Today’s UK Times Jonathan Leake reports the world may not be warming after 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 urbanisation, 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, and the American states of 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 article recounts how some former global warming supporters have become its strongest critics, in part due to anecdotal evidence that temperature collection stations have been situated next to incinerators, jet exhausts, heat-generating buildings, and other locations where their readings are “distorted by heat-generating equipment.” Others point out that “[t]he earth has gone through warming spells like these at least twice before in the last 1,000 years.”
Nevertheless, not everyone has joined the ranks of the skeptics:
“Kevin Trenberth, a lead author of the chapter of the IPCC report that deals with the observed temperature changes, said he accepted there were problems with the global thermometer record but these had been accounted for in the final report.
“It’s not just temperature rises that tell us the world is warming,” he said. “We also have physical changes like the fact that sea levels have risen around five inches since 1972, the Arctic icecap has declined by 40% and snow cover in the northern hemisphere has declined.”
The European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts has recently issued a new set of global temperature readings covering the past 30 years, with thermometer readings augmented by satellite data.
Dr Vicky Pope, head of climate change advice at the Met Office, said: “This new set of data confirms the trend towards rising global temperatures and suggest that, if anything, the world is warming even more quickly than we had thought.”
You may not be able to argue the world is warming with inconclusive temperature data, but I do recall a recent Sunday Telegraph article that questioned the claim of dissipating mountain snow cover, disappearing glaciers:
“In its most recent report, it stated that observed reductions in mountain ice in the Andes, Alps and Africa was being caused by global warming, citing two papers as the source of the information.
However, it can be revealed that one of the sources quoted was a feature article published in a popular magazine for climbers which was based on anecdotal evidence from mountaineers about the changes they were witnessing on the mountainsides around them.
The other was a dissertation written by a geography student, studying for the equivalent of a master’s degree, at the University of Berne in Switzerland that quoted interviews with mountain guides in the Alps.”
Time to go back to real science. Hey wasn’t it Obama who said he would restore science to it’s rightful place. How about it Mr President, you going to keep your word for once? Science and politics do not mix.