Really Sciency

Visit my other blog 'Really Sciency' looking at Climate Science and its portrayal, misrepresentation and denial in the media.

Thursday, 22 September 2011


So short of supporting data, it doesn't take much for climate skeptics to get into a frenzy and they were given just enough for their melt down by 'AtlasGate'. Yes we have yet another manufactured 'gate' for them to stoke their conspiracy theories with.

A new edition of The Times Atlas, published by Harper Collins was launched with a press release that made news in many papers. Ironically Harper Collins is part of Murdock's portfolio well known for publishing climate skepticism.

The press release said that changes to the maps had been made to reflect changes on the ground, many caused by mankind's influence on the environment. So it contains smaller lakes, shorter thinner rivers and less ice on Glaciers including Greenland. When I came across the story in my free copy of the Metro I paid little attention because I know several lakes and rivers have been drying up and glaciers have been retreating. But the publishers made an error with the amount of ice loss in Greenland, one I would like to think I would have spotted if I had paid attention to the reports in any details because they seemed to imply that Greenland had lost about 15% of it's ice since the last edition only 12 years ago. If such a trend was true and continued for about another 25 years about half of all the ice would be gone and there would be a lot of people up to their necks in water. I'm glad to say things are nowhere as dire as that.

Of course such a glaring error was spotted, not by a climate skeptic but by a polar scientist who should know the actual state of things in Greenland and he set to put things right and most newspapers and science web sites have now covered the error but the skeptics went manic on these new sites and their own blogs

On Scientific American
"Error? Try wishful thinking by the global warming groupies."
"the lies this movement depends on to bolster its failed predictions"
The Daily Mangle;
"Looks to me like they are yet again exagerating this global warming sh** ,people need the truth and that doesn't mean government truth who pay scientists to say what they want to hear. "
Christopher 'Bonkers' Booker had this to say;
"one of the world’s most respected reference books, it seems, has been caught out perpetrating what amounts to yet more propaganda for the belief in global warming."
Bishops Hill printed the whole statement issued by Jeffrey Kargel on Cryolist which included in caps;

Too true.

So lets get some critical perspective. The publisher Harper Collins made an error, a rather obvious and embarrassing one that was spotted by a well qualified scientist who set about putting the record straight. It wasn't some sinister conspiracy to perpetrate a crime. It wasn't lies, it was a mistake.

So I wonder, since these skeptics are in support of a scientist stating that that 'THIS IS NOT WHAT SCIENTISTS ARE SAYING', do they support what the scientist states about what the actual science is saying? From his statement;
"what actually IS happening in Greenland, and it involves some incredibly rapid changes, mainly increasing melting, thinning, and retreat; and slight thickening in some sectors, but overall Greenland is a story of massive, rapid retreat. "
Somehow I suspect not, but if there are any out there please stand up. These people can't have it both ways without looking like a hypocrite. If scientists say something isn't the case and state the actual case only a hypocrite would cry foul about an error while rejecting the actual facts.


  1. When I saw it on BBC Breakfast I thought - "That's wrong, someone's messed up." That's the reasonable response, and that is all. I didn't even consider it worth posting on, thanks for covering it.

    That the denialists have to cook up a furore over this, similar to Watt's furore over human rights abuses associated with a firm involved in carbon offsetting, shows how little evidence they have and how weak their position is.

    It's got so bad that they have to cherry-pick quotes from scientists, leaving out the wider context of their chosen expert's view.

    Timewasting weiners!

    On a more substantive and meaningful note. If I recall correctly, you're a fellow Brit - I'd be interested in your opinion. After my post on the apparently new weather pattern that's led to our recent cool wet summers, I'm now interested in this 'Indian Summer'.

    It seems to me that our seasonal profile has shifted: A warm period in April/June, a cool wet summer, followed by an Indian summer (period of unseasonably warm weather in September/October.

    Before I look at spending any time on this, do you agree with this pattern in recent years?

  2. Chris, for what it is worth I have replied directly on your blog.