Home > ClimateGate, Global Warming, IPCC > Global Warming Sunday: Snowball edition

Global Warming Sunday: Snowball edition


I’ve stated before 2010 will be the end of Global Warming hysteria. Although that won’t stop people from wanting to enact laws regulating how people live. Never let a crisis, even ones that you made up, go to waste!

Now we have Dr. Phil Jones, of ClimateGate fame, coming out and admitting that the scientific case for AGW isn’t settled.

Professor Jones also conceded the possibility that the world was warmer in medieval times than now – suggesting global warming may not be a man-made phenomenon.

And he said that for the past 15 years there has been no ‘statistically significant’ warming.

He also had this to say about the quality of the data:
Asked about whether he lost track of data, Professor Jones said: ‘There is some truth in that. We do have a trail of where the weather stations have come from but it’s probably not as good as it should be.
John Christy, former lead IPCC author, says that you really can’t trust the temperature measurement from some of those stations anyway.

The doubts of Christy and a number of other researchers focus on the thousands of weather stations around the world, which have been used to collect temperature data over the past 150 years.

These stations, they believe, have been seriously compromised by factors such as urbanisation, changes in land use and, in many cases, being moved from site to site.

Christy has published research papers looking at these effects in three different regions: east Africa, and the American states of California and Alabama.

“The story is the same for each one,” he said. “The popular data sets show a lot of warming but the apparent temperature rise was actually caused by local factors affecting the weather stations, such as land development.”

And another scientists is bashing the IPCC methodology.

The IPCC faces similar criticisms from Ross McKitrick, professor of economics at the University of Guelph, Canada, who was invited by the panel to review its last report.

The experience turned him into a strong critic and he has since published a research paper questioning its methods.

“We concluded, with overwhelming statistical significance, that the IPCC’s climate data are contaminated with surface effects from industrialisation and data quality problems. These add up to a large warming bias,” he said.

It doesn’t look good for the IPCC.

The recent snow fall has done a lot to damage the PR battle over AGW. The fact that there were recorded snow fall in all 50 states on Wednesday, puts a damper on the “the Earth is warming and we are all going to die!” argument. Not that record snow fall disproves AGW, but it doesn’t exactly help it either. Especially when AGW alarmists point to local weather conditions as a sign of AGW, this snow shows that the sword has two edges.

Dana Milbank of MSNBC and WaPo fame actually has a very good article on the matter.

For years, climate-change activists have argued by anecdote to make their case. Gore, in his famous slide shows, ties human-caused global warming to increasing hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, drought and the spread of mosquitoes, pine beetles and disease…

Other environmentalists have undermined the cause with claims bordering on the outlandish; they’ve blamed global warming for shrinking sheep in Scotland, more shark and cougar attacks, genetic changes in squirrels, an increase in kidney stones and even the crash of Air France Flight 447. When climate activists make the dubious claim, as a Canadian environmental group did, that global warming is to blame for the lack of snow at the Winter Olympics in Vancouver, then they invite similarly specious conclusions about Washington’s snow — such as the Virginia GOP ad urging people to call two Democratic congressmen “and tell them how much global warming you get this weekend.”

Of course where Dana and I differ is on the “overwhelming” scientific evidence. Dana is most likely referring to the 2007 IPCC assessment. As most of you know, all my posts lately have been about how screwed up and unscientific that assessment really is. If all people, like Milbank, have to go on is the IPCC assessment, then they are about to get a rude awakening.

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  1. yttik
    February 15, 2010 at 09:49

    I watched Bill Nye the science guy try to defend climate change. He was just getting nasty, forget science, forget rational explanations, he was just reduced to “you’re stupid if you don’t believe. You’re going to fry in the fires of global warming!” We’ve left the realm of science and entered the realm of religion. Now it’s all about belief and faith and politics, of course.

    I have a suggestion for him. When two thirds of the country is blanketed under snow, trying to convince them that this is actually a sign of warming, isn’t going to cut it. I realize warm air patterns bring more snow, that when it’s really cold it can’t snow at all. However, screaming at people who have been shoveling the white stuff for weeks on end is not going to resonate well with your argument.

  2. February 15, 2010 at 23:39

    Politics is it’s own religion for some nowadays.
    Nye is an engineer not a scientist, so I think it’s strange that so many people would make an appeal of authority to him. Just like it’s strange for people to tout Al Gore as a source for AGW debates. I’m always thinking; “Really, do you have any clue what the word Bias means.” And of course I laugh when people use biased groups like Greenpeace or Union of Concerned Scientist as an authority as well.

    But like debating religion, you know it’s almost always a hopeless cause. You might be able to pick people off on the margin, but the core believers will never admit error, they will just drink the punch in the end.

  3. kenoshamarge
    February 16, 2010 at 11:38

    The problem all the “devout” warmers have is that those of us who were kind of middle of the road about “Climate Change” and were not convinced are now more skeptical than ever.

    I don’t know about anyone else but having someone screaming at me and call me stupid has yet to convince me of anything. Except that the screamer needed to take a look in the mirror if they wanted to see stupid.

    • PJ
      February 16, 2010 at 12:06

      Ha! Good one!

    • February 16, 2010 at 15:37

      Definitely, the devout ones do more to push skepticism than any argument I could make.

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