Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Highest Temperature in Asia-a correction

In a piece for ABC Unleashed last year titled "Action must prevail in Cancun",  Andrew Hewett, Executive Director of Oxfam Australia, claimed that "2010 was one of the hottest years ever recorded with Pakistan logging a scorching 53.7°C – the highest ever temperature recorded in Asia."
This is not true, according to the WMO this record is held by Israel.
Following our complaint an editorial note has been added to the piece that reads: Editor's Note: Although 53.7 degrees is the highest temperature ever recorded in Pakistan, Asia's highest temperature remains 53.9 degrees, recorded in Israel in 1942.

From ABC Audience and Consumer Affairs, received 19/1/2011
In considering the factual content in this article the program team noted that the data you refer to was from a pre-eminent NGO working in the area of area of poverty reduction and its intersection with climate issues,  and that Mr Hewett was drawing on a recently published report by Oxfam "Now more than ever".   Given the program team considered the source of this data, in the context of an opinion piece, Audience and Consumer Affairs is satisfied that reasonable steps were taken by Unleashed to ensure accuracy, in keeping with our standards.

Nevertheless, we acknowledge that the claim that Pakistan had experienced the highest ever temperature in Asia in 2010 is incorrect.  Given this, Innovation decided to place an editor's note at the base of the story which states: “Editor's Note: Although 53.7 degrees is the highest temperature ever recorded in Pakistan, Asia's highest temperature remains 53.9 degrees, recorded in Israel in 1942."

Thank you again for taking the time to write and to alert us to this issue.

Interesting that ABC considers a "pre-eminent" NGO a reliable source of meteorological phenomena. One wonders if the rest of the report is similarly affected by factual errors.

Score +1

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