8/14/2007

There Is No Global Warming

There was an interesting article in National Post yesterday. I seem to recall saying I don't believe in global warming (for which I was called a child abuser).
In his enviro-propaganda flick, An Inconvenient Truth, Al Gore claims nine of the 10 hottest years on record have occurred in the last decade. That's been a common refrain for environmentalists, too, and one of the centrepieces of global warming hysteria: It's been really hot lately -- abnormally hot -- so we all need to be afraid, very afraid. The trouble is, it's no longer true.

No longer true? Say it ain't so.
Last week, NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies -- whose temperature records are a key component of the global-warming claim (and whose director, James Hansen, is a sort of godfather of global-warming alarmism) -- quietly corrected an error in its data set that had made recent temperatures seem warmer than they really were...
To NASA's credit, when McIntyre pointed out their temperature errors they quickly made corrections...
Still, the pro-warmers who dominate the Goddard Institute almost certainly recognized the impacts these changes would have on the global-warming debate, because they made no formal announcement of their recalculations.
In many cases, the changes are statistically minor, but their potential impact on the rhetoric surrounding global warming is huge.
The hottest year since 1880 becomes 1934 instead of 1998, which is now just second; 1921 is third.
Four of the 10 hottest years were in the 1930s, only three in the past decade. Claiming that man-made carbon dioxide has caused the natural disasters of recent years makes as much sense as claiming fossil-fuel burning caused the Great Depression.
The 15 hottest years since 1880 are spread over seven decades. Eight occurred before atmospheric carbon dioxide began its recent rise; seven occurred afterwards.
In other words, there is no discernible trend, no obvious warming of late.

Read 'em and weep folks.
No obvious warming of late.
Of course, the current NASA changes are only for data collected in the United States. But available surface temperature readings cover only half the planet even today. Before the Second World War, they covered less than a quarter. So U.S. readings for a period that goes as far back as 1880 are among the most reliable there are.

And yet, somehow how readings for only half the planet were enough to predict its certain demise.
Sigh.
Some people never learn.
Hysterical, politically charged rhetoric has no place in academic research. If you want to show the earth is heating up, get your numbers right and present a solid case backed by empirical evidence. Otherwise, I will remain a skeptic.

8 comments:

Raphael Alexander said...

The recent reports from the Goddard Institute hardly mean a refutation to global warming theory, and as NASA itself stated, are trivial changes of 0.15. If you look at the data over the past twenty years there has been a warming period in the U.S., and a significant one, including a much more consistently warm period than that of the 1930's.

Instead of saying you'll not believe until proven otherwise, consider the fact that it would appear you have already drawn up conclusions based on inconclusive evidence. Is this not what you accuse the global warming crowd of doing?

Ruth said...

It's not the amount of change that is significant. It is where the changes take place and their net effect. There is no warming trend. There never was.

Lord Kitchener's Own said...

OK, I'll say it ain't so, mostly because, well, it ain't so.

"No longer true" isn't correct. AL Gore, based on the old figures, said that sceintists have calculated that 9 of the 10 hottest years on the planet have been in the last decade. It turns out, after the corrections in the U.S. figures from Goddard, that 9 out of 10 of the hottest years on the planet have occured in the last decade.

Now, the rankings of the hottest years in the U.S. have changed, albeit VERY slightly. (A highly touted point by sceptics was that 1998 used to be the hottest year on record in the U.S. and now it's 1934, which they claim means that global warming is bunk. But of course the differences are so small that '98 and '34 were statistically tied before the change, and are statistically tied after the change). And besides, these are only U.S. numbers, and the problem isn't "U.S. Warming" it's "GLOBAL warming". The global averages were uneffected by the GISS changes. Ruth says that "It's not the amount of change that is significant. It is where the changes take place and their net effect.". Well, the fact is global warming is a global problem, so no, it has very little to do with "where the changes take place" except in as much as the "where" is "Earth". However, in a sense you're right. The amount of change (brought about by the Goddard adjustments) ISN'T siginifcant and the net effect on global temperature averages is basically none. This whole piece from the Post is trying to convince people that a small change in a subset of global climate data has had some major effect on our understanding of climate change, when that change really had ZERO effect on the global picture.

Gunter's article is trying to make you believe that we used to think that 9 out of 10 of the planet's hottest years have been in the past decade, but that new calculations have changed that number to 3 out of 10. Well, that's not "no longer true", that was NEVER true. And Gunter can only make you think that it was by showing you Goddard's apples, and trying to convince you that they're Gore's oranges. Either Gunter is deliberately trying to confuse the issue, or he knows so little about what he's writing about that he can just ignorantly claim that Al Gore's statement is no longer true based on a change in the data that had no tangible effect on the numbers Al Gore was talking about. However, malicious or ignorant, does it really matter??? Maybe it does, but I think only in the sense that if it's ignorance, it's probably sadly true that many people reading Gunter's column are similarly ignorant, and will believe Gunter when he says that Al Gore's statement is no longer true, even though THAT's not true.

Ruth said...

Sigh.
So many wrong things. So little time.
First of all, Gunter is preaching to the converted. I already don't believe in global warming, so he really isn't convincing me of anything.
Second, as mentioned, most of the temperatures being used to flog the global warming idea are coming from US data. We don't have temperatures for half of the planet, and we don't have enough historical data . So, if you are going to complain about the fact that we are discussing global warming and not US warming, please be consistent. Remind yourself of your own argument when you get up to flog global warming using US statistics.
Third, if you had seen the UN draft report, you would know that the earth has "warmed" about a half a degree in the last 150 years. This is statistically negligible, especially when you look at the graph. The argument was made that most of the temperature increase a) occured in the last 20 years and b) was directly related to greeenhouse gas emissions. NASA's recent correction render both of these points false.
So, got any facts (ie: numbers, graphs) you want to present me with?

Lord Kitchener's Own said...

NASA's recent correction changed the global numbers not one iota (which is to say the change wasn't even REMOTELY statistically significant). Hell, the correction just barely even changed the U.S. top ten!!!

1998 and 1934 flipped places with '34 now in first and '98 now in second, (which is essentialy meaningless anyway, since the two figures were statistically tied before, and are statistically tied afterwards). 2001 and 1921 also flipped places in 3rd and 4th place, a change no more significant. 2001 was bumped out of the top ten moving 1990, 1938, and 1939 (which were all RIDICULOUSLY close to each other) up one spot on the list.

That you think these recent NASA corrections are significant must be a tribute to Gunter's snow job, as I refuse to believe anyone would be so wilfully ignorant. As for your contention that this is all SO meaningful because "most of the temperatures being used... come from U.S. data" that is so far off the mark I don't know where to start. Anyone who thinks global climate models are based mostly on surface temperature readings (let alone surface temperature readings from the U.S.) is beyond my ability to help. You need to talk with an actual scientist.

Anonymous said...

Ruth:

My kid can do better research than you, and she's 3 weeks old.

http://www.tnr.com/blog/the_plank?pid=134205

Anonymous said...

And by the way, there are graphs and numbers everywhere. Don't be a disingenuous a**hat.

Ruth said...

That's right. There ARE loads of graphs and numbers everywhere.
Start with http://www.ipcc.ch/pub/pub.htm and then move on to http://www.junkscience.com/, paying close attention to http://www.junkscience.com/draft_AR4/. You will find all the graphs and numbers you could ever need.

Listed on BlogsCanada Blogarama - The Blog Directory Powered by Blogger FeedBurner Blogging Tories
Southern Ontario Conservatives