Latest posts by H. Sterling Burnett (see all)
- Why a Carbon Tax Does Not Work - February 24, 2018
- Time for the Clean Power Plan to Go, Endangerment Finding Should Be Next - February 23, 2018
- President Trump on Energy and the Environment, an Assessment of His First Year - February 22, 2018
In testimony before Congress, John Christy, Alabama’s state climatologist and director of the Earth System Science Center at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, explained the data used by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to proclaim record temperatures is biased in a number of ways. The ground-based data come from thermometers located near sources of artificial heat, including concrete and air conditioner exhausts, and the ocean data come from ship engine water intake valves. By contrast, Christy notes, satellite-derived temperatures offer global coverage and are not affected by the heat island effect. Christy noted climate models show 2.5 times as much warming as has been observed by satellites and weather balloons.
Because the satellite measurements challenge the narrative of a discernable human impact on climate, Christy noted,
[t]here have been several well-funded attacks on those of us who build and use such datasets and on the datasets themselves. … It is a bold strategy in my view to actively promote the output of theoretical climate models while attacking the multiple lines of evidence from observations. Note that none of the observational datasets are perfect and continued scrutiny is healthy, but when multiple, independent groups generate the datasets and then when the results for two completely independent systems (balloons and satellites) agree closely with each other and disagree with the model output, one is left scratching one’s head at the decision to launch an offensive against the data.
Christy also pointed out actual observations show the frequency and intensity of extreme events is not increasing, disproving claims based on climate models.
An article by Senja Post published in the journal Public Understanding of Science examined the “ideals and practices” of German scientists as they communicated climate change research findings to the public. Post surveyed German climate scientists holding the position of full professor and actively engaged in climate research, finding “the more climate scientists are engaged with the media the less they intend to point out uncertainties about climate change and the more unambiguously they confirm the publicly held convictions that it is man-made, historically unique, dangerous and calculable.”
In addition, the more convinced scientists were rising carbon dioxide levels are causing dangerous climate change, the more they worked with the media to spread that message. Post’s survey also revealed German climate scientists object to publishing results indicating climate change is happening more slowly than expected, which in her words “gives reason to assume that the German climate scientists are more inclined to communicate their results in public when they confirm rather than contradict that climate change is dramatic.”