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Monday 9 September 2013

Global Cooling? Another Mail Con Trick

[Update at end of post]

Those claiming that there is no global warming – well, none that is going to get in the way of burning lots of fossil fuel for the benefit of Themselves Personally Now – have become very excited over the weekend, after David Rose produced yet another of his magnificently misleading stories for the Mail On Sunday, which had the added benefit of showing that the hated BBC had got it all wrong.
And now it's global COOLING! Record return of Arctic ice cap as it grows by 60% in a year” announced the headline triumphantly. And, as the man said, there’s more: “A chilly Arctic summer has left nearly a million more square miles of ocean covered with ice than at the same time last year – an increase of 60 per cent. The rebound from 2012’s record low comes six years after the BBC reported that global warming would leave the Arctic ice-free in summer by 2013”.
So what’s the reality behind the Rose rhetoric? As can be seen from this graphic from the National Snow and Ice Data Centre in Boulder, CO, last year brought a record minimum in Arctic sea ice extent. This year, the melting has not been as pronounced. But the ice cover is still less than the 1981-2010 average.

In fact, it’s around a million square kilometres less than that average. So, rather than showing some kind of record rebound – in any case, 1996 brought a similar recovery – we’ve gone from having a record minimum to having less than the average for the previous 30 years. And the key word in the phrase “global warming” being ignored by Rose and those at the Telegraph who lifted his copy is GLOBAL.

Last year, while the Arctic had a record warm Summer, the UK had a mainly miserable time, typified by the cool and damp conditions endured by those taking part in the Diamond Jubilee Pageant on the Thames. Now, with the UK having a much warmer Summer, and hot and dry weather across much of the USA and mainland Europe, we have David Rose shouting “look over there”.

His evidence from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is similarly shaky: the “crisis meeting” he cites did not happen. There hasn’t been one. He just made that up. His talking heads consist of a climate change sceptic and another scientist he manages to quote out of context. The longer term trend for Arctic sea ice is still downhill all the way.

And what about that assertion that “the BBC reported that global warming would leave the Arctic ice-free by 2013”? Well, the Beeb was reporting the findings of Wieslaw Maslowski, not making the assertion themselves. And Maslowski’s findings were cited in the penultimate paragraph of an article as recently as March 2009. The name of the publication concerned? It was the Daily Mail.

So David Rose is slagging off his own team there. What a complete prat.

[UPDATE 1450 hours: into this debate on the side of his "old mucker" David Rose has come James "saviour of Western civilisation" Delingpole, and wasted no time in telling his adoring readers (Damian and Toby Bonkers) that it is not, repeat not, about the science. No, it's about "scaremongering green NGOs, shyster politicians, rent-seeking corporations and ignorant, irresponsible media outfits".

This is because everyone who does not agree with Del Boy is a liar. And, to top it all, he attempts to pour scorn on the Wieslaw Maslowski findings without realising that the Mail used the same source, without questioning it, two years later (see above).

Meanwhile, as the LSE Media Project has noted, the Parliamentary Inquiry into Science Reporting is today hearing from the Guardian and Independent, but that these are the only papers represented. If the Mail, home to David Rose, and the Telegraph, berth of Del Boy and his pal Christopher Booker, were so sure of their positions and able to convincingly defend them, then why aren't they there?

Whatever the answer, Delingpole won't be giving it. He's too busy recycling the same old litany of gratuitous abuse. No change there, then]

1 comment:

senua said...

I was on train on Sunday next to a woman reading the daily mail. I saw the headline for that article and despaired. What a load of rubbish. Rather funny also that james delingpole is going on about scaremongering and yet in the same paper was a story with the title Ten things that should keep you awake at night with a sub heading stating water can kill you and watch out for pakistan.