National Post: Thirty years of warmer temperatures go poof


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Posted: October 20, 2008

, National Post – source article here

In early September, I began noticing a string of news stories about scientists rejecting the orthodoxy on global warming. Actually, it was more like a string of guest columns and long letters to the editor since it is hard for skeptical scientists to get published in the cabal of climate journals now controlled by the Great Sanhedrin of the environmental movement.

Still, the number of climate change skeptics is growing rapidly. Because a funny thing is happening to global temperatures — they’re going down, not up.

On the same day (Sept. 5) that areas of southern Brazil were recording one of their latest winter snowfalls ever and entering what turned out to be their coldest September in a century, Brazilian meteorologist Eugenio Hackbart explained that extreme cold or snowfall events in his country have always been tied to “a negative PDO” or Pacific Decadal Oscillation. Positive PDOs — El Ninos — produce above-average temperatures in South America while negative ones — La Ninas — produce below average ones.

Dr. Hackbart also pointed out that periods of solar inactivity known as “solar minimums” magnify cold spells on his continent. So, given that August was the first month since 1913 in which no sunspot activity was recorded — none — and during which solar winds were at a 50-year low, he was not surprised that Brazilians were suffering (for them) a brutal cold snap. “This is no coincidence,” he said as he scoffed at the notion that manmade carbon emissions had more impact than the sun and oceans on global climate.

Also in September, American Craig Loehle, a scientist who conducts computer modelling on global climate change, confirmed his earlier findings that the so-called Medieval Warm Period (MWP) of about 1,000 years ago did in fact exist and was even warmer than 20th-century temperatures.

Prior to the past decade of climate hysteria and Kyoto hype, the MWP was a given in the scientific community. Several hundred studies of tree rings, lake and ocean floor sediment, ice cores and early written records of weather — even harvest totals and censuses –confirmed that the period from 800 AD to 1300 AD was unusually warm, particularly in Northern Europe.

But in order to prove the climate scaremongers’ claim that 20th-century warming had been dangerous and unprecedented — a result of human, not natural factors — the MWP had to be made to disappear. So studies such as Michael Mann’s “hockey stick,” in which there is no MWP and global temperatures rise gradually until they jump up in the industrial age, have been adopted by the UN as proof that recent climate change necessitates a reordering of human economies and societies.

Dr. Loehle’s work helps end this deception.

Don Easterbrook, a geologist at Western Washington University, says, “It’s practically a slam dunk that we are in for about 30 years of global cooling,” as the sun enters a particularly inactive phase. His examination of warming and cooling trends over the past four centuries shows an “almost exact correlation” between climate fluctuations and solar energy received on Earth, while showing almost “no correlation at all with CO2.”

An analytical chemist who works in spectroscopy and atmospheric sensing, Michael J. Myers of Hilton Head, S. C., declared, “Man-made global warming is junk science,” explaining that worldwide manmade CO2 emission each year “equals about 0.0168% of the atmosphere’s CO2 concentration … This results in a 0.00064% increase in the absorption of the sun’s radiation. This is an insignificantly small number.”

Other international scientists have called the manmade warming theory a “hoax,” a “fraud” and simply “not credible.”

While not stooping to such name-calling, weather-satellite scientists David Douglass of the University of Rochester and John Christy of the University of Alabama at Huntsville nonetheless dealt the True Believers a devastating blow last month.

For nearly 30 years, Professor Christy has been in charge of NASA’s eight weather satellites that take more than 300,000 temperature readings daily around the globe. In a paper co-written with Dr. Douglass, he concludes that while manmade emissions may be having a slight impact, “variations in global temperatures since 1978 … cannot be attributed to carbon dioxide.”

Moreover, while the chart below was not produced by Douglass and Christy, it was produced using their data and it clearly shows that in the past four years — the period corresponding to reduced solar activity — all of the rise in global temperatures since 1979 has disappeared.

It may be that more global warming doubters are surfacing because there just isn’t any global warming.

(posted on a tip from TCO aka ASDF)

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122 thoughts on “National Post: Thirty years of warmer temperatures go poof

  1. The trend line plot is a ‘fraud’. It is is not clear what the averaging interval is, but it looks to be several years [look at 1984-1988]. If so, the heavy curve should stop half of the averaging interval short of the right-hand edge. The various ‘tricks’ used to invent smoothed values near the edge overestimate the trend based on the most recent variation. Imagine the curve had stopped in 1985 and see what ‘trend line’ you would have had then, based on 1980-1985 [similar to the recent years].

  2. Slightly OT
    This report made a big spread in the Daily Telegraph in England this morning.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/3226747/Climate-change-is-faster-and-more-extreme-than-feared.html

    There have been many comments on the online site about the pictures and the ice areas and the choice of years.
    Please if you can inundate the paper with similar comments to show that people do take notice of these distortions, even if the politicians do not.
    A comment on the online version and an email letter to the letters page: dtletters@telegraph.co.uk would help!

  3. A minor nitpick. What smoothing method was used in the chart? To my eyes there appears to be an endpoint issue. The recent cooling is quite marked, but set against the previous 15 years will should show a smaller downtrend towards the end.

    Lets not get ahead of ourselves here, this is only a chink in armor.

    Robert

  4. “since it is hard for skeptical scientists to get published in the cabal of climate journals now controlled by the Great Sanhedrin of the environmental movement.”

    Love that term – ‘the Great Sanhedrin’. I had to look it up.

  5. The 70s in the UK were pretty chilly.
    Black Ice, frozen cars were the winter norm.
    For the pro AGW crowd no one seems to be able to answer, simply , why the current temps have not fitted the Hockey Stick exactly. Forgive me if I am wrong , and tell me otherwise, but todate the temp rise is below the IPCC and Hockey Stick estimates.
    Please tell me if I am wrong.

  6. A very well-written article. I think that it could be strengthened by the addition of a couple of sentences to address the charge by the hockey team that the MWP was “regional.” It could be noted that many studies of the MWP show warming all around the globe, not just in the NH, such as the well-known stories of Greenland farming and vineyards in England.
    Also, the charge that the MWP is NH only naturally begs the question, is the recent warming global? The satellite record does not show any net warming for the Southern hemisphere.

  7. Leif has a point. The 2007-2008 dip is similar to dips in 83-84, 88, 91-92, and 98-99, and they did not affect the trend line in any significant way. So why does the last dip? Did someone draw this by hand? To disprove AGW, one needs to do better stats than the AGW believers.

  8. Leif -

    “Fraud” might be too harsh. That usually applies when there is an intent to deceive. I agree that in this case, the endpoint smoothing is overestimated in the trend line. I’ve seen examples of this before. This may be an artifact of the graphing program used.

    Perhaps an inquiry there will help us figure out what program was used.

  9. I want to take issue with the following comment:

    “It’s practically a slam dunk that we are in for about 30 years of global cooling,” as the sun enters a particularly inactive phase.”

    This is complete crap. Its fine to hypothesize that solar activity is:

    A: a much more dominant driver of climate change than the current consensus and

    B: We are entering a long period of time during which solar activity will be substantially lower.

    But neither of these propositions can possibly be considered a “slam dunk” based on the current state of science. Saying so just damages the speaker’s credibility.

    As far as the trend line: numerous pro-warming publications that do the same thing. I’m inclined to give them a pass on this.

  10. Leif,

    No matter how you look at the trend line, temperatures are no higher now than they were 30 years ago. The important point is that the IPCC predictions were wrong, and that attempts to defend those predictions “are a fraud.”

  11. Granted, there would appear to be an endpoint issue with the smoothed curve. Only time will tell whether the curret curve is an accurate representation or not.

    However, I think what is encouraging is the increase in the number and volume of the sceptical voices being raised. It is high time that there was a serious debate about this issue without so called ‘deniers’ being condemned as heretics. The evidential readings (real data) more than counter the modelled representations from the discredited hockey stick, but until more voices are raised and the main stream media begin to open up the conversation then we’re still stuck with the so-called consensus.

    Science is not about consensus – it is about proving or disproving a hypothesis. Until such time as both sides of the argument are out in the open we’ll continue to be lectured to by those with more than just a scientific motivation.

    Anthony – please keep up the good work. I don’t even pretend to understand all the science but I do try hard and your site helps greatly in two ways: it informs and helps my understanding and verifies my own belief – that there is much hubris in the AGW argument and that while there may be a slight impact froms mans’ activity on temperature most of it is purely natural.

    Dominic

  12. Jason has it right. Let’s not counter hysterical, the-science-is-settled warmers with equally dogmatic versions of solar- or natural-driven climate.

    Let’s push everyone to form hypotheses, acknowledge their limitations, and use predictive power as the real test. You know, science, as scientists outside of climate practice it.

  13. Pingback: Looks like the sun to me. « IAIN HALL

  14. I agree with Leif’s conclusions.
    And it’s very obvious that long term smoothing was used until the data set used to arrive at the smoothed value sufferered from falling data points available. All such graphs do this. Throw the smoothing line out and the real picture becomes very clear. The noise in the trend is +- .3 degrees C for every 5 years of signal.
    Go back to Oct 2003 in the graph, and for all we know, we have .3 C warmer, and not a whole lot more.

  15. Mr. Myers of Hilton Head seems to have some problems with basic math.

    Fossil CO2 emissions each year account for about 8 gigatons of C. Current atmospheric concentration of CO2 is about 387 ppm. 1 ppm is about 2.12 GtC, so there are about 820 GtC of CO2 in the atmosphere. 8 GtC/820 is about 1%, not 0.01%. (or, if you prefer, there is an increase of about 2 ppm/year because natural systems absorb about half of the excess CO2 which humans emit, so humans contribute to a 0.5% rise in CO2 every year, still 30x than Mr. Myers’ number).

    The other citations in this article are not much better in terms of their grasp of the relevant science.

  16. “I’d lay long odds it’s an Excel polynomial trendline.”

    I wish we could settle on something like a 3rd order polynomial for these global temps as they are cyclic.

    “820 GtC of CO2″

    That should be 3000 Gtons of CO2, C is 28% by weight of CO2. Seems switching between measures gives everyone fits.

    This also means the daily flux between ocean and atmosphere is roughly 80 Gtons.

    The Suess originated 8 Gtons of C is insupportable. Spencer’s post here (back in Feb.?) showed the variance in 13C/12C fraction of the seasonal and long term signals from Mauna Loa are identical, i.e., same source.

  17. And I’ll lay odds it excludes September (0.16) ;-)

    Regarding the Douglass and Christy paper that deals a ‘devastating blow’ to the concensus. It appeared in Energy and Environment naturally, ( preprint here )and reached the startling conclusion that the feedback effect is close to unity, rather than the more commonly-accepted c2.5. However to reach this conclusion they make some equally eyebrow raising assumptions … They seem to have done their calculations based on just the tropics, having rejected the Global, Northern and Southern extratropic anomalies because the Northern extratropics show more rapid warming than the tropics or the globe

    However, it is noted that NoExtropics is 2 times that of the global and 4 times that of the Tropics. Thus one concludes that the climate forcing in the NoExtropics includes more than CO2 forcing. …”

    whereas everywhere else its pure CO2 and nothing else?

    So they ignore the effect of the oceans and heat uptake. similarly the global temperature delay and differential rates of warming over land and sea magically disappear. The higher warming at higher latitudes is also ignored.

    The global values, however, are not suitable to analyze for that signal because they contains effects from the NoExtropic latitude band which were not consistent with the assumption of how Earth’s temperature will respond to CO2 forcing. ”

    They then conclude that as the tropical warming trend is approx the same as the theoretical ‘no-feedback’ warming from CO2 in the tropics then the feedback term g must be near unity and that this conclusion is contrary to the IPCC [2007] statement: “Most of the observed increase in global average temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations.”
    The most glaring error is the assumption that a globally uniform forcing from well-mixed CO2 should produce a uniform temperature change. The more rapid warming in the North is an expected consequence of the greater proportion of land, with its lower heat capacity, than the mainly oceanic South, rather than evidence that other forcings are at work. This is basic stuff.

    Strikes me if that graph or this paper were submitted by an undergraduate, an ‘F’ would be a fair mark. ‘Devastating’ it sure ain’t.

    JP

    (Some material reproduced by kind permission of John Philips)

  18. Clark (13:00:48) :

    ” Jason has it right. Let’s not counter hysterical, the-science-is-settled warmers with equally dogmatic versions of solar- or natural-driven climate.

    Jason speaks for Jason, as I assume Clark speaks for Clark.

    Neither speaks for me.

    Neither opinion is more valid than anyone else’s.

    ” Let’s push everyone to form hypotheses, acknowledge their limitations, and use predictive power as the real test. You know, science, as scientists outside of climate practice it. ”

    The affectation of being the True Friend of Science, of sounding so reasonable and moderate is just that – an affectation, a silly pretense.

    You each speak for yourself alone.

    If people taking a stand and having a firm opinion is troubling for you, and causes emotional distress, you are well advised to stay out of places where people have and express such opinions, until such time as you are mature enough to cope emotionally.

    ” You know, science, as scientists outside of climate practice it. ”

    Corruption of the peer review process, of funding, of tenure, science by press release, and other abuses are only most pronounced where climate science is used for political purposes.

    The ideal of “Real Science,” or “Pure Science,” untainted by politics, greed, lust for power, ignorance, egotism, jealousy, pettiness… there isn’t and never has been such a thing.

    There are fads in science, as anywhere else.

    For at least ten years we have had the fad of “consensus,” of faith-based science. We are told to believe what the consensus believes. That fad is now dying, all too slowly.

    It’s lived long enough to give us Carbon Taxes, cap-and-trade schemes, restrictions, regulations, higher prices and a new “dangerous pollutant.”

    If you derive emotional gratification from pretending to be above it all, logical, reasonable and moderate, unlike us unreasonable opinionated rabble, then that is undoubtedly what you will continue to do. Have fun with that.

  19. That global trendline is very nice but its end part is suspect; it should be colored differently to show how it’s been projected pending the inclusion of more data points. Just imagine what that line would have looked like at this point ten years ago, in 1998, with a sharp uptick. On the whole, about what I expect from journalism science. Usually ‘oversells’ a point. Like the next post from the UK Telegraph and its photos of Arctic ice.

  20. JohnH (12:38:10) :
    “…..it could be strengthened by the addition of a couple of sentences to address the charge by the hockey team that the MWP was “regional.”

    There is much evidence from high resolution temperature proxies that show the MWP and LIA were regional anomolies. the cold or warm events took place at different times in each hemisphere. This is demonstrated here http://bprc.osu.edu/Icecore/Abstracts/Thompsonetal-climatic-change-2003.pdf

    “It could be noted that many studies of the MWP show warming all around the globe, not just in the NH, such as the well-known stories of Greenland farming and vineyards in England.”

    What the coolers don’t tell you is that New Zealand tree ring data shows that while the Vikings were colonising a small coastal part of Greenland there was a particularly cold spell at the same time http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2002/2001GL014580.shtml
    . Not exactly evidence of a world wide hot spell is it?

    “Also, the charge that the MWP is NH only naturally begs the question, is the recent warming global? The satellite record does not show any net warming for the Southern hemisphere.”

    If you look at the first link the composite of the ice core graphs show that it is only recent temperature rises that show up on both hemispheres. You will also notice how similar it is to the ‘Hockey stick’.

  21. Re Mary Hinge (14:52:21) :
    From the abstract of the paper linked: “This record is the longest yet produced for New Zealand and shows clear evidence for persistent above-average temperatures within the interval commonly assigned to the MWP. Comparisons with selected temperature proxies from the Northern and Southern Hemispheres confirm that the MWP was highly variable in time and space. Regardless, the New Zealand temperature reconstruction supports the global occurrence of the MWP.”

    That doesn’t sound particularly cold to me. In fact, the country may have been beiing colonised at the time by people who, even with their tropical origins, may not have found it as chilly asit is today. (It’s not that warm at the moment – for a spring day).

  22. It’s not a fraud. It’s a specific, quasi predictive metric. There are various ways to represent leading indicators. Such indicators are not absolute crystal balls, but can be indicative. Anyone who is not at least somewhat disturbed by this leading indicator may not fully comprehend how to use such an indicator for maximum benefit.

  23. Marcus:(13:32:43) :
    “Mr. Myers of Hilton Head seems to have some problems with basic math.”

    Does it not strike you as rather unlikely that an analytical chemist who works in spectroscopy and atmospheric sensing should have a problem with basic math?

    Total atmospheric CO2 is around 0.0387%. Using basic math, it can be deduced that Mr Myers is using a figure of 4.35% for mankind’s contribution, a figure which does not seem unreasonable.

    4.35% of 0.0387% is, indeed, 0.0168%.

  24. Mary Hinge,

    Lonnie Thompson????????????

    “There’s not much in climate science that annoys me more than the sniveling acquiescence of government bureaucrats in Lonnie Thompson’s flouting of data archiving policies. To his credit, Thompson has collected unique data. To his shame, Thompson has failed to archive data collected as long as 20 years ago. This would be bad enough if the versions were consistent in all publications on Dunde. But Thompson seems to have tinkered with his results over the years so that there has been an accumulation of inconsistent versions, compromising any ability to properly use this unique data. Needless to say, mere compromising of the data hasn’t stopped climate scientists from using Thompson data.”

    http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=2686

    Please. Don’t quote Lonnie Thompson. It wastes our time.

  25. CO2 will be declared a dangerous pollutant , dangerous to whom or what? OK, so cxan we then assume all politicians will stop exhaling?

    The sun will rule, the politicians just do what they do, lie. Pay more in taxes so government can pretend to control the weather. The perfect tax scheme.

  26. Mary Hinge,

    “Regional”. What does the Hockey say about warming in the USA being regional only?

    “Much of the Earth has warmed over the last half-century, but the eastern half of the United States has shown a cooling trend. NASA-funded research indicates cooler temperatures in the eastern U.S. are caused by an increase in sun-shielding clouds produced by warmer ocean temperatures in the Pacific.

    Eastern U.S. temperatures have displayed a cooling trend of 0.1 degrees Celsius per decade,”

    http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2001/ast18jan_1.htm

  27. Anthony,
    I want to volunteer my time to survey some of the weather stations in Texas. Please email me and I would like to tell you where I can help.

    Thanks!

  28. Let’s face it. The graph clearly shows no increase in temp from 1979 to 2000, then a few years increase to maybe 0.3 degrees above baseline, then the last few years dropping back to baseline. No trend here, only a question of why there is no trend of global temps increasing.

  29. “So they ignore the effect of the oceans and heat uptake.”

    All right, I’m lost, what in blazes are you talking about? AGW ignores the oceans as near as I’m able to divine. 30% of TSI is reflected, of the remaining 70%, only half reaches the surface. We are down to 35%.

    None of the OLR returns to heat the surface. What is so impregnable about AGW?

  30. @Nick

    4.35% of 0.0387% is, indeed, 0.0168%.

    Please type that into your calculator and see if you are right or wrong and assert whether the percentage you actually need to arrive at 0.0168% still doesn’t sound unreasonable.

    Btw I disagree with your interpretation of the words of Dr. Myers, the article clearly quotes him as saying:

    “equals about 0.0168% of the atmosphere’s CO2 concentration

    He is clearly talking about the CO2 only, not the nitrogen, oxygen and other gases.

    Anyone else has a better guess about how Dr. Myers got to this 0.0168% figure?

  31. I agree with Leif. The trend-line in that graph misrepresents the data pretty egregiously. Anyone who is honest about science should reject that graph without hesitation.

    –t

  32. evanjones: “I’d lay long odds it’s an Excel polynomial trendline.”

    I should have thought of that. Good guess, but see below.

    Gary Gulrud: “I wish we could settle on something like a 3rd order polynomial for these global temps as they are cyclic.”

    Using a polynomial fit on time series data is just plain wrong. Unless you happen to like things that go to plus or minus infinity. A third order polynomial is not cyclic.

    whatsupwiththat: “I agree that in this case, the endpoint smoothing is overestimated in the trend line. I’ve seen examples of this before. This may be an artifact of the graphing program used.
    Perhaps an inquiry there will help us figure out what program was used.”

    Take a look at the graph, down at the bottom where it gives credit. Google shows that Andrew Barr is an illustrator, and it seems he is not a technical illustrator. I suspect that the graphing program used is Adobe Illustrator, and that he drew a nice looking spline by eye. We can cut him some slack, since he probably doesn’t know that his artist’s impression is scientifically wrong. He also may not realize that to draw any line is a political minefield.

  33. Evan I’d lay long odds it’s an Excel polynomial trendline.

    It does indeed closely resemble the 4th order polynomial. R-squared an unimpressive 0.35.

  34. Ok, simply googling ’0.0168 CO2′ does a miracle. I found this article.

    First of all he quotes the total CO2 emissions as being 3.2 gigatons of CO2 per year. But it is 30 gigatons, ten times as much.

    Then he states that the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere is 19 trillion tons. Now where does that come from? According to all sources I can find, the amount is 3 trillion tons.

    So Dr. Myers is correct on the math, but his numbers are wrong.

  35. Too bad we can’t get the graph to start around 1900. It might give a better overall picture of the ups and downs of temp.

  36. “This is no coincidence” Said:Dr Hackbart
    fact: Snow in Brazil

    http://www.mitosyfraudes.org/Calen9/NieveGaucha.html

    fact: minimum solar activity. (sunspot)
    fact: PDO negative phase.
    fact: ENSO up date (10/20/2008)
    Niño 4…………..-0.1ºC
    Niño 3.4………. -0.2ºC
    Niño 3…………… 0.0ºC
    Niño1+2 ………-0.2ºC

    You can not call it fraud.
    If you do not know, correlate, the minimum solar activity, with temperatures on Earth.
    I understand.
    But the word fraud, is very harsh, to qualify, which is not of your understanding.
    This is no coincidence.

  37. Here’s a rhetorical question. Look at the UAH temperature anomaly data graphed here. Notice that it’s a series of jumps up or down; there is very little stay-the-same. It’s very jagged. But everyone wants to make it a continuously differentiable trend curve! Why? Have you noticed that people like straight lines and perfect circles and other simple geometric shapes, but nature does not. Most of the shapes in nature are fractal-like. Smoothing hides the shorter-term trends instead of explaining them. Dismissing the shorter-term trends as “weather, not climate” is making an assumption that there is such a distinction. Maybe climate is just the sum of many small random-walk like events.

  38. If we know all of the forces acting or that will act on a given mass, then we can predict with certainity the future as to the direction the mass will go, and its rate of acceleration. We don’t begin to know all of the forces which cause change to the temperature of the Earth, and we aren’t going to be knowing anytime soon.

    But if you are willing to believe “trends”, then why not get rich doing so? Just go to Las Vegas. Stand near the roulette wheel, and keep track of the color of the slot into which the ball lands. When 8 of the last 10 times the ball landed in a red slot, there obviously is a “trend to red”, so bet large the next roll will land in a red slot. The casino owners will welcome you with open arms.

    What is being done right now is nothing more than extrapolation, and extrapolations are worse than usless. This isn’t a “trend”, it is history and nothing more, and to extrapolate it is a huge error.

  39. Nick (15:31:24): First, Mr. Myers did specifically cite an increase in the atmosphere’s CO2 concentration, not a percentage increase in the atmosphere overall: “equals about 0.0168% of the atmosphere’s CO2 concentration … This results in a 0.00064% increase in the absorption of the sun’s radiation. This is an insignificantly small number.”

    (and 4.35% of .0387% is actually .00168%, if you want to check your own basic math)

    Additionally, we can find problems with his second number. A 2 ppm change in CO2 concentration is about 0.028 W/m2 (=5.35*ln(CO2/CO2o)). Total (natural) GHG forcing is 150 W/m2. 0.028/150 = 0.018%, or about 30 times the % absorption increase he cited.

    And when you think about it, these numbers can add up pretty quickly: at 2 ppm/year, we’ll hit a doubling of CO2 from preindustrial (that is from 275 to 550) sometime late this century (sooner, if India and China and the developing world keep increasing emissions or ocean heating and stratification reduce carbon uptake). That’s 3.7 W/m2, which is like turning the sun up by 1.5% – before any feedbacks from water vapor, increases in other greenhouse gases, black carbon effects, permafrost melting, ice retreat, etc. And a Sun that’s 1.5% brighter sounds like a lot to me…

    (and in this area, after correcting more than one eminent scientist on their basic math, it doesn’t strike me at all unlikely that Mr. Myers could get his math wrong. I don’t know why, but climate change seems to attract otherwise intelligent people from out of field who want to disprove the IPCC but who make basic, fundamental errors all the time in their back-of-the-envelope calculations)

  40. And, in fact, I found Mr. Myers’ original article: http://www.islandpacket.com/opinion/letters/story/620301.html

    “Carbon dioxide emissions worldwide each year total 3.2 billion tons. That equals about 0.0168 percent of the atmosphere’s CO2 concentration of about 19 trillion tons. This results in a 0.00064 percent increase in the absorption of the sun’s radiation. This is an insignificantly small number. The yearly increase is many orders of magnitude smaller than the standard deviation errors for CO2 concentration measurement.”

    So, let’s see: he is wrong about fossil CO2 emissions by a factor of more than 2 (or more than 7 if he is talking about GtCO2 and not GtC). Then his 19 trillion tons is a factor of 21 times larger than the actual atmospheric CO2 mass of 880 GtC (or 7 times larger than the atmospheric mass of 3000 GtCO2, if you prefer that unit). And then he claims we can’t measure the yearly increase despite Mauna Loa records showing that yes, we pretty clearly can.

    So, Nick, would you like to revise your opinion of whether an analytical chemist can make basic errors? And perhaps we might wonder at the author of the original article and his ability to discern total junk from real science?

  41. wattsupwiththat (12:47:00) :
    “Fraud” might be too harsh. That usually applies when there is an intent to deceive.
    First, I had ‘fraud’ between quotes, downplaying the deception a bit, but will maintain that Joe The Plummer would not know about the subtlety of smoothing programs and so would be deceived. And I would also maintain based on the rest of the piece that that was intentional as the piece has a message to deliver.

    Patrick Henry (12:49:45) :
    No matter how you look at the trend line, temperatures are no higher now than they were 30 years ago. The important point is that the IPCC predictions were wrong, and that attempts to defend those predictions “are a fraud.”
    One does not combat bad science with even worse science. If one does so, who is committing the greater fraud. I’m reminded of Al Gore [reportedly] saying that a bit of lying is ok if it helps get the message across.

    Robert Bateman (13:15:39) :
    I agree with Leif’s conclusions.

    Leon Brozyna (14:46:29) :
    That global trendline is very nice but its end part is suspect
    presenting suspect graphs is fraud, if you know it and ‘fraud’ if you don’t know it, but want to peddle your own agenda.

    SteveSadlov (15:15:22) :
    It’s not a fraud. It’s a specific, quasi predictive metric. There are various ways to represent leading indicators. Such indicators are not absolute crystal balls, but can be indicative. Anyone who is not at least somewhat disturbed by this leading indicator may not fully comprehend how to use such an indicator for maximum benefit.
    As a scientist I’m not disturbed by the suspect part of the curve as I know it does not represent a real prediction, and I do indeed not fully comprehend how to use such a phony ‘indicator’ for maximum benefit. That is called ‘integrity’.

    Tim G (16:13:25) :
    I agree with Leif. The trend-line in that graph misrepresents the data pretty egregiously. Anyone who is honest about science should reject that graph without hesitation.

  42. Leif “will maintain that Joe The Plummer would not know about the subtlety of smoothing programs and so would be deceived. ”

    That’s only if Joe doesn’t read this blog, Leif.

    Mike the Plumber

  43. I have found the following calculation on the web site:

    http://www.ilovemycarbondioxide.com/calcs.html

    THE NUMBERS ABOUT CARBON DIOXIDE IN OUR ATMOSPHERE

    Here are the calculations, based on information obtained directly from the Royal Dutch Meteorological Institute in De Bilt, Holland (KNMI).

    Mass (air) = 4 pi R^2 * P/g, where
    R=earth radius=6,371,000 m; P=surface pressure=101,300 Pa; g=acceleration due to gravity=9.8 m/s^2

    Thus, Mass (air) = 5.3 x 10^18 kg = 5,300,000 Gigatons

    Mass (CO2 = mass (air)*ratio (CO2/air)*mol. mass (CO2)/mol. mass (air), where
    ratio (CO2/air)=380 ppm=380 parts CO2 per 1 million parts of air
    molecular mass (CO2)=44 kg/kmol – molecular mass (air)=28.8 kg/kmol

    Thus, Mass (CO2)=3 x 10^15 kg=3,000 Gigatons

    Man-made emissions of CO2 are estimated at 110ppm, which is 28.95% of the total CO2
    and that equals 868 Gigatons = 0.0164% by mass of the total atmosphere.

    A Gigaton is a 1,000 million tons and 1 ton is 1,000kg, equal to 2,240lbs. Carbon Dioxide Graphic

    SO . . . IF THE UK WAS TO COLLECTIVELY “SAVE” 1 BILLION TONS . . . (quite impossible)
    THAT’S EXACTLY 0.0333% OF THE TOTAL CO2 . . . and all the Government wants to save so far is about 100 million tons – a mere 0.00333% . . . . Every little helps, but surely you can see that this is way beyond being ridiculous?! Think of the words wind, against and . . . surely you can see that?!

  44. Once again I have to remind those who are looking at graphs in terms of trends over many years that farmers don’t have many years to play with trends and predictions. They have close knowledge, passed down from farmer to child, and then child to grandchild, that trends give us the opportunity to plant what will survive without too many lost crops that results in crying in our beer. Looking at that graph, there is a real possibility that warm weather crops and orchards could be in for some hard times and to hedge the bet, farmers better plant some cold weather crops. That is what was done in the Pendleton area. And we had a nice crop of peas this spring that helped overcome the devastating crop of green, frozen-on-the-vine pumpkins. However, during the warming trend, peas were generally put on the back burner. Smart move, them farmers.

  45. Leif, you do not consider persistence? That is not to be discounted. Should the current trend continue for a few more years, then the leading indicator will have been somewhat correct, if not in absolute value, in sign of dT/dt.

  46. SteveSadlov: “Persistence”? In the absence of _some_ kind of forcing or feedback, you would expect the the climate to bounce up and down, not exhibit persistence. That forcing could be from greenhouse gases (leading to a general upward trend) or decrease of the solar constant (leading to a general downward trend) but without either a) some fundamental underlying reason to believe in a trend, or b) a large number of years of a trend with no apparent underlying reason (suggesting that you’ve missed some climate relevant factor, which might continue) then you would expect reversion to the mean to be much more likely than “persistence”.

    But I guess we’ll see in the next few years.

  47. SteveSadlov (18:01:28) :
    Leif, you do not consider persistence? That is not to be discounted. Should the current trend continue for a few more years, then the leading indicator will have been somewhat correct, if not in absolute value, in sign of dT/dt.
    Persistence can be measured as the amount of lagged autocorrelation and the series has a rather low value of that [compared e.g. with the sunspot number]. Another way of saying the same thing is that every time there has been a drop of 0.5 degrees or larger [1983, 1988, 1991, 1998, 2004, 2007] the temperature has gone up right away thereafter. Without an underlying physical reason, the ‘leading indicator’ is meaningless. Now, I do happen to believe that the cooling will continue, but that is my belief not a scientific truth borne out by the data. It is ‘fraud’ to make up data just because if they ‘should turn out to be correct’, they will support one’s ideas.

  48. If you don’t believe that global temperatures have been on a cooling trend for 10 years, and that the cooling trend will continue, then you must be a Flat Earther.

    (I’ve been waiting to say that for quite awhile. It feels GOOD!)

  49. Marcus-

    Additionally, we can find problems with his second number. A 2 ppm change in CO2 concentration is about 0.028 W/m2 (=5.35*ln(CO2/CO2o)). Total (natural) GHG forcing is 150 W/m2. 0.028/150 = 0.018%, or about 30 times the % absorption increase he cited.

    (=5.35*ln((CO2)a/(CO2)o)) Could you please clarify this formula for this chemist? If I plug in 5.35 * ln (2 / 385), I get (-)28, not 0.028. Also, what is the basis for the 5.35? A constant? Based on measurements?

    Thanks.

  50. R John,

    You should not plug in 2 and 385 in the formula, but rather 387 and 385:

    5.35*ln(387/385)=

    The 5.35 figure is based on measurements on the absorption of radiation by CO2. Published by Myhre et al, 1998.

  51. If you don’t believe that global temperatures have been on a cooling trend for 10 years, and that the cooling trend will continue, then you must be a Flat Earther.

    Or possibly a statistical illiterate. The least squares fit for the last 120 months of UAH data shows a trend of +0.11C / decade. The data is here. Try it.

    The above graph excludes September 2008, as this was an uptick, adding it in spoils the nice downward slope of the curve …..

  52. To the trend line debaters: I tried to duplicate the graph but didn’t want to spend a lot of time on it. Those who said it looked like an EXCEL polynomial trend were probably right, but I think it’s more likely a 6th order poly trend line. Here are graphs of UAH MSU global lower troposphere temperature anomaly with 4th, 5th, and 6th order polynomial trends added. And the data appears to end in July of this year, maybe August. Again, I didn’t want to spend a lot of time on it.

    4th order polynomial trend:

    5th order polynomial trend:

    6th order polynomial trend:

    Regards

  53. RE John Philips

    “The above graph excludes September 2008, as this was an uptick, adding it in spoils the nice downward slope of the curve …..”

    FALSE John – Assuming the writer used a 6th order Excel Polynomial for best fit, there is no visible change between the curves with or without the September 2008 UAH data – try it for yourself.

    Of course future data will change the nature of the curve – but since Earth has entered a cool phase of the ~~30 year PDO, future cooling appears more probable than future warming.

    Let’s hope this cooling is not as steep as the current curve indicates – such steep cooling would put global food production as risk.

  54. Annette Huang (15:13:20) :
    “That doesn’t sound particularly cold to me.”

    The point is that regionally the warm spells were not continuous but interrupted by much colder spells, and vice versa. The abstract aknowledges this:
    “Comparisons with selected temperature proxies from the Northern and Southern Hemispheres confirm that the MWP was highly variable in time and space.”
    If you read the article you will see two periods of much colder temperatures, they write “Of equal interest in the reconstruction is the sharp and sustained cold period in the A.D. 993-1091 interval. This cold event is easily the most extreme to have occurred over the past 1,100 years.” The data for this paper is taken up to 1,100 years ago so during the so called MWP New Zealand had its coldest temperatures! This period of cold weather is also confirmed in glacial growth on Mount Cook during this time. As regards warm periods there is also another warm period around 1500, in the middle of the so called ‘Little Ice Age’.

    When you use identical high resolution temperature proxy methods this patern of regional anomolies shows up well. In recent years we have seen the southern hemisphere cool while the northern hemisphere warms.

    Bruce (15:46:41) :
    “Regional”. What does the Hockey say about warming in the USA being regional only?”

    The Hockey is global, it may come as a shock to you but the USA is not global….by any means.

  55. I can get this “trend line” from the UAH monthly data by using Excel and choosing a Polynomial trend line of order 6. That’s a pretty stupid way of producing a trend line in my view.

  56. I agree with Leif. It’s fraud. Spelled F R A U D. “Whatsupwiththat” replied that fraud is only when there’s intent, but people have warned over and over again about these issues, and we still see here these kinds of posts.

    It’s pandering to skeptics, I am sure, but in fraudulent way, which turns me completely off. Risk this post outright, or just stop making yourself look dumb. Else, this post is going down in flames.

    REPLY: Thats fine, I’m good with calling out bad science no matter what side it is on. The graphed data is accurate, the trend has an endpoint issue. But I see now you’re adding to, with “dumb” and “going down in flames”. Will the mandatory “you are in the employ of big oil” come next? ;-)
    -Anthony

  57. I do agree with you, John. What I can read in the “skeptic” blogs more and more looks like the Coué method. Say temps are cooling, say it and say it again, maybe it will become true one day. In the meantime, as you mention, the trends are positive and all the global indicators are up again after 2 la ninas.

  58. R John
    For fun try plugging in a concentration of 0ppm as the start point.
    oops! you get an infinite amount of energy! :) my guess is they have confused absorbance with absorption (of energy) The IPCC say the absorbance is equal to the amount of forcing. .

    Has anyone stopped to think if the arctic melting caused the cooling by pumping more water into the air and creating more clouds?
    happened in 1940, coincidence?

  59. “Great Sanhedrin”

    Why give the UN more authority than they deserve? There is no real Sanhedrin right now, but Rabbis in Israel are trying to form one. Climate change has little real relationship to Judaism anyway.

  60. Anthony

    Thanks for printing this article . It is through efforts like yours that the truth will finally prevail when it comes to climate change .

  61. “Using a polynomial fit on time series data is just plain wrong. Unless you happen to like things that go to plus or minus infinity. A third order polynomial is not cyclic.”

    Sorry, Mr. Rock, I missed your instruction as to the best choice for representing global temps. A linear regression has been beaten to death here as fodder for misrepresentation. The end points are better handled by the third order than a higher order.

    That the third order is not cyclic does not pertain. Are you a professional statistician?

  62. “Without an underlying physical reason, the ‘leading indicator’ is meaningless.”

    Absence of evidence is evidence of absence. Here we go with logical positivism again.

  63. Anyone who thinks that CO2 is a major driver of temperature is ignoring the facts or has an agenda. Our temps had been rising since approx. 1979 which just “happens to be during a warm phase of the PDO while the temps during the 50′s-70′s just “happen” to be lower during a cool phase PDO. We are now entering another cool PDO phase so anyone want to bet that temps will be lower for the next 20 years or so? Some of you make this much more complicated than it needs to be but I guess you have to justify those research grants some way or another huh? There are many other factors involved in earths temps of course but I daresay 4% of the atmosphere would not be the driving force some of you think it is.

  64. Again (and again) there have been some studies about the coupling of PDO and temperatures, and these show that the PDO reproduces quite well the oscillations of temp AROUND the ilnear trend, but not the trend itself.

  65. Mary Hinge,

    So … in your eyes regional cooling in half of the USA (the most weather stations anywhere) proves global warming? Ha ha ha. Very droll.

    Especially when we know most ground based stations are contaminated by UHI.

    In reality, the earth isn’t warming at all.

  66. Gary Gulrud (06:54:14) :
    “Without an underlying physical reason, the ‘leading indicator’ is meaningless.”
    Absence of evidence is evidence of absence. Here we go with logical positivism again.

    It is called honest science, Gary. You just don’t make data up, no matter how much you want to further your cause.

  67. Mary Hinge:
    You are referencing a study that seems to indicate that New Zealand had a cold spell while Europe was going through its MWP. However, I am familiar with other studies in New Zealand that support the concept that the MWP was warm in New Zealand as well. Here are three studies:
    McGlone, M.S. and Wilmshurst, J.M. 1999. Dating initial Maori environmental impact in New Zealand. Quaternary International 59: 5-16.
    Williams, P.W., Marshall, A., Ford, D.C. and Jenkinson, A.N. 1999. Palaeoclimatic interpretation of stable isotope data from Holocene speleothems of the Waitomo district, North Island, New Zealand. The Holocene 9: 649-657.
    Reference
    Wilson, A.T., Hendy, C.H. and Reynolds, C.P. 1979. Short-term climate change and New Zealand temperatures during the last millennium. Nature 279: 315-317.
    These studies find continually mounting evidence that the MWP was not just in Europe; the temperatures in New Zealand 1000 years ago were warmer than 20th century temperatures. Also, temperatures seem to hit a trough about 300 to 325 years ago.
    Also, as glaciers retreat around the world, the retreat exposes organic materials consistent with warmer temperatures during MWP. Proxies and reconstructions can have value, but we should pay particular attention to physical evidence.

  68. Bob Tisdale (07:30:22) :
    II’d be happy to extend the axis of the graph, but their data begins in Dec 1978.
    Right-click on the X-axis. Select ‘Format Axis’. Select Scale tab. Add 15 to the Maximum value. click OK. Right-click on the trend line. Select ‘Format Trendline’. Select Options tab. Bump the Backward Forecast up by 15 units [years]. Click OK. Show us graph.

  69. Jeff Id (09:04:02) :
    Tamino claims temps are not going down because the statistical variation of the data means that our measurements aren’t accurate enough.
    I don’t think my Bank would accept Tamino’s argument that my account balance isn’t really negative because of statistical variations…

  70. Leif Svalgaard (10:16:29) :
    Bob Tisdale (07:30:22) :
    Bump the Backward Forecast up by 15 units [years]. Click OK. Show us graph.
    Should have been ‘Forward Forecast’, of course.

  71. “You just don’t make data up”

    No one made up data, they simply chose a dubious presentation of valid data (being journalists we are rightly suspect of their motives).

    Mr. Sadlov also rightly surmises that the precipitous drop (at the endpoint) is about to be followed by another. Moreover, we have very good reason to suppose that this will be the norm over the next few decades.

    Now, you can define such observations as common sense and not science but to call them meaningless is merely antisocial. You are 50 years behind the times in your effete attempt to prescribe proper usage.

  72. Gary Gulrud: “A linear regression has been beaten to death here as fodder for misrepresentation. The end points are better handled by the third order than a higher order.”

    If you don’t do the stats right, they don’t mean anything. You can’t do the stats right without understanding statistics. Few do, but that doesn’t stop them. In medicine, they would be called quacks.

    “That the third order is not cyclic does not pertain. Are you a professional statistician?”

    It doesn’t? Is that bad?

  73. MWP and LIA in Japan

    “Limnological features and sediment characteristics were studied in Lake Nakatsuna, a mesotrophic lake in central Japan. The lake is dimictic, and is anoxic in the hypolimnion during thermal stratification from May to September. In an attempt to reconstruct paleoclimatic changes around the lake, a sediment core taken from the lake center spanning the past 1300 years was analyzed for its organic and inorganic contents. Climatic influences were examined on the variation of total organic carbon (TOC), total nitrogen (TN), and sand contents. Short- and long-term fluctuations in TOC, TN, and sand contents are evident, and variation in atmospheric temperature appears to be important for their long-term variability. The sediment record from AD 900 to 1200 indicates hot summers and warm winters with less snow accumulation, whereas the record from AD 1200 to 1950 is characterized by high variation of temperature, with three cool phases from AD 1300 to 1470, 1700 to 1760, and 1850 to 1950. The warm period from AD 900 to 1200 corresponds well to the Medieval Warm Period, and the second and third cool phases are related to the Little Ice Age. ”

    http://www.springerlink.com/content/rbkqea1dxt1ca03v/

  74. MWP and LIA from historical records in Japan

    http://www.worldclimatereport.com/index.php/2008/09/09/another-message-from-kyoto/

    Mikami states “The results indicate warmer periods during the eleventh to thirteenth centuries (in the Medieval Warm Period) and relatively colder periods during the sixteenth to eighteenth centuries (the ‘Little Ice Age’) with large year-to-year variability”. When viewed over the past 1,000 years, there is certainly (a) little unusual about the recent warming, (b) no apparent correlation between atmospheric carbon dioxide levels and temperature variations in Kyoto, and (c) a possibility that the recent warming was induced by the urban heat island of the growing city.

  75. Flanagan says “Again (and again) there have been some studies about the coupling of PDO and temperatures, and these show that the PDO reproduces quite well the oscillations of temp AROUND the ilnear trend, but not the trend itself”. You DO realize that the long term “trend” you speak of starts just after the LIA (which some try so hard to discount/disprove) when it is perfectly natural for the temps to trend upward after an unusually cold period? Yes there have been natural oscillations during that trend both up and down just like we saw during the late 20th century and during the 30′s and 40′s. This will always be so whether mankind is contributing small amounts to it or not.

  76. Re “An Inquirer” and “Mary Hinge” on the New Zealand MWP:

    As I understand it, Mary Hinge is saying that since NZ had cold spells during the centuries that encompassed the MWP, this shows that the MWP was not global or that it was not of the same magnitude as the current (recently reversed) warming.
    How so? Since the warmers only consider the post-1970s warming to be AGW, we only have thirty years of “unprecedented” warmth. The MWP lasted for centuries, so if it was natural, and punctuated by cold periods, we have no way of knowing if we are now in a similar natural period of warmth that may also be punctuated by cold spells.

    BRRRRRRRR

  77. JohnH: The conclusion that the MWP was not global (or not with the same magnitude as the current warming) follows from careful analyses where the climate proxies from different regions are combined to estimate global temperatures. When such combining is done, it is found that, although many regions around the world did experience some warmth in a several century period that people have dubbed the MWP, the warmth tended to be asynchronous from region to region (with some cold periods mixed in too). So, at any particular time, the warmth was not widespread globally. As a result, the MWP does not show the sort of widespread global warmth of the magnitude seen today.

    So, in other words, the talk about there being cold periods and the warmth in different regions being asynchronous is simply a qualitative explanation of the quantitative result that the best reconstructions of Northern Hemispheric temperatures do not show as large a magnitude of global warmth during the MWP than is occurring now.

  78. Joel Shore: Reconstructions of land surface temperatures also appear to have little to no relationship with reconstructions of SSTs. SST reconstructions also imply that current SSTs are not outside of their normal ranges.

    CARIACO BASIN SST RECONSTRUCTION (1221 to 1990):

    INDO-PACIFIC WARM POOL SST RECONSTRUCTION (1004 to 1840)

    Current Pacific Warm Pool as Reference:

    NINO3 SST ANOMALY RECONSTRUCTION (1408 to 1978)

    NORTH ATLANTIC SST ANOMALY RECONSTRUCTION (1567 to 1990)

    And my personal favorite the
    SUBTROPICAL SOUTH PACIFIC SST RECONSTRUCTION (1726 to 1997)

    The citations and references are discussed here:

    http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2008/07/sst-reconstructions.html

  79. Leif: I suspected that was your intent as soon as you clarified you wanted a forecast from the poly trend line, though I hadn’t expected that severe a J-curve.

  80. Bob Tisdale (15:54:36) :
    though I hadn’t expected that severe a J-curve.
    I fully expected that. Remember, I’m in the ‘prediction business’ and have seen and know all the usual follies :-)

  81. Bob: “I hadn’t expected that severe a J-curve”.

    Anyone using polynomials should know what they do outside of the fit zone, without even looking. All you have to know is whether the order is odd or even.
    Plot it again showing the past too. “J” is only half the story.

    Anyone seeing a polynomial fit to a time series used as a trend should ask if the extrapolation to the future has any validity at all.

  82. Pet Rock: FYI, I was not the one to use the poly trend on this thread. I simply answered the questions earlier about the trend line used in the National Post graph by taking the time early this morning to duplicate the graph and identifying that it was, in fact, a 6th order polynomial trend created by EXCEL. Leif then asked me to extend the trend and I did. I had the feeling as I was posting it that someone would take me to task for the use of the poly trend and, alas, it happened. Thank you.

  83. Enough negativity and criticism, Leif and others,

    What is your global average temperature prediction for the next several decades:
    - warming or cooling?
    - for how many years?
    - on what technical basis?
    - for the dataset provided (UAH Global anomaly) how would you extrapolate, if at all – linear, polynomial, or ???
    - does anyone believe that a linear extrapolation is valid? If yes, how do you reconcile with the cyclical nature of the PDO and global avg. temperatures?

    Let’s hear what you believe, not just what you don’t believe.

    Thanks, Allan

  84. Bob Tisdale (18:12:59) :
    Pet Rock:
    Cool it. The fault lies with the original article. All we did later was just to show that the original heavy curve was misleading.

    The author of the article is the one that should be taken to task with: Anyone using a polynomial fit to a time series as a trend should ask if the extrapolation to the future has any validity at all.
    Which by now it pretty clear that it hasn’t.

  85. Allan (18:24:45) :
    What is your global average temperature prediction for the next several decades:
    Under the assumption [which is likely, but not certain] that AGW is but a minor effect:
    - warming or cooling? cooling
    - for how many years? 20
    - on what technical basis? PDO [although we don't know what causes PDO]
    - extrapolate, if at all – no extrapolation

    One can always approximate a short segment of any well-behaved curve by a straight line.

    But that you already knew, so what’s the point? And my prediction is not going to change anybody’s mind, so what’s the point again?

    What is your prediction?

  86. Similar to your own prediction Leif:
    Cooling;
    20-30 years duration;
    Basis is PDO; [Others claim to understand what drives the PDO - I don't.]
    Expected avg temp for coldest decade minus 0.5 C, measured as Global LT anomaly;
    Worst case for coldest decade minus 1.0C, same measurement basis.
    Expect the latter would led to widespread crop failures due to cold.

    I do not expect this will change anyone’s mind either, but it would be unkind to not attempt to point out the futility and wastefulness of current CO2 abatement programs, and the potential dangers of future global cooling.

    Let’s hope we’re both wrong in our predictions – civilization fares better in warmer times.

  87. If the anomaly goes up in the near future the graph producer will have fun trying to correct his trend without starting again, it will end up looking like a rollercoaster compared to the relatively flat earlier years.

    I’m going to give them the benefit of the doubt and think it was probably done whilst drunk, by hand and with it seeming like a good idea at the time. Luckily it wasn’t produced by a reknowned scientific establishment …..

    Regards

    Andy

  88. Allan: I’ll join in the predictions, but I’ll use the slow cycle in the Southern Ocean SST anomalies as my base.

    Cooling for 50 to 60 years, counteracting most if not all of the warming over the last 60 years. There will be amplification then dampening of the cooling due to Thermohaline Circulation/Meridional Overturning Circulation in the North Atlantic and North Pacific. They’ll run in synch at first, but then the cycles will counteract one another. The intermittent positive step changes resulting from large El Nino events (82/83 and 97/98 magnitude) will disappear, since the additional heat supplied by the Southern Ocean to the equatorial Pacific has been dissipated. They’ll be replaced by larger and more frequent La Ninas.

    We’ll check back here on this thread in 20 years, see how we’re doing.

  89. Allan: Correction to my sentence on El Ninos: It should read …since the additional heat supplied to the equatorial Pacific by the Southern Ocean and the THC/MOC in the North Pacific has been dissipated.

  90. Not so Andy,
    This question was covered in an earlier post.
    August 2008 LT anom. (UAH) is -0.007C. September is 0.161C, so some temporary warming has already occurred.
    Try plotting the data using a 6th order polynomial Excel trendline.
    The polynomial, with or without the September data, does not visibly change.
    It will take several more months of warmer temperatures to change this trendline significantly, but it should flatten (I hope).

    Regarding earlier posts using the words “fraud” etc., with respect to the use of a 6th order polynomial to fit this data: These posts are inappropriate, logically and ethically.

    The temperature data is clearly cyclical, as evidenced by temperature and PDO cycles since ~1900 of warming, cooling, warming and recent cooling.

    The satellite temperatures have only been in existence since 1979. This covers only the most recent PDO warming phase that started ~1977, and the PDO cooling phase that started recently. Trying to fit a linear trendline onto this cyclical data – now that might be considered “fraud”.

    However “fraud” implies intent. Intent could be inferred, for example, by refusal to disclose data, by data files marked “censored”, by failure to disclose the “Divergence Problem” (wherein tree ring data actually shows cooling in the last half of the 20th Century), and by masking this Divergence Problem by grafting recent surface thermometry data onto earlier tree ring data. Fraud could be further inferred by eliminating from the historical record the Medieval Warm Period and the Little Ice Age. Just a random example…

  91. Will the mandatory “you are in the employ of big oil” come next? ;-)
    -Anthony

    Not really, mr Anthony. I couldn’t care less if you were employed by Big Oil, the IPCC, Al Gore, the Devil or God himself.

    I only care about the quality of the argument.

    If I am not even a scientist, but even so I can tell quite easily the problem, then you are in serious trouble. It’s as if someone in maths’ university made a 2+2=5 kind of error, and called everyone else “dumb” because you’ve just discovered how the masters “got it all wrong”.

    You’re only making a fool of yourself, and probably Tamino and others are just having a ROFTL at your expense. Think twice before posting, and if you aren’t sure of what you’re talking about, don’t ever, ever assume it’s the others who got it all wrong.

    REPLY: Luis, first you should understand that Tamino et al will laugh and criticize anything I do, so I don’t concern myself with what they think.

    Second, this is an article by the National Post, in it’s entirety. The data plot is valid, the trend line has a polynomial trend line with induced error at the end. I agreed it has a problem. It looks like they (at NP) simply took UAH LT data and ran it through Excel to produce that plot. I’ve also posted other newspaper articles where our readers pick it apart for errors. People learn that way, and readers learn a lot here by such discussions.

    You want to attribute the polynomial trend line error to me, suggesting that I made a “dumb” 2+2=5 error by posting that graphic. But it was part of the original article. If I had posted the article, with a header comment touting the graph as proving a point, then you might be able to say that.

    But I’m quite happy that readers have picked this apart. The results might make for a good follow up post about how graphs can deceive. Will I shield readers in the future from news articles that might be wrong because someone might think badly of me? Absolutely not.

    If you want a blog where they don’t allow discussion of anything that points out errors in postings or conclusions, then please by all means leave this blog and become a regular at RC and Tamino. – Anthony

  92. Hello,

    I am from Europe and i never posted something before. I am on other forums with climate topics too, I posted the graph from this article there.
    I and many other people are discussing there now about that graph…
    Because something isn’t right I think.
    For example, the dip in temperatures in 1992 isn’t on this, while the dip in temperatures now is on the graph.
    What do we have to think about it? Is it completely fake or what could be the reason of the dip now and not before?

    Does someone knows where you can make graphs yourself with for example temperature trends between 1979 and 2008?
    I found it last year, but i forgot the link. Maybe a self made graph for the same period could tell us more about what is wrong or right in this graph.

    (sorry for my bad english)

  93. “I only care about the quality of the argument.”

    And what quality was that?

    [snip, Anthony can defend himself without you resorting pejorative adjectives. See Mary Hinge below for an example of a properly measured response ~ charles the moderator]

  94. Luis Dias (04:32:08) :

    I think you are being very harsh to Anthony. I certainly don’t agree with a lot that Anthony states but I agree with him that all points should be discussed. This blog is very popular with some stirring debates and I for one would like to thank Anthony for his time and choice of posts. Sometimes they annoy the hell out of me but thats what makes this the premier blog it is.
    Please treat Anthony with more respect Luis, he really deserves it.

  95. “Anyone seeing a polynomial fit to a time series used as a trend should ask if the extrapolation to the future has any validity at all.”

    No one here advocated the trend be carried forward. No one has defended the presentation. This is a typical ad hoc misdirection by mendacious sophists whose motives are as suspect as those producing the trendline.

  96. Yep, that’s the site I was looking for!
    Thank’s a lot!

    And if I try it, the linear trend over 1979 – 2008 is still rising. From 2004 to 2008, then it starts declining a little bit. And from 2005, temperatures surely dropped

  97. RE:
    global average temperature prediction for the next several decades:
    based on, and ordered by significance:
    (for the next 30 – 3x years)
    - PDO
    - a negative turning AMO around 2015-2020
    - weak Cycle 24 & 25
    - movement of Saturn, Jupiter

    : cooling
    : starting about now, maximal velocity downwards around 2015-2018
    : bottom around 2026, minus 1.6° (annual global average, compared to 1995 – 2007 mean)

  98. Bob Tisdale: “so why the lecture?”

    Sorry, it wasn’t meant to be personal at all; it was for general edification.

    Gary Gulrud: “No one here advocated the trend be carried forward. No one has defended the presentation. This is a typical ad hoc misdirection by mendacious sophists whose motives are as suspect as those producing the trendline.”

    They drew a graph with an obvious trend at the end. I think the message is implicit but clear. Just like a beer ad with lots of girls has an implicit but carefully (mendaciously?) not stated. A viewer needs a bit of advert-literacy to even realize what is going on. This is probably old news to readers here. A little stats-literacy doesn’t hurt, a little protection against mendacious sophists.

  99. I’ve been censored. Curious. I thought that only tamino or RC were the censoring “perverts”. Funny how freedom is only interesting when is flattering.

    REPLY: Luis, I assure you you have not been censored, however, I have had a lot of trouble in the last couple of days with many regulars ending up in the spam filter. In addition we’ve had a huge load of spam post attempts. It is highly likely that your post got deleted with spam. We try to catch all posts that have ended up in spam and move them into the mainstream. We aren’t always perfect. When you have to hand moderate the number of posts and spam attempts that come through a site like this, sometimes we’ll lose a few.

    Lately the spam filter has been more sensitive than usual, and some regular posters have posts that have ended up in it. To you to anyone that has made a legitimate post and it disappeared, you have my apology. Unfortunately, in this free hosted version of WordPress, I don’t have much control over the spam filter’s actions. Sometimes all it takes is a word or phrase. Often certain embedded links can trigger it.

    Luis. you are welcome to resubmit whatever it was you posted. – Anthony

  100. Fernando (17:19:59) :
    The beginning
    No wonder our host kept a low profile on the ‘smoothing/polyfit’ issue :-)

    REPLY: Leif I could post a straight line and people would argue about it. And I didn’t “keep a low profile”, I agreed early on in comments that the trend line was distorted. In some threads I don’t comment at all. The graph went with the Telegraph article. I could have changed it, but then I’d be criticized for that. I’m criticized for comments lost in spam I’m criticized for many things, yet I persist. – Anthony

  101. Excuse me Anthony: I do not want to cause trouble.
    Just thought: Possibly related posts: (automatically generated), had forgotten

    It was illustrative of the discussion:
    Like this:
    By Dr. John Christy and Dr. Roy Spencer, UAH

    http://icecap.us/index.php/go/in-the-news/P48/

    SORRY.

    REPLY: No worries, I’m just a little testy tonight. – Anthony

  102. Leif Svalgaard (18:46:48) :
    No wonder our host kept a low profile on the ’smoothing/polyfit’ issue :-)

    REPLY: I’m criticized for many things, yet I persist. – Anthony
    Perhaps I should have loaded my comment up with a few more smileys…
    But I know how you feel. I persist too.

  103. Thanks for you work against false science. I think it might be instructive to plot of summary of the 6th order polynomial fits to the temperature data starting with the first year and add a year at a time. I think how ridiculous it would be to use such curve fits to predict future temperatures. Keep up the good work.

  104. “They drew a graph with an obvious trend at the end. I think the message is implicit but clear.”

    You have some trouble reading ““No one here“?

    Stats are the least of our protections against sophistry posing as scepticism.

    Lies, damned lies, and statistics (with flourishes about ‘boundary conditions’).

  105. Pingback: Commentary » Blog Archive » The Climate-Change Reformation

  106. All this harrumphing over which statistcial method is the proper one for computing the trendline avoids the central question of whether the computerized predictions relied on by the IPCC have accurately predicted the observed temperatures.

    They haven’t. At least, that is what I keep reading in the rpess.

    Arguing for this or that trend curve presumes that there is an underlying trend to be predicted. But if the actual data is showing natural variation, there may be no single long term trend underlying the data.

    If you are going to argue that the one particle in 10 thousand of the atmostphere, which is the CO2 supposedly added by mankind’s activities, is going to control the temperature of the atmosphere to the significant degree that is argued by the manmade climate change enthusiasts, you will need a clear scientific statement of how this happens, and I certainly haven’t heard one.

    One particle in ten thousand. That is one penny in a hundred dollars. Have all the other laws relating to gases and thermodynamics been suspended?

    Is CO2 magic fairy dust that transforms the climate?

    And of course, the estimates of human-contributed CO2 in the atmosphere are not observations, they are guesses. For all we know, the additional CO2 could be coming from the oceans.

    If the original hypothesis that we are near the end of an interglacial period is true, it would help us to develop a real method of man-made global warming, and my guess is that it won’t involve CO2.

  107. Is there anywhere that the ACTUAL temps vs the ACTUAL CO2 vs the ACTUAL solar activity vs the ACTUAL time line can be viewed without distortion by pre-spun statistical manipulation? I am so tired of warmers and coolers interpreting data within their own agenda. I’d just like to see the data for myself. I recognize this thread is old but I’m hoping someone is still looking at it.

    Sign me ‘Looking for reason in a sea of statistical stupidity’

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