Pielke Sr. on warm bias in the surface temperature trend – “provides evidence of the significant error in the global surface temperature trend analyses of NCDC”

Up_trendNew Paper Documents A Warm Bias In The Calculation Of A Multi-Decadal Global Average Surface Temperature Trend – Klotzbach Et Al (2009)

Guest post by  — Roger Pielke Sr.

When I served on the committee that resulted in the CCSP (2006) report on reconciling the surface and tropospheric temperature trends, one of the issues I attempted to raise was a warm bias in the construction of long term surface temperature trends when near surface land minimum temperatures (and maximum temperatures when the atmospheric boundary layer remained stably stratified all day, such as in the high latitude winter) were used.  This error will occur even for pristine observing sites. Tom Karl and his close associates suppressed this perspective as I document in

Pielke Sr., Roger A., 2005: Public Comment on CCSP Report “Temperature Trends in the Lower Atmosphere: Steps for Understanding and Reconciling Differences“. 88 pp including appendices.

As a result of the poor treatment by Karl as Editor of the CCSP (2006) report, I decided to invesitgate this issue, and others, in a set of peer reviewed papers with colleagues which include

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.

Pielke Sr., R.A., and T. Matsui, 2005: Should light wind and windy nights have the same temperature trends at individual levels even if the boundary layer averaged heat content change is the same?Geophys. Res. Letts., 32, No. 21, L21813, 10.1029/2005GL024407.

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.

Fall, S., D. Niyogi, A. Gluhovsky, R. A. Pielke Sr., E. Kalnay, and G. Rochon, 2009: Impacts of land use land cover on temperature trends over the continental United States: Assessment using the North American Regional Reanalysis.Int. J. Climatol., accepted

We now have a new paper accepted which documents further a warm bias in the use of multi-decadal global surface temperature trends to assess global warming.

It is

Klotzbach, P.J., R.A. Pielke Sr., R.A. Pielke Jr., J.R. Christy, and R.T. McNider, 2009: An alternative explanation for differential temperature trends at the surface and in the lower troposphere. J. Geophys. Res., in press.

Our paper is also effectively discussed in my son’s weblog

Evidence that Global Temperature Trends Have Been Overstated

The abstract of the Klotzbach et al (2009) paper reads

“This paper investigates surface and satellite temperature trends over the period from 1979-2008. Surface temperature datasets from the National Climate Data Center and the Hadley Center show larger trends over the 30-year period than the lower-tropospheric data from the University of Alabama-Huntsville and Remote Sensing Systems datasets. The differences between trends observed in the surface and lower tropospheric satellite datasets are statistically significant in most comparisons, with much greater differences over land areas than over ocean areas. These findings strongly suggest that there remain important inconsistencies between surface and satellite records.”

We tested the following two hypotheses:

1. If there is no warm bias in the surface temperature trends, then there should not be an increasing divergence with time between the tropospheric and surface temperature anomalies [Karl et al., 2006]. The difference between lower troposphere and surface anomalies should not be greater over land areas.

2. If there is no warm bias in the surface temperature trends then the divergence should not be larger for both maximum and minimum temperatures at high latitude land locations in the winter.

Both were falsified.

The paper has the following text

“We find that there have, in general, been larger linear trends in surface temperature datasets such as the NCDC and HadCRUTv3 surface datasets when compared with the UAH and RSS lower tropospheric datasets, especially over land areas. This variation in trends is also confirmed by the larger temperature anomalies that have been reported for near surface air temperatures (e.g., Zorita et al., 2008; Chase et al., 2006; 2008, Connolley, 2008). The differences between surface and satellite datasets tend to be largest over land areas, indicating that there may still be some contamination due to various aspects of land surface change, atmospheric aerosols and the tendency of shallow boundary layers to warm at a greater rate [Lin et al., 2007; Esau, 2008; Christy et al., 2009]. Trends in minimum temperatures in northern polar areas are statistically significantly greater than the trends in maximum temperatures over northern polar areas during the boreal winter months.

We conclude that the fact that trends in thermometer-estimated surface warming over land areas have been larger than trends in the lower troposphere estimated from satellites and radiosondes is most parsimoniously explained by the first possible explanation offered by Santer et al. [2000]. Specifically, the characteristics of the divergence across the datasets are strongly suggestive that it is an artifact resulting from the data quality of the surface, satellite and/or radiosonde observations. These findings indicate that the reconciliation of differences between surface and satellite datasets [Karl et al., 2006] has not yet occurred, and we have offered a suggested reason for the continuing lack of reconciliation.”

What our study shows is that maps prepared by NCDC, as given below, are biased presentations of the surface temperature anomalies.

BIASED NCDC MAP OF SURFACE TEMPERATURE ANOMALIES

While additional research is required in order to determine the magnitude of the bias, we can use the analysis of trends using two levels near the surface from the Lin et al (2007) paper as an estimate. I reported on this in my weblog

where I wrote

Back of the Envelope Estimate of Bias in Minimum Temperature Measurements

To present a preliminary estimate, lets start with the value reported for the recent trend in the global average surface temperature.  The 2007 IPCC Report presents a global average surface temperature increase of  about 0.2C per decade since 1990 (see their Figure SPM.3). Their trend is derived from the average of the maximum and minimum surface temperatures; i.e.,

T(average) = [T(max) + T(min)]/2.

“From our papers (Pielke and Matsui 2005 and Lin et al. 2007), a conservative estimate of the warm bias resulting from measuring the temperature near the ground is around 0.21 C per decade (with the nightime T(min) contributing a large part of this bias) . Since land covers about 29% of the Earth’s surface (see), the warm bias due to this influence explains about 30% of the IPCC estimate of global warming. In other words, consideration of the bias in temperature would reduce the IPCC trend to about 0.14 degrees C per decade, still a warming, but not as large as indicated by the IPCC.

This is likely an underestimate, of course, as the value is not weighted for the larger bias that must occur at higher latitudes in the winter when the boundary layer is stably stratified most of the time even in the “daytime” . Moreover, the warm bias over land in the high latitudes in the winter will be even larger than at lower latitudes, as the nightime surface layer of the atmosphere is typically more stably stratified than at lower latitudes, and this magnifies the bias in the assessment of temperature trends using surface and near surface measurements. [not coincidently, this is also where the largest warming is claimed; e.g., see the map on Andy Revkin's Dot Earth's weblog].

Land is also a higher fraction of the Earth’s surface at middle and higher latitudes in the northern hemisphere and at the highest latitudes in the southern hemisphere (see).”

Our new paper Klotzbach et al (2009) provides evidence of the significant error in the global surface temperature trend analyses of NCDC, and well of other centers such as GISS and CRU, due to the sampling of temperatures at just one level near the surface. It is also important to recognize that this is just one error of a number that are in the NCDC, GISS and CRU data sets, as we have summarized in our paper

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.

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149 thoughts on “Pielke Sr. on warm bias in the surface temperature trend – “provides evidence of the significant error in the global surface temperature trend analyses of NCDC”

  1. I’ll sure be glad when Tom Karl and
    his NCDC AGW agenda is gone from
    the AMS.

    For decades, he’s been a one sided
    influence on U.S. Climate Policy.

  2. I have three questions about definitions. Surface temperature: is it the temperature of the solid surface of the land at the point of measuremen or is it the temperature of the atmosphere measured just above the surface? How is shade accounted for in the measurements and the calculation? Third, what is the accepted procedure for deriving the “average” surface temperature? Is it the average of the averaege of each day, the mean of the maximum/minimum each day, or the the mean of the maximum/minimum for the stated period? Finally, how does the selection of the calculation method affect the outcome or is the outcome independent of the method of calculation?

  3. Since this AGW charade became high profile and impacted sharply on my life by introducing swingeing price increases on my energy bills I have been paying attention to my local weather and comparing against official forecasts.
    I find UK forecasts are hopelessly wrong over two days ahead, and as for temperatures, forget it. At 4:00am this morning my window thermometer showed 10C, at 7:00am it was up to 13C. No sun, a smooth solid grey overcast sky. Global warming indeed! One degree celcius an hour without the sun and no wind.
    How anyone can derive an “average temperature” from such variations beats me.

  4. Hurrah for the Pielkes! I shall roll this paper up into tight stick and beat AGW proponents repeatedly upside the head with it.

  5. If anyone is in doubt about the media’s one-sided version of global warming, this is the latest near-hysterical offering from the BBC, which really should be renamed “The British Brainwashing Corporation”

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/8200680.stm

    It’s the familiar alarmist claptrap, which always appears about this time of year, declaring that one ice cap or the other is melting rapidly and we are all going to drown, etc. Last year it was the north pole, this year it’s the south pole’s turn. Enjoy.

  6. Given all the uncertainties and biases in the temperature record can anyone say with any certainty that this planet has actually warmed, or cooled, over the last 100 years?

  7. For some months now I have been working on the Australian land station dataset, one station at a time, with both Tmax and Tmin daily obs as the basis.

    The data are the earliest I have been able to get from the Bureau of Meteorology and they have been homogenised to an extent as yet unclear to me. There are few missing values in the selected time period, 1968-2008. There are some 15 stations studied so far, selected as being rural and free of UHI.

    The strongest emerging trend is that stations close the the sea have essentialy no trend in Tmax or Tmin. Those inland, at distances of 200 km or more from the sea, have trends of Tmean of typically 0.01 to 0.02 degrees C per year. Altitudes are below 500 m.

    There does not seem to be a systematic pattern to divergence or convergence of Tmax and Tmin.

    The effect is almost certainly transient, because it would produce impossible temperatures inland if extrapolated back or forth. My intuitive reaction is instrumental error but the set is too small for a systematic explanation to emerge.

    Approximately, observations went from daily thermometer up to about 1991, then half-hourly to about 2002, then to one minute, using thermocouple type devices.

    One intersting case is Macquarie Island, which sits hundreds of km from other land, on the way to the Antarctic. It would be reasonable to say that it showns no temperature change in the last 30 years. It and a number of others do not show the 1998 peak so often noted globally.

    I can offer no explanation as yet, as to why a simple, remote place like Macquarie Island shows no trend. The “global” part of global warming excepts it, almost to the extent of making the populist global record unbelievable. If the global land average was correct, then all stations should experience change. Not all do.

    A work-in-progress report is on david Stockwell’s Niche Modeling site.

  8. ” warm bias due to this influence explains about 30% of the IPCC estimate of global warming. In other words, consideration of the bias in temperature would reduce the IPCC trend to about 0.14 degrees C per decade, still a warming, but not as large as indicated by the IPCC.”

    Now this is the kind of skepticism this science needs. Real peer reviewed papers throwing hard questions at the mainstream and less of the tin foil hat bloggers.

  9. Kate

    There is some discussion about the glacier on the thread above this one re Mann-it includes pictures, before anfd after

    tonyb

  10. Geoff Sherrington (02:05:43) :

    One intersting case is Macquarie Island, which sits hundreds of km from other land, on the way to the Antarctic. It would be reasonable to say that it showns no temperature change in the last 30 years. It and a number of others do not show the 1998 peak so often noted globally.

    I can offer no explanation as yet, as to why a simple, remote place like Macquarie Island shows no trend. The “global” part of global warming excepts it, almost to the extent of making the populist global record unbelievable.

    Geoff, an interesting an worthwhile study, well done.

    I have a suggestion about the island you mention.
    Could it be that the increased insolation in the latterhalf of the C20th has changed the microclimate around the island, with increased cloud cover as a negative feedback acting as a parasol for Macquarie?

    It would work something like this.
    Increased SST’s around the island would keep the land warmer at night. Warmer nights = more transpiration and evaporation from the flora = more local cloud. More cloud = cooler land surface and less heat absorbed into the soil direct from the sun, but warm air off the sea keeps the transpiration levels high.

    What are the Tmax and min trends for Macquarie? Might be worth looking at seasonal diffs too to see whether winter has got lower for Tmax Tmin to offset higher summer night time mins.

  11. To: Joe (23:27:49) : One problem in the blogosphere is that the readers vary from world class climatologists to novices. Your questions are ones that I was trying to figure out just a month ago.

    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/climate/research/ushcn/ is a pretty good spot to start reading to understand the basics of what happens to raw readings. See http://surfacestations.org/ for more info, including a link to more detail on things like shading of stations, etc.

    Q1 “Surface temperature: is it the temperature of the solid surface of the land at the point of measurement or is it the temperature of the atmosphere measured just above the surface?”. The typical “surface temperature” is measured at a height of around 1.5m, or 2m, or 6′ or ……..

    Q2 “How is shade accounted for in the measurements and the calculation? ” Ideally the station is in full sun, but with the instruments shaded inside a louvered housing. WIth more modern stations outside air is sucked into the sensor with a pump, so the houslng doesn’t matter as much. As summarized on the surfacestations.org homepage, the highest quality station will have no shading for sun elevations greater than 3 degrees.

    paraphrase of Q3 “what is mean temp, how is it calculated”. Most common daily mean calculation appears to be simply (Tmax + Tmin)/2. But obviously an automated station measuring 60 times per hour could calculate the actual mean temperature. Or samples could be averaged over an hour and then the mean of hourly measurement calculated as the mean temp for that day. Even more permutations are possible when calculating mean temp for the month, since there are different ways to handle missing data as well as different ways to average.

    What sounds simple at first gets complicated very quickly.

  12. A very worthwhile project with an interesting outcome.

    I question the “official” temperature reconstructions. If they are wrong, then AGW may be much ado about nothing — or may be worse than I think.

    Like others who post here, I have a leisure time project I work on at home. I am (in part) questioning how TMax and TMin are being used to generate historical temperature anomaly charts. I “feel” the “possible” bias “might” be roughly “half” of the total warming. The Pielke paper seems to indicate that line of reasoning is not “way off base”.

    Hopefully, the paper will have a positive influence on AGW discussions in the House and Senate.

  13. 1.The temperature trends 1980-2009 are (in celsius/decade) :
    HADCRUT3 0.1597
    NASA GISS 0.1589
    RSS-TLT 0.1559
    UAH-TLT 0.1276
    Source:Woodfortrees.
    The four numbers tell the same story .
    2. Kate
    The Pine Island glacier:
    -mean temperature -30 C
    -snow accumulation 1m/year
    -thinning(in a location at 55 km upstream of the grounding line):
    1991-2001 1m/year
    2003-2006 1.5m/year
    2006-2007 2.5m/year
    2007-2008 3.5m/year
    Speed: 2075 m/year
    Speed increase:6%/year
    Mass loss:46 GT/year.
    Source:Scott&Gudmundsson .

  14. Scientists have uncanny ways of reaching the results they want to see. The same applies for Arctic sea ice projections. Back in July, 16 modellers projected Arctic sea ice for this September, with a majority projecting far lower levels than what is likely to occur. Why? Because they all base their models on the false premise that there is global warming.

    http://www.arcus.org/search/seaiceoutlook/2009_outlook/report_july.php

    Source of link: A climate website somewhere in the internet.
    Many scientists are convinced that human CO2 causes GW, and so its got to be there! Make the data fit!

  15. Add to this the findings of Gunar Myhre that aerosol cooling is overstated by 40% and the contribution that carbon dioxide is making to warming trends is very small indeed. Research is beginning to vindicate the skeptical position – carbon dioxide causes some warming, but the magnitude is very small.

  16. The Map-Chart is completely wrong (at least for southern Europe).

    If according to the map this year was +3C + then that must also mean that back in the day we had lot’s of snow/ice in January/Feb where temperature reaches +3C.

    And not forget 2009 was a Cold start for us.

  17. Given all the uncertainties and biases in the temperature record can anyone say with any certainty that this planet has actually warmed, or cooled, over the last 100 years?

    I think the change is significant enough that we can be sure that warming, and cooling, have occurred. At question is the cause. Specifically, CO2. On this, there is much doubt.

  18. Have the Pielkes thrown up a softball for the warmers? Seems to me higher Tmins has always been a prediction of the models at high latitudes with little moisture in the air.

  19. Eureka! We have found the missing “heat signature!” Alas the signature is forged. It appears the “smoking gun” of AGW is actually a smoke detector going off in the kitchens of those cooking the climate books.

    Perhaps those cooking the books caught their pants on fire.

  20. It would be a great thing to have that NCDC map above corrected after the findings of Surfacestations.org, which would show a wider bias, so closer to reality. Though it accounts only for the US, considering that their quality as one of the best of the world, the errors found can be extrapolated to less developed areas.

  21. Joe – On your three excellent questions about definitions, the land temperatures that NCDC and others use to construct the global average temperature trends are just above the ground. The height of 2m is generally used, but often the measurements are at different heights. They are supposed to be shaded and aspirated. Anthony is an expert on this subject and can more information if needed. The daily values of maximum and minimum is what should be used to construct the mean. Also remember, we (and NCDC) use temperature anomalies, not the absolute value of the dry bulb temperatures.

    The conclusion of our paper is independent of how the mean temperature is calculated. The bias is related to boundary layer physics, in that sampling near the surface overstates multi-decadal warming (cooling) with respect to what occurs in the rest of the lower troposphere.

  22. “Mac (01:29:34)

    Given all the uncertainties and biases in the temperature record can anyone say with any certainty that this planet has actually warmed, or cooled, over the last 100 years?”

    IMHO:
    1. The earth has warmed, and it has cooled.
    2. How much? We don’t know.
    3. What is the cause? Historically, it has been natural variability.
    4. Is that true now? Almost certainly.

    I dare anyone to conclusively prove any of these points wrong.

  23. Roger A. Pielke Sr (06:50:56) :
    ” The daily values of maximum and minimum is what should be used to construct the mean.”

    But does this truly represent the mean? They (whoever “they” are) must have compared this “max/min mean” with a true mean of a continuous 24 hour temperature record. I can imagine that the maximum and/or minimum temperatures of a day could (at times) occur as unrepresentative short spikes and are therefore not good metrics for a mean.

  24. Steve S.

    At least on that they are consistent… if the actual problem goes away, find another. If it’s not “warming”, then it’s “changing”, and if it’s not “warming” or “changing” enough, then it’s “acidifying”.

    Somehow, Some way, human activity “must be” screwing up the planet. And that very attitude is what gives away the lie to many.

  25. Chris – Excellent question. The only data that is usually available from most of the long term observing sites are just maximum and minimum temperatures. There have been studies that show the construction of a mean by averaging the two is close to what would be achieved by summing hourly observations and dividing by 24. However, I agree that this subject should be revisited.

  26. The 2007 IPCC Report presents a global average surface temperature increase of about 0.2C per decade since 1990 (see their Figure SPM.3).

    What is the 1990-2007 UAH trend?

  27. Nogw (08:58:36) :

    “Scientists” united will never be defeated !! …Raise Red flags!!

    There is a degree of double standards in the role of some “prominent” anti-AGW scientists. They are giving us a lollypop… :)

  28. The absolute fact is that we don’t know anything with absolute certainty.

    Warming from CO2, its magnitude, solar cycles and suns influence on global temperature, or if Pielke Sr. is a symbol of ‘backlash against the backlash’.

    All the studies come from a place of curiousity and monetary gain/political power.

    I respect both sides of the climate change debate. But for the sake of respecting the fact that it is beyond our absolute certainty (using logic), I side with the spiritually peaceful side. The side that forgoes the possibility that humans are innately poison to Earth, not a part of it.

    That warming and cooling is just the way things are, not created artificially by our evil doings.

  29. From our papers (Pielke and Matsui 2005 and Lin et al. 2007), a conservative estimate of the warm bias resulting from measuring the temperature near the ground is around 0.21 C per decade (with the nightime T(min) contributing a large part of this bias) .

    I’m clearly misunderstanding something here. If there is a warm bias of ~0.21 deg per decade over land then virtually all the temperature increase over land can be explained by the ‘bias’. However the UAH satellite-measured trend over land is ~0.16 deg per decade since 1979 and ~0.22 deg per decade since 1990. What is the reason for the LT warming?

  30. John- The bias we report in our papers is just one of several serious problems with the surface temperature data over land as we report 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.

    http://www.climatesci.org/publications/pdf/R-321.pdf

    See also

    Fall, S., D. Niyogi, A. Gluhovsky, R. A. Pielke Sr., E. Kalnay, and G. Rochon, 2009: Impacts of land use land cover on temperature trends over the continental United States: Assessment using the North American Regional Reanalysis. Int. J. Climatol., in press

    http://www.climatesci.org/publications/pdf/R-329.pdf

    where we wrote

    “In conclusion, in-situ surface temperature change observations are
    affected by local microclimate and non-climatic station changes, and also by the larger scale landscape within the region. By using multiple station
    observations, one can evaluate the part of the signal in the surface
    temperature data that is spatially correlated with the regional land
    cover/land cover characteristics. By comparing the surface temperature
    data with the reanalysis temperature data diagnosed at the same height,
    the degree to which the land use/land cover change effect on temperatures
    does not extend higher into the atmosphere can be assessed. The degree to
    which this effect occurs will depend on landscape type (due to different
    boundary layer interactions with the free atmosphere above).

    The need to separate the local from the regional land use change effect
    on the temperature record does merit further study, as the later is a
    regional climate forcing effect, while the local microclimate and
    non-climatic station effects are a contamination of the temperature data
    in terms of constructing regional scale temperature trends.”

    We do find agreement in average tropospheric temperature trends using the reanalyses estimates of lower tropospheric temperatures and the MSU analyses, e.g. see

    Chase, T.N., R.A. Pielke Sr., J.A. Knaff, T.G.F. Kittel, and J.L. Eastman, 2000: A comparison of regional trends in 1979-1997 depth-averaged tropospheric temperatures. Int. J. Climatology, 20, 503-518.

    http://www.climatesci.org/publications/pdf/R-224.pdf

  31. Not only is how the average is calculated important, but whether we are seeing an increase in the daily max temp, a decrease in the daily min temp, or both, is important.

    If the daily low is getting warmer, doesn’t that have different implications than if just the daily max is getting warmer? Does it make a difference if the changes are seen mostly in the winter (the winters becoming less cold) than if the summers are getting hotter?

  32. I haven’t yet had time to read the full paper (project for the weekend!) but do they address the issue of why the trend for RSS (also satellite) is broadly similar to HADCRUT/GISTEMP and only UAH is lower?

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1979/offset:-0.15/mean:12/plot/gistemp/from:1979/offset:-0.24/mean:12/plot/uah/mean:12/plot/rss/mean:12/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1979/offset:-0.15/trend/plot/gistemp/from:1979/offset:-0.24/trend/plot/uah/trend/plot/rss/trend

    (see ‘data’ link for raw numbers, near the bottom)

  33. Nasif Nahle (09:12:40) :
    I was remembering James Hansen’s rally in Washington DC, when the people were shouting there: “The people united will never be defeated”, which surprised me a lot. I have always thought that impossible to happend in the USA.
    So let us welcome them to the third world…or I should say “the fourth world”?

  34. Bias being a statistical or measurement-error term makes it not entirely appropriate when discussing physically based differences between measurements at different levels of the atmosphere. Divergence is the real issue here.

    Linear trends can be fitted, of course, to any data over any time span. The accepted meaning of the term , however, applies only in situations where the residuals are gaussian i.i.d. Only then does it indicate a secular feature of the record. This is certaily not the case with real-world temperature data at any level and at any time scale.

    As with most geophysical variables, cyclicality is the dominant feature of the temperature signal. Consequently, a typical 30-year trend varies very widely from decade to decade and appreciably even year to year. And the values depend heavily on the time-span chosen for the calculation. At no time is the 50-year trend the same as the 30-year trend or the 70-year trend. Although everybody is anxious to know which way temperatures are headed, linear trends should not be mistaken for physical reality. They’re an arbitrary and inconsistent metric.

    What I take away from Pielke’s revealing post is that even if there were no measurement and data treatment issues with surface records, some divergence nevertheless should be expected from measurements aloft.

  35. OK re. UAH vs. RSS they say (p 13)

    However, as summarized in Christy and Norris [2009] and in several other recent papers, (e.g., Christy and Norris, 2006, Christy et al., 2007, Randall and Hermann, 2008) there is a documented spurious warm shift in RSS data around 1992 that is the source of virtually all of the difference between the two satellite datasets. Thus, the closer agreement of RSS with the surface temperature datasets is likely largely due to this spurious jump.

    If you look at only the trend to 1992, UAH and RSS do appear to be closer in trend, and both lower than the surface datasets:

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1979/to:1992/offset:-0.15/mean:12/plot/gistemp/from:1979/to:1992/offset:-0.24/mean:12/plot/uah/from:1979/to:1992/mean:12/plot/rss/from:1979/to:1992/mean:12/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1979/to:1992/offset:-0.15/trend/plot/gistemp/from:1979/to:1992/offset:-0.24/trend/plot/uah/from:1979/to:1992/trend/plot/rss/from:1979/to:1992/trend

    But of course that doesn’t confirm whether RSS shifted up or UAH shifted down… But this is interesting:

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/rss/mean:12/plot/rss/to:1992/trend/plot/rss/from:1992/trend/plot/uah/mean:12/plot/uah/to:1992/trend/plot/uah/from:1992/trend

    It looks like *both* satellite series trends increased markedly, and similarly, after 1992, but it’s UAH whose offset has dropped markedly.

  36. noaaprogrammer (23:57:52) :

    Well … I’m gonna study Gore no More!

    What’s to study? It is mere drama.

  37. Roger A. Pielke Sr (08:57:39) :

    The only data that is usually available from most of the long term observing sites are just maximum and minimum temperatures. There have been studies that show the construction of a mean by averaging the two is close to what would be achieved by summing hourly observations and dividing by 24. However, I agree that this subject should be revisited.

    Roger, I would agree that there will be rough agreement in the two methods, and with regard to a trend, they would probably yield nearly identical results as long as the method is consistent for the entire data set. The sampling errors in this case would probably have a symmetric distribution which should not seriously effect the trend. Perhaps, in the interest of “doing it right” a revisit is necessary, but that can’t change the past for which a more accurate sampling is not available, so it wouldn’t be very useful for the largest portion of the trend from the late 70s through late 90s.

    However, this is not my problem with the “average” they choose to use. I just don’t understand how you can get a global temperature average in the first place. Frankly, the average between two places, say Colorado (where I live) and Florida (where I used to live), is meaningless because there is a different energy content due to different atmospheric conditions. The atmosphere in Colorado is (guessing) probably only 70%-80% as dense (from altitude alone) as in Florida, and not nearly as humid. Is this accounted for when the records are combined?

    It is for this reason that I aree with your point on ocean heat content, btw (disregarding the battle that has been raging in another thread regarding the use of the word heat as a noun, hehe.)

    Thanks,

    Mark

  38. While an interesting paper from the purely technical/scientific pov, we should not forget that every paper or pronouncement that comes out lately, from either side of the issue, provides ammunition in the political and economic debate for one side or the other. If all this scientific quibbling were being done in the hallowed halls of academia, out of the public view, there would not be what is becoming a very dangerous situation. The issue of climate change has long since moved beyond the scientific arguments and has moved into the public political arena of personal benefit or loss.

    No matter which side of the issue succeeds in altering public / government policy, a great many people will be very, very upset and will attempt to change the resulting policy any way they can. This will not be a situation that results in the vast majority of people “getting behind” the winner. There will be no gracious losers, but there will be losers. I hope the winners are prepared to deal with that.

  39. KW (09:16:10) :

    The absolute fact is that we don’t know anything with absolute certainty.

    There’s a logical contradiction in this statement, btw. Think about it for a minute or two.

    Mark

  40. We live 500 feet elevation gain above a huge glacier river, surrounded by the most glaciated area on earth, supposedly, other than the north and south pole. We used to live right on the river. In the winter it has been minus 60F on the river location, minus 55F at 100 feet above the river on the runway and minus 30F at our house a mere 400 feet higher. On cold days at the house we will fly up, 5,000 feet to the ridge and it will be plus 30. We will camp there to be out of the cold. Right now it is 85F at the house and snowing on that same ridge.

    Is this kind of what you are talking about in simple layman terms? I realize it is not a large area may be weather and not climate and one other question.

    When does weather become climate?

  41. Roger A. Pielke Sr (08:57:39) :

    No problem there, Roger. Have a go at it with this 24-hour daily data from a Fire-weather station

    http://mesowest.utah.edu/cgi-bin/droman/meso_2week.cgi?unit=0&hour1=0&type=1&var1=TMPF&day1=14&month1=08&year1=2009&stn1=WEAC1

    Afternoon summer highs tend to peak abruptly whereas nightime low tend to form a gentle valley. Aug 9 has an average of 72.16 whereas the max-min/2 = 73. This gives a warming bias of .83 degrees F

  42. Well the issue that keeps on coming up with regard to these “surface” measurements, is this adequacy of the min/max average being identical to the true daily mean temperature. Roger asserts that this is the standard methodology.

    And I will continue to insist that the average formed from (Tmax+Tmin)/2 will only be the true time average over the complete diurnal temperature cycle, in the very special case where the diurnal temperature function is a pure sinusoidal function, which in this case would have a period of 24 hours. And in that case the time of Tmax and Tmin would be separated by exactly 12 hours. In the current methodology, Tmax, and Tmin could occur at any time and they would still use the same average, even if those two events were just one hour apart.

    If the function is not sinusoidal, but is a repetitive cyclic function then its Fourier series equivalernt must contain harmonics, so frequency components with periods of 12 hours or less would exist in the signal.

    As a result a sampling regimen which takes on two sample per 24 hours, is undersampling by at least a factor of two, which is a Nyquist violation of sufficient extent to render the average value corrupted by aliassing noise.

    For a sinusoidal signal of frequency (f), sampled ata rate 2f (exactly), the actual continuous function is not recoverable (generally), because for exa,p[oe those two samples could occur at the times of zero crossings, usggesting no signal at all. BUT, even in that particular degenerate case, the average will be correct. The min/max method would locate the positive and negative peaks, so in that case the complete continuous function is recoverable; but only for a pure sinusoid. The existence of even a second harmonic component with a period of 12 hours, would require four times daily sampoling minimum to correctly recover the average.

    But for a general periodic function with a period of (P), the min/max samples will only yield the true average if f(t) = f(P-t)

    But I am further unhappy with just the min max sampling because the long wave IR radiative effect of the temperature goes as T^4 not linearly with T, so periods with higher T radiate much more than a linear increase over periods of lower T. A true accounting of the radiative effect of a cyclic temperature change, would require taking the 4th power of the cyclic function and averaging that over the period. In all cases, that process yields a higher total radiation, than would be calculated from the average temperature.

    So the min/max temperature sampling not only yiled an incorrect value for the true daily mean temperature; but that average temperature still does not yield the true total radiated energy for the day; and it ALWAYS underestimates the total radiation emitted.

    For typical diurnal temperature ranges, the underestimate is small, but not compared to the effect of the hundredths of degrees anomalies that are reported in these studies. Taken over the yearly temperature cycle, the total emission calculated from the annual average temperature seriously underestimates the true total energy.

    And when you add on to the simple temporal violation of the sampling theorem; the effect of gross spatial undersampling; the whole process of global temperature evaluation becomes a total farce.

    And climatologists still insist that it is ok to sample at places 1200 km apart; their “anomalies” are “coherent” over that range. Total BS; it’s a complete violation of the Nyquist sampling theorem.

  43. JimB (09:09:07) :

    Skeptical Sam says there ain’t no stinkin’ sea levels rising.
    Have you been to your favorite beach lately?
    Stimulate your local economy and take a drive today.
    The $ spent will be well invested.
    Then you can Twitter your Congressman with a pic or two.
    Write a story for the local news.

  44. Ellie in Belfast (23:56:36) : E.M. Smith over at http://chiefio.wordpress.com/ has been analysing the records contributing to GIStemp and has some very interesting interim conclusions that the bias is due to short-lived (in reporting terms) stations.

    Mostly what I’ve found is that stations with reporting histories over 100 years long show almost no change over time (a couple of 1/10 C ) while those of shorter lives carry all the “warming signal” seen in the bulk data. If you focus in on those short lived stations, you see a large bolus of stations with very warm N.H. winter temperatures (tropical stations?) that come into the record, coincident with the AGW “warming”…

    This means that the warming in the GIStemp data set (spread evenly over the year and over the globe) mis-states what the data actually say. the “warming signal” is carried only in a part of the GHCN data. It is not evenly distributed in the time domain (it is only in N.H. winters, not in summers) and it is not in all thermometers (the old, stable, set do not show the signal). A signal concentrated in time and space is averaged into the bulk data in GIStemp; (which is a filter that tries to suppress the impact of spacial distribution, but is not a perfect filter, so we get “global” warming when there is none.)

    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2009/08/13/gistemp-quartiles-of-age-bolus-of-heat/

    BTW, in thinking about why the long lived stations might be so stable and have less UHI it occurred to me that they are all 100+ years old and there were not a lot of airports in 1908 … This screen will have removed all the “over the tarmac” thermometers into a group by themselves. Perhaps part of that “bolus of heat” is the dramatic growth of airports in the aviation age.

    I can fairly easily produce the lists of station IDs by quartile, if anyone wants it. It would be fascinating to see if the warming pattern matches urban vs rural or airport vs non or a dozen other UHI related things.

    At this point I can not speak to that issue, only speculate about it, but it would not be difficult to turn the lists of station IDs into spacial and “type of terrain” maps. It just takes more time… Anyone who want’s a list of stations, just leave a note on one of pages at my site and I’ll either send you the list or just put them up in a posting if there is enough interest. Right now it would just be a list of station IDs. With a bit of work I can match those to more station information (lat / long, terrain type flag, etc.) If demand is high enough I can do that too.

  45. The only reliable method of showing that the earth has warmed about 1 degree C in the last 100 or so years, are borehole measurings(abandoned oil wells etc). However the time resolution is lousy with this measurement. One solves the heat equation(diffusion equation) with a variety of surface boundary conditions.

  46. E M Smith said

    I can fairly easily produce the lists of station IDs by quartile, if anyone wants it. It would be fascinating to see if the warming pattern matches urban vs rural or airport vs non or a dozen other UHI related things.”

    Yes please!

    tonyb

  47. Mac asked: Given all the uncertainties and biases in the temperature record can anyone say with any certainty that this planet has actually warmed, or cooled, over the last 100 years?
    @Mac: Maybe, but probably not. I feel. IMHO. But if it did, CO2 is the cause.

  48. @Mark T.: So we absolutely don’t know that we don’t absolutely know anything?
    I’d concur with that if I knew how.

  49. EM.

    It would be cool to do a web interface so that people could select which type of sites they want to select for a gistemp run.

    Also, WRT long stations. Karl’s reference station method has always given me doubts.. its the method by which short stations are stitched together to give a long station record.

    Note: Hansen makes some arbitrary decisions on record lengths and overlaps etc. With GISTEMP running you can test the sensitivity of these
    decisions. Remember, gavin is on record saying that all we need are 60 good stations for the WORLD.

    so, select a screen.

    1. Long uninterrupted record.
    2. non airport
    3. Rural ( by population and nightlights)

    etc

  50. Nogw (06:04:37) :
    It would be a great thing to have that NCDC map above corrected after the findings of Surfacestations.org, which would show a wider bias, so closer to reality. Though it accounts only for the US, considering that their quality as one of the best of the world, the errors found can be extrapolated to less developed areas.

    FWIW, I can take a list of station IDs and make a “decade average trend” table of data for any set of station IDs.

    This means that whenever Anthony has a list of “good stations” vs “bad stations” I can make a table of annual and decade averages for each group.

    We can directly inspect the trends in the data in the good vs bad cohorts.

    All it takes is for Anthony to send me a list of station IDs for each group (whenever the station survey is done).

  51. Another gem from the Met Office in response to their jusification for paying “performance bonuses”

    First my question and then the reply

    Dear Mr. Kidds, as a tax-payer I find Dr. Pope’s defence of Met Office staff bonuses both disingenuous and patronising.
    Why should tax-payers pay bonuses for merely doing one’s job? And not very well I might add!
    Long range forecasts have proved nothing short of comical. I suggest that instead of using GCMs with built in “warming”, you should try a more empirical approach which correlates global and regional climate with ENSO. PDO etc., rather than, the increasingly doubtful CO2 = warming hypothesis.
    Secondly, to claim credit for excellent short term forecasts, is absurd. Rain-sensing RADAR, satellites and numerous automated weather stations (all of which WE paid for) make 1-2 day
    forecasts a matter of simple observation and extrapolation in the vast majority of scenarios. Indeed it is analogous to me predicting what the weather will be like in a couple of hours by looking at the sky in the direction the wind is coming from.

    The British Public deserve more than Dr. Pope’s self-serving comments.

    Dr. D. Keiller,

    Thank you for your email regarding Met Office staff bonuses.

    In response, I hope it may help if I provide some background on the Met Office bonus scheme.

    The Met Office has a corporate bonus scheme which is based on the delivery of 19 objectives within our four Key Performance Targets and five additional measures.

    The level of the bonus paid depends on the number of these targets achieved, with different targets contributing different payments. A flat rate award is paid to all staff that have received a satisfactory performance mark in their annual review.

    In 2008/09 the Met Office achieved 16 of the 19 objectives. As a result the bonus was reduced and paid at 74% of the total available award.

    The payment relates to our performance between April 2008 and April 2009 and includes successes such as:

    · accurate forecast of snow in February 2009
    · establishment of the Flood Forecast Centre in partnership with the EA
    · accurate prediction of the number of tropical storms in the north Atlantic.
    · putting our climate change information on Google Earth,
    · completion of climate change research in to the impacts on the Thames estuary
    · development of a forecast in support of sufferers of SAD
    · The provision of de-icing forecasts to airlines to keep there services moving – leading airlines that use this service have a proven reduction in icing-related delays of 85% and reduced icing costs of up to 30%.

    Thank you for taking the time to contact the Met Office.

    Yours sincerely

    Mark Beswick on behalf of the Customer Feedback Manager
    Met Office FitzRoy Road Exeter Devon EX1 3PB United Kingdom
    Tel: 0870 900 0100 or +44 (0)1392 88 5680 Fax: +44 (0)1392 88 5681
    E-mail: enquiries@metoffice.gov.uk http://www.metoffice.gov.uk

  52. If I understand correctly, with a near-ground warm bias in the temperature record the so-called “average temperature of the earth” can increase without causing the “signature” tropical troposphere “hot spot”. Or rather, the “hot spot” moves from the troposphere to ground level?

    Are there any dangerous consequences of near-ground temps increasing faster/decreasing slower than the rest of the atmosphere?

  53. Pierre Gosselin (03:28:25) :

    “Scientists have uncanny ways of reaching the results they want to see. The same applies for Arctic sea ice projections. Back in July, 16 modellers projected Arctic sea ice for this September, with a majority projecting far lower levels than what is likely to occur”

    I think the temp cell dots for the arctic will be turning blue this fall and winter
    Nansen shows a big uptick in ice area (probably will be modified in a day or so).

    http://arctic-roos.org/observations/satellite-data/sea-ice/ice-area-and-extent-in-arctic

    Even so, there are several coroborating data sets: Cryosphere Today shows a small uptick in the arctic sea ice extent:

    And the Arctic Basin ice also shows a recent uptick (also compare with the beginning of the curve that is a year ago:

    http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/recent365.anom.region.1.html

    Also the DMI in the sidebar of WUWT shows that the arctic basin above 80N has dropped below freezing – it has been below the long term average for about 40% of the summer thaw period:

    http://ocean.dmi.dk/arctic/meant80n.uk.php

    And finally, it is 0C at Alert, Nunavut (about 82N and was -2C yesterday or the day before. Is that sailboat still waiting for the NW passage to break up – doesn’t look promising. They must be relatives of the Catlin Crew.

  54. E.M.Smith (11:07:18) :

    It gets even juicier for the warmist: If you select a shorter period of record, you get a lot more new record maximums. It’s also a convenient way to get rid of those pesky 1930’s record max temps that won’t go away.
    It backfires during record low temps that keep popping up: Then they backpeddle to find ‘previous’ record lows to say ‘this is normal’. Albeit they run off the back end of their cherry-picked time span.
    So, when they need the 100 year record, they remodel it with a heavy tilt.
    When they need new record highs, they cherry-pick the span. When they need to bury the new record lows, they backpeddle.

  55. Gary Pearse (12:52:23) :

    I checked the full history of those DMI sidebar years.
    2009 is threatening to walk away with the trophy like Tiger Woods buries his competition. He gets ahead early and closes out with mind-boggling shots.

  56. It’s not popular to explicitly invoke the Law of Exemptions when stating such truths as “All truth is relative.”

  57. Dan (12:57:54) : Not at all!, you don’t know our technology, I will repeat it for you =, BTW, it is the same for all old cultures:
    1.They smile at you
    2.They bow at you
    3.When you turn around, they fart at you.
    This simply means, worst than you can imagine: Don’t take them seriously.

  58. How is shade accounted for in the measurements and the calculation?

    NOAA standards indicate that there should be no south shading (in the Northern hemisphere), as this would shade the sensor all day long. Also, the sensor shouldn’t be shaded at or around TMax (TMin doesn’t matter as much, as it’s usually at night).

    The rest of the day doesn’t matter much, either, unless temperature is being measured hourly or continually (as it is, I believe, in Germany).

    what is the accepted procedure for deriving the “average” surface temperature? Is it the average of the averaege of each day, the mean of the maximum/minimum each day, or the the mean of the maximum/minimum for the stated period?

    Average of Min and Max, taken on a daily basis, averaged over each month.

    Finally, how does the selection of the calculation method affect the outcome or is the outcome independent of the method of calculation?

    A site bias can affect max, min, or both. Another problem is with adjustment procedures: Removing outliers, TOBS (Time of Observation) bias, SHAP (Station History Adjustment Procedure — or not), FILNET (combining all this plus a very controversial “fill-in” of missing data), and “final” (UHI) adjustment. Then there is homogenization. The results are then gridded to assure each station’s data is correctly “weighted”.

    After all the dust clears, final trends are three to four times warmer than raw trends (since 1880).

    is it the temperature of the solid surface of the land at the point of measuremen or is it the temperature of the atmosphere measured just above the surface?

    Satellites use microwave proxies to calculate lower troposphere (et al) temperatures but do not measure surface temperatures, per se.

    Surface station measurements are supposed to be taken from 5 – 6 feet off the ground. (A few are out of compliance.)

  59. Given all the uncertainties and biases in the temperature record can anyone say with any certainty that this planet has actually warmed, or cooled, over the last 100 years?

    I would be fairly certain it has warmed. But I doubt that it has warmed as much as the “adjusted” data indicates. And I doubt the IPCC projections indicating an fivefold increase in (adjusted) trend in the 21st century over the 20th century.

  60. I may have that symmetry rule wrong up there [ f(t) = F(P-t) maybe there’s a minus sign there somewhere; and maybe the zero datum is the average value.

    I’ll let you younger mathematicians sort it out; but it’s a simple consequence of a Fourier series expansion of a periodic function, and the fact that the integral of a sinusoidal function over an integral number of cycles is zero.

    But I believe that any diurnal temperature cycle in practice has a rapid warming, and a slower cooling, so the max and min temperatures are not separated by 12 hours.

    George

  61. Mark T (10:38:26) :

    Roger A. Pielke Sr (08:57:39) :

    It is for this reason that I aree with your point on ocean heat content, btw (disregarding the battle that has been raging in another thread regarding the use of the word heat as a noun, hehe.)

    It was not a battle on the use of a word, but on the postmodernist corruption of scientific theories. Heat is not kinetic energy, but energy in transit, and it cannot be “stored” or “contained” by any system because it stops being heat as it is absorbed by the system; it becomes internal energy, which is not energy in transit.

    Unfortunately, truth has been silenced in favor of solipsism.

  62. It is quite exiting to know how nature works and what will be tomorrow’s weather or future climate, but boring and silly when science is settled in advance.

  63. Mark T (13:52:14) :

    Leif got it by providing an opposite contradiction.

    Mark

    So, we are sure now, he is not…or is he?

  64. Nogw (14:11:19) :

    You know the climate prediction is settled in advance when the dealer at the climatechange table has 3 aces played out and you have two in your hand.

    But I believe the public is catching on, and resorting to the time honored tradition of figuring out what’s really going on: Call all your relatives & friends in far-flung places and ask “How the weather?”.

  65. So in light of this paper, one better understands the stonewalling CRU and Phil Jones do. This suggests the HADCRUT record therefore must be at the source of many AR5 papers and discussions or papers in preparation for Copenhagen coming down the tube in journals such as Nature -who’s AGW bias is firmly known: the racist, defamatory Desmogblog gets a spot before climateaudit does in their list of references…- and the last thing they need is someone demoslishing their carefully crafted temperature record.
    When the smoke will clear, I bet that the HADCRUT temperature record will implode and with it many model based papers, i.e. the majority of the global warming science.

  66. steven mosher (11:27:32) : EM. It would be cool to do a web interface so that people could select which type of sites they want to select for a gistemp run.

    Yes, it would, but at present GIStemp can not accept a “subset” of the GHCN record. There is code that dies if the stations do not exactly match between GHCN and, IIRC, USHCN. I’m working on how best to remove this dependency so that I can run “what if” sets all the way end to end… but I got side tracked into saving the world by proving AGW is a GHCN thermometer artifact not a result of CO2 ;-)

    But now that I’ve got that under control, I can go back to shining spot lights on the broken small bits in GIStemp 8-)

    Also, WRT long stations. Karl’s reference station method has always given me doubts.. its the method by which short stations are stitched together to give a long station record.

    As I’ve pointed out before, the (varies by module – reference station method is done a couple of times in a row in the code…) 1000 km to 1500 km to 10 degree distance is just way too wide. Lodi is often inversely related to San Francisco for reasons of physics that will be common world wide (anywhere inland warming makes an onshore breeze cooling coastal sites).

    I’ll probably do the “shut off reference station method” test before I get to the “run subsets of stations” code just because it’s easy (the distance is a parameter in the code – clear evidence for tuning in the past… So I can just set the distance to zero, or 1 if it demands a positive value)

    Note: Hansen makes some arbitrary decisions on record lengths and overlaps etc. With GISTEMP running you can test the sensitivity of these
    decisions. Remember, gavin is on record saying that all we need are 60 good stations for the WORLD.

    Yup. It’s on my “todo” list. Right after buy cat food, water garden, pay bills, cook dinner, explain to spouse that I do still lover her but had to stay up to 4am to save the planet from Algore just for her, put new brake pads on the car, send money to son at college, figure out how to make money to replace what was sent to son and bills, put memory back in Win2k box to read MS Office docs sent to me, find out if g95 .92 release really does handle “endian” conversions and put it on box, and maybe even eat and sleep – time permitting of course ;-) Who knew being semi-retired could take so much time…

    Hey, 60 is enough? Well then, my top 10% is WAY overkill!

    BTW, Ellie in Belfast has sent me an excel doc with graphs of the top 10% and they show an interesting slow cooling to the data up to the last couple of decades (where thermometer cherry picking seems to pick up again as someone decided to start deleting thermometers from the series.) Kudo’s to Ellie! And I really do need to learn to do graphics better… right after fixing car brakes (they kind of matter…) I think.

    so, select a screen.

    1. Long uninterrupted record.
    2. non airport
    3. Rural ( by population and nightlights)

    Um, I realized that the “top ten percent” stations, with a shortest life of 103 years, will automatically exclude airports. There were not a lot of airports in 1906 … I think it is also likely that a life span of 100+ years will have also selected for places that already had population 100 years ago. That is, I’d guess that Stockton had more UHI growth than San Franciso. SF was geography constrained some time ago when Stockton was mostly a cow town..

    So while I think it would be “best” to do what you suggest, I think the “Top Ten Percent” of life span stations already reduce some of those issue.

    @Roger A. Pielke Sr

    I got the cc: email but my replies to you and the original sender bounce.
    Your email service has filter rules that seem to be nuking @aol addresses.
    At any rate, I can read email from you, but not reply at this time. I’ll work on getting a non-rejected email address, if you wish to hear from me via email.

  67. As I cruised the Grande Ronde Valley of NE Oregon today,I noted the uncut wheat and
    barley had a strange greyish cast to it-meaning possible mold issues.This is due to the cold rain that has possibly ruined or at best reduced the yield.The forecast is nibbling at normal next week then cooler…
    I fear this warm bias may bite everyone soon. The people who call it now may end up being heroes-if we do something soon enough.-Like no food for fuel for starters…

  68. Nasif Nahle (14:09:35) :
    Mark T (10:38:26) :
    Roger A. Pielke Sr (08:57:39) :
    “It is for this reason that I argee with your point on ocean heat content”
    Unfortunately, truth has been silenced in favor of solipsism.

    It would that people agreeing with other people’s position [e.g. about 'ocean heat content'] is just the opposite of solipsism.

  69. TonyB (11:21:08) : E M Smith said: I can fairly easily produce the lists of station IDs by quartile, if anyone wants it. It would be fascinating to see if the warming pattern matches urban vs rural or airport vs non or a dozen other UHI related things.”

    Yes please!

    OK, right after “send money to son” ;-0

    I’ll do it tonight. At 3000+ lines per quartile, it’s going to make a pretty bland blog page… Might be better on an FTP server. Anyone want to volunteer to run an FTP archive for a copy of “running GIStemp code”, porting / install docs, and selected analysis docs, like lists of stations by quartile? The data volume is very small for the source code and analysis results (it is the input files that are big – and they are on NOAA ftp sites already)

    If not, it is just going to be a loooong weblog of 3000+ lines of 9 digit numbers… (or 13,000+ lines of 3 digit year count and 9 digit station id for the whole enchilada sorted by year length of record…)

    E.M.Smith

  70. E M Smith (or anyone)
    Noting your observation that longstanding records have little apparent bias problems – see all of John Daly’s longest continuous temperature records: Greenland: Godthaab from 1866, Ilulissat from 1860. Iceland Stykkisholmur 1841. Norway: Bodø 1868, Vardø 1840. Faeroes Thorshavn 1867. Russia Nikolayevsk 1856. Sweden Haparanda 1860. UK: CET 1659 (yes!), Plymouth 1865, SW Ireland 1869. Holland DeBilt 1706. Hungary Debrecen 1853. Gibraltar 1854. Malta 1853. USA: West Point (NY State) & NY CIty compared 1820, Eagle Pass (Texas) 1850, Laramie (Wyoming) 1868. Bahamas 1856. S Africa Capetown 1857. Australia: Adelaide 1857, Victoria 1865.

    They are well worth assembling onto a single page, just to show the lack of AGW in one of the simplest and clearest ways possible. So it seems to me.

    John Daly passed away some time after 2000, but this does not invalidate the above evidence. And I guess the records can be updated. What’s so nice with Daly’s work is that the graphs are easy on the eye – they don’t fluctuate so much that one cannot get a feel for cool and warm years – yet neither are they smoothed. Just good ole-fashioned simple straight records.

  71. Robert Bateman (13:10:16) :

    Gary Pearse (12:52:23) :

    I checked the full history of those DMI sidebar years.
    2009 is threatening to walk away with the trophy

    Pierre Gosselin (03:28:25) :

    My comments above about the present uptick in arctic ice (Gary Pearse (12:52:23) : ) sounds even more likely with frost warnings over a broad area of Alberta this evening. This is probably a first for mid August since the LIA! They had frost on July 1st in the Edmondton Area (It was a WUWT thread) and if they get the frost being warned about, it will likely be the first year on record that there has been a frost in every month of the year (they won’t escape September without). Normal is 23C max and 12C min:

    http://www.theweathernetwork.com/alerts/

  72. evanmjones (13:52:14) :Given all the uncertainties and biases in the temperature record can anyone say with any certainty that this planet has actually warmed, or cooled, over the last 100 years?

    Well, I think the answer is both “yes” and “no”. And that is not just being cute.

    The “TopTen%” stations show (h/t Ellie in Belfast – private communications, graphs) a slight drift to colder over the longer term, but with a “ripple” of minor warming / cooling cycles. (It really would be nice to have Ellie’s graph up here as a posting…) but with a rise “at the end” when the station count starts to drop again.

    My interpretation of all this is that the best thermometers on the planet say that generally, nothing much has changed. There has been an upward run out of the 1700s LIA (trend data I have not posted due to the thermometer count being a bit low) that ‘went flat’ about 1880. Then there was a gentle shallow drift lower at the best stations (masked in the broad record by a large number of thermometers added at airports, in growing cities, and in the newly freed tropical countries – perhaps as we added major airports for the tourist trade?) and in the last decade and 1/2 or so, we’ve cut back the thermometer count a whole bunch (why?) and made the record less clear, but showing a warming trend that probably has more to do with where the surviving thermometers are than anything else.

    So I think I can say with fair certainty that substantially nothing has happened over the last 150 years, net, but that there has been a “couple of decade long” ripple of warming / cooling cycles (PDO? ENSO?) layered on top of a very slight cooling, up until the thermometer count goes dodgy recently.

    In other words: Sound and fury signifying nothing.

    Wish I had something more spectacular to say, but I must go where the data lead me. And the (clean) data say: “Problem? What problem?”

    I suppose it’s still possible that we could have a Bond Event (about due) or we could have a solar stagnation leading to a LIA redux or whatever. But the temperature data from the direct GHCN records from the best stations say:

    The sun has not caused any major changes.
    CO2 has not caused any major changes.
    Things are far more like they have been before than anything else.
    There is a small cyclical ripple (sun? oceans? whatever… it’s small).
    If you want a catastrophe story, look outside the last 150 years data or look at time periods of less than a decade (i.e. volcanos, meteors).

    I know it wasn’t one of your choices (warmer or colder) but it’s what the data say. We have had weather, but in the context of a fairly stable climate with a couple of decade minor “ripple”.

  73. E.M.Smith (16:49:59) :

    That wasn’t me. I was just quoting. My take is that is has warmed — slightly.

  74. Gary Pearse (16:21:28) :

    Yes, I live just south of Calgary and indeed frost warnings.
    However, in 1992 we had a cold spell with …..snow (aug 21,22), and temps of -3C. ( I do volunteer work for Environment Canada), and my station had that recorded in my records….next week +30C predicted…

  75. “”” Dajida (13:13:40) :

    It’s not popular to explicitly invoke the Law of Exemptions when stating such truths as “All truth is relative.” “””

    Sounds like a momentous philosophical statement; so just what does it mean; in plain English. It sounds like a variant of “The US Constitution is a “living” document.” Which is a euphemism for I’ll interpret it any way I see fit; rather than just take what it says in plain English; albeit of the period; but any 8th grader; other than in California can read what is says and means.

    Yes certain questions are “undecidable ” in the Godell sense; but that simply menas those questions have no truth assignable to them. But not all questions are undecidable. All branches of mathematics are built from a system of axioms. those axioms are absolute truths by definition; whether obvious or not, and no problem or theorem or statement that does not accept the absolute truth of those axioms, is a valid part of that branch of mathematics. In other words, to play the game, you have to abide by the rules, otherwise your are simply playing a different game.

    Projective (plane) Geometry for example has a simple set of axioms:

    1/ Two point define a line.
    2/ Two lines define a point.
    3/ There are at least four points.

    That is it. The Euclideans might immediately object to (2), arguing that parallel lines do not define a point. That may be so in Euclidean Geometry; but in Projective Geometry it is axiomatic; so it is true. And yes there are still parallel lines; and parallel lines meet at a point (I told you so) on “The Line at Infinity.”

    The very first theorem of projective Geometry proves the hypothesis that there are at least seven points.

    Within the rules set by those axioms; you cannot prove there are any more than seven points. There may be; but you just can’t prove it.

    So I question whether all truths are relative; some are absolute by definition.

  76. astronmr20 (16:11:29) :

    First off, it’s a cherry picker for sure…Nature. It’s an ice shelf, and you can see the coast of Antarctica in the distance. Since when is an ice shelf a glacier? It carries no moraine or till load.
    Those folks don’t have an oar in the water amongst them.
    Second, the Ice Shelf is floating, and this article is going over issues that have already been addressed. If it melts, it will not appreciably affect sea levels as it’s already IN the water. Now, the previous big crack they had jumped up and down over re-froze. Did anyone think of conditions such as wind pressure that can tear loose or subliminate the ice?
    So, get out your glass of water, pop in an ice cube so that the cube is as sumberged as possible ( 10% or so should float) measure the meniscus of the water level, let it melt and measure again.

  77. George E. Smith (17:54:29)

    So I question whether all truths are relative; some are absolute by definition.

    KW seemed to be initiating, at least what I see as, a game of “Claim the highest peak on Mount Knowledge.” My shot was sarcastic, and I agree with you: some truths are relative, and some are absolute.

    We’ve seen several decades of writers and scholars enamored with the concept of contextually bound truth. Too many of them went too far, so that today the performative contradiction “all truth is relative” seems ubiquitous graffiti.

  78. I’ve probably had about enough of humorless rationalists on this web site. How many of you can think wihout Math? Remember that the theory of relativity was the greatest achievement of logical thought in human history. Any of you have a greater achievement? I think not. Models suck. Math is a diguise for lack of genius. Pull your heads out of collective a***s and start thinking. Anyone with an inkling of sense can teach a donkey to do math. THINK.

  79. Don S. (20:42:43) : All science is numbers and qualitative meanderings lead nowhere. What took relativity from arm chair philosophy to rigorous theoretical explanations of the Universe? Math. And without math, there would have been no way to determine whether or not a logical thought experiment actually was reflected in reality-one needs precise quantitative predictions to test! Your suggestion is also odd in that you seem to think models are mathematical and that this is their problem. And it’s ludicrous to think of logic as being separate from math in the first place.

    Are you attacking arithmetic? Because I couldn’t teach a donkey to do calculus of fluids.

    Regardless, when someone actually says “Math is a diguise for lack of genius” in my presence, it is literal blasphemy. You are literally calling God a fraud.

  80. timetochooseagain (22:30:22) :
    “You are literally calling God a fraud.”

    What’s wrong with that?

  81. Leif Svalgaard (15:44:06) :

    Nasif Nahle (14:09:35) :
    Mark T (10:38:26) :
    Roger A. Pielke Sr (08:57:39) :
    “It is for this reason that I argee with your point on ocean heat content”
    Unfortunately, truth has been silenced in favor of solipsism.

    It would that people agreeing with other people’s position [e.g. about 'ocean heat content'] is just the opposite of solipsism.

    There is agreement among and around solipsists. :)

  82. “E.M.Smith (15:53:12) :

    TonyB (11:21:08) : E M Smith said: I can fairly easily produce the lists of station IDs by quartile, if anyone wants it. It would be fascinating to see if the warming pattern matches urban vs rural or airport vs non or a dozen other UHI related things.”

    Yes please!

    OK, right after “send money to son” ;-0

    Hey EM Smith can you change that to “after send money to son AND Tonyb”

    Tonyb (in hope and expectation)

  83. E.M.Smith (15:53:12) :
    TonyB (11:21:08) : E M Smith said: I can fairly easily produce the lists of station IDs by quartile, if anyone wants it. It would be fascinating to see if the warming pattern matches urban vs rural or airport vs non or a dozen other UHI related things.”

    Yes please!

    Done.

    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2009/08/15/best-3000-thermometer-records/

    Is a decent entry point. All 4 quartiles are up. One observation was that the shorter a life time for a thermometer, the more likely it had a high “mod” count. Don’t know exactly what that means, but it looks like a high proportion of the short records are of “diverse” modification histories…

    I also found it interesting that at the bottom of the lists there were often a few “SHIP L” , “SHIP A” etc. Who knew? And in the “bottom quartile” post, there is one record with a 20 year data series named “EXPERIMENTAL”…

    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2009/08/15/bottom-quartile-of-thermometers/

    Hey EM Smith can you change that to “after send money to son AND Tonyb”

    Sorry, didn’t see this in time, son and cat food have cleaned me out already… 8-}

  84. Don S. (20:42:43) : All science is numbers and qualitative meanderings lead nowhere.

    Um, no.

    Biology, medicine, botany, geology come to mind as fields with a heck of a lot of science done without a whole lot of math in most of it. Plate tectonics wasn’t exactly a math laden theory… And I’d not want to see you trying to tell an M.D. that his development of a new surgical technique after a great deal of thought and experimentation was not scientific because it did not use math… And I’m pretty sure the invention of the lightbulb was more “thesis, trial and error testing, confirmation” than math, yet a form of scientific enquiry.

    There is also the notion that Math is not a science because it is either an act of definition or the discovery of a natural language ( I can’t describe this theory well because I don’t buy into it, but a lot of folks do.)

    We have two side of the brain, and multiple intelligences. Many of them can “do science” and it is not limited to the math lobes…

    BTW, I love math, and got a math award at one time in my life. I do think a lot of science is improved by better application of math. It’s just that you can form a hypothesis and test it in words, just fine, thank you very much. Math is just a language, and the languages are translatable / transformable into each other. Some are more efficient than others for some problems, but that does not mean they are unable.

    BTW #2: You don’t actually need words either. At least not in the way most folks think of them. Deaf folks do just fine thinking in sign. I know because I’ve learned sign. At times, though rarely since I’m not a native “speaker” of sign, I have flashes of thought in sign. It’s often faster and more concise than either english or math for some things.

    AND my best insights and understandings come in a visual form. Not English. Not math. Not even sign. Just a “flash” with visual cues blended in. Use your whole brain, not just one tiny part of it, and things work a whole lot better… including science. Most of the time when I’m figuring out how something works it comes in the “flash”, only later do linear forms like language and math get involved (and often just in the “tell someone else” phase). I know this particular function is more an “Aspe” thing, and many folks can’t do it, but it is still a valid style of thought.

    Basically, there are many valid ways to think, so please don’t try to limit everyone else to the one you can do. Some of us can do other forms…

  85. Lucy Skywalker (16:16:22) :
    E M Smith (or anyone)
    Noting your observation that longstanding records have little apparent bias problems – see all of John Daly’s longest continuous temperature records:

    Bookmarked. I’ll look at it in more depth later. Now it’s time for some sleep… Thanks for the pointer!

  86. Lucy Skywalker

    This was one of the first pieces of information I ever looked at and as thousands of other papers have crowded this out I have forgotten just how good this piece of work is.

    It seems to me it is worth going through each one by region and brining it up to date-where that hasn’t been done.

    Has anyone (such as EM Smith) got the relevant data already in a digital format so the job can be easily done? Perhaps it has been done already and is available somewhere else?

    http://www.john-daly.com/stations/stations.htm#Greenland,%20Iceland,%20northern%20Norway,%20and%20the%20Arctic%20Ocean

    Tonyb

  87. This is what happens to scholars who pin their careers on the back of failed “D” science students comments. AWG a nothing in the past and proven to be worse today. It’s beginning to be a democratic thing lately, can’t trust any of them.

  88. E.M. Smith,

    You may already know this, but Ship Station A was at Lat. 62 degrees N. and Long. 33 degrees W. When a ship reached a “station” (within a square whose sides are 105 nautical miles N,E,S, and W of the center of the station) they filled out forms which recorded meteorological information which was then forwarded on to the US Weather Bureau or the Met. Office London. Both commerical and Navy ships suppled info. The means were computed from the sums of 8 individual temp. obs. per 24 hr. period recorded to the nearest whole degree.

  89. Science Daily has an article admitting that the tree lines have not been lowering as expected due to the 0.7°C global warming.

    They give their reasons for the unexpected behavior. But they left out the most obvious explanation: that the global rise in temperature over the past century is has been somewhat exaggerated.

  90. Smokey (09:17:40) :

    Science Daily has an article admitting that the tree lines have not been lowering as expected due to the 0.7°C global warming.

    They give their reasons for the unexpected behavior. But they left out the most obvious explanation: that the global rise in temperature over the past century is has been somewhat exaggerated.

    That’s absolutely normal natural ecological succession and has nothing to do with anthropogenic global warming. The latter (AGW) is a fallacy. We are starting a warmhouse period given that a very long icehouse period is finishing.

  91. Chris Schoneveld (01:02:24) : When you view the entire world as beautifully mathematical, to say otherwise is sacrilege. I suspect that you don’t, but okay, whatever!

    E.M.Smith (04:30:47) : I happen to think that the only real science is physics, the rest, uh, not so much…condescending? Oh absolutely. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

    It’s not that I don’t appreciate other ways of thinking, I just happen to think that they are all ultimately reducible to mathematics. I consider mathematics to the language of the gods themselves. But I understand not everyone feels that way.

  92. @Anthony Watts…

    I don’t see it’s fair that you silenced me on the issue of the real meaning of heat while you yield Leif and others to insist on teaching a major lie derived from deep ignorance on thermodynamics and heat transfer science.

    My arguments are supported on real physics writen by real physicists. However, they continue mentioning the lie making a mockyery the reference to the discussion on the difference about heat and kinetic energy, as if they were right and I was wrong, even when I demonstrated their lack of knowledge on the issue.

    REPLY: I didn’t silence you, as evidenced by your comment now and many other subsequent comments on other threads. I asked, using “please” not to dominate the thread. At one point you were making rapid fire comments and some of them were a bit over the top. My job as moderator is to regulate such occurances. If you are unhappy with that policy, take the argument elsewhere but don’t waste my time by whining about it. – Anthony

  93. If you are unhappy with that policy, take the argument elsewhere but don’t waste my time by whining about it. – Anthony

    No, not unhappy, just I find it uncomfortable. It’s not my argument, but the physical concept of heat developed by scientists, so I have not need of taking real science elsewhere. It is in any book of physics, thermodynamics or heat transfer.

    Anyway, I have understood what you are saying and stop “whining”.

  94. Anthony, while I don’t disagree with dropping the argument, you are remiss if you don’t notice that all it would take would be for everyone to stop responding, i.e., it takes two to argue. It’s not Nasif that is dominating the thread, it is Nasif plus everyone that chooses to take up the argument. They are equally culpable.

    Mark

    REPLY: Well then, the alternative is to close the thread. I just don’t want to spend time moderating personal spats over semantics and terms. It is a waste of my effort and the effort of other moderators. – Anthony

  95. Anthony

    Please don’t spoil our fun. Watching Nasif and Leif, and Phil and Shawn, do their battles over various internet blogs is like watching a fourth instalment of Lords of the Rings.

    Tonyb

  96. TonyB (05:08:24) :

    re:http://www.john-daly.com/stations/stations.htm#Greenland,%20Iceland,%20northern%20Norway,%20and%20the%20Arctic%20Ocean

    I agree that this is an excellent site for people who feel a bit intimitated by the statistics and science. The alarmists say that the looming catastrophy is global and observations by individuals based on their own personal experience is irrelevant. Only by consulting their “global temperature” (not an actual temperature but a statistical construction, made up using opaque rules by people with vested interests) can a rational decision be made (they say). But there is a simple alternative. If dangerous global warming is occuring this should be evident in the individual temperature records at various places around the world. OK, if there is no warming in just a few places, while everywhere else is warming, this is likely to be a result of local factors. But what is evident in these long term data sets is exactly the reverse. Simple inspection nearly everywhere shows that nothing is happening of any significance. A few go up a bit, a few go down, most go nowhere. No statistics or computer models needed.

  97. astronmr20 (16:11:29) :

    Somewhat O/T,

    But my AGW friends are going on about this article, which does seem to show that a particular glacier is “thinning fast:”

    Yes, it is somewhat O/T, BUT, I will posit a guess using numbers from another previous post;

    alexandriu doru (03:26:31) :

    1.The temperature trends 1980-2009 are (in celsius/decade) :
    HADCRUT3 0.1597
    NASA GISS 0.1589
    RSS-TLT 0.1559
    UAH-TLT 0.1276
    Source:Woodfortrees.
    The four numbers tell the same story .
    2. Kate
    The Pine Island glacier:
    -mean temperature -30 C

    SO – a quick google search yields results that include a link to; sub-glacial volcanoes?

    Yes, based on a aerial survey and radar mapping expedition last year in the Pine Island area, and ice-core samples from other locations, a nearby volcanic system erupted ~2200 years ago. It may have become active again circa 1985. Which is more likely, that a possible surface temperature increase of 0.48 degrees (ah, what the heck, I feel generous, double it and then round up to 1 degree) at a “balmy” mean of –30, is melting the ice, or a possible temperature increase under the glacier that could range from ~400 degrees to ~1700 degrees, or higher, might be increasing the speed at which it is melting?

    I wonder…

  98. davidc

    I prefer using national temperature data sets which often show a different picture to the global temperature construct which;
    a) is meaningless
    b) relies on ever changing stations

    tonyb

  99. Larry

    The plot thickens. I have attached a link to the BBC report and to the actual scientific paper the BBC is reporting on. The TV piece clearly makes a link to AGW by juxtaposing the Antarctic piece to the Greenland item where someone actually talks of climate warming.

    However this is a very clever sleight of hand as I can’t see anywhere in the actual scientific paper any reference at all to the Antarctic situation being the result of climate warming.

    This is quite deliberate splicing of two unrelated (but similar) items in order to create a perception that the two events have a common cause.

    What do you think. Another Obamagate?

    http://www.the-cryosphere-discuss.net/3/223/2009/tcd-3-223-2009.pdf

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/8200680.stm

    tonyb

  100. I have posted previously that my estimate of the average global warming bias of Hadcrut3 surface temperature measurements is 0.07C per decade, when compared with Lower Troposphere temperatures as depicted by UAH.

    If I read this post correctly the writer is estimating the warming bias as equal to (~0.2 – 0.14) = approx. 0.06C per decade.

    Close enough.

  101. timetochooseagain (11:05:28) :
    “Chris Schoneveld (01:02:24) : When you view the entire world as beautifully mathematical, to say otherwise is sacrilege. I suspect that you don’t, but okay, whatever!”

    I agree with you, I just didn’t think that the reference to God was appropriate. Now I understand that it was used metaphorically, but one never knows with a country with a bible belt.

  102. “REPLY: Well then, the alternative is to close the thread. I just don’t want to spend time moderating personal spats over semantics and terms. It is a waste of my effort and the effort of other moderators. – Anthony”

    But correct terms are of vital importance, Anthony. To his credit, all that Nasif has done is patiently explain that the oceans system does not contain “heat” (as the title of one of your threads incorrectly implies) it contain “energy”. Flipping the distinctions between “heat” and “energy” poisons the very root of science. The incorrect term “Heat Content” is deployed rather than the proper term “Energy Content” because of its emotive propaganda utility. It induces people to think straight away in terms of abnormal temperatures.

  103. Tony,

    I don’t know if it’s intentional, but it is not as if the information is not in the public domain;

    “Pine Island glacier has experienced sudden accelerations toward the sea twice in the past few decades. Topography of the bedrock around the volcano indicates that meltwater would flow off the mountain’s flanks and beneath the glacier, lubricating its base and speeding up the movement of the ice.”

    http://www.volcanolive.com/hudson2.html

  104. One question:

    Let’s assume that the global warming bias in average surface temperature (ST) measurement from ~1980 to present is 0.06C to 0.07C per decade, or a total of ~0.2C in three decades.

    Is it reasonable to extrapolate this 0.06C to 0.07C per decade ST warming bias backward in time to “adjust ” average global surface temperature measurements?

    I have no opinion on this question, which is why I’m asking here.

    If we do make this extrapolation, we get 0.6C to 0.7C of warming bias in the global average ST data, which pretty much eliminates all the alleged global warming in the 20th Century.

    I am not questioning whether temperature has fluctuated over this period; rather I’m questioning whether Earth was actually significantly warmer in circa 2009 than circa 1900.

    For those who answer yes, please provide your evidence.

  105. I must say Tom has a point and especially Anthony – with a name that stands for the rate of energy transfer by heat (W=J/s) – should be receptive to his argument.

  106. Larry

    It seems the BBC deliberately juxtaposed two reports to make it appear the Antarctic glacier was accelerating due to climate warming. The reporter- who had been to the area five years ago- must have known of the volcanic history AND seen the scientific report which did not even mention climate change.

    Any Brits here want to complain to the BBC about this wilful manipulation of facts? If so I will lay out the sequence of events here in a more ordered fashion.

    Tonyb

  107. Allan M R MacRae (08:24:01) :
    I am not questioning whether temperature has fluctuated over this period; rather I’m questioning whether Earth was actually significantly warmer in circa 2009 than circa 1900.
    Since TSI [and solar activity in general] is now [and for the past decade] where it was ~110 years ago, then under the assumption that solar activity has anything to do with the climate one might surmise that there should be no difference in the part that is caused by the Sun. By the same token the rise in sea-level http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/0/0f/Recent_Sea_Level_Rise.png/300px-Recent_Sea_Level_Rise.png cannot have been due to the Sun either. If the temperature now is no different than in 1900 then there is an explanation lacking for the rise of sea-level. Perhaps that didn’t rise either….

  108. Leif Svalgaard (10:21:24) : said

    ” By the same token the rise in sea-level http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/0/0f/Recent_Sea_Level_Rise.png/300px-Recent_Sea_Level_Rise.png cannot have been due to the Sun either. If the temperature now is no different than in 1900 then there is an explanation lacking for the rise of sea-level. Perhaps that didn’t rise either….

    I work with sea levels. There are numerous factors for changes and the base line of AD1700 (IPCC) uses heavily interpolated data from three incomplete records in Northern Europe. The 23 Records (as shown in your graph) are by no means representative or necessarily meaningful. Like temperatures, over a long period of time sea level rises and falls and to be consistent (like temperatures) needs to be always drawn from the same stations-assuming they haven’t been ‘polluted’ by local factors.

    It is difficult to see any meaningful increase in sea levels (in many places) if you go back to 1850. Prof Morner has a pretty good handle on the reality and I am sure you are familiar with his work

    tonyb

  109. : Leif Svalgaard (12:36:23) said

    “TonyB (12:15:16) :
    It is difficult to see any meaningful increase in sea levels (in many places) if you go back to 1850.
    You don’t really have to, the satellite data for the past few decades show the same order of magnitude trend. [or twice as large if memory serves...]. Actually: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:The_Rising_Sea_Level.jpg

    Sorry, obviously my post was not well phrased. Sea levels are similar to the ones appertaining in 1850 (in many places and taking like for like) Levels oscillate and as satellite data is very recent it can not show this long term variation. Satellites also have a high margin of error-it is very difficult to measure a constantly moving target!

    I use 1850 as an example because a lot of Hadley data starts from then so it is useful to have a consistent base line. As you know their temperature records from then are based on only some 20 or so stations worldwide, so in answer to the question that Allan posed that you were replying to-Yes, the Earth was probably warmer in 2009 than in 1850. However, that was during the final burst of the LIA. Whether it was warmer than say the early 1800’s, the 1780’s or the early 1700’s is much more doubtful and it certainly was not warmer than the MWP.

    tonyb

  110. TonyB (13:00:09) :
    It is difficult to see any meaningful increase in sea levels
    I think that there is reasonable agreement that the century rise is of the order of 20 cm. Whether it is 15 or 25 doesn’t matter. My argument is actually a bit more subtle:
    Some people say that solar activity is the main driver of climate. since solar activity the last decade has been what it was 1890-1900, temperatures in 1901 and 2009 should have been similar on that argument.
    By the same argument if temperature is the main driver of sea-level then the SL rise since 1900 should also be near zero, yet it is something like 20 cm.
    So, there is a flaw somewhere. If we accept the SL-rise then we cannot accept that T did not rise, hence the conclusion that T os driven by the Sun is wrong. To maintain that the Sun is the driver, we must accept that the T didn’t rise and that SL didn’t rise. That will go beyond that most people would accept.
    At typical ploy is to invoke some long delays that may be different from time to time and from ocean to air such that they just give any desired result when invoked.

  111. Leif Svalgard

    I am an agnostic on solar activity and read your excellent posts on this subject with great interest.

    I think that ocean heights oscillate in a number of unrelated cycles and for a variety of reasons. Personally, I think our concept of a global sea level is as flawed as the idea of a global temperature, and do not believe the IPCC version of events having traced the evolution of the historic reconstruction of the tide gauges they use.

    In principle your logic is impeccable, in practice I don’t think our data allows us to get a definitive answer over the long-rather than short-term

    Tonyb

  112. TonyB (14:49:15) :
    In principle your logic is impeccable, in practice I don’t think our data allows us to get a definitive answer over the long-rather than short-term
    That is a problem for all the people that claim this or that. I make no such claims so have no problem with not knowing.

  113. Leif said:
    Some people say that solar activity is the main driver of climate. since solar activity the last decade has been what it was 1890-1900, temperatures in 1901 and 2009 should have been similar on that argument.
    By the same argument if temperature is the main driver of sea-level then the SL rise since 1900 should also be near zero, yet it is something like 20 cm.

    Thank you Leif and Tony for your comments. I hope others will comment as well.

    Leif, I am not sure that I find your logic as quoted herein “impeccable”.

    Forgive me, but here is one possible peck:

    It is reasonable to assume that there is a significant time delay between global temperature change and sea level change. So temperatures could be the same at two differnt times, but it could take many more decades for sea level to reach its new “equilibrium”.

    Back to my question – was Earth significantly warmer circa 2009 than circa 1900? For those who answer yes or no, please provide your evidence.

  114. Leif Svalgaard (16:08:53) : said

    “TonyB (14:49:15) :
    In principle your logic is impeccable, in practice I don’t think our data allows us to get a definitive answer over the long-rather than short-term
    That is a problem for all the people that claim this or that. I make no such claims so have no problem with not knowing.”

    Leif

    I really admire people who recognise that they dont know everything. Unfortunately climate science is populated at present with people that believe they know the answer to everry question even if they patently don’t.

    Tonyb

  115. Alan,
    I think it is warmer c.2009 than c.1900 and this is evidenced by glacial retreat, the milder winters, and the polewards migration of species. For examples I offer the discovery of the bronze age ‘ice man’ in the Austrian Tyrol, the lack of much decent sledging weather in my home town in the last 20 years, and the appearance of certain types of Gatekeeper Butterflies in Northern England. I could also add the earlier flowering of various species of plants and trees, and the introduction of warmth loving varieties of food crops to southern England from abroad. I think these natural indicators tell us about longer term climate change more accurately than massaged figures do.

    I’d also like Leif to tell us what evidence he has that there is a linear relationship between the small changes in TSI he believes in and temperature on Earth. And getting a bit more technical, what evidence he has that the changes in the earth’s magnetic field have a linear effect on the magnetic relationship between Solar and terrestrial magnetic activity he bases his TSI reconstruction on.

  116. TonyB (01:49:35) :

    “I really admire people who recognise that they dont know everything. Unfortunately climate science is populated at present with people that believe they know the answer to everry question even if they patently don’t.”

    Absolutely! Well said.

    In my job as a wellsite geologist I am often asked my opinion of what is happening during drilling. The answers I give can and often do have a real time impact on multi-million dollar decisions. I have no problem in saying on occasion that I don’t know what is happening in the wells we are drilling. However when I do say that I know what is going on, the guys who employ me have more confidence in me because they know I don’t BS them.

    Now, Leif, shall I compare thee to a ‘climate scientist’?…

  117. “Unfortunately climate science is populated at present with people that believe they know the answer to everry question even if they patently don’t.”

    They are priests who offer certainty to those of the faith.
    Real scientists, like Leif, offer explanation.

  118. I don’t think Leif’s logic holds water :) at all.

    I’ll take his word that solar activity in the past decade might have been similar to or even the same as the period 1890 to 1900.

    That does not imply that current ocean energy content should be the same as back then.

    It is not a ‘ploy’ to invoke time lags or other factors as a possible explanation. It is a genuine search for the causes and the science behind the observed phenomenon that warming of both air and ocean has occurred in the intervening period.

    Leif is suggesting that the periods 1890 to 1900 and the past ten years should each be plucked out of their respective positions at different points in a changing continuum and compared as though that continuum did not exist.

    Not clever, not scientific, just silly.

    Quite simply the oceans are now at a higher level of energy content after decades of active solar cycles and it will take time for the curve to get back to that of 100 years ago and only then if solar activity does continue to decline.

    I do find this determination to deny any solar influence on the oceans over the centuries as somewhat suspicious. After all it may just be that the system is very sensitive to tiny solar changes. Whenever I have raised that point Leif has ignored it.

  119. Leif said:

    “Some people say that solar activity is the main driver of climate. since solar activity the last decade has been what it was 1890-1900, temperatures in 1901 and 2009 should have been similar on that argument.
    By the same argument if temperature is the main driver of sea-level then the SL rise since 1900 should also be near zero, yet it is something like 20 cm.”

    It’s best not to conflate temperature with climate as Leif has done.

    Most people who support a solar influence on climate (or rather temperature) would say that the level of solar activity is the source of the energy in the system that drives climate (temperature). They would not usually say that it directly drives climate (temperature).

    The oceanic phase shifts demonstrate that the oceans more directly drive climate (temperature) but there are those who believe (unlike me) that the composition of the air or the amounts of clouds drive the climate (temperature).

    The total energy in the system clearly changes over enough time and that energy must come from the sun initially. What happens after it arrives from the sun is at the heart of the puzzle.

    As regards sea level and total ocean energy content that has to be a result of a constant interplay between solar energy getting into the oceans and oceans releasing that energy at variable rates to the air.

    Pointing out a simple similarity or even exact match between two ten year periods a century apart tells us precisely nothing.

  120. FWIW I think Nasif is entirely correct in distinguishing between ocean heat content and ocean energy content.

    Climate is a matter of energy in the air as measured by the temperature of the air and also a matter of the differing rates at which energy is received by the air from the oceans and at which the energy in the air is transferred to space.

    Heat is not a helpful term in this context and has caused much confusion.

    The heat contained in the oceans is an irrelevance if the energy behind it is not transferred to the air at a consistent rate and we can see from the oceanic phase shifts that it is not.

  121. Allan

    I will give you a satirically scientific answer, a scientfic answer and some estimates based on both.

    Firstly I think Tallbloke with his anecdote about sledging illustrates the problem, which is that we all tend to think of climate based on our own experiences. What about if we looked at the climate throughout the lifetime of someone aged 70? This is the sartirical scientific article-sorry to those who have seen it before;

    “Burn the research

    Being at a loose end I set my dedicated team of climate researchers here in the UK on the task of graphing Hadley CET temperatures to 1660, so we could demonstrate to the misinformed the realities of indisputable catastrophic climate change, and get our large budgets increased.

    Unfortunately the ‘adjustments and smoothing interpolator’ was away on holiday and the ‘trend line coordinator’ was away at a wedding, so I must apologise that the data shown below is unadjusted and looks nowhere near as pretty and nicely ordered as we have been used to.

    One of our staff is a former actuary and thought she would amuse herself by working systematically through the records back to 1660, to see for herself the alarming warming trend over the centuries-obviously she had seen the Gore film and was wearing the T Shirt

    “Catastrophic Climate Change-stop it now! Ask me How!”

    Living near the coast she thought about the cycle of the tides, and whilst realising that the climate cycle was different- in as much it is however long we want it to be, and starts from whatever point necessary to maximise our funding- thought it would be fun to use this idea of a regular cycle.
    Consequently she based her calculations on a three score year and ten life span as she worked out the average annual mean temperature enjoyed by ‘British Everyman’ through each year of each decade. This assumed he was born at the start of a decade and died the last year of the decade seventy years later. Of course we urged her to call this mythical person ‘everywoman’ but as a woman was likely to live longer, she thought that as an actuary this would only complicate matters, so 70 years it is.

    These are her calculations;
    Someone born in Britain in 1660 and living to 70- Average annual temp 8.87c
    Someone born in 1670 and living to 70 Average annual temp 8.98
    1680 9.01
    1690 9.05
    1700 9.19
    1710 9.21
    1720 9.17
    1730 9.14
    1740 9.04
    1750 9.03
    1760 9.08
    1770 9.10
    1780 9.07
    1790 9.12
    1800 9.15
    1810 9.13
    1820 9.14
    1830 9.12
    1840 9.10
    1850 9.14 (Start of the famously reliable Hadley global temperatures)
    1860 9.17
    1870 9.21
    1880 9.30 Official end of the Little Ice Age
    1890 9.39
    1900 9.40
    1910 9.46
    1920 9.497
    1930 9.60
    1940 9.70 (projected to 2009)
    1950 9.76 Extrapolating current trends (our favourite phrase)
    1960 9.79 Using advanced modelling techniques to create a robust scenario.

    The actuary has a poetic turn of mind and decided to call the people born in the period from 1660 to 1880 as ‘LIA Everyman’ in as much the person lived part or all of their lives during the little ice age. She called those born from 1890 to the present day as ‘UHI Everyman’ She assures me that no adjustments have been made to correct UHI Everyman’s unfair reputation to exaggerate his (or her) temperatures.

    It was at this point that the Accountants -who were in auditing our accounts to ensure we were spending our grants wisely- became really interested. They’re at a bit of a loose end as they’re the group who audit the annual EU accounts-they’ve refused to endorse them for 12 years in a row now, and say it’s so easy to spot the fraud that it’s not a full time job anymore! Consequently they hope to get some work with the IPCC as they see them as a rapidly growing enterprise as fond of throwing meaningless and unsubstantiated-some might unkindly say fraudulent –numbers around, as the EU are.

    After examination of the data the accountants reluctantly agreed that the temperatures were remarkably consistent, and the increase of a fraction of a degree in mean average temperatures during Everyman’s lifetime over a period of 350 years was so well within natural variability it was difficult to make any useful analogy (other than it was the sort of increase in average warmth that would pass by completely unnoticed if we weren’t looking hard for it). The fractional temperature difference was unlikely to have any effect on Everyman’s choice of clothes, or the day they might attempt to have their first swim of the year in the sea. Wearing approved buoyancy aids of course

    The Accountants were particularly intrigued by the fact that the very slight rise in overall temperatures was almost entirely due to the absence of cold winters depressing overall temperatures, rather than hotter summers. At this point the actuary mentioned that warmer winters were good, as statistically, fewer people died.

    Someone mused that the modern temperatures seemed rather too close for comfort to those experienced during the LIA, and another murmured as to what the temperature variance would show if we did this exercise for the MWP, or the Roman warm period. I quickly pointed out that it was just a Little Ice age and not the real thing, and that Dr Mann had told us all that the MWP was an outdated concept, and as I had never heard of the Romans they couldn’t exist, and neither could their allegedly warm period.

    Another Accountant mentioned that if UHI was stripped out, the already tiny increase in temperature since the Little Ice Age would all but disappear. I reminded them who was paying their bills and to stop that sort of Contrarian talk immediately.

    Of course I fired the actuary when she confessed that the almost indistinguishable blue line along the bottom of her original graph represented total man made co2 since 1750. Obviously she was some sort of closet right wing tool of Big Oil out to cause trouble.

    I’m undecided whether to turn this report over to our adjustments and smoothing interpolator for remedial work or merely to lose it. Or burn it.”

    Allan
    Hope you managed to get to the far side and have rejoined me again.

    As for your query as to whether it is warmer now than in 1900 it is useful to look at long data bases. None better than these from John Daley gathered from around the world.

    http://www.john-daly.com/stations/stations.htm#Greenland,%20Iceland,%20northern%20Norway,%20and%20the%20Arctic%20Ocean

    If you exclude UHI, badly sited stations, massage, and accept there are natural trends up and down I would say that there has possibly been a slight warming trend since 1900. If we revert back to the man of 70 figures I think I would say that in our recent recorded instrumental history there are many places in the world that have been warmer than today and many that are cooler than today-in other words the reason for the gradual dropping of the word ‘global warming’ is because that is difficult to substantiate.

    I suspect that the 1830’s 1880’s 1770’s and early 1700’s were as warm as today in many places, despite average mean temperatures being dragged down by very cold winters.

    Hope this gives some sort of answer

    Tonyb

  122. Re Tallbloke

    Here are the BOM records (with minor, insignificant in-filling of missing data) from the Bureau of Meteorology for Macquarie Island, between Australia and Antarctica, for my study period 1968-2008. (Don’t worry about the 3 sig figs, that’s a calculation artefact when averaging daily obs. Slope is from Excel LINEST. The study period was chosen because Aust went decimal in 1966 and this aids in removing conversion from degrees F to C from consideration).
    Year Tmax Tmin Tav
    1968 6.554 3.217 4.885
    1969 6.223 2.641 4.432
    1970 6.413 2.956 4.685
    1971 7.258 3.869 5.563
    1972 6.346 2.523 4.435
    1973 6.430 2.971 4.700
    1974 6.700 3.136 4.918
    1975 6.722 3.094 4.908
    1976 6.788 2.723 4.755
    1977 7.110 3.161 5.135
    1978 6.863 3.457 5.160
    1979 6.881 3.270 5.076
    1980 7.273 3.760 5.516
    1981 6.896 3.580 5.238
    1982 6.572 2.914 4.743
    1983 6.271 2.486 4.378
    1984 7.128 3.575 5.351
    1985 7.142 3.702 5.422
    1986 7.188 3.619 5.404
    1987 6.673 3.355 5.014
    1988 6.501 2.699 4.600
    1989 7.367 3.767 5.567
    1990 6.422 2.717 4.569
    1991 6.560 2.863 4.711
    1992 6.396 3.140 4.768
    1993 6.981 3.389 5.185
    1994 6.214 2.675 4.445
    1995 5.889 2.537 4.213
    1996 6.756 3.431 5.094
    1997 6.415 3.053 4.734
    1998 6.379 2.983 4.681
    1999 7.058 3.375 5.216
    2000 6.618 3.182 4.900
    2001 6.901 3.370 5.136
    2002 7.035 3.498 5.266
    2003 6.524 2.887 4.706
    2004 6.326 2.753 4.539
    2005 7.039 3.536 5.288
    2006 6.503 2.923 4.713
    2007 6.417 3.100 4.759
    2008 6.508 3.150 4.829
    AVERAGE 6.689 3.147 4.918

    SLOPE -0.003 0.000 0.000

    The trouble is that there are adequate other Australian remote rural sites that also show essentially no change of slope. If you envisage mechanisms such as cloud for cold, remote Macquarie, then you have to envisage them for tropical Broome. You might even have to invoke a number of special case pleads to explain the zero trend at several stations. To me, it’s simpler to assume that Nature provided essentially no change, but successive adjustment and instrumental changes have produced a pseudo trend. But, I lack adequate coverage to make that conclusion yet.

  123. I’m not a climatologist so my questions are undoubtedly naive. But, I wonder if thermal heating of the ocean from vents on the ocean floor has been measured accurately enough to assess their contribution to “global warming.”

  124. Leif Svalgaard (16:08:53) :

    TonyB (14:49:15) :
    In principle your logic is impeccable, in practice I don’t think our data allows us to get a definitive answer over the long-rather than short-term

    That is a problem for all the people that claim this or that. I make no such claims so have no problem with not knowing.

    Yet you make plenty of categorical statements about what can’t be the case, despite having no problem with not knowing. And in many of these cases, there are other effects, which you dismiss is ‘negligible’, ‘tiny’, or ‘second order’, without considering the difference between TSI arriving at the top of the atmosphere, and the modulation of that energy by the many terrestrial systems you wot not of.

  125. Geoff Sherrington (05:36:08) :
    To me, it’s simpler to assume that Nature provided essentially no change, but successive adjustment and instrumental changes have produced a pseudo trend. But, I lack adequate coverage to make that conclusion yet.

    Hi Geoff, thanks for the data. I think it’s certainly true that the southern hemisphere in general has seen little trend, but large areas in the north have. The warmies dismiss this by saying the seperation of the weather systems have kept more co2 in the north. Sounds like cobblers to me. Still, there is an overall global trend because of this, and although your study doen’t find it, that is as you say, because it is geographically limited to a corner of the southern hemisphere.

    I agree the surface data is suspect, so we agree in large measure anyway.

  126. I see that Leif elsewhere did make a point about the issue of climate sensitivity being a non issue because what goes in has to come out eventually.

    Thus a small change in solar (or any other) input can only result in a small climate response. Then he contends that solar variations are so tiny that any climate response is insignificant. I consider that to be an error.

    I normally use the idea of sensitivity as a measure of speed of response rather than size of response in the way that the climate deals with changes in inputs of any particular kind.

    Furthermore different parts of the system have differing sensitivities as regards speed of response.

    When gradually increasing or decreasing solar energy into the oceans exceeds or falls short of that released to the air by the oceans it can take centuries for the full extent of the small slow solar changes to become fully reflected in the total energy content of the oceans. In the meantime we do see variations over shorter periods of time as the ENSO cycle and the 30 year oceanic phase changes interact.

    It seems that the ocean phase shifts periodically reduce the build up of excess energy and then allow a further build up for a while thus showing a ‘stepped’ pattern to long term warming (or cooling).

    When those phase shifts occur, however, the change in the air circulation systems is immediate and we see them move poleward or equatorward within a short time of an oceanic phase shift with regional weather changing at the same time. Note that the shorter term ENSO cycle does partially disguise the main multidecadal phase shifts (at least initially) and modulates the size of the steps which occur during warming and cooling phases quite considerably.

    So what we get is a tiny solar variation towards warming or cooling over centuries but during the period that the solar output is slowly changing we get a mixture of large and small, fast and slow climate changes which follow the behaviour of the oceans as they vary in their responses to that solar forcing whether it be towards cooling or towards warming.

    So, I contend that the climate which we observe is highly sensitive to tiny solar changes over time and Leif’s suggestion that sensitivity is a non issue is misleading and born of a lack of knowledge of the world outside his specialism.

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

    always select raw data from the dropdown list, but still contain adjustments

    This reveals some of the story about datasets, which very often are void as one record. In this case it reveals 4 datasets.

    There is no metadata so it is impossible to find out much unless it is in say the ncdc database. Two are but only from 2007 and say nothing but did reveal one is at the civilian airport and another a little way from there.

    The population is shown as 31,000, Wikipedia says 46,000.

    There are two air stations, the other being the largest air force base in Norway. It is unclear whether it is one station or two. (I’ve done a quick google map)

    The record looks bad at 1939/40 outbreak of WW2, no surprise. Is probably broken. Plenty of other times it looks dicey.

    ” Most of Bodø was destroyed during a Luftwaffe attack on the 27 May 1940. Six thousand people were living in Bodø, and 3500 people lost their homes in the attack.”

    Yet there is a temperature record. This might even be remarkable for uncovering UHI back then except we know no details.

    Particularly telling is the recent dataset which is suddenly very different. This is classic of a change in location or equipment and voids the long dataset.

    Often you can identify station changes in the supposed long record and they tally with database information or deducible information which can be found elsewhere.

    This is the civi airport, weather station not found so far

    http://weather.gladstonefamily.net/site/ENBO

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