By Dr. Tim Ball
In previous parts of this series (Parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6) I’ve shown how a political agenda took over climate science primarily through the UN and specifically the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The agenda was spread to the world at the 1992 Rio Conference. Periodic Reports from the IPCC maintained the focus on CO2 and increased the political pressure. Please understand I am not claiming a conspiracy, but rather a cabal, which is defined as a secret political clique pushing a political agenda; in this case, designed by Maurice Strong.
Although the IPCC was the major vehicle other agencies got caught up quickly as governments became more involved. Results of the IPCC reports were skillfully propagandized so the issue took hold with the media and the public. It was also due to bureaucrats in each country carefully selected from weather related offices to serve on the IPCC. As MIT professor Richard Lindzen, former member of the IPCC said, “It is no small matter that routine weather service functionaries from New Zealand to Tanzania are referred to as ‘the world’s leading climate scientists.’ It should come as no surprise that they will be determinedly supportive of the process.” A political bias made a few of them especially supportive. The pattern of their machinations emerged early and continues. A measure of this was how long many of them kept the Hockey Stick graph on official government web sites.
Contrary to popular belief politicians do listen. The problem is they usually hear if they think there is a consensus, whether right or wrong, or if the issue can garner votes. Both these situations existed in the claims of global warming. In addition, most politicians don’t understand climate science and were forced to rely on the bureaucrats.
The most notorious was the Hockey Stick (HS) in the IPCC 2001 Third Assessment Report (TAR). Despite its destruction by McIntyre and McKitrick confirmed by the Wegman committee reporting to the National Academy of Sciences, Michael Mann and his associates continue to claim their work was legitimate. Its omission from the 2007 IPCC Report told the real story.
While the Hockey Stick was exposed and rejected it drew attention away from a more insidious piece of ‘human signal’ evidence in the 2001 IPCC (TAR). This was the claim by P.D. Jones, Director of the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia, that the global average annual temperature increased 0.6°C ± 0.2°C in some 130 years. It was claimed the increase was beyond any natural increase with the strong implication it was caused by humans. The data is simply not adequate to make this conclusion. The first problem is the huge error factor of ± 0.2°C or 66%, which essentially makes the number meaningless. Imagine a political poll saying it was accurate plus or minus 33%. Besides, there are so many problems with the global data many consider it impossible to calculate the global temperature. Some of the problems explain why.
There are very few records of 130 years, indeed, few over 100 years.
The number of these stations is not representative of the world; they were even less so as you go back in history. Most stations are still concentrated in eastern North America and Western Europe as the Global Historical Climate Network shows (see map). This was even truer as you go back in time. Then, whole continents were excluded or at best represented by a single station. There are virtually no measurements for the oceans, the forests, deserts, mountains or Polar Regions.
Most of the older stations are the ones most affected by the Urban Heat Island Effect. This is an artificial increase in temperatures as a city expands around a weather station. There is considerable disagreement over how much adjustment is necessary.
There are serious questions and proven limitations of many of the stations..
Two US authorities, the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (NASA GISS) produced different global annual averages for the year 2007. GISS claimed it was the second warmest year on record while NOAA said it was the seventh warmest year, both ostensibly using the same data.
In 1999 the US National Research Council Report, expressed serious concern about the data “Deficiencies in the accuracy, quality and continuity of the records place serious limitations on the confidence that can be placed in the research results.” In response to the report Kevin Trenberth said, “It’s very clear we do not have a climate observing system…This may be a shock to many people who assume that we do know adequately what’s going on with the climate, but we don’t.” It has not improved. In fact, there are fewer global weather stations now than in 1960.
Roger Pielke Sr and Dallas Staley tested the 2007 Report, “To evaluate the IPCC’s claim to be comprehensive, we cross-compared IPCC WG1 references on near-surface air temperature trends with the peer-reviewed citations that have been given in Climate Science. We selected only papers that appeared before about May 2006 so they were readily available to the IPCC Lead authors.”(Author’s note; The IPCC used this cutoff date argument to ignore research such as the relationship between sunspots and global temperature. In that case they did it even though the research was in the literature as early as 1991).
They found, The IPCC WG1 Chapter 3 Report clearly cherrypicked (sic) information on the robustness of the land near-surface air temperature to bolster their advocacy of a particular perspective on the role of humans within the climate system. As a result, policymakers and the public have been given a false (or at best an incomplete) assessment of the multi-decadal global average near-surface air temperature trends.”
Gore’s movie trumpeted that 1998 was the warmest year on record. This is wrong. An error was found in the NASA GISS data and when corrected made 1934 hottest year on record, not 1998; 1921, became the third hottest year on record not 2006; three of the five hottest years on record occurred before 1940; Six of the top 10 hottest years occurred prior to 90 percent of the growth in human produced greenhouse gas emissions during the last century. If it was a genuine error then somebody should be fired, if it wasn’t there are more serious implications. Suspicions are raised by a pattern of ‘adjustments’ that make earlier years cooler thus making more recent years warmer. The procedures that cause this are explained in an article titled, “Rewriting History, Time and time again.”
The pattern of adjustments and failure to disclose methods is deeply disturbing and requires much more investigation. It parallels too closely what has happened at the IPCC and makes a mockery of their claim that, “Eleven of the last twelve years (1995-2006) rank among the twelve warmest years in the instrumental record of global surface temperature (since 1850).”
The 66% error factor is sufficient in itself to reject the argument that Jones’ figure represents an unusual increase. It is definitely inadequate to serve as the basis for a global climate and energy policy. But there is a more serious problem.
We can’t reproduce Jones’ results because he refuses to disclose which stations he used and how the data was adjusted. To a request for information from Warwick Hughes, an Australian climate researcher who has long studied the global temperature record, Jones wrote, “We have 25 or so years invested in the work. Why should I make the data available to you, when your aim is to try and find something wrong with it.” (Jones’ reply to Warwick Hughes, 21. February 2005; P. Jones later confirmed this to Alex von Storch.)
Jones was not alone in the practice of non-disclosure or denial of access to climate data. A series of attempts to obtain information from the University of East Anglia and from the joint enterprise of the Hadley Centre and the Climate Research Unit are well documented on the Blog site Other people involved in the reconstructions have also ignored requests to post their data and methods, even though much of it is paid for by taxpayers and is the required practice in all other areas of scientific research. For example, it appears NASA GISS doesn’t provide all the computer source code, formulae, or the correction used for the final temperature data. Scientists must be able to validate the work and claims of others for science to advance. It is even more important if your work is the basis for global climate and energy policies. But you may consider it unnecessary if you claim the science is settled and have a political rather than a scientific agenda.
Professor Wegman’s Committee for the National Academy of Science arbitrated the hockey stick debate and identified problems in one segment of climate science, namely paleoclimate. However his remarks identified problems that plague all of climate science and especially the IPCC.
It is important to note the isolation of the paleoclimate community; even though they rely heavily on statistical methods they do not seem to be interacting with the statistical community. Additionally, we judge that the sharing of research materials, data and results was haphazardly and grudgingly done. In this case we judge that there was too much reliance on peer review, which was not necessarily independent. Moreover, the work has been sufficiently politicized that this community can hardly reassess their public positions without losing credibility. Overall, our committee believes that Mann’s assessments that the decade of the 1990s was the hottest decade of the millennium and that 1998 was the hottest year of the millennium cannot be supported by his analysis.
These are devastating remarks for any committee to make, but especially a science committee. They illustrate the fine line so far drawn between culpability and incompetence. They appear to illustrate behavior patterns more in line with proving a theory than disproving it, which underlines political rather than scientific objectives. It is no coincidence that it was a child who observed that the Emperor had no clothes.
By the time of the Wegman report more people were starting to ask questions, but the momentum created by the unholy alliance of the IPCC, governments, media, and environmental groups was in full swing. But there is one more component beyond the control of process that the IPCC used to perpetuate the myth of human CO2 causing warming or climate change – the computer models.
Global Warming Series:
Part 1: Environmental Extremism
Part 2: Historical and philosophical context of the climate change debate.
Part 3: How the world was misled about global warming and now climate change
Part 4: How UN structures were designed to prove human CO2 was causing global warming
Part 5: Wreaking Havoc on Global Economies
Part 6: The Hockey Stick scam that heightened global warming hysteria
Part 7: The Unholy Alliance that manufactured Global Warming
Part 8: UN’s IPCC preying on people’s ignorance
Part 9: Carbon Taxes: Hand over your money! “We are saving you from yourself”
Part 10: Environmentalists Seize Green Moral High Ground Ignoring Science
Part 11: Maurice Strong Politics 101