A recent Associated Press (AP) report on global warming has been chided by a group of scientists. The boffins in question have vehemently opposed the news agency's apocalyptic-forecastings by calling it "irrational hysteria," "horrifically bad" and "incredibly biased."
According to a report by Fox News, the scientists said that the AP report contained sweeping scientific errors and was a one-sided portrayal of a complicated issue.
In the article, titled "Obama Left with Little Time to Curb Global Warming," AP Science Writer Seth Borenstein wrote that global warming is "a ticking time bomb that President-elect Barack Obama can't avoid," and that "global warming is accelerating."
But, David Deming, a geology professor at the University of Oklahoma, took issue with Borenstein's characterization of a problem he says doesn't exist.
"He says global warming is accelerating. Not only is it continuing, it's accelerating, and whether it's continuing that was completely beyond the evidence," said Deming.
"The mean global temperature, at least as measured by satellite, is now the same as it was in the year 1980. In the last couple of years, sea level has stopped rising. Hurricane and cyclone activity in the northern hemisphere is at a 24-year low and sea ice globally is also the same as it was in 1980," he added.
Deming said that the article is further evidence of the media's decision to talk about global warming as fact, despite what he says is a lack of evidence.
"Reporters, as I understand reporters, are supposed to report facts," he said. "What he's doing here is he's writing a polemic and reporting it as fact, and that's not right. It's not reporting. It's propaganda," he added.
Michael R. Fox, a retired nuclear scientist and chemistry professor from the University of Idaho, is another academic who found serious flaws with the AP story's approach to the issue.
Like Deming, Fox said global warming is not accelerating.
"These kinds of temperatures cycle up and down and have been doing so for millions of years," he said.
He said that there is little evidence to believe that man-made carbon dioxide is causing temperature fluctuation.
"It's silly to lay it all on man-made carbon dioxide," Fox said. "It was El Nino in 1998 that caused the big spike in global warming and little to do with carbon dioxide," he added.
Other factors, including sun spots, solar winds, variations in the solar magnetic field and solar irradiation, could all be affecting temperature changes, he added.
According to James O'Brien, an emeritus professor at Florida State University who studies climate variability and the oceans, "Global climate change is occurring in many places in the world. But everything that's attributed to global warming, almost none of it is global warming."