Another article has raised significant questions about the data underlying the global warming hypothesis. In this instance, the questions relate to whether recorded temperatures are accurate gauges of climate trends, or whether they may reflect distorting factors such as surrounding development, changes in locations of measuring devices, and changes in land use. One scientist who has studied the records says that apparent increases in temperatures are explained by local factors affecting temperature recording stations. Anyone who lives near a city experiences the effect of development on temperature; it is always a few degrees warmer downtown, where heat is trapped and then radiated by roads, sidewalks, and buildings.
Of course, the fact that the recorded temperatures may not, in fact, be accurate does not mean that “global warming” is not occurring — it just means that the temperature data may not be a reliable basis for reaching that conclusion. It also suggests that policymakers should approach global warming issues with a healthy skepticism, and that scientists need to take a fresh look at reports, like the reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, that now seem more like political arguments than objective scientific evaluations.