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The Australian skews climate science... again

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The Australian newspaper continues its relentless misrepresentation of climate change science. Graham Readfearn reports.



COOL spell to chill hearts of climate activists,” says the clickbait headline in yesterday’s The Australian (19/11/12).

The story, a reprint from the Sunday Times’ Jonathan Leake, is just the kind of editorialised-opinion-disguised-as-news which The Australian has become known for whenever it reports about climate change.

Let’s have a look through this piece; it begins:
THE world’s climate has cooled during last year and this year, temperature data from Britain’s Met Office reveals — just before this year’s talks on cutting global greenhouse gas emissions.

The figures show that, although global temperatures are still well above the long-term average, they have fallen since the record seen in 2010. The findings could prove politically sensitive, coming ahead of the UN’s climate summit in Doha, Qatar, where the global system for regulating greenhouse gas emissions faces collapse.

The threat comes because the Kyoto Treaty, under which developed nations pledged to cut their carbon emissions, expires at the end of this year. Doha is seen as the last hope of securing an extension.

In such a febrile situation, any data casting doubt on climate scientists’ predictions is potentially explosive.

Come again?
.... The findings could prove politically sensitive .... any data casting doubt on climate scientists’ predictions ....



I would challenge Jonathan Leake to find any climate scientist who in the peer reviewed literature – or anywhere else for that matter – has “predicted” that global temperatures will rise uniformly year upon year. This only becomes “politically sensitive” if the politicians in question accept this sort of spoon-fed misrepresentation of the science.

Given that 2012 will probably end up as another year in the top ten warmest years ever recorded (something the Met Office predicted back in January), actually reinforces what the climate scientists have been “predicting” rather than casting doubt on them.

Not only that, but the expert from the UK’s Met Office which Leake quotes, Peter Stott, even spells out for Leake why the strawman argument Leake went on use in his story was wrong.
However, it is such a short period that it is scientifically meaningless. Climate change can only be measured over decades — and the records show that the world has warmed by 0.75C over the past century.

Also in the story, Leake says:
The World Meteorological Organisation, which oversees the publication of climate trend data from the four main global centres, including the British Met Office, has been strongly criticised for its policy of releasing such data just before the UN’s key annual summits.

Because, presumably, it would be much better for policy makers and global leaders not to have the latest information available to them from their major agencies when they enter major international climate summits.

This excellent graphic from Skeptical Science demonstrates just how ridiculous these arguments, from the likes of Jonathan Leake and The Australian, actually are and why it’s a gross misrepresentation of what’s actually happening in the world of climate:



(This story was originally published on Readfearn.com.You can follow Graham on Twitter @Readfearn.)

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Australia License
 
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