Daily Mail, Richard Black propagate bogus – Extreme Ice Survey video

I’m more than a little disappointed in this. Once again, an easily debunked “science” video is being propagated as fact on the BBC / Daily Mail.

I got this little gem because of the efforts of Richard Black.

He tweeted.

Richard Black @BBCRBlack

Eye-grabbing timelapse sequence of glacier decline in Mail c#

12:34 PM – 16 Jan 12 via web

Essentially the video from James Balog shows a dramatic area of ice disappearing from the area. All of which sounds very terrible. Lets all panic….

Unless, of course,  you bothered to check out THIS story, from Daily Tech / Anchorage Daily News from 2007/2008.  I’ll quote the ADN article.

Two hundred years of glacial shrinkage in Alaska, and then came the winter and summer of 2007-2008.

Unusually large amounts of winter snow were followed by unusually chill temperatures in June, July and August.

“In mid-June, I was surprised to see snow still at sea level in Prince William Sound,” said U.S. Geological Survey glaciologist Bruce Molnia. “On the Juneau Icefield, there was still 20 feet of new snow on the surface of the Taku Glacier in late July. At Bering Glacier, a landslide I am studying, located at about 1,500 feet elevation, did not become snow free until early August.

“In general, the weather this summer was the worst I have seen in at least 20 years.”

Now watch the video on the Daily Mail website and tell me what you ACTUALLY see. The Columbia glacier is right at the head of Prince William Sound, as can be seen in this Google map below.

So what the video actually shows is the dramatic 2007/2008 increase in snow and ice in place and then melting away to leave the return to a previous norm… or rather the norm it had from 250 years of melting. In other words, a “nothing to see here” moment if ever there was one.

The only trouble is that this is getting re-tweeted by the usual crowd like it’s going out of fashion.

In other words, down to the usual standard.

Update 25 January 2011

Found further evidence of the heavy snow and unusually cold 2007/2008 period in this newspaper clipping from the Victoria Advocate.




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