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Katrin Meissner

Professor, University of New South Wales

Expertise: Climate feedbacks, Physical oceanography, Carbon cycle, Paleoclimate

CO2 coalition sponsored article in The Washington Times presents list of false and misleading statements about the impacts of CO2 and climate change

“This article recycles old tropes such as “it’s been warm before”, “CO2 levels have been higher in the past” (millions of years ago!), “CO2 is plant food”, “warming is good for ecosystems/humans”, “so far impacts are small, so they will remain small”, etc. All these pseudo-arguments have been addressed many times before (see examples here, here, and here). This article is clearly motivated, misleading and biased.”

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

“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 natural changes that have occurred in the past. But this neglects the clear evidence that climate change over the last two centuries has been shown to be largely man-made, that it is much more rapid that anything we have seen in the last two thousand years if not longer, and that it is occurring in the context of a globe with more than 7 billion human inhabitants.”

Guardian coverage of essay on potential of future "hothouse" climate is generally accurate, but misstates some details

“The article reasonably summarizes a new study published in PNAS, which describes the potential of tipping elements to enhance climate warming and the potential for the Earth to transition into a hot-house climate state. The article is careful to point out uncertainties and thus avoids being sensational. However, there are many small errors scattered throughout the article.”

Analysis of "Australia’s Great Barrier Reef has worst coral die-off ever"

“This article is mostly accurate … the frequency of massive bleaching events is increasing, will continue to increase in the near future, and these events do not need to occur annually to kill the reef. The variability of El Niño Southern Oscillation on top of the background warming trend of surface temperatures means that we will exceed the bleaching thresholds more frequently.”

Analysis of "About Those Non-Disappearing Pacific Islands"

“This article is very interesting because it exemplifies a highly-misleading rhetorical practice that is effective, frequently used, but not easily recognized by the public: “paltering”… A successful palterer will try to avoid being untruthful in each of his/her utterances, but will nonetheless put together a highly misleading picture based on selective reporting, half-truths, and errors of omission…”

Analysis of "An Overheated Climate Alarm"

“Lomborg is using scientific ‘language’ to suggest that climate change will have insignificant health impacts; this goes against a vast body of evidence. The notion that benefits from warmer winters could be more important than risks from hotter summer in terms of human health is plain wrong.”