Julia A. Seymour
October 3, 2013
The UN’s climate panel (IPCC) released its latest warning about “catastrophic” climate change on Sept. 27, garnering the frantic attention of all three broadcast networks that night. CBS even aired a claim about temperatures rising “more than 200 degrees.”
“Evening News” took a different tack, airing a story about oyster farming and complaints that climate change is ruining a man’s business. But in Ben Tracy’s story , which mentioned the IPCC’s latest report, he said that oceans have absorbed much of the heat caused by CO2 and that ocean temperatures have risen only slightly. Then he made a claim that Principal Research Scientist Dr. Roy Spencer of the University of Alabama in Huntsville called “totally misleading and irresponsible.”
“Had all that heat gone into the atmosphere, air temperatures could have risen by more than 200 degrees [showed 212 degrees onscreen],” Tracy warned.
Spencer told the MRC’s Business and Media Institute, “The oceans have warmed by an average of less than 0.1 deg. C (only the SURFACE by about 0.5 deg.) since the 1950s, and since that is so much water mass, the absorbed heat equivalent to 0.1 deg. IF RELEASED ALL AT ONCE IN THE ATMOSPHERE [it] would, indeed, be hundreds of degrees. But this is physically impossible. It is a meaningless statistic. The heat actually had to go through the atmosphere before it reached the ocean.”