Fact Check-Widely-viewed picture is a computer generated illustration of Antarctica as it appears from space
Social media users are sharing an image of what appears to be a large polar ice cap and claiming it shows Antarctica as seen from space.
A version with more than 130,000 likes is visible (here) and other versions can be viewed (here) and (here).
The image has prompted other users on social media to suggest that the image proves climate change is a hoax, both because it shows what appears to be a large amount of ice cover and because the image does not look like an authentic photograph taken from space. One user commented: ‘Don’t see a melting ice cap there, lots of ice. Global warming? Nope” (here), and another said, “Doesn’t seem like it’s melting for me like some reports say” (here).
Another commented: “Looks pretty fake to me the way the edges are. Lots of fine detail that is repetitive and areas where there is no detail” (here).
The image is a computer-generated illustration produced by NASA using data from several types of Earth observation satellites and can be viewed on NASA’s Science Visualization Studio website (here).
NASA created the image to show the extent of sea ice in the Arctic and Antarctica, and based it on data from September 2005, when ice in the Northern Hemisphere would have been at its peak. minimum and Antarctic ice cover would be at its maximum.
The image circulating on social media appears to be the second illustration (here), rotated and cropped.
Fake. The image is not a single photograph of Antarctica as seen from space, but rather a computer-generated illustration based on satellite data.
This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. To learn more about our social media post verification work, click here.