Global Temperature Deconstruction – McKitrick
Posted by Jeff Id on August 3, 2010
Watts Up With That has run an article on an important paper by Ross McKitrick covering the major issues of the global temperature record. The article collects and describes the data and problems as we have discussed so many times here.
While we have covered many of the points here and on other climate blogs, I’m guessing that most who are familiar with the land and ocean quality problems will still learn from this article – I learned some new stuff. Ross meticulously explains the major datasets, non-independence, urbanization, collection problems, and presents what I believe are the only reasonable conclusions.
One example of the conclusions in the report which I cannot emphasize enough is that when so many of us reproduce the same results from GHCN temperature data, the conclusion is not that “climatology is correct”, just that the methods of averaging the same data don’t cause serious problems.
The similarities across all methods imply that given the input data, the subsequent processing steps do not make much difference to the global average.
Nothing else can be concluded from Zeke, Nick, tAV or others results. How simple and relaxing is that.
In total, the paper is an honest and fair critique of data quality – nothing more or less. Not skeptic or believer, it’s the kind of thing which makes engineers all warm and fuzzy inside. Of course there has been plenty of resistance to anything critical of temp records in the eco-RC crowd. The last section of the report describes some of that reaction, but the data is the data. We have to accept it here, AGW eco-advocates need to learn the same. The strongest point in the article is the section on comparison of trends vs economic output. Ross has published several articles on the topic which summed simply, are a PROOF of measurable urban heat island warming in the record. This last section will be confusing in that many don’t understand (because they haven’t studied) the math, sometimes I wish I didn’t.
My conclusions don’t change, before we spend the big bucks, it’s time for some serious thermometer QC. The argument for elimination of fossil fuel industry by the IPCC is based on the ‘huge’ expense of adaptation, it is of course, the weakest part of the IPCC case. If warming is even slightly less than argued, the whole industrial suicide ‘solution’ falls apart. Maybe it’s time that eco’s considered the poor of the world and practiced a little of that precautionary principle.
Anyway, Anthony Watts writes that it is a must read. If you spend any time seriously considering AGW science, he’s right.