What a scorcher

YOUR article, (“The climate is changing before our eyes as heat soars in 2012”, 29 November) ­offers a masterclass in how to sensationalise the presentation of data.

The “faux” graph of rising temperatures has an exaggerated scale in which temperature changes of two hundredths of one degree are represented by increments of almost one centimetre. The selective use of shading from pale orange to bright red suggests the change has been from cool to sweltering, when the overall variation is eleven hundredths of one degree.

The cardinal sin, though, is that the graph starts with data from 2012 as the low point, then presents data from apparently random years between 1998 and 2010 to suggest a steadily rising temperature trend. The graphic completely fails to support the argument advanced in the piece.

Such innumerate sensationalism does little to advance ­genuine debate on what is an important issue.

Mike Scott

Allermuir Road





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