Notify me of new HIR pieces!
—an hir series—
and Investigative Research – 7 December 2009
█ Are skeptics defending the oil companies? No!
█ Do skeptics deny the existence of serious environmental problems that demand our attention? No!
█ Are skeptics saying that the world’s top climate scientists are wrong? No!
█ Do skeptics deny global warming as such? No!
█ Do skeptics deny the “greenhouse effect”? No!
█ Do skeptics deny that CO2 is a “greenhouse gas”? No!
█ Do skeptics deny that atmospheric temperature and CO2 are causally linked? No!
The anthropogenic global warming (AGW) hypothesis states that human production of ‘greenhouse gases’—and mainly CO2—contributes dramatically to raise the planet’s mean temperature. This hypothesis has been widely promoted by the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), a United Nations body.
The IPCC holds that Earth’s natural systems are quite fragile, and so a warmer planet will be catastrophic for these systems and the humans who depend on them. To avoid that, the IPCC recommends shifting energy policy away from burning oil towards ‘renewable energy.’ The economic cost of doing this will be enormous but, according to the IPCC, the planet itself is at risk, so we must do it.
Perhaps the AGW hypothesis is correct. And perhaps it isn’t. This is in the nature of a scientific hypothesis. But the IPCC talks as though no further debate is allowed concerning the AGW hypothesis. And it claims to speak for the scientific community as a whole. The mainstream media has strongly promoted this representation.
Not only that. Those who express skepticism about AGW have been pilloried in the media with extreme language—they have been called ‘deniers,’ which calls to mind Holocaust deniers. Skeptics have thus accrued a bad reputation, especially with environmentalists.
The following FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) answers some common questions about the skeptics. Most environmentalists believe that the answer to each is ‘yes.’ Actually, in every case, the answer is ‘no.’
skeptics defending the oil companies? —Answer: No.
Some of the biggest corporate promoters of both the AGW hypothesis and IPCC policy recommendations are... oil companies. Here is The Economist:
“BP—British Petroleum—is the most prominent corporate advocate of action on climate change.”
And The Economist again:
“Even Exxon Mobil... appears to accept the need for controls on carbon emissions.”
Does this mean, then, that the opposite is true—that skeptics are necessarily opposed to the oil companies? No, not necessarily.
A skeptic may be either for or against oil companies. Or neutral. Or indifferent.
Planetary temperatures either behave as the AGW hypothesis claims or they don’t. The hypothesis is about Nature, not oil companies. Therefore, one may love oil companies, or dislike oil companies, or have any opinion whatever about oil companies, and be skeptical of the AGW hypothesis.
skeptics deny the existence of serious environmental problems that demand our
attention? —Answer: No.
Concern for the health of the environment and its human victims does not commit a person to any particular theory about the relationship between CO2 and global temperatures. One can be very worried—even outraged—that the environment is being harmed in dangerous ways without believing that minute increments of CO2 cause rampant global warming.
In my case, for example, I am worried about the manner in which the rivers and lakes of my country, Mexico, are being daily polluted. And I am worried that almost nothing is being done about it. I also believe that one important reason so little has been done is that environmentalists are all completely focused on the non-issue of global warming, something that—in my view—they cannot affect.
skeptics saying that the world’s top climate scientists are wrong? —Answer: No.
People constantly hear that the UN-based IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) supposedly brings together the world’s top climate scientists, and that supposedly they all agree global warming is man-made (‘anthropogenic’). They call this the ‘consensus view.’
Lots of people who say this—including many relatively high-profile environmental activists and bureaucrats at the UN and other places—no doubt believe it. But it isn’t true.
Many of the scientists listed as authors on IPCC documents actually disagree with their content and have fought to have their names removed. Some have threatened or taken legal action to achieve this. Others, with less energy for that, have impotently watched how the IPCC uses their names to defend a position which they have not endorsed. Many people listed on IPCC documents are not climate scientists.
In Heaven and Earth: Global Warming, the Missing Science, Australia’s top geologist Ian Plimer explains:
“Although it is commonly cited that 2500 scientists wrote the IPCC’s Fourth Assessment report, a head count shows that there were 1656 authors and many of them were authors of many parts of the Report. Some of them used their given name in one part, used an initial in another, and used an abbreviation in another.”
It is a bit shocking to find that people wrote their names different ways so that the IPCC could count their names two or three times in order to boost the ‘number’ of scientists supposedly agreeing with the IPCC. Plimer continues:
“Furthermore, if we investigate the biographies of the 2500 ‘climate scientists,’ we find that many are not even scientists [let alone climate scientists – HIR]. To claim that this group of people represents the world’s top scientists is untrue. It seems that of the 1190 separate individuals who wrote the scientific part of the report, many were not scientists but were political and environmental activists.”
Plimer also writes the following:
“The social scientist Naomi Oreskes claimed in the scientific journal Science that a search of the ISI Web of Knowledge Database for the years 1993-2003 under the key words ‘global climate change’ produced 928 articles, all of which had abstracts supporting the consensus view. Another social scientist, Benny Peiser, tried to validate this claim, checked Oreskes’ procedure and found that only 905 of the 928 articles actually had abstracts, and that only 13 of the 905 explicitly supported the [so-called] consensus view. Some papers opposed the consensus view. Referees and editors of Science could have done their job and easily checked Oreskes’ claim, as did Peiser. They did not. Claims of consensus relieve policy bureaucrats, environmental advocates, and politicians of the need to validate claims or have any knowledge of science and are used to intimidate those who beg to differ.”
Plimer points out that the Russian Academy of Sciences completely disagrees with the IPCC. Moreover,
“the 32,000 American scientists who signed the Oregon Petition expressed serious doubt about the major conclusions of the IPCC. Many surveys now involve little time and effort as they utilize the click of a computer mouse. The process for the Oregon Petition involved filling in a printed document, finding a stamp and envelope, and posting it to the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine.
The American Physical Society stated: ‘There is a considerable presence within the scientific community of people who do not agree with the IPCC conclusion that anthropogenic CO2 emissions are very probably likely to be primarily responsible for the global warming that has occurred since the Industrial Revolution.’ ”
In December of 2008 the following was reported:
“WASHINGTON – A United Nations climate change conference in Poland is
about to get a surprise from 650 leading scientists who scoff at doomsday
reports of man-made global warming – labeling them variously a lie, a hoax
and part of a new religion.
The article cited above quoted the statements of some of the scientists. One, a Nobel-prize winner, said, “Global warming has become a new religion.” Another said that the scaremongering concerning global warming is the “worst scientific scandal in the history.” And so on. The report authored by these scientists was officially submitted in a US Senate Environment & Public Works Committee Minority Report.
I don’t know whether there was follow through on this, but the founder of the Weather Channel announced on FOX NEWS in 2008 that he and over 30,000 scientists, many of them professionals of climate and closely related sciences, had initiated action to sue Al Gore for what they claim is scientific fraud in his high-profile defense of the anthropogenic hypothesis.
Also in 2008, Vincent Gray, “expert reviewer” for the IPCC, resigned in disgust and published an exposé of what he claims is widespread and fraudulent manipulation of data at the IPCC. In his exposé Gray charges that “dubious observations and some genuine science has been distorted and ‘spun’ to support a global campaign to limit human emissions of certain greenhouse gases which has no scientific basis.”
Gray’s accusations received dramatic support in late 2009 when the Climategate scandal (covered in Part 5) revealed that the most important IPCC scientists were exchanging emails about how to twist their data in favor of the anthropogenic hypothesis and how to censor any skeptics who disagreed with them.
In 2010 it was reported that so many Royal Society fellows were “doubtful in some way about the received view of the risks of rising CO2 levels,” and were so upset with official Royal Society pronouncements on global warming that a tremendous controversy had erupted. The Society was strongly criticized for saying officially that the debate on global warming “was over.” The controversy was so heated that according to some of the scientists involved “it might not be possible for the [consensus] document to be agreed at all.”
Apparently the critics were sidelined after all, because recently the US National Academy of Sciences and the British Royal Society have come together to say that they basically agree with anything the IPCC says. But just as Royal Society statements of support for the IPCC mask a controversy among British scientists, pro-IPCC statements by the US National Academy of Sciences likewise mask a controversy among US scientists (we’ve already seen the Oregon Petition, above).
The Russian Academy of Sciences continues to state that it completely disagrees with the IPCC, and they have stated that “Global Warming is a Marketing Trick.”
And a group of international scientists have formed the NIPCC (the Non-governmental International Panel on Climate Change). These are scientists from all over the world who denounce the manner in which the IPCC has distorted the evidence and since 2009 they have been issuing reports in parallel to the IPCC, specifically refuting IPCC claims. Their latest report is from 2014.
By the way, even the Western political consensus now appears in doubt. In 2008, Tony Abbott (since 2013 the Australian prime minister) declared that global warming science was “crap.” Then, “he resigned from the frontbench in November 2009 in protest against [Malcolm] Turnbull’s support for the Rudd Government’s proposed Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS)”—a scheme based on IPCC policy recommendations (themselves based on the AGW hypothesis). “Forcing a leadership ballot on the subject, Abbott defeated Turnbull by 42 votes to 41, therefore becoming the [Liberal] party’s leader and Leader of the Opposition.” And then Abbott became prime minister in 2013. Immediately, Abbott set about nixing the post of ‘science minister’ and repealing the Australian legislation based on IPCC policy recommendations. “Australia’s climate change action has effectively ground to a halt.”
The above is already enough to establish that the idea of a ‘scientific consensus’ in favor of IPCC claims is at the very least a wild exaggeration, and perhaps an outright inversion of the truth. So, given that at least a good many (and apparently a great many) of our top climate scientists are disputing the anthropogenic hypothesis, to be a skeptic is hardly to state that our best scientists are wrong.
And as we will see in Part 5, when we examine the Climategate controversy, we now have plenty of evidence to challenge the view that IPCC scientists are among our ‘best.’
skeptics deny global warming as such? —Answer: No.
There appears to be general agreement that from 1979 to 1998 planetary temperatures rose. Let us stipulate here that they did. The question then is not whether the Earth has been warming but why. Some of us believe that human production of CO2 has nothing to do with the warming and that some other (natural) cause is responsible. Most probably the sun. But we agree that there has been some warming.
However, as I discuss below, there are two wrinkles:
1) There has been a ‘pause’ in the warming: since 1997-98 global temperatures have held steady, whereas the IPCC models all predicted runaway warming for this period.
to many, the warming that occurred from 1979 to 1998 was modest—nothing to
write home about.
is a ‘pause’ or ‘hiatus’ in the warming
The warming appears to have stopped since 1998 (some say 1997), coinciding with a decrease in solar activity that nobody disputes.
The prestigious scientific journal Nature has been a major booster of the AGW hypothesis (see Part 3), but even Nature now agrees that there has been no warming since 1997-98:
Contrary to what the IPCC claims, the 1979-1998 warming may not have been much.
The data used to argue for a dramatic planetary temperature increase comes from terrestrial measuring stations. These are plagued with problems that give the measurements a warm bias, according to a report by Joseph D’Aleo and Anthony Watts published by the Science and Public Policy Institute.
The satellite data, which do not have these problems, show nothing but a moderate temperature increase in the period 1979-1998, and therefore no actual global warming for the 20th c. as a whole. This supports the skeptics who claim that 1979-1998 shows ordinary cyclical warming—nothing to do with human activity.
D’Aleo and Watts write as follows:
“Recent revelations from the Climategate emails, originating from the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia showed how all the data centers, most notably NOAA [National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration] and NASA, conspired in the manipulation of global temperature records to suggest that temperatures in the 20th century rose faster than, in reality, they actually did.
This has inspired climate researchers worldwide to take a hard look at the data proffered by comparing it to the original data and to other data sources. . .
Five organizations publish global temperature data. Two – Remote Sensing Systems (RSS) and the University of Alabama at Huntsville (UAH) – are satellite datasets. The three terrestrial institutions – NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center (NCDC), NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS), and the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit (CRU) – all depend on data supplied by ground stations via NOAA.” [emphasis added]
So there are two main ways of computing planetary temperatures: by using satellites and by using ground measuring stations. Those who claim there has been dramatic global warming—such as the now infamous (see Part 5) University of East Anglia Climatic Research Unit (CRU)—use the surface station NOAA data.
How accurate is NOAA?
At one time, NOAA was a reliable source of data. “The world’s surface observing network,” explain D’Aleo and Watts, “had reached its golden era in the 1960s-1980s, with more than 6000 stations providing valuable climate information.” But this is no longer true. “Now, there are fewer than 1500 [stations].” What happened?
“Around 1990, NOAA began weeding out more than three-quarters of the climate measuring stations around the world. They may have been working under the auspices of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). It can be shown that they systematically and purposefully, country by country, removed higher-latitude, higher-altitude, and rural locations, all of which had a tendency to be cooler.
The thermometers were marched towards the tropics, the sea, and airports near bigger cities. These data were then used to determine the global average temperature and to initialize climate models. Interestingly, the very same stations that have been deleted from the world climate network were retained for computing the average-temperature base periods, further increasing the bias towards overstatement of warming by NOAA.” [emphasis added]
By contrast, the satellite data show only a moderate warming for the period 1979-1998. And yet, explain D’Aleo and Watts, “When the satellites were first launched, their temperature readings were in relatively good agreement with the surface station data. There has been increasing divergence over time, but the divergence does not arise from satellite errors.” The divergence is easily explained by the biased removal of terrestrial climate measuring stations in cold areas and the resulting bias in favor of urban ‘heat islands.’ Because the satellite data do not suffer from these biases, argue the authors, they can more readily be trusted.
There were warnings of these problems at least as far back as 2003, when “S. Fred Singer, professor emeritus of environmental sciences at the University of Virginia and former director of the US Weather Satellite Service,” pointed out that:
[Quote from P.R. Newswire begins here]
“The UN-IPCC science panel... based its conclusions on three major claims. And although widely publicized, none of them pass muster. They have been or are being disproved by actual data.” For example:
-- The IPCC claims the 20th century was the warmest in the past 1,000 years. This is based entirely on a manhandling of the available data. Two Canadian scientists have just published a detailed audit that exposes a shocking set of errors; it permits anyone to independently verify their counter-claim.
-- The IPCC claims the climate is currently warming. . It is contradicted not only by superior observations from weather satellites, but also by independent data from radiosondes carried on weather balloons. In addition, proxy data from tree rings, ice cores, etc. confirm that there is no significant current warming.
[Quote from P.R. Newswire begins here]
When the bias in the surface weather stations is not enough, the data is simply invented, as happened when some ‘scientists’ invented nonexistent weather stations in the Antarctic with which to claim that the southern continent had been warming (instead of cooling as the satellite data show). Among the members of the team that produced this ‘magic’ was Michael Mann, at the center of the Climategate controversy (see Part 5).
Important conclusions in the scientific literature concerning global warming may now be called into question.
For example, a much-cited study by Usoskin et al. (2005) finds that “the long-term trends in solar [activity] data and in northern hemisphere temperatures have a correlation coefficient of about 0.7 – 0.8 at a 94% to 98% confidence level.”
This is very high, and one obvious interpretation is that solar activity is mostly responsible for global temperatures. But the authors note that “the last 30 years are not considered, however. In this time, the climate [i.e. temperature] and solar data diverge strongly from each other.” This is because, according to these data, solar activity does not trend upward in the last three decades and yet the temperatures drastically do. To the authors this means that there is a “marked (or even dominant) solar effect on climate variability until the middle of the 20th century,” but “a non-solar origin of the most recent warming episode since about 1970.”
The “non-solar origin” is by obvious implication human activity. Proponents of anthropogenic global warming have loudly claimed victory on the basis of these data: the sun does not explain global temperature in recent decades. But the problem is that in the Usoskin et al.
“the terrestrial climate data we use are the reconstruction of the northern hemisphere temperature between AD 1000 and AD 1980 by Mann et al.(1999) (MBH99) and the reconstructions of northern hemisphere, southern hemisphere, and global temperatures for the period between AD 200 and AD 1980 by Mann and Jones (2003).”
In other words, for a reconstruction of global temperatures Usoskin et al. are relying on the “surface-based instrumental record.” No wonder that the close correlation between solar activity and global temperatures disappears in the last 30 years: it was precisely in the last 30 that, according to the SPPI, surface-based measuring stations were removed from cold places to give measurements a warm bias. These kinds of studies need to be redone using the satellite data.
I also note that the above reconstructions were done by the very scientists at the center of the Climategate controversy: Michael Mann and Phil Jones (see Part 5).
Many in the public believe there has been dramatic global warming because, explain D’Aleo & Watts, “in monthly press releases no satellite measurements are ever mentioned, although NOAA claimed that was the future of observations.” The satellite data do support moderate warming in the period 1979-1998. But that’s all. Nothing to write home about. So taking it as a whole, conclude D’Aleo and Watts, “it cannot be credibly asserted there has been any significant ‘global warming’ in the 20th century.”
Complementary research by Roy Spencer, a climate scientist formerly at NASA, concludes likewise that “Most U.S. Warming Since 1973 Could Be Spurious.”
His reasoning is as follows. Even if we assume that there is no bias in the distribution of surface temperature stations, with the passage of time urban structures have been growing around many of them, and this will introduce an apparent warming in the measurements because it amounts to a growth of an urban heat island (UHI) effect around these thermometers. We cannot know how much of the reported increases in temperature reflect actual global warming until this spurious warming is corrected for. But this hasn’t been done.
skeptics deny the “greenhouse effect”? —Answer: No.
In a greenhouse the glass (or plastic) roof and walls allow the sun’s rays in, and these warm the air and other things within it; but thanks to the roof and walls the heated air cannot be lost by convection as it normally would (more precisely, heat loss is slower than heat production). The so-called atmospheric “greenhouse effect” works differently but appears analogically similar, hence the name. In the atmospheric “greenhouse effect,” when the sun’s rays bombard the surface of the Earth, gases in our atmosphere trap some of the infrared radiation and prevent it from escaping back into space. This warms the air between the surface and the troposphere.
I believe the “greenhouse effect” does happen. But this does not force me to believe that large-scale changes in the Earth’s temperature are primarily due to changes in the concentrations of “greenhouse gases.” It is logically possible for the “greenhouse effect” to do its thing while other processes move the planetary temperatures dramatically up and down.
Suppose you study my body temperature in the shade and conclude that burning of calories is mostly responsible. I step into the sun and my body gets quickly warmer. Why? Because I suddenly began burning more calories? Nothing forces you to say that. On the contrary, the best hypothesis for why my body temperature suddenly increased has to do with the sun’s rays directly hitting my body. And yet recognizing this will in no way deny that my body burns calories and that calories produce heat. Similarly, when I say that big shifts in global temperatures do not follow changes in the relative abundance of certain “greenhouse gases,” but rather some other process, I am not denying that the “greenhouse effect” happens.
As an economist would say, the greenhouse gas elasticity of global temperature may be very low: perhaps even large shifts in greenhouse gas concentrations cause only very small changes in global temperatures, tiny wiggles on the truly important movements. A top climate scientists puts it like this: “If the current atmospheric CO2 content of 380 ppmv were doubled to 760 ppmv, there would be a minuscule impact on the radiation balance and the temperature.”
skeptics deny that CO2 is a “greenhouse gas”? —Answer: No.
The IPCC claims that planetary temperatures are extremely sensitive to tiny changes in CO2 concentrations. Or, as an economist would put it, that the CO2 ‘elasticity’ of global temperature is spectacularly high: a tiny amount of human-produced CO2 throws the entire planet out of balance.
CO2 is considered one of the gases that contribute to the “greenhouse effect.” Everybody agrees, however, that water vapor is by far the most important greenhouse gas, and that CO2’s effect relative to water vapor is small.
Moreover, human production of CO2 is quite small compared to naturally occurring CO2 production: “Experts estimate annual human production of CO2 at 23 billion tonnes - less than 3 per cent of nature's estimated 770 billion tonnes. Annually, nature produces 33 times more than do humans.”
The anthropogenic hypothesis thus requires that a proportionally very small increment—the human-caused increment—in the global level of a relatively unimportant greenhouse gas somehow operates a “tipping point” that puts the “greenhouse effect” into overdrive, causing a dramatic rise in the planetary temperature. That sounds a bit far-fetched, but that is precisely what the IPCC claims. As one newspaper puts it:
“The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says the earth has effectively developed an allergy to CO2. The effect of a tiny amount of CO2 in the atmosphere is amplified by water vapour and clouds in a positive feedback loop which enhances the climate's sensitivity to extra CO2 and causes ‘runaway global warming.’ That is the big Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change hypothesis.”
Those who believe, in disagreement with the IPCC, that human production of CO2 has not caused global warming, though CO2 is indeed a “greenhouse gas,” incur no necessary contradiction.
skeptics deny the evidence suggesting that atmospheric temperature and CO2
are causally linked? —Answer: No.
Those who believe in man-made global warming routinely refer us to the Antarctic ice-core evidence with which climate scientists have reconstructed a 650,000-year record of both Antarctic temperatures and CO2 levels. In fact, they seem quite sure that this is their most important evidence, and it has become famous with the public thanks to the efforts, especially, of Al Gore and his movie, An Inconvenient Truth. Like them, I accept the ice core data, and like them, I believe this data suggests that atmospheric temperature and CO2 concentrations are causally linked. The question, however, is: what causes what?
For the anthropogenic argument to make sense, higher levels of CO2 must cause higher temperatures. Should the higher temperatures (achieved by some other process) be the ones causing higher levels of CO2, then the relationship will go precisely the wrong way for the anthropogenic argument. As it turns out, in the 650,000-year record, Antarctic temperatures always rise first, and then, with an 800-year lag (give or take), rise the Antarctic levels of CO2. This is the most dramatic refutation imaginable of the anthropogenic argument’s most basic premise. For it is simply impossible for rises in CO2 to cause changes in temperature if the rises in CO2 happen second (the very principle of causality requires precedence in time).
And yet this evidence is usually presented as the most dramatic in the anthropogenic argument’s favor.
‘Orwellian’ is an adjective reserved for a media-imposed total inversion of reality, plus indifference to absurdity equal parts boldness and nonchalance (so powerful in the rash assertion of its plausibility as to convince the innocent). Loudly claiming that evidence refuting an argument is the most powerful supposedly validating selfsame argument, and daring us to disagree, is Orwellian.
In Part 2 we take a look at how proponents of the AGW hypothesis have (not) dealt with the challenge posed by the Antarctic ice-core evidence.
Below is a table of contents for the whole series.
and Further Reading
 “Can business be cool?; Companies and climate change”; The Economist, June 10, 2006, BUSINESS, 1383 words
 “Cleaning up”; The Economist, June 2, 2007, SURVEY, 1386 words
 You may watch
the full movie here:
To buy the DVD:
To watch a trailer:
 Plimer, I. (2009). Heaven and Earth: Global Warming, the Missing Science. New York: Taylor Trade Publishing. (pp.20, 452)
 HEAT OF THE MOMENT;
“Scientists abandon global warming ‘lie’ : 650 to dissent at U.N. climate
change conference”; World Net Daily; Posted: December 11, 2008
 ES ‘FALSO’ QUE EL CO2 CAUSE EL
CALENTAMIENTO: Un miembro del IPCC destapa la "gran mentira" del
cambio climático; Libertad Digital; 1 de octubre, 2008
 THE INTERGOVERNMENTAL PANEL ON
CLIMATE CHANGE (IPCC): SPINNING THE CLIMATE; by Vincent Gray
 “Society to
review climate message”; BBC News; 27 May 2010; By Roger Harrabin Environment
 Royal Society and National
Academy of Sciences join to support IPCC:
of Beaufort changed Tony Abbott's view on climate change”; The Australian;
December 12, 2009; by Stuart Rintoul
 Tony Abbott | From Wikipedia, the
 “Australia's New PM Nixes Science Minister Post at
Worst Possible Moment”; Sept. 20 2013; by Ariel Bogle
“Tony Abbott introduces legislation to repeal carbon
tax after ‘Electricity Bill’ row”; ABC.net.au; Wed 13 Nov 2013; By chief
political correspondent Emma Griffiths
“Tony Abbott's 'extreme' climate stance sets back
policy decades, critics say”; The Sydney Morning Herald; May 14, 2014; Peter
Hannam and Lisa Cox
 “SURFACE TEMPERATURE RECORDS:
POLICY DRIVEN DECEPTION?”; Science and Public Policy Institute; January 7,
2010; by Joseph D’Aleo and Anthony Watts
 Science Behind Global Warming Doesn't Uphold Scrutiny; NCPA's Experts Available to Discuss Climate Change Science; U.S. Newswire, October 30, 2003 Thursday, National Desk, 495 words
 The following was reported in the Sunday Telegraph:
[Quote from Sunday Telegraph begins here]
“...[N]othing has been more disconcerting... than the methods used by promoters of the warming cause over the years to plug some of the glaring holes in their scientific argument.
Another example last week was the much-publicised claim, contradicting all previous evidence, that Antarctica, the coldest continent, is in fact warming up, Antarctica has long been a major embarrassment to the warmists. Al Gore and Co may have wanted to scare us that the continent, which contains 90 per cent of ice on the planet, is heating up because that would be the source of all the meltwater which they claim will raise sea levels by 20 feet.
However, to provide their pictures of ice-shelves "the size of Texas'' calving off into the sea, they have had to draw on one tiny region, the Antarctic Peninsula - the only part that has been warming. The vast mass of Antarctica, all satellite evidence has shown, has been getting colder over the past 30 years. Last year's sea-ice cover was 30 per cent above average.
So it predictably made headlines last week when a new study, from a team led by Professor Eric Steig, claimed to prove that the Antarctic has been heating up after all. The usual supporters were called in to whoop up its historic importance. It was made a cover story by Nature and heavily promoted by the BBC. This, crowed journalists such as Newsweek's Sharon Begley, would really be one in the eye for the "deniers'' and "contrarians''.
The problem with Antarctica, though, is that has so few weather stations. So what the computer had been programmed to do, by a formula not yet revealed, was to estimate the data those missing weather stations would have come up with if they had existed. In other words, while confirming that the satellite data have indeed shown the Antarctic as cooling since 1979, the study relied ultimately on pure guesswork, to show that in the past 50 years the continent has warmed - by just one degree Fahrenheit.
One of the first to express astonishment was Dr Kenneth Trenberth, a senior scientist with the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and a convinced believer in global warming, who wryly observed "it is hard to make data where none exists''. A disbelieving Ross Hayes, an atmospheric scientist who has visited the Antarctic for Nasa, sent Professor Steig a caustic email ending: "With statistics you can make numbers go to any conclusion you want. It saddens me to see members of the scientific community do this for media coverage.''
But it was also noticed that among the members of Steig's team was Michael Mann, author of the "hockey stick'', the most celebrated of all attempts by the warmists to rewrite the scientific evidence to promote their cause. The greatest embarrassment for the believers in man-made global warming is the fact that the world was significantly warmer in the Middle Ages than now. "We must get rid of the Medieval Warm Period,'' as one contributor to the IPCC famously said in an unguarded moment. It was Dr Mann who duly obliged by getting his computer-model to produce a graph shaped like a hockey stick, eliminating the medieval warming and showing recent temperatures curving up to an unprecedented high.
This instantly became the warmists' chief icon, and made the centrepiece of the IPCC's 2001 report. But Mann's selective use of data and the flaws in his computer model were then so devastatingly torn apart that it has become the most discredited artefact in the history of science.
The fact that Dr Mann is behind the new study is, alas, all part of an ongoing pattern. But this will not prevent the paper being cited ad nauseam by everyone from the BBC to Al Gore. So, regardless of the science, and until the politicians wake up to how they have been duped, what threatens to become the most costly flight from reality in history will roll remorselessly on its way.
[Quote from Sunday Telegraph ends here]
SOURCE: The Sunday Telegraph (United Kingdom); January 25, 2009 Sunday; SCIENTISTS FIND GAPING HOLES IN POLAR ICE FACTS; by Christopher Booker; 748 words
 Usoskin, I. G., Schüssler, M., Solanki, S. K., &
Mursula, K. (2005). Solar Activity over the Last 1150 Years: Does it
Correlate with Climate? In F. Favata, G. Hussain, & B. Battrick (Eds.),
13th Cool Stars Workshop. Hamburg.
 “Direct Evidence that Most U.S.
Warming Since 1973 Could Be Spurious”; March 16th, 2010 by Roy W. Spencer,
 “Greenhouse Effect”; Wikipedia [consulted 28
 Plimer, I. (2009). Heaven and Earth: Global Warming, the Missing Science. New York: Taylor Trade Publishing. (p.366)
 The Advertiser (Australia), August 17, 2009 Monday, OPINION; Pg. 17, 635 words
 “Science cooks the books, driving sensible people to screaming point”; Sydney Morning Herald (Australia), November 12, 2009 Thursday, NEWS AND FEATURES; Opinion; Pg. 17, 1057 words, Miranda Devine
Notify me of new HIR pieces!