Lies, Damned Lies, Statistics … and Graphs

Guest Post by Willis Eschenbach

I got to thinking about how the information about temperatures is presented. Usually, we are shown a graph something like Fig. 1, which shows the change in the US temperatures over the last century.

Figure 1. Change in the US annual temperatures, 1895-2009. Data from the US Historical Climate Network (USHCN DATA) [Yes, it’s in Fahrenheit, not Celsius, but hey, it’s US temperature, and besides I’m doing it in solidarity with our valiant allies, all the other noble countries that are bravely fighting a desperate rear-guard action against the global metric conspiracy … Liberia and Myanmar …]

Whoa, this is obviously a huge and scary change, look at the slope of that trend line, this must be something that calls for immediate action. So, what’s not to like about this graph?

What’s wrong with it is that there is nothing in the graph that we can compare to our normal existence. Usually, we don’t even go so far as to think “Well, it’s changed about one degree Fahrenheit, call it half a degree C, that’s not even enough to feel the difference.”

So I decided to look for a way to present exactly the same information so that it would make more sense, a way that we can compare to our actual experience. Fig. 2 is one way to do that. It shows the US temperature, month by month, for each year since 1895.

Figure 2. US yearly temperatures by month, 1895-2009. Each line represents the record for a different year. Red line is the temperature in 2009. Data source as in Fig. 1. Photo is Vernal Falls, Yosemite

Presented in this fashion, we are reminded that the annual variation in temperature is much, much larger than the ~ 1°F change in US temperatures over the last century. The most recent year, 2009, is … well … about average. Have we seen any terrible results from the temperature differences between even the coolest and warmest years, differences which (of course) are much larger than the average change over the last century? If so, I don’t recall those calamities, and I remember nearly half of those years …

To investigate further, Fig. 3 looks at the decadal average changes in the same way.

Figure 3. US decadal average temperatures by month, 1900-2009. Red line is the average for the decade 2000-2009. Photo is Half Dome, Yosemite.

Most months of the year there is so little change in the decadal averages that the lines cannot be distinguished. The warming, what there is, occurred mostly in the months of November, December, January, and February. Slightly warmer temperatures in the winter … somehow, that doesn’t strike me as anything worth breathing hard about.

My point in all of this is that the temperature changes that we are discussing (a global rise of a bit more than half a degree C in the last century) are trivially small. A half degree change cannot be sensed by the human body. In addition, the changes are generally occurring in the winter, outside of the tropics in the cooler parts of the planet, and at night. Perhaps you see this small warming, as has often been claimed, as a huge problem that “vastly eclipses that of terrorism” (the Guardian). Maybe you think this is a pressing concern which is the “defining issue of our era” (UN Secretary Ban Ki-Moon).

I don’t. I’m sorry, but for me, poverty and injustice and racial prejudice and totalitarian regimes and recurring warfare and a lack of clean drinking water and torture and rampant disease and lack of education and child prostitution and a host of other problems “vastly eclipse” the possibility of a degree or two of warming happening at night in the winter in the extra-tropics fifty years from now.

Finally, the USHCN records are not adjusted for the urban heat island (UHI) effect. UHI is the warming of the recording thermometers that occurs as the area around the temperature recording station is developed. Increasing buildings, roads, pavement, and the cutting down of trees all tend to increase recorded temperatures. Various authors (e.g. McKitrick, Spencer,  Jones)  have shown that UHI likely explains something on the order of half of the recorded temperature rise. So even the small temperature rise shown above is probably shown somewhere about twice as large as it actually is …

My conclusion? Move along, folks, nothing to see here …

[UPDATE – Steven Goddard points out below that the USHCN does in fact include a UHI adjustment in their data. The adjustment is detailed here. I don’t agree with the adjustment, because inter alia they claim that the UHI reduces the maximum temperatures in cities. This is contrary to my personal experience and to many studies that find it is hotter in the cities during the daytime as well as at night. But they do make an adjustment.]


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216 thoughts on “Lies, Damned Lies, Statistics … and Graphs

  1. That’s a great way of presenting it. Can you or someone do the same graph(s) for the global temperature?? (I’ll try, but I don’t know if the puny tools I have on my PC coould do it).

  2. So, let me get this straight. A tiny increase in a trace atmospheric gas may, or may not have caused an imperceptible rise in temperature in regions and at times when it has been known to be fractionally colder at least for when we have accurate data which actually may not be that accurate.

    Wow. Planetary emergency.

    Great post Willis.

  3. If the graph was GATA, and the title was “Null Hypothesis” and it was published in the MSM, I think normal folks would concur with Willis and his conclusion.

  4. That is truly astounding! It clearly puts into perspective the small overall rise in temperature compared with the much greater seasonal variations. If these graphs were to appear widely in the MSM, (some hope!) then AGW would be dead and buried in the public mind. It would no longer be possible to spread climate fear and anxiety. The graphs should be sent to all those schools who are spreading AGW propaganda.

  5. Excellent. Do you have high definition copies that I can print out and place on public notice boards and/or have printed on a T-shirt. Summer is comming and it WILL warm up. :-)

  6. Excellent!

    A genuine common sense depiction. Though AGW fans would call it spinning the data, I guess.

  7. A leaked document has revealed the US government’s strategy in the UN climate talks.

    Titled “Strategic Communications Objectives” and dated 11 March 2010, it outlines the key messages that the Obama administration wants to convey to its critics and to the world media before the UN climate talks in Cancun, Mexico in November.

    Top of the list of objectives is to: “Reinforce the perception that the US is constructively engaged in UN negotiations in an effort to produce a global regime to combat climate change.” It also talks of “managing expectations” of the outcome of the Cancun meeting and bypassing traditional media outlets by using podcasts and “intimate meetings” with the chief US negotiator to disarm the US’s harsher critics.

    But the key phrase is in paragraph three where the author writes: “Create a clear understanding of the CA’s [Copenhagen Accord’s] standing and the importance of operationalising ALL elements.”

    ….”operationalising”? What’s that?

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Text of the leaked document:

    Strategic communications objectives

    1) Reinforce the perception that the US is constructively engaged in UN negotiations in an effort to produce a global regime to combat climate change. This includes support for a symmetrical and legally binding treaty.

    2) Manage expectations for Cancun – Without owning the message, advance the narrative that while a symmetrical legally binding treaty in Mexico is unlikely, solid progress can be made on the six or so main elements.

    3) Create a clear understanding of the CA’s standing and the importance of operationalising ALL elements.

    4) Build and maintain outside support for the administration’s commitment to meeting the climate and clean energy challenge despite an increasingly difficult political environment to pass legislation.

    5) Deepen support and understanding from the developing world that advanced developing countries must be part of any meaningful solution to climate change including taking responsibilities under a legally binding treaty.

    Media outreach

    • Continue to conduct interviews with print, TV and radio outlets driving the climate change story.

    • Increase use of off-the-record conversations.

    • Strengthen presence in international media markets during trips abroad. Focus efforts on radio and television markets.

    • Take greater advantage of new media opportunities such as podcasts to advance US position in the field bypassing traditional media outlets.

    • Consider a series of policy speeches/public forums during trips abroad to make our case directly to the developing world.

    Key outreach efforts

    • Comprehensive and early outreach to policy makers, key stakeholders and validators is critical to broadening support for our positions in the coming year.

    • Prior to the 9-11 April meeting in Bonn it would be good for Todd to meet with leading NGOs. This should come in the form of 1:1s and small group sessions.

    • Larger group sessions, similar to the one held at CAP prior to Copenhagen, will be useful down the line, but more intimate meetings in the spring are essential to building the foundation of support. Or at the very least, disarming some of the harsher critics.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    You will notice a number of important elements that are missing in this strategy. For a start there is no science involved, and no scientific justification for all these new global warming (carbon dioxide) taxes. Then there is the blatant disregard of any democratic processes. Nobody outside of the political and bureaucratic machine will ever get a say in any of this process. I don’t recall anyone from the WWF or Greenpeace seeking or winning any sort of democratic mandate yet they are at the heart of this process, as are Lord Stern, George Soros and Maurice Strong. Also missing is any idea that carbon dioxide taxes might be morally wrong, be counter-productive, inflict massive pain on the poorest people, lead to unimaginable levels of fraud and corruption, and all without “tackling climate change” in the slightest.

    The only “climate change” will occur in our financial climate, and the suffocating bureaucratic climate under which we will all have to live in order to regulate every aspect of our lives so that these carbon dioxide taxes can be extorted from us in the first place.

    The document reveals five key objectives:

    1.) Brainwash the public about the urgency of the coming climate change disaster. If the MSM won’t play ball, then sideline them and use the internet to carry this message to the public.
    2.) Set up a bureaucratic framework to monitor and regulate all activities that generate carbon dioxide.
    3.) Set up a mechanism to tax all carbon dioxide-generating activities, worldwide.
    4.) Work out an international agreement on how the trillions of dollars generated will be dispersed, and to whom.
    5.) Embed this mechanism into a UN Treaty, which will legally bind all countries and their governments to the mechanism for ever. No future elected government will be able to stop paying carbon dioxide taxes because of the Treaty which was entered into by a previous head of state or representative.

    By the way, a whole series of inter-governmental meetings are scheduled this year to try and ram this down the public’s throat before too many of the public realise that they are being lied to and swindled on a gigantic scale by their own government.

  8. A variation of 1 deg F is equal to the recording accuracy of measuring stations:

    http://www.srh.noaa.gov/ohx/dad/coop/EQUIPMENT.pdf

    “MMTS OBSERVER INSTRUCTIONS
    To determine the maximum temperature – push “MAX” button.
    To determine the minimum temperature – push “MIN” button.
    The At Observation temperature is the current temperature displayed.
    Record temperatures in whole degrees only.”

  9. How about simplifying the colour scheme.

    If the graph lines were limited to just beeding from one colour to another( eg purple to green) the individual lines would be more difficult to see but a trend would stand out. This of course would still, as intended, be dwarfed by the seasonal variation.

  10. Measuring increased (or decreased) heat via the temperature of the ephemeral substance called air 6ft off the earth’s surface will always be challenging, especially while the trend is so much smaller than the seasonal variation.

    Why Global Mean Surface Temperature Should be Relegated, Or Mostly Ignored

    and the followup:
    The Real Measure of Global Warming

    And where it all went slightly wrong for a while in The Real Measure of Global Warming & the Sad Case of the Expendable Bathythermograph

  11. These graphs show the real proportions. Yet they too are misleading.

    Showing only 12 points for a year is OK, but you connect them with lines. It gives the feel of continuity. However, you don’t draw the last line, the line form December of one year to the January of the next year. This is important, because of the cyclic nature of the data.

  12. If we take into account the various “adjustments”, “homogenizing”, and other exaggerations of the warming data, and the flat line of temperature in the last twelve years or so, it would seem that half the warming stopped at the turn of the century and the other half wasn’t there in the first place.

  13. Hang on, do you actually think the entire problem is about how well the human body can withstand an ambient temperature rise of several degrees?

  14. You clearly dont understand how an average temperature works. It doesn’t mean temperatures everywhere go up by only +0.5 deg C. It means overall everything goes up, some by alot, some by a little, some even cool a bit. But in general it means more energy in the system (since temperature is a measure of energy), and +0.5 deg C globally is ALOT of energy.

    Just an example, Alaska and western Canada have warmed 3-4 deg C over the last 50 years, more than your 0.5 deg C. This is a non-insignificant amount of warming for these areas. In areas of permafrost, this amount of warming is crucial – the very definition of permafrost means ‘permanently frozen.’ If large areas of permafrost thaw, as is happening in Siberia, we face the release of large amounts of trapped methane, magnifying the warming.

    There are untold other numbers of indicators showing the effects of this ‘minimal’ temperature increase, which given the community here, will be outright rejected as alarmist propaganda, so I won’t attempt a list at present.

  15. Willis, might I suggest that you make a 3-D version of your figures 2 and 3 with the Z dimension being each year going into the distance. That way with a three-dimensional viewer (or recording thereof via youtube) one can see each year split out. You could even connect the lines of each year into an undulating surface. Then explore it while recording for youtube. Presto, more natural way of looking at the data.

  16. Great Post!

    Tip to All Norwegians;

    OSLO Saturday 17 April 12:00 Auditorium 4, University of OSLO

    NIELS AXEL MØRNER and MARTIN HOVLAND :

    Sealevel: Observations versus Models !!!!

    This is a MUST for all interested in IPCC’s Scary Stories versus real world observations. Dont miss it!

  17. This is one of the very best articles I have read on AGW.
    We should all take every opportunity to persuade others to present temperature comparisons in this manner because it shows how trivial the measured warming is. At the same time, as is implied above, the urban heat-island effect could explain most of the warming anyway.
    Does anyone have similar data for the UK?

  18. Buyer beware- always check the SCALE of the graph…

    The first graph is twice as high as it is wide- try reversing that and see what you get. Not so scary now, huh?

  19. Larus (02:51:21) :

    Hang on, do you actually think the entire problem is about how well the human body can withstand an ambient temperature rise of several degrees?
    ——————-
    Reply:
    What rise?

  20. What year did climate science start using the 30 year climate benchmark to produce the temperature anomalies?

  21. One of the best posts I’ve seen in a very long time.
    Two of the things to watch on ALL graphs are (1) where is the zero on the Y scale, and (2) what is the Y scale compared to the X scale. The Sea Ice extent on WUWT side panel is a good example. If you show the Zero on the Y scale and half the scale on the Y scale, the graph looks completely different, as you have said, “nothing to see here, move along”.

  22. I recently saw a comment on a blog accusing the author of deception because he had plotted some temperatures not as anomalies, or with a displaced origin at 14 degrees C, but as actual temperatures relative to zero. This somehow gave a ‘distorted’ picture of the gore-bull warming threat.

    So, Willis, could I suggest that you show us a plot of HADCRU, GISS, NCDC, USHCN, GHCN or similar annual mean temps, not as anomalies, but as actual graphed temps, with a zero visible on the graph/no displaced origin. e.g. the annual means of your figure 2 above.
    For me, the straight line so produced is instructive for us mere mortals, as it starkly shows the temperature increases we experience.

  23. Kate (02:12:25) :
    A leaked document has revealed the US government’s strategy in the UN climate talks. […]
    • Increase use of off-the-record conversations.

    What we need are more on-the-record conversations where people own up to what say.

  24. These are very good graphs. Perhaps, just for the heck of it, one might include a similar zero or 280ppm based chart of CO2 concentration over the time period that we have reliable data.

    In any case, I think these charts are a must-see for anyone making decisions of public policy on climate change or who is influencing public opinion on the subject.

  25. Cold Englishman (03:33:03) :
    Two of the things to watch on ALL graphs are (1) where is the zero on the Y scale
    Zero F or zero C is meaningless, so you must mean zero K, and that would put things in perspective. On the other hand, chemical reaction rates typically double when the temperature increases 10 C [in the normal temperature regime where we live], so in terms of things happening around us the zero K origin doesn’t look reasonable.

  26. For the uninformed
    why are temperature records never shown as means plus minus 2sd (for say the last century)
    rather than anomolies from the ‘normal’ warmish period of late 20th century?

  27. Matt (02:52:32)

    You clearly dont understand how an average temperature works. It doesn’t mean temperatures everywhere go up by only +0.5 deg C. It means overall everything goes up, some by alot, some by a little, some even cool a bit. But in general it means more energy in the system (since temperature is a measure of energy), and +0.5 deg C globally is ALOT of energy.

    Just an example, Alaska and western Canada have warmed 3-4 deg C over the last 50 years, more than your 0.5 deg C. This is a non-insignificant amount of warming for these areas. In areas of permafrost, this amount of warming is crucial – the very definition of permafrost means ‘permanently frozen.’ If large areas of permafrost thaw, as is happening in Siberia, we face the release of large amounts of trapped methane, magnifying the warming.

    There are untold other numbers of indicators showing the effects of this ‘minimal’ temperature increase, which given the community here, will be outright rejected as alarmist propaganda, so I won’t attempt a list at present.

    I love how people on the web are so quick to tell me what I don’t understand. I do understand that temperatures in Alaska are controlled by the PDO. I also know that they have not risen by anything like 4°C as you claim, and that rather than being 4° above where they were 50 years ago, they are currently about where they were 50 years ago. Here’s the record:

    Alaska Temperature Average from First Order Observing Stations. DATA SOURCE

    You also say that “if large areas of permafrost thaw” we’re in deep trouble … but the world was a couple degrees warmer earlier in the Holocene, and somehow we didn’t get in trouble. And if “large areas of permafrost” are thawing in Siberia, and melting permafrost causes huge methane releases … then where is the spike in the atmospheric methane content? Here’s that record:

    Finally, you say if you posted other things here they would be “outright rejected as alarmist propaganda” … well, if they are anything like your alarmist propaganda about Alaskan temperatures and methane, you are likely correct about their probable fate.

  28. Matt (02:52:32) :

    “Just an example, Alaska and western Canada have warmed 3-4 deg C over the last 50 years”

    Alaska experienced a ‘step’ change of 5 degrees in 1975. There hasn’t been any warming in Alaska since. Some would call it the ‘Pacific Oscillation’. We don’t have enough data to conclude that there is currently ‘cooling’ in Alaska, as the Oscillation is on a 30 year cycle. The fact that arctic ice is growing is a ‘sign’.

  29. Sera (03:24:22)

    Buyer beware- always check the SCALE of the graph…

    The first graph is twice as high as it is wide- try reversing that and see what you get. Not so scary now, huh?

    Yes, and if it were ten times as wide as it is tall, it would hardly be scary at all. Which is my point. The graphs which are normally presented in the climate discussion are designed to look scary, as I have purposely done in Fig. 1.

  30. Yes, I second the motion to end the use of anomalous graphs. Yes, pun intended. [:)]

    By the way Willis, excellent article.

  31. @Matt

    ‘Just an example, Alaska and western Canada have warmed 3-4 deg C over the last 50 years,’

    Disregarding the mystery of the ever vanishing temperature measurement apparatus’, but warmed 3-4 deg C compared to what? What timeframe was used to calculate that baseline? And what different types of convenient observed temperatures and proxies were used in the cut and paste frenzy?

    And besides, local weather phenomenon, is just that, weather.

  32. One of the worst examples of using graphs to distort the truth is in the IPCC Technical summary figure 6, repeated in Archer and Rahmstorf (The Climate Crisis) as their figure 3.1 (but incorrectly referenced). This claims that, because the rate of temperature rise for the last 25 years of the 20th century was higher than the 150 years average, the rate of temperature rise was accelerating. This ignores the fact that in any long sequence with rising and falling temperatures there will be periods when the short term rise is higher than the average and that similar rates of rise were recorded from 1860 to 1880 and from 1910 to 1945.

    http://www.climatedata.info/Discussions/Discussions/opinions.php?id=1209170702266403374

    An alternative strategy is not to show graphs if they don’t tell the story you want people to hear. The IPCC TAR4 has two very small graphs of simulated and observed temperature and precipitation anomaly. What they don’t show are graphs of temperature relative to zero and precipitation in mm, which tell a very different story with temperature difference between models of 1.5 C and precipitation difference of 150 mm.

    http://www.climatedata.info/Temperature/Temperature/simulations.html

    http://www.climatedata.info/Precipitation/Precipitation/global.html

  33. The standard anomaly procedure is designed to create a graph that looks worrying. If it didn’t, they’d find another way of processing and presenting the data.

    Primarily there is the issue of scale to consider. The first graph presents the “anomaly” conventionally, by using a convenient vertical range to represent the slope, and cherry picking that range exaggerates the slope. If you present the anomaly scaled against the actual range from minimum to maximum temperature, the linear temp. anomaly line will appear virtually horizontal. The slope would be virtually imperceptable. Even the actual temp line would have minimal variation.

    The other question is, if CO2 acts to make the atmosphere trap and re-radiate more heat downwards, why does the “more” only show up in winter outside of the tropics? Is tropical CO2 broken? Is the rest of the stuff on the fritz and only works to give us “more” when it’s cold? Answers worked out on the back of a peer-reviewed cigarette packet only, please.

  34. @Matt,

    How did you define permafrost ?
    “……… – the very definition of permafrost means ‘permanently frozen.’ …”

    Surely most of the land you describe as “permanently frozen” should more properly be defined as “recently frozen” or “become frozen in the last (approx) 800 years”.

  35. @ aylamp (01:59:37) : Tufte is a very smart guy. I once had the honor of attending one of his seminars, and chatting with him afterward. Quite inspirational. I have a framed copy of Minards’ “Napoleons March to Moscow” hanging in my den also, to remind me of what constitutes good practice.

  36. Willis – please can you check out Paul’s comment above at 2:44:20?

    I think he is right – adding another Jan point on the RHS of the graphic will make the gradients on and off the graphic compatible.

  37. Willis Eschenbach (04:19:07) :

    What I have hard to swallow is to put all the planet into one temperature average of up or down when the data stations are unproportional and the variations from region to region can differ significantly by how much precipitation or draught has occured which also has some influence on the temperatures of that region. From the equator up to the poles just on a world rotational map shows clearly 2 regions of climate by the movement of the cloud cover that does not cross the equator.

  38. Willis:
    Elegant. I also like the cool calm waterfall effect as opposed to the panic-stricken desert effect. Context is part of the message.
    As someone said, Tufte’s one day seminar is well worth the money plus you get copies of all his books. I went with my team of survey folks – we do large scale surveys – and it had a significant impact on how we design client reports, etc.

  39. So, putting this whole thing down to simple terms:

    …a degree or two of warming happening at night in the winter in the extra-tropics fifty years from now.

    Let’s see now … the average low temp for Valentine’s Day here is 18° F, so around 14 February 2060, I can expect that, if it’s an average day, I’ll walk out to a morning temperature of approx. 20° F.

    *yawn*

    I’m going back to bed …

  40. ” Matt (02:52:32) :
    […]
    There are untold other numbers of indicators showing the effects of this ‘minimal’ temperature increase, which given the community here, will be outright rejected as alarmist propaganda, so I won’t attempt a list at present.”

    Oh come on. Just the top 10! Pretty please!

  41. Thanks again, Willis. (I feel as if I know you well enough to be informal)
    It is also interesting to see geological timescale temp. graphs presented as actual, best guess, temps. rather than anomalies from an arbitary base line.
    The current temp. changes can barely be seen.

  42. The very first thing I learned in Numerical Methods for computation was ‘Never subtract two nearly equal numbers’ – since the errors nearly always overwhelm the result. Numerical techniques are chosen to avoid this.

    But an anomaly is indeed the subtraction of two nearly equal numbers, and is, therefore, close to meaningless.

  43. @ Matt (02:52:32)

    Don’t be so defensive – I (and probably others here too) agree with you. Additionally, I didn’t find the following comment very helpful:
    “A half degree change cannot be sensed by the human body.”
    So what? Do we decide what is relevant by our bodies’ abilities to sense it? And as Matt said, the 0.5 figure is an average, which could be a combination of greater extremes in different areas.

    Nevertheless, a major difference between pro-AGW-ists and sceptics (like me) tends to be one of how we regard this average rise of 0.5-1 C over a century. We sceptics would tend to say: nothing unusual about that, nothing to link it to CO2, and no evidence of increases of extreme weather, and no increase in the rate of sea level rise. AGW-ists, conversely, would say (scream) that this is a sign of impending doom for mother Earth and that our children (oh, won’t somebody think of the children) are all going to die under hundreds of feet of melted ice caps if we don’t immediately (like yesterday) curb our emissions and “put democracy on hold during this time of international emergency” and welcome in some unelected, benignly dictatorial world governing body to oversee the whole thing.

    Hmm… I wonder why governments nearly all seem to be PRO-AGW? Particularly those with a Socialist bent? Gee, that’s a tough one.

  44. Willis’ response to Matt – great put down!

    Eventually, the sceptics’ real facts will defeat the alarmists manipulated data and unfounded scare stories, but it is probably going to be a long time.

    There are so many fanatical alarmists: i) those who want to keep their comfy jobs in the climate industry, ii) those who will believe in anything green, especially if it is goofy, and iii) those looking for new ways of raising taxes.

    Most people do not fall into any of the above categories and this silent majority is steadily swelling. Eventually the politicians will have to listen to this silent majority and maybe, just maybe, that’s when the tens of billions of dollars currently being wasted on the promotion of bad science will finally come to an end.

  45. My compliments on your choice of Half Dome as the background of one of your graphs. I’ve always been bemused by the web trend of curious backgrounds where any self-respecting scientific journal would reject them out of hand as being irrelevant and distracting.

    My attention was drawn to the nice correlation between curve and dome, except in the area of the flaw in the dome, of course, and it made me think about the VW (New) Beetle commercial talking about arches (in this case a bridge) and their strength while a someone drives a Beetle to match the bridge’s arch. In this you you have cemented my faith in your data. As surely as the Sun will rise and set, so will US temperatures during the course of they year. I look forward to your next concrete examples, and humbly suggest a series based on things like the Hoover Dam, as I’m sure that will add power to you presentation.

    (Please don’t use the Glen Canyon Dam. I’ve never been in the area, but I know what’s lost under the water. You can take the bridge.)

    Oh, what was the point of the graph? Maybe I should go back and read the text instead of looking at the pretty pictures.

  46. If the real temperature increase is only 1/2 that shown, then there probably is no need to add CO2 to make the models fit the observations and the entire IPCC case for man’s causing warming disappears. See IPCC 4AR WG1 Ch 9 FAQ 9.2 Fig 1, p. 703 (bottom three graphs), http://tinyurl.com/27ocvp

    As far as I can tell that is the best argument that they have for man’s causing warming: The models don’t fit reality unless we include CO2 in the models.

    OR UNLESS the real warming is ½ that claimed.

    Here is how Phil Jones explained it to the BBC:
    BBC: If you agree that there were similar periods of warming since 1850 to the current period, and that the MWP is under debate, what factors convince you that recent warming has been largely man-made?
    CRU Head, Dr. Jones: The fact that we can’t explain the warming from the 1950s by solar and volcanic forcing – see my answer to your question D.
    See http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/science/nature/8511670.stm

    Thanks
    JK

  47. Yes, and if it were ten times as wide as it is tall, it would hardly be scary at all. Which is my point. The graphs which are normally presented in the climate discussion are designed to look scary, as I have purposely done in Fig. 1.

    In order to be honest and do so in detail, a vertical bar graph in color breaking down all the parts of the atmospnere. 3.8 parts per 10,000 would be very tiny compared to 73 parts per hundred Nitrogen.

  48. Willis,

    Interesting article, but USHCN does make a UHI adjustment.

    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/climate/research/ushcn/ushcn.html#QUAL

    The final adjustment is for an urban warming bias which uses the regression approach outlined in Karl, et al. (1988). The result of this adjustment is the “final” version of the data. Details on the urban warming adjustment are available in “Urbanization: Its Detection and Effect in the United States Climate Record” by Karl. T.R., et al., 1988, Journal of Climate 1:1099-1123.

  49. It is also true that GISS and others claim to only use the annomilies, and yet as this post points out, this is not true. This brings great potential error in the dropping, and adding in of various locations and extroplating this to the dropped stations, as well as the UHI problem. E.M. Smith is examing the problems inherent in these methods.

  50. Willis has good point here and only thing to add is some time perspective. We are living right now at the end of Holocene, which is a short warm blip in the multi-million year iceage. If Hansen is right and delta is in the range of 3/4 then maybe the next glaciation will arrive some time later, say few thousand years. I think he is too worried about his grandchildren to think clearly about the possible good things, like not having to fight with kilometers thick ice too soon.

  51. “My point in all of this is that the temperature changes that we are discussing (a global rise of a bit more than half a degree C in the last century) are trivially small. A half degree change cannot be sensed by the human body”

    Clearly the average temperature increases seen so far are relatively small in terms of daily or annual changes and we humans are very capable of surviving extremes (living at the poles or in hot deserts), as individuals we can take a lot of change.

    However, the world now is home to 6 billion people and very soon to become 9? 10? 11? billion. These people need houses to live in and food to eat. Small temperature changes can have a big impact on the productivity of the agricultural land they impact, just look at the relatively narrow areas different crops grow in.

    The USA has a largely benign climate, it will not suffer greatly from temperature changes of a few degrees. But will it open its doors to the millions of people who are likely to be significantly impacted? If it is not prepared to do that, it should at least look seriously at the potential risks for those people and see how it might mitigate those impacts through its own actions; its good risk management and good neighbourliness, something the people of the USA have always rightly taken pride in.

  52. Willis:
    The neurologist say you must keep your mind active to combat “Senior Dementia”. I observe that you have done a good job of keeping your mind and that of others busy. I congratulate you on your fight against a problem that is more pressing than the MYTH we are discussing. (Global Warming)
    If no other is affected by your efforts, I have enjoyed the exercise you promote!

  53. One of the cheekiest graphs is Roy Spencer’s graph of atmospheric CO2 concentration vs time. The x axis (time) goes for a few decades, the y axis (CO2) goes from 0% to 100%.

    That’s all there is to see.

  54. But the Fahrenheit scale is itself arbitrary! That is why the Celsius and Kelvin scales were developed. Granted, Fahrenheit is the best scale for communicating with Americans, but it does skew the graph.

    From physics, I’d say using Kelvin is justified because it compares the earth’s temperature to absolute zero.

    Of course, Celsius may be justified as well, but only if you scale it to physically relavent values. It should at least encompass the 0-100C (The freezing and boiling point of water), as outside this range, it becomes very difficult for most life to survive.

    Either of these scientific scales would be more accurate in showing just how small these temp swings are.

  55. Larus (02:51:21) :

    “Hang on, do you actually think the entire problem is about how well the human body can withstand an ambient temperature rise of several degrees?”

    No, the entire problem is about how much warming will a doubling of atmospheric CO2 from preindustrial conditions produce. The answer from the lab is around 1 degree C. In the real world, evidence is pointing to a more modest warming due to negative cloud feedbacks.

    A secondary consideration would be the ability of the biosphere to adapt (not ‘withstand’…that’s a propaganda word) to climate fluctuations. Since climate has always fluctuated, and the biosphere has always adapted with success, there is no rational cause for alarm.

  56. John Pattinson (05:48:23) :

    “However, the world now is home to 6 billion people and very soon to become 9? 10? 11? billion. These people need houses to live in and food to eat. Small temperature changes can have a big impact on the productivity of the agricultural land they impact, just look at the relatively narrow areas different crops grow in.”

    But higher CO2 levels INCREASE crop productivity. Also, according to AGW, most temp increases are in the higher latitudes and during the colder months, which would boost farm productivity in those areas as well. Nothing like an early spring to extend the growing season. Even if AGW is true, it does not necessarily follow that it is bad for the food supply.

    Of course, the IPCC always supresses any discussion of the ‘positive’ effects of warming.

  57. Leif

    Points of origin are not nonsense.

    This is basically a flat line graph. Personally I am over your arrogance in physics unproven.

    [snip]

  58. To my understanding, the average temperatures are possibly useful to “detect” the influence of factors you want to examine: for instance, CO2.

    They are not suitable to “assess” the impact of the factors in question. For this purpose, monthly and/or daily temperatures are more relevant.

    This is similar to the use of a microscope to detect microbes. To assess their impact to our health, other methods are needed.

  59. Great illustrations, Willie.

    I think though that you’ve missed something: It’s the essential linear extrapolation of the supposed trend line that Warmers present for others in order to elicit emotional reactions – the Alarmist fantasy of a five to nine degrees F temperature increase in the next hundred years.

    Unfortunately the ‘nightmare scenario” represents something of an irrefutable hypothesis and is effective propaganda – or so far it has been. Doesn’t mean it is logical or ever was.

    Ridicule may be the best weapon, along with parading out the litany of gross historical errors by clowns of the radical left environmental persuasion.

  60. A very good post again from Mr Eschenbac.

    I have always had a bee in my bonnet over the presentation of alarmists graphs. I hope this is not to simplistic but the following should be adopted:-

    1 Graphs should be set out so that the scale of long periods of time are not disproportionately compressed conversely the scale for small measurements of data should not be disproportianately elongated.

    2 Graphs showing anomalies should be accommpanied by graphs of temperature with time.

    3 A global temperature is just a statistical trick and has no meaning or value and their use should be discontinued.

    If the anomaly graph which Willis posted above was to a proper scale there would be no alarm it would almost be a flat line.

    The alternative method of presentation proposed by Willis is superb.

  61. If one your theories has been proven to axiom or better science proof say so.

    But all you do is duel.

    Paper attacks back and forth.

    This is a discussion on data and graphs not your so called expertise.

    This is a discussion on results and measurement.

    You sir are a Diva.

  62. Ref jim karlock (05:15:20) :
    Phil Jones’ answer is misleading. The fact is that the models only partially explain the 1910 to 1945 warming. The observed global temperature rise was about 0.6 C. The models only give a rise of less than 0.2 C. Similarly they do not represent the cooling periods that followed 1945 showing a steady temperature rise until 1961 when the aerosols from Agung volcano start to take effect.

  63. Kate:
    “…a global regime to combat climate change. ”

    I wonder if they mean “regimen.” “Regimen” suggests a policy; “regime” suggests a political organization. A bit overreaching, if that’s what the writer has in mind.

  64. OT observation, but I am totally baffled how anyone can pass through the US or UK education systems, and presumably reaching a level high enough to be interested in commenting here, and yet never have been taught or even discovered for themselves (by reading literate books) that there is no such word as “alot” – it is actually “a lot” (two words: “a” + “lot”).

  65. I for one believe that it is warmer in Summer than in Winter and I think we should be discussing the science behind that problem. If Obama truly wants to be a great president, he should concentrate on spreading that message and coming up with ways to mitigate this situation. I also think it is a good idea to create some advertising around this issue with coffee cups, tee shirts and news media presentation. Even a world-wide poll designed to inform and bring about a call to action about this situation can be done and should be done.

  66. Willis, Are you a US citizen? If so, please apply for the job, President, United States, which will be available in 2012. If selected for this formerly prestigious position you will have to provide your own funds to live on from early Nov through mid January 2013. Other than that it is a good job.

  67. Of course you realize that temperature depiction is not dramatic enough to warrant immediate action to reduce levels of dangerous CO2, and the presentation itself♦ would be considered ‘cluttered’! :)

  68. Leif Svalgaard (03:46:12) :

    Zero C is not meaningless wrt climate. Summer temperatures in the central Arctic stay close to 0C, because of the heat required to melt the ice. The same effect has some impact over most of the earth during the winter.

  69. It seems that your graph is “also” misleading. The 2009 data appears to be the lowest set in a few years. Try backing up a year or two and see what the red line looks like. In addition, your presentation doesn’t allow for trends to be detected so it is less than useful for determining changes over time. i.e. you can’t tell what is what except for the 2009 red line. Lastly, your scale is much larger, in effect minimizing the perception of changes. In essence, you are guilty of doing what you accuse the warmers of, presenting the data in a way that “appears” to support your views. Bottom line is that this is only useful for those who wish to see things this way. It does not show anything useful.

  70. “The warming, what there is, occurred mostly in the months of November, December, January, and February.”

    When do El Ninos usually occur?

  71. The title is the arena.

    This is not discussion in Physics.

    It’s Mathematics.

    High level Science is interpolative and iterative in essence away from science axioms in specialised fields.

  72. So, given the mass scale deception being perpetrated by the likes of the IPCC, Al Gore and many others, why aren’t they all charged with criminal offenses for scare mongering? If I went around scaring everyone of a non-existent killer asteroid hitting is about to strike us, I would be arrested for disturbing the peace, at least. The same logic should apply to AGW alarmists. What’s worse is the modeled predictions by the AGW alarmist have now been proven to be false by shear observation because the discrepancy between current and modeled temperature trends are now so far removed it’s impossible to trust the models. Anyone who still uses the IPCC predictions is in my opinion is committing a crime.

  73. Sorry about a typo in previous comment – it should be “lambda” of course, not delta. But anyway, if Hansen is right and climate sensitivity is 3 times higher than derived from Planck’s formula, then maybe we will postpone next glaciation (which started already with Maunder Minimum as first step down) for some time, and if that’s the case indeed, then we should really consider calling this additional time before glaciation The Anthropocene… :)
    I think Hansens grandchildren will be happier in this case rather than being under few kilometers of ice too soon.

  74. stevengoddard (06:21:20) :

    The US only makes up 2% of the earth’s land area. If you look at the entire earth, the story is quite different. US and global temperatures started diverging around 1960 and divergence has increased ever since.

    http://docs.google.com/View?id=ddw82wws_609dcfg9zrc

    ————————–
    Ah, Steve, Steve, Steve….
    Didn’t you catch the post a while back that showed Global Warming was spreading like a disease across Africa, one nation at a time, at a pre-determined rate:

    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2010/04/01/global-warming-from-africa-contagious-spreading-at-100-miles-per-year/

    Combine them all together and what do you have? The Earth has A FEVER! (now, where’s my grant application?)

  75. stevengoddard (06:21:20) :

    Do you have any theory that could explain how the earth could be getting warmer, but the US isn’t?

    Perhaps due to their high use of air con?

  76. Great background on the first graph, Willis!

    However, I did find the title not to like. In fact what is shown is not the change in annual US temperature, but annual US temperature itself (as an anomaly, as indicated on the y-label). If these were truly changes, then the integrated total change over the whole period would be roughly zero, but in fact it was +1 or +1.5 dF.

  77. How about instead of plotting anomaly, plot the 150 year temperature trend in Kelvin from absolute zero? Allow me.

    1850 – 2010 _____—–______——________——–

    Zero (0) deg K _________________________________________

    lol

    MrC

  78. You’re right Willis, nothing to see here. Everything looks normal.

    What I would like to see is a comparison only of the warmest consecutive 10 years in the 30’s to the last 10 years. The last 10 years are supposed to the ‘the warmest 10 years on record’. I have to wonder if the 30’s were just a bit warmer not only in the US but other places in the world.

  79. There are some graphs of surface max and min temps (also rainfall) that have been recorded at the Armagh Observatory in Northern Ireland, continuously since 1865:

    http://climate.arm.ac.uk/averages.html

    Shown as monthly averages 1865 – 2000, and described as ‘raw, uncalibrated data’, they are – to my untrained eye – uniformly flat. There is no discernible trend up or down.

    Would anyone be able to explain to a layman (me, e.g.) why such data cannot be left as is, but has to be, er, cooked and recalibrated? I understand the implications of UHI, but in this case that seems to not be an issue, as there is no rise in temperature apparent.

  80. Willis Eschenbach (04:13:46) :

    But Willis, don’t you see the trend for Alaska is 400 C per 10000 years :-)

  81. Another great post, Willis – you’re on a roll! I make it that Hommer’s scary plot equates to 0.65 degC/century. Allowing for UHI and other man-made weather station anomolies, this must drop to ~ 0.35degC. By the time allowances are made for measurement accuracy and a crudely determined base line, the average annual temperature across the USA is virtually unchanged in over a century. I suspect that this is the case for most areas of the Earth.

  82. Bernie (04:50:36) said:

    “Willis:
    Elegant. I also like the cool calm waterfall effect as opposed to the panic-stricken desert effect.”

    I think I may be correct in interpreting the “panic-stricken desert effect” background of the first graph as actually being Homer Simpson reenacting Edvard Munch’s famous painting “The Scream”. If that was your original idea, Willis, then it is as clever as your analysis of the graphs.

  83. RE Street (06:04:18) : “But the Fahrenheit scale is itself arbitrary! That is why the Celsius and Kelvin scales were developed. Granted, Fahrenheit is the best scale for communicating with Americans …”

    While the Celsius and Kelvin temperature scales are the adopted scientific standards, the Fahrenheit scale is, in fact, potentially more accurate for data recorded as integer values because of reduced round-off error. Of course, if they make their measurements right next to an air-conditioner outlet, no advantage is gained.

  84. Matt

    Impressive Isn’t it? Just drop the northern and high elevation stations (documented previously here at WUWT) and suddenly huge warming in western Canada.

    Heck those stations were inconvenient to monitor, way too darn cold.

  85. In May 1969, U Thant of the United Nations gave the planet only ten years to avert environmental disaster; the following month, he blamed the bulk of planetary catastrophe on the United States……Some things don’t change as much as weather

  86. I have presented this approach, and others (show the full max to min range for each year) here cdnsurfacetemps.blogspot.com. When you look at the full year range per year what you find is the trend in the summers is for cooler temps, while the winters are not as cold. Thus the temp range is converging. At some 700 years into the future the two trends would meet, meaning the summer and winters would be the same temps, and there after the winter warmer than the summer.

    Since this is physically impossible, these converging trends must at some point change and start to diverge. In other words a cycle. Thus this temperature change cannot be from our CO2.

    Which is confirmed in this paper from 2000:

    http://www.cmos.ca/Ao/articles/v380301.pdf

    where they conclude:

    “Like other parts of the world, Canada has not become hotter (no increase in
    higher quantiles of maximum temperature), but has become less cold.”

    and they note at the end AGW can’t account for the temperature changes in Canada.

  87. Thanks for this Willis. It is always good to see data in a contextual perspective.

    stevengoddard (06:21:20) : your link’s graph hurt my eyes to look at it, so I tried to reproduce a better one using GISS US 2008, vs. Hansen’s re-evaluated global land/sea, and got something completely different. No divergence, Jimbo has managed to match the globe to the US. Another cute trick.

  88. It seems like I have been reading comments and posts from Willis ever since I started following climate blogs about five years ago. His writing style is clear and he can tell a compelling story.

    Willis, is it about time for a book, or is there one out there I haven’t heard of? BTW, I really like the way the graphics are presented. The photo slide format just looks neat.

    Thanks for the years of entertainment and learning. I hope to be reading your stuff for a long time.

  89. On a scale of 0-100%, one part per thousand of carbon monoxide wouldn’t be visible. Who would want to sleep in a atmosphere with 0.1% CO? Data should be displayed on a scale related to its importance.

    What goes into your bank account is less important than the difference between what goes in and what goes out. The difference between two numbers can be more relevant than the individual numbers.

  90. Steven, that just makes me think that the rest of the worlds temp measurements are messed up.
    And we know enough to know that’s a fact.

  91. Willis:

    I’ll concede the point about Alaskan warming – I got my figures from a 2004 report, so looks like things have changed a bit.

    Regarding the methane emissions from permafrost thaw, that is a phenomenon that is just beginning – I never claimed that there would be a 100 fold spike in one year. However, our own graph shows a 12% increase in methane ppbv since 1980, so for you to claim that there is no increase is nonsense. Care to calculate the radiative forcing of 12% more methane in the arctic?

    Anyway, my original point still stands – your claim that a 0.5 deg C global average temperature increase ‘is trivially small’ willfully ignores the implications of such an increase. Namely that in terms of a ‘global temperature average’ this is a very non-trivial increase. To claim otherwise is to demonstrate a misunderstanding of a global temperature average.

  92. Steveta_uk (07:03:21) :

    Much of the warming GISS claims is in central Asia. One theory is that the large landmass promotes warming, whereas the US climate is moderated due to being surrounded closely by oceans on three sides.

  93. John (06:40:11) : It seems that your graph is “also” misleading. […] In essence, you are guilty of doing what you accuse the warmers of, presenting the data in a way that “appears” to support your views. Bottom line is that this is only useful for those who wish to see things this way. It does not show anything useful.

    Au contraire, it puts the ‘catastrophic warming’ in perspective with normal variation. Even though the former is grossly exaggerated, it is still meaningless in the context of reality.

  94. Willis wrote:

    “Most months of the year there is so little change in the decadal averages that the lines cannot be distinguished. The warming, what there is, occurred mostly in the months of November, December, January, and February. Slightly warmer temperatures in the winter … somehow, that doesn’t strike me as anything worth breathing hard about.”
    ============

    Excellent point. That is exactly what I think too. It is indeed a crucial piece of information whether warming occurs uniformly accross the entire temperature range, or mostly at the lower end of the range. And it is a piece of information that a mere averaging of global temperatures, however it is done, does not give at all. If it turns out that what little warming has occurred comes mostly from a rising of temperatures at the lower end of the range, and very little or no rising at the upper end, then the case for alarm seems even more outlandish. It’s hard to imagine people being awfully upset by slightly milder winters. A few may complain that winters are becoming insufficiently harsh, and the bitter cold is not quite as bitter, or doesn’t last as long, as in the good old days. But I suspect most people won’t miss those treasures all that much. Neither woud most animals and most plants.

  95. By conflating mean temperature changes with annual seasonal changes this article pretends that there is no cause for concern. According to figure 1 the US has already experienced a temperature change roughly equivalent to moving everyone’s locality south by about 100 miles. It does not sound much and has not caused noticeable changes to most of us. However projected warming over the next century is equivalent to moving everyone about 500 miles or more south.

    Clearly this will cause noticeable change; it is about the same distance from Chicago into Alabama, or from northern to southern France. I think most people would notice a change in climate if they made such a journey. It won’t be as obvious as seeing and feeling the changes that hit you when you get off a plane at the end of the journey because the change is coming slowly, equivalent to 5 miles/year, a snail’s pace.

    The change is coming however. Slow for us but not for snails and other creatures which is why naturalists are concerned that the natural world will not adapt without considerable disruption.

  96. Excellent post. Thank you Willis.

    Dr A Burns (02:23:52) : A variation of 1 deg F is equal to the recording accuracy of measuring stations: ☺ Add to that the UHI effect and it would be easy to argue that either
    a) we have no idea what the temperature is doing (a good bet)
    b) it is probably getting colder.

    And as for Matt!? What is this “western Canada is 3 to 4C° warmer than 50 years ago.”

    “Everyone” knows it was getting colder from the 1940s the 1970s (it was reported in Newsweek, remember? ☺) and all of the alleged warming has been in the past 30 years. Right? In the past twenty or so years, southern Alberta (not a small area) has either not warmed or become cooler considering mean annual temp.

    Back to the “Alaska and western Canada have warmed 3-4 deg C over the last 50 years,” If we accept North American temp has increased (say) 1C° in the past century, and if we are to believe Matt, then golly gee, an area the size of ALL of eastern USA (east of a line from Minn to Louisiana) had to have cooled by 2 to 3C°.

    So Matt, perhaps you can tell us which of some twenty US states have cooled by 2 or 3 C degrees to result in the “average” for NA.Thanks.

    Again, a great item. Thank you Willis. ☺

    Clive
    From southern Alberta which remains under a storm advisory with up to 30 cm of snow forecast for some regions. We always appreciate the moisture.

  97. “However projected warming over the next century is equivalent to moving everyone about 500 miles or more south.”

    At that pace, some people are going to hit the equator soon. Then where do they go?

  98. Excellent post Willis. This must set a standard.

    I wonder if the larger fluctuation which can clearly be seen in the Winter months is partly due to the amount of ‘fake’ heat in the air during this period? A Winter Urban heating effect would fluctuate in response to the weather and, of course, many people would keep some level of heating going through the night in modern times.

  99. Matt, how much of the increase in methane concentrations occurred over the past 10 years? By looking at the graph Willis posted, it seems as if most of the increase in methane occurred from 1985-1995. Do you have a yearly graph that would clarify this for me?

  100. stevengoddard (08:56:28) : Could you expound a little on the differences? I am not trying to be contrary, rather I was just trying to make a more easily read graph. I went through my files looking for the most recent GISS purveyance for US and global. Is/are the difference(s) adjusted vs. not? Your reference at (05:27:36) to the pivoting of the x-axis may be a global phenomenon as it shows up in some NZ graphs shown here in the past few months. (another possibility for the alignment of my graphs vs yours?)

  101. A very subversive post Willis. How dare you show a different perspective?!

    Only joking..

    I think an even more interesting comparison is the weekly or even daily range of temperatures with the overall the overall trend. Most of life manages to struggle through a daily range of >10C and weekly range of >15C. Kind of makes a 100 year trend of +0.75C seem like less than the end of the world.

  102. “Anyway, my original point still stands – your claim that a 0.5 deg C global average temperature increase ‘is trivially small’ willfully ignores the implications of such an increase. Namely that in terms of a ‘global temperature average’ this is a very non-trivial increase. To claim otherwise is to demonstrate a misunderstanding of a global temperature average.”

    Please demonstrate in what way it is non-trivial.

    Can it cause a tipping point to be reached? Only if you believe that the normal seasonal variations in temperature are just a little eensy weensy bit short of reaching that tipping point anyway. You think that a tiny little increase will suddenly melt all that permafrost and allow enormous amounts of methane into the atmosphere? Why? Retreating winter snows don’t cause runaway releases of methane. Methane doesn’t last long in the atmosphere anyway – it oxidises to CO2 and then the CO2 gets washed out by the rain.

    Can it cause melting of ice on a wide scale? No, because most of the worlds ice is in Antartica and is at -50Celsius so a 0.5Celsius increase in global temps is not going to melt that (even if you assume that measurements made with instruments only accurate to 1 Celsius can be used to detect such a trend.)

    Oh and by the way, most animals don’t need to worry about a 500 hundred mile shift in climate because the vast majority are already spread over areas far larger than 500 miles. Even snails.

  103. Oh the satire !!!

    The top graph titled “UNITED NATIONS IPCC’s VIEW”.
    The second to be titled “NATURE’S VIEW”.

    What a great work Willis. You mind if I plaster the top two in every shopping center possible? How about on some billboards? Your work never ceases to amaze me !!

  104. The first graph is a classic case of misrepresentation by distortion.

    The vertical scale, which represents tiny increments, displays them as large, and the horizontal scale is compressed. So the vertical changes look really big and the slope of the line is really steep, about 66%. To see what I mean, copy the graph and paste it into a Word document. Click on the block on the center of the right of the frame and drag it out to full page width. Then drag the horizontal frame and compress it to half it’s original height. On my computer the slope of the line flattens down to 14%.

    Doesn’t look so scary, does it?

  105. Re the effect of small changes in temperature, some time before 1970 I read in National Geographic (IIRC) that travellers on the Oregon Trail (1841 to 1869) found the US midwest to be semi-desert and useless for agriculture. I remember reading that a “climate change” brought a sufficient change in rainfall / temperature that the region is now a breadbasket.
    A small change in temperature / rainfall can make a big difference.

    IanM

  106. Thanks again Willis.
    Very intuitive, graphs of real temperatures instead of anomalies, and no crazy Y-axis.

  107. Or better, “Oh the irony !!!”
    Perhaps I should actually wake up before hitting the submit button.

    What a great way to portray the matter at hand Willis!
    And I have yet to read the article, just seen the graphs.

  108. “Kate (02:12:25) ”

    Thanks, Kate, and nice takedown. Yes, that’s Post Normal Science in practice = simply a massive Propaganda Operation designed to loot/steal from the producers and anyone who has any “wealth” in order to “redistribute” it to criminals and other parasites. I’m not sure what’s so difficult to understand here, especially since we in the U.S. can see it in Obama, enc.’s, blatant actions even quite apart from any statements.

  109. Willis Eschenbach (04:13:46) :

    Your post is truly excellent for a proper perspective on the minuscule temperature increases — I share the thought that these graphs need to be widely disseminated to the general public — graphs get people’s attention.

    Willis, your response to Matt’s (02:52:32) comment is also excellent — a “smack-down” — if I can be so colloquial.

    And that’s what the AGW advocates need: Real time responses that refute their arguments — a quick response either informs readers and AGW advocates what the real state of the evidence is, or for those advocates who know the reality, but spread their misinformation, lies, anyhow, that they can’t get away with it.

    Thank you for the quick response — I was wondering how Matt’s comment would be handled — it turns out, like a champion dispatching a pretender.

  110. Steve Keohane (09:23:51)

    USHCN made a major adjustment in 2000 which made recent temperatures higher and older temperatures lower.

    I never understood why they did that until I saw your graph. They apparently wanted to make the US data set match the global data set, so they corrupted the good US data rather than fixing the poor global data. Interesting stuff and thanks for making it clear!

  111. Alaskan comments:

    Permafrost is a variable thing based on where in Alaska you are. It averages between 2,000 – 2,500 feet deep on the Prudhoe Bay oil fields. The surface melts down to a foot or so during the height of the summer. The depth of permafrost makes it difficult to produce shallow oil wells with cool oil, as the oil needs to be heated or otherwise treated to lift.

    The farther south in the state you go, the shallower the permafrost level goes. That line sits somewhere between Fairbanks and Anchorage and tends to move around based on warmer or colder weather at each location. It is not a well defined line, either, as there are regions that tend to remain cold and those that tend to remain warm over the course of a year.

    When you get freeze thaw cycles in wet ground, and most of this state is pretty wet, things on the surface, or stuck into the dirt (think fences, foundations, trees, etc.) tend to move around over time.

    Even here in Anchorage, the ground tends to freeze down to 9 feet or so. The depth is somewhat controlled by the thickness of snow pack on it. In a really hard winter of 1995, our initial snow pack fell as rain and it got cold and stayed cold. Ground froze down to about 12 feet. Long around February, the expanding frozen ground started decapitating fire hydrants. It was a real mess.

    Last but not least, the PDO turned to a cold phase a few years ago, which Willis captured nicely in his graph of Alaskan temps. Will be interesting to see quickly those averages return to what we saw in the 1970s.

  112. …and nobody/thing/creature experiences an average global temperature.

    …and, just for fun, plot human prosperity versus CO2.

  113. @Ryan:

    By non-trivial I mean that by historic standards, a 0.5 deg C change is not a small amount. Looking at temperature reconstructions, http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:2000_Year_Temperature_Comparison.png we can see that with the exception of the Little Ice Age, the temperature anomaly varies between +/- 0.5 degrees C.

    If you look farther back http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Ice_Age_Temperature.png, you see that for several hundred thousand years, the earth’s temperature anomaly has varied over a range of 9 degrees C. So on that kind of scale (between ice ball and super-warm earth) then yes, 0.5 deg C is non-trivial.

    @ templar knight
    Zoomed in charts here http://www.csiro.au/news/Has-Methane-Stabilised–ci_pageNo-2.html

  114. rbateman (04:20:06) :

    Red Bluff: 1875?

    Giss dumps that data prior to processing:

    425725910004 RED BLUFF/MUN lat,lon 40.2 -122.2 omit: 0-1889

    Step 1 of GISSTEMP.

  115. Willis?

    You don’t like December? What happened to December? I like December. Could you put December back in the picture? Purddy please?

    PS: Just looks kinda kaddiwampus without December;-)

  116. Louis Hissink (03:31:53) :
    What year did climate science start using the 30 year climate benchmark to produce the temperature anomalies?

    Not sure but Jones cites an article in the climategate letters that indicates a period of 35 years would have a better physical basis, but he didnt want to redo the math. The notion is based on the existence of longish cycles in the data. The choice of 30 years is somewhat insensitive to the final answer. for example in CRU they use a CAM and require 20 ( as I recall) of the 30 years to be present to calculate a normal.

  117. Kate (02:12:25) :
    “1) Reinforce the perception that the US is constructively engaged in UN negotiations in an effort to produce a global regime to combat climate change. This includes support for a symmetrical and legally binding treaty.”

    “global regime” = global power structure = one-world government. Control the energy of the world and you control the world.

    Er, who is going to have all of this power? The Copenhagen Plan had absolutely no structure for the determination of who would wield the power it would create. You might as well hand out nuclear weapons as door prizes for the economic and societal damage such power would cause.

    No amount of showing how the science does not indicate a crisis can dissuade the politicians from their goals. Their heedlessness of the facts is because they already have the confusion/faith which allows them to proceed with the plan.

    They are seeking to change the power structure of the world – it has nothing to do with climate. Obama is on board with the whole wealth redistribution plan. He is doing it in the US and wants to make it global. He wants energy costs to skyrocket and to bathe in the flood of money (and power) that he can spend and hand out to his favored people and other countries. After all, the US is evil and should not be allowed to prosper – it is so selfish of them – no one needs our productivity, apparently, as Obama is all about ruining it.

    Instead of raising undeveloped countries up to our level where they have the wealth to clean up, protect, and husband the environment, these people want to bring the world’s economy down to an agrarian level, no high tech, reasonably short life span (after all, old people cost to much, you know, and they should unselfishly die to make room for others – it’s only fair), no weapons (even fishing might be banned in the US), no rights, and no freedoms – all of these things threaten the environment (in their all-knowing opinion), so you cannot have them.

    They do not want the truth – it conflicts with their agenda. They simply will not admit or recognize the truth or they would be revealed as pursuing a clearly fraudulent plan.

    THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS AN OPEN-DISCUSSION WITH A CLOSED-MINDED PERSON.

    Remember: “The science is settled,”dontcha know. They are moving on to the logical Draconian response to this world-level “crisis!” Draconian, because anything less than world-domination would just be a token effort. Why not go for the whole thing?

  118. kdk_33 (10:20:48) :
    “…and nobody/thing/creature experiences an average global temperature.
    …and, just for fun, plot human prosperity versus CO2.”

    I believe you hit the proverbial nail on the head. It’s the whole point of the alarmism and tying warming to CO2. It’s difficult to bend prosperous societies to the will of a few elitists oligarchs that wish to become plutarchists.

  119. Steve Keohane (09:23:51)

    Another problem with my graph was that I didn’t notice the different scales that GISS had used for US and global.

  120. Willis said:

    “My conclusion? Move along, folks, nothing to see here …”

    ———

    Wow, and to think of the time and effort being wasted by those thousands of scientists world wide from dozens of countries who are studying climate change. If they would just “move along” and know there is “nothing to study here.” I should think between listening to Willis and maybe watching Faux News, they’d really get all the truth they need!

  121. Great work! What lurks inside the averages is pretty tame compared our real experience of climate.

  122. John Pattinson (05:48:23) :

    The USA has a largely benign climate, it will not suffer greatly from temperature changes of a few degrees. But will it open its doors to the millions of people who are likely to be significantly impacted? If it is not prepared to do that, it should at least look seriously at the potential risks for those people and see how it might mitigate those impacts through its own actions; its good risk management and good neighbourliness, something the people of the USA have always rightly taken pride in.

    True. But surely the U.S. should not destroy itself in order to “help” the rest of the World, which is what the PNS CO2CAGW Climate Scientists advocate.

    Rather, the U.S. should hold itself up as an example of what works ! And the U.S. should protect and preserve its example by the necessary – but not sufficient – means of a strong National Defense and reasonable Immigration Policy. Succumbing to a rather feckless brand of Marxist Socialism/Communism is not a plan.

    In general, the rest of the World needs to recognize what works and what doesn’t work. Only then can “the rest” be helped. And we can’t do that particular thing for them.

  123. More excellent work Willis! And Homer Simpson was a most appropriate touch. I’m sure any members of the IPCC gang who see these inconvenient graphs will be gasping ‘Doh!’ while their flocks go watch TV so they don’t have to think about it.

    Seems the only logical solution for the gang to maintain their useful crisis is to ‘discover’ that average is bad, and that CO2 suppresses variations. We’re all doomed to die of catastrophic boredom unless we act immediately.

  124. Excellent presentation of statistics to demonstrate at a glance that the data record indicates there’s effectively nothing out of the ordinary – and therefore the “Greatest Threat The World Has Ever Faced” is most likely nothing whatever of the sort.

    Next up; how about repeating this exercise with global data (if you can get hold of any that’s genuine…) to illustrate the record over the last 160 years? My bet is that it would appear virtually identical to the one here, thus making the hysterical warmist claims look even sillier.

  125. slow to follow (04:50:18)

    Willis – please can you check out Paul’s comment above at 2:44:20?

    I think he is right – adding another Jan point on the RHS of the graphic will make the gradients on and off the graphic compatible.

    I prefer Paul’s way, and I’ve done that in the past, only to endure questioning about why my year had 13 months, and was I using 30 day months, and the like. So I decided to do it this way … can’t please everybody, I guess.

  126. @ R. Gates (11:15:11) :

    Willis said:
    “My conclusion? Move along, folks, nothing to see here …”
    ———
    Wow, and to think of the time and effort being wasted by those thousands of scientists world wide from dozens of countries who are studying climate change. If they would just “move along” and know there is “nothing to study here.”
    ——-
    Of course, if they did “move along”, they’d have to go get real jobs and try to be productive as opposed to attempting to thwart productivity. BTW, do you really think there are “thousands of scientists” studying climate change today? Really? I can name a few, more than most, but I can’t get anywhere near 100 that has published, or participated in a significant manner to the CAGW theory. I’m wondering where they are?

  127. John Pattinson (05:48:23)


    “My point in all of this is that the temperature changes that we are discussing (a global rise of a bit more than half a degree C in the last century) are trivially small. A half degree change cannot be sensed by the human body”

    Clearly the average temperature increases seen so far are relatively small in terms of daily or annual changes and we humans are very capable of surviving extremes (living at the poles or in hot deserts), as individuals we can take a lot of change.

    However, the world now is home to 6 billion people and very soon to become 9? 10? 11? billion. These people need houses to live in and food to eat. Small temperature changes can have a big impact on the productivity of the agricultural land they impact, just look at the relatively narrow areas different crops grow in.

    We see much more than a half-degree change from year to year. The average US temperature has changed three degrees in a few years more than once, as can be seen in Fig. 1. The biggest single year change was two and three quarters degrees.

    But those pesky dang plants kept growing on the farms, and somehow your “narrow areas different crops grow in” didn’t destroy agriculture as we know it. Perhaps no one mentioned it to the plants.

    The USA has a largely benign climate, it will not suffer greatly from temperature changes of a few degrees. But will it open its doors to the millions of people who are likely to be significantly impacted? If it is not prepared to do that, it should at least look seriously at the potential risks for those people and see how it might mitigate those impacts through its own actions; its good risk management and good neighbourliness, something the people of the USA have always rightly taken pride in.

    Since the beginning of satellite records in 1979, do you know how much warming there has been in the tropics?

    None. No statistically significant warming at all.

    So where are these millions of “significantly impacted” people going to come from? People fleeing the warmer winter nights in Winnipeg? Folks running from the balmier February days in Budapest?

    Every forecast climate calamity which is supposed to result from global warming is with us today. Floods, famines, rising sea levels, storms, droughts, wet and dry years, hot and cold years, sickness, we don’t have to wait fifty years for a single one of them. They are here now, and yet somehow, we don’t have millions of “climate refugees” beating down the doors …

    Go figure.

  128. @ Willis Eschenbach (11:50:14) :
    We see much more than a half-degree change from year to year. The average US temperature has changed three degrees in a few years more than once, as can be seen in Fig. 1. The biggest single year change was two and three quarters degrees.”

    And how many degrees separates us from an ice age? Five? Six? It’s not a lot. We should be thanking our lucky stars we live in such balmy conditions.

    I think Lindzen et. al are right–the Earth is never in equilibrium and doesn’t have a “preferred” temperature.

    Great post, Willis. And I loved the Homer Simpson reference!

  129. stevengoddard (06:21:20)

    The US only makes up 2% of the earth’s land area. If you look at the entire earth, the story is quite different. US and global temperatures started diverging around 1960 and divergence has increased ever since.

    http://docs.google.com/View?id=ddw82wws_609dcfg9zrc

    Ummm … you can’t overlay them like that, the scales are different …

  130. Digsby (07:20:42)

    I think I may be correct in interpreting the “panic-stricken desert effect” background of the first graph as actually being Homer Simpson reenacting Edvard Munch’s famous painting “The Scream”. If that was your original idea, Willis, then it is as clever as your analysis of the graphs.

    Not my idea, sadly, but it is Homer in Munch’s painting …

  131. From my earlier post:
    “…a global regime to combat climate change. ”

    This is somewhat open to interpretation, but what I understand “regime” to mean in this case is the creation of a financial/bureaucratic strait jacket to force all of us to pay carbon dioxide taxes to less developed countries as some sort of “compensation” for being industrially more advanced, and to pay for infrastructure such as sea walls to keep out the “rising sea levels”, etc. which we have supposedly caused. What it amounts to is using carbon dioxide taxes in order to pay poor countries to stay undeveloped.

  132. Matt (08:09:43)

    Willis:

    I’ll concede the point about Alaskan warming – I got my figures from a 2004 report, so looks like things have changed a bit.

    Regarding the methane emissions from permafrost thaw, that is a phenomenon that is just beginning – I never claimed that there would be a 100 fold spike in one year. However, our own graph shows a 12% increase in methane ppbv since 1980, so for you to claim that there is no increase is nonsense. Care to calculate the radiative forcing of 12% more methane in the arctic?

    Sure. According to the IPCC, the change in forcing for a change in methane in ppb is

    alpha*(SQRT(MM)-SQRT(M0)-(forcingf(MM,N0)-forcingf(M0,N0)))

    where alpha is 0.036, MM is the methane concentration (~1800 ppb), M0 is the original methane concentration (~ 1600 ppb) and N0 is the N20 concentration (about 310 ppb).

    The formula “forcingf”, in turn, is

    forcingf(m, n) = 0.47 * Log(1 + (2.01 * 10 ^ -5) * ((m * n) ^ 0.75) + 5.31 * 10 ^ -15 * m * (m * n) ^ 1.52)

    where “Log” is the natural log to the base e.

    Putting all of that together, a change in methane from 1600 ppb to 1800 ppb gives a forcing change of 0.09 W/m2 … please check my figures, but that’s what I get.

    People get misled by the true statement that, per molecule, methane is a much more potent GHG than CO2. The fly in the ointment is that CO2 concentration is ~ 385 parts per million, where the methane concentration is ~ 2 parts per million. A 12% change in methane is meaningless.

    Anyway, my original point still stands – your claim that a 0.5 deg C global average temperature increase ‘is trivially small’ willfully ignores the implications of such an increase. Namely that in terms of a ‘global temperature average’ this is a very non-trivial increase. To claim otherwise is to demonstrate a misunderstanding of a global temperature average.

    If you had not been told that the global temperature had increased by half a degree C over the last century, what would you point to as the results of this “non-trivial” increase? What have been the changes in the climate that would stand out in a “non-trivial” way? What have been the “non-trivial” consequences of what you see as a huge change?

    In other words, what clues would you have that there had been any temperature change at all, much less a “non-trivial” change? I see little change in anything, but YMMV.

  133. Matt (02:52:32) :

    “In areas of permafrost, this amount of warming is crucial – the very definition of permafrost means ‘permanently frozen.’”

    I would suggest you go look up that definition again. Almost all areas of permafrost melt at the surface annually. The depth of the melt varies from a couple of feet to over 20 feet. What makes it permafrost is that at some depth the earth remains frozen year round. The majority of permafrost areas in the world are intermittent permafrost, which means that over extended timescales they are sometimes permanently frozen at depth and sometimes not. The notion that areas that have been melting 7-8 feet or 18-20 feet are going to turn into volcanoes of methane because those ranges change to 8-10 feet or 20-22 feet is fairly dubious in my estimation.

  134. stevengoddard (05:23:00) : edit

    Willis,

    Interesting article, but USHCN does make a UHI adjustment.

    Good catch, Steven, I was wrong. I thought GISS used the USHCN figures and added a UHI adjustment, but USHCN makes their own as well. I’ll update the head post to reflect that.

    Thanks,

    w.

  135. Matt (02:52:32)
    “Just an example, Alaska and western Canada have warmed 3-4 deg C over the last 50 years,…”

    Where are you getting this data from?. I have run every GHCN Station in BC through Jeff ids R script for individual stations and I am pretty sure none of them show an increase of 3-4 Degrees C over 50 years.

  136. I wonder what the average ice age conditions would look like on graph two? They would be on the plot I’m sure, but surely no one would deny the vast difference in conditions?

  137. MikeD (08:20:07)

    By conflating mean temperature changes with annual seasonal changes this article pretends that there is no cause for concern.

    I have not conflated those two. I have shown them separately, that is to say, I have contrasted them. You are conflating “contrasting” and “conflating” …

    According to figure 1 the US has already experienced a temperature change roughly equivalent to moving everyone’s locality south by about 100 miles. It does not sound much and has not caused noticeable changes to most of us. However projected warming over the next century is equivalent to moving everyone about 500 miles or more south.

    I love these kinds of claims, they make me look things up. Per the HadCRUT absolute global temperature data, in the area covered by the US, the temperature change North/South is about 0.012°C per mile. A temperature change of 0.5°C is therefore about 42 miles. If we get a temperature change of +2°C in the next century (possible but very doubtful in my estimation, YMMV), that would be a change of about 170 miles. From Chicago (which is in Illinois), that doesn’t even get you out of Illinois … and it’s less than a third of the way across France, for that matter.

    Clearly this will cause noticeable change; it is about the same distance from Chicago into Alabama, or from northern to southern France. I think most people would notice a change in climate if they made such a journey. It won’t be as obvious as seeing and feeling the changes that hit you when you get off a plane at the end of the journey because the change is coming slowly, equivalent to 5 miles/year, a snail’s pace.

    The change is coming however. Slow for us but not for snails and other creatures which is why naturalists are concerned that the natural world will not adapt without considerable disruption.

    You have ignored the fact shown in my graphs that the warming is in the winter. I don’t think that many people, or many snails for that matter, would complain if their winter temperatures were that of an area a bit further south. If it’s a problem for you, move north.

    Finally, if you get on a plane in the winter and go somewhere that is 2° warmer than where you left, I doubt that you would even notice … when’s the last time it warmed 2° in the winter and you said “my goodness, that’s nice, it’s much more pleasant now” …

  138. Pascvaks (10:48:10)

    Willis?

    You don’t like December? What happened to December? I like December. Could you put December back in the picture? Purddy please?

    PS: Just looks kinda kaddiwampus without December;-)

    Huh? The months go from 1 to 12, January to December.

  139. @Dr A Burns (02:23:52) :

    A variation of 1 deg F is equal to the recording accuracy of measuring stations:

    http://www.srh.noaa.gov/ohx/dad/coop/EQUIPMENT.pdf

    “MMTS OBSERVER INSTRUCTIONS
    To determine the maximum temperature – push “MAX” button.
    To determine the minimum temperature – push “MIN” button.
    The At Observation temperature is the current temperature displayed.
    Record temperatures in whole degrees only.”

    – – – – – – –

    DATA ANALYSIS INSTRUCTIONS
    To calculate the “Daily average temperature” reported to the public:
    1) Add the MAX and the MIN together.
    2) Divide by two.

    Never mind that this is really the median temperature, but nevertheless, report it as the average temperature. Hardly anyone will notice this bit of sloppiness.

  140. R. Gates (11:15:11)

    Willis said:

    “My conclusion? Move along, folks, nothing to see here …”

    ———

    Wow, and to think of the time and effort being wasted by those thousands of scientists world wide from dozens of countries who are studying climate change. If they would just “move along” and know there is “nothing to study here.” I should think between listening to Willis and maybe watching Faux News, they’d really get all the truth they need!

    R. Gates, here’s how it works. I have shown graphs and presented facts that show there is nothing to see here. If you hold the opposite view, merely waving your hands and saying “You’re wrong!” won’t get you any traction on this site. It is a scientific site, voted Best Science Blog on the web in 2008. As such, we are interested in facts, measurements, data, math, you know … science. If you have facts to back up your claims, you should bring them out. If not …

  141. R. Gates (11:15:11) :

    Willis said:

    “My conclusion? Move along, folks, nothing to see here …”

    ———
    Wow, and to think of the time and effort being wasted by those thousands of scientists world wide from dozens of countries who are studying climate change. If they would just “move along” and know there is “nothing to study here.”

    You forgot to mention the billions of dollars wasted, careers wasted on the equivalent of digging holes and filling them back in, and the tragic, propagandizing and frightening of children bordering on child abuse.
    Other than that though, no problem.

  142. @ Clive

    concerning the states that have cooled… You tell me. Wasnt there recently much discussion on this site about the southward movement of snow extent?

  143. BTW, for those still worried by the potential for a looming methane climate catastrophe, I would recommend reviewing this paper

    http://ams.confex.com/ams/Annual2006/techprogram/paper_100737.htm

    The paper is pretty much a piece of warmist dreck, but the experimental technique appears to be sound and the actual measurements quite revealing. They used spectral analysis of downwelling longwave radiation to attempt to quantify the contribution of the various components of the atmosphere to the total DLR signal, which is basically the heart and soul of the “greenhouse effect”. I would draw your attention to tables 3a and 3b which list the measured seasonal fluxes for winter and summer that they measured. The winter values do offer some support to the notion of CO2 as a potential driver of the climate, as the relative absence of H2O makes the CO2 appear to be quite significant, although even in winter the interannual variance of H2O’s contribution is almost as great as the total CO2.

    Where it gets really interesting is in table 3b, the summer measurements. In a phenomenon that even the authors feel compelled to comment on, when the contribution of H2O rises above 200W/m2, the contribution of all the other GHGs is dramatically surpressed. CO2 goes from being almost a quarter of the 147W/m2 total in winter, to less than 4% of the 270W/m2 total for the summer.

    Take special note of that 270W/m2 number. This experiment was done in Canada. The central notion of CAGW hypothesis seems to be that the addition of CO2 to the atmosphere will drive warming which will lead to increased water in the atmosphere which will exacerbate the warming dramatically. Since, as I understand it the majority of water in the atmosphere is generated by evaporation from the oceans at tropical and subtropical latitudes and estimates and measurements of DLR at those latitudes indicate total DLR there to range from 350W/m2 to well over 400 W/m2, the results from this Canadian experiment would seem to suggest that where the excess evaporation must take place CO2 and all the other nonH2O GHGs contribute at most 2-3% of the greenhouse effect and probably less.

    When I first came across this paper quite some time ago, I naively expected the potential of this spectral analysis technique to at last provide solidly quantified values for the contributions of the various GHGs to planetary warming would lead to a rush to repeat these measurements at other locations across the globe. Instead, unless Google has really dropped the ball on this one, I’ve only found one other instance of it. Rather predictably it was done at the South Pole, where CO2 was shown to account for a full third of DLR. Of course that paper’s authors conveniently failed to mention that, at the location where they did their work, the temps have been laying there like a dead dog for 50 years.

    The Canadians did this work more than a decade ago. In the interim total DLR has been measured at quite a number of locations. Adding the spectral analysis capability to all those locations would likely have been a difficult though hardly daunting task. Given the large potential to significantly advance our knowledge of the climate that such analysis would have provided, I find the lack of willingness to pursue it rather puzzling. A less charitable mind than mine might suspect that some of those who control the flow of grant money really don’t want to know what this might reveal. But I’ll leave that for each of you to form your own judgement.

    I just realized I have drifted completely clear of why I started this comment in the first place, which was in reference to methane. To cut to the chase, the measurements for methane range from 0.6 W/m2 to 1.3 W/m2 with seasonal and annual variability being much greater than any estimated increase.

  144. Dave Wendt (14:59:00) : edit


    I just realized I have drifted completely clear of why I started this comment in the first place, which was in reference to methane. To cut to the chase, the measurements for methane range from 0.6 W/m2 to 1.3 W/m2 with seasonal and annual variability being much greater than any estimated increase.

    Fascinating paper, Dave, many thanks. Matt asked above what a 12% change in methane would mean. I calculated it at 0.09W/m2. 12% of your two figures are 0.06 and 0.14 W/m2 respectively, so I’d say my calculation was in the ballpark …

  145. Well I’m sorry Willis but I find it hard to buy into your thesis; because of the totally phony temperature scales that you employ in order to inflate the feeling of catastrophe; or “robustness” if you will.

    So why don’t you quit trying to fool us, and plot the data on the real world temeprature scale; which really runs from about -130 F to +140 F; which translates to -90C (Vostok) to +60 C (Tropical desert surface); that being the real extremes of temperature which might all exist simultaneously on the planet; particularly round about July.

    Otherwise I would say you are a fraud; with an agenda to mislead us.

    George

  146. here’s an interesting site which compares 3 stations with the CSIRO and BOM’s assertion that all of Australia has experienced warming over the past 50 years

    http://rcs-audit.blogspot.com/

    her conclusions are If an accountant were to use these same methods in preparing financial reports, he would surely go to jail for his efforts. And yet this obvious data manipulation seems to be the mainstay of modern “Climate Scientology”. It bears similarities to the financial manipulation that underlies the derivatives market in that the end product is almost unrecognisable from the data on which it is based. One wonders whether this “homogenised data” might better be labelled “Climate Data Derivatives”.

    ‘Whatever claims the BoM may have to operating an efficient weather station network, it is all for nothing when they let their data disappear into this cesspool of “homogenisation”. As we can see from this small sample, none of the “homogenised” records bears any resemblance to the graphs produced from the presumably more realistic station data records. And when a whole century’s worth of “homogenised” data can be produced out of thin air, one has to ask – “what happened to the quality assurance procedures we were told about”.
    I don’t know anything about the blogger (unfortunately) but have no reason to doubt what she says and her conclusions

  147. Willis said:

    “If you have facts to back up your claims…”

    —————

    First, don’t be so full of yourself Willis. I have complemented you on some excellent posts, and to make the claim that WUWT is a “scientific” site–as though there is not a fair amount of politics as well, is just a slight exaggeration, don’t you think.

    I am not a scientist, though as I’ve stated before, I do have several friends who work in the climate field, and my comment was as much for them as anything. They’ve dedicated their lives to their professions and I do think I know what has motivated them– the search for the truth. The insinuation that you, Mr. Willis Eschenbach, are oh so much wiser than all the thousands of men and women who are out in the field or in their research labs studying this stuff everyday, I find a bit, well, inflated…

    So now let’s take a look at three of my favorite graphs. First, the arctic sea ice anomaly graph for the past 30 years (the best and longest bit of reliable data we have):

    Now if you can look at this and see that there is “someething to see here”, then I would doubt your natural curosity. No matter what side of the AGW debate you’re on…there is certainly something to see here. Something very interesting started happening with arctic sea ice about 10 years ago or so. And yes, it is true, that something else very interesting (a recovery of sorts) started happening in 2008-2009. Now even a neutral eye, with no stance on AGW at all might want to look at this data and say, “wow, it was going down for 8 years or so, and then suddenly seemed to stop falling…hmmm, I wonder why.” Then maybe that would lead you to look at the deep solar minimum we had, or the effect of higher GCR’s on clouds during this time, or something. But let’s move on.

    Here’s another graph I personally find very interesting:

    Again, I personally find this graph very interesting. Not just because it show global temps going up over the past few decades, but because of the little variations that seem to indicate some kind of effect from the solar cycle, even though the up trend seems to dominate. Now combining this graph with the previous one, a reasonably curious person might ask…”hmmm, could the extreme deep solar minimum of 2008-2009 had some kind of effect on the general downward trend in arctic sea ice during 2008-2009?” Is it possible that the solar minimum allowed more GCR’s to hit earth, inceased the cloud cover, changed wind patterns, sent the the arctic AO index into a tailspin, etc. Who knows? But apparently, the men and women who are studying these very questions are just wasting their time, or as you say Willis, “nothing to see here…move on…” Because apparently, Willis, you know better than they…

    And finally, one last graph:

    http://www.nodc.noaa.gov/OC5/3M_HEAT_CONTENT/

    Oh, I know, there are many people here on WUWT who feel this graph tells us nothing important…when there are many climate experts who say quite the opposite. According to AGW models, the oceans have been absorbing the bulk of the execess heat from AGW. Much to the chagrin of many AGW skeptics, the ocean heat content graph tells us that very thing as well. Sure, it fluctuates with the discharge of heat and cycling of heat in the deeper oceans, but the trend is obvious, just as the trend is obvious in the two previous graphs I present. And low and behold, during the past few years we’ve seen some flattening of the rise in the ocean heat index, just as we saw a halt in the fall of arctic sea ice, and just as we saw a pause in the rise of global temps during the onset of the very deep solar minimum. Could all of these now be related? Are then telling us the same thing? Maybe a deep and prolonged solar minimum can have an big impact on climate, and here’s some graphs to show that? But, no, Mr. Willis Eschenbach…these graphs tell us nothing. The men and women studying this sort of thing all around the world are wasting their times…wasting their lives…wasting government money, etc. because you have looked at your own hand selected set of charts and decided that there is nothing to see here…move along.

    You’re a very smart person Willis…but I doubt you’ve ever spent the season in Anarctica collecting ice cores, or months on end floating on a boat in the middle of a pond in Siberia measuring methane gas emissions– all because you believe in the science. At times I find your puffestry a bit off putting, and times I find it necessary to defend the good and intelligent men and women who refuse to “move along” and do indeed find many things to “see here”…

  148. I think the decadal average temperatures by month shows the long term trend best.
    Can we have a 3-D version to see how that looks? If it’s OK, I’ll plot every graph this way.

  149. R. Gates (17:11:21),

    You are the King of the Cherry-pickers, no doubt about that. How many times do you intend to show that graph of the Arctic, while pretending the Antarctic is following suit?

    The Arctic, like the Antarctic, is a region. Neither one is global, unless they are considered together.

    Here are both graphs, side by side: click

    I am glad you’re checking out the Climate4You site, you will probably learn something worthwhile there. C4Y shows that CO2 isn’t the culprit in global warming [hint: the planet is emerging from the Little Ice Age, and there are many other forcings – all more important than CO2].

    Next, your NODC chart shows a recent declining trend. Didn’t you notice? Cohenite noticed in another thread that it had to be re-adjusted because of its original faulty “adjustment”: click [blink gif – takes a few seconds to load]

    Here’s what had to be changed: click

    Did you ever wonder why the “adjustments” are always made in the scariest direction? For the same reason your pals “dedicated their lives to their professions”: Job $ecurity.

    With that chart retraction we’re well into natural climate variability territory. No need to invoke the e-e-evil “carbon” in order to explain the natural rebound from the LIA, aided by clouds, ocean cycles and other factors. In fact, Occam’s Razor says it’s foolish to add extraneous entities, such as CO2, when they’re not necessary to explain something.

    The Null Hypothesis rules, and CAGW still lacks any verifiable, reproducible, testable evidence.

  150. R. Gates (17:11:21) : edit

    Willis said:

    “If you have facts to back up your claims…”

    —————

    First, don’t be so full of yourself Willis. I have complemented you on some excellent posts, and to make the claim that WUWT is a “scientific” site–as though there is not a fair amount of politics as well, is just a slight exaggeration, don’t you think.

    R Gates, you came in, declared that:

    Wow, and to think of the time and effort being wasted by those thousands of scientists world wide from dozens of countries who are studying climate change. If they would just “move along” and know there is “nothing to study here.” I should think between listening to Willis and maybe watching Faux News, they’d really get all the truth they need!

    I did say, “move along”, so that quote is accurate. But “nothing to study here” is nothing but your twisted interpretation. Don’t put words in my mouth, it is a sneaky trick that angrifies my blood. “Nothing to study” is also a straw man, something you have made up out of the whole cloth and just spent a whole post arguing against, when I NEVER SAID IT.

    I asked you for facts instead of handwaving and political commentary about “Faux News”, and you get your knickers in a twist … ah, well, I suppose I shouldn’t care. Are there political comments on this site? Sure. Did it get the “Best Political Blog” award? No, it got the “Best Science Blog” award.

    I am not a scientist, though as I’ve stated before, I do have several friends who work in the climate field, and my comment was as much for them as anything. They’ve dedicated their lives to their professions and I do think I know what has motivated them– the search for the truth. The insinuation that you, Mr. Willis Eschenbach, are oh so much wiser than all the thousands of men and women who are out in the field or in their research labs studying this stuff everyday, I find a bit, well, inflated…

    You mistake my meaning entirely. There are lots and lots of fascinating things to study in the field of climate. Am I “oh so much wiser than” all climate scientists? That’s your fantasy, not mine. I’m just another scientist who thinks he is right … quite unlike all the rest of the scientists in your experience, I guess …

    I thought my meaning was clear, but I guess it wasn’t, so I’ll restate it. A 0.5°C change in the temperature is nothing out of the ordinary. It is not anomalous. It is not unusual. It is not the defining problem of our century. And it is nothing to worry about.

    What on earth does that have to do with honest climate scientists doing honest work?

    So now let’s take a look at three of my favorite graphs. First, the arctic sea ice anomaly graph for the past 30 years (the best and longest bit of reliable data we have):

    Now if you can look at this and see that there is “someething to see here”, then I would doubt your natural curosity. No matter what side of the AGW debate you’re on…there is certainly something to see here. Something very interesting started happening with arctic sea ice about 10 years ago or so. And yes, it is true, that something else very interesting (a recovery of sorts) started happening in 2008-2009. Now even a neutral eye, with no stance on AGW at all might want to look at this data and say, “wow, it was going down for 8 years or so, and then suddenly seemed to stop falling…hmmm, I wonder why.” Then maybe that would lead you to look at the deep solar minimum we had, or the effect of higher GCR’s on clouds during this time, or something. But let’s move on.

    I see the problem. You think “nothing to see here” means “there is nothing of interest worth studying in the field of climate science”. Don’t know where you got that, it sure wasn’t from me, I’m fascinated by the myriad challenges of climate science …

    My meaning was quite different. It was that there is nothing worth reorganizing the economy of the planet, nothing worth restructuring the way we live our lives, nothing to stay up nights worrying about, in the US temperature record of the last century.

    Here’s another graph I personally find very interesting:

    Again, I personally find this graph very interesting. Not just because it show global temps going up over the past few decades, but because of the little variations that seem to indicate some kind of effect from the solar cycle, even though the up trend seems to dominate. Now combining this graph with the previous one, a reasonably curious person might ask…”hmmm, could the extreme deep solar minimum of 2008-2009 had some kind of effect on the general downward trend in arctic sea ice during 2008-2009?” Is it possible that the solar minimum allowed more GCR’s to hit earth, inceased the cloud cover, changed wind patterns, sent the the arctic AO index into a tailspin, etc. Who knows? But apparently, the men and women who are studying these very questions are just wasting their time, or as you say Willis, “nothing to see here…move on…” Because apparently, Willis, you know better than they…

    Oh, please, that’s not what I meant, and if you don’t know that, you’re not paying attention.

    And finally, one last graph:

    http://www.nodc.noaa.gov/OC5/3M_HEAT_CONTENT/

    Oh, I know, there are many people here on WUWT who feel this graph tells us nothing important…when there are many climate experts who say quite the opposite. According to AGW models, the oceans have been absorbing the bulk of the execess heat from AGW. Much to the chagrin of many AGW skeptics, the ocean heat content graph tells us that very thing as well. Sure, it fluctuates with the discharge of heat and cycling of heat in the deeper oceans, but the trend is obvious, just as the trend is obvious in the two previous graphs I present. And low and behold, during the past few years we’ve seen some flattening of the rise in the ocean heat index, just as we saw a halt in the fall of arctic sea ice, and just as we saw a pause in the rise of global temps during the onset of the very deep solar minimum. Could all of these now be related? Are then telling us the same thing? Maybe a deep and prolonged solar minimum can have an big impact on climate, and here’s some graphs to show that? But, no, Mr. Willis Eschenbach…these graphs tell us nothing. The men and women studying this sort of thing all around the world are wasting their times…wasting their lives…wasting government money, etc. because you have looked at your own hand selected set of charts and decided that there is nothing to see here…move along.

    “… many climate experts who say quite the opposite” … gosh, I’m convinced now. Science by democratic vote, that’s the ideal … not. Different scientists have different views, and every one of them thinks he or she is right … shocking, huh?

    If you had actually looked at what the climate models say, and the ocean heat content graphs, you’d know that they match very poorly. But unlike the “men and women studying this sort of thing”, including myself, you haven’t done that, you just claim that they show the same thing, and claim that we are “chagrined” by that. Come back with a graph showing how well a climate model matches the ocean heat content since 1960, and we’ll discuss chagrin. To pass the time until you find one, here’s a study I did three years before your cited graph was published, of the match between Hansen’s climate model, the GISS model E, and the ocean heat content data available at that time …

    As you can see, the GISS climate model does a very, very poor job of matching the oceanic heat content. James Hansen cherry-picked the last ten years of the ocean data to write a paper claiming great, stupendous, “smoking gun” results … but he either didn’t analyze the earlier data, or didn’t reveal it. Should we all genuflect to him as one of the “climate experts” you fantasize I’m dissing?

    (In passing, it is a measure of the poor state of climate science in general that your lovely graph has no error bars … bad scientists, no cookies.)

    You’re a very smart person Willis…but I doubt you’ve ever spent the season in Anarctica collecting ice cores, or months on end floating on a boat in the middle of a pond in Siberia measuring methane gas emissions– all because you believe in the science. At times I find your puffestry a bit off putting, and times I find it necessary to defend the good and intelligent men and women who refuse to “move along” and do indeed find many things to “see here”…

    Oh, not this crap again about how the only real, true, honest, valiant scientists are those that brave the Antarctic wilds searching for the elusive datapoint. There’s lots of parts of science. There’s people that collect the data. There’s people that analyze it and think about it. You seem to think that the collectors are the only scientists … unsurprising, I guess.

    But once again, you have totally misunderstood what I said. I have spent lots of time contemplating that very study and hundreds of others like it. There’s lots to be seen in climate science, and lots of good folks studying it. So let me re-state my conclusion, since it seems to have eluded you:

    Perhaps you see this small warming, as has often been claimed, as a huge problem that “vastly eclipses that of terrorism” (the Guardian). Maybe you think this is a pressing concern which is the “defining issue of our era” (UN Secretary Ban Ki-Moon).

    I don’t. I’m sorry, but for me, poverty and injustice and racial prejudice and totalitarian regimes and recurring warfare and a lack of clean drinking water and torture and rampant disease and lack of education and child prostitution and a host of other problems “vastly eclipse” the possibility of a degree or two of warming happening at night in the winter in the extra-tropics fifty years from now.

    That’s what I mean by “nothing to see here”, and it seems that just about everyone but you got the message.

    We now return you to your regularly scheduled programming …

  151. jaymam (17:21:35)

    I think the decadal average temperatures by month shows the long term trend best.
    Can we have a 3-D version to see how that looks? If it’s OK, I’ll plot every graph this way.

    I’m not a big fan of 3D charts in general, it is often hard to see the details. But a lot of people have asked, and we’re nothing if not a full-service science blog, so …

  152. Great stuff!

    Now please do the graphs for the world as a whole, and a series for various regions. Especially one for Australia so that I can send it to the CSIRO.

    (And of course, keep them all in Celsius. Farenheit is only used by the terminally backward.)

  153. Even the dumbest weatherman knows that it will stay warmer through the night if there is cloud cover, especially in the winter. So who is looking at the change in cloud cover and trying to determine if it is the real cause, and why the clouds have increased. (Could be increased irrigation – look at the number of center pivot irrigation systems in Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, California, etc. I would guess the number has drastically increased since the 60’s. They are easy to spot with Google Maps Satellite view.)

  154. RoHa (18:57:33) :

    (And of course, keep them all in Celsius. Farenheit is only used by the terminally backward.)

    There are 1.8 degrees F for every degree C. In other words we have accepted an almost 2 to 1 loss of precision for the convenience of only having to deal with numbers that are all factors of ten. The inability or unwillingness to deal arithmetically with numbers that don’t conveniently end in zero is hardly a hallmark of superior mental attainment.

  155. 13
    04
    2010
    George E. Smith (16:16:53) :
    Well I’m sorry Willis but I find it hard to buy into your thesis; because of the totally phony temperature scales that you employ in order to inflate the feeling of catastrophe; or “robustness” if you will.

    So why don’t you quit trying to fool us, and plot the data on the real world temeprature scale; which really runs from about -130 F to +140 F; which translates to -90C (Vostok) to +60 C (Tropical desert surface); that being the real extremes of temperature which might all exist simultaneously on the planet; particularly round about July.

    Otherwise I would say you are a fraud; with an agenda to mislead us.

    George
    =====
    Don’t be so hard on Willis. Of course he is biased, and may have an agenda, but I don’t think he claims to be a true skeptic. Can’t a person make up silly graphs to poke fun at silly graphs?

  156. Willis Eschenbach (18:48:19)

    The 3-D graph is great. I was hoping to have one color per decade and then it would be perfect. I’d like to use it for plotting single weather station data.

  157. UzUrBrn (19:07:55), thanks for the comment.

    Even the dumbest weatherman knows that it will stay warmer through the night if there is cloud cover, especially in the winter. So who is looking at the change in cloud cover and trying to determine if it is the real cause, and why the clouds have increased. (Could be increased irrigation – look at the number of center pivot irrigation systems in Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, California, etc. I would guess the number has drastically increased since the 60’s. They are easy to spot with Google Maps Satellite view.)

    Clouds actually cool the planet overall. You’re not alone, the climate models also think cloud feedback warms the planet. The ERBE data shows that they are wrong … go figure.

    Regarding irrigation, you might be interested in this paper from John Christy of UAH.

  158. UHI is like water vapor, we better figure out whether they are positive or negative forcing’s.

    I think most sensible people would agree that UHI increases city temperatures, just how does Hansen figure it to adjust olden days lower and recent days warmer? That seems totally backwards to me!

  159. Wren (19:47:57)


    Don’t be so hard on Willis. Of course he is biased, and may have an agenda, but I don’t think he claims to be a true skeptic. Can’t a person make up silly graphs to poke fun at silly graphs?

    I rather suspect that George E. Smith’s post was satire … but then I’ve been wrong before.

    Heck, I’ve been wrong in this thread, I thought the USHCN didn’t do UHI adjustments. That’s science at work, I make claims, people try to poke holes in them, we all learn something.

    Am I a “true skeptic”? Gosh, I don’t know. I’ve laid out my beliefs at “Trust and Mistrust”, you tell me if I’m a true skeptic or just masquerading as one …

  160. Willis,

    I got the message quite well. You think the presentation of the data skews perceptions about climate change and that you don’t think the warming of the past century is important relative to what you see as the other pressing issues of our time. So you presented your own graphs to show that the warming is really nothing to worry about. You called it “trivially small”.
    Interesting, it was only a slightly larger (by a few tenths of a degree) temperature change (in the opposite direction) the brought about the Little Ice Age, and I wouldn’t consider that event as trivially small. When talking about global average temperatures, tenths of a degree really do matter, and the can’t be compared to the temperature on any single day varying by a few degrees– this is comparing two vastly different metrics. But you’re smart enough to know this…so I wonder why you do it. And worse, in doing so, you do, whether you admit it or not, trivialize the research of those who think a few tenths of a degree over a period of a few decades, if it continues in the same direction over a longer period, really is important and that we’d better not “move along” because if AGWT is correct and we don’t do something about it, then the poverty and hunger we see today will be magnified by thousand-fold. This is not alarmism, but simple prudence, for the stakes are high enough to merit both not “moving along”, and the equal dose of healthy skepticism to make sure the science is honest, but either way, “moving along” is not a viable option until the issue is settled.

  161. Steve Goddard (10:16:01) : Thanks for your reply. These guys like their data smoothed and homogenized don’t they? Sounds like you folks on the front range had a windy day per my son in Longmont.

  162. R. Gates (21:19:29)

    Willis,

    I got the message quite well. …

    No, you didn’t. You falsely claimed that I said that there was “nothing to study here.” Then you wasted a bunch of paragraphs trying to convince me that there was something to study here, when (obviously) I study climate science all the time, so I clearly think there is something here to study.

    Now you want to claim you got the message? Nice try …

  163. John Pattinson (05:48:23)


    However, the world now is home to 6 billion people and very soon to become 9? 10? 11? billion. These people need houses to live in and food to eat. Small temperature changes can have a big impact on the productivity of the agricultural land they impact, just look at the relatively narrow areas different crops grow in.

    John, there’s a very interesting study on this exact subject, the Global Agro-Ecological Zone (GAEZ) study done by the UN FAO. Among their findings:

    • There is more unused cultivable land in South America than there is cultivated land in North America.

    • There is more unused cultivable land in Africa than there is cultivated land in Europe and Russia combined.

    Of particular interest for this discussion is this finding (emphasis mine):

    The application of a set of temperature and rainfall sensitivity scenarios revealed a modest increase of cultivable rain-fed land for temperature increases up to 2°C on global scale. With a higher temperature increase alone, extents of cultivable rain-fed land start to decrease. When both temperature and rainfall amounts increase, the extents of cultivable rain-fed land increase steadily. For example, a temperature increase of 3°C paired with a rainfall increase of 10 percent would lead globally to about 4 percent more cultivable rain-fed land.

    The summary of the GAEZ study is here. For someone like you who is obviously interested in the subject of food for the planet, it is an invaluable resource, check out the whole site.

    Best guess for the eventual levelling off of the population, by the way, is about 9 billion. That’s the median number the major agencies (WHO, FAO, World Bank and the like) are using for their population projections. See e.g. here.

  164. Re: R. Gates (Apr 13 21:19),

    those who think a few tenths of a degree over a period of a few decades, if it continues in the same direction over a longer period, really is important and that we’d better not “move along” because if AGWT is correct and we don’t do something about it, then the poverty and hunger we see today will be magnified by thousand-fold.

    The problem arises that the doubtful something “we” can do, going back to the energy levels of the 19th century, will surely make ” the poverty and hunger we see today to be magnified by a million-fold“.

    Were there 1 billion alive on the globe in the 19th century? That is how many your energy projects for reducing CO2 will support. This means elimination of billions of people, whether you realize it or not, because a minimum of energy is necessary for a person to be born and live a life, and that energy gives off CO2 ( as in addition does the person while breathing, 1/2 ton a year).

    The whole AGW field, from the “science” to the sociological consequences is a bizarre, Alice in Wonderland, off with their heads surrealistic project, in my physicist opinion.

    This is not alarmism, but simple prudence, for the stakes are high enough to merit both not “moving along”, and the equal dose of healthy skepticism to make sure the science is honest, but either way, “moving along” is not a viable option until the issue is settled.

    If rising seas and temperatures were really a problem, solutions can be found since they are rising so slowly, that will be much less costly in money than cutting off our energy nose to spite our face, and much more humane of the human population than demanding it be reduced by 80%, which is what is really behind the CO2 scams.

    For example, take all those teaming masses where the sea level will flood, to now empty Siberia which will become temperate, if all the hype comes about. It will cost much less than the trillions contemplated with CO2 taxation and cap and trade projects. Of course speculators will not become billionaires on this plan.

    Not get rid of the teaming masses by stampeding them over a cliff with the specter of CO2, which is the effect of all this carbon limits planning.

    And as a scientist, I think the scientific issue is settled, and I have been reading up for over two years. Ready to write a masters I am. The slow increase in heat , slow once UHI effects are taken into account, is not a cause for alarm, but for continuous observation. If it reaches over the medieval warm period start looking for population shifting projects and/or dams a la the Netherlands.
    If it goes down the hump towards cooling, as chaotic models are predicting, well and good.

    In any case, CO2 is a minor player in this game.

  165. R. Gates:

    Wow, and to think of the time and effort being wasted by those thousands of scientists world wide from dozens of countries who are studying climate change. If they would just “move along” and know there is “nothing to study here.”

    They got paid didn’t they? But why did they think they could overturn the null hypothesis – ~fossil fuel CO2 not a new factor significantly entering into climate processes, as compared to previous and given the nature of ongoing contemporaneous climate events – without using the Scientific Method? It would seem that they must have known or at least strongly suspected that they couldn’t.

    Otherwise, why not use it?

    Gates, please ask your Climate Science buddies about it.

  166. R. Gates,

    When you’ve lost anna v (23:35:27), you’ve lost the argument.

    Go back to realclimate. They’ll tell you, “There, there, it’s OK. Those nasty skeptics are just picking on you.”

  167. R Gates,

    “we’d better not “move along” because if AGWT is correct and we don’t do something about it, then the poverty and hunger we see today will be magnified by thousand-fold. This is not alarmism.”

    You’ve gotta be kidding, right? You state that poverty and hunger of today will be magnified a thousand-fold, and in the next breath that say that “this is not alarmism.” What is it then? Truth? Reality?

    Alarmists have been feeding this nonsense to the public for decades and decades – humans will run out of food and there will be mass starvation by the 1970’s; civilization will run out of chromium, zinc, copper etc by the 1990’s; forests will be destroyed by acid rain; life will be destroyed by the failing ozone layer; the developed world will be overrun by billions of climate refuges. Every single one, except the last, has turned out to be complete nonsense. Why should we believe the latest?

    Even now, the armageddon prophecies of the IPCC are being picked apart and found to be a mix of gross exagerations, made up, and a repression of positive outcomes.

    You want to know how to alleviate poverty and hunger? Wealth creation brought about by cheap and abundant energy. If we really do see the policies advocated by the crazies enacted, then, and only then, will we see “poverty and hunger of today magnified a thousand-fold.”

    Now, that is something to be alarmed about.

  168. Anna said:

    “And as a scientist, I think the scientific issue is settled, and I have been reading up for over two years. Ready to write a masters I am…” (this last sentence, said in Yoda’s voice?)

    ———-

    I’m sure you’re a great scientist Anna, but forgive me if your 2 years of studying this and getting ready to “write a masters” doesn’t quite equate to thousands of PhD’s studying this for many decades.

    The science is far from settled…and to even make this comment makes me wonder what kind of masters you’re working on…

  169. R. Gates (07:12:35),

    anna v gave a solid deconstruction to your comment @23:35:27. Your answer was to personally insult to her.

    Your response is the result of being outwitted by anna and everyone else here. That will continue as long as you keep up the “catastrophic runaway global warming is caused by a tiny trace gas” religion that has converted you to their evidence-free belief system.

    At least the scientists pushing CAGW get to cash in on their propaganda. All you get out of it is to be their martyr. You get no payoff for being wrong here, only self-inflicted ridicule.

  170. Re: R. Gates (Apr 14 07:12),

    Just for the record, I already have a doctorate and am a retired particle physicist.
    My comment about a masters was to show that I have put in some elbow work on this “science”.

    BTW a PhD should not take more than five years, and “climate science” is very new, it does not count decades, and its aficionados come from all disciplines, as a look at the IPCC author list would show. Hansen himself was an astrophysicist as far as I remember.

  171. “”” R. Gates (07:12:35) :

    Anna said:

    “And as a scientist, I think the scientific issue is settled, and I have been reading up for over two years. Ready to write a masters I am…” (this last sentence, said in Yoda’s voice?)

    ———-

    I’m sure you’re a great scientist Anna, but forgive me if your 2 years of studying this and getting ready to “write a masters” doesn’t quite equate to thousands of PhD’s studying this for many decades.

    The science is far from settled…and to even make this comment makes me wonder what kind of masters you’re working on… “””

    Well R. you must be some kind of newbie around here; because you clearly haven’t read much of anna V’s many contributions at this club. I have known personally a number of Lady Particle Physicists in my time; and been quite familiar with the amount of crap they have had to put up with to survive in that old boy’s club. And all the ones I have ever known were exceptional in their field as a result; and not the kind of cats you would really want to back into a corner.

    Well just so’s you can have a good chuckle; I don’t even have a Master’s degree. I did the work; learned the material; even did my thesis experimental work; just never wrote it up or sat the finals. So I only have a Bachelor’s degree; well with four Majors though; maybe that’s really five. Oh, I also was Senior Scholar in Physics; the year I graduated; dunno if that counts for anything

    I thought of getting PhD; Dr Laura has a PhD. I could get one in Ice-Cream Making.

    I chose instead to put in 50 years as a practising Physicist in Industry; where they expect you to actually make things work; not just write dissertations about it. The only dissertations I’m even allowed to write, are filed in the US Patent Office. I did recently write a dissertation for presentation and publication; well they called it An Invited Paper; to be the first technical paper of a big International technical conference in Asia.
    Then the Company bigwigs heard about it and vetoed it; “We should not be teaching at this level.” was their given reason; we can’t show people how you do those things. So no cigar I guess.

    It’s not what’s on your shingle that counts R. it’s what you do with it.

    I’d send you my resume, so you could see what I do; but then I don’t have a resume; I’ve never had a resume; but I’ve always had a well paying job. i’m sure there must be something wrong with this picture; well in your view.

    I’m sure my two mathematics majors would allow me to learn any statistical analysis I might feel was useful to understanding climate; so far I haven’t found statistical analysis to be of any use in that regard, at all. My Physics Major gives me all the thermodynamis and Energy background, I need. I’ve forgotten more than I’ve remembered about the ionosphere from my Radio-Physics; but still know enough to follow where that fits in with climate.

    Well all of that along with the Materials Science, solid state Physics, Solid State circuits technology, Geometrical and Diffraction Optics, and Optical Design; Analog Circuit design; Laser Physics; LED materials Science and Device design and manufacture; well, I guess I’m not really suppoed to talk about this stuff; well not in any great detail; but it really is amazing how LED Device Optical design allows you to understand what might happen to sunlight as it bangs around on this planet and its oddball materials and surfaces.

    Yes now that I think of it; with all this talk of ice growing and melting; that PhD in Ice Cream Making sounds like something I could really put to good use.

    If you have something to contribute to these discussions R. other than to keep reciting all the party line references that we have all read; like give us some of the wisdom of your own ideas; whatever you use your PhD for ; but applied to the science issues of climate problems; then we are all ready to learn from you; this seems to be a largely communicative, and co-operative endeavor.

    So if cheap shots at Anna, and others is what you are best at; there are probably better places to practice your venom than this place. Most of us are here trying to learn, or teach, or both.

  172. R. de Haan (07:08:11) : BBC News “.. Lord Oxburgh .. explained: “We read 11 key [CRU] publications spreading back over 20 years and a large number of others. We then spent 15 person days interviewing the scientists at UEA.

    “I don’t know what more we could have done and we came to a unanimous conclusion.”

    In a court case, it is normal for both the prosecution and the defence to be heard. If only one side is heard, a unanimous decision in their favour is inevitable. Maybe there was something more the panel could have done …..

  173. George,

    I appreciate you standing up for Anna– it tells me a great deal about your character. But I did not attack her in a personal manner– only her statement, “the science is settled”. You certainly seem like a very educated person, as do the great majority of people on this site, but when I hear either AGW believers, or skeptics say, “the science is settled,” when nothing could be further from the truth, it really gets under my skin. AGW science is far from settled, and to suggest such, no matter which side you’re on, or how many degrees you have or papers you’ve written, is simply either more of a political statement, or ignorance, but it is not a statement of science fact.

  174. Kate (02:12:25) : stated

    “A leaked document has revealed the US government’s strategy in the UN climate talks….

    5.) Embed this mechanism into a UN Treaty, which will legally bind all countries and their governments to the mechanism for ever. No future elected government will be able to stop paying carbon dioxide taxes because of the Treaty which was entered into by a previous head of state or representative.”

    This is the type of propaganda the globalist want us to believe. It is not true. We Americans, have been fed a line of Bull, I mean propaganda for years. The first is “Treaties supersede the U.S. Constitution” The Second follow-up lie is “A treaty, once passed, cannot be set aside”.

    Quotes from the U.S. Supreme Court on the supremacy of the Constitution over a treaty.

    This case involved the question: Does the NATO Status of Forces Agreement (treaty) supersede the U.S. Constitution?

    “”This [Supreme] Court has regularly and uniformly recognized the supremacy of the Constitution over a treaty.” – Reid v. Covert, October 1956, 354 U.S. 1, at pg 17.

    The Reid Court (U.S. Supreme Court) held in their Opinion that,
    “… No agreement with a foreign nation can confer power on the Congress, or any other branch of government, which is free from the restraints of the Constitution. Article VI, the Supremacy clause of the Constitution declares, “This Constitution and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all the Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land…’
    “There is nothing in this language which intimates that treaties and laws enacted pursuant to them do not have to comply with the provisions of the Constitution nor is there anything in the debates which accompanied the drafting and ratification which even suggest such a result…
    “It would be manifestly contrary to the objectives of those who created the Constitution, as well as those who were responsible for the Bill of Rights – let alone alien to our entire constitutional history and tradition – to construe Article VI as permitting the United States to exercise power UNDER an international agreement, without observing constitutional prohibitions. (See: Elliot’s Debates 1836 ed. – pgs 500-519).
    “In effect, such construction would permit amendment of that document in a manner not sanctioned by Article V. The prohibitions of the Constitution were designed to apply to all branches of the National Government and they cannot be nullified by the Executive or by the Executive and Senate combined.”

    At this point the Court paused to quote from another of their Opinions; Geofroy v. Riggs, 133 U.S. 258 at pg. 267 where the Court held at that time that,

    “The treaty power as expressed in the Constitution, is in terms unlimited except by those restraints which are found in that instrument against the action of the government or of its departments and those arising from the nature of the government itself and of that of the States. It would not be contended that it extends so far as to authorize what the Constitution forbids, or a change in the character of the government, or a change in the character of the States, or a cession of any portion of the territory of the latter without its consent.”

    “This Court has also repeatedly taken the position that an Act of Congress, which MUST comply with the Constitution, is on full parity with a treaty, the statute to the extent of conflict, renders the treaty null. It would be completely anomalous to say that a treaty need not comply with the Constitution when such an agreement can be overridden by a statute that must conform to that instrument.”

    Source …http://www.sweetliberty.org/issues/staterights/treaties.htm

    It has been suggested that a state can enact laws to nullify a treaty “when the State deems the performance of a treaty is self-destructive. The law of self-preservation overrules the law of obligation in others.”

    Given the bank bail outs, health care law, the food safety bills , Cap and trade, and the recession, we should be able to vote the more corrupt congresscritters out of office. Then nullify some of the worse laws passed in the last year or so.

  175. R. Gates (19:15:04) :

    George,

    I appreciate you standing up for Anna– it tells me a great deal about your character. But I did not attack her in a personal manner…

    Sure you did. You compared her to Yoda.

  176. Re: R. Gates (Apr 14 19:15),

    But I did not attack her in a personal manner– only her statement, “the science is settled”.

    I think this needs a reply, since english is not my first language ( I have no idea what Yoda is, for example).

    I had said:
    And as a scientist, I think the scientific issue is settled, and I have been reading up for over two years. Ready to write a masters I am. The slow increase in heat , slow once UHI effects are taken into account, is not a cause for alarm, but for continuous observation. If it reaches over the medieval warm period start looking for population shifting projects and/or dams a la the Netherlands.
    If it goes down the hump towards cooling, as chaotic models are predicting, well and good.

    In my english, “scientific issue” does not mean “science”. A “scientific issue” is an “issue” that needs a scientific gauge to be resolved, and being settled does not mean that the science is settled. Science is never settled, but sociology needs decisions, and it is a sociological decision that is the “scientific issue that is settled” as far as the input from science goes, as I further explained.

    Let me give an example. The value of the speed of light is very important in a lot of measurements and finally in everyday life. There may be new measurements and there are many theories refuting the constancy given by relativity and it may be that one of these will have more evidence in the future. For the sociological issues touching on the uses of the specific speed of light ( all electricity and magnetism related applications in our society) the issue of the speed of light is settled nevertheless.

    So even AGW as a theory is not settled ( meaning whether CO2 has an appreciable contribution or not to the observed slow heating), the measurements are such that the issue of its effects on society are settled, in my opinion, because they are bounded by the cost versus benefit for societies and not by the bounded, as the cleaned measurements show, scientific issue .

    This is my last on this navel gazing topic :).

  177. R. Gates (19:15:04)

    George,

    I appreciate you standing up for Anna– it tells me a great deal about your character. But I did not attack her in a personal manner– only her statement, “the science is settled”.

    Previously by R. Gates

    I’m sure you’re a great scientist Anna, but forgive me if your 2 years of studying this and getting ready to “write a masters” doesn’t quite equate to thousands of PhD’s studying this for many decades.

    R. Gates, perhaps you didn’t notice, but that’s a very personal attack. You have not said a word about her ideas or her scientific claims. Instead, you have made an ad hominem attack on what you perceive to be her lack of education, claiming that makes her unfit to question the holy priests.

    You AGW supporters are obsessed with whether the person is qualified to disagree with some scientific statement, as if that made an iota of difference.

    Either what Anna said is right, or it is wrong. Period. If you think she is wrong, don’t waste time investigating her credentials. Show us exactly where and how she is wrong. Anything else is smoke and mirrors.

    Some of the people in the climate game with the very best, most impeccable credentials and degrees and titles are liars, cheats, and frauds who (as the CRU emails show) will go to any length, even break the law in order to keep people like Anna from expressing her views. We are sick of your underhanded tactics. Your focus on her education is a pathetic attempt to discredit her.

    You wonder why you are not getting any traction here? Because, not only do you personally attack people instead of adding to the science content of the discussion, but when someone calls you on it, you put on your most beatific face and say “I did not attack her …”

    I was born yesterday, but even I am not dumb enough to fall for that one.

  178. Willis said:

    “You have not said a word about her ideas or her scientific claims.” (referring to my comments about Anna)

    —————

    Seriously Willis? Wasn’t my whole post about her idea or scientific claim that the “science was settled” ? That’s a pretty strong scientific claim I’d say…

    Your claim that I personally attack people is absurd. Questioning her “2 years of study” in coming to the conclusion that the “science was settled” is hardly a personal attack. If there was a personal attack here, I’m sure the good sensors of this site would have found it (and I would applaud them for it). I actually find your accusatory tone and suggestion that I make personal attacks more of a personal attack than anything I did to dear Anna. Perhaps the truth is that just because I’m one of the few people who come here who thinks there is a decent chance that AGWT is correct, that you’d just like to paint me as making personal attacks, and can stand the fact that I challenge such bold claims as “the science is settled” when it comes to AGW. Someone needs to be honestly skeptical about the predominant AGW skepticism that issues forth from WUWT.

    I come here for the science and intelligent discussions. If it appears that I am making personal attacks, I trust that the site sensors will snip them, and make the necessary warnings to me. For Anna to make the incredible claim that the “science was settled”, she’d better be prepared to face some strong questions to back up such a claim…and certainly more than “I’ve been studying it for 2 years…” when many good scientists have been studying it for decades and are not ready to make such a claim. If this is a personal attack, than there are some pretty thin skins here.

    Your indignation over my supposed attack on Anna is misplaced at best…

  179. In response to anna v (20:58:49) :

    Anna, I know nothing about you, and if English is not your first language, you certainly do quite will with it.

    Your statement, “the scientific issue is settled” and the statement “the science is settled” when it comes to AGW seem to me as essentially the same. It is a strong statement and obviously I disagree. You also said you were studying it for 2 years, and were writing a masters. Other than working on a Masters Degree, I wouldn’t know what that could mean. Either way, in my mind this doesn’t really amount to an impressive set of credentials when making such a strong statement about AGW. Now it was revealed to me after your post that you’ve got a PhD in particle physics. Very impressive and congratulations on a great career– I’m jealous, as that is an area that facinates me to no end. But be that as it may, and despite your study of the climate for 2 years, and your PhD, I don’t honestly feel that anything has been settled related to AGW, and WUWT would hardly be getting the hits it does if the issue was settled. What would all this discussion be about, if it was settled?

    If you took my statements as a personal attack on you, please know that they were in no way intended as such. I really only addressed the credentials you mentioned (2 years of study, masters), and certainly knew nothing else about you personally, so no personal attack was intended.

    Having said all this, if someone, anyone, want’s to make the statement, regarding AGW, that the science is settled, then they’d better damn well present the most powerful set of original research findings that the world has seen in the past 30 years. (regurditating old cherry picked data and reformatting it into new fancy graphs does not count). Many great minds are working around the world day and night to get to the truth of this issue, and it mocks them tremendously to suggest the science or scientific issue regarding AGW is settled. If you’re going to mock them with such a claim, you’d better have some very very powerful original data and research to back it up, otherwise you’re just another AGW skeptic full of hot air…

  180. for the record, you are putting words into my mouth.

    :Re: R. Gates (Apr 14 21:58),

    Seriously Willis? Wasn’t my whole post about her idea or scientific claim that the “science was settled” ? That’s a pretty strong scientific claim I’d say…

    As i said in my reply above, I never said “the science is settled”, because I strongly believe that science is never settled, there is always more to discover.

    A scientific issue is not science. An issue may be settled and the science will still be unsettled, and not only because the issue encompasses much more than science, but also because science is never really settled.

    see my Re: anna v (Apr 14 20:58),

    Maybe English is not your first language either?

  181. Re: all of R. Gates:

    meh- take your anger to RC.

    Hi Anna. My first language is Semaphore- it’s all the arm waving without the screaming and shouting.

  182. Great job Willis, but the AGW alarmists have long ago adopted the mantra; “Don’t confuse me with the facts my mind is made up”

  183. “”” R. Gates (19:15:04) :

    George,

    I appreciate you standing up for Anna– it tells me a great deal about your character. But I did not attack her in a personal manner– only her statement, “the science is settled”. You certainly seem like a very educated person, as do the great majority of people on this site, but when I hear either AGW believers, or skeptics say, “the science is settled,” when nothing could be further from the truth, it really gets under my skin. AGW science is far from settled, and to suggest such, no matter which side you’re on, or how many degrees you have or papers you’ve written, is simply either more of a political statement, or ignorance, but it is not a statement of science fact. “””

    I pasted your entire message R. just to be sure I didn’t cherry pick.

    First of all; I can’t ever recall anyone ever coming here and declaring “the Science is settled” (other than jokingly of course). Even the very ardent supporters of the AGW thesis who write here at WUWT don’t do that; they also are smarter than that; as are those who are less than impressed by the AGW claim. The IPCC, and Al Gore; even President Obama; have all publicly stated that; silly as that statement is. The real science of climate; has barely gotten started; it is far from settled.

    And that “science is settled” issue is a red herring; you did make some very ungentlemanly remarks regarding Anna’s educational background; and I really think you owe her an apology on that.

    We have a very eclectic crowd of people assembled here; who have every possible kind of skill set; specially scientific imaginable, and at all levels; and they represent all sides of the issues; specially those surrounding climate; and the political implications of some climate issues.

    And we all are learning more that we ever knew there was to learn; and we also all make mistakes from time to time; hang around long enough and you’ll find some of my real boners. Well Phil usually jumps in before I go jumping off any really high cliffs; and I really appreciate that; because I am here to learn too.

    We certainly aren’t going to solve too many problems here; or maybe influence too many politicians; but I think Anthony and his volunteer army of weather station (Owl box) auditors have already done some real important shaking up of that system.

    I’d like to think we had some influence in crashing the Copenhagen hugfest; but I’m pretty sure that neither Willis, nor Steve Goddard actually hacked the CRU server.

    Speaking only for myself, I’m happy to have people like you who appear to be firm believers in the AGW hypothesis post here, and fill us in on details of evidence we may not be aware of.

    As for me; I’m NOT a skeptic; I’m quite convinced without reservation; that nothing untoward is going on climatewise that is cause for alarm and massive disruption of civilization. And following the AGW path is going to doom most of the world’s still developing nations and their people, to a future of abject poverty that is unnecessary and undeserved.

    I believe it was you who said there were thousands of PhDs working on these climate issues. That strikes me about the way I was stunned when I attended my younger son’s orientation meeting at San Francisco State University. A lady next to me proudly told me her daughter was starting there and was going to major in “Ethnic Studies.” San Francisco State is probably World famous for its “School of Racism”; because that’s aboiut what they teach in “Ethnic Studies”. I felt very sad for her daughter’s future
    growing up in a nation that has tried its best to put the trappings of racism behind it; only to have that impeded by teaching institutional racism, under the euphemism of “Ethnic Studies.”
    So what does that have to do with thousands of PhD climate scientists.

    I can’t recall ever reading in any newspaper of even the trade journals I read (including SCIENCE, and similar) any ad from any company trying to hire a “climate scientist”. Well I know plenty of Meteorologists; some making extremely good money forecasting the real weather for people who have a lot riding on what the weather is really going to be; rather than the “partly cloudy” pablum we get on the 11PM news.

    But what is some company trying to create productive jobs or tools or products for people going to do with a PhD climate scientist.

    What a sad waste of a lot of potentially creative talent.

    Well my soap box is about to collapse; I always thought Latin Teachers were superfluous; but now they are replaced by the climate scientists.

    No wonder so many of them find employment only in places that want to turn out more competition for them.

  184. Thanks guys for the conversation, but no apologies are needed. The internet is such that anybody can claim to be anything and have any number of degrees. Unless one uses a full identification, which for personal reasons I explained on an old thread years ago I do not intend to do, one should roll with the punches.

    One should be looking at the statements and judging them by their content.

    I thought that the issue of what society should do about CO2 is settled by the data that contradict main “projections” of IPCC and the GCM models, long before climategate appeared on the scene.

    I have often stated the falsifying points here in other threads with links something like this:
    1)there is no CO2 induced hot point in the troposphere

    2)Temperatures are in stasis the past ten years while CO2 is rising merrily
    3)There is no positive feedback http://www.drroyspencer.com/Lindzen-and-Choi-GRL-2009.pdf
    5)the oceans are not heating http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/01/31/nodc-revises-ocean-heat-content-data/#more-15879

    All these settle the issue for me on whether society should urgently do something for the slight heating observed since the Little Ice Age.

    And this, without entering in the data manipulation issue revealed starkly by climategate.

  185. I have at least two other ways of presenting data for perspective. First, I plot global temperature on a y-axis scale of 0 – 25 degC, with horizontal lines depicting estimated lowest ice age temperature, maximum cretaceous era temperature, and mean global temperature over the last century or so. I call the upper and lower bounds the “life zone.” On this graph, I plot the global temperature trend from 1850 to present (practically a horizontal line) and the IPCC’s model projected range (well within the “life zone” – no “runaway warming tipping point” there).

    In my second variation, I show a map of the U.S. showing isopleths of mean annual temperatures. Using arrows, I show how far north one would have to move to stay at the same temperature based on IPCC’s low and high projections (not even arguing with the IPCC). For example, an Iowan would not even have to leave the state to stay “cool,” even at IPPC’s highest projected change. I also use an arrow to represent retirees who regularly move from the Northeast to Florida to escape the cold (a difference of about 15 deg C!). When northerners stop moving south because their weather stays balmy, we might begin to worry.

  186. The problem with Figs 2 and 3 wrt Fig 1 is that the first two have “zoomed out”, ie they use a scale of 10 degrees per interval, while the first uses a scale of half a degree. By using a larger scale in the later graphs, the changes illustrated in the first are minimized. Put it like this: You own a piece of forested land, and suspect that someone’s been cutting down your trees. Fly over at 30,000 ft and it may look like nothing is wrong (graphs 2 and 3), but take a closer look at treetop level (graph 1) and smaller changes become apparent. The question then is: “is a relatively small change of 2 or so degrees (C) significant?”

    Day to day, the answer may be “no”. Go outside on a summer day, and you may not be able to tell if it’s 21C or 23C. However climate change isn’t about day to day temperatures at one location, we’re talking about average temps for the entire year across the globe. So here, is a change of 2-3 degrees C significant?

    The answer is yes. Here’s an example – I live in Alberta, Canada. The southern part of the province is dry grassland, while the north is in the heart of the Boreal Forest and is rich in wetlands. A shift of 2C (considered by most to be a modest prediction of what is likely to happen in the next few years) would shift the climate surrounding the city of Lethbridge roughly a four hour drive north to Central Alberta – affecting the province’s agriculture and ranching industries, as well as the access cities like Calgary have to freshwater.

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