Government-controlled surface datasets, the bedrock of climate thermogeddon fears promoting Net Zero, cannot possibly be accurate, and are only “an estimate with high uncertainty”. The claim comes from the noted U.S. meteorologist Anthony Watts, who has spent the last decade highlighting the numerous flaws built into global temperature monitoring systems. Data are collected by government bodies from a weather station network, “that was never intended to detect a ‘global warming signal’”, notes Watts. He goes on to call for a new independent global climate database. Given that governments are spending billions of taxpayer dollars on climate mitigation programmes, “doesn’t it make sense to get the most important thing – the actual temperature – as accurate as possible”, he asks.
To date, continues Watts, there is only one network of climate capable weather stations that is accurate enough to fully detect a climate change signal. This is the U.S. Climate Reference Network (USCRN), started in 2005 as a state-of-the-art automated system designed specifically to accurately measure climate trends at the surface. It comprises 114 stations across North America sited well away from any non-climatic effects, such as urban heat caused by humans.
The USCRN graph above shows that there has been no significant warming trend over the last two decades in the United States. “Unfortunately, the data from the USCRN network are buried by the U.S. Government, and are not publicly reported in monthly or yearly global climate reports. [The network] has also not been deployed worldwide,” observed Watts.
Watts notes that past temperature records were collected to validate weather forecasting. Temperatures were rounded by volunteers to the nearest whole degree of Fahrenheit. When comparing such “coarsely recorded” data to claims of 1.8°F global warming since the late 1800s, “obvious questions” of accuracy arise. Referring to his own recent work, Watts says that even more concerning is the widespread corruption of data by urbanisation. Many stations are compromised by being placed next to air conditioners, jet exhausts and concrete, asphalt and nearby buildings. This happens not just in the USA but in many other territories, including the U.K.
In the U.K., the state-funded Met Office has become highly politicised in recent years as it relentlessly pushes the collectivist Net Zero project. Despite writing a paper on the temperature standstill between 2000-14, it removed the pause in later retrospective adjustments to its HadCRUT global database. In under 10 years it added 30% extra warming to the recent global record, at a time when accurate satellite measurements suggested global warming started running out of steam about 25 years ago. Last summer, the Met Office confirmed and promoted a new U.K. record temperature of 40.3°C at Coningsby. In fact the record was set halfway down the runway at RAF Coningsby, home of Typhoon fighter jet squadrons, and lasted just 60 seconds. It was achieved with a sudden spike in temperature of 0.6°C followed by an almost immediate drop. To this day, the Met Office has refused to answer questions from the Daily Sceptic asking if jet aircraft movements were a contributing factor.
Watts is not the only scientist raising important concerns about the databases at the heart of the political campaign to promote panic about rising temperatures. Recent work by Dr. Roy Spencer and Professor John Christy of the University of Alabama in Huntsville found that up to a fifth of all warming reported across the planet by around 20,000 weather stations is invalid due to corruption from non-climatic data. The stations form part of the Global Historical Climate Network and are an important constituent of all global datasets. Interestingly, the two scientists noted that the U.S. weather service NOAA claims to remove urban heat distortions, but they found that on average it is “spuriously warming station temperature data trends when it should be cooling them”. The detailed reasons are given in a note published by Dr. Spencer, where he asks why NOAA adjustments are going in the wrong way. “To say the least, I find these results … curious”, he adds.
Lopping off chunks of recent warming at a time when very little ‘heating’ is occurring would be unwelcome in Net Zero extremist circles. Scientists such as Emeritus Professor Richard Lindzen point out that the warming since the ending of the Baroque mini ice age is already tiny. Evidence continues to accumulate that recent periods were much warmer than the present. In February, a group of bio scientists (Brozova et al., 2023) presented evidence showing that the Arctic around Svalbard was 6°C warmer in the early Holocene around 10,000 to 8,000 years ago. Further scientific evidence showing past warming can be found here, here and here.
Global surface temperatures recorded and compiled by government agencies are said by Watts to be a mishmash of rounded, adjusted and compromised readings, rather than being an accurate representation of Earth’s temperature. “Given the Government’s monopoly on use of corrupted temperature data, questionable accuracy, and a clear reticence to make highly accurate temperature data from the USCTN available to the public, it is time for a truly independent global temperature record to be produced,” Watts concludes.
Chris Morrison is the Daily Sceptic’s Environment Editor.