Last month leading German climate science critic Prof. Fritz Vahrenholt sent a deservedly harsh letter to Spiegel, blasting the news weekly’s poor journalistic quality. That letter has now been published at his Die kalte Sonne site. Here’s the letter translated in English:
From: Fritz Vahrenholt
Sent: 25. February 2015
Re: Reader’s Letter on “Der verheizte Planet” in Spiegel 9/2015
Dear Ladies and Gentlemen
The article ‘verheizte Planet’ [Heated planet] is an extremely poorly researched article that does not hold up to scientific review. As the basis for the temperature development, the time period of 1950 – 1980 was used. This was a period of cooling. Der Spiegel in its issue no. 33/1974 even carried the title ‘Is a new ice age approaching?’ In the latest article the period before 1950 in the graphic was cut out; it had been some 0.3°C warmer – a sign of natural cycles, which was completely hidden in the article. It is thus little wonder that the fact global mean temperature has not risen significantly over the past 16 years despite the constantly climbing CO2 emissions went unmentioned. Numerous recently published scientific publications show that more than 50% of the temperature rise from 1975 to 2000 is due to natural factors (solar influence, cyclic oceanic currents).
Also on the part looking at catastrophes, only the half-truth is reported. The rise shown by the EM-Dat databank from von 1970 to 2000 is owing to the fact that the databank was first set up in 1988. It is also questionable that the time period before 1970 was cut off by Spiegel because the data are close to zero as back then there were no systematic reporting. Overall the EM-Dat also records earthquakes and cold disasters. The fact that natural disaster have declined considerably since 2000 of course does not fit well with the narrative. Even the IPCC itself writes in its last report of 2013 that there is no real evidence of an increase in hurricanes, droughts, flooding, hail and storms. The Sahara is also not expanding, as the article describes, rather it is getting greener. This is shown by satellite data. Such a thing should not happen at Spiegel.
Prof. Dr. Fritz Vahrenholt
Author ‘The Neglected Sun – How the sun precludes climate catastrophe’
German Wildlife Foundation