Today saw the press releasei from the Copernicus Climate Change Service regarding their findings relating to the climate in 2021. It featured in the news, of course, and was given prominence by both the BBCii and the Guardianiii. The headlines from Copernicus, the BBC and the Guardian respectively were:

Copernicus: Globally, the seven hottest years on record were the last seven; carbon dioxide and methane concentrations continue to rise

Past seven years hottest on record – EU satellite data

Climate crisis: last seven years the hottest on record, 2021 data shows

Global heating continued unabated with extreme weather rife and greenhouse gases hitting new highs

I think this is what is called spin. 2021 must have been a disappointment for climate worriers keen to ratchet up panic and demands for ever-more urgent action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Yes, there were some extreme (but not unprecedented) weather events around the world, as there always have been and as there always will be, and yes, these enabled the likes of Christian Aid to produce a reportiv in doom-laden tones, which in turn enabled the BBC to produce a report about a report and pretend it was “Science & Environment” news. But there was a fly in the ointment. Despite greenhouse gas emissions rising to new highs (by modern standards), as the global economy bounced back from the recession induced by attempts to repress the coronavirus, 2021 wasn’t the hottest year on record. Nor was it the second hottest, or even the third hottest. Nope, not the fourth hottest either.

And so the information had to be presented in a different way, in order to produce the desired effect. The opening line of the Copernicus report, and of the reports on it by the BBC and the Guardian were therefore, respectively, as follows:

The European Union’s Copernicus Climate Change Service releases its annual findings which show that globally 2021 was among the seven warmest on record.

The past seven years have been the hottest on record, according to new data from the EU’s satellite system.

The last seven years were the world’s hottest on record, with the first analysis of global temperature in 2021 showing it was 1.2C above pre-industrial levels.

In case we didn’t get the message from the headlines, the opening line, in each case, hammered it home again. The last seven years have been hot, hot, hot!

Unlike the Guardian, which shrieks the message in unrelenting terms throughout its report, the BBC does at least manage to mention some of the slightly less sensationalist parts of the report, albeit downplaying them and submerging them in an unrelenting message of fear and doom.

Given that neither the BBC nor the Guardian reports provided a link to the Copernicus press release (for in truth, that is really all it is at this stage), and given that the Guardian didn’t mention the non-scary bits, I set them out below, for the sake of balance and completeness:

Within these seven years, 2021 ranks among the cooler years, alongside 2015 and 2018.

Globally, 2021 was the fifth warmest year on record, but only marginally warmer than 2015 and 2018

Globally, the first five months of the year experienced relatively low temperatures compared to the recent very warm years.

The most below-average temperatures were found in western and easternmost Siberia, Alaska, over the central and eastern Pacific – concurrent with La Niña conditions at the beginning and the end of the year –, as well as in most of Australia and in parts of Antarctica.

For the year as a whole, Europe was just 0.1 °C above the 1991-2020 average, which ranks outside the ten warmest years

The last months of winter and the whole of spring were generally close to or below the 1991-2020 average over Europe. A cold phase in April, after a relatively warm March, caused late season frost in the western parts of the continent.

June and July were both the second warmest of their respective months, while August was close to average overall, but saw a large split between above-average temperatures in the south and below-average temperatures in the north.

I suppose the headline “Europe experiences average temperatures during the winter and spring and a year of temperatures outside the ten warmest years” didn’t fit the bill. Oh well.

Endnotes

i https://climate.copernicus.eu/copernicus-globally-seven-hottest-years-record-were-last-seven

ii https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-59915690

iii https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/jan/10/climate-crisis-last-seven-years-the-hottest-on-record-2021-data-shows

iv https://cliscep.com/2022/01/06/repeat-after-me/

13 Comments

  1. Bill, thanks for the link. It’s sadly not a surprise, but it remains deeply depressing.

    Like

  2. The tech oligarchs have completely betrayed the promise of the internet and the tech revolution.
    Remember:
    History shows that the censors are never the good guys.
    [Fixed SG]

    Like

  3. I was disappointed to hear it on GB News of all places. No point listening to them if they’re only going to regurgitate what we hear on the BBC.

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  4. There used to be a saying in the computer industry: ‘nobody ever got sacked for buying IBM’.

    Today’s journalism equivalent could be: ‘nobody ever got sacked for promoting climate alarm’.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Top spins or off breaks bowled with apparent leg-break actions (= bad Googlies) Beth (re 10 Jan, 10.42pm).

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  6. Clutching at straws:

    “Nearly quarter of world’s population had record hot year in 2021, data shows
    Last year was sixth hottest ever recorded, scientists find
    World ‘warmer now than at any time in the past 2,000 years’”

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/jan/13/hot-year-temperatures-climate-crisis-2021

    “Nearly a quarter of the world’s population experienced a record hot year in 2021, as the climate crisis continues to unleash escalating temperatures around the globe, according to new data from leading US climate scientists.

    Last year was the sixth hottest ever recorded, with the global temperature 1.1C above the pre-industrial average, a new annual analysis from Nasa and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (Noaa) found.”

    This is even worse news for climate worriers than the Copernicus results (which claimed last year was the 5th warmest). So a different form of spin is adopted this time. And they keep pushing this:

    “Despite not being the hottest individual year on record, 2021 did contain a number of extraordinary signs of climate breakdown. July last year was the world’s hottest month ever recorded, with Death Valley in California recording what may be the hottest temperature ever reliably measured during this month, at 54.4C (130F).” Except it’s only the hottest ever if you decide the previous (and still standing) record from way back is somehow illegitimate.

    There’s a nice irony here:

    “A total of 1.8 billion people, approaching a quarter of the world’s population, live in countries that did experience the hottest year on record, according to a separate analysis released on Thursday by Berkeley Earth. A total of 25 countries, including China, Nigeria and Iran, recorded a record warm annual average in 2021.”

    By and large, the countries inhabited by these people are the ones who did most to ensure that COP 26 was a failure.

    The confidence seems to be slipping a bit:

    “2022 will probably be in the top 10 hottest years, with a small chance of it being the hottest year on record ….”.

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  7. And there now seems to be a new tactic of denying that old (higher) temperature records are valid at all:

    “Australia matches its hottest day on record as Western Australia town goes above 50C
    Mercury in the remote town of Onslow registers 50.7C , while two other sites also reach extreme temperatures”

    “Australia has matched its hottest ever reliably recorded temperature, with Onslow airport near the remote West Australian town of Onslow registering 50.7C.”

    Those words “reliably recorded” set off alarm bells in my head, suggesting that there was a higher one in the past that climate worriers are keen to bury, as higher temperatures in the pat don’t fit the alarmist narrative. And, sure enough:

    “Revealed: The True Hottest Day Ever Recorded In Australia”

    https://ipa.org.au/publications-ipa/revealed-the-true-hottest-day-ever-recorded-in-australia

    “The Australian Bureau of Meteorology deleted what was long regarded as the hottest day ever recorded in Australia, Bourke’s 125°F (51.7°C) on Sunday, January 3, 1909. This record* was deleted, falsely claiming that this was likely some sort of ‘observational error’, as no other official weather stations recorded high temperatures on that day.

    However, the Liberal Member for Hughes, Craig Kelly, has visited the Australian National Archive at Chester Hill in western Sydney to view very old meteorological observation books. It has taken Kelly some months to track down this historical evidence. Through access to the archived book for the weather station at Brewarrina, which is the nearest official weather station to Bourke, it can now be confirmed that a temperature of 123°F (50.6°C) was recorded at Brewarrina for January 3 1909. This totally contradicts claims from the Australian Bureau of Meteorology that only Bourke recorded an extraordinarily hot temperature on that day….

    …He has photographed the relevant page from the observations book, and it shows 123°F was recorded at 9.00 am on the morning of Monday, January 4 1909 – published here for the first time. This was the highest temperature in the previous 24 hours and corroborates what must now be recognised as the hottest day ever recorded in Australia of 125°F (51.7°C) degrees at Bourke on the afternoon of Sunday, January 4 1909….

    …Not only has Kelly tracked-down the meteorological observations book for Brewarrina, but over the last week he has also uncovered that 51.1°C (124°F) was recorded at White Cliffs for Wednesday, January 11 1939. This is the second hottest ever!…

    …f we are to be honest to our history, then the record hot day at Bourke of 51.7°C (125°F) must be re-instated and, further, the very hot 50.6°C (123°F) recorded for Brewarrina on the same day must be entered into the official databases.

    Also, the temperature of 51.1°C (124°F) recorded at White Cliffs on January 12, 1939, must be recognised as the second hottest ever.

    For these temperatures to be denied by the Bureau because they occurred in the past, before catastrophic human-caused global warming is thought to have come into effect, is absurd.

    At a time in world history when Australians are raising concerns about the Chinese communist party removing books from Libraries in Hong Kong, we should be equally concerned with the Australian Bureau of Meteorology removing temperature records from our history….”.

    Like

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