Thursday, May 01, 2008

Global Warming takes a polluted breather

Today's Daily Telegraph reports on the news from NATURE that global warming is on hold for 15 years cancelled out by natural cooling forces.

Global warming may 'stop', scientists predict [Daily Telegraph]

Global warming will stop until at least 2015 because of natural variations in the climate, scientists have said.

Researchers studying long-term changes in sea temperatures said they now expect a "lull" for up to a decade while natural variations in climate cancel out the increases caused by man-made greenhouse gas emissions.

Clearly, the quote in bold is not to be ignored. One never likes to see the word INITIAL and NEW COMPUTER MODEL coming before some very important results. So why are Nature publishing them?

Noel Keenlyside of the Leibniz Institute of Marine Sciences, Kiel, Germany, said: "The IPCC would predict a 0.3°C warming over the next decade. Our prediction is that there will be no warming until 2015 but it will pick up after that."

He stressed that the results were just the initial findings from a new computer model of how the oceans behave over decades and it would be wholly misleading to infer that global warming, in the sense of the enhanced greenhouse effect from increased carbon emissions, had gone away.

This whole episode brings me back to the role of the press and the media. Why academics would want to pour over 1000 newspaper articles as a means to furthering science is less clear but the conclusions are valid.

Scientists accuse tabloids of fuelling climate ignorance [inthenews]

Researchers say the matter is particularly worrying as consensus around human contributions to climate change has grown and the need for action has become increasingly urgent.

The accusations from researchers at the University of Oxford's Environmental Change Institute follow their study of nearly 1,000 tabloid articles from the Daily Mail, the Sun, the Daily Express and the Daily Mirror.

They analysed tone, framing techniques, the terms used, labelling of those quoted and relationships between messages.

Writing in the Institute of Physics Environmental Research Letters' journal, the researchers say about a quarter of coverage in the four UK tabloids from 2000 through 2006 misrepresented wide scientific agreement that man-made greenhouse gas emissions have very likely had a role to play in global warming.

Dr Max Boykoff, James Martin research fellow at the Environmental Change Institute, said there is a problem with the way scientific consensus is being reported in the tabloids.

"These newspapers have very high circulation and influence in the UK. We hope these findings help tabloid reporters and editors reflect further on the accuracy of their climate change reporting," he added.

"To the extent that balanced reporting and contrarian commentary have misrepresented scientific consensus on the issue of human contributions to climate change, there is a problem.

"We're all involved in the fight against climate change and it's in all of our interest to widen, rather than restrict, the spectrum of possibility for appropriate policy action."


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