“But sea ice around Antarctica in the south is growing.” It’s become a common refrain among those challenging much of the scientific evidence on climate change whenever the subject of declining Arctic sea ice comes up.
But do such comments have substantive merit? Does the implication that the whole global sea ice issue and the planet’s net energy balance are stable — that gains in Antarctica in offset losses in the Arctic — stand up to scientific evidence?
The issue is dissected in a new original video produced for The Yale Forum by Peter Sinclair of Midland, MI. Sinclair seeks out climate experts from the National Snow & Ice Data Center at the University of Colorado, Boulder; from Rutgers University in New Jersey; from the University of California, Los Angeles; and from other research organizations and agencies and puts the whole Arctic/Antarctic sea ice issue in context. The video draws on resources from NASA and NOAA and from the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research, University of Victoria in New Zealand, and it draws also on congressional testimony provided by the then-chief oceanographer of the U.S. Navy, Admiral David Titley, and on audio from National Public Radio science correspondent Richard Harris.
Asked if sea ice globally has increased compared with levels of 30 years ago, NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center climate scientist Claire Parkinson says unequivocally, “There is less sea ice globally now than there was 30 years ago.” Other experts in the video point to an apples/oranges comparison between the Arctic and Antarctic sea ice trends.
This month’s Yale Forum “This is Not Cool” installment serves as a video complement to the recent Zeke Hausfather “Slightly Increased 2012 Antarctic Sea Ice Levels No Match for Arctic Declines” analysis posted in mid-October.