It never ends...

I was going to ignore George Will's article in this weekend's Washington Post, but as the piece a) wrongly cites research, and b) has made its way into the News & Observer, alas, I cannot.

Naturally, the article provides almost zero source links but does have a soundbite:

According to the University of Illinois' Arctic Climate Research Center [UIACRC], global sea ice levels now equal those of 1979.

The piece has been thoroughly skewered elsewhere - Denialism, The Island of Doubt - so I just want to make sure two things are noted.

  • The UIACRC almost immediately responded to the Post's article:

"We do not know where George Will is getting his information, but our data shows that on February 15, 1979, global sea ice area was 16.79 million sq. km and on February 15, 2009, global sea ice area was 15.45 million sq. km. Therefore, global sea ice levels are 1.34 million sq. km less in February 2009 than in February 1979. This decrease in sea ice area is roughly equal to the area of Texas, California, and Oklahoma combined. [emphasis mine]"

The National Snow and Ice Data Center also should have been consulted, one would think, but of course thinking and unconditionally denying climate change don't really go together.

  • Climate change is not about the entire earth feeling warmer all at once; regional evidence, i.e. "It's cold in [my town] today, colder than this time last year. Guess climate change isn't really happening.", does not disprove climate change theory, but more often than not bears out peer-reviewed research. The scientific consensus is that an average raise in global temperature will have unusual effects on local weather.

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