Democracy Has Prevailed.

October 12, 2014

The Tribune-Review Misguides Its Readers On Climate Change. Again.

Today, the editorial board of the The Tribune-Review added this sentence to its Sunday Pops page:
Scholars at the Heartland Institute report that the global mean surface temperature of the Earth has not risen now for 18 straight years. We report, you deride — the climate-cluckers. [Bolding in Original.]
The implication is clear: no more warming!  But look closer at the sentence - "global mean surface temperature" has not risen.  Is the mean surface temperature the only way to gauge global warming?

No, it isn't.  But we've been down this road before, haven't we?

So, with your indulgence, O Gentle Reader, I'd like to trace this story through the climate denier distortion machine.  First we look to Heartland.  What do they say about this?

We get a clue from this page:
According to satellite data released this month by Remote Sensing Systems (RSS), which provides data used by NASA, NOAA, and the National Science Foundation, the global mean surface temperature has not risen for 18 consecutive years. This extends the so-called “pause” in global warming to a new record, one not predicted by the climate models of the United Nations’ International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
Ah. Now we have a NASA source for the data - Remote Sensing Systems. More on that in a bit.  But if you look at the title of that page, it's obvious that it's a follow up to an earlier page - it's a "comment on" sort of thing.

Here's the original "reporting" at Heartland:
According to Professor John Christy, director of the Earth System Science Center at the University of Alabama/Huntsville, October 1 marked the 18th anniversary of no warming as measured by Earth’s climate satellite system. Despite a continued and marked rise in emissions and atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide, Earth’s temperature has plateaued for the past 18 years.

Christy told CNS News, “That’s basically a fact. There’s not much to comment on.”
(There's a link to this CNS News piece on Christy at the bottom of the page.)  So wait, so this isn't from Heartland?  It's only passing through the Conservative/Libertarian think tank from another right wing "news" source?  Why didn't the Tribune-Review tell us that?

Do I need to mention that CNS News is owned by the Media Research Council and about the financial links between the late Richard Mellon Scaife and his Tribune-Review and his stake in MRC/CNS News?

But besides all that (which frankly is enough to erase any credibility the braintrust has in this matter), what does Remote Sensing Systems actually have to say about the global mean surface temperatures?

Take a look. Here's how they summarize their findings:
  • Over the past 35 years, the troposphere has warmed significantly. The global average temperature has risen at an average rate of about 0.13 degrees Kelvin per decade (0.23 degrees F per decade).
  • Climate models cannot explain this warming if human-caused increases in greenhouse gases are not included as input to the model simulation.
  • he spatial pattern of warming is consistent with human-induced warming. See Santer et al 2008, 2009, 2011, and 2012 for more about the detection and attribution of human induced changes in atmospheric temperature using MSU/AMSU data.[Link in Original]
Then they add their "But...:
  • The troposphere has not warmed as fast as almost all climate models predict.
Wait. Not warmed as fast?  But Heartland said that according to RSS data, the warming stopped!  The Trib braintrust dutifully echoed and amplified Heartland and said it "hasn't risen" in 18 years!  But the folks they're all telling us about told a different story, didn't they?

Interesting how that happens in the well funded right wing news/noise machine, huh?

Meanwhile the warming's still going on - in the oceans and not on the surface.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Another great post. Thanks for keeping on. Something at the Trib has to give eventually.