Saturday, 21 November 2009

Wild, unsubstantiated claims

Back in July, Greenpeace provided the Telegraph with a lovely timelapse photo of some ice calving off a glacier in Greenland. By the look of the movement of the sun, it covers less than 24 hours. I think the expedition that took the images was up that way for some time - why did they only release a short bit of time lapse photography? Could it be that they took photos for a month, and ice only broke off on one particular day? Did they trim their data for maximum impact?

Then we have this info from back in July from New Scientist:

The biggest glacier in the Arctic is on the verge of losing a chunk of ice the size of Manhattan.

The team believes this will happen within weeks. Only yesterday, a 3-square-kilometre chunk broke away. There are now more than 10 cracks in the ice, some 500 metres wide. The researchers expect the ice tongue to break up within the coming weeks.

When this happens, an island of ice the size of Manhattan, spanning 100 km2 holding 5 billion tonnes of ice, will break free and drift out to sea.

I bolded the bit about "within weeks". That story was published on 14 July - week 29 of the year. We are now in week 47. To me, "within weeks" means 3-4 weeks at most. If you wanted to phrase it as a longer stretch of time, you'd say, "withing months". 18 weeks have passed - 4 1/2 months, and what has happened?

I have searched for more recent articles on the Petermann Glacier, and none mention huge chunks of ice breaking off.


The hue and cry raised by Greenpeace back in July has come to..... naught. But newspapers like the Telegraph and "science" magazines like New Scientist have not thought to follow up to see if the wild claims of Greenpeace could be validated.

Just another reason why any statement from Greenpeace should be taken with a pinch of frogshit.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Clicked on the link,Worst apocalypse ever. Greenpeace is like an old man in desperate need of Viagra.