Quick Fact: Wash. Times blog repeats climate change myths to attack Gore

››› ››› GREG LEWIS

A February 15 post on Washington Times' Water Cooler blog, which was later highlighted by The Fox Nation, attacked Al Gore for "sticking to his guns" on climate change "[i]n the midst of heavy snow fall all over the United States and a recent admission from global warming advocate Phil Jones that there has been no warming since 1995." The Times also repeated the smear that apparently stolen emails from East Anglia University show that "scientists were covering up climate science."

From Kerry Picket's February 15 post on The Washington Times' Water Cooler blog:

In the midst of heavy snow fall all over the United States and a recent admission from global warming advocate Phil Jones that there has been no warming since 1995, former Vice-President Al Gore is sticking to his guns. In a February 12 statement, he writes on his website that the "[climate crisis] is worse than we thought."

More evidence of the climate crisis is unfolding before our eyes. The situation in the Arctic is worse than data from satellite pictures have told us:

"For scientists studying the health of Arctic sea ice, satellite observations are absolutely essential for providing the big picture. It was satellites that revealed in September 2007 a record minimum ice coverage in the region -- the result of a massive summer melt. And it was satellites that showed in 2008 and 2009 the modest recovery of late-summer Arctic ice that suggested to some that the specter of a totally ice-free polar ocean might be somewhat less imminent than feared." (more)

Denying much, Mr. Gore? The fallout from the climate-gate emails showing University of East Anglia scientists were covering up climate science has just begun, and the former Vice-President has yet to figure that out.

From TheFoxNation.com, accessed February 16, which linked to the Washington Times blog post:

Fact: Jones did not say "there has been no warming since 1995"

Jones: "Achieving statistical significance in scientific terms" is "less likely for shorter periods." During a February 13 BBC Q&A, director of the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia Phil Jones was asked: "Do you agree that from 1995 to the present there has been no statistically-significant global warming." Jones stated:

Yes, but only just. I also calculated the trend for the period 1995 to 2009. This trend (0.12C per decade) is positive, but not significant at the 95% significance level. The positive trend is quite close to the significance level. Achieving statistical significance in scientific terms is much more likely for longer periods, and much less likely for shorter periods.

RealClimate.org: "It is extremely difficult to establish a statistically significant trend over a timer interval as short as 15 years." In a February 15 post, RealClimate.org's staff, which is comprised of several working climate scientists, similarly stated that "it is extremely difficult to establish a statistically significant trend over a timer interval as short as 15 years."

Met Office: Climate shows "continued variability, but an underlying trend of warming in the previously steady long-term averages." The Met Office states: "In 1998 the world experienced the warmest year since records began. In the decade since, however, this high point has not been surpassed. Some have seized on this as evidence that global warming has stopped, or even that we have entered a period of 'global cooling'. This is far from the truth and climate scientists have, in fact, recognised that a temporary slowdown in warming is possible even under increasing levels of greenhouse gas emissions." [Met Office, accessed 9/22/09]

2000-2009 was warmest decade on record. NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS), The National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), The U.K. Met Office, and the World Meteorological Organisation have all stated that 2000-2009 was the warmest decade on record for the globe.

Fact: Local weather phenomena do not disprove scientific consensus that global warming is real

Cold weather in winter does not disprove global warming. In a March 2, 2008, article, The New York Times reported that climate scientists -- including at least one who has disputed aspects of the scientific consensus on climate change -- completely reject the notion that short-term changes in weather bear any relevance to the climate debate. The article quoted Gavin Schmidt, a climate modeler at NASA saying: "It's all in the long-term trends. Weather isn't going to go away because of climate change."

Fact: Hacked emails do not show "scientists were covering up climate science"

FactCheck.org: Emails "have been misrepresented by global-warming skeptics," "don't change scientific consensus on global warming." FactCheck.org has stated that while the emails "show a few scientists in a bad light, being rude or dismissive," "there's still plenty of evidence that the earth is getting warmer and that humans are largely responsible." In addition, FactCheck noted that "many of the e-mails that are being held up as 'smoking guns' have been misrepresented by global-warming skeptics eager to find evidence of a conspiracy."

AP: Emails "don't support claims that the science of global warming was faked." The Associated Press reported that after "stud[ying] all the e-mails for context, with five reporters reading and rereading them" and submitting "summaries of the e-mails that raised issues from the potential manipulation of data to intensely personal attacks ... to seven experts in research ethics, climate science and science policy," they concluded that "the exchanges don't undercut the vast body of evidence showing the world is warming because of man-made greenhouse gas emissions."

Scientists reaffirm that global warming is real. Following the emails' release, more than 1,700 scientists from the United Kingdom signed a statement responding "to the ongoing questioning of core climate science and methods." The statement said: "We, members of the UK science community, have the utmost confidence in the observational evidence for global warming and the scientific basis for concluding that it is due primarily to human activities." Furthermore, in a December 4, 2009, letter to Congress, 29 prominent scientists, including 11 members of the National Academy of Scientists, stated, "The body of evidence that human activity is the dominant cause of global warming is overwhelming. The content of the stolen emails has no impact whatsoever on our overall understanding that human activity is driving dangerous levels of global warming." Additionally, a December 3, 2009, editorial in the science journal Nature stated: "Nothing in the e-mails undermines the scientific case that global warming is real -- or that human activities are almost certainly the cause," and that claims to the contrary by "the climate-change-denialist fringe" are "laughable." The American Meteorological Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the Union of Concerned Scientists have all reaffirmed their position that human-caused global warming is real.

Posted In
Environment & Science, Climate Change
Network/Outlet
The Washington Times, Fox Nation
Person
Kerry Picket
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