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Ian Plimer’s ‘Heaven + Earth’ — Checking the Claims - page 26 / 64





26 / 64

  • selecting subseries from a data record when the full record fails to support the claim;

  • using old data, when newer data fail to confirm the claim;

  • selective quoting from references.

127. p. 26, footnote 25: The use of a newspaper as the source of the claim that 2008 was an exceptionally cold year, rather than use any of the data records plotted in figure 4 on the

same page.32

128. Item 24 notes the selective quoting of reference 256, ignoring the words


followed, yielding temperatures that averaged 0.1–0.5 K above present-day in the interval


500–1000 years ago. n example of cherry-picking terminology is with respect to acidification.

cidity is

measured on the pH scale with a pH of 1 meaning highly acidic, a pH of 14 meaning highly alkaline and pure water having a pH of 7. The two possible meanings of ‘acidifi- cation’ are (a) a reduction in pH (the usual meaning in discussions of impacts of CO2), and (b) reducing the pH to below 7 (apparently Plimer’s usual interpretation).

  • p. 338: reference 1786, gives change in pH (i.e. they are using meaning (a)) while Plimer asserts that the studies claim that oceans will become acid (i.e. meaning (b))

    • thus Plimer is ‘cherry-picking’ the alternative meanings in order to misrepresent the study.


p. 402: New high resolution studies over the last 450,000 years of ostok core show that

at all times of cold to some 800 years later.2

w a r m t r a n s i t i o n s , t e m p e r a t u r e r i s e i s f o l l o w e d b y a r i s e i n C O 2



part from the misrepresentation noted in item 82, reference

2009 is ’cherry picked’. The abstract states I I I s u g g e s t s t h a t t h e C O 2 i n c r e a s e l a g g e d

The sequence of events during ntarctic deglacial warming by

ermination 800 ± 200

years and preceded the Northern Hemisphere deglaciation the Northern Hemisphere deglaciation. — [DK].





131. p. 418: This describes a number of potential problems with the Mauna Loa record, ig- noring the fact that at the same time, Keeling established a measurement program at the South Pole where such problems do not occur.

  • 132.

    p. 425: Item 102 notes Plimer’s use of two different estimates of the dating the Vostok ice core, to support the claim that CO2 was over 270 ppm in a glacial time.

  • 133.

    The blurring of the boundary between ‘cherry-picking’ and outright misrepresentation is exemplified by Plimer’s discussion of the temperature data from satellites. The history is that the initial estimates from these data suggested no trend in tropospheric temperatures. Later analysis indicated problems with these estimates and the corrections indicated that tropospheric temperatures were increasing.


s an aside, the link given in footnote 25 was no longer accessible on 2009/9/1.


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