Monday, April 7, 2008

"Warming Island" myth

It seems that global warming alarmists love to use anecdotes to persuade people that their hysteria is justified. Al Gore, John McCain, the New York Times, and other alarmists continually talk about Mt. Kilimanjaro, make silly claims about Eskimo language, or the specter of cannibalism. Of course, these anecdotes are often false or have nothing to do with global climate change.

The latest myth has been exposed at the World Climate Report. This myth concerns a story in the New York Times, which claims that a spit of land that was thought to be a peninsula was revealed to be an island when a glacier connecting to Greenland retreated. The article notes:

Despite its remote location, the island would almost certainly have been discovered, named and mapped almost a century ago when explorers like Jean-Baptiste Charcot and Philippe, Duke of Orléans, charted these coastlines. Would have been discovered had it not been bound to the coast by glacial ice.

Maps of the region show a mountainous peninsula covered with glaciers. The island’s distinct shape — like a hand with three bony fingers pointing north — looks like the end of the peninsula.

Now, where the maps showed only ice, a band of fast-flowing seawater ran between a newly exposed shoreline and the aquamarine-blue walls of a retreating ice shelf. The water was littered with dozens of icebergs, some as large as half an acre; every hour or so, several more tons of ice fractured off the shelf with a thunderous crack and an earth-shaking rumble.

The folks over at World Climate Report decided to do a little sleuthing and found that "Warming Island" was known to be an island 50 years ago. Read the whole story here.

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