Snow job in Antarctica – digging out the data source

UPDATE: the question has arisen about “occupied” aka “manned” weather stations in Antarctica (Stevenson Screens etc) versus the Automated Weather Stations. This picture on a postage stamp from Australia, celebrating the Australian Antarctic Territory in 1997, may help settle the issue. Note the Stevenson Screen near the “living pod” on the right.

http://www.cira.colostate.edu/cira/RAMM/hillger/AustralianAntarctic.L102.jpg

Here is the larger photo of the first day of issue card, the Stevenson Screen is also just visible above the snowbank in the lower right. Rather close to human habitation I’d say. Looks like its in the middle of an AHI (Antarctic Heat Island).

Click for larger image

Click for larger image

Here’s another picture of a Stevenson Screen close to a building in Antarctica, from the British Antarctic Survey:

[10004058]

Location: Fossil Bluff, Alexander Island
Season: 1994/1995
Photographer: Pete Bucktrout


It seems that folks  are all “wild about Harry” over at Climate Audit, with the revelations occurring there, and no good kerfluffle would be complete without some pictures of the weather stations in question. It seems a weather station used in the Steig Antarctic study , aka “Harry”, got buried under snow and also got confused with another station, Gill, in the dataset. As Steve McIntyre writes:

Gill is located on the Ross Ice Shelf at 79.92S 178.59W 25M and is completely unrelated to Harry. The 2005 inspection report observes:

2 February 2005 – Site visited. Site was difficult to locate by air; was finally found by scanning the horizon with binoculars. Station moved 3.8 nautical miles from the previous GPS position. The lower delta temperature sensor was buried .63 meters in the snow. The boom sensor was raised to 3.84 m above the surface from 1.57 m above the surface. Station was found in good working condition.

I didn’t see any discussion in Steig et al on allowing for the effect of burying sensors in the snow on data homogeneity.

The difference between “old” Harry and “new” Harry can now be explained. “Old” Harry was actually “Gill”, but, at least, even if mis-identified, it was only one series. “New” Harry is a splice of Harry into Gill – when Harry met Gill, the two became one, as it were.

Considered by itself, Gill has a slightly negative trend from 1987 to 2002. The big trend in “New Harry” arises entirely from the impact of splicing the two data sets together. It’s a mess.

So not only is there a splice error, but the data itself may have been biased by snow burial.

Why is the snow burying important? Well, as anyone skilled in cold weather survival can tell you, snow makes an excellent insulator and an excellent reflector. Snow’s trapped air insulative properties is why building a snow cave to survive in is a good idea. So is it any wonder then that a snowdrift buried temperature sensor, or a temperature sensor being lowered to near the surface by rising snow, would not read the temperature of the free near surface atmosphere accurately?

As I’ve always said, getting accurate weather station data is all about siting and how the sensors are affected by microclimate issues. Pictures help tell the story.

Here’s “Harry” prior to being dug out in 2006 and after:


Harry AWS, 2006 – Upon Arrival – Click to enlarge.


Harry AWS, 2006 – After digging out – Click to enlarge.

You can see “Harry’s Facebook Page” here at the University of Wisconsin

It seems digging out weather stations is a regular pastime in Antarctica, so data issues with snow burial of AWS sensors may be more than just about “Harry”. It seems Theresa (Harry’s nearby sister) and Halley VI also have been dug out and the process documented. With this being such a regular occurrence, and easily found within a few minutes of Googling by me, you’d think somebody with Steig et al or the Nature peer reviewers would have looked into this and the effect on the data that Steve McIntyre has so eloquently pointed out.

Here’s more on the snow burial issue from Antarctic bloggers:

The map showing Automated Weather Stations in
Antarctica:


Click map for a larger image

The Gill AWS in question.


http://amrc.ssec.wisc.edu/images/gill.gif

From Polartrec

Theresa was placed at this location partly to
study the air flow in the region. Looking out the window of the plane we can
definitely see the air flowing!!! Jim estimates the wind at about 25 miles per
hour.

Wind Blown snow near Theresa AWS

Wind blown snow at Theresa

With the temperature around 0F the wind chill
was about 20 below, it is obvious this is going to be quite a chore.

George digging out Theresa

Starting to dig out Theresa

The weather station has not been working, so
George needs to figure out what is wrong with it and then fix it. The station is
almost buried in the snow so we will also need to remove all of the electronics,
add a tower section and then raise and bolt all of the electronics and sensors
back in place.

eorge unhooking the electronics box at Theresa AWS

George unhooking the cables.

After refueling the plane, with the fuel in
the 55 gallon drums, Jim and Louie helped dig down to the electronics boxes that
were completely buried plus they built us a wind break that made huge difference
in helping us not be so cold. After about 4 hours we are almost through. As I am
hanging onto the top of the raised tower in the wind, one bunny boot wedged onto
the tower bracing, the other boot wrapped around the tower, one elbow gripping
the tower, my chin trying to hold the wind sensor in place and both bare numb
hands trying to thread a nut onto the spinning wind sensor I really appreciate
the difficulty of what is normally Jonathan’s job. After checking to make sure
Theresa is transmitting weather data we board the plane and head to Briana our
second station.

Theresa after we are finished.

Notice the difference between this
picture and the first one of Theresa.

From Antarctic Diary

More movement

It’s been another flat-out week. The vehicle team have dug
up and moved the Drewery building, which was getting do buried snow was
almost up the windows. Team Met have been on the move too – all the
remaining instruments are now bolted securely to the Laws roof, so we headed
up the the Halley VI building site to relocate the weather station.



Jules starts digging out the weather station

Only 15km away, the Halley VI site looks a lot like Halley V. It’s flat,
white and snowy. Very snowy. The weather station had about 1.5m built up
around it!



Jules and Simon recovering the solar panel



In the hole!

The weather station was a survey reference point for the build project so we
had to find a suitable replacement. Could this be Antarctica’s first
pole-dancing venue?



Penguin Party memories…

After an hour or so sweating it our with shovels, the weather station popped
out and was loaded onto the sledge. Like the reference point, the station’s
new location had to be precise as vehicles are banned from the upwind
section of the site to keep that area ultra-clean for future snow-chemistry
experiments.



Weather station on the move

Driving on a compass bearing and GPS track, we found the new site just under
a kilometre away.



The final setup

UPDATE: here’s another buried station story from Bob’s Adventures in cold climes. Apparently this station is used as a reference for some sort of borehole project.

I dig weather stations

My main task for today was to get a start on raising my weather station. I’d installed it 2 years ago, and with the high accumulation at Summit, it’s getting buried. The electronics are all in a box under the snow, and the only things visible at the surface were the anemometer for measuring wind speed and direction, the thermistor for measuring air temperature, and the solar panel to keep the batteries charged.


The buried weather station. The flat green bit is the solar panel, which was about 1.5 meters off the surface when I installed the station. Can you guess why I would mount it facing down?

In the morning I downloaded all the data from the station, and checked to see that it was all in order. Then it was time for digging. I’d carefully made a diagram when I inastalled the station, so I knew exactly where to dig. A couple of hours later I’d found my box!


At the bottom of the pit with the datalogger electronics.

I brought everything up to the surface, and then was about to fill in the pit, when I realized at least one more scientist at Summit might want to make measurements in it; the pit’s already dug! So tomorrow I’ll help Lora with some conductivity measurements, then fill in the pit, re-bury the box just beneath the surface, and it’ll be ready to go for another 2 years!

And there’s more….

The Australians seem to have AWS problems as well. From the Australian Antarctic Division:

On Monday two groups headed out, with Largy and Denis going up to the skiway to check on the condition of the equipment stored there for the winter and beginning preparations for the coming summer flying season.

Bill, Brian and Ian went up to the Lanyon Junction Automatic Weather Station (AWS) to check its condition and retrieve some of the sensors in preparation for the annual servicing of the various remote units.

Automatic weather station buried 1.5m in snow

A hard life for an AWS – Buried 1.5 metres
Photo: Ian P.
Anemometer

This used to be an anemometer
Photo: Ian P.

And the University of Maine, participating in USITASE, has the same troubles, they write:

We reached our first major destination at the end of today’s travel, the site of the Nico weather station. There are several automatic weather stations spread out over the surface of Antarctica. These stations measure things like temperature, wind speed and wind direction and then relay this data back to scientists via satellite. Anything left on the surface of the snow will eventually be drifted in and buried by blowing snow. This particular weather station (NICO) has not been seen in several years. They tried to locate it via airplane a few years ago and were unsuccessful. Our task was to find the weather station, record its position with GPS, and mark the location with flags so that in the near future, the weather station can be raised and serviced.

We arrived at the coordinates of the station around 10 pm. Our initial scans of the horizon were not productive, so Matthew and John took the lead tractor (with our crevasse-detecting radar) out to survey a grid near our stopping point. The radar should detect a large metal object like a weather station, but the survey was also unsuccessful. After a fine pasta and tomato sauce dinner, John went outside for an evening constitutional. He saw a shiny object out in the distance – further inspection with a pair of binoculars determined that it was the top of the NICO weather station! Several of us marched out to the station, which was actually about a half mile distant, marked the location with bright orange flags and recorded the position via GPS for future reference. Only the top foot or two of the station was still visible. John was in exactly the right place at the right time to see a reflection from this object while we were near the kitchen module, and so allowed us to complete our first task successfully.
Tomorrow, we drive on.

http://www2.umaine.edu/USITASE/moslogs/images03/buried.jpg

http://www2.umaine.edu/USITASE/moslogs/images/AWSsite.jpg


This regular burial and digging out of stations brings the whole network of AWS stations to be used as sensitive climate measurement stations into question.

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278 Responses to Snow job in Antarctica – digging out the data source

  1. I’ve had difficulties getting to CA’s page today, does that mean the site’s getting as much attention as it can handle?

    I’ve been learning that the Arctic and the Antarctic are two very, very different environments. Antarctic snow just keeps piling on, up up up, burying everything pretty fast. A “polar opposite” to the Arctic, where the sea ice forms, melts, forms, melts – and I wonder if it gets melted from underneath too, as it gets heavier and starts to sink deeper into the warmer ocean (only the highest ocean is freezing, after all, since freezing water rises).

    REPLY:
    CA was overwhelmed, but some adjustments to the server were recently made, and it should be OK now. – Anthony

  2. just Cait says:

    Excellent work going on down there – too bad there are some willing to corrupt the data.

    OT but should be of interest. Al Gore spoke to school children and told them He also told them not to listen to the ‘old people’ because they didn’t understand what is going on. Indoctrination anyone?

  3. MattN says:

    OUTSTANDING work. Congrats all around to you, SteveM and everyone else who toiled away. I just KNEW the scientists hadn’t been “doing the calcualtions in there head” or “on back of envelopes”. In reality, they had been ignoring obviously corrupted data, just like a real scientist is supposed to do.

    Again, marvelous work gentlemen….

  4. Glenn says:

    From your “Gill” link through the “Archived Gill AWS Data” link shows
    “Ten-minute interval data for Gill AWS” data for all months of years 2003 through 2006, yet on the same page listing of “Three-hourly interval data for Gill AWS” is completely missing all data from 2003 to and including 2006.

    On the surface so to speak, it seems odd that ten minute intervals of data would be recorded, but not three hour intervals.

  5. Simon Evans says:

    So was snow burial more of an issue in the 1950s or ias it more of an issue now? Let’s accept that getting data from the Antarctic is a tough call. Why the concern about this now, following Steig’s paper which found a warming trend, when there was no concern expressed about it before, when the general meme was that the Antarctic was cooling? Why do you energetically challenge findings that suggest supposed warming whilst uncritically accepting any evidence of supposed cooling?

  6. Ron de Haan says:

    Thanks for this wonderful article.
    You are right, a picture tells more than a thousand words.

    The speed of accumulation of snow is incredible.
    We already saw the pictures from the polar stations that had to dug out despite the use of telescopic adjustable foundations.

    At http://www.iceagenow.com/Growing_Antarctic_Ice_Sheet.htm
    you can find a picture of a crane and power transmission towers buried in the Antarctic snow.

    This article effectively destroys all claims of rising Antarctic temperatures.

  7. Simon Evans says:

    Ron de Haan (16:25:53) :

    This article effectively destroys all claims of rising Antarctic temperatures.

    And does it also destroy all claims of falling Antarctic temperatures?

    REPLY:
    Interesting question. The key would be to demonstrate how these issues could result in a cooling bias. A station buried under snow will of course be warmer than the surface air not only for the insulation from that surface air it provides, but also from any heat from the electronics package slowly radiated through the snow to the temperature sensors. Without wind to carry away such waste heat from the electronics, IMHO the only place for that waste heat to go is outward and upwards and eventually to be detected by the sensors.

    Show how snow burial of an AWS could result in a cooling bias. Maybe I’ve missed something. – Anthony

  8. MattN says:

    Simon: “Why do you energetically challenge findings that suggest supposed warming whilst uncritically accepting any evidence of supposed cooling?”

    Because cooling is almost never artificial.

  9. George E. Smith says:

    What a place; I need to go there.

    Before the stampeding herd arrives, and since we are talking Antarctica; I notice that the thread on Antarctica warming per Eric Steig et al seems to have sublimed.

    I have a bone to pick with someone whose name sadly I forgot and since I can’t find the thread, I can’t call him out by name.

    But somewhere in that thread, I had made the statement that in parts of Antarctic such as South pole, or Vostok Station, the atmosphere was likely to be essentially devoid of water (very low vapor pressure) and possibly of CO2 as well, since at Vostok the temp can get as low as about -90C.

    So whoever it was, that commented on that; he was unequivocal in his opinion that “that was total nonsense”, and by inference I was a total idiot; and he advised me to look at the CO2 phase diagram; which he kindly pointed to, such as :-http://scifun.chem.wisc.edu/chemweek/CO2/CO2_phase_diagram.gif

    So I did that and then meekly submitted that he was correct, and that was nonsense; but I did not admit to being a total idiot; which I am not.

    But I did launch massive research project into the matter; which finally ended a few minutes ago in discussions with my immediate boss; and since he is a PhD physicist,a nd an HP Fellow; who am I to argue with him.

    So here is the situation; The CO2 phase diagram which Mr_X referred me to shows that CO2 sublimes at -78.5Deg C and one atmosphere pressure, and the soli/solid+gas phase boundary goes from about -135 deg C and 0.001 atmospheres to-56.6 deg C at 5.11 atmospheres which is the triple point.

    Whence Mr_X declared that CO2 at 385 ppmv could not possibly precipitate out and form CO2 snow, even though I talked with a chap who claimed he walked on CO2 snow at the south pole, while making solar insolation readings.

    Well here is what Mr_X failed to realize. That one atmosphere pressure at
    -78.5 C sublimation point is the TOTAL ATMOSPHERIC PRESSURE; it is NOT the partial vapor pressure of CO2.

    Considered at the atomic level at the solid/gas interface, all that the dry ice surface molecules know, is that they keep getting clobbered from above by some energetic projectiles, of unknown species exchanging energy and momentum between the species.
    So what determines the escape rate of CO2 molecules from the surface is the kinetic energy exchange going on with the gas molecules, and it matters not what species that is; only the net exchange rate of energy/momentum matters.

    So the equilibrium diagram definitely is a total pressure condition.

    The ice under an ice skate blade, cares not whether the applied pressure comes from air or steel.

    Therefore we can say with a fair likelihood of being correct, that the sublimation point of CO2 is at -78.5 deg C at 1.0 atmospheres of total pressure from all sources; which by dalton’s law would be the sum of all the partial pressures of all the atmospheric components, including the 385 ppm of CO2 gas.

    So at -90 deg C, where Vostok can reach at times, the equilibrium pressure is about 0.3-0.4 atmospheres TOTAL PRESSURE.
    Therefore at around -90 C at Vostok, and one atmosphere total air pressure, solid CO2 is quite stable, so precipitation of CO2 snow is quite possible, and in fact it is possible any time the air temperature drops below -78.5 deg C.

    Therefore I hereby declare, I am not an idiot, and my assertion was not total nonsense.

    So when Mr_X arrives here, I would appreciate an apology.

    George

    And thanks for the phase diagram Mr_X; there’s no such thing as too much information.

    Reply: That would have been Phil. And this was the post.. Moderators have much better search tools available. For better or worse ~ charles the moderator.

  10. jeez says:

    Simon Evans,

    Not exactly, but it does call into question the use of statistical techniques to infill and extrapolate data from suspect reference points.

  11. Gary A. says:

    It looks to me like solar panels are lower than the temp sensors. This would seem to indicate that the stations would quite broadcasting before the temperature sensors go below the snow (looks like 6″ to 12″ above the solar panel). Of course the height of the sensors above the snow will decrease from 6′ or so as the snow “buries” the station.

  12. G Alston says:

    Simon Evans — Why the concern about this now, following Steig’s paper which found a warming trend, when there was no concern expressed about it before, when the general meme was that the Antarctic was cooling?

    It’ll take “The data for years says one thing and Steig says another, so why is that?” for a thousand, Alex.

    Maybe it’s just me, but I have the distinct impression that if Gavin were to cough, your head would compress.

    Reply: Stick to civil discourse ~ charles the moderator.

  13. Glenn says:

    Can’t quite reconcile “Last Two Days of Observations” link to “Text Data” with seemingly multiple data with no rhyme or reason, out of order and conflicting, for example:
    ID Date Time Temp
    8911 2009035 134740 -30.1
    8911 2009035 134740 -14.1

    It seems also that maybe half of the entry dates should have been one day off, instead of them all being “2009035″ apparently the 35th day of 2009.

  14. Simon Evans says:

    jeez (16:41:09) :

    Simon Evans,

    Not exactly, but it does call into question the use of statistical techniques to infill and extrapolate data from suspect reference points.

    But I’m not sure that it does, jeez – after all, the exercise has been referenced against IR satellite readings which maybe (I don’t know for sure, and I expect this work to be followed up and either confirmed or else challenged) give us a better assessment of Antarctic temperatures than we had before. Let’s all agree that the station data is poor and the MSU data is poor (for reasons of altitude, etc.).

    I’m sure you can see my point. The impression is that the obvious limitations in Antarctic data are only challenged if it suits the agenda. If I had posted here before the Steig paper saying that the Antarctic station data was unreliable and that, therefore, the ‘cooling’ was meaningless I fully expect that I would have been howled down. It’s fair enough if people are expressly pursuing one side of the argument, so to speak, but any suggestion of scientific disinterest is hard to swallow.

    REPLY: Simon see my question above – anthony

  15. Simon Evans says:

    G Alston (16:47:18) :

    Simon Evans — Why the concern about this now, following Steig’s paper which found a warming trend, when there was no concern expressed about it before, when the general meme was that the Antarctic was cooling?

    It’ll take “The data for years says one thing and Steig says another, so why is that?” for a thousand, Alex.

    Maybe it’s just me, but I have the distinct impression that if Gavin were to cough, your head would compress.

    Cut out the ad homs and stick to the discussion – you do your argument no credit by choosing to resort to personal sneers.

    Reply: Moderators agree with Simon. Missed that one. I’m leaving in for continuity, Anthony may think otherwise. ~ charles the moderator

  16. George E. Smith says:

    We should also not forget the example of the so-called “lost squadron” f P-38s and B-17s that got abandoned on Greenland in 1942, and were discovered around 2002 or so under 262 feet of snow/ice which presumably dposited ove 60 years. Although some of the planes were crushed somewhat; ne of the P-38s was recovered and is flying again. But the point is, there is no evidence that the planes sank into the ice. The ice was far too cold to melt under the pressure of the planes; so all that 262 feet was 60 years of precipitation on Greenland; and I don’t see why Greenland and Antarctica would be totally diffrent, other than the altitudes and greater size of Antarctica.

  17. Horace says:

    Now if Anthony will do a “site bias” examination of the manned Antarctic stations.

    I can’t imagine that at 50 below temps the heating of the buildings, runways, etc. at the manned sites don’t influence the readings. Are the temp sensors on top of the buildings to avoid cover by the snow?

    Just a thought . . .

    H

  18. Simon Evans says:

    Anthony,

    Simon see my question above – anthony

    Ok, thanks. Of course I don’t know, and can only speculate. If maintenace of stations has improved over the record period, then one would expect a cooling bias, with earlier periods being more subject to biased warming from snow cover than later…? Of course, the opposite could be the case if maintenance has degenerated (and indeed, perhaps there have been periods of better or worse maintenance during the record period). I simply don’t know, but I certainly don’t see why the snow issue necessarily implies a warming bias over time.

    What I would like to know is whether the issue with ‘Harry’, or any other of these issues, are specific to the Steig paper. If they are, then fair criticism. If, however, they are raw issues with all the records for the Antarctic, thern that is another matter. It might be that Steig et al are being challenged for trying to make the best of a bad job.

  19. Robert Wood says:

    Great post Anthony.

    I hereby give to humanity, patent free, an idea for automatic Antartic weather stations that will not get buried by snow.

    The base of the station is a central disc and a concentric ring, both will be aerodynamicly profiled, so as to not trap snow, as will the sensor and electronic package and solar cell on top of the tower.

    Each, central disc and concentric ring, will be capable of supporting the weight of the weather station on loose snow, so they will need to be fairly large. The weather station tower is supported on both of these, the central disc and the concentric ring, with pneumatic rams. The pneumatic reservoir could also be used as an energy storage device for the electronics.

    Initially, the concentric ring may support the station and the disc would be elevated above the surface. When snow build-up covered the concentric ring and threatend the disc, the disc would be pushed down to contact the snow and then the concentric ring elevated. The process is then reversed when the central disc starts becoming buried.

    If the area has a regular known snow build-up rate, then a simple timer could control operation, say once every 3 months. Otherwise, snow level detectors could be implemented in the tower, pointing down.

    Further instrumentation for control purposes may include tilt meter and GPS.

    BTW Does anyone have information on the actual effect of the repeated snow burials on the temperature records?

  20. Richard M says:

    IMO, the eduation system is responsible for creating a couple of generations of folks who are not critical thinkers/problem solvers. They have been taught to read a textbook, memorize the content and choose the right answer from a list when tested. It’s easy to see how this becomes read a peer reviewed paper, memorize the content, choose the conclusion as the right answer … It’s quite easy to herd this kind of thinking by having just a couple of research papers influence everything else that follows.

    In a recent article “kitchen experiments” were discussed . I’m not at all surprised that this went right over many heads. It’s not in a book. Not too surprising that in response to these real life examples we got references to more papers.

    In many ways we can’t blame these folks for the way they think. That is how they were taught. Unfortunately, this allows a small number of people to influence an entire branch of science.

    Ever wonder why a large percentage of skeptics are older? We were taught how to think things through. To get the answer we had to work it out from scratch. That hasn’t been a key part of our educational system. In fact, I suspect you’ll find most of the younger people who are skeptics were actually forced to think things through at some point. However, that number is exceedingly small.

    No wonder Al Gore is telling kids to quit listening to older people.

    Something to think about …

  21. Jeff Alberts says:

    George E. Smith (16:58:42) :

    We should also not forget the example of the so-called “lost squadron” f P-38s and B-17s that got abandoned on Greenland in 1942,

    I watched the Holy, er History Channel (or Discovery, don’t remember which, might have even been Mil Channel) on that. Very interesting.

  22. George M says:

    The CA thread contains several of my comments, and a request which may get a better response here. I am looking for better specifics on station mechanical and electrical design and construction than I seem to be able to find on the U of Wisc site or the references contained there. And, some new inquiries: What kind of battery works reliably at those temperatures? And, how does the solar panel work in the total darkness of Antarctic winter? Maybe the anemometer also drives a generator which charges the battery? While the sun goes away for a few weeks, the wind seems to never really stop. The fact that any data is gathered under these conditions is amazing.

  23. Pamela Gray says:

    They need a barbecue to keep the snow away. Works everywhere else. Right?

  24. dearieme says:

    Can I just explain that when, in the past, I have speculated that too many of the Global Warmmongers started off as just woefully inept fifth-rate physicists, and only slowly became dishonest, I didn’t mean to imply that they stopped being woefully inept too.

  25. Glenn says:

    Gary A. (16:45:09) :

    “It looks to me like solar panels are lower than the temp sensors. This would seem to indicate that the stations would quite broadcasting before the temperature sensors go below the snow (looks like 6″ to 12″ above the solar panel). Of course the height of the sensors above the snow will decrease from 6′ or so as the snow “buries” the station.”

    Maybe not. There must be battery packs for the electrical system, I think that there are a lot of cloudy days down there. They may hold enough charge to operate for weeks, maybe months. I doubt these batteries are much of a source of heat, though, with regards to whether buried sensors would be getting heat from them. Heat reflecting off snow when the sensor is above snow level would likely be a bigger issue, and more the closer the sensor is to the snow level.

  26. Ron de Haan says:

    Simon Evans (16:16:21) :

    So was snow burial more of an issue in the 1950s or ias it more of an issue now? Let’s accept that getting data from the Antarctic is a tough call. Why the concern about this now, following Steig’s paper which found a warming trend, when there was no concern expressed about it before, when the general meme was that the Antarctic was cooling? Why do you energetically challenge findings that suggest supposed warming whilst uncritically accepting any evidence of supposed cooling?

    Simon, there is no concern but every reason to challenge the Steig paper:
    1. All data, except the Steig paper indicated cooling.
    2. The Steig paper has a toxic background.
    These people were also responsible for the famous hockey stick temp.
    Quote Anthony: “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”.
    3. The Steig report was produced for Publicity objectives promoting the AGW doctrine which is a hoax. (as was the hockey stick temp)
    4. This site is all about data, correct measurement and debunking false claims.
    5. see: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/01/page/2/

    What more arguments do you want.

  27. MattN says:

    The next question I have is, will Stieg correct this error?

    Will Nature make a retraction?

  28. DaveE says:

    Perhaps we should just wait until Steig, Mann et al release their data & methods.

    I’m not holding my breath.

    DaveE.

  29. Ron de Haan says:

    Horace (17:00:45) :

    ‘Now if Anthony will do a “site bias” examination of the manned Antarctic stations.

    I can’t imagine that at 50 below temps the heating of the buildings, runways, etc. at the manned sites don’t influence the readings. Are the temp sensors on top of the buildings to avoid cover by the snow?

    Just a thought . . .

    H

    Horace,
    Take a look at the pictures, read the article and you have the answer to your question.

  30. Harold Ambler says:

    I had already been having a very good day before reading this post and the comments so far. I am now having a great day.

    Huge congratulations, and thanks, to Anthony and Steve McIntyre.

    Glorious!

  31. MarcH says:

    The Amundsen-Scot station chart from GISS might be of interest to WUWT readers. There appears to be a discernable human influence on temperature.

    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/gistemp/gistemp_station.py?id=700890090008&data_set=1&num_neighbors=1

    This shows a zig-zag pattern from 1957 to about 1977 with a temperature range of about 1 degree. From 1977(?) onwards the amplitude of temperature range dramatically increases up to about 3 degrees C.

    Could this reflect human influence from 1977 onwards as station size increased?

    Perhaps. According to Wiki the original South Pole station was abandoned in 1975 and moved and replaced with the dome. Additional building was undertaken in the late 1990s. The current station includes three power generators running on JP-8 jet fuel and a green house.

    I couldn’t find where the actual weather station is located but I hope its not next to the green house or under a BBQ.

    (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AmundsenScott_South_Pole_Station)

  32. Bob Tisdale says:

    Simon Evans, you wrote, “And does it also destroy all claims of falling Antarctic temperatures?”

    The SST anomalies for the Southern Ocean have been falling since the mid-1990s.
    http://i44.tinypic.com/2uen29u.jpg
    If Antarctic temperatures are following those of the ocean that surrounds it, Antarctic land surface temperatures are dropping.

  33. wattsupwiththat says:

    Gary A. (16:45:09) :

    Note that they do have batteries and a data logger in most cases, so it it quite possible that they will operate long after the solar panels are covered.

    I know this because I designed and now sell a similar AWS solar powered station, which you can see here:

    http://www.weathershop.com/WWN_wireless.htm

    It will operate up to two weeks or more (depending on data logging and transmit intervals used) on the 36AH gel cell battery in he electronics NEMA enclosure. Most of the time the station draws less than 100 milliamps. Only when transmitting data does it draw larger currents. If they have these Antarctic AWS units set to log data for 24 hours or longer, then transmit, they may very well operate for weeks or months without solar power.

    I would assume that being situated in the place of the long Antarctic night, they are designed to do just that. Otherwise they’d all croak in the long night.

  34. MattN says:

    “If maintenace of stations has improved over the record period, then one would expect a cooling bias”

    I disagree. What you would see is the warming bias decrease.

    There is almost no such thing as “cooling bias”. I’ve never heard of a rural cool island….

  35. Sylvia says:

    Anthony & moderators & various article contributors and learned commenters, thank you for such an interesting blog.

    Since in the north country of the USA the response to deep snowfall is to raise your satellite dish up a bit, why don’t they use taller towers for the stations in Antarctica? Or, do measurements need to be taken at a specific number of feet above the snow pack, which would mean they are only accurate when conditions comply?

    Mr. George E. Smith, you are a gem. If you do end up going to visit Harry, Theresa, et al, email me and I will spin and knit a pair of cashmere (or qiviut if I can get some) mitten liners for you to wear.

  36. Leon Brozyna says:

    When Harry Met Gill? Now that’s quite a match, considering the geographic spread between the two.

    So I just had to go check out CA to see what all the fuss was about. Why am I not surprised, Steve McIntyre doing follow-up work on the Steig et al study, which was also covered on WUWT a couple weeks ago. Antarctica warming? An evolution of viewpoint. And while Steve gets the ball rolling on transparently checking out the problem with Harry, the RC group gets all in a hissy fit. Now I wonder why credibility keeps shifting?

  37. Earle Williams says:

    Simon,

    You asked:

    So was snow burial more of an issue in the 1950s or ias it more of an issue now?

    I’m puzzling over whether you are a) being argumentative for its own sake or b) if you really envision some process whereby the 1950s era procedures for measuring temperature were subject to the same burial effects as the modern AWS temperature stations are.

    In trying to capture the spirit of your argument, I’m envisioning some poor 1950s era chap who plows through the snow on a twice-daily basis to read the thermometer. And I’m trying to see how a thermomter that is read twice daily (one hopes) would get buried in snow over the course of a couple years. I’m just not seeing it happening.

    Perhaps there is some documentation from then of folks digging out the monitoring station, while at the same time having taken daily readings. I dunno, seems rather preposterous. Maybe, just maybe, this is associated with unmanned stations that are visited once every couple of years? How long has that been going on, I wonder. One might find that it coincides with the AWS deployment.

  38. Horace says:

    Ron de Haan (17:34:17) :

    ‘Horace,
    Take a look at the pictures, read the article and you have the answer to your question.’

    Ron –

    The pix are all of AWS’s?

    H

  39. tarpon says:

    Good job guys. The pictures are great. It’s easy to see how bad conditions are and how tough it is to try and get it right.

  40. Horace says:

    . . . and Steig et al said they relied only a tiny bit on the AWS’s?

  41. CodeTech says:

    Re: P38 rescued from glacier in Greenland:
    http://p38assn.org/glacier-girl.htm

    And there is NO such thing as a cooling bias. All bias is going to be toward warm, which should be self-evident if you consider how temperature sensors work. Those solar panels create a bias too.

  42. Eric Chieflion says:

    Just finished reading a Scifi book a week or so ago that made the Antarctic a terrible place to visit from its description of the hardships. It’s been interesting reading stuff on these blogs in the interval since that show the author didn’t really do a good job of research – the Antarctic is even worse than described.

    Glenn (16:11:19) – It’s obvious the poor AWS has a broken clock when it comes to hours and can’t make the three hourly reports.

    Simon (16:16:21) – While I freely admit that many of us skeptical folks read this blog to get an alternate view of what appears to be blindly reported in the media, the real point here is that if one performs a scientific experiment the results of which are expected, it is of little interest other than it fills in a few more decimal points for reference books like the CRC Handbook of Physics. It’s when the results are contradictory that things get interesting. If your experiment has contradictory results, you had better be prepared for, as Harry Truman put it, Heat in the Kitchen. Of course we have two groups of people with widely disparate expectations which inexorably leads to hate and discontent.

    Along other lines, I have been contemplating in recent weeks that icon of physics, Albert Einstein, and his General Theory of Relativity which has been tested innumerable times ranging from the 1919 eclipse photos to the implementation of the GPS system (it had to use relativity to correct for being in earth’s gravity well) so obviously the science of relativity is settled, but then it falls apart in the quantum realm, and it fails with the rotation of galaxies (hence dark matter). The end result has been any number of alternate theories.

    This has led to the second thing I have been contemplating lately: where does science end and sophism begin? The US Supreme Court Justice who said in relation to a case, “I can’t define pornography, but I know it when I see it.” is of no help; both the skeptics and the believers “know.” Again, hate and discontent. If our tax dollars and life style were not at stake here, it would be an amusing fight to watch.

  43. Robert Bateman says:

    Having dug in snow to retrieve pipelines, I know firsthand how much warmer it is to stand in a trench in 4 feet of snow than it is to stand on the frigid surface.
    Nice. Now we know how good the data has been. How then do the stations in Western Antarctica rate as opposed to the previously colder East?
    When they remodeled the data recently, it seems someone forgot to add the minus sign to the modification.
    The warming models are getting buried in investigation.
    Very good work.

  44. Richard Hill says:

    I wondered why the Steig paper is being so heavily promoted and defended. Svensmark has used Antarctic cooling as part of his cosmic ray/climate work.
    For the CO2 people it is important that Svensmark’s work is discounted, esp in next IPCC report.
    So proving that the Antractic is warming would be a good start.

  45. Ric Werme says:

    I tried wading through some of the discussion about this last night or so, both at CA and RealClimate. Other than getting really confused about which data stream goes with which AWS, and RC getting bent out of shape after SM found and reported (on CA) some suspicious data without Emailing GISS about it at the time (these are children who cannot share the same playground!), it’s left me writing incomprehensible sentences.

    Let’s try that again. From
    http://www.realclimate.org/?comments_popup=644#comment-111376

    Are you saying that Harry is not used in the full reconstruction?

    [Response: That is correct. - gavin]

    Less clear is:

    In the full reconstructions, we used the complete weather station data (1957-2006) from all 42 of the READER database locations listed in Table S2.

    However Table S2 has 46 series (including Harry). So is Harry in the full reconstruction or not?

    [Response: Table S2 says it has "List of the 42 occupied weather stations ... and four automatic weather stations (AWS)" (i.e. 46 entries). Only the 42 occupied stations are used to provide the data back to 1957. The AVHRR data, or the AWS data are used only for calculating the co-variance matrices used in the different reconstructions. Thus the reconstruction can either use the covariance with AVHRR to fill the whole interior back to 1957 (the standard reconstruction), or the covariance with the AWS data to fill the AWS locations back to 1957. - gavin]

    I haven’t figured out if “occupied” means “manned”, if there are 42 manned stations, if every weather station ever placed around manned stations counts as 1 of the 42 and hence we wouldn’t have 42 continuous traces.

    While this article about “subsurface stations” is interesting, we may be barking up the wrong tower.

    I don’t have time to wade through all dialog and sniping, I’m behind on a “State of the Climate” presentation I’m writing, but if someone else has time, feel free to post a cogent summary.

  46. Robert Bateman says:

    Maybe they were expecting these Antarctic stations to be windswept and not get buried?

  47. Pamela Gray says:

    Richard, you beat me to it. I was just going to say that buried temperature sensors HAS to be the fault of school teachers. HAS to be!

  48. KuhnKat says:

    Simon Evans,

    you reference the fact that Satellite IR data was used in the paper. Have you bothered to research the “unique” adjustments applied to the data for cloud adjustment??

    Have you bothered to check the IR data coverage and dependability BEFORE the “unique” adjustment?

    You really should before you continue commenting.

  49. John W. says:

    Simon Evans (16:50:03) :

    I’m sure you can see my point. The impression is that the obvious limitations in Antarctic data are only challenged if it suits the agenda. If I had posted here before the Steig paper saying that the Antarctic station data was unreliable and that, therefore, the ‘cooling’ was meaningless I fully expect that I would have been howled down. It’s fair enough if people are expressly pursuing one side of the argument, so to speak, but any suggestion of scientific disinterest is hard to swallow.

    I’ll take a stab at a fair answer to your comment.

    We all, including you, understand how burial in snow would insulate the instrumentation and lead to false-high readings. If you had asserted the cooling data was meaningless with no explanation, yes, we would have howled you down. On the other hand, if you had shown pictures of the instrumentation and provided an explanation of how the setup was biasing the data toward false-low, you’d probably have been congratulated.

  50. KuhnKat says:

    Ric Werme,

    ask Gavin whether the AWS station data were used to help compute the infill in the “manned” station data. I don’t know, but, SOMETHING has to give the warming and what was available previously could not with standard practices.

    Maybe it was the “cloud adjustment” of the IR data??

  51. Jim Owen says:

    Simon Evans (17:06:33) :
    “I simply don’t know, but I certainly don’t see why the snow issue necessarily implies a warming bias over time.”

    Elementary – snow is an insulator. When caught in a blizzard, dig a snow cave to survive.

    Also from Simon:
    “What I would like to know is whether the issue with ‘Harry’, or any other of these issues, are specific to the Steig paper. If they are, then fair criticism. ”

    Since the Harry data is basic to the Steig paper – and the Harry data is corrupted, then the Steig paper is automatically corrupted. If the paper is reqworked with the correct data then it becomes rehabilitated (sorta). But until then, the results are scientifically and logically void.

    Also from Simon:
    “If, however, they are raw issues with all the records for the Antarctic, thern that is another matter. It might be that Steig et al are being challenged for trying to make the best of a bad job.”

    Evidently there is a continuing issue with Antarctic records. If nothing else, interpolation of satellite data between stations is a questionable technique. But there’s also the question of data continuity and quality. Bad data, “correct results” = Bad Science.

  52. Chris V. says:

    According to Steig (over at RC), the automated weather stations (the ones that have the snow burial issues) were not used in the temp reconstruction, so most of this discussion is moot.

    And while burial might effect the absolute temperatures recorded by the automated stations, it is not clear to me how that would necessarily bias the temperature TREND upward- unless the length of time the stations are spending buried is increasing.

    And it is certainly possible for snow burial to introduce a cooling bias. Most snow falls during Antarctica’s winter. The stations probably don’t get dug out until the spring (not much outdoor field work goes on during the Antarctic winter). So the stations stay buried in the cold winter snows until they are dug out during warmer weather.

    The insulative properties of snow work both ways- it also keeps the cold winter snow that buried the station from warming up as surface air temperatures rise in the spring.

    So there is no reason to assume that any bias (if there is any) in the temperature trend from the automated stations is towards warming.

    REPLY: See the update imagery at the top, looks like the Stevenson Screen is fairly close to the only heat sources around. – Anthony

  53. DaveE says:

    Ric Werme.

    I understand your frustration but as I understand it, Steve McIntire tried to get co-operation & failed. That is in my belief unfortunate as it creates ‘sides’.

    Just releasing data & methods would either substantiate or deny the claims. Hiding of both makes suspicion.

    How, (effectively,) public employees can claim intellectual property rights, I have yet to ascertain.

    DaveE.

  54. Jeff Id says:

    What would this station be ranked for quality? I read this at CA, good stuff. It’s amazing to see the stations get buried like that. Being from Michigan, I can imagine digging out that kind of instrument in that cold.

    I’ve been trying to get code and data from Eric Steig who oddly claims his code has been archived.

    http://noconsensus.wordpress.com/2009/02/05/steigs-code/

    The team has lost their mind lately.

  55. DaveE says:

    Forgot to mention.

    Remember the 2-3ºC “uncertainty”!

    That’s not an offset but an error band in the satellite surface readings.

    They’ve not got the surface readings sorted yet, so how do you get a precision of 0.1ºC?

    DaveE.

  56. Ric Werme says:

    George E. Smith (16:41:08) :

    But somewhere in that thread, I had made the statement that in parts of Antarctic such as South pole, or Vostok Station, the atmosphere was likely to be essentially devoid of water (very low vapor pressure) and possibly of CO2 as well, since at Vostok the temp can get as low as about -90C.

    But I did launch massive research project into the matter; which finally ended a few minutes ago in discussions with my immediate boss; and since he is a PhD physicist, and an HP Fellow; who am I to argue with him.

    So here is the situation; The CO2 phase diagram which Mr_X referred me to shows that CO2 sublimes at -78.5Deg C and one atmosphere pressure, and the soli/solid+gas phase boundary goes from about -135 deg C and 0.001 atmospheres to-56.6 deg C at 5.11 atmospheres which is the triple point.

    Whence Mr_X declared that CO2 at 385 ppmv could not possibly precipitate out and form CO2 snow, even though I talked with a chap who claimed he walked on CO2 snow at the south pole, while making solar insolation readings.

    Well here is what Mr_X failed to realize. That one atmosphere pressure at
    -78.5 C sublimation point is the TOTAL ATMOSPHERIC PRESSURE; it is NOT the partial vapor pressure of CO2.

    Considered at the atomic level at the solid/gas interface, all that the dry ice surface molecules know, is that they keep getting clobbered from above by some energetic projectiles, of unknown species exchanging energy and momentum between the species.

    So what determines the escape rate of CO2 molecules from the surface is the kinetic energy exchange going on with the gas molecules, and it matters not what species that is; only the net exchange rate of energy/momentum matters.

    So the equilibrium diagram definitely is a total pressure condition.

    I’m afraid I have to vote for Phil still. (And not just because HP laid me of a couple years ago. Very good timing actually, so no complaints. Well, about that. There are other reasons why I bought a Lexmark laser printer last week.)

    Sure, the dry ice is getting banged around by lots of molecules, but that means fairly little – unless there is enough CO2 vapor, less CO2 will freeze than is evaporating. Two analogies:

    Not a good analogy, but recall recent discussions about hot things and cold things both radiating and hot things absorbing photons from cold things but still cooling. The warm things still cool because they radiate more than the cold.

    Better analogy, consider dew formation. Dew only forms when the ground temp is cold enough so that air is being chilled to less than the dewpoint. The partial pressure of H2O is not one atmosphere, it is well less than that. However, the air is saturated and the partial pressure of H2O follows the H2O phase diagram. (The same with frost, but you don’t see much frost, and I’d feel compelled to talk about frost point vs dew point. I show both at http://home.comcast.net/~ewerme/wx/current.htm .) If your description were right, dew would form whenever there is water vapor and an air temp of less than 100C.

    When I head into work lately, one of my tasks is to clear my windshield. Some days it has snow this time of year, some days it has frost, some days it’s clear. Some days the air temp is 30F (not this year!) and there might be frost, some days the air temp is 0F and their might be frost. The frost depends pretty much solely on the dew point and the partial pressure of H2O vapor in the area.

    So, in the CO2 phase diagram at http://scifun.chem.wisc.edu/chemweek/CO2/CO2_phase_diagram.gif we’re running off the edge. In the lower left corner, suppose the partial pressure of CO2 were 0.001 atm. That’s 1000 ppm, about 3X the current level. Equilibrium would be around -135C. Dry ice would evaporate above that temperature, and grow below that temperature.

    You’re not a total idiot, but perhaps your biggest mistake was to believe a PhD physicist. 20 minutes timeout at RealClimate for you! That or move to New Hampshire and learn what RealWeather is all about. :-)

    I wonder what that person was walking on. Perhaps frost that forms at Antarctic temps is different than the types frost most people get to see. About the only thing more interesting than liquid water is frozen water.

  57. JimB says:

    “Pamela Gray (17:14:43) :

    They need a barbecue to keep the snow away. Works everywhere else. Right?”

    Ok. That was funny.

    Thanks for the chuckle!

    JimB

  58. JimB says:

    “MattN (17:29:25) :

    The next question I have is, will Stieg correct this error?

    Will Nature make a retraction?”

    Posts on RC indicate that this data error has no impact on the conclusions reached in the paper.

    JimB

  59. that’s the best place to never work

  60. John says:

    The screen at BAS fossil Bluff is perfectly positioned to experience the plume downwash from the heating flues. Winds about 2 -3m/sec or more trap the plume in behind the building wake (cavity zone), with the resulting increase in ambient temperature in the building cavity zone. Plume Dispersion 101. I would certainly not trust the data from that location.

  61. JimB says:

    Ok…how is the idea of a warming trend in antarctica where instruments have become buried in snow NOT funny?

    JimB

  62. Ric Werme says:

    Jeff Id (18:44:18) :

    I’ve been trying to get code and data from Eric Steig who oddly claims his code has been archived.

    http://noconsensus.wordpress.com/2009/02/05/steigs-code/

    The team has lost their mind lately.

    Unless I’m missing something, you missed the comment 160 just before the link I posted:

    160. Has Steig archived all code and data used in the Steig et al paper to a publicly available website? Or did he just provide a reference to various sites holding the data (that can get revised)?

    [Response: You raise a good question. Steig’s archiving is at http://faculty.washington.edu/steig/nature09data/ and you can see that the data sources are referenced to the originating organisations (who can and do update data, fix errors etc.). Ideally, for ‘movable’ datasets, one would want a system where snapshots in time were recoverable (and citable), along with pointers to the up-to-date versions, forward citation to publications that had used various versions and the ability to update analyses as time went on. What you don’t want is mostly duplicate data sets that aren’t maintained floating around in the grey zone - that will just lead to confusion. Google were actually working on such a system, but have unfortunately lost interest. Other organisations such as BADC are thinking along those lines, but it is a sad fact that such a system does not yet exist. - gavin]

    Gavin’s link looks like it goes to data, though I didn’t go beyond that page.

    I don’t understand his rant about archiving data, there are 30 year-old source archiving systems that GISS doesn’t use and more modern ones that work just fine over the Internet. I’m sure there are plenty of students at Columbia and Washington who use them today and could set them up for “the team” in to time at all.

  63. Horace says:

    I’d volunteer to go to Antarctica and do a site audit for A’s project, but funding is hard to come by . . .

    Or i could drive to Mesa, AZ and help out.

    Tough decision . . .

    H

  64. Ric Werme says:

    Jeff Id (18:44:18) :

    I’ve been trying to get code and data from Eric Steig who oddly claims his code has been archived.

    Oh – I understand, data is available, RegEm is available, actual code for analysis is not. That seems rather rude.

  65. Chris V. says:

    See the update imagery at the top, looks like the Stevenson Screen is fairly close to the only heat sources around. – Anthony

    But how does burial affect the temperature trend? I would think that the automated stations have had the burial issues since they where initially set up. So that wouldn’t bias the temperature trend unless the time they spend buried has changed through time- and that could be either a warming or cooling bias.

  66. Mike Bryant says:

    I wonder if Hansen is quietly chuckling at the mess his detractors, Gavin and Steig, have found themselves in?

  67. Ron de Haan says:

    Robert Wood (17:08:36) :

    Great post Anthony.

    ‘I hereby give to humanity, patent free, an idea for automatic Antartic weather stations that will not get buried by snow’.

    Robert,

    Can you send me a sketch or a drawing.
    I will build a prototype for testing.

  68. evanjones says:

    Oh, great. A commemorative stamp with a badly sited CRS!

    The irony!

  69. Richard M says:

    Pamela Gray (18:10:40) :

    “Richard, you beat me to it. I was just going to say that buried temperature sensors HAS to be the fault of school teachers. HAS to be!”

    I would never blame the teachers. They can only work with what they are given. I know many teachers that disliked the “system” as much as anyone.

  70. Mike Bryant says:

    Anthony,
    I noticed that you show the Stevenson screen next to the heated hut partially hidden by the snow bank.
    If I’m not mistaken that snow bank is actually the snow that must be repeatedly removed from around those heated buildings. It seems that the deeper that this artificial valley becomes, there would be some greater effect on the thermometers. In which direction, I don’t have a clue.
    Mike Bryant

  71. Jeff Id says:

    Ric Werme (19:18:17) :

    Bingo, now how does he claim openness?

    My first guess is that his paper is correct. Lack of information makes me wonder why not? I mean come on, if the Antarctic is warming let’s see, I want to know. We already know the rest of the world warmed so no loss there.

    He obviously has the code all together on an easily accessible file set. His coauthor Mann actually did a pretty good job of disclosure in his 08 paper.

  72. Tim L says:

    OT but good
    The snake’s enormous dimensions are a sign that temperatures along the equator where the remains were found were once much balmier. (hotter)

    “The bigger you get, the more energy you need overall,” Head said. “And since they get their energy from external environments, the bigger they are, the more energy they’re going to require from the external environment.”
    (Snakes are cold-blooded animals, so they don’t generate their own body heat.)

    The researchers calculated that in order to support the slithering giant, its tropical habitat would have needed a temperature of about 86 to 93 degrees Fahrenheit (30 to 34 degrees Celsius).

    “Tropical ecosystems of South America were surprisingly different 60 million years ago,” said Jonathan Bloch, a vertebrate paleontologist at the University of Florida, Florida Museum of Natural History, who worked with Head on the snake study. “It was a rain forest, like today, but it was even hotter and the cold-blooded reptiles were all substantially larger. The result was, among other things, the largest snakes the world has ever seen … and hopefully ever will.”
    link:
    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,487885,00.html

  73. April E. Coggins says:

    Does it worry anyone else that satellites are now going to be recording the temperatures and CO2 output? There will come a day when only a select few will have official, government approved access to weather and carbon dioxide data. In the not too distant future, I believe that weather stations will be considered obsolete and land based data will be publicly scoffed at by the likes of James Hansen and Al Gore. These are dangerous times.

  74. Jon says:

    I thought Steve didn’t have a problem with your title? Perhaps you can post about his censorship, as that is a topic you’ve shown an interest in when it comes to the “alarmists”…

  75. Pamela Gray says:

    Richard, I am a teacher with three degrees and published research. I don’t just work with what I’m given. You seem to have a low opinion of a teacher’s ability to think and reason. What “system” are you talking about if not the teachers?

  76. Pamela Gray says:

    Tim, some changes have occurred in whether or not dinos were warm or cold blooded. The book is not closed on that topic.

  77. Steve Huntwork says:

    Anthony and Eric:

    Sorry, I thought I was posting on this website and not CA.

    LOL – oh well, we only wanted to insure the integrity of the database.

    And yes, my postings on CA should have been deleted.

  78. Pamela Gray says:

    April, that thought occurred to me too as I was trying to find the December AIRS CO2 data. The website has changed to reflect a more “environmentalist” attitude and agenda as opposed to reporting simple data to the public. It’s quite a change from just 6 months ago. hmmmmm

  79. Jeff C says:

    Woo-Hoo! Jon finally won one of his pointless arguments. St Mac deleted three words from a post title. I guess AGW is real after all. May as well shut down the blog, Anthony.

  80. Fred Gams says:

    OT but very interesting. Snake size is related to the mean temperature, so the bigger the snake the warmer the temp. The new discovery suggests that the mean temp was 10 degrees warmer than today. Video included in article.
    —————

    Largest prehistoric snake on record discovered in Colombia

    Named Titanoboa cerrejonensis by its discoverers, the size of the snake’s vertebrae suggest it weighed 1140 kg (2,500 pounds) and measured 13 metres (42.7 feet) nose to tail tip. A report describing the find appears in this week’s Nature….

    “At its greatest width, the snake would have come up to about your hips. The size is pretty amazing. But our team went a step further and asked, how warm would the Earth have to be to support a body of this size?”

    Assuming the Earth today is not particularly unusual, Head and Dr Jonathan Bloch, Assistant Curator of Vertebrate Paleontology at the Florida Museum of Natural History, estimated a snake of Titanoboa’s size would have required an average annual temperature of 30 to 34°C (86 to 93 F) to survive. By comparison, the average yearly temperature of today’s Cartagena, a Colombian coastal city, is about 28°C.

  81. Edward says:

    Tim L (20:04:17) :
    I looked into the research on CO2 levels for that same time period after seeing that article about prehistoric snakes. See Link at:

    http://www.victoria.ac.nz/antarctic/people/peter-barrett/pdfs/Barrett%202006%20Second%20climate%20shift-Ch%206%20Chapman%20etal%20VUW%20Press.pdf

    The study maintains that the release of methane hydrates raised temperatures by at lease 5C creating the environment to support the largest snake ever.

  82. anna v says:

    MattN (16:34:05) :

    09 “Simon: “Why do you energetically challenge findings that suggest supposed warming whilst uncritically accepting any evidence of supposed cooling?””

    Because cooling is almost never artificial.

    I read about wind chill above, in one of the descriptions of digging out a station.
    I know that if my cheap sensor stuck on my windshield gets wet, the temperature drops; also that these sensors are below freezing . What about though water evaporating from the ice ( sublimation)? Does it not drop the temperature? Is there no ice around the sensor, the metal parts of? Of the container/protector?

    I am completely ignorant on this.

    I am

  83. twawki says:

    I agree April the less people involved the less accountability

  84. Edward says:

    GISS includes the Antartica Siple location in its dataset 75.9S 84.2W .
    See the link at:

    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/gistemp/gistemp_station.py?id=700892840009&data_set=1&num_neighbors=1

    It looks like an (incomplete) 22 year solar cycle! No warming there.

  85. Edward says:

    GISS also includes the Byrd AWS station at 80.0S 119.4W in it’s dataset. This station was installed in 1980 and worked for about 8 years. Beginning in 1988 the station was unable to report data for 29% of the time period between 1988 and 2008.

    Here is an example of missing data from this Byrd WMO number 89324 location:

    1988 April to Dec
    1989 Mar-Dec
    1990 Nov+Dec
    1992 July-Sept, Nov+Dec
    1996 May-Dec
    1999 June-Oct
    2000 Oct-Dec
    2001 Jan-Sept, Nov+Dec
    2002 May-Oct
    2003 Sept-Dec
    2004 June-Nov
    2005 June-Dec

  86. Phil. says:

    George E. Smith (16:41:08) :
    ””””
    Well here is what Mr_X failed to realize. That one atmosphere pressure at
    -78.5 C sublimation point is the TOTAL ATMOSPHERIC PRESSURE; it is NOT the partial vapor pressure of CO2.

    Not so I’m afraid you’ve been misinformed, it is indeed the partial pressure

    Therefore I hereby declare, I am not an idiot, and my assertion was not total nonsense.

    I never said you were an idiot just that the claim of CO2 ice at Vostok was nonsense, which it is.

    So when Mr_X arrives here, I would appreciate an apology.

    Not forthcoming since there’s nothing to apologize for.

    Reply: That would have been Phil. And this was the post.. Moderators have much better search tools available. For better or worse ~ charles the moderator.

    Indeed it was.

  87. E.M.Smith says:

    George E. Smith (16:41:08) : So at -90 deg C, where Vostok can reach at times, the equilibrium pressure is about 0.3-0.4 atmospheres TOTAL PRESSURE. Therefore at around -90 C at Vostok, and one atmosphere total air pressure, solid CO2 is quite stable, so precipitation of CO2 snow is quite possible, and in fact it is possible any time the air temperature drops below -78.5 deg C.

    Um, I hate to say this George, but I think you may have missed something…

    Per this chart:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:CO2HydrPhaseDiagram.jpg

    if we can generalize from what we think is happening on Mars… the CO2 / water clathrate phase has a temperture at 1 bar of about -55 C as I read it. So I’m pretty sure you will get a solid CO2/[6 or 8]H20 clathrate formed. At least until you reach the CO2 solid point of about -78.5 C.

    So I think you will need to accept ‘CO2 snow’ at a higher temperature, it just won’t be pure CO2 snow… There is probably some mass transfer rate limit as the CO2 will need to either absorb into the extant water snow or find some very scarce water in the air to join with… But I’ll leave the rate calculation stuff to someone with better chemical skills in that area.

    I hope this doesn’t hurt your case too much ;-)

  88. Neil Crafter says:

    Chris V
    Do you really think that a weather station’s temperature sensors when buried by snow would measure colder than the surface air? Most people here think that due to the snow’s insulating effects the temperature sensor is more likely to read warmer than the surface air. Do you have a mechanism to explain your contention?

    Simon
    Your argument about digging the stations out of the snow in the 1950′s is rather dubious, as the automated weather stations did not come into play until much more recently, and the manned stations that need to be read every day would be regularly kept free of any accumulating snow, otherwise the staff down there couldn’t read the temps!

  89. MarcH says:

    The BAS station Halley is an interesing one in regard to variations in temperature readings. It sits on the Brunt Ice Shelf which is apparently moving westward at about 700m per year. The weather station is apparently on the station building itself.

    Here’s a link to the BAS site. The station has been rebuilt a number of times and work is currently in progress on an innovative structure built on skis. Imagine the effect of moving a station 700 m might have.

    http://www.antarctica.ac.uk/living_and_working/research_stations/halley/index.php

  90. Manfred says:

    Chris V. asked:

    “But how does burial affect the temperature trend?”

    1. when these stations are installed, they are well above the snow. this may last for a few years until they get buried for the first time. so the warming bias is shifted away from the beginning and resulting in a positve trend, especially for stations with short life span.

    2. the aws project started collecting data in 1980. the measurements before did not include snow buried stations. adding the aws data set after 1980 to the data pool should result in a snow cover warming bias after 1980.

  91. Jon Jewett says:

    Re: CO2 in solid form at 1 Atm. Seems to be two questions: can it exist at 1 Atm and can it form naturally at 1 Atm.

    In a previous lifetime.

    I was a Cargo Engineer on a 125,000 cubic M liquified natural gas tanker. We used to load LNG at a port on the East Coast of Borneo (the Jungle paridise port of Bontang), some 8 miles north of the equator. We would have a mix of water ice and CO2 ice form on the cargo lines. Sort of cool when we’d disconnect the cargo lines and the ice would pop and sizzle on the steel deck. LNG is carried at 1 Atm plus about 2 psi and at -163 C more or less depending on the mixture with heavier hydrocarbons. As I recall we ran about -158 C

    Also, I have used CO2 fire extinguishers. The gas is compressed in the cylinder as a liquid. When discharged, one product is CO2 snow.

    Finally, at the Maxi-Mart Grocery Store, they have a cooler full of CO2 ice for you to buy by the pound.

    So….it will form and it will exist at 1 Atm.

    (I went to a trade school, but I am fully qualified to portray a doctor on TV. And I stayed in a Holiday Inn Express last night!)

    Best regards,

    Steamboat Jack

  92. Denis Hopkins says:

    Re: In the pictures of before and after digging out at the beginning of the article.
    If it was up to its head in snow… where was all the snow in the after picture? It was down to its ankles all around for miles… Surely they did not dig out the whole area!

  93. carlbrannen says:

    Couldn’t they, like, solve this problem by arranging for the station to raise itself? It seems like they have a pretty good idea how fast they get buried, I don’t even think you’d have to go so far as to install a sensor. Are there stepper motors that will operate in cold weather?

  94. EricH says:

    Anthony and all,
    On a related subject, Artic Ice and its thickness, it may be a good idea to keep an eye on http://www.benhadow.com and http://www.catlinarticsurvey.com.

    Ben Hadow and team are walking to the North pole over the next three months and regularly, and frequently, manually drilling to find ice thickness; then relating it to satellite data to try to determine long term trends.

    Only problem, they seem to have a mindset which says “Artic ice thinning. We will find out when it will disappear”.

    This should help to answer the question, “Is Artic Ice widening in extent but thinning by being melted from below?” And only three months away unless the results are “adjusted”.

  95. tallbloke says:

    Horace (18:01:45) :

    . . . and Steig et al said they relied only a tiny bit on the AWS’s?

    Since the Steig et al paper depends on the satellite data, and the data series comes from 3 seperate satellites carrying three different instruments, I wonder if Steig et al have any of the concerns they and others have mooted about UAH and RSS temperature records with regard to orbital drift, clibration etc.

    After all, the back extrapolation of the satellite data to a theoretical temporal data point as far distant prior to the start of the record as the length of the record itself is going to amplify any error quite a lot.

    Steig now says the ‘Harry’ and ‘Racer Rock’ data will affect the conclusion by no more than 0.02C and is therefore “minor”. But since the paper adduces a warming trend of 0.1C this is a 20% error. And since the uncertainty is 0.08C and the adduced warming trend from the interpolation and extrapolation is also 0.08C, we are left wondering what science of substance is left.

    Also, since Steig and Gavin claimed that the AWS data was not used in the reconstruction, why would the bad data affect the outcome at all? And why was Steve McIntyre able to show a graph where the ‘Harry’ Station data *exactly* matches the reconstruction from the satellite data?

  96. E.M.Smith says:

    Richard M (17:11:28) :
    IMO, the eduation system is responsible for creating a couple of generations of folks who are not critical thinkers/problem solvers.

    I think you may be onto something here… Mr. McGuire (H.S. chem / physics teacher) always made us work out the answer for ourselves. I once made the mistake of asking ‘What is gasoline?’. About 3 weeks later I had an acceptable answer to give him… (He had handed me a CRC Handbook and suggested some library time…)

    In a recent article “kitchen experiments” were discussed . I’m not at all surprised that this went right over many heads. It’s not in a book. Not too surprising that in response to these real life examples we got references to more papers.

    That was me. “Kitchen Science” came from the way I was taught science. That it could be done anywhere, by anyone, with the equipment to hand. Again, Mr. McGuire would, when a question was asked, say “Well, let’s see.” and run a lab experiment on the spot. He stresses repeatedly that the lab was the final arbiter of what would actually happen.

    We were taught that Science was a way of thinking and that everyone ought to do it. As often as possible. It was a way to find and test answers, by anyone, in any field, at any time. Nowhere in the scientific method we were taught was there a ‘peer review’ step…

    Any lab work that “didn’t happen right” was a cause for more enquiry into what we might learn about what really happened. (In college it was a cause for copying the answer from the book… a culture shock for me.) He constantly stressed that we could learn by doing whenever a question came up. And we did.

    Mr. McGuire even gave us a lesson on how to make your own glassware with a Bunson burner! We had to turn tubing into a pipette, put a pouring lip on a test tube, and add a handle to a beaker. (I can still do a decent job of working glassware) And he made most all our reagents by re-crystallization of poorer grades and direct production. (The result from the ‘fermentation’ experiment was distilled to make the alcohol used in the organic section…)

    His ‘buddy’, the biology teacher, had the same attitude. (I specifically remember a lab on ‘rotting’… and the reaction to what week old milk smelled like…every student had to collect their own ‘stuff’ and had their own stack of 6 Petri dishes and ‘rotting stuff’ to observe and manage).

    We were told what ‘equipment’ was used by folks like Darwin, Einstein, Lavoisier, Leyden and others (i.e. a notebook, pen, and brain were most valuable; everything else was to enhance the senses or change the test environment and often optional… but you could make your own if needed.) I remember making a Leyden jar from a Mason type canning jar and foil… Heck, even in Radio Class we took apart old radios (tube type! dawn of the transistor era…) and re-made them stage by stage (diode / headphones, add 1st RF, add audio & speaker, etc.)

    Strangely, never once in all my chemistry, physics, biology, genetics, etc. classes from high school through college did anyone say that science required anything called peer review or publishing… It was at most an afterthought; something you could do if you wanted to tell the world about what you had learned… Truth was what you found & Science was how you did it; publishing was for sharing if you ever wanted to. Times change, I guess.

    No wonder Al Gore is telling kids to quit listening to older people.

    Isn’t AlGore an older person? Maybe we need to advertise his age with his speeches ;-)

    At any rate, I refuse to give up my right to ‘do science’ when, where and how I wish. I will continue doing “Kitchen Science” and teaching anyone else how to do it; and following the example of Mr. McGuire…

    Per the arctic stations self lifter idea: Might I suggest hollow aluminum (or hollow concrete or ferrocement) rather than solid for the rings? If you get the density low enough it will tend to ‘float’ on the snow & ice rather than sink… still need the ‘stepper’ but the physics will be going your way instead of fighting you ;-) Heck, even a ‘ship hull’ shape might work. They would get trapped in the ice pack but didn’t sink as long as they were not crushed.
    (picture a ship hull with a blended pyramid deck structure to shed snow and support the equipment mast… add some outrigger lift / straighten spars and you ought to be ‘good to go’!)

  97. papertiger says:

    Less clear is:

    In the full reconstructions, we used the complete weather station data (1957-2006) from all 42 of the READER database locations listed in Table S2.

    However Table S2 has 46 series (including Harry). So is Harry in the full reconstruction or not?

    [Response: Table S2 says it has "List of the 42 occupied weather stations ... and four automatic weather stations (AWS)" (i.e. 46 entries). Only the 42 occupied stations are used to provide the data back to 1957. The AVHRR data, or the AWS data are used only for calculating the co-variance matrices used in the different reconstructions. Thus the reconstruction can either use the covariance with AVHRR to fill the whole interior back to 1957 (the standard reconstruction), or the covariance with the AWS data to fill the AWS locations back to 1957. - gavin]

    Calculating the covariant matrices – thems some impressive sounding words. How about a little humility?
    Wikipedia calls it estimation of covariance matrices. Sound about right?

    Lets look at the definition of covariance matrix. According to Wiki -

    In statistics and probability theory, the covariance matrix is a matrix of covariances between elements of a vector. It is the natural generalization to higher dimensions of the concept of the variance of a scalar-valued random variable.

    Did you get that? In English -
    It’s an unnecessarily complex mathematical expression created to mask the prejudices of the author from reveiw.

    Lets input some random variables to demonstrate.
    Jose, Manuel, and Cesar, are Jim’s friends.
    Through the use of a covariance matrix applied to the random variable, in this case the first names of Jim’s friends, Prof X guesses that Jim lives in Mexico.
    Only much later does Steve McIntyre through reverse engineering discover that Jim lives in California.
    By that time the reporters have repeated Prof X’s Mexican origin theory so often that it’s common wisdom. Screeching activists march in the streets demanding Jim be deported.
    Jim decides to change his name to Jaime because it is easier then correcting the record.

    Close to the truth.
    Here’s the nut of the thing.
    Prof X can’t say “We didn’t use Harry” and ” the AWS data are used only for calculating the co-variance matrices used in the different reconstructions.”
    These two statements are contradictory.

  98. Richard Heg says:

    A Bit OT but still the same region.
    ScienceDaily (Feb. 5, 2009) — Increasing greenhouse gases could delay, or even postpone indefinitely the recovery of stratospheric ozone in some regions of the Earth, a new study suggests. This change might take a toll on public health.
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090204131625.htm

  99. E.M.Smith says:

    KuhnKat (18:16:30) : ask Gavin whether the AWS station data were used to help compute the infill in the “manned” station data. I don’t know, but, SOMETHING has to give the warming and what was available previously could not with standard practices.

    I’m slowly getting a working familiarity with the mindset of GISS and how they process data in GISStemp. It isn’t pretty.

    A key factor is something called the ‘Reference Station Method’ and the Antarctic report sounds like the same thing. Data are regularly ‘made up’ based on nearby data (mostly in space, but sometimes in time); other large chunks of real data are ‘disposed’ for various inexplicable reasons.

    Often (especially in the ‘anomaly’ mode) station real data are replaced with data based on what some other stations are doing, far removed. This process can be repeated several times.

    While the FORTRAN is rather hard to decrypt, and the technique is horrid;

    (I don’t use that word lightly. I’m OK with ugly code that works well and is basically maintainable. I’d fire anyone who repeatedly did what GISS does… things like scribble scratch files in the source archive, have multiple code copies that can get out of sync, repeatedly mutate data formats and had data moved from file to file to file gratuitously…)

    – I’m gong to paste a bit of the comments from a bit of code that I think matters here. The first is the trimSBBX.f (that ‘trims’ the ‘boxes’ of grid data) and the second is the zonav.f program that finds average anomalies over a zone. That sounds similar to what they did in Antarctica. I’ve bolded a bit of the comments where it talks about discarding and shifting data.

    C**** This program trims SBBX files by replacing a totally missing
    C**** time series by its first element. The number of elements of the
    C**** next time series is added at the BEGINNING of the previous record.

    [...]
    C**** AVG(1–>NM=INFO(4)) is a full time series, starting at January
    C**** of year IYRBEGONFO(6) and ending at December of year IYREND.
    C**** NSt = # of stations contributing to the sub box (0 for ocnfile)
    C**** NstMn = # of stations months contributing to the sub box (oc:#ok)
    C**** Dmin = distance of center from nearest contributing station (km)

    So if a time series is missing in a ‘sub box’, we fill it in with the data from the first element (replicated), then take the following data and somehow use that to adjust for any drift this would cause by adding some of the following data into preceeding records. I have not fully worked out this code yet and can not point to a smoking gun, but at this point it just looks to me like making up data so a curve does not have jumps in it.

    Zones are belts of 30 degrees each. So up to 30 degrees from the S. pole is one ‘belt’. This next bit of comment is from code that finds the average anomalies. Of particular interest are the bold bits where it states that a regional block being added into the zonal mean has it’s values adjusted so that the mean of any overlapping area does not change (that, and the cavalier way that real data are discarded, perhaps to leave gaps that are later filled in by averaging, interpolations, or ??? or maybe just leaving an anomaly out of the computations…)

    At any rate, IMHO, the whole ‘reference station method’ (RSM) process is seriously broken and anything using this approach is at best a polite fiction, at worst… [I'll save you the snip...].

    One major problem is that the RSM is based on the idea that correlations have been shown to be a valid proxy, yet it’s a linear fit adjustment that is done, not a ‘correlation function’ that is used in the code. I don’t think ‘linear fit’ has ever been shown in peer reviewed publications to be valid. [sorry, couldn't resist banging THEM with the peer thing ;-) ]

    Another is that repeated applications of this method has not been shown to be valid. (Not all transforms are valid when done recursively repeatedly…)

    And finally, I can see no rationale for tossing out real data in one step, then creating false in-fill anomalies in another to make up for it. (Well, maybe finally+1; the whole idea of taking as a valid reference for an inland station, data from the coast, is just the inverse of the San Franciso / Lodi problem. If the coast is moderated, and inland is freezing it’s tail off, falsely moderating inland based on projections from the coast is, er, just wrong…)

    From zonav.f:

    C**** This program combines the given gridded data (anomalies)
    C**** to produce AVERAGES over various LATITUDE BELTS.
    C****
    C**** Input file: unit 11 (=output of job NCARSURF GRIDDING)
    C****
    C**** 11: Record 1: INFOI(1),…,INFOI(8),TITLEI header record
    C**** Record 2: AR(1–>MONM0),WTR(1–>MONM0),NG grid point 1
    C**** Record 3: AR(1–>MONM0),WTR(1–>MONM0),NG grid point 2
    C**** etc.
    C****
    C**** Output files: unit 10
    C****
    C**** 10: Record 1: INFO(1),…,INFO(8),TITLEO,TXT header record
    C**** Record 2: DATA(1–>MONM),WT(1–>MONM),TITLE1 belt 1
    C**** Record 3: DATA(1–>MONM),WT(1–>MONM),TITLE2 belt 2
    C**** etc.
    C**** DATA(1–>MONM) is a full time series, starting at January
    C**** of year IYRBEG and ending at December of year IYREND.
    C**** WT is proportional to the area containing valid data.
    C**** AR(1) refers to Jan of year IYRBG0 which may
    C**** be less than IYRBEG, MONM0 is the length of an input time
    C**** series, and WTR(M) is the area of the part of the region
    C**** that contained valid data for month M.
    C**** NG is the total number of non-missing data on that record.
    C**** TITLE1,… describe the latitude belts.
    C****
    C**** INFO(1),…,INFO(8) are 4-byte integers,
    C**** All TITLEs and TXT are 80-byte character strings,
    C**** all other entries in records 2,3,… are 4-byte reals.
    C**** INFO 1 and 5 are irrelevant
    C**** 2 = KQ (quantity flag, see below)
    C**** 3 = MAVG (time avg flag: 1 – 4 DJF – SON, 5 ANN,
    C**** 6 MONTHLY, 7 SEAS, 8 – 19 JAN – DEC )
    C**** 4 = MONM (length of each time record)
    C**** 6 = IYRBEG (first year of each time record)
    C**** 7 = flag for missing data
    C**** 8 = flag for precipitation trace
    C**** INFO(I)=INFOI(I) except perhaps for I=4 and I=6.
    C**** In the output file missing data are flagged by
    C**** the real number XBAD = FLOAT( INFO(7) )
    C****
    C**** JBM zonal means are computed first, combining successively
    C**** the appropriate regional data (AR with weight WTR). To remove
    C**** the regional bias, the data of a new region are shifted
    C**** so that the mean over the common period remains unchanged
    C**** after its addition. If that common period is less than
    C**** 20(NCRIT) years, the region is disregarded. To avoid that
    C**** case as much as possible, regions are combined in order of
    C**** the length of their time record. A final shift causes the
    C**** 1951-1980 mean to become zero (for each month).

    C****
    C**** All other means (incl. hemispheric and global means) are
    C**** computed from these zonal means using the same technique.
    C**** NOTE: the weight of a zone may be smaller than its area
    C**** since data-less parts are disregarded; this also causes the
    C**** global mean to be different from the mean of the hemispheric
    C**** means.
    C****
    C?*** Input parameters (# of input files, time period)
    C?*** Out put parameters (output time period, base period)
    PARAMETER (IYBASE=1951,LYBASE=1980)

    If this is not of interest, let me know and I’ll stop posting ‘code bits’ and save it for a final report…

    Reply: Do you have my phone number? I’m not sure I sent it. I’m back from Brazil. Steve McIntyre’s site may be a better place for this. I’ll email number tonight. ~ charles the moderator.

  100. tty says:

    Chris V. (18:27:00) :

    “And it is certainly possible for snow burial to introduce a cooling bias. Most snow falls during Antarctica’s winter. ”

    Contrariwise, most snow in Antarctica falls during the summer. Winter is very cold and clear.

  101. Richard Heg says:

    tty (02:03:11) :

    Chris V. (18:27:00) :

    As i understand it the snow gets moved around a lot on the surface by the wind, suppose that happens year round.

  102. Simon Evans (16:50:03) :
    I’m sure you can see my point. The impression is that the obvious limitations in Antarctic data are only challenged if it suits the agenda.

    Correct. and this is precisely what Steig et al set out to do. They challenged and spliced the data to suit their warming agenda.

    Simon, may I make a suggestion. Please, lose the anger within your posts, all it does is frustrate others. Instead, talk to us like adults, I’m sure you’ll get a better response from people.

  103. Simon Evans (17:06:33) :
    I certainly don’t see why the snow issue necessarily implies a warming bias over time.

    Just speculation, but I would suggest that all stations started out life above the snow, now if there are stations regularly buried, then this would be a reason. As I say, just speculation.

  104. E M Smith that’s another brilliant post. You’ve done so many brilliant posts here, you need to think about publishing IMHO… with pictures to keep the “kitchen science” feel and to be accessible.

    I reckoned school science hit problems the moment “Health and Safety” interfered and made people wear masks, distancing themselves from that important moment of participation with the bangs, the smells, the flashes. Short-time no doubt some safety was improved; but in the real School of Life, it’s far more dangerous NOT to learn to cope with the hard edges – where one might realize, beforehand, inherent biases in AWS.

    EricH, typo, it’s http://www.penhadow.com – p not b. Pen’s story is fascinating – in line with the above – but then Pen has more experience than most of the Arctic sea ice, and he has watched with dismay the changes taking place there over the past two decades – open water where there was none, seals and bears in places where they never used to be, changes in the thickness and colour of the ice itself. The result is that Pen has now become a leading exponent on the need for change – oh dear, seems like he hasn’t heard of Nansen’s voyages or the MWP.

    For a laugh, and for IMHO damning evidence, look at Warming Antarctica by Paintwork

  105. E M Smith, the post I meant was the one BEFORE your C**** post which looks like it belongs better at CA. We collided in hyperspace, nice to meet you.

  106. E.M.Smith says:

    Ric Werme (19:07:26) : I don’t understand his rant about archiving data, there are 30 year-old source archiving systems that GISS doesn’t use and more modern ones that work just fine over the Internet. I’m sure there are plenty of students at Columbia and Washington who use them today and could set them up for “the team” in to time at all.

    rcs / cvs and several others have been on every Unix, Linux, *ix box for just about forever. ‘check in’ and ‘check out’ commands are near trivial. See:

    http://kuparinen.org/martti/comp/cvs/cvs.html

    for an example ‘tutorial’ (though it really only takes a couple of seconds to learn ‘cvs ci foo’ to check in a copy and ‘cvs co foo’ to check out a copy of foo…

  107. John Philip says:

    RealClimate (Gavin) respond here. Turns out the conclusions of the study are not dependendent on the automated weather station readings:- the findings are robust even if detrended AMS data is used …

    Specifically, given that the results using the satellite data (the main reconstruction and source of the Nature cover image) were very similar to that using the AWS data, it is highly unlikely that a single station revision will have much of an effect on the conclusions (and clearly none at all on the main reconstruction which didn’t use AWS data). Additionally, the quality of the AWS data, particularly any trends, has been frequently questioned. The main issue is that since they are automatic and not manned, individual stations can be buried in snow, drift with the ice, fall over etc. and not be immediately fixed. Thus one of the tests Steig et al. did was a variation of the AWS reconstruction that detrended the AWS data before using them – any trend in the reconstruction would then come solely from the higher quality manned weather stations. The nature of the error in the Harry data record gave an erroneous positive trend, but this wouldn’t have affected the trend in the AWS-detrended based reconstruction.

  108. MattN says:

    anna v: “I read about wind chill above, in one of the descriptions of digging out a station.”

    wind chill is not tempearture…

  109. Hoi Polloi says:

    With all this diggin, why not use satellite data?

  110. Alan Chappell says:

    Robert Wood (17:08:36)
    Robert, your idea has a basis but needs a modification. You left a factor out of your calculations, wind speed in the Antarctic averages 44mph with high speeds of 190mph+ this is why if you study the photo’s you will see that the towers are tide down, this would make for prohibitive expense and mechanical failure, for a piston to lift or lower the instruments, perhaps extending the height of the tower a meter or two would achieve the results you are proposing.

    George E. Smith (16:41:08)
    Re Charles the moderator.
    Charles, any chance of getting a copy of the key to your toolbox?

  111. Wally says:

    The weather station at Fossil Bluff, Alexander Island has a couple of interesting features. It is a little tough to tell how far from the building the screen is due to the photograph, looks like there may be a small valley between the two. The important point is the two black barrels next to the Stevenson’s screen, they are probably fuel barrels, but what if another weather station as drug a burn barrel with-in range?? Of course having big black objects next to the weather station might bias the temperate readings a bit on nice sunny days even without burning any garbage..

  112. stan says:

    Amazing. Simon Evans writes: “Why the concern about this now, following Steig’s paper which found a warming trend, when there was no concern expressed about it before, when the general meme was that the Antarctic was cooling? Why do you energetically challenge findings that suggest supposed warming whilst uncritically accepting any evidence of supposed cooling?”

    This is clearly an an effort to call into question the motives and intellectual honesty of people who post and comment on this site. And yet, when a different commenter makes a snarky comment about Simon Evans, he gets all huffy about “ad homs”.

    Simon, you can’t have it both ways. Anthony gets kudos for responding to you as if your question were somehow a legitimate one based on science. It wasn’t. Because your question contained a false assumption — one which was disparaging of Anthony and others.

    You have been treated better than you deserve. If you don’t want people to personalize a dispute, perhaps you shouldn’t have been personally disparaging in your initial comment.

  113. anna v says:

    MattN (03:19:48) :

    wind chill is not tempearture…

    Wet a thermometer in the wind and ask it. Of course it lowers the temperature by evaporating any humidity from surfaces/body. Have you not seen water cooled air conditioners?

    I was just thinking that maybe when there is a lot of wind what is being measured is not ambient temperature, but some sort of wind chill due to the evaporation of ice from the counter surfaces.

    I am just offering a process by which errors could be towards cooling rather than heating.

  114. dj_PE says:

    Ice in the Desert

    Consider that frost can form on the ground on a clear and still night even if the air temperature is above freezing. On a ‘clear’ night, the ground is radiating heat out to space with limited return radiation which allows for the surface to be colder than the air above it. Ric identified the air and surface relation in his excellent post earlier Ric Werme (18:50:20) : “Dew only forms when the ground temp is cold enough so that air is being chilled to less than the dewpoint.” The cooled air would only need to be a thin layer above the surface, and could be significantly different from the measured air temperature.

    How much different might the surface be from the measured air temp?
    There is the ‘Ice in the Desert’ phenomenon. I first ran into this as an engineering thermodynamic question, posed something like: How warm can the night time desert air be above a thin pool of water and still have the water freeze? In the desert, with limited moisture in the air column above, there is limited re-radiation back to the surface, so more heat is lost to space. As I recall, the book answer was that the air temperature could be in the mid-40s F, so something like +10F (or +6C) above freezing and still form ice in the pool. I have since seen estimates that the air temperature could be as high as 60 F (about +15C above freezing) to 90F (+30 C) depending on the starting configuration, allowance for evaporation, and use of an apparatus to make the ice. Apparently both the Romans and Egyptians were able to make over-night ice using equipment as simple as a clay tray or a pit technique.

    Remember that this only happens on a still night. If the wind is blowing, the relatively warmer air mixes down to the surface and convective heat transfer becomes significant. The energy lost to space is ‘shared’ between the surface and the air above, so the surface does not cool as much, if at all, relative to the air temperature.

    So a couple of thoughts – Ric is probably right about the solid CO2. It would be quite a stretch to get extra cooling from -90C to -135C even with the surface radiation heat loss. On the other hand, per E.M.Smith (22:43:49) : “the CO2 / water clathrate phase has a temperature at 1 bar of about -55 C as I read it.”. That would suggest that it doesn’t need to be -90C to get a CO2 solid. With extra radiative surface cooling of say 5 deg C, the clathrate might form in areas where the measured air temp was ‘only’ -50C.

  115. It would be nice to recap the story
    (1) up to 2004, NASA records show the bulk of Antarctica cooling and just the peninsula warming.
    (2) this makes sense since a strong warm ocean current arrives in the vicinity of the “horn”, and gets “milked” and shows the global warming record that has been true for the rest of the planet at this time. However, the rest of Antarctica’s cooling is in line with the Svensmark hypothesis, predicting cooling over permanent snowfields due to less cloud cover exposing the higher-albedo ice.
    (3) Now the 2004 NASA article also shows the climate model with Antarctica warming even more than the rest of the planet
    (4) since 2004, NASA’s Antarctic pictures have gotten to look ever warmer
    (5) yet the ice extent around Antarctica has been reaching record highs
    (6) and sea surface temperatures have been falling for the last decade, after a steady rise from 1920
    (7) a major skeptic contention, and thorn in the AGW theory, is the evidence of Antarctica cooling during the “global warming” period, in opposition to what models predicted.
    (8) in 2009, bingo! Antarctica temperatures HAVE been rising – claim the warmists in Nature magazine – in opposition to what even they were claiming earlier.
    (9) very soon, very fishy data problems are discovered in the (landbased) data cache – and are corrected in a way that is very funny but compounds the suspicion
    (10) we haven’t yet seen checks on the satellite info, or on the end significance of these fishy data. But we’re trying to cooperate to tease all this out – since we doubt the official science, we’re doing the science ourselves, openly, and with invitations to the official scientists to cooperate.

  116. MarkW says:

    Wouldn’t locating a dark solar panel just a foot or so below the temperature sensor, be a potential source of warming bias?

  117. Frank K. says:

    E.M.Smith (01:43:46) :

    “Steve McIntyre’s site may be a better place for this.”

    No, I disagree – WUWT is the perfect place to post this. In fact, E.M. Smith should be given permitted to post this as an article. After all, GISTEMP is the source of the infamous GISS temperature “anomalies”.

    I’m happy to see that others are starting to tackle GISTEMP again and see it as the junk code that it is. I thought Model E was as bad as it gets, but I was wrong – GISTEMP beats it by a mile.

    By the way, I find it interesting that NASA employees like Gavin Schmidt will toil diligently on a Sunday night to be the first to alert the BAS of the Harry debacle, and yet can’t find the time to document and validate their software. Priorities…

  118. Mike Bryant says:

    Eight-year-old Child- But, Mr. Gore you ARE an older person, aren’t you?

  119. Mike Bryant says:

    OT… But you gotta see Peanuts comic strip this morning… Hockey players are trying to take over the world… until their curved hockey sticks are made illegal and the world is saved… Climate Change commentary??? Not sure.

  120. pyromancer76 says:

    Re EM Smith (01:43:46)
    To EM Smith, Charles the Moderator, and Lucy Skywalker,
    I think some of this brilliant detective work of Mr. Smith’s is absolutely essential to WUWT. Not only is the readership is larger, but it is more diverse. Climate Audit, with its own excellence, draws mainly the highly-educated and trained professional readership. Someone like myself, only a “scientist” in values and method, can read CA regularly, but understanding the material…..?

    EM Smith is helping to show millions+ (per month now) what fools we be if we believe ANY of the Global Warming Apocalyptics. And I remain a sceptic of both warming and cooling “theories”. Show me the goods. Give me the evidence. Provide that experiment. Write that code properly.

    Please, EM Smith, with an invitation, also post on Climate Audit and publish elsewhere. The official-government hand is in the till and the propaganda is orchestrated — beginning with a 13 million-strong email list.

  121. Horace says:

    tallbloke (00:15:37) :

    Horace (18:01:45) :

    . . . and Steig et al said they relied only a tiny bit on the AWS’s?

    Since the Steig et al paper depends on the satellite data, and the data series comes from 3 seperate satellites carrying three different instruments, I wonder if Steig et al have any of the concerns they and others have mooted about UAH and RSS temperature records with regard to orbital drift, clibration etc.

    After all, the back extrapolation of the satellite data to a theoretical temporal data point as far distant prior to the start of the record as the length of the record itself is going to amplify any error quite a lot.

    . . .

    Also, since Steig and Gavin claimed that the AWS data was not used in the reconstruction, why would the bad data affect the outcome at all? And why was Steve McIntyre able to show a graph where the ‘Harry’ Station data *exactly* matches the reconstruction from the satellite data?

    Tall -

    Amen.

    My limited understanding is that the temps from the manned stations and the AWS’s were compared with the satellite IR readings for the same periods, and then those satellite readings were “calibrated” with the actual readings obtained. The calibrated satellite readings were then used to project data from areas with no actual temp readings.

    If the stations exhibited a warm site bias at the time of “calibration,” either from burial by snow or Antarctic Heat Island effect, then the newly obtained data would be skewed to the warm as well.

    No scientist here, so if my understanding is incorrect please let me know.

    Thanks,

    H

  122. John W. says:

    On co-variance matrices and the data reconstructed by Steig:

    papertiger (01:18:08) :

    Did you get that? In English -
    It’s an unnecessarily complex mathematical expression …

    It may be complex, but I don’t think it’s unnecessary or inappropriate. However,

    … created to mask the prejudices of the author from reveiw.

    Here’s the nut of the thing.
    Prof X can’t say “We didn’t use Harry” and ” the AWS data are used only for calculating the co-variance matrices used in the different reconstructions.”
    These two statements are contradictory.

    If they did, in fact, use flawed data, trending high, to generate the covariance matrix, they built in a bias to force all data reconstructed by the matrix to be inaccurately high.

    The technique is mathematically sound. Their use of it is completely inappropriate and unjustifiable. I don’t have any way to know whether their behavior is fraud, sloppy thinking, an honest error made because they took the class decades ago, or whatever. But I will assert that they need, at the least, a refresher course in math. And they need to regenerate the matrix, WITHOUT flawed data, reconstruct their data set, and rerun the analysis.

  123. Richard M says:

    John Philip (02:49:27) :

    “RealClimate (Gavin) respond here. Turns out the conclusions of the study are not dependendent on the automated weather station readings”

    But, are they dependent on the start date?

    Does it matter? From other references i’ve seen it appears the entire study is based on a cherry picked starting date. I believe you have criticized these kind of efforts in the past. Does this mean you now support cherry picking starting dates or will we hear from you later that this entire report is nonsense?

  124. Fernando says:

    Tim L (20:04:17) :

    OT but good
    The snake’s enormous dimensions are a sign that temperatures along the equator where the remains were found were once much balmier. (hotter)

    “A newly named species from Barbados could be the world’s smallest kind of snake.

    Adults of the new threadsnake average only 100 millimeters long (not quite 4 inches), says evolutionary biologist Blair Hedges of Pennsylvania State University in University Park.”

    http://www.sciencenews.org/view/generic/id/34803/description/Smallest_known_snake

  125. Steve Keohane says:

    George E. Smith, from way back in the 60s or 70s, I read an article re: people at the south pole mentioning CO2 snow. I haven’t been able find anything via google though. I had to have read it in either NG, Science News or Discovery magazine.
    On learning science back in the 50s and 60s, it was certainly more hands on than kids are allowed today. I remember being ecstatic at 12 upon finding my father’s ‘Modern Chemistry’ by Charles Dull, and learned chemistry from that book through making, er ‘firecrackers’ and rockets.

  126. Anthony,

    You ask “Show how snow burial of an AWS could result in a cooling bias”. The answer is fairly straightforward. Lets assume for a moment that AWS stations are checked at least every few years, and cleared of snow as needed when they are checked. The effect of burying the station in snow would have a pronounced effect on the trend over those few years that the station remains buried, but would have less effect on the long-term trend (as it would show a quasi-periodic cycle caused by the burying and unburying). Now suppose, as is probably reasonable, that the AWS network was less rigorously maintained in its early years (say, the 1950s-1970s). This would be due to the lack of technologies to prevent burying, less frequent checkups, etc. In this case, during any given year during the 1950s-1970s the station in question would be more likely to be buried than in a given year from the 1970s to present, and a spurious cooling trend would be introduced. My point is that we cannot realistically tell the effect of snow burying on the trend unless we know how the frequency at which the station was unburied changes over time.

    As for the arguement that the location of sensors close to buildings at arctic bases introduces a warming bias, well, prove it. Again, there is only a bias IF it affects the trend, not the temperature reading. So unless bases have grown over time, or introduced new practices that change the albedo or create a new major waste heat source in the vicinity of the monitor, there would be no “Antarctic Heat Island” effect.

  127. Pierre Gosselin says:

    Snowjob event in Buffalo, NY too.
    http://www.buffalonews.com/home/story/570235.html

  128. Tom says:

    Wow, I’ve spent half an hour reading this and Climate Aud, most of the good stuff seems to happen in the comments. Once again I find myself in need of a meta-blog that distills the situation to something I can digest. I see that automated stations frequently get buried which seems like it would have an obvious effect on readings. But are the automated stations used for climate modeling? Did the Steig paper use AWS or only manned stations, and what really was the effect of the Gill-Harry splice? Sign me “Still confused.”

  129. TerryBixler says:

    Zeke
    Translation, the measurements cannot be trusted. I think that is the thrust of this thread. We can speculate as to the actual temperatures but we really don’t know. It seems like the Nature story was just that a story. My personal speculation was the temperatures were cooler than reported.

  130. Tom in it will freeze again tonight Florida says:

    anna v (04:47:40) :

    I always thought wind chill factor was only a means devised to show effects on exposed skin and, unlike heat index, has no effect once skin is covered.

  131. Simon Evans says:

    stan (04:37:59) :

    You have been treated better than you deserve. If you don’t want people to personalize a dispute, perhaps you shouldn’t have been personally disparaging in your initial comment.

    There was nothing personally disparaging in my comment. I asked a fair question. I am not aware of any focus on examining the quality of Antarctic data in advance of responses to the Steig paper (I might be wrong about that, of course). I asked why, a couple of people have given reasoned responses, but you wish to reject the question as being ‘personally disparaging’. May I suggest that you equivalently upbraid all other posters who raise questions as to whether there is bias in the work of Hansen, Mann, Steig, etc.?

    Richard M (06:55:41) :

    From other references i’ve seen it appears the entire study is based on a cherry picked starting date. I believe you have criticized these kind of efforts in the past. Does this mean you now support cherry picking starting dates or will we hear from you later that this entire report is nonsense?

    The start date is the beginning of the records. How do you consider that to be a cherry pick?

  132. J. Peden says:

    “Why do you energetically challenge findings that suggest supposed warming whilst uncritically accepting any evidence of supposed cooling?”

    Good point. We really shouldn’t accept much of anything the AGW Climate Scientists put forth, as the current Steig/Mann Antartic Warming fiasco also seems to indicate. They simply aren’t proceeding scientifically.

    But also, it’s the AGW’ers who are ginning up GW into a “we’re all gonna die” scenario, that is, if we don’t return to the Stone Age post haste – which comprises an agenda.

    So it’s up to them to at least prove to begin with that the “Globe” is warming, not anyone else – which they just took another swipe at concerning the Antartic, an area which Steig himself claimed everyone had ~ “not paid much attention to”, thus starting another suspect “narrative” in order to suddenly bolster the GW claim.

    This is simply the way things are developing. If the ipcc and its Climate Scientists had set out to do an actual scientific analysis of Global temperatures to begin with, all of this helter-skelterism wouldn’t be occurring, with the rest of us trying/needing to play “catch up” 24/7 so as to check and counter an unscientific AGW agenda.

    Instead, Science would be proceeding as it should, with the chips falling where they may.

  133. JP says:

    Zeke,
    I understand where you are coming from, but your point is pure speculation. The automated weather stations should be pulled from Steig’s database, and his analysis should be re-run.

  134. E.M.Smith says:

    Things you find at the Doctors office… The February National Geographic there had an article about Mount Washington in the frozen north east… including pictures of a guy chipping ice off of the mount and platform.

    They claimed it was a regular duty.

    So what happens to a Stevenson Screen or an automated station when one of these ‘killer ice storms’ comes through and coats everything in 3 inches of rhyme or solid ice? What happens when we have 6 foot blowing drifts and 1/3 of the Heartland is without power or cleared roads?

    Somebody has one heck of a lot of devotion to go out in that stuff and clean up (roads, power, and even temperature measuring stations…) Admired from afar in pleasant but lacking any water California…

    (May it please the Rain Gods, just enough to reach 1/2 “normal” would be appreciated! – but that’s our pattern in this type of weather cycle. Just hope it doesn’t take 30 years for the Rain Gods to hear and shift the PDO back…)

  135. Frank K. says:

    Zeke Hausfather (08:14:45) :

    “As for the arguement that the location of sensors close to buildings at arctic bases introduces a warming bias, well, prove it. Again, there is only a bias IF it affects the trend, not the temperature reading.”

    Err…it’s called “heat transfer”…

    Warm building heats cold thermometer…makes thermometer warm…max and min temperatures get messed up…along with the trend…

    And I’m sure being buried in snow doesn’t affect the trend either…hey, why have any siting requirements at all? Just make up your own rules. BBQs, A/C exhausts, sewage plants – OK!

    Nothing seems to matter in climate “science”…

  136. Ed Zuiderwijk says:

    @ march 20:41:

    I posted a simple question on RealClimate’s website about that re-analysis of Antarctic temperature. I asked how I should understand the fact that Antarctic sea ice extent is at a (at least) 30 year maximum when the place is warming up. Not exactly what you would expect, methinks.

    Guess what, they censored it.

    Speaks volumes about their objectivity, don’t you think?

  137. Smokey says:

    It’s been noted before here that Zeke Hausfather’s blog is funded by grants from greenie foundations with a “save the earth” agenda.

    Naturally, they believe that AGW is proven beyond any doubt. Zeke isn’t going to bite the hand that feeds him.

    If his blog is ever funded by a skeptical foundation that thinks AGW is not a problem, I’m sure we’ll read about it here.

  138. Manfred says:

    John Philip (02:49:27) said:

    “RealClimate (Gavin) respond here. Turns out the conclusions of the study are not dependendent on the automated weather station readings”

    As long as the data and code are not available, this is a black box for anyone else except a few people.

    you may discover errors in databases, warming biases, inconsistencies, poor justifications , dubious screening, starting date issues,
    or come to the same or the other conclusion by your own calculation, but further on this is all about

    trust and confidence into the authors’ skills.

    and not science.

    after all, i do neither trust or have confidence in the authors’ skills.

  139. SteveSadlov says:

    So now we can see why Western Antarctica shows up as “warm” on the temperature maps.

  140. SteveSadlov says:

    By the way, interpreted anew, the overall finding here may be ominous vis a vis a leading indicator of continental ice expansion globally.

  141. EricH says:

    Lucy Skywalker 02:45:12. Thank you for correcting my typo; it is Pen Hadow. I had just seen Pen Hadow on the BBC Breakfast program explaining the purpose of his new expedition and wanted to quickly post a note before dashing out in the snow to work, so I didn’t check it as thoroughly as I normally would.

  142. John Philip says:

    Does it matter? From other references i’ve seen it appears the entire study is based on a cherry picked starting date

    Well you have to start somewhere! And any start date is open to accusations of cherry picking. Steig’s paper [incidentally Lucy S, on your website you say the study was published as a 'Letter' in Nature and thus escaped peer-review, Letters to Nature most certainly are peer-reviewed We are not talking Letters to the Daily Telegraph here] starts in the International Geophysical Year when many manned research bases and meteorological stations were established and hence the bulk of the data available dates from that year. If you have a better choice I am sure the authors would be all ears. They have made it clear that …

    Our paper — by itself — does not address whether Antarctica’s recent warming is part of a longer term trend. There is separate evidence from ice cores that Antarctica has been warming for most of the 20th century, but this is complicated by the strong influence of El Niño events in West Antarctica. 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. (RealClimate)

    So I am not sure what the thrust of the point is? The study addresses a defined period and finds a statistically significant warming trend over that period, with shorter and more regional cooling trends contained within that overall finding. I don’t really see how that could be made more clear.

    Manfred – You can find the article in any library, the data from the study is here, all the code is here so I am afraid the thrust of your point escapes me also.

  143. MattN says:

    Anna v: “Wet a thermometer in the wind and ask it.”

    You just described wet bulb temperature: http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/dry-wet-bulb-dew-point-air-d_682.html

    Again. That is measuring something different than air temp.

  144. JP: Eric’s measurements have been rerun with AWS stations removed. There is a post about it up on RC today, and it doesn’t really change much.

    Frank K.: I’m completely aware of heat transfer and the potential effect of warm buildings. However, what it being analyzed here is not the temperature at the station. Its the trend in temperature at the station. Co-location with a station will have absolutely no effect on trend over time if the station itself does not significantly change.

    I do need to correct my initial post, however, in light of the fact that the AWS stations “only started to be deployed recently” according to Gavin. My point about the effect of burying on the trend holds true only if the station has been unburied more than once over the temperature record (which if probably still the case, since most of the AWS stations seem to be at least 15 to 20 years old).

  145. Edward says:

    Per Gavin at RC the AWS monthly data for Steig’s report is located at:
    http://www.antarctica.ac.uk/met/READER

    I eyeballed all 65 station’ss data and it’s pretty spotty. There were no more than 26 stations installed by 1990. Installations by year for the 1980′s (1980 being the first year) were as follows:
    1980-2 1986-5
    1981-2 1987-4
    1983-1 1988-2
    1984-2 1989-1
    1985-2 1990-5

  146. jarhead says:

    A few of dumb questions

    What is the accuracy and precision of the temperature sensors used in the Antarctic surface stations? I assume there are different makes and models with different accuracies and precision. Is this an issue?

    re snow covered sensors and bias

    1. Wouldn’t a snow covered sensor give a false warmer reading in the Antarctic winter, and a false cooler reading in the Antarctic summer? Wouldn’t the snow cover insulate against temp changes on the surface? Would when (summer or winter) the sensor was covered affect the bias?

    2. Wouldn’t a covered sensor show very small seasonal temperature changes, and the lack of seasonal changes should alert someone that there is a problem with that site?

    re heat transfer from buildings Zeke (8:14) I think you are assuming that any heat transfer from buildings is constant. If the the heat and or the heat transfer is variable, then the affects would be variable and both the record and the trend from that record is compromised.

  147. … I have speculated that too many of the Global Warmmongers started off as just woefully inept fifth-rate physicists, and only slowly became dishonest, I didn’t mean to imply that they stopped being woefully inept too.

    Unfortunately, this is not true. Several years ago I wanted to verify AGW supporters list. Therefore I contacted one Nobel Physics Laureate (the real Nobel Prize, not the “peace” one). The reply I got back was quite upsetting, in line with AGW cult: “those evil oil industry, and so on and so forth..”

  148. Frank K. says:

    Zeke Hausfather (10:06:46) :

    “I’m completely aware of heat transfer and the potential effect of warm buildings. However, what it being analyzed here is not the temperature at the station. Its the trend in temperature at the station. Co-location with a station will have absolutely no effect on trend over time if the station itself does not significantly change.”

    Unfortunately, Zeke, co-location will indeed have an impact on the trend unless the trend you seek is the temperature trend in the vicinity of the warm building. And it is also very unlikely that the building(s) will remain the same over several decades of observation.

    But again, I ask, why have any siting standards at all !!?? You’re saying they won’t affect the trend…so why bother?

  149. Lex says:

    This February the Dutch Prince Willem-Alexander (1st heir to the Dutch throne) and his Argentinian wife Maxima will visit the South Pole region, together with the Dutch minister of Science und Culture, Ronald Plasterk. They will convince themselves on the effects of (A)GW in this area.
    Also Prince Albert of Monaco is currently visiting Antartica.
    Last year the Scandinavian heirs to the throne, Victoria of Sweden, Haakon of Norway and Fredrik of Denmark visited antartica to convince themselves about the problems of GW in this area.
    All these people do have more than a quite decent life, materially speaking. In practice, they are quite pityfull and can’t, because of their position as head of state for lifetime (and hence being a uniter), say what they think, feel or experienced, just to avoid any schisms in their countries.
    Last year I went to Rome with my family on a cheap bargain trip. We had a fabulous time and told all our relatives and friends about this.
    This year my friends and relatives are going to visit Rome, all on cheap bargain trips.
    I’m now looking for bargains to the South Pole!

  150. Gibsho says:

    “Why is the snow burying important? Well, as anyone skilled in cold weather survival can tell you, snow makes an excellent insulator and an excellent reflector. Snow’s trapped air insulative properties is why building a snow cave to survive in is a good idea.”

    I think that this applies to a warm body that is looking to conserve the movement of heat from the warm to the surronding cool. I’m wondering if it applies to bodies exhibting ambient temps only (a thermometer). Would a thermometer at night at the surface of a 50 foot snow pack at -40F read any lower than a thermometer buried 5 feet down in that 50 foot snowpack?

  151. George says:

    Anthony,

    Since you build these AWS stations, I’m curious for your expertise, how much heat is generated by their electronics package?

  152. Gary Hladik says:

    Lex, to visit exotic locations cheaply, join the IPCC and travel at taxpayer expense. :-)

  153. pyromancer76 says:

    In answer to a statement that Global Warmmongers began as fifth-rate physicists and only slowly became dishonest, Tegiri Nenashi wrote:

    Several years ago I wanted to verify AGW supporters list. Therefore I contacted one Nobel Physics Laureate (the real Nobel Prize, not the “peace” one). The reply I got back was quite upsetting, in line with AGW cult: “those evil oil industry, and so on and so forth..” (10:14:17)

    Yes, this only one prize-winning physicist. However, I think a very important question to ask regarding the “real Nobel Prize” is: Would the Nobel committee, given their record lately, have awarded any prize to a scientist who is not either left-leaning or not in lock-step with the global warming agenda?

  154. Manfred says:

    Zeke Hausfather (10:08:14) wrote

    “The data and code is available:
    http://web.gps.caltech.edu/~tapio/imputation
    http://www.antarctica.ac.uk/met/READER

    I haven’t read from anybody to be able to reproduce the results with above information. instead, the information is too unsufficient to even try to start this effort.

    wouldn’t it have been more honest too give no information at all ?

  155. What still gets me in all this is the fact that only in 2004 Gavin Schmidt and Drew Shindell (co-author with Steig) were referring to Antarctica cooling not warming. I just don’t believe that so many scientists at that time were that wrong. I believe, rather, that people have short memories.

    What I see in the 2004 NASA article, alongside the legit-looking 2004 temperature anomalies map, is a wretched Climate Model picture that shows Antarctica right in the middle of a frenzy of warming. I am sure they have now looked for what they believe in, consciously or unconsciously – I don’t need to assume intentional bias.

  156. gary gulrud says:

    AGW: One more time, “Fake but accurate”.

  157. MarkW says:

    How do these stations operate during the Antarctic winter? No sun for several months.

  158. E.M.Smith says:

    Lucy Skywalker (02:45:12) :
    E M Smith that’s another brilliant post. You’ve done so many brilliant posts here, you need to think about publishing IMHO… with pictures to keep the “kitchen science” feel and to be accessible.

    I’ve thought about publishing something formally, but then ‘life happens’…

    Thank you for the complement! All I can say is that a mind reflects how it was fed, and when I was a child those around me gave me classics to read. Twain, Brothers Grimm, old musty things written with a quill … and I prefer to write with a fountain pen to this day (though they have become ever harder to find… FWIW the ‘drag force’ and ‘grip force’ are far lower than a ball point; so in addition to making the letter shapes subtiley different they are more kind to arthritic hands… though avoidance of beef has cured that problem for me…) At any rate, anything I am and do I owe to those who nurtured a young spirit half a century ago.

    I reckoned school science hit problems the moment “Health and Safety” interfered

    Probably onto something. We had times the whole lab was cleared out onto the grass and the ‘giant sucker fan’ at the end of the room evacuated ‘whatever it was’ in a hurry! (Once it was H2S I think… mild headache and smell of rotten eggs…) Yes, the whole lab was a giant fume hood if the ‘oh drat’ switch was flipped! Can’t imagine that today… And kids playing with molten glass with no gloves?… (we did have glasses and aprons…)

    and made people wear masks, distancing themselves from that important moment of participation with the bangs, the smells, the flashes.

    I asked my kids Chemistry teacher about practical chemistry that the kids might do or be shown. After some puzzlement he said, in a derisive tone, “Oh, you mean demonstrations, I prefer to work from the book.” Now I know why they both hate chemistry despite my best efforts. Computing reaction kinetics is not chemistry, it’s a post facto explanation…

    But it was those bangs, pops, smells and even stains on the fingers that got me hooked on chemystery… Mr. McGuire knew this… he made Nitrogen Tri-Iodide as one of his ‘demonstrations’. When he touched the filter paper with the meter stick (BANG!) everyone suddenly was AWAKE. He then pointed out why we needed to pay attention to what we were making lest we accidentally run into something like this… Now imagine the headlines today if a chemistry teacher made a contact explosive in class…

    Lucy Skywalker (02:47:56) : E M Smith, the post I meant was the one BEFORE your C**** post which looks like it belongs better at CA. We collided in hyperspace, nice to meet you.

    Yeah, I figured… Not many folks really want to see ‘code’, especially if the language is alien. That’s why I included the comments instead (as evidence that I was ‘not making it up’). I’ve admired your style and name from afar for a while… I dearly hope it’s your real name and not a pseudonym (the romance in it has me seeing an Indian Princess in a spaceship ;-)

    I’ve avoided getting involved with CA beyond the occasional read. There is only so much of me and I can’t do both here and there full justice as a participant. But I suppose with some discipline I could restrict my topics there…

    Frank K. (05:18:53) :
    “Steve McIntyre’s site may be a better place for this.”
    No, I disagree – WUWT is the perfect place to post this. In fact, E.M. Smith should be given permitted to post this as an article. After all, GISTEMP is the source of the infamous GISS temperature “anomalies”.

    I’ve pondered a synopsis “The Trouble With GIStemp”…

    The ‘good news’ is that I’m reaching the end of GIStemp. I have to wrap my brain around Step3, 4, and 5 as an atomic operation, since the same code is recycled in them, but then the whole understanding will form. The bad news is that it’s filling my brain with such crufty stuff.. (It’s like being a Cordon Bleu chef forced to endlessly gorge on only Mc Happy Meals… )

    I’m presently trying to figure out how best to make an article. I’ve come to the conclusion that two are needed. 1) Weather Guy overview: Things like the SFO vs Lodi inverse correlation consequences of the code. (probably right for here) and 2) A Computer Geek ‘companion’ article that goes into what code does which ‘nasty bit’ demonstrating the support for #1 ( and probably right for CA). But that’s about 2 months away…

    pyromancer76 (06:20:11) :
    I think some of this brilliant detective work of Mr. Smith’s is absolutely essential to WUWT.

    Again, many thanks for the encouragement! But really it’s something any decent programmer could do. The only really ‘hard bit’ is keeping track of the dozens of temporary intermediate files that parade across the stage endlessly for no reason (and the constant data format mutations…)

    EM Smith is helping to show millions+ (per month now) what fools we be if we believe ANY of the Global Warming Apocalyptics.

    Frankly, this is my major motivator now. I started looking at the GISStemp code expecting to find a well written but terribly complex temperature model (My PhD brother-in-law used to work at NASA doing aerodynamics work and his code is very good… set my expectations wrong I guess.) What I have found has made my skin crawl.

    It’s largely a ‘one trick pony’ in terms of function: “The Reference Station Method”. But it is applied wrong, recursively, with mindless data deletions, and with several poorly documented places for manual intervention (that ought not to exist in anything reproducible… )

    It’s not just the quality of the code (heck, if it works it’s good enough most of the time) but the built in biases and far flung flights of fancy the code embodies. Those are the things I’ve tried to put here.

    Things like the endless recasting of data changing its values, the use of stations from dramatically different climate regimes to re-write each others data, the lack of any kinds of ‘sanity check’ code (I’ve found nothing to check for or prevent moving a stations historical data by ANY amount. If the blender says “Reduce by 100 degrees in 1890″ it will do so…), the tendency to just chuck out large chunks of data (with no test for what that does to the trends, or conclusions), etc.

    Please, EM Smith, with an invitation, also post on Climate Audit and publish elsewhere.

    I will. Eventually. WUWT will get the first cut of the conclusions, but a ‘final piece’ will be put on CA, if they will have me. And the ‘in the guts’ details will find a home somewhere, I’m sure.

    ( I’ve toyed with the idea of writing a “Deconstructing GISS Temp” book, but don’t have the time to do it and make money to live on too; and I have to think the market for a book limited to the intersection of computer geeks and weather geeks is not going to sell very well ;-) If only those Oil Companies that are supposed to be paying off everyone were actually doing it! I’d be ‘all set’! But the reality of “Kitchen Science” is that it’s just one old semi-retired guy with a brain, a keyboard, and a computerized notebook… )

    TerryBixler (08:58:29) :
    Zeke
    Translation, the measurements cannot be trusted. I think that is the thrust of this thread. We can speculate as to the actual temperatures but we really don’t know.

    And in addition to the temperature data being ‘broken’ from collection to ‘adjustment’; the anomalies are even more ‘broken’ since they make untested and unfounded assumptions, then magnify those errors over ever larger areas and times. They assume perfection where significant error is proven, then magnify the error grossly, then discover ‘significance’ that is dwarfed by the error bands and claim Ultimate Truth.

    Frankly, I wouldn’t trust GISS nor anyone trained in their methods to balance my checkbook or even tell me the weather with a window in front of them. I would eject them from any drug trial statistical analysis so fast they wouldn’t hit the ground for a mile. And don’t even think about using their ‘pasturized processed data food product’ for anything more critical than a coffee table yarn.

    But maybe I’m biased… I’m working with a friend on doing stock market prediction code. He wrote the real time control software for part of the flight controls of a fast not-so-detectable bomber that we are still using… I did some code for the Bradley Fighting Vehicle program and wrote accounting software that had to be accurate to the penny at all times. Period. Maybe my standards are just too high. I expect things to be provably correct and good enough to literally bet your life on.

  159. MarkW says:

    Tim L (20:04:17) :

    As an object gets bigger, surface area goes up more slowly than does volume.
    A snake could probably be approximated by a rod of constant diameter.
    The surface of the rod is Pi * r * l. It’s volume is Pi * (r**2) * l.

    All biological activity generates heat. As a result of this, the bigger an animal is, the more easily it can heat itself with internally generated heat. Even cold blooded animals.

    If I remember right, the time when this snake lived, both O2 and CO2 were higher than today. Enhanced CO2 meant more plants. Which meant more animals to eat those plants. Lots of food for the snake.
    More O2 is good for animals.

    Most authors that I have read attribute the large animals found during that period to enhanced CO2 and O2. Not to the temperature.

  160. jp says:

    Anthony et al

    How long based on the past cycles does it take for the earth to respond to the solar cycle. If as I agree that we are in a cooling phase (hopefully not an Ice Age) how many years would it take to see effects that the AGW could not deny.

    how many years did it take for the Little Ice age to begin affecting crops / summer weather / ice flows.

    I am guessing we are about a year into the cycle 24 cooling ??

  161. jarhead says:

    MarkW

    Batteries

  162. MarkW says:

    People challenge results that run counter to their beliefs more rigorously than they do the results that confirm them.

    And the sun will rise in the east tomorrow.

    Are you claiming that the warmists don’t spend more time challenging data that disproves their theories as well?

    Regardless, a good scientist doesn’t get upset when his data and methods are challenged. If it’s solid, it will withstand the challenge. If it isn’t, it needed to be challenged.

  163. MarkW says:

    jarhead, enough batteries to last all the way through the winter?

    1) In the period before and after winter, there is very little sunlight.
    2) Even in the summer, there isn’t that much sunlight. Yes it’s light for 24 hours, but much of that time, the sun is not in front of the solar panel. It’s to the side or behind.
    3) The output of batteries is affected by cold. The colder it gets, the less output from the batter. (It’s darn cold down there in the winter.)

  164. John Galt says:

    jp (12:03:00) :

    Anthony et al

    How long based on the past cycles does it take for the earth to respond to the solar cycle. If as I agree that we are in a cooling phase (hopefully not an Ice Age) how many years would it take to see effects that the AGW could not deny.

    how many years did it take for the Little Ice age to begin affecting crops / summer weather / ice flows.

    I am guessing we are about a year into the cycle 24 cooling ??

    They already say the extreme cold shows the seriousness of the global warming crisis, so I’m sure they won’t change their tune for many years.

    Since everything is consistent with the models, my guess is they will keep denying it right until the funding ends.

  165. MarkW says:

    Zeke Hausfather (08:14:45) :

    Zeke, that’s not how science works. If you want to use a data set, it’s up to you to prove that the data set is valid. You can’t just assume that it is good until someone else shows a problem with it.

  166. E.M.Smith says:

    Zeke Hausfather (10:06:46) :
    Frank K.: I’m completely aware of heat transfer and the potential effect of warm buildings. However, what it being analyzed here is not the temperature at the station. Its the trend in temperature at the station. Co-location with a station will have absolutely no effect on trend over time if the station itself does not significantly change.

    I keep seeing this claim and something keeps nagging at me. If I have something that varies from -30 to 0 and place it next to something that varies from -5 to 0 I’d expect it’s temperature to A) rise and B) moderate swings. ( -30 -5 ought to transfer more heat than 0 0).

    It is A that ‘does not change the anomaly trend’ but B that does… At zero zero the HIE is zero. At -30 -5 it is enhanced. Now make that -80 -10 …

    So as the average temperatures drop, the impact of the HI increases and that, I would expect, ought to show a change of anomaly trend. It will take ‘doing the math’ or ‘kitchen science measurements’ to show if this is significant. (But I don’t think it can just be ignored without investigation…)

    Clearly heat island effect is proportional to heat delta, and with the heat source being a constant (internal, at least) temperature, the HIE ought to vary with the actual temperature trend…

    (Not picking at you Zeke, it could be in the 20th decimal place for all I know , just hoping someone else will do the math for me ;-)

  167. John Galt says:

    pyromancer76 (11:22:37) :

    In answer to a statement that Global Warmmongers began as fifth-rate physicists and only slowly became dishonest, Tegiri Nenashi wrote:

    Several years ago I wanted to verify AGW supporters list. Therefore I contacted one Nobel Physics Laureate (the real Nobel Prize, not the “peace” one). The reply I got back was quite upsetting, in line with AGW cult: “those evil oil industry, and so on and so forth..” (10:14:17)

    Yes, this only one prize-winning physicist. However, I think a very important question to ask regarding the “real Nobel Prize” is: Would the Nobel committee, given their record lately, have awarded any prize to a scientist who is not either left-leaning or not in lock-step with the global warming agenda?

    Let’s not confuse the Nobel Peace Prize with the Nobel prizes awarded for science or medicine. I don’t know how many peace prizes have been awarded, but there’s never been much peace in my lifetime. But in science or medicine, those prizes are awarded for something demonstrable. Those awards are awarded years, perhaps decades, after a discovery or a breakthrough. You don’t have to actually accomplish anything to win a Nobel Peace Prize.

  168. E.M.Smith says:

    Per snow covered stations:

    Don’t we use ‘bore holes’ to get a reading of past temperatures?

    And don’t they need to be adjusted (calibrated) for the constant supply of heat from below (geothermal)?

    So I see two things here, one of which may be trivial.

    1) Snowed in stations are reporting more of an average of the past and less of a ‘right now’. That ought to bias against showing any trend in either direction.

    2) To the extent that geothermal heat still has to leak out even at -50F through km of ice; the temperature will trend higher. May be trivial in impact.

    And maybe a 2a) To the extent that buried stations are collocated with geothermal hot spots (volcanic regions) #2 will be exaggerated.

  169. Ruth says:

    I am not quite clear on the reason for supposing that a warming trend will occur when a temperature sensor is buried by snow. If it is buried by snow of the same temperature as the air, and the sensor itself is not a heat source (or connected to one), I suppose it would continue to register the same temperature (assuming the temperature measurement is not affected by the wind).

    Obviously if I sheltered in a snow hole, I would stay warmer, but that is because I would be losing less heat as I was initially warmer than my surroundings, but the sensor is at the same temperature as the surroundings. I guess the question is, does the sensor pick up more heat from its own batteries etc when buried that when it is exposed? If not, the readings should just be a highly damped measure of the temperature changes on the surface (as jarhead said a few posts back). I’d hope there are some measurements of this effect (has anyone compared a buried and unburied sensor at the same location?).

  170. E.M.Smith says:

    Zeke Hausfather (10:08:14) :
    http://web.gps.caltech.edu/~tapio/imputation

    This looks like an interesting collection of ‘hand tools’ but I don’t see the blue print nor the assembly line anywhere …

    Do I build a doll house or a skate ramp with this wood, hammer, and nails…

    REPLY: I agree, and I was initially misled also. What Steig posted was NOT his data and code, but simply matlib standard libraries. There appears to be no data nor original code in the TAR file he links to, making replication impossible. – Anthony

  171. Mike Jonas says:

    I’m coming into this dialogue a bit late, and haven’t read the whole lot – but Simon Evans has a valid point. If there is doubt about the validity of some data, in this case weather stations may have been buried at times, then it is important to review the data accordingly.

    That is not to say that results obtained from the data must necessarily be thrown out. If prima facie it is reasonable to assume that the problem would not have caused a bogus temperature trend, then it is OK to continue to use the results with a caveat. (This covers all Antarctic data, not just Eric Steig’s paper).

    On RealClimate, Gavin/Eric have stated that the Harry/Gill data was not used in Eric Steig’s paper, or that it had no impact (I would have to check back to verify the exact wording). It would be a good idea to check Eric’s data and workings to verify that statement too. If correct, then the paper is not discredited. If incorrect then Gavin/Eric’s credibility becomes zero.

    Let’s not assume that zero until it’s proven.

    OTOH, if the data and workings for Eric’s paper are not available, and if he refuses to make them available, then it is absolutely reasonable to assume that the paper is invalid and that the authors’ credibility really is zero.

  172. Vernon says:

    John Philip

    So I am not sure what the thrust of the point is? The study addresses a defined period and finds a statistically significant warming trend over that period, with shorter and more regional cooling trends contained within that overall finding. I don’t really see how that could be made more clear.

    Well it does matter. As Dr. Mann says over on RC:

    [Response: Since the study clearly (e.g. Figure 3) reconstructs cooling over East Antarctica during certain sub-intervals (e.g. 1969-2000) and warming over others (e.g. the long term, 1957-2006) its hard to make any sense of the question. -mike]

    They know that 35-45 is warmer than any other time in the century. So they pick the warming trend from 1957 – 1969. Why because that 1957 lies withing the coldest time in the century.

    This mean that there was 12 years of cooling, 12 years of warming, then 31 more years of cooling, but this paper only wants to talk about the 50 year trend from 57 to 2006. Why not do the US 1934 to 2000 trend and show that the century was cooling. It is the same thing. If 30 years is climate, then 12 years warming out of 55 of cooling is why this is cherry picking.

  173. Manfred says:

    John Philip (10:01:03) wrote:

    “From other references i’ve seen it appears the entire study is based on a cherry picked starting date.
    Well you have to start somewhere! … Steig’s paper … starts in the International Geophysical Year when many manned research bases and meteorological stations were established and hence the bulk of the data available dates from that year.”

    This is practical but not scientific reasoning.

    if the results are actually strongly dependent on the starting date, a sensitivity analysis is required.

    if this analysis leads to the conclusion that the decision “waming or cooling antarctica” is depending on the starting date, it should be admitted, that the data is simply unsufficient to draw a conclusion.

  174. Hugo M says:

    MarkW (12:21:43):
    At least some type of polar stations used a radioisotope thermoelectric generator (RTG).

    It would be interesting to know where these RTGs are installed with respect to the temperature sensors. Depending on power and distance there could be a considerable amount of radiated heat, due to the very low electric efficiency (~5%) of these devices.

  175. D. Patterson says:

    MarkW (12:21:43) :
    “jarhead, enough batteries to last all the way through the winter?”

    “The AWS unit is powered by six to twelve 40 ampere-hour 12 volt gel-cell batteries charged by one or two 10 Watt solar panels. At the South Pole, 12 batteries and two solar panels are sufficient to operate the AWS unit through the year, while six batteries and one solar panel are adequate on the Ross Ice Shelf. Several of the AWS units have operated on the same batteries and solar panel for 6 to 10 years.”
    http://uwamrc.ssec.wisc.edu/aboutaws.html

  176. Tom M says:

    Ruth (12:47:37) :

    I am not quite clear on the reason for supposing that a warming trend will occur when a temperature sensor is buried by snow. If it is buried by snow of the same temperature as the air, and the sensor itself is not a heat source (or connected to one), I suppose it would continue to register the same temperature (assuming the temperature measurement is not affected by the wind).

    The weather station is supposed to record the temperature at the surface. That temperature varies from minute to minute and from night to day and from day to day and from season to season and that information is recorded. If the sensor is snowed under the temperature being recorded will be literally insulated from those variations. It will record a temperature that barely changes. It might be a useful value for certain purposes if it were known how deeply it was buried and the thermal properties of the snow. But if those reading are mixed with readings taken previously on the surface or compared with readings of other stations that are on the surface you would have a meaningless bunch of noise. Apples and oranges at the very least. Of course if the sensor picks up heat from the battery or somewhere else then you now have apples, oranges and pears. Nothing useful to compare with anything else.

  177. Roger Sowell says:

    E.M.Smith, and others on the Antarctic heat island effect (I’m assuming that is what HIE represents)

    First, Mr. Smith, as an old Fortran programmer myself, kudos for the yeoman work you are undertaking on GISStemp. I’m getting a kick out of reading your comments…brings back not-so-fond memories of reading and splicing ancient Fortran code written by refinery engineers (not computer scientists) who had little time nor inclination to do things right. Lordy, what a mess sometimes!

    My take of the HIE in Antarctica: probably negligible due to wind-induced convection. And, the Island is very very small, not at all like the big cities. Therefore, the cold air whistling around the measurement station will overwhelm the small (but still existing) effects from radiating heat from an artificial surface. If the wind ever dies down, it is a different story, but probably still very small.

    Another factor is that radiative heat transfer does depend on the fourth power of the difference between absolute temperatures. This means that the colder it gets, the less radiative heat is transferred even when the temperature difference remains constant. (i.e. body A at -80 F and B at -10 F will have less radiative heat transferred from B to A, compared to body A at -50 F and B at +20 F, even though the temperature difference is the same at 70 F. )

    Roger E. Sowell
    Marina del Rey, California

  178. E.M.Smith says:

    Shoulda looked closer at the pictures earlier…

    It looks to me like an insulated battery box / electronics package at the lowest point with leads (with ‘drip loops’) entering from below. Next up the stack is the solar panel, then a cross beam with the antenna at one end, anemometer in the middle (could double as wind generator when not measuring speeds… if you designed it right…) and at the other end of the cross beam, two dangling cans that look like temp sensors. Decent design. Ought to work well right up to solar panel covering, then die from lack of power before temp / wind gages are covered (depending on battery size).

    The other design has the sensing head remote from the power / electronics stack. Better thermal distance, but now they can be covered at different rates. Looks like the temp cans are taller than the solar panel (on the tee pee thing – don’t know what the white square is…) so again the system ought to halt prior to ‘thermometer’ burial.

    On the wind blowing away a floating instrument stack with ‘stepper feet’: One can simply put ‘snow screw anchors’ on the feet. When wind is low, back out screws. Step up. Reset screws. Sleep 4 months charging battery for next step ;-) I’m going to propose this as a puzzle for my robotics engineer friend…

  179. Roger Sowell says:

    The Net Radiation Loss Rate

    “If an hot object is radiating energy to its cooler surroundings the net radiation heat loss rate can be expressed as

    q = ε σ (Th^4 – Tc^4) Ac (3)

    where

    Th = hot body absolute temperature (K)

    Tc = cold surroundings absolute temperature (K)

    Ac = area of the object (m2)”

    source: Link

  180. Gibsho says:

    Ruth
    “I am not quite clear on the reason for supposing that a warming trend will occur when a temperature sensor is buried by snow. If it is buried by snow of the same temperature as the air, and the sensor itself is not a heat source (or connected to one), I suppose it would continue to register the same temperature (assuming the temperature measurement is not affected by the wind).”

    Ditto here-I think the assumption that it will be warmer deeper in the snow is incorrect (unless closer to some heat source). Snow has insulating properties, it does not generate warmth. So assuming a deep snowbase-temps near the surface should be the same at a meter down.

  181. E.M.Smith says:

    Just saw the battery spec posting. That much battery says you can bury the whole thing while still running on stored charge and only find out when the signal can’t punch through the snow (or you start to wonder why the wind speed is always zero ;-)

    D. Patterson (13:20:18) : 40 ampere-hour 12 volt gel-cell batteries [...] the same batteries and solar panel for 6 to 10 years

    Can I get a couple of those 10 year batteries for my car!!!

  182. hunter says:

    If you take this report, and grant that it is accurate, then it falsifies the previous AGW prediction that a cooling Antarctic was predicted by AGW theory.
    That the AGW promotion industry ahs been able to turn an about-face and use this study, which asserts a ‘strong’ warming trend since 1957 (even though apparently it has actually cooled for the latest ~20 years), then inquiring minds want to know why the AGW promoters still ahve credibility?

  183. D. Patterson says:

    Ruth (12:47:37) :

    “I am not quite clear on the reason for supposing that a warming trend will occur when a temperature sensor is buried by snow.”

    Temperatures in the Antarctic snow can range from 0C down to somewhere around -24C. Whenever air temperatures are higher or lower than the snow temperature and the instrument is measuring partial or whole snow temperatures, you have an opportunity for incorrect measurement of the air temperatures.

  184. Richard M says:

    Simon Evans (09:18:24) :

    “The start date is the beginning of the records. How do you consider that to be a cherry pick?”

    Easy, if they started in 1969 it would have shown cooling. Any lengthy set of data that can be used to show EITHER a warming or cooling trend by moving the starting date a couple of years is telling you there is NO measureable trend.

    Now, if the data would have been reversed you can be sure the starting data of this paper would have been 1969. It is pure politics as evidenced by the media attention and comments by Mann claiming this was proof the critics were wrong.

    BTW, I predict many more problems will be found with this paper IF they release the code. The fact they haven’t released it yet pretty much assures me that is the case.

  185. John W. says:

    E.M.Smith (11:59:59) :

    Frankly, I wouldn’t trust GISS nor anyone trained in their methods to balance my checkbook or even tell me the weather with a window in front of them. I would eject them from any drug trial statistical analysis so fast they wouldn’t hit the ground for a mile. And don’t even think about using their ‘pasturized processed data food product’ for anything more critical than a coffee table yarn.

    If they tried any of this on a drug trial they wind up in jail – the Office of Research Integrity would see to it. As to the rest …

    But maybe I’m biased… I’m working with a friend on doing stock market prediction code. He wrote the real time control software for part of the flight controls of a fast not-so-detectable bomber that we are still using… I did some code for the Bradley Fighting Vehicle program and wrote accounting software that had to be accurate to the penny at all times. Period. Maybe my standards are just too high. I expect things to be provably correct and good enough to literally bet your life on.

    You and I have some common work experience. I used to be a tool builder: debug, maintain, develop and apply (high fidelity) simulations for system analysis and system engineering. Now I’m a tool user. I’d fire any of my team who came back to me with work that shoddy.

    Heh. I’d be willing to bet that they think the Earth is a sphere, and that gravitational potential is the same everywhere around it.

  186. Hugo M says:

    D. Patterson (13:20:18) :

    Is there a database of all antarctic stations? There are so many nations and organizations involved. The wisconsin site you mentioned also lists sensors types. Among them, there is a “AWS Acoustic Depth Gauge Sensor”, without explanation what is gauged here. Snow height? http://uwamrc.ssec.wisc.edu/awsinstruments.html

    For the records, besides “Harry” and “Racer Rock”, two more stations emerge with merged data:

    http://www.antarctica.ac.uk/met/READER/aws_corrections.html:

    Corrections to AWS data
    This is a list of corrections that have been made to the AWS data tables and a link to the table before the corrections were applied, any suspected errors should be reported to Steve Colwell

    (2/2/09)The AWS data for Harry have been corrected after is was reported by Gavin Schmidt that data from Gill had been added where data for Harry did not exist. The incorrect data file for Harry temperatures can be accessed here
    [http://www.antarctica.ac.uk/met/READER/aws/incorrect_harry_data/Harry.All.temperature.html]

    (4/2/09)The AWS data for Racer Rock since April 2004 have been removed from the READER website as the values appear to come from a different station even though they were transmitted on the GTS (Global Telecommunications System) as 89261 which the WMO (World Meteorological Organization) still list as being Racer Rock. The incorrect data file for Racer Rock temperatures can be accessed here
    [http://www.antarctica.ac.uk/met/READER/aws/incorrect_racer_rock_data/Racer_Rock.All.temperature.html]

    (4/2/09)The AWS data for Penguin Point since January 2007 have been removed from the READER website as the values received on the GTS appear to come from a different station and this AWS is reported as being removed at the start of 2007. The incorrect data file for Penguin Point temperatures can be accessed here
    [http://www.antarctica.ac.uk/met/READER/aws/incorrect_penguin_point_data/Penguin_Point.All.temperature.html]

    (4/2/09)The AWS data for Clean Air since January 2005 have been removed from the READER website as the values received on the GTS appear to come from a different station and this AWS is reported as being removed at the start of 2005. The incorrect data file for Clean Air temperatures can be accessed here
    [http://www.antarctica.ac.uk/met/READER/aws/incorrect_clean_air_data/Clean_Air.All.temperature.html]

  187. timbrom says:

    OT, so please move to a more appropriate place idc, but the UN Sec Gen made the following comments in Delhi:

    “Deserts are spreading. Water scarcity is increasing. Tropical forests are shrinking. Our once prolific fisheries are in danger of collapse,” said Mr Ban at the start of the conference in Delhi.

    The BBC then move to the quote:

    “Failure to combat climate change will increase poverty and hardship. It will destabilise economies, breed insecurity in many countries and undermine our goals for sustainable development.”

    All the points in the first para are pertinent and true, but none necessarily follow from the second. Another case of Auntie Beeb splicing quotes (viz Obama’s inauguration speech) or just more proof that the UN is hawking the AGW voodoo for all it’s worth?

  188. Richard M says:

    Mr. Smith,

    “Again, many thanks for the encouragement! But really it’s something any decent programmer could do. The only really ‘hard bit’ is keeping track of the dozens of temporary intermediate files that parade across the stage endlessly for no reason (and the constant data format mutations…)”

    I consider myself a “decent programmer” and I took one look at that code and my eyes glazed over. It takes a really dedicated soul to attack such a monster.

  189. Les Johnson says:

    Fer the luv of ….. when will the fear mongering reach a level that scientists are laughed at for their asinine predictions?

    Click Here for Antarctic ice melt story

    This one says the earths tilt will be affected. Undoubtedly true, but do they say the process will take thousands of years, if and only if, the planet ever starts warming up again?

  190. Richard M says:

    Mike Jonas (13:04:19) :

    “On RealClimate, Gavin/Eric have stated that the Harry/Gill data was not used in Eric Steig’s paper, or that it had no impact (I would have to check back to verify the exact wording). It would be a good idea to check Eric’s data and workings to verify that statement too. If correct, then the paper is not discredited. If incorrect then Gavin/Eric’s credibility becomes zero.”

    They FIRST said it would have no impact and later followed that with at .01 or .02 degree change in their results depending on who you ask. Keep in mind this is off a value of .1. So, its somewhere between 10-20%.

    I agree with your conclusion. Their credibility is zero.

  191. Coolit says:

    With more computer programers and “green” jobs being created there will be no future need to read weather stations as their projections of a warmer Anartica will then be the “offcial” records. I’m sure James Hansen of NASA would love to monitor and make needed corrections of the programed data.

  192. E.M.Smith says:

    Whoever got me thinking about this, it’s all your fault!

    Autonomous Navigable Temperature Archive Recording Center, Transmission, Instrument Cluster:

    ANTARCTIC is a robotic platform based on a well proven ‘crawler’ base. All batteries, motors, power modules, and other heat sources are housed inside the insulated tracked base. A central mast holds a combined arctic rated weather station sensor array and transmission antenna(s).

    The mast has ‘stays’ or ‘guy cables’ to each corner of the tracked base to provide stability. Each corner of the tracked base contains a built in ‘snow anchor screw’ that is deployed once ANTARCTIC is on station. While the generally low center of mass and the massive strength of the tracked base provides great stability, the snow anchors are automatically deployed to provide assurances against even the worst that nature has to offer.

    The station is preprogramed to sense snow level (via ultrasonic and laser sensors) and when the wind is low enough for safe repositioning, will retract the snow anchors, crawl forward 5 meters, turn 90 degrees, and crawl forward 5 meters again. In this way, ANTARCTIC never moves far from the assigned location, yet never needs to be ‘dug out’. (An advanced GPS package is available to allow the use of ANTARCTIC on moving locations such that it will ‘self center’ at the desired latitude and longitude with each move).

    All data are both transmitted and stored on board in non-volatile memory. A remote command can confirm that data have been retrieved and release the archive for reuse, but this ought not to be needed due to the standard 1 Terabyte of onboard storage. Computer monitoring and controls systems are doubly redundant to assure against equipment failures and all systems can be controlled either manually or by remote diagnostic computer in extreme cases of full computer outage. Remote vision is via forward, rear, and ‘down from the mast’ cameras. Video and still images can both be archived, if desired.

    Orders are being taken now for initial delivery in 2 years. Price: TBD

    Just send me your $100,000 down payment for each unit to reserve your spot on the waiting list ;-)

  193. realitycheck says:

    Some great detective work here and at CA as usual.

    I’m a little confused though. Surely the issue is not whether burying by snow causes a trend (I don’t see how it could) it is that an artifical trend was introduced to the “New Harry” station because it was a splice of 2 stations where the newer station had a higher baseline?

    I think the question on the impact of snow burial is a red herring. The fact is the new station had a higher baseline (when the old station was reading x, the newer station read x+y, splice the 2 datasets together and hey-presto a trend!). Now the reason for the higher baseline (snow burial, station positioning, calibration, alien interference or otherwise) while an interesting line of debate is surely irrelevant to the fact that an apparent trend is in fact a statistical artifact (seems to be a lot of them when Mann gets involved) .

    Now it seems that Steig et al. are claiming that this discovery (again climate scientists with no wish to do minimal due diligence themselves before publishing) would have no impact on their results – is that claim true?

  194. Glenn says:

    Ruth (12:47:37) :

    “I am not quite clear on the reason for supposing that a warming trend will occur when a temperature sensor is buried by snow. If it is buried by snow of the same temperature as the air”

    Well, since snow is an excellent insulator and is not air, I’d say that is enough to question a temperature bias. Beyond that, I suspect that the many variables and conditions present in the Antarctic year are too complex to easily determine the amount and direction of bias. To assign any one value of bias for the purpose of “adjusting” sensor data uniformly across all stations that get buried may be unrealistic in view of the dynamics of Antarctica weather.
    I’d tend to say that controlled experiments would have to be done comparing each site that gets buried to a site nearby that is kept above snow, and that would be harder than just to maintain the sensors or eliminate the ones that get buried.
    Remember also that even coming closer to snow level may cause a bias, and that there is reason for a standard height for all ground stations.

  195. Glenn says:

    E.M Smith,

    “Just send me your $100,000 down payment for each unit to reserve your spot on the waiting list ;-)”

    Just build a prototype and test it so we know it will work, then an order and check will be in the mail. Signed NASA, deep pockets with half a bil on the way for klimayt resarch.

  196. realitycheck says:

    By the way, for what its worth (1p).

    My take on snow burial….

    Suppose you have a sensor which is buried. Then at the surface a colder-than-normal (instead of being very very cold, it is very very very cold) airmass passes by. The thermometer in the snow would not see this colder-than-normal airmass and would read much warmer than it actually was in the open air.

    Now suppose a warmer-than-normal (instead of being very very cold it is just very cold) airmass passes by. Surely the thermometer would not see this either?

    To me snow burial should reduce the variance in the recorded temperature, not the mean?

    Now a stevenson screen next to some buildings in the very very cold Antarctic as in the photos above – surely thats the same as putting a thermometer in Minneapolis next to a furnace? That source of warm bias I definitely agree with.

  197. Brendan H says:

    Stan: “Because your question contained a false assumption — one which was disparaging of Anthony and others.”

    I’m not sure what assumption you have in mind, but I think Simon has a valid point, which is that scepticism should be ‘blind’.

    Previously, the generally accepted AGW sceptic position on the Antarctic was that it was cooling, implying little, if any, doubt about the data. Now sceptics are casting doubt on the measuring equipment and resulting data.

    The event that bridges this abrupt change of view was the release of a report claiming Antarctic warming. One can reasonably conclude that the newly discovered scepticism over the measurement of Antarctic temperatures is a response to the report and its findings.

  198. Steven Hill says:

    Excellent news posted today…

    Washington, D.C., could find itself under several more feet of water than previously predicted if warming temperatures destroy the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, a new study based on a model predicts.

  199. Les Johnson says:

    realitycheck: your

    To me snow burial should reduce the variance in the recorded temperature, not the mean?

    No, it reduces the mean. Think igloos, which need no heat except the human body. The temperature is quite close to 0 deg C, inside an igloo, regardless of the outside temperature.

    There is a reference over at RC, on temperatures of sensors buried in snow. The deeper it is, the less the response. At about 10 meters, it gives the same reading year round. As the instrument is a source of heat, the temperature would be considerably higher than ambient.

  200. Les Johnson says:

    sorry, snow increases the mean temperature at the sensor.

    It introduces a warming bias.

  201. Smokey says:

    Brendan H,

    Are you questioning this?: click

    Or this?: click

    They’re from GISS records.

  202. D. Patterson says:

    D. Patterson (13:20:18) :

    “Is there a database of all antarctic stations?”

    If you mean a unified databse of AWS descriptions, I don’t know. I suspect NSIDC may have a databse for the data results, but unlikely to have the AWS station descriptions. The closest sources are the maps on the UWisc Website, one of which is already posted in the article above this thread. The Website does have links to the other national Antarctic projects.

    “There are so many nations and organizations involved. The wisconsin site you mentioned also lists sensors types. Among them, there is a “AWS Acoustic Depth Gauge Sensor”, without explanation what is gauged here. Snow height? http://uwamrc.ssec.wisc.edu/awsinstruments.html

    Yes, the instrument is used to measure snow depth accumulation in an attempt to determine ow much is accumulated from blowing snow versus how much is accumulated from precipitation of snow.

    See: Knuth et al. Estimation of snow accumulation in Antarctica using automated acoustic depth gauge measurements. U.S. Geological Survey and The National Academies; USGS OF-2007-1047, Extended Abstract 183
    http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2007/1047/ea/of2007-1047ea183.pdf

  203. D. Patterson says:

    Les Johnson (15:37:10) :

    “There is a reference over at RC, on temperatures of sensors buried in snow. The deeper it is, the less the response. At about 10 meters, it gives the same reading year round.”

    The reference at RC is incorrect. Sub-surface snow temperatures do experience diurnal and seasonal changes. See figures 5 and 9 in particular in:

    Town et al. Temperatures, heating rates, and vapour pressures in the near-surface snow at the South Pole. Revision 2 for J. Glaciology, January 2008.
    http://www.webpages.uidaho.edu/~vonw/pubs/TownEtAl_JGlac_2008.pdf

    Also see the measured temperatures surveyed in transects across Antarctica:

    THERMAP: Ice Temperature Measurements of the Antarctic Ice Sheet
    http://nsidc.org/data/thermap/antarctic_10m_temps/dates.html

  204. D. Patterson says:

    Steven Hill (15:36:51) :

    “Excellent news posted today…”

    “Washington, D.C., could find itself under several more feet of water than previously predicted if warming temperatures destroy the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, a new study based on a model predicts.”

    If Pluto is struck by a Kuiper Belt Object, the meltwater is predicted by climate models to spill out of the sky and destroy GISS along with the rest of New York City and Real Climate under thousands of feet of water. Better take precautions!

  205. Cathy Wilson says:

    @ D. Patterson . . .

    (a guilty snicker;-)

  206. othercoast says:

    @Ric Werme
    this may have been said before (since it’s rather obvious, it’s likely)

    Are you saying that Harry is not used in the full reconstruction?

    [Response: That is correct. - gavin]

    If I understand the nomenclature correctly (I’m not competent to dig up the numbers and look myself), SM *found* the Harry problem only by looking for a step in the data which correlated to a step in the paper’s results.

    While the bad-data step and the result step could technically be a coincidence (one cannot prove otherwise since, due to absence of code and intermediate numbers, SM cannot really re-do the calculation with repaired data), i.e. the “good” data they allegedly used has a “real” step just where Harry is broken, it is extremely unlikely, and Gavin’s statement above is a brazen lie which will prevent them from ever releasing a truthful, reproducable data/code basis for the paper.

  207. Brendan H says:

    Smokey: “Are you questioning this?”

    I don’t remember “questioning” the data. I am merely pointing out that a short time ago AGW sceptics were apparently unconcerned about Antarctic data. They are now concerned. Why?

    “They’re from GISS records.”

    Are these GISS graphs? Or are the graphs were created using GISS data?

  208. Les Johnson says:

    D. Patterson:

    No, your reference (Town et al)confirms that under 10 meters of snow, the temperature is nearly constant.

    Look at Fig 6. At depths of 6 meters or more, the temperature is a constant -50 deg F, through all 4 seasons.

    Figure 5C, also shows this, with temps at around -50 year round, at a depth of approx 6 meters. The other charts in Fig 5 are at shallow depths, 3 meters.

  209. Les Johnson says:

    D. Patterson: This is a repost. I used “lesser than” and “greater than” in the previous post, which the program interprets as HTML.

    No, your reference (Town et al)confirms that under 10 meters of snow, the temperature is nearly constant.

    Look at Fig 6. At depths of 6 meters or more, the temperature is a constant -50 deg F, through all 4 seasons.

    Figure 5C, also shows this, with temps at around -50 year round, at a depth of approx 6 meters. The other charts in Fig 5 are at shallow depths, less than 0.8 meters.

    Fig 9 has no depths greater than 3 meters.

  210. J.Hansford. says:

    Anthony…. Has a value for an Antarctic Heat Island Effect been worked out? You never know, you might get some funding to go and measure the effect!

    If those data stations, both manned and unmanned, are not in accordance with the regulations set down for normal weather data stations, then these stations will have been affected by their surroundings. That warming bias needs to be assigned a value and then compared to Steig’s paper so that the real temperature is deduced.

  211. othercoast says:

    never mind my post above, I see it’s been picked apart to even greater detail. (John W. (06:35:29) )

    But this I have to ask. Gavin , quoted above, says: ”
    Additionally, the quality of the AWS data, particularly any trends, has been frequently questioned. The main issue is that since they are automatic and not manned, individual stations can be buried in snow, drift with the ice, fall over etc. and not be immediately fixed. Thus one of the tests Steig et al. did was a variation of the AWS reconstruction that detrended the AWS data before using them – any trend in the reconstruction would then come solely from the higher quality manned weather stations. The nature of the error in the Harry data record gave an erroneous positive trend, but this wouldn’t have affected the trend in the AWS-detrended based reconstruction.

    Maybe I don’t understand plain English (no my first language, and I don’t know what “detrending” means mathematically) – but if you see a trend at all in detrended data, doesn’t that mean it’s not detrended?

  212. Les Johnson says:

    I need to clarify/correct an earlier post to realitycheck:

    The temperature under 10 meters of snow, will closely reflect the long term average ambient air temperature above it. As long as no heat source is present.

    The instrument will have a cooling bias, if the short term annual air temperature is warmer. the air is warmer, but the instrument still reflects the longer term average temperature trapped in the snow. There will be a warming bias, if the short term annual temperature is colder.

    Again, the above is only true if no heat source is present in the instrument. If there is a heat source, even a small source, there will probably be a warming bias, as the heat is trapped by the insulating snow.

  213. Frank Perdicaro says:

    Excellent discussion on this interesting topic.

    Lets see if I can get some answers in order

    1) You point solar panels down so they get maximum power production.
    In an environment where there is constant snow, there will be constant
    power reflected from the ground. But constant snow accumulation will
    occur on TOP of panels. If you point the panels down you do not have
    to worry about snow covering, and thus disabling the panels. Panels
    pointing up would be covered, and thus unable to gather energy from the
    sun, in short order.

    2) CVS, VSS, RCS, and SCCS. Be careful about using old SCCS source
    code databases. Old SCCS has a Y2K bug. Most SCCS systems from
    ATT Sys V fail at Y2K. This was a production problem here at my day
    job, so I am quite certain on the point.

    3) Where phase change is concerned, be careful about the concept
    of temperature. As others have noted, it is easy to get ice to form on
    a “warm” night. As humans or thermometers measure temp, that is.

    At nigth a pool of water, or isolated undisturbed air, “sees” only space.
    If pool is insulated from the earth on 5 sides, and the heat capacity
    of its container is low, very quickly it only “sees” the coolness of space.
    On a well-insulated house, like mine, the roof will freeze over with frost
    when dew sets on the grass. The grass is being warmed by the earth,
    but the roof “sees” only the coldness of space. I watch this ‘kitchen
    table science’ at my house a few times a week in the SoCal winter.

    In the Antarctic night, there will be a very long cooling period. A 10K
    difference is on the low end of the range. Based on the numbers shown
    CO2 ice should be possible. Air seeing the coldness of space is not the
    same as dry ice in a Florence flask.

  214. Ric Werme says:

    E.M.Smith (01:43:46) :

    If this is not of interest, let me know and I’ll stop posting ‘code bits’ and save it for a final report

    It’s lots of interest to me, however, when it’s scattered across many threads it’s nigh on impossible to review things. Nor is this the blog for it. Either a personal web site or its own thread on ClimateAudit would be better homes.

    Congratulations on figuring out so much of the code. Not an easy task!

  215. E.M.Smith says:

    E.M.Smith (09:38:33) : Admired from afar in pleasant but lacking any water California…

    (May it please the Rain Gods, just enough to reach 1/2 “normal” would be appreciated! – but that’s our pattern in this type of weather cycle. Just hope it doesn’t take 30 years for the Rain Gods to hear and shift the PDO back…)

    From the Be Careful What You Ask For, You Just Might Get It department:

    It is now cold and drizzling / raining in my part of California…

    (WHY didn’t I ask for a few pounds of gold … )

  216. D. Patterson says:

    Les Johnson (17:00:33) :
    Les Johnson (17:03:57)

    You neglected the second source. Town et al gives you a view of their modeling and their work at the South Pole station site. The second source gives you another perspecctive for numerous other locations in the Antarctic for the 10 meter survey. Since the topic of this thread are the AWs reports from the West Antarctic and the Peninsula, pay special attention to the wide range of temperatures and depths being reported for those areas closest to Harry and Gill versus other regions of the Antarctic. While the South Pole extreme may be -50C at 10m depth, other locations may be -24C at 10m or -4C at 5m. In other words, don’t get stuck using just the South Pole experiment, which is not representative across all AWS in the Antarctic. There are a wide range of actual measured temperatures and depths being reported across many time periods versus a fixed location using measurements and experimental modeling results.

  217. realitycheck says:

    Les Johnson (15:37:10) :

    “At about 10 meters, it gives the same reading year round. ” – that is consistent with my arguement that the variance of readings from the buried thermometer will be drastically lower than at the surface.

    In the case of an igloo, there is a sizeable air cavity – is it not the air cavity that provides the insulation rather than the snow itself? The same theory with a duvet – it is the air gaps between fibers that provide for the insulation, not the fibers themselves.

    In the case of a buried thermometer, I am assuming snow is in contact with the sensor and any air cavities are significantly smaller (basically the small air bubbles between each snow flake which of course would compact as more snow accumulated on top). I definitely accept that some minor heat will be released from the sensor, but in contact with snow, I wonder if that excess heat would be detectable as most of it would be used up in some minor local melting of contacting snow rather than in a discernible increase in temperature at the sensor. Its not like the sensor is in an igloo – it is in contact with the snow.

    I think its time for some “paint on stevenson screen” type experiments….any volunteers….Andy?

  218. realitycheck says:

    My arguement about contacting snow v.s. air cavity above is also consistent with survival practices.

    People survive in a snow cave because of the insulation provded by the air cavity. Many people die in avalanches through hypothermia even though they are buried in snow and can breath.

  219. D. Patterson says:

    realitycheck (18:31:01) :

    First, I don’t know that any data was ever used from a buried temperature sensor. The photograph of Harry illustrated the temperature sensor was above the snow surface.

    Second, if it is assumed a particular temperature sensor was buried in the snow, the AWS did report the data, and the data was used; you still have a temperature sensor surrounded by a radiation shield under the snow. If the radiation shield was not infiled with snow in contact with the temperature sensor, you will have a cavity around the temperature sensor surrounded by the radiation shield.

    Third, the temperature sensor will be less than 1 meter below the surface, otherwise the radio transmitter will fail and/or the Automatic Depth Guage will indicate the AWS is buried in the snow accumulation.

    Fourth, once the AWS is underneath the snow, no one is going to be collecting the data and using it…unless….

  220. E.M.Smith says:

    John W. (14:08:11) : You and I have some common work experience. I used to be a tool builder: [...] I’d fire any of my team who came back to me with work that shoddy.

    I managed a compiler tool chain “build release and QA department” once. One set of sources, dozens of target compilers and cross compilers… When hundreds of thousands of other peoples programs are going to depend on your quality, you have a very high standard… tool building changes you.

    Richard M (14:25:59) : I consider myself a “decent programmer” and I took one look at that code and my eyes glazed over. It takes a really dedicated soul to attack such a monster.

    Well, OK. I do have an excessive tendency to persistence… I’m sure no one has noticed ;-) But you’re right, the glaze factor almost got me too… I’ve had to take a time out for coffee a few times. So to correct my prior statement, I ought to have said:

    But really it’s something any decent programmer with their own espresso machine could do.

    Mine is the little stove top manual thing that makes 2 demitasse worth.

  221. George E. Smith says:

    “” Sylvia (17:51:32) :

    <>

    Mr. George E. Smith, you are a gem. If you do end up going to visit Harry, Theresa, et al, email me and I will spin and knit a pair of cashmere (or qiviut if I can get some) mitten liners for you to wear. “”

    “Who is Sylvia?
    What is she? ”

    Sorry I can’t remember any more of the words; but I believe that is from Franz Schubert; one of his delightful German Lieder creations. Hey it’s probably 50 years since I last listened to, that; I can only remember so much stuff.

    You’re so kind fair Sylvia; now as to those mittens. Would you believe that before I left Auckland (UofA), in 1961. my mother knitted up a storm, out of New Zealand wools. Seems that we had this vision of Oregon, as being a land of perpetual snow, and Mink Farms; hence the knitting frenzy. I still have all of those sweaters and they still work.

    So now we know that Sylvia is a very clever lady; because I think knitting is a lost art; so anybody who can do that is AOK in my book, since I have even forgotten how to knit myself.

    But back at the CO2 snow factory.

    Thanks to Ric Werme Phil, EMSmith and Steve Keohane for the comments; Phil; green flag; sail on, no foul on the idiot thing which was self inflicted.

    I’m still in a state of confusion, on several grounds; but I am taking all of your criticisms under advisement.

    #1 A pressure of one atmosphere has absolutely has no earthly significance, as regards a partial pressure of CO2 gas over CO2 solid; so why on earth would your phase diagram (once again thanx for that) cite the sublimation point of -78.5 deg C at one atmosphere (of CO2 partial pressure), which is hardly a condition that a block of dry ice out in the open would ever see ?

    #2 if the phase boundary reaches 385 ppm at some temperature somewhat below -135 C; then dry ice at say -87.5 deg C would be somewhat similar to a superheated water situation; if the ice wants to sea one atmosphere of CO2 partial pressure (at -78.5) and has only 385 ppm; why isn’t there an explosive sublimation of dry ice out in the air?

    #3 By what mechanism does the CO2 ice surface molecule identify the species of a colliding molecule. If I’m a MAxwell’s demon in my CO2 suit, hiding in that surface layer on the ice block, I see nearby molecules occasionally heading off into the wild blue yonder, and other molecules coming in from the air at a distribution of velocities, and momenta, colliding with my mates ( and me too) interchanging momentum and energy at the surface; but I see NO mechanism by which I can identify any incoming missile as being a CO2 molecule, rather than a molecule of N2 or O2, CH4, or anything else (assuming we limit ourselves to molecular species which are not going to undergo some chemical reaction with the CO2. So that is my dilemma; I can’t identify CO2 molecules, so how the hell do I know twhat the partial pressure of CO2 even is.
    #4 Now I guess I do see a gremlin in there, thinking in terms of a water under glass situation. Presumably, at -78.5 deg C, the CO2 block is emitting molecules from the surface at some rate, and if the CO2 were under glass, the rate of evaporation (sublimation) is equal to the sum total of collisions of all molecular species. (rate in =rate out) !!! BUT !!!, the dry ice block is emitting ONLY CO2 molecules; but most of the incoming are NOT CO2; ergo the block must be losing CO2 molecules, since only 385 ppm of the arriving molecules are CO2 to replace one that is lost.

    I think you just convinced me; the total Dalton’s Law pressure from all species is in fact stopping the block from exploding; but it is losing CO2 at some rate depending on temperature; and the 385 ppm of CO2 can’t possibly keep up with that so it the dry ice block must completely evaporate; at least down to such a small piece that the molecular rate of loss is in equilibrium with the arrival rate of CO2 at 385 ppm in the atmosphere; now I can die happy, because even with just a stick to scratch in the sand of my desert island, I can see how that must be so.

    Well my Supervisor ; who is an HP Fellow by the way (titular) is a laser physics guy. if my chemistry hadn’t stopped in my high school graduating year; I might have understood how this works.

    Well the guy who was trying to measure radiation at the south pole, couldn’t understand why he couldn’t just turn his radiometer sensor upsidedown, and read the surface emittance from the snow; which presumably really wasn’t CO2 at all. (well he wasn’t an optics guy; just a climatologist or meteorologist).

    Thanx again Phil and Ric et al; I learn something new every day.

    George

  222. E.M.Smith says:

    Brendan H (15:25:17) : Previously, the generally accepted AGW sceptic position on the Antarctic was that it was cooling [...] The event that bridges this abrupt change of view was the release of a report claiming Antarctic warming.

    And that is all it takes. A sudden and unexpected report of ‘something changed’. I would expect a similar “What happened?” response if the trend had been up and suddenly was a degree down.

    That the tone in one case might have a bit more ‘glee’ attached, yeah, sure. That not an eyebrow would be raised? Nope. People are curious about changes. Any changes. Just announce that ‘casual Friday’ is now ‘causal Monday’ and watch how much flack you catch…

    It’s that whole ‘anomaly’ thing that the warmers are always going on about…

  223. Retired BChE says:

    I’m not a climate scientist nor a statistician, but a long-retired chemical engineer who is fascinated by the articles and comments on WUWT. I particularly feel akin to the comments of E.M. Smith in this post, because I too started as a hands-on chemistry and electronics experimenter. We had to create our own amusements and deal with our own hazards, and I fear all the organized play of kids today will lead to a loss of creativity. I once blew up a flask containing zinc pellets and HCl, by holding a match to it, but escaped without a scratch. I have been interested in global warming for the past three years, originally by reading Wearth’s “The Discovery of Global Warming” I corresponded with him three times, but became disillusioned the last time when he would not respond politely when I ran across data on high CO2 contents in geologic ages and suggested it might pose a controversy. In my career I had to deal with thermodynamics of non-ideal solutions and design plants that work! And so I am shocked beyond belief at what Anthony and his volunteers have found about how the basic temperatures are measured, how relatively few there are, and how crass the authorities are about siting and paying insufficient attention to the urban heat island effect. Many times I have noted that temperatures at my home in NJ 25 miles west of NYC have been 6 or more degrees lower than the reported temperature in Central Park. I close with the definition of extrapolation by Stuart Chase over 50 years ago: plotting a few points on a curve and riding the curve to cloud-cuckoo-land.” This is what the AGW crowd are doing! Keep up the good work, Anthony!

  224. Phil. says:

    George E. Smith (19:21:32) :
    “” Sylvia (17:51:32) :

    “Who is Sylvia?
    What is she? ”

    That all our swains commend her
    Holy, fair, and wise is she;
    The heaven such grace did lend her,
    That she might admirèd be.

    By Will Shakespeare, I don’t remember the rest, we had to sing it in my primary school choir about 50 years ago! The music might well have been Schubert

    Sorry I can’t remember any more of the words; but I believe that is from Franz Schubert; one of his delightful German Lieder creations. Hey it’s probably 50 years since I last listened to, that; I can only remember so much stuff.

    You’re so kind fair Sylvia; now as to those mittens. Would you believe that before I left Auckland (UofA), in 1961. my mother knitted up a storm, out of New Zealand wools. Seems that we had this vision of Oregon, as being a land of perpetual snow, and Mink Farms; hence the knitting frenzy. I still have all of those sweaters and they still work.

    So now we know that Sylvia is a very clever lady; because I think knitting is a lost art; so anybody who can do that is AOK in my book, since I have even forgotten how to knit myself.

    But back at the CO2 snow factory.

    Thanks to Ric Werme Phil, EMSmith and Steve Keohane for the comments; Phil; green flag; sail on, no foul on the idiot thing which was self inflicted.

    I’m still in a state of confusion, on several grounds; but I am taking all of your criticisms under advisement.

    No problem, I’ve been this route before even teaching graduate students there’s a lot of misunderstanding about this. Particularly regarding critical pressure.

    #1 A pressure of one atmosphere has absolutely has no earthly significance, as regards a partial pressure of CO2 gas over CO2 solid; so why on earth would your phase diagram (once again thanx for that) cite the sublimation point of -78.5 deg C at one atmosphere (of CO2 partial pressure), which is hardly a condition that a block of dry ice out in the open would ever see ?

    It’s the vapor pressure of the CO2 gas in equilibrium with the surface of the block at -78.5ºC. If you put the block in an insulated box the air in it would be displaced by one atm of CO2.

    #2 if the phase boundary reaches 385 ppm at some temperature somewhat below -135 C; then dry ice at say -87.5 deg C would be somewhat similar to a superheated water situation; if the ice wants to sea one atmosphere of CO2 partial pressure (at -78.5) and has only 385 ppm; why isn’t there an explosive sublimation of dry ice out in the air?

    If it was a liquid (like liq N2) then it does boil up rather quickly, however in the solid state it’s limited by heat conduction.

    #3 By what mechanism does the CO2 ice surface molecule identify the species of a colliding molecule. If I’m a MAxwell’s demon in my CO2 suit, hiding in that surface layer on the ice block, I see nearby molecules occasionally heading off into the wild blue yonder, and other molecules coming in from the air at a distribution of velocities, and momenta, colliding with my mates ( and me too) interchanging momentum and energy at the surface; but I see NO mechanism by which I can identify any incoming missile as being a CO2 molecule, rather than a molecule of N2 or O2, CH4, or anything else (assuming we limit ourselves to molecular species which are not going to undergo some chemical reaction with the CO2. So that is my dilemma; I can’t identify CO2 molecules, so how the hell do I know twhat the partial pressure of CO2 even is.
    #4 Now I guess I do see a gremlin in there, thinking in terms of a water under glass situation. Presumably, at -78.5 deg C, the CO2 block is emitting molecules from the surface at some rate, and if the CO2 were under glass, the rate of evaporation (sublimation) is equal to the sum total of collisions of all molecular species. (rate in =rate out) !!! BUT !!!, the dry ice block is emitting ONLY CO2 molecules; but most of the incoming are NOT CO2; ergo the block must be losing CO2 molecules, since only 385 ppm of the arriving molecules are CO2 to replace one that is lost.

    Congratulations, you’ve got it!

    I think you just convinced me; the total Dalton’s Law pressure from all species is in fact stopping the block from exploding; but it is losing CO2 at some rate depending on temperature; and the 385 ppm of CO2 can’t possibly keep up with that so it the dry ice block must completely evaporate; at least down to such a small piece that the molecular rate of loss is in equilibrium with the arrival rate of CO2 at 385 ppm in the atmosphere; now I can die happy, because even with just a stick to scratch in the sand of my desert island, I can see how that must be so.

    Well my Supervisor ; who is an HP Fellow by the way (titular) is a laser physics guy. if my chemistry hadn’t stopped in my high school graduating year; I might have understood how this works.

    Well the guy who was trying to measure radiation at the south pole, couldn’t understand why he couldn’t just turn his radiometer sensor upsidedown, and read the surface emittance from the snow; which presumably really wasn’t CO2 at all. (well he wasn’t an optics guy; just a climatologist or meteorologist).

    Thanx again Phil and Ric et al; I learn something new every day.

    You’re welcome.

  225. rickM says:

    http://planetark.org/enviro-news/item/51497

    Related to this post, but way out in there in terms of reality. Where do these people come up with these kind of statistics?

  226. William says:

    Here’s my contribution to the Global warming debate. I’m not a statistician so this is my first effort in analyzing this type of data. I have not worked with statistics in over 30 years and my every day job is not science related.

    I plotted all the monthly data for the McMurdo Antartica manned station used in the Steig Study. I found the links at RC. This station has near continuous temperature readings for 53 years. I used all the monthly available data which covers the time period of April 1956 through Jan 2009. Temperatures ranged from about 0 to -37 degrees Centigrade. Steig omits data for 2007+2008.

    Using the simple least squares regression function in Excel I plotted a linear trend line chart from this data. Low and behold there is a warming trend over this 53 year period. With an R squared value of .0023 Excel calculates that y=.0023x-17.682.

    The R squared value of .0023 indicates that the plotted line does a very good job of plotting the data. The first value of the formula indicates that there is a positive slope of .0023 for the data over this 53 year period. I’m not sure how to interpret the results much beyond this. Does a slope of .0023 imply that it would take 400 years for the average monthly temperature to increase by one degree Centigrade?
    Thanks

  227. Frank Perdicaro says:

    realitycheck,

    Where does your avalanche death data come from?
    This is an interesting topic for me because I was
    caught in an avalanche in 1987 and was buried.

    There are several ways to die in an avalanche, but
    my understanding and experience is freezing to
    death is not very likely. Blunt trauma, impalement,
    crushing and hypoxia kill more quickly.

    All that kinetic energy expressed in an avalanche gets
    released as heat. Keep the Stephenson Screens out
    of avalanche zones due to warming bias.

  228. Roger Sowell says:

    Retired BChE;

    Greetings, from a fellow comical engineer. Welcome to WUWT!

    I can relate to having to develop accurate data from which to build plants that actually work! (chemicals for 3 years, then refineries, petrochemical plants, and power plants for 27 years.)

  229. Brendan H says:

    EM Smith: “A sudden and unexpected report of ’something changed’.”

    Any major change will attract comment. However, sceptics’ reservations over Antarctic temperature measurement seem a trifle ad hoc, given the previous acceptance of the temperature record, and slightly off target, given that the new assessment also depends on satellite measurements.

    Whatever, the report is sure to generate further study, especially since some other climate scientists have expressed reservations over the findings. And that’s what science is all about: studies, debates, more studies, all very productive.

    The other interesting aspect of this event is that we’re possibly seeing in real time the process of convergence as a scientific theory evolves.

  230. HasItBeen4YearsYet? says:

    @Retired BChE (19:38:53) :

    Not only are they wrong, a lot, but some of them are just not very nice (or honest) people.
    http://motls.blogspot.com/2009/02/gavin-schmidt-is-his-own-mystery-woman.html

  231. realitycheck says:

    Frank Perdicaro (21:38:05) :

    Firstly, sorry to hear you were caught up in an Avalanche – glad to see you here having this discussion…

    To your question,

    “realitycheck, Where does your avalanche death data come from?”

    Table 9.2 in The avalanche handbook

    http://www.mountaineersbooks.org/productdetails.cfm?PC=697

    Don’t get me wrong here – there is no question the primary cause of death is lack of oxygen (65% of cases), followed by 25% of cases due to trauma through collision with objects etc. – however, the remaining 10% of cases is due to hypothermia and shock.

    My point here is: you don’t survive a blowing blizzard at 40 below by burying yourself in snow – you survive by building a snow cave (with an air cavity).

    Now if there is a radiation shield around the sensor (per D. Patterson (18:58:45) : ) and that air gap remains when buried (didn’t consider that), then yes, I could accept a warming bias.

    Unlike some, I am prepared to adjust my view based on data… :)

  232. Simon Evans says:

    Smokey (15:48:35) :

    Brendan H,

    Are you questioning this?: click

    Or this?: click

    They’re from GISS records.

    Your links show a negative trend for the South Pole. That is exactly what the Steig paper reported! One station does not tell us the temperature trend for an entire continent – have a look at Vostok data, for example, which has a positive trend for the same period.

  233. D. Patterson says:

    Hugo M (14:16:06) :

    “Is there a database of all antarctic stations? ”

    Here is another list of statons I ran across while looking for something else. Unfortunately, it notes the list may be incomplete with respect to stations without WMO identifiers.

    “(05/01/2009) WMO station list 1
    Stations and AWS sites in Antarctica (89xxx) and sub Antarctic Islands (88xxx and others)
    and ship call signs
    List updated 2009 January 5”

    “There are likely to be additional AWS without WMO station numbers”
    http://www.antarctica.ac.uk/met/jds/met/WMO_stations.pdf

  234. stan says:

    In case of snippage, wanted to put this here. From the CA thread “Carnage”:

    A couple of points need highlighting so that they don’t get overwhelmed in the back and forth over details. First, as Thor points out in #37, is the bizarre reliance on “trust” in comments Tamino made at RC. Second, is the adjective “legitimate” used by Steig (see Jeff Id at #38) to distinguish those with whom he is willing to share his work and those he deems unworthy.

    These revelations are telling. They are jaw-dropping in their implications.

    The people involved in this affair can be divided roughly into two groups. One group had access, for an extensive period of time, to all the data and all the code. Members of this group actually invested significant professional attention to the preparation of this study. This group is the one Steig considers “legitimate” and Tamino says he “trusts”.

    The second group consists of people who only spent a short amount of time looking over the study (without the benefit of the code and methodology) and quickly discovered that the data had some serious problems.

    How can members of the first group argue that the second group isn’t advancing the cause of science? Don’t they realize that their petty obstinance and obfuscation only serves to diminish their credibility? Do they really think that that outside observers are going to accept their justifications for denying access to critical information for people who are clearly improving the state of the science?

    The team is beginning to look a lot like brer rabbit after his bout with the tar baby.

  235. Tim McHenry says:

    Well it seems they won’t have to keep digging forever. When it all melts we will be looking for up to 21ft sea rise according to: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,488864,00.html
    Needless to say, Peter Clark & Co. make many assumptions concerning our demise.

  236. gary gulrud says:

    “sceptics’ reservations over Antarctic temperature measurement seem a trifle ad hoc,”

    Does this seem like cognitive dissonance, anyone? The issue here is a paper using WA stations with frequent gaps, one cause here illustrated, is interpolated and then used to replace EA data regarded as relatively reliable.

    What part of ‘incorrigible’ do you not understand?

  237. J. Peden says:

    Richard M:

    BTW, I predict many more problems will be found with this paper IF they release the code. The fact they haven’t released it yet pretty much assures me that is the case.

    That’s my thinking, too. So far Steig and Gavin are only feverishly waving their hands, claiming that we should trust them to now do correctly what they didn’t do correctly before.

    Moreover, not releasing the Steig/Mann application of the RegM code makes the paper not scientific. “Peers” everywhere cannot review the application to see what might be wrong with using the application itself*, nor even see if it was applied without internal mistakes**.

    Simply making the application available to only certain “Peers” does not count when it comes to following the Scientific Method.

    *See Steve McIntyre and Ross McKitrick’s analysis of Mann’s Hockey Stick algorithms

    **For a very simple example, see the SPM4 table concerning predicted and actual sea level rises which added up two seperate columns – of only four numbers each – incorrectly, errors which apparently escaped the allegedly massive ipcc peer review mechanism.

  238. jarhead says:

    William re regression

    I am not an expert and I “play” with stats in football and in the stock market.

    Here is a reference for Excel and Regressions

    http://www.cba.nau.edu/allen-d/Excel%20Regression%20Tutorial/excel_regression_tutorial.htm

    There appears to be an error in your post as it is odd that the R^2 is the same as the beta coefficient.

    The R^2 of .0023, if correct, means that there is no relationship.

    I don’t know if the regression output was read wrong or if you have a typo in the post, but something appears to be wrong.

    There is a annual cycle in the monthly data which is not linear, so I think that regression on the monthly values is not the best way to go. Try running a regression just using January data, another for Feb, etc.

    Another way is to use annual data instead of monthly, and if you do, it may be better to use a solar year instead of a calendar year.

    Good luck.

  239. George E. Smith says:

    “” Thanx again Phil and Ric et al; I learn something new every day.

    You’re welcome. “”

    Well Phil maybe I am an idiot after all; but I do think I should have shouted “Eureka !”

    The joy that comes with realization.

    Just 30-40 years ago of was CTO of what back then became on of the largest LED companies in the world. Here in silicon Valley, we grew single crystal Gallium Arsenide by the hundreds of Kilograms; using a very efficient process. The GaAs was synthesized and the crystal grown from the melt in a single step; a variation of the “Horizontal Bridgeman” method, also known as “Gradient Freeze”
    At the melting point of GaAs which my memory says is somewhere around 980C, the Arsenic vapor pressure is about one atmosphere, so the raw materials can be vaccuum sealed in a quartz ampoule, and not have it blow up, so long as you don’t get the temperature too high. The Arsenic at one end sublimes, and dissolves in the liquid gallium in a boat containing an oriented seed crystal, which is not in contact with the gallium (tilted). the components are in acurately weighed stoichiometric ratio. Once the synthesis is comlete, the tilt is removed bringing the melt in contact with the seed, and then the temperature is slowly lowered (2-3 days) while maintaining a gradient; cooler at the seed end, The solid liquid boundary propagates along the boat as the melting point moves, and voilla ! you get a single crystal ingot.

    In principle you can grow Gallium Phosphide the same way; BUT !! the melting point of GaP is somewhere up in the 1300C range, and the phosphorous vapor pressure at the melting point is ovewr 30 atmospheres, so no way in hell you can do the same quartz at atmospheric pressure routine; and you need a high pressure reactor vessel that typically runs at around 45 atmospheres. The GaP melt is sealed by a layer of molten Boric Oxide glass, and the crystal is pulled out of the melt through the glass by the Czochralzki method. I don’t remember how they maintain the internal pressure,but I presume it is some gas or other. There’s a bunch of these near bombs in the building attached to the one I am in. Far as I know they’ve never had one blow.

    We used to do the zinc diffusion process into either GaAs or GaAs0.6P0.4 to make LEDs in a sealed quartz ampoule too; but that was well below the melting point of GaAs. One method used a Gallium Zinc alloy that was prepared ahead of time, and placed in the bottle along with the wafers; but the problem with that method was that Arsenic evaporated from the wafers, which wasn’t good for anybody. Those silicon guys don’t understand how simple they have it working with an elemental crystal, instead of a Chemical Compound, that can dissociate. The doping method we preferred to use (the Zinc was to P-type dope the exposed epi layers to make the diodes) was to use Zinc Arsenide, instead of the GalliumZinc dopant. That dissociated and evaporated all the evaporated the arsenic to maintain a high enough Arsenic overpressure to stop the wafers from outgassing Arsenic. The temperature was low enough that you didn’t have to worry about the Phosphorous vapor pressure. I remember the ternary phase diagram of the Gallium/Arsenic/Zinc, was a weird triangular grid diagram, that we used to establish the zinc doping level at the wafer surface.

    Now that stuff was some really bad chemistry, compared to the nearly harmless Carbon Dioxide of Antarctica; which we now know, happily stays in the vapor phase; except when it dissolves in the water and ice.

    The N-type dopant that we put in the GaAs0.6P0.4 Epitaxial layers was the worst of the whole bunch; Tellurium. Don’t ever get near that stuff.

    In 12 or so years, we never had a toxic accident; not a single employee ever tested positive for Arsenic poisoning; although we did have the occasional Hydrogen fire, when a leaky reactor let some H2 loose which went up in the attic, and then went bang in some air conditioner motor.

    So why it took me so long to come to grips with the CO2 status, is either Alzheimers, or true idiocy.

    But thanx again Phil and Ric et al; being alone with a stick on a desert island beach is survivable; but it is nice to have some company to swap ideas with.

    George

  240. Just found some superb data, nice friendly graphs originally NASA GISS and UEA CRU. Use data from the horse’s mouth to show the truth. http://www.john-daly.com/stations/stations.htm. Simon Evans reports that Vostok data shows an up-trend in the time span of the paper, 1957-2008. But hey, look at the graph for Vostok and many other Antarctic stations here thanks to John Daly and Arctic stations too, at that web page. For goodness sake, Vostok and nearly all the Antarctics are FLAT FLAT FLAT overall, just a few have enough data to show heavy winter variations compared with small summer ones; and only the single station right up by the Falklands shows the warming that I would expect since it receives the warm ocean current from the rest of the globe that warmed in that time. John Daly collected those data up to 2001 so hey, they are a few years out of date, but so what? The predicted serious polar warming should have showed up decades earlier.

    Oh, and look at the Arctic data there for “Stykkisholmur & Teigarhorn” and “Vardo”.

    If you haven’t seen it yet, have more fun looking at Antarctica warming by paintwork

  241. William says:

    Jarhead
    Thanks for excel regression reference. I tried using the monthly Jan Data and still only got an R squared of .0223 with variations of temp between -7.0 and 0 degrees Celsius. There was an upward trend of of .0125.

    I’m going to keep working on it. It’s a great learning experience.
    Thanks
    Ed

  242. Simon Evans says:

    Lucy Skywalker (11:46:13) :

    Just found some superb data, nice friendly graphs originally NASA GISS and UEA CRU. Use data from the horse’s mouth to show the truth.

    John Daly’s website is not “the horse’s mouth”.

    Here is the READER data for Vostok:

    http://www.antarctica.ac.uk/met/READER/surface/Vostok.All.temperature.html

    I invite you to plot it and then to return to my statement above, that Vostok shows a positive trend over the period.

    ‘Scepticism’ should be applied to sources that seem to confirm your point of view just as much as to those which are in conflict with it, you know.

  243. jarhead says:

    William re regression

    I ran the Jan data and got 0.027 (vs your 0.023) for R^2. That means that the data is trendless, that there is no linear trend over time in the data. The “trend” 0f 0.0125 (I got 0.014) is meaningless.

    But we are not looking at the same data. I show a low of -6.2 for 1960 and a high of 0.9 for 2007. I got my data from here

    http://www.antarctica.ac.uk/met/READER/surface/McMurdo.All.temperature.html

    This means nothing to anyone except you and me, who are both having fun playing with numbers. No purpose using Anthony’s bandwidth. If you want to continue, I am jarhead60 on yahoo.

  244. Brendan H says:

    Gary Gulrud: “The issue here is a paper using WA stations with frequent gaps, one cause here illustrated, is interpolated and then used to replace EA data regarded as relatively reliable.”

    The article that heads this thread is all about problems with measuring temperatures in the Antarctic. Nothing there about the actual methodology of the study. As I understand it, the study uses a mix of satellite data for the interior of the Antarctic and ground measurements to calculate the temperature trend over the past 50 years. The station in question was apparently not used in the reconstruction.

    If the authors of the study have replaced east Antarctic data with west Antarctic data, presumably they have a rationale. What do the authors say?

    “What part of ‘incorrigible’ do you not understand?”

    In this context, not a lot. ‘Incorrigible’ can mean ‘habitual’, ‘persistent’, ‘incurable’, ‘hopeless’. Are you saying the study is incorrigible? The data? The authors?

  245. George E. Smith says:

    “” jarhead (14:08:22) :

    William re regression

    I ran the Jan data and got 0.027 (vs your 0.023) for R^2. That means that the data is trendless, that there is no linear trend over time in the data. The “trend” 0f 0.0125 (I got 0.014) is meaningless.

    But we are not looking at the same data. I show a low of -6.2 for 1960 and a high of 0.9 for 2007. I got my data from here

    http://www.antarctica.ac.uk/met/READER/surface/McMurdo.All.temperature.html

    This means nothing to anyone except you and me, who are both having fun playing with numbers. No purpose using Anthony’s bandwidth. If you want to continue, I am jarhead60 on yahoo. “”

    Can you hazard a guess as to what percentage of “Climatologists” or “Meteorlogists” are actually “Statisticians”

    In following these threads; or trying to, I see a large fraction of the posts seem to relate to statistics, which puzzles me.

    Of course one can do all manner of statistical manipulations on any arbitrary number set; even a set of numbers which have no mutual relationships of any kind; like the numbers in your local Phone book for example. Even if you don’t filter out anything, which clearly is not a telephone number, you can conduct an analysis on anything that is in the book which meets the definition of a number, and carries no alpha characters, but only numeric characters.

    The result of such statistical analyses on such a number set, of course has no scientific significance of any kind, yet it is a valid statistical analysis of the set of numbers.

    I wonder what is the expectation of doing such an analysis on a set of actual measured temperature data; even if the data sampling process is clearly in gross violation of the Nyquist theorem. That doesn’t invalidate the statistical analysis, but it most certainly invalidates any conclusions one might make about the results.

    So why the heavy emphasis on statistics?

    George; who just wants to know.

  246. jarhead says:

    Simon Evans (12:51:25) wrote

    “I invite you to plot it and then to return to my statement above, that Vostok shows a positive trend over the period.”

    I took the data from reader for August from 1958 to 2008, and i omitted the years with no data. I then ran a simple linear regression using years as the independent variable. There is a positive trend of 0.026 BUT the trend is meaningless because the R^2 is 0.012. The beta coefficient has low t and p values. The standard error is over 100 times as large as the trend. If you think the trend is meaningful, please tell me what method you used, the trend and the R^2 you calculated. Maybe I have an error, or I misunderstand, or I did it wrong.

    I agree that “John Daly’s website is not “the horse’s mouth”, and that almost all statements and data on the internet should not be blindly accepted. But as we have seen this week, the best data sources are sometimes corrupted. I also agree with you that “‘Scepticism’ should be applied to sources that seem to confirm your point of view just as much as to those which are in conflict with it…”

  247. Hugo M says:


    D. Patterson (05:26:34) :

    Here is another list of statons I ran across while looking for something else. Unfortunately, it notes the list may be incomplete with respect to stations without WMO identifiers.
    “(05/01/2009) WMO station list 1
    Stations and AWS sites in Antarctica (89xxx) and sub Antarctic Islands (88xxx and others)
    and ship call signs
    List updated 2009 January 5”
    “There are likely to be additional AWS without WMO station numbers”
    http://www.antarctica.ac.uk/met/jds/met/WMO_stations.pdf

    Thank you very much for this information. At least you get there a quick relation between current station ids and station names.

    But what I’m after is a database detailing the station history and field service interventions (digging up, moving, repairing, changing transmitters and so on). The U Wisconsin AWS web site mentioned earlier is really sloppy about all this important data. Station History is probably always empty. The field service entries for each year consist mostly of one lapidar entry like: dT sensor buried (The dT sensor seems to be a third temperature sensor, visible on some, but not all stations below the electronic box.)

    However, the provides much more details. There is a file “readme.updates”, which for example states

    02/19/04 — Data for Harry (8900) have been added for July, 2000. The file
    for July actually contained August data.

    The file readme.notes states:

    [...] So, a filename like 89060589.r would be data for site 8906 during May of 1989. Some files have an ‘x’ in the filename; this is done when there are data for the same ID # for two or more sites during the same month. An ‘x’ may replace the ’0′ in the month part of the filenames during January and February, and replace the leading 8 in March through December, or alternately replace the leading ’8′ for all months in question (prevalent with 1994-on) . It is important to watch for these files. [...]

    Seems likely, that the people busy in boiling down these files into the antarctic monthly means database had missed some of these hints. But one could use this history entries as hints for where to look for implausible or wrongly merged data.

    This brings me to my next point. How to detect buried sensors?

    1.) Reduced temperature variance.
    2.) Some of the station files have eight entries per line. The last column then gives the dT between the upper two and the lower temperature sensors.

    Then: If a station is buried much like Harry was in 2006, then the upper two sensors will measure mainly snow temperatures. The snow temperature itself will also be influenced by the heat plume emerging from the electronic box situated one meter below the sensors. That is certainly not much heat. Worst case: 12 Batteries * 12 Volt * 40 Ah = 5750 Wh. Assuming this being sufficient for running an AWS station for 180 days during polar winter, this gives an upper bound of 1.3 W of power consumption. One way or another, the major part of it should be dissipated as heat . Anyone able to come up with 0.01°/year, too?

  248. jarhead says:

    George E. Smith (16:16:49) :

    I am not an expert, I had to google Nyquist theorem, and I cannot comment on it.

    As to your question “So why the heavy emphasis on statistics?” The best answer that I have come across (and I don’t remember where I read it) is that climate science is not a experimental science. Therefore knowledge of relationships must be teased out of the history of measurements and proxies. Often statistic models are used to understand the past and to predict the future. I wish I could remember where i read this general idea, because their explanation is better than mine.

    I hope that helps.

  249. Hugo M says:

    Sorry, whenever I tried to embed a link here, strange things happen.


    However, the provides much more details.

    should read: the U wisconsing AWS ftp site “ftp://amrc.ssec.wisc.edu/pub/aws/10min/rdr” provides much more details.

    REPLY: You are making this too hard on yourself.
    Just type in the loink or paste it, WordPress will figure out the rest. Goin to lengths to put it in code only makes trouble. For example:

    ftp://amrc.ssec.wisc.edu/pub/aws/10min/rdr

    and

    http://www.wattsupwiththat

    were simply type in as you see them above, except that I did not put http:// before the www in the WUWT link, WordPress figures this out too. Voila! instant link upon pressing the submit button. – Anthony

  250. Ric Werme says:

    George E. Smith (11:15:11) :

    [Very interesting stuff deleted.]

    So why it took me so long to come to grips with the CO2 status, is either Alzheimers, or true idiocy.

    Wow, a lot of info there. I’ve occasionally wondered how people deal with growing some of those crystals. Drawn silicon crystals seem so much easier by comparison.

    Perhaps you were combing memories looking for cold vapor deposition and didn’t check the hot corner.

  251. E.M.Smith says:

    gary gulrud (07:27:18) :
    “sceptics’ reservations over Antarctic temperature measurement seem a trifle ad hoc,”

    Does this seem like cognitive dissonance, anyone? The issue here is a paper using WA stations with frequent gaps, one cause here illustrated, is interpolated and then used to replace EA data regarded as relatively reliable.

    What part of ‘incorrigible’ do you not understand?

    You left out the bit about having errors with order of magnitude of degrees and then becoming panicky over variations of 1/10 degree in the fictional composite from the erroneous data from the compromised thermometers.

    But yeah, I can live with ‘incorrigible’… nice summation.

  252. E.M.Smith says:

    Brendan H (23:24:08) :
    EM Smith: “A sudden and unexpected report of ’something changed’.”

    Any major change will attract comment. However, sceptics’ reservations over Antarctic temperature measurement seem a trifle ad hoc, given the previous acceptance of the temperature record, and slightly off target, given that the new assessment also depends on satellite measurements.

    Ad hoc? Certainly. We’re watching science unfold in real time. Messy. Ad Hoc. Vital and very interesting! This is how science ought to be, with a sense of wonder and discovery. Yes, I previously accepted the antarctic data too. And as of right now if a “new” study came out showing Antarctic cooling by 1 or 2 C I would reject it out of hand until the thermometer issues was resolved.

    Reliance on satellites? I’d call it a something else. We take satellites (that have their own issues) data then modify them based on land stations (that we just found “have issues”). The result is the union of both error sets. That pollutes the whole thing no matter if the result shows warming or cooling.

    And that’s what science is all about: studies, debates, more studies, all very productive. The other interesting aspect of this event is that we’re possibly seeing in real time the process of convergence as a scientific theory evolves.

    On this, we can completely agree.

  253. Simon Evans says:

    jarhead (17:03:23) :

    I agree: you will get rather similar results for the South Pole/Scott Base data, I believe, and indeed for many if not most of the stations with long-term data records. The SP downward trend was presented here (and has been on other blogs), without any comment on its statistical significance, as ‘evidence’ of the Steig findings being unsound. I therefore referred to the Vostok upward trend with the same absence of qualification. I observed a long way up this thread that the Antarctic data is hardly satisfactory. (My first comment on this matter was: “Your links show a negative trend for the South Pole. That is exactly what the Steig paper reported! One station does not tell us the temperature trend for an entire continent – have a look at Vostok data, for example, which has a positive trend for the same period.” Steig et al does illustrate both the SP negative and Vostok positive trends, but without comment upon their separate significance).

  254. Ron de Haan says:

    George E. Smith (16:16:49) :

    “So why the heavy emphasis on statistics?

    George; who just wants to know”.

    http://heliogenic.blogspot.com/2009/02/antarctic-warming.html
    “Whew! Finally we had proof that Antarctica as a whole was warming, and not cooling, after all. Global warming really was global now”.

  255. Wolfgang Flamme says:

    Anthony,

    looking out for some possible Antarctic BBQ effect, you might like this one:
    http://www.gdargaud.net/Antarctica/WinterDC3.html

  256. tty says:

    Realitycheck:

    “In the case of an igloo, there is a sizeable air cavity – is it not the air cavity that provides the insulation rather than the snow itself? The same theory with a duvet – it is the air gaps between fibers that provide for the insulation, not the fibers themselves.”

    Snow IS mostly air, about 80 % by volume when loose and about 60% when packed – thats why it is a good insulator.

    “In the case of a buried thermometer, I am assuming snow is in contact with the sensor and any air cavities are significantly smaller (basically the small air bubbles between each snow flake which of course would compact as more snow accumulated on top). I definitely accept that some minor heat will be released from the sensor, but in contact with snow, I wonder if that excess heat would be detectable as most of it would be used up in some minor local melting of contacting snow rather than in a discernible increase in temperature at the sensor. Its not like the sensor is in an igloo – it is in contact with the snow.”

    I don’t think you realize how cold it is in Antarctica. It would take one helluva heat source to cause even local melting, but not very much to raise the temperature of a sensor from say 50 to 40 below, since it will be well insulated by all that packed snow that is still 60% air space by volume.

  257. D. Patterson says:

    Wolfgang Flamme (07:52:36)

    Yes, very interesting commentary. There’s a heated anmometer set. Then there are the reported problems with the AWS data.

    “Another part of the problem is that the data is very dirty: it relies on very old satellite protocols and errors creep into the messages by the truckload (about one message out of two has errors). The AMRC is supposed to clean the data but they seem to have stopped doing that a few years ago.”
    http://www.gdargaud.net/Antarctica/WinterDC3.html

  258. George E. Smith says:

    Well just yesterday at lunch, I was sitting in the local Starbucks, sipping my daily post lunch coffee de jour (it’s even cheaper than at Dennys, and better too), and working on the daily Soduko puzzle; in walks a young (relative to me) lady, that only an hour earlier I had been searching for in her department (at the firm), because somebody had told me she was a Physicist; so I wanted to hit her up for some words of wisdom on phase diagrams. We had chatted at the coffee pot before, and she seemed pretty smart to me; even though she may be a Cal grad, or perhaps Stanford. I’m betting she has a PhD.

    Well dang it; she professes to not being a Physicist the way she sees it; strike one !
    Well she’s a “Materials Scientist”. Lucky me, so I smacked that one clear over the center field fence.

    “We are known for being able to understand Phase diagrams”; quoth she, “And I’ll bet you have the entire Iron/Carbon Binary Phase diagram committed to memory.” she followed up with. Ah ! she has a nice sense of humor too. I admitted to being an expert on the Gold/Silver diagram.

    So we hiked back to the plant together sipping on our Starbucks, and chattering about how CO2 snow can’t possibly form at Vostok Station, or at the South Pole; Phil and Ric have disabused me of that idiocy. So I have the GPS co-ordinates of her Cube committed to memory, and plan to extract some further wisdom from her in the future. We never had “Materials Scientists” when I went to University. There were Mathematicians; Physicists (applied mathematicians), and Chemists (applied Physicists); and then the biological sciences.

    I’m acutely aware that one of the books mysteriously missing from my library, is that wonderful two volume tome; “The Composition of Binary Alloys.” Maybe it’s Constitution rather than Composition; and I’ve wracked my brain trying to figure out how and when I came to lose that from my library; but I haven’t seen it in several years.

    If you have it; hang on to it; it’s a mine of information.

  259. Ric Werme says:

    George E. Smith (13:07:49) :

    Well just yesterday at lunch, I was sitting in the local Starbucks, sipping my daily post lunch coffee de jour (it’s even cheaper than at Dennys, and better too), and working on the daily Soduko puzzle; in walks a young (relative to me) lady, that only an hour earlier I had been searching for in her department (at the firm), because somebody had told me she was a Physicist; so I wanted to hit her up for some words of wisdom on phase diagrams.

    Definitely a scene that doesn’t happen on primetime TV.

    Next week, buy her the coffee, maybe she’ll lend you her copy of Binary Alloys.

  260. Wolfgang Flamme says:

    Actually I was referring to the annotation in this screenshot (upper right):
    http://www.gdargaud.net/Antarctica/Graphs/ConcordiAWSday2.png

  261. E.M.Smith says:

    Discussions with the Engineer friend who does robotics resulted in this idea:

    Make a tower base with 3 or 4 ‘snow screw anchors’ of about, for example, 4 m long. Screw them about 2 m in the snow. Wait. When snow approaches top, motors drive the screw anchors out of the snow to the 1/2 way (2 m) point. Wait. Repeat.

    Requires snow top sensors, motor driven snow anchor ‘feet’, battery, charger, controller package, level sensor, ‘stuck screw’ sensors. Snow screw anchor feet & motors need to be sized to the weights and loads of the tower package with enough strength to avoid bending when ‘screwing in’ or under load.

    Simple. Elegant. Fairly easy.

  262. E.M.Smith says:

    Oh, and the guy wires ‘pay out’ from winches proportional to height.

  263. anna v says:

    Brendan H (23:24:08) :

    Whatever, the report is sure to generate further study, especially since some other climate scientists have expressed reservations over the findings. And that’s what science is all about: studies, debates, more studies, all very productive.

    The other interesting aspect of this event is that we’re possibly seeing in real time the process of convergence as a scientific theory evolves.

    True, science dances into knowledge, one step forward two steps sideways etc., true of any scientific discipline.

    BUT let us not lose sight that what should have been a measured debate between scientists has become a big clobbering stick used by politicians to stampede the world governments into disastrous energy policies, and pyramid schemes that will make some people very rich while the hoi polloi will be getting poorer and poorer if not dying off like flies.

    “Children icely nicely” is really not the issue.

  264. George E. Smith says:

    “” Ric Werme (15:00:47) :

    George E. Smith (13:07:49) :

    Definitely a scene that doesn’t happen on primetime TV.

    Next week, buy her the coffee, maybe she’ll lend you her copy of Binary Alloys. “”

    Ric, it turns out she doesn’t havea copy of “The Constitution of Binary Alloys.”; I would almost bet she’s never seen a copy.

    But she soon will; I ordered a used copy (2nd Edition) from Amazon, and also the First Supplement; so in about two weeks I will have it in my library again.

    It turns out, that we have outsourced so much of our work to “overseas” and lost so many technical people to attrition and “work force management” that we don’t have a lot of people who seem to know much basic stuff any more. Everybody knows how to Google; but there are few around here that could hold a conversation with sticks on a desert island sandy beach.

    And by the way; to Phil, thanks for posting the Shakespeare text of “Sylvia”. I’m not surprised to find its origin.

    I was never a Shakespeare fan at school; well English was the only foreign language I ever studied, and it was mostly literature, which bored the hell out of me. But I know I have seen Othello on the stage, and pretty sure I have seen no other of the plays. What a loss.

    But I’m probably the only person on this planet, who ever read the entire eight volumes of “The Prose Works of Richard Wagner.” A couple of years ago, I mentioned that on a Sailing website, and a friend at the UofA went into the Library, and found that the Library Cards for those books were still in the back of the books, and still had my signatures on them from the 1960 era. They had been so little read, that the library staff hadn’t gotten around to inputting them into their computer data base. Two of the volumes had no other signatures but mine; either before or since I read them.

    She flogged the Library cards out of the whole set, and sent them to me.

    George

  265. Brendan H says:

    Anna v: “…what should have been a measured debate between scientists has become a big clobbering stick used by politicians…”

    Well, scientists can become quite passionate in debate. However, the IPCC has warned of the risks to humans of climate change arising from the continued emission of greenhouse gases, and politicians have a responsibility to take these warnings seriously.

    Given the tardy record of politicians in this matter, I’d say that they would rather ignore the problem. Their primary concern is the interests of their own territory, which very often overrule the wider interest, as we are now seeing with moves towards trade protectionism.

    “…some people very rich while the hoi polloi will be getting poorer and poorer if not dying off like flies.”

    That’s a very alarmist view. I doubt very much that any developed country would accept an economic system where a few became rich while the poor were allowed to die “like flies”.

    As for poor countries, the IPCC makes specific mention of the need to provide assistance to poorer countries so they are not disadvantaged by climate change action.

    And it may well be that newer technologies would be of great benefit to poorer countries, allowing them to leapfrog past the fossil fuel stage, in the same way that Asian countries were able to quickly industrialise by borrowing western technology and avoiding the development stage.

  266. George E. Smith says:

    Brendan,

    Isn’t that what the whole political climate change debate is all about. It has very little to do with climate, and virtually nothing to do with catastrophe, but it does have to do with crippling the economies of the developed world.
    The old world socialists have seized the trappings of ecology and environmentalism and used that to foster fear among the ignorant.

    It used to be that the witch doctors preyed on the fears of the natives, to gain controlling power over them. This evolved into the organised religions of the world which do the same thing, with the Priests demanding allegiance fromt heir flocks.

    So the climate scaremongers, ar elittle more than the witchdoctors of primitive tribal voodoo. The worse they picture the coming calamity which they alone predict, the more political control over behavior they obtain.

    Now they teach their tripe to our kids in school, so the kids are all brain washed, before they ever get out into the world. They even have young kids committing suicide to avoid the coming climate catastrophe. Little do they know that whatever climate catastrophe may come next, it is highly unlikely to be global warming; far more likely to be an ice age of some sort.

  267. Brendan H says:

    George E Smith: “Isn’t that what the whole political climate change debate is all about. It has very little to do with climate, and virtually nothing to do with catastrophe, but it does have to do with crippling the economies of the developed world.”

    I don’t follow your argument. In the political arena the debate is about mitigating climate change. I don’t see anyone suggesting the best way to cripple the economies of developed countries.

    In fact, most of the commentators that I read are concerned at preserving our existing civilisation and way of life. Sure, you’ll always get your Luddites and back-to-nature types, but I don’t think they represent the majority of people who are concerned about global warming.

    As for witch doctors and voodoo, I think science does a better job of explaining the causes of climate events than witch doctors could offer. One of the reasons I frequent a website like Real Climate is because they offer explanations for the AGW theory in language that is reasonably accessible to the intelligent layman.

  268. Alan Wilkinson says:

    Brendan, as a layman you may like the simple, black and white expositions at Real Climate. As an (ex-)scientist I found them sickeningly political, one-sided and intolerably offensive towards any doubts and challenges.

    RC is a total travesty of what I believe science is all about – as Feynman put it, “science is the belief in the ignorance of experts”:
    http://www.fotuva.org/feynman/what_is_science.html

    The reason only one side of the story appears at RC is that all other sides are either ruthlessly suppressed or distorted and ridiculed.

  269. Richard Sharpe says:

    Brendan says:

    I don’t follow your argument. In the political arena the debate is about mitigating climate change. I don’t see anyone suggesting the best way to cripple the economies of developed countries.

    In fact, most of the commentators that I read are concerned at preserving our existing civilisation and way of life. Sure, you’ll always get your Luddites and back-to-nature types, but I don’t think they represent the majority of people who are concerned about global warming.

    You are naive in the extreme if that is what you see.

    I come from the working class, although I am a long way from there now, but there is lots of scepticism about the actual motives of the elites and political classes. They always claim that are trying to help prevent catastrophes all the while ensuring their pockets are full. Perhaps you are an aspiring political animal.

  270. Brendan H says:

    Richard Sharpe: “I come from the working class, although I am a long way from there now, but there is lots of scepticism about the actual motives of the elites and political classes.”

    I’m sure there is. But the fact that the working class is or may be sceptical of “elites and political classes” does not necessarily say anything about the motivations of the latter. Moreover, I don’t believe that the elite are any more or less greedy than the working class. The difference is that elites have more opportunity to fill their pockets.

    In any case, the thoroughgoing cynicism that you exhibit is ultimately counterproductive. If the “elites and political classes” are indeed thoroughly corrupt, you will have to discount the views of the likes of Christopher Monckton and Senator Inhofe and all those elite sceptical climate scientists.

    I think what you might be trying to say is that you will trust some people but not others. If so, we would be on the same page.

  271. Brendan H says:

    Alan Wilkinson: “Brendan, as a layman you may like the simple, black and white expositions at Real Climate. As an (ex-)scientist I found them sickeningly political, one-sided and intolerably offensive towards any doubts and challenges.”

    I guess one’s judgement depends on one’s perspective. Many climate sites – pro and con – are heavily political, one-sided and dismissive towards opponents.

    But I wasn’t talking about tone, rather about the amount and depth of information about climate.

  272. gary gulrud says:

    “If correct, then the paper is not discredited. If incorrect then Gavin/Eric’s credibility becomes zero.”

    Have a gander at CA on Harry. As stated above, despite false assertions to the contrary, the data are not available.

    ‘Innocent until proven guilty’ is not an accreditation of scientific practice. ‘Show all work’ is a minimal requirement. Your delusion is not contagious.

  273. gary gulrud says:

    “The article that heads this thread is all about problems with measuring temperatures in the Antarctic. Nothing there about the actual methodology of the study.”

    The post associated with this thread clearly acknowledges Mann, Steig 2008, as the context. Many commenters above have had no difficulty ascertaining this fact.

    You are obstructing discourse with deliberately obtuse misdirections and misrepresentations of your counterparts’ reasoning.

  274. George E. Smith says:

    “”” Brendan H (02:07:34) :

    George E Smith: “Isn’t that what the whole political climate change debate is all about. It has very little to do with climate, and virtually nothing to do with catastrophe, but it does have to do with crippling the economies of the developed world.”

    I don’t follow your argument. In the political arena the debate is about mitigating climate change. I don’t see anyone suggesting the best way to cripple the economies of developed countries.

    In fact, most of the commentators that I read are concerned at preserving our existing civilisation and way of life. Sure, you’ll always get your Luddites and back-to-nature types, but I don’t think they represent the majority of people who are concerned about global warming.

    As for witch doctors and voodoo, I think science does a better job of explaining the causes of climate events than witch doctors could offer. One of the reasons I frequent a website like Real Climate is because they offer explanations for the AGW theory in language that is reasonably accessible to the intelligent layman. “””

    Then Brendan you are simply not reading a broad enough selection of information sources.

    The IPCC and KYOTO and similar accords, have nothing much to do with preserving the environment; from a climate point of view there is nothing wrong with the environment; it changes; it always has.

    But the developed world runs on stored chemical energy; and other products of the “fossil” fuels business. The only viable primary energy option is Nuclear, and the same people who demonize Hydrocarbon energy sources also are against nuclear.

    The demonization of hydrocarbon sourced energy and chemistry is all based on the mistaken belief that CO2 controls the climate; it doesn’t; and in view of that; the USA and most nations are already self sufficient on energy; or can get it readily from friendly sources.

    If you don’t see that, then you need to do a lot more reading.

    As for Reall Climate, I tried joining in on their discussions; they are not interested in alternative views of the Science.

    I’ve been a Working physicist for 50 years; ion environments where the only criterion was that my stuff had to work, and make money for my employer. I wasn’t graded on peer reviewed papers or technical seminar presentations; the only peer reviewed papers I am even allowed to author, are filed in the US Patent Office.

    So I have a very short attention span when it comes to dealing with people who have some agenda; that doesn’t really aim at getting to the scientific truth; to the extent that we can do that.

    So Real Climate is for people who like to stand around in a circle, and pat the guy in front of them on the back.
    It’s certainly not for open discourse on science issues. But you are welcome to believe otherwise.

    Ignorance is NOT a deisease; we are all born with it; but stupidity has to be taught; and there are plenty of people willing and able to teach it.

    You’ll find a good selection of them at Real Climate.

  275. Brendan H says:

    Gary Gulrud: “The post associated with this thread clearly acknowledges Mann, Steig 2008, as the context.”

    Two points.

    1. The article that heads this thread is about the difficulties of measuring temperatures in Antarctica, not about the methodology of the Steig study, just as I claimed.

    2. My original claim was that scepticism about Antarctic temperatures arose in the wake of this study. Where AGW sceptics had previously accepted the Antarctic temperature record and used it to cast doubt on global warming, they are now sceptical about that same temperature record.

    The most likely reason for this sudden bout of scepticism is the publication of the Steig study. So you are quite right to finger the study as the context for this doubt.

  276. Brendan H says:

    George E Smith: “The IPCC and KYOTO and similar accords, have nothing much to do with preserving the environment…”

    I made no mention of “preserving the environment”. You are reading your own views into my post.

    “So Real Climate is for people who like to stand around in a circle, and pat the guy in front of them on the back. It’s certainly not for open discourse on science issues. But you are welcome to believe otherwise.”

    Well, from the point of view of this layperson, Real Climate provides a good deal of background to climate issues, and the comments sections certainly appear to include discussions on science.

    You clearly have bad memories about your reception at Real Climate, and there is obviously much bad blood between the Real Climate people and the likes of Climate Audit, and perhaps AGW sceptics in general.

    That’s unfortunate, but it’s often the way in scientific disputes – they become intractable, and the enmities persist without resolution.

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