This forum is about wrong numbers in science, politics and the media. It respects good science and good English.
Reporting Copenhagen,I think,we're getting a daily scare story from the BBC.Yesterdays was a cracker,the oceans of the world are destined to become as "acidic" as the sea around Ischia where volcanic gases (CO2) bubble from the sea-floor,with of course disastrous consequences for fish,(and shell-fish in particular).Does anyone know what the pH of the sea is in this location? Is it actually acid?
Another of the BBC daily scare stories that have sprung up around this Copenhagen climate change summit (which seems to have been suspiciously timed to coincide with the AGW sceptic conference in New York) is the announcement of a 1 metre sea level rise by the end of the 21st century.
A blogger has produced an interesting graph of all the sea level rise predictions by the end of the 21st century that the BBC has published in online news stories since 2000.
This illustrates an issue which is not often mentioned, the two-facedness of environmental journalists when it comes to observance of the 'scientific consensus' on climate change, which they are so keen to uphold when it comes to dealing with AGW sceptics. The 'official' IPCC figure for sea level rise is 18 to 59 centimetres by the end of the 21st century. But environmental journalists keep reporting what are effectively minority or maverick opinions that go against the consensus on sea level rise.
It's interesting that the mode of these forecasts is a rise of about 1 metre. That's a nice round figure that sounds like a serious problem without being too wacky. You have to pitch these forecasts right, after all. "An 8 centimetre rise by 2100" would provoke the reaction "So what?", whereas, say , a 20-metre rise would just sound silly.
P.S. What about the slogan "Copenhagen - probably the finest scare stories in the world"?