Thursday, February 10, 2011

Words Matter - Science Edition

So as you probably are well aware, there are still quite a few people who don't believe in climate change. Why is that? Probably because newspaper reporters write things like this...

Q: How about global warming? Does this cold winter disprove it?

A: Not really. As global temperatures rise, higher pressure is more likely at upper levels of the atmosphere, Ostro says, which is what happened this winter. Strong ridges aloft in recent months and years have been conducive to potent troughs of low pressure that help form intense storms.

"It's important to look at the context and the big picture," he says. "While major population centers such as London, Paris, Chicago and Atlanta were shivering, which got a lot of media attention, large expanses in and near the Arctic, including northeast Canada and Greenland, have been experiencing unusually warm conditions this winter."

Q: Anything else to worry about?

The loss of Arctic sea ice, which was at its lowest December and January levels on record, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center.

"It could be changing atmospheric patterns," Ostro says.
Not really? How about "NO?" Yeah, no would probably work better since everything he quoted the actual scientist saying meant no. Saying "not really" does not mean he is being impartial, or non-partisan, or fair and balanced, or whatever the hell he thinks he is being. What he is really being is factually incorrect. Way to go.

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