A Few Things Ill Considered

A layman's take on the science of Global Warming featuring a guide on How to Talk to a Climate Sceptic.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

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Arguing with Old Data

Having become a bit fed up with people citing 6 year old MSU data from http://www.ghcc.msfc.nasa.gov/temperature/ , I decided to send the following email to the persons named at the bottom of that page:

Responsible Official: Dr. James E. Arnold (jim.arnold @ msfc.nasa.gov)

Page Curator: Paul J. Meyer paul.meyer @ msfc.nasa.gov)

Dear Sirs,

I am a concerned citizen in the global warming issue and participate in discussions of this topic on several blogs, including RealClimate and my own, and some usenet groups.
I am writing to you regarding this web page:

Which contains for example this quote:
"The lower tropospheric data are often cited as evidence against global warming, because they have as yet failed to show any warming trend when averaged over the entire Earth"
This page is frequently cited by people still insisting that GW is not happening, they ignore the "last update" date on the page and are unaware or uninterested in the very recent reanalysis that is in agreement with the surface records and the model predictions.

I think this page, being very "top level" and not clear in its outdated historical nature has become a disservice to the public, causing confusion and becoming misinformation.

What are the chances of having this page either modified appropriately, updated with newer findings or simply removed?

Thank you for your attention.

Coby Beck

It remains to be seen if we can get some action.

[update: bounce message: jim.arnold@msfc.nasa.gov: User unknown]



  • At June 02, 2006 6:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Found this from the NASA email directory!

    name: James Arnold
    James O Arnold
    Jim Arnold
    Internet mailbox: jarnold@mail.arc.nasa.gov

    postal address: NASA Ames Research Center street: Building: N229, Room: 112
    surname: ARNOLD
    telephone: +1 650-604-5265
    uniqueIdentifier: AR004418
    userClass: Organization: D,
    Employer: UC SANTA CRUZ

  • At June 03, 2006 7:31 AM, Blogger coby said…

    Thanks, I'll resend to that address...

  • At June 03, 2006 9:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    coby, when I change the date in the program, I do notice that it has data up to 2004. Not sure if it is relevant to the mainpoint.


  • At June 03, 2006 3:59 PM, Blogger coby said…

    The problem is the latest reanalysis is from 2005 and there were significant errors uncovered that reveal a significant warming trend. This page still shows almost no warming.

  • At June 05, 2006 6:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    But now S+C have pulled a bait-and-switch: http://www.marshall.org/pdf/materials/415.pdf . They may start having a hard time getting this stuff published, though.

  • At June 06, 2006 8:18 AM, Blogger coby said…

    That is a bit long to read thouroughly...it seems that he is on about UHI effects and showing locals that have not warmed much or at all.

  • At June 07, 2006 3:19 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    They are also trying to discredit the revision of weather balloon data, that happened at the same time as their "fairly small" error was discovered.

    The most amusing part was this by Christy:
    "Someone described Roy and me as “swimming upstream against the climate change debate.” I corrected him on the air and said we are not swimming up-stream; we are just swimming downstream a lot more slowly than everyone else. I reminded him that those who swim the fastest downstream always end up getting to the money and the media first. So we feel we are left in the dust with many of these kinds of things."

    It is correct that science is a very competitive business, if you want to get grants you have to be ahead of the pack not swim in their wake. Then it seems Christy admits that they are in the end going to get the same result as everyone else, they are just slower getting there. This is a true description of how the trends in their data analysis has changed, but I wonder if Christy really meant to admit it.


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