These included the following:
Half truth: “We actually got into the low 50s for parts of the Middle East and Pakistan a couple of weeks back”
Truth: Parts of the Middle East and Pakistan record temperatures into the low 50’s pretty much every year.
Half truth: Beijing the other day just fell short of 41.
Truth: The recorded temperature was 40.3 (104.5F).http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/photo/2010-07/05/content_10067517.htm. Note that this "record" is based on Beijing’s official temperature records commencing in 1951. See reports of earlier heat waves in the original post that indicate higher temperatures have been recorded in Beijing, including one at 46.1C..
Half truth: We're seeing 40s right up and down the US eastern seaboard.
Note 40 C is 104 F
Truth: Perhaps 40 at just one location!
Half Truth: We have seen an increase in heatwaves in Australia in the last 30 to 50 years
Truth: And what about the 30-50 years prior?
ABC respond (received 1/9/2010): "With regard to your concerns about the accuracy of statements made by Dr David Jones, a senior climatologist at the weather bureau's National Climate Centre, the ABC does not consider opinions or the views of a specialist commentator to constitute factual content; therefore, it is not subject to the accuracy provisions outlined in the ABC’s Editorial Policies. However, while there is no obligation to fact check opinion, it is expected that the specialist commentator or expert is properly qualified to speak to the subject at hand, and that their views are clearly attributed.
On review, Audience and Consumer Affairs is satisfied that Dr Jones is appropriately credentialed to comment on temperature trends, and that the views he expressed were properly attributed. While noting the points you make, we are satisfied that there was sufficient context in the story, and that it is in keeping with the ABC’s standards for accuracy."
The lesson: Don't rely on ABC's biased experts to provide the full story.
In relation to Sarah Clarke's reporting Andrew Bolt has this piece that might interest: Modern Journalism.