Lucky the BEST* project is here to save us from the lying thermometers of the past. Apparently people in the 1960′s and 1970′s were clever enough to get man on the moon, but too stupid to measure the temperature. Millions of people were fooled into thinking the world was cooling for three decades by erroneous thermometer readings. Who would have guessed?
Back then, everyone was sure that the 1970′s was a lot colder than the 1940′s, as Steven Goddard reminds us:
See the original Newsweek report at Denis Dutton‘s site.
The Global Bermuda-Triangle Effect: Thermometer Weirding
The performance of global thermometers is baffling. The technology is nearly 300 years old. The first thermometers were produced in 1724 by Daniel Fahrenheit, and by 1742 Anders Celsius had invented its main competitor. This simple, reliable instrument spread throughout the world and worked well. So far so good. But from 1920 we see the first signs of worldwide systematic errors (first too high, and then too low?!).
The strange “Wierding” effect struck both mercury and alcohol thermometers and was most savage between 1945 and 1975. Frank Lansner compared the BEST projects result with his Rural Unadjusted Temperature Series (RUTI, below). The Berkley Earth Project (shown here in the dark green line) corrects for the inexplicable Wierding, and now reveals that the rural thermometers worldwide were systematically recording an astonishing half a degree too low! (Frankly, it’s a wonder that planes were able to land at country airports.)
See the RUTI analysis at Hide the Decline
Scientists and journalists fooled
“Another Ice Age?” asked Time Magazine on June 24, 1975.
It seems that many people were tricked into thinking the world was cooling, and saw the signs of it everywhere they looked.
In England, farmers have seen their growing season decline by about two weeks since 1950, with a resultant overall loss in grain production estimated at up to 100,000 tons annually.
A survey completed last year by Dr. Murray Mitchell of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reveals a drop of half a degree in average ground temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere between 1945 and 1968. According to George Kukla of Columbia University, satellite photos indicated a sudden, large increase in Northern Hemisphere snow cover in the winter of 1971-72. And a study released last month by two NOAA scientists notes that the amount of sunshine reaching the ground in the continental U.S. diminished by 1.3% between 1964 and 1972.
Climate Depot has the FACTSHEET on the 1970s ice-age predictions with links to the articles.
It’s shocking, unthinkable — the consensus of experts was wrong
Meteorologists at the time were completely misled by the errant data from thermometers all over the world. They predicted mass starvation due to colder conditions:
The central fact is that after three quarters of a century of extraordinarily mild conditions, the earth’s climate seems to be cooling down. Meteorologists disagree about the cause and extent of the cooling trend, as well as over its specific impact on local weather conditions. But they are almost unanimous in the view that the trend will reduce agricultural productivity for the rest of the century. If the climatic change is as profound as some of the pessimists fear, the resulting famines could be catastrophic. “A major climatic change would force economic and social adjustments on a worldwide scale,” warns a recent report by the National Academy of Sciences, “because the global patterns of food production and population that have evolved are implicitly dependent on the climate of the present century.”
What could have caused both mercury and alcohol thermometers to malfunction simultaneously all over the world?
The systematic global errors beg further investigation. Was there some kind of cosmic interference, or were all the thermometers just dastardly lying pot-smoking instruments out to trick us?
Or darkly, could it be an infectious agent at work? If it was, it remains unknown to science, and defies explanation. What could coincidentally afflict thermometers made of alcohol (otherwise used to kill microorganisms) and mercury (toxic to everything)? A mercury based life-form would mean a new Kingdom of living organisms. That these unlikely infections might also have managed to cross solid glass makes it all the more imperative that we set up a UN agency immediately (and with $500 billion dollars) to investigate.
Quick, write to your elected representative, send it to Mythbusters, and notify William Shatner. This is serious.
*Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature Project: BEST means the “BEST PR they can manage “. Make no mistake. BEST are trying to rewrite history, but we are not fooled.