The ABC reports on global warming conference in Cairns:
A foundation of facts established that ocean temperatures have climbed by half a degree in the past decade, ocean acidity has increased by 25 per cent and sea levels have risen by around 30 centimetres.
(Thanks to readers John and Steve.)
Half a degree rise in ocean temperature over the past decade? More “solid foundations”? In fact, try just 0.33 of a degree over a century:
ScienceDaily (Apr. 1, 2012) — A new study contrasting ocean temperature readings of the 1870s with temperatures of the modern seas reveals an upward trend of global ocean warming spanning at least 100 years.
The research led by Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego physical oceanographer Dean Roemmich shows a .33-degree Celsius (.59-degree Fahrenheit) average increase in the upper portions of the ocean to 700 meters (2,300 feet) depth. The increase was largest at the ocean surface, .59-degree Celsius (1.1-degree Fahrenheit), decreasing to .12-degree Celsius (.22-degree Fahrenheit) at 900 meters (2,950 feet) depth.
What the hell is going on up in Cairns?
(Thanks to reader Steve.)
I’m astonished that a reporter covering this conference could simply pass on claims that are clearly preposterous. But the ABC now makes dramatic revisions to its report that once boasted of “a foundation of facts”, so that every one of the three claims made have been scaled down:
Editor’s note: This story has been amended to correct assertions attributed to the consensus statement, most notably that the statement referred to changes over the past century, not decade.
The report now reads:
The consensus statement established that ocean temperatures have climbed by half a degree in the past century, ocean acidity has increased due to atmospheric carbon dioxide and sea levels have risen by about 18 centimetres.
Suddenly there is a very modest warming in line with historical trends, an assertion of some unspecified rise in acidity and a very modest rise in sea levels of just 1.8mm a year – also about in line with natural trends.
From alarm to “what’s the worry?”.
I wonder. Without the Internet and blogs, would these corrections have been made?
(Again, thanks to reader Steve and also Peter. Nice win.)