Liberals want us to turn control of our economy over to them, not because their stewardship has been successful in the past–heh–but because if we don’t, the Earth faces imminent climate catastrophe in the form of global warming. Some (e.g., liberal reporters) accept such claims uncritically, while the rest of us want to see evidence.
In this debate, there are two types of evidence. The first is the raw material of science, observation. The second is climate models created by alarmists for the purpose of generating scary scenarios. Anyone with the slightest acquaintance with science understands that observation (type 1) trumps theory (type2). Which is a serious problem for the left-wing warmists, since temperature records show that their models are wrong.
How have liberals chosen to deal with this conundrum? By admitting that their theory, as embodied in their models, was wrong? Don’t be silly. They control pretty much all of the Earth’s historic temperature records, so they have changed them to make their theory look more credible–although, even with their adjustments and “corrections,” it still fails.
The Science and Environmental Policy Project’s The Week That Was sums up relevant work by Roger Andrews:
In his three-part series addressing the question of whether reported temperatures have been adjusted to match models, geologist and statistician Roger Andrews analyzes the publicly available data, not claims in the scientific literature. Similar to Steve McIntyre, who, with Ross McKitrick, exposed the fallacious “hockey-stick” by Mr. Mann, Andrews painstakingly analyzes the data and draws his conclusions based on that analysis.
In Part 1 of this series he covered the surface-air temperature data and concluded:
…that the good match between surface air temperatures and model simulations (in the Northern Hemisphere but less so in the Southern) was a result of homogeneity adjustments that added non-existent warming to the raw records. Whether these adjustments were applied in a deliberate attempt to match observations to AGW theory is, however, questionable. They are more likely a result of the initial and never-questioned assumption that the raw records were cooling-biased by such things as station moves from downtown to airport locations, time-of-observation changes etc. and that they therefore required warming adjustments to make them “correct” (the USHCN adjustments to the US raw records are good example). But there is no doubt in my mind that the existing published surface air temperature series, such as CRUTEM3, GISS, NOAA/NCDC and BEST overstate long term global surface air warming by several tenths of a degree C.
This represents, I think, a scientific consensus. I can only add that after four decades in the litigation business, my view of human nature is more skeptical than Andrews’. My guess is that the warmists’ “corrections” have been deliberately and fraudulently introduced into the temperature record in order to strengthen the Left’s case for state power. More:
In Part 2 Andrews covered sea surface temperatures and concluded:
…that the 0.4C “World War II cooling adjustment” applied to the raw ICOADs [International Comprehensive Ocean-Atmosphere Data Set] sea surface temperature records and the insulated/uninsulated bucket bias corrections that preceded it were invalid, and that as a result the published SST series (HadSST3, ERSST etc.) are not meaningful before about 1950. In this case it’s difficult to escape the conclusion that these adjustments were applied in a deliberate attempt to match the measurements to the models. But if so the attempt was not blessed with success. The match between the published series and model simulations is still poor.
Most of the warming shown in sea surface temperature data occurred before 1950.
Now, on to the troposphere, where global warming is alleged to take place:
In part 3 Andrews covers atmospheric data from satellites. In the introduction Andrews states:
Except for small gaps over the poles the satellite temperature series are the only truly global temperature series we have; their defect is that they do not begin until 1979. Published series are constructed using raw records from different satellites that require large adjustments to bring them into line, but the good comparison between the most widely-referenced series – the University of Alabama Huntsville (UAH) lower troposphere (TLT) series – and radiosonde series suggests that these adjustments are valid. The other widely-referenced series – the Remote Sensing Systems (RSS) TLT series was adjusted in 2015 to show over 0.2C more warming since 1979 than UAH. Data reviews do not tell us which series is the more correct, but the circumstances surrounding the RSS adjustments are suspicious. In any event, both series show significantly less warming in the lower troposphere than predicted by climate model simulations – yet another instance of the measurements not matching the models.
Further, Andrews concludes:
…that with one exception the raw satellite data are correctly adjusted and that the published TLT series are reliable. The exception is of course the RSS v 4.0 series, which adds over 0.2C of warming to preceding RSS series. There is no proof that this added warming was a result of a deliberate attempt to match the measurements to the models (and if it was it also didn’t succeed – see Figure 7). The timing of the adjustments is nevertheless suspicious, and it’s worth noting that Ben Santer, a champion of the AGW cause, was involved in the adjustment process. But if the attempt was indeed deliberate it wouldn’t have been the first. In April 2006, the U.S. Climate Change Science Program published a study that led off with the following statement:
Previously reported discrepancies between the amount of warming near the surface and higher in the atmosphere have been used to challenge the reliability of climate models and the reality of human-induced global warming. Specifically, surface data showed substantial global-average warming, while early versions of satellite and radiosonde data showed little or no warming above the surface. This significant discrepancy no longer exists because errors in the satellite and radiosonde data have been identified and corrected. New data sets have also been developed that do not show such discrepancies.
I have no data on what the corrections were, but there can be no doubt that they wouldn’t have been applied if the satellite data hadn’t “challenge(d) the reliability of climate models and the reality of human-induced global warming”.
So the Earth’s temperature “record” has been subjected to endless adjustments and alleged corrections by the very people who are trying to use that record to justify billions of dollars in payments to themselves. In any other context I know of, this is considered corrupt and perhaps felonious.
The bottom lines that emerge from all this are:
1. The only published temperature time series that are not distorted by adjustments and which can therefore be considered reasonably reliable are the UAH TLT series and the SST series after about 1950. (The various radiosonde series, which go back to 1958, also appear to be generally reliable, and more use could be made of them.)
2. Climate models show too much air temperature warming at the surface and in the troposphere. They show probably about the right amount of sea surface warming after 1950 but probably too little before. Overall the models [sic] show that greenhouse gases have had considerably less impact on temperatures than AGW theory says they should have had.
Which is the real point: the climate models, which were created for the purpose of generating hysteria and government grants, are wrong. Observation trumps theory. What is extraordinary about our current situation is that the people who created the self-interested and politically-motivated models also control the temperature record, and they have been changing it to make their models, and their entitlement to billions in government grants, look better.
This is, in my opinion, the greatest scandal in the history of science.