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Adjustments to Data

25 May 2012
Inside science

It seems that CAGW propagands over rising sea levels might have a little secret tucked away. At www.joannenova.com.au/2012/05/man-made-sea-level-rises-are-due-to-global… … Frank Lasner has revealed the original raw satellite data doesn't show a sea level rise in recent years, 1993-2001. On top of that the Envisat European satellite data also shows no rise from 2003-2011 – or, at least it did before adjustment. Joanne then says, we have 20 years of raw satellite data telling us that sea levels are not rising, or only at marginal amounts. This led scientists to adjust the data as it seemed satellites systematically underestimated the rising trend. The astonishing thing is that the rising trend is in the models – so they adjusted the satellite data so that it was a better fit with the models. Reality was downscaled in order to correspond with the assumption of global warming – and it seems they have been doing the same thing with tidal guages.

What other science or observation might be subject to adjustment. I suspect lots and lots. For example, ancient astronomers, even Ptolemy, are accused of miscalculations, at best, or incompetence, at worst, because their data doesn't swing true to modern retro-calculations. Then we have the 'classic' one – C14 methodology. The idea of calibration came about because historians 'knew' the data they had accumulated outweighed what the science was telling them – and a variety of calibration models were explored before plumping for the one that was adopted. It appeared to most closely support the favoured chronological framework. C14 methodology had come under repeated attack, particularly by academia. They ruled the roost when it came to historical dating and when science was consistently providing dates that didn't agree with them it was not they who were in error but the science. That is probably the most similar situation to that of CAGW data adjustment. Not only that but the intriguing thjing about calibration is that the point of departure of the curve is in the mid first millennium BC which just so happens to coincide with a plateau in C14 data, indicative of an influx, probably as a result of solar activity. The calibration at this point has caused all sorts of problems in dating the Celtic Iron Age in Britain, or rather, the C14 plateau. What then skewed the data – the solar activity or the calibration?

It is worth noting at this point none of this has anything to do with bad C14 practise when too many archaeologists were less than adequate in their handling of samples. Contaminated samples led to wildly erratic dates, and best practise is now more tightly under control. Using such fluctuating dates as evidence of C14 unreliability instead of recognising simple human error and malpractise is probably not a valid form of critique – but a waving of the arms. It is the calibration that requires looking into – and precisely why one calibration method was chosen as opposed to others on offer. The suspicion is that the chosen method was picked as it smoothed the feathers of the Egyptologists. As it is we now have the wonderful imponderable that calibrated C14 methodology has dated the fall of Nineveh some 150 years earlier than historical records. Perhaps chronology is in error as some revisionists might say but some further investigation into C14 calibration would appear to be in order. At the time of its inception there had been an awful lot of critical comment – this had been going on for years and as always the great and the good tried to cover it up. Eventually, calibration was deemed appropriate – but why did it begin in the mid first millennium BC, the curve fanning out between two notable C14 plateau events. In turn, there was a certain amount of resistance to the idea of calibration, and again this was brushed aside and various arguments have been lost. Calibration had the effect of opening up gaps in chronology which archaeologists have tried to fill in. However, it is possible that problems that have resulted in re-dating some early Iron Age Celtic levels to the Late Bronze may just be the latest example of the problem – but could it be down to that 150 year anomaly? Archaeologists themselves use chronology as somewhere to park their finds following excavation and discovery and it is immaterial to the system if the chronology is right or wrong. The same with field geologists. The geochronology is a parking lot for their observations of the layering process.

Going back to where we entered the fray – CAGW, apparently, the IPCC acknowledges global temperatures, as a result of rising co2 levels in the atmosphere, will only rise by 1.2 degrees C. All the projections above that figure are derived from the models – not from temperature data. However, global temperature data is constantly being adjusted and still there is very little evidence of warming. It seems that we might be at the stage that if a blizzard and ten feet of snow fell in June this would be brushed aside as 'weather weirding' – one of the latest wheezes dreamed up by PR merchants of spin. How long can it go on? If C14 calibration is a clue and then it can continue indefinitely as there is no likelihood in the near future of the Greek dark age being reduced or the Egyptian Third Intermediate Period being looked at in a more objective fashion.

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