Green Weenie of the Week: NPR

Although there’s no rule against winning the coveted Power Line Green Weenie Award more than once, we think it’s a little cheeky to win it two weeks in a row, so Bill McKibben can’t have it again because of his ridiculous anti-fracking protest going off today in Washington (though it is tempting to give a group GW Award to the usual gang of pecksniffs supporting the protest).  Instead, this week’s winner is from the “what-took-so-long” category: NPR.

On Thursday, NPR’s news blog reported: “Heat Dome” Linked to Greenland’s Biggest Melt in 30 Years.  A large iceberg—twice the size of Manhattan!!—broke off, and the largest area of melting ever observed was observed!*  The story goes on to quote—no, not scientists, but Wired magazine and the Guardian:

Wired writes that “while no one event can be blamed on climate change, the melt is consistent with rising global temperatures.” The Guardian says “the rapid melting over just four days was captured by three satellites. It has stunned and alarmed scientists, and deepened fears about the pace and future consequences of climate change.”

But what do actual scientists say in NASA’s press release? Are they “stunned and alarmed”?

“The Greenland ice sheet is a vast area with a varied history of change. This event, combined with other natural but uncommon phenomena, such as the large calving event last week on Petermann Glacier, are part of a complex story,” said Tom Wagner, NASA’s cryosphere program manager in Washington. “Satellite observations are helping us understand how events like these may relate to one another as well as to the broader climate system.” . .

“Ice cores from Summit show that melting events of this type occur about once every 150 years on average. With the last one happening in 1889, this event is right on time,” says Lora Koenig, a Goddard glaciologist and a member of the research team analyzing the satellite data. “But if we continue to observe melting events like this in upcoming years, it will be worrisome.”  (Emphasis added.)

No need to wait to see if melting like this continues.  It’s good enough for NPR and others to run with the scary story.

* And there’s the key fact, by the way.  The NASA press release is entitled “Satellites See Unprecedented Greenland Ice Sheet Surface Melt.”  Satellite data only go back 33 years.

Hat tip: Power Line reader John Barbour.

UPDATE: More on this story from Marlo Lewis.

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