Global warming – or just hot air?
Column by Edward R. Long, Ph.D.
Columns, letters: firstname.lastname@example.org
On Nov. 19 a message was provided on the World Wide Web that 168 megabites of e-mail correspondence, computer code, and documents from the computers of the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit (UEA’s CRU) were being released. The initial take was this had been done by a hacker. More recent news documents that a portion of the files had been sent to the BBC a month earlier (ref-1) and that the release may have been from a whistle blower.
There has been some speculation (ref-2) that the gathering of the information may have been done months earlier by the very people who are the subjects of the scandal now called Climategate. At this time which of the three paths leading to Climategate is not known, but eventually that will be determined. The story of Climategate is important, even in the amusing format presented by Jon Stewart (ref-3). From what those at the CRU, and other organizations, have done flows our own House of Representatives’ Cap and Trade Bill, aka the Waxman-Markey Bill. I am not an entertainer such as Stewart, I am a physicist retired from NASA, so my version is more serious and, in spite of what any advocate of anthropological global warming may choose to believe or state, it is factual – except for comments in square brackets.
A little bit of history leading up to Climategate
Two presentations are at the root of the prediction that anthropogenic carbon dioxide (CO2) will cause a global increase in temperature: (1) the November 1987 congressional testimony by NASA scientist Dr. James E. Hansen and, (2), the 1990 (first assessment) report by the International Panel on Climate Change. In his 1987 testimony, Dr. Hansen included a written statement that a doubling of CO2 concentration would likely occur approximately mid-21st century (actually 2030) at which time the global temperature would have increased 2.5 to 5.5 oC (4.5 to 9.9 oF). In his verbal testimony he indicates a smaller magnitude increase, 1.25 oC (2.25 oF), by that date. The 1990 IPCC Assessment Report predicted a 0.3 oC (0.54 oF) per decade increase during the 21st century, a total of 1.8 oC (3.24 oF) by the mid century, due to anthropological CO2. The report also stated that the mean air surface temperature had increased 0.3 to 0.6 C (0.54 to 1.08 oF) over the preceding 100 years.
[The IPCC has subsequently published three additional assessment reports: Assessment Report 2 (1995), Assessment Report 3 (2001), and Assessment Report 4 (2007).]
Almost immediately following the IPPC’s first report, even before Hansen’s presentation, those who advocated anthropological global warming (AGW) began vehemently arguing that AGW was a fact and that the matter had been settled after what they termed “ad nauseam” discussion. But, like it or not the discussion has never taken place, much less settled. The IPCC states in one of its fact sheets (ref-4) that it had 2,500 scientific reviewers and more than 450 contributing authors. That is their basis for claim to authority on the subject of global warming, although many of the 2,500 have complained, as reviewers, they did not agree with the IPCC conclusions (ref-5).
(Keep in mind that the IPCC’s charter is to investigate only man-made causes of global warming.)
Yet, more than 31,400 American scientists and engineers have signed the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine disputing the IPCC’s claims (ref-6). In the U.S. Senate Minority Report, March 16, 2009, over 700 international scientists dissented over the claims of AGW (ref-7). If you accept the inference from the IPCC numbers of the number of scientists supporting the IPCC findings then you must also accept the numbers of those who contest the findings. These are established numbers and you may argue with them until you are blue in the face, and at risk of a stroke – but you can not alter them. The debate in the science and engineering communities has never been settled. As we shall see below, when we finally get to what has been exposed by Climategate, an inner circle of scientists who support the IPCC has never let it take place.
[One comment aside: During my 37 years working at NASA I witnessed cliques of scientist/engineers who excluded those who did not agree with the clique’s technical positions or who might jeopardize their level of funding simply because the latters’ research showed weakness in the clique’s work. I also saw the same pertaining to who was allowed into the inner circles of some professional societies. I did not like that this occurred, but the fact is this may be a very ugly aspect of human societies, called tribalism. But – and this is equally true – I have never witnessed or heard in science of the degree of deceit, fraud, and absolute scam used to control who’s voice was heard as has been exposed in the case of Climategate. I am angry with the individuals who have been exposed. They have denigrated the image of science, not that they have been scientific themselves. They have been entirely political, and, as seems to be the case, whenever there is political motivation it is for power and control, and values are abandoned. Now back to the story.]
The IPCC’s conclusion that human consumption of hydrocarbon fuels is the cause of global warming was based on a plot in Chapter 2, page 134, of the IPCC’s 2001 report (ref-8). The plot was created Dr. Michael Mann, originally at UVa. and now at Penn State. In 2003 Stephen McIntyre and Dr. Ross McKitrick challenged this plot, which became known as the “Hockey Stick.”
(Keep in mind in 2005, after he had shown Mann’s Hockey Stick curve was entirely incorrect, McIntyre was selected by the IPCC to be one of its report reviewers (ref-9). So, in spite of those who argue differently, Steven McIntyre is a recognized expert, even by the IPCC.)
The insult of Mann’s Hockey Stick is twofold: (1) As John Daley showed (ref-10), the IPCC’s 1995 Report established that from about 1000 AD to 1300 AD temperatures were in excess of what they are today. This was called the Medieval Warm Period. Beginning about 1300 AD and ending about 1950 the Earth experienced a cool period, called the Little Ice Age. There is abundant recorded historical information, as well as proxy data, for these two periods. But in the 2001 report the IPCC threw all of that out the door and accepted the Mann Hockey Stick curve which entirely did away with the Warm Period and the Cool Period. (2) As McIntyre and McKitrick proved, Mann’s Hockey Stick was based on incorrect statistical techniques and questionable data (ref-11), (ref-12), (ref-13).
After the Hockey Stick Curve was shown not to be correct Mann insisted it was. Moreover, a colleague of Mann’s, Dr. Michael Briffa, presented a report based on tree-ring proxy data showing still another version of the Hockey Stick curve. This became known as the Yamal data, the story of which can be found in layman terms (ref-14). The figure central to the Yamal controversy is shown below. If you look closely at this figure you will see that Briffa’s data, in green, ends at 1960. The general impression is that it merges smoothly into instrument data, shown in red. Such a merger implies that the modern-day portion of the Briffa data agrees with the instrument data, and thus its historical portion is correct in showing there was no warmer period in history, and thus the current temperatures are higher than any time in history. That is, there was no Medieval Warm Period.
Figure central to the Yamal controversy
It took McIntyre from 2006 to mid 2009 to obtain the complete set of Briffa data. As the next figure shows, there was a portion of Briffa data (“Briffa not shown” in the plot), for those recent years sin which there was warming, that does not agree with instrumental data. The point to be taken from the lack of agreement with instrumental data is that the historical data has no credibility.
Figure comparing Briffa and Instrumental data
When McIntyre closely studied the data, and the plots Briffa published, he determined that although there were as many as 34 core data sets, Briffa used only 12 by 1988, 10 by 1990, and 5 by 1995. In other words, Briffa had, for some reason, selected only a portion of the available data, less and less as the years became more current. When McIntyre used the entire set for the entire time span he found very different results, as shown in the following plot, where the red line is Briffa’s plot of the data using the limited number of cores and the black line is a plot of the entire set of Yamal core data. The black line indicates there is no upswing as Briffa showed. If there is a trend it is a decrease. In other words, Briffa cherry picked the cores he used in order to show an increase.
Figure – Briffa plot (CRU Archive) using limited cores and the entire Yamal set, the Schweingruber Variation
Thus, by mid 2009, this year, skeptics of global warming knew the data used by the CRU and the IPCC were falsified. Add to this the following, to name a few issues:
1-Journals were refusing to publish papers written by those who challenged AGW,
2-Experimental data was showing the modeled predictions were incorrect,
3-Discovery had been made that the instrumental temperature data supporting the IPCC message had been manipulated,
4-Many of the temperature measurement stations failed to meet NOAA standards, and
5-Cooling has been taking place since the early 2000s.
These, and other issues, have led skeptics for the past 15, or more, years to conclude man has little or nothing to do with global climate. And then Climategate occurred.
Simply put, Climategate is the scandal caused by the disclosure of e-mails, computer codes, and documents that the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit (CRU) and other organizations over the years have practiced deceit and fraud. An initial list of 33 revelations in the e-mails may be found here (ref-15). If you think the content of the revelations are taken out of context you are incorrect. Here is a reference to the entire collection of e-mails (ref-16). My advice, take the time to read rather than screaming there is a foul when there is none. The content of these e-mails show the CRU and other organizations
– falsified data to cover up their inability to explain climate trends,
– hid, misidentified, and destroyed raw data so it could not be used to check their results,
– forced scientific journals to not publish reports that disagreed with their reports, and
– had journal editors fired who disagreed with them.
And these are just a few of the things discovered.
The people at the CRU and the other organizations knew temperatures were decreasing and they were upset their models did not explain why. They concluded the measurement techniques were incorrect rather than even asking if their models were lacking. The worst aspect of the modeling code is that in the code disclosures are explicit remarks by the CRU that they were intentionally inserting fudge factors, either to force a results or to cover up a lack of knowledge in the modeling (ref-17), (ref-18). The documents show even more, for example (ref-19), (ref-20).
The overriding aspect of Climategate is the intellectual dishonesty. Dishonesty caused by an attempt to manage political thinking, and to receive financial support through grants and contracts. Dishonesty caused by a warped set of values that would lead to destruction of economy, standards of living, and society wellness if recommendations were implemented – all to promote and sustain a lie regarding global climate.
If you are interested who these people are, view a video that may be reached below (at ref-21). You will learn their names, their affiliations, and what the files (hacked or whistle blown) show they have done. The names include: Phil Jones, Ph.D.; Michael Mann, Ph.D.; Gavin Schmidt, Ph.D.; Tom Wigley, Ph.D.; Kevin Trenberth, Sc.D.; Thomas Karl, M.S.; James Hansen; Ph.D.; and Keith Briffa, Ph.D – to name a few. These people are not just members of the CRU and similar organizations. They are the authors and editors of the IPCC who controlled who was heard and the message being conveyed to the world. These are the scientists who provided the material that governments have used to justify carbon taxes and other forms of government intervention and regulation, such as the Cap and Tax Bill passed by our U.S. House of Representatives.
For five recent British newspaper articles on Climategate, see below (ref-22), (ref-23), (ref-24), (ref-25), (ref-26). The Washington Post and New York Times, and CBS, NBC, ABC, etc., have seen fit not to meet their responsibilities to inform their readers and viewers of the above content. And yes, it is a responsibility of these media to do this. They certainly thought it was when it pertained to the disclosure of U.S. military classified information.
There is more scandal that is being, and will be, exposed. There is information that indicate New Zealand’s National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) has been faking temperatures (ref-27). Selections made of temperatures have biased the understanding of Australia’s temperatures to be higher than they are (ref-28). The Director of the NOAA’s U.S. National Climate Data Center, NCDC, has suppressed information on the biasing of temperature readings in the U.S. And so there is an appearance of higher temperatures than there actually are (ref-29).
And as this scandal becomes more public and the AGW Ship begins to sink, the rats will try to save their own hides (ref-30), (ref-31), (ref-32).
For still more on this subject: (ref-33).
UVA Basketball Fans!
Dick Vitale on Team of Destiny: “This is a hoops story you will LOVE! Jerry and Chris capture the sensational and dramatic championship journey by Tony Bennett and his tenacious Cavalier team. UVA was Awesome Baby and so is this book!”
Ralph Sampson on Team of Destiny: “Jerry and Chris have lived and seen it all, even before my time. I highly recommend this book to every basketball fan across the globe. This story translates to all who know defeat and how to overcome it!”
Feedback from buyers: “Got the Book in the Mail Saturday, and could not put it down! Great read and great photography as well! Love all of the books I’ve received, but hands down, this is my favorite!” – Russell