Nikki Forrester

Science Editor

Nikki holds a PhD in ecology and evolutionary biology from the University of Pittsburgh where she studied plant-bacterial interactions. As a freelance science writer, she covers climate, ecology, evolution, and research news. Her work appears in Nature, Science, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, and other outlets.

The Science Feedback team

ARTICLE REVIEWS

Article by The Daily Caller oversimplifies drivers of wildfires and downplays role of climate change

in The Daily Caller, by Chris White

— 28 Sep 2020

"The causes of the increase in burned area in the western US in recent decades – and the record-setting fires of 2020 – are complex, driven by a mix of a changing climate, a 10..

Article by CNN exaggerates study’s implications for future Greenland ice loss with “point of no return” claim

in CNN, by Max Claypool and Brandon Miller

— 20 Aug 2020

The article in CNN discusses findings from a study published August, 2020 that analyzes trends of ice discharge from the Greenland Ice Sheet over the past three decades[1]. Reports...

Article by Michael Shellenberger mixes accurate and inaccurate claims in support of a misleading and overly simplistic argumentation about climate change

in Forbes, by Michael Shellenberger

— 06 Jul 2020

"Shellenberger’s article promoting his new book “Apocalypse Never” includes a mix of accurate, misleading, and patently false statements. While it is useful to push back agai..

Article in The Guardian misleads readers about sensitivity of climate models by narrowly focusing on single study

in The Guardian, by Jonathan Watts

— 18 Jun 2020

"The article correctly reports that the most recent versions of some climate models estimate more warming for a given increase in CO2 concentrations. It is also correct in highligh..

Video from PragerU makes several incorrect and misleading claims about climate change

in PragerU, by Richard Lindzen

— 23 May 2020

This video discussing climate change was first published on PragerU’s website in April 2016 and recently posted on Facebook in May 2020. Scientists that evaluated the video found...

Article in Business Insider accurately describes results from a study estimating up to 3 billion people could live in much warmer temperatures by 2070

in Business Insider, by Sarah Al-Arshani

— 12 May 2020

The article in Business Insider discusses findings from a study published May, 2020 that projected one to three billion people could live in much warmer climates by 2070, assuming ...

CLAIM REVIEWS

The Earth is a sphere that rotates on its axis and revolves around the Sun, contrary to Flat Earth video

CLAIM
“The Earth is not a globe. The Earth is stationary.”

SOURCE: Amber Plaster, Flat Earth

Published: 27 Nov 2020

VERDICT

Brush rake attachments are primarily used to pile up heavy forest debris as part of active thinning, harvesting, and removal projects

CLAIM
“this is [...] a brush rake. It's used for clearing underbrush and debris from the forest floor that builds up and creates fuel for wild fires. Now you can stop looking stupid trying to make fun of Trump telling California to rake the forest.”

SOURCE: Facebook users, Facebook

Published: 04 Nov 2020

VERDICT

Sea ice loss due to climate change is the biggest threat to polar bear survival and has already led to declines in some polar bear subpopulations, contrary to “Climate Realism” video message

CLAIM
“In 1950, there were around 10,000 polar bears globally. Today, polar bear populations are near 39,000. Polar bear populations are increasing dramatically as the planet has warmed.”

SOURCE: Andy Singer, Climate Realism, Heartland Institute

Published: 29 Oct 2020

VERDICT

Climate change can make it harder for the Amazon rainforest to grow back from deforestation, but that does not mean 40% of it will now turn into a savanna

CLAIM
“Amazon near tipping point of switching from rainforest to savannah”

SOURCE: Fiona Harvey, The Guardian

Published: 14 Oct 2020

VERDICT

Climate change, forest management and several other causes contribute to wildfire severity and total area burned in the western United States

CLAIM
“Forest fires are caused by poor management. Not by climate change.”

SOURCE: Anonymous, Facebook

Published: 16 Sep 2020

VERDICT

Planting trees can help mitigate some aspects of climate change, but it cannot solve all environmental crises

CLAIM
“Trees provide a solution to almost all environmental crises we're facing. Trees reverse climate change by cleaning carbon from the air.”

SOURCE: Pamela Anderson, 8 Billion Trees

Published: 25 Aug 2020

VERDICT

The long-term survival of polar bears is threatened by loss of sea-ice due to global warming, new study confirms

CLAIM
"Global warming is driving polar bears toward extinction"

SOURCE: Henry Fountain, The New York Times

Published: 27 Jul 2020

VERDICT

Greenhouse gases cause global warming by trapping infra-red radiations, not by “causing more holes in the ozone layer”

CLAIM
Greenhouse gases emitted into the ocean are causing more holes in the ozone layer … “the ozone layer has holes in it causing global temperature to rise”

SOURCE: Otis Holland, Instagram

Published: 21 Jul 2020

VERDICT

Climate scientists agree that human-caused greenhouse gas emissions are primarily responsible for climate change, contrary to claims in Clear Energy Alliance video

CLAIM
The scientific consensus on whether global warming is human caused is not 97 percent, it’s less than 1 percent. There is no way to measure the human impact on climate change.

SOURCE: Mark Mathis, Clear Energy Alliance

Published: 25 Jun 2020

VERDICT

Low solar activity has little effect on Earth’s climate, contrary to claim in The Sun

CLAIM
"The sun has gone into ‘lockdown’ which could cause freezing weather, earthquakes and famine, say scientists"

SOURCE: Chris Pollard, The Sun

Published: 20 May 2020

VERDICT

INSIGHTS

The potentials and limitations of tree plantings as a climate solution

— 11 Jun 2020

the international conversation on tree plantings as a solution to reducing CO2 emissions in the atmosphere and mitigating the rise in global surface temperature is mixed, with judg...