Some true journalism – my thanks to Tom Chivers

After a week of mostly stories of this flavor, “Scientist smacks down filthy climate change denier, film at 11“, this article in the Telegraph by Tom Chivers is refreshing and gets it close to 100% right.

Click image for the full report.

So many stories have been written this week with my name and words in them, and only two journalists contacted me in advance to ask me to comment. The first was Oliver Morton of The Economist, the second was Andrew Revkin of the NYT. I thank them.

Another new report worth having a look at is from AAAS here. Mr. Eli Kintisch was gracious enough to correct an error he made, and very quickly. He interviews Dr. Muller after the hearing, and it is well done.

This contrasts with the Salon.com reporter Andrew Leonard who not only left an error in place (conflating Willis Eschenbach with me) but refused to do anything about it, even when it was pointed out that many bloggers downstream were repeating the error without checking. Then without permission, Leonard published my complaint emails and that of Mr. Eschenbach in a second story. I’m truly disappointed in his lack of basic journalistic etiquette. I’m also disappointed that the salon.com editors have not responded at all to our early emails. Suffice it to say I won’t be talking to anyone at salon.com ever again.

I appreciate Mr. Chivers taking the time to read, understand, and present the situation in a thoughtful way.

The only thing I dispute, and it’s a minor point, is his characterization that I was blaming Professor Muller in my comment “post normal science political theater”. I’m not, and if anyone got that impression besides Mr. Chivers, I say that is why it is always best to ask. My comment is labeling of the event and the situation, not the person(s) involved. Muller was asked to testify, he didn’t go seeking it.

In fact, it may surprise many to learn that Dr. Pielke Sr. and I have been carrying on a constructive dialog with Dr. Muller via email this week. We’ve been in touch every day. Dr. Muller has shared some additional results with me, Dr. Pielke and I have pointed out what we feel are some errors, he’s countered, we are both looking at the issue. We are also both trying to understand the situation about station siting better. While it appears simple on the surface (no pun intended) it is a much more complex problem than I thought it to be when I started out. I hope to have more in a future post. For now I have more important duties, see the upcoming announcement at 3PM PST.

For another look at station siting analysis done entirely independently, I suggest this recent article on WUWT:

An investigation of USHCN station siting issues using a cleaned dataset

Mr. Gibbas (who did that study linked above) has agreed to provide more data, and in a post upcoming soon, the cleaned data he used will be made available online.

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136 thoughts on “Some true journalism – my thanks to Tom Chivers

  1. “After years of arguments, it looked, recently, as though we might be approaching a breakthrough in the debate over whether or not the world has been warming.” — Tom Chivers, The Telegraph.

    Oh, for heavens sake. We don’t need the temp record to see that the climate is warming. All you need to do is look at glaciers melting, crops ripening earlier, tender plants surviving further north than before, etc. etc.

    You don’t need to worry about the world’s temperature records (which are a mess), because you don’t need a thermometer to tell you that the dandelions are out earlier than ever before.

    Mind, the amount of warming in the past century, somewhere around 0.7℃ (1.3℉), strongly suggests that future warming will be slow, gentle and won’t cause serious problems.

    Bst, Pete Tillman

  2. The day that I turn on my heater and the thing ices over, or the day that I turn on my air conditioner and the paint blisters off the drywall in the living room is the day that I subsrcibe to “Global Warming causes Global Cooling”.
    Step outside, Berkeley, the Arctic blast in your air today is an illusion.

  3. “For now I have more important duties, see the upcoming announcement at 3PM PST.”

    You tease!

    By the way I’ve never minded changing my position when PROVEN wrong. But when someone is just refusing to answer questions and giving me the “trust us” line …. next!

  4. It’s an interesting premise to the article, but the author fails to mention one important caveat.

    If Anthony is proven correct, will the Al Gores of the world change their mind, or will they poo-poo BEST and say it’s the work of Sen. Inhofe?

  5. Sorry, don’t buy it. Dr. Muller should be publicly apologizing to you and recanting his testimony. He stated that with only 2% of the data being used and without any corrections they supported GISS and the others. This is shameful. He could have just stated what they intended to do and that they were no where near ready to announce any results, preliminary or otherwise. The troupe that Berkley agrees with the others will now become locked in stone.

    REPLY: One can be tribal, or one can realize that while nobody likes the current situation, and I’ve made my objections known, we both have more to gain with some continued cooperation. Besides, what we know today isn’t necessarily what will be known tomorrow. – Anthony

  6. Oh, for heavens sake. We don’t need the temp record to see that the climate is warming. All you need to do is look at glaciers melting, crops ripening earlier, tender plants surviving further north than before, etc. etc.

    As I look out over our small lake in SE Michigan, I see the last vestiges of ice melting. Everything is coming out about a month later than usual.

    I’d say that warming is in the eye of the beholder.

  7. He seems to be slagging you off a bit in the comments Anthony…

    We should wait and see what the final results are. But I don’t like this rowing back that Mr Watts seems to be engaged in; it bodes ill.

    Do you think you have ‘rowed back’?

    REPLY: I can’t undo history, I can only work through it. If I had ‘rowed back’, would I be still be conversing with Dr. Muller and Dr. Pielke on the siting issue?

  8. Peter D. Tillman says:
    April 7, 2011 at 1:42 pm

    “After years of arguments, it looked, recently, as though we might be approaching a breakthrough in the debate over whether or not the world has been warming.” — Tom Chivers, The Telegraph.

    Oh, for heavens sake. We don’t need the temp record to see that the climate is warming. All you need to do is look at glaciers melting, crops ripening earlier, tender plants surviving further north than before, etc. etc.

    So Peter, is that why precious few of my tomatoes ripened in my garden last summer? And why I planted three crops of tomatoes last spring–the first two were destroyed by frost (the second on the 18th of June no less)? It was about the coolest summer I can remember, with just four days at 90 degrees or above (and three of those were exactly 90 degrees).

    I say, dear chap, you may think there are glaciers melting (do you live near one or is it all hearsay?), that tender plants are surviving farther north than before, tender plants surviving further north than before, etc., etc., but I’m not buying it. Not in my neck of the woods at any rate. No sir! I got much better tomato crops 20 years ago!

  9. Last year my lake in northwest WI had an iceout of March 29, quite early….still covered in ice this year on April 7th but a forecast iceout of about April 15th….close to average. I take nothing more from this other than the variability that is springtime in the Upper Midwest. Dandelions be damned!

  10. THERE IS NO SIGNIFICANT URBAN HEAT ISLAND EFFECT ON TEMPERATURE TRENDS! EVEN ANTHONY WATTS APPEARS TO RELUCTANTLY ADMIT THIS. “…the mean temperature has no statistically significant trend difference that is dependent of siting quality…” – Anthony Watts – http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/03/31/clarification-on-best-submitted-to-the-house/#more-36957

    Anthony did find a significant trend in nighttime lows which have been getting warmer in cities, and in daytime highs, which amazingly seem to have been maintaining their cool better than the rural sites. Anthony’s study was for the US so the story might be different for other parts of the world, but it seems unlikely. It is also still possible that there has been some kind of trick pulled on the temperature record. But some say the satellites are consistent with the ground records and rule out any more than slight UHI effects on the trend. It’s important to realize that I’m not saying there is no UHI. I’m only saying it appears there was just about as much UHI in cities of the past, and to the extent UHI has increased, it hasn’t increased enough to make much difference.

  11. I still think Anthony is trying to mix his pure vanilla ice cream with Mullers dog droppings …
    I understand that Muller was asked to testify, was he also asked to basically toss out science and make stuff up as well ? he could easily have said, “This is what we are doing and how we are doing it”. Period, no results were required of him and if they were demanded he should have said , “No, the work is not done.”

    His testimony was nothing more than a fundraising appeal …

    It is interesting to hear that you are still communicating via email with Muller but by doing so I’m afraid you are lending him your cedibility and he is simply setting you up to be labeled a “denier” once again.

    When you can’t get him to do reasonable adjustments or stick to the science and not continue his political pony shows in the future how do you think he will paint you ? Do you think he will say you’ve agreed to disagree ? I hope so but based on his public performance thus far I see a “denier” label coming your way from the Hon. Mr. Muller.

  12. Are those scare crows or straw men? Chivers seems to have framed the debate as to whether it has warmed or not when it really is about the question of whether man made CO2 emissions have caused warming and, if so, by how much?

  13. I don’t agree….

    Tom Chivers reads your blog, he knows Muller lied (Muller knows 1.2 degrees of warming is a lie), and he knows Muller announced his results without even getting started……..

  14. Peter D. Tillman says:
    April 7, 2011 at 1:42 pm
    “Oh, for heavens sake. We don’t need the temp record to see that the climate is warming. All you need to do is look at glaciers melting, crops ripening earlier, tender plants surviving further north than before, etc. etc.”

    One very important thing is crystal and, obviously, needs to be trumpeted to the blogosphere. There has never been a complaint from the general populace about global warming. It has never occurred that ordinary citizens beat down elected representatives doors to demand action on global warming. All the fireworks about global warming have come top down. All the fireworks about global warming have come from professional environmentalists, professional Leftists, professional investors, and the ruling elite. That is why it is so very easy to distrust claims about global warming. If the engineers, the farmers, the man in the street, and all such were the source of fears about global warming then the claim would have much more weight. The vast majority of humanity has no direct evidence that global warming is a serious problem or will become a serious problem. If the global warming scare succeeds, it will show that governments no longer serve their citizens.

  15. Peter D. Tillman says:
    April 7, 2011 at 1:42 pm
    “Oh, for heavens sake. We don’t need the temp record to see that the climate is warming. All you need to do is look at glaciers melting, crops ripening earlier, tender plants surviving further north than before, etc. etc.”

    I don’t live near a glacier so i can’t check; there was indeed a February in about 1998 where i was walking around in a T-shirt – but later Februarys got way colder… The plants around here basically do what they always did; they seem to grow fast these days but i blame it on an increase in CO2 which seems to feed them well. This is what i can say from Northern Germany.

    Oh, and the Wind Turbines had a splendid season; they sprout everywhere, and higher than ever before. Did you mean that kind of plant? Nukes seem to suffer, though… maybe they don’t like the warmth, being thermal plants…

  16. My comments were no reflection on you or anything you have done. You’re doing the best you can with the hand you’ve been dealt. I’m just shocked how large the number of dishonorable individuals there are in this field. Doubly shocked that that aren’t even aware of their lack of honor.

  17. Jeff Carlson says:
    April 7, 2011 at 2:30 pm

    I still think Anthony is trying to mix his pure vanilla ice cream with Mullers dog droppings …

    Bravo! Jeff. The right has always been populated by honorable gentlemen (and ladies) who fight by the Marquis of Queensbury rules and never kick an opponent when they’re down. The left however, looks at each encounter, each debate, each election as a gladiatorial blood-sport, a battle to the death where the means is always justified by the end. It’s so unfortunate that good people refuse to understand this basic tenet of socialism.

  18. If all journalists were as even handed as Tom Chivers this scam would not have gone on for so long. I have no problem calling it a scam because there are a lot of people making money off reducing a trace amount from a trace gas.

    Pachauri set up an oil technology company called Glorioil which assists oil companies to extract the last remaining bit of oil from oil fields. He is still their scientific advisor. Humbug!!! Al Gore is making millions, some of which he used to buy a beachfront villa! There are many, many more people like this with lower profiles.

  19. Nice article.

    I have agreed for a long time with the basic comment that Muller made –surfacestations.org was “crucial” whatever impact it has on our ultimate understanding. Knowing the limits of your data quality *is* crucial. That’s why I participated.

    And once Anthony gets his piece published and the data set becomes publicly available, then neither Anthony, nor Muller, nor NOAA will have “last word” on what it means. It’ll be poked and prodded at for many years to come, and continue to contribute to our understanding.

  20. Salon? Isn’t that a place for uniformed gossip? Andy Leonard has proven one thing, he isn’t a jounalist.

  21. Mindbuilder
    You may be right about UHI in cities like London where the population is the same as it was 100 years ago, but for Mexico City, Cairo, Sao Paolo, Mumbai and Djakarta both population and energy use have risen dramatically over the last 50 years, compounding the effect. In the US look at places like Phoenix, Las Vegas and Miami where the same is true. It is simply unthinkable that these cities have warmed at the same rate as rural areas. Remember the effects of increases in global population and wealth are multiplicative, oddly enough the best proxy I can think of for the UHI effect is manmade CO2, as there is an obvious common causality.

  22. In reply to: onion says: April 7, 2011 at 2:06 pm

    Anthony said: “REPLY: I can’t undo history, I can only work through it. ”

    That is why you will never be a climate scientologist, “I can’t undo history”, phhttt.

    Why just today we saw some climate scientologist change measurements that were over 20 years old, if they can do that just think of what you could accomplish if you tried.

  23. @David S – It’s not me, it’s Anthony Watts apparently claiming that the result of his own study was that there was no significant affect from UHI on average temperature trends. Amazingly, the urban influence seems to be keeping the thermometers cooler than the rural ones during the hottest parts of the day. Again, it’s not my conclusion, it’s Anthony’s.

  24. Muller should have simply said “I don’t know”. Why? Because he doesn’t know. Saying anything else shows a lack of integrity. Given he has demonstrated this lacking, what makes anyone think he will change in the future.

  25. Mindbuilder says:
    April 7, 2011 at 2:27 pm
    I’m only saying it appears there was just about as much UHI in cities of the past, and to the extent UHI has increased, it hasn’t increased enough to make much difference.
    =======================================================
    You only have to do this a few times to get a 1/2 degree…
    …and that’s what we’re talking about, a 1/2 degree

    http://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/2011/04/07/hiding-the-dust-bowl-in-iowa/#comments

  26. “After years of arguments, it looked, recently, as though we might be approaching a breakthrough in the debate over whether or not the world has been warming.”

    I didn’t read any further than that. What’s the point, when they are already wrong in the first sentence? Talk about a Strawman argument….

  27. OK everyone, riddle me this. What does this:

    the findings showed “a global temperature trend that goes up and down with global cycles, and does so broadly in sync with the temperature records from other groups such as NOAA, NASA, and Hadley CRU.”

    PLUS THIS:

    “the preliminary analysis includes only a very small subset (2%) of randomly chosen data, and does not include any method for correcting for biases such as the urban heat island effect, the time of observation bias, etc.“

    EQUAL?

    Maybe this is good news and Muller is lulling his opponents into complacency, as he quite cleary just stated that NOAA, NASA, CRU records show an upward trend because like him, they haven’t included any methods for correcting biases such as, “the urban heat island effect, the time of observation bias, etc.“

  28. What I actually found more interesting was the mention of a recent Monbiot article telling the truth on Nuclear Power,

    The unpalatable truth is that the anti-nuclear lobby has misled us all

    “Over the last fortnight I’ve made a deeply troubling discovery. The anti-nuclear movement to which I once belonged has misled the world about the impacts of radiation on human health. The claims we have made are ungrounded in science, unsupportable when challenged, and wildly wrong. We have done other people, and ourselves, a terrible disservice.”

    …about time.

  29. Mr. Chivers is blind, blind, blind. He fails to understand that Muller revealed that he is not a scientist, does not have the instincts of a scientist, and after all is said and done is not actually interested in science. Scientists are not interested in stating conclusions. No government can make a scientist state conclusions. Lyndon Baines Johnson (know who that is Chivers, without Googling?) used to rant about the need for “one handed scientists.” He ranted that he was sick and tired of scientists who said “On the one…and on the other hand.” Well, Muller proved to be a one handed scientist. Too bad he wasn’t around to help Lyndon. We might have nuked Hanoi.

    Genuine scientists are not interested in results. They are interested in explanations of results. Muller stated results when he had no explanations of those results. He had not yet applied the techniques that would correct for UHI and various other factors. A genuine scientist would have said as much. Muller was there for self-promotion. It matters not a whit that he was invited by congressmen; he was there for self-promotion.

    Chivers has just taken another cheap shot from the cheap seats that the Warmista permit him to occupy. Chivers, too, is not interested in scientific explanation. No, he is just “Wham Bam, Thank You Ma’am.”

  30. Every time the BEST project is discussed it MUST be pointed out that nothing about past temperatures can prove the CAGW meme. I would doubt their methodologies if they found that the earth had not warmed since the LIA. This is shaping up in the media and blogosphere to be a “test” of the CAGW hypothesis/theory/conjecture and it simply IS NOT.

  31. Anthony,

    The Chivers article also seems to label Muller a skeptic which he is not. He is firmly in the “warmest” camp.

  32. Mindbuilder Anthony did find a
    significant trend in nighttime lows which have been
    getting warmer in cities, and in daytime highs, which amazingly seem to have
    been maintaining their cool better than the rural sites.

     

    Is this not expected from urban effect (note
    I don’t say heat island). 

     

    Mass has a dampening effect.  So during the night the extra mass (building
    roads etc compared with a flat field of grass say) takes longer to cool down so
    night time lows are higher.  Then
    during the day the mass takes longer to heat up so day time maximums are lower.  All else being equal
    of course.

     

    This is how passive solar house work (if that’s the correct term).  Put in a mass to act as cooling during
    the day and warming at night.

  33. @Latitude – While your link points to some apparently disturbing adjustments, I believe Anthony looked at unadjusted rural stations and found the same global warming as in cities. There apparently wasn’t even a half a degree difference. The climate science community has been caught playing tricks and defending tricks, so I am seriously concerned that there could have been some tricks played on the temperature record. But I see little reason to condemn Dr Muller, who despite being on the warmer side, has been one of the few to stand up and acknowledge the unacceptability of such tricks.

    @Fred Peterson – There has been an awful lot of talk around here about how cities are hotter than the countryside despite their heat capacity. That seems to be acknowledged by both sides. As you go from no city to small city, it gets hotter, despite increased heat capacity. As you go from small city to large city, it gets hotter still, despite even higher heat capacity. So I don’t see how heat capacity explains a trend of cities keeping their cool better than rural areas during the hottest parts of the day.

    @Smokey – You point me to the surfacestations.org page, which is odd since I quoted the head of that project: “…the mean temperature has no statistically significant trend difference that is dependent of siting quality…” – Anthony Watts – http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/03/31/clarification-on-best-submitted-to-the-house/#more-36957

  34. Warmer is better, no two ways about it. However, anecdotal things about crops ripening early have more to do with seed and agricultural technology improving than with warmer climates.

    I am not seeing any sign of “tender plants farther North”. The agricultural belt around here has moved south at least 80 miles since the 1930s. That doesn’t mean it is colder but it sure as heck isn’t evidence of warming.

  35. Mindbuilder
    The”study ” using satellite data and claiming they showed no importance to UHI did an extremely bad job of identifying rural and urban areas in the satellite data. Bad enough to make the study totally meaningless with open sea classified as “urban” and urban centers as classified as”rural”.

  36. I took issue with his characterization of Dr Muller as a skeptic as well, as this lends even more weight to a pretty dodgy first step out of the gate.

    And while Mr Chivers may give a nod to you for your principled position Anthony, he is not so open minded to changing his own mind if things the other way.

  37. Chivers says:

    “I know this will sound strange, but I do quite admire Anthony Watts: he is science literate, and therefore several rungs above some others on the sceptic side of the debate. And I have no doubt that he is far more knowledgeable than me on the subject. But compare him to George Monbiot…”

    ===================

    Nothing special here. Chivers is delivering a compliment along with a broad, diffuse insult. To be expected.

    Anthony….you may dispute just his one point….but let’s cut to the chase. What he said in my quote above reveals the true him.

    In light of that, an in reality, thanking Tom Chivers…is like thanking the garbage man… for picking up your trash.

    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  38. Badgero:
    Your comments at 5:53 and 5:58 are spot on. Others – including Anthony – should take note.
    PS: in the unlikely event that Dr Muller found that temperatures were flat (since say 1975), the CAGW hypothesis would be in trouble.

  39. When you judge someone a warmist or skeptic of course you tend to base it on your own position between the two points of course. So is Muller a skeptic or not?

    I think I will wait for 100% rather than 2%.

    Andy

  40. Does no one but me look at the satellite record? The latest posting shows current temperature at 14,000 feet to be 0.65 deg C below this date last year. The entire reputed warming of the last 50 years has been wiped out in one year! Damn! All this futzing about over a 0.7 deg C rise teased out of the data is just ludicrous! A thousand “scientists” writing ten thousand peer reviewed papers cannot erase the obvious fact that global average temperature can wander as much in a single year as is claimed to represent “a trend” over a 50 year period. Good grief!

  41. The importants of BEST is not their method. It is the source, data and META data they put online. If it does not include raw before any adjustment, with suitable META Data – it is same old same old. Assuming they do exactly whatever methods Antony wants, and the record shows no or less AGW, the results would just be rejected by the main stream. Credability comes from any fool being able to re-run the analysis and play with the assumptions. You can only do this if you have the data. Largely, up to now the land data is published as monthly “raw” which of course is not really raw.

  42. Hear hear! Great post Anthony. The real question is scientific integrity, and making sound decisions based on the best data and science. We need a rational approach to AGW, myth or reality, and I think the best bet for that is collaboration with Muller.

    I would also note the article claims Muller is skeptical. He isn’t. He states quite clearly in his position in his Berkeley lecture he believes AGW is happening, and it would take a stroke of unanticipated luck (increased cloud cover to C02 forcings) to counter that view.

  43. Peter D. Tillman says: “Oh, for heavens sake. We don’t need the temp record to see that the climate is warming. All you need to do is look at glaciers melting, crops ripening earlier, tender plants surviving further north than before, etc. etc.”

    …You seem to be on the wrong website. Maybe you should go here http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-13002706 where the good old British Brainwashing Corporation (those dear chaps who, you may remember, declared that the Arctic would be “ice-free” in five years back in 2000) are having another go at predicting that the Arctic will be “ice-free” – this time by 2016. Well, nobody can accuse them of originality.

    You might be interested in some FACTS, though I do realise that most AGW fanatics dispensed with them years ago:

    December 2010 was the coldest for 120 years, meteorologists have said. With temperatures as low as -21.1ºC in the Highlands it was also the coldest individual calendar month since February 1986, according to weather historian Philip Eden.

    A series of heavy snowfalls across the UK caused massive disruption to road, rail and air travel as the nation shivered in freezing conditions. The benchmark Central England Temperature plunged to an average of -0.6ºC over the month, the lowest figure for December since 1890, according to MeteoGroup UK. There were 10 nights last month when the temperature fell below -18ºC somewhere in the UK.

    Altnaharra in Sutherland experienced the coldest conditions, with the mercury plummeting to -21.1ºC early on December 1. In contrast, St Mary’s in the Scilly Isles had 11.5ºC on December 28. Over the month, the lowest average maximum temperature of -0.4ºC was recorded in Dalwhinnie and Aviemore in the Highlands, and the highest of 7.6ºC in St Mary’s. Average minimum temperature ranged from -8.4ºC in Tyndrum, Stirlingshire, to 4.9ºC in St Mary’s.

    Much of Britain may have been freezing and snowbound but it was drier and sunnier than usual. Rainfall averaged 1.6″ over England and Wales (39% of the mean for 1971-2000), the lowest total for December since 1971, 1.9″ over Scotland (47%) and 2.3″ over Northern Ireland (60%). Northern Ireland enjoyed 80 hours of sunshine over the month (227% of the mean for 1971-2000), Scotland 59 hours (178%) and England and Wales averaged 56 hours (117%).

    January and February 2011 was significantly colder than average, with most of the country experiencing far more snow than normal.

  44. @Wondering Aloud – The “study” I linked to was done by Anthony Watts, the founder of this site and the surfacestations.org project. I’m not familiar with the study you refer to. In a quote of the abstract of his soon to be released article, Anthony Watts said “…the mean temperature has no statistically significant trend difference that is dependent of siting quality…” The satellite study you mention may well have been very poor quality, but Anthony Watts seems to have reached a very similar conclusion.

  45. It is incredible that so much money and mental energy is being expended trying to confirm or refute global warming using a metric that has no meaning mathematically. The only measure of climate is how much energy (all forms, not just thermal) the global system contains at any delta-t and how this changes over long time periods (hundreds of years). In an unbound system like climate, global mean temperature is a useless proxy and is unfit for purpose.

    The changes to energy level in our complex, dynamic, non-linear climate system are driven by the spatio-temporal chaos. When driven by increased solar energy input the system reconfigures itself to deliver maximum entropy production (MEP) – it becomes better at dissipating energy.

    Until climate science diverts resource to understanding and quantifying these effects it will repeatedly fail in predicting behaviour and forecasts using computer GCMs will continue to have no value in understanding long-term climate variability.

  46. It is indeed the reference to the George Monbiot admission on the nuclear issue that is (as others have pointed out) the most revealing aspect of this article.

    See Monbiot at:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/apr/05/anti-nuclear-lobby-misled-world

    Monbiot reveals that in March 2011 he has discovered that Helen Caldicott’s claims (from the 1980s) about the nuclear emergency are NOT based on science, and, because he now knows this, he is now prepared to change his position. Chivers sees in this a lesson for Anthony, that he should change his position if the evidence from the BEST project shows that the world has in fact warmed.

    In the first place, I was utterly astonished that anyone interested in evidence-based science would have ever taken Caldicott seriously. I was involved in the Australian movement against nuclear arms race when Caldicott was prominent, and at the time I was not the only one in the movement that found it hard to believe that anyone could taken her seriously. To be frank, I recall that in the movement she was considered at the paranoid lunatic fringe. As Monbiot has revealed, a minimum attention to Caldicott reveals that she cares little for the evidence-base. So the question is surely: Why Monbiot did not realise this 20 years ago, before giving ascent to her claims? What can this be saying about Monbiot’s judgement?

    So, OK, let’s take this damaging confession as a brave and honest admission, and we can even forgive the preaching of the convert:

    We have a duty to base our judgments on the best available information. This is not only because we owe it to other people to represent the issues fairly, but also because we owe it to ourselves not to squander our lives on fairytales. A great wrong has been done by this movement. We must put it right.

    …but Chivers doesnt see it this way. And this is the second extraordinary revealation of this article. He sees in this confession a caution for the sceptic, that they should base their position on the evidence, even though the article is about elaborating that (until the results of BEST) there are indeed grounds for being sceptical of the evidence for global warming.

    It is remarkable that Chivers does not see what is so apparent to us, i.e., that Monboit’s blind trust in Dr Caldicott seems to be alerting us to concerned that (at least up until until BEST — his great decider on this question) we should question the judgement of those who have ignored the sceptic’s concerns about the evidence.

    The obliviousness of such prominent “science communicators” to such apparent twists in their reasoning, brings to mind David Humes aphorism: Reason is a slave to the passions. We should also say that passion makes reason blind.

  47. REPLY: One can be tribal, or one can realize that while nobody likes the current situation, and I’ve made my objections known, we both have more to gain with some continued cooperation. Besides, what we know today isn’t necessarily what will be known tomorrow. – Anthony

    Correct. As apprehensive as we might be, unlike AGW ranks, we real scientists will always seek to follow the data no matter where it leads. AND as Tilman above notes, we know the world has probably been warming, we don’t know by much exactly but we do know it is not significant or, probably, unprecedented.

    Keep pushing, Anthony.

  48. Kate says:
    April 8, 2011 at 12:01 am

    Careful Kate. Careful how you read BBC crap. They said “this decade”. Before it was by 2013, then 2016 now 2020. Keeps the ol” funds rolling in, you know.

  49. I say stick with it, Anthony. As long as you’re in there keeping them honest, we will at least have some reason to believe the BEST process to be that much more transparent than, say, the Hockey Team process which originally brought us all this brouhaha – and we’ll be getting reports from an honest (near-) insider. As for the integrity of any newspaper articles, I’m with Mark Twain: “If you don’t read the newspaper you are uninformed; if you do read the newspaper, you are misinformed”.

    Sean’s comment above is still valid too: as one or two of us have commented, until we get ready access to everything back to the raw data, so that we can all assess all the “adjustments” out in the light of day, they haven’t contributed much. What’s the point of yet another chunk of “predigested” figures? I want to see the body of this science, not just scry doom from its alleged entrails.

    And, even should they ultimately produce a temperature graph wholly indistinguishable from the others, something very important remains to be shown: to whit, convincing evidence (a) that something unprecedented is happening to the world’s climatic system; (b) that this something is dangerous to humanity and (c) that it is caused by humanity. Having driven myself crosseyed staring at tables of figures and graphs for a fair few years now, I have yet to see anything which suggests that any of a, b and c is true. And that, surely, is why we’re all here discussing all these details.

  50. There seems to me an underlying complacency in Chivers’ article – will Anthony Watts change his mind? Yes, if the evidence is there. Will Chivers? Ever? I doubt it.

    I used to read the Telegraph every day for years. I don’t read it all any more but I read WUWT every day. There you go.

  51. Chivers is not an even-handed journalist by any means. He recently wrote an article in which he sank to the level of making fun of Joe Bastardi’s name no less than four times. I agree with yaossx at 1:32am; he’s a jerk.

  52. Thanks for this Anthony; I’m glad you felt it was a balanced piece, and I appreciate the thoughtful response. Also, interested to hear that you’ve had continued exchanges with Prof Muller.

    All the best

    Tom

  53. Oh, and in response to Mike Fowle: it’s a valid point. If I’m asking Anthony to change his mind on the basis of the full evidence, am I willing to do so myself?

    I’ve asked myself that, and while at this stage I don’t know enough about Prof Muller’s methods, it does sound like an extremely well set up study. If he comes back and says the world has not warmed, I will have to take it very seriously. (I’m aware I sound a bit pompous here, as though what I think matters to anyone, but you get my point.)

    Tom

  54. Peter D Tillman: “… because you don’t need a thermometer to tell you that the dandelions are out earlier than ever before.”

    Here in South West France they came out in abundance in February in 2002, I remarked as it was my first Spring in France.

    This year they have arrived in abundance this last week at the start of April.

    Last year it was only a few in March and the year before hardly any and in May.

    This proves…?

  55. It would be interesting for Chivers to explore why he has labeled Muller a skeptic. Muller is not a skeptic about AGW, not sure what he thinks about CAGW, but the point of his criticism is that he agrees that the ruling climate elite has an ethical problem. Chivers should look to East Anglia and the British whitewashes for a little more insight.

    Particularly so because he seems to have rare insight.
    ==================

  56. Chivers wrote:

    “… If I’m asking Anthony to change his mind on the basis of the full evidence, am I willing to do so myself?

    I’ve asked myself that…”

    Why is this even a question for you? You need to do a lot more than being concerned about coming off a “bit pompous” (no, you are not coming off sounding a bit pompous, you are a bit pompous). Oddly, self-illuminating writers suck at being self-deprecating. Chivers, you perhaps really need to do what a good many here have had to do in the last few years: understand their own biases in the face of the real scientific evidence. The truth is out there – the only question is, will we be ever be able to know it? Write science from the head, not from the pedestal.

  57. Tom @ 4:05

    You are getting very close to understanding the skeptical point of view, but you are just a bit off. Few skeptics doubt the warming; it is the attribution of cause to the warming about which we are skeptical.

    The historical record is unsubstantiated as yet; Muller will improve this. The question of the reason for the warming will not be settled by BEST’s work, only by astute examination of ongoing observations. And son, the jury is out.
    ===============

  58. The problem with the surface instrumental record is it was never expected nor designed to determine a global average temperature at all to say nothing of determining it with accuracy and precision to a few hundredths of degrees.

    The only instrument record we have capable of this feat is the satellite record beginning in 1979 and 30 years just isn’t enough to reach any firm conclusions about whether anything unique and anthropogenic in origin is happening. Fercrisakes the thermometer record is ridiculously sparse, there are no Stevensen screens at all measuring air temperature over the vast oceans, and the instruments themselves are not capable of tenth degree precision or accuracy.

    The moral of the story is you can’t make chicken salad out of chicken shit.

  59. Oh, for heavens sake. We don’t need the temp record to see that the climate is warming. All you need to do is look at glaciers melting, crops ripening earlier, tender plants surviving further north than before, etc. etc.

    As I look out over our small lake in SE Michigan, I see the last vestiges of ice melting. Everything is coming out about a month later than usual.

    I’d say that warming is in the eye of the beholder.

    Just for grins I went to the USHCN site and pulled the records for Pineville, WV. This is a tiny town (pop. 715 in the 2000 census) in the SW corner of the state. It was incorporated in 1917, but has had a weather station reporting uninterruptedly between 1895 and 2009 (I don’t know if the station was removed, or the records just aren’t up to date), and is probably not affected by any UHI effects.. If one plots the trend of annual average temperatures for the station, it is a gentle upwardly sloping line going from 53.8 F to 54.2 F. That’s a rise of only 0.4 F (~0.2 C) over 114 years; hardly a reason for panic. Perhaps after “correction” there was more of a rise.

  60. Spell check…in the paragraph starting
    “In fact, in may surprise many to learn that Dr. Pielke Sr”
    should read perhaps
    “In fact, it may surprise many to learn that Dr. Pielke Sr

    [Thanx, fixed. ~dbs]

  61. Tom Chivers is apparently unaware that the question is not whether the Earth has warmed. The question relates to the dominant mechanisms of planetary warming and cooling, and whether humans can control the dominant mechanisms in any significant way.

    It is unfortunate when journalism is “dumbed down” to the level of dealing with vacuous inanities, rather than salient realities.

  62. I think most, if not all, of us gave seen the graph comparing the number of stations used in the”official” temperature record. In 1990, the number dropped dramatically and the tempature increased just as dramatically! Cause any effect or coincidence?

    I hope BEST addresses this issue specifically. The fall of the USSR is part of the drop in reporting stations, but is that the real reason that many more rural stations are no longer used in the “official” temperature database? I believe this is the smoking gun that will convict the AGW conspirators!

    Bill Yarber

  63. We have good records going back 35 years at most weather stations now.
    I looked at data from weatherstations in Pretoria, in Marion Island (this is south of South Africa in the South Indian Ocean), in Spain and in La Paz (Bolivia) as well as northern Ireland. So far, over the past 35 years, I found very similar results everywhere, namely:
    1) mean temps have stayed the same (0.00 degreesC change /annum)
    2) max temps. rising at about 0.05 degrees C per annum (some places more)
    3)min. temps decreasing at about 0.02 degrees C per annum (some places more)

    My evalaution so far is on one line covering half the planet. The results are clear to me: there is no global warming. For some reason, heat content has stayed the same, as I donot see any significant change in mean temps. Though max. temps have been rising this appears to be counteracted by declining minimum temps that must have stayed for a longer period of time (than the increase in max. temps..
    The other thing is: if there was any warming due an increase in to green house gases, it should have been minimum temps. that should be rising, at least as fast as, or even faster than maximum temps. What I see happening is exactly the opposite! So it cannot not be an increase in GHG’s that causes any (additional) warming.
    From Marion Island I noted also that the mean humidity has been declining at a rate of about 0.12% per annum, taken on average. Total monthly rainfall there also declined by 1.27 mm per annum, taken on average. If Marion Island is a good (average) sample of earth’s climate, then I am a bit worried about these last two results.
    In my opinion, it could point to the fact that we are entering a period of global cooling.

  64. Peter D. Tillman says:
    April 7, 2011 at 1:42 pm
    “All you need to do is look at glaciers melting, crops ripening earlier, tender plants surviving further north than before, etc. etc.”

    This is not what we see in Canada, the worlds second largest wheat exporter:

    2009 – down 20% from 2008 – wet
    2010 – down 17 % from 2009 – cold and wet

    This has serious implications for world food prices and is consistent with what Herschel predicted in 1801. Sunspot numbers, not CO2 drives wheat production.

  65. ****
    Mindbuilder says:
    April 7, 2011 at 4:43 pm

    @David S – It’s not me, it’s Anthony Watts apparently claiming that the result of his own study was that there was no significant affect from UHI on average temperature trends. Amazingly, the urban influence seems to be keeping the thermometers cooler than the rural ones during the hottest parts of the day. Again, it’s not my conclusion, it’s Anthony’s.
    ****

    That’s funny. I guess that’s why whenever temperature transects of city centers are done during the middle of the day, temps can be 5, 10, even 15F warmer in the city centers than the outskirts, depending on the city size & other factors (strong winds reduce the difference).

    I seriously doubt what you say has been “concluded” by Anthony or anyone else. Plenty of evidence shows the exact opposite.

  66. Paul Coppin says:
    April 8, 2011 at 4:40 am

    Why is this even a question for you?/Blockquote>

    Because Mike Fowle asked it of him.

    Chivers reply was very cordial, unlike yours.

  67. beng says:
    April 8, 2011 at 8:16 am
    ****
    Mindbuilder says:
    April 7, 2011 at 4:43 pm

    “@David S – It’s not me, it’s Anthony Watts apparently claiming that the result of his own study was that there was no significant affect from UHI on average temperature trends.”

    There is a crucial equivocation on “average temperature trends.” Does it mean those created by the Warmista? If so, we all know they bear no relationship to reality. That makes Anthony’s reported statement trivially true. Does it mean the actual trend in the real world? If so, as measured by whom? Please report.

  68. Someone or some group should with hast get to every tempature station world wide and check to see the insturments in the stations and make a record of them.

    It being they lie about the CO2 and this warming scam, they will mess with the insturments soon to hide facts. Next they will alter the insturments to game the system for warming.

    They cheat, keep your eyes on the cards.

  69. Tom Chivers says:
    April 8, 2011 at 4:05 am
    “Oh, and in response to Mike Fowle: it’s a valid point. If I’m asking Anthony to change his mind on the basis of the full evidence, am I willing to do so myself?”

    “I’ve asked myself that, and while at this stage I don’t know enough about Prof Muller’s methods, it does sound like an extremely well set up study. If he comes back and says the world has not warmed, I will have to take it very seriously.”

    Then you have no interest in the science. A scientist would ask for an explanation of why he thinks the world has not warmed. Some novel statistical work will avail him nothing. Novel statistics will be turned over to McIntyre and McKitrick. We expect Muller to address our questions about station siting issues, UHI issues, and several similar issues. We demand physical hypotheses in explanation of those questions.

    Claims to the effect that UHI does not matter because only trends but not changes in absolute temperatures matter is a sleight of hand that we have rejected long ago. Don’t bring that stuff around.

    I hope you expect of yourself that you can judge Muller’s results on the basis of their quality as scientific explanations of phenomena such as the effects of UHI on temperature measurements. If you cannot, then what are you writing about?

  70. Steve C says:
    April 8, 2011 at 2:45 am

    “Sean’s comment above is still valid too: as one or two of us have commented, until we get ready access to everything back to the raw data, so that we can all assess all the “adjustments” out in the light of day, they haven’t contributed much. What’s the point of yet another chunk of “predigested” figures? I want to see the body of this science, not just scry doom from its alleged entrails.”

    Add one more item. We must be able to assess the quality of the instruments and data collectors who produced the “raw data.” In my opinion, the idea that existing historical data can be used to measure temperature to tenths of a degree per century is way beyond ridiculous. Of course, the Warmista do not care about such factual matters because they believe that all of us should rely on their novel statistical techniques. McIntyre and McKitrick should open a graduate school in the analysis and evaluation of novel statistical techniques.

    Add one more item. At the time of Climategate, when the emails had just become public, it was widely discussed that the historical data back to 1850 is a product of Phil Jones. Fabulous! Yes, I know that there are various public data records now but I believe that the records actually used by the Big Three were all taken from Jones. I regret that I do not have the time to do the legwork to confirm this. Maybe McIntyre or McKitrick can.

  71. Assume for a minute the warmer were right and global warming has occured it at the level suggested and was caused by mankind. The warming has been so benign for humanity, if we could reverse it easily, would anyone actually want to?
    The big crash in species is related to other human activities Anyone found a single species lost to warming, and just warming and not any other human activity? There are lots lost due to pollution or lose of habitat, or hunting, and some were the WWF lists warming as a possible contributing factor.

  72. D Bonson says:
    April 7, 2011 at 4:19 pm

    Salon? Isn’t that a place for uniformed gossip?

    Soljers chatting and dissing their ossifers? Cops ragging on the local pols who don’t “get” the street? Chambermaids swapping lurid tales about who they walked in on in their hotels?

    Please elucidificate! I feel so uninformed.
    ;)

  73. The problem with UHI is not “trends” as such. It’s the apparency of trends created by progressive expansion of urbanization to encompass previously rural stations. This produces a measured rise which is independent of the actual “climate”.

    There is also the issue, btw, of the rapid “step change” in the late ’80s to early ’90s. IMO, there is an excellent chance, as others have suggested, that this is an artifact of station exclusion and other datebase fiddles. That change represents the lion’s share of the claimed “trend”. So the records from S.A. etc. and the CET are probably giving the lie to the entire enterprise.

  74. Tom is an ignorant green watery melon who tends to sit on the fence. His arguments are always weak, and he has little opinion of his own. Compare him to some of the more outrageous posts from Jim Delingpole, or the more demure, but sounder comments from Chris Booker, and you will see what I mean.
    He is a light-weight.

  75. To Mindbuilder re: Heat Islands….I just want to throw a real quick model at you and get your feedback. For the purpose of the model, I’m going to simplify it.

    There are only two surfaces on earth.
    Grass.
    Blacktop Pavement.
    Snow never covers either.

    If the same sun hits both surfaces at the same intensity, how do the heating effects differ?

    Grass – Absorbs energy in only some wavelengths. Some reflection. Converts some of that energy in concert with CO2 into mass. Lower conversion of sun energy to heat.
    Blacktop Pavement – Absorbs energy in almost all wavelengths. Little reflection. No conversion to mass. Higher conversion of sun energy to heat.

    Ball in your court….please advise as your argument above necessitates that both surfaces are in fact identical and don’t impact temperature readings in urban areas….either that or the data you are pointing to is inherently flawed (which is much more sensical than denying the difference in physical properties of urban and rural surfaces).

  76. ugh –

    First: what Muller et al actually said was that the 2% data sample as they had it broadly tracked the trends claimed by others. Duh. Imagine how utterly absurd the contrary position would be – “our 2% sample showed that all the data alleged by everybody else was wrong..”

    Second: the Chivers report attempts to be fair but doesn’t reflect a long term engagement with the wattsupwith that community or Mr. Watts. Both, I think (?) are much more deeply committed to trying to understand the issues than to fighting for one side in a dispute. This mis-understanding arises, I think, because alarmists usually see only one side of the story and so regard any attempt to see both as an attack on revealed Truth.

    Third: it’s not obvious to an outsider what Dr. Muller’s agenda is or how his methods will work out but judgment should be suspended, I think, until he produces a formal set of results and we can review them – and, in that context, I’ll make this prediction: he’ll find that the data is inadequate to support any of the conclusions currently being offered by alarmists and deniers alike.

  77. Anthony’s initial checks found some stations were neither in the correct position or set up properly but the really interesting one was the site that was warmer in the winter than the summer. Enter Steve McIntyre who sorted it out with NASA and temps were adjusted down a little due to a wrong data screen being used after the YK2 concerns (or scam depending on your viewpoint).

    What really matters is how the planet is behaving as time goes on and what do historical records show.

    The monthly Global Anomaly is definitely going down, there is no significant heating of the mid troposphere and ocean heat content also appears to be in decline.
    On top of this Prof Bob Carter recently sent me several graphs on all sort of things relating to the climate and I particularly liked one showing 6 million years of temperatures on planet earth.
    Shall we just say the wild up and downs of many, many years ago have been followed by relative stability during the last 5,000 years all well within the constraining bars…..including the present day!

  78. What a farse. It is impossible to find temperature of the world with decimal degree precision. Curious that the incompetent journalist in Telegraph talks about North Pole but doesn’t talk about Pacific Ocean. Maybe that is not Earth.
    But this silliness is to be expected, people need to find the “truth” in their lives not 50, 100 years later.

  79. Matthew says:
    April 8, 2011 at 12:15 pm
    “To Mindbuilder re: Heat Islands….I just want to throw a real quick model at you and get your feedback. For the purpose of the model, I’m going to simplify it.
    There are only two surfaces on earth.
    Grass.
    Blacktop Pavement.
    Snow never covers either.”

    Matthew, you are talking about physical hypotheses. To Warmista, physical hypotheses are the same as crucifix and garlic.

  80. It is extremely easy to demonstrate UHI. Consider two skyscrapers side by side. Not across the street from one another but side by side. Each is 600 feet high and 300 by 300 laterally; you know, like in a Fascist (Communist) country. They are 50 feet apart. The sun heats them equally during the day and illuminates fully the space between them only for a couple of hours around noon. Ok, that is the physical situation.

    According to our beloved Blackbody theory, the buildings must lose through radiation at night all the radiation received through the sun; otherwise, they gain heat daily. Has anyone noticed that the radiation coming from the sun and the radiation from the buildings are asymmetric. Consider the two surfaces of the buildings that face one another. The radiation from those surfaces does not travel into space; rather, the two buildings heat one another. That is UHI. In this idealized case, it is huge. But there is much in the real world that approximates this idealized case. Take Manhattan as a case in point.

    Obviously, a thermometer placed between these two buildings is measuring a great deal of UHI. Of course, urban environments are dynamic and one should not use this model only. Think of this model applying to tractor trailer trucks parked in a huge lot or wasted double-wides from Katrina occupying ten acres. Think of any of a bazillion different situations. All of it is UHI. Suburban America is now the land of the privacy fence, the big high privacy fence. That is UHI.

    Where did Jones just do a study of UHI? London. What is thoughtless about that. For one thing, the sun does not shine in London. Even on the rare cloudless, fogless days, London’s July sunshine is less than Central Florida’s January sunshine. For another thing, Brits are seriously less wealthy than Americans. They don’t have high, expensive privacy fences. For another thing…well, you get the picture. Jones should go to the old city of St. Louis, MO and try his UHI study. Or why not in the financial district of Manhattan?

  81. @beng – My quote of Anthony Watts wasn’t claiming that cities are not hotter than rural locations, it was claiming that no affect on temperature TRENDS was found. In other words, something like if the city is 5deg hotter than the surrounding countryside today, then it was also 5deg hotter many years ago, so there is no global warming trend from the UHI effect. You may find this implausible. I also find it hard to believe. But this is the result of Anthony Watts study. I have quoted it and linked to it at the bottom of this post. Go to the link, search the page for what I quoted and read the context. It is clear.

    @Theo Goodwin – I don’t think there is much equivocation in the abstract of Anthony’s study. Go to the link, search for the quote, and read the context.

    @Mathew – I thought basically the same as you on this issue, and maybe Anthony’s study misses some trick the alarmists have played on the temperature record, but it appears from Anthony’s study that well sited rural thermometers have been showing the same warming trend as cities. The only thing i can think is that maybe many city thermometers have been moved from warm dirt lots a century ago to cooler grass lawns today. But my theory there seems very weak. This needs more investigation. Here is the quote and link again:

    “…the mean temperature has no statistically significant trend difference that is dependent of siting quality…” – Anthony Watts – http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/03/31/clarification-on-best-submitted-to-the-house/#more-36957

  82. Anthony’s initial checks found some stations were neither in the correct position or set up properly but the really interesting one was the site that was warmer in the winter than in the summer. Enter Steve McIntyre who sorted it out with NASA and temps were adjusted down a little due to a wrong data screen being re-instated after the YK2 concerns (or scam depending on your viewpoint).

    What really matters is how the planet is behaving as time goes on and what do historical records show.

    The monthly Global Anomaly is definitely going down, there is no significant heating of the Mid Troposphere and Ocean Heat Content is I understand in decline as well.
    On top of this Prof Bob Carter recently sent me several graphs on all sort of things relating to the climate and I particularly liked the one showing 6 million years of temperatures on planet earth.
    Shall we just say the wild up and downs of many, many years ago have been followed by relative stability during the last 5,000 years all well within the constraining bars…..including the present day!
    As regards urban areas being warmer due to UHI, why does C02 have to come into it?
    I regularly experience UHI when I go to football at Old Trafford….I get there an hour before kick-off and on a cold day it can go right through you. Part way into the game and with 75,000 human “UHI’s” around me it gets warmer.

  83. Mindbuilder says:
    April 8, 2011 at 3:13 pm

    “@Theo Goodwin – I don’t think there is much equivocation in the abstract of Anthony’s study. Go to the link, search for the quote, and read the context.”

    If y0u do not put the matter in your own words how am I to know that you know what equivocation is?

  84. @Theo Goodwin – I don’t see that it makes any difference if I know what equivocation is(though I do know of course). Did you read the context of the quote of Anthony from his abstract? Is it clear that Anthony is saying that UHI has not had any effect on the trends of average temperatures in cities, though cities seem to be getting warmer lows and cooler highs compared to rural sites? Have I distorted his results?

    I’m going to put the link in again because too many people don’t seem to be looking at my previous posts:

    “…the mean temperature has no statistically significant trend difference that is dependent of siting quality…” – Anthony Watts – http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/03/31/clarification-on-best-submitted-to-the-house/#more-36957

  85. @Theo Goodwin – I should answer your questions more directly. I don’t think Anthony was relying on the adjusted trend calculated by the alarmists. I think he used the raw temperature records of well sited rural stations as his reference standard. I don’t know how raw the raw records he used were. I doubt he viewed and entered the original written logs first hand. But apparently he failed to find any significant difference between the trends of rural stations and city stations. I agree, it’s hard to believe. Did I misinterpret his report?

  86. As a matter of routine, I hereby confess that I am an old retired bureaucrat in a field only remotely related to climate, with minimal qualifications and only half a mind.

    Re Engechamp, April 8, 2011, 12.13pm

    Yes, Tom Chivers is a comparative lightweight, maybe with as little real understanding of the issues discussed here as I have. But he has the gift of communicating well and a platform on which to do it. (I don’t on both counts.)

    But IMHO he is so much more persuasive than most who blog here without being able to condense their admittedly extremely complex points into digestible chunks for ignoramuses like me and those who inhabit the corridors of power.

    So, the more purposeful will downplay negative personal evaluations and work to bring him to understand the skeptical case, so that he can pass it on.

    Make friends and influence people!

  87. Anthony:

    Reading the first few sentences, and the headline for the article my first thought was this:

    “A journalist in the UK is pondering how a group of scientists at UC Berkley, Calif. will influence your blog.”

    So how cool is that???

    Congratulations on yours, and the communities’ success at Watt’s Up With That?!

  88. Theo (to Mindbuilder)

    “If y0u do not put the matter in your own words how am I to know that you know what equivocation is?”

    Mindbuilder did that upthread, and then simply quoted the abstract when no one spoke directly to the information. In fact, every reply bar mine has deflected his question.

    I remain curious about this revelation in the abstract to Anthony’s paper. It appears to corroborate Muller’s (premature) testimony, so it’s right on topic. Is anyone apart from Mindbuilder and I capable of addressing this specific matter head on – that Anthony’s paper indicates the average temperature trends are not affected by siting issues?

    “…the mean temperature has no statistically significant trend difference that is dependent of siting quality…”

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/03/31/clarification-on-best-submitted-to-the-house/#more-36957

  89. I realized I might as well reproduce the context of Anthony’s quote here.

    While NOAA and Dr. Muller have produced analyses using our preliminary data that suggest siting has no appreciable effect, our upcoming paper reaches a different conclusion.

    Our paper, Fall et al 2011 titled “Analysis of the impacts of station exposure on the U.S. Historical Climatology Network temperatures and temperature trends” has this abstract:

    The recently concluded Surface Stations Project surveyed 82.5% of the U.S. Historical Climatology Network (USHCN) stations and provided a classification based on exposure conditions of each surveyed station, using a rating system employed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to develop the U.S. Climate Reference Network (USCRN). The unique opportunity offered by this completed survey permits an examination of the relationship between USHCN station siting characteristics and temperature trends at national and regional scales and on differences between USHCN temperatures and North American Regional Reanalysis (NARR) temperatures. This initial study examines temperature differences among different levels of siting quality without controlling for other factors such as instrument type.

    Temperature trend estimates vary according to site classification, with poor siting leading to an overestimate of minimum temperature trends and an underestimate of maximum temperature trends, resulting in particular in a substantial difference in estimates of the diurnal temperature range trends. The opposite-signed differences of maximum and minimum temperature trends are similar in magnitude, so that the overall mean temperature trends are nearly identical across site classifications. Homogeneity adjustments tend to reduce trend differences, but statistically significant differences remain for all but average temperature trends. Comparison of observed temperatures with NARR shows that the most poorly-sited stations are warmer compared to NARR than are other stations, and a major portion of this bias is associated with the siting classification rather than the geographical distribution of stations. According to the best-sited stations, the diurnal temperature range in the lower 48 states has no century-scale trend.

    The finding that the mean temperature has no statistically significant trend difference that is dependent of siting quality, while the maximum and minimum temperature trends indicates that the lack of a difference in the mean temperatures is coincidental for the specific case of the USA sites, and may not be true globally. At the very least, this raises a red flag on the use of the poorly sited locations for climate assessments as these locations are not spatially representative.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/03/31/clarification-on-best-submitted-to-the-house/#more-36957

  90. ****
    Mindbuilder says:
    April 8, 2011 at 3:13 pm

    @beng – My quote of Anthony Watts wasn’t claiming that cities are not hotter than rural locations, it was claiming that no affect on temperature TRENDS was found. In other words, something like if the city is 5deg hotter than the surrounding countryside today, then it was also 5deg hotter many years ago, so there is no global warming trend from the UHI effect. You may find this implausible. I also find it hard to believe. But this is the result of Anthony Watts study. I have quoted it and linked to it at the bottom of this post. Go to the link, search the page for what I quoted and read the context. It is clear.
    ****

    You’re not thinking this thru. The temp records, w/almost no exceptions, don’t go back far enough in time to capture all the UHI effects. The very longest (official) US records don’t start before 1880 or so, many later than that. Were these cities just getting started then? Of course not. From Dr Spencer’s UHI work, the greatest UHI effects occur just when the cities get started — when the land is cleared & buildings first erected. Cities in desert areas may have less effects if there were no forests/grasslands to begin with, but even those produce a UHI effect from the increases of sunlight-absorbing/retaining surfaces produced by buildings & roads. So even the most accurate, official city temp records just don’t cut it, UHI-wise.

    The only reasonable method to determine real UHI effects is to compare a city-center or airport temp w/the closest, truly “rural” spot one can obtain (hopefully upwind & same latitude & altitude). That may not even be possible for many locations of spread-out development, like Washington DC. But if it were possible, the UHI effect would be the difference between the average temp of the two sites. Granted, the daytime differences would almost certainly be less than the nighttime, given that wind speeds are greater in the day, and there is some thermal “inertia” in the cities in the morning (takes some time for the building/road surfaces to warm up compared to trees/grasslands).

  91. Mindbuilder quotes Watts’ abstract as follows:

    “According to the best-sited stations, the diurnal temperature range in the lower 48 states has no century-scale trend.”

    What more do you need to know? You seem to be suggesting that Watts and Muller can agree on this matter. If Muller found this statement from Watts’ abstract acceptable, he could not have said what he said before Congress and avoid lying.

  92. barry says:
    April 8, 2011 at 11:09 pm
    Theo (to Mindbuilder)

    “I remain curious about this revelation in the abstract to Anthony’s paper. It appears to corroborate Muller’s (premature) testimony, so it’s right on topic. Is anyone apart from Mindbuilder and I capable of addressing this specific matter head on – that Anthony’s paper indicates the average temperature trends are not affected by siting issues?”

    Fortunately, Mindbuilder quoted the abstract. What Anthony (and others) say in the abstract is that the errors in poorly located stations cancel one another and give the appearance of no trend. Let me quote the crucial part:

    “The finding that the mean temperature has no statistically significant trend difference that is dependent of siting quality, while the maximum and minimum temperature trends indicates that the lack of a difference in the mean temperatures is coincidental for the specific case of the USA sites, and may not be true globally. At the very least, this raises a red flag on the use of the poorly sited locations for climate assessments as these locations are not spatially representative.”

    Let me spell it out:
    “while the maximum and minimum temperature trends indicates that the lack of a difference in the mean temperatures is coincidental”

    See the word ‘coincidental’. You do know that coincidence is not permitted in scientific explanations, right? When our science depends on coincidence, it is not genuine science and in fact is worthless. Now look at the last sentence of the paragraph above. See the phrase “red flag.” Surely, I do not have to explain the meaning of that phrase.

    Muller is not deterred by coincidence. He does not actually use facts, such as temperature measurements and the metadata that explains the relative quality of the stations that collect the facts. Muller uses novel statistical techniques to create “trends” and then claims that his unintelligible product is somehow related to the facts – but we idiots cannot understand it. McIntyre, McKitrick, and Montford really need to open a graduate school of Analysis and Criticism for Statistical Methods in Climate Science. All so-called “Climate Scientists” should be forced to attend indefinitely.

  93. Mindbuilder says:
    April 8, 2011 at 9:34 pm

    Thank Your for your excellent response. If you will read the abstract once again, the abstract that you quoted after making this response, you will find that Anthony says that the maximum and minimum temperatures contain errors that cancel one another and give the false appearance of no trend. He says this is a red flag. Look for the word ‘coincidental’.

  94. Barry cites the Peterson paper. What utter bilge

    From the conclusions of that paper, the reason the study is useless:

    “All analyses of the impact of urban heat islands on in situ temperature observations suffer from inhomogeneities or biases in the data. The data used in this analysis were the most thoroughly homogenized and the homogeneity adjustments were the most rigorously evaluated and thoroughly documented of any large-scale UHI analysis to date.”

    Blender science. Homogenization smears urban and rural sites together, rendering differences nil. Of course they’d conclude there’s no UHI!

    Idiots.

  95. barry,

    From your link:

    Summary and conclusions

    All analyses of the impact of urban heat islands on in situ temperature observations suffer from inhomogeneities or biases in the data.

    So they didn’t use the raw data from the signed B-91 forms, they used homogenized “data.”

    GIGO.

  96. @beng – I was aware that most of the UHI effect takes place at the initial buildup around the thermometer. But that misses the point entirely. The point is that the alarmists have told us that there has been a certain amount of climate change in the US, and we skeptics have doubted the accuracy of that claim on the basis of questions about UHI effects. Now Anthony has confirmed that what they’ve told us is consistent with the data from well sited rural stations. Therefore it doesn’t matter when or how much UHI happened because Anthony found the same climate change at the verified rural stations.

    @Theo Goodwin – You quote Anthony that “According to the best-sited stations, the diurnal temperature range in the lower 48 states has no century-scale trend.” That quote can be a little misleading. It’s not saying that the best stations show no climate change trend, it’s saying that the best stations show no trend in the difference(range) between the daily (diurnal) high and low temperatures. That quote is not inconsistent with his finding that the best sited stations did show a trend of both the daily high and low increasing. I don’t recall what Muller said about the trend in the diurnal range.

    Anthony did did speculate that the lack of UHI effect on average temp trends was coincidental, but that doesn’t appear to have been based on the data or calculations, but rather is just a speculative guess to explain the amazing lack of UHI effect on average temp trends. Remember that even if the city trend in the US is accurate just by coincidence, that doesn’t change the fact that the alarmist reported climate change trend for the US has apparently been accurate and not contaminated by UHI, as demonstrated by its consistency with well sited rural stations.

    But what about the rest of the world? Climate change is said to be considerably less in the US than in some other parts of the world, such as the arctic. Is it possible that the error of US city stations won’t coincidentally cancel out in other places? Thinking about it more I thought (or perhaps remembered) another possibility for how UHI might have been canceled in US cities. It is said that the modern electronic thermometers have better radiation shields than the old CRS boxes, and thus give a more accurate cooler temperature at the hottest part of the day. It may be possible that cities have been converted to electronic sensors faster than rural stations, and thus the warmer lows caused by UHI could be canceled by the cooler highs of the superior electronic radiation shields. But I don’t know if the electronic sensors really are more common in the city locations or if the cooler highs would happen to just cancel out the warmer lows. I would guess that the easy availability of electricity would make electronic thermometers more common in cities. Furthermore, if the same increase in electronic sensors happens in other UHI affected locations around the world, then UHI might still be unable to explain global warming, though just by the lucky cancellation of errors.

    It might be however that the lack of cancellation by the superior radiation shield can explain arctic warming somewhat, because if there is UHI(or research station heat island) increasing the lows, the superior radiation shield might not cancel much of that error due to the lower influence of the sun at high latitudes. Thus the coincidental correction of UHI effect in the US might go uncorrected in arctic regions.

    I’m surprised that Anthony’s study didn’t do a comparison by shield type.

  97. I’m surprised that Anthony’s study didn’t do a comparison by shield type.

    Remember that we’ve only seen the abstract. Or do you have access to a fuller version?

  98. Mindbuilder says:
    April 9, 2011 at 5:28 pm

    @Theo Goodwin – You quote Anthony that “According to the best-sited stations, the diurnal temperature range in the lower 48 states has no century-scale trend.”

    Excuse me, but can you find ONE Warmista who does not assert that global warming must show up most strongly in higher diurnal temperatures? No diurnal trend means no global warming, at least according to Warmista accounts.

    Sorry, Mindbuilder Dude, but I am not interested in playing games. In my book, you are just another Warmista and I will not respond to you in the future.

  99. I just realized a flaw in the theory of my previous post. As pointed out by beng, most UHI effects would have occurred a long time ago, before the introduction of electronic thermometers. So if there was any UHI trend difference between urban and rural caused by the radiation shields of electronic thermometers, Anthony’s study should have picked it up from way back.

  100. @Theo Goodwin – The part you quote doesn’t say there wasn’t a trend in daytime(diurnal) temperatures at the best sited stations, it says there was no trend in the diurnal(daily) temperature range. In other words, the difference between the daytime high and nighttime low hasn’t changed at rural sites, but has been getting smaller in cities. We can’t tell from the abstract of his study, but he may have found that there is an upward trend in both the highs and lows in both rural and city stations. I’m not familiar with claims by alarmists that the daily range of temperatures will change, though I could have easily missed them.

    @barry – I don’t have a fuller version of Anthony’s article, but he stated at the link I’ve given that he didn’t control for instrument type.

  101. I’m not familiar with claims by alarmists that the daily range of temperatures will change, though I could have easily missed them.

    The theory goes that nighttime (minimum) temps warm faster than day time (maximum) under GHG warming (the opposite is said to be the consequence of solar warming). The ‘alarmists’ say that this is seen in the global record. I don’t know if this is assumed or measured as happening on regional scales, as in the lower 48.

  102. Barry says: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/04/07/some-true-journalism-my-thanks-to-tom-chivers/#comment-639409

    it is indeed alleged that due to increased green house gases heat is trapped that cannot escape from earth. So if green house gases were to blame for the warming, it should be minimum temperatures (that occur during the night) that must show the increase (of modern warming). We have reasonable accurate data from weather stations all over world for the past 35 years. On studying these data, I find eactly the opposite trend! For example, I looked at the average monthly temperatures during winter here in Pretoria, when I would expect more green house gases in the air due to local veldfires:

    http://letterdash.com/HenryP/assessment-of-global-warming-and-global-warming-caused-by-greenhouse-forcings-in-pretoria-south-africa

    I also looked at the data from Marion Island, which lies in the southern Indian ocean:

    http://www.letterdash.com/HenryP/marion-island-assessment-of-climate-change-in-the-southern-indian-ocean-due-to-the-increase-in-greenhouse-gases

    It appears from these reports that warming has stalled. There has been no measurable amount of warming for the past 35 years here in South Africa (when most of the increase in carbon dioxide occurred) whereas minimum temperatures have actually declined – this is the opposite trend that you would expect if the theory of warming due to an increase in greenhouse gases were true….
    Here, we have some average temperature data since 1946,

    This is in Spain, which I think I also pretty much average as average goes for a place to stay on earth! The station has been very accurate in its recordings and only one day’s recordings are missing. Note that the average minimum temps. since 1980 have stayed constant.
    Similarly, another weather station that showed no significant increase of minimum temperatures is that of Armagh in Northern Ireland. http://www.arm.ac.uk/preprints/445.pdf (we have accurate records here going back 200 years!)
    I have also looked at the data from La Paz in Bolivia and found similar results as reported for Marion Island. These observations all support the conclusion that it simply cannot be the increase in greenhouse gases that caused modern warming.

  103. barry wrote:

    The theory goes that nighttime (minimum) temps warm faster than day time (maximum) under GHG warming (the opposite is said to be the consequence of solar warming).

    That’s interesting, I hadn’t heard that. When Theo mentioned something like that, I tried to think of what effect CO2 would have on the diurnal range, and guessed it would have the opposite effect. I guessed that if CO2 effectively trapped sunlight that it would tend to raise daytime temps more. But maybe it could have more effect blocking upward radiation at night.

  104. I guessed that if CO2 effectively trapped sunlight that it would tend to raise daytime temps more…But maybe it could have more effect blocking upward radiation at night.

    CO2 traps no sunlight (I read some years ago about atmospheric radiative dynamics from sunlight cutting across the atmosphere, and there may be a small amount of absorption by CO2. but the details are hazy – I do remember the effect re CO2 was either very small or non-existent). CO2 absorbs long-wave (upwelling) infrared radiation, not short-wave sunlight (or hardly any). therefore the effect is more pronounced at night without solar heating. It’s also more pronounced in winter for the same reason (less insolation).

  105. Barry says: therefore the effect is more pronounced at night without solar heating. It’s also more pronounced in winter for the same reason (less insolation).

    that is the theory by those claiming that man is responsible for changing the climate. . but I could not find any proof of that. I am saying more carbon dioxide is better and the net effect of any warming and cooling by CO2 is probably zero (AS SHOWN BY SIMPLE OBSERVATION OF THE DATA)

    http://www.letterdash.com/HenryP/more-carbon-dioxide-is-ok-ok

  106. Henry,

    a handful of local records amount to anecdotal evidence. Local factors may influence the relative trends. A broad sample has the virtue of canceling out the noise and revealing a truer trend (law of large numbers).

    Anthony Watts’ thoughts on small sample sizes:

    “Some folks have commented that becuase I’ve posted my “How not to measure temperature…” series, that I’m only focused on finding the badly sited stations. While they are a dime a dozen and often visually entertaining, actually what we want to find are the BEST stations. Those are the CRN1 and 2 rated stations. Having a large and well distributed sample size of the best stations will help definitively answer the question about how much bias may exist as a result of the contribution of badly sited stations….”

    I don’t know the rating for the stations you’ve mentioned, but even if they are perfectly good, it would be a mistake to conclude that such a small number is representative of global or even national trends. Much more number crunching needs to be done.

    As an example, according the Australian Bureau of Meteorology, the annual minimum temperature trend is greater than that for the maximum temperature trend – this follows the mainstream uderstanding of what should happen with GHG warming. Rottnest Island off Western Australia has a positive diurnal trend (max temp trend greater than min), and the same is true for Geraldton and Halls Creek. There will be others. If we based our understanding on these stations, we would come to a false apprehension. Some stations show a positive diurnal trend, some show little or no trend, but the majority show a negative diurnal range (minimum temps are warming faster than maximum daily temps). Only by processing as much data as possible can we begin to figure out what is happening generally.

    This is what makes Anthony’s upcoming paper, Fall et al 2011, so exciting. For the first time, Anthony and his colleagues have a large enough sample, and have crunched the numbers. This is a significant peak in the surfacestations project – it’s what surfacestations has been leading to. I am greatly looking forward to reading the paper.

  107. Barry, thanks. You say: a handful of local records amount to anecdotal evidence (to the scientific world)

    I do agree with you. We do need to examine more stations. I was hoping and asking all those frequenting here to help by looking at the records of their own local weather stations.
    But what is the chance of me picking up on a handful (namely 5) of weatherstations, situated in various places all over the world, and all showing:
    1) no change in mean temperature, in other words “no local warming” or “local cooling”
    2) minima going down (at a rate of ca. 0.03 degrees C per annum)
    3) maxima rising (at a rate of more than 0.05 degrees C /year)

    That co-incidence is too big. I therefore predict that we can take these findings of mine from local to global. So, I think I already know what is in the paper?

  108. But what is the chance of me picking up on a handful (namely 5) of weatherstations, situated in various places all over the world, and all showing:
    1) no change in mean temperature, in other words “no local warming” or “local cooling”
    2) minima going down (at a rate of ca. 0.03 degrees C per annum)
    3) maxima rising (at a rate of more than 0.05 degrees C /year)

    After your first post I mined the BOM for diurnal range trends. I couldn’t find any, so I had to check the anomaly maps to find exceptions to the IPCC rule, and came up with three after a bit more searching. What is the lesson I should learn from that experience?

    Answer: nothing. Coincidence is the currency of superstition. Data is the currency of science. The more you spend, the better quality your results.

  109. When I wrote

    After your first post I mined the BOM for diurnal range trends.

    I meant – After your first post I mined the BOM for positive diurnal range trends. I had to look hard to find examples that, like yours, ran counter to the expectations of the IPCC.

  110. Barry
    the odds against me being not correct are enormous.
    Coincidence is the currency of superstition?
    Life itself was impossible if it were not for (many) coincidences!

    rather use the site that I used to find historical data from your country

    http://www.tutiempo.net/en/Climate/datos.php?stn=689940

    Click on world climate
    look for the station nearby you.

    Or, as I have learned, rather look for a weather station somewhere on an island.
    It will probabbly give a better average of earth’s global cliamte.
    Blessings you all…

  111. Henry,

    Nearest Island to where I live on the BOM’s best site list is Moreton Island.

    Mean temperature since 1900 has risen by 1.2C. Minimum temps have risen faster than maximum. If this is representative of world temperatures, then the official records are too low, and the diurnal range trends support the IPCC recommendation.

    Coincidentally, this matches the first five searches I did. Incredibly, this is the opposite of what happened for you.

    So how do we reconcile our different research results, both obtained by coincidence?

    I looked at another island further away – <a href=http://www.bom.gov.au/cgi-bin/climate/hqsites/site_data.cgi?variable=DTR&area=aus&station=098017&dtype=anom&period=annual&ave_yr=T<King Island. The mean temperature rise matches that of the globe, but there is almost no trend for the diurnal range.

    The data are variable, whether from islands or the mainland. In order to find out the national or global average, ‘coincidence’ is not going to cut it. Having checked out more of the BOM best sites, preliminary results are that warming and diurnal range trends fall in line with that anticipated by the IPCC etc. But even this larger sample isn’t enough. More data is better.

  112. Barry

    I would not trust those “made up graphs” going back to 1900 that you keep referring to me. Who made those graphs?
    Can you bring me a calibrated certificate of a thermometer that is so old? How often was it read (by a person) to come to the “mean” for the day (24 hours)?

    We have now electric thermometers (thermocouples) that continuously measure and record the temperature and give an average at the end of the day. So, the accuracy from before 35 years is definitely in question.
    You could start here here;

    http://www.tutiempo.net/en/Climate/Norfolk_Island_Airport/07-1976/949960.htm

    but start looking from 1976. From then onwards I think we are reasonably sure about the accuracy and frequency of measurements. Follow the same procedure as I did for Marion Island. See what you get?

  113. Henry, it’s this simple – you cannot derive a meaningful analysis of global temperature trends from one or a handful of weather stations. It is also the view, as I quoted upthread, of the owner of this website. It is exactly because coincidences like the one you have experienced occur that scientists and statisticians do not rely on small data samples. Small samples can easily mislead. We don’t expect uniform trends all over the globe. Some places may cool or exhibit trends different from global (or national).

    I’m curious, however, about the provenance of the site you have directed me to. I am on tour and not in a position to do a long mining exercise there, but I would be intrigued to see what the data showed for Moreton Island on that website. Should you be willing to assess, let’s agree on a start year before analysis to obviate cherry-picking. How about 1976, as per Norfolk Is?

  114. I would not trust those “made up graphs” going back to 1900 that you keep referring to me. Who made those graphs?

    The data and graphs are compiled at the Australian Bureau of Meteorology, the national repository for Australian weather and climate data.

    Did you not click on even one link? The information you asked for is right at the top of the page.

  115. Barry says: The data and graphs are compiled at the Australian Bureau of Meteorology, the national repository for Australian weather and climate data.

    yes, but who was involved in making those data from 1900?
    What equipment/method/manipulations etc. were done to go back that far ?(look at the Armagh site quoted in my blog where these specifics are given.)

    Moreton is not listed on my preferred site….strangely enough. Brisbane airport is listed, and I would be inclined to trust those data more than Moreton’s (because of the presence of “the climate change centre” there )

    and then only from 1976, as suggested.

    There are three listings for Brisbane airport. Which one to take?

    Remember, this is only my hobby, so I it may take me also quite some time to do an analysis on an Australian station..

  116. Henry, Australia’s data is relatively good, but like everywhere else, not perfect by any means. I scoured the BOM quite some time ago, as well as mined google for studies and metadata on the instrumental records. Sir Joseph Banks began a legacy of great interest in the natural phenomena of the ‘new world’. I can’t speak to the quality of particular stations, and currently am not in a good position to do much research on the metadata. We have a challenging climate here – lots of drought and flood – and accuracy in records and forecasting is vital. Many records stretch back to 1900. The ones that don’t, or where the data is patchy in the past, the BOM will only give records from the year the data is solid.

    If you decide to have a look at Brisbane airport, I will stick here with you – I’d see it as very sporting of you to check it out. Norfolk Island data at the BOM will likely be hard to come by, as it’s not listed as one of the ‘best sites’. However, if there are any regulars here attending to our discussion, they’ll probably roll their eyes at the suggestion of using airport temps. :-)

    (I do believe we’re having a reasonable discussion – delighted!)

  117. Ok. Brisbane it will be.
    Historical Weather: Brisbane Airport M. O, Australia
    Weather station: 945780 (YBBN)
    Latitude: -27.38
    Longitude: 153.1
    Altitude: 4

    I will check from 1976
    to cover the past 35 years

  118. A cool 5 mil.

    To compare, I’ll check the BOM results for ‘Brisbane Aero’, using annual data from 1976 to 2010 inclusive.

    Mean trend = 0.08C/dec
    Max trend = 0.17C/dec
    Min trend = 0.01C/dec
    Diurnal range trend = 0.16/dec

    All temperature trends are positive (although the minimum temperature trend is smaller than the error bars, so could be flat or negative).

    The diurnal range is positive, the opposite sign of IPCC anticipated global average diurnal range trend.

    (Work done in Excel – I am no statistical analyst)

  119. Don’t worry
    I also use excel
    I am almost halfway

    to translate your figures to what I am used to:
    Means: increasing at a rate of 0.01 degree C / annum
    Maxima increasing at a rate of 0.02 degree C / Annum
    Minima increasing at a rate of 0.01 degree C / annum

    Is this correct? Are you sure minima were increasing?

  120. You had one error – dropped a zero. To translate per annum and rounding..

    Mean trend = 0.01 degree C / annum
    Max trend = 0.02 degree C / annum
    Min trend = 0.001 degree C / annum
    Diurnal range trend = 0.016/dec

    Minima has increased, but by so little it’s virtually a flatline for the period. You can get the minima data from this page, on the right, if you want to check (click under ‘download anomaly data’).

    But the relative trends make sense. The mean is roughly the mean of the minima and maxima, Because there is virtually no trend for minima, the diurnal range trend is very close to the maxima trend.

    While the period from 1976 to 2010 was virtually flat for minima, the minimum temperatures previous to that were much lower. The more data included before 1976, the greater the warming trend. Data set starts January 1910. This is one of the sites marked by BOM on their interactive map of best sites as being influenced by UHI (and hence excluded from the annual temperature analyses). I’m not sure if the data given is adjusted for UHI or not. (My internet connection is breaking down in rural Australia. I’ll try and find out when I’m connected more stably)

  121. Barry

    I am almost sure the trend on minima that I will get is a decline
    I can see it happening without having done the regressions
    and that is in Brisbane from 1976
    Again it proves that there is no warming due to an increase in GHG’s
    Taking data before 1976 is risky/
    I know what equipment was available in 1975. Before that date I am not sure what you will encounter in terms of human error.

    In any case, this whole hype around “global warming” came about after 1975 which seem to co-incide (as I now also can see) with increasing maxima.

    I will finish the analysis before the weekend and let you know.

    I am not a weatherman. I am not sure what you mean with Diurnal range trend?
    How do calculate that?

  122. This is the BOM’s anomaly map for diurnal range trends. As you can see, in some places the diurnal trend is negative, in others, positive.

    We can see that diurnal range trends are highly variable depending on location. I checked the diurnal trend rate for the same period (1970 – 2010) for the nation. It is slightly positive, which also is opposite IPCC global expectations. However, I am not sure if this is meaningful for less than 3% of the globe. When you start earlier in the data, you get a negative diurnal trend.

    I read somewhere that the diurnal range trend will eventually move to positive or neutral, as maxima start to increase as much or more than minima. Perhaps this is a factor, too. I don’t know. It’s something I’ll try to chase up at realclimate when the opportunity arises. I’d search elsewhere, but this internet dropout is making long searches annoyingly difficult.

  123. Barry

    here are my prelimary results for Brisbane:
    Historical Weather: Brisbane Airport M. O, Australia
    Weather station: 945780 (YBBN)
    Latitude: -27.38
    Longitude: 153.1
    Altitude: 4
    Period evalauted: 1976-2010/11
    1) Mean temperature has remained unchanged over the past 35 years: 0.00 degrees C/annum
    2) Maxima have increased at a rate of 0.02 degreesC / annum
    3) Minima have decreased at a rate of 0.06 degrees C/ annum

    I will publish the detailed results later.
    Again, I say that if anyone claims that more greenhouse gas causes warming, then it must be minimum temperatures that should be rising at a rate at least as fast as maxima and means. What I find is always exactly the opposite.

    So there is no global warming as a result of an increase in GHG’s. Are we agreed on that?

    PS. What currency was the cool 5 mil? I hope it was not 5 million Zimbabwean dollars?

  124. Again it proves that there is no warming due to an increase in GHG’s

    Well, let’s be very specific about the data. If there is no warming trend for minima at Brisbane Airport, then all that we’ve learned is that, nothing else. If there is a warming trend for maxima, then we need to look at other factors that may have caused it. If the mean temperature is warming, then we likewise need to look at attribution, and, of course, try to determine if local, non-climatic influences have biased the data in some way.

    Also, this is just one data point (one location). It may corroborate others that you have come across, but I can cite scores of others that show the opposite. The trends at Brisbane Aero ‘prove’ nothing about global temperature trends, or whether the greenhouse effect is ‘real’.

    (I think pretty much everyone, including skeptics, agrees that increased GHGs should involve some warming – Pielke Snr, John Christy, Roy Spencer, Richard Lindzen and any critic qualified as an earth scientist all agree on that – but this discussion doesn’t really belong in this thread)

    I’ll re-iterate that the BOM excludes Brisbane Airport from their national temperature trend assessments – because they have detected an urban heat island influence. IOW, BOM don’t consider Brisbane Airport data clean enough.

    Diurnal means ‘night and day’, in this context, and the ‘diurnal range’ is the difference between daytime (maximum) and nighttime temperatures. “Diurnal range trend”, then, is the difference between max and min temperatures over time. The method for determining that is to subtract minima from maxima for each day/month/year, and then derive a trend from the resulting values. Thus, if maximum temps have increased more than minimum over a given time period, then the diurnal range will have a positive slope, or trend. If minima have increased more than maxima over time, you’ll get a negative diurnal range trend. (Also applies to cooling, neutral temps of course – its about the difference between min/max over time)

  125. 1) Mean temperature has remained unchanged over the past 35 years: 0.00 degrees C/annum
    2) Maxima have increased at a rate of 0.02 degreesC / annum
    3) Minima have decreased at a rate of 0.06 degrees C/ annum

    I thought that the mean temps were derived by averaging max and minimum temps, and that the mean trend would thus be -0.02 degrees C / annum.

  126. Peter D. Tillman says:
    April 7, 2011 at 1:42 pm

    You don’t need to worry about the world’s temperature records (which are a mess), because you don’t need a thermometer to tell you that the dandelions are out earlier than ever before.

    And for the last two years the Skagit Valley tulip folks have been wringing their hands that the tulips were blooming too late for the festival, due to the cold. Nothing is happening globally.

  127. Barry says
    (I think pretty much everyone, including skeptics, agrees that increased GHGs should involve some warming – Pielke Snr, John Christy, Roy Spencer, Richard Lindzen and any critic qualified as an earth scientist all agree on that – but this discussion doesn’t really belong in this thread)

    well, I, me, and myself (I don’t have a big name yet) could not find any evidence that the net effect of more carbon dioxide is warming. Note that we have
    1) some radiative warming caused by CO2 at 14-15 um (oxygen/ozone and water vapor also absorbs there), but nobody has any figures on how much warming is caused by the CO2
    2) some radiative cooling is caused by the CO2 at various places between 0-5 um, due to deflection of radiation of the sun, especially around 2um and 4-5 um. Again I could not find any test results that would show me exactly how much radiative cooling is caused by the Co2.
    3) by taking part in the photo synthesis Co2 causes plants and trees to grow. This takes energy out of the environment. Did you ever see forests grow where it is cold?
    Again I have no figures on how much cooling is caused by this, but I suspect it is substantial in comparison to any warming caused by the increase in CO2. I think this is the part that most of the gentlemen you quoted above including of course all AGW supporters have forgotten about.
    Earth having become much greener in the past 50 years, I predict that eventually it will be found out that all this all cooling caused by CO2 in 2) and 3) above neutralizes any warming caused by the increase in CO2.

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