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March 8, 1999

Global Warming

Iceberg Nonsense

On October 16, 1998, the Washington Post reported that an iceberg the size of the state of Delaware (92 miles long, 30 miles wide) had broken free from Antarctica. Government agencies and others with axes to grind launched into chorus that this could be proof that the effects of global warming are beginning. (Never mind that the warming recorded over the first half of this century--before the increase in carbon dioxide that was supposed to have caused it--amounts to about half a degree C, whereas the mean Antarctic temperature is -60.)

Well, it turns out that the 1996 edition of The American Navigator, a prestigious naval text updated since 1799, records a 40 mile by 60 mile berg in 1854, a 100 mile by 100 mile berg in in 1927, and one 60 miles by 208 miles--twice the size of Connecticut--in 1956 (during the period of post-1940 cooling that led to the same brands of hysteria by the early 1970s predicting an imminent ice age). 1987 saw one that was 98 miles by 25 miles.

Try again, fellas.

[Source: Candace Crandall, of Science & Environmental Policy Project, "Media Ignore Sound Science in Global Warming Coverage," Environmental News, January 1999.]

 
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