Global Warming: Don't Confuse Us with the Facts

Timothy Birdnow
Global warming is a planetary emergency, climate alarmists tell us.  America and the rest of the world  must fundamentally alter our lifestyles and radically reduce our consumption of energy and our industrial emissions if we are to survive thermogeddon.  This is science, they tell us, and the science is settled.

President Obama echoed this in his State of the Union address, pointing his bony little finger at the American people and declaring global warming a "fact" despite the evidence on the ground.  If Mr. Obama is to make such a decisive statement on the accuracy of computer models, then one would suppose he was privy to precise and accurate -- and complete -- data.

If global warming aka climate change aka global climate flatulence is so serious a problem, then why are they allowing our system of moored ocean buoys that measure sea surface temperatures and the El Niño/La Niña phenomenon to degrade?

From Nature News:

Nearly half of the moored buoys in the Tropical Atmosphere Ocean (TAO) array have failed in the last two years, crippling an early-warning system for the warming and cooling events in the eastern equatorial Pacific, known respectively as El Niño and La Niña. Scientists are now collecting data from just 40% of the array.

"It's the most important climate phenomenon on the planet, and we have blinded ourselves to it by not maintaining this array," says Michael McPhaden, a senior scientist at the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in Seattle, Washington. McPhaden headed the TAO project before it was transferred out of NOAA's research arm and into the agency's National Weather Service in 2005.

The network was developed over the course of a decade following the massive El Niño of 1982‒1983. NOAA maintains some 55 buoys across the eastern and central Pacific that monitor weather conditions as well as water temperatures down to 500 metres. Working in concert, the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC) maintains another dozen buoys in the western tropical Pacific. Combined, the monitoring system has become a cornerstone for seasonal weather forecasting given the tropical Pacific's influence on broader weather patterns.

It's strange that this administration -- so worried about global warming -- is so incurious about what is actually happening in the oceans.

This mirrors a number of other such acts of neglect by the U.S. government where climate data is concerned.  For instance, the Obama administration has allowed our satellite capabilities to degrade, and most recently, Elbert Friday, Jr., former director of the National Weather Service, warned of a rather desperate need for next-generation satellites to replace America's aging "fleet."

Friday blames budget cuts, and others try to pin this on the GOP.  But it must be remembered that the sequester was the brainchild of the administration, not the GOP, and that if this really is a planetary emergency, as Mr. Obama and his friends allege, there surely is a way of finding funding for these satellites.

And the number of surface measurement stations has declined precipitously during Mr. Obama's tenure of office.  In fact, there have been over 600 weather station closures in the last two years, and the aging stations still in operation have a warming bias due to aging radiation screens -- a bias as high as 1.6 degrees Celsius in daytime hours.  When stations are closed, their records are deduced from averaging records from other stations, many of them quite distant from the closed station.

There are major problems with this type of data-smoothing.  Also, meteorologist Anthony Watts conducted a survey of surface stations and found a warming bias as a result of the Urban Heat Island Effect as cities have blossomed around once isolated stations.  Watts's survey found a warming bias between 2 and 5 degrees Celsius, well above the alleged planetary temperature rise.  (It should be pointed out that the U.S. data set is considered the gold standard for temperature measurements.)  See surfacestations.org for more details.

Strange -- we are being asked to support an enormously expensive project to reduce atmospheric CO2 and pay for mitigation projects based on data of such poor quality.  We are supposed to fundamentally transform our civilization based on suspect information.  And even this suspect data shows no warming in 16-plus years.

It's not as if this administration were broke; it wasted money on studies of duck penises, on tax deductions for Nevada brothels, by the State Department to buy followers on Facebook, for a Long Island puppet festival, and a host of other absolutely critical services.

Could not the administration find a few paltry dollars to upgrade our climate data?  It seems that the truth is not so important to science after all.

Timothy Birdnow is a St. Louis-based writer.  He is editor of The Aviary www.tbirdnow.mee.nu.

Global warming is a planetary emergency, climate alarmists tell us.  America and the rest of the world  must fundamentally alter our lifestyles and radically reduce our consumption of energy and our industrial emissions if we are to survive thermogeddon.  This is science, they tell us, and the science is settled.

President Obama echoed this in his State of the Union address, pointing his bony little finger at the American people and declaring global warming a "fact" despite the evidence on the ground.  If Mr. Obama is to make such a decisive statement on the accuracy of computer models, then one would suppose he was privy to precise and accurate -- and complete -- data.

If global warming aka climate change aka global climate flatulence is so serious a problem, then why are they allowing our system of moored ocean buoys that measure sea surface temperatures and the El Niño/La Niña phenomenon to degrade?

From Nature News:

Nearly half of the moored buoys in the Tropical Atmosphere Ocean (TAO) array have failed in the last two years, crippling an early-warning system for the warming and cooling events in the eastern equatorial Pacific, known respectively as El Niño and La Niña. Scientists are now collecting data from just 40% of the array.

"It's the most important climate phenomenon on the planet, and we have blinded ourselves to it by not maintaining this array," says Michael McPhaden, a senior scientist at the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in Seattle, Washington. McPhaden headed the TAO project before it was transferred out of NOAA's research arm and into the agency's National Weather Service in 2005.

The network was developed over the course of a decade following the massive El Niño of 1982‒1983. NOAA maintains some 55 buoys across the eastern and central Pacific that monitor weather conditions as well as water temperatures down to 500 metres. Working in concert, the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC) maintains another dozen buoys in the western tropical Pacific. Combined, the monitoring system has become a cornerstone for seasonal weather forecasting given the tropical Pacific's influence on broader weather patterns.

It's strange that this administration -- so worried about global warming -- is so incurious about what is actually happening in the oceans.

This mirrors a number of other such acts of neglect by the U.S. government where climate data is concerned.  For instance, the Obama administration has allowed our satellite capabilities to degrade, and most recently, Elbert Friday, Jr., former director of the National Weather Service, warned of a rather desperate need for next-generation satellites to replace America's aging "fleet."

Friday blames budget cuts, and others try to pin this on the GOP.  But it must be remembered that the sequester was the brainchild of the administration, not the GOP, and that if this really is a planetary emergency, as Mr. Obama and his friends allege, there surely is a way of finding funding for these satellites.

And the number of surface measurement stations has declined precipitously during Mr. Obama's tenure of office.  In fact, there have been over 600 weather station closures in the last two years, and the aging stations still in operation have a warming bias due to aging radiation screens -- a bias as high as 1.6 degrees Celsius in daytime hours.  When stations are closed, their records are deduced from averaging records from other stations, many of them quite distant from the closed station.

There are major problems with this type of data-smoothing.  Also, meteorologist Anthony Watts conducted a survey of surface stations and found a warming bias as a result of the Urban Heat Island Effect as cities have blossomed around once isolated stations.  Watts's survey found a warming bias between 2 and 5 degrees Celsius, well above the alleged planetary temperature rise.  (It should be pointed out that the U.S. data set is considered the gold standard for temperature measurements.)  See surfacestations.org for more details.

Strange -- we are being asked to support an enormously expensive project to reduce atmospheric CO2 and pay for mitigation projects based on data of such poor quality.  We are supposed to fundamentally transform our civilization based on suspect information.  And even this suspect data shows no warming in 16-plus years.

It's not as if this administration were broke; it wasted money on studies of duck penises, on tax deductions for Nevada brothels, by the State Department to buy followers on Facebook, for a Long Island puppet festival, and a host of other absolutely critical services.

Could not the administration find a few paltry dollars to upgrade our climate data?  It seems that the truth is not so important to science after all.

Timothy Birdnow is a St. Louis-based writer.  He is editor of The Aviary www.tbirdnow.mee.nu.