Despite the Al-Gore-Kool-Aid-drinkers’ best efforts to suppress it, the Climategate scandal continues to blossom and flourish. (Or should that be putresce and pullulate?)
I think my favourite comic detail this week just has to be the one about the amazing not-so-fast-shrinking glaciers. As you’ll know if you’ve been reading reports like this scare stories about glaciers retreating “faster than predicted” are a central plank of the IPCC’s case that we should carbon-tax ourselves back to the Dark Ages NOW. According to the IPCC, the Himalayan glaciers could be gone by 2035.
Or should that be 2350? Yep it seems those scientific experts who make the IPCC’s reports so famously reliable and trustworthy have a bad case of numerical dyslexia. The mistake was spotted by a Canadian academic:
J Graham Cogley, a professor at Ontario Trent University, says he believes the UN authors got the date from an earlier report wrong by more than 300 years.
He is astonished they “misread 2350 as 2035″.
In its 2007 report, the Nobel Prize-winning Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) said: “Glaciers in the Himalayas are receding faster than in any other part of the world and, if the present rate continues, the likelihood of them disappearing by the year 2035 and perhaps sooner is very high if the Earth keeps warming at the current rate.
“Its total area will likely shrink from the present 500,000 to 100,000 square kilometres by the year 2035,” the report said.
It suggested three quarters of a billion people who depend on glacier melt for water supplies in Asia could be affected.
But Professor Cogley has found a 1996 document by a leading hydrologist, VM Kotlyakov, that mentions 2350 as the year by which there will be massive and precipitate melting of glaciers.
“The extrapolar glaciation of the Earth will be decaying at rapid, catastrophic rates – its total area will shrink from 500,000 to 100,000 square kilometres by the year 2350,” Mr Kotlyakov’s report said.
Mr Cogley says it is astonishing that none of the 10 authors of the 2007 IPCC report could spot the error and “misread 2350 as 2035″.
“I do suggest that the glaciological community might consider advising the IPCC about ways to avoid such egregious errors as the 2035 versus 2350 confusion in the future,” says Mr Cogley.
But just when you think it can’t get any better, along comes this cracker of an expose at Watts Up With That, courtesy of scientist Willis Eschenbach.
Eschenbach has been looking more closely into one of the big unanswered questions of the great Climate Wars: how reliable is the climate data used by the IPCC?
He focuses on just one country, Australia, and on one weather station – at Darwin Airport – and compares the raw temperature data recorded at the station with the “adjusted” version of the data.
Here’s what he found:
Notice the anomaly? It’s not exactly difficult. The blue line is the trend on the raw data, showing a slight cooling. The red line is the data once it has been adjusted by scientists at the Global Historical Climate Network – which is one of the main sources of temperature data used by the IPCC. Eschenbach finds the extremity of this “homogenization” adjustment rather shocking:
YIKES! Before getting homogenized, temperatures in Darwin were falling at 0.7 Celcius per century … but after the homogenization, they were warming at 1.2 Celcius per century. And the adjustment that they made was over two degrees per century … when those guys “adjust”, they don’t mess around. And the adjustment is an odd shape, with the adjustment first going stepwise, then climbing roughly to stop at 2.4C.
But just how shocking is this discovery. We-e-ll – as Eschenbach reminds us, it is only one weather station. Also, he points out, it is quite normal for scientists to make these homogeneity adjustments, as he explains quoting the GHCN:
Most long-term climate stations have undergone changes that make a time series of their observations inhomogeneous. There are many causes for the discontinuities, including changes in instruments, shelters, the environment around the shelter, the location of the station, the time of observation, and the method used to calculate mean temperature. Often several of these occur at the same time, as is often the case with the introduction of automatic weather stations that is occurring in many parts of the world. Before one can reliably use such climate data for analysis of longterm climate change, adjustments are needed to compensate for the nonclimatic discontinuities.
What he can’t fathom at all, though, is the mind-boggling scale of these adjustments. They can only be explained in terms of scientists with a very particular agenda.
Those, dear friends, are the clumsy fingerprints of someone messing with the data Egyptian style … they are indisputable evidence that the “homogenized” data has been changed to fit someone’s preconceptions about whether the earth is warming.
Do read the full piece. Its wonderfully revealing of the dirty tricks used by the scientists pushing AGW to exaggerate their case. And what’s particularly damning is that it shows how the Climategate scandal extends far, far beyond those so far implicated at the Climatic Research Institute at the University of East Anglia.
Here is the GHCN in context:
There are three main global temperature datasets. One is at the CRU, Climate Research Unit of the University of East Anglia, where we’ve been trying to get access to the raw numbers. One is at NOAA/GHCN, the Global Historical Climate Network. The final one is at NASA/GISS, the Goddard Institute for Space Studies. The three groups take raw data, and they “homogenize” it to remove things like when a station was moved to a warmer location and there’s a 2C jump in the temperature. The three global temperature records are usually called CRU, GISS, and GHCN. Both GISS and CRU, however, get almost all of their raw data from GHCN. All three produce very similar global historical temperature records from the raw data.
In other words the most important temperature data record in the world – even more important than CRU – has been found cheating. Here is Eschenbach’s conclusion:
Now, I want to be clear here. The blatantly bogus GHCN adjustment for this one station does NOT mean that the earth is not warming. It also does NOT mean that the three records (CRU, GISS, and GHCN) are generally wrong either. This may be an isolated incident, we don’t know. But every time the data gets revised and homogenized, the trends keep increasing. Now GISS does their own adjustments. However, as they keep telling us, they get the same answer as GHCN gets … which makes their numbers suspicious as well.
And CRU? Who knows what they use? We’re still waiting on that one, no data yet …
What this does show is that there is at least one temperature station where the trend has been artificially increased to give a false warming where the raw data shows cooling. In addition, the average raw data for Northern Australia is quite different from the adjusted, so there must be a number of … mmm … let me say “interesting” adjustments in Northern Australia other than just Darwin.
And with the Latin saying “Falsus in unum, falsus in omis” (false in one, false in all) as our guide, until all of the station “adjustments” are examined, adjustments of CRU, GHCN, and GISS alike, we can’t trust anyone using homogenized numbers.
Still feel confident, do you, all you warmists who’ve been gloating about all that data allegedly proving that we’re living through times of quite unprecedented hotness?
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