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World May Not Be Warming, Say Scientists



February 15, 2010 – Comments (6) | RELATED TICKERS: AM.DL2 , CRIS

World May Not Be Warming, Say Scientists

The United Nations climate panel faces a new challenge with scientists casting doubt on its claim that global temperatures are rising inexorably because of human pollution.

In its last assessment, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) said the evidence that the world was warming was "unequivocal." It warned that greenhouse gases had already heated the world by 0.7C and that there could be 5C-6C more warming by 2100, with devastating impacts on humanity and wildlife. 

New research casts doubt on such claims, however. Some even suggest the world may not be warming much at all.

"The temperature records cannot be relied on as indicators of global change," said John Christy, professor of atmospheric science at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, a former lead author on the IPCC. 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 urbanization, 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, 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."

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 industrialization and data quality problems. These add up to a large warming bias," he said.

Such warnings are supported by a study of U.S. weather stations co-written by Anthony Watts, an American meteorologist and climate change sceptic.

His study, which has not been peer reviewed, is illustrated with photographs of weather stations in locations where their readings are distorted by heat-generating equipment. Some are next to air-conditioning units or are on waste treatment plants. One of the most infamous: a weather station next to a waste incinerator.

For more on this story, see The Sunday Times. 

6 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On February 15, 2010 at 11:43 AM, USNHR (29.77) wrote:

"The temperature records cannot be relied on as indicators of global change," said John Christy, professor of atmospheric science at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, a former lead author on the IPCC.

Someone bailing ship from the IPCC? Impossible! IPCC is like God, all knowing, all seeing.

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#2) On February 15, 2010 at 12:48 PM, ElCid16 (94.64) wrote:

The title of this blog is "World May Not Be Warming, Say Scientists"; however, John Christy is indeed a believer in AGW, just not to the scale that some scientists believe.

Here's a quote from your boy Christy right here:

"It is scientifically inconceivable that after changing forests into cities, turning millions of acres into farmland, putting massive quantities of soot and dust into the atmosphere and sending quantities of greenhouse gases into the air, that the natural course of climate change hasn't been increased in the past century.''

And in regards to SPPI, Exxon has had Robert Ferguson in their pocket since 2002...

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#3) On February 15, 2010 at 10:19 PM, ChrisGraley (28.58) wrote:

Who mentioned SPPI or Robert Furgusen?

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#4) On February 16, 2010 at 10:16 AM, ElCid16 (94.64) wrote:

You did, genius...

Why don't you try reading the paper that you cited in your blog.

Or you could just continue copying and pasting everything you see from Fox News.

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#5) On February 16, 2010 at 10:50 AM, rlhamil (< 20) wrote:

"soot and dust" probably have the _opposite_ effect from "greenhouse gases".

It's a truism that people have _some_ impact.  Even the respiration of a single insect has _some_ impact though.

The (possibly) useful questions are what the net impact of human activity is, whether it's cause for concern, and what the most efficient (least economic impact) corrective change might be.

But at this point, given a planetwide chaotic system with more factors than we know of let alone fully understand, plus human-induced local change that distorts any baseline of data collection, it would be sheer arrogance to assume that we even know with any accuracy the degree to which human activity contributes to climate change.

The best move right now would be to ask what would produce the largest reduction of emissions on the _least_ amount of taxing or regulation.

Of course, those who scheme for power or profit by manipulating others will never be content with that; they'll seize any opportunity to maximize rather than minimize the scope of their power. 

(I think I just argued that socialist, expansionist government should be criminalized...oh, wait, at the federal level, by the 10th Amendment, it should _already_ be unconstitutional, except that FDR packed the Supreme Court.)


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#6) On February 25, 2010 at 1:11 PM, JPG101 (< 20) wrote:

Mix in some climate data from the Arctic with that and the doubts become more difficult.  The carbon lobby has a vast amount of money to spend simply to cast doubt and claim more research is needed. Who will pay the price? Not them.

Countries that just keep on debating will be left behind. The US risks ending up being ruled by climate skeptics who also question evolution and might end up blocking real scientific discovery.  

The binary choice is pretty simple: keep on ignoring greenhouse gases and keep using fossil fuels with all the negative implication vs move on to a new energy future.

Fossil  fuels have many other negative effects beside being sources of CO2. Do we really think we can keep on accelarting the use of fossil fuels the way we have since the Industrial Revolution and that there won't be any consequences? Even if fossil fuels don't cause global warming (and the science is powerfully on the side that they do cause climate change) they are destroying us in many other ways.

Fox news = Republicans = no change to the status quo of anything... If Fox had been around when horses and sailboats were the medium of transportation (and source of wealth for the elite) we would still be using them!  Which might not be so bad for greenhouse gases!



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