Common Climate Misconceptions

CO2 as a Feedback and Forcing in the Climate System

A fundamental misconception about the role that carbon dioxide plays in glacial transitions has helped fuel the argument that the lag time between temperature and CO2 in the paleoclimate record casts doubt on carbon dioxide as an important greenhouse gas.

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Independent Audit Supports Official U.S. Surface Temperature Record

Measuring the temperature of an entire country is no easy undertaking.

Numerous factors such as the heat island effect of urban areas and poor quality measuring sites mean that any aggregate temperature calculation must adjust for potential biases.

A recent effort by Anthony Watts and a team of dozens of volunteers at SurfaceStations.org succeeded in surveying and photographing more than one third of the 1,221 temperature measuring stations in the US Historical Climatology Network (USHCN). An analysis of the temperature trend in the stations identified as well sited and rural corresponds surprisingly well with the official NASA GISTEMP temperature record of the United States. The similar findings suggest that, despite a number of poor quality measuring stations, the official temperature record for the U.S. appears to be quite accurate.

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NPR’s Year-Long Climate Connection Series: Focus on Climate Change as it Affects Peoples’ Lives

Four years ago, staff editors and producers at National Public Radio began plans for an expansive series of reports showing how climate change has worked its way into every aspect of life around the globe, from the poorest coastal citizen to the largest industrial leader.

Then Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast and dominated environmental programming for months.

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Top News Executives Turn to ‘Solutions’: Energy, Costs, Feasibility, and More (Pt.2 of 2)

Their minds full from an all-morning briefing on climate science from some of the nation’s leading experts, 18 top news executives from some of America’s leading news organizations reconvened after an outdoor lunch at Stanford University’s on-campus Dohrmann Grove, where they sat under the redwoods and an observant red-tailed hawk perched nearby.

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E-mail Exchanges with Skeptical Reader End up Printed Verbatim Online

When he set about to reply to a reader’s seemingly clear-cut inquiry criticizing his October 3 climate change news story, Louisville, Ky., reporter James Bruggers had no idea his entire e-mail dialog would end up verbatim in an interest group’s newsletter.

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Common Climate Misconceptions

Why a ‘Gulf Stream’ Shut Down and a New European Ice Age are Unlikely

Some in the news media may be overplaying the extent of the risk that Northern Europe might soon plunge into a new Ice Age. They risk going beyond where the best science can now take them.

“Britain could be heading for a climate like Alaska,” the BBC reported back in 2003. It painted a stark picture of a life in which “our ports could be frozen over. Ice storms could ravage the country, and London could see snow lying for weeks on end.”

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‘Objectivity’ As a Goal? No: Accuracy and Fairness

I agree with the essence of Professor Phil Meyer’s essay on objectivity in the launch issue of the Yale Forum, except that I’ve always argued that objectivity ultimately is impossible.

It goes out the window as soon as we choose which story to write and how we frame it (which used to be called “finding an angle”), which always requires judgment calls. Instead of objectivity, the achievable goals, to my way of thinking, are accuracy and fairness.

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