Making Tea at the Hadley Climate Research Unit


from: Modern Mechanix, September 1929 

Over on Climate Audit, Steve McIntyre did a post about what HadCRU recently did to announce an “error” in their temperature series due to the significantly colder temperatures worldwide in January and February 2008. They made a bold front page announcement about it which you can see here and at left.

 hadcrut-0708_announce.png

They announced:

We have recently corrected an error in the way that the smoothed time series of data were calculated. Data for 2008 were being used in the smoothing process as if they represented an accurate estimate of the year as a whole. This is not the case and owing to the unusually cool global average temperature in January 2008, the error made it look as though smoothed global average temperatures had dropped markedly in recent years, which is misleading.

Steve reports:  

For their influential graphic showing smoothed temperature series, they used a 21-point binomial filter (this is reported) extrapolating the latest number for 10 years. This obviously places a lot of leverage on January and February temperatures. As has been widely reported, January and February 2008 temperatures are noticeably lower than last years.

He also made a graph to show the differences before and after HadCRU made the adjustments to their data:

hadcrut07-08.png

Michael Ronayne pointed out to me today that this is not the first time HadCRU has modified their online graphs. In happened before in 2000 as the late John Daly reported:

CRU found that even with their disputed surface record, there was a sharp cooling in both hemispheres from a peak in 1998, but their global graph did not reflect this – instead it shows a resumed warming.

Daly created a blink comparator style graph to show the before and after change of the adjustment HadCRU made to the record:

hadcrut_wiggle.gif
Click for original graph

Back at Climate Audit, in comments, somebody asked some pointed questions about why this happens, suggesting less than honorable motives. Steve McIntyre doesn’t think so and writes:

The point is that these institutions seem far more alert to errors causing something to go down than to errors that cause something to go up.

I agree, and would attribute it to “expectation bias” on the part of the HadCRU data gatekeepers. Since they are English, I’ll use the tea analogy.

You are making tea. You put water to boil on the stove, light the fire, and set the teakettle on the burner, see that all is well, and go about your business.

You look over from your desk, you see the burner going, the kettle is making the pops and creaks as the metal expands due to increasing temperature. All is well, the temperature is rising.

In two minutes, and you begin to hear the chorus of small bubbles forming on the bottom. No need to look over, all is well. The temperature is rising.

In another minute, you hear bubbles, no need to look to see thin wisps of steam rising from the spout, all is well. The temperature is rising, water should be ready soon.

30 seconds later, the whistle begins, and you know the heating process (AGW) went perfectly. The water temperature went up as expected and there was no need to check the kettle or the stove during the process because the end result was expected based on the starting set of conditions.

But if the burner had gone out, just before the whistle, you wouldn’t notice it, for some time, until you realize the whistle never came. Then you’d get up from your chair to do something about it. Ah, the burner went out, the water is cold, we’ll move it to another burner that isn’t faulty.

All is well.

Expectation bias in temperature rise, the Lipton Tea of climate science.

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52 thoughts on “Making Tea at the Hadley Climate Research Unit

  1. To expand on a famous Ronald Reagan quote:
    – For the GOP, every day is July 4th,
    – For Dems, every day is April 15th,
    – AND FOR AL GORE EVERY DAY IS APRIL 1ST !!

  2. I think your tea-pot analogy is pretty close, except I don’t think this is really an ‘error’ at all
    – the problem with dealing with deal points when filtering with multi-tap filters is so basic, and so well known, I don’t for a minute think that HadCRU were unaware of it
    – it’s just that up to now, the (basic, simple, easy) solution they had produced the results they wanted/expected
    – so they had no need to think of a better solution

    – however, as soon as it produced results that didn’t fit with their expectations, they felt the need to find a solution that did produce results closer to their expectations

    So, in the tea-pot analogy, you’re using an electric kettle, but you know that the wiring is faulty, but, what the heck it seems to work for now. Then one day it stops working, so you decide to use some duck-tape, and patch the wiring until it starts to give you the results you want again (i.e. heats the water)

  3. One of your graphs from a couple of weeks ago illustrates the step change in the HADCRUT data following the 97-98 El Nino and that it’s still there.

    When I first noticed it, it appeared the 97-98 El Nino caused a rise in global temperature that the subsequent series of La Ninas were not able to overcome. But the other three indices don’t have the step. Another one does, however, have indications that the 97-98 El Nino is still impacting high-latitude temperatures. It’s noticeable when you compare North Pole to the other northern hemisphere temperatures.

    From UAH MSU data:

    http://tinypic.com/fullsize.php?pic=zswazc&s=3&capwidth=false

    And for those interested in the claims that the recent polar amplification is a result of greenhouse gases, here’s a graph that illustrates the amplification comes and goes over the instrument temperature record.

    http://tinypic.com/fullsize.php?pic=29xgbh1&s=3&capwidth=false

  4. “Expectation bias in temperature rise…”
    “Informational cascades” in, “Oh… yeh… of course. I’d been thinking-“
    Well don’t!

  5. The above scenario also suggest (very strongly) that the “gatekeepers” are nothing more than high priced clerks (bureaucrats) who aren’t all that concerned with the seriousness of their actions.

    I recall my days in the Navy when the Engineman/Boilerman on watch was charged with taking the hourly cooling water input temperatures. Little did we realize those very readings would be used in later years for establishing baselines from which today’s temperatures would be compared. The readings were sloppy and quite often just “dittoed” from one hour to another… at the end of the four hour watch. This sloppiness wasn’t just confined to our ship, it was epidemic. We would have made great candidates for HadCRU

    Jack Koenig, Editor
    The Mysterious Climate Project
    http://www.climateclinic.com

  6. One of the sub-plots in the book Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton was that the computer systems in the park monitored the dinosaurs by counting them. When the correct numbers of dinosaurs were accounted for, the computers stop counting and reported that all was well. As it was know that the dinosaurs could not reproduce no one programmed the computers to look for additional dinosaurs.

    I have been working with some very advanced computer systems for over 45 years now and I am always amazed at how trusting people are of the results they generate. As long as the dinosaurs of Dr. Phil Jones et al were moving in the expected direction no one questioned the computer’s results. But I should not complain, cleaning up the aftermath keeps food on my family’s table and I get to play with a lot of interesting toys.

    Mike

  7. Their adjustments will continue month after month after month as the temperature record demonstrates that the January and February 2008 “abnormal” lows were no flash in the pan.

  8. Yeah well…. I drink coffee….. an’ it’s th’ fruitcakes I worry about….

    ; ) *wink*

    LOL

  9. Anthony,

    It appears
    “…a graph to show the differences to show the before and after …”
    should read
    “…a graph to show the differences before and after …”

    REPLY: Thanks for the catch, I have two young children who often tug on me while I’m writing posts, they come first, and sometime when I get back to writing I miss such things.

  10. MattN : So, it’s all good, until the data doesn’t show what they want it to show, huh?

    Yeah, that’s how I see it. All you have to do is understand where their money comes from. With skin in the game, what do you expect.

  11. Interesting analogy, but the Brits HATE Lipton tea. It’s like raving about McDonald’s salads or Dunkin’ Donuts’ croissants. Yeeach.

    To extend the analogy, 30 years ago, HadCRU’s parents were making iced tea.

    REPLY: Well I thought about using Earl Grey, but this is an American blog. It could have been worse, I could have said Lipton Instant Tea ;-)

  12. I agree with the folks at HadCRU that the method they use for smoothing is “misleading”. Anytime you use a noncausal filter on real time data you will get misleading results because some value for the future data must be estimated.

    I don’t agree that the smoothed values were in “error”. Instead, I would suggest they don’t yet have the smoothed values. The actual smoothed values won’t be known until the (currently future) data is in.

    It is appropriate to state that the actual data is not yet known and let the data do the talking rather than correcting an “error”. Another possibility is to forgo displaying smoothed data points for the current time and only display the points that cannot change in the future because the data used to calculate those points is already measured.

  13. The HADCRU is notorious for “tweaking” its PAST temperatures in the sense that you can easily imagine. Its global temperature graphs are in the successive IPCC report so it’s very easy to see the craftmanship.
    For example this gif animation .

    Say can give the temperature they want since raw station’s data and correction codes are not disclosed, despite several FOI complaints.

  14. Bob Tisdale
    How do you know that it was the El Nino that caused the warming? I think it it was the other way around, i.e. the warming caused the El Nino.

    In Basil and Anthony’s Evidence of a Solar Imprint, they show in Figure 2 how the temperature trend correlates with solar cycles.
    And notice how the Major ENSO events of 1876-78, 1891, 1925-26, 1982-83, and 1997-98 all occurred when the temperature Trends in Figure 2 are at, or very near, an upper peak.

    Because temperature trends correlate so well with solar cycles, then it follows that the sun drives the temps – the El Ninos don’t. The El Ninos thus are generated by the temperature trends. In simple terms: The sun drives the temperature, which in turn drives the El Ninos. I think Figure 2 and the El Nino data confirm this.

    El Ninos simply just don’t come out of the blue. They need heat to be born.

    I keep hearing that El Ninos cause temperature spikes. You hear so often that 1998 was warm because of a strong El Nino. Nonsense!
    Look at Figure 2. The 1998 El Nino occurred at the peak of the Temperature Trend, which occurred at the high point of sunspot cycle 23.
    The big El Nino could not have caused the temperatuure to spike in 1998.

    Does anyone have a different opinion?

  15. Dan beat me to it – and as a Brit myself, I’d say PG Tips or Tetley would have been more characteristically British.

    I had fun reading this tea analogy post, which I find a wonderful and amusing illustration of confirmation bias. Also enjoyed Michael Ronayne’s Jurassic Park reference.

    I don’t have a science or maths background, more of a humanities background with a side interest in psychology; thus the technical stuff tends to go over my head, but I can readily appreciate posts that touch on the psychology of climate-related science.

    I would like to say thanks to Anthony for his time and effort spent maintaining this blog; hopefully your work will help to counteract the alarmists and doomsayers who are trying to stampede us all.

  16. The tea analogy fails to deal with motive. HADCRUT is motivated to produce data sets and analysis that supports the AGW hypothesis. The better analysis come from business fraud based on accounting records. HADCRUT cooked the books.

  17. While I tend to shy away from conspiracy theories, April 1st is a good day to let my guard down. Doesn’t it seem suspicious that Hadley adjusted the data just before a new month’s datum is available? Assume March’s anomaly is more negative than the last few. That will depress the curve for either smoothing algorithm, but the old one will would still run below the “corrected” version. So, can we read the tea leaves and conclude that the March anomaly will be really cold? A warm anomaly could wipe out a whole year’s cooling, to misquote a misquote.

    More realistically, I prefer Coaldust’s suggestion they don’t yet have the smoothed values. It might be fun to play with different smoothing algorithms, I bet there are good examples where you could demonstrate anything you wanted.

    BTW, the phrase “Garbage in, garbage out” may apply to Lipton tea, but in today’s AGW science the real problem comes from “Garbage in, gospel out.”

  18. Heck, we should be happy they even made the correction in the first place. They might just have easily run the old graph with a teeny asterik and a line of fune print on the bottom of the page.

  19. Pierre Gosselin, We have had El Ninos and La Ninas outside of the temperature spikes. Perhaps it is not “the warming caused the El Nino,” but rather the warming strengthened the El Nino. The difference is whether or not an El Nino is a terrestrially caused event or if, as you suggest, it is borne from solar cycles.

    John M Reynolds

  20. Alex Cull,
    Normally people who are into the humanities flock to the AGW alarmism side, as many, I guess, are not so technically well equipped to understand all the data, graphs, etc. It’s so much easier for many people to simply believe “CO2 goes up, then temps go up!”, and skip learning the science.

    I’m curious. Which argument(s) convince(s) you that it’s all hysteria?
    I really would like to know.

  21. jmrSudbury
    Perhaps it is so with the minor El Ninos. But the major el Ninos all seem to correlate well with the temperature trend peaks of Fig 2. Granted I haven’t looked at the small El Ninos and Ninas, as they are quite frequent.
    Perhaps the small ones are caused in part by terrestial factors. But the major ones, I was surprised to see, correlate very closely with solar activity.
    Then again, I also only looked back to 1878, and I should go further back to see if the correlation pans out.

  22. Anthony,

    In a recent look at the Michigan micro-climate, I ran a simple decadal tracking of February mean temperatures.

    1900 ____16.3
    1910 ____17.9 <—
    1920 ____16.5
    1930 ____26.9
    1940 ____21.7
    1950 ____20.0
    1960 ____21.3
    1970 ____18.3 <—
    1980 ____17.6
    1990 ____24.0
    2000 ____26.8
    2008 ____18.4 <—

    It seems to me that there is a tendency… not an absolute rule… for the winters to follow the larger oscillations of the weather patterns. So, the 2008 downturn may be indicative of an overall downturn in the cool/warm/cool/warm cycles experienced during the 20th century.

  23. The sunspot cycle graphic I was using wasn’t the best quality. And now I see that the major El Ninos do not match up with the sunspot cycles. Forget that theory!
    But the major El Ninos do match up with the peaks of the Fig. 2 temperature trends. Maybe just a coincidence. Can we extend Figure 2 back another 100 years or so back in the past?

  24. Pierre Gosselin said”

    “I keep hearing that El Ninos cause temperature spikes. You hear so often that 1998 was warm because of a strong El Nino. Nonsense!
    Look at Figure 2. The 1998 El Nino occurred at the peak of the Temperature Trend, which occurred at the high point of sunspot cycle 23.”

    Pierre, I think you are right on target. I recall back around ’96 when the scientific community began to seriously study the Equatorial Pacific Warm Pool (where ENSO events occur) and many claimed it as the world’s T-Stat. These same scientists believed ENSO events were the RESULT of the sun’s warming/cooling variations and postulated El Ninos/LaNinas somehow or another tweaked the PDO which in turn impacted the NAO.

    I have several research papers on the subject, but it’s going to take some time before I can find them in my multiple file cabinets (they were snail mailed to me). If I locate them I’ll post them on the http://www.epwp.com website as well as get the info to you somehow.

    This by the way, is why I’m getting so excited about Basil and Anthony’s work: I believe they have laid some important groundwork to begin tying it all together!

    Jack Koenig, Editor
    The Mysterious Climate Project
    http://www.climateclinic.com

  25. Pierre Gosselin:

    You write: “How do you know that it was the El Nino that caused the warming?”

    Please go back and read my post. I was commenting about the step change in the Hadley Centre data, that it was absent in the others. I also commented on the step in high-latitude temperature and polar amplification. Both of these took place after the 97/98 El Nino. I was not discussing global temperatures. Sorry that I didn’t make that clearer.

    I will agree that solar is the driving force behind ENSO, it’s the driving force behind all climate variables, so with the rest of your comments, you’re arguing with me about something on which I agree with you…for the most part.

    Your comment: “The 1998 El Nino occurred at the peak of the Temperature Trend, which occurred at the high point of sunspot cycle 23.”

    Forget about the trend analysis that Anthony and Basil posted yesterday, though it was great! But the 97/98 El Nino started in 1997 and ended in 1998. The primary peak (solar max) of Solar Cycle 23 occurred in 2000, the secondary peak early in 2002. How could an El Nino that ended in 1998 be caused by a solar max that hadn’t occurred yet? It can’t. If the lag of SST to changes in solar irradiance is on the order of 3 to 5 years (I’ve read reports that said as high as 16 years), wouldn’t it seem more appropriate that the El Nino of 97/98 was actually venting oceanic heat from a prior heat build-up, during an earlier solar cycle.

    Your comment: “The big El Nino could not have caused the temperatuure to spike in 1998. Does anyone have a different opinion?”

    I do and so does every paper on ENSO and the 97/98 El Nino written to date. If the Pacific Ocean dumps that much heat into the atmosphere, of course atmospheric temperature will rise. Sea surface temperatures rise as well. In fact, in 1994, they were still following a Rossby wave from the 82/83 El Nino. That’s 12 years later. But where did the Pacific Ocean get most of the heat? The sun. No debate with you there.

    In case you missed it yesterday, I provided a complimentary post to Anthony and Basil’s trend analysis, one that came up with same fundamental results (that the sun drives global temperature) but from a different direction. By comparison, mine was child’s play, but the basic end results were the same.

    If it appears that I was angered by your post, I was. But that’s water under the dam.

    Regards

  26. The ENSO appears to be a trade wind-driven phenomenon. At the equator, the trade winds blow east to west.

    When the trades are sustained at higher than average speeds over long periods of time, the warm surface water at the equator gets blown across the Pacific and is replaced by colder upwelling water at the South American coast. Eventually the entire Pacific eqautor waters can be reduced by 1.0C to 2.0C to 3.0C versus the average temperature and, viola, you have a La Nina.

    The opposite is the case for a El Nino. Lower than average trade winds over a sustained period results in warmer than average waters.

    You can watch this animation of the past five months of sea surface temperatures and see how the waves of colder water migrate across the Pacific. (speed up the animation to really see it in action.)

    http://www.osdpd.noaa.gov/PSB/EPS/SST/anom_anim.html

  27. Gosslein (first comment) and Coaldust (second comment) touch on what to me seems the oddest aspect here: that one would contemplate an annual figure after but three months have passed. I am no mathematician (my doctorate’s in religious history) but have constructed many tables that helped provide context for South Australian Protestantism across the twentieth century. The tables are quite simple but never did I attempt to induce a conclusion from non-existent data. We are all no doubt impatient for more data, but why, to put it crudely, make it up?

  28. Doesn’t ENSO cycle through its phases every 3-5 years?

    http://www.cpc.noaa.gov/products/analysis_monitoring/ensostuff/ensoyears.shtml

    So in one solar cycle, one would expect about 3 ENSO cycles to occur. So to connect El Nino with a solar maximum would be difficult. If only there was a connection, then predicting when ENSO will switch between La Nina and El Nino would be easy. Just remember the unexpected death of El Nino in Feb of 2007.

    I do know that when Mount Pinitubo erupted in 1991, we had a prolonged El Nino event from 1991 to 1993. If prolonged La Nina causes drought in the U.S. ( http://www.ldeo.columbia.edu/res/div/ocp/pub/seager/Seager_2007.pdf ), then prolonged El Nino causes flooding in the U.S. (Remember the Mississippi River Floods in 1993?)

    Was there a connection with the Pinitubo eruption and the prolonged El Nino event? I haven’t found a paper on that, so I can’t back up the theory. If that is true, then the lack of volcanic events could cause the recent prolonged La Nina events (and drought in the U.S.). Any merit to these theories?

    Virgil

  29. Besides, Climatologists have a social responsibility not to create a false alarm. If a hint got out that the Sun has decided it’s time for another Little Ice Age, instead of balmy warmth with long growing seasons, people might panic.

  30. The urgent need for a $300 Million ad campaign becomes very clear as the teapot begins to cool.

  31. Should you place a “x2” on your teapot analogy, Anthony, to differentiate ir from a previous teapot (dome scandal)?

  32. Bob Tisdale,
    Sorry for coming being onery – didn’t mean to come across that way. I’m new in this science, and so I still have a lot to learn. And sometimes I may write things that are way out in leftfield. It was naive of me to surmise that Solar activity would lead to a rapid heating of the ocean, thus an El Nino warming.
    It would make sense that there’d be long inertial lags. I still have to learn, like the alarmist side does, that things are far more complex then connecting 2 or 3 dots. Some one said here patience would be well-advised.

    Jack,
    Thanks.
    Posting these papers would be great.
    About a year ago I started reading up on global warming, and so I’m still in the process of learning the basics. I wish I had found this website
    earlier.

  33. Hi Pierre, there are a number of arguments and observations which have led me to prefer non-AGW explanations for recent climate trends; here’s the short list:

    1) The well-documented cooling trend from (roughly) 1940s up to 1970s. AGW theorists blame man-made aerosols for the cooling; so – 1900s to 1940s: industrialisation: increase in CO2: increase in sulphates and other aerosols: increased warming; then – 1940s to 1970s: industrialisation: increased CO2: increase in sulphates and other aerosols: cooling. I don’t find the aerosol argument particularly convincing; maybe there is historical evidence for a lack of cooling aerosols in the early 20th century, but I’m not currently aware of any. If aerosols failed to mask warming in the 1930s, why did they fail to mask warming in the 1960s, when the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere was higher?

    2) Again, the mid-20th century cooling trend. A graph showing the Pacific Decadal Oscillation and its warm/cool phases, seems to match the warming-cooling-warming pattern more closely than the ever-climbing CO2 count. Maybe the PDO is not the whole story, but it certainly appears to be a better fit.

    3) The Little Ice Age: AGW theorists downplay it, but there is evidence from the Southern Hemisphere, e.g. from Peru and New Zealand, which suggests that the LIA could have been a global, not just a local, phenomenon.

    4) Ditto, the Medieval Warm Period. AGW theorists downplay the MWP, but there is some evidence (vineyards in northern England, silver mines in the Alps, coral records from Barbados and Tahiti) which suggests warmer temperatures (at least in Europe) than now, and possibly higher sea levels.

    5) Hurricanes, storm surges etc. Gore, et al, blame global warming. On the other hand, changes in land use would account for the increase in damage. More people, more houses on flood plains, the draining of protective wetlands, etc. Also the hurricane record shows no big recent rise in strong hurricanes. 1900 and 1926 had truly devastating hurricanes, 2006 and 2007 didn’t.

    6) Ditto, animal and plant extinctions. Likely general cause: more people, changes in land use, rather than global warming.

    7) The AGW scare resembles earlier scares in the media which have not panned out, such as SARS and Y2K. Also resembles any number of wrong predictions by environmentalists such as Paul Ehrlich: Quote: “I would take even money that England will not exist in the year 2000.”

    8) The AGW movement has a quasi-religious aspect that I find suspect in itself. My take on this is that it is based partly on white middle-class guilt, i.e. that the prosperity of the west is based on a pseudo-scientific version of original sin (but there is redemption, of course, through lowering CO2 emissions.) I don’t buy into it.

    Well, I could go on. Even for those of us who haven’t done science or maths since our schooldays, AGW looks flimsy. Even those of us who have difficulties crunching the numbers and working through the technicalities can still see through the bad journalism, the hype, the faulty reasoning, the bias and the sheer emotionalism of AGW. In that respect, websites and blogs like this one provide a very welcome breath of fresh (and cool!) air.

  34. Sorry, in my Point 1) I meant to say, re aerosols: “why did they mask warming in the 1960s”, not “why did they fail to mask warming in the 1960s”.

  35. Virgil,
    I believe more meteorologists correlated the 1993 floods with Pinatubo (cooling) rather than El Nino. The westerlies were farther south than usual that summer which triggered storm after storm after storm.

    Alex,
    Re your points 1 and 2. Note the slope of the warming prior to the cooling that started in the mid-40’s. It is at least as steep as the warming prior to 2000. If that rate of warming could occur “naturally” who/what is to say the warming of the late 20th Century wasn’t natural (i.e., recovery from the LIA)?

    Mike

  36. Hi Mike, re the two warming periods of the 20th century: I agree. The LIA, in its various phases, occurred over a number of centuries; it would certainly be reasonable to suppose that coming out of the LIA might take many decades (or indeed, centuries) and that the recovery might be intermittent. Some years during the LIA were actually very warm, some years during the 20th century were very cold (depending on the location, of course).

  37. Alex:
    Fred Singer and Dennis Avery presented a strong argument on why aerosols most likely did not cause the cooling from 1945 – 1978 in their book Unstoppable Global Warming Every 1500 Years (a must read!).

    They write on page 62:
    ” The aerosols are produced mainly where industrial activity is highest. Therefore, the northern hemissphere should warm more slowly than the southern hemisphere, since the sulphates produced there would reflect some sunlight, reduce incoming energy, and thereby offset part of the calculated greenhouse warming. But observations show exactly the opposite – the highest rate of warming in the most recent 25 years had occurred at northern mid latitudes, just where the most aerosols are emitted.”

  38. Alex Cull
    Kerry Emanual who Gore cites as the science behind his hurrican hysteria relased a statement (with several co-signatories) on Hurricans and GW in 2006 which said pretty much the same as your 5). He talked about the lack of evidence for GW=^hurricanes and warned of the risks of the “lemming like rush” of population to hurrican prone areas and so on.

  39. Pierre, the Unstoppable Global Warming book is now on my “to be read” list, it looks good.

    Roger, I just had a quick look at an online transcript of a 2005 interview with Kerry Emmanuel re hurricanes and GW. And yes, he says “If you look at the Atlantic, it’s perfectly fair to say that both the increase in ocean temperature in the last couple of decades and the upswing in hurricane activity is mostly natural. If there’s a global warming signal in that, it’s very hard to see.”

    Another problem is that humans rarely live longer than a century or so. Who remembers the Galveston hurricane of 1900? Or the the worst storm ever reported to have hit England, which was in 1703? I think that’s why people overuse the word “unprecedented”. Yes, Hurricane Katrina was “unprecedented” – for those people who experienced it.

  40. Anthony,

    You and Steve let Hadley off the hook too easily! As I noted in the related comments on climate audit, the smoothed annual curve is also accompanied by an unsmoothed annual curve. Both these curves were affected by this change. When I started monitoring these HADCRUT graphs at this time last year, a sudden spike up was apparent due to the El Nino at the time and the use of a year to date average for the current year alongside the full year average for prior years. Knowing the forecast for a transition to La Nina, I expected the spike to fade through the year as they averaged in the future colder monthly temperatures. It did. I was also curious to see what Hadley would do when low temperatures drove the spike down at the beginning of 2008. I wasn’t disappointed. The Ministry of Truth suddenly noticed an “error” because it didn’t like the picture that was now painted!

  41. This might be one for Ripley, but it is interesting, a friend just called me to say that he was informed that a team at Duke University with input from a University in Brazil had created a program with extremely sensitive filters with which they have given a practical demonstration that human thought waves can control a robots movements, given that we have tens of thousands of open circuits every micro second, this must be the super smooth filter, anybody got any links to Duke?
    When I asked him if it was gestures, or speech he said no, the subjects were given written instructions which they then through the thought process commanded the robot, apparently no wires. ???

  42. Alex,

    You stated “Yes, Hurricane Katrina was “unprecedented”. The storm itself was not unprecedented. If I’m not mistaken it was a Category 3 storm by the time it hit New Orleans. Hardly a Hurricane Andrew. Katrina was less about the weather and more about inept government. Inept in suitably maintaining/enhancing the dike infrastructure supposedly protecting New Orelans and inept in the subsequent emergency response.

    REPLY: “…it was a Category 3 storm by the time it hit New Orleans.” That is correct. While off the coast, it was CAT 5, as it made it closer, it weakened. By the time it made landfall it was CAT 3. But it oft gets told in reports to be CAT 5 when it made landfall. Be vigilant in correcting this point.

  43. Pierre,

    Also note that in conjunction with the Northern Hemisphere showing the highest rate of warming, it was the southern hemisphere that primarily drove the decrease in temperature in the 1945-1978 period. What’s even more interesting is that the initial cooling occurred very rapidly where the SH temperature dropped from 0.022 to -0.379 in just 2 years (HADCRUT3-1944 to 1946). I guess that must have been all the coal fired power plants they built in Tahiti at that time!

  44. Pierre Gosselin,
    You are correct in that El Ninos are the product of solar heating. However, it is this heated water in conjunction with the light trade winds that cause the air to heat via evaporation. Thus is appears that El Ninos are the cause. In essence the oceans store tremendous amounts of heat, move it through the ocean currents to higher latitudes (I.E. Gulf Stream) where it heats the cooler air in those regions. This is the cause for higher temperature variations in the polar regions that in the tropical regions. All this is basic thermal physics. Sun warms the water, Water moves to cooler regions, Water cools through evaporation all in the attempt to move toward thermal equilibrium.
    I have heard that the heated air will heat the water, but the thermal transfer from air to liquid is minute compared to heated water heating the surrounding air. It is not the HOT summer air that heats your swiming pool, its the SUN. If you do not believe this then just put a shade clothe above the pool. I know from experience that shaded pools never get hot from the air, and I was using an above-the-ground pool. In the shade, it was always cold. When I put that pool in the sun, it was too Gore-hot. Then at night that pool warmed the surrounding area.

    Thanks

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