Thursday, 22 January 2015

Retracted in a Nano-Second

Qualifications and Clarifications Aplenty

Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear.  Monty Python could not have written such inanity into a script.  NASA came out at the end of last week trumpeting that 2014 was the warmest year on record.  The media dutifully picked up the headline, though with less fervour than it would have several years ago.  It's hard to maintain apocalyptic fever for so long a time.

The climate shills at NASA have had their credibility questioned over many years.  But they are still at the game of propaganda, not science.  Nowadays a growing number of climatologists and sceptical scientists are ready and willing to debunk their alarmist, emotive eruptions.  And so the reaction has started.  Consequently, it took only 48 hours for NASA to come out and admit that there was only a one in three chance that 2014 was the warmest year on record, and even if it were the case, it would only be the warmest by 0.02 degrees, which is within the margin of error.

A headline from the Daily Mail said it all:

Nasa climate scientists: We said 2014 was the warmest year on record... but we're only 38% sure we were right 

Goddard Institute for Space Studies claimed its analysis of world temperatures showed ‘2014 was the warmest year on record’. But it emerged that GISS’s analysis is subject to a margin of error. Nasa admits this means it is far from certain that 2014 set a record at all  The Nasa climate scientists who claimed 2014 set a new record for global warmth last night admitted they were only 38 per cent sure this was true.

In a press release on Friday, Nasa’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) claimed its analysis of world temperatures showed ‘2014 was the warmest year on record’. The claim made headlines around the world, but yesterday it emerged that GISS’s analysis – based on readings from more than 3,000 measuring stations worldwide – is subject to a margin of error. Nasa admits this means it is far from certain that 2014 set a record at all. Yet the Nasa press release failed to mention this, as well as the fact that the alleged ‘record’ amounted to an increase over 2010, the previous ‘warmest year’, of just two-hundredths of a degree – or 0.02C. The margin of error is said by scientists to be approximately 0.1C – several times as much.

But the picture gets much more distorted when we place it in a wider context.  In the first place NASA's long term temperature data has been "adjusted"--that is, cooked.  It has systematically revised downwards the temperature readings from the early part of the twentieth century, so that recent temperature readings will appear to be warmer, "proving" a global warming trend over time.(See also, here)

Secondly,  NASA is deliberately disguising the fact that for the past eighteen years global temperatures have not increased.  The trend has flat lined.  Consequently, flat-lining temperature trends will show, from time to time, a year which will get the record, when compared to 2010 or 2005, or whatever--by 0.02 degrees, no less!  In the same way, some years will show up as the "coldest" years over the past eighteen years of measurement.  The reality remains, however, that the ostensible long term warming trend stopped.  In this case 2014 was 0.02 degrees higher than the previous high year of 2010, which is statistically meaningless.  It is well within the margin of measurement error.  Oh dear, how embarrassing. Never mind. 

Thirdly, it is universally agreed, although not often publicly acknowledged, that the actual temperature readings are now far lower that the forecast temperatures for the past fifteen years that fed into the climate computer models that "proved" the emerging climate catastrophe in the first place.  Meanwhile, CO2 has continued to spill out into the atmosphere at rates well beyond those in the late nineties.  Atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide is reported to be 8.3 percent higher at the end of 2014 than at the end of 1999. This implies that temperatures should be roughly 8.3 percent higher today than in 2000.  Not so.  Given that bit of unfortunate reality, any scientist not deeply sceptical of the theory of man-caused global warming by now more resembles a zealot than a scientist. 

The theory of anthropogenic global warming is looking decidedly thin.  It's precisely at such times that the zealots will trumpet most loudly.  Having to issue qualifications and retractions within 48 hours is a bit of a record, though.  Now, that's global warming as we knew it, Jim.

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