Sunday, February 14, 2010

On the value of footnotes

Concerning the recent disclosure about the Glomar Explorer:

"It's a pretty meaty description of the operation from inception to death," said Matthew Aid, the researcher who had been seeking the article since 2007, when he learned of its publication thanks to a footnote he spotted in other documents. "But what's missing in the end is, what did we get for it? The answer is, we still don't know." [CALVIN WOODWARD, AP]

Hiding in plain sight?

**On the other side of the footnote coin, note Tyler Hamilton on GlacierGateL

Take the controversy some call GlacierGate, which relates to information on Himalayan glacier melt buried in a 3,000-page IPCC report from 2007. The report said there was a very high chance the glaciers would completely melt by 2035. The statement, based on a WWF-International report from 2005, was indeed rubbish.

As a result, we certainly should be combing the rest of the report for similar footnoting errors. The recent obsession with this single error, however, ignores peer-reviewed evidence that the glaciers are, in fact, still melting. We just don't know exactly how fast.


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