Science Journal Massages Data to Show no 'Pause' in Global Warming

Ignoring the satellite data and calling it a day.

This week, the journal Science, publishing a paper by US government scientists, reported that there has been no global warming “pause” over the last 18 years, and the 2013 UN/IPCC report claiming the presence of such an ongoing pause is wrong. But it’s more that Science journal is wrong.

This is going to get geeky, so bear with me a moment. According to the authors of the Science study, however, the UN/IPCC's data was flawed. Using “corrected” measurements, they claim that temperatures rose at a rather significant rate of 0.106°C per decade between 1998 and 2014, more than twice the rate the IPCC reported the year before. The Science article, after all, “adjusted” the data for biases, and the IPCC didn’t.

"I hope that this study helps to put this false idea of a hiatus to rest," sniffed Stefan Rahmstorf, a professor of ocean physics at Germany's Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, who was not involved in the study. "It didn't have any merit in the first place."

What the journal article doesn’t seem to realize is that the least biased data of all come from satellites, which don’t need any massaging of the data. And the satellites unequivocally show that there’s been no global warming at all for 18 and a half years.

Satellites measure the lowest miles of the atmosphere, but temperature measurements from government scientists (like the authors of the Science piece) rely on thousands of weather stations, buoys and ships around the globe. It’s this latter data that the Science authors chose to massage upward to match their beliefs.

It really should be obvious, but surface measurements are subject to all kinds of warming contaminants. What should never happen is any “adjustment” of the firmer data to match the data more subject to contamination. But that’s just what the Science journal authors did. The data from engine intake channels in seagoing vessels are notoriously warming-biased, because the engines themselves conduct heat and spoil the sample. So the journal’s authors “adjusted” the data from sea-buoy measurements and cranked the temperatures up by .12 degrees C to match the motor-engine temperatures.

Worse: the article, amazingly, took the warmer Artic land data and simply imputed it to the Arctic Ocean. Since the polar Arctic Ocean is frozen all year round, it’s going to be far colder than, say, Siberia even in summer. If you just assume that the temperature on the polar sea ice is the same as your recorded temperatures on land, you’re obviously going to artificially crank up your “global” averages.

There’s already condemnation coming for the Science piece. A dozen climate scientists not involved in the study were interviewed by the site Mashable and nearly all of them agreed “the study does not support the authors’ conclusion that the so-called warming pause never happened.”

“Instead, they said it simply proves that changing the start and end dates used for analyzing temperature trends has a big influence on those measurements, a fact that was already widely known,” Mashable reported.

You can’t simply ignore the satellite data and call it a day. As the Cato Institute commented,

Getting the vertical distribution of temperature wrong [coming from satellite data] invalidates virtually every forecast of sensible weather made by a climate model, as much of that weather (including rainfall) is determined in large part by the vertical structure of the atmosphere.”

So if you can’t really predict any weather trends without satellites, and the satellites show no global warming, can you really predict Al Gore’s planetary apocalypse?