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Notorious climate skeptic under fire for new paper that 'manipulates actual temperature measurement' to show the effects of CO2 emissions have been overplayed

  • Controversial new study claims warming has not accelerated in last 23 years 
  • It claims the warming trend is nearly equal to that estimated back in 1994 
  • Study relies on satellite data, and claims climate models are overestimated 
  • Experts have slammed the findings, citing past errors and data manipulation

A team of researchers known for publishing controversial findings that challenge the idea of human influence on climate change has now released a study that suggests there has been no acceleration in warming over the last two decades.

But, as other scientists have noted, there is mounting evidence that shows otherwise.

Using satellite data on the global mean temperatures in the troposphere from January 1979-June 2017, the new study argues that the warming trend has remained at nearly a steady rate since it was previously estimated, in 1994.

A team of researchers known for publishing controversial findings that challenge the idea of human influence on climate change has now released a study that suggests there has been no acceleration in warming over the last two decades. A stock image of Earth, as seen from space

A team of researchers known for publishing controversial findings that challenge the idea of human influence on climate change has now released a study that suggests there has been no acceleration in warming over the last two decades. A stock image of Earth, as seen from space

KEY GOALS OF THE PARIS AGREEMENT

The Paris Agreement on Climate Change has four main goals with regards to reducing emissions:

1)  A long-term goal of keeping the increase in global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels

2) To aim to limit the increase to 1.5°C, since this would significantly reduce risks and the impacts of climate change

3) Goverments agreed on the need for global emissions to peak as soon as possible, recognising that this will take longer for developing countries

4) To undertake rapid reductions thereafter in accordance with the best available science

Source: European Commission 

In the controversial new study supported by the Department of Energy, the researchers examined raw satellite measurements of the lowest layer of Earth’s atmosphere, and removed natural factors including volcanic activity and ENSOs (El Nino and La Nina activity).

This, they argue, allows the ‘potentially human-forced trend’ to be assessed.

The analysis revealed a ‘mismatch’ between the observations and the climate model; according to the researchers, the warming trend in the troposphere from 1979-2017 sits at about 0.096 C (about 0.17° Fahrenheit) per decade.

The number is far below the widely accepted estimates, and is ‘unexpectedly close’ to the 0.09 C warming trend found by lead author Dr John Christy in 1994, the researchers said.

Christy, a professor at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, claims the findings further support his conclusion from 23 years ago, in which he stated the current climate models ‘had the atmosphere’s sensitivity to CO2 much too high.’

In the past, however, scientists have slammed Christy’s research for containing numerous flaws and biases; the researcher has even previously claimed that the atmosphere is cooling.

In an article for The Guardian earlier this year, thermal sciences and climate expert Dr John Abraham pointed out that the researcher has had to make numerous changes to his studies after other experts noted major errors.

This time around, Abraham told celebrityrave.com that the team is only accounting for one component of Earth’s climate while neglecting other important factors, including the oceans, ice melt data, and temperatures at the ground level.

And, Abraham says they’ve manipulated the raw measurements to decrease warming by about 38 percent.

‘Once again, John Christy is trying to downplay the threat of climate change by suggesting climate projections are too dire,’ Abraham told celebrityrave.com in an email.

Responding to the new study, NOAA's Pieter Tans said both the atmospheric and ocean observations have shown greenhouse gases have risen since 1850s, and this is ‘entirely due to human activities’. Stock image 

Responding to the new study, NOAA's Pieter Tans said both the atmospheric and ocean observations have shown greenhouse gases have risen since 1850s, and this is ‘entirely due to human activities’. Stock image 

‘He has published a paper in a third-rate journal, possibly because he couldn’t get his results into a more rigorously reviewed journal. His work reportedly shows that by manipulating actual temperature measurements, the rate of warming has been decreased.

‘His problem is that other top-quality scientists have published definitive data within the past few years, without manipulation, that show unequivocally the earth is warming faster than the models predict.

‘So, you can believe real temperature measurements made with real sensors, or you can believe manipulated temperature inferences made by a research team that has a track record for being wrong.’

Scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) echoed the sentiment.

A spokesperson for the NOAA pointed out that there is a ‘preponderance of research’ that shows a very different trend than that noted in Christy’s research.

Pieter Tans, lead scientist of NOAA's Global Greenhouse Gas Reference Network, explained that satellite observations, while good at measuring large temperature differences in the context of weather forecasts, are ‘not reliable for small decadal trends’ (i.e 0.1 degree C per decade).

This time around, Abraham told Dailymail.com that the team is only accounting for one component of Earth’s climate while neglecting other important factors, including the oceans, ice melt data, and temperatures at the ground level. Stock image

This time around, Abraham told celebrityrave.com that the team is only accounting for one component of Earth’s climate while neglecting other important factors, including the oceans, ice melt data, and temperatures at the ground level. Stock image

‘Bottom line,’ Tans wrote in an email to celebrityrave.com, ‘do not trust satellite records for long term temperature trends.’

Responding to the new study, Tans said that both atmospheric and ocean observations have shown greenhouse gases have risen since 1850s, and this is ‘entirely due to human activities.’

Greenhouse gases are known to trap heat in the atmosphere and the oceans. And, Tans says these effects will linger for thousands of years.

‘The relatively large spread of modeling predictions has zero impact on the conclusion, based on solid observations and established understanding of physics and chemistry that climate change is caused by human actions and that we are just seeing the beginnings of it,’ Tans told celebrityrave.com.

‘The models will improve as we are able to test them with future observations of how climate change is actually unfolding in the next decades and centuries.’ 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR celebrityrave

Journalist, writer and broadcaster, based in London and Paris, her latest book is Touché: A French Woman's Take on the English. Read more articles from Agnes.

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