Stages of Denial: ‘The temperature record is unreliable’–But temperature trends are clear and widely corroborated

Objection: The surface temperature record is full of assumptions, corrections, differing equipment and station settings, changing technology, varying altitudes, and more. It is not possible to claim we know what the “global average temperature” is, much less determine any trend. The IPCC graphs only say what the scientists want them to say.

Answer: There is actually some truth to the part about the difficulties; scientists have overcome many of them in turning the hundreds of thousands of measurements taken in many different ways and over a span of more than a dozen decades into a single globally averaged trend.

But this is the nature of science — no one said it was easy. It’s taken the scientific community a long time to finally come out and say that what we have been observing for 100 years is in fact exactly what it looks like. All other possible explanations (for example, the Urban Heat Island effect) have been investigated, the data has been examined and re-examined, reviewed and re-reviewed, and the conclusion has become unassailable.

And while it is true that differing weather station locations, from proximity to lakes or rivers or elevation above sea level, probably make it impossible to arrive at a meaningful figure for global average surface temperature, that is not what we are really interested in. The investigation is focused on trends, not the absolute level. Often, as in this case, it is easier to determine how much a given property is changing than what its exact value is. If one station is near an airport at three feet above sea level and another is in a park at 3000 feet, it doesn’t really matter — they both show rising temperature, and that is the critical information.

So how do we finally know when all the reasoning is reasonable and the corrections correct? One good way is to cross check your conclusion against other completely unrelated data sets. In this case, all the other available indicators of global temperature trends unanimously agree. Go ahead, put aside the direct surface temperature measurements — global warming is also indicated by:

All of these completely independent analyses of widely varied aspects of the climate system lead to the same conclusion: the Earth is undergoing a rapid and substantial warming trend. Looks like the folks at NASA and CRU know what they are doing after all.


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2 Responses to Stages of Denial: ‘The temperature record is unreliable’–But temperature trends are clear and widely corroborated

  1. klem says:

    “All of these completely independent analyses of widely varied aspects of the climate system lead to the same conclusion: the Earth is undergoing a rapid and substantial warming trend. ”

    That’s right and this is normal. In the geological record, short rapid warming trends have occurred within the last 100,000 years along with short rapid cooling trends. Only 13k years ago a cooling trend occurred that lasted 1000 years, it actually caused glaciers in N America to stop shrinking and begin re-growing again. But it eventually revered itself. It was called the Younger-Dryas event. And all of these cooling and warming events happened without an earlier corresponding increase or decrease of CO2 . So when you make statements like the one above you are stating the obvious, but at the same time you are implying that the present warming trend is somehow unusual, it is not. You are also implying that humans are responsible, which is sneaky and insincere. This behavior is one reason why climate alarmism has failed and denialism has won.

  2. Citizen Harry says:

    Sorry, but you’re wrong. Denialism hasn’t won. It’s just hard for us to fight corporate and political megalomaniacs about huge money and power. Just like it’s always been. And it’s not just about climate change, as all you debunkers scream. It’s about humanity laying down for sickness, pollution and death, and allowing vast profits for dirty energy when there are alternatives like research and development, and new technologies available. I bet you don’t complain at all at the gas pump as you get raped each time.

    It’s not “sneaky” to accuse much of the human race as being self-centered to ignore and allow the rape of nature, as if they somehow exist outside of it. Maybe if people cared more in the past, there wouldn’t be things like grass hills and parking lots dominating where Redwood groves used to be, or yellow air in our cities, or mining pits where mountains and wildlife once stood. It might actually be a much better planet to live on, rather than the current cesspool that much of humanity squats in.

    So what if there is a warming trend that’s natural? It’s a fact that we are pumping more pollutants into the atmosphere than at any other time in our planet’s history, and it’s a proven fact by the scientific community that it contributes. Why is that something to war with science about? You’re just parroting accusations from corporation funded pundits.

    And it’s not just Co2… but lead, mercury, arsenic and pesticides, and more. That’s what we are upset about, especially when there are other ways to deal with energy production. Maybe you’re bludgeoned by corporations into believing that fossil fuels are the only answer… we’re not.

    Of course us environmentalists are black and white about it. We don’t want to see pollution in our water, and air. Wow, that’s just horrible isn’t it? Actually not shitting in our own bed. How inhuman of us to not want someone pissing in our babies milk bottles for the sake of natural gas or coal profits.

    As I’ve said before, I understand the evolution and importance of these outdated technologies. I do understand and appreciate how many improvements have been made because of them. But can you just imagine if we put all this energy we’ve been spending arguing towards coming up with solutions? Imagine if we cared about the planet and each other as much as ourselves. Imagine.

    Citizen Harry

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