The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Argo Naught

Each of the three presidential candidates has detailed plans to “combat global warming.” In fact, Hillary Clinton says she’ll commit well over $100 billion in her first term. Their positions are understandable, given the conventional wisdom. After all, computer-based climate models keep telling us that the earth is warming (and that my home in Florida will be under water in 100 years). Problem is, recent real data from NOAA and NASA seem to indicate that it isn’t happening. Lorne Gunter explains:
They drift along in the worlds' oceans at a depth of 2,000 metres -- more than a mile deep -- constantly monitoring the temperature, salinity, pressure and velocity of the upper oceans.

Then, about once every 10 days, a bladder on the outside of these buoys inflates and raises them slowly to the surface gathering data about each strata of seawater they pass through. After an upward journey of nearly six hours, the Argo monitors bob on the waves while an onboard transmitter sends their information to a satellite that in turn retransmits it to several land-based research computers where it may be accessed by anyone who wishes to see it.

These 3,000 yellow sentinels --about the size and shape of a large fence post -- free-float the world's oceans, season in and season out, surfacing between 30 and 40 times a year, disgorging their findings, then submerging again for another fact-finding voyage.

It's fascinating to watch their progress online

When they were first deployed in 2003, the Argos were hailed for their ability to collect information on ocean conditions more precisely, at more places and greater depths and in more conditions than ever before. No longer would scientists have to rely on measurements mostly at the surface from older scientific buoys or inconsistent shipboard monitors.

So why are some scientists now beginning to question the buoys' findings? Because in five years, the little blighters have failed to detect any global warming. They are not reinforcing the scientific orthodoxy of the day, namely that man is causing the planet to warm dangerously. They are not proving the predetermined conclusions of their human masters. Therefore they, and not their masters' hypotheses, must be wrong.

In fact, "there has been a very slight cooling," according to a U.S. National Public Radio (NPR) interview with Josh Willis at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a scientist who keeps close watch on the Argo findings.

Dr. Willis insisted the temperature drop was "not anything really significant." And I trust he's right. But can anyone imagine NASA or the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) or the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change -- the UN's climate experts -- shrugging off even a "very slight" warming.

Virtually every climate model presented by Al Gore uses ocean temperature as the harbinger of overall global warming. In fact, as Gunter points out, most models “postulate that as much as 80-90% of global warming will result from the oceans warming rapidly then releasing their heat into the atmosphere.”

My. My. The oceans aren’t warming, huh? The facts and empirical data can be pesky things, particularly when they get in the way of deeply held, almost religious, dogma. And that’s what belief in global warming has become.

But what about earth temperatures. Again, some pesky real data.
Modellers are also perplexed by the findings of NASA's eight weather satellites that take more than 300,000 temperature readings daily over the entire surface of the Earth, versus approximately 7,000 random readings from Earth stations.

In nearly 30 years of operation, the satellites have discovered a warming trend of just 0.14 C per decade, less than the models and well within the natural range of temperature variation.

Ocean temperature – no increase. Earth temperature – tiny increase. Global warming – possibly, but solid science seems to indicate otherwise.

Before we let Al or Hillary or Barack of John spend our tax dollars fighting a phantom, it might be a good idea to be sure we understand the science. It would be an even better idea to keep dogma out of the discussion.