When Science Goes Political
No area of science has drawn more public scrutiny in recent years than climate change. Everyone has an opinion. Strongly held views fall into two divergent camps:
An “alarmist” is someone who believes the Earth is getting hotter because of human-caused CO2 atmospheric emissions. They believe if we do not reverse its effects immediately then a global climate catastrophe will result.
A “denier” is someone who believes the Earth is not getting hotter. They believe it’s all a gigantic hoax created by the United Nations and big governments to extend their power and control over citizens.
Scientists should remain impartial and fall into neither camp.
Unfortunately, when millions of dollars in research grants hang in the balance then impartiality becomes blurred and science can become politicized.
Has this happened to climate science?
Has the new HadCRUT4 global temperature database been tainted?
Sticking a Thermometer in Earth
Scientists have been monitoring Earth’s temperature for centuries.
Putting a thermometer into Earth to monitor its surface temperature over time isn’t exactly easy, but it’s not hard either.
All that’s needed is to collect the temperatures from all existing thermometers on earth over time, both land and sea, and put them into one giant database. That has been done.
Since 1850 Earth’s direct temperature has been measured well enough to determine global patterns. Patterns of more ancient temperature variations must be inferred from tell-tale scientific signatures.
A complete profile of direct temperature measurements comes from two sources:
The Hadley Centre (Had) in the UK monitors global sea temperatures. The Climate Research Unit (CRU) of the University of East Anglia in England collects the world’s land-based temperature databases from many global sources… including the U.S. National Weather Service.
Their combined database is called HadCRUT. The “T” stands for temperature.
HadCRUT is the database used by the United Nations through the IPCC for its global climate recommendations. The Kyoto Protocol was passed based on HadCRUT data.
There have been several revisions to the HadCRUT database. The newest is HadCRUT4 released in March of this year.
HadCRUT3 compared to HadCRUT4
There is a really cool online research tool created by computer programmer and environmentalist Paul Clark. It’s found at www.woodfortress.org. It allows normal folks to compare global temperature databases. It has remarkable research flexibility.
Clark’s tool allows us to compare the new HadCRUT4 database to the old HadCRUT3.
The most astounding change in HadCRUT4 is that since 1998 Earth’s temperature profile has reversed direction. In HadCRUT3 global temperatures went down. HadCRUT4 now shows them going up!!
I referenced 1994+ HadCRUT3 data when writing this article: “The Global Warming Challenge!“
Generally speaking, HadCRUT4 also lowers temperatures in the late 1800s and raises them between 1945 and 1975. See below.
Dr. Peter Stott, chief climate scientist at the Hadley Centre, describes the HadCRUT4 changes:
“Updates to HadCRUT global temperature dataset” Peter Stott, MET office, 3/19/2012
HadCRUT4 before 1998
These two Clark graphs reveal a HadCRUT4 increase in the rate of global warming before 1998.
Combined with the two previous Clark graphs HadCRUT4 exposes two opposite global warming effects built into the new database that, when combined, exaggerate the effects of global warming.
HadCRUT4 makes the global warming problem look worse than HadCRUT3 did. It steepens the rise prior to 1998 while reversing the downward trend that occurred after 1998.
HadCRUT4 appears made-to-order to fit the IPCC’s 1988 anthro-CO2 global warming hypothesis.
Looking Closer at HadCRUT4
HadCRUT4 is distinctly one-side… suspiciously, all tipping in favor of massive global warming.
Global temperature records were “adjusted” across the entire database, back to it’s oldest records. In other words – history got rewritten!
One set of changes lowered older temperature readings from the 1800s. The other set of changes raised modern temperature readings between 1945 and 1975 and then again after 1995.
The alarmists must be ecstatic, especially given that the downward trend in global temperatures since 1998 got wiped out and replaced with an upward trend!
According to MET’s official explanation there were two main adjustments:
Research has shown readings from buckets were generally cooler so when the database changes from one source to another you see artificial jumps in the raw data. We’ve quantified these effects and corrected for them
- Dr. Peter Stott, MET, 3/19/2012
400 New Arctic Stations :
For the latest version we have included observations from more than 400 stations across the Arctic, Russia and Canada. This has led to better representation of what’s going on in the large geographical region.
- Dr. Phil Jones, CRU, 3/19/2012
The MET makes this paradoxical claim… add 400 new cold region measuring stations and it RAISES the earth’s overall temperature. Huh??
Logic dictates Earth’s temperature should be lower when more cold region stations get added, not higher… unless the Sahara Desert suddenly moved to the North Pole.
For years, global warming skeptics pointed out that Earth’s temperature peaked in 1998 and has been dipping slightly lower ever since.
Now, without fanfare, that damning criticism of the anthro-CO2 global warming hypothesis suddenly gets illogically wiped away by adding 400 new cold region arctic weather stations.
There’s more. Ed Thurston conducted a detailed cross comparison between the HadCRUT3 and HadCRUT4 databases and found some very disturbing results:
“Has the CRUTEM4 Data been fiddled with” – Ed Thurston, WUWT, 5/3/2012
Thurston shows numerous examples of data discrepancies in land-based measurements that were not explained by the Met but that have the clear signature of data manipulation.
This has obvious political overtones.
If Thurston is correct then the integrity of the MET becomes questionable. If data has, in fact, been purposely manipulated to support a particular theory of global warming then the integrity of all scientific inquiry is jeopardized.
HadCRUT4 may become the Piltdown Man of climate science.