Kevin Cowtan

Are there any climate records we can believe anymore?

James Delingpole discusses the latest climate fraud, the ongoing alteration of the climate record of NOAA and NASA, sometime by up to 35%.

He believes the records are now so hopelessly tampered with that they can no longer be relied upon and are in fact a massive fraud.

When you Google “Dr Kevin Cowtan” he appears reassuringly neutral in this affair. He works in the Department of Chemistry at the University of York, his current speciality being X-ray crystallography. A proper scientist, then, with no dog in this fight. Or so it looks until you scroll down a bit and see that his other area of research is “climate science.”

My climate science research focuses primarily on problems which are relevant to the public understanding of climate science. With my colleague Robert Way I have been investigating biases in historical temperature record from weather stations. Our primary work concerns temperature change over the past two decades. The main temperature record providers show a slowdown in the rate of warming over this period, however when biases in the temperature record are taken into account, we find that part of the slowdown disappears.

I am also involved in climate science communication, and am contributing to a massive online course run by the University of Queensland. I can offer undergraduate projects in this area for students who are interested to develop science communication skills.

So, not a neutral party after all then, but someone who depends for part of his livelihood on the lavish funding available in academe for those who promote the climate “consensus.” Perhaps, in the interests of full disclosure, he might have mentioned this detail on his YouTube biography. But I mean that only as a very mild and largely inconsequential criticism. What matters is not what Cowtan does for a living (“the motive fallacy”) but whether or not he has got his facts right.

And according to this counterblast from Dave Burton – a US computer programmer, sea level specialist and IPCC expert reviewer on AR5 –  he hasn’t.

Burton’s key point is this: where Cowtan claims that all NOAA’s adjustments have done is increased warming by a modest 3 per cent, in actuality they have increased it by 35 per cent. So, far from Cowtan’s assessment that these adjustments are “inconsequentially tiny”, they are in fact quite massively distorting.

Might it be that they reached such wildly different conclusions by using different data? Er, no. Burton reached his conclusions by creating a spreadsheet with decadal data digitized from the exact graph used in Cowtan’s video.

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