Adjusting Data to Get the "Right" Answer

On several occasions, I have discussed how much of the reported temperature increases worldwide in the last century are actually the results of adjustments to the actual gauge measurements.  These upward adjustments in the numbers by climate scientists actually dwarf measured increases.

Thanks to reader Scott Brooks, here is another such example except this time with measurement of sea level increases.  Dr. Nils-Axel Morner is the head of the Paleogeophysics and Geodynamics department at Stockholm University in Sweden.  He has studied sea-level changes for 35 years (emphasis added).

way of looking at what is going on is the tide gauge. Tide gauging is
very complicated, because it gives different answers for wherever you
are in the world. But we have to rely on geology when we interpret it.
So, for example, those people in the IPCC [Intergovernmental Panel on
Climate Change], choose Hong Kong, which has six tide gauges, and they
choose the record of one, which gives 2.3 mm per year rise of sea
level. Every geologist knows that that is a subsiding area. It's the
compaction of sediment; it is the only record which you shouldn't use.
And if that figure [for sea level rise] is correct, then Holland would not be subsiding, it
would be uplifting.

that is just ridiculous. Not even ignorance could be responsible for a
thing like that. So tide gauges, you have to treat very, very
carefully. Now, back to satellite altimetry, which shows the water, not
just the coasts, but in the whole of the ocean. And you measure it by
satellite. From 1992 to 2002, [the graph of the sea level] was a
straight line, variability along a straight line, but absolutely no
trend whatsoever. We could see those spikes: a very rapid rise, but
then in half a year, they fall back again. But absolutely no trend, and
to have a sea-level rise, you need a trend.

in 2003, the same data set, which in their [IPCC's] publications, in
their website, was a straight line suddenly it changed, and showed a
very strong line of uplift, 2.3 mm per year, the same as from the tide
gauge. And that didn't look so nice. It looked as though they had
recorded something; but they hadn't recorded anything. It was the
original one which they had suddenly twisted up, because they entered a correction factor, which they took from the tide gauge.
So it was not
a measured thing, but a figure introduced from outside.
I accused them
of this at the Academy of Sciences in Moscow I said you have
introduced factors from outside; it's not a measurement. It looks like
it is measured from the satellite, but you don't say what really
happened. And they ans-wered, that we had to do it, because otherwise
we would not have gotten any trend!

is terrible! As a matter of fact, it is a falsification of the data
set. Why? Because they know the answer. And there you come to the
point: They know the answer; the rest of us, we are searching for the
answer. Because we are field geologists; they are computer scientists.
So all this talk that sea level is rising, this stems from the computer
modeling, not from observations. The observations don't find it!

I have
been the expert reviewer for the IPCC, both in 2000 and last year. The
first time I read it, I was exceptionally surprised. First of all, it
had 22 authors, but none of them  none were sea-level specialists. They
were given this mission, because they promised to answer the right
thing. Again, it was a computer issue. This is the typical thing: The meteorological community works with computers, simple computers.

don't do that! We go out in the field and observe, and then we can try
to make a model with computerization; but it's not the first thing.

I am working on my next version of a layman's guide to skeptics arguments against catastrophic man-made global warming, which you can find here.

One Comment

  1. Michael JR Jose:

    Prof. Nils-Axel Morner has been on a current affairs radio phone-in show in the UK. I phoned in to talk to him on the James Whale UK TalkSport show in November 2005. It is hard going against the left-wing media over here, but we are making a dent. Particularly hard to take is the fact that the 'neutral and objective' publicly-funded BBC is totally biased in favour of right-on green-mean preachers and simply defs out the top professionals who can blow the gaff. So Prof. NAM would never get a look-in when it comes to putting over his point of view on the neutral-as-battery-acid BBC. They have neat ways of doing pseudo-interviews tho, like recording the whole thing fairly, then editing out all the questions, and cutting and splicing the answers. But then they get £3 billion in licence tax funds per annum, and there is absolutely nothing the poor frustrated tax payer can do about it. Except pray I suppose.