Various bloggers are atwitter over a column on supposed global cooling from Phil Chapman, a former Australian astronaut. Mr. Chapman has scientific credentials out the wazoo, but his column falls short on basic accuracy. He writes, for example, that the “four agencies that track Earth’s temperature (the Hadley Climate Research Unit in Britain, the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York, the Christy group at the University of Alabama, and Remote Sensing Systems Inc in California) report that it cooled by about 0.7C in 2007.” But the Goddard Institute reports that “2007 tied with 1998 for Earth’s second warmest year in a century,” and was in fact warmer than 2006.
Chapman is dubious when writing about more basic facts, such as when he says that there “is also plenty of anecdotal evidence that 2007 was exceptionally cold. It snowed in Baghdad for the first time in centuries . . .” Actually, it snowed in Baghdad in 2008, which has no bearing on the temperature record for 2007.
The rest of the column is dubious as well.