Truth about polar ice and climate change

F. Fetterer/National Snow and Ice Data Center, NOAA

Statement from WHRC President Dr. Philip Duffy

President Trump’s recent interview comments about climate change and the polar ice caps are incorrect in every particular, and in fact they are remarkably close to the opposite of the truth. Land and sea ice are at record or near-record lows at both poles, and Arctic sea ice, at least, has disappeared much faster than predicted by climate models.

One would think that someone who watches as much TV as the President reportedly does would have heard that 2017 was recently found to be one of the warmest years on record, and that the most recent four years have been the warmest four on record.

Ted Scambos of the National Snow and Ice Data Center, has offered to brief the President on what U.S. satellite monitoring of the poles and other regions has taught us. That would be nice, but the President is supposed to be briefed before, not after, making public pronouncements. The effect of these gross misstatements is much more than political. It’s essential for people to understand that the polar regions are undergoing rapid change, and that these changes threaten to have catastrophic and irreversible global consequences, including massive sea level rise and rapid release of greenhouse gases from thawing permafrost. We must enact strong and immediate policy steps to prevent these outcomes.