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- President Donald Trump disputed basic facts concerning climate change during a wide-ranging interview with British journalist Piers Morgan that aired on Sunday.
- Trump argued that “ice caps” are at a “record level,” apparently contradicting scientific evidence that shows sea ice levels at their lowest points in recorded history.
- He also said that the argument that climate change is real “wasn’t working too well because it was getting too cold all over the place.”
President Donald Trump disputed basic facts concerning climate change, falsely claiming that polar ice caps are not melting, during a wide-ranging interview with British journalist Piers Morgan that aired on Sunday.
Trump argued that sea ice is not, in fact, melting at unprecedented rates, contradicting overwhelming scientific evidence.
“The ice caps were going to melt, they were going to be gone by now but now they’re setting records. Now they’re at a record level,” the president told Morgan on Britain’s ITV News. “There are so many things happening.”
Data released in December by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration found that the portion of the Arctic Ocean that freezes each year hit a record low in 2017, and is shrinking more rapidly than at any point in the last 1,500 years. NASA also reported last year that the South Pole is seeing record low levels of sea ice.
Trump also claimed that weather patterns disprove the fact that the world is warming. The world’s oceans were the hottest they’ve ever been last year, and 2017 was the second-hottest year, overall, on record.
“There is a cooling, and there’s a heating. I mean, look, it used to not be climate change, it used to be global warming, right?” Trump said. “That wasn’t working too well because it was getting too cold all over the place.”
(Trump’s claim that scientists have changed the terminology from “global warming” to “climate change” is also false. NASA scientists say that the terms have been used to describe different phenomena since 1975.)
Trump has long derided climate science, famously calling climate change an “expensive hoax” and asserting in a 2012 tweet that the phenomenon “was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.” He’s also repeatedly ridiculed President Barack Obama’s belief that climate change is the greatest long-term threat facing the United States and the world.
Trump added that he believes in “having good cleanliness,” meaning “clear air” and “crystal-clear, beautiful water,” a sentiment he has expressed consistently over the years.