The head of NASA’s Goddard Institute of Space Studies (GISS), Gavin Schmidt, declared in a newspaper interview on Thursday that “Global warming doesn’t care about the election.”
The science community and environmental campaigners in the US have already begun efforts to persuade Mr Trump that climate change is actually real before he takes office next year. Dr Gavin Schmidt, the director of Nasa’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, signalled they would have allies among the federal science agencies. He tweeted a graph including new data from Nasa showing that last month was the second warmest October on record, putting 2016 firmly on course to be the warmest year. “No surprise here, planetary warming does not care about the election,” he wrote.
I would not be surprised if Schmidt ends up getting fired by Trump. His monthly graphs showing each month to be the hottest on record, such as the one he tweeted in the quote above, have been absurd campaigning, not science. For one thing, the differences from month to month have been in the hundredths of a degrees, well within the margins of error and essentially insignificant in value. To claim that his data has determined the “hottest” month on record from this is demonstrating that he is not a scientist, but a political activist.
Secondly, his data is not trustworthy to begin with. Schmidt has been in charge of all of the data tampering at NASA that has consistently altered the decades-old surface temperature record — without any clear scientific justification — to cool the past and warm the present so that the amount of warming is emphasized. While his graphs show the climate to be warming, based on surface data that he has been adjusting, the satellite data that NASA gathers that he (a NASA scientist) generally ignores, does not. The image to the right illustrates this, and shows that the divergence between his adjusted surface data and the satellite data has been increasing steadily over the years.
I fully expect Schmidt and the other global warming scientists in NASA and NOAA to team up with the press, as Schmidt does here, to defy Trump. Whether Trump will have the courage to fight back, something no Republican has been willing to do for decades, will be the key question.