A tale of two (contradictory?) poles: What happens when people are exposed to seemingly contradictory information about sea ice and climate change

Katy Barnhart, Institute for Artic and Alpine Research, University of Colorado-Boulder

In 2012, 2013, and 2014, the pan-Antarctic sea ice seasonal maximum reached successively record highs in extent. These maxima mask substantial seasonal and regional variability, however, these events provided for news headlines contrasting Arctic sea ice loss with Antarctic sea ice gain. This event provides a case study for identifying the effects seemingly contradictory information about climate change. Through an experimental study, we investigate what the public perceives about sea ice and climate change after being exposed to different messages about Arctic and Antarctic sea ice.