Friday, August 10, 2007

Junk Science and Global Warming?

First, let me say that I am still waiting to be convinced by either side in the global warming debate. However, there were two stories that (shockingly!) were ignored or downplayed in the MSM that cast serious doubt on the validity of much global warming science. First, NASA was forced to revise all of its data on US temperature (which goes back to 1880) due to the fact that a blogger exposed a Y2K glitch in the data; there are apparently several other possible flaws that could result in further revisions. The newly revised data are here; more context is here. You will be interested to know that as a result of this first revision, 1998 is now only the second warmest year in the last century. Of the top 10 warmest years, 4 are in the 1930s, and 3 between 1998 and today.

It is my understanding that the NASA data are about the most widely used in terms of providing a basis for the argument that the globe is in fact warming in an unusual manner. If, in fact, the 1930s were warmer than the last decade, though, then the temperatures during the last decade could not possibly be conclusive or even particularly useful evidence of global warming.

The second story that has been pretty much ignored is that British government scientists have acknowledged that they overestimated the effects of global warming in recent years, and probably through 2008 as well. BUT, they claim, it will begin in earnest in 2009. Apparently, the previous climate models "underestimate the effects of natural forces on climate change." (That's right, the models of natural forces were inaccurate because they failed to account for natural forces!). As a result of these unanticipated "natural forces" the scientists simply changed their climate model slightly instead of first checking their premises; now, supposedly, the forecast is iron-clad. (A spin-doctored version of this story is also available from Reuters- without all that messy stuff about the previous version being wrong - or even existing - of course.)

Like I said, though - I'm still on the fence about this whole business...but it becomes very difficult to accept the arguments that man-made global warming is an indisputable fact when the data behind those arguments suffer from Y2K flaws and failures to account for the effects of natural forces when trying to make a model of natural forces.