Sunday, November 16, 2008

Data Integrity and Global Warming

I'm still fascinated that this happened at all. You'd think that with data base management and programming that this government agency would be capable of the most simplistic of auditioning functions. Apparently the Algorithms top cheerleader has again proven to be untrustworthy.
A surreal scientific blunder last week raised a huge question mark about the temperature records that underpin the worldwide alarm over global warming. On Monday, Nasa's Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS), which is run by Al Gore's chief scientific ally, Dr James Hansen, and is one of four bodies responsible for monitoring global temperatures, announced that last month was the hottest October on record.

This was startling. Across the world there were reports of unseasonal snow and plummeting temperatures last month, from the American Great Plains to China, and from the Alps to New Zealand. China's official news agency reported that Tibet had suffered its "worst snowstorm ever". In the US, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration registered 63 local snowfall records and 115 lowest-ever temperatures for the month, and ranked it as only the 70th-warmest October in 114 years.
Their explanation is just pathetic.
A GISS spokesman lamely explained that the reason for the error in the Russian figures was that they were obtained from another body, and that GISS did not have resources to exercise proper quality control over the data it was supplied with. This is an astonishing admission: the figures published by Dr Hansen's institute are not only one of the four data sets that the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) relies on to promote its case for global warming, but they are the most widely quoted, since they consistently show higher temperatures than the others.
So how much of the data they've been feeding into the debate is absolute rubbish? Who knows. And since no one really knows doesn't this make it reasonable for a demand for audit of the methods and data? If this was a business this would have been a reason for people to be investigated. I'm guessing nothing will occur.

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