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ABC Biased. Scientist Matthew England, outrageous error or dishonest? Nick Minchin owed an apology

Bottom line: On Q&A Nick Minchin said the IPCC predictions were wrong. Matthew England said “Not true” their 1990 prediction was “very accurate”. But the IPCC predicted 0.3C per decade, and we got at most 0.18C per decade. (Forster and Rahmsdorf 2011 ) How is is “very accurate” when the result is below their lowest estimate?

[See our one-page version of this whole issue.]


Oceanographer Matthew England owes Nick Minchin an apology. Will Tony Jones correct the record on Monday?

How strange is this debate where politicians know the science better than the “scientists”?

The ABC Q&A program shows they have no interest in pursing the truth on climate change. The panel was, as always designed to push an agenda. Five believers, with a sixth in the audience, faced two skeptics. No skeptical scientists were invited to attend, let alone sit in the front row with a mike, like England who was called in so the warmists could get the last word on the science without fear that a skeptic might disputing their version of events. We can’t allow people to damage the faith of those duped ABC viewers.

Nick Minchin claimed there is a major problem with the warmists theory, that the predictions of the IPCC were wrong, because we have had rising CO2 in the last decade or more but “we haven’t had the commensurate rise in temperatures.”

Matthew England claims Minchin is wrong

“What Nick just said is actually not true. The IPCC projections from 1990 have borne out very accurately.”  Source Q & A  (36:30 mins)

Hmmm. Could “very accurately” be an exaggeration? Or is it possible England was getting his IPCC predictions mixed up? No. He really does mean the 1990 report, and he repeats the claim that the decadal trend fits.

“The projections are now 22 years old and the temperature record that we have does bounce around for year to year but that decade to decade progression that of warming that Megan just mentioned have occurred …”

The predictions from the IPCC First Assessment Report show England is wrong

Policy Makers Summary, Working Group I, page xxii.

Their prediction was that if we continue to emit CO2 at present rates the world will warm at about 0.3°C per decade, so by 2025 the world will have warmed by 1°C. That was looking 35 years ahead and we are now 22 years into that prediction. The world should be about 0.6°C warmer now than in 1990.

The lowest possible prediction is for a 0.2°C rise per decade.

See the whole scanned IPCC page in context  here

Were CO2 emissions “business as usual”? No they were higher

The CO2 emissions (black dashed line) are equivalent to the highest projected by the IPCC. So the temperature should have risen faster than their lowest estimate.

Atmospheric CO₂ concentrations recorded at Mauna Loa (black dashed line) and as projected under six IPCC emission scenarios (coloured lines) (IPCC Data Distribution Centre)

Was warming since 1990 even close to the predicted 0.3°C per decade? No.

Foster and Rahmstorf 2011 looked at five temperature series and calculated trends from 0.14°C to 0.18°C per decade, lower than the 0.2°C per decade trend which marks the absolute bottom of the IPCC prediction. They are sympathetic to the IPCC aims. These values are as good as it gets for England. He fails.

Phil Jones, director of the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia (UEA) confirmed in 2010 that the decadal trends for the last 150 years peak at 0.16°C per decade.

According to the satellite data (the best and only source of unbiased data) the temperature trends in the last two decades was not even close to those predicted by the IPCC. For most of the last 20 years the temperature was well below the lowest predicted warming of 0.2°C per decade predicted for the “business as usual” plan. Look for yourself: the climate models and Matthew England are wrong, and Nick Minchin is right.

Figure 4: Predictions of the IPCC’s First Assessment Report in 1990, compared to the subsequent temperatures as measured by NASA satellites (UAH Data). Graph by Dr David Evans



England was given a free kick at Minchin, who had no scientific support at the event at all

Minchin, undeservedly had to wear the false “correction” on national television. To put things right, to show the ABC is interested in the truth rather than just being an advertising agency for the government they need to correct the record.

Why will alarmists never admit they were wrong? Why are they surprised when the public loses faith in them, and stops trusting them?

Why does the ABC broadcast this nonsense so uncritically? Anyone with eyes can see the predictions then were wrong. As copies of this post spread throughout Australia, the trust the once great institution of the ABC used to have, erodes further.

When will the warmists learn that the Internet makes it easy to check? They assume that they can get away with propaganda for their favourite ideas and policies, because they have the media on their side, but there is a new-media now, and the skeptics, free thinkers and honest citizens are all over it.  The longer the ABC continues to deny that there is another side of the debate the worse the fall from grace will be. The longer honest scientists sit silently by, passively allowing the Matthew England’s of the world to use the brand-name Science in such a deceitful or at best incompetent careless way, the less the public will trust all scientists.

PS: Don’t forget to vote again in that ABC survey about your opinion after the I can change your mind doco. They want to find out how many people changed their mind, what direction they moved in, and who they vote for.


Foster and Rahmstorf (2011) Global temperature evolution 1979–2010, Environ. Res. Lett. 6 044022 [Abstract]

UPDATE: Edited emissions from “worse” to the more accurate “higher”.


UPDATE: Prof Matthew England replied at #85.

Prof Matthew England

May 1, 2012 at 10:36 am

“I stand by my statements on Q&A. Jo Nova’s error is that she pulls out IPCC projections to 2100, quoted in degs C per decade, not acknowledging that the projected warming at the start of the century will be slower than the more rapid climb at the end of the Century. I also noticed that Jo plots a satellite record of tropospheric temperature, not the surface layer temperature. So she shows an apples vs. oranges comparison.

To read more IPCC projections and observations, see http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2012/02/2011-updates-to-model-data-comparisons/

In regards to the 40% increase in atmospheric CO2 since pre-industrial levels, this is widely accepted even by those against the IPCC science. The natural fluxes of CO2 between the ocean-atmosphere-land has been perturbed by human activity so that CO2 is now around 390ppm in the atmosphere. The cause of this +40% rise is burning of fossil fuels with a smaller contribution from land clearing. We have in fact done more than enough to account for the +40% increase – three times more. Currently the oceans absorb about a third of our emissions, and the land surface another third. Without these buffers atmospheric CO2 would be much much higher than it is today.

I hope this helps.


UPDATE: My reply to England : The 1990 IPCC Predictions were wrong

I quote the IPCC verbatim, this is black and white, it’s not about 2100, it’s about 2010.

UPDATE #3: Again, months later Matthew England and the ABC still mislead Australians.

I quote them verbatim.

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