Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Daily Mail removes scaremongering article about German Super volcano (check out our piece on this back on 2nd Jan 2012)

At the start of this year the Daily Mail published a article with the headline "IS A SUPER-VOLCANO JUST 390 MILES FROM LONDON READY TO BLOW?" they were referring in the article to the Super Volcano Laacher in Germany.

I wrote an article which was posted on the same day relating to this article and refused to post the Daily Mail version.

My Headline "Laacher See, Germany's Super Volcano is NOT “Ready to Blow”, are the Press playing on 2012 for Fearmongering?" Article can be seen here >>>>

We enjoy many of the Daily Mail articles and they can't be faulted for their photography sources but in the case of the Super volcano article this would of been better suited to tabloids like the national inquirer and weekly world news.

It is good to see that this article was requested for removal and maybe teach the journalist to actual check some facts.

Erik Klemetti, an assistant professor of Geosciences at Denison University, wrote a response for Wired in which he described the Mail's story as 'tremendously terrible'. He pointed out:

The article in the Daily Mail is about as substance free as you can produce – it starts off with the usual doom claptrap: “a sleeping super-volcano in Germany is showing worrying signs of waking up.” Now, you have to look carefully for what their supposed signs are – all two of them.

1. "This monster erupts every 10 to 12,000 years and last went off 12,900 years ago, so it could blow at any time.” No source for this recurrence interval and we all know that using poorly constrained recurrence intervals like we have at Laacher See is no way to say a volcano is (ugh) “due for an eruption”

2. “Volcanologists believe that the Laacher See volcano is still active as carbon dioxide is bubbling up to the lake’s surface, which indicates that the magma chamber below is ‘degassing’.” Which, of course, Laacher See has been doing for centuries. There are stories of monks dying from asphyxiation due to carbon dioxide hundreds of years ago. I personally saw carbon dioxide bubbling when I was at the Laacher See 5 years ago.

He added:

This is the volcanic equivalent of the Daily Mail going out and saying “Massive hurricane to hit London?” because they looked out the window and saw a cloud. Irresponsible, lazy journalism at its finest. Read More