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All IPCC definitions taken from Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis. Working Group I Contribution to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Annex I, Glossary, pp. 941-954. Cambridge University Press.

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Myth Deconstruction - Weather (EN)

Reference

Deconstructing climate misinformation to identify reasoning errors
Cook, J., Ellerton, P., & Kinkead, D. (2018). Deconstructing climate misinformation to identify reasoning errors. Environmental Research Letters, 13(2), 024018. Link to PDF & Link to Supplement

Step-by-step deconstruction

The table below is inspired by the simplified supplement and may differ slightly from what is shown in the GIF. This is mostly due to make the text fit into the available space which made it necessary to reword some of it. In the paper's supplement, this myth was identified as using ambiguous wording requiring a fairly complex deconstruction. Because this turned out to be difficult to clearly show in an animated GIF, the deconstruction was simplified.

1 Identify claim Scientists can’t even predict the weather next week, so how can they predict the climate years from now?
2 Argument structure Premise 1: Weathercasters get weather predictions wrong.
Premise 2: Weather and climate predictions are comparable.
Conclusion: Climate predictions are unreliable.
3 Inferential Intent

Deduction

4 Validity LOGICALLY VALID
4a Hidden premises NONE
5 Check premises Premise 1 is true.
Premise 2 is false and a false equivalence. This claim conflates weather and climate, which is weather averaged over time and space. The success of short-term predictions has little relevance to long-term climate predictions.
6 Status of claim

FALSE
While premise 1 is true, premise 2 is wrong.

7 Summary of fallacies False equivalence: This claim conflates weather and climate, which is weather averaged over time and space. The success of short-term predictions has little relevance to long-term climate predictions.

Related material

The difference between weather and climate

Blog post with background information about the myth deconstructions: Myth deconstructions as animated gifs

To learn more about the fallacies used in the myth deconstructions: A history of FLICC: the 5 techniques of science denial


Other versions

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