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Bug #30405 closed:unresolved

Misleading headline - "three quarters of global warming is manmade" implies 1/4 not.

This bug appeared in a news report published by Scientific American on Dec 5, 2011 by Quirin Schiermeier. View the original news report.
Bug Type:  Headline Problem

By not prefacing the headline with "At least", the headline suggests that  the remaining 1/4 of warming is caused by natural factors; this misleads readers.

Supporting Information:

The same article, with same "Three-quarters of climate change is man-made" headline, appeared in Nature News 2011-12-04, at http://www.nature.com/news/three-quarters-of-climate-change-is-man-made-1.9538

Joe Romm suggests a more informative headline would be:  "...At Least 74% of Observed Warming Since 1950 Was Manmade; It’s Highly Likely All of It Was" (which is long, but just adding the "at least" would help a lot.) Link to Romm post:  http://thinkprogress.org/romm/2011/12/05/382209/observed-warming-since-1950-was-manmade/


Bug History

Dec 07, 2011 4:58 pm Open Anna Haynes
Dec 08, 2011 8:47 am Open: Under Discussion Anna Haynes
Feb 07, 2012 9:01 am Closed: Unresolved admin

Discussion Leave a comment


Study coauthor Reto Knutti, in email, said:
"Our best estimate is that ALL of the observed warming since 1950 is man-made. But there is some uncertainty from natural climate fluctuations. So it's possible that human have cause a bit more than observed, compensated by natural variation, or a bit less than observed, with natural variations being positive. But in any case we are almost certain that the human contribution is more than three quarters."

Dec 08, 2011 8:47 am