Daily Mail uses Arctic ice cap growth to trash climate science

Cynical spin misleads readers about climate change in order to bash 'green taxes'

Arctic ice


The Daily Mail thinks it has climate science bang to rights.

In a story today, headed ‘Vanishing Arctic ice caps? No, they’ve grown by 40 percent‘, the paper reports on how the Arctic ice caps grew by 41 percent in 2013.

The paper’s editorial column uses this to cast doubt on the whole issue of climate change, asking whether ‘prophesies of global doom are based on genuine science, or guesswork’.

(Naturally they take a swipe at climate change targets and ‘spurious green taxes‘.)

If only the Mail had listened to the scientist quoted in their own story, they might know the answer. 

Because while the paper quotes Rachel Tilling from University College London, who lead the relevant study, about being ‘quite surprised by the findings’, it leaves out her actual analysis.

Though the ice caps grew in 2013, they were down again by 6 percent in 2014.

To put this into context, the amount of Arctic ice has shrunk by 40 percent since the late 1970s. Using more advanced measurements, scientists found a 14 percent decrease in just 2 years between 2010 and 2012.

Arctic Ice, long term, NSIDC

The National Snow and Ice Data Centre (NSIDC) reports that June 2015 recorded the third lowest Arctic ice volume in the satellite record. The NSIDC predicts ‘rapid ice loss in the coming weeks’.

So basically, as Ms Trilling puts it:

“It was a cold year – that happens.”

In fact, the ice cap growth in 2013 is good news. It shows some affects of global warming can be reversed, vindicating climate change campaigners who call for action.

Meanwhile, 2015 is set to be the hottest year on record.

The Daily Mail knows all this. Its story closes with scientists describing the long term trends. (As with most Mail stories, it’s helpful to read it backwards.)

The paper’s editorial acknowledges these points, only to dismiss them as ‘juggling’.

It therefore chooses to present the news as a challenge to climate science, rather than a vindication and refinement of it.

Adam Barnett is a staff writer at Left Foot Forward. Follow MediaWatch on Twitter

Read more: 

Richard Littlejohn calls new mother a ‘gypsy’ who ‘contributes nothing’ to society

Meet Princess Liz: Sexism row misses the point of the Mail’s Liz Kendall interview

Sign up for our weekly email by clicking here.

16 Responses to “Daily Mail uses Arctic ice cap growth to trash climate science”

  1. Sean Cooper

    Perhaps the fact that the doom-mongers now refer to “climate change” rather than “global warming” tells you even more than this research. Or could it be because average global temperatures haven’t risen since 1998 that global warming was abandoned?

  2. wjfox

    Why do you deniers keep repeating the *SAME* myths, over and over and over and over again? How many times do we have to debunk your rubbish before you’ll accept you’re wrong?

    Global warming was never “changed” to climate change. In case you hadn’t noticed, the IPCC was formed back in 1988. Note what the “CC” in “IPCC” stands for. Gilbert Plass’s influential paper “The Carbon Dioxide Theory of Climate Change” was published in 1955, and the science was being studied as far back as 1824.

    As for global average temperatures – they are clearly rising, whichever dataset is used, with 2001-2010 being easily the hottest decade on record (by far), 2014 the hottest individual year and almost certain to be surpassed by 2015 according to both NASA and the NOAA.

    So in conclusion, you’ve spouted the usual denialist drivel that’s been debunked a million, trillion times and you don’t have anything intelligent or insightful to offer here. Now run along back to WUWT.

  3. Mamparra

    I’m overseas at present and only saw reports on this on another climate change denier (among many other negative things) the tabloid-TV Sky News. They were almost frothing at the mouth that the whole thing showed how the ‘well-paid’ scientific community was once again leading us all up the garden path etc etc. Unfortunately they, like the ‘I-don’t-care-what-it-is-I’m-against-it’ Daily Mail, are doing untold damage to action on this very serious issue. So it was great to go a search and find Adam’s very useful response and also your contribution above. Many thanks – let’s hope the DM and Sky News give some balancing comments, but I’m not holding my breath….

  4. Michael Stone

    That is one of the best butt kinkin of a GW denier I have yet seen… Thank you.

  5. JohnRich

    Good to see the Mail getting to the truth of the climate scam.

  6. Cole

    Yes, they’re so truthful these Mail journos. You’d really think they’d be embarrassed writing this troglodyte rubbish. But I guess they’re well paid.

  7. Robert

    You might find this interesting;

    When the End of Human Civilization Is Your Day Job
    Among many climate scientists, gloom has set in. Things are worse than we think, but they can’t really talk about it.

  8. Robert

    A post well worth more than just a +1!

  9. Constant Gardener

    If you don’t know that Frank Luntz advised the Bush administration to emphasize “climate change” over “global warming,” you know too little to comment. Step away from the internet. https://www2.bc.edu/~plater/Newpublicsite06/suppmats/02.6.pdf

  10. Michael Stone

    It is not fair to the children. They didn’t do it… I honestly do despise these global warming deniers.

  11. Robert

    It is a very powerful piece. I just emailed the editors thanking them publishing it.

  12. wjfox

    Lol, if only you knew how dumb you sound.

  13. Gerard Gallagher

    You and your kinds arrogance is sickening and morally objectionable. Despite all the evidence of scientists who have devoted their lives to discovering the truth about this issue issue, you choose to believe the DM.

    This paper is so ignorant of the facts it even omits evidence from its own sources. I can understand this as they are clearly being bought by those who have soo much to lose through their corruption, you however have no excuse only foolishness.

  14. Leslie Graham

    The term ‘global warming’ refers to the observed and continuing warming of the globe – culminating with 2015 almost certain to beat last years record warmth.
    The term ‘climate change’ (which has been in use for 20 years longer than the term ‘global warming’) refers to the observed and continuing changes to the climate brought about by the warming.
    My 12 year old neice has no problem grasping this basic simple schoolboy level concept but it appears to be way beyond the grasp of the average denier who endlessly parrots the ridiculous ‘They change the name'(TM) meme regardless of the fact that it can be and has been falsified a million times in the last decade.
    It’s just pathetic.
    Now that the effects of global warming are simply an obvious everyday reality all over the Earth the last-of-the-deniers are sounding increasingly shrill, desperate and, frankly, insane.

  15. David Wilson

    Why do these comments always end up as a slanging match between those who believe only they are the authentic guardians of truth.
    “There are no truths – only interpretations” (Nietzsche)
    So let each side calmly put forward the arguments for its own particular interpretation …. and remember that most palaeolithic observers were wrong-footed by the Younger Dryas

  16. toomuchgas

    Taxes are the cheapest and most efficient way to reduce GHG. Found this interesting article.


Leave a Reply