RSS Global Temperature Anomaly also down in May, halving the April value

RSS May 2009-520

Click for a larger image

The RSS (Remote Sensing Systems of Santa Rosa, CA) Microwave Sounder Unit (MSU) lower troposphere global temperature anomaly data for March 2009 was published yesterday and has dropped after peaking in January.   The change from April with a value of 0.202°C to May’s 0.09°C is a (∆T) of  -0.112°C.

Recent RSS anomalies

2008 10 0.181
2008 11 0.216
2008 12 0.174
2009 01 0.322
2009 02
0.230
2009 03
0.172
2009 04 0.202
2009 05 0.090


RSS (Remote Sensing Systems, Santa Rosa)
The RSS data is here (RSS Data Version 3.2)

Oddly, a divergence developed in the Feb 09 data between RSS and UAH, and opposite in direction to boot. UAH was 0.347 and RSS was 0.230

 I spoke with Dr. Roy Spencer at the ICCC09 conference (3/10) and asked him about the data divergence.

Here is what he had to say:

“I believe it has to do with the differences in how diurnal variation is tracked and adjusted for.” he said. I noted that Feburary was a month with large diurnal variations.

For that reason, UAH has been using data from the AQUA satellite MSU, and RSS to my knowledge does not, and makes an adjustment to account for it. I believe our data [UAH] is probably closer to the true anomaly temperature, and if I’m right, we’ll see the two datasets converge again when the diurnal variations are minimized.”

It certainly looks like the data sets are converging now, with a scant difference in May of .047°C and that Dr. Spencer was right.

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152 thoughts on “RSS Global Temperature Anomaly also down in May, halving the April value

  1. Despite of the near-neutral ENSO conditions the global temperature is falling again. Last year the UK MetOffice predicted that the year 2009 will be at least the fifth warmest on record, and just the recently observed La Nina conditions preventing it from being even warmer.

    The latest La Nina has gone, and this year is lightyears away from being the 5th warmest or higher. Something is not right with the forecast mechanism used by the MetOffice. Since 1999, they have forecasted too high values for every years. They have been wrong all the time, and always to the same direction. It can’t be just a random error, it must be a very clear bias.

  2. Love the website, love the data, man made global warming is a farce, I have always believed it, but this website just keeps enforcing my opinion (and just about everyone I speak to).
    Now, how are we going to stop the idiot politicians before they ruin us all?
    What can we all do? Any guidance? Any ideas for positive action? We have to get this insanity stopped?
    P

  3. I have stopped using the UK met office for any weather forecasts, they are almost always incorrect, and the website is now nothing more than a man made global warming propaganda shop window.
    P

  4. “Dr. Spencer was right.”

    All of this research and reporting – atmosphere, oceans, solar, weather stations – is multifaceted and globe spanning. Thus, it is difficult to keep up with small parts of it. I always find Dr. Spencer’s reports and statements encouraging because he always writes in a very accessible manner, makes sense, and knows how different parts relate to one another. In the current case I feel confident that these data are reasonable because Spencer says they make sense to him and tells why.

    In contrast, and very discouraging, when presented with a report from an avowed or closet “warmest” the assumption is one of being conned and trying to figure out how they are doing it.

  5. Always a pleasure to see the cherry-picked examples of lower temperatures. Reading this site, one would get the impression that the world is getting colder, and would hardly know that we are in the midst of the hottest decade ever, or that last year was hotter than the average of the previous record holder for the hottest decade ever (1990s).

    BTW, I noticed the NSIDC has resumed reporting arctic ice loss. Sadly, it shows that 2009 loss is well below normal and has almost exceed the record year for this time of year. I remember you had quite a number of posts when it was only a little less than average, and a few more when it went offline. Will you run a few more now that it shows results inconsistent with your hypothesis?

  6. Adam Soereg (12:00:22) :

    Despite of the near-neutral ENSO conditions the global temperature is falling again. Last year the UK MetOffice predicted that the year 2009 will be at least the fifth warmest on record, and just the recently observed La Nina conditions preventing it from being even warmer.

    A little caution might be advisable here. There tends to be a lag between ENSO events and satellite temperatures. RSS and UAH temperatures are probably only now responding to the low point of SST which happened a couple of months ago. Hadley and GISS anomalies are likely to increase over the next few months with RSS and UAH following suit by the end of the summer.

  7. Tracking each month’s values is about as exciting as watching the paint dry on this (& the UAH) thirty year data collection project. In eyeballing the thing, I can see why the more fanatical of AGW proponents are sounding hysterical of late — after leveling off for a few years, the last 4-5 years seem suggestive of a falling temperature trendline. Ah well, such are the vagaries of climate – those damn cycles keep hiding all that warming.

    Speaking of the vagaries of climate – remember the big disaster in the making last year in the SE US – the record setting drought? Atlanta’s water supply in Lake Lanier was drying up (man-made lake). Well, it seems it’s been a soggy spring in the SE this year with weekend plans washed out too often. As for the drought conditions…

    http://www.drought.unl.edu/dm/monitor.html

    So much for the hysterics of the talking heads.

  8. Well the Met Office predicted a “BBQ Summer” and yet here we are 2 weeks from midsummer and we have snow in England on the Pennines. A very rare event and there’ll be some interesting pictures about in tomorrow’s papers. So yes Grayuk, the Met Office’s forecast are next to useless. Independent forecasts have confirmed the likelihood for another floody summer with a sunken jet and wave after wave of vile, vomit-inducing cloudy wet days. As usual things are going against the Met with up to 4 inches of rain due in places this weekend, threatening more flooding.

  9. “Well the Met Office predicted a “BBQ Summer” and yet here we are 2 weeks from midsummer and we have snow in England on the Pennines.”

    You have to be kidding me. Were you the only man in england who missed the heat wave we just had? Barbeque weather..in spring. But 3 days of average temperature means that the Met Office is wrong….ahh

    Oh and Midsummer isn’t actually “mid summer”. We’ve only had 5 days of summer so far.

  10. skeptic (12:20:59) :

    Always a pleasure to see the cherry-picked examples of lower temperatures. Reading this site, one would get the impression that the world is getting colder, and would hardly know that we are in the midst of the hottest decade ever, or that last year was hotter than the average of the previous record holder for the hottest decade ever…

    Spoken like a fact-deficient True Believer: click

    Notice that global temperatures are about the same as they were in 1979 – 80. The theory of natural climate variability predicts that temperatures will oscillate above and below a gradually increasing trend line from the LIA. That is exactly what’s happening.

  11. “”” skeptic (12:20:59) :

    Always a pleasure to see the cherry-picked examples of lower temperatures. Reading this site, one would get the impression that the world is getting colder, and would hardly know that we are in the midst of the hottest decade ever, or that last year was hotter than the average of the previous record holder for the hottest decade ever (1990s).

    BTW, I noticed the NSIDC has resumed reporting arctic ice loss. Sadly, it shows that 2009 loss is well below normal and has almost exceed the record year for this time of year. I remember you had quite a number of posts when it was only a little less than average, and a few more when it went offline. Will you run a few more now that it shows results inconsistent with your hypothesis? “””

    Well you need to watch your words anonymous skeptic. We know for absolute certain that planet earth has had periods of ten years (decade) where it was considerably hotter than the last ten years, and would beat the warmest of the last ten yeras in every one of those earlier hotter decade years.

    So clearly this is not the hottest decade ever. It very well might be the hottest decade since about 1978 when polar satellites were first launched, and also the Argo buoys were first put out in the ocean.

    Prior to that we don’t have any idea what the mean global surface or lower troposphere temperature was; because we never measured it before then.

    So you are simply wrong in your assertion. But lets give you the hottest decade since 1978.

    Have you ever noticed how high values of a function tend to congregate around the peak of that function. Conversely, numerous studies have also shown that low values of a function tend to congregate around the minimum of that function ? Don’t you think that is odd ? It’s almost like the observations that some of the highest altitudes on the planet can be found up in the mountains.

    Weird, if you ask me.

  12. Climate Progress has moved it WUWT bashing article back to the top of the heap! This isn’t over by a long shot.

    Don’t forget to watch The Goode family!

    Ubuntu

  13. Germany has really been sold on this whole global warming thing. Here’ a good chuckle the Goode’s would appreciate.

    June 4 (Bloomberg) — Germany’s last glacier, located above the Bavarian resort of Garmisch-Partenkirchen, is getting a protective tarpaulin to help shield it from summer melting.

    Ubuntu (left tackle extraordinaire)

  14. Alan, it would be great if you could post Dr. Roy Spencer power point presentation that he gave at the ICCC09 conference (3/10)

  15. skeptic (12:20:59) :

    [...]

    BTW, I noticed the NSIDC has resumed reporting arctic ice loss. Sadly, it shows that 2009 loss is well below normal and has almost exceed the record year for this time of year. I remember you had quite a number of posts when it was only a little less than average, and a few more when it went offline. Will you run a few more now that it shows results inconsistent with your hypothesis?

    Both sides in the global warming debate overstate the effect of global temperatures on the Arctic sea ice extent and thickness. As another commenter pointed out, regional atmospheric circulation patterns may be the biggest factor. This is acknowledged by the NSIDC, which closes its 6/3/09 Report with this statement:

    “Whether or not Arctic sea ice reaches a new record low this summer will depend on the circulation patterns that set up over the next few months.”
    (From http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/.)

    This was also acknowledged by NASA after the great 2007 summer melt:

    “[Dr.] Nghiem said the rapid decline in winter perennial ice the past two years was caused by unusual winds. “Unusual atmospheric conditions set up wind patterns that compressed the sea ice, loaded it into the Transpolar Drift Stream and then sped its flow out of the Arctic,” he said. When that sea ice reached lower latitudes, it rapidly melted in the warmer waters. “The winds causing this trend in ice reduction were set up by an unusual pattern of atmospheric pressure that began at the beginning of this century,” Nghiem said.”
    (From: http://www.nasa.gov/vision/earth/lookingatearth/quikscat-20071001.html.)

    And:

    “A team of NASA and university scientists has detected an ongoing reversal in Arctic Ocean circulation triggered by atmospheric circulation changes that vary on decade-long time scales. The results suggest not all the large changes seen in Arctic climate in recent years are a result of long-term trends associated with global warming. ”
    (From http://www.nasa.gov/vision/earth/lookingatearth/ipy-20071113.html.)

    Finally, Anthony has recently posted two excellent animations of changes in Arctic sea ice over time based on satellite imagery. You can see the dramatic effect of the circulation patterns with your own eyes.

  16. Quote: skeptic

    Always a pleasure to see the cherry-picked examples of lower temperatures. Reading this site, one would get the impression that the world is getting colder, and would hardly know that we are in the midst of the hottest decade ever, or that last year was hotter than the average of the previous record holder for the hottest decade ever (1990s).

    BTW, I noticed the NSIDC has resumed reporting arctic ice loss. Sadly, it shows that 2009 loss is well below normal and has almost exceed the record year for this time of year. I remember you had quite a number of posts when it was only a little less than average, and a few more when it went offline. Will you run a few more now that it shows results inconsistent with your hypothesis?

    I agree with your first notion, skeptic. Considering how many cherry-picked examples we see that fit the AGW agenda, it’s nice to get some to the contrary, along with some well-reasoned analysis of the problems inherent in sea-ice extent measurement and data records.

    I for one will keep watching the sea ice record and see what happens in the crucial months of July and August. Minimum extent is what gets the press. Keep in mind that at this time in 2006 there was less ice and the melt speed levelled off substantially compared to 2007. You can see it in the AMSRE graph above.

    You’re also completely ignoring Antarctic ice, which is doing just fine, thanks.

  17. For those who missed Przemysław Pawełczyk’s link to it a few days ago on the Lindzen thread, I prepared a post about the RSS MSU TLT Time-Latitude plot that many of you would find interesting:

    http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2009/06/rss-msu-tlt-time-latitude-plots.html

    I tried to use one of the figures from it in a comment at ClimateProgress, on the latest post in which Joe Romm attacks the “BREATHAKING ignorance” of WUWT by misspelling breathtaking in his headline. I wonder if Romm sees the humor in that.

    But alas! My comment, which I saved, did not make it past Joe Romm’s filter. Each time I try to post a comment there with graphs that show cause and effect, my comment is deleted. Here’s the comment I posted at 12:37PM today (6/6/09) that failed to make it through:

    Regarding the well-documented Polar Amplification, refer to RealClimate thread here:

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2007/12/tropical-troposphere-trends

    Real Climate writes, “Whether the warming is from greenhouse gases, El Nino’s, or solar forcing, trends aloft are enhanced. For instance, the GISS model equilibrium runs with 2xCO2 or a 2% increase in solar forcing both show a maximum around 20N to 20S around 300mb (10 km):”
    #
    The following are two illustrations from the RealClimate thread. The first shows the tropical enhancement and polar amplification for a doubling of CO2 and the second illustrates the same effects for a 2% increase in solar irradiance.

    RealClimate continues: “The first thing to note about the two pictures is how similar they are. They both have the same enhancement in the tropics and similar amplification in the Arctic. They differ most clearly in the stratosphere (the part above 100mb) where CO2 causes cooling while solar causes warming. It’s important to note however, that these are long-term equilibrium results and therefore don’t tell you anything about the signal-to-noise ratio for any particular time period or with any particular forcings.

    “If the pictures are very similar despite the different forcings that implies that the pattern really has nothing to do with greenhouse gas changes, but is a more fundamental response to warming (however caused). Indeed, there is a clear physical reason why this is the case – the increase in water vapour as surface air temperature rises causes a change in the moist-adiabatic lapse rate (the decrease of temperature with height) such that the surface to mid-tropospheric gradient decreases with increasing temperature (i.e. it warms faster aloft). This is something seen in many observations and over many timescales, and is not something unique to climate models.”
    #####
    To create the polar amplification profile illustrated in the above figures in the GCMs, there had to be a doubling of CO2 or a 2% increase in solar irradiance. Neither happened in the last 3 to 4 decades, so what created the polar amplification profile? Real Climate provides the answer. El Nino events.

    Since 1976, did we endure a string of El Nino events whose frequency and magnitude greatly outweighed La Nina events? Most assuredly.

    And when did polar amplification become evident in the Northern high latitudes? Immediately after the 1997/98 El Nino. It’s very visible in the RSS MSU Time-Latitude plot. I’ll make it easier to see with a time-series graph along side.

    Regards

  18. John Finn. You have indicated that you are an expert at predictions. When, exactly, will the UAH global anomaly exceed the .76 recorded for April 1998 ? Plus or minus a month or two would be close enough. Thanks fm

  19. Smokey says:

    Notice that temperatures are about the same as they were in 1979 – 80. The theory of natural climate variability predicts that temperatures will oscillate above and below a gradually increasing trend line from the LIA. That is exactly what’s happening.

    That’s not a theory…it’s just giving fancy names to observations. Why are we still recovering from the LIA? What evidence do you have for this and what is the mechanism that is leading to this warming?

  20. Always a pleasure to see the cherry-picked examples of lower temperatures.

    That is dead on, rather than cherry picking some outlying data point to try to make some bogus point, Steve should be looking at the most current data.

    Oh. Nevermind.

  21. For that reason, UAH has been using data from the AQUA satellite MSU, and RSS to my knowledge does not, and makes an adjustment to account for it. I believe our data [UAH] is probably closer to the true anomaly temperature, and if I’m right, we’ll see the two datasets converge again when the diurnal variations are minimized.”

    It certainly looks like the data sets are converging now, with a scant difference in May of .047°C and that Dr. Spencer was right.

    How is Spencer right, has RSS changed to the Aqua satellite? If RSS are still using their drift compensation method then it would appear by Spencer’s logic that he was not right and that the source of error is not the drift compensation. Or perhaps May was a month with small diurnal variation, anyone know?

  22. John Finn (12:25:06) :

    [I]…Hadley and GISS anomalies are likely to increase over the next few months with RSS and UAH following suit by the end of the summer….[/I]

    End of summer, possible. But for the next one or two month, I’m GISS-ing,
    all four may go down a little bit further.

    I like to compare UAH MSU (Global, Sea) to Pacific WWV from TAO.
    The warm water volume does cange direction from month to month only
    slightly, so accumulation will be for two more month.

    Pacific Warm Water Volume vs. UAH MSU (Global, Sea), here:

  23. UKIPer (12:41:31) :

    Well the Met Office predicted a “BBQ Summer” and yet here we are 2 weeks from midsummer and we have snow in England on the Pennines. A very rare event and there’ll be some interesting pictures about in tomorrow’s papers. So yes Grayuk, the Met Office’s forecast are next to useless. Independent forecasts have confirmed the likelihood for another floody summer with a sunken jet and wave after wave of vile, vomit-inducing cloudy wet days. As usual things are going against the Met with up to 4 inches of rain due in places this weekend, threatening more flooding.

    C’mon man (?) don’t hide behind your UKIP political banner!

    Fact is the Met office is doing very well with it’s forecasts, that the rain atm is very localised (as in any high hills snow). Readers here need to know that and not be inadvertently misled.

    Wrt the summer just started, it looks as if another (we’ve all ready seen warm weather this June) warm spell is on the card by next weekend. My advice is to not make it so obvious you’re getting you retaliation in early while we’re between hot spells ;).

  24. John D.Aleo gives a reality check from ICECAP regarding the El-Nino prospects

    http://icecap.us/images/uploads/Romms_Fairy_Tales.pdf

    Also, didn’t EarlHapp say something of something he expects will hold up this development before El-Nino is official, don’t forget the PDO cool signature and the dropping of the AMO according to Unisys (which gets its daily readings from Bouys with no heat sinks because of ships)

    http://weather.unisys.com/surface/sst_anom.html

  25. Ubuntu (13:25:29) :

    {i}…Germany has really been sold on this whole global warming thing.
    Here’ a good chuckle the Goode’s would appreciate….{/i}

    Yeah, and the national german weather service (DWD, http://www.dwd.de)
    did already on the 27th of April give a note to the press, that
    according to first analysis, it was the hottest April ever.
    Was on the biggest tabloid here.

    A week later, the update (April was only 2nd hottest ever),
    nobody took notice. Same was with: December/January/February
    as season was among the coldest three seasons of the last 25 years.
    Sure, that’s only weather.

  26. Joel Shore (13:48:43) :

    [...]

    Why are we still recovering from the LIA? What evidence do you have for this and what is the mechanism that is leading to this warming?

    Because the Earth’s climate is always recovering from the last thing that happened to it.

    We’ll be recovering from the LIA for the next couple of hundred years…Then we’ll be recovering from the MWP (Modern Warm Period). Eventually the Earth’s climate will start recovering from the Holocene.

    On a “local scale”…We’re currently recovering from the last positive shift in the PDO…In about 25 years we’ll be recovering from the recent negative shift in the PDO.

    For the last couple of months, we’ve been recovering from winter…In about four months we’ll start recovering from summer.

    Today we are recovering from last night…Word has it that tonight we will be recovering from today.

    Tomorrow I expect to be recovering from a hang-over.

    You’re right…Not a theory…Just a fancy name for an intuitively obvious observation…;-))

  27. Dave Middleton (14:17:50)

    very good Dave, very witty, but you forgot to give Joel the mechanism so i will give him a hint. It’s big and yellow and it rises to damn early every morning and goes down to damn early when I’m fishing. :)

  28. Dave Middleton (14:17:50) :
    re: Joel

    Dave,
    he’s still drinking AGW, his hang-over will come later.

  29. Adam from Kansas. Note that the ” dynamic” models predict El Nino, and the ” statistical” models predict neutral. With the ONI for march-april-may at minus .1 and a cool PDO and AMO, an El Nino seems unlikely for me. As Joe points out, the vertical temp structure looks similar, but lacks the signature cool pool at 150m, 160e-180e. It sure is fun to speculate! More so since we will only have to wait a few months. fm

  30. “”” jh (14:08:45) :

    Off topic I know but does anyone know if there is a historic gloabal temperature anomally data set available that corrects the bucket problem discussed here a while back – link below. As far as I know data sets like Hadcrut3 are uncorreceted, as you would expect, have they been superceded? “””

    Well jh, there couldn’t be any such corrected data set; and there never will be.

    Check Geophysical Research Letters for Jan 2001. John Christy et al.

    They report on about 20 years of the Argo buoy data. Actual water temperature measurements from a fixed (?1 metre) depth, and simultaneous air temperatures at a fixed (?3 meter) height.

    The air temperaturews reported only about 60% of the warming that the water temperatures reported for the succeeding 20 odd years; showing that the previous 150 years of oceanic temperature measures were wrong vaslues to use as a proxy for the lower troposphere temperatures that the land sensors measure.

    More importantly the data shows that the air and the water temperatures are not even correlated; let alone identical as had previously been assumed.

    Consequently the lower air temperatures over the ocean can never be reconstructed prior to about 1980. That’s data for more than 70% of the earth’s surface.

    So prior to 1980ish; we have no idea what the global mean lower troposphere temperature was.

  31. Khuffy – we had 3 days of clear skies and hot weather. Then we have had 3 days of clear skies and cold weather.

    My reading of this graph is that between 1980 and now temperatures have gone up and down a lot and right now are back were we started. So, after 30 years of alleged global warming, temperatures are exactly the same.

  32. “Skeptic,” I wonder how long it will take for you to catch up. You are apparently still stuck on the original Mann “hockey stick” assertions about the relationship between temperatures in the Nineties and previous times.

    Please read this. It will help you catch up. And, as you read it, keep at least these two things in mind: (1) “plausible” doesn’t mean anything like “certain,” and (2) the Little Ice Age was near its coldest period 400 years ago, so the warming that ended the LIA may have simply continued since the year 1600 cited in this report.

    http://www8.nationalacademies.org/onpinews/newsitem.aspx?RecordID=11676

    The report was requested by Congress after a controversy arose last year over surface temperature reconstructions published by climatologist Michael Mann and his colleagues in the late 1990s. The researchers concluded that the warming of the Northern Hemisphere in the last decades of the 20th century was unprecedented in the past thousand years. In particular, they concluded that the 1990s were the warmest decade, and 1998 the warmest year. Their graph depicting a rise in temperatures at the end of a long era became known as the “hockey stick.”

    The Research Council committee found the Mann team’s conclusion that warming in the last few decades of the 20th century was unprecedented over the last thousand years to be plausible, but it had less confidence that the warming was unprecedented prior to 1600; fewer proxies — in fewer locations — provide temperatures for periods before then. Because of larger uncertainties in temperature reconstructions for decades and individual years, and because not all proxies record temperatures for such short timescales, even less confidence can be placed in the Mann team’s conclusions about the 1990s, and 1998 in particular.

  33. I’m never ever going back to climate progress. The owner seemed nice enough, but there were people there that were making open threats against some for expressing their sincerely held views. I wonder why the owner of that site would allow that?
    Mike

  34. Hi Frank, can you tell me the difference between dynamic and statistical models and which ones have been shown to be more accurate?

    Also I noticed there was no cool pool in the spot you described and BOM.gov is showing the surplus warm water in the western half of their depth maps almost gone. (after declining for a while). It depends on whether or not El-Ninos are supplied by water from the west near Indonesia or from the east near South America, if the west then El-Nino’s starting to look a bit more unlikely without that anomalously warm water supplying it to kick it into full gear, one more indication of a domino or two refusing to fall is the recent increase in cloudiness near the date-line.

  35. Ubuntu (13:20:02) :

    Climate Progress has moved it WUWT bashing article back to the top of the heap! This isn’t over by a long shot.

    Don’t forget to watch The Goode family!

    Ubuntu

    I can’t see it. WebSense blocks ClimateProgress.com for sex.

  36. “Joel Shore (13:48:43)

    Why are we still recovering from the LIA? What evidence do you have for this and what is the mechanism that is leading to this warming?”

    As you and the rest of the alarmists have apparently ‘settled the science’ shouldn’t you be telling us?

    Whilst you are it you can also explain to the rest of us IQ challenged people what caused the Earth to warm up to the MWP and then subsequently cooled down to the LIA and then caused it to warm up again to the start of the 20th century.

    You can then explain what caused the global temperatures to increase from 1910 to 1940 at a similar rate to 1975 to 2000 even though there was little change in atmospheric CO2 and atmospheric aerosols showed a very large increase.

    Please be specific as to all the forcing factors involved, the measured changes etc and please explain in simplistic language so that IQ challenged people viewing here can understand.

    Alan

  37. Joel Shore (13:48:43)

    One of my favourite things to do is to determine the area under the curve for the TSI chart (using a base of 1365.6 or thereabouts and always using Leif’s data!!) to determine the “activity” of the sun. If you do this you will find that the 19th century has ~10% more “activity” than the 18th; the 20th ~17% more than the 19th. Also the two halfs of the 20th century are almost equal (the later being slightly more!!). Leif has said that these numbers are basically correct. So the sun has been more active since the LIA and certainly since the M minimum of the 1600s

    If you do the same for Volcano DVI (using Mann’s weighted DVI), the 19th century is, I don’t have the numbers in front of me, 60% (at least maybe more 80%? I’m not at home) greater than the 18th and the 20th even less than the 18th (~30%)

    Surely this would have some effect on the earth’s average global temperature since the LIA with the 20th century likely to be the warmest.

    Also, it has been pointed out by Bob Carter, Bob Tisdale and others that the El Nino of 1998 was an anomaly whose effects have, quite likely, not been dissapated. If you take the UAH trend from Dec 1978 to June 1997 the straight line trend is 0.036 Deg C/Decade. If you take the trend from 1989 to Nov 2008 the trend is 0.132 Deg C/Decade. I’m just waiting patiently to see what the temperatures do in the next few years. Maybe they will go down, revert to the very slight upward trend of before the El Nino or go through the roof!!

  38. Bottom line: after 30 years of unremitting, industrial strength, human production of CO2 from fossil carbon, global temperatures have risen a whopping 0.1 degree C.

    If things keep up at this rate, by 2100 the Earth will be sweating from an unbearable temperature rise of 0.3 degrees C.

    The shock, the horror of it all. Oh, the humanity! I’m moving to Mars.

  39. To…. skeptic (12:20:59) :

    “Always a pleasure to see the cherry-picked examples of lower temperatures.”

    Not so much “Cherry picked” as pointed out Skep.

    As for me and many on this site, we consider natural variation to be the phenomenon being observed rather than Anthropogenic CO2 forcing climate.

    Sure I acknowledge Anthropogenic impacts. I quite readily accept Heat Island effects around cities. I am cognisant of the impact of land clearing. There is plenty of scientific observation to bear out those hypothesis….. But as far as CO2 and it’s supposed effect on global climate is concerned…. The observation does not bear out the Hypothesis at all.

    That hottest decade you where talking about is not heating as per the AGW hypothesis despite a continuing rise in CO2 levels….

    That would be pause for thought. Do you not agree?

  40. 2009 may not be cooler than 2008, but it will be a LONG way from the record. At this pace, it would need a monster of an El Nino to beat 1998. And I’m not seeing that….

  41. Why does the AMSR-E Sea Ice Extent have a noticeable jump/ increase at the beginning of June of each year? It looks like at least 4 of the 8 years recorded has the exact same hiccup?

    I appreciate any info on that.

    REPLY:It is a seasonal adjustment for meltwater that is likely on the surface of the ice in some areas right about now. – Anthony

  42. I see a 1977 type winter coming to a nation near you, that’s my theory. I hope I am incorrect, but the cards are lining up. I can’t wait to see what AGW says then. Oh that’s right, “we reached the tipping point and man made global warming caused it”.

    AGW people are never wrong, it’s an interesting system they have.

  43. Just had a thought. That temperature signal is quite noisy, with much more high frequency than low frequency content.

    Is this not indicative of a control system with a large amount of negative feedback, but where there is a low pass filter in the loop, so that there is less feedback at higher frequencies, and more negative feedback at lower frequencies? If so, then low frequencies are suppressed relative to high frequencies because of the negative feedback. The low pass filter is formed from consideration of the stabilizing effects of the oceanic heat capacity.

    A feedback system with positive feedback and a low pass filter in the loop would have quite a different spectrum. Its gain would be a maximum at zero frequency, because positive feedback creates gain. However higher frequencies would tend to be filtered out and have reduced feedback, resulting in reduced closed-loop gain, and the overall signal would look smoother.

  44. I distinctly remember being bombarded with “global warming” hysteria in my high school days of 1991 – 1994. looking at this temperature data, i’m wondering what exactly everyone was so worked up about?

  45. “”and that Dr. Spencer was right.””

    He probably was—he seems to just want truth.

  46. Thank you Anthoney for such a quick answer.

    Question to Skeptic: Doesn’t the name of this website answer your question on the lower number of posts regarding the sea-ice level?

    In other words, information worthy of posting on this website generally has the same premise:
    * If we are warming – What is up with *fill-in-the-blank*?
    * If the MSM and AGM outlets are saying “X”, then wattsupwith”Y”?

    Forgive me for pointing out the obvious. From where I’m sitting, there is no crime of omission. Correct me if I’m wrong, but the tone of the contributors to this website are much more open to interpreting ALL of the data than anywhere else I know of.

    Tip to Skeptic: Try not to gloat about our planet warming… if that is indeed what is happening. Even the snarkiest anti-AGW comments on here have one common denominator: Disaster Might Not Be Eminent. There is no place for snarkiness on your part. Don’t cut off the nose to spite the face. If your brothers are deceived, shouldn’t your tone reflect less “I’m right” and more “Please listen me – The end is nigh!”???

  47. Bottom line: after 30 years of unremitting, industrial strength, human production of CO2 from fossil carbon, global temperatures have risen a whopping 0.1 degree C.

    No quite. It’s that much (or half that much, acc. to UAH) above the 1979-2000 average.

    Still well below that which was projected.

  48. Bob Tisdale (16:40:53) :

    Bob, I used Mann’s because, by eyeballing it, it seemed to me to be the most conservative. I also used Lamb/Mitchell – by using a bmp chart of their results. In my previous post I mixed up the two results as I was doing it from memory.

    Mann gives: 19th compared to 18th – 62% greater DVI for 19th
    20th compared to 18th – 6% less DVI for 20th

    Lamb/Mitchell 19th compared to 18th – 86% greater DVI for 19th
    20th compared to 18th – 33% less DVI for 20th

    Big difference. Who do we trust?

  49. File under ‘It’s only weather, not climate’, but for what it’s worth, it is not usual ten miles from Times Square to see people walking around on the 5th of June in heavy jackets, throats wound in scarves.

    A nasty, nasty day–in the fifties all afternoon, steady rain with easterly winds gusting to 20 mph, and ‘Real Feel’ temps in the upper forties.

    This weather weenie has been loving it!

  50. “Disaster Might Not Be Eminent.”

    Not all Nobel Peace Prize winners are particularly eminent. Yasir Arafat is a war criminal and Al Gore is windbag mediocrity.

  51. ” That’s not a theory…it’s just giving fancy names to observations.”

    Well thanks be to God for that! Putting ‘theory’ before the collection of empirical observations is voodoo-do, not science.

    More, and more accurate observations, uncontaminated by grand preconceptions would seem, for example, at least from my recollection of the history of the development of astronomy and physics from, say, the fourteenth through the seventeenth centuries, to be the foundation of any scientific discipline.

    More accurate observations of the position of heavenly bodies in the fifteenth century, as well as the more accurate mathematical expression enabled by European adoption of Arabic numerals and by early developments in algebra, preceded the work of Brahe, Copernicus and Kepler and then Galileo and Newton.

    K.j. Burtt __The Metaphysical Foundations of Modern Science__- an indispensible masterpiece!

  52. John B (19:23:10) :

    What’s up with Arctic Roos? The graphs show 2009 at the 1979-2007 average for April and May:

    But now its dropping and may, if it follows the thin ice trend of 2008, result in an ice free arctic later this summer – Just in time for Cap’n Trade (Arghh!).(/sarc)

  53. Always great to read through the comments and observe the process.

    But on the theory that you get more of what you pay for/give attention to, Y O Y the troll-feeding? Darn things are worser than seagullz.

    Science will out, and hey, read the agriculture pages: yields, estimates, reviews of the season – it’s all in there if you’re looking for Troof. And it’s done by and for folks with real skin in the game – their livelihoods depend on correct choices of variety, planting time, treatment over the growing season, and harvest time.

    Plants, as has been my refrain here for some years, don’t lie, aren’t swayed by the person they last read or the one next to them in the crowd, and don’t react to research funding scrum-screwing. They do, however, react exquisitely to sun, temperature and what they’re growing in. Listen to them….

    After all, oh, 200 years ago, it was Herschel who noted the inverse correlation between wheat prices and sunspot counts. Plants!

  54. What I find somewhat disturbing is that believers in the CAGW hypothesis need (want) temperatures to rise, arctic ice melt etc. so as to prove the validity of CAGW. If the anomaly increases to, say, 0.3 next month you can almost picture them letting out a collective sigh of relief. I say this as a former extremely vitriolic believer in an oncoming climate catastrophe. From personal experience, holding onto any belief too tightly will often cause one to make an arse out of oneself.

  55. Arthur Glass (20:29:13) :
    ” That’s not a theory…it’s just giving fancy names to observations.”
    Well thanks be to God for that! Putting ‘theory’ before the collection of empirical observations is voodoo-do, not science.

    This is a common misconception about the meaning of ‘theory’ as scientists use the word. It does NOT mean that something is vague and hypothetical and ill-founded, ‘just a theory’. On the contrary, a ‘theory’ is something that expresses the truth given by a great mass of observations. E.g. instead of extensive tables of planetary positions they can be calculated from Newton’s theory of gravitation that can be written on a single page of text. E.g. instead of huge tables of empirical data on spectral lines of chemical elements, these wavelengths can be calculated from quantum theory, etc. A ‘theory’ of a phenomenon is but a shorthand for all our observations of that phenomenon up to now.

  56. Anthony: Thanks for creating and posting these graphs. As a group, they are the most useful global temperature information on the web.

    skeptic: This information is as far from “cherry-picked” as one can get. The timeframe used is going to impact the look of the data. At one extreme we could start with the creation of the earth … 4.5 billion years ago. Actually the earth is much older … 4.5 billion years is when the earth cooled enough for the 1st rocks to solidify. The earth has been cooling since then. In the past billion years the earth has been in an ice age more often than not. Until satellite reporting began (Jan 1979) the accuracy of global temperature measurements was a constant debate. So what better presentation of factual information on global temperature could be provided than a graphic showing the global temperature reported by both agencies gathering satellite data? And graphs on temperature from agencies using land-based data as well? What more could you possibly ask? What could be done to be fairer?

    Deniers like to use the 1998 spike (an El Nino event) as their starting point and claim global temperature has fallen over the past decade. But that is not what Anthony is doing … all satellite data is shown. Look at the graph … draw your own conclusions. Anthony did not make up the data he is just making it easily available to people like me.

    You are right NSIDC does show a decline in arctic ice that approaches the worst recent year: 2007. But NSIDC is not the only agency reporting arctic ice extent. Here are links to both reports:

    Last time there was a huge discrepancy between these two sites it turned out NSIDC lost an area of ice about the size of CA. The arctic-roos site indicates 2009 has more ice than 2007 and 2008 … and is within “normal” (a standard deviation) for the past 30 years. Both sites can’t be correct. Let’s see how this washes out.

    Filipe: “What’s the baseline period for the anomaly? It’s not indicated in the plot.” I have the same question. I seem to recall that GISS uses 1950-1980 but what about RSS and UAH?

  57. Mr Hempell said: (16:17:29) :
    “One of my favourite things to do is to determine the area under the curve for the TSI chart”

    Oh Mr Hempell, there is a huge range of hobbies available to you. Model-making, sports, even crochet (I only mention crochet because my sister wrote the best selling beginner’s guide to crochet over here in England).

    Surely you can find a better thing to do that burrow under curves. But I am a fair and broad-minded fellow, each to his own. If the under-curve world does it for you I won’t argue.

  58. RE: skeptic (12:20:59) :
    The declaration that we are in the warmest decade ever is of little credibility given historic periods such as the MWP and the Roman Optimum and . . . . Furthermore, it is of little relevance in the last two centuries given that measurements started as the world started to recover from the Little Ice Age. Most observers would give you that we have trended upwards since the end of the LIA, but I am not so sure that the 140 years of HadCrut estimates are reliable – certainly the negative climatic implications of hot weather was much more severe in the 1930s than we are currently experiencing. Yet, perhaps the GMT is higher now the thirties, but I certainly would encourage you to get a handle on what the GMT is, the quality of the data, and the issues surrounding the estimates. Moreover, the GMT is basically back to what it was in 1980, and there is nothing alarming about the trend in the last 30 years for which we have three or four sources of relatively reliable estimates; in fact the record of the last 30 years suggest the GMT is driven more by oscillations than by CO2 concentrations.
    And if GMT in the coming years returns to the high of eleven years ago, that still does not set off alarm bells. You mention Arctic ice for which we may or not have reliable current estimates given problems with certain satellites; the fortunes of Arctic ice depend more on winds, clouds, Asian pollution, currents and the PDO/AMO rather than the question if the GMT anomaly gets back up to .8.

  59. Dr. Svalgaard, with all due respect, re defining “theory”. That word can mean:

    1. A set of statements or principles devised to explain a group of facts or phenomena,

    2. An assumption based on limited information or knowledge; a conjecture.

    Neither of those definitions uses the word “truth.” Truth is an elusive thing. Many scientific theories have been proved false, or at least wanting, even Newton’s Laws of Gravity (see Einstein’s Theory of Relativity).

    Thomas Kuhn observed that the scientific community operates on a set of received assumptions. Normal science endeavors to defend those assumptions. But sometimes anomalies (empirical evidence at odds with traditional assumptions) arise to such an extent that the traditional assumptions (old paradigm theories) are shattered. When that happens new theories (new paradigms) must be formulated.

    In the case of AGW theory, that paradigm is closer to #2 above than to #1. The anomalies are huge, as has been observed by numerous contributors to WUWT (and elsewhere). You can call the anomalies anecdotal, or weather instead of climate, but the increasing body of anomalies is rapidly swamping a rather poorly formulated (highly conjectural) theory.

  60. “” Jimmy Haigh (20:19:01) :

    When I was 15, it snowed in the UK on the 2nd June 1975. That was the first time I had seen snow in June. I never saw it again until June/July 2007.

    I saw it again in June/July 2008. It has happened again in 2009! Is it only me, or is there a pattern emerging?…””

    This might not stop politicians from shouting global warming. But it will stop every day people from listening to them. :)

    I like snow. But crops don’t.

  61. “” Mike D. (22:06:28) :…observed by numerous contributors to WUWT ”

    Aren’t you glad WUWT exists? I am!

  62. Peter Herndeen,

    “Fact is the Met office is doing very well with it’s forecasts, that the rain atm is very localised (as in any high hills snow). Readers here need to know that and not be inadvertently misled.

    Wrt the summer just started, it looks as if another (we’ve all ready seen warm weather this June) warm spell is on the card by next weekend. My advice is to not make it so obvious you’re getting you retaliation in early while we’re between hot spells ;).”

    The Met Office has had their last five seasonal forecasts completely busted by the weather, as they were too reliant on their AGW models. Even their global temeprature forecast for this year is looking like it has been severely over-egged as per usual. You’d have thought they would have learnt from always being on the high side in previous years wouldn’t you? Maybe not.

    As for the rain and snow being localised I suggest readers here consult the latest radar for the UK at http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/weather/uk/radar (One of the few useful services the taxpayer funded Met Office does serve to its public). Localised I think not. Retract.

    “In between hot spells”? The last weekend saw temperatures in the low to mid 20s (low 70s F) which is not a hot spell. Slightly warmer than average maybe, but nothing unusual. What is unusual however is the coldest June day for many decades experienced in North East England yesterday, with a maximum of 44F and a minimum of 34F which is January type temperatures.

    I suggest you wake up from your AGW induced slumber and start to learn a bit about the Uk weather.

  63. Outside temperature on my window thermometer read 5C (41F) at 6:00am this morning, June 6. And this is in South West Wales!

    O/T… I wonder why the North Pole Webcam has stopped updating?

    Is there something they don’t want us to see?

  64. Peter Hearnden (14:03:03) :

    Fact is the Met office is doing very well with it’s forecasts, that the rain atm is very localised (as in any high hills snow). Readers here need to know that and not be inadvertently misled.

    Wrt the summer just started, it looks as if another (we’ve all ready seen warm weather this June) warm spell is on the card by next weekend. My advice is to not make it so obvious you’re getting you retaliation in early while we’re between hot spells ;).

    Peter, I agree that last week’s warm spell was genuine (and very welcome), and also that snow, at least on the Scottish mountains in June (even July) is not that uncommon. But yesterday’s snow was much more widespread (and low-level) than that, as can be confirmed by the report in today’s Glasgow Herald: http://www.theherald.co.uk/news/news/display.var.2512765.0.From_hotspot_to_winter_wonderland_in_a_week.php

    The fact is that we (in the Southern Highlands) had a long cold winter, (more akin to the average in the 1980;s than 21st Century):

    first low-level snow October 28th, which stayed on the frozen ground for weeks, and apart from the cloud-covered mild week between Dec 23rd and Jan 2nd, the ground remained frozen/snow covered until Feb 10th. Then another mild (i.e above 0’C) week, until a further cold with ice/snow covered ground until the first or second week of March. April had a couple of warm and sunny weeks (not unusual), but until the warm spell last week (late May/early June) May has been colder than usual (with lots of new snow on the mountains early in the month), and just now people are still lighting fires or keeping the central heating on, despite the 20 hours of daylight at this time of year. And I don’t recall any warm or even mild days at all where the daytime temperature got into double figures (C), unlike many of the winters of the 1990’s-2000’s when south-west winds and even some north winds were sometimes above 12 or 13’C.

    The point being that the Met Office’s Winter 08-09 forecast was for “a milder than average winter” and they got it completely wrong (again), at least for the northern half of the UK. To be fair to the Met Office, they are fairly accurate with the 24 hours and 2-3 day forecasts, but they consistently underestimate the minimum temeratures for Highland Perthshire, which on a typical winter’s day are between 3 and 5’C colder than in Perth itself (which is only 25 miles to the south). I suspect that their computer models don’t factor in the semi-permanent snow cover on the surrounding hills, and possibly the inability of the sun to penetrate into the deeper straths and glens, (not that the sun has that much warmth in mid-winter anyway).

    p.s. I read on here that they were planting Spring wheat in fields still covered in snow in Canada recently – can anyone confrim this?

  65. I am not ridiculing the -0.4degree prediction, just pointing out that it may have been overambitious. You see when people predict things with great confidence; it seems natural for people to remember and check if it came true.
    Looking at a record of various scientists’ predictions is extremely useful, because those that get them right with very little error means that it is likely they have a technique that works and that will be very useful in predicting future events!

    http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/enso/

    The SOI has dipped to similar values as in 2007, the year of the last El Nino disturbance…
    We will wait and see. Records show that it is common to see an El Nino after a La Nina and vice versa. We have had 2 mild/moderate La Ninas in consecutive order, what is the chance that given that the SOI has dropped to El Nino territory that there will be no El Nino and a third La Nina?

  66. khufy

    “You have to be kidding me. Were you the only man in England who missed the heat wave we just had? ”

    No heat wave, just nice temps in the low 20’s, nothing exceptional about that.

    “Barbeque weather. in spring.”

    Yes, last year it was in April, for around a week and then an awful summer.

    “Oh and Midsummer isn’t actually “mid summer”. We’ve only had 5 days of summer so far.”

    Actually, summer starts officially on 20/21 of June depending on the solstice so we have had no summer yet.

    http://www.calendar-updates.com/info/holidays/us/summer.aspx

    Its still cold here in the south of the UK.
    We still have our heating on which I don’t recall doing in June before.

    P

  67. >>Germany’s last glacier… is getting a protective tarpaulin to
    >>help shield it from summer melting.

    Let’s hope they use a rostingly hot, black tarp…

  68. Watching the Italian Government TV channel Rai 1 I was dumbfounded to hear the head of the meteorologist office (Italian Gov.) say that ”we have great difficulty in giving accurate forecasts for one week in advance, as far as I know there is no way to predict the weather, it changes.

  69. How long will it be before (Already happened anyway) the BoM in Aus, the Met in the UK and equivalent authorities in the US etc will state that it would be colder if it wasn’t for AGW?

  70. George E. Smith (14:59:56) :

    “”” jh (14:08:45) :

    Off topic I know but does anyone know if there is a historic gloabal temperature anomally data set available that corrects the bucket problem discussed here a while back – link below. As far as I know data sets like Hadcrut3 are uncorreceted, as you would expect, have they been superceded? “””

    Well jh, there couldn’t be any such corrected data set; and there never will be.

    George, thanks for these comments – all rather unfortunate for the modelers and correlators of whatever species. Many of the GCM models proudly captured this ‘blip’ and used it as part of the validation of their success.

  71. Whilst you are it you can also explain to the rest of us IQ challenged people what caused the Earth to warm up to the MWP and then subsequently cooled down to the LIA and then caused it to warm up again to the start of the 20th century

    I think this is an important question. As far as I can tell, there are two possibilities:

    (1) There is some unknown cause (forcing) which can result in significant temperature changes over tens or hundreds of years.

    (2) The climate is somewhat chaotic over such time periods, i.e. a little ice age can develop in the same unpredictable way that a storm can develop.

    Either way, it completely calls into question all these simulations which are alleged to be able to predict global surface temperatures in 2100.

    And I have never seen or heard a warmist address this problem beyond hand-waving and ad homenim attacks.

  72. Whilst the temperature of one part of the system goes up or down a little bit each month, it is of no consequence as AGW can’t be disproven anyway.

    Many people have confused new ethics based on ecology for one theory dreamt up in a fancy spreadsheet. These people need to study ethics, not computer models. They need to study human motivation, not temperature charts. They need to understand cultural evolution, not whether they can scare everyone into “action” based on whethet malaria spreads in an extra bit of warmth.

    Most people disagree with AGW not because they disagree with science, but because they disagree with the particular ethical judgements of many environmentalists.

    They have put all their eggs into AGW to get us to act, so if AGW becomes scientifically a weak hypothesis, that blows their new ethics out if the water. Gee thanks, but we don’t need it anymore.

    The question environmentalists should be asking, is not when will we act on climate change, but rather, if we are faced with a class of problem like the world’s ecology, what new ethical principles might we need to explore, as a new stage on our cultural and moral evolution?

    If there really was a crisis, there are plenty of regimes in the would that would simply think it in their rights to go to war and kill off the competition. For a truly new ecologically sound ethics, that would obviously be missing the point.

    Let the ecologists debate and discuss ethics. Scaring people into action has so obviously not worked. And let them begin with the little moral of the boy who cried wolf. .

  73. And by the way, my instinct is that the chaos option is correct. I think it’s impossible to accurately predict whether 100 years from now we will be in another LIA or another MWP.

    Modern so-called climate science is founded on the hope that the chaotic elements in the climate system will largely cancel eachother out over periods of 50-100 years resulting in a process which can be predicted. But there is absolutely no evidence to think this is so. And until it is understood what caused the LIA, the natural assumption should be chaos.

  74. Do they use temperature anomaly graphs because a tiny change from the average can be made to look like a substantial change in temperature???
    This graph shows absolute annual temperatures from cental England starting 1659

    http://junkscience.com/MSU_Temps/HadCET_an.html

    And the orriginal data from the UK metoffice

    http://hadobs.metoffice.com/hadcet/cetml1659on.dat

    If you’re selective about which parts of the graph you look at You can see any trend you want.

  75. paulID (14:35:03) : It’s big and yellow and it rises to damn early every morning and goes down to damn early when I’m fishing. :)

    No no NO Paul! It goes down too damn LATE when fishing (think CatFish !! )

    (Using a couple of day old ‘innards’ on the bottom at night works really well.)

  76. khufy (13:07:44) : Oh and Midsummer isn’t actually “mid summer”. We’ve only had 5 days of summer so far.

    Summer has a cultural component to the definition:

    Today, the meteorological reckoning of the seasons is used in Australia, Denmark and the former USSR; it is also used by many people in the United Kingdom, where summer is thought of as extending from mid-May to mid-August. The definition based on equinoxes and solstices is more frequently used in the United States where many regions have a continental climate with a temperature lag of about half a season.

    Elsewhere, however, the solstices and the equinoxes are taken to mark the mid-points, not the beginnings, of the seasons. In Chinese astronomy, for example, summer starts on or around May 5, with the jiéqì (solar term) known as Lixia (立夏), i.e. “establishment of summer”, and it ends on or around August 6.

    An example of Western usage would be William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, where the play takes place over the shortest night of the year, which is the summer solstice.

    In Ireland, the summer months according to the national meteorological service, Met Eireann, are June, July and August. However, according to the Irish Calendar summer begins May 1 and ends July 31. School textbooks in Ireland follow the cultural norm of summer commencing on 1 May rather than the meteorological definition of 1 June.

    In southern and southeast Asia, where the monsoon occurs, summer is more generally defined as lasting from March to May/early June, their warmest time of the year, ending with the onset of the monsoon rains.[citation needed]

    From a popular culture point of view, in some areas of the United States, summer season is often considered to begin at the Memorial Day weekend (the last Monday in May) and end at the Labor Day weekend (the first Monday in September). Likewise, another set of pop-cultural reference points for summer is the time when elementary and secondary schools close down for the “summer vacation”. This period usually lasts from around early to mid June until around late August to early September, depending on where the school is located.

    In the New York legal community, summer is generally considered to begin when summer associates arrive in April or May.

    So please do try to be a bit less narrow in your acceptance of the many flavors of summer…

  77. Grudging one para article on the Grauniad website today.

    “Rain across the Cumbrian fells and the north Pennines helped to lower the temperature sufficiently for the rain to turn to sleet and then to snow today. While roads stayed largely clear, snow settled on hillsides, notably around Upper Teesdale and Weardale at about 600 metres and above. The most significant June snowfall in recent memory was on 2 June 1975, when snow fell in many parts of the country. The Essex and Kent cricket match in Colchester was interrupted, while the match between Derbyshire and Lancashire at Buxton was called off after 2.5cm (1in) of snow settled on the outfield.”

  78. ” This is a common misconception about the meaning of ‘theory’ as scientists use the word. It does NOT mean that something is vague and hypothetical and ill-founded, ‘just a theory’. On the contrary, a ‘theory’ is something that expresses the truth given by a great mass of observations. E.g. instead of extensive tables of planetary positions they can be calculated from Newton’s theory of gravitation that can be written on a single page of text. E.g. instead of huge tables of empirical data on spectral lines of chemical elements, these wavelengths can be calculated from quantum theory, etc. A ‘theory’ of a phenomenon is but a shorthand for all our observations of that phenomenon up to now.”

    My overly-cultivated inner semanticist whispers to me that we would do well to distinguish between ‘theory’ and ‘hypothesis’. I would never use the phrase ‘just a theory’, although I might say ‘just a hypothesis’.

    A judicious appeal to etymology can often be of service when clarifying terms. Very briefly and inadequately, then, in classical Greek, the noun ‘theoros’, in its earliest usage, denoted an individual who was sent by a city as something like a cross between an ambassador and a secret agent to observe carefully goings-on elsewhere; ‘theorioi’ also might be sent to Delphi to consult an oracle. A further development of the word led to its application to the spectators at games or at theatrical performances. The verb ‘theoreo’ means ‘to act as a theoros’, i.e. to engage in the kind of careful, synoptic observation characteristic of a good ‘theoros’.

    Of course the term is used in every day parlance, as epitomized in the expression ‘just a theory’, to mean something that has not yet been proven to be true; hence the opposition of ‘theory’ to ‘fact’. But that is not the meaning I intended in the post Dr Svalgaard responded to. What I mean by theory is a generalizing account of a phenomenon or a particular set of phenomena. Dr Svalgaard mentions quantum theory, which is still ‘theory’ in the sense I intend although it is, at least in its descriptive function
    (the ‘Copenhagen interpretation’), triumphantly and grandly proven by the indisputable fact that it works and that much of contemporary technology is based on upon it. The theory of relativity and the theory of plate tectonics provide further grand examples from the 20th century. On the other hand, as much as I enjoy reading ‘weird science’ and despite the fact that I am a great fan of Brian Greene, superstring theory and ‘brane’ theory remain just attractive hypotheses.

    To sum up: a theory is the simplest synoptic account of phenomena that ‘saves the appearances’. That is, I think, a rough-and-ready paraphrase of ‘Occam’s razor’, although the phrase ‘save the appearances’ is attributed to the 7th c. AD philosopher Simplicius.

    Yes, O you unthinking adherents of the Whig theory of intellectual history, one of the basic tenets of natural science can be traced back to a 14th century monk and further back to the midnight hour of the ‘dark’ ages.

  79. There is a very important post by Roger Pielke Sr. on his blog about how heat should be measured and what has been happening with the heat content of the oceans. He clarifies the only true way to measure what, if any, heating is taking place due to either CO2 or more likely natural causes. I urge everyone to go to his site and read his response to Joe Romm. http://climatesci.org

  80. Re: different definitions of summer.

    Astronomically, summer begins with the solstice. Meteorologically, summer means the months of June, July and August.

    My favorite definition of summer, however, is implied in the line ‘I spent the summer one day in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.’

    No summer yesterday here at 40.7 N, 74.5 W, but this afternoon, we will have summer. Or so we are promised.

  81. Sumer is icomen in,
    Lhude sing cuccu.
    Groweth sed and bloweth med
    And springth the wude nu.
    Sing cuccu!

    Awe bleteth after lomb
    Lhouth after calve cu:
    Bulluc sterteth
    bucke verteth
    Murie sing cuccu!
    Cuccu, cuccu, well singes thu, cuccu:
    Ne swike thu naver nu;

  82. Another useful definition of summer would be the ninety-day period, 45 days on either side of the solstice, when the sun is highest in the sky. In the northern hemisphere that would mean the period from the second week of May
    through the first week of September.

  83. Snow, Hail
    weather by seablogger

    Dickenson, North Dakota currently reports heavy snow with half a mile visibility. This is prairie, folks, not some mountaintop in the Rockies. Meanwhile, a polar low has dug over the waters just west of South Florida. Its circulation has brought a layer of dry air at mid levels of the atmosphere. Consequence: severe hail is likely in today’s South Florida storms. Yesterday Miami Beach had eight inches of rain. Global cooling, anyone?

    http://www.seablogger.com/?p=14942

  84. International Falls, Mn bottomed out at 27F this morning, the fourth day this month of record lows for the date and the lowest temp ever recorded this late
    (though not the record low for the month).

  85. Arthur Glass,

    “Astronomically, summer begins with the solstice”

    No, that would be its mid-point astronomically. So summer would run from May 6th to August 6th (for the NH).

    I’m happy with the June, July and August apportioning. Makes most sense with each season lasting three months, otherwise you get autumn lasting until Deember 21st, which is ridiculous.

  86. I can confirm that it has been raining all day in the south-west of England, with floods and power cuts due to lightning. My heating is on.

  87. Steve Hempell: You wrote, “Bob, I used Mann’s because, by eyeballing it, it seemed to me to be the most conservative.”

    While preparing the post linked above, I compared the Mann and the Lamb DVI found here:

    http://cdiac.ornl.gov/ftp/ndp013/ndp013.dat

    The only difference I can recall was the inflated values MBH tacked on at the end for Mount Pinatubo. They may have bumped up El Chichon as well.

    Regards

  88. Ron de Haan (07:09:33) :

    Snow, Hail
    weather by seablogger

    Dickenson, North Dakota currently reports heavy snow with half a mile visibility….

    Holly cow!!!

    I lived in Fargo, ND for a very long time, have family all over North Dakota. Just so you know, Dickinson (proper spelling) is in the west central part of the state, considered to be the HOT, DRY portion of the state. They typically do not get a lot (compared to eastern part of the state) of snow, and are most definitely hotter in the summer than Fargo or even the Bismark/Mandan area during summer.

    I must say, I am astonished that they are getting snow this late in the year. AGW aside, people should genuinely be concerned about events like this, as this is the breadbasket of the world. Crops don’t grow very well in snow! And from what I am hearing from friends and family, the opening of this years growing season isn’t looking very strong. Guess there will be less corn ethanol this year eh? Not to mention food!

  89. tallbloke (05:51:06) :
    “The Essex and Kent cricket match in Colchester was interrupted, while the match between Derbyshire and Lancashire at Buxton was called off after 2.5cm (1in) of snow settled on the outfield.”

    I remember it well, I drove to Buxton that morning and was planning to attend the match in the afternoon (Derbyshire didn’t play very often at Buxton). It was a chilly frosty morning but I was rather surprised to come out of the lab at lunchtime to see it snowing heavily! Interestingly two weeks or so later we were in a heat wave and the start of a 2 year drought.

  90. Jimmy Haigh (20:19:01) :

    Ron de Haan (17:18:29) :

    Snow in the UK?

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1191089/Its-June–snowing-From-sweltering-shivering-just-week-happen-great-British-summer.html

    When I was 15, it snowed in the UK on the 2nd June 1975. That was the first time I had seen snow in June. I never saw it again until June/July 2007.

    I saw it again in June/July 2008. It has happened again in 2009! Is it only me, or is there a pattern emerging?…

    Jimmy, it’s weather, which is climate in the making.

  91. Mike D. (22:06:28) :
    Dr. Svalgaard, with all due respect, re defining “theory”. [...]
    Neither of those definitions uses the word “truth.”

    I did not not mean to say that the theory is the ‘truth’, but said explicitly that the observations were. Observations are true [unless fake or manipulated - which we should not call 'observations' in the first place] within the uncertainty stated for them. So the theory is a shorthand for the truth that lie in the observations.

  92. Bob Tisdale:

    Thanks for that info. I will try charting that and see what it gives. I had some reservations about comparing a bmp chart with a chart from data so I’ll try to see how they compare if I use the info you have given me.

    FatBigot (21:44:56) :

    Rest assured that I do not spend all my time burrowing under curves. Having 65 acres of property, still finishing a house, returning to work on a part time basis (I’m “retired”), reading history, politics, astronomy etc and having a wife with a honey do list the length of both my arms (and how loves fishing in remote places) – I have plenty to do.

    As I recall from my BSc mathematics courses, taking the area under a curve is a method of integration. Useful when there is no equation you can integrate. My “integrations” seem to reveal interesting things perhaps.

    For example: The suns “activity” (as show by the TSI charts, a proxy for the sun’s activity) has increased from the 17th century and the 20th has had the most activity. Whether this activity has a great influence on global temperatures is under dispute.

    Also, this method of analysis shows that the first 50 years of the 20th century are the same as the last 50 years in terms of activity (in total).

    This method also shows that volcanic activity in terms of DVI was much greater in the 19th century than the 20th and the 20th’s activity has been minimal and less the 18th and 19th. Again likely to have an influence on temperature. I’m not making any claims here, just makes me wonder.

    If you are a retired mathematician or something and think this method has no merit say so and tell me why so I can get on with all the other interesting things there are to do. :]

  93. ‘Veritas est adequatio rei intellectus’–truth is the conformation of thought to a state-of-affairs, as St Thomas Aquinas saith. I have never found as better definition of truth than that.

  94. Well, well, and I can confirm that we are getting a warmer than average June at the moment in central Greece. Seems there is no democracy in the division of summer heat :).

  95. Of course a theory can be either true or false. The 18th c. theory of the chemistry of combustion involved a posited substance called ‘phlogiston’. Priestly and Lavoisier exploded that consensus with their description of the chemical reactions involving oxygen. In the 19th, the standard theory of the propagation of light posited a medium, ‘ether’, through which electromagnetic waves traveled. Einstein gave this thoretical construct the boot.

  96. Arthur Glass (11:49:40) :
    Of course a theory can be either true or false.
    It seems that people around here can’t read. The truth is not about the theory, but about the data. The data is the truth the theory has to explain. This explanation itself is neither true nor false. It is a useful theory if it allows predictions of not yet observed values and those predictions come out correctly within the bounds of observational error. The phlogiston theory was useful when it was proposed, because it explained observed facts. When further facts [the truth] became available, the theory failed, as will [probably] all theories eventually.

  97. Actually I think it was Michelson & Morely who gave the concept of the ether the boot.

    Kindest Regards

  98. Leif

    What I find fascinating about theories is that, even though they can be supplanted by another they can still be useful.

    For example, I believe that Newton’s theory of gravitation is all that is required to land a probe on Mars or to go to Pluto. However, GPS would not work without Einstein’s theory of relativity.

  99. a jones (12:49:34) :
    Actually I think it was Michelson & Morely who gave the concept of the ether the boot.
    Not really. Einstein claimed that he did not know about that experiment and BTW the ether is very much alive today. It is called the ‘Higg’s Field’, and there are probably many ethers. As far as we know, all electrons have EXACTLY the same mass and charge. How is this possible? Because, so some modern thinking goes, there really is only ONE electron, or rather a single ‘electron field’ [ether, if you prefer the old word for it] permeating the Universe, and the ‘electrons’ we observe are just ‘excitations’ of that single ether.

  100. “I can confirm that it has been raining all day in the south-west of England, with floods and power cuts due to lightning. My heating is on.”

    In central MN, USA, May was a bit cool and the driest May since 1934, another year with PDO & AMO negative. March and April were dry as well. Today, 6/6, it is drizzling, grey in mid-fifties.

    I also doubt we’ll see an official El Nino, likely no more than a few months in El Nino territory.

  101. anna v (11:49:35) :

    Well, well, and I can confirm that we are getting a warmer than average June at the moment in central Greece. Seems there is no democracy in the division of summer heat :).

    I knew someone had stolen our share of heat but I always thought you were a good girl anna ;-)

    Steve Hempell (13:18:22) :

    What I find fascinating about theories is that, even though they can be supplanted by another they can still be useful.

    For example, I believe that Newton’s theory of gravitation is all that is required to land a probe on Mars or to go to Pluto. However, GPS would not work without Einstein’s theory of relativity.

    And it’s likely Einsteins theory will either be supplanted or extended while remaining useful in some applications.

    DaveE

  102. A little late to comment, but here in New Orleans, we start wearing our seer sucker suits after Memorial Day, and go back to wool after Labor Day. That being said, temperature and humidity is summerlike here from mid April to mid October.

  103. Has anyone here read Walter Isaacson’s fine biography of Einstein, published, I think, in 2006?

    Dr Svalgaard. Isn’t the Higgs boson still an elusive beast? There is also the strange resuscitation of Einstein’s ‘great mistake’, the cosmological constant.

    “The data is the truth the theory has to explain.”

    Well, not if you are a philosopher in the analytic tradition of Frege and Russell, where truth is a characteristic not of states-of-affairs but of propositions, which are most clearly set out in the terms of symbolic logic. This is certainly not the position I would take. But I would insist that that ‘data’ are best characterized by being either accurate or inaccurate, not as being true or false.

    Sensu stricto, the word ‘datum’, which means ‘given’, is misleading. The world does not present itself exclusively as a set of ‘givens’ passively received by an observer; rather, data have to be worked up out of ‘the booming, buzzing world’ of human experience (William James) by what the Aristotelean tradition calls the ‘active intellect’.

    I feel an urge to introduce Husserl’s concept of noetic/noematic analysis, and urge the fulfillment of which I shall forego, I am sure to everyone’s relief.

    Natural scientists have an unfortunate tendency to trespass, blundering on two left feet, into the territory of philosophy.

  104. “It is a useful theory if it allows predictions of not yet observed values and those predictions come out correctly within the bounds of observational error.”

    This reminds me of the ‘Copenhagen interpretation’ of quantum mechanics. Too utilitarian for my taste. I prefer Bohr-ing accounts, which require one to believe ‘six impossible things before breakfast’, as Prof Dodgson, one of the pioneers of symbolic logic, puts it.

    If I ever have to name a cat, I swear the name will be Schroedinger.

  105. Arthur Glass (15:09:50) :
    “The data is the truth the theory has to explain.”
    Well, not if you are a philosopher in the analytic tradition of Frege and Russell, where truth is a characteristic not of states-of-affairs but of propositions,

    None of this has anything to do with science or truth as such. In symbolic logic ‘truth’ is just another symbol: “T”. I can make a truth table for ‘logical AND':
    A B A&B
    T T T
    T F F
    F T F
    F F F
    This is pure symbol manipulation, has nothing to do with real True or False.
    Science has long ago left philosophers in the dust. Their philosophizing and problems are not relevant to science.

    But I would insist that that ‘data’ are best characterized by being either accurate or inaccurate, not as being true or false.

    Data is neither accurate nor inaccurate. With a stated uncertainty, the data just is and is a accurate as the uncertainty species, not in absolute terms. The data, to the stated accuracy, represent the real ‘truth’ about a phenomenon.

  106. Arthur Glass (15:09:50) :
    Isn’t the Higgs boson still an elusive beast? There is also the strange resuscitation of Einstein’s ‘great mistake’, the cosmological constant.

    The Higgs has been elusive, but most physicists think it will be found soon [we shall see]. If not, we are left without an ‘explanation’ for mass. The cosmological constant is with us whether we like it or not. The main problem is that its value [as deduced from observations - truth, you know :-) ] is so VERY VERY far from its expected value showing us that some new physics is lurking somewhere.

  107. “Cuccu, cuccu, well singes thu, cuccu”

    When birds do sing, hey ding-a-ding-a-ding

  108. ” data just is”

    Depends upon what ‘is’ is, as that great philosopher Bill Clinton once said.

  109. I’m much more impressed with Carl Poppers view on the Scientific Method, put up a hypothesis and it will stand till someone provides a better one to explain observed phenomina. Note “observed ” not a model !!

  110. This is my last post on this thread, I promise.

    Here was my original post:

    “Well thanks be to God for that! Putting ‘theory’ before the collection of empirical observations is voodoo-do, not science.”

    I can’t see how this sentence can be understood in any other way than as expressing the primacy of empirical observation and the working up of data therefrom as preliminary to any attempt to formulate an adequate synoptic theory. So I can’t see that I am in disagreement with Dr Svalgaard on the general subject of scientific method.

    But then, maybe I am a poor reader. Too much indulgence in medieval Latin?

  111. Dr. Svalgaard,

    I stand corrected. I agree that the data — empirical observations and measurements — are all we really can trust, to the extent we can trust anything. Data are often measured with error, error aggregates when data are combined, averaged, filtered, etc., and some data and collections of data can not be entirely trusted a result. But we have nothing else to go by, except a healthy respect for uncertainty, in such cases.

    Theories attempt to “explain” observed data and/or predict unobserved data. They are a different beast, and have utility only insofar as they are successful at explanation and/or prediction.

    Models in particular have utility at either explanation or prediction, and often not both. At least in my field, biometrics, explanatory models are often useless at prediction, and skillful predictive models often make little or no attempt to explain.

    What we face with AGW models is the attempt to combine the explanatory and predictive capabilities. I would argue that those models have failed at both purposes. I tend to agree with you, if I understand your point of view, that solar radiation models by themselves also have failed to explain or predict global temperature change, to the extent that global temperatures can even be measured without broad aggregated error.

    We are thus left with squishy data, compounded uncertainty, and not much else. The question emerges: should we make extensive alterations in society and culture based on squishy data and compound uncertainty? Will those alterations do more harm than good? And lastly, what is the responsibility, toward society and culture, of scientists who are or should be aware of the problems with both the data and the theories?

  112. “…the truth that lie”

    “when the truth turns out to be lies
    And all the joy within you dies.”

    By the way, I do a tolerably good karaoke version of ‘White Rabbit’, preferably after two or three beers.

  113. Arthur Glass (20:37:07) :
    ” data just is”
    Depends upon what ‘is’ is, as that great philosopher Bill Clinton once said.

    I think I have already expressed my opinion about philosophers [great and not so great] when it comes to science.
    Boswell recounts: “After we came out of the church, we stood talking for some time together of Bishop Berkeley’s ingenious sophistry to prove the nonexistence of matter, and that every thing in the universe is merely ideal. I observed, that though we are satisfied his doctrine is not true, it is impossible to refute it. I never shall forget the alacrity with which Johnson answered, striking his foot with mighty force against a large stone, till he rebounded from it — “I refute it thus.”

  114. Ah, Leif Svalgaard, I promised no more and will not be baited.

    “I meant what I said, and I said what I meant
    And an elephant’s faithful, one hundred percent.”

  115. Arthur Glass (21:28:16) :
    Ah, Leif Svalgaard, I promised no more and will not be baited.
    “I meant what I said, and I said what I meant
    And an elephant’s faithful, one hundred percent.”

    “If it Was So, it Might Be, and if it Were So, it Would Be, but as it Isn’t, it Ain’t. That’s Logic.”

  116. Just Want Results

    I appreciate the thought, but since my computer dates back to the year of the Great El Nino, and since I am still using snail-paced dial up access, playing streaming videos is almost impossible. I have enough problems downloading satellite loops from the NHC.

  117. Just Want Results

    Although I am somewhat confused by that diagram, which seems to show that at the solstices, the sun is direct overhead at the equator. I thought that on Jun 21, the sun was directly overhead along the Tropic of Cancer and on Sep. 21 along the Tropic of Capricorn. The sun would be directly overhead along the equator twice a year, at the equinoxes.

    A friend of mine from Quito, Ecuador once told me that for him the hardest adjustment to make when he moved up here to 41N was the variation in the length of daylight from June to December. I told him he should try living in Fairbanks for a year.

  118. Just Want Results:

    I need to see my eye doctor. Of course that diagram shows the sun directly overhead at the Tropic of Cancer on Jun 21.

  119. First a word of warning: putting cats in boxes is difficult enough but opening the box is extremely dangerous because I have observed that not only does the cat turn out to be alive but is absolutely furious at being put in the box in the first place.

    LS I think M&M did for the ether in the sense that Fresnel and Stokes thought of it, although their views differed: but admit that debate and experiment rumbled on for another forty years.

    And if we cannot test either by experiment or by observation some hypothesis then it is no better or worse than any other untestable hpothesis. And mathematical argument, however elegant, does not necessarily mean that the effect described eventuates in the real world.

    Likewise I differ over philosophy, many here are fond of quoting Popper, few Betrand Russell who did very important work on numbers. Science after all is Natural Philosophy, the title Aberdeen University used for its physics department until recently. It is simply that NP has been so successful in providing practical answers that it has encroached on other areas of philosophy. And its reach is enormous, who even thirty years ago would have thought that evolution and economics would turn out to be the opposite faces of the same coin?

    If the common modern view of Western philosophy has a weakness it is the idea that there is nothing useful between Aristotle and Descartes: not least because it was mainly the province of clerics. Wrong, the notion you cite of an electron being both one and many has its roots in debates about the physical nature of the world in the 10th and 11th centuries: even earlier in Oitnetla philosophies of course.

  120. Arthur Glass (06:31:05) :
    Just Want Results

    Although I am somewhat confused by that diagram, which seems to show that at the solstices, the sun is direct overhead at the equator. I thought that on Jun 21, the sun was directly overhead along the Tropic of Cancer and on Sep. 21 along the Tropic of Capricorn. The sun would be directly overhead along the equator twice a year, at the equinoxes.

    It also says that the day length is 24 hours at the Nth pole on June 21st, being pedantic it’s ~6months.

  121. Sorry the end of my last post got scrambled by a keboard glitch and I asked the Moderator to chop the resulting gobbledegook.

    So errata: I should have said untestable COMPETING hypothesis. And it should be Oriental in the last line.

    What I was also going to say was that Bishop Berkley’s ideas altho’ often ridiculed remained a subject for debate for a very long time in the Oxford school of Metaphysics. And the ideas still resonate today in terms of the observation of quantum mechanical processes.

    Still robust as Dr. Johnson’s refutation might be it lacks both the elegance and subtlety of Monsignor Ronald Knox’s twin limericks: there are many versions this is the one I know:

    A young Oxford fellow said God
    Must find it exceedingly odd
    That this tree that I see
    Simply ceases to be
    When there is no-one about in the Quad.

    Sir your predicament’s odd
    I am always about in the Quad
    So you see that the tree
    Continues to be
    As observed by yours faithfully God.

    And for all who use Matlab and such like to busily work out statistics, trends and so on I first heard this one in the late 1960’s and suspect it is by that famous and prolific poet Anonymous.

    A computer to print out a fact
    Will multiply divide and subtract
    But the output can be
    No more than debris
    If the data is not quite exact.

    Kindest Regards

  122. Phil: The confusion was my own bad, and I have recanted. Unlike Galileo, I shall not recant my recantation.

  123. If the common modern view of Western philosophy has a weakness it is the idea that there is nothing useful between Aristotle and Descartes: not least because it was mainly the province of clerics.’

    Bertrand Russell’s potted history of philosophy is the villain here.

    I read recently, in immediate sucession, The Concept of Mind, Gilbert Ryle’s classic demolition of the Cartesian ‘ghost in the machine’, and Sir Anthony Kenney’s Aquinas on Mind, which argues that Aquinas, and indeed scholastic philosophy in general, had more in common with 20th c. English phiosophy’s emphasis on logic and language than did the tradition descending from Descartes.

    It seems to me that Aquinas, and the Aristotelean tradition in general, is more in touch with the experiential realities of human thinking than post-Cartesian theories of mind and epistemologies.

    Russell demotes Aquinas from the ranks of philosophers because instead of following a free inquiry, he constructed rational accounts of what he already believed on other grounds. Kenney makes the point that in the
    Principia, Russell takes a hundred pages to prove that 2+2=4, something that Russell had belived all his life.

  124. Umm er.

    As in all things philosophy has its fashions.

    Western philosophy was was very much influenced by Christian beliefs from about 500 A.D. on and this did not begin to fade until the Age of Reason. Russell’s opposition to this is very much of it’s time with its strong anti clerical bias: the black crows.

    Just as Newton could boast ‘Physics, I invented it’, which does some injustice to Hooke and others, I think Aristotle has a good claim to be the father of NP as we understand it today.

    But the rise of Christianity meant that God got involved in NP, which caused thinkers from about 500 A.D. onwards to view the world in a different way in that God was the prime mover.

    In actual fact they were quite free thinking but as the Roman Catholic church became a great secular power so dissent became dangerous. It could not of course ban ancient texts so these increasingly became almost holy writ incorporated into its dogma.

    This after all was the charge used against Galileo: to his bemusement.

    But the idea that these Christian thinkers before about 1100 A.D. had nothing to say is quite wrong, they produced many novel concepts, albeit ones distorted by the prism through which they saw the world: which is why Russell and many others have unfairly condemned their work as worthless.

    Thus in the Age of Reason, especially in France with its strong anti clericalism, the last prince strangled with the entrails of the last priest etc, they were taboo.

    And whilst the French tradition based on Descartes is very narrow it has its strengths, I don’t imagine that the Duality of Nature could have been conceived by anyone not brought up in it.

    In England the tradition of language and logic to which you refer came from religious and political constraint, the mediaeval disputation which cared nothing for the premise only the arguement: and once freed from that it has proved a powerful tool.

    So I think you could say that modern NP is essentially derived from the English tradition and is much closer to Aristotle than its French and indeed European counterparts: and that it owes even less to Oriental philosophies.

    Kindest Regards

  125. Arthur Glass: ‘Putting ‘theory’ before the collection of empirical observations is voodoo-do, not science.’

    Perhaps you could test that proposition: collect some empirical observations and report your findings.

  126. Leif Svalgaard:

    Science has long ago left philosophers in the dust. Their philosophizing and problems are not relevant to science.

    Data is neither accurate nor inaccurate. With a stated uncertainty, the data just is and is a accurate as the uncertainty species, not in absolute terms. The data, to the stated accuracy, represent the real ‘truth’ about a phenomenon.

    Or more correctly, from a philosophical standpoint, the data, to the stated accuracy represents the truth about the aspect of the phenomenon the data measures. It does not encapsulate the phenomenon itself. The measure is not the man.

    I would say that the dust the scientists have kicked up is the cloud of their unknowing which prevents them from understanding the context of their quest for truth within the wider corpus of human knowledge.

    That’s why we need a discipline called ‘The philosophy of Science’ to help them out of their confusion on ontological and epistemological issues. ;-)

    Bishop Berkely of Cloyne was a subtle thinker, and there is much of interest in his writings beyond the usual anecdotes of the hapless Johnson toe stubbing incident.

  127. Arthur Glass (11:53:49) :

    If the common modern view of Western philosophy has a weakness it is the idea that there is nothing useful between Aristotle and Descartes: not least because it was mainly the province of clerics.

    Arthur, if you haven’t read ‘Against Method’ by Paul Feyerabend, you must.

    It contains a delightful chapter entitled:

    Aristotle not a dead dog.

  128. tallbloke (03:00:15) :
    Or more correctly, from a philosophical standpoint, the data, to the stated accuracy represents the truth about the aspect of the phenomenon the data measures. It does not encapsulate the phenomenon itself. The measure is not the man.

    Modern quantum theory posits that a phenomenon does not ‘exist’ until observed [not necessarily by humans only], so the measure is the man, in a quantum mechanical sense. The spin of an electron is a superposition of all possible spins until observed, at which time the spin becomes what is observed. The act of observation gives the spin a definite value.

  129. “”” Leif Svalgaard (12:24:13) :

    Arthur Glass (11:49:40) :
    Of course a theory can be either true or false.
    It seems that people around here can’t read. The truth is not about the theory, but about the data. The data is the truth the theory has to explain. “””

    Amen to that.

    “””This explanation itself is neither true nor false. It is a useful theory if it allows predictions of not yet observed values and those predictions come out correctly within the bounds of observational error. The phlogiston theory was useful when it was proposed, because it explained observed facts. When further facts [the truth] became available, the theory failed, as will [probably] all theories eventually. “””

    The “theory” describes the behavior of a “model”. All of it is fiction including the mathematics which we made up out of whole cloth to manipulate the models.

    It is comparison of the data “the facts”; from real observations, with the fictional behavior of the model; that leads to conclusions as to whether the model is a sufficient facsimile of the real universe. In a sense, the model doesn’t have to “be like” the real universe; it doesn’t even have to be unique; you could have a dozen models all described by a dozen theories; but what we require of any of them is that their behavior replicates the “facts” ; the real data gathered by real observations of the real universe.

    As for the models; they have no reality; just usefulness as tools to perhaps predict what other observations we might be able to make in the real universe to glean new “facts”.

    George

  130. Leif Svalgaard (10:01:00) :

    Modern quantum theory posits that a phenomenon does not ‘exist’ until observed [not necessarily by humans only]

    Good ol’ Bishop Berkeley. ;-)

  131. tallbloke (11:51:01) :
    “Modern quantum theory posits that a phenomenon does not ‘exist’ until observed [not necessarily by humans only]”
    Good ol’ Bishop Berkeley.

    He should have kicked the stone too to let his sore toe tell him about reality…

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  133. Hey people, just take a look at sun spot records since Jan 2008 or before and then do some reading about Maunder Minimum, etc. and also go to NASA space and science research center (SRCC) Its all pretty obvious.

  134. One thing that has bothered me (as a confirmed AGW skeptic) is the diametrically opposite views we get on the global temperature anomaly each month. In WUWT we often get articles showing how the anomaly is decreasing back towards the long-term average, and yet frequently on the Weather Underground, a post from Jeff Masters (who seems to be a confirmed alarmist) posts the exact opposite. A case in point is today’s post on wunderground that May 2009 was the “fourth warmest May on record” when measured globally. He cites the National Climatic Data Center and sure enough, if you visit their site, that’s exactly what they do say. They give a figure of +0.53 C for May which seems vastly different from the figure of +0.09 C quoted here. Who is right, or does anyone have a clue what is going on?

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