Claim: A 1922 newspaper article warned that climate change was melting Arctic ice and disrupting wildlife.
Examples:[Collected via e-mail, December 2009]
The Arctic ocean is warming up, icebergs are growing scarcer and in some
places the seals are finding the water too hot, according to a report to
the Commerce Department yesterday from Consulafft, at Bergen, Norway.
Reports from fishermen, seal hunters and explorers all point to a radical
change in climate conditions and hitherto unheard-of temperatures in the
Arctic zone. Exploration expeditions report that scarcely any ice has been
met as far north as 81 degrees 29 minutes. Soundings to a depth of 3,100
meters showed the gulf stream still very warm. Great masses of ice have
been replaced by moraines of earth and stones, the report continued, while
at many points well known glaciers have entirely disappeared.
Very few seals and no white fish are found in the eastern Arctic, while
vast shoals of herring and smelts which have never before ventured so far
north, are being encountered in the old seal fishing grounds.
I apologize, I neglected to mention that this report was from November 2, 1922. As reported by the AP and published in The Washington Post - 88
Origins: One of the key issues in the global warming debate is whether modern scientists have sufficient data and tools to determine that current warming trends are indicative of long-term climatic changes rather than relatively short-term weather pattern variability. The text above seemingly provides an example of the pitfalls of mistaking the latter for the former, purportedly reproducing a 1922 newspaper article warning that the Arctic ocean was experiencing a radical change in climate conditions which was warming its waters, melting ice, and disrupting wildlife.
Whether it was unwarranted doomsaying or a well ahead of its time prediction, the text reproduced above is a genuine transcript of a 1922 newspaper article, an Associated Press account which appeared on page 2 of the Washington Post on 2 November of that year: