The GOP, or whatever Party the neocons and theocons say they belong to these days, can't help themselves.
This morning on WIBC, EMMIS' flagship station, (see EMMIS stock price at 0.36 cents today) our fav mentally deficient Limbaugh clone Greg Garrison (his claim to fame was putting Mike Tyson away) was quoting this:
A surreal scientific blunder last week raised a huge question mark about the temperature records that underpin the worldwide alarm over global warming. On Monday, Nasa's Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS), which is run by Al Gore's chief scientific ally, Dr James Hansen, and is one of four bodies responsible for monitoring global temperatures, announced that last month was the hottest October on record.
This was startling. Across the world there were reports of unseasonal snow and plummeting temperatures last month, from the American Great Plains to China, and from the Alps to New Zealand. China's official news agency reported that Tibet had suffered its "worst snowstorm ever". In the US, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration registered 63 local snowfall records and 115 lowest-ever temperatures for the month, and ranked it as only the 70th-warmest October in 114 years.
Hey, anything for a ratings blip, hmmm Garrison?
Fact is, mistakes happen. Data points get corrupted. Big Oil sends out its minions to make blog posts on Powerline and such.
Yes, GG, it is November, and it is getting cold (finally) here in Indianapolis. Thank goodness. That doesn't mean there is no global warming, moron, it means that it is winter time here in the midwest. Wild temperature and weather swings are by-products of putting more energy (waste heat) into the system. If you had taken something besides law and politics in college you might understand that. Maybe.
GG, stock in EMMIS has dropped from around thirty dollars a share in 2004 to just pennies today, somewhat mirroring GW Bush's popularity. I really hope you weren't counting on retiring on an EMMIS stock plan any time soon because your show and the Limbaugh happy hour aren't bailing your EMMIS stock-holders out. 93.1 should have kept playing rock or something...
Anyway, as I was saying, there were apparently errors in October 2008 Goddard researched temp results. Warmest October on record (apparently not)? Errors happen. It is EXTREMELY unfortunate that with a politically sensitive topic such as Global Warming that someone isn't being more careful. Lack of care gives the laetrile-snorting-god-is-coming-back-tomorrow fascist-puppies ammunition to use. I don't like giving the morons ammunition, so to all the good folks at Goddard + NASA, be more careful, hmmm?! (I have not found any NASA Goddard reply to the error, the only place I can find ref to it is on Neocon blogs, so if you find a link to the actual correction and description of error, please post it or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org)
This Republican fixation on hating science and scientist is not, however, going to win Republicans a majority in Congress and a return to the White House, however. They have too much baggage (including possibly losing a million jobs when the domestic auto industry goes kerflooey before the end of the year).
So, Mr. Garrison, Mr. Limbaugh (etc), if you want to remain fixated on preserving your so-called base of redneck Christianists, go right ahead. I wouldn't want those people for a base though. They are... Not really all there, if you get my meaning.
Meanwhile, Global Warming and ice melt continue to change the World.
Uncertain as to how phytoplankton -- microscopic marine plants on which much of ocean life depends -- would respond to Arctic sea ice decline, researchers took advantage of NASA satellite images to show that the microscopic floating plants are teeming in regions of recent ice melt.
The explosion in phytoplankton populations is the result of new open-water habitat and, more significantly, an extended ice-free growing season, biological oceanographer Kevin Arrigo and colleagues from Stanford University in Stanford, Calif., reported last month in the American Geophysical Union's Geophysical Research Letters.
Since phytoplankton cycle carbon dioxide into organic compounds and also form the base of the marine food web, the researchers believe the booming populations could have complex ecological consequences.
Following a record-breaking season of arctic sea ice decline in 2007, NASA scientists have kept a close watch on the 2008 melt season. Although the melt season did not break the record for ice loss, NASA data are showing that for a four-week period in August 2008, sea ice melted faster during that period than ever before.
Each year at the end of summer, sea ice in the Arctic melts to reach its annual minimum. Ice that remains, or "perennial ice," has survived from year to year and contains old, thick ice. The area of arctic sea ice, including perennial and seasonal ice, has taken a hit in past years as melt has accelerated. Researchers believe that if the rate of decline continues, all arctic sea ice could be gone within the century.
Jesus, save me from your (FAIL!) followers.
Conservative Theocons. Wrong on Katrina. Wrong on GW Bush. Wrong on the Economy. Wrong on gay rights. Actually, pretty well wrong about everything!
UPDATE: Please see RealClimate at http://www.realclimate.org/... for info on the error.
As many people will have read there was a glitch in the surface temperature record reporting for October. For many Russian stations (and some others), September temperatures were apparently copied over into October, giving an erroneous positive anomaly. The error appears to have been made somewhere between the reporting by the National Weather Services and NOAA's collation of the GHCN database. GISS, which produces one of the more visible analyses of this raw data, processed the input data as normal and ended up with an October anomaly that was too high. That analysis has now been pulled (in under 24 hours) while they await a correction of input data from NOAA (Update: now (partially) completed).
There were 90 stations for which October numbers equalled September numbers in the corrupted GHCN file for 2008 (out of 908). This compares with an average of about 16 stations each year in the last decade (some earlier years have bigger counts, but none as big as this month, and are much less as a percentage of stations). These other cases seem to be mostly legitimate tropical stations where there isn't much of a seasonal cycle. That makes it a little tricky to automatically scan for this problem, but putting in a check for the total number or percentage is probably sensible going forward.
It's clearly true that the more eyes there are looking, the faster errors get noticed and fixed. The cottage industry that has sprung up to examine the daily sea ice numbers or the monthly analyses of surface and satellite temperatures, has certainly increased the number of eyes and that is generally for the good. Whether it's a discovery of an odd shift in the annual cycle in the UAH MSU-LT data, or this flub in the GHCN data, or the USHCN/GHCN merge issue last year, the extra attention has led to improvements in many products. Nothing of any consequence has changed in terms of our understanding of climate change, but a few more i's have been dotted and t's crossed.
But unlike in other fields of citizen-science (astronomy or phenology spring to mind), the motivation for the temperature observers is heavily weighted towards wanting to find something wrong...