Alarmists Cherry-Pick Data and Still Can’t Make It Fit

Published October 28, 2016

Even when climate alarmists cheat by cherry-picking the data they use to show climate models are consistent with observed temperatures, their efforts fail.

Climate scientist Roy Spencer of the University of Alabama at Huntsville (UAH), who helped design and manage NASA’s global satellite system, posted a dissection his colleague John Christy carried out of a paper by Benjamin Santer et al. Santer and his colleagues use a new, lesser known, untested satellite data set with recorded temperatures much higher than the satellite measurements from Christy and Spencer’s NASA satellites. Santer had referenced the UAH satellite data in earlier papers. In addition, Santer and his colleagues ignore one of the largest, long-term, consistent temperature and weather data sets in existence, the weather balloon radiosonde data.

Even neglecting radiosonde data, which has recorded little or no warming, and using the untested new satellite data set, Santer et al. find models still predict 170 percent more warming than was actually recorded by the data sets they use.

When data from the satellites used by Santer are compared to data sets from radiosondes and NOAA/UAH satellites, Christy shows the climate models project from 157 percent to 297 percent more warming than has been recorded by any data set in the global mid-troposphere – where the models indicate greenhouse gases should amplify warming the most. Models projected 230 percent more warming than the median value of the combined observational data sets.

When the data sets are compared to model projections for the tropical mid-troposphere, where climate models say a tropical hot spot should emerge, the models do even worse, overstating the warming by between 169 and 414 percent – overestimating the median of the observational data sets for the tropics by 330 percent.

Of course this is not the first time scientists have been caught leaving out inconvenient data tending to disconfirm their pre-conceived conclusion humans are causing dangerous climate change.

Some scientists have used tree ring data to indicate the past wasn’t as warm as believed, or temperatures were relatively stable, in the process throwing out data from trees in their own data set indicating just the opposite. They use only the trees that indicate past temperatures were warmer and more variable, because those data fit the narrative the Earth had a relatively stable climate with cooler temperatures until humans started emitting greenhouse gases as a byproduct of fossil fuel use.

Other researchers citing anecdotal evidence have said hurricanes are getting more powerful (citing a single powerful hurricane), polar bears are declining (pointing to a population decline in a single location), and crops are failing (referencing a single crop in a single year), attributing these events to human-caused climate change. Each of these claims is refuted by copious amounts of evidence, yet alarmists continue to sing their siren song of disaster.

Spencer calls Santer’s actions obfuscation. I call it data-fitting – and a failed attempt at that. Whatever it is, it violates the scientific method and scientific ethics that require researchers to use the best data available to confirm or disconfirm a hypothesis or theory.

— H. Sterling Burnett

SOURCE: Roy Spencer Global Warming Blog


Fracking, not Obama policies, responsible for carbon dioxide declineAntarctic glacier trends show nature’s influence, not man’sFrance may scrap carbon tax planWho needs the Clean Power Plan?UK, other European governments back coal


The Associated Press reports the United States’ carbon dioxide emissions have fallen substantially, with 2016’s emissions expected to be the lowest in 25 years. President Barack Obama’s signature effort to reduce emissions, the Clean Power Plan, has been stayed by the courts. So what’s behind the decline? A dramatic increase in our use of cleaner-burning natural gas. “We are leading the world in carbon reductions today, and it’s driven primarily by cleaner-burning, affordable natural gas that was brought to you by innovation and technological advances in the oil and natural gas industry,” said Jack Gerard, president of the American Petroleum Institute.

The AP article points out Obama had little to do with the fracking boom, except to be slow to regulate fracking.

SOURCE: Associated Press

A number of papers released in 2016 show glacier behavior in the Antarctic Peninsula (AP) has been inconsistent with climate models and their assumption that glacier behavior is dominated by surface temperatures.

A paper in Nature by Julie M. Jones, et al. finds, in contrast to climate model predictions, surface temperatures for the Southern Ocean – which surrounds the entire Antarctic continent – have dropped significantly since the late 1970s, contributing to a significant growth in floating sea ice. As a result, the paper notes, “climate model simulations that include anthropogenic forcing are not compatible with the observed trends [and] natural variability overwhelms the forced response in the observations.” Another Nature paper, by the British Antarctic Survey’s John Turner, et al., is titled “Absence of 21st century warming on Antarctic Peninsula consistent with natural variability.” The paper documents the surface temperatures for the Antarctic Peninsula have not warmed overall since the late 1970s and have experienced a significant cooling trend since the 1990s.

Despite these surface temperature trends, many glaciers have retreated in the Western Antarctic. According to a July 2016 Science article by A.J. Cook et al., titled “Ocean forcing of glacier retreat in the western Antarctic Peninsula,” between 1945 and 2009 the mean ocean temperature warmed at depths of 150 to 400 meters for about 3/4ths of the waters surrounding the western AP. The other 1/4th of the ocean waters at 150 to 400 meters cooled during those 65 years. Where the waters warmed, glacier retreat was observed, while in regions where the ocean waters cooled, glaciers were in balance or advancing. Citing this strong correlation between regional ocean warming/cooling and regional glacier retreat/advance, the authors conclude the assumption atmospheric and surface warming (presumably driven by greenhouse gases) drives glacial decline or expansion is not supported by the evidence. Instead, it is the temperature of the ocean waters that “have been the predominant control on multidecadal glacier front behavior in the western AP.” Importantly, measured ocean temperature shifts are entirely consistent with natural variability.

SOURCE: No Tricks Zone

According to the French financial daily Les Echos, France, the birthplace of the Paris climate agreement, is planning to scrap a tax on carbon dioxide emissions it had announced earlier in 2016. Sources within France’s socialist government said it would not include the carbon tax in the budget update it is drafting.

Environment Minister Segolene Royal said in May France would unilaterally introduce a carbon price floor of about 30 euros ($33) a ton in order to kickstart broader European action to cut emissions to meet the EU’s Paris climate agreement commitments. The announcement pushed power prices higher in the spring. Now sources within the government say the measure is too complicated to put in place and might be unconstitutional. Les Echos quoted one source saying, “In the current context, [instituting a carbon tax] is difficult, due to concerns about employment, legal difficulties, and security of supply.”

SOURCE: Reuters


The Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed Clean Power Plan (CPP) aims to reduce U.S. carbon dioxide emissions 30 percent below 2005 levels by 2030. In a thoughtful piece for The Monitor, Texas State Geologist Scott Tinker notes 2015 carbon dioxide emissions from the U.S. electric power sector were already 20 percent below 2005 levels. He asks why we need CPP to meet the emissions reduction goal:

If the pace of CO2 reduction from 2005 to 2015 continues into 2030, CO2 emissions could be around 1,300 million metric tons — a 45 percent reduction from 2005 and substantially lower than the goals of the Clean Power Plan.

Confused? So am I. Why push for a Clean Power Plan if we are already two-thirds of the way there and headed — without federal intervention — lower than the ultimate goal of the plan?

Tinker suggests the reason might have to do a bit with politics. The states required under CPP to reduce their carbon dioxide emissions the least tended to vote Democrat in the 2012 presidential race, while those that have to reduce their emissions the most tended to vote Republican.

He concludes:

We should not judge political motivation or intention, but we do need to look at actual outcomes. … [T]he United States has made great progress thus far, even if not orchestrated, without federal policy or agency rules.

Nonetheless, some still argue the Clean Power Plan is needed, perhaps on philosophical or moral grounds. But if the goal is actual reductions in CO2 emissions, the road to green is not always a federal highway.

SOURCE: The Monitor


The United Kingdom (UK) joined the governments of the Czech Republic, Finland, Greece, and Poland to lobby the European Union (EU) to delay tougher emission rules for coal-fired power stations. The Financial Times reports a letter from UK environment minister Thérèse Coffey warned the EU environment commissioner the “uncertain global economic climate” means new pollution regulations should not impose “a disproportionate financial cost or technical burden on industry.”

Britain’s position is at odds with the previous Conservative government’s pledge to phase out coal power by 2025. Various exemptions in EU’s existing pollution requirement currently enable more than half of Europe’s coal power plants to exceed limits for various pollutants. Poland and the Czech Republic rely heavily on coal for their electricity, while Finland, Greece, and the UK all have other types of plants covered by EU emissions directives. Germany has also shown growing support for coal, with its Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel telling attendees at an energy conference in Berlin the country would continue using brown coal for electric power production through at least 2040.

SOURCES: The Financial Times and Reuters

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