[Update: Since Luongo got most of his claims from John Casey, I've written something about his brand of science here.]
Claim: "Well, according to NASA’s own data, the world has warmed .36 degrees Fahrenheit over the last 35 years (they started measuring the data in 1979)."
Response: According to which data set? NASA GISS data show that the world warmed by 0.56ºC (1.01ºF) since 1979. That is 2.8x larger than the 0.36ºF figure that Luongo cites. UAH satellite data, which is taken from NOAA satellites, show that the world has warmed by 0.49ºC (0.88ºF) since 1979, over 2.4x larger than what Luongo stated. Even RSS, which shows false cooling since 2000, shows that the world warmed by 0.44ºC (0.79ºF) since 1979, 2.2x larger than Luongo's claim. So which data set was Luongo using to make his false claim?
Oh, and by the way, Luongo's related claim that "I think you would agree that a .36 degree increase in temperature over the last 35 years is hardly anything to get in a panic about" just shows his rank ignorance about global temperature and ecology. The natural rate of change as shown by Marcott et al. (2013) and the PAGES 2k Consortium (2013) is around 0.0014ºC per decade. The current rate according to UAH satellite data? 0.14ºC per decade, 100x faster than the natural rate. That rapid rate of change in the global average is having multiple effects on the natural world, from species ranges to the timing of bird migrations to insect life cycles to marine plankton productivity. The very real concern is that all those disruptions to species phenology will combine to drive species to extinction. And yet Luongo thinks that it's no big deal. Ignorance at its finest.
Claim: "Fact: We Haven't Seen Any 'Global Warming' for 17 Years!"
Response: Luongo uses three disingenuous tricks to back this claim. First, he uses RSS data, which, as I have already noted, shows false cooling since 2000. The second is that he starts his graph at 1998 and ends at 2014, which is 16 years, not the 17 years he claims. The third is that he starts his graph at 1998, an exceptionally warm year. How exceptionally warm was 1998? Residual graphs give an idea. The general idea with a residuals graph is to remove any trend in the data first, then examine what is left to pick out data that is well above or below the overall trend. Here are the standardized residuals for UAH satellite data after first removing the 1979-2014 linear trend.
Note that large residual spike in the graph above? That's 1998. What that graph shows 1998 was anomalously warm above and beyond the general warming trend in the satellite data since 1979. There's a general rule of thumb in statistics that you should never start a trend at a data point that was either anomalously above or below the trend. Luongo, if he took statistics, should have learned that. Yet starting a trend at an anomaly is precisely what Luongo does. It doesn't take a genius to figure out why he picked 1998.
Notice anything? The starting point really does make a difference in the measured trend. Starting from almost any point other than 1998 gives roughly the same trend. Starting from 1998, the year of the largest El Niño on record and the year of the largest residuals in the satellite record, gives quite a different answer. That is precisely why Luongo chose to begin his trend in 1998. He didn't like the answer he would get if he started in any other year and went with the only time period that would give him his desired answer. His "technique" is the very definition of cherry-picking.
Claim: "We’ve had cooler summers and longer winters."
Response: Only in the last two years and only in the eastern and central USA. Remember 2012-2013? The Year Without a Winter? Spring has been arriving earlier, an average of 10 to 14 days earlier than it did in the late 1980s (Karl et al. 2009), which means winter is getting shorter, not longer as Luongo claimed. Besides, the US is only about 2% of the globe's land surface. Care to take a look at what temperatures have been for the entire planet? Here are some graphs from an earlier set of posts on the subject (found here and here):
|Seasonal trends for global temperature data.|
|Seasonal trends for the Northern Hemisphere|
Claim: "Lie No. 2: The Oceans Are Getting Warmer"
Response: It's no lie, Mr. Luongo. It's a fact.
Claim: "Fact: The North Polar Ice Cap Is Increasing in Size!"
Response: I think this graph says enough:
See that red ellipse? That's the only part that Luongo wants you to pay attention to. That's where he's getting his "43% to 63% increase" claim. He's just paying attention to the ice since the record low of 2012. But look at the rest of the data and his claim rings hollow, as that so-called rebound is still a 28% loss compared to 1979. Also note that there was a temporary "rebound" after every new record low—and there's no sign as yet that the latest "rebound" will be any different.
Claims: "Shame on Them, Because That 97% Figure Is Completely Fabricated. "..."When further review was done, it was discovered that a mere 1% of scientists believe human activity is causing most of the climate change."
Response: Sheer and utter nonsense. Multiple surveys of both scientists and the published literature have repeatedly shown that 97% of bona fide climate scientists agree that human activity is to blame for global warming (i.e. Oreskes 2004, Doran and Zimmerman 2009, Anderegg et al. 2010, Farnsworth and Lichter 2012, Cook et al. 2013). The Doran and Zimmerman (2009) study also found that 86% of all scientists, not just climate scientists, agree that human activity is to blame, not 1% of all scientists as Luongo states. A recently released survey (Jan. 2015) of American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) scientists found that 87% agreed that human activity was causing climate change. So where is he getting his ridiculous claim that "a mere1% of scientists believe human activity is causing most of the climate change"?
Claim: "In outrage, a petition was signed by more than 31,000 scientists that states..."
Response: The Oregon Petition Project has been repeatedly debunked for shoddy methods (i.e. here, here, and here). Of the signatories, only 0.1% are climatologists. The inclusion criteria are so broad (anyone with a Bachelor's degree or higher in any science, from agriculture science to physics) that over 10.6 million Americans qualify to sign the petition—which means only 0.3% of eligible Americans signed that petition. That's hardly evidence that scientists disagree with the general consensus.
Claim: "Fact: There Has Always Been, And Always Will Be Climate Change"
Response: This is true—and completely irrelevant. It's the rhetorical equivalent of claiming that there have always been forest fires so humans cannot cause any forest fires.
Claim: "Now, the Question Is . . . What Does Cause Climate Change"
Response: This section is absolutely ridiculous. Luongo blames ALL of global warming on the 11-year sunspot cycle, completely ignoring the empirical evidence that conclusively shows that the increase in carbon dioxide is the main cause. The main problem with Luongo's thesis, beyond the numerous research papers conclusively demonstrating that the sun is not the cause of the current global warming? Sunspots numbers have declined since 1957 whereas global temperatures have risen. In other words, the sun has cooled and become less active since 1957 whereas the planet has warmed.
The mismatch is even more evident with an 11-year moving average.
The correlation between global surface temperatures and sunspot numbers since 1957? Extremely weak (r = -0.083) and the wrong sign to boot. IF Luongo's thesis had any validity, the relationship should be positive, not negative.
Simply put, his "science" is sheer and utter nonsense. The only people who will be fooled by Luongo's "science" are those who have not or cannot examine the data themselves. The rest of his article is simple quote mining and character assassination that skirts very close to libel. The only question is why Luongo sinks to such nonsense given his very real science background.
[Edit] In the comments, Stephen Spencer asked for a graph of sea level rise. Here's a graph combining Church and White's (2011) yearly data from tidal gauges (1880-2009) and a 12-month moving average of satellite data (1993-2014). Sea levels have risen at an average rate of 3.2 mm per year since satellite monitoring began in December 1992, with a total rise of around 210 mm since 1880.
|Sea level rise since 1880. The black solid line is the average of tidal gauges. Black dashed lines are the 95% confidence intervals. The red solid line is the 12-month moving average of satellite data.|