An Even Bigger Climategate is in the United States
Published in Energy Tribune December 2009
By Art Horn, Meteorologist
It could not have happened at a more inopportune time for global warming alarmists just before the Copenhagen meeting which is shaping out to be perhaps the biggest exercise in futility in recent history.
The eye popping revelations from Britain’s “Climategate” have shocked the scientific world in the last two weeks. Emails hacked from the University of East Anglia have revealed unethical and possible criminal activity by some of the world’s presumed leading climate scientists. The emails show that there has been suspicious altering of historical climate data with the implication of making global warming more alarming and dangerous. The emails have shown that these scientists have been caught hiding behind loopholes in laws to keep freedom of information requests from being fulfilled. The revelations clearly indicate that other emails relating to these FOI requests have been deleted after the FOI request was submitted, a criminal offence. These same scientists have been found to be bullies as well. They have intimidated scientific journals so as to prevent any opinion about global warming other than their own to be published.
These were not just scientists talking “as scientists do” as some have suggested in attempting to salvage the fig leaf of respectability. These were key individuals who have had a major impact in shaping the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Changes (IPCC) findings on global warming. Climate activists universally quote the IPCC as the irrefutable authority on global warming science. As a direct consequence of the emails Dr. Phil Jones, director of the Climate Research Unit (CRU) at East Anglia has stepped down pending an investigation. It appears the same thing could happen here. Already Dr. Michael Mann, creator of the notorious “Hockey Stick” temperature reconstruction is under investigation by his employer, Pennsylvania State University. Mann figures prominently in the emails. The Hockey stick, now abandoned even by the most ardent advocates, has played a pivotal role in raising the alarmism several notches in the IPPC 3rd Assessment in 2001.
But in spite of the recent furor, in spite of the fact that recent polls show huge gaps of credibility with the public, perhaps because of already gained inertia, perhaps because climate change has become tantamount to religion among certain politicians and celebrities, they either dismiss the seriousness of the recent revelations or they have other crutches to lean upon.
Prominent among these, repeatedly shown in Congress and circulated among politicians and journalists, are data published by two United States government agencies: the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
We claim that those data have the imprint of similar or even more blatant doctoring as the ones implied by the British revelations.
Perusal of publicly available information shows that current United States climate data that have been relied upon to build many public statements have been altered deliberately. The doctoring is insidious and the motives should be clear to anybody.
The alterations have been essential to reduce the amount of cooling in the temperature trend and increase the warming trend in the data. As of this writing it is not clear to us which agency is responsible for the changes. But the doctoring is unambiguous.
Here we will focus on the United States data set, but the same doctoring is clearly seen in the global versions (e.g. see US scientist Tom Wigley email about reducing the temperature spike in the 1940 time frame in the context of making the longer term trend look warmer but still plausible. (1254108338)). NOAA gathers the data for United States and world and shares it with NASA and the CRU. Though the CRU is ground zero for the Climategate investigation, the data comes from NOAA and the emails show US scientists are clearly implicated in what comes after.
In Figure 1 we see the United States historical temperature trends since 1880. The graph shows warming periods and cooling periods. Note the dramatic warming that took place from 1918 to 1934 well before any man-made global warming was possible due to the lack of significant carbon emissions. In fact 1934 is the warmest year in this climate record! From that year on there is a longer than three decades pronounced cooling trend that terminates in 1979 even though carbon dioxide levels were steadily rising. That is when Newsweek and others wrote about the “consensus” of Global Cooling. After 1979 there was a modest warming until the end of the period of measurement in 1999.
So how does one promote catastrophic man made global warming with this rather harmless looking graph? The answer is in Figure 2. This is the “updated” version of the historical data that ends in 2008. In this representation we see some puzzling changes. First note that 1934 is no longer the warmest year. By some fluke of nature 1998 has warmed past 1934. In fact 1998 has shot above 1921 and 1931 as well! This was first revealed by Steven McIntyre from Climate Audit. The significance of this change is that in the 1999 version, 1934, 1921 and 1931 were clearly warmer than 1998. Also note that all of the average temperatures after 1970 have warmed in the 2008 version. This is a startling development. How could the temperatures change from one version of the historical data to the next?
We thought history was history and that whatever happened to temperature be it colder or warmer it was a measured concrete fact. Apparently not especially if you are looking for a way to convince Congress that man made global warming is here, it is serious and we had better do something about it. In Figure 3 we see what has been changing. This is clearly not the historical temperatures. What Figure 3 shows is that someone(s) at either NASA or NOAA has(ve) adjusted the historical temperature data to enhance and promote a warming trend since 1970. It is interesting to note that there are adjustments that go in the opposite direction to cool earlier temperatures. Why would one artificially cool temperatures to show global warming? The answer is in Figure 3. By cooling the warmer temperatures from the 1920s to the 1960s any current warming looks more threatening. Note also how the cooler temperatures in the more distant past prior to 1920 have been adjusted warmer. Once again apparently the idea is to flatten the temperature trend to make the current period look unusually warm. This is how one changes history with one little adjustment at a time. Apparently they thought nobody would notice. The US data appear to be quite fishy and obviously ripe for an in-depth investigation.
It is clear to us and we see that a pattern of deceit and collusion in one or both United States agencies. These agencies receive massive amounts of money to study the “problem” of global warming. If global warming stopped and it was proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that carbon dioxide is not a harmful pollutant these agencies would lose millions in funding from our government. Careers could be jeopardized. Scientists could see their research projects cancelled. These agencies are entrusted with collecting, analyzing and distributing accurate climate data. The problem is that these data have been used to make major policy decisions that could have earth shaking impacts on the future of America and the world. The President of the United States is leading the charge of saving the world from global climate change. It appears that the entire rationale is the fabrication of some individual or groups of people, tampering with the data.