A Newsweek article posted Monday called “How Global Warming Threatens Antarctic Animals” claims global warming is causing a dramatic decline Antarctic sea ice and that decline might hurt the Animals living in the seabed, hurting ecosystems across the world.
In Antarctica, the movement of icebergs is seasonal. When winter hits, the sea surface freezes, locking icebergs into place and preventing them from colliding on the seabed—where most Antarctic species live. For at least the last half century, however, global warming has led to a dramatic decline in this winter ice, meaning there are more glacial collisions, known as “scouring,” on the Antarctic seabed. In a Current Biology paper published Monday, scientists argue that this increase in scouring might negatively alter how species on the shallow portion of Antarctica’s seabed interact with one another—and they worry this is a harbinger of climate change–linked ecosystem changes around the globe.
On the face of it the claim is a bit frightening especially if you are a crustacean living in the sea bed. But calm down. First of all if you are reading this, chances are you are not a crustacean. Secondly and probably more important than the first, the report of melting Antarctic sea ice is an outright lie.
First of all according to the U.S. government’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), as of June 17th, Antarctic Sea Ice Extent is 1,281,000 sq km above the 1981-2010 mean. That is also the 100th daily record in 2014 out of 167 days. In other words the sea ice is expanding not melting.
Those of you who have purchased SCUBA gear expecting that global warming is going to melt the ice caps causing most of us to soon be underwater are going to be disappointed in this next one. A peer reviewed paper published Wednesday project that Antarctic sea ice is going to grow so much that sea levels are going to decrease:
A paper published today in The Cryosphere studies one of the largest ice shelves in East Antarctica and predicts increased accumulation of ice on the surface of the ice shelf will have a net contribution of decreasing sea levels over the 21st and 22nd centuries.
According to the authors,
“Overall, the increased accumulation computed by the atmosphere models outweighs ice stream acceleration so that the net contribution to sea level rise is negative.”
Furthermore, the authors predict the grounding line of this ice shelf system will have “little grounding line retreat” and thus it very unlikely this ice sheet will break off from the continent.
It appears that the Newsweek editors are so wrapped up in selling the global warming theory that they forgot one of the key components of good journalism…telling the truth.