Apr 13 2009

Scientific Analysis Shows Global Warming A Statistical Mirage

Published by at 12:01 am under All General Discussions,Global Warming

It is about to get scientifically really uncomfortable for Al Gore and the Church of IPCC. It seems that some serious analysis has discerned that, without the biased GISS data that has been proven wrong time and time again, there actually is no global warming. I was wondering this myself as I was looking at the global temperature data from 1880-2009 maintained by the National Climate Data Center inside NOAA.

What I was assessing was how much effect the industrial age, and the computer age, had on technology as opposed to CO2 levels. While there have been amazingly good scientific instruments around since the time of Galileo, there are limits to what humanity could record or measure on a global scale up until the space age hit in the 1960’s and 1970’s. And prior to World War II global communications was incredibly cumbersome, so the idea we could measure something like global temperature using museum piece instruments prior to the 1940’s with any accuracy below a degree is laughable.

So what I would expect to see in any long term data is increased accuracy as technology, communications and the ability to view the world from space over many years came into existence. So I was looking at the NCDC data and I decided to simply average the temperatures from 1940-2009 and 1970-2009 to reflect eras when there were huge leaps in technology and global perspectives. The results are in the graph below (click to enlarge)

I like to do ‘back of the envelope’ estimates to check to see if a hypothesis or theory (or prediction) is even realistic. It is a habit too many people have lost since the advent of the computer. Sanity checks are always a good idea.

What the data shows is that there is only a small shift in the average global data after 1940 through 2009. A shift of 0.1664 °C to be exact. Now I am fairly certain no temperature measurement series in even a single location was able to produce that kind of accuracy (+/- 0.16 °C) prior to 1940. Remember, these measurements would be from real thermometers using human eyeballs, not electronic systems like we have today. Is it possible the shift in temperature around World War II was nothing more than a leap in accuracy that occurred sometime after 1940? Of course it is possible.

Same thing with the average global temperature from 1970-2009, which was higher than the NCDC “zero”line  by 0.2644 °C. But this is only .098°C different from the 1940-2009 average. I don’t even think today we have the ability to accurately measure the global temperature to within a tenth of a degree. Is it possible the advent of computers and the space age could have resulted in a .098°C increase in temperature accuracy? Possibly, yes.

What this was indicating to me is that we have too many examples about changes brought on by human generated CO2 which are well below the accuracy of the system being used to make the measurements. For example, in one discussion on see level data from two NASA satellites (Topex/Poseidon and Jason) over at WUWT (see here,well down in the comments) I was surprised to see claims that sea levels had risen 20-40 millimeters in 14 years. I knew these missions had accuracy limits in the centimeters (+/- 4.2 cm), so it is impossible to claim there is any sea rise within the limits of the instruments’ ability to make measurements. It is like claiming I can measure inches with an unmarked yard stick. A yard stick is 36 inches long, 4.2 cm is 420 mm –  even a 6th grader can see the problem here. [AJStrata: except when he rushes his post!]

To make thisclaim so called scientists had to merge the satellite data (which has thousands of samples a day all over the world) with tide gauges in about 100 or so sites. Tide gauges are not accurate to centimeters in terms of sea level effects that are outside tides, winds, pressures, storms, run off, etc. To deconvolve these huge local effects (tides alone can cause levels to change by many feet in a day) to find a sea level rise that can be interpolated globally is a joke. But that is what these ‘scientist’ did in Colorado so they could pretend to claim satellite data showed sea level rises, which it doesn’t.

Then Frank Lansner posted a very intriguing analysis at WUWT which began to make prove my suspicions that something was really whacked with the global warming data from GISS used by IPCC and others to claim the Earth is warming. The first shocker was a graph which removed the GISS data from the merged data sets. The results are the two graphs below.

click for a larger image

In the first (A) the black line labeled ‘observations‘ is the GISS data (which is itself merged and massaged by the priests who support the Church of Al  Gore/IPCC). What is truly interesting is what happens to the graph when you remove the GISS data and replace it with raw satellite data (B). The black line marked ‘observations‘ is now the unaltered data from satellites – and magically the global warming we have been warned about all these years is gone!

Depending on what data you add or delete to any analysis in this area, you can literally change the history of the world. Lansner shows this when dealing with the Medieval Warming Period (MWP). If one includes tree ring data with other data, the MWP simply disappears! Which of course makes the current temperatures appear to be the warmest humanity as ever experience. See the graph below and the explanation from the post:


It becomes clear, that the non tree rings world wide [- THICK BLUE CURVE -] matches extremely well in the 20′th century and all the way back to year 1450. Then exactly as the MWP starts [actually ends with a cooling period], the tree rings and the non tree rings simply “looses contact”.

Basically what this shows is all the other historic temperature proxies show a very warm MWP (as do many other records) when you exclude the tree rings. In fact, much warmer than today’s temperatures. As Lansner notes in the post, the tree rings could be effected by the modern, higher CO2 levels, giving the impression that the temperatures were equivalent when they were not (we could be cooler, but the higher CO2 generates rings sizes that would be seen in warmer periods).

There is much more information in the post, but I see a trend here. When the modern, highly accurate data from satellites is not showing what the alarmists want to see in the global temperatures, the data is ‘merged’ with other data that biases the satellite data and gives the desired results. There is no way the satellites measuring Sea Surface Height can discern anything below their 8.4 cm limits (+/- 4.2 cm). Yet they are the best instruments ever made by humankind to measure sea levels, and they do it on a global scale within a few days. If tide gauges were so superior we wouldn’t spend $350 million a satellite to make cruder measurements! 

It is like measure a mile using a yard stick (tide gauges) and then using a laser. There is no comparison in the accuracy. So why, then, pollute highly accurate data with inaccurate data? That is the real question here.

6 responses so far

6 Responses to “Scientific Analysis Shows Global Warming A Statistical Mirage”

  1. gary1son says:

    Interesting theory. Great post. This talk about measurement significance and comparing past and present data reminds me of a story my partner on the survey crew told me about when he was a young apprentice chain-man years ago. They had chained themselves quite a long distance through the woods, up and down hills, but were only measuring to the nearest foot, not an attempt at any great accuracy. When they reached their end destination checking into a section corner or something, my partner was manning the head of the chain. He plumb-bobbed down to the corner, but couldn’t decide if it was like 15 hundredths of a foot, or 16 hundredths. He kept yelling out “15, no 16, no 15”. His party chief shot back amusedly — “well which is it, Ed, 15 or 16?? We don’t have all day!”

  2. theBuckWheat says:

    This reminds me of the times you read a news story in the local paper where the style guide requires that all measurements also be given in metric units. So, we may have a story about some event that includes a quote from a witness: “… we were about a mile (1.60934 km) from where it crashed…”

    Thus the trusty copy editor has taken a crude guesstimate of distance that may be +/- 25% and because of total ignorance has now given us a number that implies amazing accuracy.

  3. jd watson says:

    Hey AJ – great post, as always when you discuss “Global Warming”. Just one little gripe: 4.2 cm = 42 mm, not the 420 mm you claimed.

  4. AJStrata says:


    Thanks – another rushed post in all my copious free time.

  5. Reuben says:

    I fear the author is confused about the difference between accuracy and precision. Feel free to see my response to this post here:


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