Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Warming in Antarctic glaciers shows media spin

First the bad news: A recent study has shown there is warming in Antarctica. Glaciers are retreating.

And now, the good news, as Dr. Patrick Michaels says on Tech Central Station: "By 'Antarctica' they actually meant the Antarctic Peninsula, which comprises about 2% of the continent. It's warming there and has been for decades. But every scientist (or for that matter, everyone who has read Michael Crichton's "State of Fear") knows that the temperature averaged over the entire continent has been declining for decades."

Check out Dr. Patrick Michael's report on the science and the spin here (and a cool graphic - and I mean 'cool' quite literally); and the scare story as reported in New Zealand here. Read it before you hear the spin from Jeanette Fitzsimplesons.

And then reflect on why the media is so gullible, and why they want to tell such half-baked half-truths. JunkScience.Com has some suggested answers here. My own answer is that whatever the reason, if you have to lie to make your point then you don't really have one. Just ask Michael Moore. But I digress.

While you're reflecting, you might also give some thought to what this means for all the accepted global warming models, which predict that Antarctica should by rights be warming. But it isn't. And ask yourself why somebody like Ted Scambos from the University of Colorado's National Snow and Ice Data Centre would be saying that the study's results are a "warning to the world."

"It is a great bit of insight," blathers the appropriately named Scam-bos. "The Antarctic peninsular is in a state of transition due to warming and what is happening there is going to be a good indication of what will happen as the larger ice sheets - Greenland and Antarctica proper - begin to warm," he said.

As a great man once said: "Bollocks."

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