2011-01-20 02:55:44EurekAlert withdraws climate change paper
John Hartz
John Hartz

The following article was posted on CTV.ca today (Jan 19) 

A study warning that the planet would warm by 2.4C by 2020, creating deadly consequences for the global food supply, is being debunked as false and impossible.

The study came from a little-known non-profit group in based in Argentina, called the Universal Ecological Fund. An embargoed copy of the study appeared on Eurekalert!, a news service operated by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), followed by many journalists.

The study was picked up by a number of international news organizations Tuesday.

But it appears the study's claims were exaggerated.

The Guardian newspaper in the U.K. says it has interviewed climate scientists who say that rapid global warming at the rates projected by the study is impossible.

"2.4 C by 2020 (which is 1.4C in the next 10 years – something like six to seven times the projected rate of warming) has no basis in fact," NASA climatologist Gavin Schmidt told the newspaper in an email.

The AAAS has now removed reference to the study from its website. A spokesperson for the organization said they too spoke to climatologists who have also debunked the study.

"We primarily rely on the submitting organization to ensure the veracity of the scientific content of the news release," Ginger Pinholster, director of the office of public programmes for AAAS told The Guardian.

"In this case, we immediately contacted a climate-change expert after receiving your query. That expert has confirmed for us that the information indeed raises many questions in his mind, and therefore we have removed the news release from EurekAlert!"

According to The Guardian, the study's lead author Liliana Hisas, who's the UEF's executive director, erred by overlooking how the oceans, which absorb heat, will compensate for global warming by delaying the effects of increasing concentrations of greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere.

Hisas said she stands by her report's findings, which have been endorsed by Nobel Prize-winning Argentine climate scientist, Osvaldo Canziani.

She said the UEF did not intend to withdraw the report.

"We are just going to go ahead with it. I don't have a choice now," she told The Guardian.

"The scientist I have been working with checked everything and according to him it's not wrong."