September 26, 2009

NRO: ‘The Dog Ate My Global Warming’; Underlying ‘Support’ For Climate Claims May Be Gone

As climate extremists, Democrats, and President Barack Obama (but I repeat myself) push for nonsensical cap-and-trade legislation and prosperity-killing, sovereignty-threatening treaties, at least some of the data undergirding the supposed science backing their efforts seems to no longer exist. I’m not kidding.

At National Review Online Wednesday morning, Patrick J. Michaels told us that:

…. the data needed to verify the gloom-and-doom warming forecasts have disappeared.

Or so it seems. Apparently, they were either lost or purged from some discarded computer. Only a very few people know what really happened, and they aren’t talking much. And what little they are saying makes no sense.

There have been many questions about the integrity of the science behind global warming, but what Michaels describes may be the most troubling example yet cited.

Here’s more from his column:

In the early 1980s, with funding from the U.S. Department of Energy, scientists at the United Kingdom’s University of East Anglia established the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) to produce the world’s first comprehensive history of surface temperature. It’s known in the trade as the “Jones and Wigley” record for its authors, Phil Jones and Tom Wigley, and it served as the primary reference standard for the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) until 2007. It was this record that prompted the IPCC to claim a “discernible human influence on global climate.”

Putting together such a record isn’t at all easy. Weather stations weren’t really designed to monitor global climate. Long-standing ones were usually established at points of commerce, which tend to grow into cities that induce spurious warming trends in their records. Trees grow up around thermometers and lower the afternoon temperature. Further, as documented by the University of Colorado’s Roger Pielke Sr., many of the stations themselves are placed in locations, such as in parking lots or near heat vents, where artificially high temperatures are bound to be recorded.

So the weather data that go into the historical climate records that are required to verify models of global warming aren’t the original records at all. Jones and Wigley, however, weren’t specific about what was done to which station in order to produce their record, which, according to the IPCC, showed a warming of 0.6° +/– 0.2°C in the 20th century.

So far, nothing is necessarily out of order. Raw data from faulty weather stations could theoretically be adjusted for the shortcomings described. But the problem is that there are no records of what adjustments were made.

Read the entire NRO piece for the changing stories of Phil Jones about his ability to make the raw data available. Michaels quotes Jones’s latest rendition to another scientist who requested it:

Since the 1980s, we have merged the data we have received into existing series or begun new ones, so it is impossible to say if all stations within a particular country or if all of an individual record should be freely available.

In other words, we’re being told that a lot of the raw data is gone. We’re just supposed to trust that the adjustments made were done accurately and properly. Even if they were done conscientiously at the time based on the best available knowledge, there’s no way to modify those adjustments for better information about how to make them that may have come along in the last three decades.

So here’s the bottom line:

…. So the question remains: What was destroyed or lost, when was it destroyed or lost, and why?

…. If there are no data, there’s no science. U.S. taxpayers deserve to know the answer to the question posed above.

It looks like there’s a lot of material in place that should motivate someone in the establishment press to do an investigative report. Don’t hold your breath. To do it, many in the media will have to back down from their own shrill advocacy. One of the worst has been Reuters, which at least as of a couple of months ago had its own “Help Reuters Fight Global Warming” Facebook page.

Will anyone in the establishment media, which incessantly questions the accuracy of scientific reports based solely on who paid for them, even care to tell its shrinking audience that much of the scientific data supporting what I have for years referred to as “globaloney” is apparently not there?

Cross-posted at



  1. Not shocked. And the funny thing is, even an increase of 0.6 degrees is hardly substantive and to create all these sky is falling scenarios based on such a tiny increase is ludicrous. (sarc on) I mean, who knew heat was the driving factor of every malody and natural disaster that exists or is possible? (sarc off)

    Comment by zf — September 27, 2009 @ 9:41 am

  2. #1, I had no idea how perfect the term “globaloney” would turn out to be when I first started using it here.

    Comment by TBlumer — September 27, 2009 @ 11:04 am

  3. Hmmm, so melting icecaps, disappearing glaciers, increasing levels of CO2 in the air, and a horde of respectable scientists completely derailed by a rumor about a missing computer? I guess time will tell, after all… By the way, what are the credentials that give you more credibility than the climate change experts? Listening to Rush is not a credential.

    Comment by RJones — September 27, 2009 @ 9:19 pm

  4. #3, where did you see me claim to be a climate change expert?

    As the excerpt’s author said, “If there are no data, there’s no science.” You DO want there to be a credible scientific basis for something before we change the world’s entire economic order to accommodate its “predictions,” don’t you?

    The reactions of the people involved are those that tend to be associated with people who have something to hide.

    Go here and come back in the morning. Or not.

    Comment by TBlumer — September 27, 2009 @ 10:35 pm

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