UPDATE: See this important New peer review paper finds no significant 20th century warming for New Zealand despite the official manipulated record.
a href="http://news.heartland.org/newspaper-article/2014/09/23/australian-meteorologists-caught-fudging-temperature-measurements" title="By Darren Nelson">By Darren Nelson
A storm of sorts has been brewing in Australia, a tempest caused by anthropogenic global warming activism. Scientist Jennifer Marohasy and environment editor Graham Lloyd, among others have been reporting on the fact the Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) has been “fudging” historical temperature records to fit a warming narrative.
On her blog, Marohasy reported,"[T]emperatures have been diligently recorded at places like Bourke in outback New South Wales since 1871. Then there’s the Bureau’s official record that takes a revisionist approach: first truncating the data and then passing it through complex mathematical algorithms.”
“[BOM] has constructed a synthetic climate record whose relevance to climate change is not scientifically defensible,” said William Kininmonth, a retired meteorologist and former head of the National Climate Centre (NCC) at BOM.
Prof. Bob Carter, science policy advisor at the Institute of Public Affairs (IPA), said, “Official correction of the temperature records by national agencies was first detected in the USA for NASA, and shortly thereafter the release of the Climategate emails revealed similar procedures were in use by the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia, which prepares the UKs temperature records.”
Changed Cooling to Warming
Marohasy reported she had “analysed the raw data from dozens of locations across Australia and matched it against the new data used by BOM showing that temperatures were progressively warming.”
“In many cases,” Marohasy added, “temperature trends had changed from slight cooling to dramatic warming over 100 years.”
BOM said the agency had used global best practices and a peer-reviewed process to modify the physical temperature records from weather stations across the country. The data from some of weather stations underwent a process known as “homogenization,” allegedly to correct for anomalies. Historical data was altered to account for a wide range of non-climate-related influences such as the type of instrument used, choice of calibration or enclosure, and where it was located.
However, Kininmonth noted, “There is no justifiable basis to modify actual observations without evidence of changed instrumentation or environmental factors; where there is evidence of such changes the adjustments can only be considered speculative, especially if the adjustments are made on the basis of statistical links to independent observations from tens of kilometres away.” According to former television meteorologist Anthony Watts, “[e]ssentially all the homogenization does is spread the warm bias around.”
Specific Data Manipulation Revealed
The Australian and Weekend Australian have been closely following and reporting on this developing story through environment editor Lloyd. In the August 23, 2014 Australian, Lloyd wrote, “It goes to heart of the climate change debate, in particular, whether computer models are better than real data and whether temperature records are being manipulated in a bid to make each year hotter than the last.”
In a statement to Environment & Climate News, Lloyd emphasized, “The Australian responded to legitimate concerns that were being widely raised. It is the media’s job to ask questions with the aim of making people better informed. I will leave judgement about who is right to others.”
On her website, Marohasy cited a problematic example of the BOM’s temperature alterations: “[T]he unhomogenised/raw mean annual minimum temperature trend for Rutherglen for the 100-year period from January 1913 through to December last year shows a slight cooling trend of 0.35C per 100 years. After homogenisation there is a warming trend of 1.73C per 100 years. [T]his warming trend essentially was achieved by progressively dropping down the temperatures from 1973 back through to 1913.”
Greenpeace cofounder Patrick Moore blasted the process as “institutional lying.” “Firstly, ‘homogenization’ of temperature readings is a new and contrived concept. It is a pure rationalization to fake the actual record. Secondly, the motivation for this institutional lying is the continued flow of taxpayer money to support the fiction that we are responsible for the natural change in climate that has been going on since life began,” Moore said.
‘Reason for National Shame’
A 2011 independent review panel told BOM “to be more transparent and make public all details of the computer models used to adjust historic temperature… [and] to clearly explain any changes that were made between raw and homogenised data.”
Lloyd said, “Transparency is always important. This was clearly recognized by the bureau’s own independent peer review panel, which called for greater openness. Publication of all adjustments made and the decision making process is good practice.”
Marohasy has covered this story extensively on her blog. At the outset of the controversy, Marohasy wrote, “the adjusted records resemble propaganda rather than science.” More recently she wrote, “That the Minister has not yet intervened, and that many within the Australian scientific community attempt to justify the practice of homogenisation that creates these adjustments that changes cooling trends to warming trends at a whim, is reason for national shame.”
D. Brady Nelson is a Washington DC-based neo-Austrian economist, writer, and speaker from Brisbane, Australia and Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and is a regulation expert with The Heartland Institute.
Graham Lloyd, The Australian, August 23, 2014.
Guest lecturer met with disagreement
Guest speakers are a common occurance at Towson University and, for the most part, they attend without stirring up controversy. Things changed, however, when David Legates, a professor of geography from the University of Delaware and a skeptic of human-caused, or anthropogenic, climate change, was invited to speak on campus Thursday.
“I think it was unfortunate to bring in only one speaker and have it be such a minority view,” said Brian Fath, a professor in the department of biological sciences.
Fath was at the lecture Thursday night and was one of a handful of TU faculty who challenged what Legates was saying at the end of his talk.
Legates shared data and other evidence that, according to him, show that the scientific community is wrong and misguided about anthropogenic climate change.
“My concern is that carbon dioxide is not the main player in climate change,” Legates said. “It’s probably only a bit [of a] player.” During his talk, he went through examples that he said did not see a strong relationship between human activity and a changing climate.
However, as was pointed out by members of the audience after Legates’ lecture, he mostly stands alone in his view.
“Doctor Legates does not represent what the majority of the scientific community who study climate change thinks,” Joel Moore, an assistant professor in the department of geosciences, said.
Legates came to campus as a part of the What Matters Speaker Series, which has been put on by the Department of Geography and Environmental Planning. He came because of a grant from William Murray, a member of the board of directors of the TU Foundation.
Yet, according to Virginia Thompson, chair of the department, Legates would not take any compensation for lecturing at the University.
“Although Doctor Legates’ views do not reflect my own, I wanted to give him a venue to express his opinions so that we could have a conversation about it,” Thompson said.
Thompson said that she was met with pushback from Towson faculty when she announced that Legates would be coming to campus. Some of the immediate reaction she received was concern that there would be no rebuttal to what Legates was saying.
Both Fath and Moore said in interviews that they would have liked to see some sort of panel or rebuttal during the event. Moore suggested a panel that accurately represented the scientific community.
“So maybe four or five people who study different aspects of climate change, and then Legates,” Moore said.
Legates said that he had no problem with investing in clean technology and embracing conservation methods. His qualm, however, is how climate change is presented to the public. He does not believe that the issue is presented honestly or without bias. He said that he thinks scientists “overstating” the dangers of climate change is “disingenuous.”
Legates also said that he thought that the focus should be more on how to reduce human vulnerability to a changing climate, rather than trying to keep the climate from changing.
“The point is that climate is going to change. Climate is always variable,” Legates said. “So as a result, we need to figure out how we live with these things.”
Some Towson faculty thought his message was potentially harmful because of the viewpoint it presented.
Fath said he thought that without “perspective and context” Legates’ message could potentially misinform students.
Fath was not alone in his concern.
Moore said that Legates’ message could be a “disservice” to students and members of the community who don’t have a strong background in and an understanding of Earth’s climate.
Despite the controversy, Legates was not met entirely with disagreement.
Moore, for example, said that what Legates said about human activity increasing floods by creating non-permeable surfaces was “absolutely true.”
“That in of itself was fine, I agree with him on that,” Moore said. “But I don’t agree with how it connects to the bigger picture.”
Thompson said that she agreed with Legates in his view that humans are putting themselves in a dangerous position.
“Almost every climate scientist can agree that human behavior is increasing human vulnerability to climate,” she said. “Some will also include greenhouse gasses, [Legates] won’t.”
Big Green ideologues continue to run masterful, well-funded, highly coordinated campaigns that have targeted, not just coal, but all hydrocarbon energy. They fully support the Obama agenda, largely because they helped create that agenda. These Radical Greens, in and out of government, seek ever-greater control over our lives, livelihoods, living standards and liberties. They know they will rarely be held accountable for the callous, careless, even deliberate harm they inflict. They know their wealth and power will largely shield them from the deprivations that their policies impose on the vast majority of Americans.
They have shuttered coal mines, power plants, factories, the jobs that went with them, and the family security, health and welfare that went with those jobs. Now they are targeting ranchers ...and fracking. Meanwhile they allow renewable energy programs to completely avoid the endangered species and other environmental laws that are imposed with iron fists on mining, ranching and other industries. The November elections give us our first opportunity to strike a blow for freedom and prosperity.
It’s rarely about the environment anymore, about slashing our energy use, free enterprise, job creation, living standards and freedoms.
Back in 1970, when I got involved in the first Earth Day and nascent environmental movement, we had real pollution problems. But over time, new laws, regulations, attitudes and technologies cleaned up our air, water and sloppy industry practices. By contrast, today’s battles are rarely about the environment.
As Ron Arnold and I detail in our new book, Cracking Big Green: To save the world from the save-the-Earth money machine, today’s eco-battles pit a $13.4-billion-per-year U.S. environmentalist industry against the reliable, affordable, 82% fossil fuel energy that makes our jobs, living standards, health, welfare and environmental quality possible. A new Senate Minority Staff Report chronicles how today’s battles pit poor, minority and blue-collar families against a far-left “Billionaires Club” and the radical environmentalist groups it supports and directs, in collusion with federal, state and local bureaucrats, politicians and judges – and with thousands of corporate bosses and alarmist scientists who profit mightily from the arrangements.
These ideological comrades in arms run masterful, well-funded, highly coordinated campaigns that have targeted, not just coal, but all hydrocarbon energy, as well as nuclear and even hydroelectric power. They fully support the Obama agenda, largely because they helped create that agenda.
They seek ever-greater control over our lives, livelihoods, living standards, liberties and wealth. They know they will rarely, if ever, be held accountable for the fraudulent science they employ and the callous, careless, even deliberate harm they inflict. They also know their own wealth and power will largely shield them from the deprivations that their policies impose on the vast majority of Americans.
These Radical Greens have impacted coal mines, coal-fired power plants, factories, the jobs that went with them, and the family security, health and welfare that went with those jobs. They have largely eliminated leasing, drilling, mining and timber harvesting across hundreds of millions of acres in the western United States and Alaska - and are now targeting ranchers. In an era of innovative seismic and drilling technologies, they have cut oil production by 6% and gas production by 28% on federally controlled lands.
Meanwhile, thanks to a hydraulic fracturing revolution that somehow flew in under the Radical Green radar, oil production on state and private lands has soared by 60% - from 5 million barrels per day in 2008 (the lowest ebb since 1943) to 8 million bpd in 2014. Natural gas output climbed even more rapidly. This production reduced gas and gasoline prices, and created hundreds of thousands of jobs in hundreds of industries and virtually every state. So now, of course, Big Green is waging war on “fracking” (which the late Total Oil CEO Christophe de Margerie jovially preferred to call “rock massage").
As Marita Noon recently noted, Environment America has issued a phony “Fracking by the Numbers” screed. It grossly misrepresents this 67-year-old technology and falsely claims the industry deliberately obscures the alleged environmental, health and community impacts of fracking, by limiting its definition to only the actual moment in the extraction process when rock is fractured. For facts about fracking, revisit a few of my previous articles: here, here and here - and another new US Senate report.
Moreover, when it comes to renewable energy, Big Green studiously ignores its own demands for full disclosure and obfuscates the impacts of technologies it promotes. Wind power is a perfect example.
Far from being “free” and “eco-friendly,” wind-based electricity is extremely unreliable and expensive, despite the mandates and subsidies lavished on it. The cradle-to-grave ecological impacts are stunning.
The United States currently has over 40,000 turbines, up to 570 feet tall and 3.0 megawatts in nameplate output. Unpredictable winds mean they generate electricity at 15-20% of this “rated capacity.” The rest of the time mostly fossil fuel generators do the work. That means we need 5 to 15 times more steel, concrete, copper and other raw materials, to build huge wind facilities, transmission lines to far-off urban centers, and “backup” generators - than if we simply built the backups near cities and forgot about the turbines.
Every one of those materials requires mining, processing, shipping - and fossil fuels. Every turbine, backup generator and transmission line component requires manufacturing, shipping - and fossil fuels. The backups run on fossil fuels, and because they must “ramp up” dozens of times a day, they burn fuel very inefficiently, need far more fuel, and emit far more “greenhouse gases,” than if we simply built the backups and forgot about the wind turbines. The environmental impacts are enormous.
Environmentalists almost never mention any of this or the outrageous wildlife and human impacts.
Bald and golden eagles and other raptors are attracted to wind turbines, by prey and the prospect of using the towers for perches, nests and resting spots, Save the Eagles International president Mark Duchamp noted in comments to the US Fish & Wildlife Service. As a result, thousands of these magnificent flyers are slaughtered by turbines every year. Indeed, he says, turbines are “the perfect ecological trap” for attracting and killing eagles, especially as more and more are built in and near important habitats.
Every year, Duchamp says, they also butcher millions of other birds and millions of bats that are attracted to turbines by abundant insects - or simply fail to see the turbine blades, whose tips travel at 170 mph.
Indeed, the death toll is orders of magnitude higher than the “only” 440,000 per year admitted to by Big Wind companies and the USFWS. Using careful carcass counts tallied for several European studies, I have estimated that turbines actually kill at least 13,000,000 birds and bats per year in the USA alone!
Wildlife consultant Jim Wiegand has written several articles that document these horrendous impacts on raptors, the devious methods the wind industry uses to hide the slaughter, and the many ways the FWS and Big Green collude with Big Wind operators to exempt wind turbines from endangered species, migratory bird and other laws that are imposed with iron fists on oil, gas, timber and mining companies. The FWS and other Interior Department agencies are using worries about sage grouse and White Nose Bat Syndrome to block mining, drilling and fracking. But wind turbines get a free pass, a license to kill.
Big Green, Big Wind and Big Government regulators likewise almost never mention the human costs – the sleep deprivation and other health impacts from infrasound noise and constant light flickering effects associated with nearby turbines, as documented by Dr. Sarah Laurie and other researchers.
In short, wind power may well be our least sustainable energy source and the one least able to replace fossil fuels or reduce carbon dioxide emissions that anti-energy activists falsely blame for climate change (that they absurdly claim never happened prior to the modern industrial age). But of course their rants have nothing to do with climate change or environmental protection.
The climate change dangers exist only in computer models, junk-science “studies” and press releases. But as the “People’s Climate March” made clear, today’PDFs watermelon environmentalists (green on the outside, red on the inside) do not merely despise fossil fuels, fracking and the Keystone pipeline. They also detest free enterprise capitalism, modern living standards, private property...and even pro football!
They invent and inflate risks that have nothing to do with reality, and dismiss the incredible benefits that fracking and fossil fuels have brought to people worldwide. They go ballistic over alleged risks of using modern technologies, but are silent about the clear risks of not using those technologies. And when it comes to themselves, Big Green and the Billionaires Club oppose and ignore the transparency, integrity, democracy and accountability standards that they demand from everyone they attack.
The upcoming elections offer an opportunity to start changing this arrogant, totalitarian system and begin rolling back some of the radical ideologies and agendas that have been too institutionalized in Congress, our courts, Executive Branch and many state governments. May we seize the opportunity.
Paul Driessen is senior policy analyst for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (www.CFACT.org) and author of Eco-Imperialism: Green power - Black death.