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Much Ado About Nothing

Surprise! The Guardian seeds fear of "runaway global warming".

The British press lit up earlier this week with a story about an unprecedented and surprising ‘jump’ in the level of atmospheric carbon dioxide. But a check of data from Mauna Loa reveals nothing of the kind. Instead, recent fluctuations appear to be part of natural variability. Such an inconvenient fact didn’t prevent The Guardian, what is referred to as a liberal British newspaper, from starting its global warming buzz with the following sentence in the first paragraph of its article headlined “Climate fear as carbon levels soar” in the October 11, 2004 edition:

"An unexplained and unprecedented rise in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere two years running has raised fears that the world may be on the brink of runaway global warming. "

One has to wonder about the article’s timing. The data on which the story is based was released more than two months ago. There was nary a peep at the time. But now with Prime Minister Tony Blair under assault for his friendship with President George Bush and Bush in the midst of his re-election campaign, apparently things have changed. We examined the 2003 data when it was first released and we imagine many researchers and other interested parties did the same. At the time, no one saw anything that appeared at all unusual. What follows, for our readers’ benefit, is what we looked at. Now you can take a look, too.
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