The Church of Climate Change: Some Movement in The Pews
This press report is interesting, not only for what it contains (some tricky questions about Chinese climate data on urban ‘heat islands’ ), but for where it appears – in the Guardian, a center of AGW orthodoxy.
The Guardian‘s writer concludes as follows:
The story has a startling postscript. In 2008, Jones [Professor Phil Jones, director of the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia] prepared a paper for the Journal of Geophysical Research re-examining temperatures in eastern China. It found that, far from being negligible, the urban heat phenomenon was responsible for 40% of the warming seen in eastern China between 1951 and 2004.
This does not flatly contradict Jones’s 1990 paper. The timeframe for the new analysis is different. But it raises serious new questions about one of the most widely referenced papers on global warming, and about the IPCC’s reliance on its conclusions.
It is important to keep this in perspective, however. This dramatic revision of the estimated impact of urbanisation on temperatures in China does not change the global picture of temperature trends. There is plenty of evidence of global warming, not least from oceans far from urban influences. A review of recent studies published online in December by David Parker of the Met Office concludes that, even allowing for Jones’s new data, “global near-surface temperature trends have not been greatly affected by urban warming trends.”
Keenan accepts that his allegations do not on their own change the global picture. But he told the Guardian: “My interest in all this arises from concern about research integrity, rather than about global warming per se. Jones knew there were serious problems with the Chinese research, yet continued to rely upon the research in his work, including allowing it to be cited in the IPCC report.”