Thursday, August 9, 2007

Bombshell? NASA revises recent U.S. temperatures downward after Y2K bug fix

H/T to Hot Air

Maybe things aren't so bad after all, eh Al?

Via Ace and Tigerhawk, we’re all probably better off if I don’t try to summarize it for you and you simply read this amazing post instead. Carefully, please. Including/especially the updates, noting in particular the conclusion of Update #3. Then read this post and see what sort of effort had to be made to expose the flaw here, notwithstanding — or rather, because of — the enormous political and financial investment that’s been staked on these numbers. I’d have noted the staggering irony of the role James Hansen is alleged to have played in it but Ace beat me to it so all credit to him. Remarkable, isn’t it, how we’re assured that this is the most important scientific issue of our time and yet one of the basic calculations from which the evidence is derived has to be reverse engineered from the data in order to check it. Can we at least get some peer review before we build the ark?

Here are the new numbers dating back to 1880. As you can see, there’s still a trend towards warming since the mid 1970s or so; the cooling period before that was, supposedly, the product of industrial sulphate pollutants inadvertently reflecting sunlight in the atmosphere, which cooled the planet. The sulphates have been reduced now and so, the theory goes, the warming has begun again. You’ll find the money data in table form here: 1998, which was once alleged to have been the hottest year in a millennium, is now the second hottest behind … 1934. 2001 used to be the eighth-hottest year on record but now, after the data was recalculated, it’s slipped out of the top ten, replaced by … 1939. To quote Coyote Blog:

All of these necessary revisions to surface temperatures will likely not make warming trends go away completely. What it may do is bring the warming down to match the much lower satellite measured warming numbers we have, and will make current warming look more like past natural warming trends (e.g. early in this century) rather than a catastrophe created by man. In my global warming book, I argue that future man-made warming probably will exist, but will be more like a half to one degree over the coming decades than the media-hyped numbers that are ten times higher.

Whether that’s true or not, I obviously have no idea. Expect some furious pushback about it from the Goracle’s acolytes very, very soon.

Read Further...

Links here:

Coyote Blog

Daily tech

Tiger Hawk

Ace of Spades

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