Antarctica warming? An evolution of viewpoint

mt-erebus.jpg
Above: Mt Erebus, Antarctica
picture by Sean Brocklesby

A press release today by the University of Washington makes a claim that Antarctica is warming and has been for the last 50 years:

“The study found that warming in West Antarctica exceeded one-tenth of a degree Celsius per decade for the last 50 years and more than offset the cooling in East Antarctica.”

“The researchers devised a statistical technique that uses data from satellites and from Antarctic weather stations to make a new estimate of temperature trends.”

“People were calculating with their heads instead of actually doing the math,” Steig said. “What we did is interpolate carefully instead of just using the back of an envelope. While other interpolations had been done previously, no one had really taken advantage of the satellite data, which provide crucial information about spatial patterns of temperature change.”

Satellites calculate the surface temperature by measuring the intensity of infrared light radiated by the snowpack, and they have the advantage of covering the entire continent. However, they have only been in operation for 25 years. On the other hand, a number of Antarctic weather stations have been in place since 1957, the International Geophysical Year, but virtually all of them are within a short distance of the coast and so provide no direct information about conditions in the continent’s interior.

The scientists found temperature measurements from weather stations corresponded closely with satellite data for overlapping time periods. That allowed them to use the satellite data as a guide to deduce temperatures in areas of the continent without weather stations.


Co-authors of the paper are David Schneider of the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo., a former student of Steig’s; Scott Rutherford of Roger Williams University in Bristol, R.I.; Michael Mann of Pennsylvania State University; Josefino Comiso of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.; and Drew Shindell of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York City. The work was supported by grants from the National Science Foundation.

Anytime Michael Mann gets involved in a paper and something is “deduced” it makes me wary of the veracity of the methodology. Why?  Mann can’t even correct simple faults like latitude-longitude errors in data used in previous papers he’s written.

But that’s not the focus of the moment. In that press release they cite NASA satellite imagery. Let’s take a look at how the imagery has changed in 5 years.

NASA’s viewpoint – 2004

Click for larger image

NASA’s Viewpoint 2007 (added 1/22)

NASA’s viewpoint – 2009

antarctic_warming_2009

Click for larger image

Earth’s viewpoint – map of Antarctic volcanoes

Click for larger image

From the UW paper again:

“West Antarctica is a very different place than East Antarctica, and there is a physical barrier, the Transantarctic Mountains, that separates the two,” said Steig, lead author of a paper documenting the warming published in the Jan. 22 edition of Nature.

But no, it just couldn’t possibly have anything at all to do with the fact that the entire western side of the Antarctic continent and peninsula is dotted with volcanoes. Recent discovery of new volcanic activity isn’t mentioned in the paper at all.

From January 2008, the first evidence of a volcanic eruption from beneath Antarctica’s ice sheet has been discovered by members of the British Antarctic Survey.

The volcano on the West Antarctic Ice Sheet began erupting some 2,000 years ago and remains active to this day. Using airborne ice-sounding radar, scientists discovered a layer of ash produced by a ’subglacial’ volcano. It extends across an area larger than Wales. The volcano is located beneath the West Antarctic ice sheet in the Hudson Mountains at latitude 74.6°South, longitude 97°West.

antarctic_volcano2.jpg

UPDATE 1/22

In response to questions and challenges in comments, I’ve added imagery above and have a desire to further explain why this paper is problematic in my view.

The author of the paper himself (Steig) mentions the subglacial heat source in a response from “tallbloke” in comments. My issue is that they don’t even consider or investigate the possibility. Science is about testing and if possible, excluding all potential candidates that challenge your hypothesis, and given the geographic correlation between their output map and the volcanic map, it seems a reasonable theory to investigate. They didn’t.

But let’s put the volcanoes aside for a moment. Let’s look at the data error band. The UAH trend for Antarctica since 1978 is -0.77 degrees/century.

In a 2007 press release on Antarctica, NASA’s describes their measurement error at 2-3 degrees, making Steig’s conclusion of .25 degrees Celsius over 25 years statistically meaningless.

“Instead, the team checked the satellite records against ground-based weather station data to inter-calibrate them and make the 26-year satellite record. The scientists estimate the level of uncertainty in the measurements is between 2-3 degrees Celsius.”

That is from this 2007 NASA press release, third paragraph.

http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=8239

Also in that PR, NASA shows yet another satellite derived depiction which differs from the ones above. I’ve added it.

Saying you have a .25 deviation over 25 years (based on one-tenth of a degree Celsius per decade per Steig) with a previously established measurement uncertainty of 2-3 degrees means that the “deduced” value Steig obtained is not greater than the error bands previously cited on 2007, which would render it statistically meaningless.

In an AP story Kenneth Trenberth has the quote of the day:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090121/ap_on_sc/sci_antarctica

“This looks like a pretty good analysis, but I have to say I remain somewhat skeptical,” Kevin Trenberth, climate analysis chief at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, said in an e-mail. “It is hard to make data where none exist.”

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419 thoughts on “Antarctica warming? An evolution of viewpoint

  1. The report does say that these temperature trends are an”estimate”. That gives a distinct possibility that they could be wrong, by a long way! I am always bothered by new “techniques” that produce the desired results, April is coming, the new UK financial year looming, cuts in public funds are inevitable I suppose.

  2. Any guess given on why Antarctica is such a good Christian? ( the left hand does not know what the right hand is doing).

  3. Let me see if I have this straight…

    They didn’t just use their heads, they calculated it using deduction.

    And people call the skeptics “anti-science” !!!!!

  4. By the time this is shot down they will have the headlines they wanted. Bit like “the hottest October ever”. Matty, Perth, Western Australia

  5. Unfortunately the satellite data only covers the recent warming period. Many trends during a warming period (like the PDO for example) are radically different than trends during a cooling mode. In my part of the US it actually gets warmer (relative to the rest of the country) during a cooling PDO. Using warming mode data to work out cooling mode data is probably about as stupid as using arctic ice extents to predict antarctic ice extents. On the surface it sounds like it would work but we know from experience that it can often give radically different (and wrong) results.

  6. “statistical technique”, “estimate”, “guide to deduce”! No mention of what the uncertainty is in the one-tenth of a degree or how much the cooling was in the East Antarctic. It doesn’t sound like real science, more like an attempt to find some way of plugging another hole in the sinking of the ship SSAGW. The press release does not give any confidence that the paper has any worth.

  7. “The study found that warming in West Antarctica exceeded one-tenth of a degree Celsius per decade for the last 50 years and more than offset the cooling in East Antarctica.”

    Wow, scary hot! One tenth of a degree per decade. How can they ‘measure’ to this degree of accuracy I have to wonder, especially with interpolation, albeit “careful interpolation”. So its gone from really really really cold to only really really really cold (same number of reallys there due to the uncertainty bands!).

  8. per the following map , http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=8239 and eyeballing an average temperature change works out to
    25years x 0.05deg/year = +1.25deg over 20 years

    using the 2004 map above, and eyeballing an average temperature change works out to
    25 years x -.1 = -2.5deg over 20 years

    Thats a poorly estimated on my part, whopping difference of 4 degrees. I wonder how the difference came about?

    But wait… they added a disclaimer on latest data: “The scientists estimate the level of uncertainty in the measurements is between 2-3 degrees Celsius.”

    So it looks to me like they decided to change thier color scheme to suit good buisness practices, in hopes of getting some funding for more reaserch.

    I’d like to see how the following graph looks now, after “correction”

  9. Scientists involved in this field have to toe the line for the sake of their careers. An article in the http://www.cato.org web site (Vol.15, No.2, Spring 1992) notes that one scientist lost funding from the National Science Foundation (who also funded the study above) because of:
    *quote*
    “…data analyses that were failing to show net warming over the past century. Reviewers suggested that his results were dangerous to humanity.”
    *end quote*

  10. I am trying to get my head around the methodology used, they say this is not back of the envelope guestimation but end up saying that in effect their work is nothing more than calculation by guess work?
    Interpolation is a grand word for it but a simpler explanation may be that they have been trying every which way to get the figures to fit a desired outcome and this ‘interpolation of data’ is just another complicated way of smashing that square peg into that obstinate round hole.
    The ommision of volcanic activity in the western quarter must at least raise the spectre of selective and biased procedures.
    The BBC have been flogging the story to death which also leads me to believe that something fishy is going on.

  11. I’ll have to read their paper before giving serious comment, but, before I read it, my guess is that the inconvenient trend over the past three decades or so in Antarctica (which is the opposite of the trend observed elsewhere, perhaps due to cloudiness-albedo issues, or perhaps due to the fact that it’s the only terrestrial area on Earth without urban heat island issues) gave them cause to go out and prove that the continent was actually warming. The period with the highest and most rapidly rising CO2 concentrations was showing some cooling, so it made sense to go back and find a cold starting point. Then they could turn around and say that the long-term trend is upward. This, of course, is true, but belittles the fact that this has not been the case since the 1970’s. Next, they will tell us that the reason for the increase in sea ice in the area around the Antarctic is because of the added melting caused by warming and increased precipitation, and the resultant increase in freshwater, which is more stable and has a higher melting point. Never mind the more likely possibility that it has something to do with the slight cooling during the past three decades (though I’ll bet this is conveniently no longer apparent in their paper). Anyway, enough with my diatribe. I’ll pick it up on the weekend and actually read it before I comment further. Maybe they’ll convince me.

  12. I suppose with the arctic sea ice ignoring Al Gore’s prediction that it will vanish within 5 years, they had to divert attention somewhere else. The other side of the globe seems to be far enough away…

  13. George Smith of this parish spoke directly with Steig on this and posted on another thread, but I can’t find the post now. I hope he reposts it here. – Anthony, please badger wordpress for a better author search facility!

  14. Climate Audit is also covering this one…http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=4914#comments

    I posted the comment below earlier today, as it’s station related I thought it might interest some readers here. I posted a brief version of this on Real Climate but it appears to be one of those questions that some prefer not asked.

    The following are the station history comments for Butler Island AWS WMO ID 89266 from the University of Wisconson Antarctic Automated weather stations project. I assume this is GISS station ID Butler Island 700892660009. The temperature graph from GISS is available through- http://data.giss.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/gistemp/gistemp_station.py?id=700892660009&data_set=0&num_neighbors=1

    The supplementary data of Steig et al 2009(www.nature.com/nature/journal/v457/n7228/extref/nature07669-s1.pdf) indicate a warming trend of 0.45 C/decade for Butler Island – the highest of any site reported. I thought it would be interesting to see what the station history revealed-(from http://amrc.ssec.wisc.edu/aws/butlerismain.html). Note that Butler Island sits on the east side of the Antarctic Peninsula. Google earth shows a featureless rounded island surrounded by sea ice.

    Station history
    1983: This unit was deployed by the BAS but upon installation at Butler Island the unit did not operate. The unit was removed leaving the tower and other equipment in place on Butler Island and will be returned to Wisconsin for repairs.
    1986: AWS 8902 was tested and found to be functioning well. This unit was deployed 1 March 1986. The old station was located and found to be almost totally buried. The solar panel, aerovanes, and top tower section were returned to Rothera.
    1986-87; 01 Mar 86. On 01 Oct 86 wind direction failed for unknown reasons. On 19 Jul 87 station stopped transmitting for unknown reasons.
    1990: Wind speed and direction were intermittent after 2 May.
    1991: Pressure gauge ceased functioning 8 Dec.
    1992: Performance: 100%
    1993: Performance: Station not functioning after 3 November.
    1994: Performance: Station off until 15 February, and again 18 March-5 April. Wind system intermittent July, October-December.
    1997: Performance:Aerovane replaced 11 February. Pressure had to be corrected due to a failure of the precision time-based correction to the system clock. Aerovane “frozen” most of the time in May and August through November.
    1998: Performance:Aerovane not functioning from 10 September to 27 October. Pressure continues to need correction due to the failure of the precisiontime-based correctin to the system clock.
    1999: Performance:Aerovane intermittently “frozen” in July. Pressure continues to need correction due to the failure of the precision time-based correction to the system clock.
    2000: Performance:Aerovane not functioning from mid-June through December. Pressure continues to need correction due to the failure of the precision time-based correction to the system clock.
    2001: the following work was done “Moved Solar panel and electronic boxes up so all above 120cm allowing accumulation for the next year.”(amrc.ssec.wisc.edu/aws/butlerismain.html).
    2003 Visited on 22/12/03 The mast was not raised but the old solar panel and charging box were removed. The new solar panel was mounted on the mast. The new battery box was placed at the bottom of the mast in a hole that just buried it on the western side of the mast. A flag was placed on top of the box so it could easily be located. The wind vane was replaced with a repaired one. New cables were connected and the AWS started up without any trouble.

    The GISS graph shows a break between 2003 and two new data points for 2007, 2008(?). There is data available for station 892660 for the intervening period but not shown on GISS (eg http://www.tutiempo.net/en/Climate/BUTLER_ISLAND/01-2005/892660.htm) for some reason.

    Given the station history I am surprised that Steig et al 2009 manage to define a trend at all let alone a rising one of 0.45degrees C/decade. If it were me I would have left this station out of the analysis altogether as it appears far to unreliable. I wonder how many other stations are similarly affected? Did reviewers bother to examine station records at all?

    Note also there is a change in station altitude of about 100 m but I am unable to work out when this occurred.

  15. One of the main arguments in this thread is one ad hominem against one of the authors of the paper in Nature ( “Anytime Michael Mann gets involved …” ). This sounds poor.
    The other argument is, volcanoes. I’m missing the quantification of this point – how can spots of volcanism be relevant for the warming of one half of the continent?
    Somehow, not much justice is done to the paper. It corroborates results of several other papers and it uses widely applied methods. Using satellite data to fill gaps in coverage is used in many fields including weather forecast, and the verification proves that it works.
    With this work we now have a broader picture of global warming in work in general, the dynamics of the lower stratosphere and the ozone layer influencing continental Antarctica and even cooling it in the last two or three decades, and regional winds and sea ice influencing the pattern of temperature change over the continent. It gives us hints, where coupled models need improvement, because we understand better, why they fail in some points. This is, how science works.

  16. @ Mike (23:57:08) :
    Hype of the day?

    To identify causes of the warming, the team turned to Drew Shindell of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York, who has used computer models to identify mechanisms driving Antarctica’s enigmatic temperature trends.

    Some bloke at GISS who has used computer models to identify

    AGW is a ship called Titanic in 1912 ignoring the warnings of pack-ice and icebergs.

  17. So they have combined satellite data with conventional weather station data to show the Antarctic is warming.

    Does this mean that the satellite data is now considered to be a valid measurement of global temperature trends or is it only valid in Antartica?

  18. As a side issue read Richard North’s posts on carbon permits at http://eureferendum.blogspot.com/

    A Study in Useless says that a side effect of the recession is that the steel and cement industries in the EU now have a surplus of permits. They are trying to sell them to raise funds that they can’t get from their normal channels in the crippled banking system. Reuters reckons they could raise 1 billion Euros.

    It will also depress the price still further, possibly as low as $5 a ton….bet Al Gore is crying into his Cheerios as he watches his carbon based investments tank. (Do they release CO2 into the atmosphere too as they evaporate?)

    “Look behind You” says our government (UK) has committed to selling 25 million permits this year. Hardly worth the effort to raise just £125m. Mind you anything is something as they try to “save the planet”.

    Belated congratulations to you Anthony. We’ve been away so only found out the good news today. Well deserved and hopefully you’re picking up a few more visitors from the UK now.

  19. Almost exactly a year ago on 22/01/08 there was an article “Suprise! There’s an active volcano under Antarctic ice”, And the same pictures were used, perhaps on 22/01/09 there might be an article about one of those volcanoes blasting a hole in the ice sheet!

  20. Wathever the conclusion, this article invents a new kind of modelling, the retro-modelling, which gives them a very large road in order to re-write history …

  21. How boringly predictable, every summer we have the same alarmist “all the ice is melting” BS. Every September in the North and January/February in the south.

    However this year is different. This year they are deducing the data. So the raw data is NOT showing any meaningful or significant rise in temps? Could that be why there is MORE ice there than last year?

    Mind you, the AGW alarmists have never let what is actually happening get in the way of their alarmism, have they?

  22. The Australian Government and its cohort of green supporters will grasp this ‘scientific’ knowledge with both hands as the wheels appear to be falling off the proposed emissions trading scheme, not necessarily because of global cooling facts but people are nervous about jobs due to the global finacial meltdown. I just hope that one of politicians sees the threat of global cooling as a get out of gaol card for the stupid emissions trading scheme that will have no impact on the worlds emissions even if they were causing a problem, afterall Australia produces less than 1.5% of the worlds CO2 and its percentage is falling due to the growth of China and India.

  23. Real Climate have an article from co-authors of the report, gives some extra details.

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2009/01/state-of-antarctica-red-or-blue/

    I find this bit interesting,
    “In our own published work to date (Schneider and Steig, PNAS), we find that the 1940s [edit for clarity: the 1935-1945 decade] were the warmest decade of the 20th century in West Antarctica, due to an exceptionally large warming of the tropical Pacific at that time.”
    So if west antartica was warmer 60/70 years ago how would the trend look if we started it 70 years ago and not 50 years ago?
    “Our results do not contradict earlier studies suggesting that some regions of Antarctica have cooled. Why? Because those studies were based on shorter records (20-30 years, not 50 years) and because the cooling is limited to the East Antarctic. Our results show this too, as is readily apparent by comparing our results for the full 50 years (1957-2006) with those for 1969-2000 (the dates used in various previous studies), below.”
    So if there has been less warming or even cooling for the last 20-30 years, but is this not the time when CO2 concentratons were higher?
    It all sounds like weather to me.

    The BBC are all over this story http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/7843186.stm
    Hows this for drama:”A BAS team currently on site is reporting that the Wilkins shelf, about 15,000 sq km in area, is probably about to break free.
    “It really could go at any minute, and I wouldn’t be at all surprised if the final cracks started to appear very soon,” said BAS’s David Vaughan.”

  24. Kath (23:27:30) quotes in part: “Reviewers suggested that his results were dangerous to humanity.”
    This beggars belief. Have we really sunk so low that science may be corrupted at will by thought control wild-eyers?
    “…data analyses that were failing to show net warming over the past century.”
    Was his data analyses correct or incorrect? Who cares? That’s not the point. He was apparently propping up the sky…
    Slash (and burn).
    What a sad time we are living in.

  25. Don’t miss the really good bits from this story… strike fear into your heart…

    “Professor Brook said it had been thought Antarctica was cooling partly because of the hole in the ozone layer, which allowed the hot air out.”

    “Scientists now estimate the melting of Antarctica’s massive ice sheets will cause the world’s sea levels to rise by one to two metres by the end of the century.”


    Southern ice cap victim of global warming

  26. Anthony: I’m going to try to post on the Antarctic TLT sometime today or tomorrow as part of the series I was doing on the effects of ENSO and volcanic eruptions on TLT. Here are a few preview graphs of Antarctic temperatures from that future post.

    ************

    The following are graphs of Antarctic and Southern Ocean TLT [AHU MSU] created from data available through the KNMI Climate Explorer Website. Keep in mind that the MSU satellite data does not reach the entire Antarctic, which is something I found curious about the use of satellite data for the University of Washington study. (They must be supplementing the sparse surface measurements with it.) In fact, RSS only lists data as far South as 70S. AHU extrapolates, smoothes, estimates, whatever, to provide data for the rest of the Antarctic. Regardless, here are additional graphs of the AHU TLT data for the Antarctic to add to the ones I put up yesterday for those discussing the Antarctic off-topic on the previous thread.

    Here are the East and West TLT anomalies from 90S to 60S with linear trends. The trend in the west is flat, and the trend in the east is toward cooling:

    The Southern Ocean would influence that data so I reduced the longitudes in the following to 90S to 70S. Again, this is apparently data that’s estimated by AHU because it’s outside the reach of the MSU satellite as far as I know. Finally, a dataset with a warming trend:

    You’d have to segment the data looking hard for an area that’s warming differently that the rest of the continent in order to come up with one that’s more significant.

    There’s a phenomenon that effects Antarctic sea ice called the Antarctic sea ice dipole, which has ENSO as one of its primary influences, so I decided to take a look at the Antarctic TLT dipole, which I calculated as Western TLT MINUS Eastern TLT for 90S to 70S and compared it to scaled NINO3.4 SST anomalies. There’s some very apparent ENSO influence and at times it’s hard to tell what drives what. Curious.

  27. O.K. so a paper is produced and published which “finds” warming in East Antarctica.
    The paper depends upon no new observations (no new data). It depends upon an examination of existing data and satellite data but uses a different analytical method.
    So why aren’t the experts lining up to produce similar papers on similar data which show how this one is wrong?

  28. “People were calculating with their heads instead of actually doing the math,”

    A claim I find extremely unlikely…..

  29. What is a simple layman to make of all this?

    Well, I notice that 3 of the 5 coauthors in this study (Rutherford, Mann, & Shindell) were also cited in the Wegman Report to Congress as being part of the social network involved in the infamous first hockey stick. Shindell (GISS) took part in the Nature teleconference; was he there to make sure all public pronouncements remained on message and that the proper spin was included?

    And just as the hockey stick helped get rid of that inconvenient Medieval Warming Period (MWP), this new ‘research’ has managed to warm West Antarctica enough to overcome the cooling in East Antarctica so that the report can claim that on average the whole continent is warming. And just how were they able to pull off this feat? They devised {created; made up} a statistical technique {did they run it by a statistician to ensure their statistical approach was valid, since none of the coauthors is a statistician} to make a new estimate {so they don’t know what the temperatures were; they just came up with a guess that just happens to match their belief system}. Will this end up as yet another project for Steve McIntyre to examine the statistics used?

    So is this the way modern ‘science’ works? Come up with a belief, then look for data that supports the belief while ignoring data that doesn’t conform? I think I’ll self-snip myself here before I let loose my frustrations on this latest display…

  30. This is total drivel

    There is no evidence for increased temepratures in the Antarctica:

    http://www.physorg.com/news148239677.html

    and

    http://data.aad.gov.au/aadc/soe/display_indicator.cfm?soe_id=1

    (scroll down to the graphs)

    The AGW hypothesis and modelling predicts warming at high latitudes and very little at the equator, due to the presence of atmospheric water vapour. It was always the failure of the Antarctica to warm, as well as the failure of temperatures to increase in line with atmospheric CO2 over the last 10 years, that left the warming hysterics without any case. They are trying desperatly to manufacture one.

  31. Here are the graphs I posted as part of the off-topic comments on yesterday’s thread.
    Has the Antarctic warmed? Yes. Has it warmed in recent years? No. Unless you use surface temperature data, then you have a rise in recent years.

    Lower troposphere temperature:

    A blurb from my post on Surface Temperature By Continent. Did they cherry-pick the start date for the study? Scroll down for the Antarctic:

    http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2009/01/land-surface-temperature-comparison-by_07.html

    It included a comparative graph of GISS, CRUTEM, and NCDC data for the Antarctic:

    And the capper that seems to contradict their claim that the recent Antarctic cooling is a result of the change in ozone, blah, blah. How did man vary ozone in the early period of this graph to cause that drop in SST anomalies from 1880 to 1920? The peak in the 1980s/90s didn’t come close to reaching the SSTs at the end of the 19th century.

    One of the authors of the Nature paper, Eric Steig, made an appearance at Lucia’s website and had a discussion with Roger Pielke Jr that’s worth reading. I, of course, had to throw a few graphs into the conversation.

    http://rankexploits.com/musings/2008/who-expects-a-tropical-tropospheric-hot-spot-from-any-and-all-sources-of-warming/#comments

    **********
    And for those interested in the TLT of the Antarctic Peninsula, here’s a graph of it compared to scaled NINO3.4 SST anomalies and to Sato Index data. The anomalous dip in 1986 appears to be the cause of the positive trend in Antarctic Peninsula Lower Troposphere Temperature.

    I should be posting the rest of the Antarctic data in a day or two at my website.

  32. Matty from Perth Summed it up –

    By the time this is shot down they will have the headlines they wanted.

    In today’s Australian Media Alarmist Professor Barry Brook has been having a field day.

    That’s bad news if you live near the Australian coast,” Prof Brook said.

    “In some areas where you’ve currently got housing, you’d probably have to abandon those areas.”

    He said the sea would penetrate up to 1km inland in flat areas like South Australia’s lower lakes. Large areas which don’t see flooding now would get flooded by king tides.

    House prices for coastal areas would probably drop, Prof Brook said.

    Scientists already knew, he said, that the massive ice sheets of western Antarctica were melting, but the study showed they would melt more quickly.

    The study, contained in today’s issue of Nature, was also bad news for climate change in general, Prof Brook said.

    It had been thought Antarctica’s cooling would help restrain global warming by acting as a “cool pack”, but this did not appear to be the case

    We have done our best to deal with this hysterical alarmism, but its all over the Australian TV News this evening-

    See the Agmates post here.

  33. What is the scale on the 2009 image?

    Smoke and Mirrors

    If Mann is involved in this, I’d put it straight in the trash.

  34. As south america is divided in two different climates, separated by the Andes, also Antartica has two climates areas, as you say. I have observed that these issues conveniently appear during SH summer. Warmers will produce similar “papers” during NH next summer.

  35. But no, it just couldn’t possibly have anything at all to do with the fact that the entire western side of the Antarctic continent and peninsula is dotted with volcanoes. Recent discovery of new volcanic activity isn’t mentioned in the paper at all.

    You are hypothesising that surface warming of Antarctica over the last 50 years might be significantly attributed to volcanic activity? That’s an interesting idea. Do you, or does anyone, have any figures to support such a notion?

    The recent discovery you refer to was of a sub-ice volcano that erupted 2,000 years ago. Whatever its current level of activity and the extent to which that may continue to effect ice sheet flow, it’s somewhat hard to imagine the extent to which you think that might be affecting surface temperatures.

    Does your hypothesis of volcanic activity as a driver of warming apply equivalently to other continents?

  36. Looks like they were looking for warming, got creative with the data, and well, what do you know, they “found” warming. That’s it? They needed a “last hurrah” and this is the best they could come up with? Pathetic. Funny thing is, even if they did manage to “prove” overall warming in the antarctic the past 50 years, all they’ve proven is the climate changed (maybe). Yes, we know. Now, please show us how man caused it.

  37. OT
    I just read that Intel will be closing their wafer production in Santa Clara, Calif. and Williams-Sonoma of San Francisco will be cutting 1400 jobs.
    Soon, Hollwood wil be the last industries in California and all the “Stars” will be on the government payroll. I wonder if they could live on $100,000.00 IOU’s per year.

  38. A true disaster in the making with one to two metre sea rises and you will have to abandon your houses as well according to Professor Barry Bock, Director of the University of Adelaide’s Research Institute of Climate Change and Sustainability. [ Australia ]
    The good Professor also has a reason for the cooling of the Antarctic as well!

    “Professor Brook said it had been thought Antarctica was cooling partly because of the hole in the ozone layer, which allowed the hot air out.”

    I kid you not! Check for yourself!

    “The Australian” 22 / Jan / 2009

    http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,24946666-11949,00.html

  39. For the known argentinian geologist Miguel Gonzales, in his studies in the “Salinas del bebedero”, a salt lake in Argentina, http://www.springerlink.com/content/m11m129238u61484/ all these weather changes coincide with solar minimums like the Maunder minimum, which produced drought in the argentinian “pampa” (plains), and which it is happening again now. So, in general, we have different weather systems: one west of the andes and the other east of the andes.

  40. There’s a partisan story on Bloomberg here:

    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601124&sid=a88Ja2tPfcnM&refer=home

    Here are the headline plus selected paragraphs of spin:

    Antarctic Warming Found by Scientists Dashes Argument (Update1)

    By Alex Morales
    Jan. 22 (Bloomberg) — Antarctica has warmed over the past half-century, scientists said, dashing a key argument by skeptics who say climate change is overstated.
    Temperatures rose an average 0.12 degrees Celsius (0.22 Fahrenheit) per decade since 1957, researchers led by Eric Steig, a professor of glaciology at the University of Washington in Seattle, said in the journal Nature. Using new measurement methods, they discovered warming in the continent’s interior, which United Nations-sponsored scientists theorized was cooling.
    The findings may help puncture arguments by global-warming skeptics such as the late author Michael Crichton who have pointed to cooling in parts of Antarctica as an indicator that climate change is exaggerated.
    “This has put the last pieces of the jigsaw in place,” Gareth Marshall, a British Antarctic Survey climatologist in Cambridge who wasn’t involved in the research, said yesterday in a telephone interview. “If you consider Antarctica as a whole, it shows a significant warming.”
    ………….
    Ice Shelves Breaking
    The study indicates that the breakup of ice shelves already seen in the Antarctic Peninsula, a spit of land reaching toward South America, may “eventually” extend to other parts of the continent, Steig said in a telephone interview.
    “The fact that the warming that is appearing on the peninsula extends way down into West Antarctica would suggest that eventually, if that trend continues, ice shelves in West Antarctica are also going to similarly be affected,” Steig said, pointing to a timeframe of “hundreds of years.”
    …………..
    Most ground-based temperature measurements from Antarctica began in 1957, and the data is largely from coastal areas. Gauging the vast interior by satellite didn’t begin until 1979. Steig’s team used mathematical models to establish the relationship between the ground and satellite measurements between 1979 and 2006 and then used the correlation they found to calculate temperatures for the interior going back to 1957.
    …………….

    Over the past 50 years the Antarctic Peninsula warmed an average of 0.11 degrees Celsius a decade, West Antarctica gained 0.17 degrees every 10 years and temperatures in East Antarctica rose by 0.1 degrees, Steig’s team found. The data from the east had a margin of error of 0.07 degrees, meaning the actual warming may be close to zero.
    Even so, East Antarctica has cooled by about 0.2 degrees Celsius a decade since the 1970s, the researcher said.
    “The warming prior to that was even greater than the cooling since and therefore, on average, it’s warming,” Steig said. The recent cooling has been attributed to the hole in the ozone layer caused by pollutants that are now banned so the cooling is likely to reverse in coming years, he said.
    ‘Huge Gap’ Filled
    “Normally when ozone is warmed up by the sun, it causes the stratosphere, which is part of the atmosphere, to warm,” the British Antarctic Survey’s Marshall said. “If the ozone is missing, then that part of the atmosphere will cool and therefore you get this colder air over Antarctica and this propagates downwards toward the surface.”
    Because of the statistical uncertainty that still surrounds the data from East Antarctica, Steig said his team’s biggest advance was in establishing there’s a clear warming trend in West Antarctica.
    “The magnitude of the trend is larger in West Antarctica so we’re more confident that it’s warming,” Steig said. “We’ve really filled in a huge gap.”
    To contact the reporter on this story: Alex Morales in London at amorales2@bloomberg.net.

  41. Update on scale – the original figure at NASA has it here

    The figure in 2004 shows a cooling of 0.2C per year (2C per decade) in the heart of the Antartic Continent. Now we are to believe a warming of 0.1C per decade in the same place – quite a turnaround in view.

    Again, per my comment previously….JUNK

  42. Anthony – You have presented us with two pictures, one labeled “NASA’s viewpoint – 2009″ and the other labeled “NASA’s viewpoint – 2004″. They both show temperature trends but are you sure they show the trends over the same time period?

    One of the points of this paper is that there are some places in Antarctica seem to have shown cooling over the last 20 or 30 years but appear to show warming over a longer (50 year) time period. And, this is in line with the idea that there might be a different countervailing forces operating…namely a general warming trend like the global trend but then also a cooling effect caused by a change in wind patterns due to ozone depletion (which only became significant around the late 1970s). Of course, this is still a rather speculative hypothesis. This piece discusses all of this more: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2009/01/state-of-antarctica-red-or-blue

  43. From RealNonsense.org last Feb.:
    “Despite the recent announcement that the discharge from some Antarctic glaciers is accelerating, we often hear people remarking that parts of Antarctica are getting colder, and indeed the ice pack in the Southern Ocean around Antarctica has actually been getting bigger. Doesn’t this contradict the calculations that greenhouse gases are warming the globe? Not at all, because a cold Antarctica is just what calculations predict… and have predicted for the past quarter century.”

    So, I guess this means they’ll be changing their tune now to “a warming Antarctica is just what calculations predict…. and have predicted for the past quarter century”. AGW Believers hoisted by their own petard. Once again.

  44. MattN (02:56:58) quotes: “People were calculating with their heads instead of actually doing the math,”
    I think that may be a series of typos, Matt. They probably meant to write:
    “People were calculating with their heads instead of their hearts.”

  45. When the actual base data used in this study is made available, it will show something completely different.

    That is what I have noticed everytime I have looked into the basic data used in all these alarmist studies. The actual data does not support the claims made.

    They actually expect noone to look into the data they provide with the study (or they don’t provide it, one or the other.)

  46. When they use the word “contrarian” that many times to describe those who scientifically disagree…well…I think that says it all.

  47. Doesn’t this mean that someone 25 years ago had his or her thermometers off by about 5C degrees? Are we really to believe that the folk who put the detectors in place were that incompetent? Also, how does this “warming” tally with the current extent of Antartic sea ice which is the largest in the last 30 years?

  48. “Joerg Zimmermann (00:38:25) :

    One of the main arguments in this thread is one ad hominem against one of the authors of the paper in Nature ( “Anytime Michael Mann gets involved …” ). This sounds poor.
    The other argument is, volcanoes. I’m missing the quantification of this point – how can spots of volcanism be relevant for the warming of one half of the continent?
    Somehow, not much justice is done to the paper.”

    Joerg, I disagree. My understanding of what you stated here is that there are two arguments presented. One being an “attack” on Mann, and the other, volcanoes.

    I see people questioning the data produced by the weather stations, people asking why the albedo/ash result wasn’t taken into account, people questioning how you can make such a refined result of .1c with such a large margin of error, and many other questions regarding methods, data, etc.

    THAT is, how science is done.

    JimB

  49. Chaiten in Chile became more active last Monday.

    [video src="http://s147.photobucket.com/albums/r301/numero22/?action=view&current=chai20090119.flv" /]

    http://volcanism.wordpress.com/

    It’s the Ring o’ Fire wot dun it guv, not us clever apes wiv our internal comestible thingamajigs.

  50. So how is a change from 60 below, to 59.5 below going to change anything?

    Maybe the hole in the ozone, which is created and destroyed by sunlight, letting in the sun’s rays through the upper atmosphere and warming the lower atmosphere.

  51. Perhaps this is the beginning of a new front in Climate Science. First, the disappearing artic ice cap, and now the warming artic. Look for GISS to jump on this with both feet, as they add .5 deg to global temps based on findings from this study. The Alarmists will go into over drive just in time for Rep Waxman’s hearings.

  52. I’ve found George Smith’s comment, which I’ll post here because it is so relevant:

    Well I read that Paper by Professor Eric Steig of WU. Strangely, although I am a paid up member of AAAS, I was not able to log in and download that “embargoed” paper, so I had to get it from somebody with a top secret clearance.

    So I already e-mailed Prof Steig; and first I asked him, given that the West antarctic is warming at over 0.1 deg C per decade; when does he prdict it will reach the melting point and start the global flooding by raising the sea.

    He replied that he doesn’t make such predictions; but that it would be “many many decades before melting started” My guessw as 3000 years.

    So then I aksed him how deep down in the ice do the satellite measurements observe the temperature, and how deep in the ice does his 0.1 deg C per decade propagate. He replied that the satellites only measure the very surface temperature; that ice is a very good insulator so the rise doesn’t go very deep. He said that the major heat source of that 6000 feet of ice is warmth from the earth underneath.

    In other words, a storm in a teacup. The Prof and his team used 25 years of satellite data, which can roughly cover the whole of Antarctica, and they used ground based but coastal weather station sites that date from OGY in 1957/58 to calibrate the satellite data, so they then extrapolated the coastal measured data over the whole continent.
    East Antarctica is still cooling; so no problem there, but west is warming more than East is cooling, so net warm.

    Please note that cooling is bounded by 0K or -273.15 C, while warming has no known upper limit.

    Also note that EM radiation cooling from Antarctica goes as T^4, so a net increase overall, means that Antarctica increases its pitiful contribution to the cooling of planet earth.

    So let’s hear it For a warming Antarctica.

    By the Way Prof Steig was very polite, and forthright and sounds like an OK chap to me.

    But it still sounds to me like a report that somebody found that a sheet of toilet tissue now absorbs water faster and will sink a little sooner.

    George

    Key point from the studies author is that the warming is due to heat from the interior of the Earth – MMGW not involved.

  53. The ehadline should have read, to be accurate:
    Antarctic cooling since 1980.
    The AGW promotion industry only shows how disreputable it is by making untrue and misleading claims, as this report exemplifies.

  54. Perhaps Antarctic is indeed warming. I’d like to see how the warming fits with the increase in sea ice, but I’m certainly open to argument.

    But isn’t the most important part of this new study the endorsement of satellite temperature measurements?

  55. I noticed that one of the authors indicated elsewhere (not in the paper) that East Antarctica has been cooling the last 2 decades, but warming for the last 5 decades.
    I love this “pick your convenient timeframe” stuff. It’s “Oh so scientific”.

  56. Kath (23:27:30) :

    … notes that one scientist lost funding from the National Science Foundation (who also funded the study above) because of:
    *quote*
    “…data analyses that were failing to show net warming over the past century. Reviewers suggested that his results were dangerous to humanity.”
    *end quote*

    This sounds like a James Hansen critique. A Google search for “james hansen” humanity yielded 86,400 hits, “james hansen” creation yielded 26,800, though I expect that to catch up in the future as he widens the scope of evil climate change.

  57. “Satellites calculate the surface temperature by measuring the intensity of infrared light radiated by the snowpack, and they have the advantage of covering the entire continent. However, they have only been in operation for 25 years”

    So why do all the reports of NH warming use the satellite data from 1979 -2000 as gospel?

  58. “The researchers devised a statistical technique”

    Anyone can “devise” a “technique” for whatever. One way is looking at volcano’s and rising magma under part of an area, and ignore 60% of the land area.

  59. I see the different color scales in the two “NASA’s Viewpoint” Images, but are there different time periods represented by the two images as well?

  60. I’m making A prediction today.President Obama will have the clobal warming criss cured in less than two years.After the democratic congress gets all these new laws about climate change and after everyone is forced to buy hybrid’s or walk the media will tell us that global warming ,which they don’t call it that now ,has been stopped and Obama will get full credit.Actually by then these nuts will know we are in an ice age again.

  61. Bob Tisdale, they use data from polar orbiting satellites including data from the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR). See literature of Steig et al 2009. Thus they have full coverage of Antarctica.

  62. Regarding the BAS team on-site at the Wilkins ice shelf awaiting its probable break-up – too late its already happened.

    NSIDC has put up a new webpage posting really good satellite pics of the Antarctic ice shelves – back to 2002 or earlier in some cases.

    You can use this page to access them.

    http://nsidc.com/data/iceshelves_images/

    Or this ftp site where the raw images are stored. I try to use the ftp sites for the NSIDC as much as possible since you never really know what they are up to.

    ftp://sidads.colorado.edu/pub/DATASETS/ICESHELVES/

    It looks like the thin ribbon of glacial ice shelf (versus the normal sea ice) already broke by December 31, 2008. There is more snow cover since this date so there are no new images where one can see the change. I’m assuming the BAC team hasn’t been camped out there since December 31st.

    ftp://sidads.colorado.edu/pub/DATASETS/ICESHELVES/wilkins/wilk_2008363_1400_modis_ch02.png

  63. Will’s comment ‘total drivel’ seems appropriate.
    In addition to the links he provides, here is a reminder of some of the clear evidence
    that Antarctica is cooling, or at least certainly not warming:
    (a) Station data. Some stations show no trend (eg McMurdo, Vostok, Amundsen-Scott at the pole), some show definite cooling (eg Halley, Manuela).
    (b) Antarctic ice extent is increasing, see for example

    http://www.nsidc.org/data/seaice_index/

    Most entertainingly, the comedians at new scientist, http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn14724, admit this and refer to it as ‘an unusual side-effect of global warming’ :)
    (c) Satellite data – RSS TLT (http://www.remss.com/msu/msu_data_description.html) shows a trend of about -0.2 C/decade at 70 degrees South.

  64. [snip, pointless to this discussion as were your subsequent religious based comments, now deleted. 24 hours time out]

  65. Thanks to Bob Tisdale (02:53:41) for posting his graphs.

    I would doubt the validity this U of Washington study of alleged Antarctic warming, based on the Lower Troposphere temperature data that shows no significant warming.

    If someone wanted to do further research, it could focus on the accuracy of any satellite temperature measurements extending this far south.

    Regards, Allan

    Here is an excerpt of Bob’s post from above:

    Here are the East and West TLT anomalies from 90S to 60S with linear trends. The trend in the west is flat, and the trend in the east is toward cooling:

    The Southern Ocean would influence that data so I reduced the longitudes in the following to 90S to 70S. Again, this is apparently data that’s estimated by AHU because it’s outside the reach of the MSU satellite as far as I know. Finally, a dataset with a warming trend:

  66. Does no-one find it strange that 50 yrs of weather station data shows cooling, while 30 years of satellite data shows cooling, BUT…………………

    If one take those two sets of data in 2009, add a single ice boring, shake the whole lot up with a statistical analysis – and hey presto – warming.

    Reminds me a bit of Mann-o-statistics.

    I e-mailed steig and he answered that his paper when it was published would show cooling in the antartic (unfortunately my computer went down – and I can’t find the back up of E-mails I thought I had: The conspiracy thickens.)

  67. Below is the text of my email just sent to Richard Black at the BBC. He has only acknowledged one of the many emails I have sent him, but I am not discouraged by his weakhearted spirit.
    —————————————-
    Well, well, well, Mr Black,

    Up to your biased reporting tricks again are you?
    Even the U. S. Senate Committee on Environment & Public Works is on to you. http://epw.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Minority.Blogs&ContentRecord_id=fc7db6ad-802a-23ad-43d1-2651eb2297d6

    Seriously. have you given any thought to what you might do in the future, as AGW is consigned to the “trash can of stupid ideas”? The planet is in a cooling phase. CO2 is not a pollutant. The IPCC is totally wrong. It’s time you came clean.

    http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=4914

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/

    http://australianclimatemadness.blogspot.com/2009/01/another-antarctic-scare-story.html

    Nothing humans can do will prevent the dearth of sunspots from chilling our little world and inexorably, every claim that AGW exists, will be ground down to oblivion by the descending temperatures. All around you, reality is exerting its pressures, but Cognitive Dissonance will not let you change your mind.

    http://web.mac.com/sinfonia1/Global_Warming_Politics/A_Hot_Topic_Blog/Entries/2008/8/20_More_On_Cognitive_Dissonance.html

    It is just possible to recover from “True Believer Syndrome”, but you’ll have to work hard at. http://www.csicop.org/si/

    Perry Debell

  68. If there’s something weird
    with your dataset…..
    Who ya gonna call?
    Michael Mann!

    If your history
    don’t match the faith….
    Who ya gonnal call?
    Michael Mann!

    He ain’t fraid of no facts….
    He ain’t fraid of no facts…..

    If your temperature….
    don’t match dogma
    who ya gonna call
    Michael Mann!!!!

  69. I always find it hard to swallow that while the actual measurements show one thing, crunching the numbers show something else.

    There’s a reason Mark Twain is famously quoted about lies, damn lies and statistics. Slice and dice the numbers any way you want until you get the results you want.

    Who gets credited with the quote about global warming is created by computers?

  70. In looking at the CRUTEM, GISS, and NCDC Surface Temperature data (January 1950 to Dec 2008) for the West Antarctic (available through the KNMI Climate Explorer website)…

    …there are a number of things that stand out:
    1. The NCDC and CRUTEM anomalies have increased since 1969 (period referenced in the study), while GISS remained relatively flat. The study wouldn’t deal with this, just an observation.
    2. There appears to be a difference in the number of sampled surface stations between NCDC and the other two from the 1960s to the early 80s. Also not related to the study.
    3. But, related to the study, during periods of volcanic activity (excluding El Chichon), year-to-year variability appears to decrease.
    4. And the NCDC and CRUTEM data appear to have step changes that could be linked to the 1982/83 and 1997/98 El Nino events.
    Did the paper discuss these, especially the ENSO-induced step changes?

    If you’ve never heard of ENSO-induced step changes, there are discussions of it here in a two-part series:

    http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2009/01/can-el-nino-events-explain-all-of.html

    http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2009/01/can-el-nino-events-explain-all-of_11.html

  71. And another thing — let’s suppose Antarctica is warming. So what? Does that mean it’s man made? Does that mean it’s caused by too much CO2 in the atmosphere?

    We all know the climate is changing and we all should know the climate is supposed to change, that change is natural and expected. The fact the climate in Antarctica may also be changing should come as a surprise to no one.

    I am from Missouri, so you’ll have to show me. Anything from the inventor of the “hockey stick” (not the “discoverer”, the “inventor”) needs to be scrutinized with extra care. First, let’s attempt to establish what’s really happening and then why.

  72. Hmm…could someone please point to any respectable definition of ‘Interpolate’ that does not mean ‘we made it up’? Furthermore, whenh was Interpolation accepted as a legitemate scientific method? Isn’t Interpolation completely at odds with Empirical Obsevation?

  73. Please see the insightful comments by Roger Pielke Sr. @ climatesci.org.

    He concludes:

    “In terms of the significance of their paper, it overstates what they have obtained from their analysis. In the abstract they write, for example,

    “West Antarctic warming exceeds 0.1C per decade over the past 50 years”.

    However, even a cursory view of Figure 2 shows that since the late 1990s, the region has been cooling in their analysis in this region. The paper would be more balanced if they presented this result, even if they cannot explain why.”

  74. When I interpolate or “stretch” my photographs, they get fuzzy. Perhaps these guys are a little “fuzzy”.

    This seems a little like the early settlers pulling up the the Carolina shores and proclaiming that the entire continent is swamp and forest. You can’t tell what the margarita tastes like by sampling the salt on the rim of the glass.

    This sounds like a job for McIntyre, and fortunately, it looks like he’s already on it.

  75. You shouldn’t all be paranoid abou this study. The authors themselves remain quite cautious about the reasons behind the warming

    “We’re almost certain that greenhouse gas increases are contributing to this warming, but what’s difficult is to attribute this warming and so say how much is down to natural warming and how much down to anthropogenic causes.”

    Drew Shindell from Nasa’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (Giss) in New York. (in the BBC press coverage)

  76. It’s disturbing that the ‘margin of error’ (whatever that actually means) is more than 60% of the claimed average. It seems to me that this makes the claim virtually useless.

    Clearly a threat if the temperature in Antarctica goes from -20C to -19C over the next 100 years.

  77. Correct me if I am wrong but I thought that satellite data was incomplete over the poles. The last satellite picture that I saw showing icecap depth covered only 78% of Antarctica (there is a similar “hole” in coverage in the northern icecap also). The article states that satellites “have the advantage of covering the entire continent”. Are there satellites that completely cover the Antarctic continent?

  78. “Steig’s team used mathematical models to establish the relationship between the ground and satellite measurements between 1979 and 2006 and then used the correlation they found to calculate temperatures for the interior going back to 1957.”

    Mathematical models are a good substitution for actual measurements. /sarc off

    “Using airborne ice-sounding radar, scientists discovered a layer of ash produced by a ’subglacial’ volcano”

    How does this affect the albedo of the ice/snow in that area? Isn’t there going to be more meltoff and warmer termperature due to the ash as well as the increase in meltoff from the volcano?

  79. I am easily reminded of those blokes walking up and down public roads wearing sandwich boards stating:

    PREPARE THYSELF:THE END IS NIGH

    This is a new religion. They have an inquisition, burn skeptics (scientists) at the stake (lose their jobs), They have this profound faith in the future heaven and hell (heaven is an atmosphere without CO2, hell being an atmosphere with CO2). They even have an afterlife: Antarctica; after the global warming, Antarctica will be the only habitable place on the planet and only a certain number of human beings will be let in, the others will die burning.

  80. That’s it ! I finally discovered how some “skpetics” do to have those famous petitions of “scientists” agains AGW. They actually… pay them!

    I’m not kidding, check this link http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/ethicallivingblog/2009/jan/19/1

    Scientists who attend the International Conference on Climate Change to be held in New York, 8-10 March 2009 (organized by the Heartland Institute) get a $144 reward if and only if they sign the petition claiming skepticism against AGW.

    Ahhh, this is science as we like it, isn’t it? Can we also receive a Macy’s card, please?

  81. Perhaps the Steig did not communicate well as he explained what he did in the study, but he is not doing interpolation — he is doing extrapolation. When one knows the end points and fills in missing some values in the middle, that is interpolation. Steig explains that they established a relationship between two sets of variables in the last twenty five years and then based on that relationship estimated temperatures in areas of the continent without weather stations for the previous 25 years. That is extrapolation which is more prone to error than interpolation.

  82. The alarmists really are getting desperate now. Their arguments are so frequently contradictory and so utterly unscientific one wonders what sort of insane, twisted world we must live in for them to be taken seriously. All they’ve done here is fudged a few figures to suit their agenda. This isn’t science, it’s politically driven rubbish.

    We simply have to hope that nature continues to fly in the face of these idiots. There’s only so many times they can cry ‘wolf’ before even the mainstream media see them for the disgraceful crooks they really are.

  83. “To identify causes of the warming, the Team turned to Dr Schwindle of ORACLE’s Institute for Space Studies in Delfoi, who has used cristal balls to identify mechanisms driving Antarctica’s enigmatic temperature trends.”

  84. Volcanos? Really? Surely with a claim like that, you will shortly be providing us with some evidence that there has been a -trend- in vulcanism in West Antarctica over the past 50 years. The argument that West Antarctica is hotter because there are lots of volcanoes there is completely irrelevant (and rather misguided given the limited effect of volcanoes on local temperatures over the long-term) IF there is no trend in vulcanism. Stieg et al are not arguing that West Antarctica is warmer or colder than East Antarctica, rather that it has warmed faster over the past 50 years.

    For those hoping that this paper will be proven wrong, don’t hold your breath. They seem to have crossed their Ts and dotted their Is on the analysis this time around, and others who have produced studies of Antarctic temperature (e.g. Monaghan) concede that they are revising their position on long-term temperature trend in light of the evidence presented.

  85. It is interesting how these guys insist on averaging averages of averages of non-existent data, which they have “in-filled” with more averages that they have deduced.

    I believe I was taught the error of averaging averages in grade school. I guess statistics have changed over the last 40 years?

    Since we are told that WEATHER is not predictable, and what we measure IS the weather, how can they put any reliance on this deduction??

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

  86. Just what models were used to determine these NEW temperatures. Surely they did not use the same types of modelling that was projecting non-existent warming before this exercise?

    Tell me it’s not ture.

  87. Last fall, before the Arctic desended on the Midwest, I was fortunate enough to go golfing. Unfortunately I lost my scorecard, and I have no memory of what my score was. I am suposed to enter my scores into the handicap system, in order to play fairly against others who keep a handicap.
    I do remember playing the last two holes. I made a birdie on 17 (unusual), and a par on 18 (not unusual).
    Now if I use the method employed by the scientist in the above study, do I extrapolate the known data, to the unknown holes and post a -9, for the round? Or do I take my average scores for each missing data point, and then add the two relatively good scores at the end?
    Missing data is data which is not known, and therefore no amount of “deductive reasoning” will contain a useful trend to analyze. Too much of it is reduced to an average, and what you care about is the departure from the average.

  88. Steve M.,

    “Using airborne ice-sounding radar, scientists discovered a layer of ash produced by a ’subglacial’ volcano”

    How does this affect the albedo of the ice/snow in that area? Isn’t there going to be more meltoff and warmer termperature due to the ash as well as the increase in meltoff from the volcano?

    The volcano in question erupted 2,000 years ago The ash layer from it is now below ice and therefore has no relevance to recent albedo. As for “increase in meltoff from the volcano”, it seems possible that any current activity may affect ice sheet flow in that specific region, but if there are those who think that sub-ice vulcanism is contributing significantly to surface temperature trend then I look forward to their figures on the matter.

  89. “Stieg et al are not arguing that West Antarctica is warmer or colder than East Antarctica, rather that it has warmed faster over the past 50 years.”

    Warmed faster than what?

  90. Let me add one other observation. If the east side is cooling and west side is warming exactly how does that fit the current models? How do the models explain the eastern cooling.

    In my mind this simply strengthens the arguments that climate is regional and without regionalizing the models there is little hope of getting anything close to reality.

  91. One of the main arguments in this thread is one ad hominem against one of the authors of the paper in Nature ( “Anytime Michael Mann gets involved …” )

    Is it an attack on Mann or a comment on the poor quality of his science? I believe you’ll find it to be the latter and not the former. Criticizing Mann’s work is not an ad hominem argument.

  92. Could the picture showing the Antarctic Volcanoes be made expandable by “Click for Larger Image” ???

  93. Flanagan (07:24:18)…

    …Appears to be deliberately misrepresenting the situation, by stating that petition signers are “paid” a $144 “reward” for signing.

    Event sponsors offer a 20% discount only to legitimate, degree-holding scientists, if they wish to add their names to the OISM petition [and only those with degrees in the hard sciences qualify; no English Lit majors, no Sociologists, etc.].

    There are always some people who have not heard about the OISM petition, and this is a way to make them aware. It is no less legitimate than a newspaper coupon that gives a discount at the door.

    Since many universities and professional organizations pay entry fees for events such as this, those attending may not receive any compensation from the discount.

    And regarding that silly Guardian link, the names of signers are verified prior to being added to the list. From the OISM website:

    Petition project volunteers evaluate each signers’s credentials, verify signer identities, and, if appropriate, add the signer’s name to the petition list.

    But rather than shout and point at something, anything, in order to distract from the issue, it’s best to keep focused on exactly what the petition says, since it has been signed by over 31,000 U.S. scientists:

    We urge the United States government to reject the global warming agreement that was written in Kyoto, Japan in December, 1997, and any other similar proposals. The proposed limits on greenhouse gases would harm the environment, hinder the advance of science and technology, and damage the health and welfare of mankind.

    There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gases is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth’s atmosphere and disruption of the Earth’s climate. Moreover, there is substantial scientific evidence that increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide produce many beneficial effects upon the natural plant and animal environments of the Earth.

    If anyone disagrees with that statement, I would like to hear credible reasons, backed up by facts, showing that it is not accurate.

  94. Flanagan:
    You raise doubts about your ability to analyze if you think that a $144 discount on a conference registration fee will persuade a scientist to sign a petition in which he doesn’t believe.

  95. Mark P
    “The alarmists really are getting desperate now.”

    This is what makes them so dangerous. They’ve become Orwellian, and that tells me they won’t stop at nothing. I see our inconvenient sceptic blogs getting shut down soon. And good bye Talk Radio. You’ll see.

    Get ready to be a dissident on the run. I’m glad I live only 6 hours away from the Czech Republic. It might be the only country left that will offer climate asylum! It’s getting serious.

  96. Let’s me see now. Words like “devised a statistical technique”, deduce and intropolate vs calculating in their heads and back of an envelop. Michael Mann is a coauthor. I don’t know if I want to waste my time reading the whole report.
    Has an experienced PhD statistician examined their “statistical technique”?

  97. From Nature:
    A new reconstruction of Antarctic surface temperature trends for 1957–2006, reported this week by Steig et al., suggests that overall the continent is warming by about 0.1 °C per decade.
    The work ends in 2006. sure.
    reconstruction,reconstrutcion,reconstruction….
    suggests, suggests, suggests, suggests….
    Sorry.
    With the benefit of the doubt, the work must be repeated. (2007 and 2008)????
    Dr Leif, 0.01 ° C / year.( days … weeks .. months .. years … century millennium …) a small question;
    is compatible with a range of 1W/m ^ 2?..(TSI)
    Leif, independent of your wife. I love your comments.

  98. Overall, now that Obama is Prez,
    expect a blizzard of global warming reports to come out.
    This will give him the momentum needed to ram
    climate policy down our throats.

    The big blizzard is coming!

  99. Gripegut (07:15:06) :

    The temperature data is from the USGS Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer:

    http://edc.usgs.gov/guides/avhrr.html

    which has pole to pole coverage and measures the temperature of radiating surfaces

    It’s the satellite tropospheric temperature data that is somewhat dodgy at high latitudes since the microwave sounding units (MSU) seem to pick up spurious non-temperature-related artefacts from seasonal sea ice cycles (and also from high altitude snow covered mountains, as it happens):

    http://www.agu.org/journals/gl/gl0320/2003GL017938

    So, for example, the RSS tropospheric temperature analysis omits tropospheric temperature data from regions more southerly than 70′ latitude.

  100. Joerg Zimmermann: Thanks for the suggestion about reading the paper, but I understand the basis. My comments, the two before yours and the one after, were provided to illustrate longer-term datasets and to show the inconsistencies between the study and those records. My third comment also asked two very basic questions.

    Did the researchers account for the apparent changes in variability due to volcanic activity?

    And how did the researchers account for the apparent ENSO-induced step changes?

    The step changes are visible in Cell b of Stieg et al (2009) Figure 2. You just have to look beyond that pesty trend line. I try not to use trend lines for just that reason. They alter the appearance of the graph. (But sometimes I get carried away and throw them on, usually because I want to influence the viewer’s perception of the data.)

    I’ve posted the above questions on the Nature website, but they have not been moderated yet.

    Regards.

  101. “a good Christian? ( the left hand does not know what the right hand is doing).”

    Anna, I’m crushed!

    What does my nature have to do with my belief system?

  102. “Most ground-based temperature measurements from Antarctica began in 1957, and the data is largely from coastal areas. Gauging the vast interior by satellite didn’t begin until 1979. Steig’s team used mathematical models to establish the relationship between the ground and satellite measurements between 1979 and 2006 and then used the correlation they found to calculate temperatures for the interior going back to 1957.”

    This makes sense if the statistical weather patterms — that is, climate pattern — does not change between the coast and the interior. Then the correlations between the coast and interior can, with some plausibility, be assumed to be constant. However, the correlations were from data taken during decades of a slight warming trend (1979-2000) and then used to estimate data in the interior during decades of a slight cooling trend (1957-1979). This sounds like it may be the hockey stick all over again. You should use correlations established for one climate-change pattern to estimate temperatures during an era of the opposite climate-change pattern only if you’re desperate for some sort of approximate result — or tryiing to baffle people with “science”.

  103. Zeke and others

    The author of the paper himself mentions the subglacial heat source in a response from “tallbloke” above. My issue is that they don’t even consider or investigate the possibility. Science is about testing and if possible, excluding all potential candidates that challenge your hypothesis, and given the geographic correlation between their output map and the volcanic map, it seems a reasonable theory to investigate. They didn’t.

    But let’s put the volcanoes aside for a moment. Let’s look at the data error band. The UAH trend for Antarctica since 1978 is -0.77 degrees/century, NASA’s data describes their measurement error at 2-3 degrees, making Steig’s conclusion statistically meaningless.

    “Instead, the team checked the satellite records against ground-based weather station data to inter-calibrate them and make the 26-year satellite record. The scientists estimate the level of uncertainty in the measurements is between 2-3 degrees Celsius.”

    That is from this 2007 NASA press release, third paragraph.

    http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=8239

    Also in that PR, NASA shows yet another satellite derived depiction which differs from the ones above.

    Saying you have a .25 deviation over 25 years (based on one-tenth of a degree Celsius per decade per Steig) with a previously established measurement uncertainty of 2-3 degrees certainly does not seem like they “crossed their Ts and dotted their Is” on the analysis this time around.

  104. Congratulations are in order for Anthony. This IS the best science blog in my humble opinion for topic quality and the astute postings by those who contribute to the discussion. Thank you again for an enlightening and entertaining site.

    Steig et al appears to be another “hockey stick” paper. Just cherry pick the timeframe, use incomplete data, average the incomplete data, interpolate the results, and by using “new” mathematical techniques get the desired result.

  105. Flanagan (07:24:18) :

    Yes it’s pretty dreary (a gift of $144 if registrants to the Heartland Institue pretend Climate “Science” meeting sign some petition devised years ago by a tobacco company propagandist nearly 10 years ago). I wonder who might consider that one can assess science by petition!

    The list of cosponsers (click on the poster with the gallery of rogues on the Intro page of the meeting site) gives a pretty good indication of the purpose of this sort of “meeting”..

    http://www.heartland.org/events/NewYork09/newyork09.html

    It should be fun!

  106. I saw a report on BBC teletext early this morning and thought here we go again.
    Interestingly it has now been removed, presumably because the likes of Anthony, Steve Mcintyre et al are already on the case.

    Alex Jones on Info Wars.com has a piece today about a leading AGW site in big trouble as they know the mantra is falling apart.
    He also reckoned that President Obama did’nt mention AGW either…I was out all day Tue so cannot verify this.

  107. Despite what Gavin has claimed, the SH in general and the Antartic in general have posed serious problems for the Alarmists. It just hasn’t cooperated with thier model projection and theories. What the MWP was to the paleos, the Antartic is to the Alarmists. Something had to be done.

  108. Flanagan (07:24:18) :

    Yes it’s pretty dreary (a gift of $144 if registrants to the Heartland Institue pretend Climate “Science” meeting sign some petition devised by a tobacco company propagandist nearly 10 years ago). I wonder who they consider might be taken in by that!?

    The list of cosponsers (click on the poster with the gallery of rogues on the Intro page of the meeting site) gives a pretty good indication of the purpose of this sort of “meeting” and perhaps helps to understand the dubious thinking that considers that dodgy petitions have anything to do with science…

    http://www.heartland.org/events/NewYork09/newyork09.html

    It should be a blast!

  109. “In our own published work to date (Schneider and Steig, PNAS), we find that the 1940s [edit for clarity: the 1935-1945 decade] were the warmest decade of the 20th century in West Antarctica, due to an exceptionally large warming of the tropical Pacific at that time.”

    So in the 1940s the warming was due to warming in the tropical Pacific, but now warming is due to global warming. And the cooling since 1998 is not relevant because 1998 was an El Nino year, and that exceptionally large warming of the tropical Pacific doesn’t count. So there hasn’t, yet there has been, tropical Pacific warming.

    And from various comments, it sounds as if the history might have been:
    1. Warm west Antarctica circa 1940.
    2. Cooler west Antarctica 50 years ago.
    3. Warmer west Antarctica until 20 years ago.
    4. Cooler west Antarctica in last two decades (yet still warmer than 50 years ago).

    I haven’t dug through the various sources above, but if this is the situation, then this latest paper cherry-picked the cool period 50 years ago as the starting point and found that the region warmed since then…without highlighting the variations.

  110. Several questions: If the warming in the west exceeds the cooling in the east, shouldn’t there be less ice overall? How can Antarctica have more ice?

    How do they measure temps? What equipment? surfacestations project has shown some big problems with measurements in this country. Do we believe that everything at the south pole is pristine and properly working?

    0.1 degree C per decade? In industry, we wanted better measurement accuracy in our equipment than the thing we needed to measure. 10x was the goal. How in the (blank) can they measure 0.1 degree with equipment that is lucky to measure 1 degree with any confidence?

  111. Anthony,

    The link to the NASA article is from 2007, discusses a different study, and is rather vague if that 2-3 degree uncertainty range reflects the temperature of any given location or of the aggregate trend (given its magnitude, I suspect the former). I strongly doubt the aggregate uncertainty range of the 1950s-present trend is anywhere near the magnitude of 2-3 degrees, both because the time period in question is longer and the methodologies have been improved in the interim (hence the new paper).

    That said, I’m still waiting for a friend to send me the full text of the paper (as I can’t get through the paywall at work), so I’ll have to withhold some judgment until I have a chance to get into the nitty gritty. However, Eric Stieg seems like an amiable enough chap, and I’m sure if you email him with your questions about both vulcanism and uncertainty ranges, he could give a far better answer than I could.

  112. james griffin,
    President Obama did’nt mention AGW probably because it was quite cold out there and thus avoided committing his first blooper.
    I’m looking forward to what Mr McIntyre will uncover in this latest hockey stick, let’s-rewrite history report.

  113. 1. I appreciate the unconventional thought that many of you including the author of this blog are contributing to the world.
    2. I am led to believe that many of the readers of this blog probably did not consider the possibility that Steig already took the volcanic information into account before drawing his conclusions about the data.
    3. As a scientists I typically despise a) the content of most “mass” press releases concerning the topics I study b) the fact that unless a scientific topic arouses controversy it tends to be dismissed by the public and c) that the press (including bloggers) seems to believe that all scientific ideas (evolution, global climate change, space exploration) are equally controversial.

  114. Zeke:

    The argument that West Antarctica is hotter because there are lots of volcanoes there is completely irrelevant (and rather misguided given the limited effect of volcanoes on local temperatures over the long-term) IF there is no trend in vulcanism.

    No trend is needed. If you put a pot of cold water on a hot stove it will warm up gradually. And the larger the pot the more gradually it will warm up. The only way to disprove this would be to have accurate temperature records going back much longer than 50 years.

    They seem to have crossed their Ts and dotted their Is on the analysis this time around

    Yes, even to the point of quoting an uncertainty of 2-3 degrees on an estimation of 0.1 deg per decade.

  115. Zeke: Volcanoes? Yes, really.
    You are missing a fundamental point of the empirically based skeptics. We do not deny that there was a period of warming late last century culminating in the 1998 El Niño event. Warming trends are exaggerated at the poles. Therefore, a warming in Antarctica late last century is not surprising. However, since 1998 there has been an overall average global cooling and that too has been more profound in Antarctica. The AGW alarmists are having difficulty resolving the new trend (predicted, by the way, years ago by the solar scientists). So they turn to master alarmist computer modeler, creator of the hockey stick that served Mr. Gore so well.
    West Antarctic has many very active volcanoes, even several below the ice sheet. It is warmer in the west than the rest of Antarctica where all indications are that it is distinctly cooler there. For a decade now, things are globally cooler. Why is it so difficult to understand that the West Antarctic volcanoes contribute to an anomalous warming in that area?

  116. Zeke and others

    The author of the paper himself mentions the subglacial heat source in a response from “tallbloke” above. My issue is that they don’t even consider or investigate the possibility. Science is about excluding all potential candidates that challenge your hypothesis, and given the geographic correlation between their output map and the volcanic map, it seems a reasonable theory to investigate. They didn’t.

    They’ve not presented a paper focused on attribution, so how is it reasonable to expect them to deal with all possible influences?

    given the geographic correlation between their output map and the volcanic map, it seems a reasonable theory to investigate

    A correlation with a map marking volcanos some of which have been extinct for how long? And where there is no evidence of temporal correlation in terms of vulcanism and temperature trend? A correlation which you suggest might account for continent-wide temperature trends? Do you apply the same hypothesis to vulcanism in the U.S., which is about two-thirds the size of Antarctica and has far more active and extinct volcanoes? A hypothesis does not seem reasonable unless it can be expressed in terms of plausible cause and effect, which can then be investigated. Perhaps it is plausible, but I’m not aware of any case that’s been put (with figures, that is) to suggest that local vulcanism could significantly warm an entire continent. It certainly seems unreasonable to me to expect Stieg et al to spend time in their paper addressing this, and it actually seems irrelevant for now. They’ve put forward an analysis of temperature trends (which I actually think it’s wise to treat with caution just as it would have been wise for all those trumpeting ‘Antarctic cooling’ to treat that analysis with caution!). If others wish to examine attribution then they can.

    REPLY: the test is simple, if your data is measured over a weak point in the earth’s crust (as demonstrated by the volcanoes both active and dormant in the area) then it stands to reason that the area under you may be getting heat from that. I recall a news article from a couple of years ago where some group sent a submersible under the ice in areas around the Ross ice shelf and found vents, and a variety of marine life that was warmer water variety. To dismiss the possibility is reckless, and let’s face it, this press release (while the publicly funded paper itself paywalled) is about MEDIA ATTENTION. They would have to know that even if they made no attribution to cause in the paper, that a reversal in temperature trend for Antarctica would be assimilated into the entire “global warming” issue on the PR hit the news stands.

    Here is an example from the AP story: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090121/ap_on_sc/sci_antarctica

    “We can’t pin it down, but it certainly is consistent with the influence of greenhouse gases,” said NASA scientist Drew Shindell, another study co-author. Some of the effects also could be natural variability, he said.”

    If they claim “we have no expectations on the cause”, then they are exposing themselves to be clueless of the process of a press release. Just look at Michael Mann’s comment to AP:

    “Contrarians have sometime grabbed on to this idea that the entire continent of Antarctica is cooling, so how could we be talking about global warming,” said study co-author Michael Mann, director of the Earth System Science Center at Penn State University. “Now we can say: no, it’s not true … It is not bucking the trend.”

    Gosh, Mann’s and Shindell’s post facto reference to “the trend” in the context of the quote seems like attribution to me. – Anthony

  117. wattsupwiththat (10:22:57)

    You should add this as an “update” to your lead story, Anthony. It is priceless!

    REPLY: I was doing that while you wrote this comment

  118. The language of the paper is very confusing and seems to say that temperatures over Antarctic as a whole over 50 years are pretty much as they were 50 years ago. They don’t seem to know whats causing the temperatures to be the same as 50 years ago (or maybe slightly higher, they don’t say by how much). They also seem to suggest that when the ice melts hen sea levels will rise catastophically, as far as I know only the sea ice around the peninsular itself might be thinning, I haven’t seen any evidence presented to say that the land ice is melting at a more rapid rate.
    To be honest this adds nothing to our understanding and seems to be a ‘filler’. I am no wiser after reading this arcticle than before just more confused.

  119. From Wiki:

    Principal component analysis (PCA) involves a mathematical procedure that transforms a number of possibly correlated variables into a smaller number of uncorrelated variables called principal components. The first principal component accounts for as much of the variability in the data as possible, and each succeeding component accounts for as much of the remaining variability as possible. Depending on the field of application, it is also named the discrete Karhunen-Loève transform (KLT), the Hotelling transform or proper orthogonal decomposition (POD).

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Principal_components_analysis

    In my view no (zero, zip, nada) inferences can be made from multivariate PCA eigen-vectors. The entire statistical method is heuristic at best, and is properly used to develop questions of interest, not analyze them. The Steig paper is yet another case of misuse of statistics because it creates imaginary “data” where there are none. Component vectors are not real, period.

    It always behooves scientists to use actual data and straightforward analytical techniques. When scientists drift away from clarity and simplicity, they stumble.

  120. The study has major ramifications for sea level rise, said Andrew Weaver at the University of Victoria in Canada. Most major sea level rise projections for the future counted on a cooling — not warming — Antarctica. This will make sea level rise much worse, Weaver said.

    Nice, beach front here in Ky!

  121. Flanagan:

    Lets see….$144 discount on my conference ticket or a $250,000 grant from the blind faith organizion to show that eating beans will contribute to man-made catastrophic warming of the planet.

    Mmmm…

    I think I’ll take the $144 dollars

    NOT

  122. Well it is interesting to see all the flak this paper produced.

    First off, I am NOT going to publish the back and forth I had with Prof Steig. he did not say anything in any alarmist or strident fashion. His answers to my very direct questions were also very direct and to the point. And I am not going to point any ad hominem fingers at any of the co-authors; alkthough I do blink when some of those names come up in reports.

    Trenberth of the UN’s IPCC has already said he is “skeptical” of the methodology, and maybe the results. John Christy, (UAH) who has probably read more satellite surface temperatures than just about anybody, questioned the methodology.

    I’m not too alarmed by the fact that they even attempted to do this.

    I don’t know the age range of the population of Anthony’s club; but to me, the IGY earth lovefest of 1957/58 really marks the beginning of what I consider to be modern climate science. That time frame was specifically chose, because it was predicted to be a sunspot peak; and if you look at the previous sunspot maxima, you can appreciate that there was considerable interest in what the IGY peak would do. Nobody oculd have known that it was going to turn out to be the highest sunspot peak of all recorded history (of sunspots).
    Antarctica was just beginning to be considered somewhat habitable. The late Edmund Hillary of NZ, climbed Mt Everest in 1953, and then did his crazy cross Antarctica dash not too long thereafter (I think Sir John Hunt was the leader of that expedition too), so the weather stations set up around the Antarctic Coast in those years are probably cinsidered to be of some importance, and their records, are probably well studied..
    What I gather from Steig et al paper, is that they attempted to compare satellite measurements (surface temperature) of those very same weather station locations, with the measured data for the period since 1979 when the first polar orbit satellites went up; and then based on what they consider to be agreement of some sort (maybe after calibration), they applied whatever “transform” they had come up with to the much more extensive satellite data covering the whole of Antarctica, and then they extrapolated that data for the rest of Antarctica back to 1957, based on the coastal station data going back to 1957.

    Now to me, that is better than a hipshoot, and a wild guess; they used available data to try and get some handle on what is unavailable; and therefor not data. So yes, that is a bit like skating out from the edge of the lake, on ice that is measured at a foot thick, and then progrssing all the way across the lake, on the basis of some pebbles dropped from a chopper across the lake, that didn’t break any holes in the ice. Maybe cleve, but maybe pretty scary assumptions too.

    But back to what Steig et al say. Antarctica is warming at about the same rate as the rest of the world; or words to that effect.

    Well that is BIG news. Conventional wisdom suggests that the polar regions are supposed to warm at a FASTER rate than the planet as a whole.

    There’s good reason for that. I have asserted many times, that the earth DOES NOT cool from all the ice at the poles. The emittance of the earth surface goes roughly as the fourth poweer of temperature, somewhat following black body radiation laws, so the biggest cooling (loss of energy), actually is happening at the height of the noonday sun, in the hottest tropical deserts of the planet, where surface temperatures get up to +60C and maybe higher. The radiation rate there is over ten times the miserable emittance at the cooler polar regions.

    Also the Wien displacement law comes into play, when you consider the CO2 greenhouse effect. At the coldest polar temperatures, the peak of the earth thermal radiation spectrum, is sitting at 15 microns; right on the CO2 14.77 micron absorption band; so the CO2 GH effect is maximised at the poles leading to even lower rates of energy loss.
    On the other hand, at the hottest tropical Desert surface temperatures, the wien displacement has moved the peak of the thermal radiation all the way down to about 8.8 microns; which moves the CO2 absorption band even further down on the long wavelength tail of the spectrum, thereby greatly reducing the effect of CO2. Now the CO2 band will be wider due to the doppler broadening at the higher temperature; but the effect of CO2 absorption is lower in the tropics. The spectrum is even shifted below the 9-10 micron OZONE absorption line, which is right on the peak, at the global mean of about +15C. BB radiation theory shows that almost exactly 25% of BB radiation is emitted below the spectral peak, and 75% at wavelenghts longer than the peak. Never forget that earth thermal radiation is only approximately black body, but that is the safest base assumption. The range of temperatures from which near BB radiation is being emitted also complicates the spectral shape.

    So bottom line is, if GHG effects based on CO2 are warming the planet, and for other reasons, the polar regions ought to warm FASTER that the rest of the earth. So if Antarctica is only warming at the same rate as the earth as a whole, it is reasonable to conclude that we are doing better than we are supposed to be as regards global warming.

    I think Steig et al tried a clever idea at getting some pseudo data where there is none, and far too much is being made of it by the popular media. I have no basis to cast any clouds over Eric Steig.

    Have you noticed where Larse A&B are ? Every day, the whole Atlantic ocean and Pacific ocean go sloshing back and forth through that gap between the Antarctic Peninsula and Tierra del Fuego, and when the tide goes Westerly those storm wavs come surging in right on A&B; which icidently are outside the Antarctic circle; so they never get 24 hour night time. so stuff melts there; big deal!

    My Greenland Iceman, Svend Hendriksen, also studies antarctic glaciers, sinc ethe satellite comes chugging over his place all the time, and can download his pictures for him; and Svend sent me a photo of the Wilkins ice shelf breakup, and he circled an even larger area immediately adjacent to the broken piece, which stands out like a sore thumb, because it is encirceld by a big cliff that separates it from the main ice sheet. Reaosn for that cliff, is that that even larger piece all broke up around 50 years ago (almost IGY time), and grew back, but is shy of 50 years of accumulated precipitation; hence the ice cliff).

    George

  123. foinavon (09:41:48) :

    Flanagan (07:24:18) :

    Yes it’s pretty dreary (a gift of $144 if registrants to the Heartland Institue pretend Climate “Science” meeting sign some petition devised by a tobacco company propagandist nearly 10 years ago). I wonder who they consider might be taken in by that!?

    The list of cosponsers (click on the poster with the gallery of rogues on the Intro page of the meeting site) gives a pretty good indication of the purpose of this sort of “meeting” and perhaps helps to understand the dubious thinking that considers that dodgy petitions have anything to do with science…

    http://www.heartland.org/events/NewYork09/newyork09.html

    It should be a blast!

    Why don’t people like Mann and Hansen attend and debate the issues publicly? I’m sure that since the science is clearly on their side, they’ll have no trouble persuading the deniers to get on board before it’s too late.

  124. Retred Engineer,

    Several questions: If the warming in the west exceeds the cooling in the east, shouldn’t there be less ice overall? How can Antarctica have more ice?

    It doesn’t have and, yes, the trend has been one of reducing ice mass at an increasing rate (I’d stress that there is uncertainty, but that’s the best judgment).

    How do they measure temps? What equipment? surfacestations project has shown some big problems with measurements in this country. Do we believe that everything at the south pole is pristine and properly working?

    No, there are clearly issues with surface-based measurements in such conditions. I’m rather puzzled as to why some here did not make the same point when previous analyses have suggested Antarctic cooling? It does seem to me that the accuracy of measurements, whether surface-based or satellite, only comes into question here when they are suggestive of warming.

    0.1 degree C per decade? In industry, we wanted better measurement accuracy in our equipment than the thing we needed to measure. 10x was the goal. How in the (blank) can they measure 0.1 degree with equipment that is lucky to measure 1 degree with any confidence?

    Hmm, well there’s long history here of people objecting to efforts that have been made to take account of, and adjust for, observational inadequacies, so I won’t attempt a brief answer, beyond saying that trend is of much more importance than the calibration of an instrument in a particular location, IMV.

  125. I formally request Steve to look into the statistical method used here. This is a audit site, and here we have a great example of something that can be tested to see if it’s relevant. I think a good starting point would be the use of component vectors and to find out, yet again, if the level of uncertainty is again greater than the claimed trend (if it is, then the whole thing is toilet paper and yet another exercise on what ifs).

    As I’m pretty sure that this is fluff – I think after it’s proven fluff it should be examined from a “why” standpoint.

    I think I have a handle on the why. There is wordage at use in the summary that is rather telling when combined with Hansen’s comments about the paper.

    In summary, I think this is why they did this and where the language is going to go: They aren’t saying this ridiculously small warming trend that ended some time ago is caused by global warming. In the summary it’s clear that they are deliberate in mentioning this. It’s my opinion that they did this because they understood that doing so would contradict previous declarations that cooling is predicted and expected. The whole paper was meant as a media piece. They seemed to understand that the media would link it to global warming and that they would see it as a debunking of skeptics major claim without actually looking at the work .

    Pure PR magic. They get to debunk a claim by skeptics while at the same time not contradicting themselves. There is no way this is a winnable situation by critics of AGW. If we show that it’s wrong, then we are back as we were before, but the main stream media won’t report that. They gain 1,000,000 AGW robots saying that the cooling Antarctica was debunked…while specifically never saying it.

  126. Anthony,

    In response to your reply to my post above: I think your issue is with comments made to the press rather than with the paper itself. I agree with you that those comments suggest the findings are consistent with AGW, and that is an attributive view. However, I maintain my view that it would be unreasonable to expect the paper itself to consider vulcanism.

    I am not dismissing the influence of vulcanism on a local scale. What I am simply not aware of is any figures to suggest that it could be significantly warming on a continental scale (or semi-continental, if you like). Antarctica has some current volcanic activity, but it is hardly exceptional. If your notion is that vulcanism may account for Antarctic warming, then I presume that should be considered elsewhere also? In either case, it would need to be shown that vulcanism had increased in correlation with temperature increase. The consideration of localised effect tells us nothing about that.

  127. Protecting our environment is no doubt crucial to our existance, unfortunately the environmental movement is a little confused. Pollutants such as Nitrates, Sulfates, and other particulates are what needs to be targeted. Those are what results in smog, acid rain, and the poisoning of our water supply and soil. All this focus on CO2 is distracting from the real problems. The solution to the CO2 problem, if AGW alarmists are right, has an extremely simple solution. Stop cutting down the forests and start planting them. Ironically it is the “green” movement’s search for alternative fuel sources that is adding to the deforestation.

  128. This site is best science in the world. (I promise to be a quiet week)
    Despite what Gavin has claimed …( naturally…)
    Mary Hinge: The language of the paper is very confusing … I agree with you.(100%).
    As an effective member of the peanut gallery:
    I do not accept these results as valid. (and logic)
    For a simple reason.
    If IPPC 4 is wrong by definition;
    Who writes:
    As it happens, the average of the 19 models in AR4 is similar to our results.
    Conclusion: This is not July 4
    Much celebration for anything.

  129. Absolutely ridiculous. After years of talk by these fools that “models predict cooling in Antarctica” now suddenly because no-one near the frigid Arctic circle believes their nonsense they move their campaign to a continent that has no population with common sense to debunk this filth they call science.
    I am disgusted beyond belief, true science is dead.

  130. Computer models are not reality, Nature is reality.
    —————————————
    Will the Real Antarctica Please Stand Up?

    http://www.dailytech.com/Will+the+Real+Antarctica+Please+Stand+Up/article14028.htm

    “The real story here isn’t Antarctica. It’s the willingness to rationalize model results to fit any and all scenarios. To the modelers, their results are consistent with. . . well, everything. Whether warmer or colder, flood or drought, more storms or less — it’s all proof that global warming is real and happening now.”

    “This, of course, isn’t real science. A true theory require something called falsifiability — a set of conditions under which it can be disproven. So far, this is something the modelers have failed to give. It allows them to maintain a facade of unflappable certainty– but it isn’t science.”

    “Among researchers who work with actual climate data, skepticism is climbing. The modelers at least remain faithful. But as of now, their predictions are rather like the gypsy fortune teller who tells you, “You will live a long life — unless you die young.”

  131. Flanagan said

    “That’s it ! I finally discovered how some “skpetics” do to have those famous petitions of “scientists” agains AGW. They actually… pay them!

    I’m not kidding, check this link http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/ethicallivingblog/2009/jan/19/1

    Scientists who attend the International Conference on Climate Change to be held in New York, 8-10 March 2009 (organized by the Heartland Institute) get a $144 reward if and only if they sign the petition claiming skepticism against AGW.

    Ahhh, this is science as we like it, isn’t it? Can we also receive a Macy’s card, please?”

    So people who freely choose to attend a non taxpayer funded conference are entitled to get a 20% discount off a conference ticket if they sign a petition? Doesn’t it occur to you that most will be attending this conference in the first place precisely because they don’t believe the man made climate change hypotheses, and this is merely a well worn marketing promotion to bring the price down?

    Do you seriously think people like Mcintrye, Spencer or Lindzen- or any of the others- are going to sign a petition they don’t believe in -and in the process bring heaps of abuse from warmists on their heads- merely to earn a paltry $144?

    It seems to be ok though -as I’ve never heard you complain about it-for someone to mount a ‘man made’ climate change conference in which all the venue costs and the conference fees and the travel/accomodation costs and the research for the papers that will be presented are all paid for by the long suffering taxpayer- most of whom don’t believe in this stuff in the first place but aren’t given any choice as to the subsidy they provide. Which process are you saying is more corrupt?

    If the govt funded a more balanced and rational climate change programme there would be no need for this conference in the first place would there?

    TonyB

  132. Just for giggles I just went and recorded the temperatures from 11 glass thermometers that were all stored in one beaker in my lab. 23, 23.5 ,24 ,23, 24, 23.5, 23.5, 23, 23.5, 24, and 24. Ave=23.45 std. dev.=0.41°C Now these are not meant for Antarctica, measuring about -20 to +120 C instead of down to -80 C but the total range must be similar.

    Can I scatter these throughout the building and and use them to calibrate my infrared thermometer to measure the difference in building temperature to 0.1 degrees from winter heating season to summer air conditioning?

    They are claiming 0.1°C per decade with 1/2 degree total ?!?!? These are the same people who lost the entire Medieval Warming Period. I wonder how many different statistical methods they tried before they came up with one that indicated warming? If you only report the ‘successes’ it is fraudulent.

  133. foinavon (09:41:48) :
    The list of cosponsers (click on the poster with the gallery of rogues on the Intro page of the meeting site) gives a pretty good indication of the purpose of this sort of “meeting” and perhaps helps to understand the dubious thinking that considers that dodgy petitions have anything to do with science…

    Typical ad hom smear, laced with gratuitous sarcasm from a know-nothing AGWer. The science taking place at that meeting would blow any semblance of science taking place at any one of the UN’s confabs aka “conferences” out of the water.
    “Gallery of rogues” – I guess that must be AGWer-speak for “scientists I despise because they threaten my AGW ideology, eh?”

  134. The WU paper is not a lot unlike things such as the Vostok, and other Antarctic ice cores and the “data” that is mined from them.

    Ever notice how freely we extrapolate from Vostok to the whole darn planet.

    Well we do look at some Greenland ice cores too, and if they give somewhat similar data to the Antarctic cores, we sleep in peace knowing that the whole earth must be like that.

    With all the statisticians who visit here and post on trendlines, and standard deviations, and all manner of other statistical paraphernalia; why is it that there seems to be a total lack of understanding of the mathematics of smpled data systems; and specifically the Nyquist Theroem, that governs the whole sicence of sampled data systems. We know the theorem is valid, because the whole of modern digital communications technology depoends on it’s validity. Anyone who ahs ever lookes at analog signals with a sampling oscilloscope, is already aware, that they don’t always show you the truth; and you can get totally false results by misusing them.

    On your TV set or at the movies, in your favorite horse opera, the reason why the damsel in distress on the runaway horse and carriage, is screaming her head off, is because clearly the wheels on her chariot are rotating backwards; who wouldn’t be alarmed.

    That phenomenon, is a result of “aliassing noise” which corrupts ALL data, that is gathered in blatant violation of the Nyquist Sampling Theorm.

    Nyquist was a scientist at Bell Telephone Laboratories, and his theorem is fundamental to data sampling.

    Briefly it states, that “Any band limited continuous signal can be completely recovered from discrete samples of its instantaneous values; provided that the signal (a) IS band limited; meaning there are NO signal components at frequencies greater than B and that the continuous signal is sampled at a rate not less than 2B, or more importantly that the samples are spaced no further apart than 1/2B.
    So regular spacing of samples is not required, but there must be no greater gap between samples than 1/2B.

    If the signal were a simple sinusoid at a frequency (f), you would have to take one sample in each half cycle of the signal. Strictly speaking, a sinusoidal signla of frequency (f) can’t be recovered if the sampling rate is exactly 2f, because you could get every sample taken at a zero point, snd the signal would look like a DC of zero amplitude, or they could be anywhere on the rising and falling edges of alternate half cycles, so you would know there was a signal of frequency (f) but you have no idea what its amplitude is. But that is a degenerate academic case.

    The wagon wheel problem results fromt he fact that movies sample the scene at 24 frames per second, and TV signals do it at 30 or 25 in some countries, and since the spoke frequency is much higher than that, you have a Nyquist violation and aliassing noise creeps in and corrupts the reconstruction, which is the movie you are watching.

    If you violate Nyquist, by having a signal at a frequency B+b, the reconstructed signal will contain an errant component at a frequency B-b, so the spectrum folds around the Band limit frequency. Now B-b, is a fequency that is INSIDE the signal bandwidth (B), so you can’t get rid of it, without losing real signals too. As a practical matter, if you did have a single known out of band signal, you could put a notch filter at B-b, and jut eliminate that pesky signal.

    Now what if the out of band signal is at a frequency 2B. (B+B). Well the aliassed noise signal will now be at (B-B), which is zeroi frequency and is in fact the average value of the continuous function.

    So violation of the Nyquist criterion by a factor of 2 means that even the average value of the sampled data signal is now corrupted, and no amount of prestidigitation will get you a correct average for the function that was improperly sampled.

    Central limit theroems and other such mathematical trickery cannot buy you a reprieve from crimes against Nyquist.

    So global temperatures are a continuous function of both time and space, perhaps three variables, so you could construct some two dimensional map projection of the earth, and take snap shots of it, or at least of a bunch of thermometers spaced all over it in their own little gridded cells, and from that data,you can in principle reconstruct the whole map, and average it over time and space.

    Well isn’t that what James Hansen does with his GISStemp owl box stations that Anthony escorted us around.

    You see what is really wrong with GISStemp, and also with HADcrut is both of them grossly violate the Nyquist criterion, in both the time and space variables, sometimes by orders of magnitude; so there’s not a snowball’s chance in hell, that their machinations actually measure the real average surface or lower tropospheric temperature of the earth.

    GISStemp anomlaies are a graph of GISStemp anomalies; they don’t even have any absolute temperature reference, and they don’t have any real scientific meaning at all, because the global sampling regimen is quite inadequate to determien the true average temperature of the earth surface.

    George

  135. Three decades of 10 year predictions for climate change disaster “tipping-points”.

    Urgent need for CYA testimony.
    ————————————————
    Gore to make climate change case to US Senate

    http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=CNG.24df0b15eec8bf3f1ea31a4bf41d7728.f1&show_article=1

    “Al Gore has been sounding the alarm on climate change for over three decades, and he understands the urgent need for American engagement and leadership on this issue,” said Kerry.”

  136. Oh, come on guys. I’m a skeptic, but Flanagan has a point about the discount for signing the petition. It’s hardly fair to charge higher admission to those who have a particular scientific opinion. If the IPCC were doing this, we would all be screaming ‘blue murder.’

  137. I think that everyone is missing the point! Namely that if 58 to present is better than 69 to present then using the authors own words at RC, 35-45 was the warmest period during the century. So even if his stats method was wrong, using his own data:

    1935-1945 was the warmest period
    1969-2000 was cooling
    1958-2006 was warming

    so we can infer from that the temperature curve was::
    cooling from 45 to 58
    warming from 58 to 69
    cooled from 69 to 2000
    * and this was not mentioned but all studies show cooling from 69 on to present *

    ergo:

    45 was warmer than 2000
    69 was warmer than 2000
    58 was cooler than 2000

    if 58 – 2006 was better to use because it was a longer time period
    then 45 – 2006 is even better since it is even longer

    so while the antarctic temp curve fluxs, over all cooling predominated except for a brief warming between 58 and 69.

    And on another fun note, anyone notice that the warmest period for the antarctic is the same as the warmest period for the longest rural surface termperature record we have?

  138. Dr. Pielke, Sr. nailed this faux report completely in a set of observations.
    The only question left is why the AGW promotion industry keeps pretending to be doing science?

  139. Mary Hinge 10.30.22

    I always enjoy your posts, although I rarely agree with your views. However if the govt does ever provide a more balanced climate change research programme than at present (see my comment above) I hope people like you are on it to provide an objective and reasoned ‘warmist’ viewpoint who can argue civilly against a different perspective to the one they hold.

    It is a great shame that Dr Manns team did not have someone from the ‘opposite’ side to point out his work might be scientifcally clever but flew in the face of our knowledge of history. This has helped create a confrontational atmosphere which does not do science any favours and only helps to obscure the truth.
    (Sorry if I’ve destroyed your credibilty!)

    TonyB

  140. This publication is part of a huge scam.
    A simple look at the latest sat image from Antarctica tells you how hysterical the conclusions of the report really are.

    Despite the fact that they are left without any scientific leg to stand on (thanks to the deniers and blogs like WUWT) the initiators of the AGW Doctrine initiated by the United Nations and the Club of Rome are almost on target now the World under Obama will surrender to the biggest scam in Human History.

    Their tools:
    1. Wide application of pseudo science, falsifications and indoctrination.
    2. Domination of the Political Establishment, Media, Research Institutes, Governmental Institutions, Universities and Schools.
    3. Isolation of the political decision making process (NO SKEPTICS ALOUD).
    4. Intimidation of all opponents from scientists to politicians, from Institutions to companies, from Universities to entire Nations.
    5. Infiltration of the AGW Doctrine within the educational system and society.
    6. The current crises.

    This is the start of a socialist coup on a Global Scale and it’s directed against humanity, the industrialized world and the freedom of man.

    Although they will loose any scientific debate, they will achieve their political goal.

    This will be a tough battle.

    Fortunately the climate is on our side.

  141. I ran a linear line trend through the South pole (Sol Pol) data here:-

    http://vortex.nsstc.uah.edu/data/msu/t2lt/uahncdc.lt

    Not surprisingly it showed a -0.2C fall over the entire data set. This is the same as the pre-doctored NASA graphic.

    Next I wanted to see what the Eastern surface stations showed using some of the sites with reasonably long unbroken records. Trends are :-

    Scott-Base 77.8 S 166.8 E 1957-2008 -0.5
    Mcmurdo 77.8 S 166.7 E 1956-2008 -0.5
    Vostok 78.5 S106.9 E 1958-2008 -1.5
    Mirnyj 66.5 S 93.0 E 1956-2008 -0.3
    Davis 68.6 S 78.0 E 1957-2008 -0.25
    Amundsen-Scot 90.0 S 0.0 E 1957-2008 -1.25

    Data here:-

    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/station_data/

  142. Anthony:
    -50F is approximately -46C. That means that even if temperatures did go up by .25C over 25 years [i.e. 1C per century], Antarctica would still be faced with temperatures of -45.75C. Until further notice, ice does not melt until temperatures reach approximately 0C, so assuming the published purported rate of “warming”, it would take 45 centuries to get there. Has anyone in the Steig, Mann, et. al. team ever sat down and done a “back of the envelope” calculation to “deduce” the calories necessary to get all that ice to melt so that it actually will raise sea levels?

    REPLY: Whether the ice melts in Anarctica landmass, on the ice shelves, or as bergs or bergy bits, it would indeed require energy input. To my knowledge, the authors have not done this. But then they wouldn’t, since the paper (at least what we can read of it so far) doesn’t claim any Antarctic melting, only a warming. – Anthony

  143. The only trend I see here is the AGW dogma,
    1. The Medievel Warm Period was warmer than today? Get rid of the MWP with Manns “Hockey Stick” (which has been debunked)
    2. Can’t find a tropical Lower troposphere warming using radiosonde balloon thermometers (required by the GCMs)? Invent a new principle where wind velocity is a component of thermal energy (even though it still will not radiate more long wave Infrared Radiation).
    now:
    3. Can’t account for GHG system not warming Antarctica? Blame it on the Ozone Hole and mathematically tease the temperature data to show warming.

    What is Next?

  144. 0.5 °C would take the temperature of Antarctica up to 14.5 °C in Summer because the highest temperature has been 15 °C. The whole thing is just biased and an exaggeration.

  145. George E. Smith (10:45:01) :

    Conventional wisdom suggests that the polar regions are supposed to warm at a FASTER rate than the planet as a whole.

    and:

    So bottom line is, if GHG effects based on CO2 are warming the planet, and for other reasons, the polar regions ought to warm FASTER that the rest of the earth.

    That may be “conventional wisdom” but it’s not what the science has shown! It’s been known for 25 years that the expectation for polar warming in response to an enhanced greenhouse effect due to raised greenhouse gas concentrations, is for a strong warming in the high Northern latitudes with a reduced/delayed warming in the deep Southern latitudes particularly in Antarctica.

    So in the 1980’s it was predicted from modelling that the Northern hemisphere should warm faster than the S. hemisphere, and that warming in the Southern Circumpolar regions would be delayed/suppressed relative to the far Northern latitudes due to the large excess area of Southern oceans and the deeper penetration of heat into the oceans.

    e.g.:
    Schneider SH, Thompson SI (1981) Atmospheric CO2 and Climate – Importance Of The Transient-Response. J. Geophysical Research-Oceans Atmos. 86, 3135-3147

    Bryan K (1988) Interhemispheric Asymmetry In The Transient-Response Of A Coupled Ocean Atmosphere Model To a CO2 Forcing. J.Phys. Oceanography 18, 851 1988

    And this became rather more refined in the 1990’s. So, for example, Manabe (1992) predicted (from modelling) a large Arctic Ocean warming in response to greenhouse enhancement, with small surface warming in the deep Southern latitudes, particularly in the Circumpolar regions around the Antarctic peninsula.

    Manabe S (1992) Transient Responses Of A Coupled Ocean Atmosphere Model To Gradual Changes Of Atmospheric Co2 .2. Seasonal Response
    Journal Of Climate 5, 105-113.

    And so on. Whatever “conventional wisdom” may say, the science indicates that the very efficient heat transfer from the equator to the high Northern latitudes, together with albedo feedbacks, should give the largest warming in response to enhanced greenhouse warming, whereas the Southern polar regions with a massive ocean sink and more efficient transfer of surface heat to the deeper oceans should give a delayed and suppressed warming relative to the Arctic…

  146. Regarding the topic of the Heartland Institute

    Flanagan gets deducted 10 points for bringing up this off topic issue on this thread. I’m going to answer this here, and there will not be any further discussion on this thread. I will however open a new thread in a day or two where this is relevant to discuss

    There is precedence for this however in scientific circles. I’ll point out that the AMS offers discounts to “members” that are not extended to the general public or to scientists that are not members, on books, conferences, and even when it comes to exhibitors at conferences.

    So if I don’t agree with the AMS position statement on climate change, and choose not to be a member because of that, I don’t get those discounts.

    Other scientific organizations have similar “member discount” setups. Nature for example. general public gets paywalled for the paper from Steig, even though it is financed by public monies. Members of the Nature consortium get it for free.

    AAS is the same way. Pay for play.

    Being a member of a skeptical group of scientists should be no different than being a member of these other scientific organizations that are pro AGW.

    Also, I’m busy at work at the moment, so I will not be answering any further comments until tonight.

    Note to Moderators- please manage this thread.

  147. John Galt (10:57:12) :

    Why don’t people like Mann and Hansen attend and debate the issues publicly? I’m sure that since the science is clearly on their side, they’ll have no trouble persuading the deniers to get on board before it’s too late.

    Unfortunately that tends to be a particularly fruitless and unsatisfactory activity. Far better for scientists to publish their work in the scientific literature, attend scientific meetings and engage directly with other scientists and policymakers. These requests for “debate” tend to politicise/factionalise what are scientific issues…

  148. Scientists who attend the International Conference on Climate Change to be held in New York, 8-10 March 2009 (organized by the Heartland Institute) get a $144 reward if and only if they sign the petition claiming skepticism against AGW.

    Wow! $144!! Sign me up!! Who needs billions in grant money when you can get $144 to sign a petition which states how you feel about AGW?

    Are you seriously saying that people were bought, for $144???

  149. Stieg et al are not arguing that West Antarctica is warmer or colder than East Antarctica, rather that it has warmed faster over the past 50 years.

    Faster than when, exactly? They can’t say, period, because they don’t know. They have nothing to compare any current warming to. It’s a complete non-statement.

  150. I would like to see before and after GISSification graphs of the temperatures from the stations used in this study. Under the Italy thread, the Pisa before and after is just awful. I ‘eyeball’ about 1.75 C of added rise in it totally from GISS processing. Did they do the same here?

  151. Dear me, so much vitriol! I do wonder why the same commentators didn’t get their tails up about the analyses of Antarctic cooling in more recent decades? Is the idea here just to attack any warming analysis whilst avoiding expression of any reservations about cooling arguments? It certainly does seem so. Is this what some of you think ‘scepticism’ means?

    Let’s deal with the now much-repeated assertion that the AGW-ers have changed their tune over recent cooling being explicable in terms of modeled response to ozone depletion, etc. Read the paper. It does not contradict this view at all. The more recent cooling in East Antarctica is there to be seen. Ozone depletion did not occur substantially until the late 1970s. The general warming that the paper’s analysis identifies is for the whole period 1957-2006. There is no contradiction, however much Tech Central linking to papers discussing more recent cooling might like to pretend that there is.

  152. ATTN: Everbody!

    Go over to “Projects” and read my post. Recent data from the Quatsino (B.C.) weather station confirm that the “global warming” that started in ca 1975, which Don Easterbrook called the “Great Climate Shift”, is over, and the Big Chill is setting in, and it is going get really cold like that from ca 1900 to 1930.

    I have a set of data that reveal that the Tmax and Tmin metrics for the March, June and December for the years 2000-08 are the same as that for the years 1900-08.
    For September, however, the years 2000-08 were much warmer than that for the years 1900-08. This is the same seasonal warming that A. Masterman found in his study of the CET. Link to his paper is given in my post.

    The way to shut down the warmers tauting global warming gobblygook and climate change claptrap is to let rock solid, bullet-proof empirical data do the walkin’ and the talkin’! Go read the late John Daly’s essay “What the Station Say” and check out the many temperature-time plots that he prepared from unbiased data from remote weather stations (i.e., the really squeaky clean ones aka as “cherry”). His work flasified the AGW hypothesis, and I am quite surprised the Kiwis of the NZCC are unware of his work.

  153. foinavon (09:27:57) :

    Flanagan (07:24:18) :

    Yes it’s pretty dreary (a gift of $144 if registrants to the Heartland Institue pretend Climate “Science” meeting sign some petition devised years ago by a tobacco company propagandist nearly 10 years ago). I wonder who might consider that one can assess science by petition!

    Not different than science by proclamation from other organizations.

  154. Bruce Cobb (11:30:57) :

    These are relevant issues aren’t they? If one wants to understand the stance of the individuals at the Heartland Institute and their “climate” conference, and their attempt to pay people to sign a ludicrous petition, it’s useful to know that the instigator of the petition nearly 10 years ago was a propagandist for the tobacco industry during the period in which they were attempting to pursue an anti-science agenda (Steitz’s role is well-documented and in the public domain following the forced document release by the tobacco industry). Anyone with any interest in finding out the truth on these issues should reject that sort of nonsense.

    Likewise it’s helpful to know that the meeting is massively co-sponsored by those sectors who stand to benefit most from muddying the issues on climate science. One doesn’t have to disagree with their stance/agenda….but we’d be silly to ignore the obvious! We don’t have to pretend that we don’t understand why the Competitive Enterprise Institute, or the Science and Environmental Policy Project…or the Frontiers of Freedom…or the Institute of Public Affairs (and another 30-odd of these).

    And so on. There are many scientific meetings where climate science can be (and is) presented, discussed, debated, argued over . The idea that certain elements of the corporate sector feel the need to organize a “meeting” to present a contrived interpretation of what should be scientific issues is sad….but not surprising unfortunately.

  155. leftymartin (06:31:57) :
    If your history
    don’t match the faith….
    Who ya gonnal call?
    Michael Mann!

    Now that was totaly uncalled for! giggle. Stop it right now. snicker.
    It’s just completely unacceptable and you better not do it again. hehehehe.
    Oh please, just ONE more?!?

  156. Professor Barry Brook has just appeared on Australian TV stating that we are in for metres of sea level rise based on this new ‘study’ (performed with a hang-dog expression which is not scientific (or relevant) but IS good TV).

    As others have pointed out, it is irrelevant if the study is true or not, the hysteria over its claims will be enough to scare people into further believing the AGW hypothesis.

  157. foinavon,
    Then, since the article claiming Antarctic warming actually shows cooling since 1986, that would leave AGW as, yet again, falsified.

  158. Brooklyn Red Leg (06:56:25) :
    Hmm…could someone please point to any respectable definition of ‘Interpolate’ that does not mean ‘we made it up’? Furthermore, whenh was Interpolation accepted as a legitemate scientific method?

    I was taught to use interpolation to fill in a missing data item value between two well established ones for the purpose of smoothing a curve. I don’t remember any other legitimate use, but it’s been a while.

    My guess and that’s all it is: Given Mann’s prior work of gluing together disjoint datasets, along with interpolation, and stirring in some GISS with Sats data: I would expect the ‘cheat’ to be that when sat data are cooler than GISS they are ignored (we have ‘good’ land data) and when sat data are available near gaps in GISS they are ‘adjusted via interpolation’ to fit between the two adjacent GISS data points. This tosses the low sat data and lets you add more adjusted upward data points to the GISS series.

    While that may not be exactly right, that is the kind of thing I would start with in doing a forensic review. If GISS is biased by manipulation (which I’m fairly certain it is) this lets you pollute the satellite data with the same ‘lift’ without it being too obvious.

    No, I’m not paranoid, I just did computer security work for a fair while and sometimes there are bad guys out to get you…

  159. George E. Smith (11:37:59) :

    Your Nyquist theorem exposition is rather dubious. The Nyquist theorem relates to the ability to extract the individual frequency components and their amplitudes from analogue signals composed of superimposed sinusoidal signals. In spectroscopy this might be achieved by digitizing a signal and Fourier transforming this. The Nyquist theorem relates to the sampling requirements of the signal (inadequately sampled signals will be alaised and appear at the wrong frequency).

    But if one considers ice core data, one needs to be very specific about what one is trying to achieve. If one is trying to extract variations resulting from true cyclic phenomena then it’s pretty clear that ice core data is rather well sampled. A very good example is the extraction of the major elements of the Milankovitch cycles from the ice core record. So if one Fourier transforms the ice core delta temp. or delta 18O records from the Vostock or Dome Fuji cores the Milankovitch cycles are rather well extracted, since their signatures are clear in the cores and the cores are adequately sampled. A good example is:

    Kawamura et al (2007) “Northern hemisphere forcing of climate cycles in Antarctica overt he past 360,000 years” Nature 448, 912-919.

    See Figure 2, where the ~100,000 (eccentricity), the 41,000 (obliquity) and the 23,000 (precession) year Milankovitch cycles are stronly defined in the power spectrum.

    In general one needs to be very specific about the nature of the signal you are trying to extract. Clearly the Milankovitch cycles are well-sampled in cores. What specifically do you consider to be inadequately sampled?

  160. From the first line of their publication (i.e. the title) it is clear that it was all for good AGW PR exercise.

    I have serious doughts as to if really it is warming but one thing is certain, warm air picks up more moisture and increases precipitation in the area. That leads to a lowering of sea levels and not an increase.

  161. This is from Google Earth. It is interesting how they give other logical explanations… other than AGW for the break down of the ice shelves!

    “Scientists have observed the ice along the Antarctic Peninsula disappearing in a series of retreats over the past 30 years. The climate in this area is warming at approximately 0.5 degrees Celsius per year following a trend that is believed to have been occurring for at least the past 50 years (NASA, 2006). Generally this retreat has occurred as icebergs break away from the oceanward edge of the ice. More recently a new pattern has been observed.

    Scientists have been closely monitoring the Larsen Ice Shelf since 1995 when a large portion of it (Larsen A) dramatically disintegrated. In 2002 another similar event occurred at Larsen B which is captured in this remarkable series of MODIS images. In contrast to the slower pattern of calving – where pieces of ice break away at the edge of the shelf – these two events occurred over a large area and in a relatively short period of time. In the case of Larsen B 3,250 square kilometers of the ice shelf shattered into a plume of 1000s of icebergs in a little over a month. Over the last 5 years approximately 40 per cent of Larsen B has disintegrated – 5,700 square kilometers. Larsen A is believed to have been in place for over 2000 years at the time of its collapse and Larsen B is thought to have been still older (Portland State University, 2002).

    Scientists have developed theories to explain Larsen B’s catastrophic collapse, linking it to summertime warming and the pooling of melted water on the surface of the ice (Scambos et al., 2000) as well as differences in the rates of movements of the several glaciers feeding into the ice shelf (Glasser and Scambos, 2008). The pooling water is believed to accelerate the expansion of crevasses and lead to the breakdown of the ice shelves. In addition, the differences in the rates of flow from various glaciers are believed to have created structural weakness in the ice shelf (Glasser and Scambos, 2008). In the case of Larsen B, ponds of melt water can be seen in the remote sensing images taken shortly before the collapse occurs (January 2002 image), lending credence to this theory. Melt water ponds have been seen forming on Larsen C in more recent images, however there appears to be less of the structural weakening from glacier flow on Larsen C and this may make it less vulnerable to catastrophic collapse.”

  162. Anthony et al,
    When I read these stories in the press (like the New York Times, today, or the San Diego papers yesterday), I often wonder if any one of you skeptics out there actually contact the press articles and point them to WUWT or junkscience or McIntyre’s blog to have the mindless reporters read the opposing viewpoint on each and overy one of these papers with “new evidence” of climate change and global warming? We can blog all we want among ourselves as skeptics, but we need to ACTIVELY provide some retort and opposing view to educate the very-uninformed-press reporters, who often have little or no scientific training or experience. The only way to counter the IPCC, Al Gore and Hansen is to use the same techniques they do: i.e. press conferences, press releases, lobbying, open letters in the N.Y. Times, etc. We all sit here piling-on counter-evidence or skeptical dissent, but the real battle is winning over the media and the politicians, to stop the hype so I don’t get taxed for pouring a concrete driveway, burning wood in my fireplace or breathing to heavily. Again today, my governor (Arnold), in order to deflect the disaster here in California over the budget, deflected the financial crisis once again by mentioning he will lobby President Obama to consider giving the power back to the States on Carbon emissions limits to override the EPA’s regulations.

  163. [snip- sorry can't allow this, even though humorous, it opens too many doors to similar use of language we generally don't tolerate here]

  164. Gary Plyler (11:49:02) :

    1. The Medievel Warm Period was warmer than today? Get rid of the MWP with Manns “Hockey Stick” (which has been debunked)

    Really? Since the numerous plaeoproxy temperature analyses of the last 10 years are essentially compatible with Manns 1998 study, one would surely conclude that the original rather tentative study has been reinforced by a very large amount of new analysis in the intervening years:

    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/recons.html

    Mann and coworkers have recently published a very extensive analysis comprising more than 1200 proxy series. Not a huge amount has changed other than that we’re rather more confident that late 20th century and current warming is anomalous in the context of the past 100-plus years.

    M. E. Mann et al. (2008) Proxy-based reconstructions of hemispheric and global surface temperature variations over the past two millennia
    Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. 105:13252-13257

    2. Can’t find a tropical Lower troposphere warming using radiosonde balloon thermometers (required by the GCMs)? Invent a new principle where wind velocity is a component of thermal energy (even though it still will not radiate more long wave Infrared Radiation).

    If the radiosonde data has well characterized spurious artefacts we’d be very silly indeed not to take these into account.

    S. C. Sherwood et al. (2005) Radiosonde Daytime Biases and Late-20th Century Warming Science 309, 1556 – 1559.

    3. Can’t account for GHG system not warming Antarctica? Blame it on the Ozone Hole and mathematically tease the temperature data to show warming.

    We’re not really expecting that much Antarctic warming yet (see my post 11.54.32). The fact that there might be some warming in the (non-peninsular) vast regions of Antarctica is interesting and useful to know.

    What is Next?

    More science, happily! We certainly want to find out as well as we can what’s occurring in response to extraordinary enhancement of the atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations.

  165. whoops! two typos:

    foinavon (12:34:29)

    “Steitz” should read “Seitz”

    foinavon (13:31:48)

    “anomalous in the context of the past 100-plus years” should read anomalous in the context of the past 1000-plus years”

  166. An Inquirer (07:26:50) : Steig explains that they established a relationship between two sets of variables in the last twenty five years and then based on that relationship estimated temperatures in areas of the continent without weather stations for the previous 25 years. That is extrapolation which is more prone to error than interpolation.

    And even easier to pollute. OK, so they have (biased IMHO) GISS and now they can give the same ‘lift’ to 25 years worth of satellite data via extrapolation of the ‘relationship’… Nicely done.

    Mann gets to say “See my technique is sound” since the ‘cheat’ is in the GISS data, others get to wring their hands over the ‘proven’ warming and apply for grants, Hansen gets to say GISS is the best around, the satellite folks get to claim they are Of The Body and contributing to The Canon of Received Science now. Everybody wins. And you can not detect the ‘fraud’ unless you deconstruct the GISS data manipulation, which they won’t let you do.

    More and more this all looks to hinge on what GISS is doing to the raw data to turn it into pasteurized processed data food product…

    (For those not in the USA: Cheese here comes in many strange and wondrous types. Real cheese is labeled ‘cheese’. As it gets adulterated with more and more non-cheese, additional qualifiers are added. The ‘bottom rung’ may be stored near cheese, but the actual relationship to cows and milk was lost long ago. That is “pasteurized processed cheese food product” and sometimes comes in aerosol cans, at others as slices that don’t melt when cooked on a burger…)

  167. “” foinavon (11:54:32) :

    George E. Smith (10:45:01) :

    Conventional wisdom suggests that the polar regions are supposed to warm at a FASTER rate than the planet as a whole.

    and:

    So bottom line is, if GHG effects based on CO2 are warming the planet, and for other reasons, the polar regions ought to warm FASTER that the rest of the earth.

    That may be “conventional wisdom” but it’s not what the science has shown! It’s been known for 25 years that the expectation for polar warming in response to an enhanced greenhouse effect due to raised greenhouse gas concentrations, is for a strong warming in the high Northern latitudes with a reduced/delayed warming in the deep Southern latitudes particularly in Antarctica. “”

    Well when I said “Conventional wisdom”, I was referring to what the general public have beed told constantly via the lay media..

    As to why the northern hemisphere should warm faster than the southern; that does not compute in my book.

    Since the southern hemisphere is mostly oceans, which have almost total black body absorption for solar eenergy (maybe 97%), then the southern hemisphere wouldn’t contribute very much to the earth albedo, compared to what the Northern hemisphere contributes. also earth is further from sun during Antarctic winter, hence closer to sun during southern hemisphere summer; so total irradiance of the southern hemisphere is greater than for northern hemisphere.

    All the land area in the northern hemisphere contibutes a much higher albedo component, than does the black southern hemisphere oceans, and with all that higher elevation land in the north, I would venture that there is more cloud cover in the northern hemisphere than in the southern, further increasing the albedo bias towards the northern hemisphere.

    So I would say it is a slam dunk, that the southern hemisphere collects more solar energy than the northern hemisphere.

    And since the surface temperatures of the land can get much higher than the surface temperatures of the ocean, then the radiative cooling of the northern hemisphere, is much greater than the radiative cooling of the southern hemisphere.

    Well if you measure “warming” solely in terms of temperature; then oyu would favor the northern hemisphere; but if you measure warming in terms of retained energy from the sun, then that would favor the southern hemisphere.

    If you put out two objects in the sun, and one has a much higher “heat capacity than the other then the one with the lower heat capacity will reach the higher temperature, but it won’t contain as much thermal energy as the other one.

    George

  168. Disclaimer, I have not read the comments above, but I did read this yesterday on Science Daily. Lets be clear “interpolate carefully” means that they made certain assumptions, possibly linear between points or perhaps they assumed some kind of non-linear realtionship. In my business we interpolate crap all the time. You’re a damn fool if you assign it more value than it deserves. Apparently, if you read the fine print, they have assigned statistical probabilities which, lo and behold, still allow that the bulk of the continent might have cooled.

    No new data here, it’s just been massaged to get a headline.

  169. “Simon:

    I’m rather puzzled as to why some here did not make the same point when previous analyses have suggested Antarctic cooling? It does seem to me that the accuracy of measurements, whether surface-based or satellite, only comes into question here when they are suggestive of warming.”

    I have a different opinion. I believe that what gets questioned here is poor science, not just accuracy of measurements.

    “Hmm, well there’s long history here of people objecting to efforts that have been made to take account of, and adjust for, observational inadequacies,…”

    Again, I beg to differ. The objection to those efforts have centered on the fact that the adjustors refuse to release the means of the adjustment so that the means/methods can be understood, challenged, authenticated, or tossed.

    Certainly you know this…so I don’t understand the swipe? Do you not believe that the work of publicly funded scientists should be released to the public?…or that other scientists should be given the opportunity to analyze methods and attempt to reproduce/recreate results of various experiments as a point of validation?

    JimB

  170. Per ‘the volcano did it’, will Harvard and NASA do?

    http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2003ESASP.535..393S

    States that there is a well demonstrated correlation of more volcanism with solar minima and less with solar maxima. Given that there are volcanos under the ice down there, the heat output ought to cycle somewhat with solar periods of longer duration. Did the Mann paper allow for that?

    I think there is at least a plausible confounder of their western heating by CO2 thesis…

    Oh, and notice as we enter this Modern Minimum volcanos are starting to light up all over the place? I have a chart somewhere I can’t find right now that shows a significant ramp up in volcanism lately world wide. I doubt that the Antarctic would be immune…

    Now if only there was a reasonable way to connect volcanism, crustal deformation, sunspot minima, earthquakes, et. al. without resorting to planetary orbit-spin coupling and solar barycentric orbits …

  171. Hmmm, some possible warming in West Antarctic with volcanic ash (not usually as high an albedo as snow/ice) being produced just to the west (also known as upwind).

    Maybe, just maybe, there is a reason that only West Antarctic is exhibiting some of the same behavior as the Arctic…they actually do have something in common. A source of non-white aerosols.

  172. Stephen Hill, just wanted to add that Andrew Weaver is a climate modeler and has refused to debate the subject in an open forum.

  173. NPR has their take up now:

    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=99681830&ps=bb4

    Some excerpts:

    “It’s like having data in San Francisco and New York and trying to say something about Arizona,” says Steig. “You really need some more information if you’re going to say anything reasonable about Arizona.”

    “Temperatures have risen by about 1 degree near the equator to more than 5 degrees near the North Pole.

    ‘It’s much less than Arctic warming but it pretty much is on par with global average warming,’ Steig says.”

    Re-Assuring Discovery

    Previous studies have not found a warming trend in Antarctica. Steig’s conclusion is therefore a shift, but it’s not a total surprise.

    “This one study should not cause anyone to suddenly get more worried. If they are taking it seriously already, then this should not make them change their view particularly,” he says.

    In fact, Arctic scientist Richard Alley at Penn State University says he finds the new information reassuring — in a way.

    “The world looks a little more sensible to me than it did before,” he says.”

    My favorite bit of alarmism:

    “…the coastlines of the world would be obliterated if Antarctic ice melted away and raised global sea level.”

    The coastlines of the world are, of course, obliterated every day by the tides.

  174. The MSUlt data is pure fiction over the Antarctic. The surface ice sits far above the peak in the weighting function.

  175. foinavon (13:31:48) :

    Gary Plyler (11:49:02) :

    1. The Medievel Warm Period was warmer than today? Get rid of the MWP with Manns “Hockey Stick” (which has been debunked)

    Really? Since the numerous plaeoproxy temperature analyses of the last 10 years are essentially compatible with Manns 1998 study, one would surely conclude that the original rather tentative study has been reinforced by a very large amount of new analysis in the intervening years:

    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/recons.html

    Mann and coworkers have recently published a very extensive analysis comprising more than 1200 proxy series. Not a huge amount has changed other than that we’re rather more confident that late 20th century and current warming is anomalous in the context of the past 100-plus years.

    Oh, you mean these “independent” studies?: http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=4866

  176. foinavon (12:06:17) :

    John Galt (10:57:12) :

    Why don’t people like Mann and Hansen attend and debate the issues publicly? I’m sure that since the science is clearly on their side, they’ll have no trouble persuading the deniers to get on board before it’s too late.

    Unfortunately that tends to be a particularly fruitless and unsatisfactory activity. Far better for scientists to publish their work in the scientific literature, attend scientific meetings and engage directly with other scientists and policymakers. These requests for “debate” tend to politicise/factionalise what are scientific issues…

    I’m not asking them to debate me, but to engage their peers who are skeptical of AGW. Public debate with (or between) laymen might be entertaining but it rarely solves anything. Just look at some of the internet sites where people can post their views. Nobody ever seems to be open-minded enough to really consider the other side’s arguments.

    What I would really like all the climate modelers to do is release their input data and their source code for everybody to see. Hansen is a public servant. GISS is support by my tax dollars and short of national security issues, everything should be available to the public.

    Do you suppose I could sue under the FOIA to get a full release of all of GISS notes, their inputs, the adjusts and the source code used to create their models?

  177. Ray,

    Here is another excerpt from the NPR antarcticle for you:

    “Forecast: More Snow

    Up to a point, Antarctic warming can actually reduce sea level. Warming there can take water out of the ocean and deposit it on the continent, in the form of increased snowfall.

    ‘West Antarctica should be getting more precipitation along with this increased temperature. But I think the data to demonstrate that are not really available,’ Steig says.

    In fact, the best data from Antarctica show that the continent is putting slightly more water into the ocean than it’s taking out.”

  178. Bob Tisdale (02:53:41) :
    Anthony: I’m going to try to post on the Antarctic TLT sometime today or tomorrow as part of the series I was doing on the effects of ENSO and volcanic eruptions on TLT. Here are a few preview graphs of Antarctic temperatures from that future post.

    I wouldn’t waste your time, MSU isn’t useful over Antarctica.

    The following are graphs of Antarctic and Southern Ocean TLT [AHU MSU] created from data available through the KNMI Climate Explorer Website. Keep in mind that the MSU satellite data does not reach the entire Antarctic, which is something I found curious about the use of satellite data for the University of Washington study. (They must be supplementing the sparse surface measurements with it.) In fact, RSS only lists data as far South as 70S.

    MSU is not the only satellite available, as clearly stated in the paper they used AVHRR to measure surface temperature!

    http://wdc.dlr.de/sensors/avhrr3/

  179. Neil Hampshire (00:45:54) :
    Does this mean that the satellite data is now considered to be a valid measurement of global temperature trends or is it only valid in Antartica?

    In this case mainly the latter, read the paper and you’ll find out why.

  180. George E. Smith (13:54:37) :

    Well when I said “Conventional wisdom”, I was referring to what the general public have beed told constantly via the lay media..

    really? I can’t say I’ve noticed! In any case we shouldn’t be listening to “conventional wisdom”…we should be following the science. And the science has long predicted (for 25 years or more) that the high Northern latitudes should warm earlier and faster than the deep Southern Circumpolar latitudes (see citations to early work on this issue in my post 11:54:32).

    Well if you measure “warming” solely in terms of temperature; then oyu would favor the northern hemisphere; but if you measure warming in terms of retained energy from the sun, then that would favor the southern hemisphere.

    How else does one measure warming? Clearly the parameter of interest to our selves, our agricultural production, the terrestrial biosphere and so on, is the surface temperature. As has been predicted for 25 years or so, enhanced greenhouse warming should result in an earlier and larger surface warming of the high Northern latitudes compared to the deep southern (especially Circumpolar/Antarctic) latitudes (see citations in my post 11:54:32, for example).

    As for “retained heat”, yes the expectation is that the greatest amount of thermal energy will be retained in the Southern Oceans. That’s essentially what the papers cited in my post above 11:54:32 state. As I said:

    foinavon: So in the 1980’s it was predicted from modelling that the Northern hemisphere should warm faster than the S. hemisphere, and that warming in the Southern Circumpolar regions would be delayed/suppressed relative to the far Northern latitudes due to the large excess area of Southern oceans and the deeper penetration of heat into the oceans.

    It’s not sufficient to consider only the absorption of solar thermal energy. The distribution of this “heat” through ocean overturning and air and sea currents is a dominant factor in the distribution of excess thermal energy within the surface regions of the planet. If we are interested in the surface temperature (which we are, of course, since that’s where we live (!), and in any case, that’s what the paper under discussion on this thread is about), then that’s where we measure the temperature, even if we might also want to identify changes in the heat content of the oceans overall (as part of an analysis of the Earth’s “energy budget”),and what the tropospheric and stratospheric temperatures are doing…

  181. Foinavon 13.31.48

    You linked to a long list of paleo proxies to support Dr Mann. Did you actually read them?

    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/recons.html

    “ABSTRACT:
    The precisely dated isotopic composition of a stalagmite from Spannagel Cave
    in the Central Alps is translated into a highly resolved record of temperature
    at high elevation during the past 2000 yr. Temperature maxima during the
    Medieval Warm Period between 800 and 1300 AD are in average about 1.7°C higher
    than the minima in the Little Ice Age and similar to present-day values.
    The high correlation of this record to d14C suggests that solar variability
    was a major driver of climate in Central Europe”

    Similar to present day values and the sun is the major driver. Thanks for this gold mine, I am still digging through it.

    TonyB

  182. Senator Inhofe’s site gathers together a lot of the material debunking this report at http://epw.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Minority.Blogs&ContentRecord_id=fc7db6ad-802a-23ad-43d1-2651eb2297d6&Issue_id=

    Of course, the media darlings have swarmed all over this in the hight of a SH Summer – perfect for photo ops of “melting ice”.

    Deducing data? Result wiped by the margins of error? – just how will this result be tested? Where’s the science?

    Scandalous.

  183. Simon Evans (11:03:24) :

    0.1 degree C per decade? In industry, we wanted better measurement accuracy in our equipment than the thing we needed to measure. 10x was the goal. How in the (blank) can they measure 0.1 degree with equipment that is lucky to measure 1 degree with any confidence?

    Hmm, well there’s long history here of people objecting to efforts that have been made to take account of, and adjust for, observational inadequacies, so I won’t attempt a brief answer, beyond saying that trend is of much more importance than the calibration of an instrument in a particular location, IMV.

    This isn’t about ‘calibration’ it is all about “NEVER let your precision exceed your accuracy. – Mr. McGuire”

    We have a precision of 0.1 put on data with an accuracy of 1.0. That is exactly backwards. My chemistry / physics teacher in high school would give you an “F” any time you did that, even if the rest of the problem was perfectly understood and computed. It was one of the things he stressed most because it was one of the most stupid of errors and made most often.

    Then again, he also insisted that we learn to do problems with a slide rule so that we would have a basic understanding of what we were doing rather than putting blind faith in calculators with 10 digits of precision processing data with 2 digits of accuracy. I can not thank him enough. To this day the ‘order of magnitude’ sanity cross check used with slide rules still runs in my brain in the background of any math problem… Mr. McGuire, i salute you!

    I can only assume that you and Mann both grew up in the calculator age where everyone uses 10 digits of imaginary precision so it’s ‘no problem’… the bottom line is that there is no trend because the result is lost in the error band of the data accuracy. The precision is false and you have no idea if the real number is -0.9 or +0.9 or anywhere in between.

    I repeat: “NEVER let your precision exceed your accuracy.” Full Stop.

    Sidebar: Mr. McGuire was a retired Lt. Colonel in the Air Force and a retired chemist from U.S. Steel. He taught high school because he wanted to. He also made most of the reagents we used by upgrading raw materials just to keep his hand in and to save the school some money. And yes, he had all the discipline in the classroom you would expect from a Lt. Colonel…

  184. Leon Brozyna (02:58:58) :

    So is this the way modern ’science’ works? Come up with a belief, then look for data that supports the belief while ignoring data that doesn’t conform? I think I’ll self-snip myself here before I let loose my frustrations on this latest display…

    Leon – The technique described is typically used in “Humanities” departments at any typical University.

    Perfect for “Opinions” – falls down if “Facts” are required.

  185. Ray (13:12:50) :

    I have serious doughts as to if really it is warming but one thing is certain, warm air picks up more moisture and increases precipitation in the area. That leads to a lowering of sea levels and not an increase.

    You might hope so, but that seems not to be the case in Antarctica (and it certainly isn’t in the Arctic):

    Monaghan AJ (2006) Insignificant change in Antarctic snowfall since the International Geophysical Year. Science 313, 827-831.

    Abstract: Antarctic snowfall exhibits substantial variability over a range of time scales, with consequent impacts on global sea level and the mass balance of the ice sheets. To assess how snowfall has affected the thickness of the ice sheets in Antarctica and to provide an extended perspective, we derived a 50-year time series of snowfall accumulation over the continent by combining model simulations and observations primarily from ice cores. There has been no statistically significant change in snowfall since the 1950s, indicating that Antarctic precipitation is not mitigating global sea level rise as expected, despite recent winter warming of the overlying atmosphere.

  186. JimB,

    “Simon:

    (Me)”I’m rather puzzled as to why some here did not make the same point when previous analyses have suggested Antarctic cooling? It does seem to me that the accuracy of measurements, whether surface-based or satellite, only comes into question here when they are suggestive of warming.”

    (You)I have a different opinion. I believe that what gets questioned here is poor science, not just accuracy of measurements.

    I wish I could agree. I’d find the site more interesting if I thought so. For example, I refer you to any discussion there’s been of Beck’s paper on historic C02 levels. I can’t immediately think of a more obvious example of ‘poor science’, yet AFAIAA it got very gentle treatment here (and indeed has been enthusiastically supported by some) from those who are virulent in their criticism of the likes of Mann and Hansen. This gives a very strong impression of partisan inclination rather than disinterested commentary upon good/poor science, in my view. As for this paper in question, there have been many negative comments made here by those who cheerfully say they’ve not read the paper – is that your notion of questioning poor science? It seems to me to be simply an expression of prejudice, which is hardly much use in science.

    (Me) Hmm, well there’s long history here of people objecting to efforts that have been made to take account of, and adjust for, observational inadequacies,…”

    (You) Again, I beg to differ. The objection to those efforts have centered on the fact that the adjustors refuse to release the means of the adjustment so that the means/methods can be understood, challenged, authenticated, or tossed.

    Certainly you know this…so I don’t understand the swipe? Do you not believe that the work of publicly funded scientists should be released to the public?…or that other scientists should be given the opportunity to analyze methods and attempt to reproduce/recreate results of various experiments as a point of validation?

    I didn’t mean it to be a swipe, actually – more a sense of exhaustion! You’ll recognise that I’m posting on a site where the overwhelming proportion of views are contrary to mine, so one can’t cover every point. I really can’t agree that objections here are “centered on the fact that the adjustors refuse to release the means of the adjustment”. Objection to the fact of adjustments at all seems to me to be far more frequently expressed. Naturally, I agree with the general principle of openness, though I’m not at all sure it is as easily achieved as one might think. As a counter example, how open was the UAH processing up to 2005, when Mears et al. finally figured out the error in their calculations? I trust that you would be as concerned about that as about any other matter. I actually think this is changing quickly, as scientists find themselves exposed to more widespread ‘review’ than has traditionally (pre-internet) been the case.

    I’m rather surprised that you don’t recognise the central point I was making, which is that commentary here is highly partisan and suggestive of double standards. This is obvious when people object to ‘warming analysis’ when they have not objected to ‘cooling analysis’. You’re not simply saying, I trust, that ‘cooling analysis’ is good science whilst ‘warming analysis’ is poor science?

  187. ROM (04:36:06) :

    “Professor Brook said it had been thought Antarctica was cooling partly because of the hole in the ozone layer, which allowed the hot air out.”

    I kid you not! Check for yourself!

    “The Australian” 22 / Jan / 2009

    http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,24946666-11949,00.html

    Kinda provides a cartoon image of the Earth “Piffing” it’s way through space propelled by all the hot air escaping from the south pole…

  188. TonyB (15:00:23) :

    Foinavon 13.31.48

    You linked to a long list of paleo proxies to support Dr Mann. Did you actually read them?

    Well yes of course. But you’ve chosen to highlight a very nice highly localized stalagmite proxy from the Central Alps. The proxy temperature reconstructions of relevance are those that assess global or N. hemispheric averages. There are certainly local proxies (all proxies are local!) that show highish Medieval Warm Period reconstructed temperatures. These are usually in the highish Northern latitudes. There are local proxies that dn’t show MWP warming.The global or N. hemispheric averages based on multipe proxies are pretty much in line with the original Mann et al reconstruction of 1998…

    Anyway, I’m glad you like that nice repository of data…

  189. E.M. Smith,

    This isn’t about ‘calibration’ it is all about “NEVER let your precision exceed your accuracy. – Mr. McGuire”

    We have a precision of 0.1 put on data with an accuracy of 1.0.

    I think you have misunderstood my point. If a bias in a station reading is consistent, then the trend can be accurately assessed, regardless of calibration. If it is not consistent then that, of course, is another matter, and precision is irrelevant (I agree).

  190. E.M.Smith (14:27:04) :
    I have a chart somewhere I can’t find right now that shows a significant ramp up in volcanism lately world wide. I doubt that the Antarctic would be immune

    This is not specifically what you are refering to, however;

    In the fairly recent past I was looking into volcanic activity. The effect of volcanoes is short term and relative to the size and type of eruption. Part of my question was: is volcanic activity increasing and if it is are submarine volcanoes more active? If so, then would a significant increase in sub-surface volcanoes have an effect on ocean temperatures, thus, the climate.

    Since monitoring of submarine volcanoes is limited I decided to focus on large eruptions. Those most likey to be noticed and recorded. Ultimately there was not enough data to work with. However, in the process I needed to know if there had been an increase in large eruptions (VEI 4 or greater) on land. Large eruptions also provide a better record since historic events are more complete.

    That led to this graph of VEI 4 or larger eruptions:

    If you note…
    1850 -1900 = 23 large eruptions
    1900 -1950 = 34
    1950 -2000 = 35
    verses
    1650 -1700 = 14

  191. George E. Smith

    Now if only there was a reasonable way to connect volcanism, crustal deformation, sunspot minima, earthquakes, et. al. without resorting to planetary orbit-spin coupling and solar barycentric orbits …

    The moon fits into this too. The Asian tsunami hit at full moon coincident with apogee on 27/12/2004. The recent swarm of earthquakes in Yellowstone and the rising of the dome on Chaiten was coincident with full moon at perigee on 12/1/2009. Both were near earth perihelion. New moon at perigee and earth aphelion due July 2009.

    A combination of these gravitational factors and low earth magnetic activity at solar minimum perhaps?

  192. Jeff Alberts (14:44:28)

    Well yes, a number of paleoproxy temperature reconstructions done during the past 10 years (including a very comprehensive one just published by Mann et al [see my post (13:31:48)] ) have essentially tightened the confidence in the original rather tentative analysis by Mann et al (1998).

    They’re all there in the scientific literature. It seems now to be a rather well-supported conclusion to the extent that one can make reliable conclusions from proxies. I don’t think scientists and policymakers are really that interested in the considerations of a blogger!

  193. foinaven

    we’re rather more confident that late 20th century and current warming is anomalous in the context of the past 100-plus years.

    And what about the rest of the flatline hockey stick shaft extending back to 1000AD?

    Obviously less confident than before. ;-)

  194. tetris (11:48:46) :
    Anthony:
    Has anyone in the Steig, Mann, et. al. team ever sat down and done a “back of the envelope” calculation to “deduce” the calories necessary to get all that ice to melt so that it actually will raise sea levels?

    [snip]

    REPLY: Phil. It is rude to answer a question posed to the host with a snide remark to the person posing the question. Please don’t do it again. I’ll answer my own questions, thank you. – Anthony

  195. I haven’t read all of the responses above so hope I’m not repeating anyone’s comments. When I look at the anomalies, http://weather.unisys.com/archive/sst/, it looks like the Feb ocean temperatures near West Antarctica have been getting cooler since 2003. The Antarctic shore North of West Antarctica looks like an area where currents bring Tropical water from the North to cool, sink and release heat to the atmosphere. The satellites probably pick up this warm anomaly from the Pacific North of the Antarctic continent and Mann and company use those temperatures to raise West Antarctic temperatures just like they make assumptions in Siberia from the warmer temperatures North East of Finland. As I have said before, I think the reduced solar output, the constant clouds above the Poles almost to the Tropics is causing the Poles to cool. The cooling of the water at the Poles increases the rate of sinking of of the water and speeds up the ocean currents and heat transfer rates from the Tropics to the Poles. This looks to be apparent in the colder anomaly off the coast of Peru in SH Winter and contributes to LaNina. Also check out the currents in the Indian Ocean where the same pattern seems apparent. If solar conditions stay the same, then the Tropical oceans should continue to cool faster than they can accumulate heat. We may not see a lot of record low temperatures in the far North and South because warm ocean waters are bringing warmer temps to the Poles. As the mean ocean temperatures cool further, the Arctic ice should expand South of Iceland and closer the the UK. When this much Arctic is frozen a new Ice Age should begin because so much of the Northern Hemisphere is land which doesn’t store heat energy like the oceans. I think so far the theory has support because UAH data show the Tropical oceans cooled in December and NASA has also stated in the past couple of days that the oceans have been cooling. So for me, the “tipping point” occurs when the Arctic ice reaches an area large enough to keep warm water from circulating near the Pole. I think it’s all up to the sun.

    The ice area in the Antarctic is above average this year – how can it be warmer? I have difficulty accepting anything climatologists have to say anymore, especially when Michael Mann is among the authors.

  196. PCA component vectors are NOT “interpolations.” That word is journalistic over-simplification of the actual mthodology. “Statistical voodoo” would be a more accurate phrase.

  197. it’s interesting how it most of the time seems to boil down to “You’re not smart enough for them”! LOL

  198. Simon Evans (12:25:05) :
    Ozone depletion did not occur substantially until the late 1970s.

    Please enlighten me: How did they measure the ozone over Antarctica from 1900 to 1970? Or was some other baseline used to detect this ‘depletion’? If so, what base line was that and how was it measured?

  199. foinavon (15:32:40) :
    I don’t think scientists and policymakers are really that interested in the considerations of a blogger!

    Are you certain about that?

    Peer review is simply a cursory check on the plausibility of a study. It is not a rigorous replication and it is certainly not a stamp of correctness of results. Many studies get far more rigorous peer review on blogs after publication than in journals.

    I use our own blog for the purpose of getting good review before publication for some of my work now, because the review on blogs is often far better and more rigorous than from journals. This is not an indictment of peer review or journals, just an open-eyed recognition of the realities.

    http://www.cejournal.net/?p=607

    Denounce bloggers if you must, but, realize in this age a great deal of advancement, and at times correction, comes from those bloggers.

  200. John Galt (14:45:13) :

    re: your request for climate scientists to “debate” the deniers”, and my comment about the frutlessness of that:

    you said:

    I’m not asking them to debate me, but to engage their peers who are skeptical of AGW. Public debate with (or between) laymen might be entertaining but it rarely solves anything. Just look at some of the internet sites where people can post their views. Nobody ever seems to be open-minded enough to really consider the other side’s arguments.

    I wasn’t meaning them debating you John. I meant the climate scientists “debating” the “deniers”. First of all it really is fruitless (rather in the same vein as the fruitlessness of scientists “debating” creationists where a meeting of minds is not possible). After all the “deniers” have, and have had, plenty of opportunities to debate with scientists. The problem has been that they don’t seem to like the nature of debate within the scientific sphere (scientific literature/scientific meetings) and have chosen to remove themselves from the scientific debate. And so they organise their own pretend “meetings” and attempt to pursue agendas via the web.

    A couple of examples: Roy Spencer (with John Christy) published a series of downright incompetent analyses of satellite temperatures from microwave sounding units (MSU) which repeatedly had to be corrected by other scientists (a series of papers in the scientific literature over 15 years culminating in a rather embarrassing critique in Science in 2005). Spencer seems to have taken himself completely out of the proper scientific arenas now and attempts to sell dubious messages direct from his web pages.

    Or Dr Richard Lindzen. He pursued for a number of years the dubious notion that enhanced tropospheric water resulting as a feedback to greenhouse gas atmospheric warming would result in a cooling effect in complete contradiction to the predictions from our understanding of atmospheric physics. He pursued much of this by editorialising in articles posted on the websites of “think tanks” of the sort sponsoring the Heartland Institute “meeting” and newsaper articles, even ‘though he was quite clearly incorrect. At some point (early 2000’s and onwards) his position on this matter became unsupportable, even in non-science channels….unfortunately he still pursues deliberately contrary positions (as is his right if he so wishes, of course). But he’s taken himself out of the normal arena of scientific debate…

  201. tallbloke (15:35:08) :

    foinaven

    we’re rather more confident that late 20th century and current warming is anomalous in the context of the past 100-plus years.

    And what about the rest of the flatline hockey stick shaft extending back to 1000AD?

    Obviously less confident than before. ;-)

    I corrected that typo on a post above [ see foinavon (13:37:27) ]. “100-plus years” should read “1000-plus years”

    Incidentally, well done for getting the correct spelling for “foinaven” (the mountain) rather than “foinavon” (the horse and fence). “Foinaven” was already taken when I first used it as a webname so I’ve had to resort to “foinavon”…

  202. Lee Kington (15:47:22)

    Peer review is simply a cursory check on the plausibility of a study. It is not a rigorous replication and it is certainly not a stamp of correctness of results. Many studies get far more rigorous peer review on blogs after publication than in journals.

    I use our own blog for the purpose of getting good review before publication for some of my work now, because the review on blogs is often far better and more rigorous than from journals. This is not an indictment of peer review or journals, just an open-eyed recognition of the realities.

    http://www.cejournal.net/?p=607

    Denounce bloggers if you must, but, realize in this age a great deal of advancement, and at times correction, comes from those bloggers.

    I agree with you about peer-review. However peer review is only a small part of the process. The correctness/reliability/usefulness of a paper really starts to be assessed once it appears in the literature. It stands or falls in relation to subsequent research, analysis and publications. I think you’re absolutely right that blogs might be a very good way of obtaining pre-publication opinion/thought on a paper (I’ve never thought of doing so!).

    However the problem with blogs in general is that unless one has the requisite knowledge one might not be in a position to assess the competing shower of opinions, nonsense, considered thought and so on, that constitutes blog message boards (like this one!). A good many of them are devised to pursue agendas.

    I’ve no problem with any of that (other than that many people get taken in by nonsense I think, or at least choose to use them to reinforce their dodgy political positions). The value of peer-review and scientific publication is that the cream rises very noticeably and objectively to the surface…

  203. Bob,

    This study uses a different satellite form RSS/UAH. If you can get the data, (maybe on CA website; comment 70) how would this look? Was going to leave a message on your website but not another login to remember !!

  204. foinavon,

    You attack Spencer and Christy…. call their work incompetent. But the IPCC and others rely on the UAH data, despite the prior minor instrument error. Hence, are you saying that the IPCC and those who use UAH data sets are incompetent as well? Is it not incompetent to use the work of incompetents?

    Which is more incompetent…. having an error in data while using fairly new technology (UAH) or just making data up (Mann, Briffa)?

  205. Atmospheric ozone is measured in Dobson Units, named for the Oxford academic Gordon Miller Bourne Dobson (1889-1976), one of the pioneers of atmospheric ozone research and inventor of the Dobson Spectrophotometer, used to measure atmospheric ozone from the ground. During the International Geophysical Year of 1956 there was a significant increase in the number of these devices in use around the globe and the Halley Bay (Antarctica) anomaly was discovered. Yes, that’s 1956, three decades prior to the allegedly alarming “discovery.” There was a significantly different perspective then because interest was focused on the November increase – now called a “recovery” – in stratospheric ozone levels over Antarctica with the collapse of the South Polar Vortex.

    In a paper titled “Forty Years’ Research on Atmospheric Ozone at Oxford: A History” (Applied Optics, March 1968), Dobson described an ozone monitoring program that began at Halley Bay in 1956.

    When the data began to arrive, “the values in September and October 1956 were about 150 [Dobson] units lower than expected. … In November the ozone values suddenly jumped up to those expected. … It was not until a year later, when the same type of annual variation was repeated, that we realized that the early results were indeed correct and that Halley Bay showed a most interesting difference from other parts of the world.”

  206. So, if the air is not warmer and if it is not snowing more and there seem to be a little more liquid output than input in the antactica… then the heat source must come from the earth.

  207. Nice write up. You must be hated for questioning something that is so accepted and using facts to base your argument on. I say keep up the excellent work and force those who believe blindly to ask questions and prove via experimentation again, and again, and again – the old school science way.

  208. Simon Evans (15:23:38) :

    E.M. Smith,
    This isn’t about ‘calibration’ it is all about “NEVER let your precision exceed your accuracy. – Mr. McGuire”

    We have a precision of 0.1 put on data with an accuracy of 1.0.

    I think you have misunderstood my point. If a bias in a station reading is consistent, then the trend can be accurately assessed,

    And you sir, have completely missed mine. THERE CAN BE NO TREND OF LESS THAN ONE DEGREE. PERIOD.

    I don’t care what your calibration error is.
    I don’t care how you do the measuring.
    I don’t care how you process the data.
    I don’t care how biased the data are.

    Your accuracy is measured in degrees. There can be no precision that is valid in less than full degree increments. There can be no trend of less than full degrees. ANY claim of a trend IN EITHER DIRECTION of fractional degrees is a mathematical farce.

    This isn’t up for debate, it is a fact of mathematics.

    regardless of calibration. If it is not consistent then that, of course, is another matter, and precision is irrelevant (I agree).

    Precision is always relevant, and it MUST be less than or equal to the accuracy of the data gathered. Always. For both warmers and coolers.

    Frankly, I think the topic ought to be #1 on the ‘why the whole thing is bunk for both sides’ hit parade.

    There can be no trend, for either warmers or skeptics, that is measured in less than full degree increments. The accuracy of the temperature data simply do not support it. Every single paper that makes any claim of fractional degree findings based on the full degree temperature record is simply playing in the error band of their calculations.

    If I have 4 or 5 quarts of milk and I add 1 quart of milk, I can have anywhere from 5 to 6 quarts of milk, but I CANNOT say that I have 5.5 quarts. It is a lie.

    (Strictly, I could have from 3.5 + .5 = 4 to 5.4+1.4 = 6.8 and still fit in the error band of my accuracy of full digits. Do you now see the fallacy of calculating with .x when X. is all you have? )

  209. Phil [15:40:04]

    Scathingly, Trenberth says it all: “It’s hard to make data where none exist”. Unfortunately as we know all too well, that has never stopped Mike Mann from concocting whatever data he has needed for his pseudo scientific fantasies. The other authors must somehow have been desperate to consort with a confirmed cheat. [ref: McIntyre and Wegman's Senate hearings, etc., etc.]

    What has been completely lost is that the authors actually state that they can’t rule out that the results may simply be due to “normal, natural variations in the Antarctic weather” [sic] [ N.B.:not climate but weather ! ].

  210. Lee Kington (16:23:20) :

    foinavon,

    You attack Spencer and Christy…. call their work incompetent. But the IPCC and others rely on the UAH data, despite the prior minor instrument error. Hence, are you saying that the IPCC and those who use UAH data sets are incompetent as well? Is it not incompetent to use the work of incompetents?

    Which is more incompetent…. having an error in data while using fairly new technology (UAH) or just making data up (Mann, Briffa)?

    I’m not attacking Spencer and Christy. I’m pointing out that they made a large series of rather disgraceful errors over a very long period that were repeatedly corrected by other scientists in the scientific literature (I’ll post a list if you like). That’s not really an “attack”…it’s a statement of fact.

    These errors were not “minor”! For a long period they attempted to pursue the notion that tropospheric temperature showed a cooling trend. Their 2005 correction raised their tropospheric warming trend by 40%. These corrections were made following highlighting of serious errors by other scientists.

    The UAH data is now reasonably in accord with other data (e.g. RSS) thanks to these series of corrections. It makes perfect sense for the IPCC to use all the relevant data.

    As for Mann and Briffa “just making data up” I’d like to see the scientific papers that justify such an odd statement. After all one of the obvious conclusions from reading the scientific papers on this subject is how well Mann’s (was Briffa invoved in the 1998 study?) tentative analysis has stood the test of time.

    That’s certainly not the case with Spencer and Christy’s initial study [Spencer RW, Christy JR (1990) Precise Monitoring Of Global Temperature Trends From Satellites. Science 247, 1558-1562], which was wrong at the time and continued to be wrong until the practitioners were guided towards a proper analysis during the subsequent 15 years…

    • foinavon : “I’m pointing out that they made a large series of rather disgraceful errors over a very long period that were repeatedly corrected by other scientists in the scientific literature (I’ll post a list if you like). That’s not really an “attack”…it’s a statement of fact.”

      That holds true for Dr. Mann as well, except he refuses to correct even his most basic errors, like a series of data points that have erroneous latitudes and longitudes. That Mann error now spans two papers and 10 years.

      In the case of Spencer and Christy, peer review solved problems that they were unaware of. Science worked like it should. In the case of Dr. Mann peer review failed, and his stubborness to pay any attention to anyone but his peers has shown him to be more about protecting his position than fact.

  211. I finally got mad that RC would not post my polite comments to discuss the study so I got mad and tried to get them to post this. I doubt it ever will be posted.

    It must be really cold wearing the Emperor’s new clothes. Since nothing I am going to post is factually wrong it must be that your unwilling to address the real problem with your study. Namely that you have attributed 11 years of warming to the entire fifty years by doing what you keep telling ‘deniers’ is the wrong way of looking at things. The fact that you will not post this leads me to believe that you know that your wrong; that your position cannot be defended; that this is a religion not science.

    Now why can I say that. Because the author of this post, one of the authors of the study says that 1935-1945 was the warmest time for Antarctica. He says that there was cooling from 1969 to the present. So what does that mean, that starting in the 35-45 period there was cooling as seen in the 1957-58 measurements. That 1969 was warmer that 1957-58 is a must since there was cooling to the present. That 1969 was cooler that 35-45 is a must since 35-45 was the warmest time in the century. So what we are left with is cooling from 45 to 57/58 and warming till 1969. From 1969 there is once again cooling which means that your applying an 11 year warming trend upon the whole time period and as it as be pointed out here many times, 11 years is weather, not climate. The climate will cooling for 12 years before it started warming and has been cooling for 40 years after the brief warming. I am pretty sure from what I have read here before, 11 years out of 60 is weather not climate.

    But then, like my last two posts here on this topic, your not going to post it because you do not deal with difficult issues.

    Using the AGW crowds own definitions, does anyone see where I made an error?

  212. Casual reader, most of what is on WUWT is way over my head.

    I have had a short email conversation with one of the authors of the paper, I read about it in the Seattle Times a few days ago and was hoping I could pass the email on to someone that actually knows something more about this than I do. Did not feel comfortable posting it for the world to see. Was not able to find contact info for the site.

    REPLY: info “at” surfacestations dot org

  213. “”” foinavon (15:55:28) :

    John Galt (14:45:13) :

    re: your request for climate scientists to “debate” the deniers”, and my comment about the frutlessness of that:

    <>

    Or Dr Richard Lindzen. He pursued for a number of years the dubious notion that enhanced tropospheric water resulting as a feedback to greenhouse gas atmospheric warming would result in a cooling effect in complete contradiction to the predictions from our understanding of atmospheric physics. “”

    Well foinavon, I would say that if that is”the prediction from (y)our understanding of atmospheric physics.” that clearly your understanding of atmospheric physics is incomplete.

    Note the statement refers to “enhanced tropospheric water”.

    As I am sure you know, atmospheric water is unique among green house molecules, since it alone in the atmosphere exists in all three phases, solid, liquid, and gaseous. Every other prominent GHG is present only in the gaseous phase.

    While water in the gaseous phase is certainly a positive feedback warming influence (or else earth would be a frozen ball), in the liquid or solid phases, water forms CLOUDS, the result of which is a cooling negative feedback; and notably clouds are not fully modelled in the so-called GCMs.

    It isn’t rocket science; nobody has ever observed it to warm up when a cloud passes between the sun and the observer; it ALWAYS cools down. Moreover the optics of the situation is 8th grade high school atmospheric physics. The sun is a narrow angle (0.5 deg) source, so clouds cast a direct shadow, with a narrow penumbral edge,a nd within that shadow zone, the surface irradiance is diminished by reflection from the top of the cloud, and absorption by the water in the cloud.
    On the other hand the reduced thermal radiation from teh shadow zone, is diffuse; at least Lamberitan, and more likely closer to isotropic; so the cloud that formed the shadow, can never intercept more than a small fraction of the IR emission from that shadow zone.

    So I would say that Lindzen is more likely to be correct than your “predictions from (y)our understanding of atmospheric physics.”

    And Al gore’s eminent credentials as a climatologist are what ??

  214. foinavon (12:34:29) :

    Bruce Cobb (11:30:57) :

    These are relevant issues aren’t they?

    No, the only thing that’s relevant is the science. But you AGWers aren’t interested, preferring instead to go with the ad hominem argument and smear tactics, which prove absolutely nothing, except the emptiness of your argument.
    The fact is, fonavon, your AGW ideology, which is based on nothing but pseudoscience is going down the tubes.

  215. foinavon (16:10:53) :
    The correctness/reliability/usefulness of a paper really starts to be assessed once it appears in the literature. It stands or falls in relation to subsequent research, analysis and publications.

    Odd that you left ‘replication’ off that list… Is that why we have not gotten publication of the raw data and methodology of GISS ?

  216. Simon,
    You can address all the arguments here with word play for ever.
    The point I was making, as I’m sure you’re aware, is that of turning over data and methods. You know this hasn’t been done, so why defend it? Why does McIntyre have to file a seemingly never ending stream of Freedom of Information Act requests and still not recieve data? Why aren’t Mann and Hansen required to release the methods they used to adjust data?
    Sorry…I’m clearly not a scientist…but those actions don’t support scientific process, and do nothing but take away credibility.
    You will always be able to single out specific responses on either side of this debate that are incorrect or inacurate. That is noise.

    JimB

  217. foinavon,

    If you believe in Mann’s work, than you and him should move on up to Greenland, where the Vikings were able to live for several centuries. It is much warmer now than it was then, so raising enough food to support yourselves, should be no problem.
    Let us know how that turns out. Don’t forget your sunscreen.

  218. Foinavon,

    Proxy studies are essentially statistical exercises requiring a high level of statistical expertise. Steve McEntyre at ClimateAudit is an expert at statistics, and his site is regularly visited by other experts in the field. I can only surmise from your support of Mann, et al. that you’ve never given more than a cursory perusal of ClimateAudit.

  219. The article referenced in the above post is probably one of the worst pieces of journalism I think I’ve read.
    It states that global warming is being blamed, it cites 50 years of data collection, but it never once explains what the data is, what the change in temps are that has brought about this cataclysmic change.

    it is apparently a preview of an article to be published in Science.

    JimB

  220. foinavon says:

    A couple of examples: Roy Spencer (with John Christy) published a series of downright incompetent analyses of satellite temperatures from microwave sounding units (MSU) which repeatedly had to be corrected by other scientists (a series of papers in the scientific literature over 15 years culminating in a rather embarrassing critique in Science in 2005). Spencer seems to have taken himself completely out of the proper scientific arenas now and attempts to sell dubious messages direct from his web pages.

    Lee Kington says:

    You attack Spencer and Christy…. call their work incompetent. But the IPCC and others rely on the UAH data, despite the prior minor instrument error. Hence, are you saying that the IPCC and those who use UAH data sets are incompetent as well? Is it not incompetent to use the work of incompetents?

    I do think it is too strong to call Spencer and Christy’s satellite work “incompetent”. It is true that it was the first attempt to analyze the data and such first attempts often don’t get it right.

    On the other hand, to call their errors “minor” is certainly not justified. For many years, their data seemed to suggest that the earth was cooling rather than warming, giving much cover to the point-of-view that the warming was an artifact…in fact, their study alone arguably might have been the single biggest piece of data that gave cover to delay action on global warming. As it turns out, they made several errors that mainly shifted the data in the cooling direction. (And, while it may be true to some degree that some part of the shift in the trend is due to a longer data record, you can use their current data to ascertain that even trends over considerably shorter periods starting at the beginning of the record have significant positive trends in the latest version of their data analysis.)

    It is also worth noting that despite these errors, Spencer and Christy were thankfully never hauled before a Congressional committee like Mann and company were. And, this is true despite the fact that subsequent work by others has thus far changed the current understanding less in the case of Mann et al. than it has in the case of Spencer and Christy. Instead, the normal scientific course was allowed to proceed.

    I’ll also defend Spencer by noting that he does seem to be working on publishing some of his recent analyses on cloud feedbacks and the like, so he is not strictly sticking to the web. On the other hand, while I will avoid harsh labels such as “incompetent”, some of the analyses he has posted on the web like his recent stuff on the origins of the CO2 rise have some frightfully glaring errors, as tamino and some of us commenters have been discussing on his blog.

  221. “The researchers devised a statistical technique”

    After reading through a pile of this kind of stuff yesterday, I finally realized exactly here all the statistician jobs that disappeared from the Tobacco Institute had ultimately reappeared.

  222. “” foinavon (09:41:48) :

    Flanagan (07:24:18) :

    Yes it’s pretty dreary (a gift of $144 if registrants to the Heartland Institue pretend Climate “Science” meeting sign some petition devised by a tobacco company propagandist nearly 10 years ago). I wonder who they consider might be taken in by that!?

    The list of cosponsers (click on the poster with the gallery of rogues on the Intro page of the meeting site) gives a pretty good indication of the purpose of this sort of “meeting” and perhaps helps to understand the dubious thinking that considers that dodgy petitions have anything to do with science…

    http://www.heartland.org/events/NewYork09/newyork09.html

    It should be a blast! “”

    Well foinavon; they had one last year; and all the leading AGW advocates were invited to attend, and present papers. Tehy even invited AL Gore and invited him to give a paper, and even offered to pay his $200,000 talk fee.

    Stangely to a man, all the AGW fans declined the invitation; which would also have been an opportunity for “Debate” to take place.

    Gore refuses to debate, in fatc he refuses to appear anywhere unless the sponsors pay his fee , and agree to a rule that he will accept, and answer NO questions.

    So just who are the scientists, and who are the shysters ?

    But the oldest two tricks in the debating handbook, are first off, the straw man argument; which can often be countered by another strawman argument, and failing that; the next tool of weak debaters is the ad hominem attack.

    We have quite a few weak debaters attend here, and attack the messenger; but we get very little counter argument to the messages. Is the AGW thesis so weak, that its supporters can’t defend it with simple data, such as data showing a rising (or falling) atmospheric CO2 concentration, accompanied by, or followed by a rising or falling global surface mean temperature.

    So far, all they have been able to show us (An Inconvenient Truth pages 66/67) are instances where rising and falling global mean surface temperatures are followed by rising and falling atmospheric CO2 concentrations.

    In our normal predictions from our understanding of atmospheric physics, we are used to the idea of having the cause happen before the effect, rather than the other way round. this quirk of human nature would lead us to conclude that it is rising and falling global mean surface temperatures (however caused) that give rise subsequently to rising and falling atmospheric CO2 concentrations.

    I know it is just a small point; but it is what our understanding of atmospheric physics leads us to believe.

  223. “Professor Brook said it had been thought Antarctica was cooling partly because of the hole in the ozone layer, which allowed the hot air out.”

    Is this statement really true….Did this guy say that. I’m just a little ole’ engineer but aren’t there high pressure areas at the poles? Thus, is not the air mostly subsiding at the poles? If the air is subsiding..then how can the ozone layer let the hot air out? Just my two cents!

  224. “The scientists estimate the level of uncertainty in the measurements is between 2-3 degrees Celsius.”

    I do not know what this statement means. How does one estimate “uncertainty” and does it have anything to do with reproducibility or accuracy? Is this supposed to mean that a ground temperature measurement of “X” (with it’s inherent accuracy and reproducibility limitations) can be “estimated” by satellite observation to within +/- 2-3C of “X” 95% of the time? But the satellite temperature estimate is derived from a large area, not a discrete point. So does measuring apples and estimating oranges fall together within +/- 2-3C most of the time? Is that what this means?

    “The scientists found temperature measurements from weather stations corresponded closely with satellite data for overlapping time periods.”

    Again, I do not know what “overlapping time periods” means. Does this mean “time averaging” of the ground temperature measurements? What does “corresponded closely” mean? Are these same day determinations? Sounds to me like there is a whole lot of estimating going on.

    And then by using this data, the authors arrived at an “estimated trend” at the level of 0.1C. And yet the prime data has an “estimated” 2-3C uncertainty.

    How was this “study” ever published in a scientific journal? And even worse, why is anyone even paying any attention to it? In my “estimation” this is not science.

  225. Steve Hempell: The graphs of AHU MSU data I’ve been providing are only for reference. I haven’t said they were used in the study.

    There doesn’t appear to be an easy way to download long term AVHRR data.

    http://wdc.dlr.de/sensors/avhrr3/

    And then it occurred to me: Once I got it, what would I do with it? Steig et al went through processes that would be difficult if not impossible to reproduce.

    Regards

  226. “Africa Cooling according to scientists”. – AP headline.

    The continent of Africa has been cooling by 0.0569C per decade (+/-0.123C) over the last several periods ending in the autumn timeframe of the last simulation.

    The results have been reviewed by 3 eminent individuals.

    Reviewer #1 corrected the improper terminology of siting effects.

    Reviewer #2 provided a climate simulation which reproduced the results except for the gridbox defined by -20,25 by -20,30 which was out of sinc on some non-lateral issues.

    Reviewer #3 reacted vehemently to the proposition that aerosols forcings had been properly accounted for in the effect of spatial patterns of spring westerlies but this has been compensated for through atmospheric padding.

    “The satellite data collected for the study has confirmed our worst fears” said John Holmes of the National African Atmospheric Studies Centre.

    The data for this study will be made available (is available at the time of printing) through ftp at the next automation – site ACVS.

  227. The “Alarmists” part of the Arctic “warming” is all over the media, from CNN to BBC and most National Broadcasters and News Papers in Europe.

    Mission Accomplished!

  228. Wow their scientific evidence is about as rock solid as the foundation for the tower of pisa… oh wait didn’t one side of those foundations crumble? Anyway, even if the climate was changing there would be no proof that it was because of polution. I agree polution can be bad and should be reduced with the right intentions, not just so more money can poor into the pockets of Government officials. However, the earth has natural cycles it goes through, we cannot really expect the climates to stay the same for all of eternity can we? I mean was the Ice Age because the humans back then weren’t using enough aerosol cans to keep the world warm? The problem with humans is that we think we are so powerful we can do anything and that we are the center of the universe and that every problem and solution somehow comes from amongst our ranks.

  229. foinavon (16:55:45) :

    REPEATING MY POST FROM ANOTHER THREAD, AT

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/01/17/divergence-between-giss-and-uah-since-1980/#comment-74925

    Allan M R MacRae (22:02:29) :

    Jan 18 – foinavon (14:31:17) :

    I think you are writing nonsense re Spencer and Christy’s UAH LT measurements.

    Rather than just quoting all these papers, you should quote the magnitude of the corrections involved.

    I think you will find the corrections are practically insignificant.

    For plot of UAH LT global temperature anomalies in 2002, see Figure 1 in

    http://www.apegga.org/Members/Publications/peggs/WEB11_02/kyoto_pt.htm

    For a 2008 plot, see

    I cannot see any material difference – can you?

    Also, UAH and RSS LT temperatures seem to be converging, and the corrections are not all at UAH – many are at RSS.

    Please quote the actual numbers if you wish to make a valid point.

    Regards, Allan

  230. E.M.Smith (17:11:36) :

    “Odd that you left ‘replication’ off that list… Is that why we have not gotten publication of the raw data and methodology of GISS ?”

    GISS temperatures are replicated here:

    http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/data/temperature/

    The papers describing the GISS methodology can be found here:

    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/

    That took me all of 30 seconds to find.

    Don’t know where the raw data is, but I could probably find it in a few more minutes with Google…

  231. Budahmon,
    Prof. Brook did not say that.
    He states what he did say over at Jennifer Morhasy’s website on the thread about this same topic.
    He was badly quoted.

  232. I’ve read the paper now fairly rapidly. The data was created using odd means of surface satellite measurement not lower troposphere, cutting out portions of the satellite data for what was assumed to be clouds. Ground stations were used in a low influence fashion according to one author and RegEm was used to interpolate the rest.

    What I do know is that real data, not interpolated data shows a ring around the antarctic hasn’t warmed!

    http://digitaldiatribes.wordpress.com/2008/11/30/2008-update-on-antarctic-temperatures-rss/

    I am pretty skeptical about this paper because sat trends and ice have both shown cooling. Keep in mind Michael Mann will use anything as a proxy for temperature, as long as it has an uptick. The fact that Ice isn’t as good a proxy as some tree a hundred miles from the temperature it correlates with is a real head scratcher.

  233. Pieter F (10:13:33) :

    “Zeke: Volcanoes? Yes, really.
    You are missing a fundamental point of the empirically based skeptics. We do not deny that there was a period of warming late last century culminating in the 1998 El Niño event. Warming trends are exaggerated at the poles. Therefore, a warming in Antarctica late last century is not surprising. However, since 1998 there has been an overall average global cooling and that too has been more profound in Antarctica. The AGW alarmists are having difficulty resolving the new trend (predicted, by the way, years ago by the solar scientists). So they turn to master alarmist computer modeler, creator of the hockey stick that served Mr. Gore so well.
    West Antarctic has many very active volcanoes, even several below the ice sheet. It is warmer in the west than the rest of Antarctica where all indications are that it is distinctly cooler there. For a decade now, things are globally cooler. Why is it so difficult to understand that the West Antarctic volcanoes contribute to an anomalous warming in that area?”

    Pieter F,

    There has been no warming at the SH.

  234. Long term this paper in Nature will only help the skeptic cause as they desperately re-hash old data to prove a point. Nearly all polls are showing that a majority of people just aint believing it (AGW) any more. Only problem.. Journals like Nature may be hit permanently re credibility problem in the future

  235. Chris V. (18:30:00)
    Nice try, but it’s not that simple…

    See LIMITS ON BOREHOLE-BASED RECONSTRUCTIONS From Surface Temperature Reconstructions for the Last 2,000 Years.
    Committee on Surface Temperature Reconstructions for
    the Last 2,000 Years, National Research Council ISBN: 978-0-309-10225-4 Page 80.

    This identifies a number of problems with borehole records used as temperature proxies. It seems that borehole records are worth the same critical auditing that that has been given by Anthony Watts to surface stations. Perhaps http://www.boreholestations.org is not too far away.

  236. Chris V. (18:30:00) :
    Here’s a completely independent study that also shows the MWP to be cooler than today:

    http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2008/2008GL034187.shtml

    It’s a temperature reconstruction made using geothermal heat flux and borehole temperature data.

    Completely independent of what exactly? Doesn’t make it correct does it? Keep on trying as hard as you like you cannot make the MWP disappear. I don’t believe you or the dodgy study you quoted. Next you’ll be calling it the MCP.

  237. 265 comments already!! WOW!! People see the words “warming in the Antarctic” and “Michael Mann” together and the fur starts flying!

  238. E.M.Smith (16:37:03) :
    Simon Evans (15:23:38) :

    E.M. Smith,
    This isn’t about ‘calibration’ it is all about “NEVER let your precision exceed your accuracy. – Mr. McGuire”

    We have a precision of 0.1 put on data with an accuracy of 1.0.

    I think you have misunderstood my point. If a bias in a station reading is consistent, then the trend can be accurately assessed,

    And you sir, have completely missed mine. THERE CAN BE NO TREND OF LESS THAN ONE DEGREE. PERIOD.

    I don’t care what your calibration error is.
    I don’t care how you do the measuring.
    I don’t care how you process the data.
    I don’t care how biased the data are.

    Your accuracy is measured in degrees. There can be no precision that is valid in less than full degree increments. There can be no trend of less than full degrees. ANY claim of a trend IN EITHER DIRECTION of fractional degrees is a mathematical farce.

    This isn’t up for debate, it is a fact of mathematics.

    Actually it isn’t ‘a fact of mathematics’, you appear to have confused accuracy with resolution.

  239. MarcH (19:57:00) :

    Looking for the perfect temperature proxy? Sorry, it doesn’t exist.

    Tree rings, speleothems, borehole temps, etc. all have their inadequacies.

    But when multiple independent proxies (each with their own different shortcomings) show the same thing, it is strong evidence that the results are real.

    Your link also says this (pg 81) regarding the major potential source of errors (percolating ground water): “….. This is further evidence that the groundwater bias is quantitatively small in borehole-based temperature reconstructions on larger scales. The borehole temperature database has been screened to eliminate other sorts of groundwater influences that are more readily apparent”.

  240. Jeff Id (19:30:36) :

    I am pretty skeptical about this paper because sat trends and ice have both shown cooling. Keep in mind Michael Mann will use anything as a proxy for temperature, as long as it has an uptick. The fact that Ice isn’t as good a proxy as some tree a hundred miles from the temperature it correlates with is a real head scratcher.

    Jeff – if you keep working with MM’s data/techniques and scratching your head – you’ll run out of hair… :-)

  241. Neil Crafter (21:12:14) :

    “Completely independent of what exactly? Doesn’t make it correct does it? Keep on trying as hard as you like you cannot make the MWP disappear. I don’t believe you or the dodgy study you quoted. Next you’ll be calling it the MCP.”

    Completely independent of Mann, tree rings… A totally different data set and method.

    Have you read the paper? Do you have any technical criticisms of what they did (other than you think it’s “dodgy”)? How did you arrive at that conclusion?

  242. Responses to various points put to me above:

    1. regardless of whether or not you believe there has been ozone depletion, the models presume that. Thus this paper does not contradict previous statements suggesting that the modeling matches cooling since the late 70s. By the way, if there had been no ozone depletion then the cooling of the lower stratosphere would be an even stronger indication of GHG warming.

    2. E.M. Smith: “Your accuracy is measured in degrees. There can be no precision that is valid in less than full degree increments. There can be no trend of less than full degrees.” Those are your premises and not mine, so there is little point in demanding whether I accept the conclusion you draw from them.

    3. JimB: “You can address all the arguments here with word play for ever.” I wasn’t. I was making the point about double standards. This thread is packed with evidence of it. I said that I agreed with the general principle of openness – is that not direct enough for you?

  243. Phil. (15:40:04) :
    tetris (11:48:46) :
    Anthony:
    Has anyone in the Steig, Mann, et. al. team ever sat down and done a “back of the envelope” calculation to “deduce” the calories necessary to get all that ice to melt so that it actually will raise sea levels?

    [snip]

    REPLY: Phil. It is rude to answer a question posed to the host with a snide remark to the person posing the question. Please don’t do it again. I’ll answer my own questions, thank you. – Anthony

    Be my guest, it wasn’t a snide remark it was an answer to his question!

  244. George E Smith: “We have quite a few weak debaters attend here, and attack the messenger…”

    Sadly, I have to agree with you. For example: “Keep in mind Michael Mann will use anything as a proxy for temperature, as long as it has an uptick…”

    On the matter of AGW scientists appearing at sceptic conferences, it’s not going to happen. The issue has become too highly politicised and polarised. From both the pro- and anti-AGW perspectives, the mere attendance at such a conference would be seen as giving legitimacy to the sceptical viewpoint. For this reason alone, the AGWers are not likely to bite.

    The way I see it, relations between pro- and anti-AGW climate scientists have now reached a point where rapprochement is not possible. There’s too much water under the bridge and both sides have staked out a position from which they are unlikely to resile.

    The likely outcome, providing the AGW science is correct, will be a completion of the current paradigm shift, as the sceptic position becomes more and more marginal.

    At a later date there may well be a degree of convergence between today’s pro- and anti- positions, in terms of both the influencing mechanisms and effects of AGW, but that belongs to the future.

  245. There seems to be a mild risk here that the WUWT may mislead readers. Two sets of images, one showing a predominantly cooling Antarctic from captioned ‘NASA Viewpoint 2004′,

    another from this year showing an Antarctic dominated by West Antarctic warming, captioned ‘NASA Viewpoint 2009′ are displayed, the title speaks of an ‘evolution of viewpoint’,

    the text has … Let’s take a look at how the imagery has changed in 5 years.… strongly implying that the new work contradicts the earlier viewpoint and has brought

    about a shift of opinion. It does not.

    The two images cover different periods, the 2004 picture is of the period 1982-2004 [Source], the

    second is of the 5 decades to present day covered by Steig et al [large version with

    scale]. So the two images do not illustrate an ‘evolution’ of view about the same thing at all, (perhaps the captions could be updated to make this clearer, currently they

    invite direct comparison of the two images). Nor has the scientific understanding been shifted, just refined. As the lead author says;

    Our results do not contradict earlier studies suggesting that some regions of Antarctica have cooled. Why? Because those studies were based on shorter records (20-30 years,

    not 50 years) and because the cooling is limited to the East Antarctic. (from RealClimate)

    On Mann et al linking this to AGW – doubtful. The earlier studies and the image in particular were widely used as evidence that global warming was not actually ‘global’, for

    example by Steve Goddard. Professor Mann’s remark is to the effect that this argument

    is inconsistent with the results of this new study. The paper itself speculates about changes in wind patterns drawing more warm air into the region but Steig himself says this

    on attribution

    “We now see warming is taking place on all seven of the earth’s continents in accord with what models predict as a response to greenhouse gases,” said Eric Steig, a professor

    of earth and space sciences at the University of Washington in Seattle, who is the lead author of a paper published Thursday in the journal Nature.

    Because the climate record is still short, more work needs to be done to determine how much of the warming results from natural climate swings and how much from the warming

    effects of carbon dioxide released by the burning of fossil fuels

    Its hard to see how that could be any clearer. A proper scientific expression of what we know and what we do not.

  246. E.M.Smith (17:11:36) :

    <blockquote: foinavon (16:10:53) : The correctness/reliability/usefulness of a paper really starts to be assessed once it appears in the literature. It stands or falls in relation to subsequent research, analysis and publications.

    E.M.Smith: Odd that you left ‘replication’ off that list… Is that why we have not gotten publication of the raw data and methodology of GISS ?</blockquote?

    The question of "replication" is implicitly addressed within "It stands or falls in relation to subsequent research, analysis and publications”. Scientific work is rarely “replicated” explicitly – but in progressing any work of significance, relevant elements, of course, are replicated. It’s far better for our understanding of natural phenomena that different groups address analyses using their own methodologies..that way one can assess the metholodogical-dependence of outcomes and interpretations, highlight incompatibilities between differrent analyses and assess likely bounds of reliability and such like…

    For example (since these have been discussed on this thread!) , Mann et al’s paleoproxy study of 1998 spawned a whole series of subsequent paleoproxy analyses using different methods, and so we’re rather more confident of the essential conclusions now than we were then. The tropospheric satellite data analysis is independently analyzed by at least two groups. RSS are not explicitly “replicating” the UAH analyses, they’re analysing data using their own methodology. The global temperature anomaly evolution is determined by three different groups using different methods..there seems to be a pretty good condordance across the different analyses…..and so on…this is a far more productive means of progressing knowledge than what seems to me to be a rather narrow-minded and mean-spirited approach that asumes that scientific data is wrong and needs constantly to be “replicated”!

    So I think one needs to be careful about what one means by “replication”…

    It seems to me that GISS’ methodologies are defined in rather bottom-squirming detail in several publications.

  247. foinavon at (11:54:32) posted the following nonsense:

    “That may be “conventional wisdom” but it’s not what the science has shown! It’s been known for 25 years that the expectation for polar warming in response to an enhanced greenhouse..”

    so where has the science shown this?

    If the southern oceans are a thermal “sink” that “masks” warming, shouldn’t the sea surface temperature show an upward trend?

    it doesn’t

    It is not science if it does not explain the observations. It is hypothesis, conjecture and speculation.

  248. wattsupwiththat (17:12:34) :

    foinavon : “I’m pointing out that they made a large series of rather disgraceful errors over a very long period that were repeatedly corrected by other scientists in the scientific literature (I’ll post a list if you like). That’s not really an “attack”…it’s a statement of fact.”

    That holds true for Dr. Mann as well, except he refuses to correct even his most basic errors, like a series of data points that have erroneous latitudes and longitudes. That Mann error now spans two papers and 10 years.

    As someone who is sitting outside of this field (but a scientist who can access scientific data, read the scientific literature and make a reasonably informed analysis – I hope!), that just doesn’t seem to accord with sensible interpretation. I’m sure that Mann et al made some errors. I make errors all the time and very occasional minor errors creep into analyses which might subsequently be published. The question is whether these errors are of real substance that cloud reliable interpretation or (heaven forbid!) render the work inherently incorrect.

    I would suggest that we can assess this rather objectively, particularly in hindsight, through the scientific process of follow up studies, scientific debate and publication. We can take Spencer and Christy’s work and read every paper that has cited these. It’s pretty clear that Spencer and Christy were very wrong for a period of 15 years. Their initial statistical analysis was inadequate and they introduced a series of spurious artefacts for years. These were repeatedly highlighted by others through the scientific literature. We know very well that their claim to precision was wildly incorrect, that their claimed cooling trends were in actual fact warming trends and so on…they got it completely wrong for a long time…

    We can look at Mann et al’s 1998 study in the similar context of hindsight. As far as I can see the subsequent paleoproxy analyses demonstrate that Mann et al’s rather tentative interpretations was materially robust. All of the paleoanalyses support the interpretation that late 20th century and contemporary warming is anomalous in the context of the last 1000 years or more in the Northern hemisphere.

    e.g. http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/recons.html

    It doesn’t seem to me that Mann has made any substantial errors to the extent that the analysis gives a false view of the available evidence. How can that be the case if pretty much all the paleoproxy data of the last 10 years leads us to broadly similar conclusions?

  249. Mr V
    No I haven’t read the study and I believe it is dodgy because you are quoting it! Simple enough for you?

    What about the many studies that confirm the MWP? Have you read all of those? Let alone the documented historical evidence.

  250. George E. Smith (17:37:42) :

    Stangely to a man, all the AGW fans declined the invitation; which would also have been an opportunity for “Debate” to take place.

    What’s a “AGW fan”? The science is debated in research labs, at scientific meetings, in the scientific literature and other scientific arenas. We can do without these contrived set piece “debates” that shed very little light, and are very often a means for a paricular position to play to an audience.

    Gore refuses to debate….

    So just who are the scientists, and who are the shysters ?

    Gore’s not a scientist is he? He’s a politician. I think we all know that. If I’m interested in the science I’d much rather address that directly. If I’m interested in policy, I’d be quite keen to speak with Mr. Gore.

    It seems to me these calls for “debate” between scientists, and groups that have hived themselves off into a separate faction are inherently unproductive. The very fact of ring-fencing a position within science is anathema to sensible debate.

    Of course I’m sure everyone will have fun at the Heartland meeting, and will come away feeling empowered and ready to take up the cudgels and so on…

    In our normal predictions from our understanding of atmospheric physics, we are used to the idea of having the cause happen before the effect, rather than the other way round. this quirk of human nature would lead us to conclude that it is rising and falling global mean surface temperatures (however caused) that give rise subsequently to rising and falling atmospheric CO2 concentrations.</blockquote

    That’s a strange point of view, George, and a rather odd misrepresentation of what we know. The warming of the last 100 years is entirely compatible with our basic understanding of the properties of greenhouse gasses and the effects of increasing their atmospheric concentrations. The idea that any significant amount of the massively enhanced CO2 concentrations have occurred as a result of warming doesn’t accord with what we know of the natural world. After all we can observe, for example, the last glacial to interglacial transition 15000-10,000 years ago and determine that the atmospheric CO2 concentrations rose throughout this transition by around 90 ppm as temperatures rose by around 5-6 oC globally. The warming was sufficiently slow that the climate system was nearish equilibrium with its forcings and so pretty much the full temperature-dependent release of CO2 from ocean and terrestrial stores was achieved. The same applies to the other glacial-interglacial-glacial transition..

    So the natural world responds with around a 15 ppm rise in atmospheric CO2 per oC of warming, an indication of the re-equilibration of CO2 within the accessible pools of recruitable CO2 defined by the short term carbon cycle.

    Since we’ve had around 0.8 oC of warming, and we know that the speed of this warming is incompatible with complete re-equilibration of CO2 that likely requires flushing from the oceans over very long periods, we don’t really expect that the temperature rise of the past 100-odd years can have raised atmosphere CO2 by more than a few ppm (perhaps 12 ppm if equilibrium was to be achieved).

    So the notion that rising CO2 concentrations have occurred as a response to enahnced temperatures is a non-starter in relation to the evidence. And of course we know from analysis of carbon isotopes that the massive CO2 rise is consistent with a fossil-fuel (13C-depleted) source. And we know that, rather than CO2 coming out of the oceans during this long period, that CO2 is being "pumped" into the oceans in prodigious amounts. And of course we know from analysis of temperature and CO2 proxies through the deep past that it’s rather difficult to escape the conclusion that global temperatures right throughout the Phanerozoic and deeper into the past varied largely in step with variations in atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations. And so on…

    I don’t think we need to pretend that just because glacial to interglacial transitions were driven by insolation variations with greenhouse gas feedbacks, that direct addition of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere doesn’t result in raised equilibrium temperatures. One can’t pursue knowledge via logical fallacies…

  251. Allan M R MacRae (18:39:54) :

    Rather than just quoting all these papers, you should quote the magnitude of the corrections involved.

    I think you will find the corrections are practically insignificant.

    Why not have a look at the papers Allan. For many years UAH pursued the fallacy that the tropospheric temperature trend was negative even ‘though we know that it’s positive. That’s not “an insignificant error” is it!

    And as your web site link shows this spurious analysis was still being pursued in 2002.

    And of course in 2005, the highlighting by others of yet another spurious cooling trend resulted in antoher 40% hike in the warming trend. That’s not “an insignificnat error” either is it..

  252. whoops! Apols for the incompetent use of “blockquotes” in my messages foinavon (02:36:25) and foinavon (03:50:22). In the latter post, only the first paragraph of text in the bottom blockquote is George’s.

  253. Jeff Id (19:30:36) :

    I am pretty skeptical about this paper because sat trends and ice have both shown cooling. Keep in mind Michael Mann will use anything as a proxy for temperature, as long as it has an uptick. The fact that Ice isn’t as good a proxy as some tree a hundred miles from the temperature it correlates with is a real head scratcher.

    I think 100 miles is being pretty magnanimous. Try a half a world away!

  254. Joel Shore (17:34:00) :

    Perhaps “incompetent” is strong…I’m not sure.. But something very weird has gone on with the UAH analyses over the years. One doesn’t mind making mistakes, but it’s nice if one can indentify these oneself before repeatedly broadcasting deficient analysis, particularly when these are repeatedy in the “wrong” direction…perhaps we can at least say that there were a number of rather competent scientists that identified and highlighted the errors in the UAH analysis over the years.

    Actually I don’t think it’s really a big deal now and perhaps one shouldn’t go on about it. But it’s worth highlighting the audacious and rather exhilarating double standard on this issue which I find fascinating. It’s this:

    Mann et al. published their work in Nature and Geophys. Res. Letters in 1998/9. They were rather tentative in their conclusions and highlighted uncertainties in their analyses [The 1999 paper was titled: Northern Hemisphere temperatures during the past millennium: inferences, uncertainties, and limitations" (Geophys. Res. Lett. 26, 759–762; 1999)]. The uncertainty ranges in the Figures in both papers were very clear and very large and so on…

    Christy and Spencer published their first analysis of MSU data in 1990 with an assertion of precision [Spencer RW, Christy JR (1990) Precise Monitoring Of Global Temperature Trends From Satellites. Science 247, 1558-1562] which we know to be completely unjustified, and was pointed out at the time.

    In the intervening years the essential conclusions from Mann et al’s analysis have been supported by a number of other paleoproxies using different approaches, and as far as I can see we seem to be rather more confident about the relationship between current and past-millenial temperatures to the extent that these can be assessed from reconstructions from proxy series. For this Mann has been pilloried in a virtual industry of blog-based attack…

    On the other hand, Christy and Spencer who basically got it rather badly and repeatedly wrong for a very long period are lauded in the same quarters.

    What does all that mean? It certainly seems to me that there’s something that equates more to “heat generation” than an urge to understanding and knowledge advance going on there….but perhaps I’m not looking at these events in quite the right way….!

  255. E.M.Smith (14:27:04) :

    Per ‘the volcano did it’, will Harvard and NASA do?

    http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2003ESASP.535..393S

    States that there is a well demonstrated correlation of more volcanism with solar minima and less with solar maxima.

    What do you mean by “Harvard and NASA” George? This is a conference abstract by a Czech scientist (Prague) presented at the International Solar Cycle Studies Symposium (ISCS 2003), June 23-28, 2003, in Slovakia.

    In what sense do you consider the correlation “well-demonstrated”? After all the title is “Possible correlation between solar and volcanic activity in a long-term scale”.

    This work was never published in the scientific literature. It’s a conference presentation. Generally if a study is of any significance it’s properly published. If one looks at the scientific papers by Dr. Strestik we can see that he looks for correlations between solar and natural phenomena:

    e.g.: Strestik J et al. (2001) Variations in the mortality with respect to lunar phases Earth Moon and Planets 85-6, 567-572.

    or: Mikulecky M, Strestik J (2007) Cerebral infarction versus solar and geomagnetic activity: A cross-regression study. Israel Medical Association Journal 9, 835-838.

    That’s fine of course. But is there a correlation between solar activity and volcanic activity? I think we’d like to see the evidence.

  256. Anthony quoted Trenberth:

    “This looks like a pretty good analysis, but I have to say I remain somewhat skeptical,” Kevin Trenberth, climate analysis chief at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, said in an e-mail. “It is hard to make data where none exist.”

    Actually, the problem is not that it’s ‘hard to make data where none exist.’ It’s that it is easy to do so.

    That said, not having read the paper, I have no real problem with it up front. I think it’s more important to quote exactly the conclusions and uncertainties, caveats and hedges and to compare that with the press releases, headlines and the news reports. The ‘certainty’ and ‘consensus’ is found mainly in the reporting, not in the actual evidence and this disconnect, wherever it’s found, is what needs to be focused on rather than knee-jerk dissing of the scientists and their work.

    The study itself will be analyzed by other scientists and statisticians and through that the science will/should be advanced.

    As to the volcanic activity in the area, there is too much we do not know including the depth of the vulcanism and its relationship to the thermocline. If the thickness of the ice is on the order of 6000 feet, it doesn’t seem likely that the vulcanism is going to affect the surface temperature especially over this short period of time. But the flipside of that is that the heating of the surface isn’t going to affect the base of the iceshelves through that thickness either.

    If the ice shelves break off, it won’t be due to CO2 then will it?

    Where are the studies about this? Seems the grant money isn’t interested.

    In any case, the oceans are proving much more important than previously thought.

  257. I wonder what the opinion of this paper by the current set of defenders would have been if it started in 1940 and CONFIRMED antarctic cooling of 70 years.

    I also wonder whether it would have been published at all.

  258. Perhaps when AGW and the Big Bang are proven wrong, science can finally get out of a 15th century ‘believe what you are told’ mentality.

  259. Looking at various web sites that describe the instrument used in this study (the USGS Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer [AVHRR]), there are certain statements that may or may not have an impact on the data used in this study. Following, I have excerpted certain quotes that may raise questions about the data, although it is unclear from the descriptions whether or not the data used in this study is affected or not. Please refer to the complete description on the respective websites for context.

    From http://edc2.usgs.gov/1km/paper.php:

    Under 2.2 Data Acquisition Network: …onboard tape recorders to acquire LAC data. The one exception is Antarctica where complete land coverage is not always available (emphasis added). Since the major uses of the data sets are related to surface vegetation cover, this is currently not regarded as a major limitation.

    Does this mean that there are gaps in the satellite data used in this study? It is hard to tell one way or the other from this description. Also, the statement that the main intended use of the data sets are related to surface vegetation cover raises the question of whether this instrument was designed to be used to measure temperatures in Antarctica, where there is essentially no vegetation. Again, this may or may not affect the data used in the study.

    Under 2.4 Orbital Pass Generation: …The global land 1-km AVHRR data set consists of only the afternoon (ascending) passes, and no descending (night time) data, from the NOAA polar orbiting satellites. … each half-orbital pass did not stretch from pole to pole.

    Is it possible that only afternoon data was collected and no nighttime data? If this is true, it would have a major impact on the credibility of the study. Unfortunately, one cannot tell from this description if this statement applies to the data used in the study.

    Under 3.3 Atmospheric Correction: … Several approaches for correction of water vapor exist but there is no community agreement on a feasible method. The basic problem is determination of the spatial and temporal variability of water vapor concentrations. The same circumstances affect aerosol corrections. Therefore no water vapor or aerosol correction will be applied.

    The input to the atmospheric correction process is radiance values from the calibrated visible and near-infrared channels. The output of the atmospheric correction process is surface reflectance (in percent) of the visible and near-infrared, albeit without corrections for water vapor and aerosols.

    Presumably, there is little water vapor and there are few aerosols over Antarctica, but maybe not. The fact that no corrections are made for water vapor and aerosols may or may not be relevant to the study.

    From http://edc.usgs.gov/guides/avhrr.html:

    Under Acquisition … Night acquisitions are acquired upon request only. … Prior to March 1990, approximately 40 percent of the data received were archived. (i.e. 60 percent of data prior to March 1990 may be missing)

    The study states under “METHODS-Data” that the

    passive infrared brightness measurements … are continuous beginning January 1982 and constitute the most spatially complete Antarctic temperature data set.

    The description from the above referenced AVHRR website may or may not be in conflict with the statement in the study in that night acquisitions may not have been requested for this time period and that data prior to March 1990 may be very incomplete. Again, it is difficult to tell whether these statements apply to the data in the study, but I think it is worth asking.

  260. Phil. (21:25:25) :

    E.M.Smith (16:37:03) :
    This isn’t about ‘calibration’ it is all about “NEVER let your precision exceed your accuracy. – Mr. McGuire”
    We have a precision of 0.1 put on data with an accuracy of 1.0.

    Actually it isn’t ‘a fact of mathematics’, you appear to have confused accuracy with resolution.

    No, I have not.

    FROM: http://www.srh.noaa.gov/mlb/F6info.html

    Temperature is measured electronically. High or low temperatures for the day may be estimated when necessary. Temperatures are measured in degrees and tenths fahrenheit, and reported as whole degrees, rounding down from .4 and up from .5

    (I added the bold typeface)

    The resolution of the instrument is in 1/10th degrees. This is then rounded to whole degrees. You no longer know if you measured (resolved) 76.5 or 76.9 or 77.4 degrees. Your accuracy is now in whole degrees. 77.

    From this point onward, any math done with more precision than whole degrees is subject to false precision.

    From: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/False_precision

    False precision occurs when numerical data are presented in a manner that implies better precision than is actually the case; since precision is a limit to accuracy, this often leads to overconfidence in the accuracy as well.

    Notice that the word ‘resolution’ does not appear… (in fact, it is nowhere in the whole page.) Once you cut the precision of the data to whole degrees you also limited the accuracy to whole degrees.

    We also have:

    For example, if one instrument can read to tenths of a unit of measurement, calculations related to data obtained from that instrument can only be confidently stated to the tenths place, regardless of what the raw calculation returns or even if other data used in the calculation can be obtained more precisely.

    Which also means that once you have buggered your original resolution down to whole digits of precision (thus reducing accuracy to whole digits) you can never recover precision greater than whole digits since that would lead to false precision.

    If a new instrument, say a satellite or automated station, now reports in 1/10th of a degree or even 1/100th of a degree you can not mix that data in with any of the old data reported in whole degrees unless you truncate your precision at whole degrees. Otherwise your precision is false and your results assert an accuracy that is not there.

    Thus, since for most of the temperature record there is whole degree or less precision, any claim that the world is changing by tenths of a degree in any direction is just bogus.

    I will refrain from comment about what the degree or two ‘adjustments’ done to the data by GISS does to any assertions of precision or accuracy…

    You might want to also read:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Accuracy_and_precision

    which is also devoid of the word ‘resolution’…

  261. E.M.Smith (12:10:49) :
    Phil. (21:25:25) :

    “Actually it isn’t ‘a fact of mathematics’, you appear to have confused accuracy with resolution.”

    No, I have not.

    You have yet again!
    Systematic errors → accuracy
    How close mean of measured values is to true value

    Random errors → precision
    Repeatability of measurements

    Characteristics of tools → resolution
    Smallest increment between measured values

  262. “In the intervening years the essential conclusions from Mann et al’s analysis have been supported by a number of other paleoproxies using different approaches, and as far as I can see we seem to be rather more confident about the relationship between current and past-millenial temperatures to the extent that these can be assessed from reconstructions from proxy series. For this Mann has been pilloried in a virtual industry of blog-based attack…”

    You can’t be serious. Mann has not been “pilloried,” he’s been audited; along with the other Team members proxy studies that have used exactly the same false proxies that Mann was told by NAS not to use. Every one of these studies have been shown to be statistically inept, not to say, incompetent. For you, as a “scientist,” to blandly make these statements shows, to me, an appalling non-familiarity with the state of play on these questions. You need to go to Climateaudit.org and read the history. If you disagree with McIntyre then show him where he is wrong, but don’t come here and asssume we don’t know what the story on the Team is.

  263. Fionhaven

    You and your kind really worry me. Satellite temps from Christy and Spencer are always disparaged by the “Team”, and I include you in the team, because you all come out to play together whenever you feel there is a threat to your “virtual domain” of AGW. Why are you so concerned?

    Here you and all your friends are having great difficulty measuring the Earth’s temperature from six feet above the ground and yet you can’t wait to denigrate measurements from space. I would suggest that if their minor errors were on your side of the fence Christy and Spencer would be receiving kisses all round. Instead we have Mann’s et al “interpolation” of satellite data which you prefer. No wonder I don’t believe a word you say. Anybody who defends Mann destroys their credibility as a scientist.

  264. Simon Evans (22:29:59) :
    2. E.M. Smith: “Your accuracy is measured in degrees. There can be no precision that is valid in less than full degree increments. There can be no trend of less than full degrees.” Those are your premises and not mine, so there is little point in demanding whether I accept the conclusion you draw from them.

    See my prior post with citations. These are not my premises, (in fact, they are not ‘premises’ at all, they are methods), these are the standard ways of doing math in science and engineering. It ought to have been taught to you in high school chemistry or physics class. (Though I remember my H.S. math teacher covering it as well.)

    Yes, it shakes the foundation of the AGW argument (it also shakes the foundation of the skeptics argument). Folks just don’t want to hear that we do not know and can not know more precisely than whole degrees; but that is all the historical data support. If you wanted to go back and throw out all data recorded in whole degrees and only use data recorded in fractional degrees, then you could have more precision. but I suspect that would be a very small data set.

    Sidebar: Since the GISS data report the ‘average’ temperature on a day, I would love to see the raw data (I’ve got my hands on the FORTRAN now and I’m working through it…). IFF the raw data has whole degree high and low that are then averaged to fractional degree averages, that is a fatal error.

    Taking 78 + 23 = 101 / 2 = 50 is fine, but making it 50.5 adds precision and implies accuracy that is not there. It could be 50. It could be 51. You don’t (and can’t) know.

    (The limits of the original temperatures read are 77.5 + 22.5 = 100 / 2 = 50 and 78.4 + 23.4 = 101.8 / 2 = 50.9 assuming the reading was right, but you don’t know where reality is in that range…)

    From here on down I’m going to indulge in some speculation:

    IF these tenths laden average numbers were then used to compute the adjustments to other numbers (giving even more spurious tenths…) all you can say with certainty is that you can say nothing with certainty in the tenths range.

    IF those ‘corrections’ extend beyond the tents via a math step amplifying the tenths, then the whole degrees start to be suspect. (For example, if a spurious 1/2 degree rise at a location is amplified by a spurious 1/2 degree UHI adjustment from a different spurious 1/2 degree station into a 1 degree rise, the whole degree is fictional… Similarly, if the 50.5 from above were calculated then ’rounded up’ to 51 in a mistaken belief that this was getting the precision back in line, you again have amplified the error in the tenths place…)

    The only ‘premise’ or assumption I’m making in all this is that the NOAA page cited in my prior post is correctly representing the precision of the recorded raw data used by GISS. If there are some other, more precise data (i.e. if the raw with 1/10ths from land stations is somehow recorded) they would allow more precision (though if averaged in with any ‘old’ full degree data the precision drops to full degrees…)

    And this might explain why the satellite data (which I presume are reported in more precision than whole degrees…) diverge from the GISS.

    In fairness to GISS, the basic error may originate with NOAA. I notice on the form that they report the average and departure in tenths. IFF GISS is depending on a NOAA provided average with tenths, then the fault is with NOAA…

  265. foinavon (06:21:44) :
    E.M.Smith (14:27:04) :
    Per ‘the volcano did it’, will Harvard and NASA do?

    http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2003ESASP.535..393S

    States that there is a well demonstrated correlation of more volcanism with solar minima and less with solar maxima.

    What do you mean by “Harvard and NASA” George? This is a conference abstract by a Czech scientist (Prague) presented at the International Solar Cycle Studies Symposium

    It wan’t George, it was me. Harvard is in the link, and NASA is in the header as “SAO/NASA ADS Astronomy Abstract Service”. I presume they deal with real scientists and real science… Or do you find something wrong with Czech science?

    In what sense do you consider the correlation “well-demonstrated”? After all the title is “Possible correlation between solar and volcanic activity in a long-term scale”.

    Well, perhaps when they say “striking similarity” and “indubitable” it means something? Yes, the title says “Possible” as do a very large number of folks when presenting work. So? Never heard of modesty? I’ve added a bit of bold to make it easier to spot was was in the body of the text.

    “Using 21-yr running averages a striking similarity between these two time series is clearly seen. Volcanic activity is generally lower in periods of prolonged maxima of solar activity and higher in periods of prolonged solar minima. There is also a similarity between the spectra of these two series in the long-period range. Main peaks are located in the same periods in both series (200-215 yr, 100-105 yr, 80-90 yr). The influence of volcanic activity on the climte is indubitable.

    There were lots of others papers that showed up in the google search, this isn’t unique. I mostly picked it because it was short and direct. If you don’t like it you can go find many more with the same conclusion.

  266. foinavon says:

    Actually I don’t think it’s really a big deal now and perhaps one shouldn’t go on about it. But it’s worth highlighting the audacious and rather exhilarating double standard on this issue which I find fascinating.

    Oh, I think it is absolutely worth highlighting and I appreciate your posts on this as I learned some new things (such as the audacious title that Spencer and Christy gave to their first paper on the satellite measurements).

    While I thought “incompetent” might have been too strong a word, I think “double standard” is probably too weak a word for what you describe! I am also amused how small errors discovered in the GISS temperature record (such as the Y2K error or the October 2008 error) that make essentially no difference to the global temperature trend (over any period long enough that it can be reasonably determined) are considered to be a huge deal whereas people like Lee Kington or Allan M R MacRae seem to believe that the UAH errors that got the sign of the temperature trend wrong are “minor” or “practically insignificant”!

  267. Phil Howerton says:

    You can’t be serious. Mann has not been “pilloried,” he’s been audited; along with the other Team members proxy studies that have used exactly the same false proxies that Mann was told by NAS not to use. Every one of these studies have been shown to be statistically inept, not to say, incompetent.

    And, these “audits” have been published in the peer-reviewed literature where exactly? If McIntyre & co. had the confidence in these “audits” he would put them out in the peer-reviewed literature for consideration by the scientific community. So far, it appears that he has primarily used them to preach to the converted.

    And, why did the NAS report not come to the conclusions that you are reaching? In order to pull out something you like from it, you have to take one sentence in that entire report and use it to reach a conclusion quite different than the conclusion that the report actually reached? (Besides which, I don’t think it is even true that all the other studies have used the strip-bark trees…and at least one report has tested the sensitivity of their results to the removal of up to (any) two or three of the proxies used.)

  268. Phil. (12:55:35) :
    E.M.Smith (12:10:49) : No, I have not.
    You have yet again!

    I’ll try once again:

    Characteristics of tools → resolution
    Smallest increment between measured values

    Which is agreed. It was in 1/10th degrees. Never said otherwise.

    Random errors → precision
    Repeatability of measurements

    Here you start to drift. You leave out the mathematical precision. The data from the resolution step are rounded to full degrees. At this point the precision becomes full degrees. One measurement may give 77.4, the next 77.5 at the same 7.4445 real temperature (precision and repeatability of 1/10ths) but once you have turned those two numbers into 77 and 78 in the record, the repeatability in 1/10ths is gone. If you remeasured you might get 77.4 or 77.5 (still 1/10s range of repeatability in the device) but the rounding magnifies this into 77 or 78 (full degree range of result). Your ‘repeatability’ is now measured in full degrees. You have a one degree ‘random’ error in your data from a 1/10th variation in your instrument.

    Your precision is now full degrees, since you have a full degree of variance (error) in your data from ‘equivalent’ measurements at 77.4445 degrees real.

    Systematic errors → accuracy
    How close mean of measured values is to true value

    And here is the next drift. It isn’t just ‘measured’ values at this point. It’s the recorded values. Your instrument was left behind at the rounding stage above…

    So if the real value is 77.4445 and I can get 77 or 78 from it in the record, my accuracy range is 1 degree. .4445+.5555=1.0000 That is what is meant in the pages I cited when they said the precision limits the accuracy… Please re-read the citation if you need more clarity on this point.

    (And before you run off to say that the mean of 77 and 78 is 77.5, realize that my data record could contain a series of 77’s with a mean of 77 or a series of 78s with a mean of 78 from a series of 77.4445 temps recorded with a 77.x instrument rounded to 7X so the mean depends on the actual data series and has a range of 1 degree possible. Actual +/- 0.5 degree.)

    If you want to keep playing ‘does so / does not’ at this point, I give up. Go read the literature.

  269. My two cents on the accuracy, precision, and temperature change per year discussion. I have been following the discussion and find points of agreement with both sides here.

    It is quite possible, and quite valid, to measure temperatures in whole degrees over a period of years, yet conclude there was a change measured in tenths of a degree per year.

    The same principle allows us to state, with a straight face, that a population of people has 2.3 children per woman, on average. I shall explain.

    Some women will have zero children, others have 1, 2, 3 or more in their lifetimes. Yet, when adding up all the women (whole numbers) and all the children (whole numbers), then dividing the number of children by the number of women, we obtain some number that is likely not a whole number. Thus, 2.3 children per woman.

    Temperature measured over years can have the same result. Example: At time zero, temperature measured in whole degrees is 14 degrees C. At time zero-plus-ten years, temperature is measured at 15 degrees, again in whole degrees. What is the average temperature rise per year? One degree divided by ten years, equals 0.1 degrees/year. No precision errors, no accuracy errors.

    Now, there may be calibration errors, but if the measuring device is calibrated equally well at both times of measurement, or even if it reads wrong but by the same amount and in the same direction, the average increase per year is still valid.

    We do this all the time in refineries and chemical plants, where erroneous data readings (measurements) are identified via sophisticated data reconciliation algorithms. It may be physically impossible for a temperature reading to be what the instrument displays, so the bias is determined and added to the result. Then the adjusted (reconciled) value is included into whatever computer program is appropriate for the application at hand.

    One important commercial application of this is determining the degree of fouling of heat exchangers, by measuring the temperatures of fluids flowing to and from the heat exchanger over a period of time. The optimal schedule to clean the heat exchanger can be determined with this data (and some other data, but no need to go into that here).

    I am not sure what went on in Antarctica regarding their temperature measurements, after reading the papers and comments on this thread. But, a tenth degree rise per year can be perfectly valid even when the measuring device gives whole numbers.

    Roger E. Sowell

  270. Joel Shore says:

    And, these “audits” have been published in the peer-reviewed literature where exactly? If McIntyre & co. had the confidence in these “audits” he would put them out in the peer-reviewed literature for consideration by the scientific community. So far, it appears that he has primarily used them to preach to the converted.

    I think this shows astounding ignorance on your part, Joel, or a willful desire to slander McIntyre, because they have submitted them to peer-reviewed literature.

    You can see the results in Climate Audit. Steve McIntyre is one very much to be respected person in my view.

  271. Richard Sharpe says:

    I think this shows astounding ignorance on your part, Joel, or a willful desire to slander McIntyre, because they have submitted them to peer-reviewed literature.

    Well, I would be glad to stand corrected, but if I go to ClimateAudit and look at the “Articles” banner on the lefthand side, I see the last published paper he had was in 2005…and that was on the original Mann work published in 1998/1999. In fact, he has only paper published period in what is considered to be a reputable peer-reviewed journal (GRL; alas, Energy & Environment is not), plus a reply to a comment on that paper.

    Perhaps he has been submitting papers to journals regarding the other proxy studies and having them rejected or still being processed? I’d be interested to see any such papers you can point me to.

  272. foinavon (04:00:48) :

    There is very little time left for you to make your point.

    You are dodging my question and misrepresenting your Christy and Spencer issue. Your approach seems to lack clarity, sincerity and decency.

    I have shown you two UAH LT datasets, one published in 2002 and another in 2008.

    There is no material difference between them, in spite of all the “errors” you allege were discovered by others.

    What is the source reference of your alleged 40% error?

    Can you define the “40% of what” that you are referring to?

    Regards, Allan

  273. Richard Sharpe (15:48:37)

    Joel Shore (16:45:27)

    I’ve had a look in the scientifc data base. As Joel says, Steve McIntyre hasn’t published anything since 2005 (and one of the 2005 “papers” is in the rather unfortunate non-science magazine “Energy and Environment”).

    There are some very interesting papers by Wahl and Ammann on this subject quite recently published. These are extraordinarily detailed and assess the original Mann et al reconstructions and the McIntyre/McItrick criticisms. They provide a very nice context for properly assessing these issues, and more importantly, redirecting the focus towards knowledge acquisition and understanding, and away from the long-standing persistent and dreary sniping.

    They are:

    Eugene R. Wahl and Caspar M. Ammann (2007) Robustness of the Mann, Bradley, Hughes reconstruction of Northern Hemisphere surface temperatures: Examination of criticisms based on the nature and processing of proxy climate evidence. Climatic Change 85, 33-69.

    Abstract: The Mann et al. ( 1998) Northern Hemisphere annual temperature reconstruction over 1400-1980 is examined in light of recent criticisms concerning the nature and processing of included climate proxy data. A systematic sequence of analyses is presented that examine issues concerning the proxy evidence, utilizing both indirect analyses via exclusion of proxies and processing steps subject to criticism, and direct analyses of principal component ( PC) processing methods in question. Altogether new reconstructions over 1400-1980 are developed in both the indirect and direct analyses, which demonstrate that the Mann et al. reconstruction is robust against the proxy- based criticisms addressed. In particular, reconstructed hemispheric temperatures are demonstrated to be largely unaffected by the use or non-use of PCs to summarize proxy evidence from the data-rich North American region. When proxy PCs are employed, neither the time period used to “center” the data before PC calculation nor the way the PC calculations are performed significantly affects the results, as long as the full extent of the climate information actually in the proxy data is represented by the PC time series. Clear convergence of the resulting climate reconstructions is a strong indicator for achieving this criterion. Also, recent “corrections” to the Mann et al. reconstruction that suggest 15th century temperatures could have been as high as those of the late-20th century are shown to be without statistical and climatological merit. Our examination does suggest that a slight modification to the original Mann et al. reconstruction is justifiable for the first half of the 15th century (similar to+ 0.05-0.10 degrees), which leaves entirely unaltered the primary conclusion of Mann et al. ( as well as many other reconstructions) that both the 20th century upward trend and high late-20th century hemispheric surface temperatures are anomalous over at least the last 600 years. Our results are also used to evaluate the separate criticism of reduced amplitude in the Mann et al. reconstructions over significant portions of 1400-1900, in relation to some other climate reconstructions and model-based examinations. We find that, from the perspective of the proxy data themselves, such losses probably exist, but they may be smaller than those reported in other recent work.

    Caspar M. Ammann and Eugene R. Wahl (2007) The importance of the geophysical context in statistical evaluations of climate reconstruction procedures. Climatic Change 85, 71-88.

    Abstract: A portion of the debate about climate reconstructions of the past millennium, and in particular about the well-known Mann-Bradley-Hughes (“MBH” 1998, 1999) reconstructions, has become disconnected from the goal of understanding natural climate variability. Here, we reflect on what can be learned from recent scientific exchanges and identify important challenges that remain to be addressed openly and productively by the community. One challenge arises from the real, underlying trend in temperatures during the instrumental period. This trend can affect regression-based reconstruction performance in cases where the calibration period does not appropriately cover the range of conditions encountered during the reconstruction. However, because it is tied to a unique spatial pattern driven by change in radiative balance, the trend cannot simply be removed in the method of climate field reconstruction used by MBH on the statistical argument of preserving degrees of freedom. More appropriately, the influence from the trend can be taken into account in some methods of significance testing. We illustrate these considerations as they apply to the MBH reconstruction and show that it remains robust back to AD 1450, and given other empirical information also back to AD 1000. However, there is now a need to move beyond hemispheric average temperatures and to focus instead on resolving climate variability at the socially more relevant regional scale.

  274. For new visitors to WUWT, the Wegman Report to Congress identifies the corruption of the peer review process within the climate sciences. Professor Wegman is an internationally recognized statistician who chairs the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) Committee on Applied and Theoretical Statistics. [Similar information is available by searching "Wegman, NAS".]

    Also, this critique by the grandfather of climatologists, Prof. Richard Lindzen, the Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Meteorology, in the Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences department at M.I.T., is must reading in order to understand the shenanigans involved in climate science peer review and the government grant process: click

    The links above show that the peer review process in the climate sciences has been thoroughly corrupted. It is unfortunate, but true, as Professors Wegman and Lindzen make crystal clear.

  275. Roger Sowell:

    The same principle allows us to state, with a straight face, that a population of people has 2.3 children per woman, on average.

    That reminds me of a factoid I once read: on average, a person has fewer than two feet.

  276. This genuflection at the altar of publication reminds me of an experience early in my career as an industrial scientist. A paper appeared in a “prestigious internationally well-regarded journal” claiming the discovery of a great new catalytic process. The lead author was someone whom I had heard was fond of keeping a numbered list of his many publications on his office door.

    The work attracted the attention of many companies that expended considerable resources trying to reproduce the work, all without success. I heard of at least five through the grapevine, including one that had hired some poor guy for the express purpose of commercially developing this process.

    As it turns out, the process was not reproducible even in the original lab.

    Fortunately or unfortunately, unlike climate science, commercially significant research has a very clear measure of success. Coulda’, shoulda’, woulda’s don’t count for much, nor do chest thumping arguments based on whose CV is longest.

  277. Allan M R MacRae (17:11:49)

    I’ve cited this paper twice already in response to your request!

    Here it is again:

    Carl A. Mears and Frank J. Wentz (2005) The Effect of Diurnal Correction on Satellite-Derived Lower Tropospheric Temperature Science 309 ,1548 – 1551

    In which the authors demonstrate that Spencer and Christy made an incorrect “correction” of the diurnal effect on satellite MSU tropospheric temperature data by introducing the wrong sign, which made the tropospheric temperature trend appear rather cooler (or less warm) than reality. A very weird error for Spencer and Christy to have made.

    Spencer and Christy acknowledged their error here:

    J.R. Christy and R.W. Spencer (2005) Correcting Temperature Data Sets Science 310, 972 – 973 in a rather embarrasing bit of correspondence in which their dodgy analysis was rather openly highlighted.

    They described that as a result of this latest error that they were making yet another correction to the UAH analysis and that in version 5.2 the tropospheric temperature trend (Dec 1978-July 2005) was being raised by 40% from 0.088 oC per decade to 0.123 oC per decade.

    That’s the 40% correection you’ve asked about.

    If you go back and look at the references I’ve given you already, you can identify the other papers in which spurious cooling trends were introduced into their analysis by Spencer and Christy. In their early work they asserted that the trend was actually a bit negative, and as you’ve already shown with the web page you linked to earlier, even up to 2002 (12 years after their first report of their “methods”) they were still asserting that there was no warming trend.

  278. “” foinavon (03:50:22) :

    George E. Smith (17:37:42) :

    Stangely to a man, all the AGW fans declined the invitation; which would also have been an opportunity for “Debate” to take place.

    What’s a “AGW fan”? The science is debated in research labs, at scientific meetings, in the scientific literature and other scientific arenas. We can do without these contrived set piece “debates” that shed very little light, and are very often a means for a paricular position to play to an audience. “”

    >>Sorry for using non specific colloquialisms; perhaps I should have said ‘promoters of the man made globals warming thesis’ And as I said, all of the more publicly prominent ones in that group were invited to present papers at the conference, and declined a perfect opportunity to “instruct” all those poor souls who are lost among the ‘deniers’ <<>You seem very swift to simply dismiss that whole group as inconsequential; what are your credentials that qualify you to do that; they put their trousers on one leg ata time same as you do; if their scientific arguments are unsound, that is a perfect opportunity for you to show them why<>>That’s a rather hollow charge. if Dr Roy Spencer is unable to get a paper accepted in the peer reviewed journals; because a single reviewer perceives his paper not in line with the approved position; is that the scientific process we want?<<<

    Of course I’m sure everyone will have fun at the Heartland meeting, and will come away feeling empowered and ready to take up the cudgels and so on…

    In our normal predictions from our understanding of atmospheric physics, we are used to the idea of having the cause happen before the effect, rather than the other way round. this quirk of human nature would lead us to conclude that it is rising and falling global mean surface temperatures (however caused) that give rise subsequently to rising and falling atmospheric CO2 concentrations.>>Well it is in no way a contradiction; even in al Gore’s book, the 650,000 years or so of ice core temperature and CO2 data, show incontroveribly that the CO2 changes always follow the temperature changes, and by delays of the order of 800 years. And although Gore pulled a cheap trick that even an 8th grade science student would avoid; namely separating the temperature and CO2 graphs vertically to hide the relative timing; it is still irrefutable that the temperature changes happen first, and the CO2 changes follow. Whats’s more, the very same original data that Gore used somewhat poorly in his book, and the raw data itself still shows the same time relationship. And what do you know; in the half dozen or so peer reviewed journal papers in which I have seen this same data presented; evn those authors did not overlap the two graphs so that the reader could immediately grasp the only significant data that is in those graphs; and that is that the temperature changes either up or down ALWAYS happen first, and the CO2 changes, either up or down ALWAYS happen later. Moreover the falling edges of the CO2 curves are ALWAYS slower than the rising edges, and ALWAYS slower than the temperature falling edges. Physicaql processes have a general tendency to slow down from cause to effect; we typically don’t see acceleration in propagation delays. You simply cannot make a case that those Temperature changes were CAUSED by those CO2 changes.
    And guess what happend 800 years ago before today’s rising CO2 edge? Well lookey here; I do believe that was smack in the middle of the mediaeval Warming period. Well we can forget that; Michael Mann says there was no such thing; well he also said his hockey stick was just a local phenomenon, and not a global effect. Well to be pedantic; since you like that, his hockey stick graph was labelled “NORTHERN HEMISPHERE”. Well I’ll let you look that up for yourself in the original IPCC report where he announced it. <<>>Well I’ll just leave that to you to explain to Al Gore; he’s the one who pointed out to the world at large in his science fiction movie, that the temperatures, and the CO2 are correlated; he just never got it straight in what order they occur<<<

    And I wish you would stop spreading this CO2 feedback nonsense. Water vapor is a much more powerful greenhouse warming gas that CO2 ever was even at is’s maximum concentrations that we know about ever occurring; so water vapor by itself is perfectly capable ofgeberating all the positive feedback warming you want to have, and it does; so it needs and gets no help from CO2 or any other GHG since Water can absorb the very same iR wavelengths that they can; and then some.

    Unfortunately, CO2 and methane don’t form clouds of liquid or solid compositions like water does, and water clouds produce an overwhelming negative feedback cooling that can more than swamp any puny effect that CO2 causes. Which is why,w e see CO2 continuing to rise precipitously,and meanwhile the temperature has decided to not co-operate with the AGW theory, and is clearly going the other way.<<>> if CO2 produced any significant amount of positive feedback; with all the propagation delays built into the system; we would have a thermal oscillator; but for some reason; the climate modellers don’t seem to worry about the feedback stability of their feedback models or the transient time response of them.

    When somebody shows me the frequency response and the transient response to say an impulse function of one of these CO2 feedback amplifiers; I might start paying attention.

    Well even publishing some some temperature rise data with proof of the mechanism by which some CO2 rise data caused it, I would note that too.

    The Arrhenius model of CO2 warming is the flimsiest piece of non-science I have ever seen; and the total failure of any of the predictions of the IPCCs predictions/projections/suppositions to actually come about is proof enough. <<

    George

  279. Allan M R MacRae says:

    There is very little time left for you to make your point.

    You are dodging my question and misrepresenting your Christy and Spencer issue. Your approach seems to lack clarity, sincerity and decency.

    I have shown you two UAH LT datasets, one published in 2002 and another in 2008.

    There is no material difference between them, in spite of all the “errors” you allege were discovered by others.

    What does “no material difference between them” mean? Have you fit linear trend lines through both data sets? The fact that they look sorta the same doesn’t cut it…The problems with these data sets are not the shorttime up and downs but subtle and not so subtle issues that affect the long term trends.

    Furthermore, your comparison doesn’t show the full extent of the corrections over the years. I think by 2002 a lot of the corrections of errors (such as the correction for orbital decay of the satellites) had already been made.

    What is the source reference of your alleged 40% error?

    Can you define the “40% of what” that you are referring to?

    I believe he is referring to the last major correction of the UAH dataset in ~2005 that raised the trend from 0.088 to 0.123 C/decade, an increase of 40%. And, the source for it is this README file at Spencer and Christy’s UAH website documenting the corrections:

    Update 7 Aug 2005 ****************************

    An artifact of the diurnal correction applied to LT has been discovered by Carl Mears and Frank Wentz (Remote Sensing Systems). This artifact contributed an error term in certain types of diurnal cycles, most noteably in the tropics. We have applied a new diurnal correction based on 3 AMSU instruments and call the dataset v5.2. This artifact does not appear in MT or LS. The new global trend from Dec 1978 to July 2005 is +0.123 C/decade,
    or +0.035 C/decade warmer than v5.1.

    And, while they note that this error was still within the margin of error of +/- 0.05 C/decade that they claimed in their 2003 paper, it still constitutes a significant systematic error…and, as I noted, there were other major ones corrected before 2003. You can read a bit more about them in that README file although there is not generally systematic documentation of how the trend has changed with the correction of each one. From that file, here is what I can piece together about how the trend has changed with time (although some of this might be due to the changing length of the data series, I think that has generally been a smallcontribution at least after the first 15 years or so of data):

    Pre-1999: (not sure of the number but it was negative)
    Jan 2001: +0.044 C /decade
    Before Aug 2005 correction: +0.088 C / decade
    After Aug 2005 correction: +0.123 C / decade

    Hope that helps to clear up your confusion on this issue.

  280. AARGH! To say MBH-98 is “robust” since 1450 is a little like saying that by 1960 Hitler’s defeat was assured.

    And to say it is robust back to 1000 is to ignore completely the historical and archaeological record (and contemporary literature).

    If proxies say there was no MWP, that doesn’t refute the existence of the MWP, it just refutes the alleged accuracy of said proxies.

  281. John M (18:00:11)

    That’s a very nice reminiscence, but it’s not obvious what it’s relevance is to our understanding of paleoproxy analysis of past temperatures!

  282. evan jones says:

    And to say it is robust back to 1000 is to ignore completely the historical and archaeological record (and contemporary literature).

    What record are you talking about? The point of Mann et al. is not that a MWP did not exist in some regions of the northern hemisphere (particularly the North Atlantic) but rather that it was not a global phenomenon…Or, more precisely, to the extent that there were warm periods in records from various places if you take a broad enough definition of the Medieval Period, these warm periods tended to be asynchronous from one place to another so that when you average over the whole hemisphere all you get is a modest broad bump over the Medieval Period rather than the more dramatic peak you would get if the warm periods happened at the same time.

    If proxies say there was no MWP, that doesn’t refute the existence of the MWP, it just refutes the alleged accuracy of said proxies.

    Hmmm…Well that sounds a lot like denying the evidence that goes against your pre-conceptions. I admit that more work needs to be done, and is being done, to understand and improve the proxy data…but to simply dismiss it out-of-hand is kind of ridiculous.

  283. Here’s a quote from a 1998 paper by Spencer and Christy ( http://ams.allenpress.com/archive/1520-0442/11/8/pdf/i1520-0442-11-8-2016.pdf ) that gives us another couple of data points for my chart of how their trend has changed with time:

    The combination of these changes causes the 18+ year trend of T2LT to be warmer by +0.03C / decade (-0.076 to -0.046 C /decade for January 1979–April 1997). We estimate the precision of the overall trend as +/- .05 C / decade.

    So, in other words, before this 1998 paper their trend was -0.076 C / decade and after it, it was -0.046 C / decade.

    And, note that their Aug. 2005 estimate of +0.123 C / decade lies well outside the +/- 0.05 C / decade error bars on that -0.046 C number (which, as per this paper has already been corrected at least once). [And, while some of this change could be due to the longer data series, from what I recall by some investigation of looking at the trends in their current data set out to various end-dates, I don't think that much of it is. It would be easy enough to check this by computing the trend on their current data series restricted to that Jan 1979 - April 1997 time frame.]

  284. foinavon (18:19:43) :

    That’s a very nice reminiscence, but it’s not obvious what it’s relevance is to our understanding of paleoproxy analysis of past temperatures!

    Then one has to wonder why you bothered to pen this masterpiece.

    I’ve had a look in the scientifc data base. As Joel says, Steve McIntyre hasn’t published anything since 2005 (and one of the 2005 “papers” is in the rather unfortunate non-science magazine “Energy and Environment”).

    Should I add an exclamation point to the end of my statement too?

  285. One interesting aspect of the Nature article is the NASA graphic, the third map on this page, which has been specifically designed for maximum media impact. It is the graphic that is used on the cover of Nature and by news organisations around the world. The colours used are ‘hot’ colours. The Antarctic peninsula is portrayed as bright red. So in the eyes of the general public it must be hot. Apart from the fact that it represents a very minor warming trend as generated by the computer models in the study and not absolute temperatures. Graphics can be very powerful in the manipulation of public opinion.

  286. The point of Mann et al. is not that a MWP did not exist in some regions of the northern hemisphere (particularly the North Atlantic) but rather that it was not a global phenomenon…

    So, pretty much like any warming we might have seen this century, not global by any means.

  287. The believers in AGW are attempting to prop up Michael Mann’s ruined reputation, but the facts of his scientific misconduct cannot be expunged from the record:

    What McIntyre found was that [Mann’s} work was based on a pattern of bad statistics that came very close to simply being fraud. Mann had chosen nonstandard statistical procedures which amplified a single sample, from a set of trees (bristlecone pines) well-known to respond directly to CO2 rather than temperature, into a pattern that looked like it covered the entire world. Moreover, Mann’s FTP site had a directory called “CENSORED” on it in which the same calculation was repeated without the bristlecones, showing no “hockey stick” at all.[source]

    In other words, Michael Mann deliberately misrepresented the facts. And he knew it at the time. And to this day he stonewalls anyone who asks about his flawed data and methodology. Who in their right mind would trust or believe someone like that?

    Mann [who is paid out of the public purse] then hid his data and methodology, claiming that it is his ‘personal intellectual property.’ When confronted with the fact that he used provably incorrect data, he still has refused to delete it — for the past two years.

    When Mann finally, grudgingly disclosed some of his methodology [after being caught red-handed hiding data behind the "CENSORED" directory by statistician Steve McIntyre, which discredited Mann's paper], Prof. Wegman proved that any random red noise that was fed through Mann’s algorithm would produce the same hockey stick pattern. Noise! Since Mann knew this, he acted fraudulently when he provided the IPCC with his hockey stick results — which the IPCC has used extensively to extort money from U.S. taxpayers.

    The Wegman Report to Congress showed conclusively that McIntyre was right and Mann was wrong regarding the discredited hockey stick. Yet to this day Mann continues churning out bogus hockey stick patterns, indicating a high degree of official corruption within the climate sciences. They are a small, closed clique that never allows conflicting views or answers uncomfortable questions. And our tax dollars are paying for this ongoing fraud.

    The AGW political contingent can go on blithely claiming that there is no MWP, but that new hypothesis is destined for failure. The MWP has been repeatedly demonstrated over decades, and is accepted by the mainstream climate scientists and geologists. The current futile attempt to pretend it didn’t happen reeks of desperation.

    It comes down to this: who are you going to believe, a discredited inventor of bogus data, or the mainstream scientists who overwhelmingly accept the fact of the Medieval Warming Period?

  288. I said:

    And, note that their Aug. 2005 estimate of +0.123 C / decade lies well outside the +/- 0.05 C / decade error bars on that -0.046 C number (which, as per this paper has already been corrected at least once). [And, while some of this change could be due to the longer data series, from what I recall by some investigation of looking at the trends in their current data set out to various end-dates, I don't think that much of it is. It would be easy enough to check this by computing the trend on their current data series restricted to that Jan 1979 - April 1997 time frame.]

    Well, I’m back after fighting with Excel for a while: I did the trend computation and it turns out that the endpoint makes more difference than I expected. Nonetheless, my basic point still holds…Here is a list of the trends under various versions of their algorithm but now all for the period from Jan 1979 thru Apr 1997:

    Pre-1998 correction: -0.076 C / decade (from their paper linked to above)
    Post-1998 correction: -0.046 C / decade (from their paper linked to above)
    Current version: +0.029 C / decade (from my Excel calc using their online dataset)

    So, to summarize here:

    (1) From their pre-1998 version to their current version, the trend changes by +0.105 C / decade using the same data. [I don't know if there had been any prior corrections to their analysis between when they first published in the early 1990s and their analysis just prior to their 1998 corrections.]

    (2) Even from their post-1998 version to their current version, the trend changes by +0.075, which is outside of the +/- 0.05 C errorbar they gave in that 1998 paper. [And, this change is just due to the systematic corrections. I presume that their errorbar was also meant to include statistical error in the trendline.]

    (3) As it turns out, just because of the longer data set, the trend has also increased significantly…which, of course, is not due to the errors that they made. I.e., while their current version of the analysis gives a trend of only +0.029 C / decade over that Jan 1979 – Apr 1997 period, the trend for the period running up through Dec 2008 is +0.127 C / decade. Much of this rise in trend occurred during the 1998 El Nino … since the trend ending in Oct 1998, just 18 months additional data from what was in their paper, was already +0.109 C / decade.

    (4) Their trend still remains a bit lower than that found by the RSS analysis and other analyses (I believe there are analyses from a group at UMd and U Wash.).

  289. Alan Wilkinson says:

    Joel Shore, the work summarised here, some very recent, makes it clear your statements on the MWP are questionable:

    http://www.co2science.org/data/mwp/mwpp.php

    As you probably know, that link is to a summary by an advocacy group, not a group with any scientific standing. So, their summary is selective both in the papers they choose to include and what they choose to say about them.

    Mind you, I’m not saying that the evidence on the MWP is completely settled…But the real summaries of the scientific literature (e.g., by the IPCC or the NAS) have concluded that the evidence favors an MWP that was never as warm as the late 20th century. The way the 2006 NAS report ( http://books.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=11676&page=4 ) states it is:

    The basic conclusion of Mann et al. (1998, 1999) was that the late 20th century warmth in the Northern Hemisphere was unprecedented during at least the last 1,000 years. This conclusion has subsequently been supported by an array of evidence that includes both additional large-scale surface temperature reconstructions and pronounced changes in a variety of local proxy indicators, such as melting on ice caps and the retreat of glaciers around the world, which in many cases appear to be unprecedented during at least the last 2,000 years. Not all individual proxy records indicate that the recent warmth is unprecedented, although a larger fraction of geographically diverse sites experienced exceptional warmth during the late 20th century than during any other extended period from A.D. 900 onward.

    Based on the analyses presented in the original papers by Mann et al. and this newer supporting evidence, the committee finds it plausible that the Northern Hemisphere was warmer during the last few decades of the 20th century than during any comparable period over the preceding millennium. The substantial uncertainties currently present in the quantitative assessment of large-scale surface temperature changes prior to about A.D. 1600 lower our confidence in this conclusion compared to the high level of confidence we place in the Little Ice Age cooling and 20th century warming.

  290. Hmmm…Well that sounds a lot like denying the evidence that goes against your pre-conceptions. I admit that more work needs to be done, and is being done, to understand and improve the proxy data…but to simply dismiss it out-of-hand is kind of ridiculous.

    It’s a science vs. history kind of thing. Two different standards of proof. We do not require scientific proof that, say, George Washington, or Julius Caesar existed. Indeed, I would say it would be near impossible for science to prove it. But do you doubt it? And just about everywhere where they were capable of writing about it, the MWP existed. Is it therefore reasonable to presume that everywhere where there was no writing the MWP did not exist?

    There’s an old saw told about Cordell Hull. He was traveling on a train with some colleagues and they looked out the window and saw a flock of sheep going by. Someone remarked, “Those sheep are shorn”. Hull is said to have replied, “At least on one side.”

    Likewise, historical literature tells us there was an MWP. At least in one hemisphere . . .

  291. So now the claim is that a third of the world stayed significantly warmer than the other two-thirds, for several hundred years.

    What happened next? Did someone invent the jet stream and the Second Law of Thermodynamics?

  292. evanjones says:

    And just about everywhere where they were capable of writing about it, the MWP existed. Is it therefore reasonable to presume that everywhere where there was no writing the MWP did not exist?

    Even if we took your claim here on the historical record to be true (which I don’t without some real evidence to back it up), that still wouldn’t address the issue of whether the warm periods were synchronous or asynchronous. Are you saying that all this different places said specifically that the half-century period between, say, 1150 and 1200 was warm?

  293. I would like to see before and after GISSification graphs of the temperatures from the stations used in this study.

    The problem is that GISS never starts with raw data. They use NOAA-adjusted data and “unadjust it” (how, we do not know), then they readjust it.

    So to compare, we would need either the “rawified” mess that GISS redjusts, or else NOAA raw data. (I would make that ‘semi-raw”, as the TOBS adjustment is valid.)

    I don’t know about GHCN, but the USHCN-1 20th-century trend is adjusted 0.3C warmer and USHCN-2 is worse.

    But it’s much harder to get the details on USHCN-2–they learned the hard way with USHCN-1 that it is politically unwise to make public even the amount of each adjustment step.

  294. which I don’t without some real evidence to back it up

    See the Harvard-Smithsonian study from 2003. It covers evidence from both eastern and western hemispheres.

    The Loehle corrected reconstructions provide a scientific basis (via proxy), but the archaeological and literary record is separate from that.

  295. Joel, I think you are quibbling. That would have to be the most lukewarm expression of confidence you could imagine any committee putting their name to even with their arms twisted behind their backs. It is far, far from supporting your claim that there was no world-wide concurrent medieval warm period.

    Yes, CO2Science is about advocacy. Frankly and much less honestly, so are Mann and his cohorts. That doesn’t alter the fact that CO2Science has accumulated clear evidence that the MWP certainly did exist as a significant world-wide event.

  296. Has anyone actually read Steig’s paper? I haven’t, but I would gladly read the comments of somebody who has read the article and can cogently and free from emotional rants critique Steig’s methodology. Any volunteers?

  297. Re Michael Mann, the hockey stick and dendochronology:

    Google the “Divergence Problem” to see how very unreliable tree rings are as a measure of temperature. Tree rings do not reflect the warming that occurred from ~1977 to ~1998 – they show cooling. So how can tree rings accurately assess the past?

    http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=570

    The discrepancy between the forecast and the actual caught Cuffey’s eye and he asked D’Arrigo about it. She said “Oh that’s the “Divergence Problem”. Cuffey wanted to know exactly how you could rely on tree ring proxies to register past warm periods if they weren’t picking up modern warmth “questions dear to the heart of any climateaudit reader. D’Arrigo explained that it had all been discussed by Briffa et al. I think that D’Arrigo said that the “divergence problem” only applied to a few sites.
    I’ve discussed Briffa’s approch to the “Divergence Problem” before – see for example here – and we modified our presentation to respond to concerns about the “Divergence Problem”. First, we showed the following graphic, reporting that the “Divergence Problem” was not limited to a few sites, but applied to an entire network of 387 sites selected to be temperature-sensitive…

  298. George E. Smith (18:16:06)

    George, your post is a bit rantish! These issues can only be properly addressed with reference to what we know of the natural world from the science. I’m only going to address one of your points (your “set piece” rant against Gore’s ice core/CO2 correlation). You start this with:

    Well it is in no way a contradiction; even in al Gore’s book, the 650,000 years or so of ice core temperature and CO2 data, show incontroveribly that the CO2 changes always follow the temperature changes, and by delays of the order of 800 years.

    Well fine, except what you say isn’t really true. I think we all know that Gore’s description was lacking in detail and could certainly have been described with more rigour. But we don’t need to stop at that point and “wheel out” the “Gore rant” whenever CO2 is brought into the conversation! We’d like to know what the science shows.

    Here’s what Gore might say nowadays:

    1. The atmospheric CO2 and temperature data in Gore’s presentation was from Antarctic ice cores, and these show that there is a lag (~800 +/- 200 or so years) between the onset of temperature rise and rising CO2.

    2. While the CO2 rise lags the temperature rise in Antarctica during deglaciations, it likely leads the temperature rise in the tropics and certainly in Greenland; e.g. :

    Caillon, N et al. (2003) Timing of atmospheric CO2 and Antarctic temperature changes across termination III. Science 299, 1728-1731

    L. Stott et al. (2007) Southern Hemisphere and Deep-Sea Warming Led Deglacial Atmospheric CO2 Rise and Tropical Warming. Science 318, 435 – 438.

    3. And very detailed analysis of cores is yielding more precise timing of temperature and greenhouse gas relationships between the polar regions.

    EPICA community (2006) One-to-one coupling of glacial climate variability in Greenland and Antarctica. Nature 444, 195-198.

    4. Al of these data are increasingly consistent with the conclusion that Milankovitch cycles that result in achingly slow variation of insolation patterns that drive ice age cycles (increased Spring insolation in the deep Southern hemisphere drives the glacial to interglacial transition) result in slow warming of the deep South which (with a lag) results in the onset of release of CO2 from the Southern oceans, and that the CO2 amplifies the warming, leading to delayed warming of the high Northern hemisphere as indicated in the temporal relationship between warming in Greenland cores and CO2 (warming in Greenland follows rising CO2).

  299. Smokey (20:17:32) :

    So now the claim is that a third of the world stayed significantly warmer than the other two-thirds, for several hundred years.

    What happened next? Did someone invent the jet stream and the Second Law of Thermodynamics?

    Sarcasm is fun but it doesn’ t really address the science!

    Since the natural world is subject to radiative forcings and these have time-dependent amplitude variations, the Earth’s surface temperature distribution is always in a out-of-equilibrium state with rather complex temperature distributions and temperature gradients that vary temporally too. Just like our bodies, which are also maintained in an out-of-equilibrium during the course of our cheeky lives, these phenomena don’t disobey the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics.

    Obviously it’s entirely possible for a redistribution of thermal energy (aka “heat”/”temperature”) to occur for all sorts of reasons. A good example that is pertinent to the Medieval Warm Period (MWP) and Little Ice Age (LIA) is the transport of heat to the high Northern latitudes by ocean currents (the Gulf Stream).

    Thus there is evidence that during the Little Ice Age a reduced Gulf Stream flow reduced heat transport to the North Atlantic:

    DC Lund et al. (2006) Gulf Stream density structure and transport during the past millenium. Nature 444, 601-604.

    Of course there’s stronger evidence that solar effects and volcanic contributions were the main forcings for reduced temperatures during this period. However, changes in heat transfer by ocean currents provides a means by which the rather puny changes in solar irradiance might have been amplified in the high Northern latitudes. In a similar vein, the paleoevidence that the MWP was largely “focussed” in the Northern latitudes may well be understandable in relation to variations in heat transfer from the equator by the Gulf stream.

    In other words regional and long lived changes in temperature may occur without very much <global warming. There’s evidence too that the tropical Pacific was in a cold La Nina-like state during the MWP (warm in the North, cooler in the South) and in a El Nino-like state during the LIA (warmer in the South, cool in the North). That’s what the paleodata tend to indicate:

    Osborn TJ and Briffa KR (2006) The spatial extent of twentieth-century warming in the context of the past 1200 years. Science 311, 841-844.M/i>

    And there’s very good evidence for a North-South “see-saw” from the analysis of timings of warm-cold proxies in ice-cores:

    EPICA community (2006) One-to-one coupling of glacial climate variability in Greenland and Antarctica. Nature 444, 195-198.

    So it’s certainly not unreasonable to consider that the MWP was somewhat localized in the highern Northern latitudes as a result of small redistributions of heat/changes in the Gulf Stream intensity and so on. Since that’s what the data indicate we should certainly not poo-poo the possibility!

  300. Joel Shore (18:47:37) :

    Here’s a quote from a 1998 paper by Spencer and Christy ( http://ams.allenpress.com/archive/1520-0442/11/8/pdf/i1520-0442-11-8-2016.pdf ) that gives us another couple of data points for my chart of how their trend has changed with time:

    The combination of these changes causes the 18+ year trend of T2LT to be warmer by +0.03C / decade (-0.076 to -0.046 C /decade for January 1979–April 1997). We estimate the precision of the overall trend as +/- .05 C / decade.

    So, in other words, before this 1998 paper their trend was -0.076 C / decade and after it, it was -0.046 C / decade.

    And, note that their Aug. 2005 estimate of +0.123 C / decade lies well outside the +/- 0.05 C / decade error bars on that -0.046 C number (which, as per this paper has already been corrected at least once). [And, while some of this change could be due to the longer data series, from what I recall by some investigation of looking at the trends in their current data set out to various end-dates, I don't think that much of it is. It would be easy enough to check this by computing the trend on their current data series restricted to that Jan 1979 - April 1997 time frame.]

    ************************************** [end of quote from Joel]

    Sorry Joel,

    You are wrong – virtually all of this effect is due to the longer data series.

    From begin 1979 to mid-1997 there was essentially no warming in the LT, IF one chooses to measure warming by a linear best-fit to the global average LT anomaly.

    In 1997-1998 there was the huge El Nino spike, that fell back to zero anomaly by mid 1999.

    The only significant warming seen in the global average LT anomaly occurred from ~2001, followed by rapid cooling since January 2007.

    Recently global average LT has bounced +/- 0.2 C around the zero anomaly.

    Source of UAH LT data

    http://www.atmos.uah.edu/data/msu/t2lt/tltglhmam_5.2

    Linear trend begin 1979 to mid 1997 +0.0030C/year = +0.030C/decade

    Linear trend begin 1979 to end 2008 +0.0127C/year = +0.127C/decade

    Linear trend mid 1997 to end 2008 -0.0031C/year = -0.031C/decade

    Using linear trends to measure segments of a naturally cyclical global temperature is not the best way to examine the data – better to just plot and examine it, or fit a polynomial.

    If you want to predict future global temperature, throw out your linear best-fits, models and tree rings, as these are a waste of effort.

    Instead, examine better proxies of climate history and natural cycles such as the PDO.

  301. Smokey,

    You say:

    In other words, Michael Mann deliberately misrepresented the facts. And he knew it at the time. And to this day he stonewalls anyone who asks about his flawed data and methodology.

    Your claim here seems to be that Mann hid the fact that his results depended strongly on a certain proxy (bristlecone pines from the Western U.S.). And, yet, here is what Mann et al. said in their 1999 paper (entitled, as foinavon has noted, “Northern Hemisphere Temperatures During the Past Millennium: Inferences, Uncertainties, and Limitations”):

    In using the sparser dataset available over the entire millennium (Table 1), only a relatively small number of indicators are available in regions (e.g., western North America) where the primary pattern of hemispheric mean temperature variation has signi cant amplitude (see Fig. 2 in MBH98), and where regional variations appear to be closely tied to global-scale temperature variations in model-based experiments [Bradley, 1996]. These few indicators thus take on a particularly important role (in fact, as discussed below, one such indicator — PC #1 of the ITRDB data — is found to be essential), in contrast with the post AD 1400 reconstructions of MBH98 for which indicators are available in several key regions [e.g., the North American northern treeline ("NT") dendroclimatic chronologies of Jacoby and D'Arrigo, 1989].

    It is furthermore found that only one of these series — PC #1 of the ITRDB data — exhibits a signi cant correlation with the time history of the dominant temperature pattern of the 1902-1980 calibration period. Positive calibration/variance scores for the NH series cannot be obtained if this indicator is removed from the network of 12 (in contrast with post-AD 1400 reconstructions for which a variety of indicators are available which correlate against the instrumental record). Though, as discussed earlier, ITRDB PC#1 represents a vital region for resolving hemispheric temperature trends, the assumption that this relationship holds up over time nonetheless demands circumspection. Clearly, a more widespread network of quality millennial proxy climate indicators will be required for more con fident inferences.

    If you want to hide something, publishing it in Geophysical Research Letters is usually not the best strategy!

    You say:

    Who in their right mind would trust or believe someone like that?

    At any rate, I am not asking you to believe Michael Mann; I’m asking you to believe reputable sources like the NAS report rather than the politicized sources that your prefer.

    Mann [who is paid out of the public purse] then hid his data and methodology, claiming that it is his ‘personal intellectual property.’

    Actually, what he said was that the computer code itself was his intellectual property, a claim that the agency that was funding him, the National Science Foundation strongly agreed with in a letter to Steve McIntyre (from http://www.realclimate.org/Mann_response_to_Barton.pdf ):

    Dear Mr. McIntyre,

    I apologize if my last electronic message was not clear but let me clarify the US NSF’s view in this current message. Dr. Mann and his other US colleagues are under no obligation to provide you with any additional data beyond the extensive data sets they have already made available. He is not required to provide you with computer programs, codes, etc. His research is published in the peer-reviewed literature which has passed muster with the editors of those journals and other scientists who have reviewed his manuscripts. You are free to your analysis of climate data and he is free to his. The passing of time and evolving new knowledge about Earth’s climate will eventually tell the full story of changing climate. I would expect that you would respect the views of the US NSF on the issue of data access and intellectual property for US investigators as articulated by me to you in my last message under the advisement of the US NSF’s Office of General Counsel.

    Respectfully,
    David J. Verardo
    Director, Paleoclimate Program
    Division of Atmospheric Sciences
    National Science Foundation
    4201 Wilson Blvd.
    Arlington, VA 22203

    Nonetheless, Mann did eventually decide to release his computer code and, in their most recent work, they put the code and data up on a website simultaneously with the publication of the paper…a practice that, at least in the areas of physics that I have worked in, is almost unheard of. And, it is interesting to note that the one paper that McIntyre has actually published on the Mann work in a real peer-reviewed journal was prior to when Mann released his computer code … And, that other researchers were able to replicate Mann’s work prior to this release.

    When Mann finally, grudgingly disclosed some of his methodology [after being caught red-handed hiding data behind the "CENSORED" directory by statistician Steve McIntyre, which discredited Mann's paper], Prof. Wegman proved that any random red noise that was fed through Mann’s algorithm would produce the same hockey stick pattern.

    Actually, the National Academy of Sciences report that I linked to dealt with this claim directly:

    As part of their statistical methods, Mann et al. used a type of principal component analysis that tends to bias the shape of the reconstructions. A description of this effect is given in Chapter 9. In practice, this method, though not recommended, does not appear to unduly influence reconstructions of hemispheric mean temperature; reconstructions performed without using principal component analysis are qualitatively similar to the original curves presented by Mann et al. (Crowley and Lowery 2000, Huybers 2005, D’Arrigo et al. 2006, Hegerl et al. 2006, Wahl and Ammann in press).

    (The report then goes on to note something that Mann et al. had essentially noted in their 1999 paper, which is that their reconstruction does strongly depend on that one particular data set from the southwestern U.S. I believe that addressing this deficiency has been at least one subject of other work, such as that of Osburn and Briffa and the latest Mann et al. work.)

    The Wegman Report to Congress showed conclusively that McIntyre was right and Mann was wrong regarding the discredited hockey stick.

    First of all, the Wegman report was a report commissioned by the majority political party on the Congressional committee. Wegman and very narrow charge that he was given were no doubt chosen to obtain the result that they wanted. This whole witchhunt by the Barton’s committee was so repugnant that his fellow Republican Sherwood Boehlert, Chair of the House Science Committee, couldn’t stomach it and sent Barton a letter that you can read here: http://sciencepolicy.colorado.edu/prometheus/archives/climate_change/000497letter_from_boehlert.html

    Second of all, given the narrow charge (and the statistics background of Wegman and the fellow committee members that he chose), the only scientific issue that Wegman could comment on the issue regarding the technique that Mann et al. used in their original paper, not on the broader issues, e.g., of what subsequent work done without Mann’s method showed. And, their conclusion that the method was problematic is not any different than what the NAS report concluded, but that report put things in a broader perspective. Mann et al. were pioneers in their field and it would not be the first time in science that the techniques used in the first paper of its kind in a field to obtain the results would be found to be problematic while at least the basic conclusions are verified by subsequent work. Spencer and Christy were pioneers in the satellite work…And, as foinavon and I have documented in this thread, not only were severe problems found with their techniques but it turned out that these problems significantly altered the conclusions. Yet, they have not been called “frauds” and hauled before Congressional committees and, in fact, in the skeptic community their more recent work, much of it with glaring errors, has been quite revered by that community.

    Third of all, the overall bias of Wegman can be seen by the fact that, despite the fact that he is a statistician and not a climate scientist and, in fact, displayed quite a bit of ignorance of some basic facts of climate science when he appeared before Congress, he still apparently felt qualified about a year after his report to sign on to a letter to the Canadian Prime Minister that challenged the basic conclusions of scientists on climate change.

    The MWP has been repeatedly demonstrated over decades, and is accepted by the mainstream climate scientists and geologists. The current futile attempt to pretend it didn’t happen reeks of desperation.

    The question is not whether the MWP exists or not but how global a phenomenon it was and how its warmth compares to the late 20th centure warmth. Who exactly are these “mainstream climate scientists” who you speak of?

    It comes down to this: who are you going to believe, a discredited inventor of bogus data, or the mainstream scientists who overwhelmingly accept the fact of the Medieval Warming Period?

    No, the question it comes down to whether you going to believe a group of people who have engaged in character assassination on a scientist or whether you are going to believe the views of the scientific community as expressed in the NAS and the latest IPCC report.

  302. evanjones says:

    See the Harvard-Smithsonian study from 2003. It covers evidence from both eastern and western hemispheres.

    The Loehle corrected reconstructions provide a scientific basis (via proxy), but the archaeological and literary record is separate from that.

    By the Harvard-Smithsonian study, I assume you mean the one by Soon and Baliunas? When that study was published in a relatively small science journal, many of the editors (including the one who was going to become editor in chief) were so embarrassed by the fact that such a poor piece of work, whose conclusions apparently didn’t even follow from their data, was published that they quit. And, even the publisher admitted that the editorial review had failed in the case of that particular paper. (I.e., the only disagreement between the publisher and the editors that quit was in regard to whether the editorial process in that journal was generally problematic…or whether it just failed in that one case.)

    As for Loehle, that was a study published in the journal Energy and Environment, which is not considered a serious peer-reviewed journal, received by only a handful of libraries around the world. (There used to be a good article about Energy and Environment available, I believe, from the American Chemical Society’s newsletter “Chemical and Engineering News” but alas they seem to have taken it offline…Or at least no longer freely available if you are not a member.)

    Here is a discussion of some of the problems with that paper: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2007/12/past-reconstructions/

  303. John M (18:53:58) :

    Although you don’t give any insight into your stance you seem to have a problem with the scientific literature. Some of the discussion on this thread highlights exactly why it’s vital for a dispassionate assessment of scientific issues.

    The science indicates that since Mann et al’s 1998/9 paleoproxy analysis, the intervening years have seen around 10 subsequent paleoproxy analyses, that these are largely in accord with the original paleoproxy data, that a very detailed series of analyses demonstrates that the essential features of the original analyses are robust and internally consistent, that there are now over 1200 useful paleoproxy series and that these continue to grow and inform our understanding, that the paleoproxydata can be assessed without recourse to tree ring data and so on…

    [snip, you are creating an image and label that is not acceptable. nor mentioned in this thread, stop it. - Anthony]

    It really depends on whether one wants to understand the science on these issues (in which case look at the scientific literature), or to pursue an agenda(or some one else’s agenda, more likely).

  304. Allen M R MacRae says:

    Sorry Joel,

    You are wrong – virtually all of this effect is due to the longer data series.

    You clearly missed my later post when I noted that a significant amount of it is due to the longer series. However, “virtually all” is demonstrably incorrect. Their pre-1998 analysis method gave a trend of -0.076 C / decade for the Jan 1979 – Apr 1997 data (as per their 1998 paper that I lined to); their current analysis gives +0.029 C / decade for that same data (a number that you have verified to 0.001 in your post). That is a change in trend of +0.105 C / decade due solely to changes in their analysis.

    Since the trend for the full data set we now have through Dec 2008 is +0.127 C / decade, the change due to the longer time series is +0.098 C / decade.

    Thus, counter to your claim, a tiny bit over half of the change in trend is due to changes in the analysis, not the longer data series.

  305. Allen M R MacRae says:

    Using linear trends to measure segments of a naturally cyclical global temperature is not the best way to examine the data – better to just plot and examine it, or fit a polynomial.

    Fitting to a polynomial is generally a horrible thing to do with noisy data. It results in overfitting, i.e., just fitting to the noise. That is easily verified if you actually make a computation of the errorbars in the parameters that you determine from your fit. In fact, with the 30 years of temperature data that we have, the only sort of fit that can be supported is a linear fit, even then, the error bars are still not that small…But the data is good enough to show that the linear trend has statistical significance.

  306. Joel Shore (08:04:04) :

    Allen M R MacRae says:

    Using linear trends to measure segments of a naturally cyclical global temperature is not the best way to examine the data – better to just plot and examine it, or fit a polynomial.

    Fitting to a polynomial is generally a horrible thing to do with noisy data. It results in overfitting, i.e., just fitting to the noise. That is easily verified if you actually make a computation of the errorbars in the parameters that you determine from your fit. In fact, with the 30 years of temperature data that we have, the only sort of fit that can be supported is a linear fit, even then, the error bars are still not that small…But the data is good enough to show that the linear trend has statistical significance.

    **********************

    Joel,

    If your belief is that warming is linear and can be extrapolated, then use a linear fit. However, there is no evidence to support such a belief.

    There is overwhelming evidence that climate is cyclical and natural – global temperatures have been warmer and cooler in the past than today.

    The Mann hockey stick was completely discredited by Wegman’s non-partisan committee.

    Modelers has shown no skill in prediction of global temperatures. Even hind-casting (history-matching) of models has required contortions such as invention of aerosol data.

    Now, Earth has probably entered a cooling trend consistent with a negative PDO – time will tell…

    Where is your evidence that we face a global warming crisis?

    I suggest that such evidence does not exist.

    Regards, Allan

  307. Allan M R MacRae says:

    If your belief is that warming is linear and can be extrapolated, then use a linear fit. However, there is no evidence to support such a belief.

    The issue is not whether one believes it is perfectly linear. The issue is one of not overfitting to data. All that we are able to do with the 30 years of satellite data is to look at the linear trend. That doesn’t mean the underlying warming is exactly linear but it simply gives us the first term in the series…and the only term we have any ability to compute with any sort of precision.

    The Mann hockey stick was completely discredited by Wegman’s non-partisan committee.

    The House committee that appointed Wegman to write that report was so partisan that even fellow Republican Sherwood Boehlert, Chair of the House Science Committee, condemned their actions. And, Wegman looked at only a very narrow issue that everyone now agrees on…namely, that the particular way in which Mann et al. implemented their principle components analysis is not the recommended way to do it and one can manufacture datasets where it leads to spurious conclusions. Yes, Mann wasn’t perfect. But, the peer-reviewed work since then (including work using the same data but not doing the analysis that way) has largely confirmed his basic results. (There are some differences in regards to how “flat” the handle of the stick is but the different reconstructions generally show the late 20th century warmer than any time during the MWP…See here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:1000_Year_Temperature_Comparison.png )

    At any rate, the work on temperature reconstructions of the last millenium or so is only one piece of evidence…and the most circumstantial at that…in the argument for AGW.

    Now, Earth has probably entered a cooling trend consistent with a negative PDO – time will tell…

    Indeed it will. This is actually just the latest desperate hypothesis from those who want to ignore all the evidence going the other way.

    Where is your evidence that we face a global warming crisis?

    I suggest that such evidence does not exist.

    Read the IPCC report. You are now taking this discussion far afield from where we started, presumably to distract from the fact that your claim that the corrections to the UAH data set were not significant has been shown to be utterly false.

  308. foinavon (07:37:04) :

    Although you don’t give any insight into your stance you seem to have a problem with the scientific literature. Some of the discussion on this thread highlights exactly why it’s vital for a dispassionate assessment of scientific issues.

    I accept the scientific literature for what it is: a flawed but perhaps best effort at communicating imperfect data. I do not view it with the reverance associated with stone tablets carried down from the mount.

    I was responding to your apparent opinion that number of publications is what matters, which you have now repeated. It reminds me (sorry if you don’t like my rambling, but tuff) of a supposed statement by a young assistant professor referring to his latest work as he was seeking tenure: “This one’s for people who can count but can’t read.”

    This peculiar area of paleoclimate reconstructions does not depend on the number of papers by “independent” researchers, but rather on whether the data treatment is correct. Most journals do not consider ongoing discussions about “data treatment” to be novel enough for publication, hence counting published papers may give a misleading representation. Also, critics tend not to have armies of post-docs and grad students, not to mention university and institutional staff to carry the water.

    You are free to disagree, and you are free to continue to only value peer reviewed publications, but in my own experience, I don’t usually recognize the flaws or unanswered questions in published papers until I need to sit down and spend hours on one deep drilling every figure, table, and experimental procedure. Whether or not the paper is insightful or correct doesn’t depend on whether I can publish a rebuttal, but rather on whether the paper stands up to close, critical, evaluation.

    The Steve McIntyre’s of the world are doing a service by providing a much more thorough vetting of published works than the refereeing process is capbable of. McIntyre has provided his analysis of most or all of the supporting information you cite. He has argued that the data are not independent or that there are other issues with the other proxies.

    Perhaps you ought to confront him directly?

  309. Allen: By the way, this statement you made deserves a little more comment:

    Linear trend begin 1979 to mid 1997 +0.0030C/year = +0.030C/decade

    Linear trend begin 1979 to end 2008 +0.0127C/year = +0.127C/decade

    Linear trend mid 1997 to end 2008 -0.0031C/year = -0.031C/decade

    Using linear trends to measure segments of a naturally cyclical global temperature is not the best way to examine the data

    First of all, while I agree with your trends for 1979-1997 and 1779-2008, I think you have made in error in the last trend (1997 – 2008). When I look at Apr 1997 to Dec 2008, I get a trend of + 0.004 C / decade. (I chose April to start here because that matches the two segments together so you are including the whole data range.)

    Second of all, your statement that looking at segments is not a proper way to do things is an understatement. For one thing, the error bars on the trends over the segments will be considerably larger than for the trend over the entire record…so they might say very little about what the underlying trends actually are.

    However, there is another even more severe and more subtle problem with the way you have done this here. It can be illustrated by the following paradox: If you consider two line segments representing the two linear fits of the two time periods and assume they join in Apr 1997, and then you consider a line connecting the two endpoints (Jan. 1979 and Dec 2008), it is clear that this longer line must have a slope intermediate between the slope of the two segments. However, if you look at the trends computed for Jan. 1979 – Apr 1997, Apr 1997 – Dec 2008, and Jan 1979 – Dec 2008, you will see that both of the trends for the shorter periods are smaller than the trend over the long period! How can this be the case?

    The answer came to me after a little bit of thought: There is no guarantee that the linear fits over the two time periods (Jan 1979 – Apr 1997 and Apr 1997 – Dec 2008) actually meet in Apr 1997. And, in fact, in this case, they must not even come particularly close, with the line for the 1997-2008 period lying well above the line for the 1979-1997 period in Apr 1997. Fitting a trend over a longer period by two line segments determined from the trend over the shorter periods that you do not require to even have the same value at the meeting point of the data is, along with an opportune choose of where you break the data, a good way to make the trend over the longer period appear to substantially disappear (or, if you chose to break the data at another point, you could perhaps cause the trend to be exaggerated).

    This is indeed a very unwise way to analyse the data over the full time period…In fact, I would say that it is essentially meaningless!

  310. We live in a republic that has walls. And those walls have to be guarded by men with thermometers. Who’s gonna do it? You? You, Dr Hansen? I have a greater responsibility than you can possibly fathom. You weep for those Polar Bears and you curse the temperature takers. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know. My existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves useless expenditure of national treasure and retards the genocidal effects of the policies you implement.

    You don’t want the truth. Deep down, in places you don’t talk about when your are sleeping alone late at night after those Georgetown cocktail parties after chowing down on limp quiche and swilling a third rate California Chardonnay devoid of pretension, you want me on that wall you need me on that wall. We use words like Little Ice Age, Medieval Warming Period, and Toga Parties …we use these words as the backbone to a life devoted to taking temperature.

  311. Joel,

    For my earlier post on UAH global average LT linear trends:

    Linear trend begin 1979 to mid 1997 +0.0030C/year = +0.030C/decade

    Linear trend begin 1979 to end 2008 +0.0127C/year = +0.127C/decade

    Linear trend mid 1997 to end 2008 -0.0031C/year = -0.031C/decade

    I suggest that these trends are, indeed, insignificant and extrapolating them is foolish. The 30-year trend since the satellites were first launched is only half of a PDO cycle – and it is the WARMING half.

    Examining the data back to the beginning of the full PDO cycle in the 1940’s shows no net warming since that time, is spite of an increase in humanmade CO2 emissions of almost 800%.

    Appeals to authority such as the IPCC do not impress. Neither do attempts at obfuscation and personal attacks. Wegman was clearly non-partisan – the committee you refer to is not relevant.

    You are talking malicious nonsense and I’ve had enough of you (and Fiona too).

  312. Joel,

    My last response referred to your post of (09:45:18) :

    Your most recent post (10:06:46) appeared after I made my submission.

    I will not comment on your latest post – I have already commented on the fallacy of taking short linear segments of cyclical data and extrapolating them.

  313. Allan M R MacRae:

    Examining the data back to the beginning of the full PDO cycle in the 1940’s shows no net warming since that time, is spite of an increase in humanmade CO2 emissions of almost 800%.

    Ah…Using whose temperature record do you find no increase since the 1940s?!?

    Appeals to authority such as the IPCC do not impress. Neither do attempts at obfuscation and personal attacks. Wegman was clearly non-partisan – the committee you refer to is not relevant.

    Well, how can I argue with logic like this? I didn’t make any personal attacks. I just noted who appointed Wegman and what the Republican Congressman who headed the House Science Committee thought of Barton’s committee’s whole approach to this matter. It is quite relevant since that committee (specifically, the Republican majority in charge) are who chose Wegman and gave him his narrow charge. By contrast, the National Academy of Sciences is the organization that is chartered to provide advice and information to Congress (and the federal govt in general) on these sorts of matters.

  314. Joel Shore (15:24:41)

    Let me accept your words for the moment – perhaps I imputed malice where there was none.

    I have little patience with the opinion of the IPCC or other politically motivated parties – I only look at the data.

    I also know and respect some of the parties being slagged here, and I find this practise reprehensible – thus I may be overly sensitive.

    I use UAH LT back to 1979; earlier I use HadCrut3 ST’s. I use ST data reluctantly, because there is a warming bias, of probably ~0.2C since 1979.

    See the first Figure at http://www.iberica2000.org/Es/Articulo.asp?Id=3774

  315. Allan M R MacRae:

    I also know and respect some of the parties being slagged here, and I find this practise reprehensible – thus I may be overly sensitive.

    Okay, but have you been speaking out when people slag Mann and Hansen and Gavin and all of them? I actually spoke out in this thread when the word “incompetent” was used in relation to Spencer and Christy’s satellite analysis because I thought that was too strong a word. But, then there were people like yourself who wanted to deny even the fact that they had made a whole series of errors that, once corrected, significantly altered the results. This is what prompted me to go back and demonstrate exactly how much difference these corrections have made. (And, for that I am grateful to you because before this exercise I never knew how much of the change in the trend over the years was due to the longer data series and how much was due to the changes in the analysis and now I do.)

    I use UAH LT back to 1979; earlier I use HadCrut3 ST’s. I use ST data reluctantly, because there is a warming bias, of probably ~0.2C since 1979.

    See the first Figure at http://www.iberica2000.org/Es/Articulo.asp?Id=3774

    Well, that seems like an awful lot of cherry-picking, to be quite honest. First, you take the lowest estimate out there among all of the surface temperature and satellite estimates. Then, you use ST data…which would also tend to underestimate of the warming since the land has warmed more than the oceans (as is expected). And, you seem to have married them in some way that gives the satellite data a low bias compared to the ST data (which is what you want because you compare the ST data from the 1940s to the satellite data today). And, finally you seem to take the one data point for 2008 to compare, rather than the general temperatures over the last several years. (In fact, this may not even be the full year data point if it is true that you last updated the page with the May data.)

    If this is what you mean by “I only look at the data”, I can see why you have come to the conclusions that you have!!

  316. Joel Shore (09:45:18) :

    It depends on what you want to do with your “trend”. I’ll bet you want to extrapolate it to 2100. In that case, statistical significance doesn’t matter. What matters is whether the linear (or any other) relationship continues outside the range of the available data. Of course, there is no evidence either way for that. But there is strong evidence from the temperature record that extrapolating trends within a cycle gives incorrect predictions. From about 1900 (from memory, I don’t have the graph in front of me) to about 1940 there was a linear(ish) trend similat to the 80s & 90s. Extrapolate that to now and you will see that the”prediction” was way too high. Then about 1940 to about 1970 there was a cooling trend, vaguely linear, and if you extrapolate that to now you get a figure that is way too low. Why would this approach, clearly wrong over those periods, now be right?

    As suggested by Allen, just look at the data. Clearly there are cycles, we have been in a warming cycle; it looks like that might have ended (as cycles do) and we seem to be entering another cooling cycle. But it’s a bit early to be sure.

  317. Allan M R MacRae (16:56:49) :

    My first impression is that you’ve nailed it. My view has always been that the onus is on the warmers and I haven’t been able to see any evidence to support their proposals. This looks like strong evidence that they’re wrong, not just that they haven’t enough to justify being right. No time yet to look in detail, but a few points that you can easily answer I think:
    Vostok 800 yrs lag, you 9 months.
    I’ve seen calculations suggesting that deltaT is not enough to explain deltaCO2 on the basis of chemical equilibria (don’t recall author, you probably know it) Failure to reach chemical equilibria doesn’t help you case I think. Biological?
    Stability of dCO2/dt data. Can you rely on it (couldn’t for global Tavereage, for example)? Any error analysis?

    Just some thoughts on the fly.

  318. Joel (20:35:35)

    Your malice is showing again – imputing motive such as “cherry-picking” where none exists.

    I have always used UAH and Hadley – the reasons why are so old that I no longer remember them. Recently discovered problems with GISS quality control reinforce my decision to use Hadley ST, although both ST’s show a warming bias.

    As regards RSS versus UAH LT’s, the differences between them have never amounted to much, and are now becoming insignificant.

    You seem to be unaware that the temperature trends we are discussing are really small, typically from 0.003C/year to 0.013C/year. There is no evidence in the data to support alarm.

    More on malice: It is not my side of this debate that has attempted to shout down and intimidate discussion – it is yours.

    I am aware of serious threats against some of my friends who have spoken out against the myth of catastrophic AGW, and I am appalled by the hysterical, brutish behaviour of many on your side of this debate.

  319. “Even if we took your claim here on the historical record to be true (which I don’t without some real evidence to back it up)”

    How about Greenland burials beneath today’s permafrost?

  320. John M (10:03:30) :

    Who said anything about the number of papers? Certainly not me.

    The point I was making is that issues of substance readily make it into the scientific literature. If something is worth publishing it can be and usually is (if it’s in the public domain of course). McIntyre seems still to be making copious and continual critiques of Mann et al’s 1998/9 analysis and was doing so through 2005 when he last published on this. However these critiques have been addressed widely in the scientific literature and shown to be either lacking in merit or to be trivial [see foinavon (17:38:38)]. McIntyre hasn’t taken this further in the scientific literature. Nor has he addressed in the scientific literature the increasing number of studies that largely support the original analysis of Mann et al.

    So McIntyre has had his chance to present his case. It turns out to be unsubstantial. The generalized attempt to hound Mann [see Joel Shore (07:15:05), for an eye-opening account of this] is shoddy and embarrassing McIntyre has chosen to pursue critiques of Mann on the blogosphere. Fine, but we should be addressing the validated science if we want to understand these issues.

  321. It’s been my observation that these discussions degenerate into factoid swapping and thus noise. A collection of facts does not necessarily result in knowledge and certainly not wisdom. The real discussion should be centered on the policy that will undoubtedly result from the AGW findings. When science leaves the lab and enters into the public domain in the form of shrill and alarmist pronouncements the discussion is no longer scientific, it is political. Policies have both intended and unintended consequences. It’s my opinion that there is a perfect analog for what is happening with the AGW discussion and that is the banning of DDT and the attending death of tens of millions of Africans. Perhaps the discussion should move on to one about the moral argument for justifying mass murder or population control by other means. Please explain the morality that justifies a cabal of developed countries inflicting economic devastation and hardship on developing countries

  322. Allan M R MacRae says:

    Your malice is showing again – imputing motive such as “cherry-picking” where none exists.

    I stand by my basic point which is that you are cobbling together data sets in various weird ways to arrive at conclusions completely at odds with the peer-reviewed literature. And, before you managed to make a trend in the entire UAH data set largely disappear by taking the trend over segments in a way where the trend lines did not even join correctly.

    It is not my side of this debate that has attempted to shout down and intimidate discussion – it is yours.

    Really? That is not what the Republican head of the House Science Committee Sherwood Boehlert thought when fellow Republican Barton’s committee hauled Mann et al before it:

    My primary concern about your investigation is that its purpose seems to be to intimidate scientists rather than to learn from them, and to substitute Congressional political review for scientific peer review. This would be pernicious.

    The precedent your investigation sets is truly chilling. Are scientists now supposed to look over their shoulders to determine if their conclusions might prompt a Congressional inquiry no matter how legitimate their work? If Congress wants public policy to be informed by scientific research, then it has to allow that research to operate outside the political realm. Your inquiry seeks to erase that line between science and politics.

    There are numerous scientific debates ongoing about climate change. Data and conclusions get challenged all the time. Are we going to launch biased investigations each time a difference appears in the literature?

    I hope you will reconsider the investigation you have launched and allow the scientific community to debate its work as it always has. Seeking scientific truth is too important to be impeded by political expediency. That’s a position that Members on all sides of the climate change debate should share.

    ( http://sciencepolicy.colorado.edu/prometheus/archives/climate_change/000497letter_from_boehlert.html )

  323. davidc says:

    It depends on what you want to do with your “trend”. I’ll bet you want to extrapolate it to 2100. In that case, statistical significance doesn’t matter. What matters is whether the linear (or any other) relationship continues outside the range of the available data.

    No, the projections for climate change are not based on extrapolating the trend to 2100. They are based on an understanding of the physical processes involved in influencing our climate. However, the general trend in the temperature is important for establishing and checking the science.

  324. Roger Knights says:

    How about Greenland burials beneath today’s permafrost?

    Again, the North Atlantic is the region that we know had a pronounced MWP. However, the evidence that this happened elsewhere at the same time is not there.

    Or medieval and Roman artifacts coming to light in the wake of retreating alpine glaciers?

    You mean like this paper http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/114125034/abstract?CRETRY=1&SRETRY=0 regarding a pass in the Swiss Alps whose abstract reads:

    During the hot summer of 2003, reduction of an ice field in the Swiss Alps (Schnidejoch) uncovered spectacular archaeological hunting gear, fur, leather and woollen clothing and tools from four distinct windows of time: Neolithic Age (4900 to 4450 cal. yr BP), early Bronze Age (4100-3650 cal. yr BP), Roman Age (1st-3rd century AD), and Medieval times (8-9th century AD and 14-15th century AD). Transalpine routes connecting northern Italy with the northern Alps during these slots is consistent with late Holocene maximum glacier retreat. The age cohorts of the artefacts are separated which is indicative of glacier advances when the route was difficult and not used for transit. The preservation of Neolithic leather indicates permanent ice cover at that site from ca. 4900 cal. yr BP until AD 2003, implying that the ice cover was smaller in 2003 than at any time during the last 5000 years. Current glacier retreat is unprecedented since at least that time. This is highly significant regarding the interpretation of the recent warming and the rapid loss of ice in the Alps.

    And, the surprising aspect of this paper is it is from the general region that hads strong evidence of a significant MWP.

  325. foinavon (02:34:34) :

    Who said anything about the number of papers? Certainly not me.

    Sorry, I guess I interpreted these statements by you as somehow referring to “the number of papers”. I’m comfortable leaving this to others to judge.

    foinavon (17:38:38) :
    I’ve had a look in the scientifc data base. As Joel says, Steve McIntyre hasn’t published anything since 2005 (and one of the 2005 “papers” is in the rather unfortunate non-science magazine “Energy and Environment”).

    foinavon (07:37:04) :

    The science indicates that since Mann et al’s 1998/9 paleoproxy analysis, the intervening years have seen around 10 subsequent paleoproxy analyses,

    As far as the comments in Joel Shore (07:15:05), if you’re referring to the opinion of some NSF administrator that scientists are entitled to “own” work paid for by the taxpayers, good luck with that one. If you’re referring to “refutations” of McIntyre’s arguments, again, I’m sure McIntyre would be happy to respond to those one-by-one (probably with references to his blog archives). Unlike Real Climate, he doesn’t censor, so give it a try. If you’re more interested in “what’s published” rather than in the actual argument, you can continue to live in your comfortable world.

    Look, you can take this or leave it. I’ve had many years in the chemical industry. When I started my career, a typical argument (including by scientists) was “We’re the experts, we know what we’re doing. There are plenty of published papers backing us up. Our critics really don’t have the expertise to judge, etc. etc. etc.)”

    Wanna guess how that turned out?

  326. foinavon says: “McIntyre hasn’t… addressed in the scientific literature the increasing number of studies that largely support the original analysis of Mann et al.”

    That is changing history. Steve McIntyre forced the UN/IPCC to withdraw its use of Mann’s bogus hockey stick.

    It should also be noted that both Profs. Wegman and Lindzen have shown conclusively that there is a relatively small clique of pro-AGW referees and committee members who control the process and decide just who gets published and who doesn’t.

    If foinavon really wanted the climate peer review process to function honestly rather than angling for ever more grant money, he would spend his time writing letters to the various journals demanding change. Instead, he spends countless hours here, attempting to change minds. It appears to be a wasted effort.

  327. Joel Shore (06:48:03) :

    Allan M R MacRae says:

    Your malice is showing again – imputing motive such as “cherry-picking” where none exists.

    I stand by my basic point which is that you are cobbling together data sets in various weird ways to arrive at conclusions completely at odds with the peer-reviewed literature.

    ***********************

    Joel

    Your malice makes further discussion a waste of time.

    I have not found any of the points that you initiated to be convincing.

    I think we have discussed this subject enough – I will not reply to your further comments.

  328. Smokey says:

    That is changing history. Steve McIntyre forced the UN/IPCC to withdraw its use of Mann’s hockey stick.

    What? In what universe has the IPCC not used the hockey stick. The difference between the AR4 report and the TAR report is that there are now several other reconstructions that they show along with Mann’s and this allows them to strengthen their conclusion in regards to the late 20th century temperatures likely being the warmest of any half-century time period in the last 1300 years. They do note that some of the other reconstructions show more variability in the pre-20-century than Mann et al.’s but that is mainly because the LIA is colder in some…not because the MWP is significantly warmer.

    It should also be noted that both Profs. Wegman and Lindzen have shown conclusively that there is a relatively small clique of pro-AGW referees who control the process and decide just who gets published and who doesn’t.

    They haven’t shown any such thing…And, certainly nothing that is any different from many other fields.

    And, what is amazing is not that there are great skeptical papers out there circulating that can’t get published but that there are such severely flawed skeptical papers that have gotten published. For example, the Douglass et al. paper had fundamental errors that one would have hoped a referee would have easily caught.

    Schwartz’s paper arguing for a low climate sensitivity seemed to get through despite a flaws that have caused even him to now (in replies to comments) raise his estimate for the climate sensitivity by close to 80% over what he originally published. (It is more arguable whether those flaws were blatant enough to be easily caught in the refereeing process, although a good referee might have asked some questions that would have led Schwartz to consider more issues before publishing.)

    And, God knows how the Essex and McKitrick paper on global temperature saw the light of day (although I think it was in a fairly obscure journal far from the climate field) … It probably took me less than half an hour to spot the fatal error in their attempt to show that their argument had any relevance whatsoever to actual measuring of the trends in the global temperature anomaly.

  329. davidc (00:16:17) :

    Time is limited so I can only provide some more general answers to your questions:

    My paper was posted Jan.31/08 with a spreadsheet at

    http://icecap.us/index.php/go/joes-blog/carbon_dioxide_in_not_the_primary_cause_of_global_warming_the_future_can_no/

    The paper is located at

    http://icecap.us/images/uploads/CO2vsTMacRae.pdf

    The relevant spreadsheet is

    http://icecap.us/images/uploads/CO2vsTMacRaeFig5b.xls

    There are many correlations calculated in the spreadsheet.

    In my Figure 1 and 2, global dCO2/dt closely coincides with global Lower Tropospheric Temperature LT and Surface Temperature ST. I believe that the temperature and CO2 datasets are collected completely independently, and yet there is this clear correlation.

    After publishing this paper, I also demonstrated the same correlation with different datasets – using Mauna Loa CO2 and Hadcrut3 ST going back to 1958. More recently I examined the close correlation of LT measurements taken by satellite and those taken by radiosonde.

    Further, I found earlier papers by Kuo (1990) and Keeling (1995) that discussed the delay of CO2 after temperature, although neither appeared to notice the even closer correlation of dCO2/dt with temperature. This correlation is noted in my Figures 3 and 4.

    See also Roy Spencer’s (U of Alabama, Huntsville) take on this subject at

    http://wattsupwiththat.wordpress.com/2008/01/25/double-whammy-friday-roy-spencer-on-how-oceans-are-driving-co2/

    and

    http://wattsupwiththat.wordpress.com/2008/01/28/spencer-pt2-more-co2-peculiarities-the-c13c12-isotope-ratio/

    This subject has generated much discussion among serious scientists, and this discussion continues. Almost no one doubts the dCO2/dt versus LT (and ST) correlation. Some go so far as to say that humankind is not even the primary cause of the current increase in atmospheric CO2 – that it is natural. Others rely on a “material balance argument” to refute this claim – I think these would be in the majority. I am an agnostic on this question, to date.

    The warmist side also has also noted this ~9 month delay, but try to explain it as a “feedback effect” – this argument seems more consistent with AGW religious dogma than with science (“ASSUMING AGW is true, then it MUST be feedback”). :-)

    It is interesting to note, however, that the natural seasonal variation in atmospheric CO2 ranges up to ~16ppm in the far North, whereas the annual increase in atmospheric CO2 is only ~2ppm. This reality tends to weaken the “material balance argument”. This seasonal ‘sawtooth” of CO2 is primarily driven by the Northern Hemisphere landmass, which is much greater in area than that of the Southern Hemisphere. CO2 falls during the NH summer due primarily to land-based photosynthesis, and rises in the late fall, winter and early spring as biomass degrades.

    There is also likely to be significant CO2 solution and exsolution from the oceans.

    See the excellent animation at http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/vis/a000000/a003500/a003562/carbonDioxideSequence2002_2008_at15fps.mp4

    It is also interesting to note that the detailed signals we derive from the data show that CO2 lags temperature at all time scales, from the 9 month delay for ~ENSO cycles to the 600 year delay inferred in the ice core data for much longer cycles.

    Regards, Allan

  330. Smokey (10:19:15) :

    Instead, he spends countless hours here, attempting to change minds.

    I disagree with your point here. I think we should encourage discussion aimed at trying to change opinions. I think foinavon and Joel Shore are doing us a service here. I see it more of problem when climate scientists and their allies view skeptics as too stupid to argue with.

    It’s far better for both sides to engage. And I don’t think we should try to chase people away who disagree with us.

    That would be how some other blogs operate.

  331. Joel,
    [snip] Surely you can discuss these matters a little more rationally. I was under the impression that you were a published scientist. A calm and well considered answer would be much more persuasive to most people than your rants. When you first started posting here you were a lot calmer. Perhaps it’s time for a vacation.
    Mike

  332. See also Roy Spencer’s (U of Alabama, Huntsville) take on this subject at

    http://wattsupwiththat.wordpress.com/2008/01/25/double-whammy-friday-roy-spencer-on-how-oceans-are-driving-co2/

    and

    http://wattsupwiththat.wordpress.com/2008/01/28/spencer-pt2-more-co2-peculiarities-the-c13c12-isotope-ratio/

    A link to that latter post is not complete without a link to this: http://tamino.wordpress.com/2009/01/19/a-bag-of-hammers/ The moral of the story is this: If you take some data and manipulate it in some way and get some result and then manipulate it some more and get the same result (i.e., the same slope to 5 significant figures and the same R^2), rather than conclude “Significantly, note that the ratio of C13 variability to CO2 variability is EXACTLY THE SAME as that seen in the trends!” you might want to ask, “Am I really sure this second result is independent of the first?” In fact, a little bit of elementary calculus shows that they are not independent whatsoever. The second result is not at all significant; it is just a necessary consequence of mathematics and means absolutely nothing physically.

    By the way, Spencer has written a very recent post again arguing that most of the rise in CO2 might be natural and has received the following reply from Hans Erren, who is an AGW skeptic but one who admits that the claim that the current rise in CO2 has a significant natural component is mistaken: http://www.drroyspencer.com/2009/01/the-origin-of-increasing-atmospheric-co2-a-response-from-ferdinand-engelbeen/

    That the relationship between CO2 and temperature goes both ways (i.e., that CO2 tends to cause warming but also that increased temperature tends to lead to outgassing of CO2 from the oceans…and possibly other mechanisms that rise CO2 levels) has been understood for a long time. In fact, since at least the mid-1970s it has been generally accepted that the trigger for the glacial-interglacial transitions were the so-called Milankovitch oscillations in the earth’s orbit…and thus that these oscillations, and presumably the temperature rise that they started, was what triggered the changes in CO2 levels.

    However, if you look at the rise in CO2 levels seen during the glacial – interglacial transitions and compare them to the temperature change, they seem to imply a change in CO2 levels by about 100ppm for about a 5deg C global temperature change, or about 20ppm / deg C.

    Thus the current temperature change of a little less than 1 C ought to be associated with about 20ppm of CO2 increase. Furthermore, as Allan has noted, there is a time delay that suggests that even this much change in CO2 in response to a change in temperature takes several hundred years to occur. (This is a time constant likely associated with the time it takes for overturning of waters in the oceans.)

    There are a variety of time constants associated with the uptake of CO2 (e.g, about half of our emissions have been taken up by the oceans and biosphere almost right away), so it is not surprising that we do see some variation in this uptake with variations in temperature on short timescales too…but these seem to be quite small. Hans gives a reasonable estimate of them.

  333. Mike Bryant says:

    Joel,
    [snip] Surely you can discuss these matters a little more rationally. I was under the impression that you were a published scientist. A calm and well considered answer would be much more persuasive to most people than your rants. When you first started posting here you were a lot calmer. Perhaps it’s time for a vacation.

    Thanks for the advice. Your suggestion might be a good one…I tend to get a little too caught up in these discussions (and a bit frustrated at times) and perhaps should try to disengage a little and also be more careful about my rhetoric.

    On the other hand, looking back at the answers that I have given here, I think they are generally quite factually based (not sure which post of mine you were commenting on in particular) and when I critique something I have tried to explain exactly what points I think are problematic (such as some of Allan MacRae’s analyses) or to give specific examples (such as in my response to what Smokey said in regards to peer review).

    I’d be curious more specifically what you think has crossed over the line here.

  334. Roger Sowell (15:21:53) :
    The same principle allows us to state, with a straight face, that a population of people has 2.3 children per woman, on average. I shall explain.

    This is a different issue. Since no person has a fractional child, you can not be having an induced measurement error ( 1.4 children rounded down, 1.5 rounded up) causing a full digit error in your data.

    Temperature measured over years can have the same result. Example: At time zero, temperature measured in whole degrees is 14 degrees C. At time zero-plus-ten years, temperature is measured at 15 degrees, again in whole degrees. What is the average temperature rise per year? One degree divided by ten years, equals 0.1 degrees/year. No precision errors, no accuracy errors.

    And what if the actual temp was 14.4445 in both readings, but your precision of whole degrees recorded one as 14 and the other as 15? That’s the whole point.

    If you measure in whole degrees, you can only know in whole degrees, so all you can say is that we had no provable rise. (Error band is 14 -/+ 1 vs 15 -/+ 1, true value can be anywhere from 16 -13 = 3 degrees to 14-15 = – 1 degrees; your ‘trend’ can be anything from +3 to -1 per decade and you don’t know what it really is

    I’m beginning to understand why Mr. McGuire beat this into our heads so strongly…

  335. Smokey (10:19:15) :

    foinavon says: “McIntyre hasn’t… addressed in the scientific literature the increasing number of studies that largely support the original analysis of Mann et al.”

    That is changing history. Steve McIntyre forced the UN/IPCC to withdraw its use of Mann’s bogus hockey stick.

    No that’s not true. You seem to be caught up in the faux-“politics” of this issue and unaware of the science/facts. And it’s not possible to “change history” Smokey, although some may try to reinterpret it.

    The Mann et al 1988/9 paleotemperature data is shown in the current IPCC reports. It can be found, for example, in the report of Working Group 1 -“Physical Science Basis” on page 467 (Figure 6.10) published in 2007/8. Obviously since there are now quite a number of paleoproxy analyses of millenial scale temperature, these are all shown there:

    http://www.ipcc.ch/ipccreports/ar4-wg1.htm (see Chapter 6, page 467, Figure 6.10)

    If foinavon really wanted the climate peer review process to function honestly rather than angling for ever more grant money, he would spend his time writing letters to the various journals demanding change. Instead, he spends countless hours here, attempting to change minds.

    Peer review is generally pretty good I would say, although it can be rather annoying. How nice it would be if one could just put together any old stuff and get it published, like people can do on blogs! Of course peer review is only part of the process of science, scientific knowledge dissemination and advance. Once a paper is published it is open to assessment by others in the field, and one can really only determine the importance/value of a paper in relation to this. A good paper passes the test of time!

    The grammatical construction of your sentence makes it difficult to determine who you think is “angling for ever more grant money” is it me?…otherwise I don’t see how a “process” can do any “angling”! Climate science is funded (in the US) about the same level as nanotechnology according to the NSF funding reports, I believe. Is that a reasonable funding level would you say? And do you think nanotechnologists are also engaging in whatever dubious processes you are insinuating in order to “angle for more grants”?

  336. Joel,
    I don’t think you crossed any line. It just seems to me that a less emotional approach would be more in keeping with your scientific credentials.
    Thanks for the response,
    Mike

  337. In thinking about this:

    If you measure in whole degrees, you can only know in whole degrees, so all you can say is that we had no provable rise. (Error band is 14 -/+ 1 vs 15 -/+ 1,

    Given your example, measuring in whole degrees would be a +/- 1/2 error band for one degree resolution, so the text ought to say: 14 +/- .5 vs 15 +/- .5 with a range of 15.5 -13.5 = 2 degrees to 14.5-14.5 = 0 degrees; your ‘trend’ can be anything from +2 to -0 per decade and you don’t know what it really is.

  338. The more I think about the word “contrarian” the more I like it. Even though the word contrary carries a somewhat negative connotation, I don’t believe the word contrarian does. Besides it fits in so nicely in this phrase: Catastrophic Climate Change Contrarian. Now that is something that I would NOT mind being called. Perhaps I should send a note of thanks to Gavin?
    Your Catastrophic Climate Change Contrarian,
    Mike Bryant

    PS Has anyone here noticed that the earth is getting cooler?

  339. evanjones (20:31:17) :
    The problem is that GISS never starts with raw data. They use NOAA-adjusted data and “unadjust it” (how, we do not know), then they readjust it.

    As I’m presently shoving my brains through the sieve that is the GISS code, I can actually tell you what it does… and it doesn’t do this.

    NOAA provides several datasets for your choosing. The one that GISS chooses is the one without UHI in it from NOAA, so they do not need to ‘unadjust’ it. They choose the dataset that comes unadjusted… They then do many strange and wondrous things to it that I’m still sorting out, so I won’t comment on them here, yet.

    To the the ‘semi-cooked’ data you can ftp it from NOAA. In your browser bar, put:

    ftp://ftp.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/ushcn

    This will open the ftp directory. If you want the already computed monthly means dataset used by GISS, fetch hcn_doe_mean_data.Z and if you want the UHI adjusted version, fetch urban_mean_fahr.Z

    There are similar files for the min and max data both UHI adjusted and not.

    From gistemp.txt at the top of the GISS source package:

    Sources
    ——-

    GHCN = Global Historical Climate Network (NOAA)
    USHCN = US Historical Climate Network (NOAA)
    SCAR = Scientific Committee on Arctic Research

    Basic data set: GHCN – ftp://ftp.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/ghcn/v2
    v2.mean.Z (data file)
    v2.temperature.inv.Z (station information file)

    For US: USHCN – ftp://ftp.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/ushcn
    hcn_doe_mean_data.Z
    station_inventory

    For Antarctica: SCAR – http://www.antarctica.ac.uk/met/READER/surface/stationpt.html

    http://www.antarctica.ac.uk/met/READER/temperature.html

    http://www.antarctica.ac.uk/met/READER/aws/awspt.html

    For Hohenpeissenberg – http://members.lycos.nl/ErrenWijlens/co2/t_hohenpeissenberg_200306.txt
    complete record for this rural station
    (thanks to Hans Erren who reported it to GISS on July 16, 2003)

    USHCN stations are part of GHCN; but the data are adjusted for various recording and protocol errors and discontinuities; this set is particularly relevant if studies of US temperatures are made, whereas the corrections have little impact on the GLOBAL temperature trend, the US covering less than 2% of the globe.

  340. Joel Shore (07:15:05) :
    Your claim here seems to be that Mann hid the fact that his results depended strongly on a certain proxy (bristlecone pines from the Western U.S.). And, yet, here is what Mann et al. said [...]
    In using the sparser dataset available over the entire millennium (Table 1), only a relatively small number of indicators are available in regions (e.g., western North America) where the primary pattern of hemispheric mean temperature variation has signi cant amplitude (see Fig. 2 in MBH98), and where regional variations appear to be closely tied to global-scale temperature variations in model-based experiments [Bradley, 1996].

    What strikes me from your entire posting is this: You have a proxy of trees in the western hills, that are connected to cold via more models. As someone who has lived through many of them, I can inform your understanding a bit better than some simulation.

    What happens out here in the west is that we get a drought, as we have had for the last few years. Trees respond to less water the same way they respond to more cold: smaller rings.

    Tree rings in most of the west, and California in particular, will show as much about cold as they do about drought. Unless you have a past rainfall record to go with those rings, you have a confounded data set.

  341. E.M.Smith (13:04:55) :
    Roger Sowell (15:21:53) :
    The same principle allows us to state, with a straight face, that a population of people has 2.3 children per woman, on average. I shall explain.

    This is a different issue. Since no person has a fractional child, you can not be having an induced measurement error ( 1.4 children rounded down, 1.5 rounded up) causing a full digit error in your data.

    Another way to see this is that having 1 child is in fact having 1.000000000 child… the decimal precision is infinite for an atomic event.

  342. If a part of Antarctica is warming, is the claim that AGW is the cause? If so, how could AGW cause this: click

    The graphic appears to indicate a mountain range. I’m not a geologist; could the cold/colder boundary be caused by the intersection of two tectonic plates?

  343. foinavon (13:10:59) :

    Peer review is generally pretty good I would say, although it can be rather annoying. How nice it would be if one could just put together any old stuff and get it published, like people can do on blogs!

    Can you give us your critical evaluation of this little item that peer review missed?

    http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=3967

  344. Re Allan M R MacRae (10:58:43) :
    and
    davidc (00:16:17) :

    Hi David,

    For more on this subject, see

    Increasing Atmospheric CO2: Manmade…or Natural?

    January 21st, 2009 by Roy W. Spencer

    http://www.drroyspencer.com/2009/01/increasing-atmospheric-co2-manmade%e2%80%a6or-natural/

    Many scientists who believe that the theory of catastrophic humanmade global warming is invalid still do believe that humankind is driving increased atmospheric CO2 through combustion of fossil fuels.

    I used to be accept without question the role of fossil fuels in driving increased atmospheric CO2 – now I am leaning towards being an agnostic on this very interesting scientific question.

    The really important question is whether the world is undergoing catastrophic global warming or NOT.

    It is apparent to me that there has been no significant warming for many years, and sharp cooling since January 2007.

    The shift in the PDO from warm to cool mode suggests we can expect, on average, 20-30 years of global cooling (with upward and downward natural variation).

    In summary, I think the alleged catastrophic humanmade global warming crisis does not exist in reality.

    Regards, Allan

  345. E.M.Smith (13:04:55) :

    re: measuring to 4 digits precision.

    A real example from my engineering days may illustrate. In a chemical plant, we had a gaseous stream of by-product hydrogen that was saturated with water vapor. The economic thing to do was pipe the hydrogen to a boiler and supplement the fuel burned. There were the usual safeguards on the hydrogen line before it entered the boiler, including a flame arrestor. The flame arrestor had a metal grid inside that allowed hydrogen to pass but would stop a flame from propagating.

    The flame arrestor grid eventually plugged up from deposits of salt that could only be from the hydrogen and water vapor. We tried measuring the hydrogen gas for presence of salt, and could not detect any. Our measurements showed zero, down to the most sensitive instruments we could use. We then did a flame ionization test, and sure enough, there was a characteristic yellow color that indicated salt was present.

    So, we could not even measure the amount of contaminant in order to engineer a solution to solve the problem. My task was to engineer the solution. (Thanks again, boss! )

    I can write about the solution we devised because it is not proprietary nor is it a trade secret. We installed a filming amine injection system that could be regulated via a pulse-timer on a small positive displacement pump. The salt stayed in the amine solution and the problem went away. The cost of the amine solution and the injection system was far less than the cost to clean the flame arrestor and the increased cost of fuel while the hydrogen was vented to atmosphere during the cleaning.

    I think this illustrates what happens if we were to round to zero our measurements of salt concentration as 0.000 mg/l, because that is what the instrument displayed ( I am fabricating these numbers to make the point). In reality, the salt concentration was somewhere below the detectable limit, perhaps at 0.000001 mg/l.

    I do understand the point you made above, and perhaps there are different techniques to apply for different problems. Temperatures at atmospheric conditions, unlike concentrations of contaminants in a gas, always have a measurable value. It appears the problem is one of consistently rounding or misreading the instrument.

    There also are similar problems with the ga-zillions of data points taken every day in a chemical plant or refinery, compared to the atmospheric temperature measurements.

    It might be illuminating for the atmospheric scientists to talk to the process chemical engineers about that.

    The refineries and chemical complexes have very large data sets, taking process data from thousands of instruments at different locations and times, some on a short interval (i.e. every few seconds) and some on longer intervals (perhaps three times per day), and laboratory data including dozens of analyses on hundreds of samples.

    The continuous process industries regularly face the same issues of instrument miscalibration, missing data when instruments are off-line for repair, and differences in values reported as to precision. Yet the engineers routinely manage to massage the data appropriately, correct for bad readings, interpolate or reconcile for missing data, obtain averages that make sense, and produce trend charts and graphs that are useful to decision-makers in running a safe, profitable, and sometimes optimized plant. They have been doing this for several decades now.

    Just a thought.

    Roger E. Sowell

  346. This just in from meteorologist Joe d’Aleo – more evidence of why much of the trend analysis done with Surface Temperature (ST) data is highly questionable, due to the warming bias in ST measurement and data handling.

    Favorite paragraph:

    “The difference between the NOAA NCDC USHCN version 2 and GISS shows that NOAA’s new algorithm fails to correct for urbanization warming. In fact the NCDC changes have introduced a warming of 0.75F in the 75 years since 1930. Man made warming indeed but the men are in Asheville, NC.”

    Regards, Allan

    United States and Global Data Integrity Issues
    By Joseph D’Aleo, CCM, AMS Fellow
    Jan.27, 2009

    http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/images/stories/papers/originals/DAleo-DC_Brief.pdf

    Abstract

    Issues with the United States and especially the global data bases make them inappropriate to use for trend analysis and thus any important policy decisions based on climate change. These issues include inadequate adjustments for urban data, bad instrument siting, use of instruments with proven biases that are not adjusted for, major global station dropout, an increase in missing monthly data and questionable adjustment practices.

    ********************

  347. Harold Pierce Jr (12:27:46) :

    “ATTN: Everbody!”

    Harold Pierce Jr.
    Would you please be so kind and add the web links you refer to?

  348. John M (16:03:47) :

    foinavon (13:10:59) :

    Peer review is generally pretty good I would say, although it can be rather annoying. How nice it would be if one could just put together any old stuff and get it published, like people can do on blogs!

    Can you give us your critical evaluation of this little item that peer review missed?

    http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=3967

    John, It seems you’ve been taken in by a curious reluctance of a blogger to give the whole story.

    It took me about 5 minutes to download Mann et al’s paper [Proxy-based reconstructions of hemispheric and global surface temperature variations over the past two millennia Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. 105, 13252-13257] , to browse the Supplementary Information posted on the website of Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. and to discover the following:

    1. Mann et al. have a large section in their Supplementary info (right near the front on page 2) entitled:

    “Potential data quality problems”

    In this section they describe that of the 1200 or so proxy series used in their analyses, 7 are potentially problematic due to data quality issues. The authors state that these records include the 4 Tiljander lake varve series (that Mcintyre is making a fuss about) and three other series (Mono lake; Isdale fluorescence data; McCulloch Ba/Ca data).

    Since these data are potentially problematic an entire reanalysis of the data was performed leaving these data sets out.

    These reconstructions are shown in Figure S8 on page 14 of the Supplementary info, as a comparison with the reconstruction using the full data set. Leaving out the Tiljander (and Mono, Isdale, McCulloch data sets) makes a trivial difference to the long-term CPS Northern Hemisphere land reconstruction and a small difference to the EIV Northern Hemisphere land plus ocean reconstrucrion.

    I haven’t read the paper fully so won’t comment further for now. However this addresses your question about peer-review. Mann et al very clearly highlight those data sets they consider to have potential problems and perform analyses leaving these out. When they do so the interpretations of the paper don’t require any material change. Therefore a review should consider that particular matter adequately dealt with.

    The more interesting question is why McIntyre doesn’t indicate this glaringly obvious point. Perhaps he does somewhere else on his blog, but certainly not on the web page you linked to.

    That’s pretty much why I’m skeptical of blogs and prefer scientists and the scientific literature when it comes to assessing science.

  349. Joel Shore (07:06:06) :

    Roger Knights says:

    Or medieval and Roman artifacts coming to light in the wake of retreating alpine glaciers?

    You mean like this paper http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/114125034/abstract?CRETRY=1&SRETRY=0 regarding a pass in the Swiss Alps whose abstract reads:

    {skipped}

    And, the surprising aspect of this paper is it is from the general region that hads strong evidence of a significant MWP.

    Cool, present one source then comment on it being cherry picked from Europe.

    I spent a weekend collecting links to various recent exposures of stuff from 5000-7000 years ago, see http://wermenh.com/climate/6000.html . The sources include Western Canada and Peru. While these events long predate the MWP, they hint at previous warm periods. I don’t know how coincident they are as a group, but it’s intriguing that there’s so much available for that period and not others.

  350. foinavon (04:47:03) :

    OK. Since you prefer to not go over to CA, I’ll post your response over there myself.

    I take this to mean you think it’s OK to invert data in a peer-reviewed publication as long as it “doesn’t matter”.

    Are you willing to give McKitrick the same consideration for making a degree/radian error that “doesn’t matter”?

    Hmmm, come to think of it, that was all a big hoo-hah in the “warming” blogosphere wasn’t it? He published a correction, but apparently the blog accounts seem to carry more weight with some than did his published correction.

    Odd.

  351. John M (05:48:54)

    Oh well….. You asked a question about peer review in the context of the Mann et al, 2008 PNAS study. I answered it. The reviewers quite reasonably observed that Mann et al highlighted specific data set problems (including the Tijander data sets) very clearly in their paper, and made a full paleoproxy reanalysis with the problematic data removed, and presented this. Whether the problematic data is included or not doesn’t materially change the conclusions of the paper, and the issue is discussed anyway in the main paper and Supplement.

    That’s all pretty strightforward.

    But now you’re going off in all sorts of odd directions….I don’t know what the sign inversion relates to. Maybe there was a good reason for it….maybe it was a mistake. I expect that if it was a mistake Mann et al will issue a correction as is normal in these circumstances. However since they already highlighted the problematic nature of the Tijander data sets in their paper, and presented an analysis with the problematic data left out, it’s obviously not a particularly serious issue.

    I don’t know what you are referring to with “McItrick” and “degree/radian error”. If we’re talking about Mann et al 2008 and their analysis/use of Tijander’s data, what’s the relevance of some other paper (I presume) by some other bloke (or gal)?

  352. John M says:

    Are you willing to give McKitrick the same consideration for making a degree/radian error that “doesn’t matter”?

    Well, “doesn’t matter” is in the eye-of-the-beholder. In particular, in the original paper, the trend in their data set went 0.27 -> 0.11 -> 0.06 C / decade when they corrected for “economic effects” and then further corrected for “social effect”. According to their own correction, once they fix the degrees / radian error, this became 0.27 -> 0.18 -> 0.13 C / decade, so I would call that a significant difference. (See Sect. 6 of their correction here: http://www.uoguelph.ca/~rmckitri/research/Erratum_McKitrick.pdf)

    So yes, they still obtain their basic result that some significant part of the temperature trend is explained by non-climatic influences (although, from my understanding which admittedly is rather vague on this particular paper, there are other criticisms of the paper which could potentially impact this conclusion). However, the strength of the purported effect changes a fair bit.

  353. Joel Shore,

    Thanks for the clear analysis. Perhaps you can tutor foinavon on the issue. Is your analysis in the “peer reviewed literature” or only on blogs? Foinavon would seem to think it matters.

    Foinavon,

    Just so we’re all on the same page, and I apologize in advance for not arguing this point the way you would like me to argue it.

    We agree:

    1) Mann acknowledges potential problems with the Tijander series.
    2) Mann shows in the supporting info that “it doesn’t matter”.

    Do you agree with the following?:

    3) Mann inverted the Tijander proxy
    4) It was the inverted Tijander proxy that was then used to show “it doesn’t matter”.

    A question I have;

    5) Did Mann then go ahead and use the inverted Tijander proxy in the paper even though he acknowledged problems with the proxy, using the logic that because he showed in the suppl. info. that “it doesn’t matter” it would be OK? (Not a trick question, I honestly don’t know the answer.)

  354. Joel Shore,

    Thanks for the clear analysis. Perhaps you can tutor foinavon on the issue. Is your analysis in the “peer reviewed literature” or only on blogs? Foinavon would seem to think it matters.

    What I gave you was simply results from McKitrick and Michaels’s erratum, which indeed did appear in the journal Climate Research.

    And, I agree with foinavon on this point. It is not that everything not in the peer-reviewed literature is wrong or bad or that everything in the peer-reviewed literature is correct or even free from errors that are in fact pretty obvious (e.g., I gave a few examples above like the paper by Douglass et al. and Essex and McKitrick that had some things that were certainly easily catchable by a decent referee). However, peer review does act as a filter that tends to weed out a lot of the junk and polemics…and, hence, gives a much larger signal-to-noise ratio. Outside of the peer reviewed literature in a field like climate science, the signal-to-noise ratio can become very small indeed.

  355. Joel Shore (15:09:04) :

    Thanks for the comment. I certainly agree with your qualitative assessment, just as I agree qualitatively that the the Earth has warmed and CO2 has contributed. The disagreement is with the quantitation.

    While it’s true that the signal-to-noise is generally higher in peer-reviewed literature, you and foinavon seem to be of the opinion that it’s near zero in certain blogs. I am of the opinion that facts can stand on their own, no matter where they appear. They may be likely to more frequently appear in one place than another, but I don’t view the issue in the same “binary” (if you’ll pardon the expression) fashion that you and foinavon seem to view it.

  356. ON CHERRY PICKING…

    Since I have recently been accused of “Cherry Picking”, I thought I’d explore this subject:

    What if you conducted a study of temperature as indicated by tree rings, and it indicated that global temperatures got colder in the last decades of the 20th Century?

    The resulting plot (with respect to time) was a hockey stick shaped curve, with the blade pointing downward. Not good!

    For an example, see the second set of plots at

    http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=899

    What to do? Delete the tree ring data for those decades and graft on a set of Surface Temperature data that shows warming.

    Now the hockey stick blade points sharply upward to the right. Perfect!

    THAT seems to me to be a really good example of cherry-picking.

    Steve McIntyre writes about this “Divergence Problem” in his discussion of the proceedings of the NAS hearings in March 2006.

    See http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=570

    For eight years the scary hockey stick survived intact, while this very significant problem was NOT publicly discussed.

    And we are supposed to spend tens of trillions of dollars based on THIS?

  357. Here is the sequence of posts on Viking burials in Greenland’s permafrost:

    1– evanjones: “And just about everywhere where they were capable of writing about it, the MWP existed. Is it therefore reasonable to presume that everywhere where there was no writing the MWP did not exist?”

    2– Joel Shore quoted (1) and commented: “Even if we took your claim here on the historical record to be true (which I don’t without some real evidence to back it up), that still wouldn’t address the issue of whether the warm periods were synchronous or asynchronous.”

    Comment on #2: In the initial phrase above, Joel Shore was expressing dubiousness about the MWP in the North Atlantic, the region “where they were capable of writing about it.” Has was saying that he wanted something stronger than anecdotal evidence.

    3—I, Roger Knights, quoted (2 (but not 1)) and commented: “How about Greenland burials beneath today’s permafrost?”

    Comment on #3: In other words, I was supplying hard evidence to back up the historical record of the MWP in the North Atlantic, which Shore had bridled at.

    4– Joel Shore quoted (3 (but not 1 or 2)) and commented: “Again, the North Atlantic is the region that we know had a pronounced MWP. However, the evidence that this happened elsewhere at the same time is not there.”

    Comment on #4: This is an evasion (first sentence) and diversion (second sentence). Tsk tsk. As to the substance of the second sentence, see here:

    http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/monckton/what_hockey_stick.html

    Pages 16-29 summarize eleven scientific papers that provide evidence of warming elsewhere on the planet during the MWP (along with ten papers dealing with Europe and the North Atlantic). Each summary occupies about half a page and contains a graph that illustrates key data points.

  358. 2– Joel Shore quoted (1) and commented: “Even if we took your claim here on the historical record to be true (which I don’t without some real evidence to back it up), that still wouldn’t address the issue of whether the warm periods were synchronous or asynchronous.”

    Comment on #2: In the initial phrase above, Joel Shore was expressing dubiousness about the MWP in the North Atlantic, the region “where they were capable of writing about it.” Has was saying that he wanted something stronger than anecdotal evidence.

    I don’t know how you could read my comment as being specific to the MWP in the North Atlantic region. First of all, I was responding to evanjones’s comment (which I quoted in directly above what the part of my post that you quoted) that was clearly directed at the idea that the historical evidence showed the MWP to be worldwide:

    And just about everywhere where they were capable of writing about it, the MWP existed. Is it therefore reasonable to presume that everywhere where there was no writing the MWP did not exist?

    Do you think “where they were capable of writing about it” would restrict one to the North Atlantic region?!?! Is that the only place that you believe they had a written language in the Medieval times?

    Second of all, it makes no sense to ask whether the MWP in one particular place was synchronous or asynchronous with itself!

    What I was saying is that it may or may not be true that there was a warm period sometime during the middle ages in many parts of the world (or northern hemisphere) but that I needed more than an unsupported assertion before I would believe it and, furthermore, that this would still not address the issue of whether these warm periods occurred simultaneously or not. The Medieval period is quite a broad period of time and one of the major points of the work of Mann et al is that the maximum warmth tended to occur in different areas at different times during that period so that the Northern Hemisphere temperature shows just a broad bump rather than a sharper peak during that time.

    I’ll take a look at the Monckton paper but I would be surprised if he actually dealt with the second point (the synchronicity issue). And, of course, that work is again a very one-sided presentation for an advocacy group and is not a peer-reviewed paper…or even a paper authored by somebody with any sort of decent publication record in the peer-reviewed literature. Hence, there is no reason to believe his presentation is anything but a one-sided view of the issue. I wonder how people on this blog would react if we started linking to the Greenpeace or Sierra Club websites to provide scientific or historical evidence!

  359. Roger Knight’s link (@04:08:53) should be required reading in schools along with the mandatory viewing of Al Gore’s science fiction classic, AIT.

    Anyone reading that PDF and still not accepting the fact of the MWP has a major reading comprehension problem, and they deserve our sympathy. Please think of the children!

  360. Smokey (09:22:37) :

    Smokey, have you ever thought about the tens of millions of African children who have died because of the junk science banning of DDT?

  361. I didn’t make myself clear enough, Advenice24. AIT is already mandatory viewing – I was suggesting a counterweight to it.

  362. Roger Sowell (18:25:18) :
    Our measurements showed zero, down to the most sensitive instruments we could use. We then did a flame ionization test, and sure enough, there was a characteristic yellow color that indicated salt was present.

    Roger, your example illustrates my point… Your instrument error masked the quantity that was really there. You had measured 0.0000 +/- [something] and the actual quantity was hidden in the error bands. If you asserted that 0.000000000 precision could be calculated and there was nothing there, then you would be making the error GISS is making.

    You didn’t make that error. You went to a test with far finer sensitivity and an atomic answer (it’s yellow or it isn’t). Then treated the problem. What was the real quantity present? Was it 0.00000001 or 0.00000002 ? You could not know because it was lost in the error band of your instrument.

    Similarly, we can’t know the ‘average temperature’ to +/- 0.1C when our error band is +/- 0.5C and at best we could state that the ‘average temperature’ had a change of -0.4C to +0.6C based on the data.

    The only exception to this that I know of is oversampling where you sample a periodic event far more times than the Nyquist limit and can get a reasonable reconstruction of the waveform with more, but less precision, samples. Since each day is a discreet instance of a 24 hour cycle, I don’t see any oversampling of a frequency here…

  363. John M,

    I think that story actually confirms several of my basic points:

    (1) There has never been a worldwide ban on malaria. That articles talks about a change from “approv[ing] DDT for dealing with malaria” to “actively support[ing] it.” Some people thought that the announcement amounted to even less of a change in policy than that and was mainly a publicity stunt by Arata Kochi.

    (2) Major environmental groups support the use of DDT for malaria prevention: “A number of major environmental groups support the limited use of DDT, such as spraying only inside of houses and huts once or twice a year. That type of use is supported by the Sierra Club and Environmental Defense, which was originally founded by scientists concerned about DDT.”

    (3) The evolution of resistance to pesticides (and drugs) has been a big problem in fighting malaria, as the last paragraph of that story notes. It is unfortunate that they didn’t focus on this more. In fact, one of the links that I gave you references an article that discusses the fact that the skyrocketing in malaria deaths that occurred in India in the 1970s happened simultaneously with the continued rapid increase of the use of DDT (mainly for agriculture, which used the lion’ share of it). In fact, if Carson’s warnings about resistance to these pesticides had been heeded, and pesticides like DDT were reserved for fighting disease rather than sprayed willy-nilly for agriculture, it is likely that DDT could have remained more effective.

  364. Joel Shore (16:35:55) :

    Thanks Joel. I’m happy to hear you’re for the limited and controlled use of DDT to control malaria. Perhaps this sentence in the NPR article is pertinent to the discussion.

    In the early 1960s, several developing countries had nearly wiped out malaria. After they stopped using DDT, malaria came raging back and other control methods have had only modest success.

    Also, I’m not sure of the bona fides of this site (lots of straight news on the home page), but this is a pretty clear statement.

    Concerns over environmental damage led to a ban on the pesticide in the United States in 1972 and later in many parts of the world, including several African countries.

    http://www.theage.com.au/news/world/african-nations-lift-ddt-ban-to-fight-malaria/2006/05/30/1148956344979.html

    Can I assume you oppose pressuring developing countries to impose harsh limits on insecticides they think they need?

    http://www.newvision.co.ug/D/8/20/669232

  365. John M (17:20:50) :
    Joel Shore (16:35:55) :

    Thanks Joel. I’m happy to hear you’re for the limited and controlled use of DDT to control malaria. Perhaps this sentence in the NPR article is pertinent to the discussion.

    In the early 1960s, several developing countries had nearly wiped out malaria. After they stopped using DDT, malaria came raging back and other control methods have had only modest success.

    Malaria was already coming back before the end of DDT use because of the development of resistance to DDT in the mosquito population. That was the reason that other strategies had to be employed.
    Subsequently DDT was approved for vector control only rather than its previous indiscriminate use in agriculture, an approach which led to less resistance development.
    Check out the Stockholm Convention.

  366. The biggest problem by far with the use of DDT is indiscriminate overuse, which results in resistance to its effect. When I was a boy I remember a dairy farmer telling my father that when he first used DDT the dead flies were so numerous that they used snow shovels to clean up the carcasses.

    It is human nature to overuse anything beneficial, like DDT or antibiotics, for instance. Education is necessary.

    But the pendulum had swung so far in the other direction that lots of people died unnecessarily. And the ban, while not total, still covers most countries; where in the U.S., for example, can you buy DDT?

    There is still no insecticide as effective as DDT for controlling malaria. And the biggest [emotional] reason for its ban was the claim that it made birds’ eggshells so thin that the eggs were crushed by the hens has been falsified. The fact that the DDT ban has led to a massive death toll from malaria isn’t as important to some “environmentalists” as bird eggs. Widespread, judicious use of DDT will again start to save lives. That’s a good thing, isn’t it?

  367. Sounds like we may lurching toward violent agreement on DDT (pending any comments still in moderation).

    It’s just as well, since we’ve strayed pretty far OT.

  368. This is in response to Joel Shore’s post that contained the following key phrases:

    Roger Knights says:

    “How about … medieval and Roman artifacts coming to light in the wake of retreating alpine glaciers?”

    You mean like this paper http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/114125034/abstract?CRETRY=1&SRETRY=0 regarding a pass in the Swiss Alps whose abstract reads:

    “During the hot summer of 2003, reduction of an ice field in the Swiss Alps (Schnidejoch) uncovered spectacular archaeological hunting gear, … The preservation of Neolithic leather indicates permanent ice cover at that site from ca. 4900 cal. yr BP until AD 2003, implying that the ice cover was smaller in 2003 than at any time during the last 5000 years. Current glacier retreat is unprecedented since at least that time. This is highly significant regarding the interpretation of the recent warming and the rapid loss of ice in the Alps.”

    It seems to me that the authors of the paper’s abstract may be mistaken in thinking that “The preservation of Neolithic leather indicates permanent ice cover at that site.” Mightn’t leather survive without an ice cover? And how did all those artifacts from other eras get under the ice?

    Anyway, here is a quotation I’ve plucked from the 1/29 thread titled “Mature Arctic Ivory Gull Seen in Massachusetts – first time in over a century”. It interprets the data from that site in what seems to me to be a more reasonable way. Is this matter of multiple glacier retreats vs. no-retreats considered settled by archaeologists, or is there still debate about it?

    Harold Ambler (13:41:57) :

    What follows is an excerpt from Nigel Calder and Henrik Svensmark’s “The Chilling Stars”:

    The archaeologists of Bern Canton were grateful when Ursula Leuenberger presented them with an archer’s quiver made of birch bark. They were amazed when radiocarbon dating showed the quiver to be 4,700 years old. Frau Leuenberger had picked it up while walking with her husband in the mountains above Thun. There, the perennial ice in the Schnidejoch had retreated in the unusually hot summer of 2003, revealing the relic hidden beneath it.

    The hiking couple had unwittingly rediscovered a long forgotten short-cut for travellers and traders across the barrier of the Swiss Alps. To keep treasure-hunters away, the find remained a secret for two years while archaeologists scoured the area of the melt-back and analysed the finds. By the end of 2005 they had some 300 items – from the Neolithic Era, the Bronze Age, the Roman period and medieval times.

    The various ages of the items clustered in intervals when the pass of Schnidejoch was open, offering a quick route to and from the Rhone valley south of the mountains. There were no substantial human remains to compare with the murdered Ötztal ‘ice man’, found with a similar quiver high in the Italian Tyrol in 1991 and dated to 3300 BC. But the emergent history of repeated openings and closures of Schnidejoch gave a far more interesting picture of climate change.

    The Ötztal man is a prize exhibit for those who assert that the climate at the start of the 21st century is alarmingly warm. The ice that preserved his mummified corpse lay unmelted, 3,250 metres above sea level, for more than 5,000 years – since the world was in its warmest phase following the most recent ice age. Then, so the story goes, the manmade global warming of the industrial era outstripped all natural variations and released the body as a warning to us all.

    Quite different is the impression given by the relics found in the pass of Schnidejoch, at an altitude 500 metres lower than the Ötztal man’s ice-tomb. They tell of repeated alternations between warm periods when the pass was useable and cold periods when it was shut by the ice. The discoveries also cleared up a long-standing mystery about a Roman lodging house found on the slopes above the present-day town of Thun, where there was a Roman temple and settlement. The head of the cantonal archaeological service, Peter Suter, explained his satisfaction at the outcome: ‘We always asked ourselves why the lodging house was there. Now we know that it was on the route leading across the Schnidejoch.’
    =======================

  369. “The study found that warming in West Antarctica exceeded one-tenth of a degree Celsius per decade for the last 50 years and more than offset the cooling in East Antarctica.”

    Busted.

    http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=5054

    The “other” Harry data is derived from Gill. I’d figured this out yesterday when I wrote the teaser – a CA reader also figured this out for 1987-1989 this morning. But it’s not just 1987-1989; it’s 1987-1993 and 1997-1998. Also the “old” Harry was actually “Gill”. The graphic below compares READER/GISS New Harry with original Gill. Values are identical from 1987 to July 1994 and in 1997-1998. Values are different from Dec 1994 to Dec 1996 and for 1999-2000 where “Harry” has been spliced in the READER/GISS version.

    Gill is located on the Ross Ice Shelf at 79.92S 178.59W 25M and is completely unrelated to Harry.

  370. NOW THE WORLDWIDE PRESS IS SWARMING,
    ‘ROUND ANOTHER
    FINE EXAMPLE OF MANN-MADE GLOBAL WARMING!

    JUST LIKE THE FAMOUS HOCKEY STICK,
    THEY USED THE OLD
    “SPLICE TOGETHER TWO DATASETS” TRICK.

    ********************

    Text below is from

    http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=5054

    Ross McKitrick:
    February 2nd, 2009 at 1:38 pm

    Steve, nice work. If I have the story correctly, it goes like this.

    – The area of principle interest in the Steig et al analysis is West Antarctic, where they report a newly-discovered warming trend attributable, in part, to Mann’s clever ability to calibrate temperature to something-other-than-temperature and thereby reconstruct the non-existent temperature data.

    – Within that region Steig introduces data from 4 Automated Weather Stations, and the AWS with the big trend is called Harry.

    – In exploring the Harry data you compared the current GISS version (which Steig used) against one you downloaded in [SM: early] 2008. I gather that the 2008 [SM- current] GISS version equals the version in the READER [SM: Feb 1, 2009] archive. You noticed that the 2 are different, with the newer version showing large positive divergences in 1995-1997 and 1999-2003 (approx.) These divergences are very large, 5-15 C.

    – In the Wisconsin temperature archive the Harry station is listed at a different location than Steig reported. However the Wisconsin and Steig Harry data are identical in the overlap years.

    – After searching through the other Wisconsin records you found that the old Harry series (archived on GISS as of 2008) was identical to the data from another station called Gill. The Gill station is located somewhere else entirely.

    – It turns out that new Harry–as used by Steig–is a splice of Gill and some relatively recent Harry data.

    – The recent Harry data as recorded at Wisconsin is for years 1994-96, 1999-2000. There are also Harry data for years 2001-2004 (it looks like) in your first figure, which are from GISS 2009. Are these data also from the same station that contributed the Wisc data? [SM - data ends in 2002. Haven't checked 2001-2002 yet. Wisc online archive doesnt have 2001-2002 information, but it seems to be incomplete].

    – The immediate questions of interest are: Are other Antarctic series in Steig similarly fouled up? [SM - Dunno] and, What happens to their results if new Harry is either deleted or replaced with a West Antarctic station that is not a splice of 2 unrelated sites, if such a series is available? The other question is whether bristlecone pines grow in West Antarctica: it sounds like they do, metaphorically at least.

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