Grey Thoughts
Global Warming Called Off
NASA has quietly corrected a few faulty warming figures and Hot Air has the story. Some of the good stuff
Update (Bryan): “Former NASA guy” hat on for a second, this is a pretty big deal. Money quote from Coyote Blog:

I cannot get over the irony that in the same week Newsweek makes the case that climate science is settled and there is no room for skepticism, skeptics discover a gaping hole and error in the global warming numbers.

The discontinuity in the data should have been a serious red flag for Hansen et al, but what we’re probably seeing here is the effect of personality and agenda on the scientific process. They assumed they were right, and either discounted or didn’t even notice the discontinuity that occurred at 2000.

Coyote Blog also has a lot more background for those who are interested.
Today, the GISS admitted that McIntyre was correct, and has started to republish its data with the bug fixed. And the numbers are changing a lot. Before today, GISS would have said 1998 was the hottest year on record (Mann, remember, said with up to 99% certainty it was the hottest year in 1000 years) and that 2006 was the second hottest. Well, no more. Here are the new rankings for the 10 hottest years in the US, starting with #1:

1934, 1998, 1921, 2006, 1931, 1999, 1953, 1990, 1938, 1939

Three of the top 10 are in the last decade. Four of the top ten are in the 1930's, before either the IPCC or the GISS really think man had any discernible impact on temperatures.

Seriously, read all of the Coyote Blog Post. It is long, but worth it.
Update #3: I labeled this "breaking news," but don't expect to see it in the NY Times anytime soon. We all know this is one of those asymmetric story lines, where if the opposite had occurred (ie things found to be even worse/warmer than thought) it would be on the front page immediately, but a lowered threat will never make the news.

Oh, and by he way. This is GOOD news. Though many won't treat it that way. I understand this point fairly well because, in a somewhat parallel situation, I seem to be the last anti-war guy who treats progress in Iraq as good news. warming isn't nearly as bad as we were told, the world isn't ending quite as soon as we thought, and many people won't think it is good news...perhaps they have an agenda they were simply using the threat of global warming to try and achieve....

Daily tech gives the kudos to Steve McIntyre, who runs the site Climate Audit, and also has a lot to do with which documents the large number of dodgey weather/temperature data collection stations that have been used by the crazed left to tell us that the sky is falling, so that we give all our power to the governments and up that much closer to a socialist world government.

(HT: Tim Blair)
There's no non-agendered position on this debate, from either side. Every person comes at it with some bias built upon an underlying world view. So, good news that perhaps on this one data point it's not as serious as originally projected, and I applaud those keeping checks on the 'official science' ... I have my own skepticism directed there. Nevertheless, scientists are human (both finite - thus prone to make mistakes, and fallen - thus prone to manipulate data) ... this and similar flaws are not sufficient warrant to wave away the significant data that has accumulated, indicating clearly a trend toward global warming (the hottest temperatures are still all in the last 100 years). It would be sad if our collective skepticism - a 'proved you wrong' mentality - kept us from properly stewarding our world in a sustainable way (our mandate, regardless of the science), failing to reach a societal critical mass that may bring about much needed change to best address a genuine underlying problem. Can I recommend all concerned read
Dave Benson
Actually, saying that the data indicates a trend toward global warming and using the point that the hottest temperatures are still all in the last hundred years misses the point.

The supposed human caused CO2 problem could not have started that far back.

And that is the big question....are we a significant cause of global warming?

The real question is whether there is a genuine underlying problem, and hence how much change is really needed. Simply said, the proposed 'solutions' will involve incredible hardship on the developing isn't a win win situation.

I'm sorry, but I just don't buy what the author is selling in that pdf you provided a link to. Notice in his diagrams how the CO2 and temperature changes line up, when it is a simple fact that the temperature changes lead the C02 build up and so can't be causative (unless you buy into backwards temporal causation, which is a whole other philosophical kettle of fish)

For those who want to understand the faulty construction of many of the diagrams used to support man made global warming, I suggest you go to another post on the topic at Coyote Blog

It is important to remember that whilst everyone comes at issues with some sort of bias, not all biases are created equal. And whilst it is important to remember that everyone makes mistakes, it is the manner in which the global warming fearmongers have tried to consistently hide the methodology and data they have used to create fiction from scrutiny which leads inexorably to the conclusion that man made global warming is a scam and not science.
Thanks Alan for your comments. You raised some good points. As before, I must walk a fine line in this debate. I am no expert on climatology, and thus must appeal to experts. Nevertheless, I must ask the tough questions of all experts to see if their claims correspond to reality, to at least the best of my limited knowledge. So, here's a few thoughts in response:

1)Many factors play into average global temperatures (solar flares, volcanic activity, earth orbit, ocean currents etc.). As such, the fact that a few of the hottest years on record were before the human caused CO2 increases does not undermine the general trend. The key data to plot is CO2 levels, as you recognize, which is known to correspond with temperature. The question is one of causation, as you rightly point out.

2) Concerning the historical pattern of temperature changes preceding CO2 changes, the same author, John Houghton (see explains as follows (please forgive the length):

It is true that the fluctuations in temperatures that caused the ice ages were initiated by changes in the Earth’s orbit around the Sun which, in turn, drove changes in levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. This is backed up by data from ice cores which show that rises in temperature came first, and were then followed by rises in levels of carbon dioxide up to several hundred years later. The reasons for this, although not yet fully understood, are partly because the oceans emit carbon dioxide as they warm up and absorb it when they cool down and also because the soil releases green house gases as it warms up. These increased levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere then further enhanced warming, creating a ‘positive feedback’.
In contrast to this natural process, we know that the recent steep increase in the level of carbon dioxide – some 30 per cent in the last 100 years – is not the result of natural factors. This is because, by chemical analysis, we can tell that the majority of this carbon dioxide has come from the burning of fossil fuels. As set out in ‘misleading argument 1’, carbon dioxide from human sources is almost certainly responsible for most of the warming over the last 50 years. There is much evidence that backs up this explanation and none that conflicts with it.
Warming caused by greenhouse gases from human sources could lead to the release of more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere by stimulating natural processes and creating a ‘positive feedback’, as described above.

3) So, is there a way of separating out cause and effect? Perhaps. Houghton highlights (under misconception #1) the many factors affecting climate change, but then explains:

Even when we take all these factors into account, we cannot explain the temperature rises that we have seen over the last 100 years both on land and in the oceans. Present carbon dioxide in the atmosphere are now 35 per cent greater than any past levels [from ice-core samples] … From the radioactivity and chemical composition of the gas we know that this is mainly due to the burning of fossil fuels, as well as the production of cement and the widespread burning of the world’s forests.

Even if significant increases in CO2 atmospheric concentration are from preceding temperature rises, the undeniable rise in human caused CO2 emissions still is introduced into this positive feedback mechanism, furthering global warming.

4) You mentioned that the greatest costs in bringing about change would cause disproportionate hardship for the developing world. Again, I have no expertise in global economics upon which to contribute my own opinion. The sources cited, however, explain that if their projections are true [i.e. if we fail to take any action], then those in the developing world will suffer far greater hardship than if we begin making changes. One of the greatest costs is to our lifestyle, as we in the West use far more energy than those in developing countries. It is as much about restraint as anything else. Personally I'm interested in sustainable responses in line with the Biblical mandate for stewardship, still recognizing the value of humanity as the key factor in how we respond. On this score, I think our inaction will ultimately be more problematic.

5) So, who then should we trust as an authority? Obviously a range of sources should be used, not just one. However, I consider Sir John Houghton as essentially unrivalled as a source. True, everyone has their bias, and not all biases are equal. Yet, he is openly an evangelical Christian not seeking to push a political agenda. Having personally heard him speak, he explained that the IPCC projections were consistently conservative for their available data, and he openly berated a number of commentators (including Gore) who had overstated their figures as scare-mongers, considering this counter-productive.

His credentials?
Sir John Houghton is President of the John Ray Initiative. He has held positions as chairman or co-chairman of Scientific Assessment for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), 1988-2002, Professor of Atmospheric Physics at the University of Oxford, 1976-1983, Director General and Chief Executive of the UK Meteorological Office, 1983-1991, Chairman of the UK Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution, 1992-1998, member of the UK Government Panel on Sustainable Development, 1994-2000. He has received numerous awards including the Japan Prize, Fellowship of the Royal Society of London and the International Meteorological Organisation Prize. His publications include The Physics of Atmospheres (3rd edn. CUP, 2002), Global Warming: the Complete Briefing (2nd ed CUP 1997) and The search of God, can science help? (Lion, 1994).

As for the IPCC, it is true that they don't conduct their own research. This is neither here nor there, as they are set up as the peak international body for coordinating and directing research on climate change, collecting and cross-referencing the data. It consists of people from over 130 countries who contributed to the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report over the previous 6 years. These people included:
*2500+ scientific expert reviewers
*850+ Contributing authors
*450+ lead authors.
Of these, the contributors to the Working Group 1 report (including the summary for policy makers) included:
*600 authors from 40 countries
*Over 620 expert reviewers
*A large number of government reviewers
*Representatives from 113 governments.

Their last report was ratified by all NATO countries, a rare event in itself.

Sadly time (and the readers' attention span) doesn't permit any further responses. Suffice to say it is insufficiently nuanced to write off an issue this complicated and important as either "science or scam". I trust this dialogue helps us both think more clearly about this issue, but more importantly, begin making the simple changes we - as mere plebs - can make to better care for this created world entrusted to our care ... even as we go about all we feel called to.

Dave Benson
Lots of people does not mean it is more accurate...especially if they are using bad data.

There are of course, at least as many climate scientists who are skeptical of man made global warming.
See this site for specifics, but it includes over 2500 climate scientists and over 5000 ecology related scientists.

Obviously, the science is not settled, which is why when the man made global warming people continue to claim it is, you have to see it for the propaganda that it is.

Just as the IPCC reports are not really peer reviewed (i.e. the authors can chose to ignore comments and corrections and do so), the scientific status of the man made global warming community is very dubious.

I may not be an expert climatologist, but I understand logic, science, and computer models enough to know crap when i see it. The claimed certainties are just fictions...even more so now that even the underlying data used is questionable.

When people try and make the world adopt drastic and more than likely catastrophic changes in order to combat a problem, there needs to be a lot more certainty than the rubbish propaganda we have been seeing.
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