Fake news by omission from RadioNZ

RNZ Kate Gudsell caught spinning the narrative by leaving out the all important caveat issued by the lead author of a recent study.

It has been the worst year on record for sea ice in Antarctica and a climate scientist suspects warmer ocean waters could be behind it.

In a just released paper, the British Antarctic Survey says a series of unprecedented storms over the Southern Ocean likely caused the most dramatic decline in Antarctic sea ice to date.

Antarctic sea ice declined sharply in late 2016 and by late March this year the ice had reached its lowest level since records began nearly 40 years ago.

British Antarctic Survey found that a series of storms at the end of last year brought warm air and strong winds from the north that melted 75,000sqkm of ice per day.

“That’s like losing a South Carolina-sized chunk of ice every 24 hours.”

Victoria University climate scientist, James Renwick, said the ocean around the Antarctic had been warming down at depth, and the expectation was that that warmer water would start to surface, resulting in below-average sea ice levels.

“The fact that the sea ice extent has stayed near record-low levels almost every day since last October is pretty remarkable.

“We haven’t seen a year like this and I suspect, we don’t have the measurements yet – but I suspect that warmer ocean waters a little bit below the surface might be helping here.”

Sounds bad but she has omitted a key sentence in her report.

This is what she omitted:

Sea ice area is an important indicator of climate change, and sea ice loss in the Arctic has been linked to increased greenhouse gas emissions. But because sea ice records go back only four decades – when the satellite era began – it’s difficult to attribute Antarctica’s sea ice loss last year to human-caused climate change, Turner said. Whaling records provide scientists with hints of Antarctica’s past sea ice extent, but it’s tough to compare that data to satellite records, he said. There’s no indication this is anything but just natural variability,” he said. “It highlights the fact that the climate of the Antarctic is incredibly variable.

Instead she seeks comment from NZ’s leading climate catastrophist James Renwick who tells us of his ‘suspicions’…

Here are a couple of other more honest reports:

Scientists mystified by a sudden fall in sea ice around Antarctica, but said there was no evidence it was related to global warming.

[…]

In the Antarctic, sea ice coverage has actually been increasing since records began – despite predictions that it would decline in a warming climate. This trend was broken in 2016 in emphatic fashion. But scientists have warned against attributing this to climate change.

“[Antarctica is] probably the worst place on earth to look for a signal of increasing greenhouse gases, because natural variability is so large there,” said professor John Turner from the British Antarctic Survey. “People have said to me ‘is this global warming suddenly kicking in?’ I don’t think there’s any evidence of that.”

Turner said there was a “real danger in making assumptions from a very short record”. After watching the Antarctic for less than forty years, he said, we cannot have witnessed all of its natural variations. “We have to be aware of the surprises that the system has in store for us.”

And this report:

The extent of seasonal sea ice around the Antarctic is expected to decline in the long term as global warming continues, but this decline has not started yet. In fact, the average area of Antarctic winter sea ice has grown somewhat since observations began in 1979.

Both this growth and the current unusual low could just be the result of natural variability, says climatologist John Turner of the British Antarctic Survey in Cambridge, UK. “The Antarctic climate is extremely variable,” he says.

The immediate cause of the current dip could be a weakening of the winds around Antarctica in November 2016. “It was a very exceptional month,” says Turner. “Relatively small changes in winds can have a huge effect on sea ice.”

And so, it looks like Radio NZ has fallen into the trap scientists warned about…that it is dangerous to make assumptions from a very short record. Then again that’s what climate science is all about…massive assumptions on thin evidence…all to scare us.

 

-New Scientist, RadioNZ, Climate Change News


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

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