ABC are fond of using photos of melting ice packs to accompany reports of alarming man made global warming, perhaps to emphasise how "unprecedented" this appears to be. However a recent article titled "Reduced ice extent on the western Antarctic Peninsula at 700-970 cal. yr B.P." published in the prestigious journal "Geology" reports that melting ice in the Antarctic, particularly in the West Antarctica peninsula, is not unprecedented at all, but is quite a common natural occurrence happening regardless of human influence.
The abstract reads:
Rapid warming and consequent ice-shelf collapse have focused attention on the glacial record of the Antarctic Peninsula. Here, we present the first record of terrestrial organic material exposed by recently retreating ice that bears on past glacier extent and climate in this sensitive region. Radiocarbon dates show that ice on Anvers Island was at or behind its present position at 700–970 cal. yr B.P., coincident with ice reduction elsewhere in the Southern Hemisphere. Moreover, the data indicate that present reduced ice extent on the western Antarctic Peninsula is not unprecedented and is similar to that experienced during at least three periods in the last 5600 yr.
Perhaps the ABC will firstly report on this important new study, and secondly, perhaps it will now find more appropriate imagery to accompany articles on Dangerous Man Made Global Warming, we suggest the figure above is much more appropriate (from We're not scared anymore Mr Gore: SPecial edition - another victim of Totschweigtaktik).
UPDATE: ABC replied to our request for an more appropriate photo to accompany ABC's report Climategate scientists cleared by British inquiry linked to above.
Received 29 July 2010