It's been several months since I've added a post to this series, since this one back on February 22. There's good reason for that. With the breakup of last year's big El Niño, global temperatures declined significantly. The latest global temperature anomaly from the UAH satellite temperature series is +0.21 deg C for June 2017 -- down a remarkable 0.65 deg C from the February 2016 global anomaly of +0.86 deg C. The Northern Hemisphere anomaly dropped even more, by 0.86 deg C, from +1.19 deg C to only +0.32 deg C. Those declines represent well more than half of the entire warming that had been present in the satellite record at the peak of the El Niño, and bring recent temperatures below those recorded during many months in the 1980s and 90s. It's no wonder that the breathless press releases from NASA and NOAA trumpeting "hottest [April, May, June, etc.] ever!" have at least temporarily ceased.
But the lack of "record warming" announcements coming out of the government has not stopped independent researchers from further examining the surface temperature records from NASA and NOAA (and also from a British group called Hadley CRU that gets its starting data from the same source) to try to quantify and understand the "adjustments" that continue to be made. Readers of my series know that NASA, NOAA and Hadley CRU report global temperatures derived from a different source from the satellites, namely a network of land- and ocean-based surface weather stations known as the Global Historical Climate Network, or GHCN. These so-called "surface temperatures" are inherently in need of some ongoing adjustments, to account for things like station moves and nearby urbanization. But somehow the adjustment process has gotten into the hands of some committed global warming zealots, and next thing you know each round of adjustments seems progressively to make the past cooler and the present warmer, thus always enhancing the apparent warming. Oh, plus the adjusters refuse to release details of the bases and methodology for the adjustments. After a few decades of this, reasonable people come to have serious and well-justified doubts about whether the reported warming trends can be trusted.
The latest effort at analyzing the adjustments comes from a team of independent researchers led by James Wallace, and including Joseph D'Aleo and Craig Idso. Their new Research Report can be found at this link, titled "On the Validity of NOAA, NASA and Hadley CRU Global Average Surface Temperature [GAST] Data & The Validity of EPA’s CO2 Endangerment Finding." The new Research Report has seven highly qualified peer reviewers identified in the paper itself. From the Abstract:
In this research report, the most important surface data adjustment issues are identified and past changes in the previously reported historical data are quantified. It was found that each new version of GAST has nearly always exhibited a steeper warming linear trend over its entire history. And, it was nearly always accomplished by systematically removing the previously existing cyclical temperature pattern. This was true for all three entities providing GAST data measurement, NOAA, NASA and Hadley CRU.
As others have previously noticed, the periodic revisions to GAST data from all three entities have brought with them a systematic cooling of the past and warming of the recent and the present, to a degree that hugely strains credulity. But the new Wallace, et al., paper takes another step, and examines the equally systematic removal from the surface temperature record of a cyclical pattern widely reflected in raw temperature data from multiple regions. As the paper notes, if you look at much raw (unadjusted) data, a cyclical pattern is immediately obvious: temperatures gradually increase from the beginning of records in the late nineteenth century through about 1940; then temperatures decrease through about the 1970s; then the increase resumes through about 2000; and finally temperatures level off through the present. This cycle results in a temperature peak around 1940, sometimes referred to as the "blip." The "blip" has long been recognized to be a problem for the hypothesis that human greenhouse gas emissions are the principal control knob for global temperatures, because human emissions had barely begun before 1940 -- when temperatures were increasing -- and then human emissions began to increase sharply from the 1950s to the 1970s -- when temperatures were declining. Doesn't that significantly undermine the hypothesis? The successive rounds of adjustments to the surface temperature records have systematically removed this "blip," making for a temperature record seemingly supporting the hypothesis. Could this possibly be honest? From the Wallace, et al., paper:
As has been clearly shown in Section IV above, the consequences of the changes made to previously reported historical versions of GAST data have been to virtually eliminate the previously existing cyclical nature of their previously reported trend cycle patterns. The notion that there was a 1930 and 40s warm period followed by a mid-1970 cool period now gets lost in the noise so to speak.
As just one example from the paper, a comparison of the GAST data from NASA from May 2017 versus May 2008 shows that, in between the issuance of those two versions of the data, nearly all annual mean temperatures from approximately 1920 to 1940 have been reduced by between 0.05 deg C and 0.20 deg C, while nearly all annual mean temperatures from approximately 1980 to 2000 have been increased by between 0.05 deg C and 0.20 deg C. The obvious effects have been substantially to remove the 1940s "blip" and to strongly enhance the warming trend. Other data revisions at different points in time have made additional changes to the same effect. The basis and methodology for these adjustments have never been explained.
Have these adjustments been part of an intentional program to alter data to fit the desired hypothesis -- in other words, classic scientific fraud? The 2009 Climategate emails give additional evidence. For example, one of the best known of those emails is the September 27, 2009 message from Tom Wigley of NCAR to Phil Jones, head of Hadley CRU. In that email, Wigley proposes an intentional effort to reduce the ocean part of the surface record by 0.15 deg C, not to make the record a better representation of reality, but rather to make the evidence fit the narrative. Excerpts:
So, if we could reduce the [1940s] ocean blip by, say, 0.15 degC, then this would be significant for the global mean -- but we'd still have to explain the land blip. I've chosen 0.15 here deliberately. This still leaves an ocean blip, and i think one needs to have some form of ocean blip to explain the land blip (via either some common forcing, or ocean forcing land, or vice versa, or all of these). . . . My 0.15 adjustment leaves things consistent with this, so you can see where I am coming from. Removing ENSO does not affect this. It would be good to remove at least part of the 1940s blip, but we are still left with "why the blip".
From the conclusion of the Wallace, et al., paper:
While the notion that some “adjustments” to historical data might need to be made is not challenged, logically it would be expected that such historical temperature data adjustments would sometimes raise these temperatures, and sometimes lower them. This situation would mean that the impact of such adjustments on the temperature trend line slope is uncertain. However, each new version of GAST has nearly always exhibited a steeper warming linear trend over its entire history. That was accomplished by systematically removing the previously existing cyclical temperature pattern. This was true for all three entities providing GAST data measurement, NOAA, NASA and Hadley CRU. . . .
The conclusive findings of this research are that the three GAST data sets are not a valid representation of reality. In fact, the magnitude of their historical data adjustments, that removed their cyclical temperature patterns, are totally inconsistent with published and credible U.S. and other temperature data. Thus, it is impossible to conclude from the three published GAST data sets that recent years have been the warmest ever – despite current claims of record setting warming.
The adjustments to the GAST record have been part of a coordinated effort to influence public policy by supporting restrictions on greenhouse gas emissions. In the United States, the EPA's finding that CO2 constitutes a "danger" to human health and welfare rests on what EPA calls its three "lines of evidence," one of which is the supposedly "record warming" as shown in the GAST data. Oh, it now seems that the "record warming" is not present in the raw data, but is nothing more than an artifact of adjustments made by government bureaucrats. The final conclusion of the Wallace, et al., paper:
[S]ince GAST data set validity is a necessary condition for EPA’s GHG/CO2 Endangerment Finding, it too is invalidated by these research findings.
On July 6 my co-counsel and I submitted a Supplemental Petition to EPA, citing this new paper, seeking to have EPA reopen and reconsider the Endangerment Finding. We have called upon EPA to hold hearings on the record and under oath, at which hearings the people who have made the "adjustments" to create supposedly record warming should be called upon to set forth their detailed methods. It is high time that the people who have made these adjustments justify their handiwork to the American people.
UPDATE, July 9, 2017: It occurs to me that readers may be interested in this tidbit of information: That September 27, 2009 email from Wigley to Jones has a cc -- to a guy named Ben Santer. Do you recognize the name? He is another "scientist" on the government/taxpayer dime, and another serious global warming zealot, who works at the Livermore Lab in California. You may have seen his op ed in the Washington Post on June 21, 2017, title "Attention Scott Pruitt: Red teams and blue teams are no way to conduct climate science." Excerpt:
[C]alls for special teams of investigators are not about honest scientific debate. They are dangerous attempts to elevate the status of minority opinions, and to undercut the legitimacy, objectivity and transparency of existing climate science.
What are you afraid of, Ben? Time to get this guy under oath!
And here's yet another bit of similar news. You may recall that several years ago (real) Canadian climate scientist Tim Ball wrote of (fake) Penn State climate scientist Michael "Hockey Stick" Mann that "he belongs in the state pen, not Penn. State." Mann sued Ball for libel in a court in Vancouver, Canada. Ball demanded to get in discovery the underlying data and computer code that support Mann's "hockey stick" temperature reconstruction. Back in February, the Canadian court ordered Mann to produce that information. According to Principia Scientific, Mann has now defaulted on that obligation and has gone into contempt of court. According to PS:
[U]nder Canada’s unique ‘Truth Defense’, Mann is now proven to have wilfully hidden his data, so the court may rule he hid it because it is fake.
That may turn out to be an overprediction of how bad this will prove for Mann. Still, it is very remarkable that Mann would think he could be a plaintiff in a libel case and not have to produce the data and code that support his statements. Another guy to get under oath!
For all articles in this series on government temperature data tampering fraud, go to this link.