Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Red Faces At NASA Over Temperature Data, Just A Little "Boo-Boo? Or Major Scandal

Is NASA's admitted mistake in interpreting historical temperature data just an insignificant, minor blunder? No way. This is a HUGE, and scandalous error in data recording and interpretation. Worst of all, it seems likely that top people at NASA knew of the errors and covered up this fact.

What does this mean? It means that everyone, meteorologists who forecast the weather have been using false data. I means the hundreds or thousands of researchers using this data in their computer climate models, have been inputting flawed data. Remember the phrase "garbage in garbage out", that refers to any computer program.

It means that insurance companies using weather models to predict future costs due to storm damage, have been using erroneous data. It means farmers, city planners, indeed anyone with an interest in the weather, has been lied to.

What else might this mean? It means Al Gore's entire book and so-called documentary, "An Inconvenient Truth", is as we have long proclaimed, just simple trash. His Oscar Award for the film should be recalled. He can kiss his Nobel Prize nomination good-bye.

Most significant of all, The United Nation's IPCC (International Panel on Climate Change) has been using flawed data in its predictions of global warming, climate change and impending doom. The United States, and other countries have been passing laws costing billions of dollars, based on this flawed data. It means the United Nations has been misled, again.

Every politician, government, corporation, scientist, and citizen should be outraged. Now we'll see who the real "deniers" are. Newsweek, are you paying attention? MSNBC, Brian Williams, are you going to report on this? The Weather Channel, is this going to make your news? What will the public response be? Apathy? Cynicism? Or outrage?

The following article, from the Toronto Star, comments on this un-folding story.


Red faces at NASA over climate-change blunder

Agency roasted after Toronto blogger spots `hot years' data fumble
In the United States, the calendar year 1998 ranked as the hottest of them all – until someone checked the math. After a Toronto skeptic tipped NASA this month to one flaw in its climate calculations, the U.S. agency ordered a full data review. Days later, it put out a revised list of all-time hottest years. The Dust Bowl year of 1934 now ranks as hottest ever in the U.S. – not 1998. More significantly, the agency reduced the mean U.S. "temperature anomalies" for the years 2000 to 2006 by 0.15 degrees Celsius.

NASA officials have dismissed the changes as trivial. Even the Canadian who spotted the original flaw says the revisions are "not necessarily material to climate policy." But the revisions have been seized on by conservative Americans, including firebrand radio host Rush Limbaugh, as evidence that climate change science is unsound. Said Limbaugh last Thursday: "What do we have here? We have proof of man-made global warming. The man-made global warming is inside NASA ... is in the scientific community with false data."

However Stephen McIntyre, who set off the uproar, described his finding as a "a micro-change. But it was kind of fun." A former mining executive who runs the blog, McIntyre, 59, earned attention in 2003 when he put out data challenging the so-called "hockey stick" graph depicting a spike in global temperatures. This time, he sifted NASA's use of temperature anomalies, which measure how much warmer or colder a place is at a given time compared with its 30-year average. Puzzled by a bizarre "jump" in the U.S. anomalies from 1999 to 2000, McIntyre discovered the data after 1999 wasn't being fractionally adjusted to allow for the times of day that readings were taken or the locations of the monitoring stations.

McIntyre emailed his finding to NASA's Goddard Institute, triggering the data review.
"They moved pretty fast on this," McIntyre said. "There must have been some long faces."

No comments: