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Wrong units conversion in press

  1. Apr 3, 2009 #1

    Redbelly98

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    It really annoys me when professionals mess up unit conversions.

    From http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20090403/sc_afp/usclimatewarming_20090403144320 [Broken]

    (1 million km^2 is actually 390,000 square miles.)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
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  3. Apr 3, 2009 #2

    mgb_phys

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    My personal one is the unnecessary number of decimal places (especially here in metric land)
    I just bought a barbecue that warns me to keep it 182.8cm (6ft?) away from flammable materials.
     
  4. Apr 3, 2009 #3

    Redbelly98

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    EDIT: responding to deleted post.

    The conversion is not between km and miles, rather it is between square km and square miles.

    1 million km^2 = (1000 km) x (1000 km)
    = (621 miles) x (621 miles)
    = 621 x 621 miles^2
    = 385,000 sq. miles

    It's a common enough error for science students, not to square the length conversion factor in order to get to get area. Just a little irksome when professionals do this.
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2009
  5. Apr 3, 2009 #4

    Ivan Seeking

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    LOL, that's funny!

    I swear I would fall over if a local news agency ever grasped the difference between kWs, and kW-Hrs. Any time I see a story about the price of electricity, they always cite the price in cents per kW.
     
  6. Apr 3, 2009 #5

    Ben Niehoff

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    I'd buy a kW for $100 if I could keep it for the rest of my life.
     
  7. Apr 3, 2009 #6
  8. Apr 3, 2009 #7
  9. Apr 3, 2009 #8

    Redbelly98

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    BTW, the way I read the article from post #1, it is the scientists and not the reporter who made the error.

    The same mistake is given on NOAA's website
    http://www.noaanews.noaa.gov/stories2009/20090402_seaice.html

    I reported the mistake to them; we'll see if there's a correction or do they just write me off as some anally retentive geek from the fringes of society. Well, at least they did acknowledge receiving my email.

    That's exactly what I did. Had to be sure, after all.
     
  10. Apr 3, 2009 #9

    Ivan Seeking

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    http://articles.latimes.com/1999/oct/01/news/mn-17288
     
  11. Apr 3, 2009 #10
    noaa article seems to be fixed already
     
  12. Apr 3, 2009 #11

    Pengwuino

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    I'll sell you a kW but only for 5 seconds.
     
  13. Apr 3, 2009 #12

    Redbelly98

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    You're right. It was mistaken earlier (within 1/2 hour of 1st post in this thread). When I went back later and saw the same date there, 2 Apr 2009, I just assumed it had not been corrected yet.

    Thanks for pointing that out.
     
  14. Apr 3, 2009 #13

    Vanadium 50

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    There was a piece on Antarctic warming where they said that the temperature had been increasing 32.2 F per year for the last decade.

    I'm pretty sure they meant "increasing 0.1 C per year"
     
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