Saturday, August 14, 2010
Official: Satellite Failure Means Decade of Global Warming Data Doubtful
by John O'Sullivan
The fault was first detected after a tip off from an anonymous member of the public to climate skeptic blog, Climate Change Fraud (view original article) (August 9, 2010).
Caught in the center of the controversy is the beleaguered taxpayer funded National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). NOAA’s Program Coordinator, Chuck Pistis has now confirmed that the fast spreading story on the respected climate skeptic blog is true.
However, NOAA spokesman, Program Coordinator, Chuck Pistis declined to state how long the fault might have gone undetected. Nor would the shaken spokesman engage in speculation as to the damage done to the credibility of a decade’s worth of temperature readings taken from the problematic ‘NOAA-16’ satellite.
‘NOAA-16’ was launched in September 2000, and is currently operational, in a sun-synchronous orbit, 849 km above the Earth, orbiting every 102 minutes providing automated data feed of surface temperatures which are fed into climate computer models.
NOAA has reported a succession of record warm temperatures in recent years based on such satellite readings but these may now all be undermined.
World-renowned Canadian climatologist, Dr. Timothy Ball, after casting his expert eye over the shocking findings concluded, “At best the entire incident indicates gross incompetence, at worst it indicates a deliberate attempt to create a temperature record that suits the political message of the day.”
Great Lakes Sees Unphysical Wild Temperature Fluctuations
Great Lakes users of the satellite service were the first to blow the whistle on the wildly distorted readings that showed a multitude of impossibly high temperatures. NOAA admits that the machine-generated readings are not continuously monitored so that absurdly high false temperatures could have become hidden amidst the bulk of automated readings.
In one example swiftly taken down by NOAA after my first article, readings for June and July 2010 for Lake Michigan showed crazy temperatures off the scale ranging in the low to mid hundreds - with some parts of the Wisconsin area apparently reaching 612 F. With an increasing number of further errors now coming to light the discredited NOAA removed the entire set from public view. But just removing them from sight is not the same as addressing the implications of this gross statistical debacle.
NOAA Whitewash Fails in One Day
NOAA’s Chuck Pistis went into whitewash mode on first hearing the story about the worst affected location, Egg Harbor, set by his instruments onto fast boil. On Tuesday morning Pistis loftily declared, “I looked in the archives and I find no image with that time stamp. Also we don't typically post completely cloudy images at all, let alone with temperatures. This image appears to be manufactured for someone's entertainment.”
But later that day Chuck and his calamitous colleagues now with egg on their faces, threw in the towel and owned up to the almighty gaffe. Pistis conceded,
“I just relooked and (sic) the image again AND IT IS in my archive. I do not know why the temperatures were so inaccurate (sic). It appears to have been a malfunction in the satellite. WE have posted thousands if (sic) images since the inauguration of our Coatwatch (sic) service in 1994. I have never seen one like this.”
But the spokesman for the Michigan Sea Grant Extension, a ‘Coastwatch’ partner with NOAA screening the offending data, then confessed that its hastily hidden web pages had, indeed, showed dozens of temperature recordings three or four times higher than seasonal norms. NOAA declined to make any comment as to whether such a glitch could have ramped up the averages for the entire northeastern United States by an average of 10-15 degrees Fahrenheit by going undetected over a longer time scale.
Somewhat more contritely NOAA's Pistis later went into damage limitation mode to offer his excuses,
“We need to do a better job screening what is placed in the archive or posted. Coastwatch is completely automated so you can see how something like this could slip through.”
In his statement Pistis agreed NOAA’s satellite readings were “degraded” and the administration will have to “look more into this.” Indeed, visitors to the Michigan Sea Grant site now see the following official message:
"NOTICE: Due to degradation of a satellite sensor used by this mapping product, some images have exhibited extreme high and low surface temperatures. “Please disregard these images as anomalies. Future images will not include data from the degraded satellite and images caused by the faulty satellite sensor will be/have been removed from the image archive.”
NOAA further explained that cloud cover could affect the satellite data making the readings prone to error. But Pistis failed to explain how much cloud is significant or at what point the readings become unusable for climatic modeling purposes.
As one disgruntled observer noted,
“What about hazy days? What about days with light cloud cover? What about days with partial cloud cover? Even on hot clear days, evaporation leads to a substantial amount of water vapor in the atmosphere, particularly above a body of water. How can this satellite data be even slightly useful if it cannot "see" through clouds?”
Top Climatologist Condemns Lack of Due Diligence
The serious implications of these findings was not lost on Dr. Ball who responded that such government numbers with unusually high or low ranges have been exploited for political purposes and are already in the record and have been used in stories across the mainstream media, which is a widely recognized goal.
The climatologist who advises the military on climate matters lamented such faulty data sets,
“invariably remain unadjusted. The failure to provide evidence of how often cloud top temperatures "very nearly" are the same as the water temperatures, is unacceptable. If the accuracy of the data is questionable it should not be used. I would suggest it is rare given my knowledge of inversions, especially over water.“
How Many other Weather Satellites Are Also ‘Degraded’?
A key issue the government administration declined to address was how many other satellites may also be degrading. ‘NOAA-16’ is not an old satellite - so why does it take a member of the public to uncover such gross failings?
Weather blocker: jet stream stops and causes disasters
I think even Warmists would be hard put to show exactly how CO2 blocks the jetstream -- and they can explain ANYTHING!
The devastating Russian heatwave and Pakistan floods are caused by one unusual weather pattern - the static jet stream, meteorologists say.
The northern hemisphere jet stream, a fast-moving high-altitude air current, circles the earth from west to east. But in the past month, a "blocking event" has brought the jet stream to a halt, keeping weather patterns stationary over certain countries.
"Over Pakistan, the weather pattern is just staying with the monsoon, and the monsoon is bringing drenching rains," weatherzone.com.au meteorologist Josh Fisher said. "But this jet stream is also bringing dry air from eastern Africa right up into Russia and this continuous heatwave is allowing the wildfires to build."
The effects of the stalled jet stream across Europe and the US have been catastrophic. In early July in the eastern states of the US and Canada, a heatwave caused numerous deaths and power cuts.
In Pakistan, about 1600 people have died since floods struck in July and early August, while about 14 million are struggling to cope with the consequences of the natural disaster, the UN and Pakistani government said.
In Russia, an unprecedented heatwave has triggered about 557 wildfires and left the capital Moscow cloaked in heavy smog. Moscow's daily mortality rate has doubled to about 700, the city's health department head said, with city morgues almost full.
Mr Fisher said the Rossby waves - spinning wind currents that give the jet stream its wavy form by pushing it north and south - are responsible for the stalled jet stream. The waves have been stronger this year, working against the jet stream and bringing it to a halt.
This blocking pattern, while difficult to predict, usually lasts about eight to 11 days, he said. "The one that brought the hot temperatures to the US lasted over a week, while the current one affecting Pakistan and Russia has been persisting for already around eight days and could last for a few more days."
But less is known about what triggers this abnormal activity. Climate change has been cited as one possibility, but scientist Gerald Meehl of the National Centre for Atmospheric Research in Colorado told the New Scientist magazine there was no way to test the theory, as the resolution in climate change models was too low to replicate weather patterns such as blocking events.
Another cause could be low solar activity, Mr Fisher said. Low solar activity has already been linked to an increase in cold winters in Europe, with activity on the sun declining since 1985, Professor Mike Lockwood of the University of Reading said in findings published in April.
Another climate pow-wow achieves nothing
The August climate talks in Bonn
At the beginning of the climate conference in Bonn, Germany, UN climate chief Christiana Figueres called on delegates to do what was “politically possible” and make “incremental” progress. By most accounts, the Bonn talks fell short of even these modest goals. Rifts between poor countries and rich nations that were papered over in Copenhagen reopened leaving delegates with more to debate at the final climate conference in Tianjin, China before the year-end Cancun summit and less common ground from which to begin discussions.
Contentious topics grew more heated and previously settled issues were reconsidered. China continued to claim that international monitoring of its emissions would interfere with its sovereignty. Developing countries sought to make the emissions targets they’d agreed to in Copenhagen voluntary, while insisting that rich countries’ reductions remain mandatory. Some poor nations also sought to increase the amounts of money pledged for climate change mitigation from the long-term goal of $100 billion a year by 2020 and short-term goal of $10 billion a year by 2012. (Although US deputy special climate envoy Jonathan Pershing said they were seeking "staggering sums out of line with reality," the pledged figures now seem less substantial when compared with China’s plan to spend some $70 billion a year for a decade on renewable energy investments and the costs of rebuilding after climate-related disasters in Pakistan and Russia.)
Each dispute added contentious pages to the climate text under discussion, which must now be whittled back down in the Tianjin talks in October. This "tit for tat" diplomacy, as the European Union's co-lead negotiator Artur Runge-Metzger described it, caused the working draft to double in size from 17 to 34 pages.
The only thing all negotiators seemed to agree upon was that their efforts in Bonn had been unsuccessful. "These negotiations have if anything gone backwards," said the EU's climate action commissioner Connie Hedegaard. “All parties seem to be having a difficult time coming to convergence and the text is larger than it has to be,” America’s Pershing told the press. He claimed that during the talks some countries had been “walking back from progress made in Copenhagen." Dessima Williams of Grenada, who served as the spokeswoman for the 43-nation Association of Small Island States, concurred: "There seems to be some backsliding. This is very lamentable and very unhealthy."
The Guardian’s John Vidal tried to find the thinnest sliver lining in the very dark clouds over Bonn. Referring to the controversial Danish text, which would have sidelined the UN and abandoned the Kyoto Protocol, and the nonbinding Copenhagen Accords that President Obama helped cobble together at the last minute of the previous climate summit, Vidal suggests that perhaps “what we are seeing is the welcome, overdue correction to last year's kamikaze global diplomacy which fatally destabilised the global talks and ended in the Copenhagen fiasco. This analysis would say the negotiations are back on track, the majority of world countries are involved as opposed to just a few, and, with a fair wind and a raised level of ambition by everyone, it could lead to a much more balanced agreement.”
But neither he--nor I--are much swayed by this rose tinted view: “More likely is that the level of ambition for Cancun will be reduced further with no more than a package of agreements negotiated and all the tough stuff put back until next year. Or 2013. Or 2014,” Vidals concludes. That, he says, would be “the nightmare scenario”--an outcome that the squabbling in Bonn has made all the more likely.
While Figures and UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon both attempted to put a brave face on the Bonn talks, they could not succeed in securing more emission reduction pledges. Worse, many existing commitments were thrown into question. The most recent report from the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change found that developed nations must make 25-40 percent reductions below the 1990 benchmark by 2020 to stave off the worst effects of climate change. The now-weakened pledges made after Copenhagen were estimated to only amount to a cut of 12 to 19 percent, well short of the safe reduction range. Any climate meeting that does not bring the political promises closer to the scientifically requisite reductions can only be viewed as a failure.
British local Councils "Should Not Tackle Climate Change"
Councils in the UK should do "absolutely nothing" to tackle climate change unless a stringent global deal on reducing carbon emissions is reached through the United Nations, which includes developing as well as developed countries - according to Lord Lawson.
Insisting that such an agreement would be unlikely due to India and China's need to rapidly increase economic growth - in order to bring tens of millions of citizens out of poverty - the chairman of the Global Warming Policy Foundation claimed that town halls were wasting resources by promoting renewable energy schemes and greeninitiatives.
"For now, energy is carbon based because it is cheaper than anything else and it makes no sense to decarbonise unless everybody is doing it; it's lunacy to go it alone when China is building a new coal power station every week," he said, speaking at the LGA annual conference.
"It would cost the British economy £50bn a year up to 2050 to meet the requirementsof the UK Climate Change Act. Local authorities should do absolutely nothing to tackle climate change. Your money could be put to far greater use."
Lord Lawson said northern Europe would actually greatly benefit from continued warming and urged public servants to focus on adaptation rather than mitigation. He also highlighted Met Office figures showing that global temperatures had not risen at all in the last decade - although, he admitted they had gone up by 0.75 degrees over the last 150 years since the industrial revolution.
Countering his views, founding member of the Tyndall Centre professor Andrew Watkinson told delegates that 10 years was too short a period to identify weather trends and this explained the stabilisation in temperature.
"The climate science is sound and last winter was the second warmest globally despite the bad weather experienced here in the UK," said Watkinson, also a professional fellow of the University of East Anglia.
"We could see temperature rises in the future of between 1-4 degrees as a result of greenhouse gases - way beyond what humans on earth have experienced before, so local authorities have to take on the science and show leadership with new forms of energyas well as adaptation and mitigation measures."
Watkinson revealed that some scholars thought the global population could shrink from six billion to one billion if the worst effects of climate change came to fruition and parts of the southern hemisphere became inhabitable.
But Lord Lawson rejected these claims insisting that more extreme warming periods had occurred during Medieval and Roman times and that sea levels were not rising rapidly anymore."There has certainly been skulduggery with the science; it's totally one-sided - ignoring the benefits of global warming and exaggerating the downsides," he added."Climate change is like a new religion and there are some people who see it as a way to undermine capitalism."
A gullible Ethics Prof.
Open letter from Climate Depot's Executive Editor Marc Morano to Penn State Ethics Prof. Donald A. Brown
Dear Professor Brown:
You have recently been making the news with some very unique and serious claims regarding man-made global warming. You have made the laughable claim that Senate's failure to pass cap-and-trade the “worst ethical scandal...and a moral lapse of epic proportions.”
Sadly, this claim alone proves that your understanding of science and economics is what is truly the “worst ethical scandal” here.
How would passing a climate bill that was 'scientifically meaningless' improve ethics or morality or the climate? See: Even Obama's EPA admits cap-and-trade bill 'will not impact world CO2 levels'
You spend most of your “science” argument trying to convince the public of dangerous man-made global warming by noting that the Earth has been warming. Wow. So in your simplistic scientific mind Warming = Human caused. Sorry Professor that is not a very deep and well thought out argument.
You claim: “2010 is the hottest year so far and the last decade is the hottest on record.”
Oh really? How long does “so far” go? You are aware that these are land based temperature data and we are talking minute fractions of a degree. See: Climate Depot's full statement to USA Today on 'Hottest' Year And Arctic Ice: NOAA's Jay Lawrimore 'should be ashamed of himself' -- 'Declaration that we are experiencing the 'hottest' year is purely a political statement. Lawrimore knows that these statistics are merely tenths of a degree or LESS'
If you had cared to look at satellite data you would find that 2010 is not even the “hottest year” in the last 12 years, let alone of all time. Why do you cherry pick your evidence?
You resort to pure climate astrology when you claim: “More wildfires are being seen around the world...Droughts and floods are increasing in intensity and frequency...Storm damage is rising as predicted.” Once again, wow! As Prof. Roger Pielke Jr. has noted, claims like yours “have a status similar to interpretations of Nostradamus and the Mayan calendars.”
Tell me Professor, which of the below worst floods on record were caused by carbon dioxide?
Date... Location... Dead
1887, September-October Hwang Ho (Yellow) River, China Over 900,000
1939 North China 500,000
1642 Kaifeng, Honan Province, China Over 300,000
1099 England and the Netherlands 100,000
1287, December 14 The Netherlands 50,000
1824 Russia 10,000
1421, November 18 The Netherlands 10,000
1964, November-December Mekong Delta, South Vietnam 5,000
1951, August 6-7 Manchuria 4,800
1948, June Foochow, China 3,500
You claim: 'Fire seasons start earlier and are harder to contain" Wow, it must be rising Co2 from mankind, right? But then again, your assertions don't hold up. See: 'Global warming theory doesn't come anywhere close to explaining why it's so darn hot this summer in Moscow...confluence of several naturally-occurring atmospheric circulation patterns'
How about land use issues? See: Russia's Fires 'Caused In Large Part By Forest Mismanagement'
Do you ever ponder other factors, or are you “ethically bound” to cut and paste really lame talking points of global warming claims?
Australia's future productivity and the Greens’ agenda
The Coral Sea, east of the Barrier Reef, covers an area of 972,000 Sq. Km. . (About the same area as South Australia). It is a highly prospective oil and gas area. Now declared a no fishing, no go area.
In order for the water to run to waste in the name of “preserving the river”, the farmers in the Murray Darling irrigation area are to have their irrigation water supplies cut by 60%. Thus rendering Australia’s largest food bowl, and the farmers, to a state of irrelevance.
Bob Brown says that the greatest blot on Australia’s environmental reputation are the power houses fed by Yallourn Valley brown coal. These power houses produce Australia’s cheapest clean power and industrialised Victoria. He insists that they be closed by 2020.
All of the above are green initiatives.
And, Green’s Senator Christine Milne stated on a recent ABC 7.30 Report programme: “…….we want to see a carbon price as quickly as possible because we want transformation of the whole economy and society”.
Australia’s uranium reserves are the world’s largest. Nuclear Energy is cheap, clean and safe. Already there are some 438 Nuclear Power stations world wide with 61 more being built, and 250 more being proposed.
Labor is entrenched in its resistance to opening new uranium mines, and developing a Nuclear Industry here, because of their affiliation with the Greens.
Greenie logic: According to chief Greenie Bob Brown, power stations are a “great blot on Australia's environmental reputation” but building solar plants that blot out hundreds of square miles of the landscape – including valuable agricultural and residential land – while sending electricity prices through the roof is a good environmental practice!
For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when blogger.com is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here
Posted by JR at 3:56 PM