Yvo de Boer, the United Nations’ top climate-change official, announced his resignation yesterday. Good riddance. The bureaucrat’s departure is no surprise because his pseudo-scientific global warming religion was proved to be a hoax on his watch.
The list of problems central to the global warming fraud just doesn’t seem to end. As if hiding and losing data, the numerous errors in the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the suppression of academic research that disagrees with global warming weren’t bad enough, now comes word that basic ground-based temperature data may have been biased towards incorrectly showing temperature increases.
Joseph D’Aleo, the first director of meteorology and co-founder of the Weather Channel, and Anthony Watts, a meteorologist and founder of SurfaceStations.org, are well-known and well-respected scientists. On Jan. 29, they released a startling study showing that starting in 1990, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) began systematically eliminating climate-measuring stations in cooler locations around the world. Eliminating stations that tended to record cooler temperatures drove up the average measured temperature. The stations eliminated were in higher latitudes and altitudes, inland areas away from the sea and more rural locations. The drop in the number of weather stations was dramatic, declining from more than 6,000 stations to fewer than 1,500.
Mr. D’Aleo and Mr. Watts provide some amazing graphs showing that the jumps in measured global temperature occurred just when the number of weather stations was cut. But there is another bias that this change to more urban stations also exacerbates. Recorded temperatures in more urban areas rise over time simply because more densely populated areas produce more heat. Combining the greater share of weather stations in more urban areas over time with this urban heat effect also tends to increase the rate that recorded temperatures tend to rise over time.
Unfortunately, all three terrestrial global-temperature data sets (by NOAA/National Climatic Data Center, NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies and the University of East Anglia) really rely on the same measures of surface temperatures. These three sources do not provide independent measures of how the world’s temperatures have changed over time. The relatively small differences that do arise from these three institutions result from how they adjust the raw data.
The findings by Mr. D’Aleo and Mr. Watts also explain some puzzles that have bothered researchers. For example, land-based temperatures have been rising while satellite-based measures haven’t shown the same increase since 1990. Their answer is that at that point in time, the elimination of weather stations produced a false measured increase in temperatures that didn’t affect the satellite readings. There is no evidence (yet) that this effort was consciously designed to increase recorded temperatures, but that is beside the point. The crux of the matter is that fanatics about man-made global warming want to spend trillions of dollars based on conclusions from faulty data.
As the frigid winter days pass and the scandals mount, it becomes clear that claims of man-made global warming aren’t based on scientific methods at all. The hysteria is based on fraud.