Why Joe Bastardi sees red: A look at Sea Ice and GISTEMP and starting choices

AcuuWeather meteorologist Joe Bastardi has a question about two datasets and asks: If it is darn warm, how come there is so much sea ice?

click image to watch the video

Bastardi asks a simple question: how can we have above normal temperatures in the Arctic and the Antarctic and continue to add to the global sea ice trend? After all we’ve been told by media stories that both the Arctic and the Antarctic continue to melt at a frenetic pace. But it looks like this year we’ll see another Arctic recovery as we’ve seen in 2008 and 2009.

Bastardi also wonders about something we routinely ask about here at WUWT: data adjustments. GISS seems to be stuck with Arctic positive anomaly, yet the sea ice isn’t cooperating. Of course just having a positive temperature anomaly doesn’t guarantee melt, but members of the public who are less discerning, who look at red hot color presentations like GISS puts out, usually can’t tell the difference.

For reference here are the images Joe uses in his presentation. I’m going to help out a bit too with some simple comparisons.

First The GISS Dec-Feb 2010 Global Surface Anomaly as Joe presents it in his video:

click to enlarge

Source: http://data.giss.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/gistemp/do_nmap.py?year_last=2010&month_last=2&sat=4&sst=0&type=anoms&mean_gen=1203&year1=2010&year2=2010&base1=1951&base2=1980&radius=1200&pol=reg

Note that in the warmest places in the Arctic according to GISS, there are few if any land thermometers:

click to enlarge

Above: map of GHCN2 land stations (thanks to commenter Carrick at Lucia’s)

Note the cross section of the GISS data, most of the warmth is at the Arctic where there are no thermometers. The Antarctic comes in a close second, though it has a few thermometers at bases on the perimeter of the continent plus a couple at and near the center. Note the flat plateaus are each pole.

The effects of interpolation become clearer when you do a 250 km map instead of 1200 km:

click to enlarge

Source: http://data.giss.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/gistemp/do_nmap.py?year_last=2010&month_last=2&sat=4&sst=0&type=anoms&mean_gen=1203&year1=2010&year2=2010&base1=1951&base2=1980&radius=250&pol=reg

All of the sudden, the hot Arctic disappears. It disappears because there are no thermometers there as demonstrated by the cross section image which stops at about 80N.

Interestingly, the global surface anomaly also drops, from 0.80°C at 1200km of interpolation to 0.77°C with an interpolation of 250km.

One of the things that I and many other people criticize GISS for is the use of the 1951-1980 base period which they adopted as their “standard” base period. That period encompasses a lot of cool years, so anomalies plotted against that base period will tend to look warmer.

This famous GISS graph of surface temperatures from weather stations, shown worldwide in media outlets, is based on the 1951-1980 period:

Uncertainty bars (95% confidence limits) are shown for both the annual and five-year means, account only for incomplete spatial sampling of data.”]GISS doesn’t provide a utility to replot the graph above with a different base period on their webpage here http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/graphs/ but I can demonstrate what would happen to the GISS global maps using a different base period by using their plot selector here http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/maps/

Watch what happens when we use the same base period as the UAH satellite data, which is 1979-2009. The 1200km interpolated global temperature anomaly for Dec-Jan-Feb 2010 drops more than half to 0.38°C from 0.80°C. That number is not so alarming now is it? As for the graphic,  the flaming red is still there in the same places because the anomaly map colors always stay the same, no matter what the absolute temperature scale is. In the first map with the 1951-1980 base period, the max positive anomaly was 6.4°C for 1200km and  8.8°C  for 250km, while in the one below with the 1979-2009 base period the max positive anomaly of 7.1C  If colors were assigned to absolute temperatures, this map would look cooler than it’s counterpart with the 1951-1980 base period.

click to enlarge

Source: http://data.giss.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/gistemp/do_nmap.py?year_last=2010&month_last=2&sat=4&sst=0&type=anoms&mean_gen=1203&year1=2010&year2=2010&base1=1979&base2=2009&radius=1200&pol=reg

And here’s the 250km presentation, note that the global surface temp drops to 0.34°C

click to enlarge

Source: http://data.giss.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/gistemp/do_nmap.py?year_last=2010&month_last=2&sat=4&sst=0&type=anoms&mean_gen=1203&year1=2010&year2=2010&base1=1979&base2=2009&radius=250&pol=reg

So it is clear, with the GISS anomaly presentation, you can look at it many different ways, and get many different answers. Who decides then which maps and graphs with what base periods and interpolations get sent out in press releases? Jim? Gavin?, Reto? Consensus over coffee at Monks?

The answer as to what base period GISS chooses in temperature anomaly maps to present to the public is easily answered by looking at their main page here: http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/

Here’s a thumbnail of the page, and the full size version of the second graph from the top, note the caption on the top of the graph:

Clearly, they prefer the base period of 1951-1980 as the default base period for the public presentation [as well as 1200 km smoothing]  and by choosing that, the GISS results look a lot more alarming than they might be if a different base period was used, such as the 1979-2009 period used by UAH and RSS.

Anomalies can show anything you want based of choosing the base period. For example, a simple thought experiment. I could choose a base period from 11,000 years ago, during the last ice age, and plot maps and graphs of today’s temperatures against that base period. Would we see red? You betcha.

Here’s a graph that shows reconstructed northern hemisphere temps at the end of the last ice age 11k years ago, they were about 4.5°C cooler than today. Granted it’s not a global temp, but close enough for government work.

So if I used a 30 year slice of temperature 11,000 years before the present as a baseline period, our GISTEMP map would look something like this:

Obviously the map above is not an accurate representation, just a visual guesstimate. The more excitable who frequent here will likely cry foul at my abuse of the image. But it does illustrate how choices of colors and baseline periods can have a distinct effect on the final visual. Using a cold baseline period in the past (in this case 4.5°C globally cooler than the present) makes the present look broiling hot.

Anomalies are all about the starting choices made by people. Nature doesn’t give a hoot about anomalies. Generally, people don’t either. Imagine if your local TV weather forecaster gave tomorrow’s forecast in anomalies rather than absolute temperatures. He might say something like:

It’s going to be a hot one folks! Tomorrow we’ll have a high temperature that is 0.8C warmer than the 1951-1980 historical baseline for this city. Dress accordingly.

Useful isn’t it? Even more useful if he’s the weatherman in Svalbaard and people anticipating a heat wave go out in shorts and tank tops in mid February.

While anomalies are fine for illustrating many things, including temperature, bear in mind it’s all about the starting conditions chosen by the individuals doing the analysis. It’s all about choosing a baseline “normal”, which is subjective.

So when Joe Bastardi looks at the GISS map of the world, sees red, and wonders why we have a growing ice presence, the answer is in the choice of baseline and the choice of colors used to calculate and represent the anomaly.

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185 thoughts on “Why Joe Bastardi sees red: A look at Sea Ice and GISTEMP and starting choices

  1. Grrr. Well done again!

    I love this quote: “Anomalies are all about the starting choices made by people. Nature doesn’t give a hoot about anomalies.”

    YES!

    And also Nature tends to correct her wayward children anomaly brats by balancing them out towards equilibrium.

    You are on to something: A moving baseline is like a moving set of goalposts.

    They are both on the move…and they both do no represent scientific reality.

    Imagine if, at Yankee Stadium, after every pitch, home base was randomly picked up and moved to another part of the field. The pitcher would have to aim for the new “target”….but the batter is not there, nor is the catcher, nor are the other positions adjusted….and the umpire is trying to call the shots from where he was.

    Total pandemonium.

    A moving baseline is no different.

    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  2. I would guess if you take the smallish fluctuations in temp in this era, and compare how that affects ice mass vs things like snowfall, ice drift (to warmer water), and calving it would be insignificant. The graphs are obviously slanted, but the real BS its that the ice mass follows temp.

    Its not that temp has no effect, but below zero you get no melting, which is most to all of the year on both polar areas. Far below zero and you get no snow either (which is why the south pole isn’t under 10 miles of ice). Most people live in areas that is ‘cold enough to snow’ is about as cold as it gets, so they assume colder is snowier all the way down.

  3. This seems very weak.
    You can complain about colour schemes and so forth but it’s trends that matter and I think you know that.

  4. The snow line, whether latitude or altitude is the best climate change measurement.
    The tree line is the best proxy for improved or degrade of the climate.
    Thermometer readings are a very poor measurement of energy in the system. Most of them are poorly sited, and inconsistantly read.
    Base line temperatures of 20 to 30 years is totally worthless as a climate forecast tool in a system that has 6o+ year short cycles. Ether climate science people think we are stupid or they are.

  5. HumanityRules (22:46:58) :

    “Weak” on a scale of logic on what planet and in what universe?

    The only thing that is weak is your attempting to broad-brush and gloss over what has been exposed here on this post.

    Res ipsa loquiter.

    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  6. If Bastardi’s spring snow storm in the east comes as he predicts, I expect we’ll hear some more interesting bleating from usual suspects about global warming and snow.

  7. Bastardi is one of the more clairvoyant long-range meteorologists out there…I doubt very seriously you [HumanityRules] would be able to win in a debate with him.

    I have been following the guy for years and an am Accuweather pro member.

    Bastardi wears his forecasts on the sleeves…and pulls no punches when it comes to “spin” when he sees it [And I man not talking about the cyclonic kind of spin].

    So it is no surprise when Bastardi raises questions about GISS….not unlike any other “rogue” scientists out there like Spencer, Lindzen and Christy.

    Or Bill Gray…

    Would love to see them in debate with Hansen, Schmidt, Santer and company.

    It would be a classic.

    The truth would come out…very quickly.

    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USa

  8. This is exactly how they misrepresent the Antarctic temperatures.

    In Chapman’s paper (http://igloo.atmos.uiuc.edu/Antarctic.paper.chapwalsh.2005.pdf ) he honestly states” Trends calculated using a starting date prior to 1965 have positive trends for land-only, ocean-only, and total area. Starting dates of 1966-1982 show negative trends for the Antarctic land-only grid points with mixed results for ocean-only and total area.”

    If you want to make Antartica appear as if its warming then do as as Steig et al and Nature did, choose a trend from the cooler period in the 1950’s.

    But if you are really sincere about understanding climate, then they really have to ask “why has Antarctic cooled since the 60’s despite the ever increasing levels of CO2″? Why is Antarctic sea ice increasing? But like Steig’s paper they “hide the decline”

  9. The use of 1951 through 1980, once appropriately defined, is now archaic. The justification would be interesting to see. Since about 1935 these 30 year periods have been used, and moved every 10 years.

    A couple of times last year I pointed out that the apparently contrived effort (by the usual suspects) to show (a) how Earth has warmed, and (b) recent decades are the warmest ever — will return to haunt these folks. The mean is a tricky little number skewed by the outliers. They call it average or normal but the standard thing to do is to use the mean of a 30 year period with the last year ending in zero. We are here. 2010. Next year should see the use of this new period as the normal. They have made it high, now we will see what they can do to keep their anomalies above average. They will need to take direction from the children of Lake Wobegon.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lake_Wobegon#The_Lake_Wobegon_effect

    Did I mention this posting is impressive. Thanks, Joe, Anthony

  10. HumanityRules (22:46:58)

    Pick your trends carefully. Whichever fits your wishes best, eh? Whatever.
    To be able to debate this forever it’d be best that we build enough nukes to get us through whatever fluctuations and calamities are in store for us and to get some of us off this very interesting home planet. That way we can cut the chances down of all of us being eliminated at one time.

  11. I have wondered about the GISS and others use of baseline anomalies for a while. It struck me that you could do an anomaly calculation by adding a given station to itself. Here is an example with purely made up numbers:

    Year 1 Dec average temp = 10C
    Year 2 Dec average temp = 8C
    Year 3 Dec average temp = 12C
    anomaly = 12-(10+8+12/3)=2C
    Year 4 Dec average temp = 7C
    anomaly = 7-(10+8+12+7/4) = -2.25C

    and so on.

    The advantage of this rather simplistic method is that you would consistently measure like with like. The same thermometer, the same station, would be used. And you would compare the same months over and over, year on year.

    Now, no doubt I have made a huge howling mistake but it would be interesting to know what it is.

  12. I need to add this to the comment I made earlier:

    “Climatologists define a climatic normal as the arithmetic average of a climate element such as temperature over a prescribed 30-year interval. The 30 year interval was selected by international agreement, based on the recommendations of the International Meteorological Conference in Warsaw in 1933. The 30 year interval is sufficiently long to filter out many of the short-term interannual fluctuations and anomalies, but sufficiently short so as to be used to reflect longer term climatic trends. Currently, the 30-year interval for calculating normals extends from 1971 to 2000.”

    http://www.aos.wisc.edu/~sco/normals.html

    Also, here: http://ams.confex.com/ams/pdfpapers/26747.pdf

  13. I’m not unsympathetic to a critical look at IPCC politico-science. The previous Loehle article is more challenging. This just looks more like a PR exercise than science. But hey what do I know.

  14. savethesharks (22:45:20)

    “You are on to something: A moving baseline is like a moving set of goalposts.

    They are both on the move…and they both do no represent scientific reality.

    Imagine if, at Yankee Stadium, after every pitch, home base was randomly picked up and moved to another part of the field. The pitcher would have to aim for the new “target”….but the batter is not there, nor is the catcher, nor are the other positions adjusted….and the umpire is trying to call the shots from where he was.

    Total pandemonium.

    A moving baseline is no different.”

    Hilarious Chris – AND TRUE.

  15. Re: HumanityRules (Mar 23 22:46),

    This seems very weak.
    You can complain about colour schemes and so forth but it’s trends that matter and I think you know that

    And taking a measly 30 years from the current geological time of millions of years and pretending that that means anything usefull is very weak. And taking the last 100 or even 200 years from the same millions is very weak.
    And you know that.

    (current geological time as in the current geographical positons of the continents)

  16. (emphasis mine)

    HumanityRules (22:46:58) :

    This seems very weak.
    You can complain about colour schemes and so forth but it’s trends that matter and I think you know that.

    Trends? Over what period of time? That’s the whole point.

    And most people have an instinct for “hot” and “cold” colors – red is NOT a cold color and should not be used to represent anomalies of temperature hovering around 0°C and lower. Ever hear the phrases “red hot” or “ice blue”?

  17. debreuil (22:46:02)

    You are right.

    The sea ice was not disappearing only because it was melting, it was mainly due to ocean currents and wind patterns. Of course, some melts in the summer when temps get above normal, but It’s still pretty darn cold in the Arctic, even if temperatures are above normal, and most of the year it is cold enough to freeze (unless the currents bring water thats too warm, or the wind carries the ice to warmer waters/temps).

  18. “…, the answer is in the choice of baseline and the choice of colors used to calculate and represent the anomaly.”

    Its framing the argument as per Ehrlich, Schneider and others. GISS and Hansen have always framed the argument in a biased way… remember the date selection and non-functioning A/C in his 1988 congressional testominy.

  19. Note also the shading on those colors. Red goes to a very deep shade, but the purple? …. not so much. Just like the chosen vertical scale on the GMT chart…. It’s all about the presentation.

  20. This is such a telling tape. WE ARE BEING HAD BY THE GOVERNMENT. The USA, Britain, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and others, simply refuse to supply raw data because they know it does not conform to the Hypothesis of AGW. It is fraud.

  21. HumanityRules (22:46:58) :

    I think that this was well written and should have elucidated some ideas for people who haven’t clued in to how charts are designed to make a point. The colours you have just admitted are important. However, trends are also important but the idea was that the trends are chosen… did you miss that?

  22. Bastardi asks a simple question: how can we have above normal temperatures in the Arctic and the Antarctic and continue to add to the global sea ice trend?

    And how can the dmi 80N be running at 1958-2002 baseline average all winter long and GISS be running a hot anomaly up there?

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

    GISS has fallen into a crater of imaginary magma.

  23. This IS weak. I agree.

    What is the point of the bit where he is going on at great length about the locations of thermometers. I really couldn’t figure out what he was trying to get at here. We have a perfectly accurate map of the `blob anomaly’ from satellite measurements which conforms to the shape above. So … ? Is he trying to claim some weird quantum effect whereby temperatures are not actually real unless someone whips out a thermometer?

    And all the complaining about the choice of colours in the graph just seems like petty whining, and I’m an AGW skeptic! Does anyone here actually have trouble understanding the graph? The choice of red for hot and blue for cold is pretty usual isn’t it. I personally would find it very annoying if the colours were used the other way around.

    The map is a map of an anomaly – a difference from average. It doesn’t pretend to be anything else. The red areas are experiencing above average temperatures for the time of year. The blue areas below. It isn’t rocket science. Which 30 year period you use as the baseline actually makes precious little difference to what the graph looks like. It might shift the colour bands just slightly, but it certainly won’t make the blob go away.

    That is because the areas under the blob anomaly really ARE experiencing above average temperatures just as the areas which are blue on the map did indeed experience a colder than usual winter. The map is using honest data and displays a real effect.

    A colour map of absolute temperatures wouldn’t tell us the same thing. You wouldn’t be able to look at it and see, for example, that yes indeed Europe and the continental US did have a colder than usual winter.

    Surely anyone with a brain knows that above average for the north pole in winter just means it won’t freeze your balls off quite as fast as usual. Only idiots will imagine boiling hot arctic seas because of some red on a map, and who cares what idiots think.

    This just seems … silly. I’d prefer to save my ammunition for situations where the data is not honest and where it is dishonestly displayed. I have no complaints with this map.

  24. All of the ice, snow and cold is due to unprecedented warming. The climate models predicted that it would get colder while it got warmer, and that snow in Florida was an inevitable consequence of the expanding tropics.

    If it warms up about four more degrees as forecast by The Met office, we will no doubt have an ice age.

  25. I would suspect that if their alleged AGW hypothesis had any validity the data would hold up at different resolution granularities.

    It’s an excellent discovery that it falls apart. The questions have to do with why and how come and what the heck were they thinking?

    Clearly scaling the data invents data to fill in in-between. While I’m not a statistics expert by any means it’s clear to me as a computer scientist and a systems scientist that you’d get bogus data when scaling. I do a lot of work with video compression and decompression codecs and this data issue a problem that is similar with scaling of images on decompression depending on the compression ratio. The higher the initial compression ratio the more resolution loss, data drops, distorted data, and importantly pixelation of data across vast areas of the imagery, not to mention the most horrific effect, the creation of data that was never there in the first place!

    The climate data is similar to the decompression problem when the initial compression is high… the climate data is starting with incomplete data (no initial compression just a sparse set of geographic data spread across vast areas of a map of the Earth) and they are trying to build a complete image. Ha. Not possible. Just try compressing a video from Blue Ray HD1080P Resolution down to the amount of data that the climate folks are getting (in the above images from the article) and you have a major loss of information. Now take that chopped up data with high distortion (low numbers of data points) and attempt to construct the HD1080P image again. Not going to happen as there just isn’t enough data to even get a partial image let alone a 320p or 480p standard tv image let along a HD720p or HD1080p image! So the entire process that the climate scientists supporting the alleged AGW hypothesis is UTTERLY flawed from the get go. They just do not have enough data to construct a global image of climate without INVENTING DATA on the fly with their algorithms.

    In layman’s terms, the climate data sucks. They don’t have enough stations to support the wild claims that they allege with their alleged AGW hypothesis. Epic failure on their part. Not only that, but a new angle from computer science image decompression falsifies their conclusions since information science teaches us that what you’ll end up with is INVENTED DATA not data from the original image (which in this case is the original temperatures in the many missing grid places).

    In other words, an EPIC FAILURE of the alleged AGW hypothesis.

    Thanks for the fantastic article. I hope that this comment gives someone another tool to do further analysis. I’m available to offer computer science or systems science expertise in this.

    Now back to writing that high quality advanced video compression algorithm.

    Oh, before I go it’s funny that Sharp has a new set of LCD TVs that actually add a yellow pixel to the set of Red, Blue and Green to achieve – they allege – better color. The cameras will also need this extra pixel color. So the computer and entrainment business are well aware of data pixel resolution issues but somehow climate science is still working in the bronze age of data measurements.

  26. “The effects of interpolation become clearer when you do a 250 km map instead of 1200 km”.

    Maybe that’s “The effects of interPOLARation …”.

    New word to describe their desired outcome as a result of their alleged AGW hypothesis agenda bias… oh, pardon me, their mistaken process and erroneous outcome. [:)]

  27. Maybe the Arctic sea ice ‘recovered’ to some extent because it is winter.
    Also there was this peculiar temperature anomaly distribution associated with a record low NAO index.

    Likely all Arctic sea ice older than two or three years will be gone by September 2010. Because that, in reality, is the trend.

  28. Oh, while it might be technically correct to call it interpolation, with the amount of “interpolation” they are getting it’s more appropriate to call it fabricating the data. Whether that “fabrication” is fraudulent or not is a subject of a different investigation, as has been going on for some time.

    Regardless, they fabricated climate data. They made it up. The proof was shown above.

    If the alleged AGW hypothesis and the alleged science it rests upon is what passes as science I’d prefer to believe superman is real.

  29. Pat – re Government’s withholding the dat.
    New Zealand has all its data online at the MIWA site — you have to register but its free and anyone can do it. I believe Canada also has it online.

    The anomaly vs ice debate becomes even more interesting when you look at the maps of where the “hot” anomaly is supposed to be and the current ice extent

    There is a bit on the eastern seaboard of Canada that is below the long term average, but most of the rest is just packed with ice.

  30. Joe Joe Joe, you obviously don’t understand the science when you say;

    ‘If it is darn warm, how come there is so much sea ice?’

    Look, its very simple. Very simple indeed. In fact its so simple I don’t know why you don’t understand. In fact it’s far too simple for me to waste my time having to tell you how ice can readily form even in an unprecedented heatwave.

    Tell you what, rather than me having to embarass you by having to explain something so simple in public why dont you read AR5? Its all there. Believe every word written as its peer reviewed. Then you will see how simple the explanation is. Now, do you need help with any other problems?

    tonyb

  31. On first look there does appear to be significant inverse correlation between number of stations and alleged anomaly. I would hypothesize their fudge factor is incorrect.

  32. Slightly OT, but today’s Times of London carries a story from the National Trust which claims a slightly hotter UK climate will see roses along with the traditional English garden depart forever and used paintings imagining a hot future to demonstrate!
    Roses and other ‘traditional’ English flora flourish in many tropical and sub-tropical climes, but this is, of course, ignored by the National Trust which largely exists courstesy of the British taxpayer.

  33. The “climate wars” is like a temperature “see-saw” with warmers and skeptics on each end.[warmers at the left]
    Warmers want “their end to fall” to show an upward slope of the see-saw.[r to l]
    Skeptics want “their end to fall” to show a downward or flat slope.
    The trouble is ,none can really say where the fulcum is,what is earths NORMAL temperature.
    Truth is there is a Natural Cycle of the “temperature” determined by Solar,orbit,comet,etc. that can never be influenced by man,or Mann.
    A snail crossing the road of time does not know when a roadroller is coming

  34. Obviously the satellite measurements were checked. They show distinctive cooling in the Arctic. Don’t they?

  35. I have a question related to the GHCN2 land stations map. How come Turkey stands out as having an unusually dense network of surface stations in comparison with the much wealthier nations of Western Europe? In fact, it appears that Turkey is on par with Japan, the Eastern US, and Eastern Australia in terms of surface station coverage density. That seems quite remarkable.

  36. Jay Currie (23:22:49) : I have wondered about the GISS and others use of baseline anomalies for a while. It struck me that you could do an anomaly calculation by adding a given station to itself.

    I call that “selfing” after the botany ‘self fertilization’ jargon. I use a process that only compares the same months to themselves and that only compares the same thermometer with itself. So you start a thermometer at some point in it’s life ( say 1920 ) and that first December is a “zero” anomaly relative to itself. In 1921 you compare Dec 21 to Dec 20 and get the “delta” as the anomaly. In 1922 you compare to 21. Etc. So far this is much like First Differences. But if 1923 and 1924 were “missing data” F.D. would reset and take another zero ( also, the FD I’ve seen use an annual average and that “has issues” with missing months…) What I do is simply hold onto that 1922 value until I DO get a new valid December number. This preserves real trends better through data dropouts. All data past that first year are used and all dropouts (except a final ending one) are eventually “spanned” and the “delta” makes it into the file for further use.

    So far it’s worked rather well. (It reproduced the National Geographic temperature graph from the 1970’s fairly well – modulo the different coverage areas of N.Hemisphere vs N. America)

    In ‘running charts’ on various countries, I do not get a smooth or even a sin wave rising CO2 ‘signature’. Instead I find a lot of “hockey sticks” (often with a pivot / heel at 1990 ) and some very flat countries. Interestingly, some countries seem to have a manufactured “Dip” in the 1951-1980 baseline via adding and removing thermometers… The thermometer count line is symmetrical with the temperature “dip”.

    So Korea is fairly flat:

    More Asia here:

    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2010/03/22/asia-a-gaggle-of-graphs/

    From the Pacific Basin set we have Singapore with a nice “Hockey Stick”:

    And in South America we have Uruguay where the “baseline” tops are about -1 C (lower than the before or after that touch 0 regularly) and has onset with thermometer count change:

    More South American graphs here:

    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2010/03/17/south-america-hockey-in-the-jungle/

    And the rest of the Pacific Basin here:

    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2010/03/18/pacific-basin-the-australian-hockey-league/

    I’ve seen enough cases where the “baseline” drops 1/2 C to 1 C just as thermometer count changes, then pops back up on another thermometer count change to suspect that the baseline may be ‘selected’ because it was cooler, but may have been ‘helped along’ (especially in some warmer places…) but a bit of thermometer selective listening skills…

    Notice that very few to none of the common shapes in these graphs matches the expected smooth rise over time from “CO2 warming” nor the “cyclical ripple on the rise” from natural cycles on top of CO2 warming. They just look very “cooked” with common step function jumps at about 1980 and 1991 or so.

    Oh, and on GIStemp: Realize they also use stations like Eureka Canada (that warm spot way up north) to “warm” 1200 km in all directions. So dropping a station 1000 km away on a glacier and putting in Eureka data instead can make for nice warming… IMHO. (Even if it’s “supposed” to be corrected, the correction is not perfect). Between a “cooked” baseline and broiled in-fill, GIStemp makes a roasted arctic when no such thing is happening.

  37. ‘So when Joe Bastardi looks at the GISS map of the world, sees red, and wonders why we have a growing ice presence, the answer is in the choice of baseline and the choice of colors used to calculate and represent the anomaly.’

    If the color coding where used to highlight the Holocene Optimum, Roman Optimum and MWP anomalies, wouldn’t it show less “Redness” as we proceed into present time?

  38. Well, I got to wondering just what temperature sensors we do have in the Arctic. It seemed to me that reaching out to 250 km, Hansen couldn’t be covering that much above 80°N … and it turns out he’s not.

    Figure W1. Coverage of the area north of 80°N, showing 250 km radius areas around ground temperature stations.

    Here’s your two miscellaneous factoids for today. A 1200 km radius circle is about the same size as the 80° N circle shown in the figure. It encompasses an area about three times the size of Alaska … and GISS is claiming that one single solitary temperature station is representative of that whole area.

    Not.

  39. OT: Predictably depressing UK government response to this petition:

    “We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to suspend the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia from preparation of any Government Climate Statistics until the various allegations have been fully investigated by an independent body.”

    Government response:

    “The Government believes that all these allegations should be investigated transparently.

    An independent review is currently examining the scientific conduct of the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) and is due to report its findings later in the spring. More information on the review can be found at: http://www.cce-review.org/. The University of East Anglia also recently announced that there will be a separate review to examine the CRU’s key scientific publications. The findings of both these reviews will be made public.

    The House of Commons Select Committee on Science and Technology is also investigating the matter. On 1 March the Select Committee heard evidence from a wide range of contributors, including Professor Jones, who has temporarily stepped down from his post as Director of CRU.

    CRU’s analysis of temperature records is not funded by, prepared for, or published by the Government. The resulting outputs are not Government statistics.

    Our confidence that the Earth is warming is taken from multiple sources of evidence and not only the HadCRUT temperature record, which CRU scientists contribute to. The same warming trend is seen in two independent analyses carried out in the United States, by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Goddard Institute of Space Studies at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). These analyses draw on the same pool of temperature data as HadCRUT, but use different methodologies to produce analyses of temperature change through time. Further evidence of this warming is found in data from instruments on satellites, and in trends of declining arctic sea ice and rising sea levels.

    Science is giving us an increasingly clear picture of the risks we face from climate change. With more research, we can better understand those risks, and how to manage them. That is why the Government funds a number of institutions, including the University of East Anglia, to carry out research into climate change science.”

    http://www.number10.gov.uk/Page22924

  40. Anthony: The Zonal Means Plots above are somewhat deceiving because they have different temperature scales. A quick glance at the two plots show that the 1200km smoothing actually lowered the peak temperature at ~81N by about 1.3 Deg C. And as you’re aware, the area of the Arctic North of 81N represents very little of the Global Surface area–on the order of 1.5 to 2%–though it does have a much greater visual effect due to the projection used by GISS for their maps. The real curiosity in the two datasets is how the 1200km smoothing turns the zonal mean temperature anomalies of mid-latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere from negative to positive. Refer to the comparison graph of the two zonal mean datasets:

  41. Let’s also not forget that the Mercator projection skews area the further you go to the poles. If we looked at a polar projection, the visual torch basically goes away.

  42. UK Government response to CRU petition

    I’ve just received the response from the government on the CRU petition. http://www.number10.gov.uk/Page22924

    Our confidence that the Earth is warming is taken from multiple sources of evidence and not only the HadCRUT temperature record, which CRU scientists contribute to. The same warming trend is seen in two independent analyses carried out in the United States, by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Goddard Institute of Space Studies at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). These analyses draw on the same pool of temperature data as HadCRUT, but use different methodologies to produce analyses of temperature change through time. Further evidence of this warming is found in data from instruments on satellites, and in trends of declining arctic sea ice and rising sea levels.

    So that’s all sorted then!

  43. Hi,
    Slightly OT. This post about GISTEMP issue uses a few images which should be matched one against the other to have a better view about the topic.
    I’d like to pay your attentions to Opera browser which has the embedded ability for such comparisons. I created this Opera Nanoprimer in promptu:

    1) Duplicate tab – http://pp.blast.pl/wuwt/giss_01.png
    2) Tile (them) horizontally – http://pp.blast.pl/wuwt/giss_02.png
    3,4) Compare the images –
    http://pp.blast.pl/wuwt/giss_03.png, http://pp.blast.pl/wuwt/giss_04.png
    5) Open GISS homepage, make GIF map and tile horizontally 3 imgs now –

    6) Aggregate 4 imgs: 3 from WUWT post and 1 from GISS website (see the right, down corner – you can applied zoom ratio individually to every page/imag, here: 90% for 4th img) – http://pp.blast.pl/wuwt/giss_06.png

    That’s why I wrote last year “Opera Browser – (The) Climate Bloggers’ Best Friend – (ver. 2.0)”: http://pp.blast.pl/articles/opera_friend.html

    Best regards

  44. ADE (02:02:58) :

    The “climate wars” is like a temperature “see-saw” with warmers and skeptics on each end.[warmers at the left]
    Warmers want “their end to fall” to show an upward slope of the see-saw.[r to l]
    Skeptics want “their end to fall” to show a downward or flat slope.
    The trouble is ,none can really say where the fulcum is,what is earths NORMAL temperature.
    Truth is there is a Natural Cycle of the “temperature” determined by Solar,orbit,comet,etc. that can never be influenced by man,or Mann.
    A snail crossing the road of time does not know when a roadroller is coming
    ————————————————
    Reply:
    And that is exactly why I don’t like the term skeptic/sceptic. Rather, call me a “climate realist” because reality is what I want. It’s what we ALL should want.

    The optimist looks at the glass of water and jubilantly says it’s half full. The pessimist looks at the same glass of water and sadly says it’s half empty. The realist looks at the glass of water, considers the situation, and states that the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.

    Now, who can argue with the approach of a realist? There is no axe to grind, no agenda to convey, no control to exert.

    Be a realist. Especially when it comes to climate.

  45. RR Kampen (01:29:02) :
    Likely all Arctic sea ice older than two or three years will be gone by September 2010. Because that, in reality, is the trend.

    The image you linked to shows no real trend – it just shows the extreme event of 2007, and that multiyear ice increased again in 2009. I postulate that it will increase further this year – let’s return to this thread in September and see who’s right :-)

  46. Ian H (00:47:48) :
    “The map is using honest data and displays a real effect. ”

    That is incorrect as now more than a couple people have pointed out.
    The gridding is misleading at best and makes up too much data to be considered valid.
    This would never be an acceptable map where I work. (but then we are a bit more ethical than they are).

    Oil industry shill. ;)

  47. Ian H (00:47:48) :

    “Does anyone here actually have trouble understanding the graph? The choice of red for hot and blue for cold is pretty usual isn’t it. I personally would find it very annoying if the colours were used the other way around.”

    What if the anomaly is ‘warmer’ than expected but still below zero? Would you be happy in saying it is hot.
    What is interesting is the area of the arctic Ocean along the Scandinavian and Russian coasts are in blue (below average), which I’m sure they were, and have the least sea ice, while the red (hot) area over the Arctic is over continuous sea ice.
    How does it relate to the ice area as shown here: http://nsidc.org/data/seaice_index/images/daily_images/N_daily_extent_hires.png

    Even the ‘blob’ doesn’t appear to be represented well in terms of ice coverage.

    “Only idiots will imagine boiling hot arctic seas because of some red on a map, and who cares what idiots think.”

    Yes, but because someone is an idiot or says idiotic things deosn’t mean they should be ignored, in fact it might be better to pay close attention.

  48. I posted this yesterday in response to

    R. de Haan (14:05:11) : on the The Guardian sees the light on wind driven Arctic ice loss Thread.

    The unbeatable logic of Joe Bastardi!

    http://www.ogimet.com/cgi-bin/gsynop?zona=artico&base=bluem&proy=orto&ano=2010&mes=03&day=23&hora=12&vte=Te&enviar=Ver

    Perhaps this has something to do with – Note the 2 Automatic Stations are 20 degrees warmer than all the others.

    So if they are using those Stations in their Calculations you can see what affect it would have on Anomalies.

  49. The UK government has responded to the petition to stop using UEA data.

    http://www.number10.gov.uk/Page22924

    I particularly like the fourht paragraph “CRU’s analysis of temperature records is not funded by, prepared for, or published by the Government. The resulting outputs are not Government statistics.”

    and the filel sentence. ” That is why the Government funds a number of institutions, including the University of East Anglia, to carry out research into climate change science.”

    Cheers,
    Brian

  50. And do remember, once more, that all these maps are Mercator projections, which make the poles look about 10x bigger than they really are.

    If we were to use the Lambert Conformal Conic, those big red blobs would shrink to little dots.

    .

  51. I’m pleased this has been flagged by JB! This graph has been frontline on another blog for a while but I just couldn’t be bothered to query yet more nonsense!

  52. Can anyone help me with this analysis:

    http://tamino.wordpress.com/2010/02/25/false-claims-proven-false/

    I mean one says so and the other one says so. But what is the truth? I am not a scientist, nor do I have the time and knowledge to calculate. I only have to trust what the scientists say. And thats my problem. Here in Germany people like Rahmstorf and Latif use the graphs above to show that GW is happening. In the UK, USA and other countries prominent scientists claim that we are heading into another ice-age.

    Regards
    Dirk

  53. It’s spring and we have a half inch of snow on the porch this morning… in Grantham, NH…

  54. TonyB (01:46:33) :
    LMAO

    E.M.Smith (02:27:51) :
    Willis Eschenbach (03:06:44) :

    When I was in high school, I checked and recorded the Stevenson
    screen thermometers. I took the responsibility very seriously.
    My Science Prof. double checked my work, and always sent the
    results, in a timely manner……..What a waste!

  55. Ian H (00:47:48) :

    Surely anyone with a brain knows that above average for the north pole in winter just means it won’t freeze your balls off quite as fast as usual. Only idiots will imagine boiling hot arctic seas because of some red on a map, and who cares what idiots think.

    You need to read a few history books and perhaps look at very recent American history. These charts, also, have nothing to do with facts but are political tools to convince the ‘idiots’ to punish others, and achieve the political agenda in question. Quite literally, wars have been fought over lesser things.

    Particularly, it doesn’t matter if you are wrong – legally or morally – if the majority are convinced that somethin’ needs doin’ it’s going to work out very, very bad for a minority.

  56. Ian H
    “Surely anyone with a brain knows that above average for the north pole in winter just means it won’t freeze your balls off quite as fast as usual. Only idiots will imagine boiling hot arctic seas because of some red on a map, and who cares what idiots think?”

    To me this vid by Bastardi is an example of how the “warmists” sell their AGW crap.
    It shows how they misrepresent the truth to the “idiots” that you don’t care about.
    These “idiots” that you don’t care about are voters, that vote for the politicians that want carbon taxes and cap-and-trade. [along with more funding].
    Glad to see that you are an AGW sceptic. This vid was meant for those “idiots” that you don’t care about. They still have a vote.

  57. Small correction:

    “And here’s the 250km presentation, note that the global surface temp drops to 0.34°C”

    That is a temperature anomaly, not the “global surface temp” itself (though I know you know that, and just miswrote).

    John F. Hultquist (23:23:46) :

    The source you quoted for the 30 year normal is not quite accurate. As far as the WMO is concerned, these periods update every 30 years, not every decade, though it has become common for many WMO members, such as the US, to update their normals every decade. The last 30 year WMO period was 1951-1980, so the next will be 1981-2010. But that is little reason for GISS to have hung on to 1951-1980 all this time, since so many WMO nations have updated their normals every decade. But they will soon no longer even have that excuse. It takes a couple of years to collect all the data and publish new normals. But at the end of this year, that process will start, and the new norm will become 1981-2010.

  58. With so much lopsided temperature records, you can make whatever you want from the data.
    Oh, I have to remove 90% of the temperature data from the US as there are too many stations for balancing the other station recordings or too few in the colder regions so I have to add data to compensate. How many new stations came on line and where to put there temperatures into the data stream?
    What trends can be made from what data?

    This is far more complex then just recording all the stations and take the average from all the recordings that day.

    With three climate cycling systems on this planet, we need three separate data runs for each region. The Northern Hemisphere, the Equatorial Region and the Southern Hemisphere. From 15 degrees from Northern and Southern Hemisphere, the climate runs fairly straight across due to planetary rotation.

  59. While Nenana, Alaska is not at the north pole, being at a latitude of only 64:55 N, It has been having an increasing ice problem, too. April 5 is the deadline for guesses when the ice in the Tanana River will start moving; last decade the average date was 2+ days later than in the 1990s. The ice thickness on March 17, 2010 of 50.5″ compares to the average April 1 thickness of 42″.

    I know the plural of anecdote is not data, but it is an interesting anecdote, don’t you think?

    http://nenanaakiceclassic.com/

  60. Yes, and try computing the minute volumes of the total atmosphere and total hydrosphere being sampled. Try computing the percentage of the Earth’s total thermal energy being sampled.

  61. @ Stephen Skinner (04:07:45) :
    @ Ian H (00:47:48) :
    Double quote – “”Only idiots will imagine boiling hot arctic seas because of some red on a map, and who cares what idiots think.””

    “Red” is beautiful in defying AGW Reds’ false arguments (reds = commies). Read below.

    @ Ian H (00:47:48) :
    Quote – “And all the complaining about the choice of colours in the graph just seems like petty whining, and I’m an AGW skeptic! Does anyone here actually have trouble understanding the graph? The choice of red for hot and blue for cold is pretty usual isn’t it.”

    :-) No, it isn’t. ;-) You (we) should show “normal people” such graphs:

    http://www.wetterzentrale.de/pics/Rnhemsnow.html

    With all ICE in RED. ;-) The more RED the more ICE. ;-)

    Regards :-)

  62. I stopped referring to GISS temps many moons ago. This very same problem (base periods of baselines) was discussed many years ago at Climate Audit. In that case, it was if I remember correctly NOAA temp anomalies vs GISS and the TOB adjustments.

    Concerning Joe B. . I think he is the only mainstream long term forecaster who is predicting a rather drastic fall in global temps once the current El Nino wanes. It does appear that quite a bit of the current warming worldwide is mainly over the oceans (perhaps residuals of the current moderate El Nino?).

  63. Yes, it is interesting that the presence of red turns out to be in inverse proportion to the presence of actual thermometers (including where the satellites can’t scan).

    By the way, why would a satellite be designed to observe MW refections that did not have a direct lookdown sensor so one could observe the actual polar conditions (i.e., the areas of greatest concern)?

  64. OT,
    Today I received a Government response to petition ‘UEACRU’

    Read the Government’s response

    The Government believes that all these allegations should be investigated transparently.
            
    An independent review is currently examining the scientific conduct of the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) and is due to report its findings later in the spring.  More information on the review can be found at: http://www.cce-review.org/.  The University of East Anglia also recently announced that there will be a separate review to examine the CRU’s key scientific publications.  The findings of both these reviews will be made public.

    The House of Commons Select Committee on Science and Technology is also investigating the matter.  On 1 March the Select Committee heard evidence from a wide range of contributors, including Professor Jones, who has temporarily stepped down from his post as Director of CRU.

    CRU’s analysis of temperature records is not funded by, prepared for, or published by the Government. The resulting outputs are not Government statistics.

    Our confidence that the Earth is warming is taken from multiple sources of evidence and not only the HadCRUT temperature record, which CRU scientists contribute to.  The same warming trend is seen in two independent analyses carried out in the United States, by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Goddard Institute of Space Studies at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).  These analyses draw on the same pool of temperature data as HadCRUT, but use different methodologies to produce analyses of temperature change through time.  Further evidence of this warming is found in data from instruments on satellites, and in trends of declining arctic sea ice and rising sea levels.

    Science is giving us an increasingly clear picture of the risks we face from climate change.  With more research, we can better understand those risks, and how to manage them.  That is why the Government funds a number of institutions, including the University of East Anglia, to carry out research into climate change science.

    I would like to draw attention to the two sections which I have italicized.

    Finally I conclude that we must never allow Governments to legislate policy based on a flimsy, unprovable hypothesis which can be falsified by a ten year old.

  65. Interesting that between them, NOAA & GISS have pretty much got rid of the ’40s bump that Wigley & Jones were finding so problematical.

    DaveE.

  66. I think anomaly maps should be colour coordinated based on the value of the anomaly to the range annual temperatures for the location. That would put the variation into perspective compared to natural variability.

  67. Here’s something you wouldn’t want to try at home:
    Take an IR picture of your oven after preheating to 350.
    Using the picture, tell me which part of the oven is now safe to touch without suitable protective gloves.
    Do the same thing with a walk-in freezer.
    Anomaly.

  68. Interesting that the Northen Hemisphere has the most land mass and less ocean surface compared to the Southern Hemisphere. The temperature swings are also dramatically different from the Northen and Southern Hemispheres.

  69. Re: Espen (04:02:09) :

    The image you linked to shows no real trend – it just shows the extreme event of 2007, and that multiyear ice increased again in 2009. I postulate that it will increase further this year – let’s return to this thread in September and see who’s right :-)

    Yes, I was planning on that.

    Multiyear ice has continued to decrease over 2009:

    I expect Feb 2010 will show some recovery though.

  70. I know, I know, it’s picking nits, but this is a typo I just can’t stomach: “All of the sudden”. Obviously, it’s suppposed to be “All of a sudden”.

    By the by, the reason it has started to bother me so much is that I find myself wanting to copy it! It’s sneaky that way!

  71. rbateman (05:28:42) :

    I have been saying for quite a while now that you can safely put your unprotected hand into a pre-heated oven as long as you don’t touch anything solid.

    People who cook do it regularly.

    DaveE.

  72. In my company the leadership has a term for what tou just demonstrated. We call it “rebaselining” – if the story you’re trying to tell (usually a trend of some sort) isn’t showing right, redefine the starting point. Works wonders!

    In a similar vein, my friend from the Army says if the metrics don’t look right redefine them – apparently a reference to Gen. Petreius’ (sp?) redefinition of the term “incident” for Iraq a few years back – which strangely enough coincided with a large drop-off of “incidents”

    Doing crap like this is old hat in heavily beaurocratic and/or political organizations, usually by middle management types that are trying to justify their existence… so with that in mind, is anyone surprised that our friends from GISS would continue to change their presentations to ensure they’re dramatic?

  73. While Bastardi is a scientist GISS post-normal new age/”let it be” scientists are real “bastardi” (plural of bastard in italian language) ☺

  74. “revelations of malpractice by climate scientists.”

    Excuse for putting this here? It’s too hilarious.

    Look what youse skeptics have wrought. Good work.

    Who writes this stuff ?

    “The museum had intended to call it the Climate Change Gallery, but has decided to change this to Climate Science Gallery to avoid being accused of presuming that emissions would change the temperature.”

    >>>> “The decision by the 100-year-old London museum reveals how deeply scientific institutions have been shaken by the public’s reaction to revelations of malpractice by climate scientists.
    …-

    “Public scepticism prompts Science Museum to rename climate exhibition

    The Science Museum is revising the contents of its new climate science gallery to reflect the wave of scepticism that has engulfed the issue in recent months.

    The decision by the 100-year-old London museum reveals how deeply scientific institutions have been shaken by the public’s reaction to revelations of malpractice by climate scientists.

    The museum is abandoning its previous practice of trying to persuade visitors of the dangers of global warming. It is instead adopting a neutral position, acknowledging that there are legitimate doubts about the impact of man-made emissions on the climate.

    Even the title of the £4 million gallery has been changed to reflect the museum’s more circumspect approach. The museum had intended to call it the Climate Change Gallery, but has decided to change this to Climate Science Gallery to avoid being accused of presuming that emissions would change the temperature.

    Last October the museum launched a temporary exhibition called “Prove It! All the evidence you need to believe in climate change”. The museum said at the time that the exhibition had been designed to demonstrate “through scientific evidence that climate change is real and requires an urgent solution”.”

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article7073272.ece

  75. London Science Museum goes climate science neutral

    LONDON, March 24 (Reuters Life!) – A new climate gallery at London’s Science Museum, sponsored byRoyal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L), will step back from pushing evidence of man-made climate change to adopt a more neutral position.

    The new gallery follows an exhibition called “Prove It! All the evidence you need to believe in climate change” … It featured a poll showing a large portion of its visitors disputed the scientific evidence behind man-made climate change.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSLDE62N0ZH20100324?type=marketsNews

  76. HumanityRules (22:46:58) :

    This seems very weak.
    You can complain about colour schemes and so forth but it’s trends that matter and I think you know that.

    But he showed you trends since the end of the last ice age. Yep, just like clockwork it looks like part of the natural cycle to me. Look at that image and ask yourself “would I be happier if we were still in the depths of the Little Ice Age?” I think not!

  77. There has been a lot of discussion on this thread about the importance of trends. Can I remind everyone that linear trends are representations of changes in temperatures over a particular period of time. They are historical. They have no predictive power whatsoever, which is clearly demonstrated by the effect of selection choice of starting point.

    Using linear trends as predictors of future temperatures would appear to be particularly futile if the climate is dominated by cyclic effects, as I believe to be the case.

  78. Ralph (04:14:21) :

    And do remember, once more, that all these maps are Mercator projections, which make the poles look about 10x bigger than they really are.

    And do remember one more that my WUWT hot button is that these maps are not Mercator projections They are merely lat/long plots. A Mercator projection can only reach the poles if map is infinitely tall, and that would interfere with reading posts like this one.

    If we were to use the Lambert Conformal Conic, those big red blobs would shrink to little dots.

    How can you use a conic projection to map the entire world without making a gawdful mess of things? See http://www.quadibloc.com/maps/mco0301.htm

    You might do okay with the Lambert cylindrical equal-area projection, but that dinks with both x & y axes. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lambert_cylindrical_equal-area_projection

    My personal preference is a simple sinusoidal projection, see http://www.quadibloc.com/maps/mps0401.htm and it’s used in some sources. While the projection itself is rather ugly, it only messes with the x axis, it’s easy to generate, it’s easy to remap into other forms, and it’s easy for pixel counting programs to use since it’s an equal area projection.

    If I had time, I’d write a web app to take a lat/long map and generate a sinusoidal map.

    I really need to go write a web page – it would save me a lot of rant time.

    Once more:

    IT’S NOT A MERCATOR PROJECTION!!!!!

    Whew.

  79. About the diagram showing the siting of GHCN2 land stations (3rd one down) :

    Does Turkey have some sort of cultural fascination with thermometers? Japan and the USA are pretty dense, but Turkey !?!

  80. And on and on and on the debate goes, where it stops nobody knows…. Joe Bastardi is one of my heroes. He seems to be one of the few that is able to extract himself out of the sand, looking at each individual grain, and look at the beach.

    So where does “weather” stop and “climate” begin? There seems to be no agreement whatsoever over what defines a climate period (30 years, 60 years, 1000 years, or millenia) other than the seasons of the year. In human existance we experience approximately 60-90 yearly cycles of climate change with which we can identify on a personal scale. But applied against the larger periods of change it has different meanings, or no meaning at all depending where or personal experience begins on the larger cycles. Vostok says “ice age imminent” while any particular Summer forecast can be “beastly hot”.

    To argue 1000 year cycles against a 10 year trending is totally useless. The public has a right to be angry over the disagreement. There is no accepted standard to give context to the debate. One would think that establishing basic definitions and rules of debate would get us off this Tower of Babel.

  81. Since perception, especially by the public, plays a larger role in climate science, I think a minor issue, but one that tilts in favor of the alarmists, is the selection of a map projection to display the data. If indeed, high latitude areas do have relatively higher temperatures than their past history, then a world map that grossly exaggerates the area (size) of high latitudes is biasing perception toward global warmism. Look at the maps used in this article, Greenland, which is 1/6 the size of South America, appears to be bigger. Antartical appears to be bigger than South America and Africa combined!

    There is no magic solution to this presentation issue. Showing the surface of a sphere on two dimensional surface is difficult, but there are better projections and other accommodations that could be made. Regardless, being aware of the issue is important because we are more affected by visual images than we realize.

  82. Here’s the thing about being blinded by whatever certainty you have in your mind– you will take the smallest bit of data and try to make it fit your preconception. What is even worse is when the data that you’re trying to analyze has been intentionally or unintentionally selected to give a certainty perception.

    What is happening in the arctic and antarctic? Which data do you believe? Each of us has to decide, using all of our best judgements and intuition, and data from multiple sources, including first hand accounts from individuals we trust. Even more importantly, we have to try to not want to see something in the data that is not there, or trust only the sources that give us that data that we want or expect to see.

    My belief is that the those who believe that AGWT is likely correct, and those who are skeptical are both so far apart in their philosophical stance, that each will reject the others data simply because to accept it would cause too much cognitive dissonance. To add to that, then not only does the data become suspect, but those who gather and analyze the opposing data become suspect as well. This is true for both sides, though both sides will deny they do it. They have to discredit the other side while maintaining that their side has the “true” perspective and are being the honest side of the issue.

    So what is going on in the arctic, or the antarctic? Does a person like me, who doesn’t which to join the “true believers” on either side of the issue simply throw up their hands and say, “oh well, there is no way of knowing because both sides are dishonest and refuse to be objective.” I currently refuse to accept that position. Rather, I try to read and study multiple sources of information, trying to sift out the data that may be corrupted by those who have a particular postiion to advance.

    Now, I maintain that most of us who post on sites like WUWT, are abnormalities in the sense that we even care about this topic, as most people, the common person on the street really doesn’t. The average person will believe what their favorite pundit or cable channel spoon feeds them to believe on this issue– because they don’t care enough to spend the time to research it for themselves.

    Anthony made an interesting statement yesterday, that got me thinking. He said at one time in the 90’s that he was actually an active believer in the opposite perspective– he actually thought that AGWT was correct. He’s obviously an incredibly intelligent person who has spent many hours looking at this issue. That statement has more credibility with me in terms of making me look at my own perspective on this issue than most other things I’ve read.

    Specifically in terms of the issue of what’s happening in the arctic or antarctic, I still maintain that no matter what “goalposts” you want to use, that the arctic at least has been warming over the past few decades, and even if you doubt the temperature data, you can’t doubt the first hand accounts of those who live there and have seen the changes directly. These first hand accounts of permafrost melting, etc. are important corroborating evidence for me. This issue as to whether this is a natural cycle versus a AGW issue is an entirely different matter. Because AGWT clearly models the heating of the polar regions, then certainly the warming in the arctic supports the theory, but does not porve it of course. And here is where I part ways with many AGW skeptics, as they will try to deny that there even is any substantial warming in the arctic, despite the first hand accounts of those native tribes that live there.

  83. RR Kampen (01:29:02) :

    Maybe the Arctic sea ice ‘recovered’ to some extent because it is winter.
    Also there was this peculiar temperature anomaly distribution associated with a record low NAO index.

    Likely all Arctic sea ice older than two or three years will be gone by September 2010. Because that, in reality, is the trend.
    http://nsidc.org/images/arcticseaicenews/20091005_Figure5_thumb.png

    Logic?????? As you can see from your chart the amount of 1st ice increased significantly in 2008. This became a large increase in 2nd year ice in 2009. Are you really claiming that we won’t see a huge increase in “older” ice this summer? If you are then I can easily ignore all of your future posts. Only someone completely devoid of logic would make such a statement.

  84. Dirk (04:41:55) :

    Can anyone help me with this analysis:

    I suggest that you go over to Chiefio’s Site http://chiefio.wordpress.com/ and read through his Temperature analysis. He not supplies the graphs but all the data as well so that you can do your own analysis.

  85. This strikes at the heart of AGW: Are anomalies useful?
    Increasingly, it seems making large claims based on small anomalies results in claims that are not meaningful.

  86. I’m having a hard time making sense of the “interpolation” on the Dec-Jan-Feb 2010 anomaly vs 1951-1980.

    Looking at Canada, it looks like central, northern, and western Canada should be in the red (2-4 deg) range at the highest in the 1200km map based on the 250km map. Instead, it’s almost all in the 4-6 deg range.

    There are also grids in western Canada and Alaksa which show as 1-2 deg anomalies (or lower) in the 250km map that get over-ridden as 2-4 deg in the 1200km map. Any algorithmic processing that brings that about would seem to be nonsense.

  87. Another problem that has been discussed elsewhere is that the maps presented always choose a projection with severe distortion of area at the poles. Those maps are going to look scary because large areas of a rectangular projection are red, however due to the earth in reality being a sphere, the areas represented are going to be much smaller. The entire top and bottom coordinate rows could probably be represented by a single square, and yet in this highly-distorted rectangular projection, that single square becomes an entire row of red temperatures. It’s dishonest to present the world temperature anomaly to the public in this manner, particularly with 3D representation of the earth so easy to show people now.

  88. I think the main problem I have with the GISS mapping is the representation of the poles as huge. I think it should be appropriately sized and scaled instead of making the arctic look like it is 4 times the size of North America.

  89. Anthony,

    It really doesn’t matter if the current anomaly is 0.8, 0.32, or -999999.32, since we are concerned with the trend. The standard GISS temp graph looks identical rebaselined to any baseline; all that changes are the units on the y-axis. Here is GISSTemp relative to 1979-1998 if you are interested: http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j237/hausfath/Picture208.png

    Wrt the global anomaly maps, the scale chosen is a lot more relevant to the resulting image than the baseline. The main reason why GISS uses a 1951-1980 baseline is because they produced their first temp series prior to 1990, and thus couldn’t use a 1961-1990 one. They decided changing the baseline to correspond with that used by HadCRUT would be more confusing since all their prior publications use 1951-1980, and the choice of the baseline is completely irrelevent to the trend (and which years are the warmest/coolest, etc.).

  90. Mia culpa, selected the wrong column in excel, that one was 1951-1980. Here is 1979-1998: http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j237/hausfath/Picture209.png

    They are identical save for the y-axis units, which is the point.

    REPLY: Bastardi didn’t focus on trends and neither did I, the issue has to do with the graphic presentation, which I think is visually flawed.

    On the issue of why GISS can’t move their baseline forward, I understand where you are coming from, but the fact is that it still affects the outcome of the final public presentation which gets splashed all over the world media. So it is not irrelevant. I think GISS could do a better job and I think the excuse of “we did it before 1990″ is a lame excuse, especially since NCDC provides anomaly plots with a baseline of 1901-2000, for example. They have data that goes back prior to 1900 and they are able to present it without cherry picking a 30 year period because “that’s what we started with”.

    If GISS really wants to produce an accurate representation to the public, they’ll provide a more balanced visual presentation.

    WRT the anomaly graph, does the magnitude of the anomaly (not the whole offset) not depend on the baseline period used to create the anomaly points? So for example, wouldn’t the more recent points be lower if created using a 1979-2009 baseline. The map demonstration I provided certainly seems to indicate it would by the change of the global anomaly value in the upper right. Your correct plot shows a drop in magnitude also. GISS should provide a tool for the public.

    I agree the trend is unchanged, but my point (and Joe’s) is about the monthly scare stories that come from the magnitude. and the color presentations of the anomalies. – Anthony

  91. Re: HumanityRules (Mar 23 22:46),

    ” This seems very weak.
    You can complain about colour schemes and so forth but it’s trends that matter and I think you know that”

    There is a very nice trend going on in Alaska. Every community in Alaska with at least 1,000 residents now has a paved Class I commercial airport.

    Last I checked with the FAA the runway at Point Barrow is currently undergoing expansion.

    The good old days of taking off and landing on a grass/gravel/ice airstrip in some broken down propeller plane in Alaska are slowly giving way to nice 6500 foot long commercial runways and traveling in the comfort and convenience of a Boeing 737.

  92. I regularly monitor the temp gauges that surround the Arctic Ice. During Winter, it is cold enough to freeze water, plants, and unprotected organic life forms, with room to spare. In the Summer it is warm enough to melt, rather slowly, but melt nonetheless, the aforesaid ice, flora and fauna, with not a lot of room to spare. I’ve been watching this for 5 years and it is the same every year. As far as the temps on the ice flow (it is not a cap, it is an ice flow), it’s temperature can rather easily be mathematically calculated from the amount of axial tilt to the Sun’s infrared known parameters and bracketed by the land temps and micro-climate zones that surround the flow. A degree here or there is well within the “pad” that describes the range. Won’t make much difference.

    I have also been monitoring the surface wind. Now that is quite another story. That is until the damned temperature freezes the wind gauge in place, or the wind itself blows the thing onto its side.

    Me thinks Hansen needs something more exciting to do, Watching ice freeze and melt can addle the mind.

  93. The reason Dr. Hansen uses the baseline period of 1951 to 1980 is that he started analyzing temperature anomalies in 1981 – hardly a good year to consider a baseline of 1979 to 2009.
    ———-

    Science 28 August 1981:
    Vol. 213. no. 4511, pp. 957 – 966
    Climate Impact of Increasing Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide
    J. Hansen , D. Johnson , A. Lacis , S. Lebedeff , P. Lee , D. Rind , and G. Russell

    Atmospheric physicists at the NASA Institute for Space Studies, Goddard Space Flight Center, New York 10025

    The global temperature rose by 0.2°C between the middle 1960’s and 1980, yielding a warming of 0.4°C in the past century. This temperature increase is consistent with the calculated greenhouse effect due to measured increases of atmospheric carbon dioxide. Variations of volcanic aerosols and possibly solar luminosity appear to be primary causes of observed fluctuations about the mean trend of increasing temperature. It is shown that the anthropogenic carbon dioxide warming should emerge from the noise level of natural climate variability by the end of the century, and there is a high probability of warming in the 1980’s. Potential effects on climate in the 21st century include the creation of drought-prone regions in North America and central Asia as part of a shifting of climatic zones, erosion of the West Antarctic ice sheet with a consequent worldwide rise in sea level, and opening of the fabled Northwest Passage.

    http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/213/4511/957

  94. The color schemes, grid size, baselines (and map projection with no control points) are chosen to be emotive. They damn well know what they’re doing. They’re adults – stumping for a cause, shaping displays for a desired outcome. Its really shameful.

    AND – the rest of the Climate ‘Science’ Community (save a few brave souls) have silently sat by and allowed this persist unchallenged. Judith – this is no evil oil company conspiracy – its the US Government, and you all are complicit in this in my view. Talk about monied interests. Sheesh. Where are the honest scientists?

    Great post Anthony.

    I would love to see a chart of the number of days above 32 degrees vs latitude to further expose the assertion that atmosphere composition and temperature control everything in the Arctic. I believe that ice still melts at 0 degrees (STP)?

  95. There are two issues I want to make refference to in my comment, as there was one of the quotes in this article that drew my attention: “Anomalies are all about the starting choices made by people. Nature doesn’t give a hoot about anomalies.” So, first of all, I agree that we are definitely on the wrong track regarding mankind, due to the climate changes which can’t be denied anymore, they are a fact, they are affecting everyone of us, our future on this planet. However, while reading on this matter, I actually found out that, according to many scientists, these “anomalies” that we’re currently experimenting are in fact the normal state of the planet, and the true “anomaly” was the period of warm, steady, somewhat peacefull climate.

  96. Bastardi asks a simple question: how can we have above normal temperatures in the Arctic and the Antarctic and continue to add to the global sea ice trend? After all we’ve been told by media stories that both the Arctic and the Antarctic continue to melt at a frenetic pace. But it looks like this year we’ll see another Arctic recovery as we’ve seen in 2008 and 2009.
    ——————–

    Ice extent is “recovering” only in relation to the lowest data points. And this doesn’t take into account the thinning of the Arctic Ice, as measured by ICESat:

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090708103212.htm

    And soon, Cryosat:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/8568285.stm

    Arctic ice is still way below the 1979 to 2000 average extent:

    But small respites from the frenetic pace of melting is welcome.

  97. For the record, I know the answer and it has to do with exactly what Anthony
    added. But I want viewers to go dig and find out for themselves. To do that, one must raise the question first… and hopefully the rationale, objective viewer can make the connection that something is amiss here.

    Again its a simply argument.. lets watch the temp with the change of the PDO and in the coming years, the amo, and see if we are where we were back at the start of the satellite era, the late 70s, which by the way was the END of the last cold PDO and in the middle of a cold AMO, which common sense tells us would be colder!

    BTW Thanks Ant-nee..I have to keep the videos short(tough for me, lol)

  98. Willis Eschenbach (03:06:44) :
    Well, I got to wondering just what temperature sensors we do have in the Arctic. It seemed to me that reaching out to 250 km, Hansen couldn’t be covering that much above 80°N … and it turns out he’s not.

    Figure W1. Coverage of the area north of 80°N, showing 250 km radius areas around ground temperature stations.

    Here’s your two miscellaneous factoids for today. A 1200 km radius circle is about the same size as the 80° N circle shown in the figure. It encompasses an area about three times the size of Alaska … and GISS is claiming that one single solitary temperature station is representative of that whole area.

    Not.
    ——————–
    Nice graphics !

    But you are missing the point that “temperature anomaly” is not the same as “temperature”. Yes, if you wanted weather forecasts for the Arctic, the coverage is pretty sparse. However, temperature anomalies are highly correlated over substantial geographical distances. This is why all the planetary datasets on warming speak of “anomalies” wrt some baseline average, rather than average temperatures. This fact underlies the GISS estimates of polar temperatures:

    We analyze surface air temperature data from available meteorological stations with principal focus on the period 1880-1985. The temperature changes at mid- and high latitude stations separated by less than 1000 km are shown to be highly correlated; at low latitudes the correlation falls off more rapidly with distance for nearby stations.
    The Journal of Geophysical Research paper describing why this methodology is good enough, in the absence of very expensive additional
    observation stations and 90 deg inclination polar orbit satellites, is here.

    If you can cite any research showing high resolution measurements in the Arctic (perhaps a few summers of ice breaker temperature measurements) proving this to be in error, please do so. Perhaps the Russians have done such studies.

  99. So when Joe Bastardi looks at the GISS map of the world, sees red, and wonders why we have a growing ice presence, the answer is in the choice of baseline and the choice of colors used to calculate and represent the anomaly.

    Why wonder about “a growing ice presence” when the data shows a steady decline over the last three decades (the satellite record) for the months in question?
    Dec -3.3%
    Jan -3.2%
    Feb -2.9%

    http://nsidc.org/cgi-bin/bist/bist.pl?annot=1&legend=1&scale=75&tab_cols=2&tab_rows=3&config=seaice_extent_trends&submit=Refresh&hemis0=N&img0=trnd&hemis1=N&img1=plot&mo0=12&year0=2010&mo1=01&year1=2010

    GISS seems to be stuck with Arctic positive anomaly…….
    Note that in the warmest places in the Arctic according to GISS, there are few if any land thermometers:

    Not only GISS, UAH shows the same trend for the NPole, the last three months referred to in the graphs (DJF) show large positive anomalies, and is independent of station density.

    Dec 09 1.98
    Jan 10 1.66
    Feb 10 2.32

  100. ” If it warms up about four more degrees as forecast by The Met office, we will no doubt have an ice age. ” ~S Goddard

    Ahhh, hah, ha haaa… that one got me ; ) Good one~

  101. Now with these investigations going on at CRU IPCC and such why don’t the investigators call in some of the more prominent skeptics? Oh stupid me I know why.

    I find it interesting as we develope into a more so called educated urban society, we seem to be getting stupider.

  102. Alexander (01:54:45) : No roses in UK?

    How darned hot do they think it is going to get? For example Fort Worth has several public displays, such as this:

    http://dallas.about.com/od/recreation/ig/Oval-Rose-Garden/index_g.htm

    The oval rose garden at the Fort Worth Botanic Gardens is a great place to view roses that grow well in this area and get an idea of what will look good in your landscape.

    Ian H (00:47:48) : who cares what idiots think.
    Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself. Mark Twain

    Basil (04:58:20) : The WMO and time base for normals

    That is interesting. I’ve been using the Western Regional Climate Center data set for the western USA for so long it didn’t occur to me that it was not a uniform practice. There (WRCC), in fact, they provide a 1971 – 2000 data set and one for 1961 – 1990. Links to these are shown in the left frame for the Seattle station here:

    http://www.wrcc.dri.edu/cgi-bin/cliMAIN.pl?wa7488

  103. esin (09:21:08) :

    ” If it warms up about four more degrees as forecast by The Met office, we will no doubt have an ice age. ” ~S Goddard

    Ahhh, hah, ha haaa… that one got me ; ) Good one~
    ————-
    Reply:
    Laugh, my unsuspecting ones. Mother Nature will have the last laugh–the next ice age shows signs of beginning even as we speak. It isn’t “warming” that will do in the earth’s population.

  104. Phil. (08:52:06) :,

    Joe is standing at the top of the hill looking down. You’re still standing at the bottom of the hill looking up. Come on up, the air is fine. ;)

  105. Maybe somebody pointed this out, but folks at NASA ought to know that you cannot accurately represent data on the sphere with a Mercator style flat projection. In astrophysics, the Aitoff Equal Area Projection is used. This distorts the surface of the sphere on to a roughtly ellipsoidal plane — but it maintains equal areas in the distortion and the human eye responds to the area strongly when forming a perception of planar density. And please stop interpolating — interpolation does not create data.

  106. Anu (08:35:24) :
    Arctic ice is still way below the 1979 to 2000 average extent:

    But small respites from the frenetic pace of melting is welcome.
    ———–
    REPLY: Dear Anu, please take a deep, relaxing breath and try to relax.

    Reviewing the link you provided (which I also post regularly), we see that the trend of Arctic sea ice extent is approaching levels where it is statistically indistinguishable from the years prior to 2007, when Arctic winds moved much of the ice out of the basin (per Anthony’s post a few days ago).

    Arctic ice is recovering nicely, and as discussed above, the severe lack of measurement accuracy in the Arctic throws your argument about the “frenetic pace of melting” in doubt.

  107. Hypothetically speaking, the temps at those hotspots could be -30 but if baseline was -33, they would still be shown in red?

  108. oe Bastardi (08:49:25) :
    For the record, I know the answer and it has to do with exactly what Anthony
    added. But I want viewers to go dig and find out for themselves. To do that, one must raise the question first… and hopefully the rationale, objective viewer can make the connection that something is amiss here.

    Again its a simply argument.. lets watch the temp with the change of the PDO and in the coming years, the amo, and see if we are where we were back at the start of the satellite era, the late 70s, which by the way was the END of the last cold PDO and in the middle of a cold AMO, which common sense tells us would be colder!

    BTW Thanks Ant-nee..I have to keep the videos short(tough for me, lol)

    The answer is the anomaly is a difference between measurements and an arbitrary baseline. The amount of the anomaly depends upon what baseline is used and how the temperature is measured and/or estimated. It could be well below the freezing point of seawater and still be recorded as an anomaly.

    The colors chosen make it appear the Arctic is feverish, while most of us would consider it still damn cold.

    Climate is more than temperature. How is the cloud cover? Amount of sunlight? Precipitation? The temperature anomaly map tells us none of these things.

  109. Joe Bastardi (08:49:25) :

    Yes, something is terribly amiss with GISS.
    Nothing is quite as bad as GISS. I can use some CRU station data, but GISS is a basket case.

  110. Joe, Joe, just got the answer to your dilemma from some of the AGW proponents themselves in so many words: “Mother Nature just doesn’t know what the @$#% she is doing, NASA does!”

    Welcome to OZ, Joe! ;-()

  111. Richard M said (to RR Kampken):

    “Are you really claiming that we won’t see a huge increase in “older” ice this summer?”

    ____

    Don’t know what he was saying, but you should define what you mean by “huge” and also, it can only increase to a point in the summer…before it melts…but as a percentage of the total ice, no doubt the older multi-year ice will make a come back this summer, and relative to the very low levels of older ice we saw the past few years, the increase will be “huge”, but relative to the historic levels of multi-year ice, going back more than just a few years, the amount will still be less…and a warm summer in the arctic will melt a lot of it, regardless.

  112. Hmmm….

    For one thing you have completely sidetracked the truth that in his video Bastari clearly does not undertand that the graphic he is working with is of temperature anomalies. He states sarcastically at the end that ” water must now be freezing at 34 degrees ” He clearly thinks the graphic shows absolute warmth. That a professional “long-range forcaster” is not intimately familiar with the nature of a graphic that NASA puts out monthly shows what a clown he truly is.

    To your point that choosing the baseline period will effect the size and (positive/negative) sign of the anomoly compared to it…. well… DUH.

    So? Since the current decade from 1999 to 2009 is the warmest decade in the modern record it would seem that most months in that decade and future months are going to appear warmer… its just a matter of how warm. Its true that if we were to choose 1979-2009 as our baseline, current graphics would appear “less red”. You seem to be insinuating that the choice of the base years of 1951-1980 is a choice made in order to make these graphics look “more warm”… but you don’t really provide any evidence for that other than the fact you don’t like the choice because that period showed some slight cooling the record. I don’t really know the history in the choice but I suspect that since global warming science really expanded in the 80’s, its a historical artifact of these anomaly graphics that has been retained since that period. The fact that people like yourself want to refer to 1979-2009 instead actually demonstrates that you would like to hide or diminish the effect of these anomaly graphics by refering to a warmer period… that you find the truth that there is very significant warming since 1959-80 really inconvenient… and want to hide that truth….to the extent that you can.

    The fact remains that the globe is warming and that the vast majority of climate scientists maintain that it will continue to warm as long as we alter the greenhouse gas composition of our atmosphere.

  113. “how can we have above normal temperatures in the Arctic and the Antarctic and continue to add to the global sea ice trend?”

    It’s possible if you live in the land behind the looking glass. Anything’s possible, if you just report on it, it makes it true, and if you put it in an IPCC Assessment Report, it gains the truth content of tautology.

  114. Thnks for this copious post. However, without being sarcastic, I’ve made my own research as to the connection between increased energy and electricity consumption, average temperatures and the occurence of ice: since the 1950s not only has energy consumption and hence, due to it being mostly fossile fuel, CO2 emission increased. AT THE SAME TIME ice has multiplied in living rooms and kitchens. It got so bad that the average US refrigerator now comes with an ice crusher built in. So, don’t fret, it’s perfectly normal that ice occurences and sightings increase with warming.

  115. Don’t see the problem – just look at the daily-updated JAXA Arctic sea ice graph in the right-hand column – 2010 is EXACTLY in the middle of the 2002-2009 spread.
    Do the Japanese do one for the Antarctic, too..?

  116. John F. Hultquist (23:15:31) :

    (…) Next year should see the use of this new period as the normal. They have made it high, now we will see what they can do to keep their anomalies above average.

    You wouldn’t be the first to consider that little problem. Don’t worry though, I’m fairly sure a plausible set of “corrections” to the offending data will be found. (especially if we have entered a cooling period)

    Those suggesting that base lines don’t matter

    Take a look at this station. Does it matter (for this station alone) what period we choose for our base? Using ’30-’60 means that we have had 6/7 decades of “blue” anomalies and ’60-’90 means we have been warming alarmingly for the last thirty years.

    Let’s play “trends”. To a scientist in 1970 looking at the “trend” where will we be in 1990? To a scientist in 1990 (or 1910) where will we be in 2010?

    Note: (to the criminally contrary) Reykjavik is not offered as proof or otherwise of “global warming”. But is Reykjavik “warmer” or “colder”?

  117. R. Gates (07:13:33),

    A classic example of psychological projection:

    Here’s the thing about being blinded by whatever certainty you have in your mind– you will take the smallest bit of data and try to make it fit your preconception. What is even worse is when the data that you’re trying to analyze has been intentionally or unintentionally selected to give a certainty perception.

    The basic alarmist conjecture is that a rise in CO2 will cause runaway global warming and climate catastrophe [CO2=CAGW]. That must be the conjecture, because if, as the planet is showing us, CO2 does not cause temperature to rise measurably, then there is no crisis, and the CAGW conjecture can be disregarded as falsified.

    To debunk Gates’ accusation that scientific skeptics take ‘the smallest bit of data’ and make it fit our ‘preconception,’ I will provide a wealth of contrary data below. If Mr Gates would like more data showing that the current climate is entirely explained by natural variability without adding the extraneous entity of CO2, I have it available for the asking.

    Since Mr Gates is fixated as usual on the Arctic, let’s begin by looking at Arctic temperatures back to 1958: click. Notice that temperatures this year, last year, and for the last several decades look amazingly similar for this time of year [click on the years to compare].

    What we are seeing at the poles is simply natural climate variability. Increases in temperature caused by carbon dioxide are so insignificant that they are too small to be measured, despite a one-third increase in carbon dioxide [almost all of which is not due to human activity, but rather, to the planet's natural emergence from the LIA]. Note that as CO2 increases at the South Pole, the temperature is decreasing: click1, click2, click3, click4

    Further, there is no correlation between rises in CO2 and subsequent rises in temperature: click1, click2, click3

    Gates pounces on a few years of natural fluctuation like a chicken on a junebug, hoping to convince us that entirely natural climate variability is instead proof of approaching runaway global warming due to CO2. But let’s look at some longer timelines before accepting that cherry-picked assumption: click1, click2, click3, click4, click5

    As we see, the current climate is benign, and well within the parameters of natural variability. Nothing unusual is happening.

    The climate has been in a very long term gradual cooling trend, interrupted by episodes of temporary warming. On shorter time scales, the media regularly panics impressionable folks like Gates whenever the climate flips from a warming to cooling phase, or vice versa: click

    Over the past several decades the North Pole has been ice free at times. But it is currently frozen over. How is that possible, since CO2 is rising?

    The answer, of course, is that sea ice is primarily a function of winds and currents, not CO2 or temperature. A fraction of a degree rise in global temperature over the past century is not sufficient to melt the polar ice caps, which are far below freezing. The cause of the natural fluctuations is changes in winds, currents and precipitation.

    CAGW was never a theory. It is actually a conjecture. To even rise to the status of a hypothesis, those promoting it must “open the books” on the raw data, code and methods they used to construct their hypothesis. But they refuse.

    Since they hide these essentials, the reasonable conclusion is that they must know that their conjecture would become a falsified hypothesis. They seem to think it is better to be seen as being devious, rather than to be publicly falsified after the $billions they have taken to promote their CO2 scare. They have put themselves in a tough position, and no one but the gullible and credulous trusts them any more.

  118. Smokey,
    I misssed Gates post. I thought he summed up pretty well the problems with AGW. I did not realize Gates was trying to defend AGW by projecting AGW community practice on to skeptics.

    Fascinating.

    Your essay is excellent, by the way.

  119. R. Gates (10:56:38) :

    Richard M said (to RR Kampken):

    “Are you really claiming that we won’t see a huge increase in “older” ice this summer?”

    ____

    Don’t know what he was saying, but you should define what you mean by “huge” and also, it can only increase to a point in the summer…before it melts…but as a percentage of the total ice, no doubt the older multi-year ice will make a come back this summer, and relative to the very low levels of older ice we saw the past few years, the increase will be “huge”, but relative to the historic levels of multi-year ice, going back more than just a few years, the amount will still be less…and a warm summer in the arctic will melt a lot of it, regardless.

    RR kampen was claiming a continued reduction in older ice simply because it had been declining. Obviously, looking closely at the data gives a different view. It appears we are mostly in agreement … except for your last sentence.

    You need to look at typical Arctic summer temperatures. There is very little variance year to year. It will have little effect on the ice. Also, check out the concentration of the ice compared to 2007. You will see much more of it is around 100% ice. This will melt slower and we may be seeing a developing La Nina by that time. Not only that but ocean temperatures are probably more important than air temperatures. Of course, the winds will probably be the biggest factor, but all-in-all it’s looking good for another increase in ice extent this year.

  120. Anthony,

    Odd that you mention the 1901-2000 baseline, since it gives results that are functionally identical to the 1951-1980 baseline: http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j237/hausfath/Picture210.png

    For the anomaly maps, I agree that it matters somewhat to the pattern of anomalies shown (since there could be regional differences in certain baselines and not others). My point was that the distribution of blue vs. red depends both on the scale chosen for red/blue as well as the baseline. The difference between the 1951-1980 and 1979-1998 anomaly maps in the original post isn’t really that noticeable, and changing the range of numbers associated with specific colors has a larger visual impact than changing the colors (e.g. make dark red start at 8 C instead of 4 C and it will look a lot cooler).

    I guess my real question is: does any particular baseline pose a compelling case for use? E.g. is there any reason why 1961-1990 is particularly better than 1951-1980? If you accept the argument that anthropogenic forcing first start clearly dominating natural variability post-1975, it makes sense to have a baseline prior to the modern warming period. Or pick 1901-2000 if you want since it covers the whole century, but you will end up with annual anomalies that are almost identical to 1951-1980 (since the 1901-2000 mean is close to the 1951-1980 mean).

  121. “Can anyone help me with this analysis:

    http://tamino.wordpress.com/2010/02/25/false-claims-proven-false/

    From a quick once over :
    He doesn’t link to the data sets used
    He doesn’t disclose the methodology used to calculate his overall mean
    There are no confidence limits or error bounds
    There is no dicussion of variability
    There is no discussion of data quality
    There is no discussion of how missing data is processed in the overall mean calculation
    There is no critique about assumptions, shortcomings and possible improvements in the analysis.

    Sloppy, might be amusing if submitted in crayon by a kindergarten student…

    Mr Goddard, Mr Watts, did I miss anything…?

  122. To answer Bastardi’s question, anomalies 6.4 C above normal for February are still well below freezing in the arctic, so we wouldn’t expect it to have a huge impact on winter sea ice extent one way or another. Winter sea ice extents are probably more influenced by the magnitude of the prior summer melt than the temperatures during the depths of the current winter, as long as they do not exceed freezing.

    Anomalies 6.4 C above normal for August would a much larger impact on sea ice extent.

  123. >>>Ric Werme (06:30:06) :
    >>>IT’S NOT A MERCATOR PROJECTION!!!!!

    I get your point, but even if it is only a lat-long plot, it is still stretching the poles from an incy-wincy spot to a whacking great area the same as the equator.

    The red spots at the poles still end up much bigger than they should be.

    .

  124. Although this post focuses on the polar extremes, it’s also interesting to note the lack of temperature readings in Africa/Middle East – the only other “red” section on the map. Is it just me, or does that red zone seem to almost “follow” the areas of low measurement sites? It’d be interesting to look at the raw data from some of the few sites in that area, because I’m guessing they get a lot of “weight” in the analysis being isolated, and even just one or two stations having unwarranted warming “adjustments” might lead to a dramatically different looking graph.

    What’s also interesting is that Russia (with a strong cooling trend) has a fairly sparse data set, but its coverage is still nearly adequate/complete (see the 250 km plot).

    Also, does this data suffer from the Antarctica “cherry picking” problem that was reported on WUWT a few months ago?

    -Scott

  125. Very interesting and educational .Thanks Joe Bastardi. We get nothing like this from the UK Met Office all we get is manmade global warming telling us we are going to have to prepare for climate change, the climate in the uk has changed very little over the last 100 years why would it change in the next 50 years.

  126. Anu, you can’t be proposing that a comparison of ice thickness between 2004 and 2008 makes for climate warming?!?!?!? Okay. If you want to call weather pattern variation “climate”, fine. I think you are wrong but you have a right to your opinion. But that means you cannot complain when someone says that it has been cooling for 4 years and then tell them their observation cannot be correlated to climate change.

  127. There is also a lot of cartographical tomfoolery with the projections these scientists use. Cylandrical projections are typical really poor for showing distribution areas (this looks like a Gall projection, close cousin of Mercator), a great global distribution projection is Goodes which would much more honest for presenting this data. Or at least a Robinson which almost halves the area distortion at the poles. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robinson_projection

  128. Why not calculate the baseline over the entire domain instead of just a part of it? That would make the anomoly more meaningful as a deviation from the average of the entire period.

  129. Maybe you should have some fun with GISS charting. I tried, determined to find some way, at some time, to turn the arctic area blue. Well I finally found one:

    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/gistemp/do_nmap.py?year_last=2010&month_last=2&sat=4&sst=0&type=anoms&mean_gen=1203&year1=1922&year2=1924&base1=1933&base2=1935&radius=1200&pol=reg

    Just change the anomaly base to some arbitrary year span, or even one year as 1980-1980 and year range to something like 1972-1972. Walla (sometimes it seems not to have enough thermometers though).

    Some might say that is the anomaly base, it could be, but just south of Leningrad must have been scorching if the arctic was actually hot.

    But you know that chart above is quirky, I read an article someone put up here month’s ago of 1922 (I think) was when the arctic was too hot for the seals, ice was gone, etc. And see Perth and Sydney, I’ve done 30 or so charts and the always are opposite. Kind of like they are hardwired, either into GISS data and software or Mother Nature’s view of Earth. And pay attention to that Zonal Map, not sure if it reports or if it controls.

    Have fun! Save copies. Never know when you might need them some day to pick you up with a smile! ;-)

  130. Please! Temperatures tell nothing about warming on average. Local temperatures cannot be averaged to prove global warming.
    Higher temperatures in the Arctic has nothing to do with whether the Earth is heating up or not.
    If heat is transferred from a region with a higher temperature to a region with a lower temperature, the average temperature will increase but there is no energy added.
    It is easy. Take a VERY simplified thought experiment. Picture two equal regions, one at +25C, another at -25C. Transfer heat from the hotter to the colder so that the hotter remains at +20. The colder region will experience a rise in temperature that is higher than 5 degrees. Because there is so much less humidity there, the relative humidity is much lower and requires less heat in order to rise in temperature.
    No wonder when the latitudes around middle Europe and the US cool, then some polar regions will grow much hotter.
    Or am I perfectly in the dark? Please tell.

  131. “So if I used a 30 year slice of temperature 11,000 years before the present as a baseline period, our GISTEMP map would look something like this: (See Chart Above and the one above this sentence.)”
    _____________________
    Why not use the Holocene Northern Hemisphere temperature average, looks like 15.5C using my calibrated eyeball, and go from there. Looks like the “modern” era (aka – 20th&21st Century) is fairly “average”. Why not have an international agreement, signed in Copenhagen of course, which stipulates that 15.5C is average and Clobal Warming occures when we hit 17C; at which time, the UN will find a Goreacle to guide it and the World on what we should do then.

  132. Geir in Norway (15:10:08) :

    No you’re not wrong.

    If a humid area cools & then an arid area warms, assuming the energy balance has not changed, the arid area will warm more than the humid area cooled.

    Several of us have been pointing this out for some time.

    Temperature is a totally useless metric for energy in the atmosphere.

    DaveE.

  133. CRS, Dr.P.H. (10:14:06) :

    REPLY: Dear Anu, please take a deep, relaxing breath and try to relax.

    Reviewing the link you provided (which I also post regularly), we see that the trend of Arctic sea ice extent is approaching levels where it is statistically indistinguishable from the years prior to 2007, when Arctic winds moved much of the ice out of the basin (per Anthony’s post a few days ago).
    —————–
    “approaching levels where it is statistically indistinguishable from the years prior to 2007″ = slightly above 2 standard deviations below this 1979-2000 average line

    Let’s look at how important 2 standard deviations are, shall we ?

    http://www.iqcomparisonsite.com/IQBasics.aspx

    Two standard deviations below normal is an IQ of 68.
    Moron is 50 to 69.
    In standard deviation terms, the ice is right around “moron” and “borderline retarded”. 2006-2007 was “imbecile” territory.
    We’ll be seeing “idiot” in a few years.

    Some people don’t think that’s worrying, in the Arctic ice, or their neighbors, co-workers and fellow citizens.
    But I do.

  134. Geir in Norway (15:10:08)

    Your comment makes sense at the basic level, and I hadn’t thought of it that way before. However, you’re simply working with air temperature and thermal conductivity. Remember, it’s not just the air temperature that’s changing, it’s also the local surface. Imagine the steady-state (yes, a very simplified example) change in air temperature right about a lake. The total change in energy from -1C to +1C would be enormous and totally dwarf a 5C change elsewhere. Maybe polar cap extents are better measures than temperatures for those regions?

    That said, maybe we should just be taking ocean surface temperature measurements worldwide. Because the heat capacity of water is so much higher than most other things, it may not suffer from these effects so badly (notable exception at 0C, of course).

    -Scott

  135. Anu (08:50:57)

    Nice graphics !

    But you are missing the point that “temperature anomaly” is not the same as “temperature”. Yes, if you wanted weather forecasts for the Arctic, the coverage is pretty sparse. However, temperature anomalies are highly correlated over substantial geographical distances. This is why all the planetary datasets on warming speak of “anomalies” wrt some baseline average, rather than average temperatures. This fact underlies the GISS estimates of polar temperatures:

    We analyze surface air temperature data from available meteorological stations with principal focus on the period 1880-1985. The temperature changes at mid- and high latitude stations separated by less than 1000 km are shown to be highly correlated; at low latitudes the correlation falls off more rapidly with distance for nearby stations.

    The Journal of Geophysical Research paper describing why this methodology is good enough, in the absence of very expensive additional observation stations and 90 deg inclination polar orbit satellites, is here.

    That is an excellent paper. Yes, the annual changes in temperature are correlated out to a very great distance. That is true. But there is something which neither you nor GISS seem to have noticed about the Hansen paper you cite.

    To illustrate the problem, here are five pseudo temperature records:


    Figure W2. Five pseudo-temperature anomalies. Note the difference in the trends.

    Now, what is curious about this pseudo-temperature data is that they are very similar. However, they are different both in shape and in trends. So how are they similar?

    Well, here’s the answer:


    Figure W3. Correlations between the five pseudo-temperature anomalies shown in Figure W2.

    The similarity is that each one is highly correlated with every other one. Note that the smallest correlation between any pair of these is 0.91 … yet despite that, the trends are all over the board.

    This is the problem with the GISS method, and is just the tip of the iceberg. Remember that all of these have a correlation greater than 0.9. But in the paper you cite it shows that the average correlation at 1200 km is only 0.5, and is as low as zero.

    So I’m afraid I’m not impressed by Hansen’s logic. He shows annual correlation, and makes an unsubstantiated jump to trends. As Fig. W2 and the correlation table shows, this jump is totally unjustified. In other words, we cannot use the fact that the individual years are correlated to say one single word about the trends, as GISS does.

    Thanks for posting that citation, Anu. I have always been skeptical about using one station to represent the trend for a giant area. But until today, I never realized what was wrong with it, so I couldn’t prove mathematically why it was bogus.

  136. Not a scientist just your average garden variety, educated business bloke, that’s me. Some times I can’t make head nor tail out of these conflicting media reports so I fall back on my own observations as a start point.

    It seems to me that the warmists are impatient for results to show how correct they are and this in itself is bringing them undone. It must be so frustrating when arctic and antarctic ice won’t follow the plot.

    Likewise, in Australia pretty well every month we are told the preceding month has been the hottest on record. But they don’t feel any hotter, and I distinctly remember longer drier spells going back to my childhood. I’m surprised to discover those past temps are now recorded as cooler than reported at the time. As time goes by more and more people are going to see that the reality is widely different from the predictions.

    It is 24degrees C in Melbourne today. I wonder in 5 years time what temperature they have recorded for Melbourne 25 March 2010?

    Randy

  137. Randy Del Horno (17:50:17) :

    I’m surprised to discover those past temps are now recorded as cooler than reported at the time. As time goes by more and more people are going to see that the reality is widely different from the predictions.

    BINGO

    You’ve just discovered BoM, GISS & CRU.

    Congratulations.

    DaveE.

  138. Does anyone know of any research on the relationship, if any, between cosmic ray activity and solar activity. Do cosmic rays trigger more nuclear reactions, or less, or what?

  139. Joe Bastardi was our weatherman on local radio (even though he was in State College, Penn) for a good long while, back when I was young. By that experience, I take notes when Joe talks.
    He points out the inconsistency that I myself have been mentioning lately:
    This link (below) shows you that, 1. Last year (orange line) the acrtic ice was at record highs in May. 2. The summer arctic ice minimum in 2009 was 25% MORE than in 2007. 3. The arctic ice is ABOVE average right now!

    http://www.ijis.iarc.uaf.edu/en/home/seaice_extent.htm

  140. Richard M (09:56:39) :
    Phil. (08:52:06) :,

    Joe is standing at the top of the hill looking down. You’re still standing at the bottom of the hill looking up. Come on up, the air is fine. ;)

    Well I don’t know what this gibberish is supposed to mean. I however am looking at the data, Joe apparently is not.

  141. Phil. (20:34:57) : edit

    Richard M (09:56:39) :

    Phil. (08:52:06) :,

    Joe is standing at the top of the hill looking down. You’re still standing at the bottom of the hill looking up. Come on up, the air is fine. ;)

    Well I don’t know what this gibberish is supposed to mean. I however am looking at the data, Joe apparently is not.

    Phil, thanks for the link you gave above. I suspect that what he means is that Joe (and others) are looking at the recent data, while you are looking at a 30-year trend. Here’s the anomaly up to the present.

    Figure W4. Arctic sea ice anomaly, from Cryosphere Today.

    As you can see, while the decline was steady until 2007, since then the ice has been recovering.

    There’s a bigger problem, though, which is that the Arctic ice has only been measured by satellite since 1979. Here’s the longest-term Arctic temperature record I know of, from Polyakov et al.:

    Figure W5. Arctic temperatures

    I’m sure you can see the problem, which is that when we look at 1979 on we are only measuring a small part of the variable Arctic changes. Looking at the larger picture reduces the need to over-react to what appears to be natural variation in temperature …

  142. @Willis Eschenbach (17:18:05) :

    Is Ps2 a constant value of 0.5 ?
    Wouldn’t that make the correlation coefficient with Ps1, Ps3, Ps4 and Ps5 undefined ?

    But it’s a good idea to look at what the correlations might actually mean. Ps4 and Ps5 look pretty good – if you had no other data for a few decades, it’s a better guess than plugging in the global average temperature anomaly for that grid location, which CRU does. Back in the 80’s, they were trying to adapt existing longterm weather data for new climate concerns. Today, global measurements are getting much better, such as Argo ocean armadas of floats, and multiple satellites measuring various climate data.

    Plus, the paper I gave you is from 1987, when satellite data was quite young. GISS now uses such data for ocean coverage, which includes the Arctic Ocean.

    So I’m afraid I’m not impressed by Hansen’s logic. He shows annual correlation, and makes an unsubstantiated jump to trends.
    Those correlations were based on station pairings that had at least 50 years of data, so correlation over time is exactly what they measured. I’m sure they did similar analyses for monthly correlations too – try Google Scholar if you’re interested, it’s too late for me.

    It would be nice to see actual measurements of Arctic temperatures at a high resolution for a few decades, and nail down how the temperature anomalies are related over the months and years. I’m sure someone wouldn’t mind paying tens of $millions to try and show Hansen’s approach is no better than guessing ‘average global warming’ for that month.

    http://www.lanl.gov/source/orgs/ees/ees14/pdfs/09Chlylek.pdf

    Let’s say the 12 high Arctic ground stations mentioned in this paper had temperature anomaly trends similar to your above Ps1, 3, 4 and 5, with respect to regions out to 1200 km from the station. Let’s say, after the methodology for combining overlapping station coverage given in that paper I cited before, that they guess some monthly Arctic surface temperature anomalies wrong for the old, sparse data years (pre-satellite coverage).

    Perhaps this raises or lowers the true baseline temperature anomaly in 1951 to 1980 for these sparse gridpoints by what, 0.1 deg C, 0.5 deg C ?
    In the satellite era of measurement, the warming wrt these estimated baselines is real, and the warming in the Arctic shown by this is larger than in other parts of the planet.

    Thanks for posting that citation, Anu. I have always been skeptical about using one station to represent the trend for a giant area. But until today, I never realized what was wrong with it, so I couldn’t prove mathematically why it was bogus.
    I’m glad you enjoyed the 1987 paper.
    Perhaps the Arctic temperature anomalies were not going up and down as much as they thought back in the pre-satellite days. Maybe nobody looked at the agreement of ship-based measurements during these decades with estimates based on far-away land stations. I doubt it, but it’s possible.

    Even today, satellite coverage is only up to 82.5 deg N. Perfectly polar orbits are expensive to achieve. Maybe that tiny, sparsely measured bit of Arctic is doing some wild, unexpected temperature changes…

    Measurements get better and better, but then you have to relate it to the old data.

  143. @Willis Eschenbach (22:03:20) :

    The Arctic ice average 1979-2000 is higher than 1979-2009, since the ice has been melting a lot recently:

    Show a plot for Northern Hemispher Sea Ice Anomaly with the 1979-2000 mean, and the “recovery” is less:

    And where did Polyakov et al.: find Arctic temperature anomaly data from 1870 to 1979 that meets your high standards for reliability ? Do they have some secret sources that GISS is not aware of ? Are they merely averaging over a handful of station data from Alaska, Russia and Norway ? I’m surprised you accept this ancient data so readily… Perhaps the true Arctic temperature anomalies lie on the green line all the way back to 1875. Hard to say, given the sparse coverage up there, and the unknown correlation of temperature anomalies :-)

  144. Anu (22:49:55)
    @Willis Eschenbach (17:18:05) :

    Is Ps2 a constant value of 0.5 ?
    Wouldn’t that make the correlation coefficient with Ps1, Ps3, Ps4 and Ps5 undefined ?

    No, it rises steadily, but very slowly.

    But it’s a good idea to look at what the correlations might actually mean. Ps4 and Ps5 look pretty good – if you had no other data for a few decades, it’s a better guess than plugging in the global average temperature anomaly for that grid location, which CRU does. Back in the 80’s, they were trying to adapt existing longterm weather data for new climate concerns. Today, global measurements are getting much better, such as Argo ocean armadas of floats, and multiple satellites measuring various climate data.

    I’m not sure what your point is here. Global data is better now, that’s true. I don’t think CRU uses global average temperature anomalies for empty grids, I’d have to see a citation for that. Global measurements are getting better, but there is still little data in the Arctic. There are no Argo floats there, for example.

    Plus, the paper I gave you is from 1987, when satellite data was quite young. GISS now uses such data for ocean coverage, which includes the Arctic Ocean.

    Nope. They use the Reynolds and Smith data, which doesn’t include the Arctic Ocean.


    So I’m afraid I’m not impressed by Hansen’s logic. He shows annual correlation, and makes an unsubstantiated jump to trends.

    Those correlations were based on station pairings that had at least 50 years of data, so correlation over time is exactly what they measured. I’m sure they did similar analyses for monthly correlations too – try Google Scholar if you’re interested, it’s too late for me.

    Measuring the correlation of two datasets always includes time. My pseudo datasets above show the correlation for the period 1990-2010. But that does not mean that they are measuring the correlation of the trends. That’s what I show above, that measuring the correlation of two datasets (whether monthly or annual datasets) does not mean that the trends are similar.

    It would be nice to see actual measurements of Arctic temperatures at a high resolution for a few decades, and nail down how the temperature anomalies are related over the months and years. I’m sure someone wouldn’t mind paying tens of $millions to try and show Hansen’s approach is no better than guessing ‘average global warming’ for that month.

    Again, I don’t think anyone uses “average global warming” to infill the Arctic. Here’s Kevin Trenberth from the CRU emails:

    My understanding is that the biggest source of this discrepancy is the way the Arctic is analyzed. We know that the sea ice was at record low values, 22% lower than the previous low in 2005. Some sea temperatures and air temperatures were as much as 7C above normal. But most places there is no conventional data. In NASA [GISS] they extrapolate and build in the high temperatures in the Arctic. In the other records they do not. They use only the data available and the rest is missing.

    So only GISS does this nonsense. Next, you say:

    Let’s say the 12 high Arctic ground stations mentioned in this paper had temperature anomaly trends similar to your above Ps1, 3, 4 and 5, with respect to regions out to 1200 km from the station. Let’s say, after the methodology for combining overlapping station coverage given in that paper I cited before, that they guess some monthly Arctic surface temperature anomalies wrong for the old, sparse data years (pre-satellite coverage).

    Perhaps this raises or lowers the true baseline temperature anomaly in 1951 to 1980 for these sparse gridpoints by what, 0.1 deg C, 0.5 deg C ?

    Well, we don’t know, do we, that’s my point … but the issue is not the guess for the old, sparse years. It is the assumption that you can estimate trends in a radius of 1200 km.

    In the satellite era of measurement, the warming wrt these estimated baselines is real, and the warming in the Arctic shown by this is larger than in other parts of the planet.

    Since (as you point out below) the satellites only go to 82.5N, I’m not sure what you mean by this.


    Thanks for posting that citation, Anu. I have always been skeptical about using one station to represent the trend for a giant area. But until today, I never realized what was wrong with it, so I couldn’t prove mathematically why it was bogus.

    I’m glad you enjoyed the 1987 paper.
    Perhaps the Arctic temperature anomalies were not going up and down as much as they thought back in the pre-satellite days. Maybe nobody looked at the agreement of ship-based measurements during these decades with estimates based on far-away land stations. I doubt it, but it’s possible.

    Even today, satellite coverage is only up to 82.5 deg N. Perfectly polar orbits are expensive to achieve. Maybe that tiny, sparsely measured bit of Arctic is doing some wild, unexpected temperature changes…

    Measurements get better and better, but then you have to relate it to the old data.

    True … but what does that have to do with extrapolating trends out 1200 km from the nearest station?

  145. Anu (23:18:40)

    @Willis Eschenbach (22:03:20) :

    The Arctic ice average 1979-2000 is higher than 1979-2009, since the ice has been melting a lot recently:

    Show a plot for Northern Hemispher Sea Ice Anomaly with the 1979-2000 mean, and the “recovery” is less:

    http://nsidc.org/data/seaice_index/images/n_plot_hires.png

    The recovery is identical no matter which baseline you use. If it goes up by a million square kilometres, it goes up by a million square kilometres.

    Regarding your first plot, you might want to look at something more up to date. Climate data by tradition is evaluated against a 30-year average, and we finally have more than thirty years of satellite data. As a result, the baseline for that chart is 1979-2008. If you want to use a shorter time period, that’s up to you, but thirty years is what is generally used in climate science.

    And where did Polyakov et al.: find Arctic temperature anomaly data from 1870 to 1979 that meets your high standards for reliability ? Do they have some secret sources that GISS is not aware of ? Are they merely averaging over a handful of station data from Alaska, Russia and Norway ? I’m surprised you accept this ancient data so readily… Perhaps the true Arctic temperature anomalies lie on the green line all the way back to 1875. Hard to say, given the sparse coverage up there, and the unknown correlation of temperature anomalies :-)

    Well, you know, that’s why I provide citations to my sources, so you can examine them and answer these kinds of questions rather than read my (perhaps mistaken) interpretation of them, and make your own judgements on them.

    Me, I don’t accept anything “readily”, and if you have a better long-term arctic temperature record, bring it on, I welcome it.

    Thanks for your thoughts,

    w.

  146. Willis:

    You might be interested then in looking at the case of Alert Canada. In the GHCN dataset the data only runs up to 1991, however the Environment Canada website has data through 2005. http://www.climate.weatheroffice.gc.ca/climateData/monthlydata_e.html?Prov=XX&timeframe=3&StationID=1731&Month=1&Day=1&Year=2005&cmdB1=Go

    you can get the the gridded trends (actual numbers not the guess by color) by Grid cell from the Gridded map page on the GISS map maker maps at the bottom left corner of the page (You can do the same thing for Anomalies as well, and you can get it in both 250Km and 1200Km infill):

    Downloads
    Download the global map as PDF or Postscript file.
    Download the zonal means plot as PDF or Postscript or text file.
    Download the gridded data as text, netCDF, or unformatted binary (help) file.

    Compare the Trend for the grid Alert is in to the Station data for the period 1951 to 1990 (graph out the GISS adjusted and Environment Canada yearly anomalies for the 51-80 baseline). You will find that the 250Km and 1200Km Trends are the same and they match the Alert Station data trend at -.42°C. When you let GISS infill that Grid cell post 1990 and look at the 1951-2005 trends for 250 Km and 1200Km infill you find a divergence. 250Km gives you -.32°C and 1200km 1.16°C. Then compare those two trends to the Environment Canada data which has a 1951 to 2005 trend of .4°C.

    When you do that you find that when GISS had a station in that grid it’s Gridded Cell trend matched the yearly anomaly trend for that station for both 250Km and 1200Km infill. When you don’t have that station after 1990/1 in the GISS data the 250 Km and 1200Km infill diverge, however having that data from Environment Canada lets us see that the GISS interpolation for both 250Km and 1200km do not match the trend of the actual station data.

    Because of that unique case of Alert being the only station in that grid cell (According to GISS there is 6 overlapping records for that same location) and having data past when GISS uses data for that Grid you can compare GISS infilling to actual data.

  147. Re: Richard M (07:18:19) :

    Logic?????? As you can see from your chart the amount of 1st ice increased significantly in 2008. This became a large increase in 2nd year ice in 2009. Are you really claiming that we won’t see a huge increase in “older” ice this summer? If you are then I can easily ignore all of your future posts. Only someone completely devoid of logic would make such a statement.

    You may be forgetting about the dynamic nature of the pack. So a continuing decrease in multiyear ice is quite possible even if the extent doesn’t decrease.

    You are also making a too wild induction, in thinking that one of my posts would render anything I ever say in future worth ignoring :)

  148. In reply to Humanity Rules:

    Why, precisely, do “trends” matter?

    There were several 1000-2000 year long periods during the last 11,000 years in which it was warmer than it currently is now. This warming trend did not continue unabated and fry the globe, instead, it was followed by significant periods of cooling.

    The current “trend” is no different. There are no “trends” in climate, only CYCLES.

  149. “multiple satellites measuring various climate data.”

    Satellites sensors are only accurate to 0.5Celsius, and monitor average temp over a 45km footprint.

  150. Richard M (07:18:19) :
    RR Kampen (01:29:02) :

    “Maybe the Arctic sea ice ‘recovered’ to some extent because it is winter.
    Also there was this peculiar temperature anomaly distribution associated with a record low NAO index.

    Likely all Arctic sea ice older than two or three years will be gone by September 2010. Because that, in reality, is the trend.
    http://nsidc.org/images/arcticseaicenews/20091005_Figure5_thumb.png

    Logic?????? As you can see from your chart the amount of 1st ice increased significantly in 2008. This became a large increase in 2nd year ice in 2009. Are you really claiming that we won’t see a huge increase in “older” ice this summer? If you are then I can easily ignore all of your future posts. Only someone completely devoid of logic would make such a statement.

    Actually only someone who thinks the Arctic ice is stationary and only melts in situ would make the statement you made.
    If you look at the 2009 image in the figure linked above you’ll see that the 2nd year ice and some MY ice is situated north of the Fram Strait.
    A MODIS image from yesterday shows that the ice in that region is substantially fragmented and being pushed out of the Fram to points south where it will melt later this year. By continuity that ice is being replaced by new ice upstream. Some really beautiful cloud streets in that image by the way.

    Here’s the latest 6-day drift for the Arctic which shows the regions of MY and 2nd year ice being pushed into a strong transpolar drift and out of the Fram:

    MODIS also shows the North water polynya is open with no ice bridge as in 2007 so that will also be a loss of MY ice.

    This normally doesn’t happen until May/June.
    It looks like 2010 is shaping up for a high loss of MY and 2nd year ice.

  151. @Willis Eschenbach (01:08:58) :

    I don’t think CRU uses global average temperature anomalies for empty grids, I’d have to see a citation for that.

    http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/data/temperature/

    I’m pretty sure I found it off this page, if you’re interested. I don’t have my notes with me at this computer…

    Nope. They use the Reynolds and Smith data, which doesn’t include the Arctic Ocean.
    A 1993 paper ? Perhaps in the late 80’s GISS didn’t use satellite data in the Arctic, but a more recent citation from late 2007:

    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/references.html

    Smith, T.M., R.W. Reynolds, Thomas C. Peterson, and Jay Lawrimore, 2008: Improvements to NOAA’s Historical Merged Land-Ocean Surface Temperature Analysis (1880-2006). Journal of Climate,21, 2283-2296.

    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/climate/research/sst/papers/SEA.temps08.pdf

    shows that they use the Pathfinder satellite data from the NOAA, and the paper above shows they explicitly deal with sea ice affects on SST in the Arctic.
    Pathfinder info can be found here:

    http://www.nodc.noaa.gov/sog/pathfinder4km/userguide.html

    Measuring the correlation of two datasets always includes time.
    Not true. You could look at the correlation of height and weight among all males in a certain region on a single day, for instance. If you’re saying all measurements occur at an actual time, this is trivially true.

    Again, I don’t think anyone uses “average global warming” to infill the Arctic.
    They use only the data available and the rest is missing.
    Yes, the hadcrut3gl.txt file shows the percentage of the planet that has been measured, e.g. 83% in January 2009.

    http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/data/temperature/hadcrut3gl.txt

    Calculating the temperature anomaly for the entire planet from 83% surface data, is equivalent to filling in the “missing” grids with planetary averages.
    If you find differently, please mention it here.

    So only GISS does this nonsense.
    Yes, only GISS tried to guesstimate the missing data in the era before satellite coverage, because their climate models made predictions for every grid on the planet and they wanted to compare the two. Hadley could just report what was measured, and leave large gaps in their data.

    Well, we don’t know, do we, that’s my point … but the issue is not the guess for the old, sparse years. It is the assumption that you can estimate trends in a radius of 1200 km.
    Fine, you’d rather have no estimated data in the gaps. Your choice.

    Since (as you point out below) the satellites only go to 82.5N, I’m not sure what you mean by this.
    My point is that once they get surface temperature data for that final 7.5 deg Arctic circle, you can argue that “previous data” was not full coverage, so perhaps the warming in the Arctic was less than they estimated for their 82.5 deg coverage. Or, maybe it was even warmer.
    As I say, measurements improve over time.

    True … but what does that have to do with extrapolating trends out 1200 km from the nearest station?
    It means as more money is spent on better measurement systems, the old techniques of guesstimating are no longer needed. Actual measurements trump proxies, optimal interpolation techniques, weighted averages, whatever.
    Then, people will say “but you only have x years of this new, great data. Not enough to prove a longterm trend”.
    You know the drill.

  152. @Willis Eschenbach (01:18:11) :

    And yet the comparison to a baseline value varies with different baselines:
    0.281 million sq km below one baseline, such as in the graph you gave, might be 0.600 million sq km below a different baseline.

    Wasn’t somebody just saying that different baselines make the temperature anomalies look more extreme ?
    I’m glad you see the value of “up to date” research – I wouldn’t want to fixate on 1987 or 1993 papers, for example…
    The chart I gave showed how the average is affected by including the recent, more extreme Arctic melting. This allows more perspective for the other NSIDC charts such as:

    which use the 1979-2000 averages.
    But quite right, 30 years and more is the time period of interest in climate studies. Now that they have 2009 data, perhaps future plots will all be made with the 1979-2009 baseline.

    Well, you know, that’s why I provide citations to my sources, so you can examine them and answer these kinds of questions rather than read my (perhaps mistaken) interpretation of them, and make your own judgements on them.
    Perhaps you intended to give a link to the paper ” Polyakov et al.:”, and gave a link to a textfile of data instead:

    http://www.frontier.iarc.uaf.edu/~igor/research/data/composite_sat_slp

    Since Polyakov has published many papers, I don’t know where this particular set of temperatures from 1875 onwards comes from, but you seem to trust the data, so I thought you would mention more about where they were from. I am curious how these old measurements could be better than anything GISS has – perhaps Russia has some data they are not sharing.
    I can’t say if the GISS record is “better” if I have no idea where your data came from.

    Cheers.

  153. Anu (14:46:07)

    @Willis Eschenbach (01:18:11) :

    And yet the comparison to a baseline value varies with different baselines:
    0.281 million sq km below one baseline, such as in the graph you gave, might be 0.600 million sq km below a different baseline.

    Wasn’t somebody just saying that different baselines make the temperature anomalies look more extreme ?

    If you are concerned with how it looks, fine, your point is well taken. I’m concerned with how it is, not how some particular baseline makes it look.


    Well, you know, that’s why I provide citations to my sources, so you can examine them and answer these kinds of questions rather than read my (perhaps mistaken) interpretation of them, and make your own judgements on them.

    Perhaps you intended to give a link to the paper ” Polyakov et al.:”, and gave a link to a textfile of data instead:

    http://www.frontier.iarc.uaf.edu/~igor/research/data/composite_sat_slp

    Since Polyakov has published many papers, I don’t know where this particular set of temperatures from 1875 onwards comes from, but you seem to trust the data, so I thought you would mention more about where they were from. I am curious how these old measurements could be better than anything GISS has – perhaps Russia has some data they are not sharing.
    I can’t say if the GISS record is “better” if I have no idea where your data came from.

    All you have to do is go up two steps in that link and you’ll find out … but you knew that already, I suspect. Or perhaps not, but that’s where the info is.

  154. Anu (11:50:50)

    @Willis Eschenbach (01:08:58) :

    I don’t think CRU uses global average temperature anomalies for empty grids, I’d have to see a citation for that.

    http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/data/temperature/

    I’m pretty sure I found it off this page, if you’re interested. I don’t have my notes with me at this computer…

    I didn’t find it there.


    Nope. They use the Reynolds and Smith data, which doesn’t include the Arctic Ocean.

    A 1993 paper ? Perhaps in the late 80’s GISS didn’t use satellite data in the Arctic, but a more recent citation from late 2007:

    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/references.html

    Smith, T.M., R.W. Reynolds, Thomas C. Peterson, and Jay Lawrimore, 2008: Improvements to NOAA’s Historical Merged Land-Ocean Surface Temperature Analysis (1880-2006). Journal of Climate,21, 2283-2296.

    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/climate/research/sst/papers/SEA.temps08.pdf

    shows that they use the Pathfinder satellite data from the NOAA, and the paper above shows they explicitly deal with sea ice affects on SST in the Arctic.
    Pathfinder info can be found here:

    http://www.nodc.noaa.gov/sog/pathfinder4km/userguide.html

    Still nope. They are concerned with sea surface temperature. They use the satellites to figure out ice concentration, and adjust the temperature towards the freezing point as there is more ice. When the ice is above 90%, they use -1.8°C (freezing point of sea water) for the sea surface temperature.

    But that tells us nothing about what we want to know, which is not the water temperature below the ice, but the air temperature above the ice.


    Measuring the correlation of two datasets always includes time.

    Not true. You could look at the correlation of height and weight among all males in a certain region on a single day, for instance. If you’re saying all measurements occur at an actual time, this is trivially true.

    Oh, please. This is meaningless nitpicking. We are discussing temperature datasets which include time.


    Again, I don’t think anyone uses “average global warming” to infill the Arctic.

    They use only the data available and the rest is missing.
    Yes, the hadcrut3gl.txt file shows the percentage of the planet that has been measured, e.g. 83% in January 2009.

    http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/data/temperature/hadcrut3gl.txt

    Calculating the temperature anomaly for the entire planet from 83% surface data, is equivalent to filling in the “missing” grids with planetary averages.
    If you find differently, please mention it here.

    Nope. If you have missing grids, you don’t have a planetary average, just an average for some parts of the planet. So you couldn’t be infilling with the planetary average. If I average the height of ten men, am I infilling the rest of the missing men on the planet with the “planetary average height”?


    So only GISS does this nonsense.

    Yes, only GISS tried to guesstimate the missing data in the era before satellite coverage, because their climate models made predictions for every grid on the planet and they wanted to compare the two. Hadley could just report what was measured, and leave large gaps in their data.

    Nope. Look at the top of the page. See the gray areas? Large gaps in their data … GISS infills up to 1200 km out, and they also infill out to 250 km out. Either way leaves gaps.


    Well, we don’t know, do we, that’s my point … but the issue is not the guess for the old, sparse years. It is the assumption that you can estimate trends in a radius of 1200 km.

    Fine, you’d rather have no estimated data in the gaps. Your choice.

    If GISS used a reasonable estimation method, I’d have much less of a problem with it. As it is, they assume that since temperatures are correlated out to 1200 km, they can use the trends out to 1200 km. Bad math, no cookies. And you still haven’t commented on that …


    Since (as you point out below) the satellites only go to 82.5N, I’m not sure what you mean by this.

    My point is that once they get surface temperature data for that final 7.5 deg Arctic circle, you can argue that “previous data” was not full coverage, so perhaps the warming in the Arctic was less than they estimated for their 82.5 deg coverage. Or, maybe it was even warmer.
    As I say, measurements improve over time.

    The issue is not better data, or improved measurements. It is that for some parts of the earth we have no data at all. I object to filling in those blank parts of the planet with red “here there be dragons”.


    True … but what does that have to do with extrapolating trends out 1200 km from the nearest station?

    It means as more money is spent on better measurement systems, the old techniques of guesstimating are no longer needed. Actual measurements trump proxies, optimal interpolation techniques, weighted averages, whatever.
    Then, people will say “but you only have x years of this new, great data. Not enough to prove a longterm trend”.
    You know the drill.

    I do know the drill. For me, it’s to use the data we have, and not pretend that we know what’s happening were there is no data. This is as true in time as in space. If we only have x years of data, that’s all we have. If it’s not enough to show a longterm trend, well, that’s the way it is. Should we extrapolate that data backwards in time, just like GISS extrapolates data outwards in space? By your reckoning I guess we should, can’t just leave those early years blank any more than we can leave the Arctic blank, by your lights we should put in our best guess.

    The field of climate science is polluted by the inability of many climate scientists to say three simple words … “We don’t know”. We don’t know what the temperatures are like where we don’t have thermometers. We don’t know what happened before the start of the records. We don’t know what’s happening in the blank gridcells. We don’t know a whole host of things about the climate … and yet everyone keeps saying “The science is settled”.

    Riiiight.

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