Global warming numbers need re-examination

Freedom New Mexico

If fighting global warming may cost the economy $9.6 trillion and more than 1 million lost jobs by 2035, as the Heritage Foundation forecasts, it’d be a good idea to be sure there’s a sound basis before making such a massive sacrifice.

We’ve noted before that climate change is occurring as it always has, but the claim that man-made greenhouse gases will cause catastrophic temperature increases is based on questionable science and projections.

Man’s contribution to greenhouse gases is minuscule. There are some theories but no convincing proof that increased emissions cause increased temperature.

Now another serious doubt has been raised concerning how much of the 1-degree centigrade increase over the past century allegedly caused by escalating emissions has even occurred.

“We can’t know for sure if global warming is a problem if we can’t trust the data,” said Anthony Watts, veteran broadcast meteorologist, who for three years organized an extensive review of official ground temperature monitoring stations, in conjunction with Dr. Roger Pielke Sr., senior research scientist at the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences.

The study, recently published by the free-market Heartland Institute, inspected 860 of the 1,221 U.S. ground stations that gauge temperature changes. The findings were alarming.

They found 89 percent of stations “fail to meet the National Weather Service’s own siting requirements” that say stations must be located at least 100 feet from artificial heat sources.

“We found stations located next to the exhaust fans of air conditioning units, surrounded by asphalt parking lots and roads, on blistering hot rooftops and near sidewalks and buildings that absorb and radiate heat,” Watts reported.

Many stations also had added more sensitive measuring devices, heat-generating radio transmission devices and even latex paint to replace original whitewash, resulting in greater heat retention and reflection.

At one location, Watts said when he “stood next to the temperature sensor, I could feel warm exhaust air from the nearby cell phone tower equipment sheds blowing past me! I realized this official thermometer was recording the temperature of a hot zone … and other biasing influences including buildings, air conditioner vents and masonry.”

These influences produce readings higher than actual ambient temperatures, Watts said. Moreover, the research revealed “major gaps in the data record that were filled in with data from nearby sites, a practice that propagates and compounds errors.”

These inflated, error-prone, tinkered-with temperature recordings are one of several measurements cited by the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change as evidence man-made global warming is a threat.

But the Heartland study concluded, “The U.S. temperature record is unreliable. And since the U.S. record is thought to be ‘the best in the world,’ it follows that the global database is likely similarly compromised and unreliable.”

Before devastating the economy to fix a problem that may not exist, we ought to get the numbers right.