A study written by three climate scientists found that temperature adjustments made by scientists themselves account for most of the documented “warming” evident in global climate data.
To account for “biases” in the data – most of them small and justifiable – climate scientists often adjust surface temperature data. The study doesn’t question the validity of changing any particular piece of data – even though they all apparently increase the raw data; rather, they suggest that the combined effect of all that data lumped together suggests a warming trend that might not be there.
“Thus, it is impossible to conclude from the three published … data sets that recent years have been the warmest ever – despite current claims of record setting warming,” the report concludes.
The peer-reviewed study tried to validate the surface temperature data managed by NASA, NOAA and Great Britain. All three make minor adjustments to their raw thermometer readings – something that climate change skeptics have been wary of.
The effect of all that change is that “cyclical pattern in the earlier reported data has very nearly been ‘adjusted’ out” of temperature readings taken from weather stations, buoys, ships and other sources.
In fact, almost all the surface temperature warming adjustments cool past temperatures and warm more current records, increasing the warming trend, according to the study’s authors.
“Nearly all of the warming they are now showing are in the adjustments,” Meteorologist Joe D’Aleo, a study co-author, told The Daily Caller News Foundation in an interview. “Each dataset pushed down the 1940s warming and pushed up the current warming.”
“You would think that when you make adjustments you’d sometimes get warming and sometimes get cooling. That’s almost never happened,” said D’Aleo, who co-authored the study with statistician James Wallace and Cato Institute climate scientist Craig Idso.
The measurements “nearly always exhibited a steeper warming linear trend over its entire history,” which was “nearly always accomplished by systematically removing the previously existing cyclical temperature pattern.”
“The conclusive findings of this research are that the three [global average surface temperature] data sets are not a valid representation of reality,” the study found. “In fact, the magnitude of their historical data adjustments, that removed their cyclical temperature patterns, are totally inconsistent with published and credible U.S. and other temperature data.”
Based on these results, the study’s authors claim the science underpinning the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) authority to regulate greenhouse gases “is invalidated.”
This certainly won’t put the data to rest, but it confirms what many have suspected: Someone’s got their fingers on the scales in the scientific community in this debate.