Sometimes the antics of New Zealand’s band of climate cranks, the self-styled Climate Science Coalition, reduce me to tears. More often they make me laugh. Today’s example of their tomfoolery [PDF] has had me chuckling for hours. Dr Vincent Gray, a former coal researcher and leading light of the NZ CSC, hasn’t published any peer-reviewed papers on climate science (he’s had a few in Energy & Environment, but that doesn’t count). He claims to be a â€œclimate consultant” and an “Â€Âœexpert reviewer for the IPCC”, but that doesn’t seem to stop him from spouting nonsense. His latest paper claims:
It is quite impossible to obtain a statistically or scientifically acceptable estimate of mean global temperature or its variability over time, from readings on the earth’s surface.
The oceans constitute 71% of the earth’Â€Â™s surface, but sea surface temperature measurements suffer from error to a greater degree than measurements on land.
…but he then proceeds to use satellite records of ocean temperatures, excluding land, because…
The “Â€ÂœLand” [sic: a typo, he means ocean] record is shown in Figure 2 as it ignores variability specific to land surfaces, but still applies to 71% of the earth.
Funnily enough, he doesn’t find much of a warming trend. If he had used the latest combined land and ocean data he would have had to admit that the satellite record showed warming at 0.18ÂºK per decade – slap in the middle of all modern estimates of increases in the global average. But he ignores that inconvenient truth and soldiers on, to finish with a magnificent assertion completely unsupported by the preceding argument:
Reliable global, regional and local temperature records show that temperatures variability is cyclic, with a period of about 60 years. The temperature does not display a distinguishable Â€Âœtrend. The most reliable records show peak temperatures around 1940 and 2005 and low temperatures around 1910 and 1970. These records are incompatible with a belief that there is a distinguishable upwards Â€ÂœtrendÂ€Â™ caused by greenhouse gas emissions.
So if we ignore all the evidence that the world is getting warmer, that means that it can’t be getting warmer. I wonder which windmill Dr Vincent will tilt at next? And who is his Sancho Panza? Not the august personage himself, surely?