The article is real and was sent out to newspapers by the Associated Press. Several newspapers published the article and the title used by the Washington Post on November 2, 1922 was "Arctic Ocean Getting Warm; Seals Vanish and Icebergs Melt."
AP's article was based upon the November 1922 Monthly Weather Review which stated that an expedition was sent by the Norwegian Department of Commerce to the Arctic Circle to survey and make oceanographic investigations. Captain Martinlingebrigstaen, leading the expedition, sailed the eastern Arctic waters for 54 years and reported warmer conditions since 1918. The article continued to suggest that the issue of warming was widespread, citing less seals, melting glaciers and changing fishing zones. Reports from seal hunters, explorers and fishermen, supported the radical change in climate conditions. Captain Martinlingebrigstaen stated that the Arctic region is no longer recognizable as the same region of 1868 to 1917.
On Social Media today, some add testing and provocative comments to this article placing blame for Global Warming on Model T car drivers in 1922. Additionally, some use this article as proof that our climate has always been changing and Climate Change isn't real.
Here are the encompassing details:
While there is truth to our climate always changing, the term Climate Change is misleading. I have said and use, we have changing climates. Meaning, our planet's multiple climates throughout the world are changing. Some for the better, some for the worst, because when you say we have a changing climate, that begs the question, Where? The climate where I live, will be different from the climate at a different longitude and latitude.
When you say climate change, that signifies a unilateral global world wide change of one climate. That is misleading, because our climate doesn't change as a whole for the whole world. Many areas around our planet have far more serious issues with their changing climate, than some other areas of the world.
What the article in 1922 was based upon, was a limited report. There were no satellite images and no broad view of the arctic. True, the area under research had less ice than previous information derived in the late 1800s, however presenting that the occurrences were widespread, was premature.
Additionally, the comments placed today on this article's Social Media posting that suggest we don't have environmental problems, are unwarranted since they too are using a limited amount of data. The situation is completely different now and a great deal more data is available to us today that shows we have warmer ocean temperatures in many areas of the world. Thus causing issues that we still do not know for sure what the actual outcomes will be or when or how bad or how favorable.
Notice the trend... Use a limited amount of data to present your own narrative. Always done to gain power, make money or just to get 15 minutes of fame on sensationalized media networks.
Both sides, the 1922 article and the 2020 social media comments, used predictions and assumptions based on a limited source of data. We need to never forget what the fictional character Felix Unger told Oscar Madison about when you assume:
Ah... you assumed. You should never assume. When you assume, you make an A S S out of U and ME.
We all need to do the most we can as an individual, to be as sustainable as possible, and I believe that with a sincere stewardship from each one of us, humankind will prevail.
Bill Lauto, at GoingTrueGreen.com
International Sustainability and Energy Consultant
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