Saturday, May 29, 2004


Excerpts from TCS on evidence for global COOLING being deliberately ignored and distorted

"A new paper appearing today in the journal Nature purports to solve the long standing "problem" of the satellite-based global temperature record not showing much warming over the last 25 years (only +0.085 deg C/decade -- about a third of what is expected from climate models for the troposphere). Instead, all it does is help answer the question: "is the quality of peer review in the popular science journals getting worse?" (The answer is "yes.")

By way of background, the Microwave Sounding Units (MSU) on the NOAA polar orbiting satellites measure deep layers of the atmosphere, with each instrument channel measuring the average temperature of a different layer. John Christy, a professor of atmospheric science at the University of Alabama, Huntsville, and I discovered in 1990 that these instruments were so stable in their calibration that we have been using them ever since for climate monitoring of tropospheric and lower stratospheric temperatures since the satellite record began in 1978.

The lowest layer (the troposphere) is measured by channel 2, and this is where global warming is supposed to occur. The lower stratospheric layer is measured by MSU channel 4. Christy and I have measured substantial cooling (-0.47 deg. C/decade) in this layer over the same 25 year period.

Enter the new Nature study. The authors, noticing that channel 4 measures the extreme upper portion of the layer that channel 2 measures (see Fig. 1), decided to use the MSU channel 4 to remove the stratospheric influence on MSU channel 2. At first, this sounds like a reasonable approach. We also tried this thirteen years ago. But we quickly realized that in order for two channels to be combined in a physically meaningful way, they must have a large percentage of overlap. As can be seen in Fig. 1, there is very little overlap

This kind of mistake would not get published with adequate peer review of manuscripts submitted for publication. But in recent years, a curious thing has happened. The popular science magazines, Science and Nature, have seemingly stopped sending John Christy and me papers whose conclusions differ from our satellite data analysis. This is in spite of the fact that we are (arguably) the most qualified people in the field to review them. This is the second time in nine months that these journals have let papers be published in the satellite temperature monitoring field that had easily identifiable errors in their methodology.

I will admit to being uneasy about airing scientific dirty laundry in an op-ed. But as long as these popular science journals insist on putting news value ahead of science, then I have little choice. The damage has already been done. A paper claiming to falsify our satellite temperature record has been published in the "peer reviewed" literature, and the resulting news reports will never be taken back. This is one reason increasing numbers of scientists regard Science and Nature as "gray" scientific literature.


Many people would like to be kind to others so Leftists exploit that with their nonsense about equality. Most people want a clean, green environment so Greenies exploit that by inventing all sorts of far-fetched threats to the environment. But for both, the real motive is to promote themselves as wiser and better than everyone else.

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