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Here We Go Again. Trump Just Said Another Stupid Thing About Climate Change

Is someone keeping count?

SCIENCE AF STAFF
30 JAN 2018
 

If it wasn't official before, it is now: President Trump has no idea how climate science works.

In an interview with British Journalist Piers Morgan, Trump made a completely ignorant and unsubstantiated comment about Earth's ice caps. Because - did you know? - the U.S. President is quite the expert on global warming.

 

"The ice caps were going to melt, they were going to be gone by now, but now they're setting records," Trump said on a UK television network.

The backlash from the scientific community was immediate.

Renowned phsyicist Lawrence Krauss is right. Trump's recent comments on climate change are completely and unequivocally incorrect.

"Clearly President Trump is relying on alternative facts to inform his views on climate change," Rutgers University climate scientist Jennifer Francis told the Associated Press in an email. 

"Ice on the ocean and on land are both disappearing rapidly, and we know why: increasing greenhouse gases from burning fossil fuels that trap more heat and melt the ice."

The truth is, only a small number of experts predicted the Arctic would be free of summer sea ice by now.

The majority of scientists and scientific institutions, like the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, did not go quite as far. Instead, they predicted that Arctic sea ice would shrink significantly, which it most definitely has.

 

According to a report from NASA last year, the sea ice on both poles has now reached the lowest levels since scientists began keeping records in 1979.

While it is true the level of Arctic sea ice has fluctuated year to year, the 10 lowest years of sea ice have all occurred in the past 11 years.

Today, NASA scientists have calculated the rate of Arctic sea ice decline is around 13.2 percent per decade. As a result, most scientists predict the Arctic will be free of summer sea ice sometime in the 2040s.

"Both of the large ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica are losing hundreds of billions of tons of ice per year," National Snow and Ice Data Center scientist Ted Scambos told AP.

"Sea ice continues to decline significantly in the Arctic decade by decade, and the thickness of Arctic ice is now less than 50 percent of what it was 40 years ago."

Maybe next time the President will educate himself before he speaks, but probably not.