Scott Johnson

Science Editor

Scott holds a Master of Science in Hydrogeology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He teaches college-level Earth science, and has worked as a freelance science journalist covering the geosciences since 2011, primarily for Ars Technica.

The Science Feedback team

ARTICLE REVIEWS

Article in The Sun misrepresents Antarctic discovery and misplaces it on map

in The Sun, by Charlotte Edwards

— 10 Mar 2020

This article in The Sun describes the chance discovery of a small island in Antarctica’s Pine Island Bay, which seems to have appeared in the last decade. But the article sensati...

ABC article effectively illustrates important climate trends for Australian readers

in Australian Broadcasting Company, by Tim Leslie, Joshua Byrd, Nathan Hoad

— 11 Dec 2019

"This article is exceptionally good in delivering accurate information in an engaging way. There are many useful statements made about the effects of climate change on extreme weat..

Ian Plimer op-ed in The Australian again presents long list of false claims about climate

in The Australian, by Ian Plimer

— 26 Nov 2019

"This article is a mixture of misdirection, misleading claims, and outright falsehoods. The author attempts to paint a picture of current climate change as simply a continuation of..

New York Times op-ed claiming scientists underestimated climate change lacks supporting evidence

in The New York Times, by Eugene Linden

— 18 Nov 2019

"Most of the specific facts and statistics in this op-ed are correct, but the overall effect is significantly misleading. The author’s central point is that scientists have been ..

Telegraph article on climate change mixes accurate and unsupported, inaccurate claims, misleads with false balance

in The Telegraph, by Sarah Knapton

— 18 Oct 2019

"This article is a prime example of false equivalence, putting fringe figures side by side with mainstream scientific findings while failing to distinguish between their respective..

Letter signed by “500 scientists” relies on inaccurate claims about climate science

in clintel.nl, by Guus Berkhout, Reynald du Berger, Terry Dunleavy, Viv Forbes, Jeffrey Fos, Morten Jodal, Rob Lemeire, Richard Lindzen, Ingemar Nordin, Jim O'Brien, Alberto Prestininzi, Benoit Rittaud, Fritz Vahrenholt, Christopher Monckton

— 04 Oct 2019

"The scientific content is completely inaccurate, undocumented, and fails to bring proof for its claims. The ending of the Little Ice Age in 1850 has no logical link with the fact ..

Washington Examiner op-ed cherry-picks data and misleads readers about climate models

in The Washington Examiner, by Patrick Michaels, Caleb Stewart Rossiter

— 31 Aug 2019

"This article focuses only on specific lines of evidence that climate models disagree with observations. In doing so, the authors ignore research that helps to reconcile difference..

NBC News story accurately covers research on two millennia of climate history

in NBC News, by Jaclyn Jeffrey-Wilensky

— 30 Jul 2019

"This accurately describes new peer-reviewed research and asks independent scientists with relevant expertise to provide important context, such as how these results rely on limite..

Popular article in The Independent accurately summarizes June heat in Europe

in The Independent, by Conrad Duncan

— 05 Jul 2019

"The article accurately and clearly states the facts regarding the recent extreme heat in June 2019 and its link to anthropogenic warming. This includes acknowledging that, at this..

Financial Post commentary jumps to unsupported conclusions in claiming “climate change isn’t causing extreme weather”

in Financial Post, by Ross McKitrick

— 13 Jun 2019

"This article is misleading since it confuses changes in climate change impacts with changes in climate and weather extremes and it subjectively selects examples that support its m..

CLAIM REVIEWS

Western US wildfires are not the result of widespread arson

CLAIM
a distressing number of the [West coast] fires are not accidents, and willful arson is the cause.

SOURCE: Glen Morgan, We The Governed

Published: 14 Sep 2020

VERDICT

Study evaluates natural and human causes of recent rapid warming rate at the South Pole

CLAIM
Surface air temperatures at the bottom of the world have risen three times faster than the global average since the 1990s.

SOURCE: Henry Fountain, The New York Times

Published: 06 Jul 2020

VERDICT

Global data contradict claim of no acceleration in sea level rise

CLAIM
The long-term tide gauge datasets are all in agreement that there is no acceleration

SOURCE: Willis Eschenbach, Watts Up With That?

Published: 01 Apr 2020

VERDICT

Electroverse article incorrectly claims the Sun is behind climate change

CLAIM
the IPCC is wrong − the sun, not CO2, drove modern global warming

SOURCE: Roger Higgs, Electroverse

Published: 18 Mar 2020

VERDICT

NOAA does not fraudulently adjust data to create the illusion of a global warming trend

CLAIM
Using complex statistical models, [NOAA] change[s] the data to reflect not reality, but their underlying theories of global warming.

SOURCE: Anonymous, Investor's Business Daily

Published: 19 Feb 2020

VERDICT

Claims of a coming 30-year “mini ice age” are not supported by science

CLAIM
Earth about to enter 30-YEAR ‘Mini Ice Age’

SOURCE: Harry Pettit, Sean Martin, The Sun, Express

Published: 06 Feb 2020

VERDICT

Studies do not support blog’s claim that volcanic activity is causing melting of West Antarctic glaciers

CLAIM
Volcanoes Melting West Antarctic Glaciers, Not Global Warming

SOURCE: Robert W. Felix, James Edward Kamis, IceAgeNow.info, PlateClimatology.com

Published: 20 Jan 2020

VERDICT

Simple measurements demonstrate that CO2 is a greenhouse gas contrary to claim in online blogs

CLAIM
CO2 is not a greenhouse gas.

SOURCE: Tim Ball, Technocracy.news

Published: 14 Jan 2020

VERDICT

Facebook meme incorrectly claims past climate variations contradict human influence on current climate

CLAIM
The idea that 'climate change' is new or is caused by Humans is nonsense.

SOURCE: Anonymous, Facebook

Published: 13 Jan 2020

VERDICT

Volcanic CO2 emissions are known to be much smaller than human-caused emissions

CLAIM
Discovery Of Massive Volcanic CO2 Emissions Discredits Global Warming Theory

SOURCE: James Edward Kamis, Principia Scientific

Published: 03 Jan 2020

VERDICT

INSIGHTS

“Planet of the Humans” documentary misleads viewers about renewable energy

— 04 May 2020

Instead of presenting life cycle analyses for solar and wind generation or quantifying electric vehicle emissions that could inform viewers, Planet of the Humans misleads with broa...

How is Arctic warming linked to the ‘polar vortex’ and other extreme weather?

— 01 Feb 2019

Over the past decade, a growing body of research has proposed ways in which rapid Arctic warming can lead to harsh winters, summer heatwaves and even floods and droughts across the...

How credible were 2018’s most popular climate articles?

— 24 Jan 2019

Compared to last year’s top 10, there is a notable lack of low credibility stories. Two stories garnered mixed reviews from scientists. In one case, this was an article detailing...

Climate misinformation video reaches broad audience with help from Youtube recommendation algorithm

— 21 Dec 2018

YouTube's recommendation algorithm recently began promoting a video about climate change on dozens of popular Youtube channels; the video has been promoted to between 300,000 and 2...

A discussion with experts on California wildfire links to climate change

— 16 Mar 2018

In many of these conversations, the question is framed in a fairly reductionist way: “Did global warming cause the California fires?” A more nuanced and scientifically-answerab...

US Congressman Lamar Smith rushes to dismiss study of Texas hurricanes like Harvey in a warming climate

— 24 Nov 2017

"Congressman Smith is an expert at using seemingly true statements to convey falsehoods." - Prof. Kerry Emanuel

Tony Abbott speech on climate change rehashes misleading, inaccurate talking points

— 12 Oct 2017

“the usual mix of misdirection, falsehoods and tirades against ‘brigades’ who supposedly say this and that but are never clearly identified”. In his speech, Abbott repeate...

How sea ice can still be thick in places in a warming Arctic

— 15 Jun 2017

The simple fact that baffles Breitbart author: global warming doesn’t mean that every square inch of ice has already melted.

CNN airs misleading climate claims in interview

— 25 Apr 2017

"Dr. Happer's assertion that models show 2x to 3x greater warming than observations is incorrect. At the surface (where we all live) models predict a rate of warming of 0.2 °C per..

Scientists reactions to the US House Science Committee hearing on climate science

— 10 Apr 2017

Only four witnesses were invited to testify before the committee, which cannot be representative of all the expertise required to understand a field as vast as climate science. So ...