Monday, July 12, 2010

Missing News: Nothing "unprecedented" in melting ice

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

Thank you for your email of 12 July concerning the image accompanying the ABC News Online article "Climategate scientists cleared by British inquiry" published on 8 July.
Your concerns have been investigated by Audience and Consumer Affairs, a unit which is separate to and independent of program making areas within the ABC. In light of your concerns, we have assessed the image associated with the article against the ABC's editorial requirements for accuracy in news and current affairs content, as outlined in section 5.2.2(c) of the ABC's Editorial Policies:
On review, Audience and Consumer Affairs do not agree the image was inappropriate. The image depicted ice shelves in Antarctica; one of the issues that have been raised as part of the ongoing debates around climate change. While noting your concerns, we believe the image was appropriate to accompany a story that reported on the outcome of an inquiry into the quality of research on climate change, prompted by the leaked emails from the University of East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit.
Accordingly, while noting your concerns, Audience and Consumer Affairs are satisfied the image accompanying the article was in keeping with section 5.2.2(c) of the ABC's Editorial Policies. Nonetheless, please be assured that your comments have been conveyed to ABC News management.
Thank you again for taking the time to write, and for your interest in the ABC. For your reference, a copy of the ABC Code of Practice is available at:
Yours sincerely
Audience & Consumer Affairs


  1. ABC bias arises frequently from failing to report news items. They more or less ignored the story in New Scientist regarding Professor Kench's finding that most Pacific Islands are growing, not sinking at all.

  2. Just came from Bolt's Blog. What a treasure your site is. I have complained to ABC and to Robin Williams privately, but public ridicule on a forum such as this will go much further.

  3. Just came from Bolt's blog. What a treasure your site is - now I can quit my anger management classes.
    I have complained to ABC and especially the sad Robin Williams privately, but public score keeping and shaming such as this will be far more effective.

  4. It annoys me when the media use dramatic images with tenuous links to the actual story, such as the twin towers burning to accompany any story with a possible terrorist link.
    It's infuriating when they do it to incite climate change fear.


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