Pielke Sr. responds to NCDC’s “Talking Points” about surfacestations.org

SurfaceStationsReportCover

Roger A. Pielke Sr. Comments On The NCDC Talking Point Response To The Report “Is The U.S. Surface Temperature Record Reliable?” By Anthony Watts

The National Climate Data Center (NCDC) has responded to the excellent report

Watts, A. 2009: Is the U.S. Surface Temperature Record Reliable? 28 pages, March 2009 The Heartland Institute [hard copies available from The Heartland Institute 19 South LaSalle Street #903 Chicago Illinois 60603]

which I weblogged on at “Is The U.S. Surface Temperature Record Reliable?” By Anthony Watts.

The NCDC “Talking Points” released on June 9, 2009  are available at

Talking Points related to: Is the U.S. Temperature Record Reliable?

Unfortunately, the author of the NCDC Talking Points cavalierly and poorly responded to Anthony Watts report. They did not even have the courtesy to cite the report! {UPDATE 7/3/09: They have now cited Anthony’s report, but retained the original date of the Talking Points of June 9 2009).

Below, I comment on their response.

NCDC Talking Point #1

Q. Do many U.S. stations have poor siting by being placed inappropriately close to trees, buildings, parking lots, etc.?


A. Yes. The National Weather Service has station siting criteria, but they were not always followed. That is one reason why NOAA created the Climate Reference Network, with excellent siting and redundant sensors. It is a network designed specifically for assessing climate change. http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/climate/uscrn/. Additionally, an effort is underway to modernize the Historical Climatology Network, though funds are currently available only to modernize and maintain stations in the Southwest. Managers of both of these networks work diligently to put their stations in locations not only with excellent current siting, but also where the site characteristics are unlikely to change very much over the coming decades.

Climate Science Response

Their answer confirms what Anthony Watts and colleagues have carefully documented.  An obvious question is why did not NCDC elevate this as a priority sooner? Moreover, if the current sites can be “adjusted” to be regionally representative, why does NOAA even need the new Climate Reference Network? The answer to that is that they have recognized for years that there is a problem with the siting of the surface stations, but deliberately attempted to bury this issue until Anthony Watts and colleagues confronted NCDC with the issue.

NCDC Talking Point #2

Q. How has the poor siting biased local temperatures trends?

A. At the present time (June 2009), to the best of our knowledge, there has only been one published peer-reviewed study that specifically quantified the potential bias in trends caused by poor station siting: Peterson, Thomas C., 2006: Examination of Potential Biases in Air Temperature Caused by Poor Station Locations. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 87, 1073-1080. Written by a NOAA National Climatic Data Center scientist, it examined only a small subset of stations – all that had their siting checked at that time – and found no bias in long-term trends. The linear trend in adjusted temperature series over the period examined was nearly identical between the stations with good siting and the stations with poor siting, with the stations having poor siting showing slightly less warming. The following questions address implications from that paper.

Climate Science Response

This is blatantly untrue and the author of these talking points know that. Tom Peterson, for example, was even a reviewer of the Pielke 2007a and 2007b papers, and was aware of the Pielke et al 2002 paper.

Pielke Sr., R.A., T. Stohlgren, L. Schell, W. Parton, N. Doesken, K. Redmond, J. Moeny, T. McKee, and T.G.F. Kittel, 2002: Problems in evaluating regional and local trends in temperature: An example from eastern Colorado, USA. Int. J. Climatol., 22, 421-434.

Pielke Sr., R.A. J. Nielsen-Gammon, C. Davey, J. Angel, O. Bliss, N. Doesken, M. Cai., S.  Fall, D. Niyogi, K. Gallo, R. Hale, K.G. Hubbard, X. Lin, H. Li, and S. Raman, 2007a: Documentation of uncertainties and biases associated with surface temperature measurement sites for climate change assessment. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 88:6, 913-928.

Pielke Sr., R.A., C. Davey, D. Niyogi, S. Fall, J. Steinweg-Woods, K. Hubbard, X. Lin, M. Cai, Y.-K. Lim, H. Li, J. Nielsen-Gammon, K. Gallo, R. Hale, R. Mahmood, S. Foster, R.T. McNider, and P. Blanken, 2007b: Unresolved issues with the assessment of multi-decadal global land surface temperature trends. J. Geophys. Res., 112, D24S08, doi:10.1029/2006JD008229.

In the second paper, we wrote

“Peterson’s approach and conclusions, therefore, provide a false sense of confidence with these data for temperature change studies by seeming to indicate that the errors can be corrected.”

The decision of the NCDC Talking Points to ignore these papers illustrates the state that NCDC is in with respect to Climate Science. NCDC, as led by Tom Karl, is not interested in an inclusive assessment of climate science issues (in this case the multi-decadal surface temperature trends), but are only interested in promoting their particular agenda and in protecting their particular data set.

NCDC Talking Point #3

Q. Does a station with poor siting read warmer than a station with good siting?

Not necessarily. A station too close to a parking lot would be expected to read warmer than a station situated over grass far from any human influence other natural obstructions. But a station too close to a large tree to the west, so that the station was shaded in the afternoon, would be expected to make the afternoon maximum temperature read a bit cooler than a station in full sunlight. Many local factors influence the observed temperature: whether a station is in a valley with cold air drainage, whether the station is a liquid-in-glass thermometer in a standard wooden shelter or an electronic thermometer in the new smaller and more open plastic shelters, whether the station reads and resets its maximum and minimum thermometers in the coolest time of the day in early morning or in the warmest time of the day in the afternoon, etc. But for detecting climate change, the concern is not the absolute temperature – whether a station is reading warmer or cooler than a nearby station over grass – but how that temperature changes over time.

Climate Science Response

The answer correctly reports on the variety of issues that affect surface temperatures. However, where we disagree is that the multi-decadal surface temperature trends and anomalies also depend on the details of the observing sites and how these details change over time.

This can be illustrated from our 2007 BAMS paper, where the set of relatively closely spaced stations shown in Figure 10 (reproduced belw) have significantly different long term trends, as summarized in Table 5 (reproduced below) from that paper. Despite being relatively close together, the variations in both the local enviroment and the station exposure result in distinctly different trends [Using the categories in the Watts, 2009 report, the stations had the following Trinidad (3); Cheyenne Wells (1); Las Animas (5); Eads (4) and Lamar (4)].

Even sites that are locally in a category 1 class, such as Cheyenne Wells, however, also have issues with the landscape in their local surroundings, as we documented for locations in northeastern Colorado in Figures 5, 7, 9, 10 and 12 of

Hanamean, J.R. Jr., R.A. Pielke Sr., C.L. Castro, D.S. Ojima, B.C. Reed, and Z. Gao, 2003: Vegetation impacts on maximum and minimum temperatures in northeast Colorado. Meteorological Applications, 10, 203-215.

Depending on wind direction, the air that reaches the observing site can have a different temperature. Changes in the wind directions over time can result in temperature trends that are due to this effect alone.

This local landscape variation as a function of azimith can be seen in the photographs for the Cheyenne Wells site in

Davey, C.A., and R.A. Pielke Sr., 2005: Microclimate exposures of surface-based weather stations – implications for the assessment of long-term temperature trends. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., Vol. 86, No. 4, 497–504,

where depending on the wind direction and time of year, the air that the temperature sensor monitors may transit a dirt road, crops, or other land surface varations, each with a different surface heat budget., before reaching the temperature observing site.

The NCDC Talking Points ignore informing us why all of these local landscape effects on multi-decadal surface temperature trends would be random and average out.

NCDC Talking Point #4

Q. So a station moving from a location with good siting to a location with poor siting could cause a bias in the temperature record. Can that bias be adjusted out of the record?

A. A great dealof work has gone into efforts to account for a wide variety of biases in the climate record, both in NOAA and at sister agencies around the world. Since the 1980s, scientists at NOAA’s NationalClimatic Data Center are at the forefront of this effort developing techniques to detect and quantify biases in station time series. When a bias associated with any change is detected, it is removed so that the time series is homogeneous with respect to its current instrumentation and siting. The latest peer-reviewed paper which provides an overview the sources of bias and their removal (Menne et al., 2009 in press), including urbanization and nonstandard siting. At the time that paper was written, station site evaluations were too incomplete to conduct a thorough investigation (that analysis is forthcoming). However, they could evaluate urban bias and found that once the data were fully adjusted the 30% most urban stations had about the same trend as the remaining more rural stations.

Climate Science Response

The failure of NCDC to correct for all of the recognized biases has been documented in

Pielke Sr., R.A., C. Davey, D. Niyogi, S. Fall, J. Steinweg-Woods, K. Hubbard, X. Lin, M. Cai, Y.-K. Lim, H. Li, J. Nielsen-Gammon, K. Gallo, R. Hale, R. Mahmood, S. Foster, R.T. McNider, and P. Blanken, 2007: Unresolved issues with the assessment of multi-decadal global land surface temperature trends. J. Geophys. Res., 112, D24S08, doi:10.1029/2006JD008229;

a paper NCDC has chosen to ignore [another surface temperature analysis group has been open to scientific debate, however; see].

NCDC has also ignored

Lin, X., R.A. Pielke Sr., K.G. Hubbard, K.C. Crawford, M. A. Shafer, and T. Matsui, 2007: An examination of 1997-2007 surface layer temperature trends at two heights in Oklahoma. Geophys. Res. Letts., 34, L24705, doi:10.1029/2007GL031652,

where we document a bias in the use of a single level surface temperature (the minimum temperature, in particular) to monitor multi-decadal surface temperature trends.

The NCDC talking points also mention the Menne et al (2009) paper, which, unfortunately, perpetuates the NCDC failure to adequately consider all of the biases and uncertainties in the surface temperature record. The Menne et al paper was weblogged in

Comments On The New Paper “The United States Historical Climatology Network Monthly Temperature Data – Version 2 By Menne Et Al 2009

Finally, we have several other papers in the review process, and look forward to communicating them to you when accepted for publication.

NCDC Talking Point #5

Q. What can we say about poor siting’s impact on national temperature trends?


A. We are limited in what we can say due to limited information about station siting. Surfacestations.org has examined about 70% of the 1221 stations in NOAA’s Historical Climatology Network (USHCN). According to their web site of early June 2009, they classified 70 USHCN version 2 stations as good or best (class 1 or 2). The criteria used to make that classification is based on NOAA’s Climate Reference Network Site Handbook so the criteria are clear. But, as many different individuals participated in the site evaluations, with varying levels of expertise, the degree of standardization and reproducibility of this process is unknown.

However, at the present time this is the only large scale site evaluation information available so we conducted a preliminary analysis.

Two national time series were made using the same gridding and area averaging technique. One analysis was for the full data set. The other used only the 70 stations that surfacestations.org classified as good or best. We would expect some differences simply due to the different area covered: the 70 stations only covered 43% of the country with no stations in, for example, New Mexico, Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, Ohio, West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee or North Carolina. Yetthe two time series, shown below as both annual data and smooth data, are remarkably similar. Clearly there is no indication for this analysis that poor current siting is imparting a bias in the U.S. temperature trends.

Climate Science Response

This is a cavalier response.  In order to show that there is little effect on surface temperature anomalies due to station siting, they need to assess the anomalies over time in the same region for each category of station siting. A national average which includes includes large regional variations (e.g. see Figure 20a in Pielke et al 2007a ) tells us little about the quality of the data.

They also do not provide the details of how (or even if) they “homogenized” their data using other surface temperature information. As we wrote in Pielke et al 2007b
“….attempting to correct the errors with existing adjustment methods artificially forces toward regional representativeness and cannot be expected to recover all of the trend information that would have been obtained locally from a well-sited station.”
NCDC Talking Point #6

Q. Is there any question that surface temperatures in the United States have been rising rapidly during the last 50 years?

A. None at all. Even if NOAA did not have weather observing stations across the length and breadth of the United States the impacts of the warming are unmistakable. For example, lake and river ice is melting earlier in the spring and forming later in the fall. Plants are blooming earlier
in the spring. Mountain glaciers are melting. And a multitude of species of birds, fish, mammals and plants are extending their ranges northward and, in mountainous areas, upward as well.

Menne, Matthew J., Claude N. Williams, Jr. and Russell S. Vose, 2009: The United States Historical Climatology Network Monthly Temperature Data – Version 2. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, in press.


Peterson, Thomas C., 2006: Examination of Potential Biases in Air Temperature Caused by Poor Station Locations. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 87, 1073-1080. It is available from
http://ams.allenpress.com/archive/1520-0477/87/8/pdf/i1520-0477-87-8-1073.pdf.

Climate Science Response

Their claim that temperatures have been “rising rapidly” over the past 50 years is based on the surface temperature record in which there are reported warm biases; e.g. see

Pielke Sr., R.A., C. Davey, D. Niyogi, S. Fall, J. Steinweg-Woods, K. Hubbard, X. Lin, M. Cai, Y.-K. Lim, H. Li, J. Nielsen-Gammon, K. Gallo, R. Hale, R. Mahmood, S. Foster, R.T. McNider, and P. Blanken, 2007: Unresolved issues with the assessment of multi-decadal global land surface temperature trends. J. Geophys. Res., 112, D24S08, doi:10.1029/2006JD008229.

NCDC also is misinformed with respect to the other climate metrics. For example, they write

Plants are blooming earlier in the spring.”

However, a new paper in press (see)

White, M.A., K.M. de Beurs, K. Didan, D.W. Inouye, A.D. Richardson, O.P. Jensen, J. O’Keefe, G. Zhang, R.R. Nemani, W.J.D. van Leeuwen, J.F. Brown, A. de Wit, M. Schaepman, X. Lin, M. Dettinger, A. Bailey, J. Kimball, M.D. Schwartz, D.D. Baldocchi, J.T. Lee, W.K. Lauenroth. Intercomparison, interpretation, and assessment of spring phenology in North America estimated from remote sensing for 1982 to 2006. Global Change Biology (in press),

writes

“Trend estimates from the SOS [Start of Spring] methods as well as measured and modeled plant phenologystrongly suggest either no or very geographically limited trends towards earlier spring arrival, although we caution that, for an event such as SOS with high interannual variability, a 25-year SOS record is short for detecting robust trends.”

IN CONCLUSION

NCDC would be a much more valuable resource in the climate community if they worked to be inclusive in presenting all peer reviewed perspectives in climate science. Currently, they are only reporting on information that supports their agenda and not communicating real world observational data that conflicts with that agenda. The fault for this failure in leadership is with Tom Karl who is Director of NCDC.

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120 Responses to Pielke Sr. responds to NCDC’s “Talking Points” about surfacestations.org

  1. timetochooseagain says:

    I was wondering when you’d pick it up Anthony! I put this in tips and notes days ago! :)

    REPLY: Timing is everything. I chose today for a reason. – Anthony

  2. Steven Hill says:

    We are in serious trouble…..or, is it all planned out? The start of spring thing is just plain stupid.

    Thanks Anthony, it’s easy to see that you’re the correct one.

  3. Mike McMillan says:

    (11:02:07) :REPLY: Timing is everything. I chose today for a reason. – Anthony

    Birthday?

    Meanwhile, I’d reeeely like to find out whether they compared homo’d or raw CRN 1&2 stations with the rest of the country. Are we looking at that ourselves?

    REPLY: Why not ask Thomas Petersen? I’ve sent him two emails and have gotten no reply. Volume always helps, here is the email address:

    Thomas.C.Peterson@noaa.gov

    This is a public email address, so I’m not “outing” him. – Anthony

  4. Jack Green says:

    This has been covered before but look at Peterson’s paper and look at the graphic that shows a world view of the sights. South America is void as well as only 7 to 10 covering Antarctica. It’s eye opening when you see the lack of coverage of surface stations.

    This is a major Rift in the AGW’s story along with the “corrections” NCDC makes to the data for poor location and urban heat effects.

  5. ohioholic says:

    “First they ignore you. Then they laugh at you. Then they fight you. Then you win.”

  6. ohioholic says:

    Attribution of the above quote to Ghandi, of course.

  7. Completely OT: An advertisement for the Scientology Church?

  8. John F. Hultquist says:

    Quote: “Q. Is there any question that surface temperatures in the United
    States have been rising rapidly during the last 50 years?

    A. None at all. — ”

    It is their question so I attribute the “rising rapidly” phrase to NCDC. Such phrasing ought not to be used even when they “cherry pick” the time frame – which they have, and when, in fact, it maybe rose slowly but maybe not, and now it simply is not rising. And the “None at all.” response. As phrased this is outright false! Of course there are questions about it – it is what all the kerfullel is about, is it not?

    Nice of them to correct the attribution issue regarding the author and title of the report they were responding to. Foolish of them not to have done so in the first place.

    Thanks to Pielke Sr. for the extra work making an issue of this and keeping it in their face. Likewise, for Anthony’s work.

    Some of this stuff would be amusing if it were not so seriously misused.

  9. hunter says:

    Wow.
    We have been so had.

  10. John F. Hultquist says:

    Robert van der Veeke (12:17:41) :

    Completely OT: An advertisement for the Scientology Church?
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Just click on it. I do a Ctrl/click. It comes up in a hidden window and then I go and X it out.

  11. Jason Salit says:

    REPLY: Timing is everything. I chose today for a reason. – Anthony

    The anticipation is killing me… When will the reason be revealed?

    REPLY: oh it’s nothing earth shattering, just my knowledge of blog traffic cycles tells me when certain things are better placed online than others, and I wanted this one to get maximum exposure. – Anthony

  12. Jack Hughes says:

    Did they really say “Mountain glaciers are melting” ?

    This tells you a lot about the organisation’s scientific credentials.

  13. Kudos to you, Anthony. You were Pielke’s student, weren’t you? Must be very gratifying that your major prof speaks up for you. Says to me he’s proud of you and what you’ve done, as we all are.

    Special occasion? CSU is inviting you back to receive an honorary Ph. D.? Well deserved!

    REPLY: No Dr. Pielke is a professional acquaintance. There’s no special occasion on placing this other than I know it will get more views on Sunday than Friday/Saturday of this week. – That’s all – Anthony

  14. Darell C. Phillips says:

    Although it’s “weather and not climate”, that start-of-spring acronym (SOS) worked REALLY well this year. Canada is saying they have no Spring/Summer this year and Australia & NZ had no Autumn. The migratory birds cannot breed http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/opinion/westview/big-chill-in-churchill-47992231.html
    and the crops are stressed. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/columnists/christopherbooker/5525933/Crops-under-stress-as-temperatures-fall.html

    Here is a response to Thomas Karl quoted as saying: “Such major (weather) oscillations are part of a bumpy road toward global warming.”

    http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/opinion/letters_to_the_editor/extreme-weather-through-the-ages-48416987.html

    So the migratory birds and farmers this year are messaging “Dit dit dit, dah dah dah, dit dit dit.” Global Warming? Bah bah bah.

  15. Jack Hughes says:

    There is danger in both pushing NCDC into a corner and in letting them paint themselves into a corner.

    We need to reach across the aisle – to give them a face-saving escape route.

    They are at least acknowledging (through clenched teeth) the work done in the surface stations project.

    We need to be generous to them – maybe even ask their advice on how to improve the surface stations project.

    The way forward for everyone, rather than a pointless fist-fight, is to work together to answer questions like these:

    1) How to best use historical data.

    2) How to best collect data going forwards.

    The answers to Q1 might involve more research into the exact history of f the sites including when things were moved, when nearby roads and buildings were built, when thermometers were replaced, who did the readings, when did other people do the readings. I can picture a tall person and a short person getting different readings from a mercury thermometer – just imagine if Bert used to do all the readings, then Bert does the weekday readings and Sally at weekends then Bert dies and Sally does all the readings for 10 years. This could create a ‘trend’ that just did not exist.

    Q2 might involve some parallel collection of data in the old ways – eg re-installing a mercury thermometer and taking the readings in the morning as well as using the modern equipment and schedules. We cannot travel back in time and get the 1960s readings with today’s technology and methods – but we can do the reverse which is to get today’s readings with yesterday’s methods.

    If we are looking to detect very small trends then we really do need to isolate as many other factors as we can and measurement error is one of the simplest things to eliminate.

    I would then go on to build well-sited stations and run these AS WELL AS running the old stations.

    There has GOT TO be a budget for this fundamental research. The whole AGW concept rests on the notion that there is/was a temperature trend. It’s got to be worth spending a few million dollars on checking this out properly. With some pukka statisticians and meteorologists.

  16. henrychance says:

    Just a little group of small ideas. Pielke wrote about the influence of irrigation and it’s effect on rainfall. In this colorado example, there have been water rights litigation with nearby kansas and that could effect the number of acres under irrigation. Irrigation fields, especially the sprinkler variety (circles) can do a tremendous cooling. A hot angry warming enthusiast that lives in the concrete jungle of a city would have no idea.
    This by the way wouldn’t show up on a picture of the house and the yard in which the pictures show the thermometer. It does show up in the satelite pictures. Again a variable is Colorado lost and was forced to let more water continue down the Arkansas river to kansas.

  17. Darell C. Phillips says:

    Jack Hughes (13:55:26) :

    The ice-makers in our refrigerators have nothing on Mother Nature.

    http://www.iceagenow.com/Open_letter_to_Congressman_Dave_Reichert.htm

  18. Darell C. Phillips says:

    Jack Hughes (14:19:32) :

    There has GOT TO be a budget for this fundamental research. The whole AGW concept rests on the notion that there is/was a temperature trend. It’s got to be worth spending a few million dollars on checking this out properly.

    Which is exactly why it will not be done. The emperor will not give you the funds to buy him a mirror to show that he is “clothing challenged.” They fixed the Hubble’s mirror of course, but they knew it was pointed outward.

  19. bill says:

    climate is about temperature “anomaly” not absolute temperature.

    So you have the photos, you have rated the stations for accuracy. I assune you have proof that the anomaly is also in error?

    A station of grade 1 100 metres above another grade 1 will be about .65°C cooler
    Does this make the higher station invalid although it may be local to the other?
    A Grade 1 station in a frost hollow will similarly be in error to a local Grade 1 station not in such a hollow. Does this make its temperature readings invalid?
    What about siting with respect to water (sea / lake) etc. etc.

    A station in the centre of London measures the local environment temperature in exactly as accurate a way (UHI will not have change significantly). It is the local temperature and therefore as valid as the one up a hill/in a frost hollow/by water. The all measure the local environmet temperature.
    If you think centre of habitation readings should be ignored then isn’t this cherry picking? Isn’t a town is just as much a part of the environment as the country?

    Adjustments can be applied to correct for changes in that environment (a new car park asphalted around it etc) . Most places will not slowly drift upwards/downwards – it should be an abrupt change over a couple of years.

    If you consider this not to be the case then do you have proof that the site will wreck the anomaly?

    If this can be proved then adjustments need to be entered for other environmental aspects – height/water/frost hollow etc.

  20. Smokey says:

    bill:

    A station of grade 1 100 metres above another grade 1 will be about .65°C cooler.

    Really?

  21. AnonyMoose says:

    Is NCDC required to include a reply in their material, when they write about a specific publication? Do NCDC publication or transparency standards require identification of authorship or agency approval?

  22. Steven Kopits says:

    Interesting that the NCDC chose a 50 year time frame for temp change. That puts the start point at 1959. Go back another 20 years to 1940, and of course, the US lower 48 would show the 40’s as hotter than the recent decade.

    Why politicize the institution? Why not just let the numbers speak for themselves and others draw the interpretations? If the temp anomalies continue to unravel, then the credibility of the NCDC/NOAA will be damaged for decades to come.

  23. imapopulist says:

    I would like to see a comparison of raw, unaltered data from the 70 best sites compared with raw, unaltered data for the entire data set. If these two lines match as closely as Peterson claims in his presentation, then I will be willing to accept his position (knowing that it still could be circumstantial but nevertheless it is what it is).

    I am extremely skeptical, however, of any data base that has been altered, manipulated, adjusted, massaged, what ever label you wish to put on it. Particularly when the data comes from an organization that has an agenda which many of us believe is to promote a cause, not to present objective and factual data.

    They need to understand that the general population is not exactly in a mood to accept government scientists and administrators at their word. If these fine folks are truly NOT manipulating they data, then they should be bending over backwards, doing back stands, doing whatever it takes to respond to the “data credibility questions” of the AGW skeptics.

    It would be so easy for them to win over a number of us simply by opening up and putting our minds at ease that the data that they are presenting is accurate and unbiased.

    To date they haven’t and therefor I shall continue to remain a skeptic.

  24. bill says:

    Cotton region sheltetrs compared to MMTS

    http://ams.confex.com/ams/pdfpapers/91613.pdf

    A coop recorder’s view

    http://njwo.net/cotton.htm

  25. Konrad says:

    bill (15:10:56) :
    “Climate is about temperature “anomaly” not absolute temperature. So you have the photos, you have rated the stations for accuracy. I assume you have proof that the anomaly is also in error?”

    Bill,
    I believe it is fair to say that Anthony has effectively demonstrated that the stations being used are so compromised they cannot measure an anomaly as small as is being claimed. If UHI around a station were constant you would be able to measure an anomaly as you claim, but UHI cannot be constant for the majority of urban, airport or even most stations listed as rural. The US population has been increasing over the measurement period and with it the number of roads, buildings and other human structures that do not transpire like natural vegetation.
    The raw USHCN data was posted on a previous thread, and shows no anomaly. It is only after adjustments that warming is shown. The plots shown for the various adjustments raise serious questions. Why is the correction for data infilling not random around 0.0 degrees? Why is the site change adjustment fully positive, when it is known that man made structures have encroached on station sites over time? Why does the site adjustment plot not evidence the MMTS short cable issue? Why does the equipment change adjustment not show an adjustment for the introduction of latex paint on Stevenson screens? Why are UHI adjustments so small, and apparently not used in USHCN 2? And what’s with TOB adjustments that do not reference actual recorded station TO data?

  26. Jim says:

    Jack Hughes (14:19:32) :
    If NCDC want to be taken seriously and “be generous to them”, then maybe they shouldn’t write tripe such as this (non) paper. Had they taken pains to write something worthy of serious consideration, it might be different, but they didn’t. This is obviously nothing more that a hack job by them.

  27. EW says:

    bill (15:10:56) said:
    A station in the centre of London measures the local environment temperature in exactly as accurate a way (UHI will not have change significantly). It is the local temperature and therefore as valid as the one up a hill/in a frost hollow/by water. The all measure the local environmet temperature.
    If you think centre of habitation readings should be ignored then isn’t this cherry picking? Isn’t a town is just as much a part of the environment as the country?

    Can’t say about a station in the centre of London, but I can say something about a station in the centre of Prague (Czech Rep.). It is one of the long European records, starting from the end of 18th century and sited in the former Jesuite college Klementinum. During the existence of the station, Prague changed from a town with 80 000 inhabitants to present city of more than million people. The record is therefore not a part of GHCN, but it is continued because of its valuable length.
    It has been analyzed for UHI effects and homogenized using the neighboring rural stations. This study has shown, that it is not possible to simply apply some UHI-adjusting coefficient derived from the neighboring population growth – the UHI effect of the city growth increased until 60’s, but since then the following urban spread and further population growth did not add anything more. Moreover, the record has witnessed industrialization of the city in 19th century as well as its deindustrialization at the end of the 20th century.
    Such changes are difficult to adjust for by any automatically applied algorithm and therefore rural stations with minimum changes of their surroundings are preferable. Regardless of their siting at the mountaintop or in the deep valley.

  28. ohioholic says:

    bill (15:10:56) :

    Basically, you have just admitted that urban citing of stations played a role in the upward trend. Read your post again with this new knowledge, and you may indeed find yourself thinking a bit differently.

    As far as proof of wrecking the anomaly, consider a station placed on asphalt. On a sunny day, the asphalt will add X degrees to the reading as compared to a rural station. Now flip the roles, and you will see that on a cloudy day in the city, there would be less of a discrepancy. Ignoring this sometimes on sometimes off discrepancy does affect the anomaly.

    The rest of the argument seemed a little off. Why not just include all of these things, and windchill, too and adjust for nothing?

  29. Darell C. Phillips says:

    bill (15:10:56) :

    You are ignoring that the siting rules were put into place to eliminate the urban (or if I may say “anthropogenic”) effects on the readings as well as hills and other topographical features. The system was set up to be intentionally “cherry-biased.” A station in your “frost hollow” would not have been allowed in the first place.

    For example,

    • General location sensitive to measuring long term climate variability and trends. The site location is representative of the climate of the region, and is not heavily influenced by unique local topographic and mesoscale/microscale features/factors.

    and here:

    Avoid high-risk sites: Extreme/above average frequency of tornado incidents; Enclosed locations that may “trap” air and create unusually high incidents of fog, cold air advection, etc.; Vicinity of orographically induced winds, such as Santa Ana and Chinook; Complex meteorological zones, such as adjacent to an ocean or other large bodies of water; and Persistent periods of extreme snow depths…

    What Anthony et al have shown with the surface stations project is that cherries used to be forbidden but are now welcomed, as they serve as “enablers” that show that human (biased) judgment must intervene to coax out the “true” data. Over time it seems, most of the “no cherries” signs have gone away and are now mostly cherry groves. And warm (UHI) cherries at that. Perhaps Anthony needs a new CRN rating key, based on the number of cherries that a station has? Indeed, the CRN descriptor can stay, but now it might stand for “Cherry Reference Network” and the “Cherry Ratings Number.” The more cherries in a row, the more human (anthropogenic) attention is needed to modify the result.

    What we need is to return these sites to “cherry free zones.”

  30. Jim says:

    bill (15:10:56) : Do you have the details of how the adjustments were made and would links to online versions exist?. I’m not a climatologist and don’t have ready access to journals, so it is a serious question. Any time the warmists apply adjustments, one has to be wary since some have applied questionable statistical techniques in even more questionable ways. Frankly, if they don’t even know the current state of the stations, which they themselves admitted, any statistical technique they employ should be analyzed closely. I would think any such attempt would have a small probability of correct corrections given all the variable involved.

  31. Darell C. Phillips says:

    A significant consideration when examining specific instrument sites is whether the area surrounding the candidate instrument site has a high degree of probability of continuing in its present condition, without major changes for very long periods of time (50 to 100 years). The need for unchanging physical surroundings, particularly encroachment by man-made structures, is a key factor in determining the probable long-term stability of a potential site.

    and

    The most desirable local surrounding landscape is a relatively large and flat open area with low local vegetation in order that the sky view is unobstructed in all directions except at the lower angles of altitude above the horizon. The area occupied by an individual instrument site is typically about 18 meters × 18 meters (~60 feet × ~60 feet).

    While this would be the ideal, if all of the stations were like the above all 1200+ stations would have started out CRN-1. Instead, stations were set up and categorized 1-5. The problem comes when the standard is not maintained. Thus, a CRN-1 reports as a CRN-1 but has slipped into another category. Either maintain it as a CRN-1 or reclassify it and make official note of that for any future readings. Without consistency, why even bother?

  32. Pamela Gray says:

    A better measure of spring is in bats. Bats mate in the fall. The female holds the sperm till spring and then times it with food availability. All you have to do monitor when baby bats are born. That tells you either an early spring, normal spring, or late spring. This year spring is late and the bat population is seriously down here in NE Oregon. I have maybe 1/4th of the bat population I usually have.

  33. bill says:

    Konrad (16:22:39) :
    I believe it is fair to say that Anthony has effectively demonstrated that the stations being used are so compromised they cannot measure an anomaly as small as is being claimed.

    Can you give me a link to this proof please?

    ohioholic (16:55:30) :
    On a sunny day, the asphalt will add X degrees to the reading as compared to a rural station. Now flip the roles, and you will see that on a cloudy day in the city, there would be less of a discrepancy. Ignoring this sometimes on sometimes off discrepancy does affect the anomaly.

    Is this not the air temperature at that station? And therefore a valid reading.? If the temperature increases by 1 deg C through GW then both stations will presumably increase by 1 deg C.

    The rest of the argument seemed a little off. Why not just include all of these things, and windchill, too and adjust for nothing

    I hope this windchill suggestion is a joke and not ignorance!

    Darell C. Phillips (17:00:15) there is a bit of a height difference!

    Album: HIGHLAND HOME 31.95°N, 86.32°W; 181 m
    Album: SCOTTSBORO 34.69°N, 86.05°W; 187 m
    VALLEY HEAD 34.57°N, 85.62°W; 324 m
    Album: FAIRHOPE 30.55°N, 87.89°W; 7 m
    Album: EUREKA SPRINGS 36.42°N, 93.79°W; 433 m
    Album: ROHWER 33.8°N, 91.27°W; 46 m
    Album: GROTON 41.35°N, 72.05°W; 12 m
    Album: STORRS 41.8°N, 72.25°W; 198 m

    So in the few areas I looked at the station height is between 7m and 433m

    As far as I am aware, no one has measured the effect of
    a buildings proximity
    an asphalted path
    Shading by trees
    an airport runway/taxiway

    Have a read of the documents I referenced –
    There is a mmts offset compared to CRS
    The offset does not change with age of MMTS
    A CRS readind is affected by sunlight reflecting off snow (an MMTS is not.

    To claim the records are all useless one should have the facts to prove it?

  34. John F. Hultquist says:

    A lot of the comments regarding stations and measurements miss the mark for this post. They have received considerable comment before. Search for and read them.

    This post is about the offensive nature of the professional – using the term loosely – scientist(s) leading the cause of CAGW within the US Government, specifically, in this case, the NCDC. Note: key word in this paragraph is “offensive.”

  35. Steve says:

    Hi Anthony,

    When the IPCC claimed that the GCM models (with GHG forcing included) could replicate the observed changes in global average temperatures do you know if they were referring to a truly global measurement or were they just using the US temp record?

    If so, it could be slightly embarrassing for the models if the the US temp record has a positive bias and yet they have previously used their hind-casts as credentials for the validity of their projections to 2100 :)

    Cheers
    Steve

  36. Phil says:

    @ bill (16:17:15) :

    Cotton region sheltetrs compared to MMTS

    http://ams.confex.com/ams/pdfpapers/91613.pdf

    A coop recorder’s view

    http://njwo.net/cotton.htm

    From your first reference, page 2:

    One aspect of the MMTS transition that was always a concern but was not well documented was siting differences. Since the MMTS initially required trenching and a buried cable, ideal or preferred instrument exposures were sometimes abandoned in favor of sites closer to buildings that required shorter cables and little or no trenching. Concerns over lightning also contributed to shorter cabling configurations. Davey and Pielke (2005) documented several of these situations in Eastern Colorado and suggested that instrument location could be the most critical factor affecting in tracking long-term temperature changes. (emphasis added)

    This is exactly what Anthony has documented at surfacestations.org. It even references Davey and Pielke (2005), which is also referenced in the text of the post above. Therefore, it would seem your reference has completely supported both Dr. Pielke and Anthony.

  37. ohioholic says:

    bill,

    The windchill was a bit of snark.

    The urban station would be affected by the warming of the asphalt on sunny days. It would not be affected as badly on cloudy days. This would obviously skew the urban record. As an example, the air temperature was recorded as 84F in my area of Ohio, but a temperature on the blacktop of a parking lot was reading at 100F. Assume that the temperature record reflects this day as 100F due to a poor location for the sensor. Now the next day is 65F and cloudy. The temp sensor reads 65F. The record is skewed because of cloudy days where the (close to) real temperature is included, or the air conditioner (different picture, same problem) is turned off, and so on. If you are suggesting there is an adjustment that takes this into account, I would like to see it.

  38. Jim says:

    bill (17:55:20) : You seem to be missing the point. The point is that if a station starts out as CRN1 and over the years moves up the scale to a CRN5 and the warmists don’t even know what the changes have been WRT new cement or asphalt installations, buildings being built around them, air conditioner vents pointed toward them, etc. ; how can you claim that a station that has undergone those types of changes will measure the same trend as a station with the same lifetime but with a CRN1 rating over its lifespan? The only way to try to make sense of the data is to sprinkle the Teams statistical fairy dust over it and that frequently doesn’t work out.

  39. idlex says:

    Bill wrote: A station in the centre of London measures the local environment temperature in exactly as accurate a way (UHI will not have change significantly). It is the local temperature and therefore as valid as the one up a hill/in a frost hollow/by water. The all measure the local environmet temperature. If you think centre of habitation readings should be ignored then isn’t this cherry picking? Isn’t a town is just as much a part of the environment as the country?

    I’m with you on this, Bill. I have a mini-weather station which records temperature, air pressure, humidity, rainfall. Since there’s no garden to my apartment, I have to keep it in my ‘centre of habitation’, which happens to be my bathtub. And which makes it difficult but not impossible for me to take a bath.

    And I get quite regular readings of 100% humidity when the local weather service reports humidity at 30%. And I had a whole 4.3 cm of rainfall one day, when the local weather service recorded no rainfall at all. And peak air temperature have risen as high as 30 degC when the local liar weather service was saying it was only 10 degC.

    Isn’t my bathtub as much a part of the environment as anywhere else? Isn’t it as valid as anywhere else? Why does my local weather service not accept my data? Why have they stopped returning my calls? I think it’s out-and-out discrimination myself, as I’m sure you’ll agree.

  40. Mike D. says:

    … a multitude of species of birds, fish, mammals and plants are extending their ranges northward and, in mountainous areas, upward as well.

    That statement is counter-factual and unsupported by any verified scientific research. The NCDC has no idea in creation what the current, former, or future “ranges” of “birds, fish, mammals and plants” are, were, or will be.

    Absolute junk science!!!!!!!!!!!

    That kind of baseless claim in an allegedly scientific report by an allegedly scientific institution is proof that they are blowing smoke, political smoke, propagandistic smoke.

    The NCDC “Talking Points” are a travesty, a rip off, and a complete and utter failure on the part of a taxpayer-funded agency. Their report is at best a cover-up of their ongoing incompetency and incapacity to monitor and manage the weather station network. At worst, it is a pack of despicable lies.

    The NCDC should be de-funded immediately. Fire the employees and close the doors. Watt’s Surfacestations Project has demonstrated that private citizens with no government funding can supply a superior product than can the worthless boondoggle that is the NCDC.

  41. Bill Briggs says:

    The sites seem to be poorly situated. All this talk of “adjusting”, “correcting”, or “compensating” the data tells us just one thing. The data are not data at all, they are educated guesses. And educated guesses reflect not only the education of the guessers, but also their theories, their prejudices, and their politics.

    The global climate business is a house of cards.

    Bill Briggs
    Charlevoix, Mich.

  42. nofreewind says:

    This was just posted on another site and is quite pertinent to todays discussion.

    http://www.appinsys.com/GlobalWarming/GW_Part2_GlobalTempMeasure.htm

    what a terrible world we live in….

  43. Konrad says:

    bill (17:55:20) :
    ”Can you give me a link to this proof please?”

    Bill,
    Please read Anthony’s report “Is the US surface temperature record reliable?”
    The link is at the top of the thread. Only 11% of stations surveyed rated CRN1 – 2. Therefore the remaining stations have expected errors greater than the temperature anomaly said to be observable.

    These surface stations can be used for weather reporting or limited weather prediction. But these stations cannot reasonably be claimed to be useful in climate analysis unless a warming anomaly were well outside the known station recording errors. I feel that the hard work of Anthony and his volunteers has also shown that problems for individual stations are so varied that applying generalized adjustments to the temperature record is without merit. Given that the reported warming anomaly for USHCN is almost totally dependant on generalized adjustments, questions need to be asked.

  44. nofreewind says:

    I am a Pennsylvania breeding bird atlas Regional Coordinator (the Poconos). We are in the 6th and last year of our survey. If you know about birds, almost all of our data is in. Pennsylvania is a fairly big state, with a good mix of northern and southern bird species. You can Select a Species and scroll to whatever bird you wish in the , look at the data, then click previous atlas data from 1984-89 to compare it to previous data. Did the breeding area move north, if temperatures were rising. I compared quite a few species and did not find any significant trends. We have twice as much data as the first, so that can be confusing, because there are many more sightings. I did think there were a few species that moved a very small amount northward, like 20 miles. There were also a few that seemed to move southward. There was no dramatic or overall shift whatsoever. I wrote an email and sent it to my regional coordinator list, with comparisons, but not one wrote back or seemed to want to talk about it, of course! I am sure that 90% are likely on the “man is bad” and is “killing the world” kool-aide. They probably feel they care too deeply about nature to feel otherwise because that would be against the environmental movement consensus. (note:I stopped going to Audubon dinners after they started making me bring my own dish and silverware which i was supposed to take home and wash to save paper!)

    [REPLY - I recommend bringing paper plates. ~ Evan]

  45. DoctorJJ says:

    This is from the link provided above by nofreewind. This graph is showing the average temperatures observed vs the number of reporting stations. Pretty obvious trend here.

  46. evanmjones says:

    Dr. Pielke is quite correct, and he has barely scratched the surface.

  47. Tom Fuller says:

    Well, y’all are first in a series. http://www.examiner.com/examiner/x-9111-SF-Environmental-Policy-Examiner~y2009m7d5-Does-global-warming-diminish-with-accurate-temperature-measurements-Part-1

    Regular readers of WUWT won’t see much new there, but this weblog is the gift that keeps on giving.

  48. bill says:

    Konrad (19:24:56) :
    Please read Anthony’s report “Is the US surface temperature record reliable?”

    From that report:
    These nearby heat sources, such as concrete and asphalt, have been demonstrated to heat nearby air and bias thermometer readings upwards by as
    much as 7º C (12º F).5
    5. H. Yilmaz, S. Toy, M.A. Irmak, S. Yilmaz, and Y. Bulut, “Determination of Temperature Differences between asphalt, concrete, soil and
    grass surfaces in the City of Erzurum, Turkey,” Atmosfera 21, #2 (2008), pp. 135-146.
    The very pretty thermographs prove that the sensor is not affectedby the local walls – sensor colour is cool- (although I am certain Mr. Watts did not normalise the radiative properties of the sensor and surface – wrecking the accuracy of this reading – e.g. a glossy surface can reflect the surrounding temperature and not the surface temp of the unit). The £50,000 FLIR camera I am used to using has correction factors for the emmitance of object was the emmittance of the wall and MMTS case measured?
    The referenced article is talking about surfaces UNDER the sensor not vertical walls or paths nearby so proves nothing. It should be remembered that convection rises above the hot surface so would need wind to actually affect the reading. Re-radiation MUST NOT affect the reading since 6000deg C radiation is already hitting the MMTS from the sun.

    I can seen no references to the scientific measuring of the effects of paths and walls. Perhaps you can point out the page?

  49. Jimmy Haigh says:

    Robert van der Veeke (12:17:41) :

    Completely OT: An advertisement for the Scientology Church?

    That’s why I call them “climate scientologists”.

  50. Paul Brassey says:

    Q. Do many U.S. stations have poor siting by being placed inappropriately close to trees, buildings, parking lots, etc.?

    A. Yes. The National Weather Service has station siting criteria, but they were not always followed. That is one reason why NOAA created the Climate Reference Network, with excellent siting and redundant sensors. It is a network designed specifically for assessing climate change.

    I think the last sentence says it all. NOAA/NCDC now assumes “climate change” is happening (and human-caused by implication), and will henceforth design all their measuring and computational systems to make it so. I’m not a scientist, but even I have a built-in BS sensor.

  51. jae says:

    [snip - full of ad homs and inflammatory language. While NCDC, like any government entity has its troubles, the language you used is neither fair nor factual - Anthony]

  52. mbabbitt says:

    Bill: To claim the records are all useless one should have the facts to prove it?

    Is that what Anthony’s report is claiming — that they are all useless? Really? Perhaps, just perhaps, he is claiming that the temperature record cannot be relied upon for forming absolute conclusions about the temperature record. And perhaps, it follows logically, that is would not be very good public policy (this data mishmash would never survive the scrutiny standards in other sciences) to make major and potentially economically devastating political decisions based on such questionable input.
    And yes, John F. Hultquist’s statement about the actual topic of this entry is correct. It is about the state of Climate Science professionalism — or what passes as professionalism — and science — today.

  53. Darell C. Phillips says:

    bill (17:55:20) :

    I was commenting on your example of a station being located in a “frost hollow” and not regarding altitude. If you have any questions about altitude, you should contact the NCDC.

    Of course as you know, there is a solution to the issue of using a consistent altitude throughout the network. Satellites have been used since 1979 and here is what they can report regarding lower troposphere temperatures-

  54. Don S. says:

    Jack Hughes “There is danger in painting NCDC into a corner…”
    Jack, the road to hell is paved with good intentions. The AGW crowd is in a state of mild and growing panic. Hit them now with every fact available, drive them from their positions, replace them as the climate cognoscenti. Steal their politicians from them and ultimately achieve the budget you want to do real science. This is a time for action, not discussion. Is there science that disproves the AGW position, or is there not? If there is such science, storm the ramparts and put an end to this nonsense.

  55. ohioholic says:

    jae (20:44:58) :

    Uhhh, moderator? Where art thou?

    [REPLY - Anthony has attended to it. See? We even defend NOAA sometimes. Compared with other blogs we have a fairly light finger on the snip trigger. (But sometimes, snip we must.) ~ Evan]

  56. Steve Keohane says:

    bill (15:10:56) You obviously haven’t looked at how the surface station temps are adjusted. Hansen likes to raise the modern UHI temps and lower the past, less urbanized readings. See: http://i42.tinypic.com/vpx303.jpg
    Also, there were just too many of those pesky temperature stations, especially since their readings can be inferred by super-dooper computing. See: http://i44.tinypic.com/23vjjug.jpg

  57. ohioholic says:

    Thanks Anthony. I agreed with some (not all) of that poster’s points, but it was a little over the top. Maybe you (jae) could tone it down some and try again?

  58. Konrad says:

    bill (20:11:34) :
    About that very pretty thermograph, yes I would expect the MMTS enclosure to read cooler. I would expect that the heating of the enclosure due to IR radiating from the wall to be slight. The issue here is the effect of the air in the microclimate. Surface air heats by contact with surfaces initially heated by solar radiation. The wall must heat the air in contact with it if that air is at a lower temperature.

    How would that air get into the MMTS enclosure? The simple answer is wake turbulence. Heated air around a structure can be mixed into surrounding air within the turbulent zone around the structure created by the wind. I have had first hand experience of wake turbulence when landing light aircraft near farm buildings on bush strips, even with low cross winds. The basic message is that the sensor shown in the pretty thermograph cannot be rated CRN-1.

  59. Phil says:

    @ bill (20:11:34) :

    From that report:
    These nearby heat sources, such as concrete and asphalt, have been demonstrated to heat nearby air and bias thermometer readings upwards by as much as 7º C (12º F).5
    5. H. Yilmaz, S. Toy, M.A. Irmak, S. Yilmaz, and Y. Bulut, “Determination of Temperature Differences between asphalt, concrete, soil and grass surfaces in the City of Erzurum, Turkey,” Atmosfera 21, #2 (2008), pp. 135-146.

    The very pretty thermographs prove that the sensor is not affected by the local walls – sensor colour is cool- (although I am certain Mr. Watts did not normalise the radiative properties of the sensor and surface – wrecking the accuracy of this reading – e.g. a glossy surface can reflect the surrounding temperature and not the surface temp of the unit). The £50,000 FLIR camera I am used to using has correction factors for the emmitance of object was the emmittance of the wall and MMTS case measured? The referenced article is talking about surfaces UNDER the sensor not vertical walls or paths nearby so proves nothing. It should be remembered that convection rises above the hot surface so would need wind to actually affect the reading. Re-radiation MUST NOT affect the reading since 6000deg C radiation is already hitting the MMTS from the sun.

    I can seen no references to the scientific measuring of the effects of paths and walls. Perhaps you can point out the page? (emphasis added)

    I am assuming that you are referring to Figures 7 thru 14 on pages 9 and 10 of Anthony’s report. First, Figures 9 and 10 show a transformer that a disinterested observer would probably agree was UNDER the MMTS sensor for all practical purposes. Would you grant that? Second, Figures 13 and 14 show a concrete sidewalk about 50cm away from the base of what I am assuming is a 2m tall MMTS sensor. Again, a disinterested observer would probably agree that the concrete sidewalk was UNDER the MMTS sensor for all practical purposes. Would you grant that also?

    Third, Figures 11 and 12 show what I am assuming to be a 2m tall MMTS sensor between a concrete path and a concrete wall. Again, the concrete path looks to be about 50cm away from the base of the MMTS sensor. Would you grant that the path and the wall would show similar temperatures on your infrared camera and that a disinterested observer would also agree that, for all practical purposes, the concrete path was UNDER the MMTS sensor?

    Fourth, Figures 7 and 8 show what I am assuming is a 2m tall MMTS sensor in front of a concrete wall. I am assuming this is the photograph with which you have taken the most issue, since the concrete pathway appears to be more than 50cm away from the base of the MMTS sensor. However, if you look at Figure 7, the hood of a car can be seen what appears to be about 50cm away from the sensor. Would you grant, then, that the MMTS sensor in Figures 7 and 8 appears to be close enough to a parking lot that a disinterested observer would agree that the parking lot (and the cars thereon parked in the vicinity of the sensor) appears to be UNDER the MMTS sensor, for all practical purposes?

    REPLY: This whole argument over magnitude of effects wouldn’t be happening if the sensors were correctly sited in the first place. We shouldn’t have to untangle the mess from the data post facto. – Anthony

  60. Mike D. says:

    I have been a reader of WUWT from the beginning (Nov. 2006). Previous to that I was introduced to the Surfacestations Project by my good friend George Taylor, formerly Oregon State Climatologist. Hence I have tracked these issues for quite awhile.

    I vaguely recalled the posts Mr. Watts wrote about his visit to the NCDC Climate Reference Network offices in Asheville, NC, and so searched them out. It was April of 2008 and the posts are here:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2008/04/23/road-trip-update-day-1-at-ncdc/

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2008/04/24/road-trip-update-day-2-at-ncdc-and-press-release/

    By that date the Surfacestations Project had already made key findings about dozens of poorly sited weather stations, findings which were raising a stir at NCDC. But the meetings were friendly and the shared concern appeared to be sincere. Mr. Watts wrote:

    I want to extend my heartfelt thanks to Dr. Baker, Debra Braun, Grant Goodge, and the entire CRN science team, plus Jeff Arnfield, and Steven Del Greco for answering all my questions and taking such careful time with me. Additionally I wish to thank Dr. Karl, and Assistant Director Sharon LeDuc for hearing my concerns and offering ideas.

    Everyone there at NCDC made me feel welcome and appreciated.

    Fast forward to last month when the NCDC promulgated an unsigned memo entitled “Talking Points related to: Is the U.S. Temperature Record Reliable?”

    That memo failed to even mention Anthony Watts or the Surfacestations Project, although the substance of the memo made it clear, and the internal emails that pushed the memo cited surfacestation.org directly. See:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/06/24/ncdc-writes-ghost-talking-points-rebuttal-to-surfacestations-project/

    The utter rudeness of NCDC is not lost on me. A year ago they were all smiles and the appearance of legitimate scientific concern. Now they are arrogant and dismissive in a most unscientific and uncollegial manner.

    That kind of ugly political game playing is unacceptable coming from a federal agency. A talking points memo? That is prima facie evidence of politics, not science. And to allude to, rather than name, the Surfacestations Project? Extremely classless and unprofessional!

    It has now been revealed that Thomas C. Peterson is the author of the memo. However, Thomas Karl, the director of NCDC, is responsible for what goes on in his agency and certainly must have been aware of the memo before it was passed around.

    I would like to see Dr. Karl recant the memo and issue a personal apology to Mr. Watts. Absent that, I would like to see Dr. Karl resign or be dismissed. I have lost trust and confidence in Dr. Karl. His judgments in this matter have been atrocious, beneath dignity, lacking in any sort of scientific integrity or common courtesy, and indicate an inability on his part to lead the NCDC.

    This is not Dr. Karl’s first foray into political theater. But I am willing to forgive him his indecencies if and only if he exhibits some contrition. If not, then he must go, IMHO.

  61. Jeff Alberts says:

    We need to reach across the aisle – to give them a face-saving escape route.

    They’ve had every opportunity, but have simply refused. They helped create this mess. I have no sympathy for them.

  62. AlanG says:

    It looks like the NCDC has moved into ‘anticipatory’ damage limitation mode. Get your paper out as soon as possible, Anthony, They are probably preparing paper as well. If they get there first they will turn around and say we’ve already addressed the issue.

  63. gazetna says:

    Thanks Anthony. I agreed with some (not all) of that poster’s points, but it was a little over the top. Maybe you (jae) could tone it down some and try again?

  64. RhudsonL says:

    Palin/Jindal 2012

    Pielke Sr. for national poet

  65. bill says:

    I do not dispute the classification.
    I do not suggest that siting is “good enough”

    But I would like to know just how much difference that concrete path @ “50cm” makes to the temperature readings and especially how much difference it makes to the anomaly (for climate purposes this is the important factor is it not?).

    A simple (dirty – uncontrolled) experiment
    Central heating radiator
    Thermocouple (0.5mm bead – fast response) inside cardboard tube 1cmx1cm (to isolate from radiation)
    Height at level of radiator top
    Still Air
    50cm 23.8 deg C
    10cm 23.6 deg C (convection currents drawing cool floor level air up through tube?
    2cm 23.9 deg C
    1cm 25.0 deg C
    .5cm 39.0 deg C
    0cm 42.4 deg C

    Just how far will convection heat air away from source if no wind?

    An important point is that the temperature record is all you have. It has been measured the way it has and nothing can change this. Correction factors can be built in but these can only provide an estimate of historical temperature. If Anthropomorphic climate change is happening something must be done now not in 50 years when the reference network has provided a definitive record of temperature anomalies.

    When dealing with professionals one should remember that their reputation is their bread and butter. Tell one pivately that there is a problem with their results and a sympathetic hearing may be given – their reputation is not harmed. But put it on a blog with many readers as a way of telling them there is a problem hurts that reputation. It must be very difficult for them then to come here and admit problems considering the “abuse” and strident and often irrelevant questioning they have to face if they are defending GW.

    Steve Keohane (21:30:02) :
    bill (15:10:56) You obviously haven’t looked at how the surface station temps are adjusted. Hansen likes to raise the modern UHI temps and lower the past, less urbanized readings

    You and others are suggesting that the changes are being falsified to prove a position.
    I have plotted stations taken at random from the noaa site and ploted the adjustments. (somehow I managed to pick many that the adjusment reduced GW effect):

    To me the adjustments look like an honest attempt to correct a problem not a deliberate attemp at falsification of evidence.

    mbabbitt (21:09:14) :
    …he is claiming that the temperature record cannot be relied upon for forming absolute conclusions about the temperature record. …(this data mishmash would never survive the scrutiny standards in other sciences)

    The data as it stands is all the evidence you have. On what other data would you suggest making a decision that HAS to be made if AGW is a fact (remember you cannot use this temp record to support YOUR theories)?

  66. L says:

    I wrote, a few days ago, that NOAA/NCDC would respond to Anthony’s project by arguing that their intent was not to chart actual temperature, but to document “change,” and their response has been to do exactly that. “The observations are flawed, sure, but the trend is unmistakable.”

    What is being missed here is that the “arrow of time” assures that the bias will always be in the direction of “warming.” Few weather stations on Earth are immune to this trend: most places they set up stations will be subject to the relentless urbanization of our part of the planet. As pointed out above, the data we should be assessing is that from the relatively uninhabited parts of the planet, such as Africa and South America, where the readings will be less impacted by human activity. This seems so simple as not to require explaination. Otherwise we’re simply monitoring the effects of human activity in our neighborhoods, without any reference to the overall picture, about which we presently know damn little.

    Turning this ignorance into “Cap and Trade” is the epitome of folly.

  67. Mark Fawcett says:

    Bill writes:

    “An important point is that the temperature record is all you have. It has been measured the way it has and nothing can change this. Correction factors can be built in but these can only provide an estimate of historical temperature. If Anthropomorphic climate change is happening something must be done now not in 50 years when the reference network has provided a definitive record of temperature anomalies.”

    Yes, but if you know that a large part of your data set _may_ be ‘knackered’ then the sensible thing to do is a full and proper analysis of that set which is deemed ‘good’. It is a shame that the professional bodies can’t do this themselves and we have to get something so fundamental done by people like Mr Watts (and all the volunteers) off ‘their own bat’ as it were.

    Your argument “If Anthropomorphic climate change is happening something must be done now…” is interesting and on the surface (no pun intended) quite a strong one.

    However, the huge amounts of money, time and possible detrimental econmic effects that are being talked about with schemes such as Cap-n-Trade make your “If” one hell of a gamble to take – it’s a classic precautionary principle argument and that’s not necessarily a good way to run anything.

    By the same argument if we’re told (via modelling, data collection, historical records) that a major earthquake is going to devastate a major city within the next 100 years then we’d better damn well spend a lot of money in moving that city. Oh wait, we don’t do that do we, so the residents of San Fran etc. can go whistle. You can repeat that for Naples and Vesuvius and so on.

    I’m not against being nice to the world – I just think we should focus on enviromental causes that we can address; river pollution, smog, disease, clean water, decent crop strains and so on. Just think of how much better we could make the planet for all the people that live on it if we spent a _fraction_ of the money that’s being talked about with Cap-n-Trade. The key difference is we’d be spending it on projects that can make a difference rather than trying the King Canute approach.

    Cheers

    Mark.

  68. TJA says:

    “To claim the records are all useless one should have the facts to prove it?”

    So, either the records are “useless”, or they are of such high quality that they are beyond question, and can be used to justify new trillion dollar anual taxes and unimaginable constraints on economic growth unless an unproven new economic model works exactly as expected by a adherants of one particular ideology which has a poor track record on such matters?

  69. RoyFOMR says:

    bill (02:29:54)

    If Anthropomorphic climate change is happening something must be done now not in 50 years when the reference network has provided a definitive record of temperature anomalies.

    If.
    What a lovely word that is Bill. Welcome to the Word of the Sceptic.

  70. Manfred says:

    @bill

    “To me the adjustments look like an honest attempt to correct a problem not a deliberate attemp at falsification of evidence.”

    Personal opinions speculating about motives isn’t very helpful and actually not necessary, when the facts speak for themselves.

    NOAA claims, that it’s temperature record is in accordance with the best climate stations record. The same has been said about GISS. However, NOAA’s trend is approx. 0.7°/century higher than GISS.

    Somebody MUST be wrong.

    The GISS trend is in much better accordance with the satellite data and HADCRUT than NOAA, so all fingers point to errors in NOAA. Adding NOAA’s untrue statements from their paper, there appears to be something wrong with NOAA’s data and appears to be something wrong at NOAA.

  71. rbateman says:

    Dig up records back before ubanization began (concrete jungle).
    Has anyone any experience with this:
    27.5.7 Records of the Division of Station Facilities and
    Meteorological Observations and its predecessors

    Textual Records: Microfilm copy of a compilation of meteorological reports, 1819-92 (562 rolls), arranged by state and thereunder alphabetically by station, consisting of reports of army surgeons at military posts, 1819-59; Smithsonian Institution voluntary observers, 1840-73; and regular stations and voluntary observers of the Signal Office and Weather Bureau, 1870-92. Daily observations of meteorology at military posts (“Meteorological Registers”), 1819-1916. Journals of daily observations at the Naval Observatory, Washington, DC, 1842-1913. Reports of wind movement, 1872-1904. Reports of wind direction, 1891-1904. Annual station reports, 1888-96. Monthly station reports, 1905-7. Meteorological observations at Mount Washington, NH, 1889-92 (in Boston); Brownsville, TX, 1889-92 (in Fort Worth); and Mount Weather, VA, 1905-14 (in Philadelphia). Summaries of meteorological observations at Woods Hole, MA, 1873-95 (in Boston). Storm warnings, Ludington, MI, 1916 (in Chicago). Missouri precipitation summaries, 1856-1904 (in Kansas City). Observations in Alaska, 1881-92, 1898-1920 (in Anchorage). Reports of observations of Halley’s Comet, 1910.

    Microfilm Publications: T907.

    Maps: Locations of weather reporting stations, forecast centers, flight advisory weather service units, airport stations, and headquarters, 1944-45 (10 items). See also 27.7.

    Two noted people in my own rural area kept records from 1859 to 1894. One of them submitted forms to the US Dept. of Agricultre, Weather Bureau.
    Maybe there is more out there that is tucked away.
    Reconstructing the picture of alternating periods of warming & cooling 150 years back would blow the doors off of AGW.
    I have this sneaking suspicion that a lot of good records are being overlooked/ignored.
    A local newspaper had many articles from 1884 on that strongly pointed in the direction of a cooling change. Previously, it had been very warm with abundant rains.

  72. Pierre Gosselin says:

    We’ve got a friend at the WSJ.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124657655235589119.html

    Keep em coming Kimberly!

  73. Richard M says:

    bill (02:29:54):

    “The data as it stands is all the evidence you have. On what other data would you suggest making a decision that HAS to be made if AGW is a fact (remember you cannot use this temp record to support YOUR theories)?”

    First of all you can’t even claim that AGW is responsible for ANY temperature changes. There are dozens or more possible causes both known and most likely unknown. Not to mention these little things called satellites that have been measuring temperatures for 30 years and show an anomaly of ZERO. I have no problem using these results. Do you?

    Finally, if we can’t determine if AGW is happening or even the degree of it’s impact even if it is happening. Why in the world would we implement costly policies to stop it?

  74. Bill D says:

    Mike D. (19:20:10) :

    … a multitude of species of birds, fish, mammals and plants are extending their ranges northward and, in mountainous areas, upward as well.

    That statement is counter-factual and unsupported by any verified scientific research. The NCDC has no idea in creation what the current, former, or future “ranges” of “birds, fish, mammals and plants” are, were, or will be.

    Mike:

    You can check the scientific literature on this topic by going to Google Scholar and typing in “seasonal phenology and climate change” I got a little over 22,000 hits on this topic. Quite a number of good review articles. Seasonal phenology refers to the timing of breeding, migration, leafing out, flowering etc. If you are specifically interested in studies on range expansion, trying typing “range expansion and climate change” I get over 600,000 hits on this topic. I think that it is fair to argue that we don’t know what future ranges will be. However, there are clearly thousands of good studies in the scientific literature on range expansion in response to climate warming. You should read a few of these studies before concluding that they do not exist.

  75. Jim says:

    @bill (20:11:34) : You make a good point. Experiments should be done to quantify the effect of various situations concerning the sensor. I have to wonder why Hansen and Mann and others on The Team aren’t pushing for such a study and spending some of my tax dollars on it.

  76. Ralph says:

    >>>Most places will not slowly drift upwards/downwards
    >>> it should be an abrupt change over a couple of years.

    Urban sprawl and use of increased heat producing devices close to met stations is a slow, on-going process, and I doubt if it would be easily seen as a spike in the records of that station.

    The UK midlands monitoring station (don’t have the reference with me at present) has a slow increase in temperature that closely mimics:
    a. The AGW theory
    b. The growth of urban sprawl around the station

    Take your pick, but urbanisation must be included in that temperature record somewhere.

  77. Tim F says:

    I found Dr. Pielke’s comment about the NCDC not citing the Watts paper as interesting.

    There are many people who like to sound smart, but who’d rather have others do their thinking for them. In this group, the words “peer reviewed” are almost magical. If the NCDC cites Watts’ paper, then it is, ipso facto, peer reviewed.

    I submit they are not citing it because to do so would further elevate its status.

    Tim

  78. Gary Pearse says:

    World glaciers are melting? How do they know? I have been clicking on the World Glacier Monitoring website for over a year and they are still reporting that the “preliminary” data is available for 2006-2007. WUWT? They must have the data right up to 2009 or its gone! I believe they are holding out until after the “Copenhagen Warm in” in November. Note that even the 2007 number of glacier expansion has risen relative to 2006 data. I think it would be worth a short post by someone with glacier expertise – especially explaining what is involved in assessing glaciers so we don’t get a snow-job with “adjustments” when the number of expanding glaciers comes in after November.

    http://www.wgms.ch/

  79. mbabbitt says:

    Bill: On what other data would you suggest making a decision that HAS to be made if AGW is a fact (remember you cannot use this temp record to support YOUR theories)?

    Your assumption is obvious: that a decision — a far reaching, draconian, and probably devastating one at that (cap and trade) — HAS to be made. Talk about having a desperate assumption or agenda. “If AGW is a fact” – my god, man, that is what its all about! And your use all caps (HAS) to make an hysterical point belies your irrational attachment to the idea.
    I personally do not need to present an alternate theory at this time. (Many qualified scientists have done so.) The AGW proponents state a theory; it is up to them to prove it. Period. I would declare the null set to be that the perceived changes can be easily accounted for as natural climate variation (coming out of an ice age) and that there is no “perfect” climate state. You AGW people have to support and prove your theory and one of your major data sets seems to be unreliable and suggests that others like it (other countries) may also be unreliable, at best.
    If you add to this the evidence Roger A. Pielke, Sr. offers in his rebuttal of RC propaganda, I think one can safely and sanely declare that the AGW proponents are working with a house of cards: it looks like a great integrated, well designed structure, a consensus — especially to the so-called environmentalists and to their media and political allies — but so many of its foundational data sets (ocean temps, net ice melt, etc) don’t support their model; at the very least, they don’t support the hysterical, “save the planet” nuttiness that is rampant today. Let me correct this last statement and proclaim the hysteria, NUTTINESS.

  80. Wondering Aloud says:

    Wouldn’t it be nice if NCDC was a responsible scientific institution? Since when is a scientific body supposed ot have “talking points”. Advocacy pseudo science at its worst.

  81. Jim says:

    @bill (20:11:34) : If you have access to such a nice IR device, can you get funds to study the UHI effect? Specifically, set up two identical sensors rated CRN1 100 yards apart in the same large field. Record for a year, then pour a concrete pad around one, record temps for a year. Then build a red brick building next to the experimental sensor, record for a year. Then put an air conditioner next to the sensor with the exhaust 5 ft away and record for a year … etc. If Helen Keller had a wide range of outdoor experiences, I think even she would figure out what the effect of this would be … but it would be good to put numbers to it.

  82. MattN says:

    I expect full retaliation on RC. The Warmers do NOT like it when you call their bluff with actual facts…..

  83. Steve Keohane says:

    bill (02:29:54) Referencing my comment at 21:30:02, “You and others are suggesting that the changes are being falsified to prove a position.” I made no such suggestion, merely pointed out what Hansen does with the records. Your assumption shows biased perspective if you uphold such shenanigans. Further, Hansen’s fiddling is done after these adjustments are made: http://i42.tinypic.com/2luqma8.jpg . So, even without the obvious influence of UHI, somewhere in the neighborhood of .6-.7°F is added to the modern temps. Yes, indeed, we do have AGW, without any CO2 influence taken into consideration.

  84. Innocentious says:


    bill (02:29:54) :
    I do not dispute the classification.
    I do not suggest that siting is “good enough”

    Ummm… from the tenor of your posts this does not seem so, just letting you know.


    But I would like to know just how much difference that concrete path @ “50cm” makes to the temperature readings and especially how much difference it makes to the anomaly (for climate purposes this is the important factor is it not?).

    Just a simple experiment I did a while ago trying to show that urbanization ( which can have even in my own yard ) distinct effects on temperature. I basically wired my yard so that every foot I had a sensor 6 feet up ( on a white PBC tube ) on a west facing exposure of my house ( not in the shade ) and did a grid experiment just for kicks and giggles. Basically as I moved away from man made structures ( the house, sidewalks, etc ) I would have a drop in temperature ( on days where there was no or little wind ) with the center of the area ( area without any nearby man made structures ) being the coolest. The amount of cooling was minimal ( .2 to .3 degrees Fahrenheit ) but the space was not that large (measured 30′ X 40′) ( No I did not have 1200 stations I had close to 100, did cross sectioning)

    One interesting part about this is the brick from the house heated up the closest station to it a little more then the one closest to the sidewalk. This may well be because the sun had been pounding it far longer then the side walk at that point?!? Once night came the difference was REALLY noticeable changing to a much greater extream of almost a degree .

    Now admittedly this was done on grass, which is not what the world is made up of for ground cover however I did this to illustrate a point to myself. When anyone says that urban heat island has no meaning I laugh you can not have that much absorption of radiation not effect ambient temperatures. Combine this with what Anthony has done and you can quickly see how biased a sample such as temperature can become without extreme critical thinking.

    I also admit to not being a scientist, just someone who was curious. Take my anecdotal evidence as far as you will ( which should most likely be nigh unto no where ) However I know what it meant to me. If you really want to answer your own question try something similar to what I did ( I think I went a bit overboard I think I could have managed the same thing with only a fifth of the number of stations I used but I didn’t know that at the time ) I have since moved and no longer have the equipment and am now without a yard ( no grass )… I may need to try the same experiment again and see if it yields different results now that there is no grass…

    Anyway Bill the point is not that the data is the best we have so live with it, the point is do we want to institute trillions in taxes when this is the best data we have. Do we really want to make policy changes in the way that we regulate a gas as essential as Carbon Dioxide simply because there appears to be a correlation? Based on your own questions as to how much difference 50 cm makes I think the answer would be a resounding NO!!! But then who knows…

  85. Dr Reese says:

    The drought is deepening in Cali and our fresh water supply is being stretched to the limit. Interestingly our water system was designed for about 18 million people and now we have legally about 38 million people (plus a couple million extra), the 8th mightiest economy and the most intensive agriculture system on the globe AND million s of tourists each year. You do not have to be a climatologist nor a physicist to see what’s coming down the road.

    http://www.ocregister.com/articles/california-drought-water-2104134-earth-year

    Dr Reese

  86. Gary Pearse says:

    Wait and see; I predict that if we are in an extended cooling period, The AGWers will be citing A. Watts report to show that the measuring of temperature is faulty and that we must go with the models. Talking points will change to: Yes, we realize that these stations were sited in the old days and have masked the rise in temperatures. Our corrections were to conservative.

  87. TJA says:

    Instead of destroying our economy now, when we don’t know, why not continue economic growth until we do know? Then we will have significantly more resources to throw at the problem? If it was as bad as the scaremongers posit, we would know for sure already.

  88. Mike D. says:

    Bill D (04:39:29)

    Mike: You can check the scientific literature on this topic by going to Google Scholar and typing in “seasonal phenology and climate change” I got a little over 22,000 hits on this topic. Quite a number of good review articles. Seasonal phenology refers to the timing of breeding, migration, leafing out, flowering etc. If you are specifically interested in studies on range expansion, trying typing “range expansion and climate change” I get over 600,000 hits on this topic. I think that it is fair to argue that we don’t know what future ranges will be. However, there are clearly thousands of good studies in the scientific literature on range expansion in response to climate warming. You should read a few of these studies before concluding that they do not exist.

    Whatsamatter Bill? Do you have a reading comprehension problem? I said NO VERIFIED STUDIES. Sure, there are plenty of wild speculations out there, and junk science by the garbage barge load. But “ranges” of species are not deterministic, mappable, constant polygons. To claim such exhibits a complete misunderstanding of geographical population dynamics.

    The USFWS dumped wolves in Yellowstone. They multiplied and moved SOUTH (as well as every other cardinal direction). Do you conclude that global COOLING is responsible?

    It is crackpot to presume that every time you sight an animal, it is due to “climate change”. That kind of tunnel vision is a-historical, a-scientific, claptrap jabberwack. Especially considering there has been NO GLOBAL WARMING over the last 30 years. There are a multitude of factors that impact wildlife populations, but global warming is not one of them because IT DOES NOT EXIST. Any study that correlates animal presence/absence with global warming is thus INVALID. Sadly, ignoring real factors and substituting imaginary ones is a common “mistake” made by pseudo-scientists.

    Which is the problem here. NCDC is ate up with pseudos. They are junk science purveyors. They can’t do the job they are paid to do because they are too busy doing radically rude and oafish political talking points.

  89. rbateman says:

    Dr Reese (08:19:07) :
    The past 2 years have nothing on 1976-77. Shasta was down to 600,000 ac.ft. in Nov 77, yet by April 78 it was 4,000,000 ac. ft.
    In 1870’s drought, the Stanislaus and Mokolumne Rivers went undergroud. (ref. Treatise on Hydraulic Mining – A. J. Bowie).
    In the mid 1840’s, the Trinity River went underground according to the Old Settlers who interviewed the Indians here in 1864 (ref – Trinty Journal, 1864)
    Please tell me what rivers in Calif. have now gone underground.
    Please tell me which reservoirs are now down to the bottom.
    Please quote me which watersheds received 10% of normal this year.
    The only reason this sub-normal water year is being ballyhooed as a catastrophic drought is that Mr. Chu has declared Calif. that way, not because it is.
    AGW and it’s proponents have made the claim.
    Let them prove it.
    Show us the images of this historic drought.

  90. whereabouts67 says:

    I am not a scientist nor a meteorologist but I love to delve into the workings of the universe, and I can’t stand junk science. I don’t buy into the “human induced global warming” BS in anyway and find it scary that humans actually think they have that much power and influence in the universe!

    I’ve bookmarked your site and will come back when I have more time to soak it up. Thanks for your efforts.

    Best, Laura

    http://whereabouts.blogster.com

    http://greasy.com/whereabouts

  91. Mike D. says:

    I mean, talk about your circular reasoning!

    NCDC cannot detect global warming because the stations are messed up. So they presume it’s happening because of wildlife studies. BUT… the wildlife studies are based on the presumption that there IS global warming!!!!

    Round and round we go, and where it stops, nobody knows. Cue the circus music, because here comes the parade of clowns.

  92. Bill D says:

    Mike D. (10:01:27) :

    Bill D (04:39:29)

    Mike: You can check the scientific literature on this topic by going to Google Scholar and typing in “seasonal phenology and climate change” I got a little over 22,000 hits on this topic. Quite a number of good review articles. Seasonal phenology refers to the timing of breeding, migration, leafing out, flowering etc. If you are specifically interested in studies on range expansion, trying typing “range expansion and climate change” I get over 600,000 hits on this topic. I think that it is fair to argue that we don’t know what future ranges will be. However, there are clearly thousands of good studies in the scientific literature on range expansion in response to climate warming. You should read a few of these studies before concluding that they do not exist.

    Whatsamatter Bill? Do you have a reading comprehension problem? I said NO VERIFIED STUDIES. Sure, there are plenty of wild speculations out there, and junk science by the garbage barge load. But “ranges” of species are not deterministic, mappable, constant polygons. To claim such exhibits a complete misunderstanding of geographical population dynamics.

    Mike:

    I’ve been at scientific meetings in the US and Europe where highly detailed studies of range expansion and phenology shifts are documented with data, often with data sets of 20-40 or more years. Many of these studies are published in scientific journals. These include studies with plants, insects, birds and other groups. I suggest that you actually read a few dozen of these studies before dismissing them as speculation or junk science. It’s not good science to dismiss published studies unless you have studied them in detail and can, in fact show, that the data or analysis is not up to the standards that are purported. I don’t know anything about expansion of wolf ranges–I agree that range expansion of “introduced” species are not likely to be linked to changes in climate.

    I have a paper in press on very strong effects of climate warming on the food chain of a large Italian lake. Mean and maximal temperatures of the upper 20 m of the lake increased by >2 oC over 21 years with the 6 coolest years in the early 1980s and the 6 warmest years in the late 90s and early 2000s. The dates for this study could be considered “cherry picking” since funding ended at the end of 2003, the warmest year with instrumental data for Europe. However, the warming trend is very strong, based on all of the data. I would be happy to discuss and debate this study when it appears in print later this year. However, in order to critique a scientific study, you need to read it and to point to specific data and conclusions that are not well supported.

  93. Bob Kutz says:

    Q. Is there any question that surface temperatures in the United States have been rising rapidly during the last 50 years?

    A. None at all.

    I think that says it all for me. Their feeble minds cannot see that a lack of suspicion in THAT one aspect renders all of their other endeavors unscientific and unimportant.

    Just because your guages (themometers) are increasing, doesn’t mean the ambient temperatute is. Why not? Do we think our surface temperature sample is infalible with regard to the larger, unsampled population? Why not? Could there be something else happening to our sampe? Could our proxy average be incorrect? Could our ‘adjustments’ be causing the increase? Why not?

    But they simly reply; “None at all”

    Are there any real scientists working in your organization? “None at all”

    Does anyone here believe there is a real ‘truth’ waiting to be discovered? “None at all”

    Would any of you be willing to give up your funding, if it meant that there really is no catastrophy threatening all mankind? “None at all”

    Is there anyone here who can produce a shread of human dignity, rather than groveling at the Pope’s feet, begging for more funding for research into the heliocentric theory of celestial movement? “None at all”

    My five year old is more naturally inquisitive than these “scientists”. Maybe we should defund GISS and NOAA, and just pay him instead. At least he would be inclined to ask ‘why?’ every fifteen seconds until there was some reasonable answer given.

  94. bill (02:29:54) :The data as it stands is all the evidence you have. On what other data would you suggest making a decision that HAS to be made if AGW is a fact (remember you cannot use this temp record to support YOUR theories)?

    This is a loaded statement, and seriously incomplete (I won’t say false, but it is forgetful of essentials). Or am I an idiot?

    (1) The data as it stands is NOT all the evidence we have (and that’s assuming that we can actually get complete raw data records). Thanks to Anthony, we also now will have evidence regarding the individual siting of every station, both visually and hierarchically regarding their level of compliance with NCDC’s own standards. I don’t know if Anthony has collected records of urbanization history in the general vicinity of stations. But on the basis of Anthony’s data alone, it seems that two important things should be possible for the first time with open records and undeniable statistical significance.

    First, a series of longterm temperature graphs can be created, using (a) only rural stations of top class (this would avoid BOTH close-proximity bad siting problems AND district UHI problems); (b) only urban stations of bottom class (c) different combinations. In addition, I’d like to see a fair number of urban transects, to get reliable figures for UHI (or does such already exist??) All this should give a picture of how much total bias has crept in.

    Second, it should then be possible to start to QUANTIFY all heat-skewing effects thus revealed, and assign transparently verified corrective factors to biassed stations. This would take time and money but it would be of infinitely more use to have 5 trustworthy stations than 500 untrustworthy stations whose collective growing heat bias had set in motion the most expensive and unwinnable war ever known. THIS COULD BE A PROJECT IN COOPERATION WITH NCDC – if – they choose to say “sorry” “let’s cooperate” “let’s get the best and the most objective science” (a very big “if”).

    (2) You need to balance your statement eg thus: On what other data would you suggest making a decision that HAS to be made if AGW is NOT a fact? (And remember, you cannot could use a properly purged temp record to show how much warming there has actually been, and during which periods of time)

    Anthony, I hope you have something like the above in mind. Or am I misreading the purpose of it all?

  95. Mike D. IMHO it would be useful if you could quote some typical animal studies that are (a) BS (bad science) or (b) relevant to a time which was warming, but not happening right now that we’ve got cooling again. Bill says he’s got a paper in press about warming effects on lake life, so I suspect he does know a number of “peer-rev’d” similar studies – they may be warmists, but what matters is nailing any details of their evidence that shows bias etc. However, nofreewind says he HAS monitored changes and finds none of significance, which counterbalances Bill D, and at 19:37:02 he has an interesting ref that provides evidence you might like to check.

  96. Steve (Paris) says:

    Mark Fawcett (03:23:10) :

    You play a fine straight bat, good show

  97. Dr Reese says:

    Of course we are in an interglacial warm period and prior to getting cold we are on route to tipping it by forcing warmth. Anyone who thinks that almost 7 billion people and our excessive spending of carbon energy hasn’t left a footprint on our planet certainly musta dropped in from say — Pluto. Have a walk in any forest on our planet and many of the specialists are in big trouble ie their habitat is disappearing either because we’ve destroyed it or the climate is forcing them over the edge. And perhaps even more disturbingly our main pollinator the honey bees are dying. Without the bees there’s no chance that our civilization will prosper.
    Dr Reese

  98. rbateman says:

    Dr Reese (14:17:05) :
    By what measure of heat output by humans in relation to the total energy received by the Sun is going to tip the planets climate, and how on Earth did you come up with that?

    If you are worried about bees, stop spraying the latest noxious chemicals snuck around the FDA by changing a few molecules here & there. I don’t use the stuff and I have tons of bees.
    The only thing that has destroyed our forests here is the Eco-radicals that bring suit over every attempt to thin, clear out half-burned vegetation or even manage overgrown stands. They shut it down, got away with it for decades, and oh how it burned over and over.
    The amount of fossil fuels burned has nothing to do with it. It was the mismanagement from top to bottom that did the deed. Now that we have a chance to correct it, those same forces want to grind Energy in the US to an economic standstill.

    Show me your proof and I’ll show you some historical records in Calif. that says it’s always changing, and has been drier, wetter, hotter and colder in periods in the past, will be in the future, and all AGW agenda is going to accomplish is to destroy whatever monetary reserves this nation has left to cope with changing climate.

    Some folks at the top have this delusion that man is responsible for everything on Earth, and only they can save Earth. I say they are as tired of living as they are tired of leading.
    They certainly are not looking out for Joe Public nor his bees. The most definately made a horrible mess of our forests trying to save them. They will do the same to the rest of the economy if given the chance…i.e. – run it into the ground. Over what? Computer games and data monkeying. Someone do us all a great big favor and program them a new game:
    Planet Hero, complete with cheats for those with the dough.

  99. Indiana Bones says:

    Dr Reese (14:17:05) :

    And perhaps even more disturbingly our main pollinator the honey bees are dying. Without the bees there’s no chance that our civilization will prosper.
    Dr Reese

    It’s important to remember that the honey bee is not native to the Americas. They were brought here by the first settlers from Europe. There have been some four thousand species of native solitary bees (no colonies) and thousands of other insects (butterflies, flies, beetles, etc.) that pollinate our plants very well. And before there were flowers to attract insects, plants were pollinated by the wind. While the decline in the honey bee population is unfortunate they are not “our main pollinator” or a natural species in the Americas and their population is subject to natural variation of climate.

  100. Smokey says:

    Dr Reese says: “You do not have to be a climatologist nor a physicist to see what’s coming down the road.”

    Let me guess, doc… you’re neither. Right?

    Since you’re new here, you probably missed the discussions about how very little the thin scattering of humanity over the globe is able to affect the planet. The answer: very little.

    In fact, too little to even measure — unless the humans are packed together into an urban environment, with their A/C units blowing hot air over asphalt and onto surface station thermometers.

    Want to understand how little humanity there actually is, compared with the Earth’s surface? I think I can reconstruct the analogy from memory, from the previous discussions here on this topic:

    Currently there are about 6.7 billion people on Earth. So let’s be generous, and allow each person 6ft x 2ft x 1.5ft [women & children tend to be smaller].

    This is 18 cubic feet per human. Multiplying 18 cubic feet by 6.5 billion people gives us 117 billion cubic feet of humanity. Sounds like a lot — to a relatively uneducated person. Right… doc?

    Now let’s take one cubic mile, or 5280′ cubed. This is 5,280 x 5,280 x 5,280 feet = 147.2 billion cubic feet.

    Therefore, all of humanity occupies significantly less than one cubic mile. [Actually, all of the people on Earth could fit into a sphere of about 940 meters in diameter.]

    Since the surface area of the Earth is 197,000,000 square miles, that leaves over 196,999,999 square miles of human-free space. Looking at it that way puts the silly Club of Rome arm-waving about “6.7 billion people” in its place; it’s not a scary number when looked at in its true perspective. [I just realized that I've just mixed squares and cubes. So the total area occupied by humanity would be a few square miles. The point is that humanity isn't a significant factor.]

    Also, before the Europeans arrived it is estimated that between 40 million and 100 million huge bison thundered across the Great Plains every year, farting methane all the way and fertilizing the prairie with millions of tons of CO2 emitting meadow muffins. It is also estimated that there were over 50 million Native Americans then. There’s not much left of the bison or the Indians. So you see, even though people have multiplied, there are other factors to consider.

    For instance, ants and termites are estimated to occupy around ten cubic miles; that’s more than ten times the volume of all humanity. And termites emit a lot of methane. But the alarmist grant-seekers can’t make their loot off of termite farts, so they get the clueless all worked up over a blob of protoplasm that would fit into a 940 meter sphere on a 197 million square mile surface.

    Isn’t WUWT a great site, doc? You just learned something!

    [BTW, since you mentioned that mysterious "tipping" point, I have to ask you, like I ask every warmer who mentions it: where is that tipping point? Enquiring minds want to know. Please show us. Also, nice touch about the honey bees. Is global warming gonna get them, too? I'd like to see your citations on AGW=dead honeybees. We can add it to the list.]

  101. Phil says:

    @ bill (02:29:54) :

    I do not dispute the classification.
    I do not suggest that siting is “good enough”

    But I would like to know just how much difference that concrete path @ “50cm” makes to the temperature readings and especially how much difference it makes to the anomaly (for climate purposes this is the important factor is it not?).

    A simple (dirty – uncontrolled) experiment
    Central heating radiator
    Thermocouple (0.5mm bead – fast response) inside cardboard tube 1cmx1cm (to isolate from radiation)
    Height at level of radiator top
    Still Air (snip)

    C’mon Bill, are you being serious? Please put the thermocouple 2m above the top of the radiator and repeat your experiment. The MMTSs you referred to were 2m above the heat sources, albeit 50cm away horizontally.

  102. Mike McMillan says:

    Mike McMillan (12:03:25) :
    Meanwhile, I’d reeeely like to find out whether they compared homo’d or raw CRN 1&2 stations with the rest of the country. Are we looking at that ourselves?

    REPLY: Why not ask Thomas Petersen? I’ve sent him two emails and have gotten no reply…

    So I enquired of Dr Peterson, Anthony, sir, and he informed me that they used the fully homogeneity adjusted USHCN version 2 data.

  103. rbateman says:

    Seems to me that investigations on the honey bees turned up a few suspect causes, but AGW was NOT one of them. Some were saying new GMO stuff, new pesticides, new microbes, etc.
    It’s screaming hot out here on hot summer days, when we get them, and it doesn’t seem to bother the bees.
    If AGW were real, the African Killer bees would have overrun the US by now. They love the heat. So, why are they not all over the place? Has it something to do with falling temsp of late?

  104. bill says:

    Phil (16:44:56) : C’mon Bill, are you being serious? Please put the thermocouple 2m above the top of the radiator and repeat your experiment.
    I assume you mean approx. 1.5m?

    Some stuff of interest:

    http://ccc.atmos.colostate.edu/pdfs/Pielke-etal_BAMS_Jun07.pdf

    The Effectiveness of the ASOS, MMTS, Gill, and CRS Air Temperature Radiation Shields

    http://ams.allenpress.com/archive/1520-0426/18/6/pdf/i1520-0426-18-6-851.pdf

    A Study on the USCRN Air Temperature Performance

    http://ams.confex.com/ams/pdfpapers/69979.pdf

  105. Mike D. says:

    Lucy Skywalker (13:40:23) :

    Mike D. IMHO it would be useful if you could quote some typical animal studies that are (a) BS (bad science) or (b) relevant to a time which was warming, but not happening right now that we’ve got cooling again.

    You mean besides the expanding polar bear population?

    Lucy, I spend my time seeking good science, not bad. If I was to analyze every piece of bad science I come across, I would never get anything else done. That being said, I recently critiqued a forestry paper that claimed global warming is responsible for increasing forest fire acreage in the Western U.S. here:

    http://westinstenv.org/sosf/2009/06/30/is-there-a-forest-fire-climate-connection/

    The problem with all the studies that purport to find a connection between climate and the environment are that they lack good data on both.

    Another factor to consider is that, assuming there is some connection between poorly measured animal “ranges” and non-existent global warming, warmer is better for plants and animals. If ranges are changing due to climate (a baseless claim), it would be a GOOD thing. Warmer means more bio-productivity and biodiversity. So does increased CO2 concentration.

    If Bill’s Italian lake warmed a whopping 2 degrees C, I guarantee it meant more life in the lake. Was that the only factor at play? Of course not. Can one isolate the effect of alleged warming from all the other factors that affected Italian lakes over the last 30 years? I strongly doubt it.

    But bottom line, warmer means more biology. Do Italians want more biology in their lakes? I don’t know. People freak out at the slightest perturbations in their lives. If the world is not frozen in time, then hysteria rules. Italians are not exceptions to that rule. But more Life is a good thing, if you value Life, and I do.

  106. Bill D says:

    Mike:

    In our particular study of the Italian lake, we show that a change in thermal stratification regime of the lake provided a refuge from fish predation from a voracious invertebrate predator called Bythotrephes. A 10-fold increase in Bythotrephes resulted in a 95% decrease in Daphnia, the main phytoplankton grazer in the lake. You may have read about Bythotrephes because it invaded the North American Great Lakes in the 1980s and is changing the food chains of many northern lakes as it extends its range in North America. Our study is not about range change, but about a 10-fold increase in a key predator that is a native but has increased dramatically in abundance during a period of strong warming.

    The large subalpine lakes of Europe, including lakes Geneva (France/Switzerland), Constance (Germany/Switzerland), Zurich (Switzerland) and Maggiore (Italy/Switzerland) have especially good long term data on ecology/fish and temperature. I am currently spending my time on lab experiments, but will soon be analyzing the long term data from all of these lakes to further study effects of warming on Bythotrephes/fish interactions. The best temperature data set is for Lake Zurich, starting just after World War II. If you are interested in reading about long term warming in Lake Zurich, search in Google Scholar under David Livingstone (author) and Lake Zurich. In my analysis, the effects of warmer temperature on physiology are neglible, but the effects of warming on the mixing and stratification regimes are very important.

  107. Phil says:

    @ bill (20:13:50) :

    Your point about the sensors being at different heights is good and Anthony has documented this on several occasions, IIRC.

  108. ohioholic says:

    bill (02:29:54) :The data as it stands is all the evidence you have.

    Yes, we go to war with the army we have, not the army we would like to have. This is the same rationalizing that led to the invasion of Iraq. Tell me, how did that work out?

  109. Bill D says:

    Just a side note. Mike D assumed that he knew what my Lake Maggiore study was about without reading the study or even hearing a description of it. If you read what he says he assumes the study shows and my description, you will note that he has completely missed the point. This goes to emphasize my point that you cannot critisize a study without reading and understanding it. You should not assume that just because a study is peer-reviewed and appears in a respected scientific journal, that it is “junk science.”

  110. Mike D. says:

    Bill,

    One common defect in wildlife/habitat studies is the lack of appreciation for predator/prey relationships. I’m not familiar with your study and don’t mean to imply anything about it, but it is a general rule that wildlife population dynamics are governed by predator/prey interactions, not “habitat” per se.

    Habitat is the field on which the predator/prey game is played. In many cases, both predators and prey can survive and even thrive across a range of habitat conditions. That is, the habitat does not govern population dynamics — the carrying capacity is never strained — because predators eat the prey down to a fraction of the carrying capacity. As prey populations fall, so do predator populations. A non-linear dynamic results.

    I don’t know much about Bythotrephes or Daphnia, except that they both occur in lakes and waterways across a wide range of latitutdes and longitudes. That is, in a variety of aqueous temperature regimes. I infer that a narrow water temperature condition is not a limiting factor for either genus. And I further hypothesize that predator/prey dynamics are the fundamental driver of population change in both.

    “Habitat” set asides almost never affect wildlife populations, whereas manipulations of predator/prey relationships almost always do. Wildlife Population Dynamics 101.

    Could it be that the recent introduction of Bythotrephes into waters formerly free of that predator is driving the population changes, rather than minor water temp changes? And is there any reason to believe that thermal stratification has been constant throughout Holocene lake history? Do you see how habitat alone might not explain anything, whereas predator/prey relationships explain almost everything?

  111. Bill D says:

    Mike:

    The invasion of Bythotrephes into lakes in the northern US and Canada is unrelated to climate change, but is closely tied to the presence of a deep water, low light relative warm refuge from predatory fish. Bythotrephes requires relatively warm water, but is very vulnerable to being eaten by visually feeding fish. Thus, it only survives in deep lakes where warmer water is found at great enough depths such that it’s difficult for visually feeding fish to see the Bythotrephes (due to low light). There are many cases in ecology where habitat is important in providing refuges from predators.

    Bythotrephes has been present in Lake Maggiore at least since the 1940s and perhaps for thousands of year. However, until the period of warming in the late 1980s, it was a minor player in the lake food chain. Warming, especially during strong El Nino years in the late 80s and early 90s resulted in earlier thermal statification and a thicker and longer lasting (during the warmer seasons) layer in which Bythotrephes could “hide” from fish and still find its own prey. This resulted in an “explosion” of its population density. The running head for our paper is “indirect effects of climate warming,” because the key seems to be the change in habitat structure (due to warming) that has altered predator-prey relationships.

    This can be described as a “regime shift” or a “tipping point.” Nearly all of the increase in Bythotrephes occurred during a 3 year period and the species remained abundant after that time. It was during this time that the duration of the thermal/light refuge dramatically increased. In the early 80s the refuge first appeared in August or September, but by the early 90s, the refuge appeared in May or June. Thus, Bythotrephes, which has a generation time on the order of 10 days, had a much greater time when it was safe from fish predation.

    Since I teach a graduate level class in population ecology, I know that predator/prey and competitive interactions are often important in detemining a species success. Several effects of climate change on habitat have been hypothesized to affect predator prey interactions in mammals, although I am not sure how well they have been documented. Snow cover, for example, is supposed to increase moose vulnerability to wolves but to decrease snowshoe hare vulnerability to lynx. The most famous case, of course, is the polar bear and near shore ice. I don’t want to argue about whether sea ice is likely to increase or decrease. However, it seems clear, based on scientific studies, that polar bear hunting success for their main prey, seals, depends on near shore ice. I would say that these studies, including the Bythotrephes study all point to the influence of habitat on predator prey interactions. Thus, habitat and predation interact and both are important.

  112. Dr Reese

    And perhaps even more disturbingly our main pollinator the honey bees are dying. Without the bees there’s no chance that our civilization will prosper.

    ==

    You also and uncritically wonder at the “impact” man “must have” on the environment, then demand (through the economically deadly climate change legislation!) that we spend 1.6 trillion dollars to prevent that damage.

    Couple of points:
    (1) All that 1.6 trillion dollars will do NOTHING to reduce global warming.
    (2) It will only HURT everyone – except socialist international politicians and the corrupt local and overseas governments and criminals who take the money.
    (3) The supposed global warming you claim has such disastrous impact was – real world now, not exaggerated political propaganda – 1/2 of ONE degree change in temperature in 1998, and is right now, real world, actual numbers remember 0.0 degrees change over the past 30 years.

    Please explain exactly how a 0.0 degree measured change in temperatures is supposed to be catastrophic. Please explain exactly how a 1/2 of one degree change accounts for the wildlife changes you claim have occurred due to global warming.

    You CANNOT “invent” results if the “source”: is not present. Well, the AGW propagandists actually do that all the time, but I hope – as a “doctor” you don’t try to treat your patients that way.

    We have measured the real source of ALL supposed AGW symptoms: it is a now 0.0 degree change over 30 years in global temperatures.

  113. Smokey says:

    Bill D (05:08:26):

    In my analysis, the effects of warmer temperature on physiology are neglible, but the effects of warming on the mixing and stratification regimes are very important.

    I’ve been reading your comments with interest. It’s pretty clear that you’re working toward getting the answer you want, whether it’s right or wrong. And of course, you will get it.

    I’m sure you have a ready answer to Robert A Cook’s comment to the “Dr Reese”, immediately below yours:

    The supposed global warming you claim has such disastrous impact was – real world now, not exaggerated political propaganda – 1/2 of ONE degree change in temperature in 1998, and is right now, real world, actual numbers remember 0.0 degrees change over the past 30 years.

    People without a personal, emotional investment like yours will look at the plain facts you state and understand that your conclusions are off base. The problem comes from trying to tie your ecology study in with AGW [you were careful to not mention the A in AGW, but c'mon. You certainly know where you're posting, and it isn't RC].

    The planet’s temperature goes through constant, small fraction-of-a-degree fluctuations above and below the long term trend line of natural global warming. The climate never remains static. Concluding that a temporary, fraction of a degree variation in global temperature is the cause of what you’re observing is ridiculous. And I don’t have to read your unpublished paper to know it’s ridiculous.

    Before putting it out for climate peer review, keep in mind that the referees and journals will pet you if you blame it on global warming. But I suspect you already knew that. Good luck with the grant.

  114. Bill D says:

    Smokey:

    Interestingly, the reviewers, were very critical of the idea that climate change was behind the increase in Bythotrephes in Lake Maggiore and an earlier version of the paper which I was not involved in was rejected.. I became involved in study because I had ideas for a more rigorous statistical analysis. I am very excited that I now have access tolong term data from four other lakes with Bythotrephes with over 140 years of data. This should provide a strong basis for rejecting or confirming our interpretation of the Lake Maggiore analysis. Once a scientist is convinced of the validity of an hypothesis, he or should naturally presents the data as clearly and convincingly as possible. However, it’s also good idea and a good strategy to consider the weaknesses and alternative explanations in the discussion section of a scientific paper. If the author brings up the weakness, this blunts criticism by reviewers. In many cases, reviewers are quite ruthless. If the overall accessment is positive, it is good to have a few pages of highly critical comments that help to improve the clarity and strength of the paper.

    I’ve been an editor or peer reveiwer for over 650 scientific articles for at least 33 scientific journals. Climate change is not my area of research–I’ve probably only reviewed about 10 papers dealing with long term effects of temperature change and I have only been involved as an author in one such paper. I will say that I look to the quality of the science and not whether the conclusions conform with some expectation when reviewing and serving as an editor. Some journals have very high rejection rates (say 80%). I think that it is important for people who are interested in science to have a better understanding of the peer review process and this is why I am writing this note. The notion that peer review is biased is not supported by my experience, although scientists can be more critical if a paper goes against well accepted earlier studies and their expectations. I have often supported publication of papers that were not really convincing if I did not find any defects in the experimental design or data analysis. On the other hand, papers that support a concensus position are often rejected because they have “nothing new.”

  115. Smokey says:

    Bill D,

    I’m not a biologist, but I can think of a number of alternate explanations for your observations, and a temporary change of a fraction of a degree isn’t one of them. Even local/regional climate changes generally have a bigger effect. And other factors completely unrelated to the climate could more credibly account for the observed changes. But I understand how rent seeking works, and I don’t blame any one individual for jumping on the AGW bandwagon. The problem goes deeper than that; it is systemic. As the article states: “NCDC would be a much more valuable resource in the climate community if they worked to be inclusive in presenting all peer reviewed perspectives in climate science. Currently, they are only reporting on information that supports their agenda and not communicating real world observational data that conflicts with that agenda.”

    No doubt you’ve seen Bishop Hill’s report on the shenanigans in climate peer review, but in case you haven’t, here’s the link: click

    I would be interested in your thoughts about the Amman/Mann/IPCC situation. Do you think the climate peer review system is working properly?

    As the Wegman Report to Congress makes very clear, climate peer review is tightly controlled by a relatively small clique of insiders.

    Professor Wegman is an internationally esteemed statistician with impeccable credentials. Do you find his report credible? If so, you must then admit that the climate peer review system has been gamed for the benefit of those promoting the [repeatedly falsified] AGW hypothesis. If not, please explain why Prof. Wegman, et al. are wrong in their analysis.

    Being so involved with the peer review process, maybe you can’t see the forest for the trees. But those of us on the outside, looking at the gross irregularities, see that the system has been gamed for the benefit of a few.

    I am not saying that everyone involved is trying to game the system. Most scientists are honest. But those few insiders controlling the system by waving through papers that have an agenda they agree with, and blocking papers that do not buy into the CO2=AGW conjecture, are making all scientists appear to be less than honest.

    There is money — big money involved in promoting AGW. Not every scientist has the necessary ethics to do the right thing. So the system has been gamed, which explains why those on the AGW side have filled the moat with crocodiles and pulled up the drawbridge. They will not answer straightforward questions, and they will not debate. They dishonestly claim that the data and methodologies used are their own personal property, even though that work product was paid for by the taxpayers.

    You stated that ‘the notion that peer review is biased is not supported by my experience.’ You really don’t see the problem?

  116. Bill D says:

    Smokey:

    I really can’t speculate on peer review outside my own experience, which is mainly in aquatic ecology. One of the strengths of our study on Maggiore is that we have good data that eliminates the alternative explanations that concerned reviewers. I don’t really see how you can suggest alternative explanations when you have not seeen the data nor have you read about the alternatives that we have alread shown to be false. If you have some ideas that could be tested with my 140 years of data on lake temperature and the abundance of Bythotrephes or if you think that we need some specific missing data, I would be happy to hear your ideas.

    One apparent misconception is that scientists try to prove each other right. In fact, the best way to get a good publication is to present data that show that other publications are inaccurate or have overlooked important mechanisms. Over the short term, peer review may lead to the rejection of some good work, or the acceptance of weak or inaccurate studies. However, over longer periods, maybe a few years the best data and the best analysis win out.

  117. Andrew says:

    “Over the short term, peer review may lead to the rejection of some good work”

    Then I’d say peer review doesn’t work “in the short term”

    How long does peer review take for it to work? Will we know in 30 years?

    Andrew

  118. Smokey says:

    Bill D,

    You first, please. Why? Because I asked first, and I’d like to hear your views on the Amman/Mann/IPCC shenanigans documented by Bishop Hill, McIntyre & McKitrick and others. You seem to have skirted that issue completely.

    My final sentence in my last post was a question for you. I provided plenty of backup information in the links, which go to the heart of the climate peer review issues. I have more links if you wish. I’d also like to read your response to the quote in the first paragraph, which was taken from the topic article.

    You also say there is an apparent misconception that scientists try to prove each other right. That may be true elsewhere, but not on this “Best Science” site, where we are constantly reminded of the Scientific Method — which requires that others must try their best to falsify any new hypothesis. [Note that the CO2=AGW hypothesis has been falsified; climate changes are the result of natural fluctuations, and that erstwhile hypothesis has never been falsified.]

    So check out the links I provided, then tell us if you think the climate peer review process is being done fairly and honestly… or not.

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