I have frequently pointed out here how most government statistics are designed and/or manipulated fraudulently to induce the public to support further government growth. In case you are a bit skeptical about that, you need to take a look at the new "National Climate Assessment" Report just out from NOAA This thing is really a new low in government fraud. It has little or nothing to do with a fair assessment of the climate, and everything to do with an effort to scare the people into accepting additional government control over their lives.
An honest climate assessment would, for example, need to feature and deal with the fact that global temperatures have failed to rise now for some 17 years, even as atmospheric CO2 levels have continued to increase. An honest assessment would need to set forth the predictions from the alarmist government models from 10 and 20 years ago and compare those predictions to the real world data, which have failed to match the alarming temperature rises predicted. This Report doesn't show the slightest interest in these subjects. Instead, the Report treats one after another topic in the way to maximize the scare factor, in the process ignoring and/or cherry-picking data in a way that is insulting to the intelligence of anyone who follows this subject.
Out of a Report of some 800 pages, I'll just pick a few examples. The very first chapter purports to summarize "Observed Change." Anybody who follows the data knows that current temperatures are higher than those at the beginning of the twentieth century, but that the rise has two anomalies that are difficult for the climate alarmists to explain -- a period from about 1940 to 1970, when temperatures cooled despite increasing CO2; and another period from about 1997 to present, when temperatures have been flat despite increasing CO2. After the thirty-year cooling starting around 1940, temperatures hit a recent low around 1970. With that in mind, consider these key quotes from the Report:
Temperatures at the surface, in the troposphere (the active weather layer extending up to about 5 to 10 miles above the ground), and in the oceans have all increased over recent decades . . . . The majority of the warming at the global scale over the past 50 years can only be explained by the effects of human influences.
"Recent decades" and "the past 50 years." Could they really be cherry-picking the period of the late 1960s to present to maximize the apparent warming and avoid having to explain 1940 - 1970 and 1997 to present? Yes, that is exactly what they are doing.
Or turn to the chapter on "Melting Ice." They actually begin with a discussion of ice on the Great Lakes, including a big chart purporting to show that ice there has been decreasing for decades. The chart ends with the winter of 2012-2013. Yes, they are leaving out that Great Lakes ice is just coming off a record-setting 2013-2014 season, having been at record high levels from mid-winter through the spring, including up to right now. It's almost impossible to believe that they would present this data truncated in a way that anyone who knows anything about the subject will immediately recognize as intentionally misleading. They then move to a discussion of sea ice, with emphasis on declining ice in the Arctic. But hasn't Antarctic ice been increasing, leading to a combined total that has recently been at record highs? Here's how they try to slip the Antarctic ice increase past us:
While the Arctic is an ocean surrounded by continents, Antarctica is a continent surrounded by ocean. Nearly all of the sea ice in the Antarctic melts each summer, and changes there are more complicated than in the Arctic.
Got that? The Antarctic is "more complicated," so it doesn't count. Could they please mention that global sea ice actually hit record highs at various points during the past (Northern Hemisphere) winter?
Then there's my favorite topic, "ocean acidification." "Acidification" -- there's a rather scary word! They actually feel a need to define the term: "lowering ocean pH levels ("acidification")." A big chart shows the pH of the ocean at Hawaii declining since measurements began in 1988 from about 8.10 to about 8.07 today. So let's whip up some fear!:
Such large changes in ocean pH have probably not been experienced on the planet for the past 100 million years, and it is unclear whether and how quickly ocean life could adapt to such rapid acidification.
But hang on a second. I thought that pH over 7 means it's not acid at all; it's "alkaline." Well, now we know why they defined the term. Nobody using normal English would call pH going from 8.10 to 8.07 "acidification"; the normal term would be "decreasing alkalinity." Unfortunately, nobody is going to get too scared about "decreasing alkalinity"; but "acidification" has just the right ring. There is literally nothing honest about this exercise. Guys, how scared should we really be if the ocean gradually came to have a pH, like pure rainwater, of right around 7? By the way, at the rate it's going, it will take many centuries to get there.
Somewhat encouraging is that the abandonment of science for scare tactics increasingly induces honest scientists to break ranks, and even to express their disgust at what is going on. For example, Judith Curry, Chair of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at Georgia Institute of Technology, who until several years ago continued to attempt to defend climate alarmism, has really had enough.
Some of the basic underlying climate science and impacts reported is contradictory to the recent IPCC AR5 reports…the phrase ‘climate change’ is now officially meaningless. The report effectively implies that there is no climate change other than what is caused by humans, and that extreme weather events are equivalent to climate change.
Marc Morano at Climate Depot has a round-up of other negative reviews of the Report, ranging from "designed to scare people," to "simply made up," to "science fiction." But I continue to be amazed at how many so-called "scientists" let their names be associated with this kind of transparent scam. As to the government, scamming the people to increase their size and power is just what they do.
UPDATE May 13, 2014: As if part of a coordinated campaign to keep the climate alarmism going, the New York Times gives its lead slot at the top right of the front page this morning to a story by global warming propagandist Justin Gillis titled "Scientists Warn of Rising Oceans From Polar Melt" Seems that NASA held a press conference yesterday, where the takeaway quote was "Today we present observational evidence that a large sector of the West Antarctic ice sheet has gone into irreversible retreat." Supposedly the mechanism causing the problem is that warming waters are eating away at the edges of the sheet. Somehow they manage to write the whole story without mentioning that the Antarctic sea ice "anomaly" (variance from normal for this date) as of this week is just slightly below the all time record high set in 2008 -- it's more than 1.6 million square kilometers above normal. They also never mention the actual water temperatures, or variance from normal. So somehow the "warming" waters are melting the land ice but not the sea ice? In a post relating to a previous (2012) scare story from Antarctic ice researchers on this same issue, Steven Goddard of the Real Science web site had this to say:
Sea ice is expanding around Antarctica because the water is getting warmer. Makes sense if you have the IQ of a turnip.
To think that I once thought of the New York Times as a trusted news source!