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Fact Check-Widely-viewed picture is a computer-generated illustration of Antarctica as it appears from space

Social media users shared an image of what a huge polar ice cap looks like and claimed it showed Antarctica visible from space.

A version with over 130,000 likes to see (HERE) and other versions can be found (here) and (here).

The image prompted fellow social media users to suggest that the photo proves that climate change is a hoax, because it shows what is like a lot of ice cover and because the image is not as a real photograph taken from space. One user commented, “Don’t look at any melted polar cap there, lots of ice. Global warming? No ”(HERE), and another said, “Don’t see it melt away on me as other reports say” (HERE).

One commented, “It looks fake to me, in the way the content is. Lots of good detail repeating and areas with no detail” (HERE).

The image is a computer-generated illustration created by NASA based on data from several types of Earth-observing satellites and can be found on NASA’s Scientific Visualization Studio website, (here).

NASA created the image to show the extent of sea ice in the Arctic and Antarctic, and it is based on data from September 2005, when the ice in the northern hemisphere is the smallest and the ice cover in Antarctica will be the highest. .

The image surrounding social media seems to be the second illustration (here), twisted and cropped.


Bakak. The image is not a photograph of Antarctica viewed from space but a computer-generated illustration based on satellite data.

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our work reviewing social media posts here.

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