In September 2013, the Daily Mail — a British newspaper that frequently publishes articles presenting climate change as a hoax — trumpeted its latest evidence, in the form of researchers' findings that the Arctic ice cap actually had increased 29 percent over the previous year. "And now it's global COOLING!" the paper's headline gleefully proclaimed [source: Rose].
On the face, increasing polar sea ice would seem to be a powerful refutation of the scary scenario presented by mainstream climate scientists, which is that the shrinking ice is causing sea levels to rise dangerously. But again, the flaw in the argument is that a single year doesn't make a trend. The amount of northern polar ice varies from year to year, but the long-term pattern is one of severe decline. From 1979 to 2014, the average ice cap in January shrank from 15.5 million square kilometers (6 million square miles) to 13.7 million square kilometers (5 million square miles). The only way that 2013 looked good was because it was a little better than 2012, which was one of the worst years on record [sources: Samenow, NSIDC].