Written by SEPP.org
The Week That Was January 30, 2010 Brought to you by SEPP (http://www.sepp.org/)
Quote of the Week
I am compelled to fear that science will be used to promote the power of dominant groups rather than to make men happy. Bertrand Russell, Icarus, or the Future of Science, 1925
Less than two months ago, before the Copenhagen Conference, the IPCC was considered by political leaders and the press as a paragon of science. This assumed excellence is rapidly eroding.
On December 7, 2009, the EPA administrator made the determination that Carbon Dioxide and other greenhouse gases threaten public health and welfare. The EPA determination is based almost entirely on the reports of the IPCC. During the public hearing period, which closed on June 23, 2009, a number of scientists, including members of SEPP, testified that the IPCC reports are not the best science available; thus such a determination is scientifically flawed. At that time it was not clear the extent to which IPCC science had been compromised. The recent revelations demonstrate that the science upon which the EPA relies is hopelessly flawed.
Stern Report: Many politicians base their claims that carbon dioxide controls are necessary on the Stern report. It claims that the damage from further warming caused by carbon dioxide will exceed the damage to the economy from carbon dioxide controls. Removing inflated surface temperature trends relied upon in the Stern report, demonstrates the correlation between carbon dioxide and warming is extremely weak. As reported in the Jan 23, 2010 Sunday Times, there is no science supporting a link between warming and property losses. Thus, the Stern report has no foundation.
SEPP Correction: Professor Cliff Ollier informed us that he wrote his independent review of V.K. Raina's study of Himalayan Glaciers for the government of India, not the government of Australia as we mistakenly assumed. Perhaps we all would be better served if government officials had independent review of the science which they are using to establish policy.
SEPP SCIENCE EDITORIAL #5-2010 (Jan 30, 2010)
By S. Fred Singer, President, Science and Environmental Policy Project
[Note: This is another of a series of mini-editorials on the "junk science" influencing the global warming issue. Other topics will include the UN Environmental Program, and some individuals heavily involved in these matters.]
The Global Mean Surface Temperature (GMST) is largely determined by the Sea Surface Temperature (SST) - since oceans cover 71% of the earth's surface. So even if the land data are manipulated to show a major warming (as the ClimateGate e-mails suggest), this should not affect the SST data - one would think. Unfortunately, SST has problems of its own: (1) Scarcity of data; and (2) Lack of compatibility of different methods of collecting data.
For much of the 20th century, data came only from shipping routes -- and large parts of the world's oceans were not contributing data. Data collection came from samples gathered with buckets from sailing ships, first wooden buckets and later canvas ones (which required substantial corrections). After the advent of steamers, temperatures were measured at the inlets for engine cooling water (inlet temperature).
Around 1980, satellites produced major changes: (1) Infrared emission from the sea surface was thought to measure temperature directly, But the method worked only in the absence of clouds and haze, and it responded to 'skin' temperature rather than the bulk of the sea surface (as inlet temperatures). (2) The introduction of buoys, first 'drifters' and then diving buoys, expanded geographic coverage. But this introduced a new problem: As I have discussed (see also NIPCC 2008 Fig 20), drifters measure temperatures in the upper 50cm, which are usually warmer than the 'inlet temperatures.' It is easily shown that the increasing fraction of data from drifters leads to an artificial warming trend.
But don't the measurements of Ocean heat content show a warming? What better authority than the flawed paper by Hansen et al [Science 308:1431-35 (2005)]-that had proudly claimed to be the "smoking gun" for AGW. Its Fig 2 shows hardly any increase in observed stored heat between 1992 and 1996; Fig 3 shows a cooling of the upper layers in the equatorial region. There is poor correspondence to model runs (which strongly disagree with each other).
These are all problems that require detailed corrections before one can accept the published SST results - and therefrom the IPCC's global surface warming trends. By comparison, the MSU (satellite) data show good agreement between tropospheric temperature over land and ocean (see NIPCC 2008 Fig 13), with little warming over land and even slightly less over oceans.
To sum up: Both the land data and SST data tell us that the claimed rise of global surface temperature between 1979 and 1997, shown by IPCC, is probably much smaller or may even be non-existent.
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