Saturday, March 13, 2010
Climate "skeptics" argue that the official temperature record has not adequately controlled for "urban heat islands," places where population growth and development raise the ambient temperature around the surface stations. This would seem to be a rather compelling example.
Now, this is one of several reasons why the historical temperature data need to be "adjusted" if we are to understand what is actually happening to the climate. The problem is that we now know these adjustments were not made systematically or transparently. We need to rebuild the adjusted data sets, starting with the raw data, and justify each adjustment at each station with a particular explanation that can be examined, criticized, or reproduced by others.
It's not just a matter of rebuilding the data sets. The data sets upon which the whole idea was constructed no long exist, they were so poorly managed.
To complicate matters further, as others have pointed out, the number of data collection points, ground stations I mean, has dramatically decreased in the last 50 years. At some point the idea that we can measure the temperature of the earth from ground stations fails under the reality of there being too few stations, and too many stations in urban areas.
I see no quick fix here, but fortunately there no longer seems to be imminent doom either.
If the erstwhile alarmists are willing to get behind the idea that some serious, long term, peer reviewed and transparent, well funded exploration into all aspects of climate science are the solution to this mess, then I think we can say screw political science and close the rift.
The Poetic Injustice of this boondoggle is that the two entities most capable of doing accurate global measurements of ambient temperature with any consistency and accuracy at all are: The US Governmnet and the United nations.
They also happen to be the two most biased and corrupt organizations in the whole global warming fiasco.
The truth is that we will never know the answer to this question.
I can live with that.
I feel sorry for poor Bernie Madoff as he sits in his cell and watches Al gore rake in billions from the biggest fraud in the history of mankind. He will have to live with second best.
Links to raw data are here, so you can start work on the rebuilding whenever you like.
I suggest some trial runs first.
"we will never know the answer to this question."
"I think you will, if you just wait ten or twenty years."
NASA - Goddard's James Hansen -- of all people -- thinks we'll know in the next ten or twenty years ... it'll be colder.
I posted this awhile back. Hansen put out a paper back in Dec 2009: The Temperature of Science. There's a lot of startling admissions in it, but here's the best:
"Indeed, it is likely that the sun is an important factor in climate variability. ... We are presently in the deepest most prolonged solar minimum in the period of satellite data. It is uncertain whether the solar irradiance will rebound soon into a more-or-less normal solar cycle – or whether it might remain at a low level for decades, analogous to the Maunder Minimum, a period of few sunspots that may have been a principal cause of the Little Ice Age."
This should have been a Holy Shit Headline -- with pointed follow-up directed at Hansen -- but got no attention.
There's more in this paper conceding the difficulties AGW theorists have had in collecting and correlating their data. It's telling stuff, given the source and its timing.