Telling positive as well as negative trends on global warming

The press is failing in its primary duty to inform by not informing the public of good news when it comes to climate change as well as bad.

In 2007, The Associated Press, along with many other news outlets, told us that the “Arctic is screaming” and that the Northwest Passage was open “for the first time in recorded history.” Yet the BBC reported in 2000 that the fabled Northwest Passage was already without ice.

We rarely hear that the Antarctic sea ice is not in decline or that it is above average for the past year. IPCC models would expect declining sea ice in both hemispheres, but in fact where the Arctic is doing worse than expected, Antarctica is doing better.

Instead, we are inundated with stories of how sea levels will rise, and how one study after another finds that it will be much worse than what the IPCC predicts. Most models, however, find results within the IPCC range of a sea-level increase of 18 to 59 centimeters this century. This is of course why the thousands of IPCC scientists projected that range. Studies claiming one meter or more, however, obviously make for better headlines.

Since 1992, we have had satellites measuring the rise in global sea levels, and they have shown a stable increase of 3.2 mm — spot on the IPCC projection. Moreover, over the last two years, sea levels have not increased at all — actually, they have shown a slight drop. Should we not be told that this is much better than expected?

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