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Limbaugh freezes out facts on Arctic ice

September 12, 2013 - Jim Anderson
Let’s say the stock market crashes.

Perish the thought, but I’m trying to put this in terms that Rush Limbaugh’s fans might better understand.

The Dow plummets to 5,000.

It climbs the next year to 8,000 — a 60 percent increase.

Would we think the economy was robust? I suppose it would depend on how high we think it should be. (It’s above 15,000 today.)

Now let’s talk about Arctic ice.

A chilly Arctic summer has left nearly a million more square miles of ocean covered with ice than at the same time last year — an increase of 60 percent, The Daily Caller trumpets.

Aha, global cooling!

“... The Arctic ice sheet is at a record size for this time of year,” Rush Limbaugh announced earlier this week. “They told us the ice was melting in the Arctic ice sheet. It's not. There's a record amount of ice, in the modern era, for this time of year.”

Well, no. (Limbaugh may be confusing the Arctic with Antarctica. Sea ice is expanding in Antarctica but scientists say the more important land ice is depleting.)

Arctic sea ice hit a record low in 2012, according to The National Snow and Ice Data Center. Also, the six lowest ice extents on record occurred in the six years from 2007 to 2012.

With this year’s rebound, climate change skeptics are reporting “a record return” of the Arctic ice cap.

A 60 percent jump is notable, and (assuming it’s true) I’m happy to share the news. But a jump from what? From the all-time low, that’s what.

If the stock market caves, then rebounds half-way, does that mean the economy is on fire?

I’d love, like Limbaugh, to dismiss global warming theories.

Fact is, the Arctic ice sheet is shrinking. Not every year, but the trend should be apparent to anyone with an open mind.

Here’s what the National Snow and Ice Data Center has to say:

“According to scientific measurements, both the thickness and extent of summer sea ice in the Arctic have shown a dramatic decline over the past 30 years. This is consistent with observations of a warming Arctic. This trend is a major sign of climate change in the polar regions and may be an indicator of the effects of global warming.”

The rebound this summer still left the ice sheet below the 1981 to 2010 average for August, the center reports.

Ice extent this August, in fact, was similar to the years 2008 to 2010. And those years, as noted earlier, are among the lowest on record.

I’m no climate scientist. But neither are the tabloid confusionists and radio carnival barkers who want you to believe the ice sheet is doing just fine.



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