Union of Concerned Scientists – Unwarranted Concern about the Northeast US

Guest post by Alan Cheetham

The Union of Concerned Scientists’ (UCS) Climate Choices web site (published in 2006) says: “here in the Northeast, the climate is changing. Records show that spring is arriving earlier, summers are growing hotter, and winters are becoming warmer and less snowy. These changes are consistent with global warming, an urgent phenomenon driven by heat-trapping emissions from human activities” http://www.climatechoices.org/ne/impacts_regional/regional-impacts.html

UCS: “summers are growing hotter”. The hottest month is July – shown in the following figure. No significant long-term trend. Warmest July: 1955. Coldest July: 2000.

Northeast US July temperature

But they said “summer”. Again, no significant long-term trend. Warmest summer: 1949.

UCS: “spring is arriving earlier”. Spring arrives in March in the Northeast. The warmest and coldest Marches were more than 50 years ago – perhaps the climate is stabilizing.

UCS: “winters are becoming warmer and less snowy”. January is the coldest month – no significant long-term trend. Warmest January: 1932.

Winters have warmed slightly due to some very cold winters in the early 1900s. Warmest winter: 2002, second warmest: 1932.

But there is no significant winter warming over the last 80 years.

(All of the above temperature graphs are from http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/climate/research/cag3/nt.html)

The following table summarizes the hot and cold records for most of the states in the US Northeast region (these are the hottest / coldest days recorded – not state averages for the given years). (From http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/extremes/scec/searchrecs.php)

(More details can be found here: http://www.appinsys.com/GlobalWarming/RS_NortheastUS.htm)

What are these “concerned scientists” so concerned about? According to their mission statement: “UCS seeks a great change in humanity’s stewardship of the earth.” http://www.ucsusa.org/about/

The UCS was started in 1969 as an anti-nuclear weapon organization, but switched its focus to global warming when the Soviet Union collapsed and it became clear that large amounts of funds were available from the left-wing foundations (Pew Trusts, Joyce Foundation, MacArthur Foundation…)

For more information on the UCS see: http://www.capitalresearch.org/pubs/pdf/v1186063502.pdf

And details about their funding: http://activistcash.com/organization_financials.cfm/o/145-union-of-concerned-scientists

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74 Responses to Union of Concerned Scientists – Unwarranted Concern about the Northeast US

  1. Jason F says:

    reminds me of:

    Suicide Squad Leader: We are the Judean People’s Front crack suicide squad! Suicide squad, attack!
    [they all stab themselves]
    Suicide Squad Leader: That showed ‘em, huh?

  2. Mike Haseler says:

    Global warming “signals” are like those ink blot butterfly/sexual patterns. They are pretty meaningless in themselves, but what the person viewing the pattern/signal sees, tells you far more about the mindset of the observer than anything about the pattern/signal.

    What the global warming hoax has shown me is that science is not the discipline of impartial observers that I mistakenly believed in my naive youth. Science is just as full of petty politics irrational crusades and outright fraud as any other subject and just because something is called “science” or done by “scientists” there is absolutely no more reason to trust it than any other piece of information Unless or until it shows it uses the scientific method and subjects its assertions to scientific test.

    And if like the global warming religion it can’t create a suitable test to test its assertions, then it has no right to call itself a science!

  3. Greg Holmes says:

    Thank goodness for the WWW. Over the last 3-4 years the blogosphere has begun to uncover the greed and corruption in NGO’s and Governments when it comes to using public monies for budget building. Our Met Office in the UK, the BBC support for non peer reviewed statements issued that maintain the “correct message”. The only way we are able to bring these falsehoods into the public arena is via the WWW and chaps with the drive and right stuff like Mr A Watts. Lets us keep digging and exposing, thanks.

  4. Ken Hall says:

    So The Union of Concerned Scientists’ are a left wing pressure group passing itself off as a scientific body. It lets their political bias dictate the presentation of “science”, instead of allowing science to drive policy.

    Also, how has that region of the USA avoided being affected by the “unprecedented” rate and extent of global warming? As those long term temperature records show no overall or significant warming occurring whatsoever in that region, it shows that global warming has not warmed all of the globe.

  5. Cassandra King says:

    Watermelons, green out the outside and red on the inside. Marxist/leftist groups found that a post USSR society meant that another political vehicle had to found to progress their common political ideology.
    These people knew full well the negative perception of the USSR and shed that particular model and it became obvious that the new model to progress their common ideology was a fabricated concern for the environment and the earth, it was a perfect ‘in’ for the purpose on introducing vulnerable concerned young people to the joys of Marxist/leftist ideology.
    Hook these concerned but innocent and trusting young people with mind bombs/subliminal messages/hard sell indoctrination/group think sessions at the green equivalent of young pioneer camps and the new budding army of the proletariat is ready for action. Hard line Marxist groups are never far away at demos and leaders are interchangeable and expert at cross pollination of ideas and tactics.
    The eco movement is a political movement, its aims are wholly political and its tactics and ideology is political with rent a rabble street thugs playing a central part, see one climate justice banner next to a red banner with a hammer and sickle? The mental illness of leftism precludes them from seeing the incredible environmental damage the USSR inflicted on the planet and still playing its deadly role today decades after the fall of the USSR but then again the watermelons could not give two hoots for the environment.

  6. Juraj V. says:

    Good post. This is an example of typical climatological bullhsit. You have either to divide the claim by 10, or to change the sign from + to -. How come that none of basic AGW claims are true?

  7. Steeptown says:

    Global warning is not an urgent phenomenon. It is a benign phenomenon. I like warming, it is good. Global cooling would be a serious phenomenon, of great concern to humanity.

  8. Baa Humbug says:

    These concerned scientists are concerned about their next research grant and where it might come from if AGW was no longer an issue.

    And that concerns me. I propose the formation of the Union of Concerned Citizens UCC

  9. These “concerned scientists” would not accept reality even if they were facing the new Ice Age or a firing squad.

    Excessive institutionalization (and, therefore, bureaucratization, corruption and unaccountability) in the Western society resulted in the situation where people capable of successfully negotiating the system are, by the same token, detached from the reality to the extent that they generally failing to perform their professional functions.

    This gap between reality and its perception in the eyes of those who claim the authority to manage our lives is artfully exploited by the cynically-minded criminals who seized control of power and money in most of the world’s countries.

    The scoundrels riding the fools and slave-driving the cowards: was that the cherished goal of enlightenment, humanism, and liberalism? Is that what the best and the ablest representatives of humanity have been fighting for and dying for all these centuries since we came out from the caves?

    As Stanislav Lem, the famous Polish philosopher and SF writer, aptly observed, “of all the possible futures the humanity has chosen not the most beautiful one.”

  10. Alan Bates says:

    Fascinating. But when did the “inconvenient truth”* ever stand in the way of a good sound bite?

    * Strange. I think I’ve heard that phrase before somewhere …

  11. P Gosselin says:

    Watermelons? The way they’re flip-flopping with the science, I say more like brown pancakes!

  12. Dave Springer says:

    I wouldn’t call a 2 degree F rise “no significant warming”.

    The grade for this article: FAIL

  13. LearDog says:

    With the Union of Concerned Scientists at least the advocacy is openly identified. I appreciate that. With some of these other organizations (Royal Society for one) the advocacy is somewhat cloaked.

  14. Jimbo says:

    “…and winters are becoming warmer and less snowy. “

    Reminds me of

    “snowfalls are now just a thing of the past.”
    http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/snowfalls-are-now-just-a-thing-of-the-past-724017.html

    Just how many more snowy winters are required for these climate bandits to own up and say “we did it for the money.” ;>)

  15. Ken Hall says:

    Dave Springer,
    “I wouldn’t call a 2 degree F rise “no significant warming”. ”

    Nobody has said that a two degrees F rise is not significant. None of those graphs above show a 2 degrees F rise. The nearest is a 1.7, most of which occurred before 1930. In the last 80 years, in this location, there has been NO SIGNIFICANT WARMING at all.

    Where that rise does happen is in one of them, which would mean the only way to find anything like significant warming from the above graphs, one would need to carefully cherry-pick the one graph that shows some warming and then omit all the other graphs entirely, and omit the inconvenient truth in that graph that the so-called modern-unprecedented late 20th century CO2 caused warming does not appear at all.

    Your comment therefore is a big FAIL.

  16. starzmom says:

    As New York City braces for another heavy snowstorm, even as the rats are still trying to digest the remains of the last one, and the midwest gets ready for an Arctic blast once again, some people will still try to argue that there really is something new under the sun weather- and climate-wise. The UCS has outlived its usefulness and should fold up and go away.

  17. SteveE says:

    What a rubbish article.

    Go on to the website and select any northern region and plot winter trend and it’ll be positive.

    The trend shows up to 3 degrees increase over the 1895 to 2010 period for West North Central.

    That’s certainly warming which ever way to look at it!

  18. SteveE says:

    Ken Hall says:
    January 6, 2011 at 4:53 am
    Dave Springer,
    “I wouldn’t call a 2 degree F rise “no significant warming”. ”

    Nobody has said that a two degrees F rise is not significant. None of those graphs above show a 2 degrees F rise. The nearest is a 1.7, most of which occurred before 1930. In the last 80 years, in this location, there has been NO SIGNIFICANT WARMING at all.

    Where that rise does happen is in one of them, which would mean the only way to find anything like significant warming from the above graphs, one would need to carefully cherry-pick the one graph that shows some warming and then omit all the other graphs entirely, and omit the inconvenient truth in that graph that the so-called modern-unprecedented late 20th century CO2 caused warming does not appear at all.

    Your comment therefore is a big FAIL.

    ———————————

    Try going to the website, selecting winter as the period and then the display date from 1970 to 2010 and tell me what trend you get.

    If you meant an earlier “late 20th century” move the date back to 1960 and see what you get then.

    The trend line when I plot it shows 1960 as about 22.5 degrees and 2010 as about 25.5 degrees.

    Try it for any Northern region and you’ll get a positive trend. It would seem this article is doing the cherry picking if you ask me.

  19. Steve Keohane says:

    SteveE says:January 6, 2011 at 5:23 am
    What a rubbish article.
    Go on to the website and select any northern region and plot winter trend and it’ll be positive.
    The trend shows up to 3 degrees increase over the 1895 to 2010 period for West North Central.

    That’s certainly warming which ever way to look at it!

    Assuming the measurement is correct, when we know they are all biased high.

  20. Robert D says:

    Only a fool who knows nothing about graphing would use Max/Min, which is used for trending/fluctuation…. you have to use the Mean Deviation for difference.

    Just because someone has an education doesn’t mean they’re not STUPID.

  21. hell_is_like_newark says:

    On a side note: I have noticed over the past few month, the local PBS station has been running episodes of Nova that have focused on the arctic and antarctic. The underlying theme: “Global warming is going to kill (insert animal that lives there)!”

    Its as if though the AGW crowd is trying to beat their message into the audience with a proverbial sledgehammer; in a last ditch effort to win the day. A few more winters like we are having here in the mid-Atlantic and I would bet their efforts will fail (at least for those who love around here).

  22. Alexander K says:

    I did some reading about this society a few months ago and found the general tone of ardent belief in nonsense on their website quite creepy. A lot of the most ardent members seem to be young female grads who are hell-bent on saving the world by any means. Why does so-called ‘higher education’ turn out so many people eager to believe in some dodgy shaman or cause?

  23. Vince Causey says:

    Winters are becoming less snowy? Surely they jest.

  24. Robuk says:

    Is there a study using T min only, this measure appears to be the one that shows an increase, it is also the measure that is linked to UHI.
    If day time temps are not increasing, the rise in T min can only come from more retained heat from buildings tarmac etc, if T min rural is different to T min urban this would indicate a definite UHI forcing.

    Stop using average temperature.

  25. Eric Baker says:

    As a skeptic, I’m a little disappointed with this article. In the context of an empirical measurement, “significant” does NOT mean “big”. This is precisely the kind of duplicity I’ve come to expect from the wackos. Sorry if that sounds harsh, but I really admire your work and would hate to see some of our most prominent advocates stoop to their level, particularly when it pertains to a group like UCS. They suck!

  26. Steve Katz says:

    Similar concerns, unwarranted or not, have been adopted as official policy by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. That organization released its “Sea Level Rise Task Force Final Report” earlier this week. You can get a .pdf copy of this 102 report here: http://www.dec.ny.gov/energy/67778.html

    From page nine of the report: “The warming produced by global climate change causes the sea level to rise because warmer water takes up more space, and higher temperatures are melting ice sheets around the globe. New York Harbor has experienced an increase in sea level of more than 15 inches in the past 150 years, with harbor tide gauges showing a rise of between 4 and 6 inches since 1960. … Sea level rise affecting the Lower Hudson Valley and Long Island is projected to be 2 to 5 inches by the 2020s and 12 to 23 inches by the end of this century. However, rapid melt of land‐based ice could double these projections in the next few decades, with a potential rise of up to 55 inches by the end of the century.”

    I hope Anthony will share his comments on this report.

  27. Russell C says:

    Such alarmism could be expected from a group that is essentially a bunch of enviro-activists. Efforts of the UCS are found in the smear against skeptic scientists, as I detailed in two of my American Thinker pieces, “Silencing global warming critics” http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2010/08/silencing_global_warming_criti.html and “The Curious History of ‘Global Climate Disruption’ ” http://www.americanthinker.com/2010/10/the_curious_history_of_global.html

  28. Enneagram says:

    Real concern:

    Snow in Los Angeles Causes 30-Mile Backup
    http://www.thirdage.com/news/snow-los-angeles-causes-30-mile-backup_1-3-2011

    In times of deepest darkness
    I’ve seen him dressed in black
    Now my tapestry’s unraveling…
    he’s come to take me back…

    As George Carlin said: “Pack your sh**s folks…we are leaving” :-)

  29. Brian H says:

    As usual with leftist organizations, they adopt misleading names for themselves. UCS should actually be “Union of Conspiring Socialists”.

    Steve K;
    “New York Harbor has experienced an increase in sea level of more than 15 inches in the past 150 years, with harbor tide gauges showing a rise of between 4 and 6 inches since 1960. ” Lessee, how ’bout some Grade 5 ‘rithmetic here? 15″/150 yrs. = 0.1″/yr. 1960 – 2010 is 50 yrs, so the rise expected should be 50 x 0.1 = 5″. And what do we find? “between 4 and 6 inches”. Since the one number between 4 and 6 is 5, it seems that the rise is spot on the long term trend.

    Nothing whatsoever to do with AGW, CO2, or any of the other bushwah they want to “mitigate”.

    Whew! I jest knew an eddication in arithmetic would pay off some day!

  30. SteveE says:

    Steve Keohane says:
    January 6, 2011 at 5:52 am
    SteveE says:January 6, 2011 at 5:23 am
    What a rubbish article.
    Go on to the website and select any northern region and plot winter trend and it’ll be positive.
    The trend shows up to 3 degrees increase over the 1895 to 2010 period for West North Central.

    That’s certainly warming which ever way to look at it!

    Assuming the measurement is correct, when we know they are all biased high.

    ———————-

    I see, so if you cherry pick the data to show no positive trend then the data is accurate, if you don’t cherry pick the same data and it shows a positive trend then the data is bias.

    Makes perfect sense to me.

  31. “The UCS was started in 1969 as an anti-nuclear weapon organization, but switched its focus to global warming when the Soviet Union collapsed and it became clear that large amounts of funds were available from the left-wing foundations ”

    I’m no supporter of the UCS, but to be consistent, I would like to see documentation for this claim.

  32. PhilJourdan says:

    Some remarked they (the UCS) are watermelons. No, I doubt they really care. They are just government leeches however – go where the money is. Because the alternative is to work – and parasites hate work!

  33. jrwakefield says:

    In Canada I’m seeing a drop in summer TMax and an increase in Winter TMin across the country. See this example

    http://cdnsurfacetemps.blogspot.com/2010/12/heat-wave-trends-across-canada.html

  34. The UCS is nothing more then a a bunch of opinionated eco-religious nuts. Like many other propaganda oriented groups that have co-opted a name that has some status like democracy. The only credibility these people have or ever did have comes for the name Science. They should simply be ignored.

  35. Enneagram says:

    Their last option to scare us: To change the “End of the World Clock” for the Mayan Calendar.

  36. Caroline B says:

    Eric Baker is correct – small is not the same as non-significant. All the seasonal graphs show small but significant warming trends, probably because averages are being pulled up by sharp rises in the last 40 years or so. (Graph eg 1970 – 2010 against a baseline of 1900 – 1970 and see what happens – it looks a bit different).

    Rising minimum (night time) temperatures are because less heat is being radiated out, exactly as expected if this were being caused by the greenhouse effect. If warming was due to increased insolation, day time maximum temperatures would show the biggest increase. (As it happens, solar irradiance and Milankovitch cycles are both close to minima, i.e. we should be in a cooling cycle.)

    Here is a paper with similar figures for the last few decades for South Africa, where I live:

    http://www.met.sjsu.edu/~wittaya/journals/TempTrendInSouthAfrica.pdf

    Note that the authors have corrected for both El Nino and urban heat island contamination. (Most of these stations are away from the big cities anyway, because we don’t have a lot of big cities :) ).

    However, living where I live, I don’t actually need to read a scientific paper to know that it’s getting hotter. In SA we’re not arguing about more or less snow. We used to have one of the most fantastic climates in the world in the Western Cape, and right now we’re busy making the transition from hot to uninhabitable. Since anecdotal evidence and unsupported extrapolation from particular cases seem to be acceptable arguments on this site, I have some anecdotes of my own:

    We’re experiencing flash floods and the first summer heatwave. Two weeks ago half the highways in Johannesburg had to be closed because of freak floods. I know – I was in the stack waiting to land and we missed being diverted by a hair’s breadth.

    All my friends and I can talk about is how to cope with the heat. Where I live, it hasn’t cooled down below 25 C at night this week yet – and I’m in a country village with dirt roads and large plots – no tar. The Western Cape is supposed to have a Mediterranean climate (i.e. cold wet winters and warm dry summers) but the humidity just keeps going up.

    They used to close the schools at 38 C but they don’t anymore because they’d never get any teaching done in summer. 40 C used to be regarded as really exceptional. Last summer we had stretches of 4 to 5 days where it didn’t go below 45 during the day or about 27/28 at night. I used to live in a village called McGregor in a region called the Klein Karoo – I moved back to Cape Town about 6 years ago. It got to 42 or 43 quite often while I lived there and I remember one day when it hit 48 and we all oohed and aahed about global warming. Well, that was positively chilly. Last year in January it hit 55 – that’s 131 Fahrenheit. Who knows what it’ll do this year – we’ve got another 3 months to go before it starts to cool down, and that is an extremely depressing prospect.

    We’re having more and more mountain fires in summer – last year we thought the whole village of McGregor was going to go up because it was surrounded by mountains on fire. The Fynbos (indigenous vegetation) is battling to recover. It needs fire to germinate but it’s burning too often, too hot, and over areas that are too big. It’s one of the world’s 5 Floral Kingdoms, with over 8000 unique species, and it’s going to die.

    After more than 40 years in SA I’ve just succumbed and bought my first aircon – and it’s not making much headway. At least I can afford one. Most people here can’t, and have to live in uninsulated low-cost housing – or shacks. I’ve got the option of moving back to the Northern hemisphere if it gets unbearable. I don’t want to leave my home, but right now I can see myself being forced to.

    When I was a student, we used to go on holiday and travel through the Karoo (the central semi-arid region) to visit family who lived up-country . The hottest temperature I remember seeing (on the first car we had which had an onboard thermometer) was 35 C. Those were the days (about 25 years ago).

    Currently Beaufort West, a Karoo town about a third of the way to Johannesburg, is having its worst drought in recorded memory and is having to ration domestic water. A couple of banks and radio stations started a charity appeal whereby you could donate a 5 litre bottle of water, and the long-haul lorries would drop them off as they went through – that’s how desperate the situation is. This isn’t just dams – the ground water table which feeds their boreholes has dropped alarmingly, and there’s no guarantee it’ll recover, so they’re racing to get a sewage recycling plant operational. And this started in spring.

    http://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/News/Beaufort-West-rations-its-water-20101124.

    I’m sure Australians could tell you a story or two as well – currently they’re experiencing the worst floods on record.

    So I think global warming is for real, partly because I’m reasonably able to follow the science, and partly because I’m on the sharp end of it – there is nothing theoretical about what we’re experiencing.

    Nevertheless, although it’s probably caused by global temperature trends, weather in SA doesn’t prove or disprove those trends. Neither do your snowstorms.

    Caroline

  37. Robin Edwards says:

    “Significant” is a word that loads of people posting here use to describe some sort of difference or trend. I ask myself “Do they all understand the technical statistical meaning of “significant””? After all, we’re supposed to be in a statistical environment, are we not?

    I’ve been reading WUWT for some years now, but cannot remember much, if anything, about the confidence level associated with the word “significant”. Perhaps I’ve missed it. If so, sorry. If in my climate investigations I decide to fit a least squares line to a time series – which seems to be the bit of statistics that climate scientists or people writing about climate seem to do very frequently – I also compute the standard error of the trend and its confidence interval at a specified probability level (95% as the default, but readily changed to other commonly used levels). I further display the fitted line with its confidence intervals (again 95% by default) and the related but much wider intervals for the expected value of a new single observation from the same population. OK, with serially correlated data, which climate observations typically are, one must adjust the degrees of freedom that are used to compute these inferential statistics, and this /always/ results in wider intervals than those for data that are not serially correlated. You need to go to Climate Audit to find out the details about this.

    Can you do this sort of stuff in Excel? I don’t know – never use it!

    Simply stating baldly that the trend (or difference) is “significant” is insufficient to make your point. You /must/ state something about your degree \of belief in the statistic you have given.

    Similar considerations apply to differences between climate averages. You need to be able to do a “t” test or Mann-Whitney test to be able to pronounce authoritatively on the “significance” of a difference. These tests are quite easy to do, but I guess that you’ll find it convenient to use some stats software to avoid considerable arithmetic! My advice is to get a statistics textbook.

  38. Tom C says:

    This was the common theme just a few short years ago.

    “…winters are becoming warmer and less snowy. These changes are consistent with global warming…”

    Remember this from Jan. of 2007?

    So if this January turns out looking exactly the opposite of the map here they use to promote global warming…

    Well, what would it mean?
    That global warming is making the weather extreme. That cold is hot and blizzards should be handled as a summer shower? At least that’s the attitude New York City has decided to take. Just ask any of those sanitation workers as they were sipping back on a six pack of Budweiser instead of plowing, like they have on video here on the news.

    Maybe the MetOffice took that policy decision as well. Always forecast hot, due to global warming, and when it doesn’t happen, just stop forecasting. Or, better yet, give the forecast out but to the people that REALLY want to see this global warming stuff through. That would be the government, of course, because they (at least the liberals in government) see global warming as the ultimate cash cow. The never-ending fund. What better way to fleece the masses than to tax them on the air they breathe and the weather which occurs over their heads. No matter what you could never go wrong. As witnessed in these last few very short years. Whether it rains or it snows; if it’s a blizzard or a hurricane; a drought or a flood; hot when it’s supposed to be cold or cold when it’s supposed to be hot – no matter what, it’s global warming (or one of it’s various aliases) and the latest reason to enact such taxes. Always under the guise of equality or coerced through guilt and shame.

    You eat too much red meat.
    Your house is too big.
    Your car uses too much gas.
    Your light bulb uses more power in one night than a family from (insert any country it’s politically correct to bleed your heart for) uses in a week.

    Then, as this post points out, once useful and credible organizations, such as the UCS or the NAS, etc. denigrate themselves to become pawns for these fictitious schemes (global warming, deforestation, ‘marine habitat destruction’ and so on) which all have as their endgame, dare I say it, global governance.

    And wheres the media in all this? Well, if you read the AP, AFP or Reuters, they’re behind it 100%.

    Sites such as this one, which are continually attempted to be discredited by myriad bloggers and organizations, yet they have failed to do so are now being branded as propagandist sites by the government, subject to new net neutrality laws.
    Wait and see.
    Watch what happens if Democrats lose both houses of Congress in the next election. All those laws and regulations passed by the 110th and 11th Congress, giving nearly unlimited power to federal bureaucracies, like the FCC and the liberals which dominate those organizations…

    Promoting anti-global warming theory might just be a seditious act.

  39. KLA says:

    UCS provides an easy way to become a scientist. Even a concerned one. All you have to do to is to send them a check to become a member.
    My dog can become a “concerned scientist” if I sent them a check on his behalf.

  40. Tony says:

    Alexander K says:
    I did some reading about this society a few months ago and found the general tone of ardent belief in nonsense on their website quite creepy. A lot of the most ardent members seem to be young female grads who are hell-bent on saving the world by any means. Why does so-called ‘higher education’ turn out so many people eager to believe in some dodgy shaman or cause?

    It seems to me that “higher education” puts far more focus on indoctrinating a particular mindset – one that places great trust in authority such as academic institutions and governments – rather than teaching students to think and act independently. (or, shorten this to “more focus on indoctrination than teaching students to think”) I’m finding myself in a rather odd position as a result – that of encouraging my 16-year-old step-daughter to go to college, while at the same time pretty much telling her to not trust most of what she learns there…

    It’s not much different in other fields, from what I’ve been reading. For example, it seems that you can’t make much headway in theoretical physics if you don’t buy into string theory (according to Lee Smolin in “The Trouble with Physics”).

  41. Jimash says:

    I clicked their linky.
    Wow, these boobs are still trumpeting the imperceptible sea level rise and insisting
    that not JUST the Westside Highway, but the entire lower east and west sides into 8th and 2nd avenues will be flooded, and frequently, plus most of Atlantic City, even more frequently,
    AND the cranberries will die from the too-warm weather.
    It is like a psychosis already.

  42. Brian H says:

    Tom C;
    The UCS was once credible? When was that, pray tell? How could the Union of Conspiring Socialists ever have been credible?

    Robin E;
    That “95% by default” needs to be kicked downstairs. It is the “default” of the soft and squishy pseudo-sciences. One chance in twenty that some kind of data-snooping or publication bias or fraud or whatever might have produced the results is WAY too much slack to give Climate Science, which is rife with sloppy procedures and thinking and has conflicts of interest up the kazoo.

  43. jtom says:

    I second that, Dennis Nikols, P. Geol.

    The UofCS is not worth the time or electrons to merit a discussion.

  44. Brian H says:

    Tony;
    Advise her to work for 5 yrs first, then go. “Mature students” do far better, and know much more about what they want and are better grounded, hence more independent.

  45. sky says:

    Robuk says:
    January 6, 2011 at 6:48 am

    “…if T min rural is different to T min urban this would indicate a definite UHI forcing.”

    Bingo! It is strongly different, enough to make the Max-Min average trend different at most urban-rural station pairs.

    I’ts dismaying to see multidecadal calculations of regressional trend used indiscriminately to buttress claims of secular warming. In the presence of strong quasi-centennial oscillations (seen in many US48 and other temperate zone station records), it is a highly unstable metric. True believers seem unaware that a 30-year trend then also oscillates quasi-centennially, with a time lag of almost a decade.

  46. Paddy says:

    The Union of Concerned Scientists is another Soros funded propaganda group posing as a legitimate organization.

  47. sky says:

    Caroline B says:
    January 6, 2011 at 9:35 am
    Caroline,

    I always welcome “on-the-ground” reports from Africa, because the coverage by met stations is generally very sparse and the data quality leaves much to be desired. The harrowing picture that you present of the drough in the SA interior has its parallel in the Sahel of WA. Some fifty years ago the latter region went through a similar eperience. Some people were prognosticating the demise of its habitability. But the climate , as it will do naturally, swung back gradually toward its long-term state and Sahel’s population is growing. You should expect the same in due time. The multi-decadal climate swings in Africa are huge.

    BTW, does McGregor have a certified met station? If so, would you kindly point to a source for its data.

  48. Caroline B says:

    Robin, Excel will do least squares, and I believe you can compute confidence intervals if you install an analysis add-on (these days it’s increasingly being used as a front end to MS’s analytics and predictive modelling tools, which I find a bit scary). Being a database person, I never use it either. I stopped reading stats textbooks when I hit the moment-generating function of the multivariate normal distribution, which gave me nightmares (but perhaps I should start again if I can unclog some of the rusty gears in my head!)

    I must say I’m curious about all the urban heat island fuss here. Except in cases where there is a great deal of development going on in an urban area (i.e. changes in local heat sources), why would you think that this would affect a trend? Very simplistically, absolute temperatures will be higher (because cities are hotter), but by a constant amount, which is irrelevant when computing the trend. It’s not the sort of data I usually work with, but I gather that US station temperature trend anomalies are detected and cleansed by using a geographical grid and comparing the data to data from nearby rural stations, and that in most cases urban and rural trends are pretty similar anyway, which is what one would expect.

  49. kuhnkat says:

    Steve E,

    thanks for reminding us that the homogeneity adjustment provides the warming that UHI being smeared across cooler stations doesn’t!!

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

  50. jakers says:

    I tried the temp web site too, and got this.

    August 1901 – 2010 Average = 67.60 degF
    August 1895 – 2010 Trend = 0.08 degF / Decade

  51. Robuk says:

    Caroline B says:
    January 6, 2011 at 9:35 am

    Eric Baker is correct – small is not the same as non-significant. All the seasonal graphs show small but significant warming trends, probably because averages are being pulled up by sharp rises in the last 40 years or so. (Graph eg 1970 – 2010 against a baseline of 1900 – 1970 and see what happens – it looks a bit different).

    Rising minimum (night time) temperatures are because less heat is being radiated out, exactly as expected if this were being caused by the greenhouse effect.

    I’m sure Australians could tell you a story or two as well – currently they’re experiencing the worst floods on record.

    Thats odd doesn`t say so here,

    http://i446.photobucket.com/albums/qq187/bobclive/Australianfloods3.jpg
    http://i446.photobucket.com/albums/qq187/bobclive/Ausralianfloodlevels2.jpg

    And as for Tmin rising is coaused by the greenhouse effect, read this,http://www.biblioteca.org.ar/libros/90478.pdf

    and this,

    http://i446.photobucket.com/albums/qq187/bobclive/RisingTminwithpopulationgrowth.jpg

  52. Tony says:

    Caroline B says:

    I must say I’m curious about all the urban heat island fuss here. Except in cases where there is a great deal of development going on in an urban area (i.e. changes in local heat sources), why would you think that this would affect a trend

    Well, I’m far from being an expert on the subject (and I hope those with more knowledge will chime in), but here’s how I understand it:

    Let’s take two thermometers. One is in the middle of your yard, the other is next to your A/C unit. It would be reasonable to expect different readings, with the one by the A/C unit to be warmer.

    Now, let’s take two thermometers again, this time, both are in the middle of two fields. One, you leave alone (the control). The other, you build around, bit by bit, over a few years. Plotting the temperatures of those two, one shows a rising trend over the years, the other doesn’t. Averaging the two, you show an overall rising trend.

    As I understand it, this effect has not been properly accounted for, for various reasons, such as the elimination of certain rural stations from the records, failure to accurately report the location of stations, and failure to fully account for the actual level of difference.

    Most of those issues have been discussed here, which is why I know what little I do about them. The reason it’s a problem is that certain numbers have been applied to supposedly account for UHI, but without the original raw data, we don’t know how or why. It makes the numbers suspect.

    There you have my simplistic understanding. Hopefully, someone else can fill in more detail, and correct where I may be wrong.

  53. Cynthia Lauren Thorpe says:

    To Cassandra King.

    Wherever in the ‘weird’ world you are… I sit quietly (with my WUWT coffee mug steaming at my side) honoring you and your words, my Dear.

    I do so because I’m NOT ‘sexist’ (for occasionally I find women (my kind) inspirational, yet…many times we are so on a decidedly more ‘emotional’ level) …but, YOUR words were words of clarity and humor AND they packed a ‘TRUTHFUL PUNCH’ which thrilled me.

    Again, ‘wherever you are’ in this world…know that I whole-heartedly agree and congratulate you on your witty, eloquent prognosis! Imagine if we find that Anthony’s site draws even MORE of ‘your ilk’ around…? There will be BALANCE and there will be TRUTH and nay-sayers will get an opportunity to ‘learn’ in a non-threatening environment (at their desks, at home…wherever) from great minds such as yours.

    Keep up the GREAT work, my Dear. Wowie Zowie. I’d even offer you a smoke if we were on the same continent! (Oh! p.s. guys…. Just read an article that showed how the ‘anti-smoking crowd’ began their ‘war games’ in Nazi, Germany. They began to ‘ban smoking’ because it: CALMS and it’s a ‘social’ (or…rather…’was’?) pastime…
    Imagine if the pub where C.S. Lewis and his ‘mates’ hung out – wouldn’t ‘allow’ them to light up…??? BALDERDASH. It wouldn’t’ve ever happened ’cause those men WERE MEN. Even with having BHP in your baby bottles since BIRTH – I suggest that those of ‘YOUR Ilk’ are STILL AROUND and they don’t have to be ‘gunned down’ in the slums of L.A. like our ol’ hero, Clint was in that movie of his…

    If we stand for what we believe in (in kindness and Truth) God surely does the rest.
    And, if you ever want to know where I AM… I’ll be the one standing up OUTSIDE the pub/bar/whatever for my right to enjoy my Winfield Reds. Plain an’ Simple. It works every time. Standing in meekness (which is decidedly NOT weakness, Gentlemen)
    does it every time – everywhere.

    Cynthia Lauren Thorpe

  54. Caroline B says:

    Robuk, thanks for the links:

    Wettest year on record in Oz:
    http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5gwlTfIMQENL0QRm6cH0EDsNMQXlw?docId=CNG.de7188d6046cd1bfcd0dfd9fb5062a9e.1a1

    As for the paper about UHI in Mexico, it says 2 things:
    1) UHI affects TMin more than TMax (in urban areas, obviously)
    2) rapid urbanisation (i.e. changes in heat sources in cities) will affect trends

    The first one says nothing whatsoever about trends in TMin, nor does it say anything about what causes high or increasing TMin in non-urban areas. What it says is that in urban areas, Tmin will be more affected than TMax by the UHI effect (so the gap between the two will be smaller).

    Combining the two, the only thing you can deduce is that in cities where rapid urbanisation has taken place, there will be a rising trend in TMin during the period of urbanisation.

    But: in cities with relatively stable populations/industry etc, although you would expect absolute Tmin to be higher than for nearby rural stations, there are no grounds for ascribing trends to UHI, so you have to find another explanation for them. In rural areas (like most of the South African stations), UHI is irrelevant, but rising TMin is marked, and the greenhouse effect is the best explanation.

    (The authors of your study claim TMin as a portion of warming in areas where the conditions they are studying hold true, and ascribe the rest to the greenhouse effect, which is sensible).

    Sky, I suppose we could argue until the cows come home about whether this is natural variation or not, and not convince each other. In SA droughts and heatwaves are historically correlated with El Nino and this is a La Nina cycle. But I’m not a climate expert, just a vaguely numerate person who is hot and bothered enough to try to find out something about the subject, and so far, AGW is pretty convincing.

    I seem to remember seeing something about land reclamation projects in the Sahel fairly recently, but haven’t read anything about climate recovery – do you have a link?

    No, McGregor doesn’t have a Weather SA weather station (unless they’ve put one in very recently); however, the satellite forecasts from sites like yr.no are extremely accurate (to the point that the local farmers use them in preference to local weather forecasts) and they might have a record. Some of the locals keep records of temperature, rainfall, insect swarming dates etc because we’re all starting to worry – apricot trees going into false bud in June, etc.

  55. Al Gored says:

    This is great. I love it when an environmental group masquerading as scientists keeps saying ridiculous reality-defying hings, and expecting people to believe them.

    Looks more like the Union of Naked Emporers, and this recent cold weather has caused significant ‘shrinkage.’

  56. Re: Comments on significance: It is unfortunate that the NOAA NCDC web site used to generate these graphs does not provide statistical significance information. It is also important to remember that there is also a difference between statistical significance and climatological significance. It may be statistically significant that a location has warmed by 0.5 degree over some timeframe, but it may be non-significant as far as any biological or ecological process is concerned.

    As for cherry-picking, all the graphs but one show the entire data set available since 1895 to 2010 for the seasons referred to by the UCS – that can hardly be called cherry-picking. The final graph showing winter for the last 80 years is for comparison with the second-last showing winter since 1895. It illustrates two points: 1) the recent warming is not unprecedented, and 2) linear trends within cyclical data always depend on the start / end points relative to the cycle. (See: http://www.appinsys.com/GlobalWarming/LinearTrends.htm exposing how the IPCC produces “acceleration” of global warming.)

  57. George E. Smith says:

    Well if anybody were to present ANY of those “data graphs” to me as the results of ANY Physics Experiment, and claim that the green and or black lines in any way were representative of what is a totally noisy data stream; they are absolutely guaranteed to get an F on my grading; and that only because I never had a “G” for “Gawdawful” to hand out.

    It seems like after we get rid of all the lawyers; the next in line for the soylent green factory should be the statistical mathematicians; and those that imagine themsleves to be such.

    I know of signal recovery processes that can recover a signal that is 40dBV below the random noise level. But that only works for signals that are monochromatic, and have frequencies that are known with Atomic Clock accuracy, and quite often requiring knowledge of the expected time of occurence. Well you can use a multichannel analyser to look everywhere all at the same time, until you locate the signal; but good luck if the signal comes from a moving source, and has some unknown Doppler shift from the expected frequency.

    So Baloney in and Baloney out.

  58. Dan in California says:

    Alexander K says: January 6, 2011 at 6:44 am
    “I did some reading about this society a few months ago and found the general tone of ardent belief in nonsense on their website quite creepy. A lot of the most ardent members seem to be young female grads who are hell-bent on saving the world by any means. Why does so-called ‘higher education’ turn out so many people eager to believe in some dodgy shaman or cause?”

    Clearly an application of the meme: “An idea so stupid that only an intellectual could believe it”, which is just what I expect from the Union of Confused Scientists.

  59. Robuk says:

    Caroline B says:
    January 6, 2011 at 2:11 pm

    Robuk, thanks for the links:

    Wettest year on record in Oz:

    I’m sure Australians could tell you a story or two as well – currently they’re experiencing the worst floods on record.

    You did not say the Wettest year on record in Oz, you said the WORST FLOODS ON RECORD, I said they are NOT and gave you the link to prove it, if you took note of that link you should have noticed that all the living areas of the houses are built ABOVE THE FLOOD LEVEL, they live in a flood plain, do your homework.

    http://i446.photobucket.com/albums/qq187/bobclive/Australianfloods3.jpg

    You say,

    Combining the two, the only thing you can deduce is that in cities where rapid urbanisation has taken place, there will be a rising trend in TMin during the period of urbanisation.

    Exactly, from the year 1900 to 2000.

    Where do you think the majority of the weather stations are situated, in the urban areas of course, where did they start, in the rural areas, thats what is called urban growth, read the link. The warmers use the average of Tmin and Tmax, there is little or NO increase in Tmax therefore the majority of the warming comes from the increase in Tmin which is generated by UHI (popultion growth) it has nothing to do with CO2.

    http://i446.photobucket.com/albums/qq187/bobclive/RisingTminwithpopulationgrowth.jpg

  60. Cynthia Lauren Thorpe says:

    George E. …thanks! YOU are indeed, ONE of the ‘Gentlemen’ I was ranting about earlier this morning.

    Methinks the ‘baloney makers’ of today would rather you not reproduce more of your ‘kind’…as YOUR ‘kind’ tends to make mincemeat (that means ‘hamburger’ for you Americans) of ‘their kind’.

    Wish I’d’ve been in one of your classes and received a ‘G’ to remember it by.

    High Fives to you, George E. You are one of the ‘others’ on this site who inspires.

    C.L. Thorpe
    …ambling into yet another ‘glorious day’ here in the Southeast…

  61. Robuk says:

    Caroline B says:
    January 6, 2011 at 2:11 pm

    http://i446.photobucket.com/albums/qq187/bobclive/nEWzEALAND1900-2008.jpg

    I believe New Zealand is off the coast of Australia, see where cheating gets you.

  62. sky says:

    Caroline B says:
    January 6, 2011 at 2:11 pm

    Although fragmented, the record at Kayes in Mali (available via the GISS data site) provides a century-long view of temperatures in the Sahel. It clearly shows the cyclicality I referred to earlier.

  63. Eric Gisin says:

    The UCS originally put a stop to above ground nuclear weapon testing, which was causing cancers. After that they adopted every anti-tech cause out there: nuclear power, GM foods, mining, and lastly fossil fuels.

  64. kramer says:

    “UCS seeks a great change in humanity’s stewardship of the earth.”

    Just another way to say ‘lets get rid of capitalism and free markets.’

  65. Björn says:

    This is no good apply maiers-law immediately.

    (maiers- law states :”If the theory does not fit the data, the data must be discarded” )

  66. Oliver Ramsay says:

    Caroline B said
    “So I think global warming is for real, partly because I’m reasonably able to follow the science, and partly because I’m on the sharp end of it – there is nothing theoretical about what we’re experiencing.”
    —————————-
    Caroline, perhaps the several degrees of warming that you believe you have experienced recently can off-set the dozens of degrees of cooling that (I think) I have endured here in western Canada.
    The municipality of McGregor doesn’t appear to share your aversion to the local climate. Here’s what they say:
    “Summer days are pleasantly warm although the month of February can be seriously hot. The South Easterly gales which blow in Cape Town in summer are practically non-existent here, but a comparatively light wind blows for a few hours in the afternoons, which helps to keep the village cool.

    The winters are short and as the annual rainfall is only about 200mm, they are comparatively dry. There is no air pollution, and at night those who are romantic can enjoy a sight seldom seen by city-dwellers – a star-filled sky.”

    I must say, it does look like a lovely spot. Thank you for making me aware of the place.

  67. Policyguy says:

    Let us all remember that the UCS are bureaucrats who do what they are told and live off of taxes. They have little concept of science other than some sort of political science.

  68. Here is the average annual temperature for the Northeast US:

    http://www.appinsys.com/GlobalWarming/US_NE_An1.jpg
    Climate scientists apparently only know how to calculate simple linear trends – in this case 0.7 degrees per century.

    Here is another interpretation of the same data:

    http://www.appinsys.com/GlobalWarming/US_NE_An2.jpg

    And based on a simple linear bound:

    http://www.appinsys.com/GlobalWarming/US_NE_An3.jpg
    In this case one concludes that the climate is tending to become less extreme – similar to the seasonal plots in the original post – the summers are not hotter, the winters are slightly warmer than 100 years ago.

  69. rg says:

    Always interesting to look back on temps. This is what MeatoFrance tell us today

    Valeurs remarquables de janvier proche de Nice

    TMax : 22.2°C (Nice le 24/01/1959)

    TMin : -7.2°C (Nice le 09/01/1985)

    Précip : 73.4 mm (Nice le 10/01/1994)

    rg

  70. rg says:

    Always interesting to look back on temps. This is what MeteoFrance tell us today

    Valeurs remarquables de janvier proche de Nice

    TMax : 22.2°C (Nice le 24/01/1959)

    TMin : -7.2°C (Nice le 09/01/1985)

    Précip : 73.4 mm (Nice le 10/01/1994)

    rg

  71. George Lawson says:

    Why not give the organisation its full title.
    The Union Of Concerned Scientists for the Protection of the Global Warming Scam.

  72. Paul H says:

    I have checked some of the funders to UCS as highlighted by Alan. The first 6 I looked at all contributed to the Tides Foundation as well. There were many other coomon beneficiaries as well.

    It’s like a progressive merry go round.

  73. George E. Smith says:

    “”””” Cynthia Lauren Thorpe says:
    January 6, 2011 at 4:20 pm
    George E. …thanks! YOU are indeed, ONE of the ‘Gentlemen’ I was ranting about earlier this morning. “””””

    Well thank you so much Cynthia. I figure my life will have been well lived, if I am able to inspire even one person to become an independent thinker; and not simply fall into line because it is convenient, and uncontroversial. True progress happens when unfettered minds, seek logical reasons why things aren’t the way they are supoposed to be.

    George

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