Climate science denial group GWPF admits it used false temperature graph

Global Warming Policy Foundation has admitted that it shared an “erroneous” temperature data set to support false claims that global temperatures aren’t rising.


The climate science denying group the Global Warming Policy Foundation has admitted that it shared an “erroneous” temperature data set to support Lord Lawson’s false claims to the BBC last week that global temperatures aren’t rising.

Three days after Lawson’s BBC interview – which was immediately and widely criticised in the media and by scientists – the climate denial group tweeted out Sunday afternoon that it was “happy to correct the record” and has since removed the tweet after a request to do so by climate scientist Ed Hawkins.

According to the tweets, the graph was originally produced by U.S. meteorologist Ryan Maue, an adjunct scholar of the libertarian think tank the Cato Institute co-founded by Charles Koch. It was published by weather forecaster and climate science denier Joe Bastardi. Both Bastardi and Maue work for WeatherBELL Analytics, a private weather consulting firm.

Screenshot of GWPF tweets taken on August 14 2017.

As a number of climate scientists have been quick to point out, Lawson was wrong to claim that the average global temperature has “slightly declined” since 2007. In fact, the global surface temperature over this period has risen, with the three hottest years on record occurring in 2014, 2015 and 2016.

In addition to being a reaction to those debunking the graph’s false and misleading claims, the GWPF’s efforts to distance themselves from the inaccurate data comes one day after neo-Nazi website the Daily Stormer featured a story using the same graph with the headline “It’s Colder Now Than When Al Gore Won the Nobel Prize for Kook Theory in 2007”.


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Kyla Mandel is Deputy Editor of DeSmog UK. Originally from Montreal, Canada, Kyla has been living in London for the past several years working for titles such as Green Futures Magazine, EnergyDesk and most recently The ENDS Report. Her work has also appeared on Forbes Online and The Guardian’s Sustainable Business channel. Past research has also involved extensive content analysis examining British media coverage on shale gas exploration and investigating events involving police brutality on the McGill University campus in Montreal during the 2012 province-wide student tuition protests. Kyla moved to the UK to pursue a master’s in journalism at the London College of Communication. Bilingual in French and English, she has also lived in the US and Germany. Combined with a BA joint-honours degree in history, political science and environmental studies from McGill, she has a strong grasp on the dynamics between environmental issues and international politics.