[Editor's note: When über-alarmist Andrew Revkin hand-slaps NASA and its poorly worded press release, one's heart can soar, but only temporarily. To maintain and keep his warmist credentials, he goes on to stick a few hair pins into those who genuinely believe in actual science and not consensus blibber-blabbering, as emphasized below. The Grey Lady continues to weep.]
The flow of news releases and background science content from NASA is generally excellent, but the space agency badly blew it earlier this week with this headline, which has now reverberated around the Web: “Satellites See Unprecedented Greenland Ice Sheet Surface Melt.”
Unprecedented means “never done or known before.” Yet the news release beneath the headline directly undercuts that description of this melting event, saying that it is rare — the last wide surface melt was in 1889, recorded in separate ice cores at the Greenland ice-sheet summit and in the northwestern part of the vast frozen expanse — and has happened roughly every 150 years over a long stretch of centuries, as recorded deeper in the ice. (Here’s a figure from a 1994 Science paper pointing to a series of such melt layers, reflecting summer warmth. Please see the postscript below for the key reference, provided by Lora Koenig of NASA.)
The inaccurate headline and burst of hyperventilating coverage and commentary (with some exceptions, like this new post by Climate Central) have already provided fodder for those whose passion or job is largely aimed at spreading doubt about science pointing to consequential greenhouse-driven warming.