Global warming claims 'based on false data'greenspun.com : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread
Global warming claims 'based on false data' By Robert Matthews -- Telegraph (British)
Link -- Research should not be dismissed by sceptics Link -- Scientists' discoveries give lie to doom-monger predictions
FRESH doubt has been cast on evidence for global warming following the discovery that a key method of measuring temperature change has exaggerated the warming rate by almost 40 per cent. Studies of temperature records dating back more than a century have seemed to indicate a rise in global temperature of around 0.5 ░ C, with much of it occurring since the late 1970s. This has led many scientists to believe that global warming is under way, with the finger of blame usually pointed at man-made pollution such as carbon dioxide.
Now an international team of scientists, including researchers from the Met Office in Bracknell, Berkshire, has found serious discrepancies in these temperature measurements, suggesting that the amount of global warming is much less than previously believed.
The concern focuses on the temperature of the atmosphere over the sea, which covers almost three quarters of the Earth's surface. While scientists use standard weather station instruments to detect warming on land, they have been forced to rely on the crews of ships to make measurements over the vast ocean regions.
Crews have taken the temperature by dipping buckets into the sea or using water flowing into the engine intakes. Scientists have assumed that there is a simple link between the temperature of seawater and that of the air above it.
However, after analysing years of data from scientific buoys in the Pacific that measure sea and air temperatures simultaneously, the team has found no evidence of a simple link. Instead, the seawater measurements have exaggerated the amount of global warming over the seas, with the real temperature having risen less than half as fast during the 1970s than the standard measurements suggest.
Reporting their findings in the influential journal Geophysical Research Letters, the scientists say that the exact cause of the discrepancy is not known. One possibility is that the atmosphere responded faster than the sea to cooling events such as volcanic eruptions.
The findings have major implications for the climate change debate because the sea temperature measurements are a key part of global warming calculations. According to the team, replacing the standard seawater data with the appropriate air data produces a big cut in the overall global warming rate during the last 20 years, from around 0.18íC per decade to 0.13íC.
This suggests that the widely-quoted global warming figure used to persuade governments to take action over greenhouse gases exaggerates the true warming rate by almost 40 per cent. The team is now calling for climate experts to switch from seawater data to sea-air temperature measurements.
One member of the team, David Parker, of the Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research at the Met Office, said that the discovery of the discrepancy "shows we don't understand everything, and that we need better observations - all branches of science are like that". Yet according to Mr Parker, the new results do not undermine the case for global warming: "It is raising questions about the interpretation of the sea-surface data."
Even so, the findings will be seized on by sceptics as more evidence that scientists have little idea about the current rate of global warming, let alone its future rate. Climate experts are still trying to explain why satellites measuring the temperature of the Earth have detected little sign of global warming - despite taking measurements during supposedly the warmest period on record.
Some researchers suspect that the fault may again lie with the ground-based temperature measurements. They say that many of the data come from stations surrounded by growing urban sprawl, whose warmth could give a misleading figure. A study of data taken around Vienna, Austria, between 1951 and 1996 found that the air temperature rose by anything from zero to 0.6íC, depending on precisely where the measurements were made.
RELATED HEADLINES -- 4 January 2001: Alps may crumble as permafrost melts 15 December 2000: Unseasonal heat wave upsets Europe's balance of nature 23 November 2000: World 'has not got any warmer since 1940' 15 August 2000: Rethink by global warming expert 6 August 2000: Falling sea level upsets theory of global warming 8 October 1999: Warming 'has no effect on rising seas'
-- Jackson Brown (Jackson_Brown@deja.com), July 12, 2001
About three years ago the US Weather service finished replacing all the mercury thermometers with electronic thermometers. According to a local weathercaster the electronic thermometers read two degrees warmer, thus skewing the data in the US.
-- Rick Voorhes (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 12, 2001.
Thnak you, thank you, thank you, Jackson Brown, for throwing some true light on this idiotic global warming frenzy that is engulfing us all.
-- Wellesley (email@example.com), July 12, 2001.
However, the credit belongs to the vast majority of the scientists in the National Academy of Science, and others, who have openly rebelled against Kyoto.
CO2 IS in creasing in the atmosphere - AND -- the world is warming. However, the connection between the two is what is at the heart of the dispute. The most "potent" of so called green house gases is H20...water vapor. There is significant evidence that 95% of the causes of the warming is likely solar activity, plus the resultant evaporation of water (sea and ocean levels have DROPPED from evaporation, not risen!). More to the point, this warming is considered by the MAJORITY of scientists as quite possibly part of the normal ebb and flow of long term climate cycles that earth experiences.
The earth is much, MUCH, cooler than it was 1000 years ago.
As Frederick Seitz -- Past President, National Academy of Sciences wrote: """This treaty [kyoto] is, in our opinion, based upon flawed ideas. Research data on climate change do not show that human use of hydrocarbons is harmful. To the contrary, there is good evidence that increased atmospheric carbon dioxide is environmentally helpful.
The proposed agreement would have very negative effects upon the technology of nations throughout the world, especially those that are currently attempting to lift from poverty and provide opportunities to the over 4 billion people in technologically underdeveloped countries.""
If you go to -- http://www.oism.org/pproject/
This is the site for the scientific community's petition against the treaty.
It will help give you a view of the scientific opposition to the treaty and WHY. 17,000+ scientists have signed it to date, compared to the 1700 that signed the IIPC report. News links are numerous.
ALSO - for those who can understand more technical explanations -- http://www.john-daly.com/ is a site LOADED with information.
It is my view we need to: 1 - depoliticize science and who gets heard regarding a possible threat to the earth!
2 - quit scaring the people (especially children) to death and discuss this in a manner that produces insight and understanding, not rely on polarized factions screaming at each other across the picket lines as our way of discussing the matter.
3 - put a small fraction of what Kyoto would cost into funding research on a grand scale.
4 - don't bankrupt a struggling world with steps that would/could destroy a world economy that is tumbling as we speak, when there is a 10 to 1 majority of scientists that dispute/question the most basic premis behind the hysteria: that man's activities are causing global warming.
-- Jackson Brown (Jackson_Brown@deja.com), July 13, 2001.
The world is warming, you say? (Well, yes; just ask the glaciers, the tundra, the Alpine permafrost; never mind the thermomenters.) And we do know that CO2 contributes to this, however fractionally? And that, of all the causes of the warming, CO2 emission is one we can influence?
Mr. Brown, do you wait until your kitchen is so filthy that your family is starting to get sick before you clean it?
It's a bitch to my personal home economy to spend time in nonproductive work like cleaning up--but I do it anyway.
As for not scaring people: some of the reports from the computer dudes about what they had to do to management to get any support in fixing Y2K indicates that some people just won't budge their backsides until they're scared. I don't like it, personally; in an ideal world, we would deal with problems without wasting energy on high emotion. But when you start focusing on how the world should be, the way it actually is clubs you from behind.
So what if world economy has to grow a little more slowly than a cancer? What's the rush?
-- L. Hunter Cassells (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 13, 2001.
Mr. L. Hunter Cassells
Did you just skip over this part:
"As Frederick Seitz -- Past President, National Academy of Sciences wrote: """This treaty [kyoto] is, in our opinion, based upon flawed ideas. Research data on climate change do not show that human use of hydrocarbons is harmful. To the contrary, there is good evidence that increased atmospheric carbon dioxide is environmentally helpful.
If you doubt this premise -- and -- since you say "we KNOW" that CO2 contributes to global warming, that you have some definitive evidence to challange the statement by Dr. Seitz above.
J. Bertrium Brown
-- Jackson Brown (Jackson_Brown@deja.com), July 13, 2001.
Scientists and Their Political Passions By Robert L. Park
Copyright 1998 The New York Times May 2, 1998
WASHINGTON -- I received a note a few weeks ago, urging me to sign a petition card opposing the global climate change accord. So, it seems, did just about every scientist in the United States. The note was signed by Frederick Seitz, a physicist who once served as president of the National Academy of Sciences.
An accompanying article that looked like a reprint from the academy's journal explained what we can all do to make this a better world: burn more hydrocarbons.
This was a new concept for me. Maybe I should crank up the thermostat and trade my fuel-efficient car for a sports-utility gas guzzler? I wanted to learn more, but there was no letterhead, and the only return address was a post office box in La Jolla, Calif.
The National Academy of Sciences disavowed any connection with the petition. The article had not been published in the academy's journal -- or anywhere else. Moreover, a study conducted by the academy had reached the opposite conclusion.
If scientists all have access to the same data, why, you might wonder, is there such passionate disagreement? What separates the two sides may not be so much an argument over the scientific facts, scientific laws or even the scientific method, but profoundly different political and religious views.
Most climatologists agree that as a result of increased burning of fossil fuels, the temperature of the earth has gone up perhaps 0.7 degrees Fahrenheit since the start of the masses, including many of the world's great cities, may be flooded in the next century by rising sea levels as the polar caps melt.
Drastic changes in rainfall patterns could wreak havoc on food production.
"Nonsense!" insists a highly vocal minority. The increase in carbon dioxide is actually "a wonderful and unexpected gift from the Industrial Revolution," to quote an opinion article published a few months ago in The Wall Street Journal. These optimists say that carbon dioxide stimulates plant growth, making the world more lush and productive, and that our unrationed burning of hydrocarbons allows the world to support a larger population -- fulfilling the biblical injunction to "be fruitful and multiply."
The great war over global warming, then, is more about values than it is about science. It sounds like a scientific debate, with numbers and equations tossed back and forth. The antagonists themselves may even believe they are engaged in such a debate. But the average scientist is exposed to religious and political views at his mother's knee, long before he is exposed to science.
Such views have a way of occupying whatever gaps are present in scientific understanding. And there are gaps aplenty in the climate debate. There are holes in the data and uncertainties in the computer models, and small changes in the assumptions could result in very different projections. Both sides acknowledge these limitations. But to allow unlimited growth in greenhouse emissions is a reckless acceleration of a global experiment the industrialized world is already engaged in -- the consequences of which are potentially catastrophic. Until the numbers are in, however, it's easy to be misled.
hat brings us back to the petition. The source turned out to be the tiny Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine, based in Cave Junction. I don't know how many petition cards were sent out, but I can guess who paid for the mailing. There is a well-financed campaign by the petroleum industry to recruit scientists who are skeptical about global warming to help convert journalists, politicians and the public to their views. Few of the scientists who received the petition are climate experts -- and there aren't any in Cave Junction either.
But when uncertainty abounds, scientific judgment has a way of conforming to the religious and political views of the scientist. As for me, global warming or not, my mother taught me to keep the thermostat down.
Robert L. Park, a physics professor at the University of Maryland, is author of the forthcoming "Voodoo Science."
-- Martin Thompson (email@example.com), July 14, 2001.
Martin - you neglected to post the follow up post.
May 2, 1998
Dr. Robert L. Park American Physical Society Washington DC
Dear Dr. Park:
I read with some concern your OP-ED piece, "Scientists and Their Political Passions" which appeared in the May 2, 1998 edition of the New York Times. First, you trivialized one of our country's outstanding scientists, Frederick Seitz, and then you state that "most climatologists agree that as a result of increased burning of fossil fuels, the temperature of the earth has gone up perhaps 0.7 degrees." Yes, in the past 100 years the temperature has gone up perhaps that much but a great part of it was a rebound from the end of the little ice age. Even the most dedicated global warmer does not believe that all or even most of this temperature change was caused by human activity. But perhaps you would prefer to live in those much colder times. You also infer, most incorrectly, that the Petition Project was financed by the petroleum industry. It certainly was was not; it was funded by individuals like me, a few dollars here - a few dollars there. Over two thirds of the signers have advanced degrees in science or technology. There was no corporate funding or funding by any tax exempt organization. I think you owe an apology to Dr. Robinson and his co-workers for inferring that they are somehow in the pay of industry. I also think you should examine the professional credentials of the scientists at the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine and their research program, then perhaps you be a little less abusive of that organization.
At the end of your OP-ED article, it is mention that you are the author of a forthcoming book "Voodoo Science." Perhaps you should include in this book your New York Times article as an example of voodoo commentary.
Malcolm, Ph.D. Scientist Emeritus U.S. Geological Survey, MS 954 Reston, VA 20192 (703) 648-6760 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
-- Jackson Brown (Jackson_Brown@deja.com), July 15, 2001.
No I was not negligent. I choose to post what I want to post. I am very curious as to who is pushing this Global Warning petition. So far I really haven't found the source. Maybe you can enlighten the readers as to who is behind the PO box in La Jolla CA.
-- Martin Thompson (email@example.com), July 15, 2001.
PS I really don't know who you are either. Responses to your post keep bouncing back.
Hi. This is the qmail-send program at greenspun.com.
I'm afraid I wasn't able to deliver your message to the following addresses. This is a permanent error; I've given up. Sorry it didn't work out.
Jackson_Brown@deja.com: 188.8.131.52 does not like recipient. Remote host said: 550 5.1.1
... User unknown Giving up on 184.108.40.206.
-- Martin Thompson (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 15, 2001.
To try and answer your question about who is behind the petition:
The Petition Project was started by Dr. Frederick Seitz Past President, National Academy of Sciences, U.S.A. President Emeritus, Rockefeller University (In New York) http://www.rockefeller.edu/
ONE of the Organizations that "facilitates" the counting and verifications of signatures (as well as signers credentials, etc.) is:
The Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine ""a small research institute founded in 1980 to conduct basic and applied research in subjects immediately applicable to improvements in human life"
Their web site is http://www.oism.org/ -- This site includes the what and where their facilities are (it will become evident -- it was to me -- why they have a PO Box).
OISM also host the Petition Projects web site -- The Petition project's web site is http://www.oism.org/pproject/s33p357.htm
As for why the LaJolla address, I don't know -- but -- you can go to the Petition Projects web site and get e-mail addresses to ask.
I do know that there are a great many people/groups/organizations all over the country that volunteer to help with the petition. There would have to be to verify 17,000+ signatures and credentials in 3-4 years. I suspect that one of the people or organizations is handling the mailing for the project in Calif. (but that is just a guess).
As for my e-mail that I have registered with GICC, when Deja News was bought out by Google, some/all/most (?) -- of the @deja.com addresses went bye bye.
At least that seems to be what happened. I briefly tried to check this out when I checked after what you wrote here.
In any case, I will reregister at GICC with a new e-mail soon. (probably after my vacation in a few weeks)
-- Jackson Brown (Jackson_Brown@deja.com), July 15, 2001.
New E-mail address
-- Jackson Brown (JacksonBrown@e-mail-me.com), July 16, 2001.
I hesitate to jump into this thread, as I readily admit I don't know anything adequate about it (my college training was in biology, my advanced degrees are in medicine and in public health & epidemiology with heavy biostatistics -- so, I *know* I don't know enough about this technical topic, despite my own advanced science background).
I do get worried when discussions degenerate into "50 suppposed learned experts signed this letter" versus "500 signed this other letter": this is a sign things have moved far from the science, such as it may be, and into the realm of useless emotion.
Anyhow, here's one great Web resource with what seem to be balanced discussions of what we know versus what we can only infer (and dispute!), and whether it means anything: the journal _Consequences_, which apparently isn't published anymore.
I have had only a few minutes to skim some of the articles, but they seem to be accessible and well-reasoned. My eye caught editorial statements along the lines of "who knows, come back in 20 years to see" and articles discussing, for example, the long-term climate history of Planet Earth and the limits of climate modeling. A number of the articles seem worth my fulll consideration, so I have printed them for reading over the weekend.
My own suspicions: None of the data are adequate to say "human influence on global climate is clearly trivial" nor to say "if we don't do something now the biosphere is clearly doomed." We just don't know. Come back in 20, 50, 100 years and we'll find out.
But, as Samuel Johnson wrote several centuries ago (I paraphrase), "Sometimes knowledge is adequate for action but inadequate to satisfy the intellect."
The issue for me is: in the face of uncertainty that won't be resolved for a long time, what if [your own position, whatever it is] is wrong? Can you afford to be wrong?
(This rather resembles the situation faced in preparing for Y2K, lo these many years ago: What if you are wrong? If you do nothing, and you are wrong, what then? Conversely, if you prepare to excess, and you are wrong, what then? In that case, making preparations seemed prudent to me, personally...and hopefully will turn out to be useful for whatever else may come, anticipated or not.)
I don't claim to know whether human activity due to the Industrial Revolution and its aftermath is indeed influencing climate, or whether current trends are merely a "short-term" blip, or what. Frankly, if human activity *is* in fact relevant, with my usual pessimism I suspect it's too late. I am pessimistic that Kyoto or any other treaty will actually have a meaningful impact, whether or not the U.S. participates. "The era of procrastination, of half measures, of delays, is coming to its close. In its place we are entering a period of consequences...we cannot avoid this period; we are in it now." (Winston Churchill on the eve of WW2)
Just my uneducated 2 cents.
-- Andre Weltman (email@example.com), July 19, 2001.