Mr. Adams has posted a late recap by the BBC of some work done by Dr. Richard Muller, with whom The Daily Cannibal is quite familiar, which “confirms” that the planet’s surface is indeed warming, to the tune of roughly 1 degree centigrade since the 1950s.
We are fans of Dr. Muller, who began this study with the intent of determining whether the temperature data employed by the IPCC and other bodies in their climate studies had been corrupted by poor sampling and/or purely mathematical errors in their statistical methodologies. Thus far, Dr. Muller reports, his own independent construction of the data has not revealed any meaning divergence, and what he confirms is that the IPCC data temperature conforms pretty closely to the data his group has derived.
What he does not confirm is perhaps more important:
1. He says that “Had we found no global warming, then that would have ruled out AGW (Anthropogenic Global Warming).” No kidding. But finding a warming trend, he is careful to note, does little to prove it is man-made.
2. So what else could it be? According to the BBC:
The team suggests it is worth investigating whether the long-term AMO [Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation] cycles, which are thought to last 65-70 years, may play a part in the temperature rise, fall and rise again seen during the 20th Century.
Ocean currents? Yes, there is a growing body of opinion that ocean temperatures have a major influence on atmospheric temperatures. Not CO2.
This is at the root of the problem. There is so very little understood about the very complex systems that govern our planet that attempts to draw absolute conclusions based on very scant data are pretty much bound to be fruitless. That will not stand in the way of the legions of the enlightened, who, needing dragons to feed their St. George fantasies, find them in every meadow. Those of you who fail to see the dragons are either absent the necessary spiritual purity, willfully blind or deliberately evil.
Even Dr. Miller’s admirable effort to obtain conclusions independent from bias become fodder for the mills of the faithful. The best evidence of this is the deliberately misleading statement from a Mr. Bob Ward, “policy and communications director for the Grantham Research Institute for Climate Change and the Environment,” according to the BBC:
“It is now time for an apology from all those, including US presidential hopeful Rick Perry, who have made false claims that the evidence for global warming has been faked by climate scientists.”
Huh? The most damning claims of fraud have to do the an issue Mr. Ward is careful to steer clear of: the undisclosed sudden switching of data sources employed in the IPCC data itself and the famed “hockey stick” diagram. For the uninitiated, here’s the deal:
At a certain point in the temperature record, when tree ring data no longer supported the warming hypothesis, the tree ring data was disregarded in favor of available “real time” actual temperature readings from various reporting stations. One wonders: if the tree ring data was no longer valid after a certain date — then why is the tree-ring data valid at all? In other words, if the tree data was skewed to the cool side, was this a sudden event — or did it also skew the data used prior to the substitution of real time temperature reports, and therefore show a false warming trend when higher “actual” temperatures were substituted?
When the IPCC is asked this question, it either changes the topic or simply disregards it. This troubles us.
But let this be our penultimate comment on AGW. We have one more thing to say, to be reserved for a final post, and with that, nemo will say farewell to the topic. Butler is free to continue as he wishes.