Getting Cooler? What the World Meteorological Organization Actually Said

Fri, 2008-04-11 14:46Page van der Linden
Page van der Linden's picture

Getting Cooler? What the World Meteorological Organization Actually Said

For the past week, the breathless buzz on the global warming denier blogs and radio programs has been about a certain BBC News article regarding the temporary cooling effect of El Niña this year. Serial denier Noel Sheppard at Newsbusters described how the denier dramathon unfolded:

NewsBusters has just learned that a British “climate activist” was responsible for getting the BBC to radically alter its “Global Temperatures 'To Decrease'” article last Friday.

As reported Sunday, the third paragraph of what previously had been a very balanced piece about how global temperatures have been declining since 1998 was totally reworded in order to make the report just another hysterical climate change pronouncement.

On Monday, Jennifer Marohasy, the director of the Environment Unit at Australia's Institute of Public Affairs, received and published an e-mail exchange between the article's author, Roger Harrabin, and a climate activist affiliated with the British Campaign Against Climate Change

Predictably, Rush Limbaugh got on the bandwagon, linking to a piece by yet another denier, and incorporated the story into his April 8th show. He adds a little more spin with the classic “there's no consensus on global warming!” argument. Limbaugh said:
Here's the big news, though: “Global temperatures have not risen since 1998.” That is ten years ago. “Global temperatures in fact will drop…” This is the BBC to boot: “Global temperatures will drop slightly this year as a result of the cooling effect of the La Nina current in the Pacific, UN meteorologists have said. The World Meteorological Organization’s secretary-general, Michel Jarraud, told the BBC it was likely that La Nina would continue into the summer. This would mean global temperatures have not risen since 1998, prompting some to question climate change theory.” La Nina, El Nino, these are the things that can affect global temperatures, not even sure of the models. [Transcript, subscription required.]
The saga was like a game of telephone. The story became more elaborate and fantastical as it was told, morphing a BBC article into Conclusive Proof that the world is actually cooling down. It's boilerplate denier stuff, selectively quoting articles as well as relying on unsubstantiated claims that the BBC author modified the article based on the advice of an environmental activist. But here's the core of the problem: the BBC article is a classic example of vague/shoddy reporting, for they didn't even quote Michel Jarraud completely.

Here's what the World Meteorological Organization Info Note actually said (emphasis theirs):

The long-term upward trend of global warming, mostly driven by greenhouse gas emissions, is continuing. Global temperatures in 2008 are expected to be above the long-term average. The decade from 1998 to 2007 has been the warmest on record, and the global average surface temperature has risen by 0.74C since the beginning of the 20th Century. […] “For detecting climate change you should not look at any particular year, but instead examine the trends over a sufficiently long period of time. The current trend of temperature globally is very much indicative of warming,” World Meteorological Organization Secretary-General, Mr Michel Jarraud said in response to media inquiries on current temperature “anomalies”. “La Niña modulates climate variability. There has always been and there will always be cooler and warmer years, but what is important for climate change in the present context is that the trend is still upwards; the global climate on an average is warming despite the temporary cooling brought about by La Niña.”

It's right there in the lead.

Then, they even have Jarraud's quote in bold and italics.

How much more obvious could it be?

Even George W. Bush uses “The Google”.

That's all a reporter - and a global warming denier - needs to do to discover the real story, and to learn a little more about Jarraud's consistent emphasis on the problem of climate change/call for action. Background information is very easy to find, and it should be the central goal of responsible journalism.

Previous Comments

According to hadcrut3 monthly global anomalies:
- The trend from 1850 (when their time series starts) is 0.048 degrees/decade
- The trend for the last 10 years is 0.024 degrees/decade
Presumably this means that the the warming trend is slowing down?

A ten year temproary cooling trend!!

Nice try but nobody is that uninformed any more.

Except perhaps James Hanses and VJ.

A warming trend that’s slowing down is… still a warming trend.

Not a cooling trend. Sorry.

I see the reactionary un-scientists are out with their garbage again.

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Frank Bi, http://tinyurl.com/yrpnmd
“Al `Fat Al’ Gore [is fat]” – Harold Pierce

Take a look at any graph showing the temperature trend from 8000 years ago.
You will see a consistent cooling trend with many little bumps in it like the recent little bump at the end of the last century.

ANY Long Term Graph.

By ANY reporting agency.

By ANY honest scientist.

Of course that excludes GISS graphs.

Could be, though I think many would argue that a 10 year trend isnt of any significance as the period is too short to make any conclusions. Or least 10 years warming or cooling either way are to short. If you consider the hadcrut3 graphs there is all sorts of 10 year periods with various warming and cooling trends of varying levels.

Another Exxon-funded conspiracy to conceal Global Warming by distracting the gullible, scientifically illiterate public from The Truth(tm) with the old cheap snowstorm trick?

The storm dumped more than 23 centimetres of heavy snow on the city, smashing an 88-year-old same-day record of 15.2 centimetres. The downtown and northeast caught the brunt of the storm, said Environment Canada.

Triple – nay, quadruple – nay, quintuple – stupidity from rob. Clues:

(1) snowfall, not temperature
(2) in one place, not global
(3) at one time, not long-term
(4) off-topic
(5) totally unsourced

Maybe we need some sort of “Climate Crank Index” to quantify the degree of crankiosity of climate crank posts.

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Frank Bi, http://tinyurl.com/yrpnmd
“Al `Fat Al’ Gore [is fat]” – Harold Pierce

“(1) snowfall, not temperature”

True. Calgary might as well be Caracas.

“(2) in one place, not global”

Of course, because snow storms occur uniformly, simultaneously around the globe.

“(3) at one time, not long-term”

Naturally. A snow storm in Calgary is just a crazy, isolated incident. A complete anomally.

“(4) off-topic”

Absolutely. What could a snow storm possibly have to do with global cooling?

“(5) totally unsourced”

That’s right, Frank. I just made that up. It never happened.

Oh, wait:
http://tinyurl.com/5gy2kk

Time for your nap, Frank.

It snowed here in Calgary on Thursday and the snow started melting the same day. Friday was warm and melting; today, Saturday, is supposed to have a high of 17C and tomorrow a high of 19C.

Rob, in 1951 there was snow here in June. In May 1986 Calgary had a famous snowstorm that brought down many power lines. By your dishonest kind of reasoning and cherrypicking, this snowstorm in April 2008 is thus proof of global warming.

“The saga was like a game of telephone. The story became more elaborate and fantastical as it was told, morphing a BBC article into Conclusive Proof that the world is actually cooling down.”

So, let’s see: You don’t like Rush Limbaugh; therefore the theory and resultant fantastical predictions of AGW must be correct. Huh?

“It’s boilerplate denier stuff, selectively quoting articles as well as relying on unsubstantiated claims that the BBC author modified the article based on the advice of an environmental activist.”

Unsubstantiated? Say what?! The “claim” is anything but “unsubstantiated” – in fact, it couldn’t possibly be any more self-evident! The BBC reporter admitted as much. Did you not read the transcript of the e-mail exchange? They were caught red-handed.

“But here’s the core of the problem: the BBC article is a classic example of vague/shoddy reporting, for they didn’t even quote Michel Jarraud completely.”

Uh, that’s not the core of the problem. Although the BBC’s record of shoddy reporting is well established in many areas, this is no mere “shoddy reporting”, you miss the entire point of this incident. Here we have a prime example of the BBC’s willingness to modify their reporting and meekly comply with the shrill demands and threats of one single Global Warming activist.

The reporter was certainly negligent, in that he didn’t bother to do some simple research into who was doing the complaining. But that would be too obvious.

“Even George W. Bush uses “The Google”.

Ooooh! Snap! George Bush is teh stoopid. What a burn! Bonus points for working that in.

Oh, wait, you work for Daily Kos. Never mind.

If environmentalists are “activists”, then anti-environmentalists are “inactivists”. Or “reactivists”.

Or should we say “reactionaries”.

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Frank Bi, http://tinyurl.com/yrpnmd
“Al `Fat Al’ Gore [is fat]” – Harold Pierce

Reality check.

Yes it’s gonna be colder in 2008.
But enjoy it while it lasts, because it won’t be for long.

_

1. We’re experiencing a La Nina right now. (The Reverse of an El Nino) That causes cooling.
http://environmentaldefenseblogs.org/climate411/2008/03/24/cooling_from_la_nina/

2. We’re currently at the very very bottom of the last ~11 year solar radiation cycle.
http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/SolarCycle/sunspot.gif

Take those two temporary(!) factors away, and it’s gonna be a lot hotter.

(And yes, climate isn’t caused by a single variable, however here are four of the big ones)
1. Solar Irradiance
2. Volcanic/Other Airborne Dust
3. ElNino/LaNina
4. Greenhouse gases. http://greyfalcon.net/lean2005.png

But they will seize on anything that can be contorted to “support” the notion. And prepare yourself for escalating silliness: we seem to have acquired some new trolls who are trotting out the same old denialist doggerel as though it’s fresh news. Yawn!

Fern Mackenzie

“we seem to have acquired some new trolls who are trotting out the same old denialist doggerel as though it’s fresh news.”

As it happens, I’m actually writing a denialist doggerel…

http://tinyurl.com/6hlvky

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Frank Bi, http://tinyurl.com/yrpnmd
“Al `Fat Al’ Gore [is fat]” – Harold Pierce

“Yes it’s gonna be colder in 2008.
But enjoy it while it lasts, because it won’t be for long.”

Criswell has spoken! http://tinyurl.com/6gduzd

While you are boring and arrogantly ignorant.

I mean temporary.
The La Nina is projected to last less than a year. http://www.reuters.com/article/latestCrisis/idUSL11121643

Looks like Solar Cycle 24 has already started on us. http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2008/10jan_solarcycle24.htm

Perhaps a lot less than a year.
La Nina would appear to be ending fairly quickly.
There is a lot of very warm water off the western coast of Central America and this warm water has expanded south to the coast of Peru.
But there is still a lot of warm water off the east coast of Australia, so there is no danger of an immediate El Nino.

The email conversation between the two where the activist coerced the BBC into changing the story is online.

http://www.jennifermarohasy.com/blog/archives/002906.html

It is totally substantiated and unlike global warming models, is reflected in the physical blood and flesh “reality”.

“Coerced”? What cruel and unusual punishments did Jo Abbess threaten to give to Harrabin?

In the meantime, right-wing pundit Tim Worstall claims that “The BBC is under fire after altering a news story about global warming as a result of activist pressure.” Of course, “fire” is something very different from coercion.

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Frank Bi, http://tinyurl.com/yrpnmd
“Al `Fat Al’ Gore [is fat]” – Harold Pierce

Darn these fact-checkers and their fascistical insistence on making news stories more accurate! How dare they impose truth upon us!

Um yeah, and these fascists do it by coercion!

Coercion, I say!

Poor Harrabin, he must be quaking in his shoes at the prospect of being burnt at the stake in a gulag.

(Never mind if that doesn’t make sense. If it doesn’t make sense, then it must be true.)

The WMO statement is probably also part of the Great Warmist Conspiracy, as is rob’s dog.

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http://frankbi.wordpress.com/ International Journal of Inactivism
“Al `Fat Al’ Gore [is fat]” – Harold Pierce

“ ‘Coerced’? What cruel and unusual punishments did Jo Abbess threaten to give to Harrabin?”

Are you kidding–it is right there in black & white!

“I am about to send your comments to others for their contribution,
unless you request I do not. They are likely to want to post your
comments on forums/fora, so please indicate if you do not want this to
happen.”

That’s right! She was going to share his comments with others–unless he didn’t want her to! No wonder he buckled when subjected to this ruthless extortionate threat!

Do I detect a sockpuppet???

They’re sockpuppets of the same master all – rob, zog, Troll, trrll, wilbert – and I claim my ten shillings.

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http://frankbi.wordpress.com/ International Journal of Inactivism
“Al `Fat Al’ Gore [is fat]” – Harold Pierce

Um yeah, getting people to post in comments areas is right up there with burning people at the stake in a gulag…

…while threatening bogus lawsuits (Monckton, McIntyre) is a profound act of freedom and democracy!

It’s coercion! Coercion!

In the inactivist universe, up is down.

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http://frankbi.wordpress.com/ International Journal of Inactivism
“Al `Fat Al’ Gore [is fat]” – Harold Pierce

I hate it when up is down…upsets the tummy don’t ya know.

My 2 cents. http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2008/04/denialists_against_corrections.php

Via Lambert:

Glenn Reynolds wrote, “Under Fire: `The BBC is under fire after altering a news story about global warming as a result of activist pressure.’”

Hilarious how Reynolds tries to make himself look so detached from the whole thing.

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Frank Bi, http://tinyurl.com/yrpnmd
“Al `Fat Al’ Gore [is fat]” – Harold Pierce

“so detached from the whole thing.” Chuckle!

Surface temperature is not driven by co2 levels. This is most apparent with studies of other geological time frames. For example co2 levels were ten times greater 450 billion years ago, yet the planet was going through an ice age. co2s make up only one of the 4 greenhouse gasses and 97% of co2s come from oceans and vegatation. So my driving my SUV does not affect the climate in the slightest. You alarmists, or those being lead around by the nose will eventually realize that everything you thought you knew was crap and I’m sure that is a terrible feeling. Solar activity is the driving cyclic force for surface temperature. When solar activity increases, vegatation grows more readily. When vegatation grows more readily, co2 levels increase (Got it). Read the work of Dr. Willie Soon. Don’t pay any attention to charlatans such as Al Gore(who stands to make a fortune with a company he started in London in 2004 which will benefit if government mandates ecominically cripling reductions in man-made co2s. Wake up fools.

The usual denialist claptrap.

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