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Temperature Errors By the Climate Alarmists

By November 4, 2022Commentary

I have been reading climate research for as long as I can recall.  Even as a child I was fascinated by the stories of Ice Age cycles and the realization that inevitably we would head back to a period of colder temperatures.  As climate alarmism grew, fueled by people who really want us all living in the Stone Age, I spent more time trying to understand just the basics–how are we measuring temperature in modern times and ascertaining trends; how were we attempting to identify temperatures from pre-instrument times; what are all the factors influencing temperature.  I took two key lessons away from all my reading.  One was that the climate system is incredibly complex and anyone who claims to have a “model” that explains climate and can accurately identify changes in outputs from changes in inputs is just a liar, plain and simple.  We don’t understand the system to any degree of accuracy.

The second lesson was that the basic and fundamental data, as is often the case in science, was in dispute and that some “researchers” performed incredible “data-cleaning” and statistical tricks to get the outcome they wanted, the despicable Michael Mann being exhibit A for that practice.  Fortunately there are a few researchers who retain the integrity and the courage to do real research and to point out the flaws in what has become mainstream climate non-science.   One of those people is Dr. Roy Spencer, whose blog you should read.  Dr. Spencer thinks there is warming, some is caused by humans, but isn’t buying into the extremist nonsense pimped by those who make a fortune off supposed “renewable” energy.

Dr. Spencer’s most recent work identifies a key flaw in temperature analyses–the ability to adjust for warming that is caused by urban areas.  As we all know, a city generates a lot of heat, and that heat influences the local temperature, but has nothing to do with broader temperature or climate driven trends.  His analysis adds to concerns about the accuracy of the often-reported and relied on temperature data sets.   We already know that many temperature reporting sites are badly sited and subject to spurious warming.  We know that bogus “homogenization” and “time of day” adjustments are used that raise actual reported temperatures.  And it appears that these official data sets also fail to adjust properly for the urban heat island effect.  Dr. Spencer calculates that this has increased reported warming by 40% to 50%.   (Spencer Post)

So whenever you read anything about supposed global warming, just remember that the increase in temperature, if any, if greatly exaggerated, to the point that what remains is likely due to natural variation.  Meanwhile, we spend trillions on expensive and unreliable renewable energy when we could be pursuing nuclear and fossil fuels, as China and other major competitor nations are doing.

Join the discussion 6 Comments

  • MLR says:

    The idea that mankind can control the temperature of the earth is of same sort of magical thinking that posits a man can change into a woman and vice versa.It seems that the Left specializes in this sort of disordered thinking.

  • Dan says:

    Do you remember the global cooling scare of the 70s? Lot of magazine stories and books were published.

  • John Oh says:

    You had me at models. I also go back to the East Anglia email leak that showed Mann and others working to suppress publication of papers with data that didn’t support his narrative. Real scientists don’t suppress data, they argue with it until they’re blue in the face. But we live in a sentence before verdict world.

    • Me says:

      John…. as I noted earlier, they tried to suppress my paper which noted that they had conspired via e-mail to suppress the papers of others.

  • Me says:

    The urban heat sink effect and impact of the urbanization of areas around once isolated meteorology stations on projections using historic temperature data is something I have been reading about for AT LEAST 30 years, and has never been adequately addressed.

    I got caught up in this mess back around 2010, when I wrote a research ethics paper on government or political interference in medical research for Cato, and then had an editor ask for examples from other fields when we tried to publish in World Medical and Health Policy. ClimateGate was in the news, so I mentioned that as well as a case where the USEPA suppressed an analysis from one of its economists in pressing forward with ruling that carbon dioxide was a “pollutant.” I had mentioned that Mann et al were accused of trying to pressure editors into suppressing critical or contradictory results to their models, and lo and behold, the Vice Chancellor of the University of East Anglia wrote my editor demanding that the paper be withdrawn. I just happened to be on the editorial board for the journal, so it wasn’t withdrawn and I was allowed to respond – providing devasting proof of the Mann cartel’s actions from their own released e-mails, and including a discussion of how “skepticism” is the fundamental virtue of science, and that Mann et al were demanding a return to a pre-Enlightenment reliance on charismatic authority rather than scientific skepticism.

    I found an editorial in the UM student paper attacking me as a climate change “science denier” over them – even though I made no statement that either opposing or supported the existence of the phenomena, as the paper focused on examples of political pressures for ethical violations. Climate wasn’t even my motivation – I had experienced pressure from a CDC PHPPO officer to not publish my dissertation from the U’s Health Services Research program because it questioned whether the CLIA regulations had any effectiveness, and I had two papers embargoed by Judy Monroe (then Commissioner of the Indiana State Department of Health, now head of the CDC foundation – ISDH had funded the project) because she felt one might embarrass her by pointing out flu preparedness issues in the state (which is exactly what we signed a contract to identify), the other because it would embarrass CDC as it pointed out psychometric problems in their flu preparedness assessment tool. I have experienced NO pressure to adjust results in my current private sector job – my CEO believes that honest analysis prevents money-losing mistakes – but my experience with government (except work I did on contract for the military – where bad information could cost lives) and academia was eye-opening.

  • John OH says:

    wow. thanks for adding your personal experience to what we all know is going on.

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