Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Lies of the Climate Commission/Council: Part 18

ABC covered the Climate Council's latest beat up.

It included this summary:

2013-14 summer records included:

  • 11 days above 42C in Adelaide
  • Driest summer for 45 spots in Qld & 38 in NSW
  • Sydney's driest summer in 27 years
  • 20 days above 35C in Canberra
Source: Climate Council

Included in the "records" is reference to "20 days above 35C in Canberra".

The report did not mention that in 1939 the BOM station at ACTON (70099-one we have taken an interest in) recorded 23 days above 35C! There were also 5 more days above 30 in 1939.

See comparison below:
Summer 1939-ACTON 70099

Summer 2014-Canberra Airport 70351

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Missing News: Climate sensitivity

A new GWPF report on climate sensitivity by Nic Lewis and Marcel Crok with introduction by Judy Curry.

Take home message:
"Only in recent years has it become possible to make good empirical estimates of climate sensitivity from observational data such as temperature and ocean heat records. These estimates, published in leading scientific journals, point to climate sensitivity per doubling most likely being under 2◦C for long-term warming, and under 1.5◦C over a seventy-year period. This strongly suggests that climate models display too much sensitivity to carbon dioxide concentrations and in almost all cases exaggerate the likely path of global warming."

"The new information on climate sensitivity suggests that even with relatively high emissions the government’s two-degree limit for global warming is likely to be reached only towards the end of the century."
Once again the tumbleweeds roll around ABC's news room as yet another good news story fails to breach its walls of groupthink.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

ABC's errors worse and worse!

Response to ABC’s 730 report on the Defence Abuse Response Taskforce, 27 February 2014
The story titled Navy gang rape victim breaks silence in search for treatment that aired on the ABC’s 7.30 program on 27 February 2014 and appears on the program’s website, contains significant factual errors.

Rest here

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Where they hide the corrections

The Australian Newspaper report: ABC boss Mark Scott signals new corrections policy.
ABC managing director Mark Scott has signalled a dramatic shift in the way the national broadcaster publishes corrections and apologies after becoming embroiled in a series of controversies over the standard of its reporting and its refusal to admit mistakes.

ABC do a great job hiding their errors and corrections. Here's how to find the ones they acknowledge:

In an internet browser of your choice:

Open http://www.abc.net.au/

You'll note there is no easy one click link to ABC's many errors, corrections and misrepresentations.

Scroll to the very bottom of the page,

Click the link to ABC contacts

In the left hand column click on the link:

Feedback and enquiries: contact the ABC

On the right hand side there is now a list with a number of choices:

Upheld complaints This has a list of years. Click on a year to bring up a list of complaints "upheld".

Resolved complaints This was introduced seemingly in 2011. The difference to "upheld" complaints something only known to ABC's bureaucrats.

Reports and reviews Summary reports going back to 2002. 

To confuse matters ABC news has their own corrections page. It too is buried. To find it:
Click the link to NEWS in the top menu bar
Scroll down to the small print at the bottom of the page where you'll find a link titled: 
This has a list of corrections back to 2010.

Details of ABC's complaints were also previously posted in Annual reports when they were referred to the now defunct  "Independent Complaints Review Panel".

Thursday, February 13, 2014

coral bleached-odd definition of decimated


past tense: decimated; past participle: decimated
  1. 1.
    kill, destroy, or remove a large proportion of.
    "the inhabitants of the country had been decimated"
  2. 2.
    kill one in every ten of (a group of people, originally a mutinous Roman legion) as a punishment for the whole group.
    "the man who is to determine whether it be necessary to decimate a large body of mutineers"

ABC use the word in the following headline:

We did not find the word "decimated" used by scientists in the article, this appears to be another case of ABC exaggeration. 

A recent relevant CSIRO report provides the following information about the bleaching event:
Unfortunately, on the trip the research team found evidence of coral bleaching in the region due to some recent marine heatwaves, including the bleaching of a pocket of ancient coral heads – many up to 400 years old – that have provided an important record of reef health.
“We suspect this bleaching event was due to marine heatwaves that occurred in the region over the past few summers, and to see it up so close was sobering,” said our lead scientist on the project, Dr Russ Babcock.
“But to offset this loss, some reefs only a short distance north showed much less damage and will continue to contribute to a healthy ecosystem. By studying these sorts of variations and why they occur, we can improve our overall understanding of the marine environment in the region, and how we can best preserve it”.
The team managed to take some great images of the incredibly diverse flora and fauna that sits under the waters of the Pilbara. We asked Russ to run us through a few photos from the trip to give you an insight into the work of a marine biologist – and maybe even help you learn something in the process! Click on one of the images below to view the gallery.
Decimation seems an exaggeration to me. One of the images accompanying ABC's report which presumably shows the purported "decimation" is re-produced below:
This is ABC's caption: Christmas Tree Worms on a Porites coral head, that has been bleached by a marine heatwave off WA's Montobello Island.
This is a CSIRO photo. Here's the CSIRO's caption for the same photo (oddly no mention of bleached coral): "A coral reef Christmas Display. Those coloured blobs you can see are called Christmas Tree worms, and they are sitting on a porites coral colony. The worm's name is misleading on two counts-they spend their whole life sitting in a tube in a decidedly un-worm like state, and they prevalent all year round,but just don't tell the kids."
We have asked Alan Sunderland and CSIRO's Dr Russ Babcock for comment.

From ABC 11/3/2014:
Thank you for your email of 13 February concerning coral bleaching off the Pilbara coast.  

As your correspondence raised concerns of a lack of accuracy, your email was referred to Audience and Consumer Affairs for consideration and response. The unit is separate and independent from ABC program areas and is responsible for investigating complaints alleging a broadcast or publication was in contravention of the ABC's editorial standards. In light of your concerns, we have reviewed the story and assessed it against the ABC’s editorial requirements for accuracy, as outlined in section 2 of the ABC’s Editorial Policies. In the interests of procedural fairness, we have also sought and considered material from ABC News.

The word 'decimated' used in the headline was taken directly from the CSIRO's Media Release which states:

"Some unwelcome discoveries were made, including the bleaching and decimation of a pocket of ancient coral heads - many up to 400 years old - that have provided an important record of reef health".

As the CSIRO is Australia's top scientific organisation, the use of the headline 'Coral reef off Pilbara coast in Western Australia decimated by marine heatwave, scientists say' is a legitimate description of the content covered in the story.

The original caption, however, did not refer to the photo that was published and has been changed.

ABC News apologises for any confusion that may have resulted.

score +1

Recommended Reading: ABC complaint's process

Geoffrey Luck has a great article at Quadrant covering the history of ABC's complaints process.

How The ABC Gets Away With It

Complain all you like about the broadcaster's transgressions against fact and impartiality, but it is unlikely to do a scrap of good. While Managing Director Mark Scott embraces semantics, the review process wraps complaints in lawyerly language, obfuscation and interminable delays

Click the link to read the rest.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

What ABC is teaching our Kids

ABC environment and the ABC "Splash" website have published an op ed by former weather presenter Rob Gell.

The piece(s) contain this glaring piece of sensationalism:

"Last year, 2013, was Australia's hottest year ever and we've started 2014 with another 50°C heatwave over inland Australia that then migrated to the southeastern states."

"another 50°C heatwave"!

Temperatures as measured at Bureau of Meteorology station did not pass 50°C this summer anywhere in Australia. The correct descriptor would be "another high 40s°C heatwave", but of course we get those every year! But where is the news in that? We have requested ABC investigate.

ABC promote "Splash" as 
  • a new world-class education website for Australia

Sadly it seems the site has the same respect for the facts as the rest of the ABC.


The following from ABC: received today...

You are correct that no temperatures above 50 degrees were recorded in the period described. The story has been corrected.

ABC Digital Education apologises for this mistake.

Audience and Consumer Affairs are satisfied correcting the story adequately resolves the matter.

Score +1