In terms of climate change, we all evidently live in Lake Wobegon, where the rate of temperature rise is always above average. Tom Nelson aggregates climate change news on his blog, and has compiled a long list of locations reported to be warming faster than everywhere else. The North Pole, the South Pole, Africa, Europe, China, Tibet, Spain, the Korean peninsula, the Himalayas, the western United States, and the Lake Superior area are each the fastest-warming area on the planet. A quick search revealed a new item for Tom’s list - the upper elevations of Hawaii, where it’s “getting hotter here faster than anywhere else in the world.”
It’s difficult for lay people to get a handle on the science when it’s continually hyped. This isn’t a new development - changes in climate have been poorly reported for more than a century. The catch is that it’s alternated between warming and cooling four times, and whether the trend is warming or cooling, the stories over the last hundred years use very similar verbiage. It’s always a crisis. Soon it will be irreversible. The end is near! You would almost think there was a Journolist for climate change.
It’s not just the reporters, who doubtless struggle as much as the next non-scientist to grasp the information. As we have learned from Anthony Watt’s Surface Stations project, which studies how temperature information is collected, it’s the data. An astounding 69% of American temperature sensors have artificial heating sources like air conditioning units and exhaust fans within 10 meters. There’s no reason to believe other countries are doing any better of a job collecting data, and Watts intends to survey the Global Historical Climatology Network stations eventually.
As we have learned from the “Climategate” scandal and the less reported subsequent scandal at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, it’s also the scientists, who have strategized behind the scenes to shut out opposing views and to hide and manipulate data.
These are desperate days for global warming advocates, and they should be. The two groups we rely on the most to be skeptical and detail-oriented, scientists and reporters, have continued to badly fail us.