Skeptics find global warming evidence

Often researchers find what they want to find. More persuasive is when researchers find what they do not want to find but report it anyway. A new study of climate change was funded by skeptics of global warming. They took into account the skeptics’ critiques of the methodology and data gathering used by the scientists discredited in the Climategate scandal.  Lo and behold, this new study ended up confirming the earlier research.  Actually, it found slightly higher average temperature increases.  See this report.

So now do you believe in global warming?  If not, what evidence would convince you?

I’ve been skeptical myself, not so much of global warming but of the contention that it is man-made.  Also of the contention that it will prove to be such a big disaster.

Am I reading the chart right, that the rise in temperature over the last century is only 1 degree Celsius?  Is that such a big rise that it would make much of a difference?

But I’m open to correction and enlightenment from my betters.

HT:  Kirk Anderson

 

Climategate scientist admits lack of global warming data

This chapter of Climategate scandal is even bigger yet.  Prof. Phil Jones of the University of East Anglia is the guy whose e-mails were leaked.  Now he admits that he can’t find the data that he used to create the famous “hockey stick” graph and that the earth hasn’t really been warming at all over the last 15 years!

The academic at the centre of the ‘Climategate’ affair, whose raw data is crucial to the theory of climate change, has admitted that he has trouble ‘keeping track’ of the information.

Colleagues say that the reason Professor Phil Jones has refused Freedom of Information requests is that he may have actually lost the relevant papers.

Professor Jones told the BBC yesterday there was truth in the observations of colleagues that he lacked organisational skills, that his office was swamped with piles of paper and that his record keeping is ‘not as good as it should be’.

The data is crucial to the famous ‘hockey stick graph’ used by climate change advocates to support the theory.

Professor Jones also conceded the possibility that the world was warmer in medieval times than now – suggesting global warming may not be a man-made phenomenon.

And he said that for the past 15 years there has been no ‘statistically significant’ warming.

The admissions will be seized on by sceptics as fresh evidence that there are serious flaws at the heart of the science of climate change and the orthodoxy that recent rises in temperature are largely man-made.

Professor Jones has been in the spotlight since he stepped down as director of the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit after the leaking of emails that sceptics claim show scientists were manipulating data.

The raw data, collected from hundreds of weather stations around the world and analysed by his unit, has been used for years to bolster efforts by the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to press governments to cut carbon dioxide emissions.

via Climategate U-turn: Astonishment as scientist at centre of global warming email row admits data not well organised | Mail Online.

Look, I know that this doesn’t disprove global warming. But to think that we were on the verge of passing a cap-and-trade bill that would risk our whole economy based on alleged scientific certainties that turn out to be so questionable is breath-taking. The scientific method requires that evidence be replicable and that experiments be subject to checking. And yet so much of the data that is said to make the case for global warming is in the hands of an absent-minded professor–who can focus well-enough on trying to silence dissenters to his findings–who can’t even find his data!

Yes, there is a difference between weather and climate, and record snowstorms do not necessarily disprove global warming. But as Dana Milibank–a liberal and a believer in global warming–points out, advocates of global warming have been putting forward exactly that same kind of anecdotal evidence (the lack of snow at the Winter Olympics, the increase in the number of tornadoes, changes in animal behavior, much of what was in the Al Gore movie) to persuade people that man-made global warming is real and to scare people into accepting Draconian remedies.

UPDATE: Here is a Washington Post news article detailing even MORE sloppiness–including typographical errors that threw off dating and unsubstantiated claims from environmentalist groups passed off as data–that is discrediting climate research.

HT: DonS

An even bigger Climategate scandal?

Global warming advocates may have a scientific scandal on their hands that is even more serious than those leaked e-mails:

The global warming scandal keeps getting worse. Revelations over the few weeks show that many important assertions in the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change were based on misquotes and false claims from environmental groups, not on published academic research as it was originally presented. This is on top of the recent mess regarding data, where the three most relied-on data series used by the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change 2007 assessment report still have not been released. Other data simply never seem to have existed or cannot be provided to other scientists.

But probably the most damaging report has come from Joseph D’Aleo, the first Director of Meteorology and co-founder of the Weather Channel, and Anthony Watts, a meteorologist and founder of SurfaceStations.org.

In a January 29 report, they find that starting in 1990, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) began systematically eliminating climate measuring stations in cooler locations around the world. Yes, that’s right. They began eliminating stations that tended to record cooler temperatures and drove up the average measured temperature. The eliminated stations had been in higher latitudes and altitudes, inland areas away from the sea, as well as more rural locations. The drop in the number of weather stations was dramatic, declining from more than 6,000 stations to fewer than 1,500.

D’Aleo and Watts show that the jumps in measured global temperature occur just when the number of weather stations is cut. But there is another bias that this change to more urban stations also exacerbates. Recorded temperatures in more urban areas rise over time simply because more densely populated areas produce more heat. Combining the greater share of weather stations in more urban areas over time with this urban heat effect also tends to increase the rate that recorded temperatures tend to rise over time.

Their report provides examples of how the systematic elimination of stations and unexplained adjustments in temperature data caused measured temperatures to rise for Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Norway, Sweden, and the United States. Many adjustments change what would have been a drop in temperatures into an increase.

via The Next Climate-gate?.

To download the paper, go here.

HT: Paul

The context of Climategate

Defenders of the climate scientists whose embarrassing e-mails have cast doubt on their work are saying that the messages are taken out of context. Well, Steven F. Hayward supplies the context in a fascinating article on the whole fiasco and what it means.

Basically, the principles were the researchers responsible for the famous “hockey stick” graph that shows global temperatures as being essentially flat for the last millennium, then shooting up in the 1990s. But this model ignores the Medieval Warming Period beginning in the year 1000 (in which Greenland was apparently actually green, with data from tree-rings and other sources suggesting that the pre-industrial Middle Ages were actually warmer than today). The hockey stick graph also ignores “the Little Ice Age” from the 16th century through the 1850s.

Climategate has to do with researchers trying to make the Medieval Warming Period disappear. The e-mails record the “hockey team” trying to suppress that data. They also record climate scientists admitting that the hockey-stick graph has problems. We also see evidence of scientists using selective data to prove their pre-conceived theories and leaving out evidence that doesn’t fit. The attempts to sabotage their critics by manipulating the peer review process did not involve just climate change deniers, but respected paleo-climatologists. The article also shows how the Climategate crew are refusing to share their data, which in some cases has apparently been destroyed to evade British Freedom of Information Act requests. That flies in the face of the scientific method, in which evidence must be subject to continued testing and replication.

HT: my son Paul

Climategate and Wikipedia

More climate research manipulation, this time on the most used and the most easily-abused source of popular information, Wikipedia:

The Climategate Emails describe how a small band of climatologists cooked the books to make the last century seem dangerously warm.

The emails also describe how the band plotted to rewrite history as well as science, particularly by eliminating the Medieval Warm Period, a 400 year period that began around 1000 AD.

The Climategate Emails reveal something else, too: the enlistment of the most widely read source of information in the world — Wikipedia — in the wholesale rewriting of this history.

The Medieval Warm Period, which followed the meanness and cold of the Dark Ages, was a great time in human history — it allowed humans around the world to bask in a glorious warmth that vastly improved agriculture, increased life spans and otherwise bettered the human condition.

But the Medieval Warm Period was not so great for some humans in our own time — the same small band that believes the planet has now entered an unprecedented and dangerous warm period. As we now know from the Climategate Emails, this band saw the Medieval Warm Period as an enormous obstacle in their mission of spreading the word about global warming. If temperatures were warmer 1,000 years ago than today, the Climategate Emails explain in detail, their message that we now live in the warmest of all possible times would be undermined. As put by one band member, a Briton named Folland at the Hadley Centre, a Medieval Warm Period “dilutes the message rather significantly.” . . .

One person in the nine-member Realclimate.orgteam — U.K. scientist and Green Party activist William Connolley — would take on particularly crucial duties. Connolley took control of all things climate in the most used information source the world has ever known -Wikipedia. Starting in February 2003, just when opposition to the claims of the band members were beginning to gel, Connolley set to work on the Wikipedia site. He rewrote Wikipedia’s articles on global warming, on the greenhouse effect, on the instrumental temperature record, on the urban heat island, on climate models, on global cooling. On Feb. 14, he began to erase the Little Ice Age; on Aug. 11, the Medieval Warm Period. In October, he turned his attention to the hockey stick graph. He rewrote articles on the politics of global warming and on the scientists who were skeptical of the band. Richard Lindzen and Fred Singer, two of the world’s most distinguished climate scientists, were among his early targets, followed by others that the band especially hated, such as Willie Soon and Sallie Baliunas of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, authorities on the Medieval Warm Period.

All told, Connolley created or rewrote 5,428 unique Wikipedia articles. His control over Wikipedia was greater still, however, through the role he obtained at Wikipedia as a website administrator, which allowed him to act with virtual impunity. When Connolley didn’t like the subject of a certain article, he removed it — more than 500 articles of various descriptions disappeared at his hand. When he disapproved of the arguments that others were making, he often had them barred — over 2,000 Wikipedia contributors who ran afoul of him found themselves blocked from making further contributions. Acolytes whose writing conformed to Connolley’s global warming views, in contrast, were rewarded with Wikipedia’s blessings. In these ways, Connolley turned Wikipedia into the missionary wing of the global warming movement.

The Medieval Warm Period disappeared, as did criticism of the global warming orthodoxy. With the release of the Climategate Emails, the disappearing trick has been exposed.

This also raises questions about the nature of Wikipedia. Yes, it assembles a vast amount of information and makes it easily accessible. But since virtually anyone can change that information, unreliability is built in. (Let all students beware.) I understand the theory behind it, how it is self-correcting by drawing on collective knowledge. But isn’t it really predicated on the assumption that knowledge is a social construction, conveniently giving a platform for that to happen? What do you think about Wikipedia?

Climategate scandal gets a Russian front

New fronts are opening up in the Climategate scandal. One is a Russian front. A Russian research agency claims that climate scientists ignored data from that country’s vast landmass and instead cherry-picked evidence to make it look like Russia provided evidence for manmade global warming. Actually, the Russian evidence suggests otherwise. Here is an account, and you can follow the links:

On Tuesday, we heard via the Ria Novosti agency that the Moscow-based Institute of Economic Analysis (IEA) issued a report claiming that the Hadley Center for Climate Change had probably tampered with Russian-climate data:

The IEA believes that Russian meteorological-station data did not substantiate the anthropogenic global-warming theory. Analysts say Russian meteorological stations cover most of the country’s territory, and that the Hadley Center had used data submitted by only 25% of such stations in its reports. Over 40% of Russian territory was not included in global-temperature calculations for some other reasons, rather than the lack of meteorological stations and observations.

The data of stations located in areas not listed in the Hadley Climate Research Unit Temperature UK (HadCRUT) survey often does not show any substantial warming in the late 20th century and the early 21st century.

The HadCRUT database includes specific stations providing incomplete data and highlighting the global-warming process, rather than stations facilitating uninterrupted observations. They concluded climatologists use the incomplete findings of meteorological stations far more often than those providing complete observations and data from stations located in large populated centers that are influenced by the urban-warming effect more frequently than the correct data of remote stations.

Next: The Wikipedia front


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