Thursday, July 4, 2013

Hot Weather and Climate Change - Or How to Make a Molehill out of a Mountain WUWT-style

Sou | 10:28 AM Feel free to comment!

Adapted from a WUWT "guest essay" by Steve "Mad, Mad, Mad" Goreham with original and adapted illustrations and annotations and maybe a bit of literary license by HotWhopper

On Sunday, Death Valley temperatures reached 129oF (53.9oC) a new June record high for the United States and the world, according to the National Weather Service and a new June world record according to Jeff Masters. Temperatures at McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas reached 117oF, tying the previous record set in 1942 and 2005. National Geographic, NBC News, and other media ran stories attributing the Southwest heat wave to human-caused global warming. But history shows that today’s temperatures are nothing extraordinary.  In fact if you go back in time only about 450 million years, you would have found it quite a bit warmer.  You might have some trouble finding Las Vegas is all.  Anyway, if you think you were hot in the last few days, just wait a decade or two.

The United States high temperature record was doubtfully/maybe set in 1913, measured in Death Valley on July 10th. Twenty-three of the 50 US state high temperature records date back to the decade of the 1930s. Seventy percent of state high records were set prior to 1970.  And the USA IS the entire world.  Well, it's all that matters isn't it.

The alarm about climate change is all about one degree or two degrees or four degrees or six degrees or more, depending on how far ahead you want to look. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), global surface temperatures have increased about 1.3oF (0.7oC) since 1880.  Okay, maybe 0.8oC since 1880, or 1oC since 1910 but who's counting? . Proponents of the theory of man-made warming claim that this is evidence that man-made greenhouse gases are raising global temperatures.  Pfffft! We know better, don't we.  In fact I'll show you that temperatures haven't increased a cracker, or nothing worth counting, unless you live on an ice sheet in Greenland.

One degree over more than 130 years isn’t very much. It's hardly worth worrying about.  Just because it's never been this hot in the ten thousand years since civilisation began doesn't mean you have to be concerned.  Just think, in contrast, Chicago temperatures vary from about -5oF to 95oF, about 100 degrees, each year.  And if you compare the lowest temperature ever recorded on earth with the highest temperature ever measured (by satellite) - well, you'd relax for sure.

When compared to this 100-degree annual swing, the rise in global temperatures since the 1800s is trivial, captured by a thin line on a graph.  So is the annual variation in Chicago temperatures when you make the scale right.  And as for a piddly degree or two for the entire world, just look and see...

Nevertheless, NOAA repeatedly raises concern about global temperatures. The NOAA website proclaims that “May 2013 global temperatures were the third highest on record.” This sounds alarming unless one understands that “on record” refers to the thermometer record, which only dates back to about 1880. Ha! My dad was alive back then - so there!  I bet yours was too.

Climate changes over hundreds and thousands and millions and zillions of years if not longer. (Or, if you are a young earther, maybe just a coupla thousand years or so). Data from Greenland ice cores show several periods during the last 10,000 years that were warmer than today on the ice sheet in Greenland, including the Roman Climate Optimum at the height of the Roman Empire and the Medieval Warm Period, when the Vikings settled southwest Greenland and grew potatoes. The warm and cool eras since the last ice age were due to natural climate cycles, not greenhouse gas emissions. The “on record” period that NOAA references is only a tiny part of the climatic picture.  A very tiny part.  A teeny weeny part.  Like as if your life was but a milli-molly-mandy second dancing on the head of a pin.

Global average temperature is difficult to measure. You need lots and lots and lots of thermometers.  And even microwave ovens in satellites.  The data sets of NOAA are an artificial estimate at best. They are based on manmade thermometers not natural thermometers like trees and plants that eat CO2. They start with a patchwork collection of thousands and thousands and millions and billions of thermometer stations that inadequately cover the globe. They get wet too.  Think of what sea water does to artificial thermometers.  They get all rusty and covered in barnacles and stuff.  Station coverage of the oceans and of the far northern and southern regions is inconsistent and poor. Stations are dirt poor.  Not like us.  We're filthy rich and successful.  To cover areas without thermometers, averaging estimates are made from surrounding stations to try to fill in the holes.  And sometimes they fall into the holes.  It was only early this year they found one averaging estimate in Australia that fell down a hole in China and came out the other side.  It was very angry.  And it was summer time, so it wasn't just angry it was hot as well.  One real angry summer hot averaging estimate that one was.

In addition to coverage problems, gauge measurements often contain large errors. Man-made structures such as buildings and parking lots absorb sunlight, artificially increasing local temperatures. Now if women had made those structures such as buildings and parking lots they would be a lot more sturdy and would radiate with light and happiness.  Cars, air conditioners, and other equipment generate heat when operating, creating what is called an Urban Heat Island effect.  That's kind of like a Metro Yuppi effect. With spangles.

The accuracy of the US temperature record is questionable. US isn't what it used to be.  Now they are even talking about importing the temperature record from China.  What is happening to our once proud nation? Meteorologist Anthony Watts, not quite graduated from Purdue but was a real live weather announcer on a real live television station, and creator of the science-bashing website WattsUpWithThat, led a team of volunteers that audited more than 1,000 US temperature gauge stations from 2007 to 2011. Over 70 percent of the sites were found to be located near artificial heating surfaces such as buildings or parking lots, rated as poor or very poor by the site rating system of the National Climatic Data Center, a NOAA organization. That's why the NOAA is resiting them all in China.  It's quality is far superior these days now that the USA has gone to rack and ruin.  These stations were subject to temperature errors as large as 3.6oF (2oC).  That's as big as anything.  Just think of that ice sheet in Greenland.  Well it's ten times bigger.

Simple problems can throw off gauge readings. Temperature stations are louvered enclosures that are painted white to reflect sunlight and minimize solar heating. As the station weathers and the paint ages, gauge stations read artificially high temperatures. Astudy published last month found that after only five years of aging, temperature stations will record a temperature error of 2.9oF (1.6oC) too high. Well, one of them did once, anyway.  This is greater than the one degree rise in the last 130 years that NOAA is alarmed about.  It's huge.  That explains why some people in California thought they were hot over the weekend.  They weren't really hot at all, it was just all those wonky "made in the USA" weather stations with a peeling StetsonHat thingummy that forgot to put on the sunscreen.

In addition to temperature measurement error, NOAA makes “adjustments” to the raw temperature data. According to a 2008 paper, after raw thermometer data is received, a computer algorithm “homogenizes” the data, adjusting for time-of-observation, station moves, thermometer types, and other factors to arrive at the official temperature data set.  You're a full blooded American, would you drink pasteurized milk?  Would you drink "HOMOGENIZED" milk?  No! A big fat NO!!! It's not natural! Say NO!!! to "homogenized" temperature.  Insist on natural raw temperature with the cream floating on top.  It's good for you.

Source of the one you're not supposed to look at: NOAA
This sounds good until one looks at the adjustment that NOAA has added. For temperature data from 1900 to 1960, very little adjustment is added. But after 1960, NOAA adds an upward adjustment to the thermometer data that rises to 0.5oF (0.3oC) by the year 2000. This gives a whole new meaning to the phrase “man-made global warming.”  I mean they shouldn't have adjusted the raw temperatures for Urban Yuppi latte sipping heat islands or time of observation bias.  The very word "bias" tells you how prejudiced all these alarmists are against raw, natural thermometers and then exporting them to an ice sheet in China.  It's not American!  It's unpatriotic!

Heat waves are real just as climate change is real. But they aren't really heat waves because the theromometers are all suffering UHI disease but don't adjust them because we like our thermometers raw. But a piddly little heat record of 117oF (47.2oC) in Las Vegas or one degree Celsius of global temperature rise since the Civil War - okay, one and a bit degrees - satisfied? - is not evidence that humans should be overly alarmed when other factors have been shown to be contributors of the same or greater magnitude than the posited temperature rise from greenhouse gas emissions what a long sentence this turned out to be.  Like yuppies and artificial thermometers on an ice sheet.  DON'T BE SCARED!!! IF YOU GET SCARED ABOUT GLOBAL WARMING WE'LL GET A CARBON TAX AND WE'LL ALL DIE IN POVERTY!!!

Steve Goreham is Executive Director of the Proud to Be American Anti-Climate Science Coalition of America in the USA but shifting to China where they make decent thermometers and author of the new book that I can't give away: The Mad, Mad, Mad World of Climatism: Mankind and Climate Change Mania that was bought for free and used for kindling by every environmental scientist in as many universities that the Heartland Institute could find in the telephone book.  You can read the glowing tributes to my superbly brilliant denialist bible here on Amazon.

Looks as if some WUWT-ers had the same reaction as I did :D

Our old mate Chad Wozniak says of Mad, Mad, Mad Steve's article:
July 3, 2013 at 4:29 pm The blind leading the deaf leading the insensible
The impertinent leading the arrogant leading the egomaniacal
I never cease to be amazed at the effrontery of the people who persist in demitting this sort of flatulence. White is not black, red is not blue no matter how many times they say it is.

Theo Goodwin wisely adds (excerpt):
July 3, 2013 at 3:32 pm  To paraphrase Socrates, recognizing one’s ignorance is the beginning of knowledge.

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