Accuracy of warming data
Many criticize environmentalists, calling them apocalyptic warming freaks, saying that
the jury is still out on warming. They say that the measurement information obtained
from satellites contradicts IPCC mathematical
calculation. This is a wait and see
attitude. We should wait, they say, until the evidence is conclusive and consistent
with predictive modeling. Should we wait until we are 100% sure? At what point
should decisive action be taken? This was a topic addressed last year in
/25126 go to fuzzy
logic, then to uncertainty discussion.
In the 1970s, the temperatures dropped, unlike the rises in the 1990s. In explaining
this, there are several possibilities.
See data masking in the next policy discussion tab for data masking from cooling effects.
Sallie Baliunas from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics thinks the
overemphasized warming. She maintains that the IPCC
data is unreliable. She further
believes that the warming is due to sun winds and spots. She believes it may be cyclical.
Urban heat issue
Dr. Robert C. Balling, Jr. of Arizona State University describes the problems of
measuring global temperature increases. He calls it the "urban heat" problem.
Measurements earlier in the 1900s were less widely scattered. They tended to be
in less populated areas, as compared to today. At any rate, there is a lack of
comparability in measurements, and one cannot conclude anything about increasing
Funding source taint (a separate accuracy issue)
Michael Parsons in his book, Global Warming, points out that as the
measured data does not match the predictions of the climate models, scientists
"adjust" the data. He asks where is the line between falsifying data and trying to
correct for unknown variables.
REF: Parsons, M.; Global Warming - the truth behind the myth;
Insight Books; Plenum Press, New York, NY; 1995; page 41; call QC981.8.G56 P39 1995.
To win funding from governmental agencies such as EPA and DOE the environmentalist
researcher is pressed to show environmental "crisis" or emergency. Does this pressure
affect research results? Are the results objective or biased?
Dr. William Gray, professor of Atmospheric Sciences at Colorado State University has
said that researchers are "pounding the global-warming drum because they know there is
politics, and therefore, money behind it."
Ross Gelbspan in his book the Heat is on; asks how scientists paid by
fossil fuel companies can keep an objective perspective. In chapter 2, the book lists funding for
Pat Michaels of the University of Virginia, Robert Balling of Arizona State University,
S. Fred Singer of the University of Virginia, and Richard Lindzen of MIT - all of whom
say that increasing carbon dioxide is not harmful, and indeed might be good.
When the Star Tribune published an editorial about Drs. Michaels and Balling, the two of
them filed a complaint before the Minnesota News Council, saying that the way the paper
had presented it lead to professional questioning of his credentials. The council
found for the professors.
The professors maintained that their scientific conclusions were in agreement with
those of the fossil fuel companies before they were funded by the companies. This
did not compromise their objectivity in their findings. Star Tribune case was at
as of 8/15/2000.
Dr. Roy Spencer, a physicist at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center, University of
Alabama has pointed out that "it is easier to get funding if you can show some evidence
for impending climate disasters."
Dr. Sherwood Isdo, US Water Conservation Laboratories, has stated that "a lot of people
are getting very famous and very well funded as a result of promoting the disastrous
scenario of greenhouse warming."
Accuracy of warming predictions better
Dr. Thomas J. Crowley of Texas A&M University recently published a study with
the conclusion that human intervention was responsible for global climate change through
global warming. Unlike scientists publishing before him, he took the approach of removing
from the modeling calculations all factors that had small, insignificant contributions
from nature to either warming or cooling.
A warming skeptic, Dr. Fred Singer, said Dr. Crowley based his conclusions on imprecise
Dr. Michael Schlesinger of the University of Illinois, in commenting on Dr. Crowley's
work, said that politicians should not be sidetracked from attacking global warming just
because interactions with the ocean at atmosphere have caused unpredictability in the
In commenting on the work, Dr. Michael Mann of the University of Virginia points out that
the current computer modeling predicting continuing warming is becoming more reliable.
REF: Revkin, Andrew C.; Study Faults Humans for Large Share of Global Warming;
New York Times; July 14, 2000
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