Some time after this was posted, the third paragraph of the original piece was changed in a fashion that radically altered the meaning of the entire article (picture courtesy AP).
In fact, what was once a realistic portrayal of new data released by the World Meteorological Organization suddenly became another hysterical report espousing doom and gloom at the hands of manmade global warming.
Here was how the piece began before Saturday's edits (emphasis added):
Global temperatures will drop slightly this year as a result of the cooling effect of the La Nina current in the Pacific, UN meteorologists have said.
The World Meteorological Organization's secretary-general, Michel Jarraud, told the BBC it was likely that La Nina would continue into the summer.
This would mean global temperatures have not risen since 1998, prompting some to question climate change theory.
For the record, a website called Gribbit's Word cut and pasted those three opening paragraphs exactly the same way on Friday at 12:19 PM.
Yet, some time on Saturday after NewsBusters posted its piece at 12:22 PM, the third paragraph was mysteriously changed to this (emphasis added):
But this year's temperatures would still be way above the average - and we would soon exceed the record year of 1998 because of global warming induced by greenhouse gases.
Some difference, wouldn't you agree? Maybe more fascinating is that the time stamp at the top of the article doesn't reflect that any changes were made since Gribbit or I cut and pasted the version we shared with our readers: "Page last updated at 00:42 GMT, Friday, 4 April 2008 01:42 UK."
For those unfamiliar, 00:42 GMT on Friday would be 7:42 PM EST Thursday. So, according to BBC.com, this piece was last updated our Thursday evening.
Yet, Gribbit's cut and paste Friday afternoon, and mine on Saturday afternoon, are different than what one now sees if you click on the links we both posted for this piece. And, since mine was posted at 12:22 PM Saturday, it means this third paragraph was changed at least 40 hours after the last "official" update.
Why? Was someone at the BBC displeased with the tenor of this piece, but didn't want folks to know it was being altered so long after it had been posted?
*****Update: Jennifer Marohasy reports that the headline of this article was changed a couple of times as well --
Moving on to the strange happenings surrounding a subsequent 4th April article by the BBC's Roger Harrabin, blogged here, entitled, Global temperatures 'to decrease' , which was later changed to, Global warming 'dips this year, ' and then subsequently changed back to Global temperatures 'to decrease.' The changes in the text, however, did not revert back to the text in the original article.
Makes sense. After all, the alarmists certainly couldn't have an article out there titled "Global Warming 'Dips This Year.'"