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Commentary

The Scientific Finding that Does Not Settle the Climate-Change Debate
Letter to the Editor


     
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Dear Editors of Nature:

What a curious editorial—and how revealing of your bias!

“Scientific climate”. Nature 478, 428 (27 October 2011) doi:10.1038/478428a. Published online 26 October 2011. “Results confirming climate change are welcome, even when released before peer review.” (emphasis added)
You imply that contrary results are not welcomed by Nature. But this has been obvious for many years. Why are you so jubilant about the findings of the Berkeley Climate Project that you can hardly contain yourself? What do you think they proved? They certainly added little to the ongoing debate on human causes of climate change.

They included data from the same weather stations as the Climategate people, but reported that one-third showed cooling—not warming. They covered the same land area—less than 30% of the Earth’s surface—housing recording stations that are poorly distributed, mainly in the U.S. and Western Europe. They state that 70% of U.S. stations are badly sited and don’t meet the standards set by government; the rest of the world is likely worse.

But unlike the land surface, the atmosphere has shown no warming trend, either over land or over ocean—according to satellites and independent data from weather balloons. This indicates to me that there is something very wrong with the land surface data. And did you know that climate models, run on super-computers, all insist that the atmosphere must warm faster than the surface? And so does theory.

And finally, we have non-thermometer temperature data from so-called “proxies”: tree rings, ice cores, ocean sediments, stalagmites. They don’t show any global warming since 1940!

The BEST (Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature) results in no way confirm the scientifically discredited Hockeystick graph, which had been so eagerly adopted by climate alarmists. In fact, the Hockeystick authors never published their post-1978 temperatures in their 1998 paper in Nature—or since. The reason for hiding them? It’s likely that those proxy data show no warming either. Why don’t you ask them?

One last word: You evidently haven’t read the four scientific BEST papers, submitted for peer review. There, the Berkeley scientists disclaim knowing the cause of the temperature increase reported by their project. They conclude, however: “The human component of global warming may be somewhat overestimated.” I commend them for their honesty and skepticism.


Atmospheric physicist S. Fred Singer is a Research Fellow at the Independent Institute, Professor Emeritus of Environmental Sciences at the University of Virginia, and former founding Director of the U.S. Weather Satellite Service. He is author of Hot Talk, Cold Science: Global Warming’s Unfinished Debate (The Independent Institute).


  From S. Fred Singer
HOT TALK, COLD SCIENCE: Global Warming’s Unfinished Debate
Distinguished astrophysicist S. Fred Singer explores the inaccuracies in historical climate data, the limitations of attempting to computer climate models, solar variability, the effects of clouds, ocean currents, and sea levels on global climate, and factors that could mitigate any human impacts on world climate.






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