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Author Topic:

Tornadoes and Icebergs

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ArgumentumAdHominem
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« on: October 09, 2007, 16:57:47 PM »

So I didn't receive any SMSes or eMails about the alleged tornado but I did hear about it on the radio for the first time on the evening news reports, while I was stuck in a huge traffic jam (the traffic jam was not necessarily related to the hoax, I know).  What is going on?  Are there that many gullible people in this country?

*Sigh*

And it didn't end there.  Early this morning we were greeted with the news that some time late yesterday a few drunk fishermen spotted an iceberg off St. Francis Bay.  I was seriously waiting for the reporter to end the story with a serious piece about "lest ye forget the tornado incident yesterday" but no such luck.  The ending was so far in the other direction it was laughable.  "Scientists believe this is further proof of Global Warming", really? Which scientists?  Dr. X from Wits or Dr. Y from UCT? Which scientist was available at 5 in the morning to make that decree?  I really think that all reporters have a little gollem-like creature living in a cupboard that they all name "scientist" which barks-out "Global Warming" whenever the door is opened for a brief moment so that they can write that in their story.  It really worries me when "the evidence is everywhere" that not enough thinking has gone on.  But this isn't a global warming hysteria piece that I'm writing, it's an iceberg one.

So what got to me is that anyone with a high school education in geography knows why the chances of this are extremely low.  Remember the attached picture?

How does an iceberg move up-current to a location in the south-flowing Indian ocean current?  It's easy to understand why an iceberg can be spotted 60nm south of Cape Town (as it was in the 1800s) because it can be carried by the Benguela current - but up-current in the warm Indian ocean?  It would have to have had such massive momentum (started with a huge push rather than the normal gentle breaking-apart that icebergs usually have) or a constant force helping it along (maybe the crew of the Ntini didn't notice that the iceberg was stuck in their net).

But at least there is some sanity from News24.  http://www.news24.com/News24/South_Africa/News/0,,2-7-1442_2198383,00.html. And this article has a named gollem for a change, but this gollem didn't comment on climate change, only the likelihood of the presence of the iceberg.
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