US record flaw said to challenge climate bills

15 August 2007 22:57  [Source: ICIS news]

WASHINGTON (ICIS news)--A flaw in US government scientific analysis of annual temperature records vindicates sceptics of global warming alarms and radical legislative remedies, a leading US senator said on Wednesday.


Senator James Inhofe (Republican-Oklahoma) said a newly uncovered climate miscalculation by the National Aeronautic and Space Administration (NASA) “has further vindicated those who question predictions of a man-made climate catastrophe”.


The US space agency recently revealed that its calculations establishing 1998 as the hottest year in American weather history were in error.  The agency said its revised figures show 1934 as the hottest in US history, followed by 1998 and with 1921 as the third warmest period.


The revised temperature data has triggered outrage among US interest groups who oppose the prospect of federally mandated controls on US industrial emissions of greenhouse gases.


Inhofe is the senior Republican on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, which is considering “cap and trade” legislation that would impose emissions limits on US chemical producers, other manufacturers and electric utilities.


“In recent years science has further vindicated those who question predictions of a man-made climate catastrophe, and more and more scientists continue to reverse themselves and become sceptics,” Inhofe said.


Inhofe is a longstanding critic of claims that human activity, especially the use of hydrocarbon fuels, has caused temperature variations. 


NASA’s revision of its historic temperature figures was seized by Inhofe and others as evidence that the US saw weather in the 1920s and 1930s - well before large-scale industrial expansion and widespread automobile use - at least as warm and even hotter than post-World War II seasons. 


Critics of government-imposed efforts to control climate contend that the revised NASA data indicate that global temperatures rise and fall in natural cycles unrelated to human activity.


“The fact remains that global temperatures have been flat for almost a decade, the seas are not swelling 20 feet, and embarrassing flaws in the models and data are routinely uncovered, such as last week by NASA making 1934 now the hottest year in US history,” Inhofe said.


“In short, the world is not ending,” he said.


Congress returns from its mid-year recess on 4 September and is expected to take up consideration of climate control legislation.

By: Joe Kamalick
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