Networks Wrong On Global Warming Again; Arctic Ice Still There

     So much for the media hype about Arctic ice disappearing this summer.


     Less than three months ago, NBC’s Anne Thompson was warning ominously of ice loss. “But this summer, some scientists say that ice could retreat so dramatically that open water covers the North Pole, so much so that you could sail across it.”


     Both are still with us – the ice and the hype. According to a September 16 National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) report, such predictions were off by 1.74 million square miles.


     NSIDC reported ice loss was less than in 2007. “On September 12, 2008, sea ice extent dropped to 4.52 million square kilometers (1.74 million square miles). This appears to have been the lowest point of the year, as sea has now begun its annual cycle of growth in response to autumn cooling,” according to the organization.


     Two days after Thompson’s report, on July 30, ABC weatherman Sam Champion told the “Good Morning America” audience that Arctic ice loss was on a record pace. “Every summer we're on a record pace for losing it last summer and this summer we're at the exact same pace.”


     The NSIDC assessment makes it clear that claim was also wrong, calling it “above the record minimum set on September 16, 2007.” “The Arctic sea ice cover appears to have reached its minimum extent for the year, the second-lowest extent recorded since the dawn of the satellite era. “

     Earlier in the summer, media outlets warned ominously that the ice could melt away. “Today” host Lester Holt described the story as “surprising and, frankly, alarming news from the scientific community, a new report that says the North Pole could soon be ice-free.”


     Thompson, NBC's chief environmental affairs correspondent, went on to interview two scientists who said the ice loss was ahead of schedule and had potential dangerous impact on U.S. weather. “Scientists say the cause is global warming and that dramatic loss of Arctic ice will impact the weather in the U.S.,” she said


     She quoted Mark Serreze, from NSIDC, warning of the decline in ice cover. “If we compare the rate of loss of Arctic sea ice that we see now with what our computer simulations were telling us, we're probably 20 to 30 years ahead of schedule,” he explained.


     Thompson added that more ice loss was coming. “This is what happened last year. Satellite images show the record melt with big patches of open water where ice should be. This year the ice loss is already the size of California, and there are roughly two more months left in the melting season.”


     This fits an ongoing pattern of media hype about climate change where networks no longer report the issue with any sense of objectivity. A study published by the Business & Media Institute earlier this year showed how rarely dissenting voices were included in the climate debate. The study found that global warming proponents overwhelmingly outnumbered those with dissenting opinions. On average for every skeptic there were nearly 13 proponents featured. ABC did a slightly better job with a 7-to-1 ratio, while CBS’s ratio was abysmal at nearly 38-to-1.


Related Links: 


A Special Report from BMI: Global Warming Censored


BMI's Special Report "Fire & Ice: Journalists have warned of climate change for 100 years, but can't decide weather we face an ice or warming"


Climate of Bias: BMI's page devoted entirely to global warming and climate change in the media.