Out-of-context news report about our recent publication

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Out-of-context news report about our recent publication

Tore Hattermann
Just to avoid any confusion about misleading news articles citing me saying that Antarctic ice shelves would not be melting:

Recently we published a paper about oceanographic measurements below the Fimbul Ice Shelf in eastern Antarctica: http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2012/2012GL051012.shtml

The AGU media department made a news release about the paper, reporting that we find (amongst other things) less basal melting below the Fimbul than ocean models were suggesting: http://www.agu.org/news/press/pr_archives/2012/2012-31.shtml

This is a good thing, because our data shows us how the ocean transports towards the ice shelf, which will helps us to improve the models. The bad thing is, that there is always a jerkhead out there who cannot read, and one of them put together the following:
And others quickly picked it up for their mission.

Thanks to Jonathan Lilly, we timely wrote an "official" answer/ explanation for the requests we got from numerous journalists:

Based on the original news release, one may have anticipated this development and for a PhD student like me, this is definitely a "lesson learned" experience. Yet, I do think that our community should be able to openly deal with the results that cannot directly be used to argue that the water will soon be up to our necks. From the evidence, our case is clear anyways and sometimes it may be useful to show the public that we actually are doing sound science by also questioning the accepted paradigms, whereas all kinds of internal censorship would just make us vulnerable to our critics. At least this is what they tell us to do in the science-ethics courses at grad-school...

Best regards and my apologizes to all of you who may be troubled by the enthusiastic skeptics that may hooked up on this.

Tore Hattermann
PhD-student at the Norwegian Polar Institute

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