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Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Hooey?

Hooey? Not a very scientific term, but it's how Reid Bryson describes the theory that global warming is a man made problem, not a natural occurrence.

So, who is this Reid Bryson character? Another paid by the oil industry doubter, maybe a right wing hack? Actually he's an Emeritus Professor at the University of Wisconsin, and known as "the father of scientific climatology".

The Capital Times of Madison has a great article up about Bryson's thoughts, and some folks who are unhappy with them.

Money is why Bryson believes that man made global warming all the rage these days.

From the Cap Times article:

So, if global warming isn't such a burning issue, why are thousands of scientists so concerned about it?

"Why are so many thousands not concerned about it?" Bryson shot back.

"There is a lot of money to be made in this," he added. "If you want to be an eminent scientist you have to have a lot of grad students and a lot of grants. You can't get grants unless you say, 'Oh global warming, yes, yes, carbon dioxide.'"


He continues, talking about the science, and lack of it, behind the theory, and how it's been twisted.

"There is very little truth to what is being said and an awful lot of religion. It's almost a religion. Where you have to believe in anthropogenic (or man-made) global warming or else you are nuts."

That isn't to say that he believes that none of the warming issues are man made, he just thinks the carbon theory is wrong. He cites data from Wisconsin showing temperature rises in the Milwaukee and Madison areas over the last 100 years, but no discernible rise in less populated areas of the state.
"The growth of cities makes it hotter, but that was true back in the 1930s, too," Bryson said. "Big cities were hotter than the surrounding countryside because you concentrate the traffic and you concentrate the home heating. And you modify the surface, you pave a lot of it."
If you think (in an unbiased manner) about what he's saying, and dig a little, it makes lots of sense. Look at the locations of NOAA's weather stations, the vast majority of reporting stations aren't in outlying areas from big cities, but in urban or semi-urban areas. The number of stations overtaken by sprawl has increased every year.

This January, at the 19th Conference on Climate Variability and change one of the displays was on the variability of readings from the Southeast US. Rural and semi-rural weather reporting stations there have trended towards cooling, while the urban stations have shown a warming trend. Evidently, it wasn't the first time this has happened:

The second part of this study is to research station dynamics, where stations are categorized in one of three sections: 1) urban, 2) small urban, and 3) rural. As has been shown in previous work, the southeastern United States has experienced varying trends for different categories: rural stations tend to show cooling trends while stations undergoing urbanization show warming. Other station aspects are also investigated, including changes in station location (latitude, longitude, and elevation) and changes in instrumentation. Many different factors regarding the station could influence the temperature data being recorded, thus giving the false impression that major climate changes are occurring.

Wait, that means that there are other scientists, besides Bryson, who must have doubts about the accuracy of the data. In fact, it seems their data confirms what he said above about Wisconsin's (lack of) climate change. How come we never hear about these doubts in the news, or Al Gore's movies? It's obvious from the above phrasing that they've talked about it before, but been ignored. Maybe their data is "an inconvenient truth"

It's good to hear someone of Bryson's stature take a stand on the junk science of global warming as all mans fault. It's too bad the Madison Capital Times, blogs, and talk radio are the only places you'll find his thoughts.
(H/T to Charlie for pointing this article out this morning)

Technorati Tags: Reid Bryson, Global Warming, Climate Change, Junk Science

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