Science News

Scientist Admits Manipulating Data in Paper to Align with Top Journal’s Climate Change Narrative

A study on California’s wildfires, which has been widely cited by mainstream media since its publication in Nature, is missing key facts deliberately left out to fit the scientific journal’s preferred narrative of climate change, the paper’s leading author said.

“I knew not to try to quantify key aspects other than climate change in my research because it would dilute the story that prestigious journals like Nature and its rival, Science, want to tell,” Patrick Brown, an expert in Earth and climate sciences and a lecturer at Johns Hopkins University, wrote Tuesday for The Free Press.
In the Aug. 30 paper, titled “Climate warming increases extreme daily wildfire growth risk in California,” Mr. Brown and seven co-authors examined how climate change has affected “extreme wildfire growth,” defined as greater than 10,000 acres in a day.

Related Stories

Using a machine learning model, the researchers analyzed nearly 18,000 fires that ignited in California between 2003 and 2020 and found that rising temperatures boosted the overall frequency of extreme daily wildfire growth by an average of 25 percent.

While there are other equally, if not more, important factors driving up risks extreme fire, such as poor forest management and the increasing number of people who start wildfires either by accident or on purpose, Mr. Brown said he chose not to discuss them so that the paper remained in line with the mainstream narrative.

“In my paper, we didn’t bother to study the influence of these other obviously relevant factors,” the climate scientist explained, adding that over 80 percent of wildfires in the United States are caused by humans.

“Did I know that including them would make for a more realistic and useful analysis? I did. But I also knew that it would detract from the clean narrative centered on the negative impact of climate change and thus decrease the odds that the paper would pass muster with Nature’s editors and reviewers.”

Three Unspoken Rules

According to Mr. Brown, the first thing an “astute climate researcher” must know is that his or her work should support the mainstream narrative.

This narrative holds that the effects of climate change are “both pervasive and catastrophic,” and that the best strategy to address it is through massive government-subsidized programs aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions, rather than adaptation measures that could make people less vulnerable to the impacts of the changes, such as more resilient infrastructure and more air conditioning, or better forest management to prevent wildfires.

“To put it bluntly, climate science has become less about understanding the complexities of the world and more about serving as a kind of Cassandra, urgently warning the public about the dangers of climate change,” Mr. Brown wrote. “However understandable this instinct may be, it distorts a great deal of climate science research, misinforms the public, and most importantly, makes practical solutions more difficult to achieve.”

As an example, Mr. Brown pointed to another recent Nature paper, which suggests that for each ton of carbon dioxide emission there is a $185 “social cost” in terms of heat-related deaths and crop damages. The paper’s authors, he said, never mention that climate change is not the dominant driver for either of these two impacts.
“Heat-related deaths have been declining, and crop yields have been increasing for decades despite climate change,” he explained, noting that including these facts in the paper would violate the second unspoken rule, which is to ignore or downplay practical actions people can take to overcome the negative effects of climate change.

“To acknowledge this would imply that the world has succeeded in some areas despite climate change—which, the thinking goes, would undermine the motivation for emissions reductions,” the climate scientist wrote.

The third rule, according to Mr. Brown, is to use metrics that will produce the most eye-popping numbers.

In the California wildfire paper, the researchers looked into the risk of wildfires burning more than 10

Source link


I'm TruthUSA, the author behind TruthUSA News Hub located at With our One Story at a Time," my aim is to provide you with unbiased and comprehensive news coverage. I dive deep into the latest happenings in the US and global events, and bring you objective stories sourced from reputable sources. My goal is to keep you informed and enlightened, ensuring you have access to the truth. Stay tuned to TruthUSA News Hub to discover the reality behind the headlines and gain a well-rounded perspective on the world.

Leave a Reply