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Globe slowly warming, insists 'Hansen's Bulldog'

Torturing the time series until they confess?

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Two of the most vigorous advocates of the manmade global warming theory claim that the Earth's temperature has definitely risen even once Pacific ocean fluctuations and volcanoes are discounted, in a paper published by the Institute of Physics journal Environmental Research Letters. It just hasn't risen by very much.

The two authors are Stefan Ramsdorf of the Potsdam Institute of Climate, and Grant Foster, who is no academic, but is well-known as the climate blogger Tamino, self-styled "Hansen's Bulldog" - a reference to NASA's Jim Hansen, the most senior scientific proponent of the manmade global warming theory.

Using a range of simulations the authors estimate that global temperature trends have inched up by between 0.014C and 0.018C a year in recent times. They say that the total rise since 1979 is 0.4C. The authors arrived at this figure by adding or subtracting so as to remove much larger climatic factors such as El Nino and volcanic effects, which they admit contribute far more significantly to the climate: 0.4-0.65C and 0.35-0.52C respectively, in their own numbers. That's something likely to draw strong criticism of the paper: the range of errors is so large as to make the claimed increase's existence doubtful. The two authors also ignore ocean cycles and the part played by stratospheric water vapour in their calculations, amongst other factors.

"It's a case of making statistics show what you want it to prove in the first place," physicist and science author Dr David Whitehouse told us. "I don't believe you can take away three big effects, and be sure the little effects you've got left are due to man."

"Statistics can be useful as a tool to discover things you couldn't otherwise find. Or they can be used to prove things you want to prove. This looks like the latter."

Judge for yourselves, here. ®

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