Jacoby on global warming — part 2

I missed until today Jeff Jacoby’s second article on global warming science in the Boston Globe on Saturday. (Hans had blogged about the first installment.). Don Boudreaux over at CafeHayek posted on both articles and got some interesting comments — most of them on topic. Here are some excerpts from Jacoby’s piece:

Take the latest report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Unlike its previous report in 2001, which foresaw a possible rise in sea levels over the next century of around 3 feet, the new report cuts that figure in half, to about 17 inches. Why the revision? “Mainly because of improved information,” the IPCC notes in the fine print. It goes on to note that even its latest estimate involves some guesswork: “Understanding of these effects is too limited to assess their likelihood.” The science is getting better, but it’s far from settled.

Or take the discovery this month that 1934, not 1998, was the hottest year in the continental United States since record-keeping began. NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies quietly changed its ranking after a Canadian statistician discovered an error in the official calculations. Under the new data, five of the 10 hottest US years on record occurred before 1940; three were in the past decade.