Well I just finished Day1 at the conference at UCAR (University Corporation for Atmospheric Research) put together by Dr. Roger Pielke, and sponsored by the National Science Foundation titled: Detecting the Atmospheric Response to the Changing Face of the Earth: A Focus on Human-Caused Regional Climate Forcings, Land-Cover/Land-Use Change, and Data Monitoring.
The day started off bright and early with the shuttle to the NCAR headquarters, shown above. It’s a unique place, at over 6000 feet up right next to the “flatirons“. Once there, we learned that the conference had been moved to downtown Boulder (somebody forgot to tell the shuttle driver). So we had to wait for the shuttle to return. A new one arrived, and we piled in. Then we sat there and waited because others were coming. As we waited in the sun, someone remarked, “It’s getting hot in the van, open your window” to which I remarked “well, with all these windows, it’s a simple greenhouse experiment”. That brought a chuckle, then “no, really, open he window”. So 10 minutes later, we were on our way in a van that holds 12, we had 7.
The driver informed us he had two stops to make to pickup additional people. We added three at the first stop, and at the second stop, at the invitation of the driver (I don’t mind if you don’t ) we added 6 more people, for a total of 16, all crammed into a van that holds 12. After that exercise I quipped: “well in addition to our earlier greenhouse experiment, now we are adding population growth in an urban setting” which drew a big laugh – inside joke for climate science, you had to be there.
At the conference we had a busy day, lots of papers on land use changes, urbanization studies, rainfall studies, and one statistical study which really caught my eye because I had lunch with the presenter and he gave me the real inside scoop on the “adjustments” process used to turn raw temperature data into “usable” data. More on that later.
I felt a bit out of place at first, because I’d been away from the scientific community for awhile, and this was the first presentation of this type (mine comes tomorrow) in about 25 years. So I was a bit nervous. That soon faded, as people whom I’ve never met saw my name tag, came up and introduced themselves, and said things like “I’ve been following your work, I’m really looking forward to seeing what you’ve found” “after what I’ve seen on your website, I’m beginning to think the surface temperature record is hopeless, and we should focus elsewhere”. So I started feeling a bit more confident. I didn’t see anybody packing rotten tomatoes, and everyone was very nice today, so I’m hoping for the best tomorrow.
Of course Roger Pelke Sr. was a most gracious host, as was his assistant, Dallas, and it was a comfortable and easy day thanks to their efforts.
Later I’ll have a short summary of some of the papers presented today.