Posts tagged ‘Carolina Pagli’

If They Could Do Math, They Wouldn't Have Been Journalism Majors

Further proof that no one in the media is capable of even the simplest reality-checks when it comes to publishing numbers they get from activist press releases.  This whole concept below is a howler (the idea is that global warming causes volcanoes) but it is the last paragraph that really caught my eye:

So much ice in Iceland has melted in the past century that the pressure on the
land beneath has lessened, which allows more of the rock deep in the ground
to turn to magma. Until the ice melted, the pressure was so intense that the
rock remained solid.

Carolina Pagli, of the University of Leeds, led research which calculated that
over the past century the production of magma had increased by 10 per cent.

The research team, reporting their findings in the journal Geophysical
Research Letters
, said an extra 1.4 cu km of magma has been created
under the Vatnajökull ice-cap in the past 100 years.

Since 1890 the ice-cap has lost 10 per cent of its mass, which has allowed the
land to rise by up to 25m (82ft) a year. The volume lost between 1890 and
2003 is estimated at 435 cu km.

Leaving aside cause and effect (e.g. does ice cap melting cause more hot stuff in the ground or does more hot stuff in the ground melt ice), consider the statement that the ground has risen under the ice cap by 82 feet per year for 118 years.  This gives us a rise in the land of 9,676 feet after just 10% of the ice mass has supposedly melted.  Note that this is an enormous, totally non-sensical value.  It implies that a full melting of the ice might increase the land height by 10x this amount, or nearly 100,000 feet  (airplanes stay away!!)  As another check, 9,676 is more than the entire depth of the Iceland ice sheet (it is about the same as what scientists think the Greenland ice sheet depth is).  Another way of looking at this is this is about 1/8-inch land surface rise PER HOUR for the last century. 

I am not sure how any writer or editor on the planet could look at "82 feet a year for 118 years" and not smell a rat.