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Science Media Centre Spins The Pause

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Andrew Montford, Bishop Hill

The inability of climate scientists to admit their ignorance is one of the reasons nobody trusts them.

The Science Media Centre is best known to readers here for its press release about the Oxburgh inquiry, in which they managed to quote only scientists implicated in wrongdoing over Climategate.

Today the centre has released a statement on the failure of global temperatures to rise in line with the models. It can be seen here.

It’s spin of course, although perhaps not quite as blatant as we are used to from Fiona Fox et al. As one might expect there’s a lot of emphasis on natural variability and not a lot on why the observations are on the cusp of falling out of the uncertainty bands. Lots of “our understanding is getting better” and not a lot of “nobody has a clue what’s going on”.

There’s a complete misrepresentation of science’s level of understanding of the reasons why this is happening:

It is becoming increasingly clear that absorption of heat in deep oceans is part of the explanation.

I think what they mean is that this is a somewhat implausible post-hoc rationalisation of the failure of the models to conform to reality; perhaps the copyeditor missed it.

As I said in Parliament, the inability of climate scientists to admit their ignorance is one of the reasons nobody trusts them. The Science Media Centre are just helping that process along in the wrong direction.

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