A community newspaper serving western Albemarle County

To the Editor: On Climate Changes

On Climate Change

Crozet Weather Almanac article “Climate Change” by Heidi Sonen and Roscoe Shaw  (The Crozet Gazette, June 2014, “Crozet Weather Almanac”) accurately foresaw the perils of presenting factual evidence for various aspects of climate history.

When I spoke at Governor Kaine’s Climate Change Commission meeting at the Miller Center in March 2008, I also heard a Kaine commission member describe the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Commission (IPCC) review process for their Summary for Policy Makers (SP).  Two-thousand or so scientists may contribute papers to the IPCC; however, the SP is the end-product of 50 or so U.N. political appointees. Many are not scientists, but are charged to review the scientific reports line-by-line to ensure that U.N. climate policy is reflected in the SP. If any one reviewer objects, the item is rejected. The SP is a political group consensus report, not an independent scientific report. Doubting readers can visit the U.N. IPCC web site: http://www.ipcc.ch/index.htm.  The U.N. mandate is: “understanding the scientific basis of risk of human-induced climate change…” There is no mandate to consider all climate change causation, such as natural variation related to solar change, cloud-cover, and ocean circulation cycles, just presumptive human causes such as fossil fuels. The IPCC sees the human climate-fingerprint everywhere because that is what they are looking for.

Brian Richter claims [July Letters to the Editor] greenhouse gases are “causing a rapid acceleration of planetary warming.” False.  Official global temperature agencies (such as the RSS: www.remss.com/) report no change in global temperatures for over 17 years, even though atmospheric carbon dioxide has risen about 10 percent.  UN IPCC chief, Rajendra Pachauri, acknowledges the 17-year pause in global temperature rise, as confirmed by Britain’s Meteorological Office. The assumed cause-effect relationship between CO2 and global temperature is broken.

In January 2005 the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) established a network of 114 temperature stations across the United States. These U.S. Climate Reference Network (USCRN) temperature records show no increase at all for the past 10 years. Rather, the United States has cooled approximately 0.4 degrees Celsius.

“Forecasts” are computer models attempting to replicate global climate. When forecasts of 73 climate models 1979-2012 were plotted against actual temperature record by Roy Spencer (Principal Research Scientist, University of Alabama in Huntsville), they all failed by falsely predicting higher temperatures than the measured temperature record.

NOAA claims of hottest month/year depend upon a variety of original data “corrections.”  The dust bowl year of 1936 had the record until the data were re-worked. “The NCDC U.S. temperature record is completely broken, and meaningless. Adjustments that used to go flat after 1990 now go up exponentially. Adjustments which are documented as positive are implemented as negative”: (stevengoddard.wordpress.com/2014/01/19/just-hit-the-noaa-motherlode/). The Earth has been warming since the end of the Little Ice Age (1300-1850), and no one has been able to differentiate the human contribution to climate change from the background of naturally occurring cycles.

According to the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSDC), April 2014 beats the previous sea-ice coverage record from April 2008 by 124,000 square miles.

J. Moody [July Letters] forgets about China. Germany is building 10 new coal powered plants, including four powered by lignite, the dirtiest form of coal. Be assured, your minuscule carbon footprint is of no concern to the climate.

Charles Battig, M.D., M.S.
Albemarle County
VA-Scientists and Engineers for Energy and Environment


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  1. Is it really that hard to measure the temperature of the earth? Yes, actually it is rather difficult. There is no such thing as an accurate thermometer network that goes back centuries in a grid around the earth. So, we have to use statistics and make assumptions and adjustments. This is another area where scientists fight like cats and dogs on the proper way to do this.

    In this letter, Mr. Battig cites the work of Steven Goddard which is highly critical of historical temperature adjustments. Recent adjustments have made the past appear colder, thereby enhancing the appearance of global warming. Steven Goddard and many other skeptics have claimed that this is completely bogus.

    I have investigated these adjustments and mostly accept them as credible. Much of the “cooling of the past” is due to TOBs or “time of day” adjustments. 75 years ago, most of the temperatures were measured once a day near the hottest time of the afternoon. This sometimes caused a double-count of hot days. Steven Goddard incorrectly rejects these adjustments. Also, Steven Goddard is not a real person, just a pseudonym.

    So, the arguments go on. Climate science is complicated. Scientists know and understand a lot less than we claim. This letter from Charles Battig makes some good points. So have the other letters that take a different tack. Debate is good!

  2. The problem is not TOBS adjustment. It is horrendous microsite combined with homogenization.

    The land surface temperature record (1979 – 2008 styudy period) is highballed by some 70% as a result.

    Bad microsite does not merely affect offset. Badly sited stations warm much faster in a warming trend and cool much faster during a cooling trend. The reason that there is a warming bias is that we are in a warming trend.

    And I am not talking about stations that have continuing encroachment. I am saying that, on average, a badly sited station will warm much faster even if there is zero encroachment and no change of station environment. The heat sink effect amplifies trends in the complete absence of any change in station siting (provided the station was badly sited in the first place).

    This is clearly demonstrable and the experiment can be replicated.

    As for TOBS, I’ll be splitting the trends to see how much difference that makes, though I suspect the TOBS adjustment is (more or less) correct.

  3. An amazing plethora of data problems challenge the science… urban heat islands, site contamination, drifting ocean buoys, time of day errors, changes in measuring standards, satellite drift, sinking land masses, simple human coding error and human tampering, etc.

    The error of measurement is often the same order of magnitude as the changes in climate. If the changes in climate were truly dramatic and catastrophic, then the changes would be obvious in the data, well above potential errors. They aren’t.

    This doesn’t mean the changes aren’t significant or important. But what it does mean is that the science is hardly “settled”. Many, many weaknesses and holes in the science need to be improved.

  4. The error of measurement is often the same order of magnitude as the changes in climate.

    That doesn’t bother me — so long as there is adequate oversampling. It is systematic microsite bias that is amplifying the (very real) warming over positive PDO phases.