Not to long ago the New York Times put forth a breathless headline story claiming that the ice was melting at the north pole. Open patches of water had been found there, the Times panted, more proof that global warming is here.
It turned out that open patches of water are often found at the north pole normally, and the Times story was just another example of global warming hype.
Now the Times claims that temperatures in Alaska are more than 7 degrees Fahrenheit higher than normal due to accelerating warming. A long article in the Times and subsequent editorial page articles went into great length about the effects of the warmer weather on the US's northern most state. The Times subsequently corrected the figure down to a 5.4 degree increase.
But, once again, it turns out to be false. Even the corrected value was much too high. The real figure is down around 2 degrees, putting the "increase" well within the range of normal variation.
According to Andrew Sullivan:
I've had a chance to read closely the report cited by the Times as showing a 5.4 degree Fahrenheit increase in mean annual temperatures in Alaska over the past thirty years. No such figure is in that report. Anywhere....
To recap: the Times got it wrong on the front page; wrong on their editorial page; wrong in an op-ed column; and wrong in the Corrections column. Is it too much to ask that they eventually put it right? Or would that be too humiliating for what was once a paper of record?