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August 13, 2007

"This is not the end but the beginning of the total reexamination that needs to occur of the [world's temperature records]"

It gets worse for global warming.

How bad? This bad. Imagine you sought to establish global warming was occurring. An empirically minded scientist would imagine that actual, reliable global temperature records were the best evidence for whether this was occurring or not, and that the theory of global warming would be adjusted, modified, proven or proven false on the basis of those temperature records.

That's what you would imagine would be the case. But what if in fact it were working the other way around? What if the theory of global warming was not being modified to better accord with actual, reliable temperature readings, but that actual, reliable temperature readings were being modified to better conform with the theory of global warming?

That seems to be what's going on. The most unreliable temperature readings -- those located in areas of urbanization, with all the asphalt, air conditioning exhausts, and car exhaust one could ask for -- are, rather than being adjusted downward due to their obvious inaccuracy, being left alone. Because they, quite naturally, produce the highest temperature readings.

Correction: A clear mistake. Some urban temperature stations do have their temperatures adjusted downwards, as long as there is a nearby rural station against which to compare it. But this is an uncommon situation. Despite this correction, the rest of the post stands -- they're adjusting "good" stations to come closer to "bad" stations, rather than either discounting the bad stations entirely or only adjusting the bad stations to match the good. Further, while they could easily determine the exact magnitude of the heat island effect, they have made no serious empirical efforts to do so. If pure happenstance has located a rural station nearby an urban one, they will adjust. But they have not bothered to establish control stations in order to check how far out of line the urban stations are with actual temperature.

Back to the original post.

Meanwhile, better, more reliable readings from better-maintained stations not artificially warmed by urban heat islands are being "adjusted."

Adjusted which way? Um, take a wild guess. Allah's post doesn't have the key quote about which way they're being adjusted, but I think it's fair to say "up" would be the general direction.

Global Warming "Deniers" such as myself have long known that the the Global Warming Cultists were not even bothering to adjust for the fact that many temperature stations of dubious reliability were being treated as if they were completely accurate. What is shocking and genuine news here is that the most reliable stations -- presumably those stations not yielding the high temperatures the theory of global warming requires -- are being "modified" to better accord with the theory.

Theory first, empirical facts second. I'm sure an NPR science writer and Salon magazine will tell us this is precisely how to do good science -- after all, it takes into account the supernatural desires of Mother Gaia and is concerned with the needs of the people and other gay shit of this nature.

The global warming cultists have long claimed that the inherent problems of the temperature records -- poorly maintained stations, maintained often by poorly trained technicians, often located now in the heat of an urban heat island whereas previously they had been in a suburban or rural area -- were "insiginficant," meaning they were not adjusting for this problem at all. (Presumably -- "insignificant" means zero or near-zero effect in science, and is less significant than "trivial" -- at least trivial acknowledges a small level of effect.)

Note that while global warming cultists crank up their completely unverifiable, unfalsifiable computer models, they don't bother to do the basic sort of empirical testing they actually could easily do. To wit-- if it is claimed that urbanization has an "insignificant" (read: zero) effect on the collection of temperature records, why not actually bother testing that hypothesis?

It's easy. It's cheap. It's science. Simple enough: establish say 300 temperature stations, each consisting of two stations, one located in rural areas, one located in more urbanized areas. Each station in each double-blind set would have to be as close as possible to the other, of course, so close as to make it unlikely that simple placement accounts for any differences found between the two. Now simply begin taking the measures from each station for about five years. If there's no "significant" difference between the readings, congratulations, Global Warming Cultists, you've actually proven, scientifically, a key assumption upon which your theory rests.

If the stations do show a significant difference in measured temperature.... well, then: That's also science, isn't it? Perhaps not the science you wanted, but is nevertheless an important finding that must be incorporated into your precious theories and computer models.

Why has this not been done? Was the "enormous consensus of leading world scientists" absent the day they taught science in Science School?

What on earth are the doing assuming a claim that could easily be either proven or disproven by a simple, cheap, and altogether obvious real-world test?

Of course, it's worse than all that. That's the state of things as we imagined they were.

Now we find out they're actually just goosing up the numbers of the most reliable stations in order to bring them up to snuff with the artificially-increased readings of the most unreliable stations.

Scandalous. Utterly scandalous.

But it's this sort of "science" we're supposed to accept uncritically as we make multitrillion dollar decisions about our economy and very way of life.

Good Quote From McIntyre: Worth reading so you don't miss the nuances I did:

In its consideration of possible urbanization and/or microsite effects, IPCC has taken the position that urban effects are negligible, relying on a very few studies (Jones et al 1990, Peterson et al 2003, Parker 2005, 2006), each of which has been discussed at length at this site. In my opinion, none of these studies can be relied on for concluding that urbanization impacts have been avoided in the ROW sites contributing to the overall history.

One more story to conclude. Non-compliant surface stations were reported in the formal academic literature by Pielke and Davey (2005) who described a number of non-compliant sites in eastern Colorado. In NOAAís official response to this criticism, Vose et al (2005) said in effect -

it doesnít matter. Itís only eastern Colorado. You havenít proved that there are problems anywhere else in the United States.

In most businesses, the identification of glaring problems, even in a restricted region like eastern Colorado, would prompt an immediate evaluation to ensure that problems did not actually exist. However, that does not appear to have taken place and matters rested until Anthony Watts and the volunteers at launched a concerted effort to evaluate stations in other parts of the country and determined that the problems were not only just as bad as eastern Colorado, but in some cases were much worse.

Now in response to problems with both station quality and adjustment software, Schmidt and Hansen say in effect, as NOAA did before them -

it doesnít matter. Itís only the United States. You havenít proved that there are problems anywhere else in the world.

digg this
posted by Ace at 01:42 PM

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