NPR) published an article on its website last month claiming, “Ten years ago, a piece of ice the size of Rhode Island disintegrated and melted in the waters off Antarctica. Two other massive ice shelves along the Antarctic Peninsula had suffered similar fates a few years before. The events became poster children for the effects of global warming. … There’s no question that unusually warm air triggered the final demise of these huge chunks of ice.”
NPR failed to mention anywhere in its article thatAntarctic sea ice has been growing since satellites first began measuring the ice 33 years ago and the sea ice has been above the 33-year average throughout 2012.
Indeed, none of the mainstream media are covering this important story. A Google News search of the terms Antarctic, sea ice and record turns up not a single article on the Antarctic sea ice record. Amusingly, page after page of Google News results for Antarctic sea ice record show links to news articles breathlessly spreading fear and warning of calamity because Arctic sea ice recently set a 33-year low.
Sea ice around one pole is shrinking while sea ice around another pole is growing. This sure sounds like a global warming crisis to me.
Update: To provide more perspective on global warming and Antarctica, I would like to update this column with some additional information:
As meteorologist Anthony Watts explains, new data show ice mass is accumulating on the Antarctic continent as well as in the ocean surrounding Antarctica. The new data contradict an assertion by global warming alarmists that the expanding Antarctic sea ice is coming at the expense of a decline in Antarctic continental ice.
The new data also add context to sensationalist media stories about declining ice in small portions of Antarctica, such as portions of West Antarctica and the Antarctic Peninsula (see here, for example). The mainstream media frequently publish stories focusing on ice loss in these two areas, yet the media stories rarely if ever mention that ice is accumulating over the larger area of East Antarctica and that the continent as a whole is gaining snow and ice mass.
Interestingly, a new NASA study finds Antarctica once supported vegetation similar to that of present-day Iceland.
“The southward movements of rain bands associated with a warmer climate in the high-latitude southern hemisphere made the margins of Antarctica less like a polar desert, and more like present-day Iceland,” a co-author of the NASA study reports.