Mail Makes 1000% Arctic Mistake

We officially complained last week about some egregious errors in a “Daily Mail Comment“. In particular:

The northern ice-cap… is NOT bigger than at any time for decades.

In an official response we were told:

I therefore cannot see that Clause 1(ii) of the Editors’ Code has been breached in any way.

For those of you unfamiliar with the Independent Press Standards Organisation’s Editors’ Code of Practice here are Clauses 1(i-ii)

i) The Press must take care not to publish inaccurate, misleading or distorted information, including pictures.

ii) A significant inaccuracy, misleading statement or distortion once recognised must be corrected, promptly and with due prominence, and – where appropriate – an apology published. In cases involving the Regulator, prominence should be agreed with the Regulator in advance.

Without telling us,  or as far as I can tell any of their other readers apart from one other complainant, the Daily Mail have changed the wording of the online version of the editorial comment in question. Can you spot the difference? We’ve given you some help!

Online version of the Daily Mail's "Climate change and an inconvenient truth" editorial comment captured on July 24th 2015
Online version of the Daily Mail’s “Climate change and an inconvenient truth” editorial comment captured on July 24th 2015

The Daily Mail evidently have trouble doing basic mathematics, so it seems necessary to point out that one decade is ten years. That is a factor of ten. Using the Mail’s preferred units that makes this a 1000% mistake!

More from us on a variety of other Mail mathematical mistakes shortly. At this juncture however, we cannot help but wonder whether IPSO considers that taking no action whatsoever to rectify a print article that contains an admitted error of at least 1000% satisfies Clause 1(ii) of their Editors’ Code? Here’s clause 2:

A fair opportunity for reply to inaccuracies must be given when reasonably called for.

We hereby call on the Daily Mail to provide us with a fair opportunity to reply to this egregious inaccuracy and a number of others in the same article.

19 thoughts on “Mail Makes 1000% Arctic Mistake

  1. jim ,how do you fancy complaining to the nsidc their extent graphs do not show all the ice still in hudson bay, yet recent updates from wipneus state the last century melt day had 10k of contribution from hudson bay. how does ice that is not there melt ?

        1. cannot get a direct link to daily sea ice, so you have to click the daily map tab yourself jim,sorry !

      1. yes ,there is some jim. now compare that to the canadian sea ice charts for hudson bay and tell me if you notice any difference. if you were navigating the hudson in a standard non reinforced yacht today, would you go barreling through the area the canadian sea ice charts show 9 to 10 tenths concentraton while the nsidc show 0 ice ?

        1. i emailed environment canada regarding clarification on the ice coverage discrepancy ,and now having an answer i think i understand how so many people on the asif interpret darkening and other features in satellite images as weakening or disappearing ice when they are not.

          radarsat 2 as used by the canadian sea ice service has a far superior resolution and capability to “see” ice in darkness and through clouds ,where the nsidc have an automatic product that gets confused with melt ponds, clouds etc.

          1. Of course Chilly. It would help if in future you explained your “reservations” in more detail, so that my answers might be more relevant!

            For your information Sentinel 1A can “see ice in darkness and through clouds” as well, and unlike RadarSat 2 it’s SAR images are made publicly available in near real time. See for example:


            That shows the Beaufort Sea at 76 N, where all that thick multi-year ice is supposed to be.

            Whilst we’re on the subject of MYI, what do you make of this Sentinel image from yesterday? It’s of the Lincoln Sea, supposedly the last refuge of the thickest sea ice in the Arctic?

          2. these images still need to be interpreted jim . also, when was it launched .not much comparison data . the pictures you posted of the north pole camp show just how large a percentage there is of melt ponds at the moment .will be interesting to see what happens to ct area when they start freezing over.

          3. i think i see the problem now jim. do you know the size of the area in those images ? what do you think is the absolute minimum thickness of ice that shows up like that on those images ?

            the asif appears to have gone into meltdown at the moment. climate renanalyser this , nsidc that. virtually every single modeled metric of sea ice concentration,extent and area as had problems this melt season, yet these guys are still putting absolute faith in the modeled output.

            neil t appears to have noticed the change in ice movement from south to north in certain areas. he is correct,the arctic is now moving into a new regime . that is a result of the amo moving into the cool phase. what this mean for the ice i really do not know,we will have to wait and see.

            in case anyone thinks i am suggesting it will mean an increase in sea ice during summer, i am not. a differing ice transport direction while the ice is at lower levels may well result in less ice in the near future, i do not have a clue what will happen in the next few years apart from the atlantic is going to get cooler . you will have to ask the ocean sciences people by how much .

          4. I think the “problem” is with concentration rather than thickness. The Sentinel image of the Beaufort shows a large area in the top left with concentration < 15%, which will appear as "open water" on the auto-generated products with 10-25 km resolution. However the CIS and MASIE products include human input, and will show it as "ice".

  2. p.s arguing with the idiots at the mail or indeed any tabloid, is a lost cause. the old adage about arguing with idiots is worth noting.they will bring you down to their level,then beat you with experience 🙂

    1. Getting back to the topic of the OP, the Mail tell me they insist on keeping our conversation about their egregious errors private. I’m waiting to discover if IPSO insist likewise.

      In the meantime you’ll have to use your imagination to determine whether “arguing with the idiots” is indeed a lost cause!

      1. ha ha, i admire your persistence jim. you need to remember the uk press do very little actual journalism these days jim. it is all about churnalism and parroting social media.sad days .

        what do you think of the american epa,s latest faux pas in allowing millions of gallons of polluted water into an important river system . sounds like the lunatics are guarding the asylum .

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