Who Are These Guys? We see on TV and read about experts. Often, University Experts. Then we hear whatever it is they pontificate about. But does anyone really know who these people are? Does anyone really scrutinize their work or do we just accept that they did things properly and correctly? Does anyone look to see if there is fraud? Typically, that sort of fact checking is done by other scholars. But, if there is a dissenting voice, will the media give that voice any credence or airtime? Often researchers have students do the dirty work for them…collect the data. There have been a couple of famous historians who were nailed for plagiarism when it was found that work done by others showed up in their books. The two historians I am thinking of got off the hook by claiming the work was done by graduate students on their behalf and the items inadvertantly got into their published work without citation. So…just exactly who is collecting the data for these big global warming studies? Do you really think that the person who writes the analysis and gets credit for the work is actually doing the collecting?
Consider This Regarding Data Collection and Global Warming Statistics:
First off, read the following article from the Sydney World Herald that is about how in 1917 the movement of a weather station by a very short distance resulted in the skewing of data. The old site, which had been in use for a number of years was in a micro-meteorological environment that resulted in much cooler conditions than the new site. The result was a jump in temperatures. In 1972, because the data collection point was inconsistent, it was determined that the data collection point had to be disregarded when making climate studies.
Now, in spite of the fact that the inconsistency of the data made it no good for usage in long term climate studies, Anthony Watts claims that noted “global warming expert”, Dr. James Hanson used the data when making one of his surveys. Hanson has been sounding alarms and been quite popular on Capital Hill and in the press. Watts even provides a graph that he says Hanson presented for Sydney that uses the corrupted data.
Here is Dr. Hanson’s site that provides a whole lot of stuff on him including his recent papers and presentations and even provides his email address. Here is an article that is critical of Hanson for his recent call to Congress that oil company executives should be tried for crimes against humanity which is interesting because I bet Dr. Hanson didn’t ride a bike to the halls of Congress.
Okay, let’s assume that Dr. Hanson and others have indeed used Sydney. So, using one data point that is corrupt will not alter significantly global findings. But, it raises the question about the quality of data collection. I mean, if it is bad at one place, what about others? Could it be that there are a bunch of bad data sets that may corrupt climate studies? Well, I know potentially of one more and it’s right here in Louisville.
We were told that the official site for Louisville was the National Weather Service office, which is staffed 24 hours by professional meteorologists. Well, a few years ago it was determined that NWS guidelines required that all official collection sites be ASOS sites, or automated and the NWS office is not automated; they use real humans who are trained professionals. So, the official site got moved a few miles away to the airport where there is an ASOS and the observers are in the control tower who have other duties besides weather collection. Though not as dramatic as Sydney, the data collected can be quite different between the sites. Here is an example from June 2008.
LOUISVILLE ASOS MONTH: JUNE YEAR: 2008 DPTR FM NORMAL: 4.3 DPTR FM NORMAL:
LOUISVILLE WEATHER OFFICE MONTH: JUNE YEAR: 2008 DPTR FM NORMAL: 0.9
The airport is influenced by lots of concrete and the aircraft engines and heat and such. Officially Louisville was 4.3 degrees warmer than the 30 year average this year. Alarming! But, at the NWS office, Louisville was less than one degree warmer than the 30 year average. in 2004, this would not be startling because the official high would have been less than a degree but today it may sound alarm bells in the global warming community and the reason is only because they moved the site.
Other examples can be found in the recent past. August 2007 was considered to be the hottest of all time in Louisville by a wide margin. Had they used the data at the NWS, like had been done for something close to the past 30 years, then it would have been the 6th warmest. (Climate records) The average temperature in Louisville officially was 8 degrees above average…had this occurred in 2004, Louisville it would have been only 4 degrees warmer than average. The only difference? They moved the site.
I suspect that it will be very difficult for Louisville to break any record lows but will consistently break records for highs simply because the data being collected today is from a site not consistent with previous collection points. The averages that they are comparing today’s collection with were largely made at the National Weather Service.
So…now we have Sydney Australia and Louisville KY as examples of corrupted data points. I had always thought that researchers are pretty thorough and they would know to be consistent and careful with their data collection. However, if Hanson was using Sydney, who is using the new Louisville records. And how many researchers take into account the effects of urbanization? In Houston, the official data collection was moved from Hobby Airport(HOU) to the then new Intercontinental Airport(IAH). Hobby is closer to the ocean and is way warmer than the 25 miles farther north IAH. That made IAH cooler, especially at night. At that time, there was nothing but fields around IAH…now there is all sorts of development around it. how has this altered the data? Are these changes taken into account? I don’t know but Anthony Watts says we have at least one example in which a noted scientist used bad data.
Sites have been moved and surroundings have changed. The question is how many of these sites are there and how many have been used in climate studies? How much data is used when it supports one agenda or another and how much is discarded?
As I had asked before…what is the matter with honesty in reporting and in research. It’s hard to know who to believe these days. Here’s a related post featuring an admission by the IPCC their data has no quality control.