Major pop culture science site advances fraud

Liar, liar, earth on fire
Liar, liar, earth on fire

If you have Progressive friends, you know that one of their favorite sites is IFLScience or, as it’s otherwise known, “I F**king Love Science.”  (And is there anything a Progressive loves more than using the F-word, a decidedly infantile passion?) To support the Paris Climate (and anti-terrorism) conference, IFLScience proudly re-printed an article by Stephan Lewandowsky, Chair of Cognitive Psychology at Bristol University, announcing that there has been no temperature pause.  (I hope you appreciate as much as I do that Progressives consider a Chair of Cognitive Psychology as a definitive source for climate science.)

Per Lewandowsky, the alleged pause is just a lie by evil deniers. And the proof that there’s been no temperature pause?  NOAA data!  See for yourself:

Chart on NOAA numbers showing no temp pause

There’s only one problem with Lewandowsky’s triumphant proclamation, and it falls into the GIGO (Garbage In, Garbage Out) category — the NOAA numbers have been grotesquely manipulated and are therefore fraudulent:

In June, Tom Karl, a top level official at NOAA released a study, “Possible Artifacts Of Data Biases In The Recent Global Warming Hiatus,” purporting to show that temperatures over the past two decades have not paused but, instead, have been steadily increasing. On the recommendations in that paper, both NOAA and the Goddard Institute for Space Studies (“GISS”) have altered America’s historic temperature records. It was an incredibly fortuitous study as it not only found warming that science’s best minds and increasingly accurate measurements had missed, but it did so just as the UN prepares to host the Paris Conference and just before the EPA released its Clean Power Plan.

Karl’s study is problematic at best. The study ignores our most accurate measurements from satellite data, which show that global warming stopped almost twenty years ago, on both land and seas. Further, Karl’s changes to ocean temperature records and Arctic temperature estimates are just brazenly inappropriate.

To understand how brazen Karl’s work is, a little history is in order. Since 2000, a multinational effort has been under way to position and use so called “ARGO” buoys to measure, among other things, ocean temperatures and currents. There are over 4,000 such buoys spread out over the world’s oceans providing this data. The buoys are not perfect, since they do not provide daily temperature and satellite data must supplement their information. Nevertheless, there is no question that the ARGO system provides the most accurate data available. Despite this accuracy, Karl unilaterally adjusted the ARGO buoy temperatures upwards to bring them in line with inherently inaccurate sea temperature measurements taken from ship engines. An article that Dr. Richard Lindzen and others posted at the CATO Institute explains just how biased towards warming Karl’s work is:

[Karl’s] treatment of the buoy sea-surface temperature (SST) data was guaranteed to put a warming trend in recent data. They were adjusted upwards 0.12°C to make them “homogeneous” with the longer-running temperature records taken from engine intake channels in marine vessels. As has been acknowledged by numerous scientists, the engine intake data are clearly contaminated by heat conduction from the structure, and they were never intended for scientific use.

On the other hand, environmental monitoring is the specific purpose for the buoys. Adjusting good data upwards to match bad data seems questionable, and the fact that the buoy network becomes increasingly dense in the last two decades means that this adjustment must put a warming trend in the data.

My only complaint with the paragraph above is the description of what Karl did as “questionable.” There is nothing questionable about it. Anyone who tried to change the data that way for, say, a securities prospectus would find himself facing criminal charges. Nor was this Karl’s only fraudulent act. Additionally, he rejiggered Arctic temperature estimations in a manner wholly unwarranted and guaranteed to produce warming. The Lindzen article again explains what Karl did:

The extension of high-latitude arctic land data over the Arctic Ocean is also questionable. Much of the Arctic Ocean is ice-covered even in high summer, meaning the surface temperature must remain near freezing. Extending land data out into the ocean will obviously induce substantially exaggerated temperatures.

In other words, Karl has blatantly cooked the books. And Karl is not just any scientist; he is a high level public employee in charge of one version of our historic temperature records. He has now altered that version of our records based on this study for reasons seeming to have far more to do with politics than science.

Congress has decided to investigate this most recent change and has subpoenaed NOAA’s records related to the Karl study. The other day, NOAA announced that it will not honor the subpoena, citing to “the confidentiality of the requested documents and the integrity of the scientific process .” Obviously Mr. Karl has a very dark sense of humor to claim that the “integrity of the scientific process” is at stake by making all taxpayer-funded documents about a scientific study public. Prof. Judith Curry disagrees with Mr. Karl, concluding in a recent op-ed, “If the House Science Committee can work to minimize the political influence on government-funded research, and also help to resolve legitimate scientific issues, it will have done both science and the policies that depend on science a big favor.”

And do note, what Karl did in 2015 – i.e., adjusting our historic temperature records – is something that our government record keepers at NASA and NOAA have done multiple times over the past two decades. Those changes to the temperature record, never published for comment or publicly justified, have been coming (dare I say it) fast and furious over the last three years because raw temperature data has shown no warming since 1997: “By the count of researcher Marcia Wyatt In a widely circulated presentation, the U.S. government’s published temperature data for the years 1880 to 2010 has been tinkered with 16 times in the past three years.”

And here is the mystery about those changes: Every major adjustment of our temperature records during the past two decades has been to adjust pre-1950 temperatures downwards and post 1950 upwards, thus creating an ever greater illusion of warming. As science writer Richard Booker wrote in the Telegraph a few months ago, “The fiddling with temperature data is the biggest science scandal ever.”

One simple example illustrates how the scandal operates. Back in 2008, if you were to have looked at both NASA’s and NOAA’s historic temperature records for January, 1915, and January, 2000, you would have found the difference between the two to be .39 Celsius of warming. Fast forward to 2015, and if you look at both NASA’s and NOAA’s historic temperature records for the same two months, you would find the difference between the two to be .52 Celsius of warming. Certainly something is heating up in our historical temperature records. It appears to be the pixels.

This temperature manipulation reeks of fraud, it it renders our temperature records untrustworthy, and it provides the false information that is then fed into computer models to serve as grist for the resulting prophecies about catastrophic global warming. Worse, these adjustments to raw data have been significant,accounting for as much as half of all the warming that is supposed to have occurred in the 20th century.

IFLScience’s triumphalist tone would be funny but for its vast reach. As I said, it’s very popular. The site has something like 22 million Facebook likes, meaning that a lot of people are reading what it publishes.  These are therefore the kinds of articles that keep Obama’s execrable green fraud afloat.