Today programme called to task for climate coverage

The Feedback programme on Radio Four has run a very good piece on the Today programme's coverage of the Met Office's revising of their short term (up to 2017) forecast (see below).

The Today programme issued a grudging admission that their headline could have been more accurate, and the Met Office spokesperson explained that they were very unhappy about the interpretation of the forecast which "totally misrepresents the integrity of the science that we undertake". She was very clear that the changes in their predictions of how natural factors will affect temperatures the short term "in no way changes our long-term projections of climate change".

We remain very concerned that the BBC sourced this story from climate sceptics, without realising that it was a non-story, merely a successful piece of spin, and even without inviting the Met Office themselves on to the programme to explain their own science. And John Humphrys' headline, "The Met Office does not believe that global warming will be as severe as it had previously predicted", will have been heard by many people who heard none of the rest of the piece and will have been left with a completely false statement.

On the positive side, it shows that listener complaints can have an impact. Thanks to everyone who contacted the BBC!