[HT: Flopping Aces]
You may have heard last week that a new report showed that Antarctica is warming. After a few years of observations, including that now completely discredited Hockey Stick Graph that originally got so many people fired up about Man Made Climate Change, I take every one of these things with a grain of salt. It seems that, as usual, I was right to be skeptical of the ideologues scientists who push anthropomorphic climate change. Like most of the other data points in the junk science theory, they have to cherry pick and make up numbers to arrive at their predetermined conclusion.
Writing at the Telegraph, Christopher Booker points out the problems with this new conclusion:
Another example last week was the much-publicised claim, contradicting all previous evidence, that Antarctica, the world’s coldest continent, is in fact warming up, Antarctica has long been a major embarrassment to the warmists. Al Gore and co may have wanted to scare us that the continent which contains 90 per cent of all the ice on the planet is heating up, because that would be the source of all the meltwater which they claim will raise sea levels by 20 feet.
However, to provide all their pictures of ice-shelves “the size of Texas” calving off into the sea, they have had to draw on one tiny region of the continent, the Antarctic Peninsula – the only part that has been warming. The vast mass of Antarctica, all satellite evidence has shown, has been getting colder over the past 30 years. Last year’s sea-ice cover was 30 per cent above average.
The Climate Change Disciples simply have to find a way to claim that Antarctica is warming… I mean, if the coldest place in the world is not warming, what does that mean about their theory? So, as they have done time and time again, they make up data and massage it to end up with the political results that they want.
The paper was published in Nature and heavily promoted by the BBC. This, crowed journalists such as Newsweek’s Sharon Begley, would really be one in the eye for the “deniers” and “contrarians”.
Okay, this is a part of this debate that drives me crazy. The basic scientific method requires that a scientist make a hypothesis, then test the heck out of it, and once he feels that he has a good theory he publishes it, throwing it out there for other scientists to attempt to poke holes in it. If it survives mostly intact it becomes an accepted theory but remains a theory. We still talk of the Theory of Evolution and the Theory of General Relativity but most people accept them because of the amount of peer review that has gone on. But for some reason the Theory of Anthropomorphic Climate Change has to be an exception. If you peer review it and decide that there are problems with it, you are not doing science, you are a “denier” or a “contrarian”, or as Al “Forrest” Gore said, comparable to a “Holocaust Denier”. This entire thing is just political junk science.
But then a good many experts began to examine just what new evidence had been used to justify this dramatic finding. It turned out that it was produced by a computer model based on combining the satellite evidence since 1979 with temperature readings from surface weather stations.
The problem with Antarctica, though, is that has so few weather stations. So what the computer had been programmed to do, by a formula not yet revealed, was to estimate the data those missing weather stations would have come up with if they had existed. In other words, while confirming that the satellite data have indeed shown the Antarctic as cooling since 1979, the study relied ultimately on pure guesswork, to show that in the past 50 years the continent has warmed – by just one degree Fahrenheit.
So, like they did with the fabricated Hockey Stick Graph (ignoring the Medieval Warm Period) they just made up the data arrive at the conclusion that they wanted. That is NOT science, that is propaganda that Goebbels would be proud of.
But it was also noticed that among the members of Steig’s team was Michael Mann, author of the “hockey stick”, the most celebrated of all attempts by the warmists to rewrite the scientific evidence to promote their cause. The greatest of all embarrassments for the believers in man-made global warming was the well-established fact that the world was significantly warmer in the Middle Ages than it is now. “We must get rid of the Mediaeval Warm Period,” as one contributor to the IPCC famously said in an unguarded moment. It was Dr Mann who duly obliged by getting his computer-model to produce a graph shaped like hockey stick, eliminating the mediaeval warming and showing recent temperatures curving up to an unprecedented high.
This instantly became the warmists’ chief icon, made the centrepiece of the IPCC’s 2001 report. But Mann’s selective use of data and the flaws in his computer model were then so devastatingly torn apart that it has become the most comprehensively discredited artefact in the history of science.
I want to point you to two previous blog posts of mine on this subject: