Lies, damn lies, and Russian statistics on global warming
Where propaganda, bureaucracy and a lot of funds converge:
A surreal scientific blunder last week raised a huge question mark about the temperature records that underpin the worldwide alarm over global warming. On Monday, Nasa’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS), which is run by Al Gore’s chief scientific ally, Dr James Hansen, and is one of four bodies responsible for monitoring global temperatures, announced that last month was the hottest October on record.
We even had snow here in Princeton, which is the earliest snow I can recall in 19 years of living here. We weren’t the only ones:
In the US, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration registered 63 local snowfall records and 115 lowest-ever temperatures for the month, and ranked it as only the 70th-warmest October in 114 years.
As it turns out, Hansen was going by data provided by the Russians, who lied. What!? The Russians, lie? Who’d have thunk it!
So what explained the anomaly? GISS’s computerised temperature maps seemed to show readings across a large part of Russia had been up to 10 degrees higher than normal. But when expert readers of the two leading warming-sceptic blogs, Watts Up With That and Climate Audit, began detailed analysis of the GISS data they made an astonishing discovery. The reason for the freak figures was that scores of temperature records from Russia and elsewhere were not based on October readings at all. Figures from the previous month had simply been carried over and repeated two months running.
This brings up an issue that so far hasn’t been explored: the validity of Russian data, not that anyone’s in any hurry to look into that; as TigerHawk said,
Call me a cynic, but I expect there will be few, if any, climate scientists willing to write the grant application to investigate the Russian temperature data more closely, and in any case no money will be forthcoming.
But back to The Telegraph article, to cover up that mistake, Hansen came up with a whopper:
The error was so glaring that when it was reported on the two blogs – run by the US meteorologist Anthony Watts and Steve McIntyre, the Canadian computer analyst who won fame for his expert debunking of the notorious “hockey stick” graph – GISS began hastily revising its figures. This only made the confusion worse because, to compensate for the lowered temperatures in Russia, GISS claimed to have discovered a new “hotspot” in the Arctic – in a month when satellite images were showing Arctic sea-ice recovering so fast from its summer melt that three weeks ago it was 30 per cent more extensive than at the same time last year.
This would be risible if it weren’t that Hansen’s epic mistake figures are used by countless organizations and governments in establishing policy. This affects us all.
John Hinderaker nails it:
As the scientific evidence continues to accumulate, it becomes increasingly clear that “global warming” hysteria is based on a combination of bad science and fraud.
Soccer Dad wonders if the new data is why Al Gore didn’t accept the job of “Climate Czar”. I’m less generous and expect that Al’s motivated by financial reasons.
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