Scott Johnson

Science Editor

ARTICLE REVIEWS

Breitbart article baselessly claims a study of past climate invalidates human-caused climate change

in Breitbart, by John Nolte

— 11 Apr 2019

"By the reasoning of this article, if a rock rolled down a hill three million years ago, no human can be responsible for rolling a rock down a hill today. The fallaciousness of thi..

Western Journal op-ed deceives readers with completely unsupported claims

in The Western Journal, by Jay Lehr, Tom Harris

— 26 Feb 2019

"What would make their case stronger would be if they actually analysed all the data, engaged with the existing scientific literature and made their own contribution to our scienti..

New York Times’ coverage of IPCC report clearly presents conclusions

in The New York Times, by Coral Davenport

— 24 Jan 2019

This story in The New York Times covered the October release of the IPCC's "Global Warming of 1.5 °C" report. Scientists who reviewed the story found that it provided an accurate...

Guardian story on climate impacts of diet gets mixed reviews from scientists

in The Guardian, by Damian Carrington

— 23 Jan 2019

"The word “Avoiding” in title and text is overly strong and should have been “Reducing”. Adopting a vegan diet is not necessary, but a reduction to having meat 1-2 times a ..

Story on congressman’s incorrect claims about sea level rise could have corrected them more explicitly

in Science Magazine, E&E News, by Scott Waldman

— 22 Jan 2019

"The comments from the members of the Committee suffer from severe inaccuracies and misconceptions, and citations of the invited climate scientist mostly address those issues. In ..

BBC article on IPCC report is mostly accurate, but could use some clarification

in BBC, by Matt McGrath

— 21 Jan 2019

"Scientifically, the article is overall correct, but it is in cases inaccurate in its description of certain aspects of the IPCC. For example, the IPCC does not conduct research, b..

CNN accurately covers latest IPCC report

in CNN, by Brandon Miller

— 19 Jan 2019

This CNN story covered the October release of the IPCC's "Global Warming of 1.5 °C" report. The report, which was requested by governments during the 2015 Paris Agreement negotiat...

USA Today story updates readers on trend in monthly global temperatures

in USA Today, by Doyle Rice

— 14 Jan 2019

"The piece accurately reports the surface temperature record warming of recent decades and joins the dots appropriately to the underlying cause of human emissions. It appropriately..

Washington Post article accurately discusses warm Arctic weather event

in The Washington Post, by Jason Samenow

— 14 Jan 2019

"This article accurately describes the Arctic warming event and associated surprise by scientists, includes multiple explanations for possible causes, and does not overstate any co..

Popular “Friends of Science” video promoted by Youtube presents long list of climate myths

in Friends of Science, YouTube, by Steve Goreham

— 21 Dec 2018

"The video presents a litany of the usual climate denier talking points, none of which hold any water. It is full of outright false claims and does not even shy away from presentin..

CLAIM REVIEWS

It’s true that the current carbon dioxide level is higher than any time in human existence

CLAIM
"the concentration of carbon dioxide in Earth’s atmosphere has climbed to a level last seen more than 3 million years ago — before humans even appeared on the rocky ball we call home"

SOURCE: Denise Chow, NBC News, 14 May 2019

VERDICT

In popular video, Dan Peña falsely claims humans aren’t causing climate change

CLAIM
"Fifty-five thousand years ago the whole world was 2°C warmer than it is today[...] It's all cyclical; [human-caused greenhouse gas emissions are] not a fart in the wind. Sea level rise is not going to happen."

SOURCE: Dan Peña, "Ivanka_Trump" Facebook account, 4 May 2019

VERDICT

There is clear evidence for the existence of climate change contrary to claims by John Coleman

CLAIM
"Climate change is not happening, there is no significant man-made global warming now, there hasn't been any in the past, and there's no reason to expect any in the future."

SOURCE: John Coleman, Derek Utley, 22 Feb. 2019

VERDICT

Claim in The Express that low solar activity is bringing cold weather is false

CLAIM
"Cold weather to grip world as solar minimum to deepen, NASA says"

SOURCE: Sean Martin, Express, 15 April 2019

VERDICT

Blaze article badly misrepresents study of Greenland’s Jakobshavn Glacier

CLAIM
"[O]ne of the previously fastest shrinking glaciers in the world is growing again, calling into question the narrative that rapid climate change [...] poses a significant threat to the existence of the human race"

SOURCE: Chris Enloe, The Blaze, 26 March 2019

VERDICT

Caleb Rossiter falsely claims that climate models are “running very hot”

CLAIM
"The models predicted about three times the amount of warming in the world we’ve seen since [1988]."

SOURCE: Caleb Rossiter, The Hill, 6 March 2019

VERDICT

Senator Sanders’ claim that climate change is making tornadoes worse isn’t supported by published research

CLAIM
"The science is clear, climate change is making extreme weather events, including tornadoes, worse."

SOURCE: Senator Bernie Sanders, Facebook, 4 March 2019

VERDICT

Claim that cows have more impact on climate than cars depends on the timescale

CLAIM
"Burping cows are more damaging to the climate than all the cars on this planet."

SOURCE: Barclay's, Financial Times, 19 Feb. 2019

VERDICT

Metro’s claims of coming “mini ice age” have no basis in reality

CLAIM
"[S]unspot activity on the surface of our star has dropped to a new low. It’s feared this could herald the arrival of a uniquely grim ‘mini Ice Age’."

SOURCE: Jasper Hamill, Metro, 16 Nov. 2018

VERDICT

On BBC Newsnight, Myron Ebell falsely claims climate models exaggerate warming

CLAIM
"The rate of warming according to the data is much slower than the models used by the IPCC"

SOURCE: Myron Ebell, BBC Newsnight, 8 Oct. 2018

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 ...