Talk about poor timing! Just as President Obama is about to give the commencement address at the Coast Guard Academy on the subject of the perils of global warming, a report has come out in Forbes Magazine that updated NASA data reveals that contrary to the many alarmist stories in the mainstream media, the polar ice caps are not receding.
James Taylor, who has written on energy and environment issues, reveals that the polar ice caps have not receded at all since NASA data measurements began in 1979. Taylor also notes that the MSM has remained resolutely silent on these latest NASA data revelations:
Updated data from NASA satellite instruments reveal the Earth’s polar ice caps have not receded at all since the satellite instruments began measuring the ice caps in 1979. Since the end of 2012, moreover, total polar ice extent has largely remained above the post-1979 average. The updated data contradict one of the most frequently asserted global warming claims – that global warming is causing the polar ice caps to recede.
The timing of the 1979 NASA satellite instrument launch could not have been better for global warming alarmists. The late 1970s marked the end of a 30-year cooling trend. As a result, the polar ice caps were quite likely more extensive than they had been since at least the 1920s. Nevertheless, this abnormally extensive 1979 polar ice extent would appear to be the “normal” baseline when comparing post-1979 polar ice extent.
Updated NASA satellite data show the polar ice caps remained at approximately their 1979 extent until the middle of the last decade. Beginning in 2005, however, polar ice modestly receded for several years. By 2012, polar sea ice had receded by approximately 10 percent from 1979 measurements. (Total polar ice area – factoring in both sea and land ice – had receded by much less than 10 percent, but alarmists focused on the sea ice loss as “proof” of a global warming crisis.)
Taylor also notes that the usual suspects in the MSM continue to maintain their silence on this NASA data that counters their beloved global warming ideology:
The frequency of polar ice cap stories may have abated, but the tone and content has not changed at all.
Since you can't get more MSM than the New York Times, your humble correspondent is curious if the Times Dot Earth blogger, Andrew Revkin, will follow up on this. In a recent blog about the tragic deaths of Dutch polar explorers Marc Cornelissen and Philip de Roo, Revkin mentioned that the two proved important support to polar scientists collecting ground data to verify the accuracy of the NASA satellite data. Revkin quoted one of the scientists, Bruce C. Elder, who worked with the two Dutch polar explorers on this subject:
Satellite data is only valid as long as you have documented that it is accurate — or at least can explain the accuracy and resolved uncertainties with the data set. In the spring of 2014 we were part of a program that performed some ground-truth measurements to validate aircraft sensors and thus moving up the scale to satellite data. For this purpose — combined with a couple other programs — we took ice-based measurements that were then overflown by various aircraft with downward looking sensors, which in turn flew missions beneath the polar-orbiting satellite track.
It is very important to periodically perform these ice-based experiments so that you have confidence in what the sensor-based electronics is actually showing you. If you oversimplify things, the most accurate measurement of snow and ice thickness is done by being there — on the ice — drilling a hole and directly measuring it. There is no calibration or interpretation needed.
Okay, Andrew. So did the ground data prove that the NASA satellite data was accurate? Your homework assignment is to report on this but beware! You could be entering the Planet of the Liberals Forbidden Zone in which the facts counter the prevailing global warming ideology.