Saturday, July 27, 2013

Waterworld Redux: Gerbilspout! (Updated)

Lest anyone with more common sense than a rabid gerbil is under the impression that the Huffington Post is a legitimate news source, well, ladies, gentlemen, and permutations thereof, I present...exhibit A.

North Pole Melting Leaves Small Lake At The Top Of The World,” with the subheading, “The North Pole probably looks a bit different than you would expect right now. Because, at this very moment, it's actually a lake.”

Linking to an article in The Atlantic Wire, it’s accompanied by an interactive before and after photo and one of the most boring time-lapse videos ever produced, depicting a weather buoy and the formation of a puddle of water that’s so shallow, any given MSNBC host could drown in it.

Welcome to Mendacity Island

Why am I picking on this article from the frayed fringe of reality, otherwise known as the “Huff Post Green” section?

Apparently, even some of the commenters on the post have done 5 milliseconds more research than the author did in writing the piece.

Jesse Ferrell, of (which he notes is a partner of HuffPo), writes in an article titled “Did the Media Just Prove North Pole Is NOT Melting?” that the webcam is not at the North Pole, but has drifted south, and is “approximately 350 miles south of the North Pole, closer to Greenland than Santa Claus!”

Ferrell also quotes a scientist in another Atlantic article, saying this is “not the first time scientists have observed a melt pond at the North Pole, nor is it the largest.”

He has notified HuffPo and The Atlantic of these (gasp!) facts, requesting comment, but as of this posting, the original articles include no corrections or retractions.

In a 2009 post, meteorologist Anthony Watts wonders what headlines today’s media would make of photos of open water recorded by the crews of some of the first submarines to surface at the North Pole, more than 50 years ago. 

Something unsensational and reasonable, I’m sure – as reasonable as any self-respecting rabid gerbil with a deadline...and a mission.



After some five days and a likely hailstorm of criticism, a rare triumph of sanity: both the Huffington Post and the Atlantic pieces have been revised – the former article with little more than a parenthetical "oops."

Here's the scoop from WUWT:

Al Gore’s “Reality Minions” think the North Pole is melting – except that’s NOT a photo of the North Pole

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