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February 15, 2010

Some Crank (Who Just Happened To Be A Lead Author Of The 2001 UN Climate Report) Says Temperature Data Is Unreliable Proof Of Climate Change

John Christy, professor of atmospheric science at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, was a lead author of the 2001 IPCC report but pretty soon the Gaia worshipers will be saying he was a mildly retarded guy they just kept around out of pity to run errands (like Benny from LA Law).

Christy has published research papers looking at these effects in three different regions: east Africa, and the American states of California and Alabama.

“The story is the same for each one,” he said. “The popular data sets show a lot of warming but the apparent temperature rise was actually caused by local factors affecting the weather stations, such as land development.”

The IPCC faces similar criticisms from Ross McKitrick, professor of economics at the University of Guelph, Canada, who was invited by the panel to review its last report.

The experience turned him into a strong critic and he has since published a research paper questioning its methods.

“We concluded, with overwhelming statistical significance, that the IPCC’s climate data are contaminated with surface effects from industrialisation and data quality problems. These add up to a large warming bias,” he said.

And now even the true believers are admitting the IPCC is damaged goods and may have to go under the bus.

In an interview with The Times Robert Watson said that all the errors exposed so far in the report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) resulted in overstatements of the severity of the problem.

Professor Watson, currently chief scientific adviser to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, said that if the errors had just been innocent mistakes, as has been claimed by the current chairman, Rajendra Pachauri, some would probably have understated the impact of climate change.

...Professor Watson, who served as chairman of the IPCC from 1997-2002, said: “The mistakes all appear to have gone in the direction of making it seem like climate change is more serious by overstating the impact. That is worrying. The IPCC needs to look at this trend in the errors and ask why it happened.”

...Professor Watson has held discussions with Al Gore, the former US Vice-President, about creating a new climate research group to supplement the work of the IPCC and to help restore the credibility of climate science.

You'd think we folks like this on board with the whole 'asking questions is ok' thing we'd hear less of the 'denier' and 'anti-science' crap but I doubt it.

Still, it's astonishing how rapidly and far the position of the believers has gone from "of course it's man made and will kill us, the only question is how do we stop it" to "no seriously, we're not lying crooks, let's talk about how we can convince you".

There's still a long way to go to bring sanity to this debate but the momentum is clearly on the side of the true supporters of science (the people who want to see the data and be able to argue it).


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posted by DrewM. at 11:29 AM

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