George F. Will earned a good scoffing from me and many others fo his recent columns pooh-poohing global warming "alarmism."
Much of the derision (although just a minor note in my own screed) centered around this claim:
Since September, however, the increase in sea ice has been the fastest change,
either up or down, since 1979, when satellite record-keeping began. According to
the University of Illinois' Arctic Climate Research Center, global sea ice
levels now equal those of 1979.
The Arctic Climate Research Center quickly insisted that Will was flat-out wrong. In response, Will wrote a column insisting that they were wrong and he was right. Take that, climate researchers!
Well, it seems that Will's own paper is part of the conspiracy against him. Today's Washington Post reports that new data from the NASA and the National Snow and Ice Data Center show that the polar ice is actually melting even faster than anyone thought:
The satellite data released by NASA and the National Snow and Ice Data Center
show that the maximum extent of the 2008-2009 winter sea ice cover was the
fifth-lowest since researchers began collecting such information 30 years ago.
The past six years have produced the six lowest maximums in that record, and the
new data show that the percentage of older, thicker and more persistent ice
shrank to its lowest level ever, at just 9.8 percent of the winter ice cover.
And this paragraph has to hurt (my emphasis):
The new evidence -- including satellite data showing that the average multiyear
wintertime sea ice cover in the Arctic in 2005 and 2006 was nine feet thick, a
significant decline from the 1980s -- contradicts data cited in widely
circulated reports by Washington Post columnist George F. Will that sea ice in
the Arctic has not significantly declined since 1979.