Remembrance of Things Past: Climate Edition

According to Reuters, Bob Thirsk, a Canadian astronaut aboard the International Space Station, said on Sunday it looks like Earth's ice caps have melted a bit since he was last in orbit 12 years ago: "
This is probably just a perception, but I just have the feeling that the glaciers are melting, the snow capping the mountains is less than it was 12 years ago when I saw it last time," Thrisk said. "That saddens me a little bit."
I went to the Grand Canyon when I was eight years old, and I remember thinking it was small, and not being impressed. I visited again when I was sixteen, and I was so impressed by the size, I wouldn't get within five feet of the ledge. I'm not saying Thirsk is wrong, but you have to question a news item with a lede like: "Earth Bears Scars of Human Destruction: Astronaut" when it's based on a decade-old visual observation. People can't even testify accurately in court as to what they witnessed weeks ago, much less years.

Also, think about this: Would they have published this article if the astronaut's observation was that Earth was resilient and that he didn't notice any difference?