As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

New Data Show George Will Is Full Of Crap

The Washington Post goes with the most passive-aggressive way possible to smack down their op-ed columnist.

The satellite data released by NASA and the National Snow and Ice Data Center show that the maximum extent of the 2008-2009 winter sea ice cover was the fifth-lowest since researchers began collecting such information 30 years ago. The past six years have produced the six lowest maximums in that record, and the new data show that the percentage of older, thicker and more persistent ice shrank to its lowest level ever, at just 9.8 percent of the winter ice cover.

"We're seeing an ice cover that's younger and that's thinner as we head into summer," Walt Meier, a scientist at the National Snow and Ice Data Center, said in a telephone news conference. "It's been a pretty sharp decline."

The new evidence -- including satellite data showing that the average multiyear wintertime sea ice cover in the Arctic in 2005 and 2006 was nine feet thick, a significant decline from the 1980s -- contradicts data cited in widely circulated reports by Washington Post columnist George F. Will that sea ice in the Arctic has not significantly declined since 1979.

The reference to Will appears in paragraph 9, by the way.

To the WaPo's credit, they also published a more extensive rebuke to Will on their website from Andrew Freedman. And they published a response in their paper from Chris Mooney a week or so ago. But all of this damage control, in the face of continued anti-science columns on the subject from Will, represents a real danger to the credibility of the newspaper. They can continue to gently contradict him throughout the paper, or they could, and this is just off the top of my head, not publish the guy if he keeps making demonstrably false claims.

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