A New Inconvenient Truth: Antarctic Ice Levels Reach Record High

By Timothy H. Lee  / Center For Individual Freedom

For global warming alarmists, the inconvenient truths just keep accumulating.

The unintentional humor served up by their increasingly desperate rationalizations provides one of the more enjoyable byproducts of that process.

For sheer comedic treasure in that regard, it’s difficult to beat the far-left Daily Kos.  A headline this week provided another gem, in the wake of climate alarmists’ latest inconvenient truth:  “Warming-Driven Antarctic Sea Ice Breaks Record.”

The occasion for that preposterous rationalization was a new report that Antarctic sea ice levels have reached a record high – for the second consecutive year.  According to the National Snow and Ice Data Center, “Antarctic sea ice is poised to set a record maximum this year, now at 7.6 million square miles and continuing to increase.”

Jan Lieser of the Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) placed the discovery in helpful historical and geographical context:

“This is an area covered by sea ice which we’ve never seen from space before.  Thirty-five years ago, the first satellites went up which were reliably telling us what area, two-dimensional area, of sea ice was covered, and we’ve never seen that before, that much area.  That is roughly double the size of the Antarctic continent and about three times the size of Australia.” 

To be charitable, the Daily Kos earns an “E” for effort.  It can’t be easy spinning news of this sort, so brashness and chutzpah may be their only remaining option.

Unfortunately, more mainstream media sources weren’t far behind.

It’s time for domestic and world leaders to end the charade and refocus on what truly threatens worldwide peace and prosperity.
USA Today went out of its way to soften the news of record Antarctic ice by referencing conditions in the comparatively smaller Arctic ice region.  “Though the amount of sea ice at the Antarctic should set an all-time record high this month,” it reported, “Arctic ice shrank to its sixth-lowest level on record, scientists from the National Snow and Ice Data Center reported this week.”

Conspicuously, USA Today betrayed political bias in using different explanations for lower Arctic ice and higher Antarctic ice.  “Arctic sea ice extent,” it said, “has been steadily diminishing over the years because of man-made climate change.”  But note how it subsequently sought to explain record Antarctic ice:  “The amount and volume of ice in Antarctica depend on a complex relationship of air, water, wind and ozone depletion, involving natural and man-made influences.”

Got that?  In the Arctic, lower ice levels are explained by “man-made climate change,” but in the Antarctic, record ice levels occurred due to “a complex relationship.”

The Washington Post attempted the same bizarre contradiction in its report:

“At opposite ends of the world, trends in sea ice coverage are in stark opposition.  Arctic sea ice coverage remains depressed, while Antarctic levels have achieved a record high for the second straight year.  Due to warming of the Arctic, the depleted state of Arctic sea ice is expected.  The ever-growing Antarctic sea ice levels are more of a surprise.” 

Then came this transparently partisan conclusion:

“This lack of understanding notwithstanding, increasing Antarctic sea ice does not in any way disprove global warming…  Whereas there is an apparent straightforward relationship between rising temperatures and loss of ice during the summer in the Arctic, warming temperatures in the Antarctic in winter (when background temperatures are really cold) simply do not have the same effect.” 

So there’s a “straightforward relationship” in the Arctic, but somehow not the Antarctic.

One problem for those attempting to counter record Antarctic ice levels with Arctic ice decreases is that Antarctic ice mass is far larger.  Whereas Arctic sea ice averages 2.37 million square miles in the years measured, Antarctic sea ice covers 7.6 million square miles.

Here’s the reality.  It has now been nearly two decades since the last global temperature cycle peaked.  Even those who previously advanced global warming theory now acknowledge that the warming cycle ended in 1998.  Matt Ridley, writing in The Wall Street Journal, admits that, “I was among those who thought the previous pause was a blip”:

“The pause has now lasted for 16, 19 or 26 years – depending on whether you choose the surface temperature record or one of two satellite records of the lower atmosphere.  That’s according to a new statistical calculation by Ross McKitrick, a professor of economics at the University of Guelph in Canada.  It has been roughly two decades since there was a trend in temperature significantly different from zero.  The burst of warming that preceded the millennium lasted about 20 years and was preceded by 30 years of slight cooling after 1940.” 

Next week, world leaders will meet at the United Nations for another global warming kabuki dance.  They’ll offer the same doomsday predictions and costly policy demands, which jeopardize economic growth, jobs, energy production and innovation.

But it’s worth recalling that the first such U.N. global warming alarm was sounded in 1990, nearly a quarter century ago.  Temperatures plateaued shortly thereafter, and now we’re witnessing such things as record ice growth.  It’s time for domestic and world leaders to end the charade and refocus on what truly threatens worldwide peace and prosperity.

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