Pielke Senior on NCDC’s recent “state of the climate” rehash

Continued Bias Reporting On The Climate System By Tom Karl and Peter Thorne

By Dr. Roger Pielke Sr.

Today, there were news articles concerning the state of the climate system; e.g. see  the Associated Press news release in the Washington Post

Climate change study: More than 300 months since the planets temperature was below average

The news article refers to the 2010 climate summary that will be published in a Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society article. The article will undoubtedly include informative information on the climate.

However, the news article itself erroneously reports on the actual state of the climate, as can easily be shown simply by extracting current analyses from the web.  Two of the prominent individuals quoted in the news report are Tom Karl and Peter Thorne. They make the following claims

“The indicators show unequivocally that the world continues to warm,” Thomas R. Karl, director of the National Climatic Data Center, said in releasing the annual State of the Climate report for 2010.”

“There is a clear and unmistakable signal from the top of the atmosphere to the depths of the oceans,” added Peter Thorne of the Cooperative Institute for Climate and Satellites, North Carolina State University.”

“Carbon dioxide increased by 2.60 parts per million in the atmosphere in 2010, which is more than the average annual increase seen from 1980-2010, Karl added. Carbon dioxide is the major greenhouse gas accumulating in the air that atmospheric scientists blame for warming the climate.”

Karl is correct on the increase in carbon dioxide, but, otherwise,  he and Peter Thorne are not honestly presenting  the actual state of the climate system.  They focus on the surface temperature data, which as, we have reported on in peer-reviewed papers, has major unresolved uncertainties and includes a systematic warm bias; e.g. see

Pielke Sr., R.A., C. Davey, D. Niyogi, S. Fall, J. Steinweg-Woods, K. Hubbard, X. Lin, M. Cai, Y.-K. Lim, H. Li, J. Nielsen-Gammon, K. Gallo, R. Hale, R. Mahmood, S. Foster, R.T. McNider, and P. Blanken, 2007: Unresolved issues with the assessment of multi-decadal global land surface temperature trends. J. Geophys. Res., 112, D24S08, doi:10.1029/2006JD008229.

Klotzbach, P.J., R.A. Pielke Sr., R.A. Pielke Jr., J.R. Christy, and R.T. McNider, 2009: An alternative explanation for differential temperature trends at the surface and in the lower troposphere. J. Geophys. Res., 114, D21102, doi:10.1029/2009JD011841.

The climate system has not warmed since about 2003 either in the upper ocean or in the lower troposphere as shown in the three figures below.

Tom Karl is wrong in his first quote  – The indicators DO NOT show unequivocally that the world continues to warm. This warming has stalled, at least for now, since about 2003. Peter Thorne is misrepresenting the actual data when he erroneously reports that (assuming he means ‘unequivocal warming’)  “There is a clear and unmistakable signal from the top of the atmosphere to the depths of the oceans”.

Global Ocean Heat Content 1955-present

Second, the lower troposphere (from both the RSS and UAH MSU data)  also do NOT SHOW unequivocally that the world continues to warm! Indeed, warming has also stalled since about 2002.

Channel TLT Trend Comparison

Figure caption: Global  average (70 south to 82.5 north) lower tropospheric temperatures (from RSS)

Figure caption: Global  average (70 south to 82.5 north) lower tropospheric temperatures (from UAH)

It should not be surprising that Tom Karl and Peter Thorne are not honestly reporting the actual state of the climate system, which involves a much more complex signal in response to human and natural climate forcings and feedbacks, than they report on; e.g. see

Christy, J.R., B. Herman, R. Pielke, Sr., P. Klotzbach, R.T. McNider, J.J. Hnilo, R.W. Spencer, T. Chase and D. Douglass, 2010: What do observational datasets say about modeled tropospheric temperature trends since 1979?  Remote Sensing, 2(9), 2148-2169.

Previous documentation of the biases and efforts to manage the information provided to policymakers by Tom Karl and Peter Thorne includes the following examples

Pielke Sr., Roger A., 2005: Public Comment on CCSP Report “Temperature Trends in the Lower Atmosphere: Steps for Understanding and Reconciling Differences“. 88 pp including appendices

The Selective Bias Of NOAA’s National Climate Data Center (NCDC) With Respect To The Analysis And Interpretation Of Multi-Decadal Land Surface Temperature Trends Under The Leadership Of Tom Karl and Tom Peterson

Erroneous Climate Science Statement By Tom Karl, Director Of The National Climate Data Center And President Of The American Meteorological Society

E-mail Documentation Of The Successful Attempt By Thomas Karl Director Of the U.S. National Climate Data Center To Suppress Biases and Uncertainties In the Assessment Of Surface Temperature Trends

Erroneous Statement By Peter A. Stott And Peter W. Thorne In Nature Titled “How Best To Log Local Temperatures?”

It is disappointing that the media do not properly question the claims made by Tom Karl and Peter Thorne. They are presenting a biased report on the actual state of the climate system.

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71 thoughts on “Pielke Senior on NCDC’s recent “state of the climate” rehash

  1. I only read the AP when I want to know what the Democrats’ talking points are on an issue. That happens almost never these days.

  2. The reporters are dumber than Carl and Thorne, which makes them incapable of perceiving their dishonesty.

  3. What trend?
    Looks to me like the LT- Lower Tropospheric Temperature Anomaly has jumped up 0.2-0.3 C and stayed there since 1998. Trends don’t make square-cornered turns or steps.
    What steps us must step down…eventually.

  4. Captain Renault: I’m shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here!
    [a croupier hands Renault a pile of money]
    Croupier: Your winnings, sir.
    Captain Renault: [sotto voce] Oh, thank you very much.
    [aloud]
    Captain Renault: Everybody out at once!

  5. the text does nothing but contradict the headline… i wonder if the reporter hurt himself doing that?

  6. Hello,
    Having direct links to the sources of your graphs would be most helpful. I have excluded the links for your last two graphs for your convenience. I could not find the source for the first graph.

  7. These people think that increasing carbon dioxide beyond our expectation means that global warming is worse than expected. These is no logic here.

  8. I agree with the comments but could we have some dates on the second graph please.

  9. I would request that people like Mkelley reconsiders his or her thinking. I am liberal enough, but I will have none of the climate change propaganda.

    I believe the boundaries between left and right are blurring on climate change. I live in San Francisco, and know many people who are turning skeptical.

    Besides, it is the job of all honest people to de-politicize the issue. As such, dialogue continues to top the agenda.

  10. “…Climate change study: More than 300 months since the planets temperature was below average…”

    Which comes back to one of the original arguments – who determines the “average”?

    Those that control the data make the charts.

    Since day one, I’ve wondered why certain data sets use a 30-year old reference period. When the reference period is changed the zero changes. The average changes.

    The rebuttal to this has always been the same – “Its the trend that’s important, not the zero”.

    Well that may be true, but if the zero changes, so would the “300 month” figure.

  11. The incidence of novel tropical diseases in formerly temperate climes is not merely a product of average temperature. It also requires numerous other elements, rain, water storage, hosts etc. Then there will be diminution of diseases that are primarily associated with cold. To many, the destruction of the mosquito in the tundra alone will be cause for celebration of a few illnesses that are now confined to countries that are, coincidentally no doubt, extraordinarily incapable of engaging in modern husbandry.
    After all, if Brazil, India, and Hawaii are fully capable of raising healthy goats, cattle, sheep, pigs, chickens, turkeys, shrimp, fish, and other animals for the table and as pets, one hopes these geniuses in charge of climate panic can do the same. If not, i am sure we can send over a couple of ranchers to help them out.

  12. Shouldn’t it read “More than 120,000 months since the planet’s temperature was below average” , rather than “300 months” ?

  13. Grump. That’s “Biased Reporting”, pls. And to all unaware, “skeptic” is a noun, “skeptical” is the adjective.

    /GrammarNasty

  14. This sort of rubbish just emphasises that reality has got these guys rattled.

    It is a bit like Phil Jones recently writhing and wringing his hands while claiming a slight upward linear trend for the past 15 years. It is all such drivel.

    But as the planet cools through cycle 24 , the schadenfreude will be priceless. Maybe the North Koreans will eventually give them sanctuary in due course or maybe not. Maybe the Kims think they are dingbats too.

  15. Fair enough … you can quibble with the spin given to a report. But let’s not pretend everyone from one end of the spectrum is not doing the same!

    Standing back, the message of the report that I take away is merely that the global system is currently, for now, in a sustained state of elevated energy relative to some prior selected period.

    That said, why is WUWT not reporting on events like the Texas drought? I would have thought that was more worthy of a reflective posting than arguing about spin doctors.

  16. Inventing the hottest year

    1169653761.txt

    From: Kevin Trenberth
    To: david.parker@xxxxxxxxx.xxx
    Subject: Re: 2006
    Date: Wed, 24 Jan 2007 10:49:21 -0700
    Cc: “Kennedy, John” , Phil Jones

    Ok that explains several things, I am so glad to know this before going
    to Paris tomorrow. I made another minor tweak.
    Kevin

    david.parker@xxxxxxxxx.xxx wrote:
    > Kevin
    >
    > Thanks. The averages of the values in Fig 3.6 over 1961-1990 turned out
    > not to be exactly 0.000 owing to missing data in the reference period (a
    > perennial problem Phil is well aware of). But Susan (?) wanted the SPM
    > curve to average exactly 0.000 in 1961-1990 so the values were shifted
    > by somewhere between 0.02 and 0.03.
    >
    > Regards
    >
    > David
    >
    >
    > On Wed, 2007-01-24 at 10:09 -0700, Kevin Trenberth wrote:
    >
    >> John and David
    >> Thanks, I have updated the figure using your new low frequency curves,
    >> and so I think 3.6 is now redone.
    >> However I do not understand the other figure: the global value for T for
    >> 2006 seems to be 0.46 not 0.42: it lies above half way between the
    >> ticks. Again I have copied the low frequency curve and replaced the one
    >> on our figure, but I don’t understand the last point.
    >> How do these look?
    >> Kevin
    >>
    >> Kennedy, John wrote:
    >>
    >>> Kevin,
    >>>
    >>> I have attached updated versions of the diagrams so that you can see
    >>> where the 2006 bars and dots should be moved to.
    >>>
    >>> John
    >>>
    >>> On Tue, 2007-01-23 at 14:48 -0700, Kevin Trenberth wrote:
    >>>
    >>>
    >>>> David et al
    >>>> For Fig 3.6 we need values for globe, NH and SH. I guessed at NH as
    >>>> 0.55 and SH as 0.28. But not sure what the new error bars are. I
    >>>> reduced them a bit from old ones but not as much as for last year.
    >>>> Anyway, take a look at the attached. I also made a teeny extension of
    >>>> the blue in each plot. Should I have done that or did the decadal curve
    >>>> already include 2006?
    >>>> This is what I can do. If you give me the correct error bars I can
    >>>> refine a bit more.
    >>>> Let me know
    >>>> Kevin
    >>>>
    >>>> david.parker@xxxxxxxxx.xxx wrote:
    >>>>
    >>>>
    >>>>> Phil, Kevin
    >>>>>
    >>>>> The 2006 global annual average surface temperature anomaly wrt 1961-1990
    >>>>> including December data is 0.42+-0.06C (1 sigma) and 2006 remains 6th.
    >>>>> Slight upgrades to November and December land data are expected in due
    >>>>> course, but this is the final number so far as IPCC is concerned.
    >>>>>
    >>>>> Regards
    >>>>>
    >>>>> David

  17. I still can’t get my head around an “average” global temperature – I really can’t. I see all the rubbish about how the earth would be “on average” minus 18 C without greenhouse gases then they play with the incoming solar radiation by reducing it to a quarter so they can justify their “back radiation” to explain the extra 33 C – ie “average” plus 15 C.

    So the back radiation must be pretty fierce in Alice Springs when it hits plus 45 in summer – so the back radiation supplies 63 C ?? Do these people really believe this sort of nonsense ?

    Of course the sun has nothing to do with temperature fluctuations.

  18. Personally I’m struggling with (the labelling on) the first graph :-(
    I can just about picture an ocean with zero heat content (roughly 1980-1990) but before that the ocean contained about 5*10e22 of negative heat….

    Its science Jim, but not as we know it.

  19. rbateman says “Trends don’t make square-cornered turns or steps. What steps up must step down…eventually.”

    There seems to be a widespread misunderstanding of what a time series consisting of a steady upward trend, plus random, but autocorrelated noise, should look like. Steps up followed by flattish periods, are exactly the kind of thing you’d expect to see. I wonder whether Bob Tisdale has ever tried applying his “eyeballing” techniques to some control series consisting of a linear trend plus AR(1) noise?

    Try it for yourself in Excel. In A1 enter 0. Then in A2 enter the formula “=A1+0.001″. Copy that formula down column A for 400 cells or so. This gives you a linear upward trend. In B1 enter 0.5. In B2 enter the formula “=0.9*B1+0.1*RAND()”. Copy that formula down column B. This gives you some autocorrelated AR(1) noise. Now add the two columns together in column C and chart the result as a line chart. Hit the F9 key to calculate different sets of random, autocorrelated noise.

    That’s what noisy, autocorrelated time series, with an underlying upward trend (which is small compared with the noise) look like. Do you see some examples with square-cornered turns or steps? Do you see some where it looked like “something happened” at some point, to change the whole level of the series (even though we know it was just a random fluctuation)? Do you see some where the highest value was set way back before the end of the chart (even though we know that the underlying trend is still actually rising?) Do some of them look uncannily like historical temperature charts? You betcha!

  20. Pete in Cumbria UK says:
    June 30, 2011 at 1:01 am

    Personally I’m struggling with (the labelling on) the first graph :-(
    I can just about picture an ocean with zero heat content (roughly 1980-1990) but before that the ocean contained about 5*10e22 of negative heat….

    Its science Jim, but not as we know it.

    I’ll stifle my sarcastic nature, and politely point out that the graph is of changes relative to an arbitrarily chosen zero point. Like the Celsius scale vs. the Kelvin; same units, different base (for convenience).

  21. Looking solely at the three graphs shown above, they all appear to show a warming trend over the entire width of the graphs.
    How can I explain to a warmist that this is not the case?

  22. Well, where I live, not only was this spring bellow average, it was the coldest spring on record. No spring in the last 650 months has been colder than this spring.

  23. If these scientists reported the truth they would be out of a job. So the lie persists.

  24. Interestingly, on Jeopardy tonight (June 29, 2011), one of the topics was called `Green` and one of the “what is“ questions had an answer of `Green House Gasses“, and during the question, a visual and commentary showed O3 and H2O, mentioned ozone and water vapour, with no mention at all of CO2. Goes to show that those Jeopardy question writers are very smart.

  25. jaymam says:
    June 30, 2011 at 2:20 am
    Looking solely at the three graphs shown above, they all appear to show a warming trend over the entire width of the graphs.
    How can I explain to a warmist that this is not the case?

    The warmist case is not that the planet is warming. It has been slowly for centuries. We’ve known that for many decades.

    The warmist case is that the warming is accelerating and that is dangerous and it is caused by carbon dioxide and it is caused by man. If any of those four are wrong then their case is wrong.

  26. Keep up the good work. I live in Australia where millions of honest hard working people are just about to be made to pay an extra tax for no good reason by a minority government that did not take the policy to the poll. What is particularly annoying is that our government appears to be one of the very last to be still following the discredited catastrophic anthropogenic warming theory (emphasis on the word catastrophic). I’m quite upset. It’s money from my pocket that I might have put aside for my little childrens’ savings or some nice clothes that is now going into the pockets of what I consider to be the lowest form of public purse parasites that I have seen to date.

  27. I’m staring and squinting at these 3 graphs and I honestly can’t see what RPS is talking about.

    If he is referring to the random variation in the graph over the last few years making it impossible to make a statement of certainty for the trend over the last few years then fine. But then his claim of certainty for no change over the last few years is junk for exactly the same reason.

    To me it’s clear though that the latest measurements are consistent with the long term trend allowing for the random variation and there is no reason to believe that the cause of that trend has disappeared.

    Maybe I need to read the referenced articles to understand, but this article by itself makes little sense.

  28. I question the 2.60 ppm increase in 2010. At the South Pole where three different organizations measure CO2, the yearly average changes were; 2007-2008 1.97 ppm, 2008-2009 1.70 ppm, and 2009-2010 1.56 ppm. Factoring out seasonal variations, these values probably have a standard error of about 0.4 ppm. These values indicate a significant decline in rate of increase.

  29. Actually, it has been about 63,984,000 months (over 5 million years) since the earth has been OVER the average temperature.
    Reference http://scotese.com/climate.htm and his quote, “During the last 2 billion years the Earth’s climate has alternated between a frigid “Ice House”, like today’s world, and a steaming “Hot House”, like the world of the dinosaurs.”
    And http://scotese.com/miocene1.htm, “The climate during the Miocene was similar to today’s climate, but warmer.”
    Warmer is better; just ask the dinosaurs.
    Of course, http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/1419455/Paleocene-Eocene-Thermal-Maximum-PETM, much, much warmer then. Probably a bummer, even for the dinos. Recall the sun had appreciably lower output 55Mya. On the bright side, we primates took advantage of the warmth. Admittedly a bit dated, but http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Age-of-Man-wiki.jpg gives a visual representation of how important that time of extreme warmth was for us.

  30. Nigel Harris says:
    June 30, 2011 at 1:41 am
    Try it for yourself in Excel. In A1 enter 0. Then in A2 enter the formula “=A1+0.001″. Copy that formula down column A for 400 cells or so. This gives you a linear upward trend. In B1 enter 0.5. In B2 enter the formula “=0.9*B1+0.1*RAND()”. Copy that formula down column B. This gives you some autocorrelated AR(1) noise. Now add the two columns together in column C and chart the result as a line chart. Hit the F9 key to calculate different sets of random, autocorrelated noise.

    Just tried that and am ROFLMAO! If I only knew how easy this was, I would have made a fortune in Global climate research. Too bad I’m a tad too honest and want to like myself when I shave. Maybe I could this technique to genertate some landscapes for my POVRay renderings. Just think I could display global temperture rise in a 3D model…WHERE’S MY FUNDING?

  31. This reads like a Chamber of Commerce PR release for the city of Lake Wobegon:

    “Welcome to Lake Wobegon, where all days are warmer than average.”

  32. Torgeir Hansson says: June 29, 2011 at 9:46 pm
    Besides, it is the job of all honest people to de-politicize the issue. As such, dialogue continues to top the agenda.
    ****************************************************
    Torgeir, I appreciate your good will as in “Can’t we all just get along”.

    Unfortunately, to have an honest discourse, both parties must be talking from the same foundation. You believe that we are all talking about the science.

    This controversy, i.e. AGW, is ALL POLITICAL. It is a struggle for money and power and has been from the beginning. The so called “science” is only a tool in a political struggle.

    It has never been about the science.

    Regards,
    Steamboat Jack (Jon Jewett’s evil twin)

  33. Mooloo says:

    June 30, 2011 at 4:02 am

    The warmist case is that the warming is accelerating and that is dangerous and it is caused by carbon dioxide and it is caused by man. If any of those four are wrong then their case is wrong.

    And every chance we get, on whatever venue or forum, we should keep pointing this out.

    Even if Arctic Ice disappearing somewhere or Glaciers are retreating somewhere or there is Coral reef bleaching somewhere or Polar bears doing something somewhere or there is a drought somewhere or a flood somewhere else, it does not mean or prove that anthropogenic CO2 is the cause.

  34. Which just goes to show that if you repeat an unsubstantiated opinion often enough in the MSM, it eventually becomes fact.

  35. Realize the vast majority are too ignorant and lazy to ascertain any truth finding research. Therefore, the scare mongering continues unabated. As CO2 increases, the cooler oceans will absorb more CO2 so AGW’s can then produce more lies that it is humanity that causes all and any undesirable global condition, therefore, implement a process of ALGORIAN human depopulation, strip the “deniers” of any voice, tax the remainder, redistribute the funds to “frenzy friends of like greed” and finally appoint some pawn to be the anointed global leader. The Nazi model with a new face of “saving us from ourselves” approach. Good luck! The masses will be of their own demise, succumbing to the how to catch a pig syndrome. Uffda, I suddenly sound like them…. ouch. :)

  36. For me the issue with all of these Global Warming Alarmists is that the premise of the whole thing is that the temperature is directly tied to the CO2 levels, and that the effect of any change in CO2 is multiplied by (some positive factor) because of the “forcing effects) of other greenhouse gasses like water vapor and methane. Since they are claiming that the increase in CO2 levels in the last few years are greater than anything ever recorded, wouldn’t the increase in temperature have to be greater than ever recorded?

    In the temperature record that they published in 2007, 1998 was the hottest year EVER. By this year, they changed the hottest year ever to 2005. Why the didn’t realize that 2005 was hotter than 1998 in the year 2007 I can’t quite figure out. I mean, one would think that two years would be sufficient to calculate the temperatures and see the averages, but apparently they needed 6 years to add the temperatures up and decide that they were wrong in 2007.

    Now, apparently, they know that 2010 was equal to 2005 as the hottest year EVER, with 1998 coming in at a very close 3rd place, followed by 1934 in a fairly close forth place. Now, if the temperature is closely related to CO2, and CO2 is growing much faster now than in 1998, and much, much faster than 1934, why isn’t the temperature climbing much, much faster now than it did from 1910 to 1945? Also, why is the temperature anywhere close to what it was in 1998?

    According to the projections (because the IPCC does not make scientific predictions) with the amount of CO2 we’ve added we should be well above 1.2 degrees above normal my now. How is this not the message? We are NOT adding temperature at even near the rate that we’re adding CO2, so that means that the feedbacks are not anywhere near as positive as they are claiming, right?

  37. What I’m enjoying about all of this, is the more the evidence mounts that AGW is totally bogus, the calmer the discourse is on this website, while in the pro-AGW space, people are getting more and more frantic and aggressive.

    Thanks Anthony for offering the World this island of calm. Like the coral in the sea, I have no doubt that this island too, will remain above the water level of the sea of nonsense that surrounds it. Keep up the great work!

  38. I actually did a graph recently of the UAH and RSS data and the GISS and HADCRU indexes for since the start of the satellite records. What is interesting is that the HADCRU records are only 0.01 per decade higher and the GISS is only 0.02 per decade higher than the RSS results.

    http://www.anupchurchchrestomathy.com/2011/06/comparing-giss-hadcru-rss-and-uah.html

    click on the graph to see the details.
    It looks like strong warming only occurs in computer models and isn’t in the actual data.

  39. Joel Upchurch says:

    June 30, 2011 at 8:59 am

    I actually did a graph recently of the UAH and RSS data and the GISS and HADCRU indexes for since the start of the satellite records.

    Notice that all but GISS shows, since 1998, a slight decline in temp.

  40. We should all be allowed to use average in our daily lives. I’d never get any speeding tickets again. My taxes would be so, so much lower. Temperatures here in northern Alberta on average are NEVER freezing ever again – see, I could live with that. Ride my Harley year round on average. No guy would ever be smarter or more handsome or richer than me. On average I’d then get a shot at every lady I ever laid my eyes on – yep, I’m really beginning to have myself a real love affair with average. What’s not to like?

  41. jaymam says:
    June 30, 2011 at 2:20 am

    “Looking solely at the three graphs shown above, they all appear to show a warming trend over the entire width of the graphs.
    How can I explain to a warmist that this is not the case?”

    Dunno, I’m still trying to comprehend the outgoing longwave radiation. Does it include the reflected solar radiation or just that that is released by the Earth?

    Month to Month values (and a few trend lines). The orbital influence can be seen here.

    And a full plot, latitude vs date. Seasonal variation can be seen here.

    Again… dunno much about it, but it plots nicely.

  42. As is often the case in climatological debates, the notion of a “statistical event” is missing from this one yet it is by observing the outcomes of statistical events and by comparing the predicted to the observed outcomes that one determines whether the outcomes are reliably predicted by the model that is being promoted for use in making policy. Rather than issuing inflammatory press releases, climatologists should get down to the business of identifying the statistical events that underlie the IPCC’s conclusions. In the design of a scientific study, to identify the statistical events is the first order of business yet despite the expenditure of 100 billion US$ on allegedly scientific research, climatologists have not yet identified those events which underlie the IPCC’s conclusions.

  43. Ross says:
    June 30, 2011 at 12:40 am

    I see all the rubbish about how the earth would be “on average” minus 18 C without greenhouse gases then they play with the incoming solar radiation by reducing it to a quarter so they can justify their “back radiation” to explain the extra 33 C – ie “average” plus 15C.

    They exclude downwelling thermal infrared – the actual heat we feel from the Sun… Instead they say only the shortwave visible/uv/near infrared heat the Earth’s land and oceans, these are not thermal wavelengths, they can’t physically do this.

    So the back radiation must be pretty fierce in Alice Springs when it hits plus 45 in summer – so the back radiation supplies 63C?? Do these people really believe this sort of nonsense?

    :) Not only believe it, but argue til they’re blue in the face that Light heats organic matter to produce all this infrared upwelling and bouncing back to toast Alice Springs.

    But shrug, I haven’t seen any of the ‘major skeptics’ deal with this either.

  44. In all my long life, I have never worked with scientists or engineers who take so-called “trends” seriously. Just look at who uses “trends.” Some people in the field of economics known as econometrics use “trends.” But has there ever been anyone who believed that some part of economics qualifies as scientific? I have not met such a person. The techies on Wall Street are always making their magical calculations on past market behavior. I guess they talk about “trends” in that behavior. But if techies on Wall Street are scientists then so are alchemists. Does anyone know of some kind of study that physicists and chemists recognize as science that uses “trends?” Don’t get me wrong. I am not against statistics. Population geneticists use statistics and they are genuine scientists; however, all their work is based on Objective Probabilities which are falsifiable. Anytime a population geneticist makes a claim, he will be quite happy to specify the conditions that would falsify that claim. “Trends” are by definition not falsifiable and, for that reason, not scientific. So, enough with them already.

  45. wsbriggs says:
    June 30, 2011 at 8:53 am
    “Thanks Anthony for offering the World this island of calm. Like the coral in the sea, I have no doubt that this island too, will remain above the water level of the sea of nonsense that surrounds it. Keep up the great work!”

    One of the keys to Anthony’s genius. Another is that the site offers the charm found in good Natural History. Another is that posters and commenters engage in criticism that would have made David Hume proud. There are many more, as you know.

  46. The original article quotes the scientist Jay Gulledge making the analogy:

    Climate change is a risk factor for extreme weather just as eating salty foods is a risk factor for heart disease…

    This is interesting because last time I looked, and despite an enormous amount of research to obtain hard evidence of this link, very little evidence of a salt-heartdesease link has been obtained. And this reminds me of a similar case at an anti-deniers CSIRO talk last year. The speaker compared the extremism of AGW scepticism to scepticism of the flurocarbon-ozonehole link in the example of the only scientist he knows who is still sceptical of both. The implication was that the ridiculousness of his scepticism on that issue explains his scepticism of AGW…as also ridiculous. That the current state of knowledge in the peer-review literature contradicts widespread popular belief in supporting scepticism of both analogous claims (of salt and of flurocarbons), this is revealing of how careless (or persuadable) these scientists are when it comes to popular myth and propaganda.

    And did anyone see this extraordinary claim tacked on right at the end about the earth getting fat around the belly:

    Meanwhile, a separate report from the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences at the University of Colorado at Boulder said the Earth is getting thicker around the middle due to ice loss from the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets. “If you imagine the Earth is like a soccer ball and you push down on the North Pole, it would bulge out at its ‘equator,’” said CIRES fellow Steve Nerem, co-author of the study.

  47. Nigel Harris says:
    June 30, 2011 at 1:41 am
    “There seems to be a widespread misunderstanding of what a time series consisting of a steady upward trend, plus random, but autocorrelated noise, should look like. Steps up followed by flattish periods, are exactly the kind of thing you’d expect to see. I wonder whether Bob Tisdale has ever tried applying his “eyeballing” techniques to some control series consisting of a linear trend plus AR(1) noise?

    Try it for yourself in Excel. In A1 enter 0. Then in A2 enter the formula “=A1+0.001″. Copy that formula down column A for 400 cells or so. This gives you a linear upward trend. In B1 enter 0.5. In B2 enter the formula “=0.9*B1+0.1*RAND()”. Copy that formula down column B. This gives you some autocorrelated AR(1) noise. Now add the two columns together in column C and chart the result as a line chart. Hit the F9 key to calculate different sets of random, autocorrelated noise.”

    The random noise component of an AR(1) process is typically nomally distributed, not uniformly distributed as in your Excel formula. Change “0.1*RAND()” to “0.1*NORMSINV(RAND())”, copy and paste and see what you get. Note that the trend is nowhere near as obvious. You should also see what happens with a negative or no trend, and also what happens as the degree of autocorrelation is changed (ie the 0.1 term). While you’re at it you could also plot out a complete random walk, ie in cell D1 enter 0. In D2 enter “=D1 + NORMSINV(RAND())” then copy and paste it down. Note that your random walk will often end up a long from 0 and there will often be a strong apparent trend. Of course the apparent trend is highly unstable and varies greatly for different data sets, but in real life we only get to observe 1 data set.

  48. jaymam says:
    June 30, 2011 at 2:20 am
    Looking solely at the three graphs shown above, they all appear to show a warming trend over the entire width of the graphs.
    How can I explain to a warmist that this is not the case?

    Yes, there seems to be no doubt that the climate has been warming ever since we started to emerge from the end of the Little Ice Age around the mid-1800’s. The point is that the warming started long before manmade industrial CO2 levels started increasing…and the rate of increase has not increased since. The correlation with CO2 is very poor so something else is driving the temperature increase, not manmade CO2.

  49. The random noise component of an AR(1) process is typically nomally distributed

    For most processes inverse normal would be more appropriate. I strongly doubt weather is one of those, as it does tend to exhibit extremes. In particular the use of standard deviations based on normal predictions to give probabilities of extreme weather is very doubtful.

    If I were to model such behaviour I would combine the two, say using = 0.05*(RAND() + NORMSINV(RAND()).

  50. Nigel Harris says:
    June 30, 2011 at 1:41 am

    This is the first graph I plotted. A very good hockey stick.

    I hit F9 lots of times but the first graph was the best.
    Is that cherrypicking? Is that wrong?

  51. The NOAA released a document on the state of the climate for 2010 where they claim that Greenland melting has increased 400 times since 1950. Further they predicted a 25 increase in the water level in the oceans by 2100. Can someone direct me too the projections for melting ice in Greenland since 1900.

  52. Just read the article. Oh dear, it is all a bit sad isn’t it?

    It was Disraeli, if I recall correctly, who observed thet there are “lies, damned lies and statistics”. Talk about nothing new under the sun!

    In similar vein, Voltaire observed that some things are too stupid to be spoken and so should be put in a song ( to make them at least entertaining I suppose).

    So lets hear it for Mike and the Mannufacturers with their hit, “I got the AGW Blues” !

  53. Mooloo says:
    June 30, 2011 at 4:02 am

    “The warmist case is that the warming is accelerating and that is dangerous and it is caused by carbon dioxide and it is caused by man. If any of those four are wrong then their case is wrong.”

    Well, if you would read Pielke closely, along with data other than the obviously warm-biased surface temperature measurements made by NOAA/GISS/CRU, you would see that your first point is wrong, therefore your second point is irrelevant; your third point remains unproven, making the fourth point equally irrelevant (of course, if it is sole causation by CO2 that you are talking about, that also happens to be wrong, because there is increasing evidence that there are other factors involved in warming as well, especially given that even Mike Hulme of CRU is now saying that CO2 is contributing less than 50% of the human-induced forcing). Therefore, the case is wrong. Move along.

  54. Indeed, the global temperature has been warmer than the 20th century average every month for more than 25 years, they said at a teleconference.

    I was wondering why the spivs used the hundred year average and not the normal anomaly. I graphed it up and it turns out that had they done that, it would only have gone back to 1993 before and average month crossed the line or seventeen years. By using the hundred year average they could go back too 1985 or 25 years. So it was for dramatic effect. However they spin it, it’s still only 0.4C warmer than the warmest months around 1945.

  55. jon shively:

    This paper reports that Greenland lost an average of 195km\3 annually from 2003-2008, mostly from fjords etc. That’s .0068% / annum of the 2,850,000km\3 area. It also reports this “potentially” translates into a global sea level increase of 0.0005 m/annum. It will also suggest additional sites for data.

    Run for the hills.
    /off sarc

    Wouters., B.D. Chambers etc
    Grace observes small-scale mass loss in Greenland
    Geophy Res Letters Oct 2008

  56. Tim Clark – re the Wouters paper: the abstract (presumably the one you refer to) is at http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2008/2008GL034816.shtml and says
    GRACE observes small-scale mass loss in Greenland
    Using satellite gravity data between February 2003 and January 2008, we examine changes in Greenland’s mass distribution on a regional scale. During this period, Greenland lost mass at a mean rate of 179 ± 25 Gt/yr, equivalent to a global mean sea level change of 0.5 ± 0.1 mm/yr. Rates increase over time, suggesting an acceleration of the mass loss, driven by mass loss during summer. The largest mass losses occurred along the southeastern and northwestern coast in the summers of 2005 and 2007, when the ice sheet lost 279 Gt and 328 Gt of ice respectively within 2 months. In 2007, a strong mass loss is observed during summer at elevations above 2000 m, for the first time since the start of the observations.

    So it’s 0.5mm/yr, not 0.0005, and there’s enough additional info to allow alarmists to say it’s getting worse. Of course, the study ends in 2007/8, so doesn’t cover the “recovery” years since then.

    There’s a comment on RealClimate

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2008/09/how-much-will-sea-level-rise/comment-page-8/#comment-99902

  57. Nigel Harris says:
    June 30, 2011 at 1:41 am
    well – I played a bit more & put in a sine curve as well as the other suggestion – 4 columns
    for rows 0 and 1 :

    0 0 = 0.05*(RAND() + NORMSINV(RAND())) =A1+B1+C1
    =A1+$G$29 =SIN(A2*$G$30)/$G$31 = 0.05*(RAND() + NORMSINV(RAND())) =A2+B2+C2

    where the three $g$n cells are
    $g$29 linear const 0.001
    $g$30 sin_freq 100
    $g$31 sin_amplitude 50

    now I can add in a sine curve to see something cyclic on top of the linear trend – – and I let the graph show all 4 columns. And I can vary the input parameters.

    One observation – before adding in the sine curve; was that if I made the start -0.200 the resulting summed curve looked remarkably like some of the before & after adjustment curves so frequently stared on WUWT

    thanks

  58. Great review! You actually covered some interesting things in your post. I came across it by using Bing and I’ve got to admit that I already subscribed to the RSS, will be following you on my iphone :)

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