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Jordan Candler / May 21, 2015

Polar Ice Caps Put a Freeze on Alarmist Narrative

One commonly cited assertion today is that the polar ice caps are melting at an unprecedented rate. Unfortunately, because research institutions are intermingled with power-hungry, agenda-laden politicos, we live in a time when “facts” need fact checkers, and the results typically look very different. Take, for example, global sea ice. In 1979, NASA began recording global temperature and ice data via satellites, a time that Forbes contributor James Taylor says “could not have been better for global warming alarmists.” Why? “The late 1970s marked the end of a 30-year cooling trend,” he explains. “As a result, the polar ice caps were quite likely more extensive than they had been since at least the 1920s.” Thus, as ice concentration experienced a 10% decline, give or take, between 1979 and 2012, the alarm appeared more robust than it really was — even though, as Taylor notes, a 10% oscillation is hardly something to write home about, “especially considering the 1979 baseline was abnormally high anyway.” What should be more alarming is how quickly polar ice has increased over the last few years. According to Taylor, “In late 2012 … polar ice dramatically rebounded and quickly surpassed the post-1979 average. Ever since, the polar ice caps have been at a greater average extent than the post-1979 mean. Now, in May 2015, the updated NASA data show polar sea ice is approximately 5 percent above the post-1979 average.” Like many others, Taylor expects an overall decrease in ice over the ensuing years, but that’s because “global temperatures are continuing their gradual recovery from the Little Ice Age.” And that’s not a bad thing, either.

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