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Australia is home to The Australian, a flagship product of Rupert Murdoch's stable of media organs. Although The Australian is technically a broadsheet, it sadly has a track record of distortion and misrepresentation when it comes to climate reporting.
The recent adventures of the Australian expedition to Antarctica appear to have provided further impetus for The Australian to get things wrong in its coverage. Under the headline Stuck on a ship of (cold) fools, the paper opined:
An ice breaker gets stuck in ice and that somehow is an embarassment to "global warming scientists."
Because if one goes to the expedition's web page, then their first three scientific goals (there are 9 altogether) are stated as follows:
I have highlighted the important bit: the growth of extensive fast ice. What is "extensive fast ice"? It is sea ice, and it is precisely the ice in which the expedition is now stuck, as its director blogged recently.
In other words, the expedition is experiencing precisely the conditions it set out to study—namely the sea ice that scientists know is increasing around Antarctica, while the icecaps on Antarctica are known to melt.
There is a solid body of evidence that Antarctica is melting (a consequence of global warming) whereas sea ice around Antarctica is increasing. The reasons underlying those seemingly opposing trends make for some fascinating science.
But being fascinated by science, and getting it right, is not anything we can expect from The Australian, alas.
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