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Monday, 16 November 2009

Icebergs and map reading.

Also on the subject of eco-hysteria and its reporting, The Telegraph's enviro-correspondent Louise Gray seems to care more about huge icebergs than checking Google Earth (my emphasis).
A giant iceberg the length of seven football pitches has been spotted floating off Australia.
The ice chunk, measuring some 2,300 feet long with an estimated depth of more than 1,000 feet, caused a stir when it was sighted by experts based on Australia's remote Macquarie Island.

Macquarie Island is here.

View Larger Map

Macquarie Island being a strip of land barely 30km long and lying about 1500 km south east of Tasmania, the nearest bit of Australia on any atlas, and about the same distance north of the nearest bit of Antarctica it's a bit of a stretch to say that any bergs that float past were 'spotted floating off Australia'. Technically accurate perhaps, but as misleading as saying that the iceberg that sank the Titanic was floating 'off the Azores'.

Needless to say there's a warble gloaming mention made.
Neal Young, an Australian Antarctic Division glaciologist, said ... the iceberg had probably split from a major Antarctic ice shelf nine years ago, and said more could be expected in the area if global warming continues.
[Sigh] Okay, I'm not a glaciologist but come on. Icebergs aren't something new that have come along because of 20th century warming. They must've been around as long as the ice caps and have come about the same way as this one: little (comparatively speaking) chunks off ice breaking off the shelves and sheets of the cap. What does one big 'berg just outside the Southern Ocean prove?

In fairness some balance is offered:
But Professor Jonathan Bamber, from Bristol University, said icebergs the size of Wales can break off the Antarctic and it is too early to say if it is caused by climate change.
Minor points for that, but not enough to make up for the map fail.
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