Monday, April 02, 2012

Tabloids & Rightist media distort climate research, take #62442

| »
Global warming

Here’s a shocker for you: The UK tabloid Daily Mail, renowned bastion of accuracy and journalistic integrity, recently trumpeted a study that purportedly threw some water over those doggone global warming conspirators by showing how the Earth has already warmed up in the past without human influence, which is apparently both news (it ain’t) and contradictory to modern man-made global warming theory (which it also ain’t).

Another indicator of how seriously this claim should be taken is that said article was then grabbed by Newsmax and subsequently featured on Fox Nation. Convinced yet? (Sadly, the latter article’s publication date of April 1st makes no difference, here.)

There’s just one little problem: The actual study says nothing of the sort. And the lead author, Dr. Zunli Lu, is a bit peeved that his work is being blatantly misrepresented [my emphasis]:

It is unfortunate that my research, "An ikaite record of late Holocene climate at the Antarctic Peninsula," recently published in Earth and Planetary Science Letters, has been misrepresented by a number of media outlets.

Several of these media articles assert that our study claims the entire Earth heated up during medieval times without human CO2 emissions. We clearly state in our paper that we studied one site at the Antarctic Peninsula. The results should not be extrapolated to make assumptions about climate conditions across the entire globe. Other statements, such as the study "throws doubt on orthodoxies around global warming," completely misrepresent our conclusions. Our study does not question the well-established anthropogenic warming trend.

It’s quite the predictable circus nowadays: Researchers find more evidence the Earth is warming (and that humans are the near-certain cause) and publish credible research, which is then jumped on by kooks and cranks who either ignore it, sneer at it, or outright mangle the living fuck out of it to pretend it fits their delusions. It would be a sad spectacle if it hadn’t crossed into exasperating and infuriating long ago.

It makes me wonder how much anti-global-warming material hack reporters and anti-reality news outlets would have left to bloviate over if they were suddenly forced to stop bullshitting all over actual research. Something tells me their sources would dry up even faster than their credibility.