Examination of CRU data suggests no statistically significant warming

UPDATE: The StataSphere server can’t handle the load of interest, I’ve take the images offline from this article, and disabled the link to it. Once he gets the server up and running again I’ll put them back – Anthony

Readers may recall this quote from Dr. Phil Jones of CRU, by the BBC:

Q: Do you agree that from 1995 to the present there has been no statistically-significant global warming

A: Yes, but only just. I also calculated the trend for the period 1995 to 2009. This trend (0.12C per decade) is positive, but not significant at the 95% significance level. The positive trend is quite close to the significance level. Achieving statistical significance in scientific terms is much more likely for longer periods, and much less likely for shorter periods.

A.J. Strata has done some significance tests:

CRU Raw Temp Data Shows No Significant Warming Over Most Of The World

Published by AJStrata at StrataSphere

Bottom Line – Using two back-of-the-envelope tests for significance against the CRU global temperature data I have discovered:

  • 75% of the globe has not seen significant peak warming or cooling changes between the period prior to 1960 and the 2000′s which rise above a 0.5°C threshold, which is well within the CRU’s own stated measurement uncertainties o +/- 1°C or worse.
  • Assuming a peak to peak change (pre 1960 vs 2000′s) should represent a change greater than 20% of the measured temperature range (i.e., if the measured temp range is 10° then a peak-to-peak change of greater than 2° would be considered ‘significant’) 87% the Earth has not experienced significant temperature changes between pre 1960 period and the 2000′s.

So how did I come to this conclusion? If you have the time you can find out by reading below the fold.

I have been working on this post for about a week now, testing a hypothesis I have regarding the raw temp data vs the overly processed CRU, GISS, NCDC, IPCC results (the processed data shows dramatic global warming in the last century). I have been of the opinion the raw temp data tells a different, cooler story than the processed data. My theory is alarmists’ results do not track well with the raw data, and require the merging of unproven and extremely inaccurate proxy data to open the error bars and move the trend lines to produce the desired result. We have a clear isolated example from New Zealand where cherry picked data and time windows have resulted in a ridiculous ‘data merging’ that completely obliterates the raw data.

To pull this deception off on a global scale, as I have mentioned before, requires the alarmists to deal with two inconvenient truths:

  1. The warm periods in the 1930′s and 1940′s which were about the same as today
  2. The current decline in temperature, just when the alarmists require a dramatic increase to match the rising CO2 levels.

What is needed out the back end of this alarmist process is a graph like we have from NCDC, where the 1930′s-1940′s warm periods are pushed colder and the current temps are pushed higher.

[image offline]

People have found actual CRU code that does this, and it does it by smearing good temp data with inaccurate proxy data (in this case the tree rings) or hard coded adjustments. The second method used by alarmists is to just drop those inconvenient current temps showing global cooling, which has also been clearly discovered in the CRU data dump.

I have been attempting to compensate for the lack of raw temperature data by using the country-by-country graphs dumped with data from University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit (CRU). The file is named idl_cruts3_2005_vs_2008b.pdf, which tells me this is the latest version of the CRU raw temp data run in prep for a new release of the latest data (the PDF file was created in July 2009).

I am very confident this data is prior to the heavy handed corrections employed by CRU and its cohorts. The fact is you can see a lot of interesting and telling detail in the graphs. Much of the Pacific Ocean data has been flipped since 2005 trying to correct prior errors and you can see the 2008 data trend way downward in most of the graphs. In addition, the 1930′s-1940′s warm periods have not been squelched yet. The alarmists have not had a chance to ‘clean up’ this data for the general public (which is one reason I think it was in the dump).

Before we get to actual examples and my detailed (and way too lengthy) analysis, I need to explain the graphs and how I used them (click to enlarge).

[image offline]

In this graph we see the primary data we have available from CRU. This is a comparison of the 2005 runs in black and 2008 runs in light purple/red. At CRU all the data is blocked into quarters. This graph is MAM, which stand for March-April-May, for Argentina.

The love of trend lines and averaging by CRU and other alarmists is quite telling here. The ‘raw’ quarterly data is noted with the blue arrows, It is the highly variable lines from which the (much less accurate) trend lines are generated. I point this out to note that fact that to create a quarterly value for a country for a given year means the raw daily temp data has disappeared under a mountain of averaging already. Day/Night temps must be combined into quarterly temps by location and then combined into a country wide figure. Even with all this inaccuracy added in the ‘raw’ data is quite dynamic, which makes me wonder how dynamic the true sensor data is. CRU and others believe the trend lines mean something significant – but really all the do is mask the true dynamics of nature.

Anyway, now let me explain how I derived (by eye – ugh!) the two primary pieces of data I used to test my hypothesis that the 2000′s are not significantly warmer or cooler than the pre 1960 period (when CO2 levels were drastically lower). Here is how I measured the Peak-to-Peak change in each of the graphs (click to enlarge):

[image offline]

I simply find the highest pre 1960′s peak and the highest point in the 2000′s and subtract. I know this is subjective and error prone, but it is good enough for a ‘reasonableness test’. I would have preferred to use actual data and define min/max points for each time period and compare. But this is what happens when you don’t share the raw data, as true science demands.

Note I am using the 2005 trend line. I have noticed many graphs where the 2008 would given my hypothesis more strength, and maybe some day I will compute that version. I also know there were higher peaks prior to 2000 (especially around 1998). In fact I found myself averaging the slide from 1998 into the 2000′ many times. I tried to err on the alarmists’ side (my hypothesis to prove after all). Also please note that the ‘raw’ yearly data bounces around well beyond all trend line peaks – so I am not too concerned with fact some peaks are skipped. The next calculation will better explain why.

The P2P data is captured in my results file [offline] as shown (click to enlarge):

[image offline]

Note: I am trying to find a way to get a clean spreadsheet up so folks can copy out the data.

Anyway, what I did was compute the P2P value for each quarter for each country, and then averaged those over the full ‘year’. Then I applied three significance tests to see if the P2P value is (1) less than -0.5°C, (2) within the +/- range of 0.5°C or (3) greater than +0.5°C.

I decided used this significance test because of another file dumped with the CRU data which clearly showed where CRU stated its measurement accuracy was typically 1°C or greater. Here is the CRU report from 2005 containing their accuracy claims, along with their own global graph of temperature accuracy:

In my original post on these files I went into great detail on the aspect of measurement accuracy (or error bars) regarding alarmists claims. I will not repeat that information here, but I feel I am being generous giving the data a +/- 0.5°C margin of error on a trend line (which contains multiple layers of averaging error incorporated in it). Most of the CRU uncertainty data, as mapped on the globe, is above the 1°C uncertainty level.

What that really means is detecting a global warming increment of 0.8°C is not statistically possible. If I had used their numbers none of the raw temps would have been significant, which is why people do these back-of-the-envelope tests to determine if we have sufficiently accurate data to test our conclusions or hypothesis.

===========

Read the conclusion here: CRU Raw Temp Data Shows No Significant Warming Over Most Of The World

h/t to Joe D’Aleo

[image offline]
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141 thoughts on “Examination of CRU data suggests no statistically significant warming

  1. I get only the Jan-Dec global mean temperature graph. The others all had the dreaded red-x mark. (I opened the article twice with the same result.)

    IanM

  2. There appears to be something wrong with the graphs and their links. Or maybe a problem with my browser (IE 8.0.76).

  3. Your images are not showing for some reason.

    Thankyou for the hard work, and I look forward to your debunking of AGW one day.

  4. Should we anticipate a significant “adjustment” from Met O for the last decade so it matches GISS claims of 2010 being the “hottest in history”? Steve Goddard thinks Met O is hinting they are planning just that.

  5. OK So clearly we have a case where the climate is um er uhhh….

    What did you say it’s doing? Is it getting hotter or colder — and who says so?

  6. There appear to be link(s) missing?, starting at :
    In this graph we see the primary data we have available from CRU. This is a comparison of the 2005 runs in black and 2008 runs in light purple/red. At CRU all the data is blocked into quarters. This graph is MAM, which stand for March-April-May, for Argentina.

    strata-sphere.com is overwhelmed, so a lot of people are reading this

  7. Yes, but the alarmists are banging the drum even louder: here is BBC’s Roger Harrabin today with an article “Met Office says 2010 ‘among hottest on record’”

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-11841368

    The Met Office has splashed that all over the MSM today. I expect it is timed to align with the fact that the whole of UK is in the grip of severe winter weeks earlier than normal. Note that the Met Office are doing upward corrections because they have ‘underestimated’ global warming. The upward ‘corrections’ are mentioned in Harrabin’s article, but there is more here ‘Met Office to revise global warming data upwards’:

    http://www.reportingclimatescience.com/news-stories/article/met-office-to-revise-global-warming-data-upwards.html

  8. Intriguing. Your link to the previous material won’t open. Is some sort of autocorrelation correction required in calculating statistical significance with this method?

  9. My work webwasher is blocking the site hosting the images, maybe that is the issue some are having with it.

  10. Statistical inference is arguably completely irrelevant in many/most climate science applications since the standard model assumption “i.i.d.” (independent identically distributed) is untenable.

    Mathematical statisticians just develop these techniques (in the abstract). It is up to practitioners (applying this stuff to nature) to run diagnostics to make sure model assumptions are not violated.

    Worse than not doing so, it has become pathologically widespread conventional mainstream practice to simply turn a blind eye. This is no trivial matter. It puts our society & civilization at risk (if allowed to play a role in decision making processes …& this isn’t just climate, it’s economics, etc., etc.)

    A lot of people would counter with, “Well, what else can we do?” These people should not be leading us if their imaginations are so impaired.

    Data exploration differs fundamentally from statistical inference. Sensible people don’t base their reasoning on untenable assumptions.

  11. The CRU adjustments are detailed in the muir russel report. You can see the magnitude
    is small.

    for myself I did the following: using the raw data source from GHCN, using a method that follows CRU’s description
    (with minor improvements for SST and land masks) I get the same answer as CRU.

    Further, you might want to head over to the cosmic ray thread and explain to them that there is no warming for the rays to explain.

  12. Hottest year ever, or maybe the second hottest

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-11841368

    “and Dr Pope warns it will turn out to have been even hotter by about 0.03C when corrections are made to data taken from buoys at sea.”

    0.03C hey! I don’t know what to say.

    “Dr Pope says the slowdown in temperature rise is consistent with projections from climate models. She also says she expects warming to increase in the next few years.”

    And if they don’t????????????

    “There are a number of things that are affecting short-term temperatures. A lot of the heat could be distributed to the deep oceans and

    we don’t know what’s going on there.”

    could be, don’t know!!!!!!

    “Scientific evidence is Met Office focus at Cancun”

    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/corporate/pressoffice/2010/pr20101126b.html

    “Ahead of the latest UN talks on climate change in Mexico, the Met Office analyses long- and short-term trends in climate and reveals that the evidence for man-made warming has grown even stronger in the last year.”

  13. Tragic, really. I was hoping for increasing warmth, but that hope is again dashed on the cruel rocks of reality. Even with mass averaging and super smoothing, the globe ain’t warming. Drat.

  14. Yeah I’ve got to agree with Mosher there. There are a multitude of reconstructions which have been demonstrated here and elsewhere which do not support the conclusions of this post…

  15. AJ’s site is apparently melting under the load, its a problem he has been having recently even with his usual load of visitors.

  16. 2010 the warmest year EVER???!! Do these people even look out the window? Here in the UK we had the coldest January for ages (remember that awesome satellite pic of the whole place covered in snow), a pretty unremarkable ‘summer’ and now we’re freezing our butts off in the coldest November for 17 years! So exactly where is it warming? Oh yes, the continental U.S. where there are all those themometers next to aircon outlets! YOU HAVE TO BE JOKING!

  17. facts
    adjusting past temps down
    adjusting for UHI up
    adjusting the latest temp measurements up, when
    newer equipment is supposed to be more accurate
    averaging with a clear “+” bias
    white paint, white wash, no paint
    asphalt, airplanes, BBQ’s and AC/heat units
    canceling stations and guessing what the temps are
    using only the tree rings that show warming, when most didn’t

    no need to go on….

    ……and there are still some people that believe in this carp……….;-)

  18. I’m not seeing the graphs, either, and I have Firefox. But I digress. While this post brings us good news that is well appreciated, I have a question for you, Anthony: didn’t CRU get a lot of their raw surface temperature data from GISS? And isn’t this the same raw surface temperature data that you have so well demonstrated was obtained from some very flawed temperature station locations? If so, how can we draw any reasonable conclusions of any kind about the statistical significance of this data? This is not to disagree with your conclusions. I’m just curious about how you dealt with this issue in your analysis.

  19. TonyK says:
    November 26, 2010 at 11:17 am
    =============================
    Tony, they said that the most effects would be felt at the higher latitudes.
    And since global warming causes cold temperatures………

    ……you should be freezing your cajones off for years to come!

    ( I agree with everything you said)

  20. M White says:
    November 26, 2010 at 10:56 am

    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/corporate/pressoffice/2010/pr20101126b.html

    “Ahead of the latest UN talks on climate change in Mexico, the Met Office analyses long- and short-term trends in climate and reveals that the evidence for man-made warming has grown even stronger in the last year.”

    Translation: since Climate Science’s method does not allow evidence against man-made warming, voila, the evidence always gets stronger for man-made warming with the mere passage of more time – of course along with the “peer reviewed” publication of more reams of likeminded bs using the same “method”.

  21. Off topic: In today’s SF Chronicle: “The world’s largest lakes, including Lake Tahoe, have been warming rapidly for 25 years as the global climate changes, NASA scientists report. And throughout the Northern Hemisphere, surface water temperatures of many lakes have been rising even faster than the warming air above them, according to observations by ultra-sensitive satellites.

    The lakes are warming faster than the air due to climate change? Could someone at WUWT look and comment on this?

    [Reply: Please post a link to the article. ~dbs, mod.]

  22. On linux everything shows up fine.

    You will remember several of us did a similar analysis carried here a few months ago, when we deliberately sought out those stations that had been cooling for at least 30 years-a statistically significant trend. Many stations had been cooling since the 1940′s.

    http://diggingintheclay.wordpress.com/2010/09/01/in-search-of-cooling-trends/

    By pursuing global averaging we are disguising significant counter cooling trends in many regions.(Backed up by local anecdotal evidence)

    We stopped the project as we were concerned about cherry picking, however having seen others using a thirty year trend (ending now) to prove their own point I guess what we did does have validity.

    tonyb

  23. I’m just happy to know the NW snow packs aren’t going anywhere and skiing
    will remain my winter thrill well into my old age.

    And that our NW climate will allow plenty of great golfing weather till I’m ancient as well.

    But we sure do have a lot of lunatics in every government and academic entity imaginable in Oregon. How is it that we have such a disproportionate large share of them concentrated in all of our government agencies?

    Listening to and reading them advocating lunacy with their policy making is nauseous.

    I think we reached a tipping point of stupidity in Oregon a long time ago and we’ll be the last to emerge from the insanity, if ever.

  24. In the posting of 11-19-2010 I published the decadal (1-1-2001 to 10-1-2010) temperature anomaly of the satellite data RSS MSU data in the lower troposphere and the decadal temperature anomaly of the NCDC data. Almost the same story as the one from AJStrata: the lineair trend of the MSU data during this period is 0.03 °C, the trend of the NCDC data is 0.01 °C. See http://www.klimaatgek.nl and translate from Dutch to English by clicking the right upper corner.

  25. With re to New Zealand. I agree that temps have probably been tampered with but
    what is evident is that the Fox and Franz-Josef glacier have retreated substantially in NZ. So there must have been a significant statistical increase in temp (not necessarily AGW) since the Little Ice Age for this to have occurred.

  26. Steve Mosher,
    I think I get part of what you are saying but if you have a few mins can you explain further for us non-stats people.

    ‘The adjustment is small to the raw data’..are you basing this on SM’s proposition that CRU didn’t wants it data out in the open because it showed so little manipulation and the clients would start to doubt they were getting much bang for the buck?…or is there some technical flaw in AJ’s reasoning?

    Also when you say country by country stats don’t work are you saying because they can’t be averaged/gridded? or that you need to add ocean temps to that? Also what is the bias that arises? Many thanks for your help.

  27. “Dr Pope says the slowdown in temperature rise is consistent with projections from climate models. She also says she expects warming to increase in the next few years.”

    A question for all here – did any of the primary models actually show any slowdown in cooling originally? Or, are those models online showing this slowdown Dr. Pope is claiming only after (very?) recent adjustments in the model assumptions to fit the models to current/post 1998 empirical data and observations? (why am I betting its the latter?) Links to any articles addressing this question well would be most appreciated!

  28. We have, of course, questions about the validity and uncertainty based in the actual temperature themselves (e.g., surfacestations project, etc.).

    Aside from that, however, some say that using the same methods as the CRU etc., they get about the same results. OK, fine – but the big question there is, are all the various adjustments to the temp data applied really reasonable and justified? Was that also addressed in the reconstructions of the CRU temp results – or were those reconstructions just tests of repeatability of the methods CRU used?

  29. To DS

    I agree. The Met O got their pants kicked and has since displayed data that deviates from the GISS data. My tip is that the Met O would be under pressure from GISS to play the game so as not to further dent the US economy. UAH and RSS might also be pushed, if not already. Someone has already said “will the real global temperatures please stand up”.

    REPLY: This is ridiculous conspiracy theory – Anthony

  30. Stations in Bolivia

    GHCN,
    85041 85043 85104 85114 85140 85141 85151 85152 85154 85196 85201 85207 85223 85230 85242 85245 85247 85268 85283 85289 85315 85364 85365

    all are inactive (999.9)

    This will be another mystery.

  31. Pascvaks says:
    November 26, 2010 at 9:40 am
    AGW*, a social warming theory in search of a BIG scientific proof.

    Better yet,
    AGW is a political warming hypothesis in search of endless BIG government funding and regulations. :-)

  32. I cannot get any of the images, but I do have some CRU data sets graphed out here:

    http://www.robertb.darkhorizons.org/WhatGlobalWarming.htm

    and they do show unadjusted vs station roulette differences.
    Of note is the Western US peak temps of the 1870′s, and funny how that is not mentioned and clearly avoided by the IPCC, GISS and others. Sitka, AK is the only station which goes back beyond 1870′s, thanks to the Russian settlement there.
    I wonder if the Russians also took data in other parts of the West Coast prior to that?
    No significant rural warming outside of adjustment monkeybusiness, I agree.

  33. TonyB says:
    November 26, 2010 at 12:09 pm
    “…You will remember several of us did a similar analysis carried here a few months ago, when we deliberately sought out those stations that had been cooling for at least 30 years-a statistically significant trend. Many stations had been cooling since the 1940′s.

    http://diggingintheclay.wordpress.com/2010/09/01/in-search-of-cooling-trends/

    By pursuing global averaging we are disguising significant counter cooling trends in many regions.(Backed up by local anecdotal evidence)…”

    Thanks for reminding me of your work. which reinforces the results shown on this post.

    The thing that surprised me was the large geographic spread of the sites showing cooling and that, using raw data instead of the massaged/homogenised data used to produce the different global data-sets, even the ‘warming meme’ itself has to be questioned. There has been no statistically significant warming for the last 15y and all climate diagnostics indicate that we are heading for even stronger cooling. Here in the UK we have had the earliest widespread snowfalls for 17y, and this following one of the greyest, coolest summers I can remember!

  34. So 2010 is one of the hottest ever years? Here in London it was the coldest January that I can remember, the summer was cool and wet and now it’s the coldest November I can remember. I went to California for a holiday in May, when we were in Carmel it was so cold I was wearing a woolly sweater and a fleece to keep warm. A lady I spoke to in a shop there said it was usually sunny and warm in May but this year was different and much cooler than usual. So where has all the hot weather been????

  35. I’m using Firefox 3.6.12, and I can’t load the Strata-Sphere site either from the links or from my bookmark. I have contacted four friends here in England and all report the same unavailability of the site. They are using IE, Chrome and, like me, Firefox.
    The site is just not responding or else access has been denied by other means.

  36. I keep trying to provide a link to the SFGate article on Lake Tahoe but it does not work.

    REPLY: Stop trying too hard, don’t use tags. Just put in the URL like this:

    http:/someplace.com/article.htm

    WordPress will auto link it. – Anthony

  37. Question: How did this post by AJStrata which is full of downright errors manage to pass any form of cursory review?

    I assume there are people running WUWT who are competent enough on the subject of surface temperature records to be able to spot the numerous errors made in the post.

    So why were they left uncorrected? Or is my assumption wrong?


    REPLY:
    Well, “onion”, nobody could even see the post graphics to discuss it, since his server died soon afterward posting an excerpt here, can’t you read the note? And since you are obviously keen on those errors, how about writing them down? Also, hows’ the weather there in England? Early snow there? – Anthony

  38. Anthony, speaking of tags – previously on tips & notes I tried using the syntax shown below the comment box quite unsuccessfully. Nothing showed up on the post where I’d tried inserting the URL & title. So I checked online with some html tutorial type sites, and it seems the most common format is: title to display here Using that format worked like a charm when I reposted using it. Perhaps consider changing the tag syntax shown below the comment box?

    My best to you and all the moderators!

    REPLY:
    No, can’t. wp.com hosted blog – Anthony

  39. I don’t need to see the graphics, the errors are throughout his words. Like his bizarre attempt to imply the temperature records show cooling and were replaced with warming tree ring data.

    What form of review does WUWT do on posts? Do you just kinda let whatever fly? Is it the commenters who have to figure out the errors in “discussion”? They don’t seem to get it, the first 50 comments always seem to contain a fair number of folk who take the article as gospel as if it’s been checked.

    Perhaps you should mark the title of posts as “preliminary – the following articles are not reviewed and may contain errors”

    How many blogs need to compare GHCN raw with Hadcrut/GISTEMP before the silly idea that the raw data shows a much cooler result finally dies?

    Sorry if you don’t like this but I am just dealing with your blog like you deal with scientists – by demanding you don’t hide the uncertainty.

    REPLY: And yet, it is certain (so far) that you can’t bring yourself to write out the specific errors. Again: How’s the weather in England?, I’m curious if you have snow on the ground there related to another post I’m doing. – Anthony

  40. re: Rational Debate says: November 26, 2010 at 2:03 pm

    ….REPLY: No, can’t. wp.com hosted blog – Anthony

    Oh! I shoulda known. Is there a general wordpress addy we can submit suggestions such as this and/or complain to them for you/us about stuff like this?

  41. Anthony – Thanks for the link. Just curious about what service you use to host your blog. We are on a single server at Hosting Matters and I am guessing we need to ramp up our horse power (or host power).

    You can reach me at ajstrata@strata-sphere.com

    We will keep an eye on things and reboot when necessary. Everyone please be patient, we have zero revenue and fund the site out of our own pocket. It will be back, just keep checking in.

    REPLY: I’m on the free wordpress.com hosting service, which can handle domain name redirects for you, $12 per year. You can export your content and move it, takes a little work, but you get the benefit of distributed cloud computing at virtually zero cost, plus free maintenance, automated backups, and free software upgrades installed automatically.

    Single server boxes can’t handle the load, which is why last year right after Climategate broke I helped Steve McIntyre move from a single box to wordpress.com, since his box acted like yours under heavy load. Hasn’t had a single problem since.

    Get started here:

    http://en.wordpress.com/features/

    - Anthony

  42. If AJStrata is right it would be good news, not just for us but also for the planet. Please could someone explain the source of the raw data, I don’t understand the references to it. (CRU data dump)

    Steven Mosher: you used GHCN data and followed the CRU method and got the same answer as CRU. Is GHCN the source used by AJSTrata? Does it not follow that if you use the same method as CRU you should get the same answer as CRU? Is the method reasonable (as opposed to being crooked)? You obviously disagree with the current post – can you explain why? Surely the point is that the raw data tells a different story to the processed data? This has been covered before by Chiefio and others, including New Zealand, Darwin Zero and other examples.

    I’m just trying to get some agreed facts on the table here… (not usually possible with climate science).

  43. Rational Debate says:
    November 26, 2010 at 12:56 pm (Edit)

    We have, of course, questions about the validity and uncertainty based in the actual temperature themselves (e.g., surfacestations project, etc.).

    Aside from that, however, some say that using the same methods as the CRU etc., they get about the same results. OK, fine – but the big question there is, are all the various adjustments to the temp data applied really reasonable and justified? Was that also addressed in the reconstructions of the CRU temp results – or were those reconstructions just tests of repeatability of the methods CRU used?

    ###########
    1 Using the same source data as CRU ( unadjusted)
    2. Using random subsets of the same source data
    3. Using data from different networks, raw unadjusted
    4. Using Estimates of Surface data from atmospheric data
    5. Using satellite data.
    6, using the same data as CRU with adjustments.
    7. Using the same stations as CRU but a different archive (UCAR)

    ALL of these have been done by different people from both sides of the climate debate fence.

    1. Using code supplied by CRU
    2. writing code from scratch using descritions of CRU algorithms
    3. writing new algorithms employing superior statistical approaches.

    All of these have been done by independent parties in different languages on different Operating systems.

    In no case has anyone calculated results that differ substantially from CRU.

    The real issues, if there are any, lie elsewhere.

  44. Rational Debate says:
    November 26, 2010 at 12:52 pm

    I’m sure you know by now that the models show what we want them to show :-)

  45. Statistical significance is the badge of true scientific research.

    Badges? Badges? We don’t need no badges! We are the Climate Police, we don’t need no stinking badges!

  46. Steven Mosher: you used GHCN data and followed the CRU method and got the same answer as CRU. Is GHCN the source used by AJSTrata? Does it not follow that if you use the same method as CRU you should get the same answer as CRU? Is the method reasonable (as opposed to being crooked)? You obviously disagree with the current post – can you explain why? Surely the point is that the raw data tells a different story to the processed data? This has been covered before by Chiefio and others, including New Zealand, Darwin Zero and other examples.

    I’m just trying to get some agreed facts on the table here… (not usually possible with climate science).

    ##### see my post above

    1.Is GHCN the source used by AJSTrata?
    He does not say. If he posted code showing where he downloaded the data, I could obviously check. Like the last incident with Australian data ( which was due to faulty downloads and a misunderstanding of how ghcn calculates V2max) I have no desire to spend my time reviewing work in detail where there is no code and where the data analysis process is not clearly laid out. It is hard enough reconstructing what CRU and GISS do. and in those cases they explain most of their steps ( but not all) I believe AJ cites taking data from country files. there is a problem with that approach. you cannot make statements about a global average without area weighting BY MONTH. simply you cannot for example average the temperature in Licchtenstein with the average temperature in china. Area matters. That is why we area average. there are more problems with the approach, I’m busy on nightlights. sorry.

    2Does it not follow that if you use the same method as CRU you should get the same answer as CRU?
    A. personally I use an improved method and got warmer temps.
    B. inputs are different, I use unadjusted data
    C using the same data JeffId using a different method gets the same result
    D. using different data and a similiar method ron broberg gets the same result

    shall I go on.

    You obviously disagree with the current post – can you explain why?
    . A while back I took a couple days to figure out the misatke some guy made looking at GHCN data. Utter waste of my time. In any case there is new data set with 30-40K stations in it that I would rather spend my time on. the data source of tmp files for country by country seasonal data if the first place I would start my investigation. But since I cannot replicate AJs work, while I can replicate jeffIds,Zekes,Taminos,Giss, Cru, Ron broberg I’m not inclined to go ferret out the reason.

    Surely the point is that the raw data tells a different story to the processed data?
    wrong. for example, using GCOS data which is totally raw ( way more stations than GHCN) we get the same answer… small differences 1/10th here or there. Plus I use unadjusted GHCN. CRU ad some adjustments. they are minor.
    to be sure you can find isolated cases where the adjustments are big, in the grand scheme of things they vanish because for the most part positive adjustments cancel the negative. Again, you can prove this to yourself by writing the code to download the unadjusted data and take a world average.

  47. “The second method used by alarmists is to just drop those inconvenient current temps showing global cooling,
    ———————————————————————————————————-
    But Mr Briffa says the cooling must be “bad” data (i.e. because it doesn’t fit the preconceived conclusion). See the Montford book. The accepted methodology used by the “Hockey Stick League”.

  48. **** Steven Mosher says:
    November 26, 2010 at 3:29 pm
    you cannot make statements about a global average without area weighting BY MONTH. simply you cannot for example average the temperature in Licchtenstein with the average temperature in china. Area matters. That is why we area average. there are more problems with the approach, I’m busy on nightlights. sorry.
    *****
    If you would suffer one more …
    Would it be valid to computer the delta temperature, say per month, for each long record station and just average those together? Wouldn’t that give a more reliable answer than with all the data massaging?

  49. I think Steven Mosher answered several of my questions when addressing Rational Debate. The outstanding one is: The difference between the raw and processed data as discussed by AJStata – is it a valid point or not?

    I guess the implication from Steven’s other comments is that the CRU adjustments are reasonable and therefore the end results (global temperatures) are correct? I detect a slight uncertainty about the raw data (perhaps UHI and various adjustments etc) and I suppose that the main uncertainty is whether recent warming is man-made or natural. Is that a fair summary? Given the Harry ReadMe file I would love to find confirmation that AJS is correct… but I have no reason to doubt Steven. Can we clarify (or debate) things further from this point?

  50. My last comment was posted before I saw the most recent posts.
    Many thanks for your response which I shall read now…

  51. Other problems:

    1. The statement of measurement accuracy is wrong.
    2. The CRU document referenced refers to sampling errors due to spatial coverage.
    those errors range from 0 to 5 degrees (+-5) the majority of the surface has small errors due to sampling (lots of stations) some parts of the world have fewer stations
    (more uncertainty) To adjust for this CRU output a variance adjusted time series
    ( the one people should use) Variance adjustment takes into account how many stations lie in an area.

    AJ approach is, as he notes, subjective. He downloaded charts. We have no idea the processing that happends prior to these charts or after them. For example:
    1, calculating an reference period anonmaly. This removes stations that have
    short periods.
    2. 5 sigma outlier removal
    3. area weighting.
    4. land masking
    5. varience adjusting.

    One reason you cannot merely take the P2P of various countries and average them is this:
    A. country A is huge. It has 1200 stations it covers millions of square miles.
    B. country B is small. It has one station, it covers a few square miles.

    To handle this challenge people perform area weighting. The second part of the challenge involves calculating a weight that is a function of the number of stations in an area AND the actual number of station months in the data. A while back one error was found in the way CRU did its varience adjustment. That was communicated to them by the programmer who found it.

    Finally P2P isnt a very robust method for finding trends especially in peaky data with underlying long term trend terms. if you think that (max_min)/2 is a bad measure of average temperature for a day a P2p measure over decades throws away a ton of information. That is why we dont measure the trend that way.

  52. When I did my Illinois, Wisconsin, and Iowa blink charts comparing USHCN’s original raw data vs their ‘improved’ Version 2 raw data, several things became apparent.

    The typical original chart showed a warm 1930′s, a cool 1960′s, and then a warm present, peaking at the perfect storm year of 1998, which was roughly the same height as the 1930′s peak. Some stations showed an overall up trend, some down, some undecided.

    Overall, the revised charts did three things.
    1. Gave the majority of charts an upward trend, almost always by lowering past raw temperatures.
    2. Lowered 1998.
    3. Lowered the 1930′s peak, often below 1998.

    Intentional or not, these alterations had the following effects -
    1. A region that showed no conclusive trend in the raw data now had a definite warming trend.
    2. 1998, which was such an anomalously high peak that it would be hard to exceed in the future, was now less of a challenge.
    3. 1934, which stateside was the warmest year of the century and an embarrassment to claims of ‘unprecedented’ recent warming, was now less than 1998.

    Because average temperatures first sum the raw data, you can raise an early temperature 2° at one station to show equanimity, as long as you lower three stations 1°. We can certainly find many stations where the alterations revise the trend downward, but over the entire set of three states, the great majority went upward.

  53. for Steven Mosher (or, actually, anyone who knows the answer to this one of course)…

    Steven, is there by chance a single page you know of that links to each of the various reconstructions of global temperature that you mentioned to me? Or even a couple that pick up most of them?

  54. Time for the Matt Briggs hammer:

    Here is how AJ ‘measures; P2P

    he takes a visual reading of a smoothed line. and then he calculates statistics on the smoothed data. that’s what we technically call a “no-no” primarily because to smooth the line you apply a model to the data and you are no longer working with data you are working with a model of the data. And without knowledge of the aparameters and error structure of the model you got bupkiss.

    Its unclear what smooth was used. a polynomial smooth? a causal filter? 30year? an acausal filter with end point reflection ( cru use something like this in the past.. it cause a minor kerfuffle) dunno.

  55. As others have pointed out the Met Office in the UK is claiming that this year will turn out to be either the hottest or one of the hottest in record. That certainly does not apply to the UK as anyone over the age of about 50 will know. However Britain constitutes only a tiny part of the world’s land mass which itself is much smaller in area that the world’s seas and oceans. Therefore the Met Office could be correct about the world as a whole even though this certainly is not one of the hottest years for the UK.

    However, if 2010 really is, in global terms, one of the hottest years on record then there must be a lot of places where this year really has been a scorcher. Where are these places? I know that large parts of Russia had a very hot summer but what was the rest of the year like there? And even though Russia is the biggest country in the world can it possibly be big enough to make this a record breaking year unless other countries have also had record breaking heat? Or could the other hot areas all be in the oceans?

  56. Mike McMillan says:
    November 26, 2010 at 4:17 pm (Edit)

    You are most likely seeing the effect of the TOBS adjustment. This adjustment is required. the raw temps are wrong without it. that has been demonstrated by committed skeptics of global warming. time after time.

  57. I accept (reluctantly) your comments, Steven, about the gridded temperatures being more or less correctly calculated. I concede that Jeff Id would support this view. You guys are much more involved with the science than I am. I would love to hear you comment on where you think the big issues are with respect to AGW belief.

    I guess my answer to my own question is that I don’t buy that water vapour has positive feedback only – I agree with Roy and also with H Svensmark on clouds being the earth’s sunshade and thermostat. In other words, I believe that much of the recent warming has been natural and perhaps we are moving towards global cooling for a while. I’m also concerned about UHI at the measurement end, and I’m very suspicious about raw data corrections though I don’t know where that ends and gridding begins. Perhaps from what you say, the data corrections are valid.

    I would welcome your comments on the big picture, and I guess others may be interested also.

  58. ScientistForTruth says:
    November 26, 2010 at 9:49

    I expect it is timed to align with the fact that the whole of UK is in the grip of severe winter weeks earlier than normal.
    ————
    Weird logic. Seems to be a re-run of the “its snowing in my backyard, so that means the whole planet must be entering an ice age” story line that was popular last winter.

    And of course my favorite “how dare those scientists insult my intelligence by claiming the global temperatures are high when clearly it’s cold where I live”.

  59. TonyK says:
    November 26, 2010 at 11:17 am
    So exactly where is it warming? Oh yes, the continental U.S. where there are all those themometers next to aircon outlets! YOU HAVE TO BE JOKING!
    ————–
    Weird logic. The ever popular my backyard is the entire world idea.

    As to the pseudo question. Where is it warning? Errr! try the oceans for a start. They don’t tend to have air conditioners.

  60. Surely all this misses the point – temperature especially ‘average temperature’ is the wrong metric.

    The entire AGW hypothesis is based on trapping HEAT. Heat does not equal temperature in the atmosphere as due to the presence of water vapor which raises the enthalpy of a volume of air by nearly two orders of magnitude. Or simply put dry air changes temperature with far less heat than humid air.

    What should be being measured is the ‘heat content’ of the atmosphere which requires knowledge of the humidity as well as temperature. Given hourly figures for humidity and temperature the hourly heat content could be totaled into a day’s heat content.

    This would be far more reliable than temperature and would be far more easily linked to SST and GHG effects (if any).

  61. Ian W says:
    November 26, 2010 at 5:41 pm

    You’re flogging a dead horse mate. I agree with you but no-one else seems to be listening. :-(

    As for the local climate isn’t World climate argument. The World climate, (if indeed there is such a thing), is made up of lots of local climates. Mine has done nothing unusual & I don’t know anyone else whose local climate has done anything unusual, so it’s probably a load of balls!

    DaveE.

  62. I think the rest of the world that has been warmer than where all the people live is the sea surface and parts of the arctic with no temperature measurements (so, they, or at least GISS, extrapolate whatever they want to into the arctic while disregarding the dmi 80 north estimates, which are based on actual measurements, because they’re inconvenient).

    Also, there was an El Nino. I seem to remember something about satellites biasing sea surface temperatures high in El Nino. If so, surely this is taken into account? Or, maybe they don’t use satellite data??? More likely, they use satellite data when it’s convenient.

  63. FrankK says:
    November 26, 2010 at 12:42 pm

    With re to New Zealand. I agree that temps have probably been tampered with but
    what is evident is that the Fox and Franz-Josef glacier have retreated substantially in NZ. So there must have been a significant statistical increase in temp (not necessarily AGW) since the Little Ice Age for this to have occurred.

    Other factors can affect glaciers more than temperature. A few are precipitation, humidity, and soot.

  64. I do not understand why the data is still being used to create arguments. My understanding reading the HARRY_READ_ME files (thank you Antony 18/11 post) is the the data collection (s) met few known standards. ie there was no hypothesis being test. Also noted IanW and David A evans comments.

    http://www.anenglishmanscastle.com/HARRY_READ_ME.txt

    Word search of 235 pgs HARRY txt
    3 c**p : approx 15 h*ll : 3 f**k: 50 metadata: 73 try: >100 anomalies
    ________________________________________________________
    ‘… then user decision TMin database to take precedence in terms of station metadata.’
    _________________________________________________________
    7. ….(we know the first number is the lon or column, the second the lat or row – but which way up are the latitudes? And where do the longitudes break?
    There is another problem: the values are anomalies, wheras the ‘public’.grim files are actual values. So Tim’s explanations (in _READ_ME.txt) are incorrect..
    ___________________________________________________________
    8. Had a hunt and found an identically-named temperature database file which did include normals lines at the start of every station. How handy – naming two different files with exactly the same name and relying on their location to differentiate! Aaarrgghh!! Re-ran anomdtb:
    _______________________________________________________
    I really thought I was cracking this project. But every time, it ends up worse than before.
    ________________________________________________________
    but I have an eerie feeling that I won’t experience joy when headers are compared between parameters :/

    Wrote metacmp.for. It accepts a list of parameter databases (by default, latest.versions.dat) and compares headers when WMO codes match. If all WMO matches amongst the databases share common metadata (lat, lon, alt, name, country) then the successful header is written to a file. If, however, any one of the WMO matches fails on any metadata – even slightly! – the gaggle of disjointed headers is written to a second file. I know that leeway should be given, particularly with lats & lons, but as a first stab I just need to know how bad things are. Well, I got that:

    crua6[/cru/cruts/version_3_0/update_top] ./metacmp
    METACMP – compare parameter database metadata
    RESULTS:

    Matched/unopposed: 2435
    Clashed horribly: 4077

    Ouch! Though actually, far, far better than expected. As for the disport of those 2435:
    _________________________________________________________
    I am very sorry to report that the rest of the databases seem to be in nearly as poor a state as Australia was. There are hundreds if not thousands of pairs of dummy stations, one with no WMO and one with, usually overlapping and with the same station name and very similar coordinates. I know it could be old and new stations, but why such large overlaps if that’s the case? Aarrggghhh!
    There truly is no end in sight. Look at this:
    ____________________________________________________________
    This still meant an awful lot of encounters with naughty Master stations, when really I suspect nobody else gives a hoot about. So with a somewhat cynical shrug, I added the nuclear option – to match every WMO possible, and turn the rest into new stations (er, CLIMAT excepted). In other words, what CRU usually do. It will allow bad databases to pass unnoticed, and good databases to become bad, but I really don’t think people care enough to fix ‘em, and it’s the main reason the project is nearly a year late.

  65. Hi Steven Mosher,
    Is it possible that the problem of rises in measured global temperature arises because of the calculations needed to adjust local temperature data to global gridded temperature?

    I am finding it difficult to see any significant rise in temperature for more than 100 years, for a number of well known locations widely scattered over the whole of the continent of Australia.

  66. All I can garner from pope’s comments is that the Met office don’t know if its warming or not, and openly confess that they don’t know what’s going on in the sea. The cooling, which they claim isn’t known without revising data) is perfectly consistent with the models, just as warming was perfectly consistent with the models. The necessary a-priori conclusion is that this provides even stronger evidence for man-made global warming.

    Presumably, the models are adjusted down and up and down again and up again, according to the -what can only be described as arbitrary global temperature average, a posteriori, so that it can be claimed that the models predicted the cooling that should have been warming, that after revisions, showed up as not so cooling as originally thought, but not as warming as originally projected, and on this basis, the blame can only be given to the fact that co2 causes this pell mell that the models were so consistent over…

    Ms Pope, we are a little confused, though it was an English poet (not Pope) who said
    “His notions fitted things so well, That which was which he could not tell”

  67. What ever happened to ARGO data?
    Several people have recently commented that the ARGO readings have not appeared recently.

    Surely with 70% of the earth’s surface being covered by oceans and oceans being far better heat stores than land, then all our attention should be on ARGO measurements.

    What happened to ARGO measurements?

  68. Roy says:
    November 26, 2010 at 4:32 pm

    the Met office seem obsessed with the hottest on record, or the near hottest on record, among hottest, and the predicted hottest. Especially in the case of the latter, regarding prognostications of barbecue summers and extremely mild winters, which turned out to be extremely cold winters and cool wet summers, it could be reasoned that after the events, it was all “perfectly consistent with the models”

  69. From “the Australian” article that Bob Tisdale refers to:

    “Dr Pope said that the evidence for man-made global warming had grown stronger in the past year. She said that it was important to look beyond the present cold snap in Britain and last year’s harsh winter in Europe and consider the global picture.

    Many parts of the world had experienced very warm temperatures last year although Britain was gripped by snow and ice in the coldest winter for 30 years.

    “We are starting to see changes in the climate even in the UK which we can link to global warming,” she said. “We’re seeing more heatwaves and seeing fewer of these cold winters.”

    Particularly the last paragraph, does anyone else in the UK – to which Pope specifically refers – notice more heat waves and fewer cold winters (sic) in the past year? Or to give the benefit of the doubt, the past 5 years?

  70. I have been of the opinion the raw temp data tells a different, cooler story than the processed data.

    Many here have been upset that the CRU’s adjustments to raw data always seem to require adjustments upward. The argument is usually some form of “Given enough moves (which in a large population should average out to be random), they should average out neutral, since some will mean adjustments upward and some downward, and overall they should cancel out.”

    This exercise with raw data essentially argues FROM that argument – that if the adjustments cancel out, on average (as they should) – then the raw trend and the adjusted trend should be the same, all things being equal.

    ANY averaging that does not come out close to neutral should be looked upon with great suspicion: Where did they go wrong?

  71. If you are going to area average, don’t you owe it to yourself to take evenly distributed (over area) readings? Altitude, local climate variations, etc all come in to play also. If you are down the proverbial pike from an area formerly receiving rain from transpiration in local fauna, and the fauna has been replaced with asphalt, you are getting a man made reading that has diddly to do with CO2.

    How are these situations documented and corrected?

  72. Thanks to you Anthony for this post. Please keep up the good work and I hope everything is fine with your family.
    Thanks to AJStrata. All the links worked including those on Strata-Sphere.
    As Aussie Dan says there is no significant increase of raw temperature in Australian rural weather station measurements similar to the findings for New Zealand. There have been posts on here (WUPT) to show the same for rural sites in North America and Europe.
    The GISS and CRU presentations are the results of manipulation.
    I can not understand the stance of Steven Mosher. Why does he want to support the data manipulation of Hansen, Jones, Mann, Briffra, Trenberth etc. and their lack of knowledge about thermodynamics, heat transfer, mathematics, statistics and other engineering subjects?

  73. [re: USHCN Orig raw vs V2 raw]
    Steven Mosher says: November 26, 2010 at 4:33 pm
    You are most likely seeing the effect of the TOBS adjustment. This adjustment is required. the raw temps are wrong without it. that has been demonstrated by committed skeptics of global warming. time after time.

    I was under the impression that the original included TOBS.

  74. Steven Mosher wrote:

    “One reason you cannot merely take the P2P of various countries and average them is this:
    A. country A is huge. It has 1200 stations it covers millions of square miles.
    B. country B is small. It has one station, it covers a few square miles.

    To handle this challenge people perform area weighting.”

    What is the “coverage area” of one station, Steve, from physics standpoint?

    For example, the Weather Station Handbook requires distances from obstacles and paved surfaces to be about 100ft from sensors. I would infer that this is the actual physical radius of “coverage”. Outside this area you have no information and have no rights to extent anything over wider area. Area weighting has no physical justification. I think this “dealing with challenge” is pure self delusion.

  75. 2010 could be one of the warmest years ever! Part of one of the warmest decades ever!

    Statements like these just kill me. The earth has been warming since the Little Ice Age. Take any year or decade since then, and that statement is likely to be true. If we were in say 1800AD, we could say it was the warmest year, decade, century, AND millenium on record. I picked that out of the air, someone will probably nit pick based on actual numbers, but the point is that you could pick almost any year since the LIA and that statement is going to be pretty much correct,

    So it is no surprise to me that the various data sets and various methods give very similar results. Not also that we’re using the wrong scale for the discussion. An average temperature of 15 C with a 0.03 warming trend sounds a whole lot different than 288 K with 0.03 warming trend, doesn’t it? Degrees C is a relative scale and is nearly meaningless. When you consider the absolute scale of degrees K, the wonder is not that the various methods diverge at all, the wonder is that they are as close as they are. The wonder ALSO is the incredible stability of the global temperature over hundreds of years.

    Given all the variables that could push global temperatures one way or the other, one can assume that they on average pretty much cancel each other out, or that the physics that governs the planetary system is comprised of feedbacks that work in opposition to stimulus, or a combination of the two. Bottom line is that given several centuries of warming in a row, this would most likely be the warmest year/decade/century ever just like it was in 1910, 1810, 1710…

    The question is how much of the trend is “natural” and how much is caused by CO2? If the thought that varius variables are mitigated by feedbacks of the opposite sign is correct, then extracting CO2′s effects from the entire chaotic system with millions of variables isn’t even on par with looking for a needle in a haystack. Its more like searching the world for a haystack with a needle in it.

    And yet, I don’t care. Just as accelerated warming from CO2 increases should be most pronounced, ocean heat content is falling and atmospheric temps have levelled off. Explain it by off setting feedbacks or natural variables cancelling out CO2 if you want, but my point on CO2 is, and this cannot be repeated often enough, CO2 is logarithmic.

    What ever effects CO2 actually has after all feedbacks, the 100 ppm we have added to the atmosphere over the last 100 years would require another 200 ppm to cause the same increase as we saw from the first 100, and 400 ppm more for another. And 800 ppm for the one after that. We’re at 390 or so now, up just over 100 from “natural” at 280 from a century of burning as much fuel as we could. The amount of fossil fuel we would have to burn to cancel the law of diminishing returns that CO2 warming is subject to is staggering. If the planet is in fact entering a long term cooling period leading to an ice age, there isn’t nearly enough fossil fuel on the planet to even dent its progress.

  76. P Wilson

    UK temperatures have been plummeting in recent years. (this doesn’t constitute a ‘trend’) This can be seen in the 1772 Central England Temperature (CET) record , which shows anomalies (deviations from a given average) up to this month;

    http://hadobs.metoffice.com/hadcet/

    We also have the much older (and curiously underused) CET records which enables us to take a further step back in time to 1660.

    http://homepage.ntlworld.com/jdrake/Questioning_Climate/_sgg/m2_1.htm

    From here we can see many peaks and troughs and that our temperature today is around that of 1730-the middle of the Little Ice Age.

    Creating a ‘global average ‘ temperature is a curious thing to do as it disguises the hundreds of locations worldwide that have been cooling for at least thirty years (a statistically meaningful period)

    http://diggingintheclay.wordpress.com/2010/09/01/in-search-of-cooling-trends/

    Listening to the UK Farming today programnmes are instructive. Just in the last few weeks we have a farmer-encouraged by the govt-who planted Apricot trees 10 years ago and is now grubbing them up as they don’t ripen and just this morning someone saying we don’t get the hot dry summers we used to have which impacts on quality of vegetables.

    Of course they’re ‘anecdotal’ rather than robust information from a computer lab so they don’t count.

    tonyb

  77. Tony B

    “Of course they’re ‘anecdotal’ rather than robust information from a computer lab so they don’t count.”

    When push comes to shove good anecdotal well outranks post normal science IMO

  78. Tony B

    And we need a new word – I propose “Empixellated” for those who spend far too much time looking at computer screens and not enough looking out of windows – God forbid actually doing field sampling!

  79. Ian W says:

    Surely all this misses the point – temperature especially ‘average temperature’ is the wrong metric.

    The entire AGW hypothesis is based on trapping HEAT. Heat does not equal temperature

    Even worse than that, temperature is an intensive variable, so can not be averaged at all, yet it is. There really is, practically and theoretically, no such thing as a ‘global average temperature’. It is a fiction, and not even a polite one.

    What should be being measured is the ‘heat content’ of the atmosphere which requires knowledge of the humidity as well as temperature. Given hourly figures for humidity and temperature the hourly heat content could be totaled into a day’s heat content.

    Absolutely, but since they can’t do that, they do something meaningless and useless instead that is guaranteed to produce a load of error band; then ignore the error band.

    David A. Evans says:
    You’re flogging a dead horse mate. I agree with you but no-one else seems to be listening. :-(

    I am… and talking about it too:

    For one thing, we measure at airports almost exclusively now for GHCN, and that’s just a giant mistake:

    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2010/11/18/airports-a-tarmac-tale/

    but the bigger problem, I fear, is just that kind of ‘temperature as a proxy for heat’ “small decision” that addes up to a major error. The “Tyranny of Small Decisions”:

    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2010/11/26/small-tyrants-large-tyrannies/


    As for the local climate isn’t World climate argument. The World climate, (if indeed there is such a thing), is made up of lots of local climates. Mine has done nothing unusual & I don’t know anyone else whose local climate has done anything unusual, so it’s probably a load of balls!

    Well, in the Western USA it’s been darned cold. Late end to ski season last year, early start this. Australia has been cool and wet. Both Australia / New Zealand and South Africa had great skiing seasons last year, as did Europe. As near as I can tell, what’s going on is that the cold cycle has begun, but it will take about a decade to suck down the ocean temps. During that time we’ll get a load of added rain and snow as the whole things cools. It’s a 30 year or so half cycle, so we’ve got a ways before the numbers all line up to cold everywhere. Until then it’s a fools errand of averaging what can not be averaged to make a fictional number while ignoring the error bands.

    Al Tekhasski says:
    What is the “coverage area” of one station, Steve, from physics standpoint?

    For example, the Weather Station Handbook requires distances from obstacles and paved surfaces to be about 100ft from sensors. I would infer that this is the actual physical radius of “coverage”. Outside this area you have no information and have no rights to extent anything over wider area. Area weighting has no physical justification. I think this “dealing with challenge” is pure self delusion.

    I’d make it about the size of the thermometer stem… Topology is fractal, so the size of the ruler you use will change the measurement. Temperatures depend on the topology, so temperatures are fractal. Want a different ‘average temperature’? Change the number or location of thermometers… I’ve got 20 F more or less variation inside 50 feet measured (and the reality is it was more like 3 feet if I’d wanted to put out another thermometer…)

    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2010/11/22/an-example-of-fractal-temperatures/

    We ASSUME and HOPE that a screen or box does some kind of valid averaging of the surface temperatures. It doesn’t, because it can’t. It just slightly standardizes the size of the ruler we use, so we get a slightly more consistent meaningless result.

    Like trying to answer the question “How long is the coastline of England?”, there is NO right answer to “What is the average temperature of England?” and it depends on the size of the ruler (or thermometer) you use.

    Yet we argue endlessly about how best to calculate the number of angels that can fit on the end of the thermometers… and the best statistical techniques for estimating them…

  80. Again: How’s the weather in England?, I’m curious if you have snow on the ground there related to another post I’m doing. – Anthony

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-11852488

    27 November 2010 Last updated at 08:53
    Fresh heavy snowfalls and icy roads affecting the UK
    Snowy scene in Paisley (pic: Vassilis Manoussos) A blanket of snow added to the Biblical scene in Paisley on Friday night
    Severe weather warnings are in place for most of the UK with more heavy snow already falling in some areas.
    Up to 15cm (6in) could fall in parts of Scotland and north-east England, while 2-8cm (1-3in) is likely in areas such as the Midlands and the south-west.
    Norwich airport is closed and warnings are also in place for icy roads in Northern Ireland and Wales.
    Wintry weather on Friday caused school closures, flight disruption and a 26-mile tailback on the M4 in south Wales.
    Some weekend sporting events have also been cancelled.
    The UK has seen the earliest widespread snowfall for 17 years and forecasters say it could last for two weeks.
    One of the coldest place overnight on Friday was Trawscoed, in west Wales, where -10.2C (14F) was recorded. Dalwhinnie, in the Highlands, recorded -8.2C (17F), and Chesham, in Buckinghamshire, -7C (19F).
    ———————————————
    We are told we are in for very heavy snowfalls in the south of the country next week.

    MET office
    Latest Snow Reports

    Outbreaks of snow are continuing to affect many parts of the UK and have spread to many parts of central England overnight. Heavy snow showers have also spread across Northern Ireland, central and western Wales and also parts of southwest England. Latest reports we have are of 4 to 5 cm of snow in Cornwall with one report of 20 cm near Truro. Elsewhere reports of 6 cm at Maldon, Essex, 8 cm at Fakenham, Norfolk and over 10 cm in Preston have been received. Reports also suggest there over 30 cm in eastern Scotland and over 35 cm in parts of Northumberland. If you have had recent snow, especially in these areas, please let us know using the link below. Issued at 0701 on Sat 27 Nov 2010.

  81. Steve Mosher:

    It would be really helpful if you could provide a list (or link) showing exactly how the Met Office/CRU/or you! adjust the raw readings. What are these adjustments for – in plain English? What is their magnitude? How are they worked out? How are they applied?

    From my perspective, it seems that we are trying to measure annual global temperature anomolies that are far smaller than the likely measurement errors. Is that where the statistical magic is necessary?

    Many thanks (and apologies if these questions have been exlained elsewhere.)

    RobB

  82. Anthony Watts, might very well own an electric car, etc. but he is probably wasting a lot of time with all this conspiracy theory and his notions of debunking. What’s it all for?

    Global warming might or might not be real. But you need only to look at the benefit to Los Angeles residents of the Clean Air Act, or similar in London decades earlier, to realize that the industrial society needs substantial re-thinking before it can approach anything near sustainability.

    The most likely outcome of Mr Watts’ efforts are to provide fuel for the corporations like Exxon and BP that are prime offenders in making the world a less hospitable place for future generations.

    Key issues associated with global warming are:

    - Reduction of biodiversity (life species) on land, sea and air
    - Pollution
    - Exhaustion of finite resources including forests and fossil fuels
    - Insufficient government regulation and control of corporations

    Global warming – whatever it means to you – is merely an early warning of major problems that must be addressed. It’s easy for us to say “let’s deny all that, and if adjustments are needed let’s put these off for a generation or two,” but for those who would say that, consider the following.

    The changes proposed by Al Gore are needed whether he is right or wrong. You oppose him now, but in 50 years from now, if he is right, will you have the courage to look your grand children in the eye and say “I had an opportunity to help fix this mess, but I was too interested in my own personal comfort. Now you will do my suffering as well as yours.”

    Alarmist? Hell yes, because that’s what it takes to move people out of their complacency.

    I’m not much into labels, because I think that diminishes the value of what people are saying, but if I were to label those that oppose global warming theory I’d call them, including Mr Watts, ‘the hedonists’.

    The most important question, with which we should all be immediately concerned, is what will we do to adapt to a less hospitable world with fewer resources? How will we survive for another 50,000-80,000 years? (as tribal societies have done)

  83. onion says:
    November 26, 2010 at 2:19 pm
    Are you trying to imply that Anthony and the Mods don’t know their onions? If that is the case it is self evident from the replies that they recognise you for what you are. Now run along, there’s a good troll.

  84. tonyb says:
    November 27, 2010 at 12:16 am
    “Listening to the UK Farming today programnmes are instructive. Just in the last few weeks we have a farmer-encouraged by the govt-who planted Apricot trees 10 years ago and is now grubbing them up as they don’t ripen”
    I remember this story well. It was as I remember a substantial interview backed by camera shots and pushed by the BBC reporter as final proof, if any were required, STUPID people, of the incontravertible fact of AGW. He was if memory serves me, also growing olive groves!
    Putting your money where your mouth is should be undertaken with great caution: putting your money where other peoples’ mouths are is foolhardy in the extreme.
    He joins a long list of dupes including those who swallowed the govt. renewables deal in Spain.

  85. “Steven Mosher says: November 26, 2010 at 4:33 pm
    You are most likely seeing the effect of the TOBS adjustment. This adjustment is required. the raw temps are wrong without it.”

    So, at what point in time was the TOBS adjustment applied to the ‘raw’ data?

    As I understand it, the McMillan blinkers are all the stations in those states, as downloaded in July09 and Nov09. It is my further understanding that the datasets were not labeled as having changed, let alone having been massively ‘corrected’ for TOBS ‘bias’.

    I had the impression that the great homogenizers were hard at work on V3 in that timeframe, and that the TOBS and other adjustments had been out long enough to become old hat, if not an embarrassment.
    Would not the agency have announced with great fanfare, the deployment of a big correction like TOBS across a reference database?
    McMillan has fulfilled the requirements you placed on others; ‘data provenance’, and ‘the code’, which in this case is ‘plot the raw data’.
    Your supercilious dismissal of the McMillan blinkers seems rather flip…
    RR

  86. The instrumental record prior to 1979 is a joke. Coverage was spotty and largely confined to industrialized nations in the Northern Hemisphere with coverage getting worse and worse as you go back in time. 70% of the earth’s surface (ocean) had virtually no coverage at all. Consistency in instruments, placement, and recording was sloppy for the most part and was never in anyone’s wildest imagination designed to discover a global average temperature no less discovery it with accuracy and precision to a tenth of a degree. Temperature determinations by proxy are of course even worse than the instrument record.

    The only reliable global temperature dataset is the satellite record beginning in 1979 and even it has weaknesses such as inability to measure temperatures nearer the poles.

    Every figure and graph purporting to represent global average temperature prior to 1979 with better than 1 degree of precision and accuracy should be taken with a grain of salt. That also applies to AJ Strata’s analysis which is based upon the same ridiculous notion that the temperature record prior to 1979 (raw or adjusted, instrumental or proxy) is adequate.

  87. Steven Mosher says:
    November 26, 2010 at 4:33 pm
    You are most likely seeing the effect of the TOBS adjustment. This adjustment is required. the raw temps are wrong without it. that has been demonstrated by committed skeptics of global warming. time after time.

    I used to be a TOBS denialist myself, but now am a True Believer. See

    http://climateaudit.org/2007/09/24/tobs/

    However, rather than using the arcane but well-intentioned Karl et al model to guesstimate the TOBS adjustment, I would now favor just treating any change in TOBS as a new station, with a new offset to be determined by something like RomanM’s “PlanB” method.

    Despite your assurances about CRU, I’m highly skeptical of its thirties-noughties warming, given its heavy reliance on airports. Here in Ohio, 8 out of 10 stations used by CRU are airports (if you count Cincinnati as being in Ohio), despite the available of 26 non-airport USHCN stations (at least a few of which are not terrible). Is CRU just measuring the growth in aviation over the past 80 years?

    Another factor that concerns me is Sensor Blackening, http://climateaudit.org/2007/10/20/sensor-blackening/. Anthony pointed out long ago that this is an issue with Stephenson Screens, but I am also concerned that the MMTS readers, which apparently receive no maintenance, get dirty over time and therefore absorb more solar heat.

  88. Hu McCulloch says:

    (if you count Cincinnati as being in Ohio)
    —————————–
    Yikes! Don’t listen to him, he’s a Brown’s fan! ;)

    Cinci is in Ohio. Isn’t the part of that urban area that is in Kentucky called Newport?

  89. P.Skilz says: November 27, 2010 at 3:43 am
    The most important question, with which we should all be immediately concerned, is what will we do to adapt to a less hospitable world with fewer resources? How will we survive for another 50,000-80,000 years? (as tribal societies have done)

    You mean with the onset of the next ice age soon to come? After all we have been cooling since the Holocene Optimum(or Maximum). Ever wonder why it is called
    “optimum/maximum”?

  90. There’s an interesting editorial in today’s Wall Street Journal regarding Al Gore’s admission that ethanol fuel he promoted serves no useful purpose and does more harm than good. I am pasting the entire editorial below :

    REVIEW & OUTLOOK NOVEMBER 27, 2010 Al Gore’s Ethanol Epiphany
    He concedes the industry he promoted serves no useful purpose.
    Anyone who opposes ethanol subsidies, as these columns have for decades, comes to appreciate the wisdom of St. Jude. But now that a modern-day patron saint—St. Al of Green—has come out against the fuel made from corn and your tax dollars, maybe this isn’t such a lost cause.

    Welcome to the college of converts, Mr. Vice President. “It is not a good policy to have these massive subsidies for first-generation ethanol,” Al Gore told a gathering of clean energy financiers in Greece this week. The benefits of ethanol are “trivial,” he added, but “It’s hard once such a program is put in place to deal with the lobbies that keep it going.”

    No kidding, and Mr. Gore said he knows from experience: “One of the reasons I made that mistake is that I paid particular attention to the farmers in my home state of Tennessee, and I had a certain fondness for the farmers in the state of Iowa because I was about to run for President.”

    Mr. Gore’s mea culpa underscores the degree to which ethanol has become a purely political machine: It serves no purpose other than re-electing incumbents and transferring wealth to farm states and ethanol producers. Nothing proves this better than the coincident trajectories of ethanol and Mr. Gore’s career.
    Ethanol’s claim on the Treasury was first made amid the 1970s energy crisis, with Jimmy Carter and a Democratic Congress subsidizing anything that claimed to be a substitute for foreign oil. Mr. Gore, freshman House class of 1976, was an early proponent of what was then called “gasahol.”

    The subsidies continued through the 1990s, with the ethanol lobby finding a sympathetic ear in Clinton EPA chief and Gore protege Carol Browner, who in 1994 banned the gasoline additive MTBE and left ethanol as the only option under clean air laws. When the Senate split 50-50 on repealing this de facto mandate, then Vice President Gore cast the deciding vote for . . . ethanol. That served him well in the 2000 Democratic primaries against ethanol critic Bill Bradley.

    During the George W. Bush years, Big Ethanol adapted again, attaching itself to the global warming panic that Mr. Gore did as much as anyone to foment. Republicans in Congress formalized the mandate and increased subsidies in the 2005 and 2007 energy bills.

    Meanwhile, the greens have slowly turned against corn ethanol, thanks to the growing scientific evidence that biofuels increase carbon emissions more than fossil fuels do. But the boondoggle lives on in dreams for so-called advanced fuels like cellulosic ethanol. Note Mr. Gore’s objection only to “first generation,” though we’ve been hearing that advanced ethanol is just a year or two away from viability for two decades.

    At least on corn subsidies, we now have the makings of a left-right anti-boondoggle coalition. Major corn energy subsidies such as the 54-cent-per-gallon blenders credit expire at the end of the year, and Republican Senators Jim DeMint and Tom Coburn are encouraging the new Congress to prove its fiscal bona fides by letting them die. Chuck Grassley (R., Ethanol) responded this week on Twitter: “WashPost reports 2 of my colleagues want sunset ethanol tax credit R they ready sunset tax subsidies oilANDgas enjoys?”

    Messrs. DeMint and Coburn replied, essentially, make our day—and rightly so. Regardless of government intervention, the economy will continue to demand oil and gas, because they are useful. No one could plausibly say the same about ethanol, and maybe now that he’s had his epiphany Mr. Gore will join the fight against the subsidized industry he did so much to promote.

    Copyright 2010 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved

  91. P.Skilz says:
    November 27, 2010 at 3:43 am
    The most likely outcome of Mr Watts’ efforts are to provide fuel for the corporations like Exxon and BP that are prime offenders in making the world a less hospitable place for future generations.>>

    How odd. Is a tent city in Darfur that consumes 0 oil a more hospitible place to live than a large city where courtesy of Exxon, BP and others we have heated homes when it is too cold, cooled when it is too hot, food frozen until it is needed, fresh fruit and vegetables delivered from which ever part of the world they are in season, and at a price that almost anyone can afford. Sounds like they are making the world more hospitable, not less.

    Key issues associated with global warming are:
    - Reduction of biodiversity (life species) on land, sea and air>>

    Actually the geological record is quite clear that a warmer earth results in higher biodiversity as well as density. Plants can’t even live at CO2 levels below 160 ppm but they thrive at CO2 levels many times our current level, suggesting that much higher CO2 levels are the environments they evolved in and the current levels are constraining their growth, hence the use of CO2 to increase production in greenhouses, which I note, are usually warmer than the surrounding area and out produce it 10 to 1 or more.

    - Pollution>>

    You may want to reword that. You just claimed that global warming causes pollution.

    - Exhaustion of finite resources including forests and fossil fuels>>

    Uhm… forests are finite? And here I thought they grew back. As for fossil fuels, yup, gotta be some limit there. Burning what we got so far will take a couple of centuries during which a lot of new technology will come along, not to mention discovery of new reserves, and in case you hadn’t noticed, nuclear reactors actually do work. Even ultra-lefty France is building them like crazy.

    - Insufficient government regulation and control of corporations>>

    Global warming causes that? Wow. You know what increased government regulation and control of corporations causes? Its called a recession. Do you know what massively increased regulation and control causes? A depression. Do you know what total government regulation and control causes? The USSR. Oh wait, they collapsed didn’t they?

    The changes proposed by Al Gore are needed whether he is right or wrong.>>

    If he is wrong we need to do what he says anyway? What god like power he must have that we should do what he says even if he is wrong.

    You oppose him now, but in 50 years from now, if he is right, will you have the courage to look your grand children in the eye and say “I had an opportunity to help fix this mess, but I was too interested in my own personal comfort. Now you will do my suffering as well as yours.” >>

    Well if he’s wrong I get to look my grandchildren in the eye and explain why they have to go to be hungry tonight because there’s no food again, and they all have to sleep in the same bed to keep warm… What you fail to understand is the medicine proposed is magnitudes worse then the potential harm from something we don’t even know exists, is so small we can barely measure it at all, and appears to be coming to end due to a global cooling cycle. I’ll look my grandchildren in the eye all right, and proudly tell them that I lobbied hard to discredit alarmists screaming for action to fix a problem they invented to try and deprive you young uns of a future of comfort.

    Alarmist? Hell yes, because that’s what it takes to move people out of their complacency.>>

    So we should do what Al Gore says, no matter if he is right or wrong, and its OK to scare people to make them do it. Have you read any history books and can you identify the people you sound like? Stalin, Hitler, Mao, Pol Pot, Genghis Khan, Attila the Hun….

    I’m not much into labels, because I think that diminishes the value of what people are saying, but if I were to label those that oppose global warming theory I’d call them, including Mr Watts, ‘the hedonists’.>>

    I don’t recall Mr Watts opposing global warming. I recall much evidence presented that debunks or calls into question the science that claims global warming exists and is causing the negative effects claimed.

    The most important question, with which we should all be immediately concerned, is what will we do to adapt to a less hospitable world with fewer resources? How will we survive for another 50,000-80,000 years? (as tribal societies have done)>>

    Well I can answer that. If we adopt the “Al Gore” approach, that is EXACTLY how we will survive. As tribal societies. As for your timeline of 50,000 years, puhlease. Just a hundred years ago we had no television, commercial air craft, internet, desk top computers, nuclear reactors, electric grids, cell phones… need I go on? We’ve enough resources for the next few centuries and you want to put restraints on their use now to protect people 50,000 years from now? And sentence them to live like tribal societies to do it?

    Don’t be daft.

  92. tonyb says:
    November 27, 2010 at 12:16 am

    Its odd that Ms Pope would draw attention specifically to recent increasing heatwave and global warming in the UK, when short-medium trends give the opposite.

    living here in London for the last 20 years the last “wave” that could be described as a heat based *anomaly* was some 7 years ago, and it wasn’t that spectacular

  93. “”P.Skilz says:
    November 27, 2010 at 3:43 am
    Key issues associated with global warming are:

    - Reduction of biodiversity (life species) on land, sea and air
    - Pollution
    - Exhaustion of finite resources including forests and fossil fuels
    - Insufficient government regulation and control of corporations””

    Sir/Madame,
    You sound sincere in your argument, but. And your use of the word ‘hedonists’ does denigrate your argument somewhat. It speaks to arguments we’ve heard many times here: the anthropogenic source of climate variation. Do you believe we currently posses the technology to mitigate a catastrophic change in climate? Do you think we will have it 10yrs., 100yrs., or 1000+yrs.? Many have shown here and elsewhere that we do not and will not…it is smply too big and too chaotic, an we are so small.
    The IEA has just published it’s outlook, they don’t appear to think so either, and they project that by 2035 only 8% of the global energy output will be generated by alternative technologies (I’m going off memory here it may be only 3%, but that may be wind energy alone), the link is provided.

    http://www.worldenergyoutlook.org/docs/weo2010/WEO2010_ES_English.pdf

    The biodiversity impacts you speak of are a non-issue given that 99% of all species that have ever existed have already gone extinct. There have been no increases in extinction rates of any species, see here:

    http://data.iucn.org/dbtw-wpd/html/Red%20List%202004/completed/figure3.2.html

    Your point on pollution is well made and at least some of the $$BILLIONS$$ spent over the last few years on AGW cap&trade scemes should/could have been better spent on cleaning up some of the mess we’ve made.
    Your point of more regulation of corporations? Really? Perhaps you’re not in/from the USA and are not aware of the current situation in CA, arguably the most “green” state in the union…they’re going bankrupt trying to “save the planet” by initiating environmental policies that are decades (IMO) premature, will not have any appreciable impact on GHG’s in the atmosphere, and are currently driving corporations out of the state. Maybe you were speaking on further regulating pollutants, BTW of which CO2 is not a polluting gas.
    In fact the argument here is that:
    1. It has not been proven that CO2 is causing/has caused any warming at any time in Earth’s history.
    2. It has been proven that our ability as humans to even ascertain an accurate global average temperature that everyone agrees on is, at best, lacking.
    3. Human technology will always be evolving away from carbon based energy sources with the full knowledge that fossil fuels on this planet are in a finite supply.
    4. Extinction events will always take place on this planet and, long before we came along, and will continue long after we’re gone. To say repeatedly, as I have read, that, “scientists concerned that species that have not yet been dicovered are becoming extinct at an increasing rate”. Do you see the stupidity of that statement? Are these people that you can trust?
    5. Forests are increasing, are not in danger, something that increased CO2 levels will accelerate creating more biodiversity.
    6. Since we don’t fully understand why or how much the globe is warming, and given that there has been no warming for the past 15 years or more, do you feel that the $$BILLIONS$$ that have been spent on this charade might not have been better spent actually saving people lives: in 2000 the UN said that $175 billion would eradicate poverty on the planet…and they wasted that opportunity, and continue to waste that opportunity with my, yours and our TAX DOLLARS?

    Just sayin’ Al Gore is wrong, not to mention that he has millions invested in cap & trade scemes all over the planet. Google his name and follow the money. This is not a guy you want to get behind!

  94. P.Skilz says: November 27, 2010 at 3:43 am

    “Anthony Watts, might very well own an electric car, etc. but he is probably wasting a lot of time with all this conspiracy theory and his notions of debunking. What’s it all for?
    Global warming might or might not be real. But you need only to look at the benefit to Los Angeles residents of the Clean Air Act, or similar in London decades earlier, to realize that the industrial society needs substantial re-thinking before it can approach anything near sustainability.
    The most likely outcome of Mr Watts’ efforts are to provide fuel for the corporations like Exxon and BP that are prime offenders in making the world a less hospitable place for future generations.”

    Science is science and when it is bastardized for political and monetary gain it is not good for “future generations”. Inability to, or lack of ability to pay, to heat one’s home or move people and goods from one place to another is also not good for future generations. LA is a fine example, along with all of the rest of CA, being unable to pay their own way given their save the earth mentality and expectation that the rest of the country will keep them from freezing to death or living in the dark. You left wingers never look at the social costs of making yourselves feel good by espousing and implementing foolish “green” programs.

    The biggest problem with large corporations is not lack of government control but lack of shareholder control, which the government refuses to codify to prevent the theft of shareholder money in the form of outrageous CEO and executive compensation and also make executives and boards of directors responsible for the real damage they cause to the environment and to shareholders. I would note that even when socialists are in charge, these changes never occur, just a lot of high talk.

  95. E.M. Smith says:
    November 27, 2010 at 2:12 am

    Sorry Michael. I was too exclusive. I should have said few are listening, not “no-one else seems to be listening.”

    DaveE.

  96. “P.Skilz says:
    November 27, 2010 at 3:43 am

    The changes proposed by Al Gore are needed whether he is right or wrong. You oppose him now, but in 50 years from now, if he is right, will you have the courage to look your grand children in the eye and say “I had an opportunity to help fix this mess, but I was too interested in my own personal comfort. Now you will do my suffering as well as yours.”

    There have been several excellent responses already, but I would just like to add this: If I recall correctly, Al Gore proposes carbon capture as one of his solutions. This is a total waste of money!! Our province has plans to spend 2 billion dollars on carbon capture over the next few years. And even if Al Gore is right about the catastrophic effects of global warming due to CO2, it would be better to spend every penny of that money on nuclear fusion research which will greatly mitigate that problem. If we get it to work, nuclear fusion will create much pollution free energy. And if that happens, I can look my grandchildren in the eye and say I spoke up for an abundance of good clean energy for all and not for throwing money away into the ground for no good reason.
    At a physics conference I recently attended, speculation was that within 4 years we may get more energy out of fusion than is put in. Of course it would take longer to be commercially available.

  97. Again I have to ask the Chicken Littles: If you believe AGW is happening and is a serious threat, why are you still using a computer? Or do you think that driving a Prius and changing to mercury-laden twisty bulbs is enough of a tithe and sacrifice, and now your conscience is clear, and your place in the green afterlife is secure?

  98. Werner Brozek says:
    November 27, 2010 at 10:43 am

    …Our province has plans to spend 2 billion dollars on carbon capture over the next few years. And even if Al Gore is right about the catastrophic effects of global warming due to CO2, it would be better to spend every penny of that money on nuclear fusion research which will greatly mitigate that problem. If we get it to work, nuclear fusion will create much pollution free energy.

    Ah, but the green revolutionary leaders don’t want us to have clean, cheap energy. Just ask Paul Ehrlich:

    “Giving society cheap, abundant energy would be the equivalent of giving an idiot child a machine gun.” – Quoted by R. Emmett Tyrrell in The American Spectator, September 6, 1992

    Or Maurice Strong of IPCC:

    “We may get to the point where the only way of saving the world will be for industrial civilization to collapse. ”

    I think Strong and his ilk think we’re already at that point, and are trying their best to make it happen. Somehow, thought, I think the collapse won’t apply to them, since they have to lead us through the coming dark times.

  99. Werner Brozek says:
    November 27, 2010 at 10:43 am

    re; fusion power

    Fusion generators aren’t going to happen. Even if they exceed breakeven there’s no known material that can withstand the heat and radiation in the fusion container for long enough to make it economically feasible. It would be like someone creating an automobile that gets 500 miles a gallon but the engine, which is made of exotic materials and is very expensive, needs to replaced every 10,000 miles. Sort of like electric cars actually which are wonderfully efficient in fuel consumption but need to have very expensive battery banks replaced every few years which totally wipes out the cost savings from the energy efficiency.

    Liquid biofuels are the answer for transportation and photovoltaics in combination with traditional on-demand generators the answer for electricity. We won’t get away from combustion driven electrical generators in the near future but demand will be greatly reduced through decentralized photovoltaics satisfying demand while the sun is shining. Both of these are reduced to engineering challenges at this point in time – synthetic biology for the former and manufacturing technology for the latter.

    The two keys problems with electrical generation that don’t get talked about much are storage and distribution. That’s why liquid fuel for transportation will be with us for the foreseeable future. No one has come up with an economically feasible way to store electricity so on-demand generation will be with us for a long time to keep the juice flowing at night and on cloudy days. The other problem, distribution, also works to limit electricity for transporation. Power grids are already running close to capacity. There is simply not enough unused capacity in the transmission lines for more than a token percentage of vehicles to use plug-in recharging. The cost of stringing up more electrical transmission lines is prohibitive. The infrastructure itself is expensive but worse is that the ground footprint taken up by transmission towers must greatly increase and that means condemning a lot of expensive real-estate and structures thereupon to make room for them. And nobody wants high tension wires spoiling their view or travelling overhead causing cancer clusters beneath them. It’s a bloody nightmare.

  100. Werner Brozek says:
    November 27, 2010 at 10:43 am

    re; fusion power (con’t)

    Here’s what -should- be our research focus for the ultimate source of energy instead of the great fusion boondoggle:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space-based_solar_power

    The only thing keeping this technology from getting off the ground (pun intended) is the cost of lifting mass to orbit.

    But there’s a very promising technology (carbon nanotube cable) that could solve the launch problem real soon now and unlike fusion has actually been progressing by leaps and bounds:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_elevator

    Japan appears to be leading the charge in the above effort which makes me very sad as an American but better them than no one.

    In 2007, Elevator:2010 held the 2007 Space Elevator games, which featured US$500,000 awards for each of the two competitions, (US$1,000,000 total) as well as an additional US$4,000,000 to be awarded over the next five years for space elevator related technologies.[27] No teams won the competition, but a team from MIT entered the first 2-gram (0.07 oz), 100% carbon nanotube entry into the competition.[28] Japan held an international conference in November 2008 to draw up a timetable for building the elevator.[29]

    In 2008 the book “Leaving the Planet by Space Elevator”, by Dr. Brad Edwards and Philip Ragan, was published in Japanese and entered the Japanese best seller list.[30] This has led to a Japanese announcement of intent to build a Space Elevator at a projected price tag of £5 billion. In a report by Leo Lewis, Tokyo correspondent of The Times newspaper in England, plans by Shuichi Ono, chairman of the Japan Space Elevator Association, are unveiled. Lewis says: “Japan is increasingly confident that its sprawling academic and industrial base can solve those [construction] issues, and has even put the astonishingly low price tag of a trillion yen (£5 billion/ $8 billion) on building the elevator. Japan is renowned as a global leader in the precision engineering and high-quality material production without which the idea could never be possible.”[29]

  101. Dave Springer says:
    November 27, 2010 at 11:58 am

    …Sort of like electric cars actually which are wonderfully efficient in fuel consumption but need to have very expensive battery banks replaced every few years which totally wipes out the cost savings from the energy efficiency.

    How many is “every few years”? How would it compare to regular maintenance on IC engines? As the technology becomes more robust, the costs would come down, as they always do.

  102. Anthony – “This a ridiculous conspiracy theory”

    Maybe not. Do you think that former PM and AGW advocate Gordon Brown knew of any likely collusion between his Met office and the GISS office before the Met Office was exposed in 2008?
    Billions of government revenue dollars and millions of newly created government jobs all based on GISS “anomalies”.

    Please keep up the good work

  103. Jeff Alberts says:
    November 27, 2010 at 12:13 pm

    “How many is “every few years”? How would it compare to regular maintenance on IC engines? As the technology becomes more robust, the costs would come down, as they always do.”

    See here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electric_car#Comparison_with_internal_combustion_engine_vehicles

    How long depends in large part on battery technology, driving habits, and tolerance for lower and lower number of miles before needing a recharge. Each recharge reduces the capacity of the battery. Generally speaking lead acid batteries will wear out under moderate use in three years. Lithium Ion is said to last 7 years but I never had a L-ion notebook battery last more than half that long before it held so little charge as to be virtually useless.

    A Tesla Roadster, according the manufacturer (so it’s probably optimistic), driven 40 miles per day will need its L-ion batteries replaced in seven years. Estimated battery replacement cost works out to 12 cents per mile. A gasoline engine costs about 10 cents per mile for fuel. Electricity for the Tesla isn’t free and if you live where Anthony lives it isn’t less expensive than gasoline but for me it’s about 3 cents per mile. Maintenance and repair of internal combustion engines is hard to put a number on but I’ve owned several Hondas and Toyotas that happily went over 200,000 miles with less than $1000 maintenance/repair cost for the motor which works out to a half penny per mile.

    And don’t forget to add-on the huge purchase price premium of an electric car vs. a similar size gasoline vehicle. Government rebates don’t count as someone (read you and I the taxpayers) end up footing the bill for those rebates.

    So anyone thinking that owning an electric vehicle is going to save money is in for a big surprise. And they aren’t even all that “green” either as they require a lot of toxic materials in the batteries, rare earth (non-renewable) elements for the electric drive motors (niobium), and copper (non-renewable) also for the drive motors. And because weight is so important to reduce in the electric vehicle they also use more energy-intensive to produce body materials like aluminum and FRP instead of steel.

    The all-electric vehicle is a huge boondoggle. Hybrids make a little more sense because they have far smaller battery packs and internal combustion motors can be very very efficient when designed to run at constant RPM. But the engine that has my eye is the TDI diesel which are almost as efficient as constant RPM motors and they’ll run on anything from diesel to peanut oil and everything in between. Couple those TDI engines with bio-engineered saltwater algae that efficiently produce vegetable oil and ya gots a real 21st century solution for the transportation fleet more economical than anything preceding it. Saltwater algae don’t even require arable land to grow them and what’s left after squeezing the oil out of them has a decent protein content suitable for livestock feed (or human consumption too if push comes to shove – it can’t taste worse than tofu).

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Algae_fuel

  104. P.Skilz says: November 27, 2010 at 3:43 am

    “Anthony Watts, might very well own an electric car, etc. but he is probably wasting a lot of time with all this conspiracy theory and his notions of debunking. What’s it all for?
    Global warming might or might not be real. But you need only to look at the benefit to Los Angeles residents of the Clean Air Act, or similar in London decades earlier.

    ————————————————————————

    I think you might find it was the introduction of smokeless fuel that solved the smog problem in the uk, nothing to do with CO2 which is not a pollutant.

    P.Skilz says:

    I’m not much into labels, because I think that diminishes the value of what people are saying, but if I were to label those that oppose global warming theory I’d call them, including Mr Watts, ‘the hedonists’.

    Exactly, an unproven theory, similar to the banning of DDT which has since killed over 40 million people in the third world, mainly children.

  105. E.M. Smith says:
    November 27, 2010 at 2:12 am

    Ian W says:

    Surely all this misses the point – temperature especially ‘average temperature’ is the wrong metric.

    The entire AGW hypothesis is based on trapping HEAT. Heat does not equal temperature

    Even worse than that, temperature is an intensive variable, so can not be averaged at all, yet it is. There really is, practically and theoretically, no such thing as a ‘global average temperature’. It is a fiction, and not even a polite one.

    The average cost of a house in the UK supposedly went up last year by 9.2% which would indicate a booming housing market which it is not, the reason the average went up was because there were fewer sales and those few sales were mainly expensive houses in the south of the country. Is this not similar to removing temp stations from cooler areas leaving less stations in warmer areas.

  106. Darn! Being from Dakota Territory, I was hoping for some global warming, though I would not object to Mother Narure shoving this down the throat of the hyteric warmist crowd.

    Mention was made about heavy handed adjustments. It’s good to remember that 1934 was the warmest year on record [by a half degree] until, after adjusting it down and 1998 up, we got a new queen [by fifteen thousandths of a degree].

    http://www.judicialwatch.org/files/documents/2010/783_NASA_docs-2.pdf

    However this all turns out, warming trend…cooling trend…no trend, it is good to remind other folks of the key points: 1)We are only talking about an anomaly of about 0.7 C, all within the range of natural variability [or did they want us to stay stuck in the last little ice age?]
    2) CO2 is not a problem; it is not a pollutant; it is plant food.
    3) Government cannot even fix things they do have control over, like the budget, and they want to ‘fix’ the climate???

  107. Thank you for the comments Jeff Alberts and Dave Springer.
    Dave, you may well be right about nuclear fusion. I guess time will tell in the end. And maybe some of the other things you mentioned will work better than wind or solar. I am not in a position to do a huge analysis of using fusion to get a steady flow of electricity. This may never work. However could it be conceivable to get a burst of energy for a few seconds from a fusion reaction to split huge amounts of water into hydrogen and oxygen and then using the hydrogen as a fuel for cars?

  108. Werner Brozek;
    I am not in a position to do a huge analysis of using fusion to get a steady flow of electricity. This may never work. >>

    The progress of technology is not hostage to a single solution. Saying fusion reactors will be possible in x years and that will solve the problem is foolish. Saying that we’re doing research on fusion, thorium, tidal, orbital, efficiency, etc etc etc and that one of these will solve the problem is also foolish. What one CAN say is that there is a lot of research going on and the inevitable result is that we will get more from less as time goes on. Will it be incremental or a giant leap? Dunno. Will it be one thing or a combination of many things? Dunno. Will it be something that no one has even started researching yet? Dunno. But we’ll be getting more from less, that I am confident of.

  109. Well, even without the graphs, I will believe everything you say. Because it is exactly what I was sure was happening, and I don’t believe in warming.

  110. feet2thefire says:
    November 26, 2010 at 8:55 pm
    ‘Where did they go wrong’

    Good question.
    I also looked at your Redux 1970 blog, thank you

    ‘The question then is, of course, counter to whose intuition? ‘ (p8 of Rand article link below)

    Wendy Allen, Rand Corporation (1975) critiques Forrester and Meadow’s assumptions underlying a computer based model of the global ecology (World Model). This World Model was worked up prior to the book release ‘World Dynamics’ (1971) and later with a global publicity campaign ‘The Limits to Growth’ (1972) was released, financed by Club of Rome (12 million copies). LtoGrowth predicted an energy- commodity: pollution-population crisis (ref Gollub, Townsend 1977 Malthus, Multinationals and The Club of Rome).

    Allen states ‘as for modeling the future under conditions imposed by this test, all that can be verified is the accuracy of the data on which one’s projections are based.’ p13 http://www.rand.org/pubs/papers/2008/P5540.pdf

    Will follow up the Club of Rome and ‘Moral Force of Unified Science’ with Willis E blog on People in Glass Planets, http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/11/27/people-living-in-glass-planets/
    as he has provided a link to Judith Curry requesting ‘Engaging the Public on the Climate Change Issue’ and ‘Raising the Level of the Game’ – the social feedback loop discussed by Allen in 1975!

    ____________________________________________________
    P.Skilz says:
    November 27, 2010 at 3:43 am
    How will we survive for another 50,000-80,000 years? (as tribal societies have done)

    Comments by others noted
    I would be interested if you (Skilz) would explain exactly what survived in these 50-80,000 years? Likely that natural disasters and disease caused much human loss, as did warfare, but I think you are stating that tribal societies have a world view to offer.

    Perhaps you are with the anti-DDT brigade, maintaining starvation and death in the hunter or agrarian tribal societies? No risk there of ‘them’ having freedom, education, individual choice. Almost like a twisted causal argument – maintain tribalism = your agrarianism; rather than human dignity. The same variables you list were listed by Forrester (see Allen p1) 39 years ago.

    1. Demographic trends: limiting population growth- particularly in the urban areas or resettlement from rural areas;
    2. Food production – by not increasing land productivity or providing technological advancement (or rural resettlement);
    3. Industrialisation – Pollution is your preferred language and mind-set
    4. Maintain diversity (but not of girls or children), but forests and plains which are resources to preserve
    5. Finite resources to your mind – however you genuflect to cultural practices by referring to tribal societies [not the tyrannical practices by collective individuals] which are designed to instil fear and pain
    Your post has remarkable similarities to Gaia theory and eugenics.

    Eulogising tribals as comparison to those developed or trying to develop democratic societies and nations is a poorly devised case control study on humans. Using tribal society as a proxy for naturale environment – two independent variables rolled into one, you erroneously dismiss and condemn the hope and goals of thousands, if not millions.

    This video may serve to educate further to the ‘tribalism’ of men and women in these ‘societies’: their local governance and that of their lack of rule of law. Perhaps you like rule of the jungle? Or see that the UN commentators, another centralised global governing agency, work towards education of individuals and OF the nation state in seeking human dignity and just law? http://www.france24.com/en/20101125-2010-uganda-female-circumcision-cut-clitoris-genital-mutilation-law-fight-enforce-customs-ritual-elgon-sabiny-tribe

  111. From Scandinavia we can add the mean temperatures in the whole of Scandinavia .(59 stations,raw data)
    The result from 25-year mean values is:1900-1924 1925-1949 1950-1974 1975-1999
    temp deg C 3,988 4,554 4,263 4,392
    The result from first half and second half differs only by 0,06 C.So there has been no measurable
    temperature increase during the 20 th century here in Scandinavia. OLd

  112. Anthony, Thank you for reviving the important and fundamental subject of the world temperature data series.

    Although it is right that the authorities should be pursed relentlessly to explain why and how they have adjusted the raw data, because that has to be the ongoing scientific challenge in the face of official obfuscation, it remains nevertheless true that the official temperature data even as it stands is distinctly un-alarming.

    My own analysis of the HadCRUT3 official world temperature data (see temperature chart and commentary at http://www.thetruthaboutclimatechange.org) is that there is absolutely no sign of any variation that cannot be explained by natural climate processes.

    I think Steven Mosher gets it just about right (26 Nov 2010 at 10.55am) when he says “For myself I did the following: using the raw data source from GHCN…I get the same answer as CRU. Further, you might want to head over to the cosmic ray thread and explain to them that there is no warming for the rays to explain.”

    As Steven pithily implies, there really is, in effect, no case to answer.

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