Sunday, February 11, 2018

Big Global Warming Debate at The Villages (FL) Science Tech Club

The title of the debate was "Two Views on Human-Caused Global Warming". Fellow Villager Don Fogg took the AFFIRMATIVE and I (Ira Glickstein) took the NEGATIVE in a friendly but spirited debate with considerable participation by the overflow audience. Our mutual friend, Steve Hendrickson, was kind enough to video the entire event. The photos  in this Blog posting are frame grabs from his excellent video.

Our combined PowerPoint chart set is available from The Villages Science Technology Club at:  

We agreed on five QUITE SPECIFIC debate ISSUES, as listed at the bottom of the following photo:

For the most part, this was a science-based debate because Don and I agree on most of the basic science. Our level of agreement was stated in the following stipulations:

Both parties agree, for purposes of this debate, that:
1.The Atmospheric “Greenhouse” Effect is true science. Atmospheric gases, mostly Water Vapor and CO2, are responsible for the Earth surface being about 33⁰C warmer due to this effect. All else being equal, a rise in CO2 will cause mean temperatures to rise. 
2.CO2 levels in the Atmosphere have been rising at an unprecedented rate over the past century, from less than 300ppmv to over 400ppmv. At least half of that rise is due to human activities, primarily burning of fossil fuels.
3.The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has issued five “Assessment Reports” from 1990 to 2013, with projections for future warming based on over 100 Climate Models.
4.NASA-Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) is the main US-government funded Climate agency, tracking, reporting, and adjusting historical US and world-wide terrestrial thermometer data (1880-present), and contributing to the IPCC.

5.The US government also funds satellite systems that measure lower atmospheric temperatures, available since 1979. University of Alabama at Huntsville (UAH) and Remote Sensing Systems (RSS) are the major US-government funded groups for satellite-based world-wide temperature tracking.


1) While the Earth Surface has definitely warmed since 1880, and some portion of  that warming is due to human activities (mainly burning unprecedented quantities of fossil fuels and land use changes) the AMOUNT of warming has been inflated by around 0.5⁰C and the DEGREE of human-causation has been exaggerated.

2) The Official Climate Models, based on the IPCC and NASA-GISS Climate Theory, run HOT. They thus give an over-stated sense of danger and therefore urgency, which is not supported by the rather modest warming.

3) As Richard Feynman famously said
"It doesn’t matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn’t matter how smart you are. If it doesn’t agree with experiment, it’s wrong."

The Official Climate Theory is wrong in that Climate Models based on that Theory run HOT compared to the observational data. Thus, the climate "experiment" results do not agree with the  theory. The Official Climate Team should correct their theory. Instead, they  have inflated their observational data!

I believe the major problem with the Climate Models is how they treat CLOUDS. Daytime clouds have a net NEGATIVE impact on warming, while nighttime clouds have a POSITIVE impact. The Climate Models assume, incorrectly IMHO, that the overall net effect of increasing clouds (daytime and nighttime) is POSITIVE, while, based on actual data, it is NEGATIVE. In addition, the Climate Models do not properly account for thunderstorms, which remove heat from the surface and move it into the Atmosphere where it can more easily be radiated out to space.

There are over 100 Official IPCC Climate Models that date from the early 1990's. These Climate Models have been updated with each Assessment Report issued. Taking their 2007 report, called "AR4", the average of all their Climate Model PREDICTIONS (which they call "projections") have tended to be WARMER, by a factor of two or three than the best worldwide temperature measurements.

[Added 13 Feb 2018] For example, when the AR4 Predictions are aligned with the Berkeley Earth Surface Air Temperature (as in the photo below), the predictions for the years following 2007 go up sharply by about 0.2⁰C, but actual measurements show an increase of less than 0.1⁰C.

As Yogi Berra famously said: "It's tough to make predictions, especially about the FUTURE."

Climate Model predictions about the PAST are called "retro-dictions" and one would expect any good Climate Model would retro-dict the PAST quite well, because the scientists constructing the models have actual data from the PAST in hand. Never-the-less, as  the photo shows, the average retro-dictions run hot by about 0.2⁰C for the period 1880 through 1940. [End of added material]


As the following slide indicates, US terrestrial temperature data, based on thousands of observations of surface-based thermometers by dedicated Americans since 1880, has been adjusted by American scientists at NASA-GISS at least seven times between 1999 and the present.

The slide focuses on two specific very warm years, 1998 and 1934. However, the adjustments affected virtually all temperature data from the 1920's through the 1990's. US Temperatures for the years prior to the 1970's were cooled, and for the years following the 1970's were warmed.

As NASA-GISS reported in 1999, the US, in 1934, was over half a degree C (0.541⁰C) WARMER than 1998. This was, shall we say "inconvenient" since their objective was to alert the American public to what they thought was a future of catastrophic human-caused warming.

The data points on the chart are based on a surprisingly candid 14 Aug 2007 email from NASA-GISS Research Scientist Makiko Sato, PhD, to her boss James Hansen, PhD. (The email was released in 2010 due to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) action by Judicial Watch.) 

Sato's FOIA email details the results of seven adjustments (YOUR TAX DOLLARS AT WORK :^(.

Sato started in 2000 and 2001, where by two mighty analysis efforts she got 1934 to COOL by about a quarter degree C, and 1998 to WARM by a similar amount. However, even after  this effort, 1934 was still a bit WARMER than 1998.

The data sat undisturbed in her desk for four years, until 2005, when a third analysis kept 1934 about as COOL as it had been according to her year 2001 effort. However (HORRORS!!!) 1998 COOLED back down about a quarter degree C, back to the original values reported in 1999. So according to her 2005 analysis, the US in 1934 had been about a quarter degree C WARMER than 1998.

Sato's boss, James Hansen, was a key technical advisor to Al Gore for his "Inconvenient Truth" lecture tour and movie, scheduled for release in 2007. So, if  the Earth was supposed to be in a HUMAN-CAUSED CATASTROPHIC WARMING trend, it was "inconvenient" for the warmest US year in the last half of the 20th century to be COOLER than the warmest year in the first half. 

So, Sato did three more analyses in January 2007 (the fourth since 1998), March (2007 the fifth since 1998), and August 2007 (the sixth since 1998). She got 1934 and 1998 very close to the same temperatures. Indeed, although the January and August analyses had 1998 a bit COOLER, the March analysis, after heroic effort by Sato, got 1998 a teeny-tiny bit WARMER than 1934.

However, despite this triple re-analysis attack Sato's FOIA email ends with 1934 still a bit WARMER than 1934, but only by a teeny-tiny 0.003⁰C.

Never-the-less, in the years following Sato's 2007 email, NASA-GISS continued to plough your taxpayer dollars into re-analysis of the 1934 and 1998 data. I looked up the latest US data on their website, and 1998 is finally over a tenth degree C (0.114⁰C) WARMER than poor old 1934.

ON THE NASA-GISS WEBSITE THEY ADMIT "These adjustments caused an increase of about 0.5⁰C in the US mean for the period 1900 to 1990." See:
(NOTE: By my accounting, the actual increase is over 0.6⁰C, but "close enough for government work"!)

NASA-GISS also notes the adjusted data is only "1.6% of the Earth's surface". The implication being these adjustments have minimal impact on world-wide data.  See:


I spot a definite WARMING TREND, do you? If we look at this data in future years, I fully expect 1998 to take its "rightful" place at least 0.5⁰C WARMER than bad old 1934. OUR TAX DOLLARS AT WORK.

The Official rationale for the repeated adjustments (at least seven by my count) is that, over the many years since 1880, US thermometer readers tended to read their thermometers at different times of day.We all know that early morning and late evening tends to be cooler than midday (sometimes by 10⁰C !) Also, when the thermometer sites are relocated, say from the local newspaper office to a new airport, the new site may be a bit warmer or cooler. So, those changes, quite obviously, have to be taken into account to make sure errors are not introduced.

Are we to believe that James Hansen (head of NASA-GISS starting in 1981) and his respected research scientists did not know about these Time of Observation and Site Relocation effects until 2000? Hansen had worked on Climate Science for over 19 years before he and his staff realized adjustments were necessary?

Does anyone believe that, when they finally figured out they had to make these adjustments, it  took them seven analyses, over a decade or more, to get the "RIGHT" answer?

I tend to believe that many government-funded research projects are done less than competently. However, I simply do not believe Hansen and Sato were that incompetent.

No, I think they saw it as their "duty" to warn us about an impending climate catastrophe (and thus keep taxpayer money coming in), so they beat the old US data mercilessly, until they got the "RIGHT" results. (The 1934 data was old enough to qualify for Social Security :^).

If these were the inflation-adjusted profit reports of a corporation trying to spin a tale of continually-increasing profits, and the data published in 1999 showed 1998 was $ 0.5 Billion LESS profitable than 1934, and seven subsequent published reports showed variously changing reports ending with a virtual tie, would anyone believe it? Any competent observer would suspect "the books have been cooked!"



I'd love to see comments posted to this Topic (especially by Don). In accordance with my duties as Moderator of my Blog, I promise to approve any substantive response, positive or negative. Also, if Don or any of his allies wish to post an entire Topic commenting on or refuting my claims, I will happily grant them the status of Authorized Author on this Blog.

Ira Glickstein

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