Global warming 'masked'?

Hear that trumpet call? It's New Scientist magazine sounding "Retreat!" on global warming, like Custer's cavalry when all those screaming Sioux warriors came charging over the hill. Charge!! Backward!  With NASA suddenly erasing that magical 0.15 degrees (C) of temperature jump in 1998, the upward trend of surface warming, once the staple of Global Warming alarmism, has been totally erased. Nineteen thirty-four, of Dust Bowl fame, is now the hottest year on record. NASA is trying to pretend it is just a trivial change. They are wrong.

New Scientist has now scrambled into the back-up trenches (mostly created by the British Global Warming crowd, I'll bet). It's just that Global Warming is being masked. So we can't observe it, naturally, but underneath all those hundreds of contending physical variables, it's still creeping up on us! It's just hidden Global Warming!

Writes New Scientist:
"'Cool farms' mask the extent of global warming."

14 August 2007

"You've heard of urban heat islands. Now researchers have confirmed the existence of their opposite: cool farm patches."

"Whereas urban development generates pockets of hot air, irrigated fields tend to cool things down, they say - and there is evidence that the effects have been felt in California for over a century."
What? It took them decades to figure out that irrigating crops cools things down? Well, sort of. Evaporating water does cool things down, true, but that fact just wasn't "relevant" before. By taking farming into account they can now explain any observed temperatures at all. (Oceans, lakes and rivers are next.)
"In areas of intensive irrigation, such as the Central Valley in California, US, these ‘cool farms' have counteracted global warming, say Céline Bonfils and David Lobell of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California. But they warn that a reduction in irrigation could spell the end of the relief that these regions have enjoyed."
Thank heavens. Global Warming lives! It's just gone into temporary eclipse, like that Persian Imam in the 9th century CE.
"Bonfils and Lobell compared irrigation and temperature data for California between 1915 and 2000, during which time the area of irrigated land in the Central Valley doubled. ... Extrapolating back to when irrigation began in 1887, they calculate that intensively irrigated parts of the Central Valley are 1.8 °C to 3.2 °C cooler than they would otherwise have been."
Right, extrapolation will get you there. And extrapolating the stock market from the 1990's will give us a Dow of 35,000 right up the road. Put up your money.

What's not clear is whether Bonfils and Lobell have taken account of NASA's most recent "correction" of the surface temp record, which just appeared on the NASA website last week, without any embarassing public announcement. Chances are the math modelers were "extrapolating" from an erroneous set of numbers. But it doesn't matter, of course, because creative model builders can always find extra numbers somewhere. The eye of faith can see what mere science can only guess at.

Keep an eye on the media. This is going to be fun, if you have a satirical sense of humor.

P.S. The hero of the hour is Stephen McIntyre, the former mining executive in Toronto who spotted NASA's miraculous temperature jump and started to wonder about it at . Turns out that NASA "forgot" to apply its downward correction algorithm to the years after 1998. On such minutiae the Global Warming myth depends. Apparently nobody bothered to double-check their data. Why question a good thing?

James Lewis blogs at