Monday, February 15, 2010

Is the Science "Settled"?

It is hard to keep up with all the developments in the crumbling of Global Warming alarmism story. Here is a brief summary of the most important stories from this past weekend.

First, in a BBC interview, Dr. Phil Jones the former Director of the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia made some astounding admissions coming from one of the big players in the AGW alarmist movement. For example, he admitted that the Medieval Warm Period did exist in the Northern Hemisphere at least and that the jury is still out on whether or not it was global. This is an admission from a leading alarmist that Michael Mann's famous hockey stick chart, which featured prominently in Al Gore agii-prop film An Inconvenient Truth, is not "settled science." Jones, who is at the center of the "Climategate scandal" also admits that the world has not been warming for the past 15 years.

For the interview go here. For a good analysis of the interview, go to Watts Up With That. For the Daily Mail's take, go here.

Second, we have a story in the Sunday Times of London by Jonathan Leake with the headline: "World may not be warming, say scientists." This article focuses on the questionable accuracy of temperature records collected from weather stations over the past 150 years due to problems arising from urbanization and the changing environments of the stations themselves. It begins as follows:
"The United Nations climate panel faces a new challenge with scientists casting doubt on its claim that global temperatures are rising inexorably because of human pollution.

In its last assessment the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) said the evidence that the world was warming was “unequivocal”.

It warned that greenhouse gases had already heated the world by 0.7C and that there could be 5C-6C more warming by 2100, with devastating impacts on humanity and wildlife. However, new research, including work by British scientists, is casting doubt on such claims. Some even suggest the world may not be warming much at all.

“The temperature records cannot be relied on as indicators of global change,” said John Christy, professor of atmospheric science at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, a former lead author on the IPCC.

he doubts of Christy and a number of other researchers focus on the thousands of weather stations around the world, which have been used to collect temperature data over the past 150 years.

These stations, they believe, have been seriously compromised by factors such as urbanisation, changes in land use and, in many cases, being moved from site to site.

Christy has published research papers looking at these effects in three different regions: east Africa, and the American states of California and Alabama.

“The story is the same for each one,” he said. “The popular data sets show a lot of warming but the apparent temperature rise was actually caused by local factors affecting the weather stations, such as land development.”

The IPCC faces similar criticisms from Ross McKitrick, professor of economics at the University of Guelph, Canada, who was invited by the panel to review its last report.

The experience turned him into a strong critic and he has since published a research paper questioning its methods."

Read the rest here.

You know it is interesting that skeptics like Christy and McKitrick could not get the time of day from the mainstream media just three or four months ago. Now they get featured treatment in the Sunday Times of London. And who would have thought that Phil Jones would be admitting that the skeptics are right on so many key points after all this time of calling them stupid. The world is truly changing.

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