Express complaint – unexpected turn – hoping they will become Ex-press

Well, I didn’t expect that.  I submitted the official complaint for the article in the Express, and on the same day heard back from the Press Complaints Commission.  What I heard back slightly threw me.  In short, you’re bonkers if you read the Express and believe anything you read in that paper.

This was the complaint I made to the PCC in the end about the article “Global warming is about hotter, drier weather … not flooding“:

The article is riddled with inaccuracies, but I shall concentrate on those that are the most marked:

[1] Firstly, the headline is inaccurate. Global warming is about flooding. Please see the following extract from the IPCC report:
“Changes in many extreme climate events have been observed since about 1950. It is very likely that the number of cold days and nights has decreased and the number of warm days and nights has increased on the global scale. It is likely that the frequency of heat waves has increased in large parts of Europe, Asia and Australia. There are likely more land regions where the number of heavy precipitation events has increased than where it has decreased. The frequency or intensity of heavy precipitation events has likely increased in North America and Europe. In other continents, confidence in changes in heavy precipitation events is at most medium.”
Page 5, final paragraph.

Indeed, increased precipitation was predicted from the first IPCC report in 1990 – “The global warming will also lead to increased global average precipitation and evaporation of a few percent by 2030” – see page xxii of the summary for policy makers (

[2] Secondly, the article states “In fact in the last century in Britain there were four winters with heavier rainfall”. This is not true.

The UK has had the wettest winter (517.6mm of rain fall) since national records began in 1910, the Met Office has confirmed.

[3] And the article states that “the Earth is not getting hotter” and that “Temperatures have remained static for the past 17 years”. This is not true. It is widely accepted that global surface temperatures have been rising continually, even over the past 17 years. More pertinently, if you include the temperatures of the oceans, the Earth has been accumulating heat at an increasing rate. An example of where this is explained is on the New Scientist website, but there are many other sources:

And this was the unexpected response from the PCC:

Dear Mr Bell

Thank you for making a complaint to the Press Complaints Commission about the Daily Express.

The PCC formally considers complaints about the vast majority of UK newspapers and magazines, provided that they subscribe to the system of self-regulation independently overseen by the PCC.

Northern & Shell – the publishers of the Daily Express – do not currently subscribe to the system of self-regulation independently overseen by the PCC. The publication does not therefore fall under the Commission’s jurisdiction and, as such, we are unable to take forward your concerns in this matter.

In the circumstances, you may wish to complain directly to the publication. Its contact details are as follows:

Nicole Patterson
Daily Express Legal Department
The Northern & Shell Building
10 Lower Thames Street
London, EC3R 6EN

So, that is what I’ll do.  I’ll do it via email and in the post.

John Bell

Ordinary Bloke


The PCC verdict is in!

Many of you will have followed the saga of my complaint via the UK Press Complaints Commission against the Telegraph. After lots of toing and froing, the PCC verdict is finally here. Drum roll, drum roll, drum roll…

And of course I lost. This backs up the advice I received from a number of different people who’d made complaints via the PCC in the past. If there is any level of interpretation needed in the complaint, the PCC appear to have a policy of ruling against the complainant.

I’d be very interested in whether you think the PCC are right.  

For me, there are two meanings of “significant” in the context of whether the Telegraph article was “significantly misleading”.

Firstly, there is statistic significance. Is it right to say that an original estimate is wrong if a new estimate is made at a later date, with more information available, and the confidence intervals of both estimates overlap significantly?

Secondly, there is the significance of the effect that it will have on readers. Some will take it at face value and decide not to trust climate models.

I undertook this complaint to find out about the process, because of the idea of creating a platform for the public to raise complaints together against inaccurate or misleading press articles. I’ll write up my thoughts on that in a few days. In the meantime, here is the final correspondence with the PCC:

Further to our previous correspondence, the Commission has now made its assessment of your complaint under the Editors’ Code of Practice.

The Commission members have asked me to thank you for giving them the opportunity to consider the points you raised. However, their decision is that there has been no breach of the Code in this case. A full explanation of the Commission’s decision is below.

If you are dissatisfied with the way in which your complaint has been handled – as opposed to the Commission’s decision itself – you should write within one month to the Independent Reviewer, whose details can be found in our How to Complain leaflet or on the PCC website at the following link:

Thank you for taking this matter up with us.

And the verdict itself.  I think it is interesting that they refer to climate change as being a politically sensitive subject:

Commission’s decision in the case of

Bell v The Daily Telegraph

The complainant expressed concern about the publication of an article which was, in his view, inaccurate and misleading in breach of Clause 1 (Accuracy) of the Editors’ Code of Practice. The article reported that the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report had found that ‘the world [had been] warming at a rate of 0.12C per decade since 1951, compared to a prediction of 0.13C per decade’ in the IPCC’s 2007 report. The complainant believed that the difference between the 2007 forecast and the 2013 revised number didn’t justify the claim that climate scientists had previously been ‘wrong’.

Under the Clause 1 (i) of the Code, newspapers must take care not to publish inaccurate information, and Clause 1 (ii) makes clear that a significantly misleading statement must be corrected promptly, and with ‘due prominence’.

Anthropogenic climate change is a politically contentious subject. It is not the Commission’s role to stifle, or in any way to hinder the free exchange of opinions and information, which serves to enrich the quality of the debate on this topic. Newspapers are entitled to report on, and to interpret the findings of the numerous scientific studies which have been published in this complex area as long as, in doing so, they have not misled readers.

In the ‘summary for policymakers’ section of the 2007 IPCC report on climate change, it was stated that ‘the linear warming trend over the last 50 years (0.13C [0.10C to 0.16C] per decade) [was] nearly twice that for the last 100 years’. The 2013 report noted that the calculated rate of warming since 1951 was ‘0.12C [0.08 to 0.14]’. The newspaper was entitled to interpret this calculation as a downward revision in the pace of observed climate change, even where the IPCC had not explicitly acknowledged that this was the case in the report. Indeed, the margin of error in the 2013 report had also been revised downward. In this context the claim that the 2007 calculation was ‘wrong’ was not significantly misleading. This was especially the case where the extent – and significance – of the revision was clearly stated in the article. While the Commission welcomed the newspaper’s attempt to obtain comment from the IPCC before the publication of the article, there was no breach of the Code.

“Not standing for it anymore” part 3 – nearly there

And so the saga continues, with more from the Telegraph, and more from me. It appears that the toing and froing is now at an end. We now await the initial ruling of the Press Complaints Commission.

The final throws of the bout, with my words in italics, those of the Telegraph in blue and the PCC in bold:

Further to Mr Bell’s comments on ours, and in reply to the Commission’s inquiry about an initial typographical error in the article:

1. Mr Bell does not appear to be complaining about our initial typographical error. The figure of 0.2 deg C highlighted by Mr Bell was never published by the Telegraph. That figure did, however, feature in a piece in The Mail on Sunday on 15 September 2013. As we said in our original comments, the original typographical error in the Telegraph report was the misplacing of the decimal point in the reference to the previous warming rate per decade of 0.13 deg C. This was swiftly rectified.

I agree that I am not complaining about the initial typographical error.

2. The article did not contain anything that was factually incorrect or misleading.
What is clear is that the 0.13 deg C warming rate per decade specified in the IPCC’s 2007 report (see, page 5) has been revised to 0.12 deg C, a revision of eight per cent. It is also a fact that the temperature increase at the Earth’s surface has been found to have slowed, something that the IPCC accepts they did not predict. We do not see the need to associate the word “wrong” with an implication that the forecasts were “more out than they were in reality”, as Mr Bell suggests. “Wrong” simply means “incorrect”. The IPCC do include a margin of error on temperatures in the latest report; the fact remains, however, that a headline figure has been changed. The public is entitled to be alerted to this and other changes between the two reports.

The reference above provides the error margin in the latest report – 0.08 to 0.14 deg C per decade. Which of course includes 0.13 deg C.

I am not sure what reference the Telegraph have for the statement of 0.13 deg C in previous reports. This may be it ( – see the graph), which states that over a 50 year period (roughly equivalent to the 0.12 deg C figure, (from 1951) that the change is 0.128 ± 0.026 deg C (i.e. 0.102 to 0.154 deg C). You will note that this includes 0.12 deg C.
Given these ranges, the forecasts are not incorrect or wrong, simply different. To state that they were wrong or that the IPCC admit they were wrong is inaccurate and misleading.

The statement above that the IPCC admit that they did not forecast the short-term slowing of surface temperature increase is a different point. The IPCC projections are for several decades, and are the average of the outputs of several models. The observed surface temperatures are effectively of one model run, i.e. reality. Comparing an average figure with a range of uncertainty against a single observation is akin to comparing apples and pears.

3. That the IPCC did not explicitly “admit” the change between 0.13C and 0.12C (the 0.13C to 0.12C change appears to be somewhat buried in a discussion about trends based on short records – see page 3 at ) does not make the Telegraph’s report inaccurate or misleading. The difference in warming rates is still an admission, however downplayed it may be in the written report, that something has changed since the statement in the previous report. Further, more explicit, admissions on other aspects of climate change were made in the 2013 report, as noted in our original comments: for example, the IPCC accepted that the effect of increased carbon on world temperatures may not have taken enough notice of natural variability; that Antarctic sea ice has grown rather than declined; that some regions of the world were as warm in medieval times as now. These are all changes that readers are entitled to hear about. The IPCC were contacted by the Telegraph for comment, but they did not respond to this request.

Page 3 is not buried, where the first two pages are the list of authors and the introduction. Use of the term here demonstrates a biased viewpoint on the report and on the IPCC on behalf of the Telegraph. The remainder of the point above is a repeat of earlier correspondence.

Mr Bell’s comments on our supplementary reply do not appear to raise any new substantive argument. But contrary to the points he does make:

1. We gave a clear reference to the 0.13 deg C warming rate in the 2007 report in our point 2 of the supplementary reply and there is no need for Mr Bell to be “not sure” about the reference and suggest one of his own.

2. We did not say “Page 3” of the 2013 report was “buried”. What we said was that the 0.13C to 0.12C change appeared to be somewhat buried in a discussion about trends based on short records, which appeared on page 3.

Should the Commission be asked for an initial view now?

At this stage, you may want the Commission to come to a view on your complaint under the terms of the Editors’ Code of Practice; please do let me know if this is the case.

The Commission would be deciding whether it was significantly misleading for the article to have claimed that the downward revision of projected surface temperature increase in the IPCC’s 2013 report meant that its earlier forecasts had been ‘wrong’.

Do let me know how you would like to proceed.

I agree with the Telegraph that I would like the Commission to come to a view.  I would clarify the question as follows:
The Commission would be deciding whether it was significantly misleading for the article to have claimed that the downward revision (bearing in mind stated error margins) of projected surface temperature increase in the IPCC’s 2013 report meant that its earlier forecasts had been ‘wrong’.
Thank you for your help in this matter.

I will now send your complaint to the Commission for a formal ruling under the Editors’ Code of Practice.

The Commission can take a maximum of 50 days (35 working days) to reach a decision, although the time frame is usually much shorter.

So, here we go.  It does take a lot of elapsed time, does it not?

John Bell

Ordinary Bloke

“Not standing for it” update 2

Since I raised an official press complaint against a Telegraph article, the UK Press Complaints Commission have effectively acted as an intermediary between me and the paper.

I posted the Telegraph’s thoughts up on a couple of websites to see if anyone else could help me draft the response, but didn’t get a reply, other than a few Likes.  For the purposes of setting up a mechanism for the public to challenge misleading articles, I’m learning about the amount of individual effort required to manage a complaint and that a pool of volunteers would be necessary.

Below is my first interchange with the Telegraph that was overseen by the PCC.  My official complaint is in bold, my replies are in italics, the Telegraph’s in blue, indented.  I’d be very interested to hear your thoughts on their arguments or my own.

The overall complaint is that the article misleads by highlighting any differences between climate forecasts and observations and claiming as a result that the forecasts have been “wrong”.  Given these were forecasts decades in length, for the word “wrong” to be justified a large discrepancy between the forecast for a large part of the globe would need to be observed.  In fact the differences have been relatively small and not widespread.  The forecasts have in fact been very accurate.

The title is misleading, stating that “global warming” forecasts were wrong.  In the article, it admits that the forecasts were for 0.13 degrees Celsius warming per decade, where it has actually been 0.12 degrees Celsius.  I understand that originally the article stated that the forecast was for 0.2 degrees Celsius per decade, but has since been corrected.  The headline made more sense with the original figure but now misleads.

The second sentence repeats the claim in more stark terms “world is not heating at the rate they claimed it was in a key report”.  This is again misleading given the difference between forecasts and actual warming.  The context of this line below the headline links the statement that forecasts were wrong with the rate of heating.

The second paragraph states that the IPCC report “is understood to concede that the computer predictions for global warming and the effects of carbon emissions have been proved to be inaccurate”.  The words “computer”, “prediction” and “predictions” do not appear in the report at all.  There is no direct statement in the report to say that previous forecasts have been inaccurate.

The complainant Mr Bell suggests that this article – published ahead of the publication of the latest IPCC report on climate change – was “misleading” because it highlighted differences between climate forecasts and observations and claimed as a result that the forecasts had been “wrong”. Mr Bell suggests, without explaining why, that for the word “wrong” to be justified a discrepancy that was “large” would have to be identified. He does not define what “large” means.

This is a fundamental point of the complaint.  In common language the word “wrong” is not used when there is a small difference between a forecast and reality.  It is misleading to use the word in this context.

To illustrate the point, say there was a weather forecast that said that the average temperature in the UK tomorrow is expected to be 13⁰ C and that it will be cloudy in the north and clear in the south.  Say the reality was that the average UK temperature turned out to be 12⁰ C, it was cloudy in the north and clear in the south, and there was some rain over Edinburgh.  In that situation it would be misleading to describe the forecast as being wrong.  “Slightly different” would be more appropriate, “largely accurate” would be better.

We are talking about whether the readers of the Telegraph would be misled by the article as it stands.  The common language interpretation of the headline would be that there is a fundamental difference across the board between the forecasts and reality, which is not the case.  There are a few minor differences, overall the forecasts are close and this does not undermine the forecasts viability for use in informing policy and individual action.

I would like to add at this point that the report does not explicitly admit that forecasts were wrong.  This is an interpretation of the journalist, and has been expressed in a misleading manor that could lead the readers to draw inaccurate conclusions.

He also complains that the article was “misleading” when it said that the “world is not heating at the rate they claimed it was in a key report [ie the 2007 IPCC report]”, given the difference between forecasts and actual warming. He further complains that because the latest IPCC report did not contain the words “computer”, “prediction” or “predictions” this disentitled the article from suggesting that the IPCC were going to concede that some predictions about global warming and the effects of carbon emissions had been inaccurate.

The Telegraph contests these claims.

For the record, when the article was first posted online it contained a typographical error – rather than saying 0.2 degrees C as the warming rate per decade, as Mr Bell suggests, it set out the difference as between 0.12 and 01.3 degrees – the decimal point had been put in the wrong place. This was corrected within minutes of the article going live, which is probably why Mr Bell did not actually see it. This was explained to him when he complained to the Telegraph’s online desk. No content of the article was based upon this error.

The actual difference between the two IPCC reports – between 0.12 degrees C and 0.13 is clearly stated in the article and is factually correct. This figure therefore justifies the statement in the introduction – that the world is not warming at the rate the IPCC claimed it was. They have revised the estimate by eight per cent; they have changed their predictions.

They have revised the estimate by 8%, or in other words the new figure is 92% the same as previously.  The statement “Top climate scientists have admitted that their global warming forecasts are wrong and the world is not heating at the rate they claimed it was in a key report” associates the word “wrong” with the rate of warming predicted.  To anyone other than a lawyer this would appear to imply that the forecasts are more out than they were in reality.

This alone, as was explained to Mr Bell when he got in touch with the Telegraph directly, was not the entire basis for the headline. There have been numerous changes within the reports – including a revision from a claim that the world is at its warmest in 1,300 years to an acceptance that parts of the world were as warm in medieval times (these statements are not mutually exclusive – the report does not back down from the claim that the world is at its warmest for 1300 years); the fact that sea ice has shown an increase recently that the IPCC do not explain, and the fact that there has been an overestimation of the effect of greenhouse gasses. (this again relates to the difference between 0.12 and 0.13 – “wrong” is again misleading in this context)

The basis for the statement that the IPCC concede that computer predictions for global warming “have proved to be inaccurate” is based partly upon the fact that they have changed the data between this report and the last, released in 2007.

Using “have proved to be inaccurate” to describe a situation where a forecast from 6 years ago is simply different to one now is misleading, in common language terms.  Furthermore, the forecasts are within their error margins – they are demonstrably not inaccurate.  I am confident that if asked the IPCC would not agree that the forecasts have proved inaccurate.

Furthermore, the latest report states, when explaining a reduction in the warming trend since 1998: “There may also be a contribution from forcing inadequacies and, in some models, an overestimate of the response to increasing greenhouse gas and other anthropogenic forcing (dominated by the effects of aerosols)”

Another example, as stated expressly in the article, is that: “Most models simulate a small downward trend in Antarctic sea ice extent, albeit with large inter-model spread, in contrast to the small upward trend in observations.”

We do not accept Mr Bell’s complaint about computer predictions. Although the IPCC may not specifically use the terms “computer” or “predictions” in their report, this does not mean that the article is not factually correct. Newspapers are entitled to summarise the facts in language readily understandable by average, non-scientist readers.

For example, “continental-scale surface temperature reconstructions” were used to predict what the temperatures were during “the Medieval Climate Anomaly”, part of the basis for global warming forecasts and the results of which were revised between the two reports. The Telegraph does not believe it was misleading the reading public to say that these are predictions that have been constructed using computers, as were the models mentioned previously.

There is no direct statement from the IPCC admitting that they were wrong about their earlier forecasts; they did not respond to our reporter’s request for comment.

But the fact that they have changed data as compared with their report several years ago shows that they have conceded that some data was inaccurate, or it would be exactly the same in both reports. The article and the headline were an accurate summary of what has occurred.

Stating here that “some data was inaccurate” is not what was said in the article, which said that the report admitted that forecasts were wrong.  The report did not admit that at all – it is a misleading interpretation of the report.  If the article had said that the report admitted that some elements of the previous forecasts were wrong, or said that the Telegraph reporter thinks that they are wrong, then it would be more accurate, but in my opinion still misleading as the forecasts are within error margins.

Furthermore, Professor Myles Allen, the director of OxfordUniversity’s Climate Research Network, a leading climate scientist who worked on the report and had seen the draft, told our reporter that the IPCC had changed their predictions.

The Telegraph takes the view that Prof Allen’s comments provided balance to the article and the headline as well as backing them up, as he justified the changes by saying that science works by revising predictions based on newly emerging data.

As far as what a “large” discrepancy between temperatures is, it is clear that global warming is a vast subject on which there is much debate, which – as the Press Complaints Commission has ruled on many occasions – should not be stifled. Mr Bell is entitled to hold the view that the eight per cent discrepancy is not, in his opinion, “large”. Not everyone would take an identical view, and many would indeed conclude that eight per cent is a significant figure.

In any event, the word “wrong” is not based upon this discrepancy alone, and it should be read in the context of the article as a whole.

This is made clear in the introduction: “Top climate scientists have admitted that their global warming forecasts are wrong AND [our emphasis] the world is not heating at the rate they claimed it was in a key report.”

There are numerous changes between the reports – the forecasts of sea ice extent have changed as have the predictions on the effect of greenhouse gasses.

The complaint that the word “wrong” is used just to describe the discrepancy is Mr Bell’s own interpretation, whereas the headline should as be read in the context of the entire article, not just the second half of the first paragraph.

If the article showed where the forecasts have been right as well as the few instances where they have been different, then it would not be biased or misleading.  It picks out only those elements where there are differences between one set of forecasts and another set 6 years later.  No forecast on any subject would expect to be exactly the same in all elements to reality or to a forecast made several years ahead.  All forecasts on any subject would be described as “wrong” and “inaccurate” following the highly suspect logic portrayed in the article and in this response.  The article is misleading and biased and is in breach of clause 1 of the Editors’ Code. 

Arguing otherwise is an admission that the journalists and editors of the Telegraph will twist reality and use weasel words to create a message of their choosing rather than to communicate issues in an unbiased, objective manner to help their readers understand the world.

I am deeply concerned by the arguments put forward by the Telegraph.

Nothing in this article constitutes a significant inaccuracy or misleading statement contrary to clause 1 (Accuracy) of the Editors’ Code.

So, what do you think?

John Bell

Ordinary Bloke

How is “not standing for it anymore” going?

What happened to my idea of combating misleading press articles?  Here is an update, including about a press complaint I have started to see how things work.  This is the first of a series of posts I’ll put up about how that complaint goes.  I’d welcome your thoughts.

The initial idea was to gather a lot of people around a complaint to the Press Complaints Commission (PCC).  Earlier advice that the PCC are pretty ineffective in cases concerning climate change and that was backed up in a recent conversation with the fantastic people at Carbon Brief.  They pointed me at an article about how to get complaints to work.  It concludes that they are only really effective if someone raises a complaint because they have been directly misquoted.  Generally, if it is about the science, they’ll let anything go.

So I have tentatively concluded that a mass of people online petitioning editors about individual articles could work, as was suggested by Bob Ward.  We’d then decide on a case-by-case basis whether to raise an official complaint, depending on a vote, bearing in mind the chances of success.  There is arguably little point wasting effort in raising a lot of official complaints via the PCC if the majority are not going to be upheld.  Best case we’d waste our time, worst the papers could use that as evidence that they can continue to say what they want.

The Climate Reality Project are the most likely group to host this website.  While I wait for them to get over a hump of work they have on at the moment, I have raised a press complaint of my own to find out how the system works, as John Cook of Skeptical Science suggested to me.

Before raising a complaint, the norm is to correspond with the offending editor first.  The article I chose, more or less at random, was published in the Telegraph in the UK.  Here is the correspondence I had with them before raising the complaint, following completing a form on the Telegraph website to say I wasn’t happy with the article:

For example (and this is only an example):

[1] It opens “Top climate scientists have admitted that their global warming forecasts are wrong and world is not heating at the rate they claimed it was in a key report”.  Factual inaccuracy – the reports are not forecasts, they are projections.  They do not predict over the 5-10 year short-term, they project an overall trend.  They do show occasional pauses in temperature increases, but do not claim to forecast where they lie.  

[2] The same sentence is misleading in stating that the projections are “wrong”.  Observations are within tolerance.  It is a misleading use of words to state that they are “wrong” – it is like saying that the weatherman got the forecast wrong if he said it would be sunny with a temperature of 22 degrees and it turned out to be sunny with a temperature of 23 degrees.

[3] The final paragraph avoids a factual inaccuracy with weasel wording.  It states that the IPCC insist that the Stockholm meeting is not a crisis meeting.  The dates for the meeting have been scheduled for years.  The article gives the misleading impression that the meeting has been arranged recently.  It is like saying that so-and-so insists they are not a pedophile, rather they are heterosexual: which would leave the impression that they may indeed be a pedophile.

The entire article is biased in this way, using wording that paints a misleading picture at every turn, and giving the overall impression that the IPCC have been wrong and are in crisis, which could not be further from the truth.

I could go on.  You will be aware that it is reportable if an article is factually inaccurate or misleading or biased.  This article is all three.

I repeat that if an apology is not published with the same level of prominence as the original that I will report the article to the Press Complaints Commission.

Thank you for your reply.  I have spoken with Hayley Dixon and she has stated:

Firstly, I do not accept that there is a difference between projections – defined as “an estimate or forecast of a future situation or trend based on a study of present ones” -and forecasts – defined as “to predict or estimate (a future event or trend)”.

I do not understand the complaint that the IPCC do not predict over the 5 to 10 year period, these are decade on decade predictions since the 1950s – as is confirmed by the IPCC in their previous report.

Secondly the projections are different – there is an 9 per cent difference between the figure in the 2007 and the figure which is due to be included in this report, as amended by the scientists.

Thirdly I dispute that saying the final paragraph uses “weasel wording”. Again, this is a statement of fact. The IPCC has insisted that this is not a crisis meeting, as can be seen by a press release on their website.  At no point in the article does it state that this is an emergency meeting, or that the organisation is in crisis.  It does suggest that the IPCC have been incorrect in some areas, because this is the thrust of the comparison between earlier reports and leaked documents. The IPCC did not respond to a request for comment. 

However, I believe that the comments from Professor Myles Allen, a contributor to the report, provide a balance by pointing out that the data is not infallible, and that science works by changing predictions according to emerging data. This clearly does not suggest the IPCC is in crisis, it just shows that this is the way that science works.

Thank you for your response.  I will now report the article to the press complaints commission.

Before I take this forward with the PCC, I would be grateful if you would consider changing the headline of the article.  I think this is the most serious issue with the article.  

It states “Top climate scientists admit global warming forecasts were wrong”, where the now revised content of the article states that the difference is that predictions were for a change of 0.13 degrees Celsius per decade, where it has actually been 0.12 degrees Celsius.  The article originally inaccurately stated that the forecast was 0.2 degrees Celsius per decade, which would have been further from the observations, but with the correct figure the headline now seems inappropriate.  

Would you say that the weatherman had got the forecast wrong if he predicted cloudy and temperatures of 13 degrees, and it turned out to be cloudy with temperatures of 12 degrees?

A more accurate headline would be “Top climate scientists admit global warming forecasts were 92% correct”.

The headline is not based upon that statistic alone, for example it is based on the concession in the second paragraph that the effects of carbon have been misinterpreted, that forecast computers may not have taken enough notice of the natural variability in the climate, the changes to the historical data on temperatures between 950 and 1250 AD, and so forth. 

Would you be willing to publish a letter from me to counter that biased and misleading viewpoint?

If you wish a letter to be considered for publication, please e-mail it to (The Daily Telegraph).  Please include your name, address, and work and home telephone numbers.

Regrettably, due to the amount of letters received on a daily basis, it is not possible to print each one.

And so I then raised the official complaint – watch this space…

John Bell,

Ordinary bloke