Picking Nits


This from the latest global warming scare story:

A giant ice shelf the size of 11,000 football fields has snapped free from Canada's Arctic, scientists said.
Since when did football fields become a unit of measure like feet or yards? Usually when you talk about something being as big as a football field, you do it so the reader can visualize the size comparison. But who can really visualize 11,000 football fields, as opposed to 5,000 football fields. Would they say 20,000 football fields for an ice sheet twice the size of this one? And are the football fields end-to-end or just clumped together?

A better literary analogy would be "an ice shelf the size of Manhattan" or "the size of Rhode Island" or however big it is.


Comments

I've got a bigger problem -- how big IS a football field? Eurpopean, American, or Australian Rules? If it is American, does that include the end zones? If it is a European (Soccer) field, which one? I mean, the part you play in is the pitch, whereas the field is the entire freaking stadium.

Measuring it in football fields is like measuring in handfulls or truckloads. It doesn't really tell you anything.

Posted by: Phelps at December 29, 2006 3:24 PM

y'know...I'm not a huge fan of the enviro-fanboys...but a massive geologic event, especially when repeated (other ice shelves have seperated) SHOULD be a scare story...dontchathink?
there's a lot of BS out there, but if there's one thing we ought to be able to agree on, it's that 11,000 of any kind of football field is big enough we need to pay attention.
NOTE: this is not code for fund enviro-idiots, elect the democrats, tear down our business economy or any other shit, it's a suggestion that there's an actual problem and that we can't afford to let a bunch of liberal idiots retain ownership of the issue. Let's figure out what the actual problem and solution are and fix it.

Posted by: Sam at December 29, 2006 8:41 PM

If we use American football fields and include the end zones we have 120 yds by 50 yds or 66 million sq yds. This is 21.3 sq miles. Manhattan Island is about 20 sq miles.

A pretty good sized chunk of ice but I doubt that it is really a big deal. From the article: "The Canadian ice shelves are packed with ancient ice that dates back over 3,000 years." Note that they don't say the ice shelf that broke had ice this old and also that it means that 3000 years ago this ice was not there.

The last ice age is generally believed to have ended about 10,000 years ago. It would seem that this area has gone though periods without ice before now.

Posted by: bob at December 30, 2006 4:37 AM

The square root of 11,000 is about 105. That means this piece of ice is a little over 100 football fields on a side. I'll assume that means 10,000 yards, or about six miles.

Posted by: Mike at December 30, 2006 9:51 AM

Put it in units we can all understand. Like "approx 4 Rosie O'Donnels"

Posted by: kemyst at January 11, 2007 1:48 PM

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