Among the issues most commonly discussed are individuality, the rights of the individual, the limits of legitimate government, morality, history, economics, government policy, science, business, education, health care, energy, and man-made global warming evaluations. My posts are aimed at intelligent and rational individuals, whose comments are very welcome.

"No matter how vast your knowledge or how modest, it is your own mind that has to acquire it." Ayn Rand

"Observe that the 'haves' are those who have freedom, and that it is freedom that the 'have-nots' have not." Ayn Rand

"The virtue involved in helping those one loves is not 'selflessness' or 'sacrifice', but integrity." Ayn Rand

28 November 2009

Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming Evidence Was Not Even Evidence

The primary evidence offered in the UN IPCC reports of 2001 and 2007 for the catastrophic effect of man's carbon dioxide emissions was that there was no natural force that could explain the rapid rise of temperatures in the late 20th Century, so it must have been due to the increasing concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere.  This is a dangerous kind of argument to make in any case, since the science of the way in which CO2 itself might be making such a rapid temperature increase as was claimed was itself weak and because the list of understood natural effects on climate was known to be quite incomplete.  But, this was nonetheless the argument that convinced many scientists, most of the media, most politicians, and many of the People that catastrophic AGW was a very good reason for drastically changing the way we live, even if it meant a massive economic slowdown, a huge loss of jobs, unreliable and much more expensive energy, and maybe even cold buildings in winters and hot buildings in the summers.

The recent massive release of documents from the most respected of the pro-AGW climate research centers, that of the CRU of the University of East Anglia, showed that there was what can only be called a conspiracy among the small group of climate scientists who played the biggest role in promoting the idea of catastrophic AGW.  The major American and Canadian scientists were closely involved along with many of the major scientists in the United Kingdom and others of the European Union.  I have earlier discussed some of the problems already discovered with the Michael Mann land temperature proxy and some aspects of the Briffa land data series of proxy temperatures.  These two series of reconstructed temperatures from earlier times both produced hockey stick temperature records in which the warmth of the Medieval Warm Period (MWP) (900 to 1300 AD) was minimized to appear to be much less than that of the late 20th Century despite considerable evidence from other sources that the MWP was actually warmer than the recent period.  These series also tended to minimize the decrease in temperatures of the Little Ice Age (1300 to 1850) and moderate the temperature increase prior to 1940.  From about 1940 to 1976 there was cooling and then the land instrumental temperature record kept by the CRU and by the NASA GISS took off with very rapid temperature increases from 1976 to 1998.  This land instrumental record was doctored and affected by heat island effects to make global temperatures seem to rise at a faster rate in this period than they actually did.

It was long known that the catastrophic AGW scientists wanted to hide the warm temperatures of the Medieval Warm Period (MWP) due to statements one of the in-group made to a scientist he thought was one of them, but who had too much integrity and spoke publicly about the wish to minimize the historical evidence of the MWP.  The recent release of documents has brought forth many more issues of unscientific tampering with the temperature measurement record.  The most famous such issue of the moment is the "Hide the Decline" issue relating to a temperature proxy series by Briffa, one of the most cited and influential AGW scientists.  His proxy temperature data set from tree ring studies used the tree ring data set up to 1960 and then spliced in the instrumental temperature data set from then on.  The decline being hidden was not the decline in temperatures since about 1998, but was a substantial decline in temperatures inferred from the tree ring data over the period from 1960 to the end of the 20th Century, which left the temperatures in the latter part of the 20th Century, as inferred from the tree ring data, well below those of the 1930s!  The full Briffa tree ring data set is shown below in red, while the portion used as input for the UN IPCC reports is shown in black.

There are a number of interesting things to note here about this data.  We know that the late 20th Century was not so much colder than the 1930s as this implies.  Another is that the late 20th Century shows a dip in temperatures severe enough to imply that it was as cold as most of the latter part of the Little Ice Age.  Well, we know that is not true.  This data would also imply that early in the period of temperature decline into the Little Ice Age, it was still warmer than in a few decades of the late 20th Century, which would be consistent with the slightly earlier MWP having been warmer, a fact the AGW scientists wanted to suppress.   

But the bottom line here is that the tree ring proxy data appears clearly to be unreliable.  The correlation of the tree rings with known temperature data in the late 20th Century is clearly wrong, even though we know the instrumental land data to have been bumped upward artificially, we do know the temperatures really were warmer than those from the tree ring data.  There are many factors that affect tree ring growth in addition to temperature, including sunlight available to the tree, which may be shaded by other trees, soil quality, water supply, and disease or bug attacks.  Yet this data was a cornerstone piece of evidence for AGW, along with other discredited bristlecone data by Mann.

The trick used to hide this Briffa tree ring problem in the recent 20th Century, which anyone could see was both wrong and inconsistent with the AGW claims, was to terminate the use of the tree ring data set in 1960 and splice in the instrumental temperature record from that time on.  Thus, the AGWs could use a tree ring data set that rather flattened the whole temperature record from 1400 to 1960, which had a good low temperature at the end of that series, and could have the stretched out, tampered with land instrumental temperature record added on from that time on.   This created wonderful hockey stick data such as that used in the UN IPCC reports.  The data from the UN IPCC report of 2001 is shown below.

Whereas the Briffa tree ring temperature proxy data set showed a dip in temperatures after the 1930s that is as much as 0.5 degree Centigrade cooler, this UN IPCC data set shows a dip in the second half of the 20th Century which is a small fraction of that and it is followed by a steep rise to temperatures which have not been matched in the last thousand years.  WELL, this is all complete NONSENSE.  This is a huge scientific FRAUD.  Note the names cited for the temperature curves used in this UN IPCC figure.  They are Mann, Jones (head of CRU), and Briffa, all co-conspirators in the catastrophic AGW scandal.

I have earlier discussed other problems relating to the Briffa proxy temperature data sets revealed by Steve McIntyre relating to the Yamal tree ring data from Siberia.  Steve McIntyre had much earlier been able to obtain enough of Michael Mann's data to figure out how it had been used to generate false hockey stick temperature data.

Note that the instrumental land temperature record goes back to 1881, but these scientists preferred to use the tree ring data up to 1960, rather than splicing in the instrumental data back in 1881, or anytime earlier in the 20th Century.  The tree ring data interpretation gave them lots of room to get the results they wanted or maybe it just happened to give them the result they wanted.  If the instrumental record had offered as low a baseline or stick for their hockey stick, they would no doubt have spliced it in earlier at some advantageous time.  As I noted earlier, the recent release of CRU documents has also made the very sorry state of the documentation of the original data sets and the adjustments made on them over the years at CRU impossible to reconstruct.  The unscientific and sorry state of this data made it impossible for CRU to release this data to Freedom of Information Act requests without huge embarrassment.   Their own scientists could not reconstruct results scientists at CRU had published earlier.  The released documents clearly show scientists pulling their hair out and going stark raving mad trying to deal with the mess.  This being the case, destroying the data, as Jones threatened to do, would have appeared to be the best thing to do!

This conspiracy of scientists claiming catastrophic AGW turned climate science from a little funded scientific backwater into a field funded with literally billions of dollars.  It made the few scientists deep in the conspiracy very famous and made them heads of various research centers.  It was a very successful fraud for a surprisingly long time.  But, the fraud was doomed to be revealed.  Because this research had many public policy implications worldwide, it was certain to attract the attention of other scientists and even historians who knew something of the past.  More and more, these scientists, just as I did, saw that some very bad science was being done and rewarded heavily by governments looking for another crisis to justify their exercise of more power over the People and to do so worldwide.

Frankly, the claims were fairly obviously bogus and could be readily seen as such by anyone with a reasonable knowledge of history and with a scientifically trained mind.  This being the case, we should judge very harshly those scientists who have not spoken out against this fraud, as well as those government bureaucrats in agencies such as NASA, NOAA, EPA, and the State Department here in the US who have been involved with the assessment of AGW issues, and the politicians who have advocated taking drastic actions to curtail and tax the use of cheap and reliable fossil fuel energy without getting good scientific advice.  In fact, many of these people were very vociferous advocates that the science was decided and any doubters were foos and even traitors.

I am going to call out the two universities I studied at in particular for having disappointed me by not having a single scientist who argued against this AGW fraud publicly.  In fact, both Case Western Reserve University and Brown University promoted the AGW fraud as politically correct on campus and in the school newspapers and the alumni magazines.  Shame on you, Brown University and Case Western Reserve University!  As in so many other issues, you have both made your bias toward socialism obvious by favoring its appetite over reality.

I also believe that those major companies that jumped on the AGW and alternative energy subsidy bandwagon should be scolded severely.  Among these companies are GE, GM, Ford, Exxon Mobil, Shell Oil, and many others who have been claiming to be reducing CO2 emissions in order to save the Earth from a man-made greenhouse gas-induced warming catastrophe.  They had a civic duty to declare AGW nonsense and not to seek subsidies and other benefits from the AGW frenzy.

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