The Temperature Record Reliability Attack

This is just one of dozens of responses to common climate change denial arguments, which can all be found at How to Talk to a Climate Sceptic.


Objection:

The surface temperature record is so full of assumptions, corrections, differing equipment and station settings, changing technology, varying altitudes and more.  It is not possible to claim we know what the "global average temperature" is, much less determine any trend.  The IPCC graphs only say what the scientists want them to say.

Answer:

There is actually some truth to the part about the difficulties, there are many of them that scientists have to overcome in turning the hundreds of thousands of measurements taken in many different ways and over a span of more than a dozen decades into a single globally averaged trend.  But this is the nature of science, no one said it was easy.  This is in part why it has taken the scientific community so long to finally come out and say that what we have been observing for a hundred years is in fact exactly what it looks like.  All other possible explanations (for example Urban Heat Island effect) have been investigated, the data has been examined and re-examined, reviewed and re-reviewed and the conclusion has become unassailable.  And while it is true that differing weather station locations, from proximity to lakes or rivers to elevation above sea level, mean it probably is impossible to arrive at a meaningful figure for global average surface temperature, that is in fact not what we are really interested in.  The investigation is focused on trends not the absolute level, and often, as in this case, it is actually easier to determine how much a given property is changing versus what its exact value is.  If one station is near the airport at 3 feet above sea level, another is in a park at 3000 feet, it doesn’t really matter because they are both rising, that is the critical information.

So how do we finally know when all the reasoning is reasonable and the corrections correct?  One good way is to cross check your conclusion against other completely unrelated data sets.  In this case, all of the other various indicators of global temperature trends that are available unanimously agree. Go ahead, put aside the direct surface temperature measurements, because Global Warming is also indicated by:

All of these completely independent analyses of widely varied aspects of the climate system lead to the same conclusion: the Earth is undergoing a rapid and large warming trend.  Looks like the folks at NASA and CRU do know what they are doing after all.


This is just one of dozens of responses to common climate change denial arguments, which can all be found at How to Talk to a Climate Sceptic.


“The Temperature Record Reliability Attack” was first published here, where you can still find the original comment thread. This updated version is also posted on the Grist website, where additional comments can be found, though the author, Coby Beck, does not monitor or respond there.

160 thoughts on “The Temperature Record Reliability Attack

  1. Mister Adam Wow

    freddy informs you that any comparison between planet earth and one human organism is pain idiocy and reflects the total ignorance of a) planet earth, and b) the human organism.

    freddy recommends you to sit in school and learn what you lack.

    Like

  2. Who?

    Nobody here by that name, retard, so you’re passing on this moron freddy’s message to the wrong forum. Try asking a grown up for help.

    “pain idiocy”

    That’s you, all right.

    But we understand you are incompetend, unlettered and ignorant. Probably the closely knit heritage of your genetic forebears which likely included a higher than average species diversity.

    Like

  3. “comparison between planet earth and one human organism is”

    Apt.

    There’s no whole body thermometer for either of them, yet we can still tell that they are warming.

    Like

  4. Freddy does not like to disturb the hopes of AGW avtivists like Adam, as freddy has to report the late winter-onset in wide parts of Central Eurooe as of April 27, with unprecedented low temperatures in the range between -10 to -15 deg C in some areas, never seen in the history of thermometer records at this time in the year, and snow blankets of 50cm in wide parts of alpine valleys. These are facts, which freddy does not expect to be welcomed by warmists, as sea level will not increase in such a scenario.

    Like

  5. Who?

    And unprecedented? It was a mile under solid ice some time ago, dumbass.

    Not forgetting that the average for this past month is the highest on record.

    Like

  6. “does not expect to be welcomed by warmists, as sea level will not increase in such a scenario.”

    Ah, so you’re a warmist, boris.

    Like

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