Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News

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Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Bernie Sanders is calling on the United States to be more like Iceland and legally enforce equal pay for men and women, he said on Tuesday.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, facing a revolt from members of her caucus, has been compelled to hold an closed-door meeting Wednesday morning to deal with new pressure to go forward with an impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump.

Monday, May 20, 2019

The California congresswoman was honored for her work in passing the 2010 Affordable Care Act, according to organizers, and for leading Democrats last year to regain control of the US House of Representatives and elect "the most diverse Congress in our nation's history." read more

President Donald Trump issued a strong warning to Iran Sunday, tweeting that military engagement with the United States would mean "the official end of Iran." read more

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Miranda Haskie sits amid the glow of candles at her kitchen table as the sun sinks into a deep blue horizon silhouetting juniper trees and a nearby mesa. read more


Climate contrarians who oppose taking action to slow global warming have focused their arguments on the past 18 years, during which time the warming of surface temperatures temporarily slowed down (it's now speeding back up). The latest version of the NOAA method to adjust the temperatures made the slowdown a little smaller, and that didn't sit well with those contrarians.

Lamar Smith soon began making conspiratorial accusations and demanding NOAA scientists' emails. Last week, he convened a hearing in the House Science Committee and claimed, with no supporting evidence or basis in reality,

An example of how this administration promotes its suspect climate agenda can be seen at the National Oceanographic [sic] and Atmospheric Administration. Its employees altered historical climate data to get politically correct results in an attempt to disprove the eighteen year lack of global temperature increases.

NOAA conveniently issued its news release that promotes this report just as the administration announced its extensive climate change regulations.

Study shows the adjustments work well

The new study published in Geophysical Research Letters by Zeke Hausfather of Berkeley Earth, Kevin Cowtan at the University of York, and Matthew Menne and Claude Williams Jr. at NOAA, set out to test how well the adjustments are working. Contrarians' biggest complaints focus on urban heat sources near land temperature stations, and scientists' adjustments to remove that urban heat contamination.

To check how well those particular adjustments work, NOAA set up a network of pristinely located temperature stations across the USA that they could use as a reference. The authors of the study explain:

To help resolve uncertainties caused by reliance on the historical network, NOAA began setting up a U.S. Climate Reference Network starting in 2001. The Climate Reference Network includes 114 stations spaced throughout the U.S. that are well sited and away from cities. They have three temperature sensors that measure every two seconds and automatically send in data via satellite uplink. The reference network is intended to give us a good sense of changes in temperatures going forward, largely free from the issues that plagued the historical network.

With more than a decade's worth of this pristine reference data available, the study authors were able to compare it to the raw and adjusted data. The US land temperature adjustments have the biggest impact on the trend from the 1950s to 1990s, because that's when there were changes in the time of day at which the measurements were recorded, and in the technology used to take the temperatures.

The authors found the adjustments don't have any significant effect on the average temperature or warming trend since 2004. Lead author Zeke Hausfather explained,

Over the last decade there are plenty of issues with the raw data, but they tend to roughly cancel out in their trend effects.

The study showed that the averaged raw and adjusted US land temperature data are both very close to the pristine reference data during that period of 2004–2015.

No climate conspiracy: NOAA temperature adjustments bring data closer to pristine

A new study finds that NOAA temperature adjustments are doing exactly what they're supposed to

Congressman Lamar Smith (R-TX) has embarked upon a witch-hunt against climate scientists at NOAA, accusing them of conspiring to fudge global temperature data. However, a new study has found that the adjustments NOAA makes to the raw temperature data bring them closer to measurements from a reference network of pristinely-located temperature stations.
The adjustments are scientifically necessary

Before delving into the new study, it's worthwhile to revisit the temperature adjustments that Lamar Smith disputes. Volunteers have been logging measurements from weather stations around the world for over 150 years, and climate scientists use that data to estimate the Earth's average surface temperature. But over a 150-year period, things change, as the authors of this study explain.

Stations have moved to different locations over the past 150 years, most more than once. They have changed instruments from mercury thermometers to electronic sensors, and have changed the time they take temperature measurements from afternoon to morning. Cities have grown up around stations, and some weather stations are not ideally located. All of these issues introduce inconsistencies into the temperature record.

To find out how much actual temperatures have changed, scientists have to filter out these changes in the way the measurements were taken. Those are the adjustments under attack from Lamar Smith. They're important, scientifically justified, and documented in the peer-reviewed literature.
So what's the controversy about?

Scientists make adjustments to account for changes in the way both land and ocean temperature measurements have been made over the past 150 years. The ocean adjustments make the biggest difference, and in fact they actually reduce the measured amount of global surface warming over the past century, as compared to the raw data. Thus you would think contrarians like Lamar Smith would appreciate these adjustments; however, over the past couple of decades, they act to very slightly increase the overall global surface warming trend.

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