Thus it was that some swot called Prof. Richard Muller announced that whilst hitherto he had been a global warming sceptic now - hallelujah - he was converted! It was getting warmer and it was all our fault, according to this 'Great Man of Science', and that means me and you! And this is where timing comes into it because coincidentally at almost the same time Anthony Watts and colleagues published their paper on the reliability of temperature readings at weather recording sites in the USA. I must confess to a liking for Watts because when, years ago, I began looking into the AGW controversy, his was one of the sites I visited. Not being of a swot-like tendency myself, it seemed to me that Watts was doing proper science by going round himself, or getting volunteers to go round, and physically check exactly where these supposed warm readings were coming from. It wasn't glamorous or exciting or in need of a $3 zillion computer, it was just old-fashioned looking, measuring and photographing to provide an accurate physical description of American weather stations.
Of course, his results then were anecdotal but they were enough for me to decide that the whole global warming kerfuffle was based on the dodgiest of dodgy foundations. He found that site after site had been 'corrupted' over the last few decades by urbanisation. What had hitherto been fairly rural sites clear of interference were now surrounded by asphalt, concrete, reflecting windows, air-conditioning extractors and so forth. Of course, that is just America you might say, but if you can't rely on their figures then how much weight are you going to put into the historical record of, say, Russia or China?
Over the weekend, Watts and his colleagues have published their paper which provides a stringent analytical summary of all the data he and his volunteers gathered together over the last few years. The result will only come as a surprise to the HAFs (Hot Air Fantics)! They compared the American weather station sites to a recently compiled ideal template, the World Meteorological Organisation-approved Siting Classification System. The result is summarised by Watts et al:
The new improved assessment, for the years 1979 to 2008, yields a trend of +0.155C per decade from the high quality sites, a +0.248 C per decade trend for poorly sited locations, and a trend of +0.309 C per decade after NOAA adjusts the data.
So that's it, folks, all that yadda-yadda about global warming and the fact is that it amounts to an increase of around 0.155C per decade! Unless, of course, you rely on poorly sited recording stations, or, better still if you are a HAF swot, you fiddle the figures as naughty NOAA does (National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration). Those disrespectful rascals at IHTM sum it up thus:
- Compliant Thermometers (ones in the right places) show a + .155 degrees centigrade per decade temperature rise.
- Non-Compliant Thermometers (like ones next to airport runways, air conditioner exhausts, chimneys or the 90% Watt’s claims suffer from urban heat island effect) show a + .248 degrees centigrade per decade temperature rise.
- NOAA final adjusted (otherwise known as cheating) data show a +.309 degree per decade temperature rise.
So where does that leave poor old Professor Muller, the recent convert to HAFism? Looking like a novice lover and a crap drummer, in my opinion!