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Stats Tampering Puts NOAA in Hot Water

Stats Tampering Puts NOAA in Hot Water
Environmental data research, Pasco, Wash. (AP) 

Larry Bell By Monday, 01 February 2016 10:03 AM EST Current | Bio | Archive

Approximately 300 people including scientists, engineers and other experts, about half with doctorate degrees, have petitioned U.S. House Science Committee Chairman Lamar Smith, R-Texas, to carefully investigate suspiciously overheated climate temperature book-cooking by the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Signers included 25 climate or atmospheric scientists, 23 geologists, 51 engineers, 74 physicists, and 12 economists.

One was a Nobel laureate physicist, two were Apollo astronauts . . . and another was me.

Referring to a 2015 NOAA study purporting to having eliminated a nearly two-decade-long “hiatus” of flat global temperatures, the signatories asked Smith’s committee to ensure that federal agencies observe scientific Data Quality Act (DQA) guidelines established by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget.

The DQA requires agencies, including NOAA, to “ensure and maximize the quality, objectivity, utility, and integrity of information, including statistical information.”

NOAA’s adjustments to previous ocean temperatures between 1998 and 2012 made recent global temperature changes appear more than twice warmer than the original records showed.

This was accomplished by throwing out global-coverage satellite-sensed sea surface measurements taken since the late 1970s — the best data available — and upwardly adjusting spotty and unreliable hit-and-miss temperature readings taken from ocean-going vessels which present well-recognized problems.

Big errors are introduced because readings taken from the cooling-water intake-tubes of various ships record measure temperatures at different ocean depths. Varying amounts of conduction from different vessel infrastructures and daily sun conditions skew temperatures as well.

Writing in the well-known science blog “Watts Up With That," CATO’s Center for the Study of Science Director Patrick Michaels, Assistant Director Paul Knappenberger, and Distinguished Senior Fellow-MIT Professor Emeritus of Meteorology Richard Lindzen agree that the lax standard of NOAA’s study should prompt questions by members of the scientific community.

They note: “As has been acknowledged by numerous scientists, the engine intake data are clearly contaminated by heat conduction from the structure, and as such, never intended for scientific use.”

In addition to tweaking recent temperature readings to be higher, NOAA’s revisions to earlier original data have consistently made past temps cooler.

As climate expert Bob Tisdale and meteorologist Anthony Watts observe on the same WUWT blog site, “To manufacture warming during the hiatus, NOAA adjusted the pre-hiatus data downward” to show even more recent warming.

Incidentally, NOAA’s “corrections” to suggest warming between a huge 1998 El Niño and another big one last year contradict data provided by other wider-coverage and higher quality measurements.

A large integrated network of Argo ocean buoys operated by the British Oceanographic Data Center in combination with satellite-enhanced data reveal no statistical warming.

And even if all those adjustments were right, the warming trend would still be significantly lower than was projected by the collection of climate models cited in the most recent U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report.

In light of the massive El Niño there should be no surprise that 2015 showed elevated temperatures — about a quarter of a degree Fahrenheit higher than the previous year.

This is similar to what happened with the El Niño in 1998. Also don’t be surprised to see it soon followed by a La Niña cooling. Although not well understood, there is no evidence linking these naturally-occurring reversals of Pacific trade winds and deep-ocean currents to any man-made influences.

Michaels, Knappenberger, Lindzen, along with most of us, recognize that global temperatures have been warming in fits-and-starts since the “little ice age” ended in the mid-1800s.

They urge us to keep in mind: “It is important to recognize that the central issue of human-caused climate change is not a question of whether it is warming or not, but rather a question of how much. And to this relevant question, the answer has been, and remains, that the warming is taking place at a much slower rate than is being projected.”

House Science Committee Chairman Smith has expressed a commitment to look into concerns that the real purpose of NOAA’s report was to push President Obama’s political agenda.

He is not alone in noting that the non-peer-reviewed study appeared to be rushed for release conveniently in advance of U.N. Climate Change Conference held in Paris last December.

As reported by the Daily Caller News Foundation, Smith said: “It is this committee’s oversight role to ensure that federal science agencies are transparent and accountable to the taxpayers who fund their research.” He added: “Americans are tired of research conducted behind closed doors where they only see cherry-picked conclusions, not the facts.”

Referring to the pleading submitted by the 300 petitioners, he responded that “This letter shows that hundreds of respected scientists and experts agree that NOAA’s efforts to alter historical temperature data deserve serious scrutiny.”

After all, isn't serious scrutiny a prerequisite for all trusted science?

Larry Bell is an endowed professor of space architecture at the University of Houston where he founded the Sasakawa International Center for Space Architecture (SICSA) and the graduate program in space architecture. He is the author of “Scared Witless: Prophets and Profits of Climate Doom”(2015) and “Climate of Corruption: Politics and Power Behind the Global Warming Hoax” (2012). Read more of his reports — Click Here Now.


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Scientists, engineers and other experts, about half with doctorate degrees, have petitioned U.S. House Science Committee Chairman Lamar Smith to investigate suspiciously overheated climate temperature book-cooking by NOAA.
Monday, 01 February 2016 10:03 AM
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