So recently my son asks me to help him review for his science test. Part of that is I'm going to read questions he got on a prior test because this test is a mid term, so prior subjects are covered. Check question 9.
I'm just going through the motions reading these off, and I get to question 9 and my head is buried in this piece of paper. And I suppose the expression on my face changed a bit as I read the question. My eyes shift above the paper and what do I see? My son with a very excited look on his face. Eyes wide and a big smile as he anticipates my reaction to his answer. "No, the earth has not warmed significantly over the last 80 years!!" He's looking forward to watching my head explode, which it did.
What the flip is this? How can they say this? I quickly Google "Global Temperature Record" and here's what you get at Wikipedia.
So I say, "Ben, does that look like an insignificant temperature increase?" And for him this is funny, but I say "Where's your book?" So this is his book. Below that is the temperature reconstruction found within the book.
No real significant warming over the last 80 years. How grand. So I asked Ben to have his teacher give us a source on this.
So that's what he did. He kind of likes this sort of thing. He gets a kick out of telling his friends in class in hushed tones "If my Dad were here he would argue with this and probably our teacher would go nuts." He thinks that's funny also, and so he was going to ask her. Not because he cared but because I think he finds it all amusing.
So he did that and his teacher reacted pretty reasonably. She asked him to verify that his source was NASA and agreed that it was important to verify the source in the book, which she would try to do. She would later forward to him a link to the book's website, here, and give him a password that allows him to login and consider some of the background information provided. She offered two articles for consideration. Both by a guy named James Taylor from the Heartland Institute, a well known corporate front group that has as it's mission to discredit the science on global warming. This article says the Himalayan glaciers are growing and scientists are "confounded". In fact a few glaciers in the Himalayas have expanded though the majority have shrunk. Taylor focuses on the fewer growing ones and conflates them to give his readers the wrong idea. The other article suggested by the teacher is kind of a vague "Science is proving the global warming crowd wrong" type of article. Additionally Apologia has an article by Michelle Malkin.
I was just recently made aware of James Taylor. Apparently one of his signature moves is to publicize email addresses of scientists and encourage his readers to go on the attack. So scientists find themselves inundated with profanity laced threats, which they find difficult to cope with.
Just today I looked a little more closely at the book, and it does have the source for the plot created. Up to 1979 you have a reconstruction made in 1983 that is recreated at the Institute for Creation Studies. That reconstruction was apparently published in the International Journal of Environmental Studies by somebody named WH Bergman, who appears to have been a professor of Atmospheric Studies at Washington State. Subsequent to 1979 apparently the chart in the book is based on data presented here. Not quite sure how this is all supposed to fit together.
I guess generally you'd expect that in 1983 the data was not as complete as it is today, so possibly Bergman did the best with what he had. Or possibly there are qualifications that are not clear. It appears that this is temperature for the lower troposphere, not surface temperatures. I think ordinarily surface temperatures are what we want to consider. I may look into this more. Obviously the authors are putting up a lot of effort to reach conclusions they prefer given that the NASA data and other data is so readily available.