The Biggest Science Scandal Ever?

imageWhen future generations look back on the global-warming scare of the past 30 years, nothing will shock them more than the extent to which the official temperature records ‚Äì on which the entire panic ultimately rested ‚Äì were systematically “adjusted” to show the Earth as having warmed much more than the actual data justified. –Christopher Booker, The Sunday Telegraph, 8 February 2015

Of much more serious significance, however, is the way this wholesale manipulation of the official temperature record ‚Äì for reasons GHCN and Giss have never plausibly explained ‚Äì has become the real elephant in the room of the greatest and most costly scare the world has known. This really does begin to look like one of the greatest scientific scandals of all time. –Christopher Booker, The Sunday Telegraph, 8 February 2015

How much warmer is the Arctic now than it was 80 years ago? Quite a lot, according to GISS. But can we trust their figures? I can now confirm that similar “cooling the past” adjustments have been carried out in the Arctic region, and that the scale and geographic range of these is breathtaking. Nearly every current station from Greenland, in the west, to the heart of Siberia (87E), in the east, has been altered in this way. The effect has been to remove a large part of the 1940’s spike, and as consequence removed much of the drop in temperatures during the subsequent cold decades. –Paul Homewood, Not A Lot Of People Know That, 4 February 2015

Has the Arctic warmed up since the 19thC, which is said to have been the coldest time since the Ice Age? Definitely. Has the Arctic warmed up since the cold period in the 1960’s and 70’s? Certainly. But take away these temperature adjustments, none of which have ever been remotely justified, and it is questionable if the Arctic really is significantly warmer than the 1930’s and 40’s. Remember, too, that most of the Arctic has no temperature readings at all, and is simply infilled from stations hundreds of miles away. –Paul Homewood, Not A Lot Of People Know That, 4 February 2015

Christopher Booker thinks NOAA is distorting global land temperature data to inflate reported global warming, and fan the flames of climate alarmism. Dr. Kevin Cowtan contends Booker is wrong. Dr. Cowtan trusts that NOAA’s adjustments are justified and correct, and he also says they are too minor to be questionable. “Why would they do that?” he asks at the end of his video, meaning why would anyone commit fraud for an inconsequential difference in the result? –Dave Burton, Sea Level Info, 9 February 2015

I don’t know with certainty whether or not NOAA’s adjustments are all justified and correct, but I found Dr. Cowtan’s argument unpersuasive, for two reasons. The first reason is that he’s assuming that fraudulent intent is the only possible explanation for biased results, but it isn’t. If the results are biased to exaggerate warming, it could also be due to confirmation bias or simple error, by people with the best of intentions. However, Dr. Cowtan’s argument also depends on the adjustments being inconsequential, and they are not. I found that NOAA’s adjustments  increased the reported warming by 35%. 35% is not inconsequential. –Dave Burton, Sea Level Info, 9 February 2015