The Australian’s Disappearing Comissar

Update 3 October 11:33: Apparently there are two versions of the AP story, the earlier of which contained no mention of the Australian heatwave. This information was revealed by Seth Borenstein in a Twitter exchange which is recorded here. If The Australian relied on the earlier version, they would not have removed anything, and the remainder of this post is therefore irrelevant to their reporting in this instance. We now look forward to The Australian updating their AP report to reflect the elements that are of such obvious importance to Australia.


Graham Readfearn reports on The Australian’s coverage of the recent research that examined the link between climate change and recent weather extremes. The Australian calls itself the “heart of the nation”, although it is not always clear what nation this is referring to. It is unlikely to be Australia given that The Australian reprinted an AP piece on the extreme-weather research. That is, they reprinted most of it, with the exception of the following:

The report seeks to find how much and how man-made warming has influenced the weather, said NOAA research meteorologist Martin Hoerling, an editor of the report.

The influence on Australia’s hottest year in more than a century is glaring, the report’s editors said.

“It’s almost impossible” to explain Australia’s hot 2013 without climate change, said Peter Stott of the United Kingdom’s meteorology office, another report editor.

Yes, they left out anything relating to Australia. This editorial strategy can be readily expressed in pictorial form: