Fox Nation Science: “Global Warming Means More Arctic Ice”

Fox Nation is linking to a recent Associated Press story, using the headline “AP: Global Warming Means More Arctic Ice.” In fact, Arctic sea ice cover fell to the lowest yearly minimum extent ever recorded just last month. The AP article explained that Antarctic sea ice growth is consistent with climate scientists' projections for a warming planet, and noted that these gains are slight compared to the dramatic loss of Arctic sea ice.

Earlier this week, AP's Seth Borenstein reported on Antarctic sea ice gains, noting that a recent growth record came just days after the lowest minimum extent of Arctic sea ice ever observed. Borenstein explained that scientists say "[s]hifts in wind patterns and the giant ozone hole over the Antarctic this time of year -- both related to human activity -- are probably behind the increase in ice." The website NewsBusters, engaging in what passes for media criticism for conservatives, complained that AP “predictably cited scientists” to explain climate science. NewsBusters alluded to a climate denier-cum-birther, who writes under the pseudonym Steven Goddard, and Christopher Horner, a lawyer who has misrepresented climate science as a fellow at the partially industry-funded Competitive Enterprise Institute, to bolster its argument.

NewsBusters declared that since this sea ice growth is somewhat counterintuitive it is “unbelievable.” However, Antarctic sea ice gains as a consequence of climate change are not a new idea. Recent research is in line with past predictions and "conventional wisdom." And while Antarctic sea ice has increased, land ice has declined.

While conservative media have used Antarctic sea ice to try to cast doubt on climate change, NASA's chief scientist told AP that “the change [in the Antarctic] is nowhere near as substantial as what we see in the Arctic.” This year's Arctic sea ice minimum was lower than any recorded in the satellite observation era "by a wide margin":

Fox Nation, a website associated with Fox News, completely missed this distinction:

The AP story is well worth a read for anyone seeking to understand Antarctic sea ice -- Drs. Scott Mandia and John Abraham, contacted through the Climate Science Rapid Response Team, told Media Matters that it is accurate. But conservative media continue to try to bully reporters into “balancing” the views of experts with those who have no interest in understanding the science.