First we’re invited to marvel at the scale of the iceberg – variously described as “quarter the size of Wales”, “twice the size of Luxembourg”, “one of the biggest icebergs on record”, and “two Luxembourgs, ten Madrids and one Delaware”. It weighs – CNN breathlessly tells us – “more than one trillion tons.”
This eco-campaigner goes straight for the nearest superlative:
The largest #iceberg ever, over 1.3 trillion tons, has just broken off from #Antarctica. Now we wait and see. This is Live #Science pic.twitter.com/9cJPr1SB58
— Daniel Schneider (@BiologistDan) July 12, 2017
Next, we’re told – against all credible evidence – that it might be caused by climate change.
According to CNN’s tame expert:
It’s clear that global warming, caused largely by burning fossil fuels and agricultural practices, is contributing to the broader destabilization of Antarctica, said Eric Rignot, professor of Earth systems sciences at the University of California, Irvine, and a senior research scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
“This breakup signals that the ice shelf got too thin,” Rignot said in an email. “It got thinner because climate has been warming, over decades; the ice shelf will eventually collapse in the coming decades. This is absolutely related to climate warming.
The New York Times goes for the “even though this has nothing to do with global warming, it kinda sorta does really” approach:
Some climate scientists believe the warming in the region was at least in part a consequence of human-caused climate change, while others have disputed that, seeing a large role for natural variability — and noting that icebergs have been breaking away from ice shelves for many millions of years. But the two camps agree that the breakup of ice shelves in the peninsula region may be a preview of what is in store for the main part of Antarctica as the world continues heating up as a result of human activity.Meanwhile the Guardian – clearly frustrated that the scientists it consulted refuse to play this game – throws in this random paragraph:
The news of the giant iceberg comes after US president Donald Trump announced that the US will be withdrawing from the 2015 Paris climate accord – an agreement signed by more than 190 countries to tackle global warming. “Truly I am dismayed,” said [glacier expert Twyla] Moon of the move.
But as Tony Heller shows in his latest video this all really just climate #fakenews.
First, “calving” – whereby snow in the Arctic and Antarctic turns to ice then drifts towards the sea and breaks off into icebergs which float away looking for four-funnelled luxury passenger liners to sink – is a perfectly natural process which has nothing to do with climate change.
Secondly, compared to some of the other big icebergs which have broken off in the last 100 years this one is a relative tiddler.
In 1956 an iceberg broke off from Antarctica which was 200 miles long and sixty miles wide. It was the size of “Massachusetts and Connecticut combined”.
That’s six times the size of the one which broke off from the Larsen-C ice shelf in Antarctica this week.
Another iceberg broke off in 1927 which was four times the size of this week’s iceberg.
No one is disputing, then, that a big chunk of ice broke off Antarctica this week.
But it wasn’t unprecedentedly large and it wasn’t anything to do with climate change. Only the #fakenews media think otherwise.