Scott Johnson

Science Editor

ARTICLE REVIEWS

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 Berkhou, 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 that human civilization could end in 30 years is speculative, not supported with evidence

in IFLScience, by James Felton

— 09 Jun 2019

"The report this article is based on describes a scenario which is unlikely, but several aspects of what is included in the report are likely to worsen in coming decades, such as t..

Commentary in The Australian by Ian Plimer relies on false claims to make its case

in The Australian, by Ian Plimer

— 20 May 2019

"If you think that potentially causing hundreds of millions of refugees and trillions of dollars in damages is fine because some plants did well in the same conditions millions of ..

CLAIM REVIEWS

Bedrock heat flow studies made no claim contradicting human-caused melting of glaciers

CLAIM
"[A] series of just-released studies by working-level scientists prove that geological and not atmospheric forces are responsible for melting of Earth’s polar ice sheets."

SOURCE: James Edward Kamis, Climate Change Dispatch

Published: 22 Nov 2019

VERDICT

Claim of a coming ice age misrepresents the study it relies on

CLAIM
"Scientists studying Antarctica sea ice warn a rise in accumulation could spark the next ice age."

SOURCE: Stacy Liberatore, Chris Ciaccia, Daily Mail, Fox News

Published: 01 Nov 2019

VERDICT

Human activities release far more carbon dioxide than volcanoes do

CLAIM
"That one little burp by Mt. Etna has already put more than 10,000 times the CO2 into the atmosphere than mankind has in our entire time on the Earth"

SOURCE: Anonymous, Facebook post

Published: 31 Oct 2019

VERDICT

Letter to the UN was not signed by 500 scientists or experts on climate science

CLAIM
"500 Scientists Write U.N.: ‘There Is No Climate Emergency’.... More than 500 scientists and professionals in climate and related fields have sent a 'European Climate Declaration' to the Secretary-General of the United Nations"

SOURCE: Thomas D. Williams, Breitbart

Published: 30 Oct 2019

VERDICT

Photo meme of Sydney Harbour incorrectly claims no sea level rise has occurred

CLAIM
"Unprecedented climate change has caused sea level at Sydney Harbour to rise approximately 0.0 cm over the past 140 years."

SOURCE: Anonymous, Facebook post

Published: 28 Oct 2019

VERDICT

2°C is not known to be a “point of no return”, as Jonathan Franzen claims

CLAIM
"The consensus among scientists and policy-makers is that we’ll pass this point of no return if the global mean temperature rises by more than two degrees Celsius"

SOURCE: Jonathan Franzen, The New Yorker

Published: 17 Sep 2019

VERDICT

There is overwhelming evidence that current climate change is significantly caused by human carbon emissions contrary to claim in Townhall

CLAIM
"Human-produced carbon might be one of the factors [of climate change], but there’s simply no evidence that it is a significant one."

SOURCE: Kurt Schlichter, Townhall

Published: 11 Sep 2019

VERDICT

Claim that the Earth has cooled since Medieval or Roman times is contradicted by available data

CLAIM
"Peer-reviewed studies, geologic records, and all the studies have shown that we have actually cooled since the Roman Warming Period, and likely since the Medieval Warming Period."

SOURCE: Marc Morano, TFP Student Action

Published: 09 Sep 2019

VERDICT

Claim of no US warming since 2005 is directly contradicted by the data it is based on

CLAIM
"the U.S. Climate Reference Network[...] finds there has been no warming for the past 14 years at least"

SOURCE: James Taylor, John Hinderaker, WND, Powerlineblog, Real Clear Energy

Published: 06 Sep 2019

VERDICT

Earth’s orbit cannot explain modern climate change

CLAIM
"changes in the solar orbit of the earth, along with alterations to the earth’s axial tilt, are both responsible for what climate scientists today have dubbed as “warming”[...]. In no way, shape, or form are humans warming or cooling the planet"

SOURCE: Ethan Huff, Natural News

Published: 03 Sep 2019

VERDICT

INSIGHTS

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 ...

The Daily Wire corrects story analyzed by scientists, but it’s still misleading

— 07 Mar 2017

While the most inaccurate statements have been edited, the scientists who reviewed the post indicate that the implication that the study undercuts confidence in the human cause of ...