If We are Indeed Warming the Planet, Why is It So Hard to Demonstrate That?

From Fake! Fake! Fake! Fake! at American Thinker, in which S. Fred Singer nicely summarizes the reasons to dismiss claims that our planet has warmed from 1978-2000, which is accepted as fact by so many:

Specifically, ocean data (from 71% of the earth’s surface) and global atmospheric data (as recorded by satellites and independent balloon-borne radiosondes) do not show such a warming at all.  In addition, most proxy data, from non-thermometer sources such as tree rings, ocean sediments, ice cores, stalagmites, etc., show no warming during this same crucial period.  (One has to be careful in this analysis since the year 1998 shows a major warming spike caused by a Super-El Niño.  But by 1999 and 2000, temperatures had returned to pre-1998 values.)

Now, I am well aware of the fact that the recent release of the temperature data from the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature (BEST) project does show a warming trend from 1978 to 2000.  Many would jump to the conclusion that this represents confirmation of the existence of global warming — or even of anthropogenic global warming (AGW).  However, that would be an error in logic.

What the BEST result shows is that surface thermometers from the land area of the globe (about 29% of the earth’s surface) show a warming trend.  But this is not global warming.  And BEST director Professor Rich Muller explicitly disclaims that his trend results indicate a human cause.

He also correctly points out that many of the weather stations used are badly distributed, mostly in the U.S. and western Europe, and possibly subject to local heating effects, such as urban heat islands.  He cautions that a third of his monitoring stations show a cooling, not a warming.  And that 70% of the U.S. stations are poorly situated and don’t satisfy the requirements of the U.S. Weather Service.  It is likely that stations elsewhere have similar problems.

Other than that, though, the evidence is really, really solid! They promise!

In list form for your enjoyment, all quoted from the above, except for text within []:

  • Ocean data (from 71% of the earth’s surface) and global atmospheric data (as recorded by satellites and independent balloon-borne radiosondes) do not show such a warming at all
  • Most proxy data, from non-thermometer sources such as tree rings, ocean sediments, ice cores, stalagmites, etc., show no warming during this same crucial period
  • [Even the BEST project results show only] that surface thermometers from the land area of the globe (about 29% of the earth’s surface) show a warming trend [which is a problem because …]
  • Many of the weather stations used are badly distributed, mostly in the U.S. and western Europe, and possibly subject to local heating effects, such as urban heat islands
  • [One] third of [BEST] monitoring stations show a cooling, not a warming
  • 70% of the U.S. stations are poorly situated and don’t satisfy the requirements of the U.S. Weather Service

The burden of proof is on those making claims that (1) global warming is occurring at all, and then that (2) mankind is a factor at all, then that (3) mankind is the main cause, then that (4) we could actually do anything about it.

Which is an awful lot to prove, and they are stuck on Step One. Still. After decades of arguing about this.

The Sun, the oceans, the atmospheric wind patterns like the jet stream, these are all pretty powerful forces, you know? Think for a minute about the amount of energy that hits our planet every second of every day. Are we really so powerful that we can affect that? Are you SURE about that? Where is the evidence? We don’t even fully understand how this immensely complex system works, yet.

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