Monday, November 28, 2011

Wikipedia: major studies detect cooling over Antartica

On 26 April 2009 – that is, two and a half years ago – an account called ‘Ivanelo’ added some material to the Wikipedia article on ‘Climate of Antarctica’, including the claim that “Since mid 1960s, all major studies detect cooling over the most of Antarctica”.

Today (28 November 2011), climate expert William Connolley reverts the edit, with the comment “rm twaddle (how did that stand for so long)”. Quite. On the assumption that the claim is twaddle, how was it not spotted for so long? Particularly as Connolley himself had worked on it interim.

This is something to store up for my discussion with the UK charity commission. Wikimedia UK managed to persuade them – see the discussion here - that processes exist on Wikipedia to ensure high standards of article quality. Their solicitors, Stone King, certainly assured them that “the content promoted has sufficient editorial controls and safeguards on the accuracy and objectivity of the information provided”. This is highly questionable. Connolley is one of a few subject matter experts who understand how to make judgments about their area of specialism. But there are not many like him, and the whole process of Wikipedia governance is inimical to such specialism. Connolley himself would like the Arbitration Committee of Wikipedia "to think more about content and less about conduct" - see his election guide here - but he knows that will not happen.

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5 Comments:

Blogger Belette said...

An interesting example.

When it was first added, it was reverted out again (http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Climate_of_Antarctica&diff=next&oldid=286332843). This was discussed on the talk page (http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Talk:Climate_of_Antarctica&diff=prev&oldid=286431108).

The damage was done here (http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Climate_of_Antarctica&diff=290272401&oldid=290209022) when someone reverted anon vandalism after the bad edit was re-inserted, effectively hiding the bad shit.

Which brings me on to the main point, which I presume you know: most articles are watched for changes, not regularly re-read from scratch. Once something sneaks in and is layered over, it can stay for a long time.

7:47 pm  
Blogger Edward Ockham said...

>>Which brings me on to the main point, which I presume you know: most articles are watched for changes, not regularly re-read from scratch. Once something sneaks in and is layered over, it can stay for a long time.

Precisely. Thanks for the point about the IP vandalism.

8:35 pm  
Blogger J said...

The latest data from NASA suggests warming:

""A recent result from the NASA/German Aerospace Center's Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (Grace) suggests that since 2006 there has been more ice loss from East Antarctica than previously thought.""

The British on the other hand say...it is not possible to say whether it is warming or cooling overall.

So the revisions include the latest studies and are relevant are they not. That said, even granting temp. increases, it's fairly obvious that Gore/IPCC may have overestimated the dangers. The AGW hysteria often tends to overpower the AGW science.

6:07 pm  
Blogger Edward Ockham said...

Oh no for God's sake don't get into an argument with Belette. We will never hear the end of it.

6:28 pm  
Blogger Malcolm Chisholm said...

Since you like logic, take a look at this entry about Conceptual Graphs at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conceptual_graph. The diagram shows "agent" where it should show "location" in the CG. The error has remained uncorrected for many months, and I use it in my presentations about lack of effective governance in Wikipedia.

3:20 am  

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