Caveats Regarding Dr. Phil Jones’ Phenological Arguments for Global Warming

Guest post by Indur M. Goklany

The latest Science magazine has an extended interview with Dr. Phil Jones. In this post, I’ll keep away from issues related to Climategate, whether this was a softball interview (given that, for example, there is no discussion of deletion of files, if any) or whether, by refusing to share data with skeptics, Professor Jones was undermining the scientific method (because the scientific method relies, among other things, on giving one’s skeptics the opportunity to disprove one’s conclusions). Instead I will focus on phenological arguments that have been advanced to argue that global warming indeed exists.

These arguments are the subject of the second question posed to Dr. Jones:

”Q: Let’s pretend for a second that we threw out the CRU dataset. What other data are available that corroborate your findings about temperature rise?

“P.J.: There’s the two other datasets produced in the U.S. [at NASA and NOAA]. But there’s also a lot of other evidence showing that the world’s warming, by just looking outside and seeing glaciers retreating, the reduction of sea ice … overall, the reduction of snow areas in the northern hemisphere, the earlier [annual] breakup of sea ice and some land ice and river ice around the world, and the fact that spring seems to be coming earlier in many parts of the world.”

I am very sympathetic to PJ’s argument, because, in the past, I have made the same argument.  However, over time I have become more skeptical about the extent to which higher temperatures are the sole determinants of either (a) melting of glaciers and sea ice and (b) earlier springs.  Accordingly, these phenological arguments have, in my opinion, become less compelling.  I would, therefore, add caveats to PJ’s response.

Melting of glaciers and sea ice.  It’s possible that higher levels of soot could have contributed to greater melting (see paper by James Hansen, also see here). On the other hand, ice core measurements in Greenland indicate that soot peaked around 1910 (with minor peaks occurring later), consistent with my claim that air pollution from combustion sources in industrialized countries was being reduced long before any Clean Air Act. In addition, a reduction in precipitation would also be manifested as a net reduction in glacier and ice extent, but it is hard to imagine that precipitation changes will only occur in one direction.

Earlier Springs. This suggests that temperatures might have increased, at least around springtime. This, however, is complicated by the fact that human activities have pumped out CO2, and various forms of sulfur and nitrogen into the atmosphere.  Each of these acts as a plant fertilizer.  This ought to affect the onset of spring.  [If anyone has or knows of empirical information on fertilizers and earlier spring, I would appreciate getting details.]  Moreover, while there are numerous studies (see, e.g. here) that indicate that spring has advanced, there is a recent satellite based study that indicates no consistent trends in the starat of spring in North America. This paper, Intercomparison, interpretation, and assessment of spring phenology in North America estimated from remote sensing for 1982–2006, notes in its abstract:

”We found no evidence for time trends in spring arrival from ground- or model-based data; using an ensemble estimate from two methods that were more closely related to ground observations than other methods, SOS [start of spring] trends could be detected for only 12% of North America and were divided between trends towards both earlier and later spring.”

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144 thoughts on “Caveats Regarding Dr. Phil Jones’ Phenological Arguments for Global Warming

  1. At first glance I read that as pharmacological arguments.

    I guess I subconsciously thought that might be the only sensible or believable reason for this whole thing.

  2. The other day it was BBC, yesterday it was Nature, today it’s Science, and what’ll be next?

    PJ is now a big figure, which he himself probably did never imagine three months ago.

  3. I don’t buy it.
    All observations have been observed log before CO2 could have been a problem.
    Jones uses these arguments to cover up is own sloppy work and justify his position.

  4. As I keep repeating all these events from glacier melt, to Arctic ice to seasonal variation, early spring, late autumn, hot summers, and hard winters, are not evidence of anything beyond variations in the weather from year to year and decade to decade.

    They have all happened before and no doubt will again, and we know all that from the written record: and indeed the instrumental one. It is just weather.

    And we are told weather is not climate which is nonsense, climate is the aggregate of weather in some place over decades and centuries but when it comes to much of globe it is centuries and millenia rather than decades. For again we know that there are short lived, decades, periods of warmth and cold. And have been for centuries: and indeed there have been warmer and colder centuries too.

    For we also know too that local climate covering vast regions does change over centuries for reasons we do not understand which is why for instance much of the Sudan is no longer the once fertile and luxuriant area coveted by the Egyptians as it once was three thousand years ago.

    And it was not damaged by man but by great changes in the weather system.

    Do you think the Antarctic has changed much in the last three thousand years?

    And for the whole globe that is not mere thousands of years but tens of thousands.

    And everybody gets excited that the snowdrops are earlier or later this spring.

    Get a sense of proportion.

    The global climate is driven by vast natural forces we barely understand, and whilst we might affect local weather and the micro climates around our cities and our agriculltural lands we could no more affect the climate of the globe than we can change the winds by spitting at them.

    Even a tiny volcano does more than all our nuclear weapons could or would do if detonated together.

    What arrogance to suppose that we could affect the global climate and what ignorance of the sheer scale of natural forces far beyond our imagining that allows such inanity to flourish.

    Kindest Regards

  5. ..”overall, the reduction of snow areas in the northern hemisphere”

    Did he not get the memo? 2nd greatest now extent recorded…

  6. Personally, I am taking their advice, and I am looking out the window. All I see is snow and cold, cold, cold. Using their own methods, this tells me that there is no AGW!

  7. Look out the window indeed. Hopefully pretty soon you and your cabal will only see the sky for one hour per day. The other 23 hrs you’ll get acquainted with your new friend Big Bubba

  8. “It’s possible that higher levels of soot could have contributed to greater melting…”

    What about shifting ocean currents reported by this very blog? That sounds more plausible.

  9. It appears that Jones has taken to studying the Al Gore book of climate science. A person of his position should know that glaciers are a poor indicator of climate change in a relatively short period of geological time. They are too sensitive to regional conditions and temperature is not the only thing which effects them. Most glaciers which are in retreat lost the greatest volume of their ice prior to 1850.

    Sea ice…. Is Jones aware that there are TWO polar caps?
    Is Jones aware of study after study indicates that wind and ocean currents have been identified as the largest factor in the loss of Arctic Sea ice during the 2007 event?

    Onset of spring? There has not been a consistent earlier onset. Further, any timing of the onset of spring must be presented with consideration of the attending state of the Enso and other natural cycles. Nature does not work by mans calendar.

  10. Interpretations of phenological records often raise lots of questions. “Reading” those records usually involves making lots of assumptions, so that two different scientists might arrive at different results depending on how they interpret very ephemeral data.

    There have been decimations of honeybee populations across the U.S. But nobody knows why. The global warmers have drawn a number of damning lines of reasoning. But it’s just as easy (probably easier) to see honeybee losses as a result of cooling.

    There are thousands of phenological records if PJ wants to engage in historical record-combing: Here’s one interpretation of Japan’s long cherry blossom record. The scientist is Takehiko Mikami, of the Department of Geology, Tokyo Metropolitan University:

    http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/120695166/abstract?CRETRY=1&SRETRY=0

    The results indicate warmer periods during the eleventh to the thirteenth centuries (in the Medieval Warm Period), and colder periods during the sixteenth to eighteenth centuries (The Little Ice Age), with large year-to-year variability as shown in figure 2.

  11. There was soot generated in Eastern North America in increasing amounts beginning with the first colonists.

    There is a quote that refers to the great eastern hardwood forest, namely,

    “A squirrel could travel from Maine to Texas without touching the ground.”

    One of the activities of early towns, such as Boston, was to construct canals to facilitate bringing in massive quantities of firewood from greater distances as local sources became exhausted. Alternative fuels as we have today did not exist. Then came the charcoal iron industry:

    http://www.oldeforester.com/ironintr.htm

    All the while cutting, clearing, and burning of the forest continued. By the 1940s and 50s in much of the East the trend reversed. Farms and fields were abandoned and a new succession of vegetation began.

  12. I find it amazing that Jones appears to have no intuition about how climate works, but still became head of the CRU and one of the key players in the IPCC scam.

    None of the things he mentions are other than the natural changes our climate has demonstrated countless times in the past and will do so again in the future.

    Incompetent seems to be the word that best sums him up.

  13. When the author wrote “no consistent trends in the starat of spring” I suspect that “no consistent trends in the start of spring” was meant instead.

  14. Look, dood cant even remember

    A. we requested the CONFIDENTIALITY AGREEMENTS FOR 5 COUNTRIES, not the data.

    B. He could not tell us what exact stations HE USED. GHCN is a pile of 6000 stations. Question: PJ which ones did you use dood? Answer: I dunno but they are all in GHCN except some which are not.

    Beclowned.

  15. if this is all remaining evidence, global warming seems to have happened every 60-70 years and then … just went away.

  16. Phil Jones is saying one thing to the BBC/Nature and another thing on Real Climate…. On there he basically says that he agrees with that Real climate thought he was trying to say not what he actually said – AGW is real and we are in trouble. Everything has been spun to death over there and in his interview/chat with them he agrees with their outlook on it. Looks like he’s trying to play both sides at the moment.

  17. If Jones keeps this up he’s going to out compete Hansen and Gavin for the climate media whore of the year award.

    Next thing you know PJ will be on “The View” with Barbara Walters, giving a tearful blow-by-blow account of his suicidal ideations, Gore fixations, and carbon fraud fantasies. After that maybe he’ll do Jerry Springer with a surprise special guest appearance by Penny Wong as the jilted “climate ho”. The possibilities are endless.

  18. CO2 as a fertilizer bringing on ‘early spring’… probably not. Although in bonsai, (Japanese miniaturized trees) there is widespread belief that fertilizing early with high nitrogen might bring on early budding, it is more likely linked to length of day and chill factors. CO2 would be a fertilizer, which the tree ignores while it is dormant, it has to come out of dormancy first to be able to utilize the fertilizer.

    By the way, many bonsai growers laugh at the idea of the Yamal data showing temperature. When you grow a tiny tree in a very small amount of soil, you can really understand how many factors go into growth. Trees stop growing when the temps are below a certain level, and also stop growing when the temps are above a certain level. Using tree rings to find temps is about like using a Husky dog’s hair to find temps and ignoring whether it is a well fed dog or a starving stray.

  19. introducing the fundamental theorem of science-based policy merit:

    when scientific arguments are used to form public policy-

    e = p * 1/(ß^ß’)

    where p is the pragmatic ideal policy constant, ß is the collusion (~buddy~) factor for the media and politicians, ß’ is the scientist buddy factor, and e is the expected result.

  20. “P.J.: There’s the two other datasets produced in the U.S. [at NASA and NOAA].

    This is “sellers puff” at best. There is only ONE data set produced, and that is from NOAA. They feed their data set (GHCN and USHCN) into GISS who make a re-processed version of it with GIStemp. But at it’s core it is just a re-homogenized different UHI version of that NOAA data.

    NOAA also make an adjusted (homogenized, etc.) version of the same data.

    So at the end of the day it all comes down to “Trust NOAA and GHCN”, yet we know that their is dramatic “survivor bias” in the thermometers that persist over time in the GHCN data set.

  21. Phenological?

    Momentary brain burp:

    At first glance, I thought it was phrenological. Reading the bumps on Dr. Phil’s head would probably give better insights into his thinking.

  22. Has Phil got some problems with writing code…… and filing his papers…… and remembering who he made agreements with…… and remembering whether it was 42 or 49 Chinese stations…… and remembering whether they use 1500 or 5000 monthly stations…… and remembering if it was him that left the FOI file and Harry out in the open?
    You know, I’m not surprised that he can’t remember ever doing anything wrong.

  23. “Moreover, while there are numerous studies that indicate that spring has advanced, there is a recent satellite based study that indicates no consistent trends in the starat of spring in North America.”

    Here’s a straightforward way to quantify the weight of observations concerning the onset of spring in the literature. GoogleScholar is an open access source for academic publications. A search on its database with “earlier spring” in the title* comes up with 29 publications. In contrast “later spring” gives no results.

    Of course there are other publications on seasonal onset not that won’t be found under these search terms, but it is extremely unlikely that the overall balance would be much different.

    Jones can therefore rely on an overwhelming weight of published observations to support his statement that spring is coming earlier.

    *allintitle: “earlier spring”

  24. If Jones keeps this up he’s going to out compete Hansen and Gavin for the climate media whore of the year award. Next thing you know PJ will be on “The View” with Barbara Walters, giving a tearful blow-by-blow account of his suicidal Gore fixations and carbon fraud fantasies. After that maybe he’ll do Jerry Springer with a surprise special guest appearance by Penny Wong as the jilted ex carbon ho. The possibilities are endless.

  25. As far as seasons go, Thoucydides, (455-399BC) an athenian general and historian who lived through and recorded the peloponisian wars divided the year into to seasons: eight months summer (theros) and four months winter (cheimon).
    Its about correct even two thousand and a half years later, we need heating from december to march. The rites of spring ( easter) still follow the moon calender. This year easter is early, ( April 4) so maybe spring will be early too. Last year both were late.

  26. “I worry a lot these days. I worry about the arrogance of scientists who blithely claim that they are here to solve the climate problem, as long as they receive massive increases in funding. I worry about the way they covet
    new supercomputers. Others talk about”stabilizing the climate“. I’m
    terrified of the arrogance, vanity and recklessness of those words.
    Why is it so difficult to demonstrate a little humility?“
    He said it 20 years ago,climategate proves he was correct.
    Arrogance,vanity,recklessness,I know who that describes.

  27. “But there’s also a lot of other evidence showing that the world’s warming,…”

    No tree rings or sea levels mentioned, just a really weak answer for someone so high up to give, and especially when he’s on the ropes to try to defend GW with something which might mitagate his culpability, in other words, if GW was otherwise a strong belief of his.

  28. The establishment is fighting back. The scientists were caught out, so the rag mags come to their rescue. Their editors are back-peddling too. Because their authority as scientific arbiters is under great threat. Rightly.

    The journalists who hyped it are now seen as scribblers. Rightly. So their careers are under threat. Rightly.

    The Ministers who fell for it are now seen as spendthrift idiots. So their careers are under threat. Rightly.

    And the Green organisations who recruited youngsters are now seen as manipulating youth. rightly. So their status is under threat. Rightly.

    Don’t think they’ll hoist the white flag. They won’t.

    The fight has only just begun………

  29. Methinks spring in the Northern hemisphere might be a little late this year. When they stop using statistics that stop several years ago then maybe a more balanced picture will appear.

  30. Earlier springs, huh? I wonder if the UK spring that is supposed to be three weeks late this year, is three weeks later than the “normal” date of spring or three weeks later than the eleven days earlier that spring has been… lately.

    It’s just noise in the system IMHO, and more likely to be caused by the vagaries of sunspots and ocean currents than CO2.

    It seems, Anthony, that you are weakening your own argments by saying, oh well, it could be CO2, when actually there are temperature changes going on. although, of course the temperature change is of the order of 0.25 C per century and within the error bars for uncalibrated climate stations.

    And a longer growing season is a bad thing because…?

    What I really want to know about is that “homogenisation” process. That’s where the fiddle factors are subjectively added in. Does anyone know how that process works?

  31. It’s clear that climate change is far more complex than even the most complex thinking climate scientist. So, why does anyone even persist in saying that we know what’s going on and why? We clearly don’t. So, all the politicians in the world who are saying the science is in and the debate is over are clearly liars or fools or both. That makes their policies on climate change not only false but also should be proven illegal in a court of law.

  32. Joanie

    Agreed. Trees also change thier growth rate when water is short, when a nutrient is in low concentration… when pests eat the leaves, when other trees shade them from the sun… there are too many variables to get a lot of climate data out of tree rings. And as we know that e.g. the MWP migh have been “local”… it also depends where your tree is situated.

  33. Are Jones’ answers those of a scientist? The more he opens his mouth publicly the more he sticks his foot right in it.

  34. Yet another great posting by Indur M. Goklany.

    But I have been away, far from the Blogosphere, for nearly three weeks. And one of the most obvious things that has been going on is the attempt to re-brand Phil Jones, Michael Mann and the rest of them.

    Jones, let us not forget, has been showing himself for years as one of the most arrogant and tendentious clowns in the “Hockey Team”. Anyone reading regularly here (if not, try:-

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_3_6?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=hockey+stick+illusion&sprefix=hockey

    Brilliant!) will readily accept that Jones’s scientific credibility is lower that a rattlesnake’s a**hole.

    Now he is being presented (with enthusiastic help from the BBC / Grauniad and the rest) as a slightly bumbling but good natured boffin who might have quite inadvertently made the odd trifling error of presentation but whose Heart Is In The Right Place.

    I never thought he would be sacked from UEA. But even if it is decided that he should be made a scapegoat for the whole Climatic Research Unit’s vipers’ nest, it is absolutely obvious that he will re-appear as a Pundit. Probably on the BBC or in the Grauniad. Can a knighthood be far behind?

    We really should start a campaign that not one of these crooks should receive one penny of taxpayers’ money ever again. Did they ever show any concern about the consequences of their AGW propaganda?

  35. “just looking outside and seeing glaciers retreating, the reduction of sea ice … overall, the reduction of snow areas in the northern hemisphere, the earlier [annual] breakup of sea ice and some land ice and river ice around the world, and the fact that spring seems to be coming earlier in many parts of the world”

    I cant believe these are PJ world :D Only a warmist can tall like this.

  36. >4 decades ago, my Biology taught that plants calibrate their phases to day-length – rather night-length – from the rate of degradation of auxins (regulating hormones).
    Not the whole story of course, but I would guess that physicists know aught about biology, when they attempt to define the start of Spring.

  37. It doesn’t sit right with me that Dr Jones can claim that:

    “the MWP is most clearly expressed in parts of North America, the North Atlantic and Europe and parts of Asia”

    yet he remains eager to downplay the possibility of the WMP as a global phenonema due to to a lack of evidence for the SH, but on the other hand has no trouble (along with the rest of the hockeystick team) in accepting a lone tree in Siberia (YAD061) as evidence enough in pointing to an unprecedented 20th C warming.

    Three continents and half an ocean vs one tree. And they chose the tree.

    No, it just don’t sit right.

  38. Earlier Spring times?

    It’s no coincidence that the UK (and Western Europe) is the source of many AGW believers. Urban heat island effects are more likely here due to the density of population and industry.

    Undoubtedly our perception of warming is coloured by our experiences. Most of us (including my 70+ year old parents) are all too young to remember clearly what it felt like in the warmer part of the twentieth century. How can you not get an impression of warming when for most of your life it has, in fact, been warming? Add to that our changing lifestyles. Many in the UK grew up without the central heating we now consider de rigueur. We walked to school in thin, skimpy clothes and rarely got to ride in cars, let alone those with heating systems that came on before we got to our destination. It wasn’t just the climate that was colder then.

    However, even accounting for UHI, creative temperature accounting and changing circumstances, most people in the UK would say that they think the climate has warmed. I’d be amongst them and so would our flora and fauna.

    Looking at the CET divided into seasons, it seems that spring and autumn show a greater warming signal than winter and summer. The change looks to have happened gradually but there was an acceleration in the mid to late eighties. But what’s changed?

    My answer would be ‘lots of things’ but noticeably fog and smog.

    It’s very rare for fog or smog to be seen in the UK these days and the ‘pea soupers’ of most British childhoods are almost unheard of. One only has to drive into a fog bank, in a car with a temperature sensor, to notice that it’s very much colder than in clear sunshine. So a decrease in foggy days would have a noticeable impact on the climate. I’m not the only person who’s noted this effect.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601102&sid=aPCrSRgkmEFs&refer=uk

    This report was from Dave Britton, a meteorologist at the UK Met Office. It says “The decline in fog has raised temperatures by 0.08 degrees Celsius (0.14 Fahrenheit) per decade across Europe, or up to a fifth of the total warming observed, the scientists calculated. In eastern Europe, the drop in fog may account for half of the total warming,”

    Successive decades have seen the decline in domestics coal burning, demolition of all but the biggest power stations, changes to lower sulphur coal, the ‘dash for gas’ and finally the introduction of desulphurisation equipment to the remaining coal fired power plants.

    I wonder how many degrees of warming we could account for if we added up all the real (but not CO2) changes and the perceived changes like those Mr Goklany outlines above?

  39. In my experience, spring usually starts around the 21st of March. I’ve already started my seeds, just as I have for the last 45 years. Burpee hasn’t changed their planting dates in my lifetime, I guess they don’t believe in global warming, just results.

  40. The issue is not whether the globe is warming (obviously if one is coming out of a little ice age, the globe will be warming and glacier melts etc are therefore to be expected and prove nothing in themselves) but rather whether the rate of warming is being increased in line with anthropogenic CO2 output.
    Whilst increased CO2 levels will no doubt accelerate the rate of growth of vegetation, increased levels may not in themselves advance the onset of spring. Of course, in urban areas, the earlier onset of spring may be a factor of the UHI. Since most of us live in urban areas, we may get a false perception of early springs simply because of increased local UHI.

  41. There’s nothing quite as stomach churning as alarmists talking up their 30 years of observing earlier springs (or worse, data showing earlier springs since the end of the LIA) without a shred of long term perspective. Were there earlier springs 1000 years ago Phil? What was the sea ice extent? Glaciers? Sea level? What’s amazing to me is there is data available. Sea levels were the same to 1/2 meter higher in the MWP. Glaciers retreated in Europe, etc.

  42. “…while there are numerous studies that indicate that spring has advanced, there is a recent satellite based study that indicates no consistent trends in the starat of spring in North America.”

    It’s possible to try to quantify the weight of published evidence here using GoogleScholar. Searching on “earlier spring” in the title of a publication give 29 results, while “later spring” gives zero. There are overall seven times more publications with “later” in the title than “earlier” so there’s certainly no bias introduced by the choice of the terms.

    Although there’s many more publications on changes of the seasonal onset than these, it is safe to say that the substantial weight of the published observational evidence backs Phil Jones here.

  43. As a commercial vege grower of 54 years from New Zealand no way are springs any earlier havnt changed much in fact here in canterbury we have just had one of the coldest I can remember summers been shit as well this in a el nino year hopefully autumn will be warmer It needs it to be or the year will be a loss as far as money goes cheers Brian

  44. “Let’s pretend for a second that we threw out the CRU dataset. ”

    That works for me on so many levels.

  45. But we do have a variety of temperature data sets – from land, sea and air? And there is a lot of agreement between them that there is warming. And there’s good reason to think that there are mechanisms in play that should be producing warming.

    I’m sure you’re right – there’s lots of things going on in the world at any given moment. But it does look as though one of them is warming, don’t you think?

  46. @Martin Brumby: “it is absolutely obvious that he will re-appear as a Pundit”

    You’ve got me wondering about the public demand for such punditry. Basically, in a market, people will buy the ideas they like. Other people will get paid to keep producing those ideas.

    For example, there was the vague idea that quantum physics proves spirituality, due to the vaguely similar sounding notions that,

    a. observing something very small inadvertently changes it
    b. when one is immersed in absolute love, the psychologically perceived difference between the self and the other appear to dissolve.

    It has since been argued in fairly common sense terms that neither of these ideas have anything to do with each other. The people who say that its wrong, include physicists who respect spirituality, but also spiritual pundits who respect science. — “Stop going on about quantum physics already!” — But some people love to hear it so you’ll still find the Deepak Chopras going on about it, selling more books that waffle on about the quantum nature of consciousness.

    I guess it just appeals to certain people who have a progressive desire for a new world, which to their minds is mostly about “spirituality” ( very very small quanta of spirituality ).

    Likewise the greens who simply won’t let go of the idea that nature is fragile and in balance and is pure and good. The climate is being changed! My God! It is out of balance! These are romantic idealistic feelings.

  47. Regarding the next question in the AAAS interview,

    Q: Critics say that the fact that your work produces the same trends as the NASA and NOAA data sets is insignificant since you start with the same raw data.

    P.J.: There are differences. The two American sets use a larger number of [temperature] stations than we do. They both use about 7200 stations and we use about 5000 stations. But we look at that data in different ways. We have different techniques of deciding whether the stations are used or not, and different ways of putting it all together. And if you then produce the time series for the global hemispheric averages, the results look pretty much the same. But also with the [National Climatic Data Center] analysis, you can look at just the raw station data, using no adjustments whatsoever. And that produces much the same result for the global hemispheric averages from 1880 to the present. That’s including every station but making no adjustments to any of them.

     “We have different techniques of deciding whether the stations are used or not, and different ways of putting it all together.”  Isn’t this the core issue?  Selection bias has been documented by Joseph D’Aleo, “NOAA appears to play a key role as a data gatherer/gatekeeper for the global data centers at NASA and CRU. Programmer E.M. Smith’s analysis

    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2009/11/03/ghcn-the-global-analysis/

    of NOAA’s GHCN found they systematically eliminated 75% of the world’s stations with a clear bias towards removing higher latitude, high altitude and rural locations, all of which had a tendency to be cooler. The thermometers in a sense marched towards the tropics, the sea and to airport tarmacs.”

    Looks like the AAAS advocate, I mean author, Eli Kintisch avoided asking the real questions.

    Mike Ramsey

  48. PJ may have been right in observing some warming, not as dramatic as claimed by some, but seems to have convinced himself that it is ongoing and runaway rather than part of a natural cycle. Of course, if you know that historically there have been cycles the obvious reason why this time the temperature is going to keep going up and not reverse is due to man….. but does PJ actually say this? It doesn’t matter, he was providing the data needed to promote this idea.
    One suspects that once this mind set is in place, that’s when you start to select things in the environment to tie in to your theory.
    It would be different if he had said “Hey, spring seems to be getting earlier. I wonder if that is a local or global phenomena and what is causing it?”
    PS why don’t these guys adapt their peer revie policy to Tv and start interviewing themselves? That way they can be suree of no awkward questions.

  49. What view of the world would Phil have if he lost his window?

    He’d be staring at a blank wall.

    So much for empirical data!

  50. OT but I’d just like to point out a dark day for my home town of Redcar in t’North of England; the Corus steel plant is closing (sorry, being mothballed) with the last shift today.

    Expected job loses are estimated at ~1700 for the plant and up to 8000 for supporting industry in the area…

    …but wait, it’s not all bad news, some stand to make a substantial profit out of this – see http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/jamesdelingpole/100019821/climategate-with-business-interests-like-these-are-we-really-sure-dr-rajendra-pachauri-is-fit-to-head-the-ipcc/ , so that’s alright then.

    Cheers

    Mark

  51. The question is NOT whether the world is warming (altho land data looks corrupted beyond reason) – it is the question of why. Why can’t journalists understand this and ask the right question? Makes me nuts.

    These folks (Hansen, Gore, IPCCs breathless exhortations) have made a pretty bold assertion: explicit tie of climate change to increased CO2 emissions. Over all other factors, known and unknown. End stop. Rewire global economy.

    ALL of the factors PJ cites should have been singularly increasing over past decades – tracking CO2 concentrations in a well-mixed atmosphere. They aren’t and PJ KNOWS IT! Why can’t a journalist get a little informed on this? Makes me NUTS !

    You guys are doing all of the work for these journalists! How hard is this – really? Puffball piece, agreed.

  52. Excellent post. I suspect this interview with PJ is all part of the sympathy game softening us all up for the great whitewash to come that is the Sir Muir Russell review. What’s the betting that no one will be held to account & that no wrong-doing will be uncovered? Five’ll get you ten is my guess!

    I recall as a child in Berkshire that I often asked my mother why we didn’t have a white Christmas (forgive me if I have mentioned this before) & she & my late father both said that we don’t really get very cold winters in Britain, presumably they should know!

    I have noted as many others have that Spring has appeared to be starting earlier by small amounts, but then again just because someone says “I have never known this to happen before”, does not of course mean that it has not happened before. However, I have a real problem. What is the obsessive-compulsive disorder prevailing that nature is weak, feeble, & living on a knife-edge & can’t adapt to a changing environment? It’s been doing so for around 2½ billion years or so. No, I think that man is living on a knife-edge, & if dear old Mother Nature so much as farts in the wrong direction, then we’re done for, big time! I might also be inclined to believe this AGW crap if it wasn’t the case that the solution to the problem, just conveniently happens to be presisely what Marxist Sociliast ideology demands, supression of humankind, heavy taxation, reductions in freedom, control over every aspect of our lives, oh & world government run by, err them of course! No mention of their mortal enemy, democracy, their friend & ally in opposition but their nemisis when in power.

  53. Must agree with Rhys Jaggar (01:26:43)

    These non temp. based observations of PJ are themselves challengeable, both as to extent and as to causality. Too easy to assume GW as main or sole cause, even if GW significant.

    But if repeated often enough in MSM, esp BBC (which many still trust, amazingly) then they become true in peoples’ minds.

    Our job: keep arguing against the AGW mythical ghost-monster (especially the exagerated effects, using the truth.

    Incidentally, I am pro environment & pro getting off fosil fuel energy in a planned, effective and non panic way, if we can. But hunting the snark of CO2 diverts from more immediate environment tasks….

  54. Cycles of earlier springs, late spring frosts, late springs, early autumns:
    Leading to failed blossoms/fruit yields. Happens in cycles in places like California and Florida. Been going on in Calif. since the 1870’s, don’t know about Florida.
    Drove early agricultural efforts nuts.

  55. LearDog (03:56:40) :

    The journalists are in the drivers seat with unique access to historic print that shows today’s data sets have been mangled and corrupted.
    Journalists, of all people, should know better.

  56. Here in New Hampshire, ice-out records for Lake Winnipesaukee have been kept since 1887. Ice-out is determined as the date that the steamship Mount Washington is safely able to visit all of its ports of call. The latest date of May 12 was in 1888, and the earliest just 33 years later in 1921, March 29. There was a date of May 2 in 2001. Indeed, one would be hard-pressed to spot much of any long-term trend, and I’m assuming this is what PJ means by “looking outside”.
    If the world has warmed appreciably, it doesn’t seem to be apparent in these ice-out records:

    ICE-OUT RECORDS FOR LAKE WINNIPESAUKEE, NEW HAMPSHIRE, USA
    1888-May12 1914-Apr. 15 1940-May 4 1966-Apr. 20 1992-Apr. 21
    1889-Apr. 14 1915-Apr. 24 1941-Apr. 16 1967-Apr. 20 1993-Apr. 22
    1890-Apr. 24 1916-Apr. 16 1942-Apr. 18 1968-Apr. 15 1994- Apr. 23
    1891-Apr. 23 1917-Apr. 28 1943-Apr. 30 1969-Apr. 25 1995-Apr. 15
    1892-Apr. 11 1918-Apr. 24 1944-May 3 1970-Apr. 28 1996-Apr. 17
    1893-May 10 1919-Apr. 14 1945-Apr. 1 1971-May 5 1997-Apr. 24
    1894-Apr. 20 1920-Apr. 24 1946-Mar. 30 1972-Apr. 22 1998-Apr. 7
    1895-Apr. 20 1921-Mar. 28 1947-Apr. 24 1973-Apr. 23 1999-Apr. 8
    1896-Apr. 23 1922-Apr. 17 1948-Apr. 10 1974-Apr. 17 2000-Apr. 10
    1897-Apr. 23 1923-Apr. 24 1949-Apr. 6 1975-Apr. 25 2001-May 2
    1898-Apr. 14 1924-Apr. 18 1950-Apr. 20 1976-Apr. 17 2002-Apr. 5
    1899-May 2 1925-Apr. 10 1951-Apr. 14 1977-Apr. 21 2003-Apr. 25
    1900-Apr. 26 1926-May 2 1952-Apr. 20 1978-Apr. 27 2004-Apr. 20
    1901-Apr. 20 1927-Apr. 13 1953-Apr. 3 1979-Apr. 25 2005-Apr. 20
    1902-Apr. 4 1928-Apr. 19 1954-Apr. 16 1980-Apr. 16 2006-Apr. 3
    1903-Apr. 2 1929-Apr. 18 1955-Apr. 19 1981-Apr. 5 2007-Apr. 23
    1904-Apr. 29 1930-Apr. 7 1956-May 3 1982-Apr. 29 2008-Apr. 23
    1905-Apr. 24 1931-Apr. 11 1957-Apr. 3 1983-Apr. 10 2009-Apr. 12
    1906-Apr. 26 1932-Apr. 20 1958-Apr. 13 1984-Apr. 20
    1907-Apr. 29 1933-Apr. 25 1959-Apr. 26 1985-Apr. 14
    1908-Apr. 21 1934-Apr. 21 1960-Apr. 27 1986-Apr. 16
    1909-Apr. 19 1935-Apr. 21 1961-Apr. 27 1987-Apr. 12
    1910-Apr. 6 1936-Apr. 8 1962-Apr. 24 1988-Apr. 16
    1911-May 2 1937-Apr. 25 1963-Apr. 20 1989-Apr. 25
    1912-Apr. 23 1938-Apr. 17 1964-Apr. 28 1990-Apr. 22
    1913-Apr. 17 1939-May 4 1965-Apr. 22 1991-Apr. 8

  57. Veronica (01:36:59) :

    . . . It seems, Anthony, that you are weakening your own argments by saying, oh well, it could be CO2, when actually there are temperature changes going on. although, of course the temperature change is of the order of 0.25 C per century and within the error bars for uncalibrated climate stations.

    Good point, Veronica, except that Anthony did not write the post; it was Indur M. Goklany.

    Anthony: Making the author’s names on posts larger and bolder would help avoid this common error by readers. Also add your name to the posts you do write. This is common practice on other blogs.

    /Mr Lynn

  58. Earlier spring? The big question is what criteria is used to denote that? I used the last night time frost in the spring and the first night time frost in the fall. This is the growing season. Using that criteria, in Southern Ontario so far looked at, the growing season is 30 days longer now than in 1921.

    Of course, lattitude will have a bearing on that as well, so will location to warm oceans. Our west coast rarely has a winter of any significance, tulips pushing up in Feb is not unheard of. So it’s a real tricky item to pin down, this thing called spring.

    But regardless, it does not mean the planet is heating up, it just means there are more days in the comfort zone.

    As Martha would say “And that is a good thing”.

  59. I am but a simple soul, It has been my understanding that the Antarctic sea ice has been increasing and still is? Whic is not easy for me to square with warmer waters and therefore I have a little problem with today’s scary DT story:-

    Penguins in Antarctica to be replaced by jellyfish due to global warming

    Rising temperatures in the oceans around Antarctica could lead to the continent’s penguins being replaced by jellyfish, scientists have warned.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/environment/globalwarming/7263568/Penguins-in-Antarctica-to-be-replaced-by-jellyfish-due-to-global-warming.html

    Or maybe there is a little get out clause in the last paragraph ”It makes you realise if the waters warm and other species or predators move in these unique animals will come under competition.”

  60. Professor Phil Jones, the posthumus scientist and now D list minor celebrity has obviously not taken the guidance of his employer. Which is to keep his mouth shut until the dependant (sic) inquiry by Muir Russell has determined his innocence?

    ‘Ne’er cast a clout till May be out’

    English saying circa 1732, there is a debate whether this means the month of May or the Mae tree (Hawthorn) but anyway same difference?

    On my reckoning that expression is 278 years old and is still applicable today, weather or climate, trick or cheat.

    http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/till-may-is-out.html

  61. Hold on about the soot thing. We now know that a positive AO in the spring sends tons of ice to warmer temps in air and water where it melts like chocolate in your mouth. We have also heard that a naturally warm ocean current leading IN to the Arctic is part of the reason (along with wind patterns) for the current extent being further North than it usually is and for the Greenland ice being less thick around its sea edges. I would bet these affects have been MUCH greater than soot. I have a hunch that natural parameters, such as I just mentioned, were likely to be the greater cause of the much talked about melting of the Arctic back in the early 20th century. Might some of this research spend far too much time studying the flea on the dog just because the dog has a need to scratch?

    Saying its got to be pollution (which is not to say we shouldn’t clean up our act) continues to belay an arrogant assumption on the part of humankind that we have such mastery over the natural world. It won’t be long before somebody comes up with the hair-brained idea that we can control, or pollute, the Sun. Utter nonsense.

  62. Global sea ice has been fairly constant, so throw that out off the top.

    Reduction of snow cover has been shown to be false to the extent that the warmists are now claiming that global warming increases snow cover.

    Glaciers are retreating in some areas and growing in others. There are more glaciers retreating, but since a significant number are growing it’s not a GLOBAL phenomenon. In any case, glacier size has as much, if not more, to do with precipitation levels as temperature; some of the shrinking glaciers are in areas where the temperature never gets above freezing. This is not a good proxy for global temperature, much less CO2-driven global temperature.

    >> Tom P (00:51:23) :

    A search on its database with “earlier spring” in the title* comes up with 29 publications. <<

    So now we're left with 'earlier spring.' $2.6 billion per year (n the US alone) is being taken by force from hard working people and spent on supercomputers and junkets to Copenhagen because 29 biologists have noticed that some plants in some places have started blooming earlier? And this is in spite of satellite data that shows otherwise.

  63. When I look out my window, Phil, and I see snow and more snow, which year should I compare this year’s view to? Some years there is lots of snow and some years not. I do note however that the daffodils and forsythia don’t like persistent snow and cold–and they are a pretty hardy bunch.

    If that is a scientific assessment, my advisors were all wrong.

  64. a jones (22:47:25):

    . . . we are told weather is not climate which is nonsense, climate is the aggregate of weather in some place over decades and centuries but when it comes to much of globe it is centuries and millenia rather than decades. For again we know that there are short lived, decades, periods of warmth and cold. And have been for centuries: and indeed there have been warmer and colder centuries too.

    For we also know too that local climate covering vast regions does change over centuries for reasons we do not understand which is why for instance much of the Sudan is no longer the once fertile and luxuriant area coveted by the Egyptians as it once was three thousand years ago. . .

    Excellent post, A. Jones. One might also add that ‘climate’ represents a good deal more that just temperature. Not only are the self-titled ‘climate scientists’ guilty of severe reductionism, by claiming to see global ‘climate change’ in a few decades, but they reduce the complex atmospheric and oceanic phenomena of the Earth (solar irradiance, ocean gradients and currents, tides, winds, storms, etc., etc.) to a collection of temperature readings (and enormously problematic ones at that) as prime desiderata.

    From an outsider’s point of view, does it make sense to speak of a global ‘climate’ at all? Clearly over rather long spans of time (tens of millenia) there have been gross changes like ice ages and interglacials, that affected much of the planet, but short of such profound events it would appear that the Earth is a collection of many ‘climates’, varying in relation to and in conjunction with each other. Maybe ‘climatology’ (not ‘climate science’) is better understood as the study of how the various forces and other phenomena interact (systematically or not) over time, rather than as the pursuit of a few key variables that might or might not affect an abstract concept of ‘global temperature’.

    But of course the ‘climate scientists’ had other reasons for pursuing the will-o’-the-wisp of global temperature and reducing it to the effect of one variable, and those reasons were not scientific.

    /Mr Lynn

  65. If anybody is a creative type, here are the lyrics to a Climate Change song. (lyrics copyright by Roger Sowell 2010) Tune is to “Chains” by The Beatles. To be sung by a female.

    “Cold…my Baby tells me it’s not getting Cold…
    That’s a big lie…anyone can see….
    Snow’s getting deeper, and ice is forming ’round me!

    Baby told me ’bout the hockey stick…
    That’s a big fat lie…
    Said the data doesn’t use no “trick”
    But they did to hide the decline!

    Cold…my Baby tells me it’s not getting Cold…
    That’s a big lie…anyone can see….
    Snow’s getting deeper, and ice is forming ’round me!

    Cold….it’s getting so cold…
    Cold…it’s getting so cold….”

  66. Earlier Spring? Not indicated by planting zones, I know a different measure, but one not modeled, based on the real world. This compares 1960 to 1990, an alleged change to warmer times, yet the zones seem to move south. Do plants lie?

  67. Goklany is an excellent thinker. His analysis several months ago about how inflated the cost estimates are of global warming was excellent, even seminal.

    I think we do have global warming, and that GHGs are part of the cause, but a major question in my mind is “how much?” This is consistent with the idea of earlier springs, and at least some loss of ice in most glaciers around the world. But if a doubling of CO2 only brings 1.5 degrees net temperature change, that isn’t the catastrophe we have been let to fear. And if spring starts earlier, which around the world I think it has, what’s the problem with a longer growing season?

    I would ask Goklany one question, however. I don’t understand why fertilization from human emitted nitrogen and sulfur species would lead to an earlier spring. I would have thought that plants can’t start growing until temperatures reach a certain minimum; if this is correct, then early springs have to do with somewhat warmer temperatures, not more nitrate.

    To answer Goklany’s question, there is plenty of evidence that nitrate from human emissions is fertilizing northern hemisphere forests, for example. Mr. Google can find you some of those papers. Even the US government NAPAP reports (at least the ones from the early 1990s) stated that sulfate had a modest fertilizing effect on midwestern US farms.

    Back to glaciers: one last point. I reread a 2005 article in Der Spiegel where a researcher is discovering trees that have been brought down Swiss mountains about 7000 years ago. The claim is that at that time (the “Holocene Optimum,” is what I think it is called), there were far fewer glaciers in the Alps than now, and that pine trees lived to long age far higher up the mountains than the glaciers now exist. The point isn’t that CO2 doesn’t have an effect, but rather than — once again — other forces may be far stronger, and also that a little bit of warmth as we head toward the next ice age might not be such a bad thing.

  68. Tom P (00:51:23) :
    [...]

    Of course there are other publications on seasonal onset not that won’t be found under these search terms, but it is extremely unlikely that the overall balance would be much different.

    Jones can therefore rely on an overwhelming weight of published observations to support his statement that spring is coming earlier.

    *allintitle: “earlier spring”

    Trap, Tom, you, head first.

    Here’s the consequence of climategate. The database of “published observations” no longer has any assumed credibilty. While PJ may think he can rely, no one else any longer does. Its all going to have to be reviewed, independently. Even as a lowly biologist, I can pick big holes in a number of the assumed “observations”, especially the proxies. Phil Jones et al have wrought a huge mess. Your unwavering defence is only perpetuating it.

  69. Al Baby and Mr.Jones:

    ♪ ♪ ♪ Me and Mr. Jones
    We got a thing goin’on
    We both know that it’s wrong
    But it’s much too strong
    To let it go now
    ♪ ♪ ♪

  70. Tom P,

    Your suggestion to use GoogleScholar certainly provides strong evidence that “Jones can therefore rely on an overwhelming weight of published observations to support his statement that spring is coming earlier.”

    However, I don’t think that this in any way contradicts Indur M. Goklany’s point nor do I think it a particularly meaningful test. First, Indur clearly acknowledges that numerous studies show that spring has advanced. Second there will be a clear selection bias in the published literature to studies that show an early spring. If we look at the publications that are produced when we perform your suggested search and eliminate the duplicates and non-responsive items, we are left with a series of papers each predominantly looking at a narrow geographical area. If we assume that on average spring phenology has not changed, there will still be some areas that show an earlier spring from natural variability. Researchers will naturally be attracted to these areas. What is a journal more likely to publish – a paper showing a significant change in the timing of spring in the Northern Rockies forests or a paper showing that in Dallas nothing has happened? This is not an overt pro-AGW bias, it is simply that journal editors are more interested in papers that show something as opposed to nothing. The only “show nothing” papers that are likely to be published are those that do not deal with a narrow geographical area but have broad scope. An example being the paper that Indur references (Though his link seems to be another unrelated paper. The correct paper can be found through Google Scholar and seems quite persuasive).

  71. Jones is a funny guy. Palin can see Russia from her window & Phil can see Alaska & Greenland from his.

    I was struck by “”We found no evidence for time trends in spring arrival from ground- or model-based data; using an ensemble estimate from two methods that were more closely related to ground observations than other methods, SOS [start of spring] trends could be detected for only 12% of North America and were divided between trends towards both earlier and later spring.”

    We just had an article on WUWT which implied that the tree growing season in the Mid-Atlantic US region was increasing (http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/02/02/forests-in-the-eastern-united-states-are-growing-faster-than-they-have-in-the-past-225-years/) as well as this article saying essentially the same thing (https://pantherfile.uwm.edu/mds/www/Schwartz_etal_2006.pdf). Is the Mid-Atlantic an outlier? Can anyone comment on the different methods for measuring the onset of “growing season”. I was very skeptical of these articles.

  72. Tenuc,

    “I find it amazing that Jones appears to have no intuition about how climate works.”

    That’s ’cause he’s an ecologist, not a climate scientists. His PhD had something to do with a study of the Humber estuary.

  73. There aren’t “two other datasets” and there is no “raw” temperature data in electronic format. If you want raw, you have to compile the data yourself from the reports. I can’t believe that Phil thinks that he can get away with these kinds of whoppers (sins of omission). The guy has a doctorate for crying out loud. Can he really be that stupid?

  74. When you say “early spring”, it kinda raises the question – early compared to what?

    I don’t think anyone doubts that temperatures have risen since the seventies. Indeed, the whole fifities, sixties and seventies were characterised by cooling temperatures. No doubt, if folk then were the worrying kind, they would have been worrying about late springs.

    However, go back a couple more decades, and you have the warmer decades of the thirties and forties, and no doubt, springs came earlier then than they did in the following decades.

    What does all this mean? The climate is variable. People fret over springs that come earlier than they did in the sixties without realising that springs aren’t coming earlier than they did in the thirties. Of course, not many people remember that far back, and they probably never kept records of when exactly spring arrived – probably had more important things to do, like coping with the terrible droughts and heat waves in the wheat basis instead of worrying about possible futures.

  75. That’s it????

    This is the best that Phil can do?

    The evidence for AGW is:
    A. The CRU dataset “adjusted” and the original data missing
    B. Two similar and/or overlapping “adjusted” datasets with many uncontrolled variables.
    C. Look out the window.

    When proles look out the window they see meaningless weather. When self defined climate scientists look out the window they see human caused climate change?

    On that basis we are supposed to:
    1. Believe that the future climate 100 years hence can be reliably predicted by computer models when the complexity of predicting weather two days hence or short term (year, decade) trends are beyond the capability of current science.
    2. Re orient the entire world economy to target reduction of one greenhouse gas costing trillions of dollars and impacting quality of life (and life itself) for billions of people.

    I have said this before but it bears repeating:

    I think it is entirely possible the earth is warming.
    It is likely that human activities have some effect on any warming or cooling behaviour and that the growth of human population and expansion of industrial society would significantly expand this over the past 150 years.
    It is unlikely that human activity is the sole or even most significant driver, and dismissing bigger and more complex drivers (the Sun, the Oceans, natural variability, non-human sources of greenhouse gases) is arrogant and unhelpful.
    It is therefore even less likely that human produced greenhouse gases are the sole or even most significant driver of change.
    It is therefore even less likely that human produced CO2 is the sole or even most significant greenhouse gas within this subset of drivers of climate change.
    It is therefore even less likely that the circa 2035 or 2100 disaster scenarios portrayed by the AGW lobby are likely.
    Even if those disaster scenarios are likely and were caused primarily by human generated CO2 (to the exclusion of other significant factors) the cost benefit analysis would need to be done. eg is it worth $20 trillion dollars over the next 100 years to make sure that 30% of Bangladesh is not flooded even if it starves 5 million Bangladeshis as a result if for $50 billion over 10 years we could drag the economy into the 21st century, save lives, move settlements inland and build dikes?

    This is not denial. And to be treated as a Luddite because “Phil looking out the window” is not robust enough science is truly lame.

  76. I am baffled by the emphasis on soot. Yeah, soot will melt glaciers faster, but isn’t soot a minor player compared to dust? I have never seen soot on a satellite photo. I HAVE seen dust on a satellite photo. I have seen dust and volcanic ash affect the color of sunsets. Soot seems to be a local phenomenon. I have seen the loess washed into glacial mountain streams. In Tajikistan, there is so much loess silt in the municipal water it comes out of the faucets brown. (No hint of the color of soot) I see the geology of bedrock mesas with 50 feet of dirt on top, deposited by the wind. why the emphasis on soot, when it is inconsequential compared to dust? Could it be because dust isn’t man made?
    If we truly want to stop anthropogenic changes to the environment, then we need to stop putting out forest fires, and let them burn from one end of a continent to the other, like they did before mankind learned to stop forest fires. Let the soot return to a natural level. Let the dust from barren land return to a natural level.

  77. >> JonesII (06:41:12) :

    Al Baby and Mr.Jones:

    ♪ ♪ ♪ Me and Mr. Jones
    We got a thing goin’on
    We both know that it’s wrong
    But it’s much too strong
    To let it go now ♪ ♪ ♪ <<

    OT, but a must see:

  78. Tom_R (05:43:44) :

    “… 29 biologists have noticed that some plants in some places have started blooming earlier?”

    The GoogleScholar search was not designed to find all the papers, just to produce a reasonable sample. I’m sure there are many more than 29 publications, and many more scientists who have studied seasonal onset.

    Paul Coppin (06:27:27) :

    “Here’s the consequence of climategate. The database of “published observations” no longer has any assumed credibilty.”

    That’s a little drastic, and certainly not a view Indur Goklany must hold. He cites the published observations to indicate that at least one of these concludes no early spring. Is this not credible either?

    HGI (06:46:15) :

    “This is not an overt pro-AGW bias, it is simply that journal editors are more interested in papers that show something as opposed to nothing.”

    I’m sure you’re right, and of course my narrow search terms were not selected to pick up such papers. They were designed to pick up publications where a clear conclusion was at least indicated in the title. Discounting duplicates there were at least fifteen publications concluding spring was occurring earlier compared to none concluding a later start.

    Such a balance of published observations is certainly significant. Many people might conclude that this balance supports an earlier onset of spring. Some, including perhaps Paul Coppin, might conclude that this just shows the power of AGW-biased journal editors who have so far succeeded in keeping any mention of a later spring out of the titles of any publications.

  79. ““just looking outside and seeing glaciers retreating, the reduction of sea ice … overall, the reduction of snow areas in the northern hemisphere, the earlier [annual] breakup of sea ice and some land ice and river ice around the world, and the fact that spring seems to be coming earlier in many parts of the world””

    No wonder the poor guy is suicidal…..

    …….someone get him a new mercury light bulb.

  80. Cherry Blossoms and spring blooming dates:

    I’m familiar with this work as I once thought I had spotted an error in their methodology which invalidated it and spent considerable effort trying to prove it. I failed miserably. There are various researcher, but the main one is Aono. The last publication I know of is:

    http://www.cfa.harvard.edu/~wsoon/MiyaharaHiroko08-d/AonoKazui07-Aug23-KyotoSpring.pdf

    The methodology is pretty sound and the correlation to actual temperature readings for month of March amazing, so I have a lot of faith in their reconstruction which goes back to 1000AD. That said, their are a couple of things to keep in mind. The first is that Kyoto has ocean on both sides, so the amplitude of variation is muted by the ocean. The second is that Aono did a separate study (the link to which I cannot locate right now) to determine how much urban warming affected results. He never adjusted the results in the first paper to show the affects of the second, the two papers stand alone. If memory serves correctly, he concluded that urban warming was skewing spring bloom date by about 6 days (earlier) compared to rural sites which translated to 1.4 degrees.

    Fascinating methodology and the only phenological method I have looked at that doesn’t have obvious flaws.

  81. As long as there are big budgets that reward GW ‘research’, we will have ‘researchers’ who find GW under every tree stump, rock, and snowflake.

    Lots of Loons are heavily invested in this modern day, Lysenko ism. They have no choice, but to continue. Remember the teachings of Machiavelli. “Never admit mistakes.” Or the wisdom of Tim Rice expressed in ‘Evita’, as we sing with Peron “…that all mistakes were Planned…”.

  82. >> Tom P (07:30:44) :
    Such a balance of published observations is certainly significant. Many people might conclude that this balance supports an earlier onset of spring. Some, including perhaps Paul Coppin, might conclude that this just shows the power of AGW-biased journal editors who have so far succeeded in keeping any mention of a later spring out of the titles of any publications. <<

    There are several layers of selection effects at play here.

    To publish a paper, one must not only get past the editor, but the reviewers who are mostly in the AGW camp.

    These days, to keep a faculty* position (get tenure) one must bring in grants. After (perhaps) medical research funding, by far the largest source of funding is in climate research. A biologist is much more likely to get a grant funded if it's related to the effect of climate change on [insert species]. This already presupposes climte change, and any papers published based on the grant research will reflect that. Note that besides faculty bias, the one-sided grant funding limits publications just by denying a way for a nonbeliever to pay for the research, or even just the publication costs.

    *The non-faculty research institutes have been formed specifically to gather in climate change grants, so there's not a snowball's chance in AGW model land that a non-believer could get such a position. Even if you bough the idea that such an institute could exist solely on 'big oil' funding, 'big oil' would want to emphasize climatology, not biology.

  83. No surprises in PJ’s arguments other than their imprecision. I would have thought he had this spiel well honed by now. I am shocked, though, that his handlers are letting him do these interviews. I have to wonder what their strategy might be. Or if he’s decided to call his own plays and they’re frantically pacing the sidelines right now.

  84. In areas of New Zealand, each little valley has it’s own ‘Spring planting calendar’ for planting traditional plants such as the Kumera, a Polynesian variety (or varieties) of sweet potato. These calendars are adhered to by the indgenous Maori who have lived in their specific area for generations. The calendars are based on phases of the moon and various other astral phenomena which forecast the variable timing of the arrival of ‘Spring’ with reasonable reliability, which is considerably more reliabile than many current climate modellers can predict any natural phenomena. The Maoris’ ancestors used astral navigation in their enormous journeys across parts of the Pacific Ocean when European mariners were afraid of going too near the edge of the sea and falling off to be eaten by the great turtle that supported the earth.
    To me, current AGW alarmism has as much credibility as the great turtle and any remaining shreds of credibility are being stripped off with the passing of each day.

  85. MrLynn (05:18:54) :

    Anthony: Making the author’s names on posts larger and bolder would help avoid this common error by readers. Also add your name to the posts you do write. This is common practice on other blogs.

    Keep hammering away, maybe one day you’ll make an impression.

    Regarding glacial retreat, here’s one factor that doesn’t get much attention, although I think a Swiss study about the alps in the 40s recently talked about it, namely short-wave radiation:

    Annual Runoff from Glaciers of the Nepal Himalaya
    Donald Alford. Ph.D.

    Many factors determine the runoff characteristics of mountain catchment basins (e.g., Alford, 1985). With increasing altitude, atmospheric moisture decreases, increasing amounts of precipitation fall as snow, and short wave radiation becomes the dominant source of the energy controlling snow and ice melt. All of the data available for the high altitude portions of the catchment basins of the Nepal Himalaya indicates that this belt is characterized by low values of mass and energy exchange.

    The most salient finding of this study is that the glaciers of the Nepal Himalaya do not appear to make a significant contribution to the total streamflow of the rivers of Nepal.
    ………………
    It is probably unreasonable to assume, as some have, that the present retreat of Himalayan glaciers is somehow a result of rising air temperatures.
    These are relatively low latitude glaciers, at altitudes between 4000 meters and 7000 meters above sea level. Under these circumstances, it is most probable that the dominant energy source driving ice melt is radiation, not air temperature.

    http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&ct=res&cd=4&ved=0CBcQFjAD&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.mtnforum.org%2Frs%2Fol%2Fcounter_docdown.cfm%3FfID%3D1294.pdf&rct=j&q=nepal+glacier+%22surface+area%22&ei=frRXS_vFIZCj8AaCp6DOAw&usg=AFQjCNEFkIJmzsjFhp2h84gIdEEiDopn4A

  86. Tom P,

    There are other more innocuous reasons why “later spring” papers do not appear in journals. A paper showing there is a later spring in one geographic area is inherently uninteresting. What does it prove? It is not in support of any hypothesis – there is no global cooling meme in serious academia. And no-one is going to take a study of one area as a refutation of AGW. A paper showing a later spring is at least in support of a physical and well known theory.

    I think your own test evidences this. We know that even if we accept AGW, there will be some areas in which spring is later. Yet, you cannot find a single paper dealing with a narrow geographic area that shows that. Why do you think that is?

  87. Don B (07:29:09) :

    Somebody needs to tell Phil Jones that the plural of anecdote is not data.

    Cheers

    “Anecdata”! I luv it! The foundation of the New House of Climatology. Trootherism!.

    Tom P,

    I’m not playing. You still miss or won’t see, or refuse to see, the point. At some level, every scientist has to accept the wisdom of the published literature in order to move forward with research. This is especially true of collateral work which is not directly in the line of sight of the researcher, because it will, like it or not, colour his perceptions. Once the mask of respectibility of peer review is shattered, as it has been now with ALL climatological research, then all work within the field of vision of any given researcher must now be subject to additional scrutiny, if only to confirm that one is not about to hang their career on false premises. This is, of course, a natural process of good science in any case, but now the assumed position at the start of anything, must be that the published work (at least in as far as climatology goes) may have a higher than expected “false” factor. Maybe this doesn’t change anything for a diligent scientist, but it sure alters the political and social landscape for science.

  88. Roger Knights (08:44:51) : For any glacier to grow water is needed. South american glaciers were shown as examples of GW, however you should know now what the news are: For the first time ever, more than 4000 tourists got trapped in Macchu Picchu because torrential rains and they had to be evacuated, all of them, by helicopter. Well, at higher altitudes these rains meant snow falling, so it is expected several years of growing glaciers in this new solar minimum. Please, do not forget we are in it already, so watch and enjoy the minimum!

  89. HGI (08:45:22) :

    “We know that even if we accept AGW, there will be some areas in which spring is later. Yet, you cannot find a single paper dealing with a narrow geographic area that shows that. Why do you think that is?”

    Although the models predict varying levels of regional global warming, there’s no area where a long-term decline in temperatures is expected. For instance, here’s the regional predictions from IPCC AR4:

    Therefore the absence of any publications showing a later spring does not require the explanations you offer.

  90. OT but interesting: get ready for some in the Warmist camp to start claiming that the halt in temp rise and increased snowfall etc. is the result of the steps taken to reduce CO2 to date, i.e. they will try to take credit for the natural cycle. I can’t wait to see the models for this one.

  91. Further to the comments of Joanie (00:37:28) [snipped]:

    “…..many bonsai growers laugh at the idea of the Yamal data showing temperature. When you grow a tiny tree in a very small amount of soil, you can really understand how many factors go into growth. Trees stop growing when the temps are below a certain level, and also stop growing when the temps are above a certain level. Using tree rings to find temps is about like using a Husky dog’s hair to find temps and ignoring whether it is a well fed dog or a starving stray.”

    I claim no expertise in bonsai, but I recall reading of trees found growing in or near Ottawa (ON). IIRC (and this is just from hazy memory), trees were found on a hillside only an inch or two in diameter yet the trees were several hundred years old.

    IanM

  92. BAD LINK
    Dr. Golanky,
    The link you give for “Intercomparison, interpretation, and assessment of spring phenology in North America estimated from remote sensing for 1982–2006″ links instead to a different paper by French authors finding an adverse effect of warming and increased aridity on growth of young trees in French Guiana.

  93. Tom P:

    Here’s a straightforward way to quantify the weight of observations concerning the onset of spring in the literature.

    Searching on “earlier spring” in the title of a publication give 29 results, while “later spring” gives zero. There are overall seven times more publications with “later” in the title than “earlier” so there’s certainly no bias introduced by the choice of the terms.

    Although there’s many more publications on changes of the seasonal onset than these, it is safe to say that the substantial weight of the published observational evidence backs Phil Jones here.

    [my bold]

    Tom, that “reasoning” almost makes me pine away unconsolably for Briffa’s own gold standard for doing “Climate Science”, his overt denial of what statistics is actually designed for by instead going back to using it as an “argument by purposefully selected anecdotes” in order to get a pre-chosen result allegedly “proving” GW.

    Quoting and counting words out of context and appealing to an even unproven consensus are not the weakest arguments you can give as an ~”straightforward quantification of observational evidence”, Tom, but close.

    However, it is another great example of the “methods” involved in doing “Post Normal Science”. So thanks!

  94. Everyone should note that this Science interview was conducted on Feb. 5 while the BBC interview was on Feb. 13. Jones changed his tune between the two interviews, with the BBC being more forthright and honest IMO.

    An interesting question is: Is he correct about the number of weather stations used? He states — “The two American sets use a larger number of [temperature] stations than we do. They both use about 7200 stations and we use about 5000 stations”.

    Is this correct? If not, why did he misrepresent the number. How many factually incorrect statements is he making as “spin”.

  95. I’m almost convinced that Jones is faking his actions to stall for time. Once the heat is off him in a few months, he’ll go back to his old tricks or stay low. I still believe he should be charged with fraud and brought to account in a court of law. Time to get serious about these clowns.

  96. Early spring, late summer, early autumm, early winter. Easy!, just watch a lunar calendar, or a church calendar. Next spring will have to wait until “holy week”☺, in april.

  97. Duration of ice cover of Lake Mendota, located in Madison, Wisconsin, has decreased over the last 150 years.

  98. Original Mike: Can I assume that the population of Madison and the built-up areas around the lake increased during that time, especially since 1960?

  99. The guest columnist’s comments bother me a little. It’s almost as if there’s this implied presumption that it’s anthropogenic, without considering any of the evidence in history of the condition of Greenland when Vikings were there farming, or the reports by captains of ships sailing in the arctic hundreds of years ago as to sea ice density and location. It also ignores Lord Monckton’s main point, that while there’s been some reduction in arctic ice, there’s been an increase during the same period in the antarctic. All of the anthropogenic modelling is an unproven theory, and exemplifies the arrogance of modern civilization. Here we have an earth billions of years old, and we have temperature readings going back only over a single century, and think we know it all. It’s such a crock. Very recently the tree ring proxy data was described as”indisputable” and “rock solid” according to one leading climatologist, and now we know that the proposed correlation fails post 1960. It’s all a fraud and pretext to establish a global government. How many dozens of comments by the world’s billionaires and leaders speaking of a new world order and climate change do we have to hear before people start to get it? As soon as the USSR dissolved, Gorbachev formed the “Green Cross” organization and stated that the “global environmental crisis” would be the “international disaster key ” to “unlock the new world order.” Wake up, people.

  100. RE (Above):

    Japan’s long cherry blossom record. The scientist is Takehiko Mikami, of the Department of Geology, Tokyo Metropolitan University:

    …………………..

    The results indicate warmer periods during the eleventh to the thirteenth centuries (in the Medieval Warm Period), and colder periods during the sixteenth to eighteenth centuries (The Little Ice Age), with large year-to-year variability as shown in figure 2.

    My link does not work. Alternatively, Patrick Michaels has covered the same story on his World Climate Report. Hopefully this link works, and he reviews the same article in depth.

    http://www.worldclimatereport.com/index.php/2008/09/09/another-message-from-kyoto/

  101. Tom P (03:14:38) :

    “It’s possible to try to quantify the weight of published evidence here using GoogleScholar. Searching on “earlier spring” in the title of a publication give 29 results, while “later spring” gives zero. There are overall seven times more publications with “later” in the title than “earlier” so there’s certainly no bias introduced by the choice of the terms.

    Although there’s many more publications on changes of the seasonal onset than these, it is safe to say that the substantial weight of the published observational evidence backs Phil Jones here.”

    Tom. The first thing you need to realize is that nobody takes pal reviewed science at FACE VALUE anymore. That day is past. One tactic used by medical corporations in pushing bogus science is to use the same data for multiple studies. This gives the illusion of wide support when stupid people think they can weigh evidence by counting papers. Anyways, the substantial “weight” of the evidence is in PJ favors. If you weigh the paper that is.
    But I like your approach Tom P. Let’s weigh the books on Climategate versus the books defending Jones. Opps look like the weight of the evidence is in our favor.

    Please go invest in a real argument. Or hack up some R again, piker.

  102. Roger Knights (08:44:51) :

    “..that the present retreat of Himalayan glaciers is somehow a result of rising air temperatures.”

    Yes, Roger, and additionally, I would like to mention that there is nothing that can be concluded about the retreat of Himalayan glaciers other than it’s on its way out of the last Ice Age.

    Glacier Gate, remember?
    Raina’s report, the one the Love Guru called voodo Science;

    (Its large);

    http://moef.nic.in/downloads/public-information/MoEF%20Discussion%20Paper%20_him.pdf

  103. @Sean Parke: Buildup around the lake has certainly occurred over that time period. Virtually nothing in 1850. Now half to 3/4 of the lake is bordered by residential. It’s a big lake (10,000 acres). I don’t know if it has accelerted since 1960. I think most of the buildup predates that.

  104. Tom P,

    You are missing the point. We are talking about historical temperatures, not what the models predict. The original paper referenced found that 6% of US locations have experienced later springs. So your point does not stand.

    Any comments on the paper itself? It seems to have an impressive set of co-authors who have no reputation as AGW skeptics. Seems interesting, no?

  105. Another big change for Lake Mendota has been the increase in agriculture in the watershed that drains into the lake. Lake is prone to algae and weed blooms, presumably due to agricultural run off.

  106. Bill Parsons
    My link does not work. Alternatively, Patrick Michaels has covered the same story on his World Climate Report. Hopefully this link works, and he reviews the same article in depth.

    http://www.worldclimatereport.com/index.php/2008/09/09/another-message-from-kyoto/

    That’s actually an article about the original work by Aono/Amoto. Aono and Kazui have since published again but with much more data:

    http://www.cfa.harvard.edu/~wsoon/MiyaharaHiroko08-d/AonoKazui07-Aug23-KyotoSpring.pdf

    And Aono also studied effects of urban warming on the results here:

    http://www.envi.osakafu-u.ac.jp/atmenv/aono/Aono1998.pdf

  107. steven mosher (11:45:24) :

    “Let’s weigh the books on Climategate versus the books defending Jones. Opps look like the weight of the evidence is in our favor.”

    I was quantifying observations, not opinion, however well informed or otherwise. The quantification of opinion is sociology, not science.

    HGI (12:23:38) :

    “The original paper referenced found that 6% of US locations have experienced later springs. So your point does not stand.”

    Actually, 5% later compared to 6% earlier, but it does show it’s possible to publish data reporting a proportion of later springs. I’ve little doubt that the other papers with “earlier spring” in the title didn’t find a uniform change to just earlier springs.

    However, a large-scale trend towards later springs? There may be papers out there reporting this, but they’re not easy to find.

    As to the paper itself, fig. 14 shows the significant areas of North America in terms of spring onset change for the period studied, with earlier springs along the west coast while later in the midwest. The changes are reported to be consistent with the seasonal temperature record. I have no reason to doubt their conclusions.

  108. John F. Hultquist (23:24:36) : There is a quote that refers to the great eastern hardwood forest, namely, “A squirrel could travel from Maine to Texas without touching the ground.”

    Oh, for the glorious pre-colonial days, when one could see the mega-flora which were so massive that they actually provided areas of continuous canopy over the width of the Mississippi River! Clearly, the loss of these legendary trees is a national tragedy.

  109. What other data are available that corroborate your findings about temperature rise?

    “P.J.: There’s the two other datasets produced in the U.S. [at NASA and NOAA].

    Though they don’t seem to be nearly as independent as implied…further the things that are done to them are done by pretty intertwined groups of people.

  110. I am thoroughly enjoying both the post by Indur (and the many thoughts being engendered) and the wide-ranging comments by everyone. It seems he has opened Pandora’s skeptical box. I cannot now respond in any degree like I’d like. I have to head out the door shortly.

    But I’d like to respond anecdotally in a sense to Indur’s statement that pollution was decreasing even before legislation to reduce pollution. I got my start in engineering shortly after the Clean Air & Water Act of 1970 was implemented. I still recall the hollering from the manufacturers that it would make American industry non-competitive and be the ruin of American industry. At this point in time, with American industry in the shape it is, those warnings have some ring of truth to them.

    My early years in engineering were with steel fabricators who were swamped with new projects – I worked on water and sewage treatment plants, huge industrial fans and gigundous ductwork for scrubbers, and many oxidizers/incinerators of varying kinds.

    I grew up with coal furnaces in all the houses and apartment buildings, up until just about that time, the early 1970s. As I understand it, coal furnaces put out aerosols, which tend to cool the atmosphere. Looking at the timing of the 1940-1976 cooling trend which is now apparently attributed to the PDO (which I have been proudly trumpeting now for nearly a decade and glad to see it is getting its due credit), it occurs to me worth considering that this period corresponds to the Lend-Lease Act, the World-War II industrialization that was followed by the post-war boom. That boom essentially DID end right about the time the climate was changing to warming. And that was right when the scrubbers started having an effect on pollution – which means aerosols were diminishing.

    Since aerosols tend to cool, removing them from the atmosphere should have had a net warming effect. The timing suggests that was the case. I am only suggesting, not coming to conclusions. A study would be needed to determine if this is empirically real or not.

    As some corroboration for that overall scenario, one would think that the period before the war boom would be a time when aerosols were lower, since there was the Great Depression throughout the 1930s. Lower aerosols would imply higher temperatures. The 1930s – thanks to Steve McIntyre – are recognized now (mutedly and begrudgingly by the powers that be) as the warmest decade of the 20th century.

    All of this points out that there really are a lot of elements that go into it all. I would not suggest that huge swings were man-made or human enhanced. But the timing is interesting. If I wasn’t so intimately involved with the anti-pollution industry I wouldn’t have this viewpoint. I’ve always been very proud to have taken part in cleaning up the air in the U.S. It always riled me that the AGW alarmists would so often use 1970 as a base and tell us it is so much warmer than then. I have always wondered what the climate trend would be if the Clean Air & Water Act had not been passed. Did we change things by betting rid of pollution? I’m damned glad our air is clean; that is my own bottom line. Our cities were freaking pig sties back then.

    More later, possibly…

  111. Regarding my statement that “while there are numerous studies that indicate that spring has advanced, there is a recent satellite based study that indicates no consistent trends in the [start] of spring in North America,” let me make the following points:

    Firstly, it’s possible that satellite data may not pick up some subtle signs of spring that a ground based observer might.

    Secondly, note that the satellite study is a recent one and it looks at data up to 2006. If the warming we have seen is due to a cyclical change in temperature, the more recent data in this paper may be from a period during which rising temperatures gave way to falling temperatures. Thus we may have gone from a period in which spring was advancing to one in which it is retreating. The Idsos website – http://www.CO2Science.org — reviewed a remote-sensing paper by Delbart et al. (2006) that looked at the onset of greening in the boreal regions. It found that spring advanced from 1982 to 1991, following which it fluctuated without any specific trend from 1992-1999 after which spring retreated, The overall trend from 1982 to 2004 was an advance in spring. Given that we know there are temperature cycles at regional levels. It behooves us (and Phil Jones) to wait a few decades before we jump to hasty conclusions.

    BTW, I would welcome the earlier onset of spring not only this snowbound year, but every year. So I would not necessarily count earlier springs as an adverse impact.

    Reference: Delbart, N., Le Toan, T., Kergoat, L. and Fedotova, V. 2006. Remote sensing of spring phenology in boreal regions: A free of snow-effect method using NOAA-AVHRR and SPOT-VGT data (1982-2004). Remote Sensing of Environment 101: 52-62.

  112. Any enlightened appraisal of the the recent performance of both CRU and ‘British’ gov in continued media manipulation must acknowledge that the decades of ‘spin’ and subterfuge no longer wash with the majority of people. Despite the damning evidence against CO2, policies remain unchanged.

    Meanwhile, as Scotland drives inexhorably towards 50% electricity from renewables by 2020 via predominantly wind-farms, funding and fabrication exploring off-shore/tidal ability is now practically at a standstill. Big one in ’08 was CO2 capture from coal combustion, buried within North Sea-a Scottish Government/BP initiative-kaiboshed under a blame-game of politics, oil business, and……..? All in the name of CO2 reduction. Costs so far???

    Same as anywhere- the printed press will run once tack is found, followed by TV ‘global’ medium-hence IPCC, CRU, UEA, Met, etc,etc. The science is not settled-but key bear in mind, purse strings and direction are increasingly defined by government.

    Keep up the good work.

  113. Jones, CRU, GISS, NOAA, are the corrupt tools of increasingly desperate tyrants. Slick sellers of snake oil. Charlatans. The world is now aware that a small, insidious crew of self-appointed “elites” claim to steer the human race to its destiny. But the path it has taken is littered with gangland-style suppression of good science and good people. All to keep the corrupt cabal in power.

    That is changing. With each new revelation the cabal veers closer to the time when it’s decrepit leaders will be uncloaked in the light of day. And then, as with any disturbing revelation, the tyrants will face the immutable forces of light – and their own miserable demise.

  114. I was quantifying observations, not opinion, however well informed or otherwise. The quantification of opinion is sociology, not science.

    Tom, your observations quantified two, two-word conjunction frequencies in the titles of papers using them. That’s not even sociology, or at least it didn’t used to be.

  115. J.Peden (23:55:15) :

    “…your observations quantified two, two-word conjunction frequencies in the titles of papers using them. That’s not even sociology, or at least it didn’t used to be.”

    Little did I know when I searched the scientific literature to find published evidence I was indulging in some unknown (and I presume unscientific) practice.

    Indur M. Goklany (19:24:36) :

    “a remote-sensing paper by Delbart et al. (2006) that looked at the onset of greening in the boreal regions. It found that spring advanced from 1982 to 1991, following which it fluctuated without any specific trend from 1992-1999 after which spring retreated, The overall trend from 1982 to 2004 was an advance in spring.”

    Here’s the plot of the spring onset from the paper:

    To infer anything other than a small and probably statistically insignificant advance in the onset of spring is to grossly over-analyse this data.

  116. Tom P (02:02:51) :
    No one is “overanalyzing” anything. The whole point of this post was to note that there are multiple reasons why spring might have advanced other than high temps, asuming it has advanced at all.

  117. Little did I know when I searched the scientific literature to find published evidence I was indulging in some unknown (and I presume unscientific) practice.

    Now you do know, Tom. At least rain dances are somewhat artistic.

  118. With regard to phenology, in the UK we have something called the UK Phenology Network http://www.naturescalendar.org.uk/ which monitors a range of spring events with the help of the general public. They use 2001 as the spring benchmark, as that year saw average monthly Central England Temperatures (CET) from January to June consistently very close to the 30-year average (1961-90).

    Generally speaking, whilst most spring events (such as migrant bird arrival, native bird nest building and budburst got progressively earlier from the years 2001 to 2007, since 2008 the timing of these spring events seem to be slowly reverting back to their average 2001 timings due to the colder springs. Most native species seem to have had no problem adapting to the milder springs, however this years harsh winter (coldest in 30 years) has undoubtedly led to the mortality of a large number of wild birds (data gathered from the RSPBs Great Garden Birdwatch should provide clear evidence of this decline).

  119. One thing I can’t rap my head around is if as the IPPC claims there are thousands and thousands of scientists studying global warming how come only one man had (and lost) the raw data. Did they all lose their data or is everybody ignoring the question of how could they be studying global warming if none of them have the required data? Why have I not heard this question before? Does this mean that every supposed fact about global warming came from one man?
    ~John

  120. Upon proof reading I’m a little embarrassed with my spelling and I know it’s IPCC not IPPC. ……John…

  121. I’m with Veronica

    1. Is there any untouched, raw station data on-line?
    2. If so, where is it?
    3. What process exactly was used to “homogenise” it.

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