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Trump Proves Record-Level Ignorance Regarding Ice Caps, Climate Crisis

"The president insists that 'the ice caps are at a record level,' confirming the suspicion that he's living on a different planet."

Extent of Arctic sea ice in September 2016 versus the 1981-2010 average minimum extent (gold line). Through satellite images, researchers have observed a steep decline in the average extent of Arctic sea ice for every month of the year. This trend has continued. (Credit: NASA)

Though ultimately difficult to prove whether it is President Donald Trump's willful misstatement of facts and reality or just the expression of his outright ignorance and stupidity, scientists and climate experts were forced to gasp at just how little the president appears to understand about the threat of human-caused global warming when he suggested to British interviewer Piers Morgan the polar ice caps were doing great.

"Globally, we are in fact seeing record sea ice....lows. We see that the opposite of what Trump said is in fact true." —Michael Mann, climate scientistIn the interview that aired Sunday night, in which Morgan asked the president directly about his beliefs on the subject, Trump responded by saying, "The ice caps were going to melt, they were going to be gone by now, but now they're setting records."

Of course, the ice caps are setting records... but for how bad they're doing and how rapidly they're melting. As Common Dreams reported just last month, NOAA's latest Arctic Report Card—a government-generated document that anybody (even the president) can read—showed that rates of Arctic warming and sea ice decline are now at levels not seen in 1,500 years.

Meanwhile, Penn State climatologist Michael Mann penned a detailed rebuttal to the president's statement on Sunday and explained, "Globally, we are in fact seeing record sea ice....lows. We see that the opposite of what Trump said is in fact true."

Though Trump has bragged that he's "like a very smart person" and "comprehends" things very well—"better than, I think, almost anybody"— the very accessible, highly documented, and well-explained scientific consensus on climate change appears to elude him in a big way.


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