Technical paper training for “Hansen’s Bulldog”

Bob Tisdale responds to Grant Foster aka “Tamino”, self proclaimed “Hansen’s Bulldog” (now oddly deleted but available at the Wayback machine via this link). The difference between Mr. Tisdale and Mr. Foster is that Mr. Tisdale doesn’t need to resort to name calling (denier equivalent) to get the point across. No matter whose presentation you believe, one point is certain; when you resort to name calling (denier) of your opponent, you’ve lost the argument. Tisdale responds technically to Tamino’s essay below – Anthony

On Tamino’s Post “Favorite Denier Tricks Or How To Hide The Incline”

Guest post by Bob Tisdale

OVERVIEW

This is a discussion of the criticisms by the blogger Tamino about a couple of my recent posts. Tamino’s unjustified complaints were about my graphs of the divergence between the National Oceanographic Data Center (NODC) ARGO-era (2003 to present) Global Ocean Heat Content (OHC) data for the depths of 0 to 700 meters and the Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) climate model projections/predictions for that Global OHC data.

This is a long post, almost 6,000 words. So I’ve included a summary at the beginning of this post, immediately after the introduction. Readers can then continue to read the rest if they chose. The headings of discussions are bold faced and many of the illustrations are annotated so they can scroll down through the headings to find a topic, if they have questions about specifics.

INTRODUCTION

Not surprisingly, Tamino has once again disagreed with something I presented in a couple of my posts and has attempted to dispute it. This time he has responded to my recent First-Quarter 2011 Update Of NODC Ocean Heat Content (0-700Meters) post that was cross posted at WUWT as The GISS divergence problem: Ocean Heat Content. There Anthony Watts provided an introduction.

Tamino’s disciples were much impressed with his presentation and added their OpenMind-prompted beliefs to the WattsUpWithThat thread. Please take a few moments to read Tamino’s response Favorite Denier Tricks, or How to Hide the Incline.

Let’s see where Tamino misses the mark this time.

SUMMARY

Tamino failed in his efforts to discredit me, my simple model-data comparison graphs of Global Ocean Heat Content, and the posts that include those graphs.

Tamino failed to prove the start year of 2003 was cherry picked to provide the lowest trend. I first started posting those model-data comparison graphs with the earlier version of the OHC data. With that earlier version, 2003 did not provide the lowest trend, as it does now. So my first uses of 2003 as the start year for those graphs were not dependant on 2003 being the year that provided the lowest trend. NODC corrected and revised their OHC data in October 2010. Since that NODC update, 2003 has produced a low trend. On one hand, Tamino may not have known about the NODC’s October 2010 changes to the OHC data, but he should read a post in its entirety before accusing someone of using data manipulation tricks. In the more recent of my posts that Tamino had referred to, I had noted that there had been recent changes to the data and I provided links to the source and to my past posts that discussed those changes. So, on the other hand, Tamino also may actually have known about those changes to the NODC OHC data and ignored their impacts.

Tamino failed in that effort also because he chose not to believe what I had written, which was that I had used the start year of 2003 since that was the year ARGO observations became the dominant source of OHC data observations. I had other reasons that had gone unwritten in my two recent posts. One was obvious: the data has been flat since 2003. That fact is tough to miss. The other may not have been obvious: the continued use of 2003 allowed the start date to remain consistent with the same model-data comparison graphs in earlier posts at my blog and consistent with discussions at Roger PIelke Sr.’s website.

Tamino failed to prove that I had misrepresented the GISS model trends, which he had described as, “a blatant falsification of what the GISS prediction is.” First, he did not present the GISS prediction in his graphs; he shifted subjects so quickly that many of his readers may not have noticed. And based on the comical choice of words used by Tamino’s disciples in their comments on the WUWT thread (misuse, misleading, dishonestly, etc.), I have to believe that that was the case. Specifically, Tamino changed from a discussion of model trends to a discussion of observational data trends during a warming period beforethe ARGO era. Second, Tamino then attempted to illustrate the point at which that data-based (not model-based) trend intersects with the ARGO-era data as the “honest method,” but since he wasn’t using model-based trends, his efforts were for naught. Third, his “honest method” did not consider the differences between a model-based trend and the data-based trend that Tamino chose to present. The point at which the model-based trend intersects with the ARGO-era OHC data is impacted by the revision level of the data and by the base years that GISS elects to use in their presentations of the models.

I discuss and illustrate all of those failures in Tamino’s post in the following. I’ve even tacked on an additional discussion after discovering another reference to my OHC posts in Tamino’s follow-up post Five Years.

DATASET INTRODUCTION

This is the dataset introduction that appears in the most rent of the posts that Tamino referred to. It was the one cross posted at WUWT on Sunday, May 8, 2011.

The NODC OHC dataset is based on the Levitus et al (2009) paper “Global ocean heat content(1955-2008) in light of recent instrumentation problems”, Geophysical Research Letters. Refer to Manuscript. It was revised in 2010 as noted in the October 18, 2010 post Update And Changes To NODC Ocean Heat Content Data. As described in the NODC’s explanation of ocean heat content (OHC) data changes, the changes result from “data additions and data quality control,” from a switch in base climatology, and from revised Expendable Bathythermograph (XBT) bias calculations.

I POSTED GRAPHS OF QUARTERLY DATA BUT TAMINO’S GRAPHS ARE OF ANNUAL DATA FROM AN EARLIER POST

Readers who are observant will have noted that Tamino has shifted the presentation of the data from quarterly to annual. This discussion is provided simply to reduce any confusion that may have caused.

Tamino writes as an introduction:

WUWT has a post by Bob Tisdale, based on one of Tisdale’s own posts. The theme is that ocean heat content (OHC) hasn’t risen as fast as GISS model projections. Watts even says “we have a GISS miss by a country mile.” But Tisdale can only support his claim by using tricks to hide the incline. In fact he uses two of the favorite tricks of deniers. One is a clever, but hardly new, trick called “cherry picking.” The other is ridiculously simple: misrepresentation.

My most recent OHC post First-Quarter 2011 Update Of NODC Ocean Heat Content (0-700Meters) is a very simple post that advises readers that the NODC has posted its 1st quarter 2011 OHC data. Anthony Watts wrote a brief introduction and cross posted it at WUWT. My “First-Quarter post” is not based on the older post, ARGO-Era NODC Ocean Heat Content Data (0-700 Meters) Through December 2010,which Tamino cites; it is a separate post. I referred to the “ARGO-era post” in the “First-Quarter post”, but it is not based on the “ARGO-era post”. One very obvious difference: in the “First-Quarter post”, the model-data comparison was presented on a quarterly basis. Refer to Figure 1.

Figure 1

But the data in the graph that Tamino elected to discuss was presented annually. It’s Figure 2 from my “ARGO-era post”, which I’ve included here as Figure 2.

Figure 2

It must have been easier for Tamino to use annual data for the rest of his failed critique. So I’ll use the annual data throughout the rest of this discussion so that the graphs and discussions agree with Tamino’s post and his graphs.

OPENING NOTES ABOUT THE GRAPHS

Figures 1 and 2 are simple graphs. Starting in 2003, they show the projections of GISS climate model outputs with global ocean heat content rising at a rate of 0.7*10^22 Joules, and they show the observed variations in global ocean heat content data as determined by the NODC. One graph presents the data on an annual basis, and the other, on a quarterly basis, which is the period chosen by the NODC for the delivery of their OHC product. I’ve had EXCEL determine the linear trends for the observations and provide the corresponding equations. Based on those linear trends, the quarterly data, Figure 1, shows that Global OHC is rising at a rate of 0.077*10^22 Joules per year, and the annual data, Figure 2, shows a rate of 0.05*10^22 Joules per year. Since Tamino chose to present annual data, let’s discuss it. The GISS projection is rising at a rate that’s about 14 times higher that the observed rate, or the observations are rising at a rate that’s approximately 7% of the rise projected by GISS.

In the “First quarter post”, I wrote about the graph that appears here as Figure 1:

Looking at the NODC OHC data during the ARGO era (2003 to present), Figure [1], the uptick was nowhere close to what would be required to bring the Global Ocean Heat Content back into line with GISS projections.

There was nothing misleading in that statement. And in the “ARGO-era post”, I first discussed why I was lowering the GISS projection from 0.98*10^22 Joules per year to 0.7*10^22 Joules per year, and the sources of both projections. I wrote about Figure 2:

The GISS projection of 0.7*10^22 Joules per year dwarfs the linear trend of the ARGO-era NODC OHC data. No surprise there.

There was no surprise for me or for those who have read my earlier OHC posts that have included similar graphs, since I’ve been posting the OHC model-data comparisons since October 2009.

I did not state that these graphs falsified the models. Eight years of data is way too short for that. In his introduction of the most recent post, Anthony Watts did not state the graphs falsified the models. Yet the appearance of the graphs in the posts prompted Tamino and his followers to characterize those graphs with terms such as…

CHERRY PICKING AND MISREPRESENTATION?

In his opening salvo, Tamino accused me of cherry picking and misrepresenting the Ocean Heat Content data. He apparently doesn’t believe the basis for the start year of 2003 or understand the short history of my graph that compares the GISS climate model projections and the OHC data. And his accusation of misrepresentation is unfounded as we will see.

TAMINO’S ACCUSATION OF CHERRY PICKING

On cherry picking, Tamino writes and includes a quote from my “ARGO era” post:

Why does Tisdale give such a different impression? First let’s expose the cherry-picking part. To make it look as though observation is out of whack with prediction, Tisdale starts with 2003. His justification is to call this the “Argo-era,” which he claims he chose because

According to it, ARGO floats have been in use since the early 1990s,    but they had very limited use until the late 1990s. ARGO use began to rise then, and in 2003, ARGO-based temperature readings at depth became dominant. Based on that, I’ll use January 2003 as the start month for the “ARGO-era” in this post.

I don’t believe him.

The fact is, I needed a start date for that post about ARGO-era data, a post that illustrated much more than the model-data graph. By 2003, ARGO buoys provided a significant contribution to the observations used in the calculation of Global OHC. The use of the word dominant, looking back at the “ARGO-ear post”, was an exaggeration. ARGO floats provided a significant contribution by 2003, not only by the number of samples, but by greatly increasing the spatial coverage of Southern Hemisphere waters.

Back to the discussion of cherry picking…

I explained why I selected 2003, and Tamino wrote, “I don’t believe him.” Tamino elected not to believe. His beliefs are his choice and they are not evidence of cherry picking on my part.

Tamino attempted to reinforce his belief by showing that 2003 would have had the lowest trend. I’ll agree with one point: a trend from 2003 to 2010 as the data currently existsdoes have a lower trend than trends that run from 2002 to 2010 or from 2004 to 2010, but…

2003 DIDN’T ALWAYS PROVIDE THE LOWEST TREND FOR A SHORT-TERM OHC GRAPH

In the “First-Quarter 2011 Update” post, I included an introduction to the NODC OHC dataset. In part, it reads:

It [the NODC OHC data] was revised in 2010 as noted in the October 18, 2010 post Update And Changes To NODC Ocean Heat Content Data. As described in the NODC’s explanation of ocean heat content (OHC) data changes, the changes result from “data additions and data quality control,” from a switch in base climatology, and from revised Expendable Bathythermograph (XBT) bias calculations.

The 2010 update and changes had a significant impact on the short-term, ARGO-era OHC data. Figure 3 illustrates the 2009 version of the NODC OHC data and the 2009 version with the 2010 revisions. Both start in 2003 and have the 2003 values zeroed to help show the differences during the ARGO era. As described above, I started presenting the graph of OHC data versus GISS model projection back in 2009. The 2009 version of the Levitus et al data would clearly have had a negative trend if 2004 was selected as the base year, so 2003 would NOT have been the “cherry year” for that version.

Figure 3

Based on what has been presented so far, Tamino has not proven his claim that I had cherry picked the start year of 2003, basically because it wasn’t the ideal year to start a trend (one that contradicts the models) when I had first started presenting those OHC model-data comparisons.

Note: Another of the basic intents of presenting the data with the start year of 2003 is to show how flat the data has been since then. I’m not sure why that’s so difficult to grasp. There was a significant rise in Global OHC from 2001 to 2003, Figure 4, and since then, the OHC data has been reasonably flat, far short of the linear trend projected by GISS. And as illustrated in the Update And Changes To NODC Ocean Heat Content Dataand the “ARGO-era post”, the flattening is primarily the result of the significant decreases in North Atlantic and South Pacific OHC.

Figure 4

Using 2003 as a start year for my “ARGO-era post” also allowed that post to remain consistent with past OHC posts at my blog and with posts by Roger Pielke, Sr.

ROGER PIELKE, SR’s LITMUS TEST FOR GLOBAL WARMING

Since 2007, Roger Pielke Sr. has been recommending that OHC be used as A Litmus Test For Global Warming – A Much Overdue Requirementand recommending that OHC model projections be compared to OHC observations. In that 2007 post, he recommended that the comparison be communicated each year if not more often. He used 2003 as the start date for his “litmus test”. Roger Pielke Sr. discussed the subject again in his February 9, 2009 post Update On A Comparison Of Upper Ocean Heat Content Changes With The GISS Model Predictions. In it, he compared annual observation values to GISS projections, starting in 2003. Those projections were based on the response by James Hansen of GISS. Pielke Sr. concludes that post with:

While the time period for this descrepancy with the GISS model is relatively short, the question should be asked as to the number of years required to reject this model as having global warming predictive skill, if this large difference between the observations and the GISS model persists.

And through 2010, the “large difference between the observations and the GISS model” has persisted. To avoid the controversy in the future, maybe I simply need to add a note to the graph, one that reads to the effect of “If ARGO-Era OHC Observations Continue To Run Far Below Model Projections, How Many Years Are Needed To Reject The Models?”

Since no one else was illustrating the difference between OHC observations and the GISS model projections on a regular basis, I began including the graph in many of my OHC posts. I believe my October 16, 2009 post NODC Ocean Heat Content (0-700 Meters) Versus GISS Projections (Corrected) was my first OHC post to include it. Shortly after that, I went into great detail to illustrate and discuss Why OHC Observations (0-700m) Are Diverging From GISS Projections.

I ACTUALLY LOWERED THE GISS PROJECTION RECENTLY

In the “ARGO-era post”, I lowered the GISS projection from 0.98*10^22 Joules per year (which was based on Pielke Sr’s discussion of the Hansen response) to 0.7*10^22 Joules per year, so that the projections would fall in line with the recent RealClimate model-data comparisons. I wrote:

In past posts, when I’ve compared the NODC Global Ocean Heat Content to GISS projections, I’ve used the rate of 0.98*10^22 Joules per year for the GISS projection. This value was based on Roger Pielke Sr’s February 2009 post Update On A Comparison Of Upper Ocean Heat Content Changes With The GISS Model Predictions. The recent RealClimate posts Updates to model-data comparisons and 2010 updates to model-data comparisons have presented the projections based on Gavin Schmidt extending a linear trend of the GISS Model-ER simulations past 2003. The linear trends in both graphs are approximately 0.7*10^22 Joules per year. I’ll use this value in the comparison, but first a few more notes.

I used the 0.7*10^22 Joules per year trend again in my “First-Quarter 2011 Update” post (that’s the one that initiated the Tamino response), but I’m having second thoughts now. The difference between the RealClimate value and the “Hansen response/Pielke post” value of 0.98*10^22 Joules per year is curious, and will be the subject of a future post.

TAMINO FORGETS THE BASICS

In his post, Tamino writes:

Now let’s look at the misrepresentation — specifically a blatant falsification of what the GISS prediction is. I don’t know exactly what the GISS model prediction for OHCA is, neither does Tisdale, he just “eyeballed” it from the RealClimate graph…

Eyeballed? Reading a graph is a simple task one learns in grammar school. In my “ARGO-era post” I provided links to the RealClimate posts that compared model projections to observations. Here they are again: Updates to model-data comparisons and 2010 updates to model-data comparisons. They were the basis for the model projections I’ve used. Tamino also included the OHC comparison graph from the 2010 RealClimate update in his post and characterized it as, “an honestcomparison of these observations with prediction…” In Figure 5, I’ve thrown a few notes on the 2010 RealClimate graph to remind those who have forgotten how to read a graph. I hope I don’t have to provide a more detailed discussion than what’s shown on Figure 5. The result, as shown, is the linear extrapolation of the climate model ensemble mean has a trend of approximately 0.7*10^22 Joules per year.

Figure 5

THE CLAIMED MISREPRESENTATION

I stopped the Tamino quote above in mid-paragraph. Here it is in its entirety:

Now let’s look at the misrepresentation — specifically a blatant falsification of what the GISS prediction is. I don’t know exactly what the GISS model prediction for OHCA is, neither does Tisdale, he just “eyeballed” it from the RealClimate graph. But let’s look at what the prediction would be for a simple linear extrapolation. The RealClimate trend line starts about 1993, so let’s take the data from 1993 through 2002 and fit a straight line, then extend that line as a prediction through 2010. We’ll call it “prediction by extrapolation.” It guarantees that our prediction line will have the correct slope and intercept to match a true continuation of the trend. And it gives this:

If you weren’t paying attention, you may not have noticed what Tamino just did. Tamino switched from a discussion of the GISS model prediction to a discussion of the linear trend line of the OHC “data from 1993 through 2002”. I presented the Model Projection (prediction) in my post, and Tamino presented the linear trend of the OHC data(current version) in his. They are not the same.

Tamino’s first trend graph sparked my curiosity about a few things. The linear trend of the OHC data (current version) for the period Tamino elected to show (1993-2002) is about 0.58*10^22 Joules per year, which is below the model prediction of 0.7*10^22 Joules per year. Refer to Figure 6. And for comparison purposes, I’ve also included the data for an older version of the Levitus et al OHC data. The older data is still available through the NODC website at their Heat content 2004webpage. Not surprisingly (since the models would have been initially compared to earlier versions of the OHC data and tuned accordingly), the linear trend of the older OHC data (approximately 0.67*10^22 Joules per year) runs closer to the model prediction.

Figure 6

So far, I have not misrepresented the linear trend of the GISS model projection/prediction in any way. I also have not misrepresented the Levitus et al OHC data. Tamino’s claim of misrepresentation must come from something else. Maybe it’s the appearance of the graph?

WHERE THE MODEL PROJECTION INTERSECTS WITH THE OHC DATA

In his final three paragraphs, Tamino writes:

But Tisdale didn’t do that. He chose a slope to match his “eyeball” estimate of the trend line in the RealClimate graph, but chose the interceptto match 2003. He even states “Note that I’ve shifted the data down so that it starts at zero in 2003.” Let’s call that the “Tisdale method” and compare it to the honest method when extrapolating the trend line:

Sorry, Bob. When you try to match a line’s slope, but then shift that line upward, choosing the intercept deliberately to make the prediction look as bad as possible, that’s dishonest.

It’s also one of the most common tricks that many denialists have used to “hide the incline.” That, and cherry-picking, just might be their favorites.

I’ve included Tamino’s graph that includes the “Tisdale method” as Figure 7.

Figure 7

Apparently, Tamino believes that a comparison of the GISS model projection that intersects the OHC data midway between 2003 and 2010 would better represent the comparison. Refer to Figure 8. The linear trend of the model projection is still about 14 times higher than the linear trend of the ARGO-era (2003-2010) OHC observations.

Figure 8

Let’s take a look at a visual comparison of the graph Tamino finds offensive (Figure 2) and a graph that Tamino might not find offensive (Figure 10). Animation 1 is a .gif animation that shows the comparison graphs of the GISS Model Projection versus ARGO-era OHC Observations:

1. with the Ocean Heat Content Data and GISS Model Projection zeroed at 2003, and

2. with the GISS Model Projection Intersecting With The Data Midway Between 2003 and 2010

Animation 1

Both show that the GISS Model Projection is about 14 times higher than the NODC Global Ocean Heat Content Data.

THE “FIT” OF THE MODEL WITH OBSERVATIONS, OF COURSE, DEPENDS ON THE REV. LEVEL OF THE DATA AND ON THE BASE YEARS

This is a discussion of the model projection/prediction, not the linear trend of the data from 1993 to 2002 that was used by Tamino.

Figure 9 is the comparison of the 2009 version of the NODC OHC data and the GISS Model–ER from the RealClimate post Updates to model-data comparisons, Gavin Schmidt of GISS notes the following about the base years he used for the model data:

Note, that I’m not quite sure how this comparison should be baselined. The models are simply the difference from the control, while the observations are ‘as is’ from NOAA.

He further explains his baseline for the model data in his reply to blogger Chad. Refer to comment 188 and the reply at 29 Dec 2009 at 10:19 PM. With respect to OHC, his reply reads:

…for ocean heat content it is more important and I plotted the drift corrected values in the second figure. You still need to baseline things (as I did in figure 1, following IPCC), but I’m still not sure what the OHC data are anomalies with regard to, and so I haven’t done any more processing for that. As it stands the spread in the OHC numbers is related to absolute differences in total heat content over the 20th C – if you just wanted the change in heat content since the 1960s or something, the figure would be a little different.

In other words, the base years for the GISS model in Figure 9 were established by a complicated method. And if you were to read the Levituset al (2009), you’d discover that Gavin Schmidt is correct, determining what they had used for a climatology in that version was confusing. Note also that the presentation of the data in Figure 9 runs from 1955, the start of the NODC OHC dataset. The climate model is identified as the coupled GISS Model ER, with the “R” standing for Russell ocean.

Figure 9

In October 2010, the NODC revised and corrected its Ocean Heat Content data. As mentioned earlier, I discussed those changes in the post Update And Changes To NODC Ocean Heat Content Data. In addition to the changes to the ARGO-era data shown in Figure 3, the revisions and corrections lowered the overall global OHC trend by approximately 9%. That was a sizeable decrease, with most of it occurring in the Southern Hemisphere. If you were to compare the NODC OHC data in both of the RealClimate model-data updates, Figures 9 and 10, you’d notice they’re different (because of the corrections to the data between the two RealClimate posts).

Figure 10 is a similar comparison from the 2010 updates to model-data comparisons post at RealClimate. For it, Gavin Schmidt writes:

I am baselining all curves to the period 1975-1989, and using the 1993-2003 period to match the observational data sources a little more consistently.

You’ll note that the model ensemble members are more closely grouped in this presentation. In other words, the span of the ensemble members during the period of 1975-1989 is much smaller in the 2010 update than it was in the 2009 update. RealClimate has also excluded the data before 1970 in the 2010 update. It’s a cleaner presentation, even with addition of the Lyman et al (2010) data.

Figure 10

So far RealClimate has presented the OHC data and model outputs two ways, using different base years. Recall that between those two RealClimate posts, the NODC revised and corrected its OHC data. Now note where the linear extrapolations from the model means intersect the data in both RealClimate graphs. In Figure 9, it’s much closer to 2010 than in Figure 10. That should be due primarily to the significant revisions and corrections to the observations.

Figure 11 is yet another GISS model-data comparison. It is from a 2008 presentation by Gavin Schmidt of GISS. The graph can be found on page 8 of the .pdf file GISS ModelE: MAP Objectives and Results. I provided a link to this presentation in the “ARGO-era post,” for “those who might be concerned that extending the linear trend does not represent the actual model simulations.” One difference with this graph is the addition of the coupled GISS Model-EH, where “H” represents the HYCOM ocean model. The NODC OHC data has the hump from the 1970s to the 1980s, and based on the timing of this presentation, it should be the NODC OHC data based on Levitus et al 2005, linked earlier. That dataset ended in 2003, so Gavin Schmidt has tacked on a few more years of data. Notice the dashed lines from 2003 to 2004. A significant difference with this graph is the units. All of the data in this post so far has been presented in terms of 10^22 Joules. The units in Figure 11 are watt-years per square meter.

I’ve highlighted the 2003 OHC observation and the base years of 1955 to 1970. Why did Gavin Schmidt use 1955 to 1970? Using those base years for the models and the data allowed him to show that the two models “bracketed” the observations. Refer to his note at the bottom of the slide. But for the graph in Figure 10, he was “baselining all curves to the period 1975-1989, and using the 1993-2003 period to match the observational data sources a little more consistently.” So it’s apparently acceptable practice by climate scientists to adjust the data as one sees fit to present the effect one wishes to illustrate. It could be to bracket the observations or to “match” the observations.

Figure 11

In my simple model-data graphs, I elected to show the model projection intersecting at the beginning of the ARGO-era data instead of intersecting with it elsewhere. It was my choice. But let’s consider something else.

Notice also how the ensemble mean for the GISS Model-ER data LEADS the observations at 2003 in Figure 11. As noted earlier, the older version of the NODC Global OHC data (0-700meters) on an annual basis is still available through their website (older ), and, of course, so is the current version (current). We can change the base years of both versions to 1955-1970, the same base years used by Gavin Schmidt in his presentation and then plot both datasets. Refer to Figure 12. With those base years, would the GISS Model-ER data have intersected with the current version of the NODC OHC data during 2003 to 2010? No. In 2003, the older version of the OHC data lags the model data and the current version of the data lags the older version.

Figure 12

What can we conclude from this part of the discussion? The point at which the GISS model mean or its linear extrapolation intersects with the global OHC data depends on the version of the data and on the base years selected by those presenting the data, which depends on what the presenter wants to show. It also illustrates that my starting the GISS Model data at 2003 does not misrepresent the GISS projection.

Some readers might describe Tamino’s post as smoke and mirrors.

SPEAKING OF SMOKE AND MiRRORS

A last minute addition to the post: I just discovered Tamino’s follow-up post Five Years.

Tamino writes:

In fact I have a prediction: that Bob Tisdale will deny he meant what he meant with his deceptive graph tricks, instead he’ll plead that he was just talking about the “trend” since 2003. Yeah … since 2003.

It’s all smoke and mirrors.

No. I haven’t lost sight of the fact that the graphs that Tamino finds so offensive show the observations have been relatively flat since 2003, a period I have described as the ARGO era. And since the model projection does not flatten, the observations are diverging from the GISS Model Projection. We can illustrate this another way. We can subtract the observations from the Model projections, Figure 13. Because the observations are so flat during that period, we can show that the difference between the model projections and observations are growing almost as fast as the model projections.

Figure 13

Tamino then discusses why he is smoothing the datasets with 5-year time spans. Later, in his reply to a blogger’s comment at May 10, 2011 at 5:16 am, Tamino describes how he’s smoothed the data:

[T]he data points are successive non-overlapping 5-year means — about as simple as it gets. The smoothed curves are a lowess smooth of the original data.

Tamino also throws in another remark that refers to Anthony Watts and me while he’s discussing his Ocean Heat Content graph:

Let Bob Tisdale and Anthony Watts focus on too-too-short time scales — when you look at the big picture, again the trend is clear. Upward.

For those who are trying to figure out what Tamino has done to the data in those graphs, let me explain it in more detail. With the Ocean Heat Content anomalies, he’s averaged the data from 1955 to 1959 and shown it as a 1957 data point. The next data point is five years later, 1962, and it represents the average of the OHC data from 1960 to 1964, and so on. And between the 5-year data points, there are straight lines. I’ve reproduced Tamino’s 5-year span filter in Figure 14, and added the original OHC data. I’ve also highlighted the years with the data points. As noted on the graph, Tamino’s method samples 5-year averages on 5-year intervals. But don’t the 5-year averages of the years between those 5-year intervals have any significance? Why not sample those as well? Why not utilize a more commonly used smoothing method: a 5-year running-mean (running-average) filter? Tamino has used running-mean filters in earlier posts. GISS uses a 5-year running-mean in their presentation of annual data on their Graphs webpage.

Figure 14

Why didn’t Tamino present the data smoothed with the more commonly used 5-year running-average filter? Because the data that’s been smoothed with a 5-year running-average filter, as shown in Figure 15, flattens in recent years.

Figure 15

The Ocean Heat Content data is not a noisy as the other datasets Tamino presented in that post, so he probably could have used a 3-year running-mean filter, Figure 16. But that would have extended the relatively flat period back to 2003.

Figure 16

Tamino’s graphs show what he wants to show. My graphs show what I want to show. As Richard M wrote in his May 10, 2011 at 4:06 pmcomment on the WUWT thread, “Looks to me like this debate is much ado about nothing. Both views are reasonable approaches. Neither one is clearly right or wrong, they are just different ways of looking at the data.” As far as I’m concerned, that comment is applicable to Tamino’s “Five years post”, too.

A TOPIC FOR A FUTURE POST

I had wanted to discuss the difference between the two GISS projections. For the last two OHC posts, I have used the projection trend that’s illustrated in the RealClimate model-data posts of 0.7*10^22 Joules per year. Before that I had used the trend of 0.98*10^22 Joules per year from the Hansen response and Pielke Sr. post. But this post is much too long to start a new discussion, so I’ll save it for a future post.

I will, however, show both model-projection trends in a final model-data comparison graph, Figure 17. Note the question I’ve added to it. It implies that I understand the period is too short to disprove the climate models, but it also reinforces that observations are rising at a rate that is significantly less than model projections during the ARGO era.

Figure 17

CLOSING NOTE

I abstained from responding to the unwarranted comments from Tamino’s disciples on the The GISS divergence problem: Ocean Heat Content thread at WUWT. I felt it was more important to document and illustrate where Tamino’s critique failed. But many persons did take the time to reply to Tamino’s followers, so to them, I’d like to say thanks.

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134 thoughts on “Technical paper training for “Hansen’s Bulldog”

  1. Me thinketh you complaineth too much

    REPLY: Me thinketh you didn’t bother to read or comprehend – Anthony

  2. “Hansen’s Bulldog,” eh. More like lapdog, always yapping at shadows, falling leaves, and things it thinks it saw.

  3. Why are GISS “scientists” still employed at taxpayers’ expense? At minimum, they should all be sent to remedial statistics courses (if their college “educations” ever provided statistics courses to begin with). Maybe we could send them all on a one way Arctic expedition with no back-up helicopters to bail out their silly asses.

    Like the “soup nazi” in Seinfeld, we should all stand up as taxpayers and say, “No computer for you—Goodbye!”

  4. I believe rushmike rushed thru the Bobs post and didnot bother to actuslly learn something.

  5. “let’s take the data from 1993 through 2002 ”

    Which data? The observational data, or the model data? Suggest you look at figure 10 more carefully.

    And really what is the point of getting excited over the trend of a few year’s data in a noisy dataset. Would anybody claim that 1996-2001 (fig 4) was not part of a rising trend?

  6. Without explaining why 2003 is the start year, it does look opportunistic.

    Considering that the ocean is effectively the planet’s only thermal mass, it is odd that climate scientist bother to talk about anything other than ocean heat content.

  7. I hate to burst Tamino’s bubble but the bulldog of Darwin’s day is NOTHING at all like today’s English bulldogs. The modern EB has the highest incidence of hip dysplasia of all breeds along with breathing problems, cherry eye and a whole host of other conditions. It’s a walking physical and genetic disaster. Not unlike AGW.

  8. I tend to agree with rushmike — what about the real underlying and worrying message! Go beyond the short term variability which can’t be shown definitively to be natural or forced, and one is left with the long term upward trend. For me, that’s what I take away from all these words.

  9. @fredb

    In 8 years we’ve had no significant increase in OHC or even global atmospheric temperatures. Perhaps this suggests we’ve reached a thermal maximum. Things are not just going to increase at the same rate constantly, and that’s the problem people are forgetting: basic chemistry and physics. The past trend line eventually becomes irrelevant in predicting the future as the rate of change itself changes. Calculating changes in the rate of change is what calculus was invented to do, so this is a common theme for all areas of life, why would it not be for global temperatures and energy budgets?

  10. It may be too early to assert that the flattening off will become a prolonged downturn but it is clear that a divergence from alarmist projections is developing.

  11. Bob, that’s a rather lengthy read. But fairly easy and presented in a nice manner. While I certainly understand the desire to defend your writings and respond to attacks on your character, some times its more expedient to simply consider the source. Tamino or Foster, whatever, can describe himself however he wishes. Most people active in the climate discussion are familiar with him and his attack tactics.

    The fact is, while they can scream “cherry picking” all they wish, reality isn’t agreeing with the prophets of doom. We know it and they know it.

    Good job on the response, but it was probably more effort than I would have afforded Grant. This reminds me of advice freely given on many blogs. Don’t feed the trolls.

    James

  12. “— what about the real underlying and worrying message! Go beyond the short term variability which can’t be shown definitively to be natural or forced, and one is left with the long term upward trend. For me, that’s what I take away from all these words.”

    I, on the other hand, genuinely worry about a cool phase for the next 30 years which could wipe out one half of the USA corn crop. Now THAT is worrysome. I’ll take another 1 1/2 C warming over 100 years any day over cold.

  13. To respond to Tamino without blowing one’s stack is more than I could do! Well done. I’m not wondering why the refernce to “Hansen’s Bulldog” was deleted elsewhere…perhaps the emabrrassment and the timing (again).

  14. “Hansen’s bulldog” – kind of cherrypicking again? What about the context?

    REPLY: Well I linked to his full post on the matter and his adoption of the name what further context could possible be needed? I’d like some context on why he chose to delete the post quietly. If he’s so sure of his moniker, why the subterfuge? – Anthony

  15. Bob says: “For those who are trying to figure out what Tamino has done to the data in those graphs, let me explain it in more detail.”

    Being the cynic, I’ll guess he tried 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7 and decided that 5 was best at showing what he wanted to show. Perhaps he uses Huff’s “How to Lie with Statistics” as a How-To manual rather than a cautionary tale.

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

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

    rushmike says:
    May 13, 2011 at 8:36 am
    Me thinketh you complaineth too much

    ‘Me thinketh Tamino complaineth too much’

    There, fixed. Glad to help. You’re welcome.

  16. Go Bob! this is the Kung Fu Master of Graphs vs. the master sculptor of fresh cow pies…

  17. fredb says:
    May 13, 2011 at 9:17 am

    The whole point of the analysis is really to diss the model rising rate predictions. Clearly, (at least to anyone with a modicum of common sense) – if there is no statistically significant increasing global temp anomaly for 15 years (as per Mr Jones!) and no increasing OHC for say 8 years (as per Bobs graphs) – how does this imply a continuous upward trend??
    Taking them as two separate metrics, neither are showing an annual increase in temps anything like the so called predictions! I am fairly sure that CO2 has been still rising over the last 10/15 years – so how does that fit in with the basic AGW theory? Obviously it doesn’t – hence the models/predictions must be wrong! And as far as I can see, the basic point is that if the rate predictions are suddenly to be ‘proved’ correct (meaning, watch the dat folks!) – there needs to be a fecking awful lot of sudden heat into the ocean!

    So, instead of saying – ‘Hey guys, the model prediction is too high/wrong/whatever’ – the doomsayers will massage data/methods and spin to create the illusion that the OBSERVATIONS are wrong!
    Is that Good science??

  18. Thank you Mr. Tisdale. But I can’t help feeling like you are Moses standing in front of Pharaoh. Moses presented all these supernatural proofs but Pharaoh refused to pay attention. You are using facts and logic, but, like Pharaoh, no amount of facts or logic will convince these people. Their political ambitions and easy money will not allow them to reason. You can, however, win over people who aren’t on the take with facts and logic. It will only be when the firstborn of every one dies, in this instance when there is no longer a political future or easy money to be had, will these people see reason. But by then it is too late for them.

  19. fredb,

    “Go beyond the short term variability which can’t be shown definitively to be natural or forced, and one is left with the long term upward trend”

    Technically, the 1955 to present data currently looks like three trends. A flat sinusoidal trend for 1955-1983, a nearly linear up trend for 1983-2003, and a flat linear trend for 2003-present. It looks a lot like a solar cycle response.

  20. “Ged says:
    May 13, 2011 at 9:30 am

    @fredb

    In 8 years we’ve had no significant increase in OHC or even global atmospheric temperatures. Perhaps this suggests we’ve reached a thermal maximum. Things are not just going to increase at the same rate constantly, and that’s the problem people are forgetting: basic chemistry and physics. The past trend line eventually becomes irrelevant in predicting the future as the rate of change itself changes. Calculating changes in the rate of change is what calculus was invented to do, so this is a common theme for all areas of life, why would it not be for global temperatures and energy budgets?”
    Well that is exactly the problem or issue. Are we at a turning point and future global temperatures and ocean heat content will stabilise and then go down or is it just a pause before we see further increases? Sea levels are also declining just now. What does that mean and herald? A pause or a significant sign of declining heat content? That is where the energy and money in climate science should be focused (without bias).

  21. Take a look at figure 8.

    I think, the main difference between tamino and Tisdale is that Tamino knows what’s a trend.

  22. I hate to side with Tamino/Foster, Hansen or Schmidt, but on the recent Tisdale OHC post in which discussions are held concerning the divergence between prediction and observations since 2003, I have to reiterate my points made on the initial post: the crucial graphs of ARGO data have a start-point error (2003) and a simple model vs complex real-world data error, i.e. apples and oranges (okay, Macintosh vs Delicious).

    The +/- variability pre-2003 show that, if the 2003-2011 data is viewed as part of the historical pattern, that an extrapolation of the prior trend with 2003-2011 ABOVE the longterm trend lets model fit the data “well enough”.

    Regardless of which side of the debate we’re on, there is considerable up/down variation, not really noise, but something – perhaps a reflection of cloud cover variation. We have to look beyond that, especially when we are debating a theory that has a fundamental quasi-linear rise in it (CO2). It is the CO2-based smooth rise we’re looking for. And right now a non-fulminating view can put that in this data.

    Sorry. The 6000 word rebuttal IS a fulmination. If the point is that observation is not seeing a linear rise since the ARGO data is used, then that is simple and valid. One might wonder why there is a step-change just as the ARGO data came in. Is it possible that the earliest ARGO data shows a warm bias (like Hansen’s later urban records) that has disappeared with time and more well distributed data?

    The Tamino dispute is a soap-opera that the warmist must love. The skeptic side doesn’t need to encourage him. And zero-pointing 2003 for the IPCC extrapolation IS cherry-picking, if what we’re looking for is confirmation or denial of the IPCC claims.

    Only one needs to have a high-blood pressure. Let Tamino/Foster blow a gasket.

  23. The problem with concentrating on long term trends is that the further back in time you go, the less confidence we have regarding the quality of the data. I’m not talking centuries here, I’m talking decades, and in some cases years.

  24. I noted some of this on another blog. In particular the quick divergence off the model data onto actual data derived from a third source, and his ‘eye ball” reading of the graphed data, which reading was exactly opposite of what an ‘eye ball” estimate of the values would indicate to a normal person.
    Lastly, all old data on OHC is suspect, and all but the satellite data appears to be much too frequently adjusted to be trusted. This is an area wide open to abuse as verification or duplication of data is extremely difficult. And I have yet to be convinced there are bands of hottish water at 700 meters and other bizarre storage theories.

  25. Bob, thanks for the detailed rebuttal. The Tamino crowd weren’t able to see his shift in comparative subjects, and the reason for starting with the better Argo data is no different from starting with the better satellite data.

    The political funny season is upon us, and similar failures at communications and understanding are going to be commonplace. Sad really.

  26. fredb says:
    May 13, 2011 at 9:17 am

    I tend to agree with rushmike — what about the real underlying and worrying message! Go beyond the short term variability which can’t be shown definitively to be natural or forced, and one is left with the long term upward trend. For me, that’s what I take away from all these words.

    Are you deliberately missing the point, or just slow? And how exactly does what you said relate to the statement that you “tend to agree with rushmike?” Or should that be taken as just an isolated general statement?

  27. It’s still laughable that Tamino argues that a wisp of wind barely a mile in appreciable thickness can hold and transfer more heat to the miles of much denser liquid ocean below it than a nuclear furnace 1 AU away or the volcanic cycles beneath it.

    That’s essentially what he’s arguing for. He’s arguing that greenhouse gases will warm the oceans more than sunlight or deep-sea vulcanism, and we’re all just stupid politically motivated activists hiding the presumed-to-exist incline to deceive people from believing his house of cards is really a solid bridge.

    It’s hilarious. It’s also scary. Tamino is showing real signs of reality disconnect at this point.

  28. fredb says:
    May 13, 2011 at 9:17 am

    I tend to agree with rushmike — what about the real underlying and worrying message! Go beyond the short term variability which can’t be shown definitively to be natural or forced, and one is left with the long term upward trend. For me, that’s what I take away from all these words.

    Are you deliberately missing the point, or just slow? And how exactly does what you said relate to the statement that you “tend to agree with rushmike?” Or should that be taken as just an isolated general statement?

  29. Temperatures and OHC are not increasing, that’s definite. Temps may be higher than past years but the increase has now stopped for some time (15 years?). That’s the point. That’s even with La Nina’s, El Nino’s, and solar changes, basically flat. Same is happening with Sea levels. This “rate” of non-change will correlate with declining interest in AGW, as is currently happening and shown by all world surveys concerning the subject. I think even Lucia might be realizing this….

  30. @Steven Mosher

    I didn’t find his post complicated at all, rather straight forward and plain; just gotta concentrate and not lose focus. Because, long, that’s for sure, and regrettably necessary.

  31. I don’t understand why people continue to listen to anything Tamino says. It is undeniably clear that time after time he simply does not know what he is talking about.

  32. From 1955 to 2010 the change in ocean heat content change (for the surface – 700 meter depth layer) was about 13 gazillion (13 * 1E+22) joules – see

    http://www.drroyspencer.com/

    Dr Spencer also shows that the change in OHC is accounted for by a flow of energy of just 0.2 watts / m^2 into the ocean, over this 55 period.

    Average world energy consumption in 20008 is estimated at 15 terawatts (15 * 1E+9 watts) – see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_energy_consumption

    The 55 year period amounted to approximately 1.74 * 1E+9 seconds, so the change in OHC represents 7.5 * 1E+13 watts. This is almost 500 times average world energy consumption.

    If the figures above are right, just an extra 0.2 watts / m^2 energy flowing into the oceans, as over the last 55 years, represents approximately 500 times total world energy consumption, taken at 2008 levels. And total Solar Irradiance is approximately 1,364 watts / m^2 which has varied by at least +/- 4 watts during the last 2,500 years – see

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/05/10/new-solar-reconstruction-paper-suggests-6x-tsi-change-than-cited-by-the-ipcc/

    The total energy produced by all of humankind is at least 2 orders of magnitude less than the effect of a modest 0.2 watts / m^2 of absorbed energy globally – a figure considerably less than variations which have occurred naturally over the last 2,500 years. Isn’t it rather presumptuous to think that humankind can have any measurable impact on global climate, or that variations in climate can be caused by anything other the nearby star which our planet orbits?

  33. icecover says:
    May 13, 2011 at 10:16 am

    totally agree! Various government scientists and science ‘advisors’ must be biting their nails to the quick worrying when they will get something to show their ‘predictions’ (upon which so many billions have been spent) will be ‘validated’……
    Obviously, we’ve had the last couple of years of despising the ‘banks’ – imagine the outpouring of anger to climate ”science” when the doomsayers are finally shown to be erroneous?

  34. I am surprised at Tamino’s protests since Trenberth frankly admited last year that OHC was much lower than projected. See his journal article, “Tracking Earth’s Energy” (Science, 16 April 2010–available as PDF on UCAR website) which was also discussed on WUWT.

    This simplified graph, from Trenberth’s paper, says it all. He may attribute the flaw to “missing heat.” But that is only a supposition:

  35. Anthony, the point is, that bobs case could be made better over 3 posts. I’ve found that on the internet my attention span differs GREATLY from the attention span I have when I have paper in my hand. weird. I even found that with the kindle. Dont know why that is, just reporting an observation.

  36. Oddly as a non-scientist I did not find this complicated! My observations, including a review of what RealClimate say, is that there is an increasing divergence between models and data/evidence across the piece (except CO2 levels I think). If 2003 is a bad starting point all that proves is that the level of uncertainty in the data is yet again greater than anticipated. So uncertainty is higher than anticipated, while the data for all its weaknesses suggest that the risks (impact x probability) of catastrophe, or something similar, are lower than anticipated. So policy makers (and advisers like me on energy issues) should no longer assume that there is as much certainty as they did – say, in proposing yet more wind inefficient and uneconomic wind farms. Indeed the reverse applies – say, lets go for shale gas for now.

  37. Ged.

    “Tamino failed to prove the start year of 2003 was cherry picked to provide the lowest trend. I first started posting those model-data comparison graphs with the earlier version of the OHC data. With that earlier version, 2003 did not provide the lowest trend, as it does now. So my first uses of 2003 as the start year for those graphs were not dependant on 2003 being the year that provided the lowest trend. NODC corrected and revised their OHC data in October 2010. Since that NODC update, 2003 has produced a low trend. On one hand, Tamino may not have known about the NODC’s October 2010 changes to the OHC data, but he should read a post in its entirety before accusing someone of using data manipulation tricks. In the more recent of my posts that Tamino had referred to, I had noted that there had been recent changes to the data and I provided links to the source and to my past posts that discussed those changes. So, on the other hand, Tamino also may actually have known about those changes to the NODC OHC data and ignored their impacts.

    Tamino failed in that effort also because he chose not to believe what I had written, which was that I had used the start year of 2003 since that was the year ARGO observations became the dominant source of OHC data observations. I had other reasons that had gone unwritten in my two recent posts. One was obvious: the data has been flat since 2003. That fact is tough to miss. The other may not have been obvious: the continued use of 2003 allowed the start date to remain consistent with the same model-data comparison graphs in earlier posts at my blog and consistent with discussions at Roger PIelke Sr.’s website.

    What I’m suggesting is that there is enough meat here to do a concise rebuttal, for starters. That way discussion would focus on the cherry picking charge. which was Tamino’s weakest link.

  38. Bob, what does Gavin mean (in the portion I have bolded) when, in the blog post at RC describing , he states

    To include the data from the Lyman et al (2010) paper, I am baselining all curves to the period 1975-1989, and using the 1993-2003 period to match the observational data sources a little more consistently.

    If I read that correctly, it implies that serious alignment has been done of the model output to the data over that interval. If that is the case, then a comparison of the divergence between the two starting with 2003 would make statistical sense and not be a cherry picked date.

  39. Alexander

    You are aware that the only trend in figure 8 is the one represented by figure 13? In other words the models are wrong and with each passing year that becomes more obvious.

  40. If 2003 (or worse 2004) is a cherry-picked date then Trenberth and Fasullo, the authors of ‘Tracking earths energy: From El Nino to global warming’ [2010] should be in for a beating.
    To be honest anyone who starts pointing out the truth is going to get it in the neck – I bet he has even had a go at Hansen for his ‘earths energy imbalance’ paper.

  41. I think the real question that has not been answered is that presented at the bottom of Figure 17, “If ARGO-Era OHC Observations Continue to Run Far Below Model Projections, How Many Years are Needed to Reject The Models”.
    The statements by warmists that eight years are insufficient are interesting given the constant drum beat of urgent action needed globally to curb CO2 emissions and the setting of 350 ppm as the global goal. Maybe CO2 is not the primary driver of warming since 1979 as predicted. Why else would missing energy be the travesty proclaimed by Mr. Trenberth in October 2009? jheath is correct in his post at 11:18AM. No rational person would impose CO2 reduction schemes today and any political party in the US that would suggest such would be a laughing stock.

  42. When zooming out to see 1,000’s of years of data, as should be done to see trends such as those of the GISP2 ice core temperatures, what slope should the linear trend line be for a data set of 10 or 55 years?

    Answer: Any slope will due and is totally irrelevant.

  43. Actually, rather than Foster’s tendentious stupidities, for me the most interesting part of the Tamino Link that Bob gives

    http://tamino.wordpress.com/2011/05/09/favorite-denier-tricks-or-how-to-hide-the-incline/

    is the little WUWT / CA trolls’ love in that can be found in comments starting from TheFordPrefect’s comment at 6:25pm.

    Interesting how they are weeping on each others’ shoulders about how nasty Anthony bans them.

    If that was the case I would have to ask how come their nincompoop troll comments keep on reappearing?

    As TheFordPrefect says:-
    “Me too!. But banning does not mean you have to stop posting! so many email addresses! so many proxies! So many pseudonyms! but watch your ip address:”

    http://climateandstuff.blogspot.com/search/label/censorship

    Well, I never would have guessed…..

  44. Your killing me with data. I went to the other site, and little data and little explanation.

    Good job

  45. steven mosher says: “Anthony, the point is, that bobs case could be made better over 3 posts.”

    Multiple part posts also have their drawbacks, especially when, months from now, people are reasearching a topic. I feel it’s better to have all the info under one post. A reader can find the correct post a do a quick search for a word or phrase.

  46. I looked at the tamino post in his sight. Where in the world is that guy heading to.

    I thought we are throwing all those taxpayer moola at NASA-GISS to come up with a scientific explanation of what is happening AND FORECAST what we can expect in the future.
    That being the case, why is anyone interested in a 10 year linear fit, which can be done by any ninth grader? That will cost me a graph sheet, a 50 cent ruler, a NO.2 Pencil and a ninth grader at minimum wage. Why do we need Hansen and all those fancy shmancy compoooters in NYC?

  47. For a science that is settled , the lack of an explaination as to why the actual rate of change of heat content of the ocean and long established predictions are so different is a travesty.

  48. RomanM says: “Bob, what does Gavin mean (in the portion I have bolded)…”

    I read it the same way that you had, that he was attempting to “align” the data during that period. It makes for a clean presentation. Looks good.

  49. As it is technically impossible to make this contribution to the tips page I crave your indulgence for having the temerity to post this off topic information.
    Tonight the BBC put out part one of a two parter telling the story of a proposal for a nine turbine windfarm in the Den Brook valley in Devon, U.K.
    The story starts in 2005 as planning permission is sought and documents the tussle between the windfarm company with it’s beneficiary the landowner, and the local people who were objectors.
    Local and County councils found against the proposal but were overuled by the planning inspectorate that was subsequently appointed by the national government who were fed up with the little people getting in the way of their grand design.
    However the little people fought back and it seems that the railroaded go ahead is being appealed in the High Court at this moment.
    The objectors’ website is here http://www.denbrookvalley.co.uk/2.html and I thought Anthony might make an interesting post out of this – if not Mods please delete this intrusion.

  50. “Go beyond the short term variability which can’t be shown definitively to be natural or forced,…. “

    Here is the problem with that criticism…. Long term trends are affected by the short term ones. The longer this trend continues, the more it effects the reliability of the projections, as there will have to be a sharp increase in temp rise to counter the stall we are currently seeing.

  51. What this lengthy rebuttal still doesn’t do is explain why we should only look at the data from Jan. 2003 and after. A few thoughts:
    1) Why shouldn’t we look at the pre-2003 data? Is there an explanation you can point to (one backed up by solid analysis) that explains why the data prior to 2003 is garbage?
    2) Even in what you are calling the “ARGO era”, the data comes from a mix of ARGO floats and other sources. If data from sources other than ARGO floats is no good, then why do you believe any of the data has any validity? All of the data is “polluted” with data from non-ARGO sources.
    3) If the measured data trend is something like +10*10^22 J change in OHC anomaly over the last 20 years or so, and the “predicted” trend +12*10^22 J, doesn’t that seem like the measurements are tracking the prediction?
    4) Can we draw any kind of conclusion about a “levelling off” from looking at a 5 or 7 year time period?

  52. Neither you nor Tamino tell me what I want to know: Trends with uncertainty. Sure, trends derived from short time periods can be misleading, but the solution to that problem is to use Excel to find both the slope and the uncertainty in that slope and be honest enough to report both. (In this case, yearly averaging will artificially increase the uncertainty in the slope.) If the variability in recent data seems unrealistically low, one might also analyze earlier periods for variability.

    Uncertainty in the trend from model projections is a trickier subject. If you have N years of Argo observations, it makes sense to look all of the possible blocks of model projections N years long projected using current conditions and find their mean and standard deviation.

    The final step is to calculate the statistical probability that the difference in the model and observed trends could be zero. (Then you don’t need to worry about the intercept.)

    Where is your proof that the “Argo era” began in 2003. How has the fraction of data from Argo used in compilations changed with time? What does Argo-only data tell us? When did we reliability of data from Argo surpass older technologies (which we know have been subject to much reprocessing)?

  53. Typo in the overview:

    Readers can then continue to read the rest if they chose

    Should read choose

    -Scott

  54. steven mosher says:
    May 13, 2011 at 11:16 am

    Anthony, the point is, that bobs case could be made better over 3 posts. I’ve found that on the internet my attention span differs GREATLY from the attention span I have when I have paper in my hand. weird. I even found that with the kindle. Dont know why that is, just reporting an observation.

    In general, I agree that for reasons I can’t quite comprehend, my attention span is much shorter for electronic reading than paper reading.

    That said, I found Bob’s post here quite engaging. His initial summary lacked the punch his full post had. Once I read and grasped what he was stating, I was astounded by what appears to be duplicity on Grant’s part.

    Great post Bob, and thanks for this information.

  55. Bob Tisdale makes this qualification:

    “This is a long post, almost 6,000 words. So I’ve included a summary at the beginning of this post, immediately after the introduction. Readers can then continue to read the rest if they chose.”….
    ==========
    So, why are people complaining about the length of the post ??
    No one is forcing you to read it.

  56. I managed to read all the way through. It was very helpful to have the summary at the beginning of the post as a guide through the more detailed points that followed.

  57. Many thanks for the SUMMARY.
    Hope you have started a very useful trend on WUWT.

  58. I have never understood the outcry against cherry picking evidence when raised against arguments which are put forward with a view to disprove a theory. Cherry picked data in support of a theory lends no worthwhile support to a theory (at best it is merely consistent with the theory and thus inconclusive). However, most scientific theories that have been disproved have been disporved by examining cherry picked data or cherry picked scenarios etc in which the theory breaks down and fails to explain the cherry picked observation. If the theory is sound, it will be able to explain the cherry picked data or cherry picked scenario. If it is unable to do so, there is a potential problem, very possibly fatal, with the theory.

  59. I would like to thank Tamino for doing a lame job of questioning the work of random Skeptics and strengthening their work in return.

    You are truly an asset to the Skeptic community.

  60. Bob

    I empathise with the desire to rebut what Tamino said…and you make a good case…BUT

    From my own experience with measuring things, the Argo data is certainly giving us some interesting results. Especially now that the data set could be considered to be consistent and a lot more extensive.

    Tamino and RC have a point though in that the variations in OHC could be taken to vary around a linear trend. However their insistence on this is not justified. I think they run with the idea beyond its usefulness.

    Equally saying that the trend over the last 8 years is more of less flat is also a bit of a stretch. The same argument could be made between 1975 and 1985.

    All we can say at the moment is that we now have a more consistent OHC data set. Or maybe I’m wrong and this needs to be checked as well? Certainly in terms of coverage and measuring capability the Argo buoys are an order of magnitude better than before (if not more)…

    I think being conservative and noting that it’s really interesting how the Argo data shows OHC in what could be a flat trend or just a cycle variation is all that needs to be said.

    Let the theoreticians and statisticians weave their magic spells…

  61. It is truly ironic that Grant Foster has spent much of his career trying to Foster Grants from his government in the name of AGW.

  62. Top climate scientist to visit NZ
    DAVID WILLIAMS Last updated 10:57 14/03/2011SharePrint Text Size 5 commentsRelevant offersOne of the world’s top climate scientists, American Dr James Hansen, will visit New Zealand for the first time in May.

    Hansen, who is an adjunct professor at Colombia University’s Earth Institute and director of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York, was invited to New Zealand by a coalition of individuals and organisations, including 350.org, Greenpeace and Oxfam.

    Coalition spokeswoman Jeanette Fitzsimons, a former Green Party MP, told The Press Hansen’s 10-day tour from May 11 will involve meetings across the country. His detailed schedule will be released closer to the time.

    Organisers were unsure if earthquake-ravaged Christchurch would be on his itinerary.

    “I think Dr Hansen’s visit will provoke a debate in New Zealand about how we can play our part in global efforts to prevent the worst of climate change,” Fitzsimons said.

    She said the talks will highlight the future of coal, which will be crucial for this country considering the huge plans for lignite production in Southland.

    Hansen is probably best known for testifying about global warming to the United States congress in 1988, one of the first times a scientist stated publicly that the earth’s atmosphere was warming and humans were to blame, with potentially devastating results.

    His New Zealand talks will focus on what Hansen calls a “scientific, moral and legal issue”.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/4766099/Top-climate-scientist-to-visit-NZ

  63. Scott Covert says: “I would like to thank Tamino…”

    In one draft of this post I had included the following:

    I would like to thank Tamino for attempting to criticize my comparison graphs of Ocean Heat Content models and data since 2003. Tamino’s error-filled post allowed me to discuss and illustrate the divergence between the GISS models and NODC OHC observations many more times and in different ways.

  64. Who gives a damn if it’s warming or cooling. Where’s the evidence that man is causing it ?

  65. Peter says:
    [snip]…3) If the measured data trend is something like +10*10^22 J change in OHC anomaly over the last 20 years or so, and the “predicted” trend +12*10^22 J, doesn’t that seem like the measurements are tracking the prediction?…[snip]

    Check the slopes again. It’s more like +10*10^22 J and +0.10*10^22 J; a factor of 10X not 0.20X.

  66. “GISS April, 2011 found a very hot spot over Paraguay, which satellites didn’t show.The UAH (and RSS) maps didn’t find this hot spot.Nor did weather underground. GISS reported 28.6C in Concepcion, Paraguay for April, while weather underground reported 25C. Looks like GISS reported about half of South America too high.

    Richard Muller at Berkeley recently reported that GISS temperature numbers are golden. ”

    http://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/2011/05/13/giss-vs-satellites-in-paraguay/

    we remember

    GISS: Warmest March ever in Finland

    http://climateaudit.org/2010/04/15/giss-warmest-march-ever-in-finland/

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/04/17/giss-metar-dial-m-for-missing-minus-signs-its-worse-than-we-thought/

    Ocean or Land We all know GISS is a big ……………………….

  67. I kind of have to agree that there may not be a real big difference between the two graphs. What I really take away from this is the FACT that the GISS model is soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo wrong !!!!

    And “them” suggesting that Mr. Tisdale was cherry picking, takes a lot of *alls

  68. Frank: Regarding your requests for the addition of uncertainties to my posts: All of my posts and analyses are presented for readers with not-too-technical backgrounds, at least that’s my intent. Anyone wanting to extend any analysis further is welcome to do so.

  69. The big spike in the OHC numbers between 2001 and 2003 is just not believable.

    There was no big rise in ocean SSTs or sea level etc. that would justify the big jump. This is solely based on Lyman and Levitus bringing in a new algorithm for adjusting the (pre-Argo) XBT sensors.

    In fact, it is so obviously a catch-up adjustment that no one has ever said “look the ocean heat content is rising faster than predicted between 2001 and 2003.” Noone.

    If that were not the case, we would not have both Hansen and Trenberth talking about the “missing energy” or the fact that the “oceans are not mixing (warming) as fast as predicted”.

    The accurate data starts in 2003 (or earlier if someone would just publish the pre-2003 Argo-only data).

    Bob’s comparison is THE accurate/most-appropriate one. And “accuracy” counts in this business. If you think otherwise, then you should stick to the political arena.

  70. Dr A Burns says:
    May 13, 2011 at 3:34 pm

    Funnily enough, Sir – that is precisely the point of most of the skepticism! The BS surrounding this trend and that trend and all of the associated prognostications by the warmistas does not, has not, and (currently) is unlikely to show us the confirmation of the supposed theory i.e. that AGW/CO2 is responsible for climate change…
    Either side can promote or decry the data because there simply is not enough of it. Even if the data is taken at face value, it still proves feck all, because the natural ‘noise’ is so great and the time period is totally insufficent to identify a realistic ‘anthropogenic ‘signal’. At least, thats my view – and, taking it one stage further – since there is neither reasonably complete proof, nor disproof, the warmist bandwagon will roll on for a while yet…..

    Personally, I like to use the ‘balance of probabilities’ basis – which in terms of ‘proving’ a reaonable basis for AGW means that:
    1) the models are right at least 51% of the time, especially in hindcast (which they don’t seem to be)
    2) the observations confirm the models’ predictions 51% of the time (which they don’t seem to)
    3) the predictions and their ACCURACY ‘levels’ should be increasing (which clearly they aren’t!)
    4) natural variability can be ‘accounted’ for at least 51% of the time (which it seemingly cannot be)

    Ergo – on the REAL and MEASURABLE balance of probablilities – we do NOT understand the required 50+% or more of the climate effects and its causes and therefore any policy decision(s) based on current knowledge would be flawed/fatal/stupid/irresponsible*, etc, etc. (Note * = delete any which is or is not applicable!)

  71. I have looked and all I find is anomalies. It’s like chasing snipes.

    What is the value of an official absolute mean global temperature as of today so I can calculate energy flows? The fourth power calculations require it. Anyone know? Anyone?

    How about an official absolute mean global temperature at a specific date sometime in the near past? Anyone?

    No? How about an exact baseline temperature value on a graph-by-graph basis that all of these global temperature anomalies rest on? Does anyone know?

    Also, since NODC Ocean Heat Content is an anomaly against a base, how much energy is in the top 700 meters that they calculate the anomalies on? Bob? Does any person even know?

    Also, the error bar width on each of those two figures would help them become realistic.

  72. Bassed on tamino’s reasoning, no global warming has occurred in the last 30 years because of the overwhelming downward trend over the last 4000 years!

  73. wayne says: “What is the value of an official absolute mean global temperature as of today so I can calculate energy flows? The fourth power calculations require it. Anyone know? Anyone?”

    The following Sea Surface Temperature datasets are presented in absolute form:
    – ERSST.v3b
    – HADISST
    -Reynolds OI.v2

    There is one Land Surface Temperature dataset in absolute form:
    – CPC GHCN/CAMS t2m analysis

    All are available through the KNMI Climate Explorer:

    http://climexp.knmi.nl/selectfield_obs.cgi?someone@somewhere

    Happy calculating

  74. Bob Tisdale says:
    May 13, 2011 at 5:46 pm

    wayne says: “What is the value of an official absolute mean global temperature as of today so I can calculate energy flows? The fourth power calculations require it. Anyone know? Anyone?”

    The following Sea Surface Temperature datasets are presented in absolute form:
    – ERSST.v3b
    – HADISST
    -Reynolds OI.v2

    There is one Land Surface Temperature dataset in absolute form:
    – CPC GHCN/CAMS t2m analysis

    All are available through the KNMI Climate Explorer:

    http://climexp.knmi.nl/selectfield_obs.cgi?someone@somewhere

    Happy calculating

    ——

    Thanks Bob, I already had those links, I didn’t think you knew those two numbers. I didn’t ask for the millions of numbers that those two numbers, with enough time and analysing the rules in the pdf papers of how they are extracted, I was simply asking if anyone knew those two numbers that all of this rests on. That simple, two numbers.

  75. Hello Bob

    When you have an opportunity would you mind reviewing the new draft WUWT Oceanic Oscillation Reference Page (Password is WUWT);

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/reference-pages/oceanic-oscillation/

    and Atmospheric Oscillation Reference Page (Password is WUWT);

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/reference-pages/atmospheric-oscillation/

    for content, coherence, title accuracy, etc?

    In terms of Tamino, I tried to engage him in conversation last year and found it to be fruitless. He snipped a list of links to sea ice data sources I posted;

    http://tamino.wordpress.com/2010/10/15/go-ice-go-going-going-gone/#comment-44877

    and this exchange is indicative of what you are up against:

    http://tamino.wordpress.com/2010/10/15/go-ice-go-going-going-gone/#comment-45030

    I think Tamino is a lost cause, Anthony probably put his finger on the root cause here:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/10/15/my-answer-to-taminos-question/#comment-509288

  76. The trouble with regression analysis is that the longer the period examined the less a few years will effect it. OHC has been increasing since the little ice age three hundred years ago. Therefore to properly analyze short term increases or decreases in OHC we must detrend this increase. No attempt has been made by Tamino etal to do this. If they did the flat lining of OHC from 2003 as determined from ARGO would look like a decline. If they did detrend the modern data then the increase from 1980 to 2003 attributed by Hansen to .6 watts /sq meter forcing by GHG would be obviously much less. If the decrease in OHC from 2003 is due to natural forcing bucking the three hundred year trend then that forcing needs to be explained and accounted for.

  77. D.J. Hawkins-
    I said look at the 20-year trend of the actual data, not the 6- or 7-year trend. Order of magnitude, the change from 1990 to 2010 is something like 10*10^22 J. That seems rather consistent with the prediction. (Or, to be precise, the “extrapolation”.)

    I am naturally skeptic, but it is hard for me to see what there is to be skeptical about here. The longer-term trend certainly seems like an upward one to me. It would be one thing if the data showed an extended downward spike in temperatures. But instead the argument seems to be that OHC has levelled off, if we ignore any data from before 2003. And I don’t see any convincing reason to ignore the data that doesn’t fit the story we want to hear.

    I think what Bill Illis says is a pretty concise summary of the argument here: that the data prior to 2003 is just “not believable” and we should only look at the “accurate” data, which starts in 2003. That is not a convincing argument. We have more than 50 years of data here. The good people who assembled this data seem to believe is reliable enough to present in peer-reviewed research. So far I have not heard a single thoughtful argument as to why that data is no good, only things like its “not believable” or that some nefarious adjustment was made to the older data to make it untrustworthy.

  78. To further elaborate on my last post. Lets say that the three hundred year natural forcing is .2 w/sq meter and GHG is .6 watts/sq meter. Then since 2003 the natural forcing must be -.8 watts/sq meter to maintain flat OHC. Mr Tamino what is causing this? Is it internal or external? We know that you only credit the sun less than .1 watts/sq meter forcing. PlEASE EXPLAIN.

  79. Trust me this is the last post. As a geophysicist (Penn State) who has studied AGW and feels that I must be open minded to our possible influence on the world’s climate, Mr Tamino please convince me of your position. The beauty of this site WUWT is that I believe that every person can embrace scientific knowledge and that it is not in the hands of the elite. I believe that somebody who was not particulary interested in science in college, for example maybe majored in English, instead could have been a much better scientist than myself. The academic world is today compartmentalized with indivudauls developing tunnel vision about their own expertise.My hat is off to all the participants on this site. President Eisenhower was exactly right about warning us about a scientifc elite corrupting our government.

  80. well, a long post, however, I had carefully read the author’s previous post and I must say at this point i am surprised ! here’s why :

    in retrospect, i agree that long complete posts should make ingestion more difficult for me, however i have found both posts to remarkably remain at a consistent simplistic depth so as to make them ( both posts ) fairly easy for me to work thru.

    for me, the thing i am missing is an understanding of pre ARGO methods to obtain and chart ocean heat – must investigate this. i was so intrigued by the author’s first post, that i rushed out into the internet world and soon had the ARGO atlas enviorn on my IBM laptop. the folks at the university are quite willing to assist with email queries and i have already learned more about lat and long than a person should probably know. the windows interface has some quirks that resulted me in composing a small text help file to remember how to correctly use it. sadly, my laptop lacks sufficient memory to construct graphs of data over time for the entire ocean coverage, when going to max depth ( another quirk, i have learned the hard way ).

    anyway, i would encourage all to read the article again, perhaps a quick scan, things really do pop out on the second pass. given the coverage and number of buoys avail since 2003, it is logical to use this as a starting point. for me, trust is greater in ARGO data and satellite data than other methodologies.

    thanks for your follow up – must say, i never visit the church of co2 is bad web sites, simply don’t want to give them any traffic.

  81. There seems to be a larg(er) number of trolls who have, perhaps, followed Forster’s post to here. What is clear in all of the posts is that they have NOT read either of Bob’s articles fully or with open mind and clear understanding. Bob explains very precisely why he chose 2003 and why he did things the way he has.
    Trolls, please try hard to engage brain before turning on PC.

  82. Just The Facts: Oops. Let’s start again:

    On your Oceanic Oscillation page, the first graph of the AMO is actually North Atlantic SST (not anomalies) since 1979. While it’s nice as a reference, it’s not the AMO. The AMO as defined by the ESRL webpage is detrended North Atlantic SST anomalies.

    The same comment applies to your second AMO graph. It’s a longer-term North Atlantic SST (not anomalies) graph. The third graph is a short-term SST anomalies, but the data has not been detrended for the AMO. And your fourth graph is South Atlantic data which isn’t applicable. There is actually no AMO data shown under the heading of AMO.

    On the Atmospheric Oscillation page, why not have the global atmospheric pressure animation…

    …under a separate heading? It really doesn’t belong under NAO.

    Again, thanks for the resources. These two pages will be very helpful.

  83. richcar 1225 says:
    May 13, 2011 at 11:09 pm

    Nice post; but is this how geophysicists spell individuals? “indivudauls
    I can’t even pronounce it!
    ;)

  84. stephen richards says: “There seems to be a larg(er) number of trolls who have, perhaps, followed Forster’s post to here…”

    I believe there were more at the original post from last weekend:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/05/08/the-new-giss-divergence-problem-ocean-heat-content/

    And a few are persisting at the cross post of this one at my blog:

    http://bobtisdale.wordpress.com/2011/05/13/on-taminos-post-favorite-denier-tricks-or-how-to-hide-the-incline/

  85. Dr A Burns says:
    May 13, 2011 at 3:34 pm
    Who gives a damn if it’s warming or cooling. Where’s the evidence that man is causing it ?
    ——————————————————————–
    I don’t care if it’s getting hotter because of us.(although, I hate the cold)

    Where’s the catastrophe?

  86. Bob Tisdale says: May 14, 2011 at 1:16 am

    Just The Facts: Oops. Let’s start again:

    The beauty of having experts readily available for input… :)

    On your Oceanic Oscillation page, the first graph of the AMO is actually North Atlantic SST (not anomalies) since 1979. While it’s nice as a reference, it’s not the AMO. The AMO as defined by the ESRL webpage is detrended North Atlantic SST anomalies.

    The same comment applies to your second AMO graph. It’s a longer-term North Atlantic SST (not anomalies) graph.

    These first two graphs are from http://www.climate4you.com Oceans page, which is maintained by Ole Humlum, a Professor from the University of Oslo Department of Geosciences:

    http://www.mn.uio.no/geo/english/people/aca/geogr/olehum/index.html

    On his site Ole explains his rationale for not detrending as follows:

    In the diagrams below only originally (raw) AMO values is shown. As is seen from the annual diagram, the AMO index has been increasing since the beginning of the record in 1856, although with a clear about 60 yr long variation superimposed. Often AMO values are shown linearly detrended to remove the overall increase since 1856, to emphasise the apparent rhythmic 60 yr variation. This detrending is usually intended to remove the alleged influence of greenhouse gas-induced global warming from the analysis, believed to cause the overall increase. However, as is seen in the diagram below, the overall increase has taken place since at least 1856, long before the alleged strong influence of increasing atmospheric CO2 began around 1975 (IPCC 2007). Therefore the overall increase is likely to have another explanation; it may simply represent a natural recovery since the end of the previous cold period (the Little Ice Age). If so, the general AMO increase since 1856 may well represent part of a longer natural variation, to long to be fully represented by the AMO data series since 1856.

    For the above reasons, only the original (not detrended) AMO values are shown in the two diagrams below:

    Do you disagree with Ole’s rationale for not detrending?

    The third graph is a short-term SST anomalies, but the data has not been detrended for the AMO.

    Can you please explain the rationale for detrending?

    And your fourth graph is South Atlantic data which isn’t applicable. There is actually no AMO data shown under the heading of AMO.

    I knew the last one was a stretch. There seems to be a dearth of regularly updated graphs on the AMO available online, e.g. I checked all the usual suspects NOAA, NASA, your site, digital diatribes, etc. and couldn’t find anything current, i.e.:

    Do you know of any other regularly updated AMO graphs? Would you be open to creating and maintaining a few on your site, possibly including both raw and detrended for comparison’s sake?

    On the Atmospheric Oscillation page, why not have the global atmospheric pressure animation…

    …under a separate heading? It really doesn’t belong under NAO.

    Yep, done. Thank you

  87. The AGW’s tune their model to the wrong segment of past observations. They should find a La Nina period with a simultaneous rising GISS temperature trend for their CO2 tuning fork, then when El Nino cycles back on, their model will match the observations and they can banner their prediction.

    That…is…if…they…can…find…rising…temps…coupled with a cold ocean.

  88. Peter says:
    May 13, 2011 at 9:41 pm
    D.J. Hawkins-
    I said look at the 20-year trend of the actual data, not the 6- or 7-year trend. Order of magnitude, the change from 1990 to 2010 is something like 10*10^22 J. That seems rather consistent with the prediction. (Or, to be precise, the “extrapolation”.)

    I am naturally skeptic, but it is hard for me to see what there is to be skeptical about here. The longer-term trend certainly seems like an upward one to me. It would be one thing if the data showed an extended downward spike in temperatures. But instead the argument seems to be that OHC has levelled off, if we ignore any data from before 2003. And I don’t see any convincing reason to ignore the data that doesn’t fit the story we want to hear.

    I think what Bill Illis says is a pretty concise summary of the argument here: that the data prior to 2003 is just “not believable” and we should only look at the “accurate” data, which starts in 2003. That is not a convincing argument. We have more than 50 years of data here. The good people who assembled this data seem to believe is reliable enough to present in peer-reviewed research. So far I have not heard a single thoughtful argument as to why that data is no good, only things like its “not believable” or that some nefarious adjustment was made to the older data to make it untrustworthy.

    I’ll grant you that a look at the last 20 years is closer to your point. And what “thoughtful argument” caused you to pick 20 years? But I think you miss the mark regarding the potential data break at 2003. If you look at the run-up in the OHC from ~2000 to 2003 as the ARGO network ramps up, you see an interesting parallel. And there appears to be no other record period with similar slope. That is certainly reason to pause and consider whether a change in methodology has yielded a change in the data. My view is I’d like to see an in-depth article on the evolution of measuring the OHC. Maybe we’d all learn something useful.

  89. Tough for these Real Climate types to deal with facts. Much better to simply remain disciples to their faith and use ad hominem. The true believers they cater to, will continue to believe, and those who have open minds will come over to WUWT. That’s why WUWT’s traffic continues to rise, and RC’s continues to fall. Empirical data. That’s a tough pill for the RC crowd to swallow.

  90. I don’t agree this sudden jump between 2000 and 2003 is not supported because the SST’s from Hadley for example also show a similar sudden rise. The rise in sea levels may not show much difference because this jump in rise may actually also make little difference to sea level trends. Most of this global rise is just reflected only in the northern hemisphere (NH). The reason why I see below as probably the main source.

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadsst2gl/from:2000/to:2003/normalise/plot/hadsst2nh/from:2000/to:2003/normalise

    I would had thought that this could be explained by the strong previous El Nino during 1997/98. Taking a number of years for all this surface and hidden energy (down to 400m deep) to eventually reach the Arctic ocean, raising expected NH SST’s during this process.

  91. Peter says: “But instead the argument seems to be that OHC has levelled off, if we ignore any data from before 2003. And I don’t see any convincing reason to ignore the data that doesn’t fit the story we want to hear. ”

    I don’t ignore the data before 2003. Every quarter I present updates of the NODC for every ocean basin. Those graphs run from 1955 to the end of the data. Here’s a link to the latest:

    http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2011/03/october-to-december-2010-nodc-ocean.html

    I’ll be posting another in a few weeks, just as soon as KNMI updates the NODC OHC data at its Climate Explorer website.

    This year I also prepared a post that looked only at ARGO-era data, primarily because I wanted to show the .gif animations I had created. (The resolution of the data and hense the animations is best during the ARGO era.) They appear at the end of the post :

    http://bobtisdale.wordpress.com/2011/03/25/argo-era-nodc-ocean-heat-content-data-0-700-meters-through-december-2010/

    Not knowing the history of the graph or why it appears in my posts, Tamino put up a big stink about the post-2003 graph and I responded to it.

    As I noted in the post, this was much ado about nothing.

    But I will be writing a post about why the flattening of the global data since 2003 is important.

    Regards

  92. If the tide is coming in, would you argue “no it isn’t” every time a wave reaches less far up the beach than the previous one? No, you would look at the trend. Even two or three waves have not getting any higher up the beach is probably still not enough to prove the tide is turning. Eventually, enough waves not getting any higher means the tide has stopped coming in. How many waves you have to look at depends on the variability of the waves.

    Bob is arguing that the period since 2003 is enough to conclude (or at least hypothesise) that the climate tide has stopped rising. Tamino is arguing that it is not. Given that there is variability, e.g. ENSO, AMO, that act on the scale of years to decades, Tamino at least has a point.

    And what are we using as a tide table? That would be the models! But to prove the models wrong, you have to look at a long enough period to iron out the variability. Is 8 years enough? That is what this argument is about.

  93. Oops!

    Even two or three waves have not getting any higher up the beach is probably still not enough to prove the tide is turning.

  94. “If you weren’t paying attention, you may not have noticed what Tamino just did. Tamino switched from a discussion of the GISS model prediction to a discussion of the linear trend line of the OHC “data from 1993 through 2002”. I presented the Model Projection (prediction) in my post, and Tamino presented the linear trend of the OHC data(current version) in his. They are not the same.”

    Not quite! Notice that “OHC” is outside the quotes. Tamino clearly extrapolated the prediction, not the observations. His accusation is that Bob kept the slope of the extrapolation but shifted the whole line up the Y axis to make it look bad. Take a look at Tamino’s actual posting and you will see what I mean.

  95. John Ballam says: “Not quite! Notice that ‘OHC’ is outside the quotes.”

    Are you discussing what I wrote? I was discussing what Tamino wrote, which was:
    “Now let’s look at the misrepresentation — specifically a blatant falsification of what the GISS prediction is. I don’t know exactly what the GISS model prediction for OHCA is, neither does Tisdale, he just “eyeballed” it from the RealClimate graph. But let’s look at what the prediction would be for a simple linear extrapolation. The RealClimate trend line starts about 1993, so let’s take the data from 1993 through 2002 and fit a straight line, then extend that line as a prediction through 2010.”

    I was discussing the last sentence above, where he switched from the “RealClimate trend line starts about 1993″ to “data from 1993 to present”.

  96. John Ballam says: “Bob is arguing that the period since 2003 is enough to conclude (or at least hypothesise) that the climate tide has stopped rising. Tamino is arguing that it is not. Given that there is variability, e.g. ENSO, AMO, that act on the scale of years to decades, Tamino at least has a point.”

    If memory serves me well, one of the Levitus et al papers noted that the North Atlantic was responsible for about 30% of the rise in global OHC. The North Atlantic OHC clearly peaked about 2005 and has been dropping significantly since then.

    And if, as you’ve noted, the AMO plays a part in the OHC of the North Atlantic, will the North Atlantic OHC continue to drop until its long-term trend falls back into line with global long-term trend? Much of the present flattening of Global OHC results from that drop in the North Atlantic OHC, so if it were to continue to decline for a multidecadal period, it would not help the observations fall back into line with the models.

  97. Just The Facts says: “Do you disagree with Ole’s rationale for not detrending?”

    But most people would expect to see it detrended and you’ll have to explain why it’s not.

    You asked, “Can you please explain the rationale for detrending?”

    The basis for detrending was explained by Ole, that is, to remove the long-term global warming signal and to make the multidecadal variations easier to see. If you were to start with the ESRL description of the AMO which is detrended then note that Ole suggests that it shouldn’t be detrended, then you won’t be confusing the readers.

    You asked, “Do you know of any other regularly updated AMO graphs?”

    Unfortunately, no.

  98. For those interested, blogger kdkd performed an analysis of the annual global OHC data for the period of 2003-2010 and his conclusion was, “The regression model for 2003-2010 is not statistically significant, whichmeans that looking at this data in isolation is not justifiable.”

    Refer to the comment at my cross post here and the discussion that followed:

    http://bobtisdale.wordpress.com/2011/05/13/on-taminos-post-favorite-denier-tricks-or-how-to-hide-the-incline/#comment-1819

  99. @Bob

    You wrote: “For those interested, blogger kdkd performed an analysis of the annual global OHC data for the period of 2003-2010 and his conclusion was, “The regression model for 2003-2010 is not statistically significant, which means that looking at this data in isolation is not justifiable.””

    Exactly! The period is too short to be statistically significant, so is therefore also too short to make the conclusion about the GISS prediction being off by a country mile. If in another 10 years, or so, the Atlantic has not warmed you would have a point, but an 8-year (or is it only 7-year) period compared to a y-shifted prediction means very little.

  100. John Ballam says:
    May 15, 2011 at 9:43 am

    A 7 or 8 year period may be too short to make conclusions, but remember this length of period started this debate in the first place during the 1980’s. If a mechanism can be explained with a shorter period like 7 or 8 years, then it is not a too short period.

  101. Bob Tisdale says: May 15, 2011 at 7:51 am

    But most people would expect to see it detrended and you’ll have to explain why it’s not.

    I’ve added a note to the title each of the climate4you.com AMO graphs indicating that they are not detrended, but am concerned this may be confusing to readers since we don’t currently offer any detrended AMO charts for comparison. At this point I am inclined to launch the Atmospheric Oscillations page and shelve the Oceanic Oscillations page until we can find some more AMO graphs to include.

  102. John Ballam says: “Exactly! The period is too short to be statistically significant, so is therefore also too short to make the conclusion about the GISS prediction being off by a country mile.”

    Hansen et al (draft) used running 6-year trends of Global OHC from 1980 to present in their presentation of “Ocean Heat Uptake”. Refer to Figure 13:

    http://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/mailings/2011/20110415_EnergyImbalancePaper.pdf

    And von Schuckmann and Le Traon (2011) presented a 5-year trend of global OHC in:

    http://www.ocean-sci-discuss.net/8/999/2011/osd-8-999-2011-print.pdf

  103. Hansen actually uses “running 5-year means”, but he runs them over a much longer period and that is the point – he doesn’t only look at a single 5-year period. he looks at 1980 to present.

    I can’t comment on the other paper (yet) as I have only had a quick look.

  104. John Ballam writes: “Hansen actually uses ‘running 5-year means’…

    I suspect that “5-year” is a typo on your part since Hansen et al write, “We emphasize the era of Argo data because of its potential for accurate analysis. For consistency with the von Schuckmann and Le Traon (2011) analysis we smooth other annual data with a 6-year moving linear trend.”

  105. Oops!

    John Ballam says: “Hansen actually uses ‘running 5-year means’, but he runs them over a much longer period and that is the point – he doesn’t only look at a single 5-year period. he looks at 1980 to present.”

    The point being, you’ve said that 8-year “period is too short to be statistically significant”, yet Hansen et al are using 6-year trends, implying that Hansen at al are representing that each of the running 6-year trends has significance.

  106. Bob,

    As I was reading along, I caught the following typo:

    DATASET INTRODUCTION

    This is the dataset introduction that appears in the most rent of the posts that Tamino referred to. It was the one cross posted at WUWT on Sunday, May 8, 2011.

    Should be “recent” instead of “rent”.

  107. The ARGO data set commences at 2003 and several people have commented on whether 8 years is – or is not – an acceptable period to assess a “trend”. This issue was debated towards the end of the previous thread which led to the above article: it is at

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/05/08/the-new-giss-divergence-problem-ocean-heat-content/

    The important point is that no period is sufficiently long to determine the length of such an acceptable period unless two factors are know; viz.
    (a) The form of the AGW ‘signal’ that it is hoped to detect (i.e. the GISS projection)
    And
    (b) The range and form(s) of the natural effects which are considered to be ‘noise’ which obscures that signal.

    But nobody knows the mechanisms that induce many of the observed changes to OHC. And the fact of this is clear from e.g. the recent discussion at

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/05/11/a-reader-question-on-ohc-discussion/

    Those mechanisms are reality, and it is important to note that this reality is not understood at present.

    Therefore, it is not possible to determine the range and form(s) of the natural effects (i.e. reality) which are considered to be ‘noise’ obscuring the signal.

    In the previous thread I summarised this problem as follows.
    1.
    OHC varies.
    2.
    We do not know the mechanisms of the major causes of the variations to OHC.
    3.
    It is not possible to determine the range of variations in OHC that those mechanisms provide in the absence of knowledge of those mechanisms.
    4.
    To date, the GISS projection of fails to match observations of change(s) to OHC provided by the ARGO data at all the available timescales.
    5.
    The GISS projection may (probably will not, but may) match observations at some future date. But (because of point 3) it will not be possible to determine that this match is or is not affected by AGW.
    6.
    At present, there are people asserting that the mis-match of the GISS projection with observation is “noise” but the assertion is nonsense; the mechanisms that determine OHC changes are reality and not “noise”.
    7.
    Science investigates reality.
    8.
    A pseudoscience attempts to prove that reality is what its believers want reality to be.

    Richard

  108. Richard S Courtney says:
    May 16, 2011 at 8:55 am

    Richard makes very valid points about the lack of certainty in time-frames for what constitutes an AGW signal. That does not address the concerns vis-a-vis this Tisdale/Tamino point of contention. Richard’s points, though made, do not lead to a conclusion or recommendation of the position an interpreter should come to. The interpretation of data is what counts, ultimately, not the data itself.

    The 2003-2011 period starts at a “high” of some decadal-long cycle. I can’t see anyone disputing that a cycle is visible beginning at the beginning of the ARGO data, just as there were up-down cycles before that. The step-jump when ARGO data began, and dominated the cycle, has made some commentators uneasy; the station-type change question is certainly valid on the face of it. However, regardless of the cause, there are cycles visible in the long-term record; when disputing Hansen/the IPCC we must make certain we do not fall into the Hansen trick of using a short-term trend to justify his agenda (rapid temperature, sea-level and OHC rises he and Schmidt and Trenberth have all found and used in the past using 3-year or less patterns).

    If the long-term OHC is considered even by eyeball, one could say that 2003-2006 were “above the trend”, and 2006-2010 were “below the trend” of an accelerating pattern from 1984. This is the IPCC case; the divergence is from model theory from a 1984 start-point (and allowing for wiggle-room) seems not to be in argument (though I’d like to know what it is). If we were to grant the warmists that they were on-trend to the year 2000, also allowing form some wiggling, what would the difference be now? On the low side, but still, though barely, within tolerance.

    With current trends, when does the divergence become on-the-street signifcant, and when does the mechanism for OHC break down? Hansen in a WUWT/Icecap reported non-peer-reviewed article is backing off from a hardpoint on current heat-flow understanding of the atmosphere and ocean depths. But he is not saying the fundamental math is wrong. It is necessary for us to know WHEN by current patterns this will occur. It is certainly not now.

    I keep bucking for 2015, as I see some others do. If, as the solar/cosmic ray/60-year cycle theories go, we enter a period in which global temperatures drop by 0.5C or more over the next decade, temperatures on land will drop by 1.0 – 2.0C, depending on distance from the equator. The sea-level will actually drop, not just stabilize/slow its rise as at present. Certain northern crops will have definite yield losses. Is another 4 years enough? CO2 keeps going up, the IPCC model keeps predicting higher and higher features.

    If 2000 is the new reference point, by 2015 we will be expecting, relative to that data, another 40 mm of sea-level, 30 ppmv of CO2, and > 0.3C of global temperature rise. Meaning >0.6C of land station temperature rise. The OHC will have to have risen by 10.5E22J. Right now the divergence is within the error bounds, though right at the edge. Will it be outside the error bounds in 2015, at least enough to cause the “C” to fall off the AGW train?

    AGW or CAGW will stick around as long as possible as it is based in social ideology, not science. At some point the problem will be restated as ANY contribution by man to temperature rises and ice-melt is unacceptable. But the urgency and heralding of disaster by 2100 (or even earlier) will be moved into the next century. Which means that nothing will be done, because then we are saying that “natural” cycles are at least as dominant as anthropogenic onces, and where lies our power to influence the world? Except by being nicer, which doesn’t cost very much.

    We need our own decadal-long predictions beside the warmists’ predictions since some acceptable start-date, even if 1988 is not acceptable to the warmists now. Then we’ll see when the “science” of CAGW falls flat. Then we can measure our progress towards a return to the Age of Reason.

  109. In a comment above (May 15, 2011 at 7:56 am) I noted that kdkd had performed an analysis of the OHC data since 2003. I asked Lucia (The Blackboard) to examine his analysis. She apparently disagrees with it:

    http://bobtisdale.wordpress.com/2011/05/13/on-taminos-post-favorite-denier-tricks-or-how-to-hide-the-incline/#comment-1836

    She’s also done an analysis of the data from 1993 to present at her blog.

    http://rankexploits.com/musings/2011/ocean-heat-content-kerfuffle/

  110. @Bob Tisdale.
    You learnt to read graphs at Grammar School? Me too.
    Your figure 5 correctly approximates the value of the linear extrapolation, but let me ask you what is the *value* of the forecast in the years 2005 and 2007? It looks pretty much equal to the NODC data, wouldn’t you say? And if you pull down the predicted trend line on your Figure 2 so that the predicted trend brushes through the 2005 and 2007 data points then what happens? All but 2009 and 2010 are above or close to that trend line. You have drawn the predicted trend from a data point that is already very much higher than predicted. That’s why Tamino has cried foul. And to answer your rhetorical question from Animation1, “Is it dishonest?” I wouldn’t like to say, but I don’t think it’s correct.

  111. The OHC is responding well to global cloud levels shown below. (satelite data originally from NASA)

    A decrease in 5 percent of global cloud levels until 2001 then little rise with stable levels since. (shown up to 2009)

    Atmospheric and ocean temperatures also respond the same way.

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/uah/from:1983/normalise/plot/uah/from:2002/trend/offset:-0.2/plot/rss/from:1983/normalise/plot/rss/from:2002/trend/offset:-0.2/plot/hadcrut3gl/from:1983/normalise/plot/hadcrut3gl/from:2002/trend/offset:-0.3/plot/hadsst2gl/from:1983/normalise

    Not suprising really since SWR controls the temperature of the oceans and a movement has resulted due to changing levels of clouds levels that cause increases in OHC, SST’s and global temperatures. Now over recent years cloud levels have become stable the OHC, SST’s and global atmospheric temperatures also follow suit. Could this be a coincidence? I really don’t think so because the energy involved in 5 percent reduced global cloud levels is higher than most of the energy changes since the 1850’s according to the IPCC.

    Since the 1850’s?

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3gl/normalise/plot/hadsst2gl/normalise/offset:-0.2

    The offset is just for easier on the eye comparison of global and atmospheric temperatures. Notice since the 1850’s there has actually only been a increase in temperatures of around 0.5c which may suprise some people. Yet the temperature increase since 1983 is around 0.4c which only occured while global cloud levels were decreasing by 5 percent.

  112. error – last paragraph should read ” easier on the eye comparison of global SST’s and —–etc”

  113. Doug Proctor:

    At May 16, 2011 at 10:06 am you comment on my post (at May 16, 2011 at 8:55 am) by saying;

    “Richard makes very valid points about the lack of certainty in time-frames for what constitutes an AGW signal. That does not address the concerns vis-a-vis this Tisdale/Tamino point of contention. Richard’s points, though made, do not lead to a conclusion or recommendation of the position an interpreter should come to. The interpretation of data is what counts, ultimately, not the data itself.”

    Sorry, but that is an error.

    My post said, and explained,

    “The ARGO data set commences at 2003 and several people have commented on whether 8 years is – or is not – an acceptable period to assess a “trend”.

    The important point is that no period is sufficiently long to determine the length of such an acceptable period unless two factors are know; viz.
    (a) The form of the AGW ‘signal’ that it is hoped to detect (i.e. the GISS projection)
    And
    (b) The range and form(s) of the natural effects which are considered to be ‘noise’ which obscures that signal.

    But nobody knows the mechanisms that induce many of the observed changes to OHC

    Those mechanisms are reality, and it is important to note that this reality is not understood at present.

    Therefore, it is not possible to determine the range and form(s) of the natural effects (i.e. reality) which are considered to be ‘noise’ obscuring the signal.”

    So, as my post said;

    “The GISS projection may (probably will not, but may) match observations at some future date. But (because of point 3) it will not be possible to determine that this match is or is not affected by AGW.”

    But foster (while sensibly hiding behind the alias of ‘Tamino’) pretends it is possible to assess whether the GISS projection is or is not being fulfilled whereas Tisdale merely compares the GISS projection and the ARGO data.

    Richard

  114. Steve Chapple:

    Your (and Foster’s) point at May 16, 2011 at 1:37 pm is plain wrong because the value is an anomaly.

    This was dealt with in the previous thread which led to this thread and is at

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/05/08/the-new-giss-divergence-problem-ocean-heat-content/

    See below.

    A falsehood is not converted to a truth by repetition.

    Richard

    Richard S Courtney says:
    May 10, 2011 at 7:18 am

    Slioch:

    At May 10, 2011 at 5:31 am you rightly say;

    “Really, this is just ridiculous.”

    Yes! Indeed, “ridiculous” is an understatement of your comments.

    Clearly, you do not know – or you are pretending to not know – what an anomaly is.

    An anomaly is an offset by an arbitrary value (usually in climate science the arbitrary value is a mean of 30 values) from an actual datum. It does not matter what the offset is so-long as all the values in a data set use the same offset. For example, the HadCRUT, GISS, etc. data sets of mean global temperature are all presented as anomalies, but they use different offsets because they use different 30-year periods to provide the mean which each subtracts from each datum to create their anomaly values.

    Change the offset and you change nothing because the offset is arbitrary.

    Indeed, the purpose of anomalies is to enable simple comparison of different data sets: the offset applied to one data set can be altered so the two can then be presented e.g. on the same graph. This is what Tisdale’s Figure 2 does: it is right and it is proper.

    Now, withdraw your false accusations saying;
    “That is false. It is not true. It is wrong. It is dishonest. It is a misrepresentation of the GISS graph.”

    In fact, it is true, it is not false, it is right, and it is completely honest. Your assertions that it is otherwise are despicable.

    Richard

  115. Steve Chapple: Regarding your May 16, 2011 at 1:37 pm comment, it is simply a rewording of the points Tamino attempted to make. I addressed those concerns in the post.

  116. @ Richard and Bob
    Alas! I am undone!
    You’re right, of course. Rereading Bob’s whole post a couple of times shows that the intercept of the predicted trend with the measured data is pretty flexible. I think applying that reasoning to Bob’s Figure 1 and redrawing the graph starting in the middle of 2005 would show meaningful results.
    Steve

  117. @ Bob Tisdale you say: “Five days have gone by since I published this post, and there is still a troll at the cross post on my blog.”

    What is a troll? Does this statement mean you are being cyberstalked? I am new to the internet, not trained in IT, work from a public library, and have no control over who monitors me . . . So please, edify my technological curiosity . . .

    ps . . . exactly what is a cross post?

  118. Laurie Bowen: I was using the term troll for someone who comments on a blog with the intent of arguing and/or preaching about their point of view regardless of whether it’s relevant to the topic of the post. In this instance, the troll’s purpose was to put my post in a bad light by using faulty statistical practices. Then, when those were shown to be incorrect by persons with strong backgrounds in statistics, the troll continued to argue for argument’s sake.

    With respect to cross post, the post that’s the topic of discussion on this thread was first published at my blog.

    http://bobtisdale.wordpress.com/2011/05/13/on-taminos-post-favorite-denier-tricks-or-how-to-hide-the-incline/

    I let Anthony Watts know about it. He felt it would be of interest to his large audience here at WUWT, so he’s duplicated it for them.

  119. Laurie Bowen: A correction: I wrote above that the troll was using faulty statistical practices. Actually, the statistics program she/he used was right, it was the troll’s interpretations of the results that were wrong.

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