Former BBC Correspondent Slams Network's ‘No Sun Link to Climate Change’ Report
As NewsBusters reported, the BBC published an article at its website Tuesday refuting there being a link between recent increases in global temperatures and solar activity. This piece went counter to one the BBC published just three years ago.
The author of the 2004 piece, former BBC science correspondent David Whitehouse, wrote an article published in the British Telegraph Sunday which slammed the BBC for its “enthusiastically one-sided, sloppy and confused” report on this subject.
*****Update: MIT's Richard Lindzen weighs in at end of post.
Whitehouse marvelously began (emphasis added throughout):
According to the headlines last week, the sun is not to blame for recent global warming: mankind and fossil fuels are. So Al Gore is correct when he said, "the scientific data is in. There is no more debate."
Of that the evangelical BBC had no doubt. There was an air of triumphalism in its coverage of the report by the Royal Society.
The BBC was enthusiastically one-sided, sloppy and confused on its website, using concepts such as the sun's power, output and magnetic field incorrectly and interchangeably, as well as not including any criticism of the research.
But there is a deeper and more worrying issue. Last week's research is a simple piece of science and fundamentally flawed. Nobody looked beyond the hype; if they had, they would have reached a different conclusion.
Using the global temperature data endorsed by the International Panel on Climate Change, one can reach a completely different conclusion.
Recently the United States' National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration said that 2006 was statistically indistinguishable from previous years.
Looking at annual global temperatures, it is apparent that the last decade shows no warming trend and recent successive annual global temperatures are well within each year's measurement errors. Statistically the world's temperature is flat.
The world certainly warmed between 1975 and 1998, but in the past 10 years it has not been increasing at the rate it did. No scientist could honestly look at global temperatures over the past decade and see a rising curve.
Maybe no scientist can. But, folks like Al Gore and his sycophant devotees in the media certainly do:
The sun is by far the single most powerful driving force on our climate, and the fact is we do not understand how it affects us as much as some think we do.
So look on the BBC and Al Gore with scepticism. A scientist's first allegiance should not be to computer models or political spin but to the data: that shows the science is not settled.
*****Update: MIT's Richard Lindzen has weighed in on this issue -- "The notion that a few tenths of a degree global warming HAS to be due to either greenhouse gases or the sun is absurd."