By Richard Larsen
Published – Idaho State Journal, 08/26/07
It would appear that the man-made global warming Nazis may have to go back to the drawing board on their “strategery” to usurp capitalistic consumption freedom from us. NASA very quietly last week changed their data of the hottest 10 and subsequently, hottest 100 U.S. years on record.
It seems a couple of very perspicacious scientists from Toronto, Stephen McIntyre and Ross McKitrick, found a problem with NASA’s data. To make a long story short, the incorrect data essentially had a Y2K (Year 2000) glitch that erroneously bumped the data readings from not just 2000 on, but even 1998, global-warming crusaders “hottest year” on record.
Not only have the global warming believers maintained that 1998 was the hottest year on record, but that five of the top ten hottest years have been in the last ten years. But because of the discovery by McIntyre and McKitrick, the temperature data that NASA used to compile the temperatures in 1998 have been corrected. The “hottest year on record” is no longer 1998, but 1934. Another alleged hot year, 2001, has now dropped out of the top 10 altogether, and most of the rest of the 21st century – 2000, 2002, 2003, 2004 – plummeted even lower down the hot 100. In fact, every supposedly hot year from the nineties and this decade has had its temperature rating reduced. Four of our top 10 hottest years turn out to be from the 1930s. Yet CO2 emissions have skyrocketed over the past 15 years. So where’s the empirical correlation between surface temperatures (or even atmospheric temperatures) and CO2 emissions? Don’t feel alone if you fail to see any correlation.
James Hansen, the vaunted top NASA scientist for climate studies, has been actively evangelizing for global warming causes for years, and is over the department at NASA that monitors and publishes the climatologic readings on global temperatures. As active a proponent as he has been, it’s hard to say whether he knowingly published the bad data, or was clueless on the underlying math used to chart the trends. I will not attempt to ascribe a motive but I’m sure others will, especially since he has admitted exaggerating global warming claims in the past.
Although the adjustment figures were slight, they make a significant difference in terms of average temperatures. And it makes a huge difference to one of the primary arguments the AGW (Anthropogenic Global Warming) proponents have offered as evidence of mankind induced environmental warming which is the “Hockey Stick” graph. That’s the now famous depiction of global temperatures illustrating the sharp and rapid increase in temperatures in the past century. The data rise so fast for the computer model that the resulting chart resembles a hockey stick, with the sharply rising blade indicating the latest readings. Now with the corrected data, the chart more closely resembles the landscape of Kansas with a little mole hill around the 1930’s and a few spikes here and there, but nothing close to the hockey stick metaphor implemented previously to indicate a sharply increasing warming trend.
But that isn’t all. Not only was the underlying data incorrect, but there was a fundamental mathematical flaw in the computer program that was used to produce the hockey stick chart. The developer of the program generating the chart was University of Massachusetts scientist Michael Mann who purported to use a standard method known as “principal component analysis,” or PCA, to find the dominant features in a set of more than 70 different climate records. But the same two Toronto scientists, McIntyre and McKitrick, have found serious problems with the program itself. Not only does the program not handle conventional PCA, but it “handles data normalization in a way that can only be described as mistaken,” according to McIntyre.
The real shocker, according to MIT’s Technology Review, was “This improper normalization procedure tends to emphasize any data that do have the hockey stick shape, and to suppress all data that do not. To demonstrate this effect, McIntyre and McKitrick created some meaningless test data that had, on average, no trends. This method of generating random data is called Monte Carlo analysis and is widely used in statistical analysis to test procedures. When these random data were fed into the Mann program, out popped a hockey stick shape!”
In other words, it’s like a pitcher that may be pitching just about everywhere except over the plate, and the umpire sees every pitch as a strike. That’s what the computer model was doing with the slightly adulterated data; calling “strikes” even when the data was a “ball.” So much for the primary graphic metaphor for the global warming crowd.
As I said nearly a year ago, contrary to recent assertions, every reasonable person should question AGW. The only “proof” that I’m aware of validating AGW is a computer model. Anyone with knowledge of computers knows how a model can easily be tweaked to provide whatever result is desired. It appears that’s exactly what’s been happening.
Since AGW is more faith based than fact-based, I’m sure the AGW evangelists will have ample explanations and excuses for why the data doesn’t corroborate their assertions. We should see through such efforts as no more than dogmatic efforts to substantiate their pantheistic religion based on faith, for it obviously is not based on science as they purport. But in the meantime, those of us who are “deniers” can add to our scientific documentation on the falsehoods of the alarmists claims.
And for those who mockingly and smugly refer to us nonconforming skeptics as “deniers,” let’s just say this mockery of the scientific method by some of your premier proponents doesn’t lend itself to much credibility in the rest of your claims. And don’t blame us that we’re not as gullible or as anxious to take that Kierkegaardian leap of faith as you have been.
With the correction of James Hansen and NASA’s warmest years list, Michael Mann’s “hockey stick” chart discredited, and the debunking of the computer model generating that false association between global temperatures and man-made CO2 emissions, the primary arguments of the AGW advocates have been discredited. But you know they’ll come back with a vengeance with whatever “evidence” they can muster. But now that we know their fraudulent tactical approach, we will be more wary of them than ever.