This post is especially for those who aren’t sure whether global warming is real or not, whether it’s man-made or not, whether it’s dangerous or not. Let me tell you what made up my mind.
Readers may recall that not too long ago, I personally analyzed all the data in the entire GHCN (global historical climate network). I did this because Anthony Watts and Joe D’Aleo published a document claiming that the GHCN data, and the way it was processed, exaggerated estimates of how much the globe has warmed over the last century or more. They even claimed that the scientists who managed, and who processed, these data had deliberately manipulated both the data (by selectively removing or retaining data locations) and the analysis (by their methods of applying “adjustments”) to exaggerate the warming trend.
Although I trust the scientists who managed the data and did the analysis, and have no reason to mistrust them, I tested the claims anyway. I processed the entire GHCN, to compare the temperature from the stations which had stopped reporting to those which continued to report, and to compare the temperature according to the raw (unadjusted) data to that according to the adjusted data.
I discovered that both claims by Watts & D’Aleo were wrong. Station dropout did not exaggerate the warming at all (it had almost no effect), and the adjustments didn’t exaggerate warming either (in fact they reduced it). I challenged Watts to apologize, not for getting it wrong but for accusing the scientists involved of fraud. His only response, as far as I know, has been to plead ignorance because he didn’t do the analysis — nor did D’Aleo. They published a document claiming fraud, but they hadn’t even done the analysis.
I did. I didn’t just take somebody’s word for it. I didn’t just look at some graph of some cherry-picked data set and believe the story that went along with it. I analyzed the data myself. All of it. Doing so, I started a minor “ripple” in the internet, because about half a dozen other bloggers decided to reproduce my results — they actually analyzed the data! All of them came to the same conclusions that I did.
That’s not the only time I’ve actually analyzed data related to global warming.
When Christopher Monckton made false claims about the growth rate of carbon dioxide, I analyzed that data too. When Monckton objected that I had used data from Mauna Loa atmospheric observatory rather than the NOAA global dataset that he used, I analyzed the NOAA global dataset and showed that he was wrong again. When Norman G. Purves at “Climategate Country Club” made false claims about sea level rise, I analyzed that data too. When David Whitehouse made false claims about the trend in global temperature, I analyzed recent trends in the four most common global temperature records. I’ve done that often, and even estimated by strict mathematical analysis when the trend has changed.
When Anthony Watts and Steve Goddard made repeated posts with false claims about sea ice, including its extent and its thickness, I actually analyzed sea ice thickness data from submarines. And of course I analyzed sea ice extent data from satellites, and made my own prediction of the summer minimum extent of the arctic ice pack. My prediction turned out to be remarkably accurate — unlike those of Watts and Goddard — although I admit that not only did I use the right theory, I got lucky. I’ve also analyzed sea ice extent for more than a century, for both hemispheres, not just the satellite data covering the last three decades. Hell, I’ve even studied how ice extent relates to its latitudinal range, and the difference between sea ice extent and area.
I’ve analyzed changes in specific humidity. I scrutinized the heat wave in Moscow last July and estimated the chances of such extreme values, both present and future. I turned the microscope on sulfate emissions and concentration in Greenland ice cores. I’ve even studied how temperature “adjustments” affect the Tokyo data.
And all of those only amount to a small fraction of the data I’ve analyzed — actually analyzed — related to global warming. When I studied these data sets, I didn’t just look at a graph and take somebody else’s word for the logical conclusion. I analyzed it myself.
You know what?
I found out that the mainstream climate scientists had the right interpretation. Every time. The ones who keep telling us that global warming is real, is man-made, and is dangerous — they’re the ones who were right about what the data indicated, not the so-called “skeptics” who claimed otherwise. Every goddamn time. Of course, I can only testify about the data I’ve actually analyzed myself. But rest assured that’s a helluva lot.
The results are consistent: confirming global warming. Every time.