BBC and IPCC Promote Alarmist Views of Chris Field


The BBC (15 Feb 2009) [] reports the views of alarmist Professor Chris Field:




The Guardian (11 Feb 2009) [] needed counteracting by the BBC for trying to reduce the alarm:




So who is this Professor Chris Field? He is “the founding director of the Carnegie Institution's Department of Global Ecology, professor of Biological Sciences at Stanford University, and faculty director of Stanford's Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve. For most of the last two decades, Field has pushed the emergence of global ecology.” []  “In September, 2008, he was elected co-chair of working group 2 of the IPCC, and will lead the next assessment on climate change impacts, adaptation, and vulnerability.” []


If his past research is any indication of his upcoming IPCC leadership role, there will be increasing unsubstantiated alarm. A Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory press release, (“Crops Feeling the Heat -- March 2007 []) reported on Field’s research: “Using global yield figures for 1961-2002 from the Food and Agriculture Organization, Lobell and Field compared yields with average temperatures and precipitation over the major growing regions. They found that, on average, global crop yields respond negatively to warmer temperatures for several of the crops. Lobell and Field then used these relationships to estimate the effect of observed warming trends. … From 1981-2002, fields of wheat, corn and barley throughout the world have produced a combined 40 million metric tons less per year because of increasing temperatures caused by human activities. There is clearly a negative response of global yields to increased temperatures.”


The United States is one of the world’s largest wheat producers and exporters. Kansas has traditionally been the largest wheat producing state in the US. The following figure shows Kansas wheat planted (upper graph) and yield per acre (lower graph) from 1975 to 2004. []





The following figure shows the annual average temperature in Kansas since 1895 []




The following figure combines the above two figures – Kansas wheat yield per acre and annual temperature for 1975 to 2004. The data contradict Field’s alarmist claims – increasing temperature correlates with increased wheat yields.



Other data also contradict Field’s alarmist claims. The following figures show world production of wheat, soybean and corn for the last 10 years. [$FILE/S&D%20090112.pdf]






Back to the BBC article that was shown at the start of this page:





Climate scientist Roger Pielke calls this “An egregious example of biased news reporting” []. Referring to Field’s claims and the coverage in the media: ”Since papers and weblogs have documented that the warming is being over-estimated in recent years, and, thus, these sources of information are readily available to the reporters, there is, therefore, no other alternative than these reporters are deliberately selecting a biased perspective to promote a particular viewpoint on climate.  The reporting of this news without presenting counter viewpoints is clearly an example of yellow journalism: “Journalism that exploits, distorts, or exaggerates the news to create sensations and attract readers.” When will the news media and others realize that by presenting such biased reports, which are easily refuted by real world data, they are losing their credibility among many in the scientific community as well as with the public.