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Roman tidal baths on Malta – still at sea level after thousands of years” was the caption for a photo that X user @TomPlayford3 tweeted (archived) on June 30, 2024. But we’re all going to die from climate change. Accurate?” In addition to more than 2.5 million views, the post received 960 replies, 12,000 reposts, 41,000 likes, and 4,400 bookmarked. X, Reddit, and iFunny users all shared the same content. Nonetheless, the caption by @TomPlayford3 propagated false information about climate change and misrepresented the image. We have sent inquiries to both @TomPlayford3 and experts in the field of climate science. If we hear back, we will update this post.

Before discussing the error of the story, Julia Kivelä deserves full credit for publishing the original photo.Kivelä, an Instagram travel photographer who seem to be  first active in 2019 and her residence is in Finland. Kivela identified the place as Sliema, Malta..

The caption for Kivela did not spread any false information. Instead, her description said that the picture was taken by an anonymous friend of hers when she was swimming in the sea. It said, “Sliema’s breathtaking pools. “Look for me. The “Roman tidal baths” that the user on X mentioned do not actually date back thousands of years, according to the Department of Information of the Malta government. The so-called “Roman baths” were most likely built during the Victorian era, according to the department’s Facebook page. The Sliema baths were described by as “Roman Baths, but these pools have nothing to do with the Romans. “Rather, they seem to have their roots when Malta was a British colony in the late 19th century.”
Regarding the assertion of sea level made in the article by @TomPlayford3, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) stated that, “Sea level has risen 8 to 9 inches (21 to 24 centimeters) since 1880.”

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