Christopher Booker, journalist and notoriously inaccurate
climate pundit, has provided us with a nice new method of
cherrypicking data - ignore half of the planet!
First, let's note a few things. The Earth has two polar regions
- the Arctic, and the Antarctic. In each, there is sea ice, which
floats on water, and an ice sheet, which sits on land.
The total amount of sea ice in the
world appears to be
in decline. In the Arctic there has been a very rapid decline
in sea ice over the past few years, particularly in the summer.
(Sea ice grows and shrinks seasonally).
Both of the big ice sheets on the
planet - Greenland and Antarctica - are losing ice, and recently
this ice loss has been speeding up. Overall, scientists believe
that current global ice loss is indicative of
man-made climate change.
Meanwhile, in his Sunday Telegraph column Booker is still trying
to whip up outrage about the BBC's documentary series 'Frozen
Over the weekend he argued that the programme had
misrepresented the speed at which 'ice is melting at the
Booker writes that Frozen Planet contained:
"a much more serious misrepresentation -
of the speed at which ice is melting at the poles... as anyone can
see, from satellite-based charts on the Cryosphere Today website,
the extent of polar sea ice was last year 1.6 million square
kilometres greater than its average over the last 30 years -
something which could never have been guessed from Attenborough's
dramatic film sequences..."
In fact, Booker is wrong. It could be a case of dodgy
subediting, but given his past writings about climate change, it's
more likely that he is twisting data to keep his campaign against
Frozen Planet going.