Jan 17, 2013

The Australian corrects the record on climate change

The national broadsheet has issued a correction for a recent story which claimed rising sea levels were "not linked to warming". Read what was in the story, and what was wrong with it, here.

Cathy Alexander — Freelance journalist and PhD candidate in politics at the University of Melbourne

Cathy Alexander

Freelance journalist and PhD candidate in politics at the University of Melbourne

The Australian has issued a rare correction on climate change, for a story which claimed rising sea levels were "not linked to warming". The story, which appeared under an "exclusive" tag on Tuesday and was written by environment editor Graham Lloyd, was based on a recent scientific paper in the Journal of Climate. Lloyd wrote that "the latest science on sea level rises has found no link to global warming". Crikey read the research paper, looked into Lloyd's three articles on the subject, and highlighted inaccuracies in the way the research was presented (read Crikey's stories here and here). A correction appeared in The Australian today, and the original story has been taken down.

Crikey understands the scientist relied on in Lloyd's story to back up the claim of sea level rise not being linked to warming, the CSIRO's Dr John Church, has expressed disappointment with that story. At least one environment group has complained to The Oz about the story.

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11 thoughts on “The Australian corrects the record on climate change

  1. John

    Was the correction on the front page with the “Exclusive” tag?

  2. Mike Flanagan

    At least their editor has admitted the BS.
    Having made sure their nonsense was prominent in its’ publications it is fair to ask whether the correction was given the same prominence and position in editorial priorities.
    I will not read the bloody rag so have no way of knowing the answer. Sorry John

  3. Mike Flanagan

    I might add my apprciation to Cathy Alexander and the Crickey staff for their work on this issue.
    Well done Crickey, you have stuck to your guns and won against the dark forces of Murdoch and his disciples.

  4. Deipnosoph

    A few weeks ago, during the really hot weather, they had an article where the title said that scientists had found no link (betw global warming and the current hot weather, I think), but if you read the article, it said that there could be a link, just there wasn’t enough data to prove it definitively. Outrageous! I emailed them using the feedback link they had on their website. But you just feel powerless really, against such relentless misinformation.

  5. Phil Vee

    There is a nice sideshow to this story. Radio 2GB hyperventilated about the original story on Tuesday and got “an expert” on the line to confirm it. The problem was that the guy said the story was misleading and “the evidence is there in the data if you want to actually look at it” . He said sea levels had risen by 3mm over the last 10 years.

    The fill-in host was struck dumb as the guy went on to explain that the instruments used by Geoscience Australia are state of the art , but we need better because the margin of error is 1mm. So the best we can say is sea levels are rising but we cannot tell how fast. This makes long range forecasts very problematic, but there is no doubt about what is happening and we need better data.

    2GB did not have to take this report off their website as they never put it up in the first place. They are much better at propaganda than the Oz.

  6. jesse mandrigorian

    i suppose it’s just as well barely anyone reads the oz then, isn’t it.

    does anyone take that rag seriously anymore?

  7. jesse mandrigorian

    actually it’s funny, i was having a “debate” with someone, and they straight out said they thought the oz’s interpretation of the research paper was correct, and the scientists themselves were wrong about their own research. and they wonder why the word “denialist” gets used so much.

  8. David McRae

    I reckon The Australian and Lloyd know exactly what they’re doing.

    The correction does not change the impact of the original and studies have shown that a correction may indeed reinforce it.

    The Backfire Effect: http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/ideas/articles/2010/07/11/how_facts_backfire/

  9. Liamj

    Add this to the pile of evidence that News Corporation should be renamed Old White Farts Opinion Corporation.

  10. LucyJr

    Rupert must have read my tweet.

    lucyjunior ‏@lucyjunior1
    @rupertmurdoch The Australian’s environment editor Lloyd is drowning in his own “facts”. Please correct.

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