Thursday, December 11, 2008

Watts Up With That mistranslates Norwegian glacier news

Watts Up With That says:

Scandinavian nation reverses trend, mirrors results in Alaska, elsewhere. After years of decline, glaciers in Norway are again growing, reports the Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate (NVE).

The link provided is to a source reporting in Norwegian only.

Fooling around with automatic translation from several websites gave me this:

Senior Engineer Hallgeir Elvehøy in the Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate (NVE) said that the NTB in a note to the message that brefronten (the front/terminus) in 22 of 32 surveyed glaciers in Norway have pulled back in the past year.

Hardly matches Watts saying a trend has reversed when over two-thirds are still declining. In Watts' defense, the Norwegian headline says "Glaciers growing afresh," and there's signs that the decline is slowing but that's a statement about some glaciers, not a reversed trend.

Still more foolishness in Watts' statement:

The flow rate of many glaciers has also declined. Glacier flow ultimately acts to reduce accumulation, as the ice moves to lower, warmer elevations.

Is he fooled himself or trying to fool others? He makes it sound as if glacier retreats are a good thing. A retreating glacial terminus, except in really unusual circumstances, is an excellent sign that the glacier is losing mass - it can no longer push glacial ice downhill fast enough to keep up with the melt at the lower end.

Watts also gave no evidence of glaciers growing "elsewhere" besides Alaska and Norway. There will inevitably be a few due to local conditions, but he apparently couldn't come up with more nonsense to back up his subtitle.

Denialism originally found at Tigerhawk.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.