Why BEST Will Not Settle the Climate Debate

By S. Fred Singer (first published in American Thinker)

Global warming has re-entered public consciousness in recent days, partly because of the buzz surrounding the release of warming results from the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature (BEST) project. The reaction of the “warmistas” has been jubilant, yet hilariously wrong. Will they ever learn?

They’ve latched on to the BEST result as their last best hope for rescuing misbegotten schemes to control emissions of the greenhouse gas CO2. Leading the pack has been the Washington Post (Oct. 25), whose columnist tried to write off Republican presidential candidates Bachmann, Cain, and Perry as “cynical diehards,” deniers, idiots, or whatever.

I sent the WP a letter pointing out obvious errors, but I got a peculiar response. It turned out that they were willing to publish my letter, but not my credentials as emeritus professor at the University of Virginia and former director of the U.S. Weather Satellite Service. Apparently, they were concerned that readers might gain the impression that I knew something about climate.

Unfortunately, it has become expedient (for those who condemn CO2 as the cause of warming) to deride their opponents with terms like “climate deniers.” A complacent and inattentive media has made the problem worse, by giving the impression that anyone who doesn’t buy the CO2 hypothesis doesn’t believe that climate changes, and hence is a total Luddite. Even the WSJ got carried away. Prof. Richard Muller, the originator and leader of the BEST study, complained to me that some eager editor changed the title of his op-ed (Oct. 21) to “The Case Against Global-Warming Skepticism” from his original “Cooling the Global Warming Debate. ”

The (formerly respected) scientific journal Nature chimed in and announced in an (Oct. 26) editorial[i] that any results confirming “climate change” (meaning anthropogenic global warming — AGW) are welcome, even when released before peer review. Of course, we’ve known for many years that Nature does not welcome any contrary science results, but it’s nice to have this confirmation.

Their hearts filled with bubbling joy and their brains befuddled, none of the warmistas have apparently listened to the somewhat skeptical pronouncements from Prof. Muller. He emphasizes that the analysis is based only on land data, covering less than 30% of the earth’s surface and housing recording stations that are poorly distributed, mainly in the U.S. and Western Europe. In addition, he admits that 70% of U.S. stations are badly sited and don’t meet the standards set by government; the rest of the world is probably worse. He disclaims to know the cause of the warming found by BEST and favors naturally caused oscillations of the atmosphere-ocean system that no climate model has yet simulated or explained.

The fact that the BEST results agree with previously published analyses of warming trends from land stations may indicate only that there is something very wrong with all of these. There are two entirely different ways to interpret this agreement on surface warming. It might indicate important confirmation, but logic allows for an alternate possibility: since both results rely on surface thermometers, they are not really independent and could be subject to similar fundamental errors. For example, both datasets could be affected by urban heat islands or other non-global effects — like local heating of airports, where traffic has been growing steadily.

But the main reason I have remained a skeptic is that the atmosphere, unlike the land surface, has shown no warming during the crucial period (1978-1997), either over land or over ocean, according to satellites and independent data from weather balloons. And did you know that climate models run on high-speed computers all insist that the atmosphere must warm faster than the surface — and so does atmospheric theory?

BEST has no data from the oceans, which cover 71% of the planet’s surface. True, oceans are not subject to urban heat islands, but they have problems with instrumentation. It is very likely that the reported warming during 1978-97 is simply an artifact — the result of the measurement scheme rather than an actual warming. Anyway, supporting data don’t show any ocean warming, either.

And finally, we have non-thermometer temperature data from so-called proxies: tree rings, ice cores, lake and ocean sediments, stalagmites. Most of these haven’t shown any warming since 1940!

Contrary to some commentary, BEST in no way confirms the scientifically discredited hockey stick graph, which was based on multi-proxy analysis and had been so eagerly adopted by climate alarmists. In fact, the hockey stick authors never published their post-1978 temperatures in their 1998 paper in Nature — or since. Their proxy record suddenly just stops in 1978 — and is then replaced by a thermometer record that shows rapid warming. The reason for hiding the post-1978 proxy data: it’s likely that they show no warming. Why don’t we try to find out?

None of the warmistas can explain why the climate hasn’t warmed in the 21st century, while CO2 has been increasing rapidly. It’s no wonder that Herman Cain, a former math and computer science major in college, says that “man-made global warming is poppycock” (NYT, Nov. 12). He blames climate fears on “scientists who tried to concoct the science” and “were busted because they tried to manipulate the data.”

Mr. Cain is not far from the truth — at least when one listens to Rich Muller. Muller’s careful to make no claim whatsoever that the warming he finds is due to human causes. He tells us that one third of the stations show cooling, not warming. Muller admits that “the uncertainty [involved in these stations] is large compared to the analyses of global warming.” He nevertheless insists that if he uses a large enough set of bad numbers, he could get a good average. I am not so sure.

Muller thinks that he has eliminated the effects of local heating, like urban heat islands. But this is a difficult undertaking, and many doubt that the BEST study has been successful in this respect. Some of Muller’s severest critics are fellow physicists: Lubos Motl in the Czech Republic and Don Rapp in California. Somewhat harshly, perhaps, Rapp would change the study designation from BEST to “WORST” (World Overview of Representative Station Temperatures).

I am one of those doubters. While many view the apparent agreement of BEST with previous analyses as confirmation, I wonder about the logic. It might be a good idea if BEST would carry out some prudent internal cheeks:

** Plot number of stations used between 1970 and 2000 and make sure that there have been no significant changes in what I call the “demographics”: station latitudes, altitudes, or anything that could induce an artificial warming trend.

**I would pay particular attention to the fraction of temperature records from airport stations — generally considered among the best-maintained, but subject to large increases in local warming.

** I would also decompose the global record of BEST into regions to see if the results hold up.

Of course, the most important checks must come from records that are independent of weather station thermometers: atmospheric temperatures, ocean temperatures, and temperatures from non-thermometer proxy data. But even then, it may be difficult to pinpoint the exact causes of climate change.

I conclude, therefore, that the balance of evidence favors little if any global warming during 1978-1997. It contradicts the main conclusion of the IPCC — i.e., that recent warming is “very likely” (90-99% certain) caused by anthropogenic greenhouse gases like CO2.

And finally, what to do if CO2 is the main cause, and if a modest warming has bad consequences — as so many blindly assume? I am afraid that the BEST project and Muller are of no help.

On the one hand, Muller is dismissive of policies to control CO2 emissions in the U.S. — much less in his State of California. In an Oct. 31 interview with the Capital Report of New Mexico, he stated:

… the public needs to know this, that anything we do in the United States will not affect global warming by a significant amount. Because, all projections show that most of the future carbon dioxide is going to be coming from China, India, and the developing world. … [A]nything we do that will not be followed by China and India is basically wasted.

On the other hand, Muller told MSNBC’s Morning Joe (Nov.14):

[W]e’re getting very steep warming … we are dumping enough carbon dioxide into the atmosphere that we’re working in a dangerous realm, where I think, we may really have trouble in the next coming decades.

So take your choice. But remember — there is no evidence at all for significant future warming. BEST is a valuable effort, but it does not settle the climate debate.

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142 Responses to Why BEST Will Not Settle the Climate Debate

  1. More Soylent Green! says:

    But the main reason I have remained a skeptic is that the atmosphere, unlike the land surface, has shown no warming during the crucial period (1978-1997), either over land or over ocean, according to satellites and independent data from weather balloons. And did you know that climate models run on high-speed computers all insist that the atmosphere must warm faster than the surface — and so does atmospheric theory?

    Computer Science 101, Day 1 – GIGO! (Garbage In, Garbage Out)

    There are two reasons why climate models work they way they do:

    1) Because it’s how the researchers believe the climate works.
    2) Because they can’t get the results they want if the models work differently.

  2. Latitude says:

    Does anyone else wonder how BEST was able to do something so involved and complicated….
    ….in such a short period of time /snark

  3. Steeptown says:

    It seems to me that Wa Po is the denier. Wa Po denies Prof Singer use of his titles.
    How low can the media sink?

  4. Steve Garcia says:

    …both results rely on surface thermometers, they are not really independent and could be subject to similar fundamental errors. For example, both datasets could be affected by urban heat islands or other non-global effects — like local heating of airports, where traffic has been growing steadily.

    Well, one thing that I had not thought of and that may tie in well with the temps as seen in upslope in the 1990s and the flattening in the 2000s is that airline industry was approaching – and may have even passed – full capacity in the 1990s. Overbookings were extremely common. Airports were planning (and building) extra runways, so more takeoffs and landings could be accomodated. (Put together with the Great dying off of the thermometers, this is something worth looking into.)

    And then 9/11 hit and the industry fell off massively, and only came back up slowly. Have they gotten back to where they were in the late 1990s? I don’t know, but I don’t think so. While some of my flights have been full, I also know that some routes simply don’t exist (or have far fewer flights weekly), not as they did in the 1990s and early 2000s.

    As with anything in climate, I don’t bring this up as a stand-alone cause of anything, but I think it is a likely factor in the lack of warming now, versus all that warming in the 1990s. Let us not forget how booming the world economy was in the 1990s. It hasn’t been like that since. And one place it showed was in airline flights.

    Coincidence? Maybe. But maybe not, too.

  5. NetDr says:

    What has long interested me is the 3 periods in the temperature record when CO2 went up but temperatures went down. The alarmists attribute them to aerosols and thus keep them manmade but is that correct ?

    The reason that temperature goes down when CO2 goes up is supposedly because of aerosols.

    Aerosols are the perfect whiteout to erase the climate alarmists mistakes. They are manmade and unmeasured so no actual facts have to be accounted for. The effects are unquantifiable and thus can be made a large as necessary to account for the warming which hasn’t happened or the cooling which has happened..

    There are 2 periods of cooling in the temperature record, 1880 to 1910 and 1940 to 1978. Did mankind change the type of fuel it burned during these periods then change back ?

    I don’t think so. These periods coincide with periods when the PDO was negative and it would have cooled anyway.

    Is it logical to believe that mankind changes it’s fuel use exactly in synchronization with the ocean currents ? I think not.

    We are going into a 3 rd period of cooling from ocean currents which has just started but which is expected to last 30 years so warming won’t resume ‘till 2040 or so and even then it will be mild.

    #Least squares trend line; slope = -0.00686071 per year

    #Least squares trend line; slope = -0.00686071 per year

    #Least squares trend line; slope = 0.000394465 per year

    http://tiny.cc/7aypj [tiny url]

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3vgl/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1880/to:1910/trend/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1940/to:1978/trend/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1998/trend

  6. Tom_R says:

    1. Why 1978-1997? I don’t think BEST limited their results to these years. Dr. Singer may have a very good reason for limiting his discussion to those particular years, but he needs to state it.

    2. I’d like to see a detailed analysis of the 1950-1980 period. While the scientific world was talking about the next ice age in the late 70s, the global temperature anomaly compilations have the 70′s as just about as warm as previous decades. The ground anomalies (other than GISS) appear to agree reasonably well with the satellite measurements, but there are no satellite measurements before 1979, so a mistake in the 1950-1980 anomalies would artificially make current anomolies seem higher than they really are. If the 70s were as cold as most people thought they were back then, the current ‘warmest years on record’ would be significantly below the 1930s and 40s.

  7. Hi Anthony. happy 5 Bday

    “It is very likely that the reported warming during 1978-97 is simply an artifact — the result of the measurement scheme rather than an actual warming. ”

    You need to explain to people whether you agree with this nonsense or not.

    Willis, you too.

    And those who you who defend solar hypotheses and cyclemanina? rip Singer a new one.

    Will any of you skeptical thinkers will lift a brain cell to critically examine Singer.

  8. NyqOnly says:

    1978-1997 sattelite temps? http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/uah/from:1978/to:1997/plot/uah/from:1978/to:1997/trend
    Small (possibly non-significant) upward trend. Odd thing for Singer to focus on as it tends to undermine the more recent “lack of warming” for the post-1998 interval. If we take the two together then this would suggest that the Singer-WUWT theory of climate involves a massive and permanent global warming event 1997-1998 in which not only where their record temps that year but resulted in permanently higher temps.
    Or we could just plot the whole time period and look at the actual significant upward trend and conclude that it is hard to spot the trend in noisy data over smaller time periods. Nah – too sensible.

  9. oldseadog says:

    Steve Garcia,
    Surely the runway beside the thermometer will heat up the same as 10 years ago irrespective of the number of flights.

  10. Anthony Scalzi says:

    Steve, the US based airlines recovered fairly quickly and had a record number of passengers in 2007, just before the recession. Also, world air traffic from Asia and the Middle East has been exploding.

    http://www.businessinsider.com/a-few-statistics-on-the-decline-of-the-us-airline-industry-2011-7

  11. Brandon Caswell says:

    Tom,

    the obvious reason to limit to 1978 to 1997 is because the sat temp he uses starts in 1978 and all sources agree there has been no warming after the warm el nino of 1998. What bothers me is that the very sharp cooling from 1950-75 that was so obvious in older temp data has dissapeared as they have revised the data over and over. This is old data, so nothing new has happened except their adjustments. If your adjustments make such huge changes, you better justify them with huge amounts of factual proof for your changes, and not just because you revised your assumptions in a computer program.

  12. NyqOnly says:

    “Will any of you skeptical thinkers will lift a brain cell to critically examine Singer.” – will they even compare Singer-before with Singer-after?
    Singer-before BEST reported its results: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/02/19/fred-singer-on-the-best-project/
    1. he overtly links BEST with climategate in so far as it being “what needs to be done” in response to the scandal.
    2. alludes to the hockey stick controversy, and the issue of proxies (including “hide the decline”)
    3. praises the project: “I applaud and support what is being done by the Project — a very difficult but important undertaking. I personally have little faith in the quality of the surface data, having been exposed to the revealing work by Anthony Watts and others.”

    Singer-after? Only land-data? Well obviously it is only land data – that could hardly have been a surprise given what the project was doing. Unless he was paying no attention at all that was something Singer should have been well aware of regarding BEST when he was writing about it in glowing terms.
    Warmistas jubilant? Well obvious – SINGER HIMSELF had directly linked BEST as a response to ‘climategate’ and had directly suggested that land temperature records and the integrity of many climate scientists was in doubt AND that BEST would be essentiallya check on that. When the audit comes back clean then the ‘warmistas’ get bragging rights. Is he now saying climategate was irrelevance or is he saying his earlier linking was incorrect? Or is he just making stuff up as he goes along? :)

  13. Sun Spot says:

    re: “It is very likely that the reported warming during 1978-97 is simply an artifact — the result of the measurement scheme rather than an actual warming. ”

    What was the natural component of the warming from 1978-97 ???
    What was the anthropogenic CO2 emissions component of this 19 year warming period ??
    What was the man made measurement error component of this 19 year warming period ?

    What has the warming been for the past 14 year period of 1998-2012, its natural component, man made CO2 component and measurement error components ?

    Give me these answers and I’LL DECIDE what is and is not nonsense.

  14. KnR says:

    Airport based weather measuring facilities are designed to proved information for use in air movement in and out of the airport there based at , that is their purpose . Using them to tell you something else is very problematic becasue there not intended to do that so make no allowance for factors that are a oddity of an airport setting as you actual want to use them not reject them .

  15. Bill Illis says:

    Berekely Earth took the NCDC’s GHCN climate records (and a few others) and replicated NCDC’s numbers. Big deal.

    They said they were going to use raw records, 5 times more than anyone else has used before etc. We all assumed they had some new raw records and sources. Well, they didn’t. Its just the GHCN database.

    All it means is that the Raw temperature record database produced by the NCDC is where all the “adjustments” have been made. Its not the raw records; they have already been warmed up. We have to go back to the original records from the original weather stations to find out the real story now.

  16. More Soylent Green! says:

    Tom_R says:
    November 17, 2011 at 9:50 am
    1. Why 1978-1997? I don’t think BEST limited their results to these years. Dr. Singer may have a very good reason for limiting his discussion to those particular years, but he needs to state it.

    2. I’d like to see a detailed analysis of the 1950-1980 period. While the scientific world was talking about the next ice age in the late 70s, the global temperature anomaly compilations have the 70′s as just about as warm as previous decades. The ground anomalies (other than GISS) appear to agree reasonably well with the satellite measurements, but there are no satellite measurements before 1979, so a mistake in the 1950-1980 anomalies would artificially make current anomolies seem higher than they really are. If the 70s were as cold as most people thought they were back then, the current ‘warmest years on record’ would be significantly below the 1930s and 40s.

    Interestingly enough, GISS has readjusted the data for earlier decades, making the current (or recent) warming anomaly appear warmer.

  17. steven mosher says:
    November 17, 2011 at 9:59 am
    “It is very likely that the reported warming during 1978-97 is simply an artifact — the result of the measurement scheme rather than an actual warming. ”
    You need to explain to people whether you agree with this nonsense or not.

    I agree that this is nonsense, destroying whatever credibility Singer had.

  18. Jim G says:

    “For example, both datasets could be affected by urban heat islands or other non-global effects — like local heating of airports, where traffic has been growing steadily.”

    Just got back from a trip to Cheyenne, WY where for hours the truck outside temperature registered 41degrees F out on the high plains. As soon as we entered the city the temperature went to 43 degrees F and stayed there. I have been watching this as I travel here in WY and it is pretty consistent and measurable due to the extreme distances between uban heat sources. As this was at night one could expect the temp to go down as the heat from the day’s sunshine radiated away and since there was no real change in elevation and temperature had not varied for hours, my theory is that it was uban heat island effect. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

  19. Werner Brozek says:

    “NetDr says:
    November 17, 2011 at 9:50 am
    #Least squares trend line; slope = 0.000394465 per year”

    I just thought I would make the comment that the highest 12 month period on HadCrut3 was from September 1, 1997 to August 31, 1998. So if you take the #Least squares trend line from 1997.5 instead of 1998, you actually get a negative number: -0.000146. So it is still essentially 0 for all practical scientific purposes, but not for the apparent appearances.

  20. Zac says:

    When you say the Oceans cover 71% of the planet’s surface what exactly does that mean?

  21. Neal Bridges says:

    Zac, really? It means 71% of the Earth’s surface is ocean, 29% is land.

  22. NyqOnly says:

    Bill Illis says: November 17, 2011 at 10:31 am “Berekely Earth took the NCDC’s GHCN climate records (and a few others) and replicated NCDC’s numbers. Big deal.”

    Well, gosh, it WAS a big deal around WUWT and for Dr Singer before BEST reported. The earlier hype of BEST wasn’t from the warmistas.

  23. Wil says:

    I’m devastated BEST didn’t:) – now what? Because here is a complete list of things caused by Global Warming, absolutely required reading for everyone on this site. http://www.numberwatch.co.uk/warmlist.htm

  24. John B says:

    Jim G says:
    November 17, 2011 at 10:40 am

    “For example, both datasets could be affected by urban heat islands or other non-global effects — like local heating of airports, where traffic has been growing steadily.”

    Just got back from a trip to Cheyenne, WY where for hours the truck outside temperature registered 41degrees F out on the high plains. As soon as we entered the city the temperature went to 43 degrees F and stayed there. I have been watching this as I travel here in WY and it is pretty consistent and measurable due to the extreme distances between uban heat sources. As this was at night one could expect the temp to go down as the heat from the day’s sunshine radiated away and since there was no real change in elevation and temperature had not varied for hours, my theory is that it was uban heat island effect. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

    ——————–

    In case you didn’t know, nobody denies the UHI effect. It is well documented. The issue is whether it biases temperature records. And the answer is, no it doesn’t. Why not? Because they use clever maths to correct for it. And how do we know the maths works? Because umpteen studies have shown that if you remove the urban stations, you still get the same answer.

  25. JJThoms says:

    Jim G says: November 17, 2011 at 10:40 am
    “Just got back from a trip to Cheyenne, WY where for hours the truck outside temperature registered 41degrees F out on the high plains. As soon as we entered the city the temperature went to 43 degrees F and stayed there. … my theory is that it was uban heat island effect.

    Of course NO ONE thinks that there is not an UHI effect. I have seen differences of up to 10C over a distance of 10 miles (work to home).

    But now what you MUST do is to show that over the last 30 years this Difference has gone upwards! (e.g. in 1970 you measured a difference of 2F in 1980 the difference was 2.5F and in 2000 it was 2.9F and in 2011 it was 3F – do you have these figures – and many others inbetween!!!? If not then what you are refering to is simply UHI and not delta UHI which is the important value that everyone wants to know)

  26. AndyG55 says:

    We know that the “Global average land temperature” is based on readings from many widely dispersed locations.

    We know that during the 1978-1997 period there was a very significant loss of data locations, thus putting far more emphasis on the remaining stations, most of which happen to be in or near urban locations.

    Before you make any call on if this mish-mash of changing data locations used for temperature averaging has any upward trend , you better be DARN SURE that the issue of changing station numbers has not affected the “Global Average Land Temperature” (what a stupid thing to try to calculate, anyway). BEST has not done this except in a kindegarten type of way.

    SO YES..

    “It is VERY LIKELY that the reported warming during 1978-97 is simply an artifact — the result of the measurement scheme rather than an actual warming.”

    No one has ever done the work to prove otherwise, and you can be darn sure that the people who have the funding to do so (the AGW bretheren) will never want to.

  27. Robuk says:

    Zac says:
    November 17, 2011 at 10:45 am

    It means best base their global results on 29% of the earths surface using many poorly sited instruments.

  28. Stacey says:

    @Leif S and S Mosher
    “It is very likely that the reported warming during 1978-97 is simply an artifact — the result of the measurement scheme rather than an actual warming. ”
    You need to explain to people whether you agree with this nonsense or not.
    I agree that this is nonsense, destroying whatever credibility Singer had.
    So this is what Professor Singer said:-
    “But the main reason I have remained a skeptic is that the atmosphere, unlike the land surface, has shown no warming during the crucial period (1978-1997), either over land or over ocean, according to satellites and independent data from weather balloons. And did you know that climate models run on high-speed computers all insist that the atmosphere must warm faster than the surface — and so does atmospheric theory?

    BEST has no data from the oceans, which cover 71% of the planet’s surface. True, oceans are not subject to urban heat islands, but they have problems with instrumentation. It is very likely that the reported warming during 1978-97 is simply an artifact — the result of the measurement scheme rather than an actual warming. Anyway, supporting data don’t show any ocean warming, either.”

    So both of you, if you agree with the first paragraph then please explain your problem with the second paragraph?

    I would truly appreciate a response and my question is not meant to be agressive especially as I much value reading your posts.

  29. nc says:

    “Because umpteen studies have shown that if you remove the urban stations, you still get the same answer.” Adjusted right.

  30. Steven Mosher: Use /snark tags more often, please…even thought it is mightily obvious that that is what you’re doing.

  31. Zac says:

    Neal, as I understand it there is only one ocean interconnected into regions. Then there are seas, channels, bays, gulfs etc.

    So, is this 71% the area covered by oceans, oceans plus other salty waters, or even all area covered by any type of water including the frozen water covering Greenland and Antar

  32. JeffC says:

    John B …

    umpteen studies ? really ? how about a link to just one of them … as far as their “clever maths” used to adjust them … well what you can clever maths I call a WAG and a bad one at that …

  33. Kev-in-Uk says:

    John B says:
    November 17, 2011 at 10:57 am

    can you link to some of these umpteen studies? but more importantly, if you can cite one where the analysis is as fully explained and proven as you seem to suggest, that would be great.
    TIA

  34. pokerguy says:

    Zac,

    What it means is, Muller cannot make any definitive statements regarding GLOBAL warming on the basis of 29 percent of the earth’s surface.

  35. Tom_R says:

    >> John B says:
    November 17, 2011 at 10:57 am
    In case you didn’t know, nobody denies the UHI effect. It is well documented. The issue is whether it biases temperature records. And the answer is, no it doesn’t. Why not? Because they use clever maths to correct for it. And how do we know the maths works? Because umpteen studies have shown that if you remove the urban stations, you still get the same answer. <<

    Or the stations that were presumed rural in those 'umpteen studies' really aren't. How far away from a population center could you have placed a station in (say) 1950? Somebody had to live close by to read the thermometer. With the huge growth in air conditioning and air travel betwen 1950 and 1980, along with suburbs encroaching on former farmland, it's bizarre to model the adjustment for UHI as a small fraction of the (also modeled) upward adjustment made for time of observation changes.

  36. John T says:

    I’ve seen the statement that 1/3 of the sites show cooling, but everyone seems to leave it at that and assume 2/3 show warming. Is that the case? Or do 1/3 show no change and 1/3 warming? Is there a common denominator for all the sites that show warming (urban? inland?) or cooling (rural? coastal?) or is there no correlation with any other factor?

  37. Tom_R says:

    >> Zac says:
    November 17, 2011 at 11:36 am
    So, is this 71% the area covered by oceans, oceans plus other salty waters, or even all area covered by any type of water including the frozen water covering Greenland and Antar <<

    Probably the 2nd. Why are you making such a big deal out of the exact percentage? Does the argument change if the number is 69% or 73%?

  38. Kelvin Vaughan says:

    Jim G says: November 17, 2011 at 10:40 am
    “Just got back from a trip to Cheyenne, WY where for hours the truck outside temperature registered 41degrees F out on the high plains. As soon as we entered the city the temperature went to 43 degrees F and stayed there. … my theory is that it was uban heat island effect

    When I was young I used to travel 30 miles every day into the centre of London.
    After a cold spell with snow, each day, you could see the snow melt work further and further back away from the city centre.

  39. More Soylent Green! says:

    …What bothers me is that the very sharp cooling from 1950-75 that was so obvious in older temp data has dissapeared as they have revised the data over and over. This is old data, so nothing new has happened except their adjustments. If your adjustments make such huge changes, you better justify them with huge amounts of factual proof for your changes, and not just because you revised your assumptions in a computer program.

    Hey, they can get rid of the MWP and the IIA. And they can get rid of you, too, if you keep gumming up the works with your unwanted questions and observations.

  40. Philip Bradley says:

    “It is very likely that the reported warming during 1978-97 is simply an artifact — the result of the measurement scheme rather than an actual warming. ”

    You need to explain to people whether you agree with this nonsense or not.

    I think you need to say why this ‘nonsense’ rather than assert that it is.

    BEST uses the same minimum and maximum temperature dataset and method of deriving ‘average temperature’ as GISS and HadCRUT. Any artifact of this measurement scheme and derivation will show up in all 3 ‘averages’.

  41. Robert Austin says:

    John B says:
    November 17, 2011 at 10:57 am
    “In case you didn’t know, nobody denies the UHI effect. It is well documented. The issue is whether it biases temperature records. And the answer is, no it doesn’t. Why not? Because they use clever maths to correct for it. And how do we know the maths works? Because umpteen studies have shown that if you remove the urban stations, you still get the same answer.”

    I don’t claim that BEST’s or others “corrections” for UHI are inadequate but there still exists the question of whether their labeling of stations as urban or rural captures the siting accurately. I understand that Dr. Spencer shows that the greatest UHI temperature differential effect occurs in low population areas (which could easily be labaled rural). So all the so called “clever maths” are useless if the underlying station classifications are wrong and the UHI issue is still unresolved.

  42. Stacey says:
    November 17, 2011 at 11:29 am
    So this is what Professor Singer said:-
    “But the main reason I have remained a skeptic is that the atmosphere, unlike the land surface, has shown no warming during the crucial period (1978-1997), either over land or over ocean

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Satellite_Temperatures.png
    Singer is a seasoned debater with carefully worded passages. The ‘crucial’ period is not 1978-1997, but 1975-2011. And as you can see, the UAH/RSS global measurements are not ‘unlike the surface measurements’, but tracks rather well.

  43. GeoChemist says:

    Good Grief Mosher! We get it. You are an expert on the surface temperature record and this record shows some warming. Big deal. Its a fricken strawman in context with the big picture, which is; are we going to experience the end of life as we know it if we don’t reorganize our societal and economic systems to eliminate carbon dioxide emissions. You pounce on every mis-step or exaggeration by a sceptic, no matter how trivial, apparently to prove how even-handed you are. It is getting very tiresome. I understand that a lot of comments are uncritical and cheering-section type comments, especially in posts that are not highly technical…..but this is a way most blogs are. So lighten up or stick to defending the temperature records on arcane technical posts where you can demonstrate how proficient you are at defending this meaningless issue.

  44. Rosco says:

    When a well qualified co-author of the BEST project accusses the lead author or practising deception over the results and the publicity there is no reason to think the BEST project hasn’t been hijacked by hijinks fpr publicity by Muller – remember the old adage – there is no bad publicity.

    Like everything else in AGW theory half truths are shouted from the rooftops while the real story is buried in tedious prose and often is in disagreement with the headlines.

    Why do people rule out the Sun – we really do not know much about it after all and it is the source of almost all energy on Earth ?

  45. Rob Potter says:

    Leif Svalgaard says:
    November 17, 2011 at 10:36 am

    steven mosher says:
    November 17, 2011 at 9:59 am
    “It is very likely that the reported warming during 1978-97 is simply an artifact — the result of the measurement scheme rather than an actual warming. ”
    You need to explain to people whether you agree with this nonsense or not.

    I agree that this is nonsense, destroying whatever credibility Singer had.

    This is not nonsense just because you happen to disagree with it.

    I also disagree that there has been no warming, but what Prof. Singer has said is quite reasonable: Given the range of error in all of these land-based measures, in addition to the noted issues of quality, it IS a perfectly sound statement to consider as “very likely” that there has been no warming. You may quibble with the imprecision of “very likely”, but you cannot deny that properly calculated error ranges on the figures include even a slight cooling in this time period.

    What Prof. Singer has done here is to critique the media hype that has surrounded the BEST drafts (which is all that they are) by referring to specific points in the paper(s) and other statements from Prof. Muller. Hardly nonsense and certainly not affecting his credibility. The fact that Prof. Singer is now an emeritus professor and has no need to protect his “credibility” anymore allows him greater freedom to speculate.

    As I said, I happen to disagree that there has been no warming, but as to Prof. Singers’s credibility – well, I think I should stop here rather than say anything intemperate.

  46. Rob Potter says:
    November 17, 2011 at 12:26 pm
    This is not nonsense just because you happen to disagree with it.
    The nonsense part was the singling out of 1978-1997 as ‘the critical period’.

  47. Ian George says:

    Anthony,
    An example of UH effect. Casino, Australia, has two w/stations within 200m of each other (5m difference in elevation). One is a manual station surrounded by buildings and only 2/3 metres from a tarred road. The other is an AWS and is situated in the middle of a grassed oval with no roads/buildings nearby.
    The difference over the past 16 years is that the manual has an annual average of +0.5C higher for maximum temps and +0.1C higher for minimum temps.
    Surely here is proof of the UH effect.
    AWS data.
    http://www.bom.gov.au/jsp/ncc/cdio/weatherData/av?p_nccObsCode=36&p_display_type=dataFile&p_startYear=&p_c=&p_stn_num=058208
    Manual data
    http://www.bom.gov.au/jsp/ncc/cdio/weatherData/av?p_nccObsCode=36&p_display_type=dataFile&p_startYear=&p_c=&p_stn_num=058063

  48. Gary says:

    The media are anything but “complacent and inattentive.” They are deliberately obfuscationist and collaboratist.

  49. Jonas N says:

    Leif (and steven mosher)

    I don’t know about the period, but I read it as the ‘atmosphere’ meaning (presumably) the lower to mid- troposphere. Which hasn’t warmed as the surface, as would have been expected .. and that more warming would have been expected there, according to almost all …

  50. Philip Bradley says:

    One important piece of information that gets overlooked in the satellite versus surface temperature debate is that satellites can only measure surface temperatures through clear skies.

    Therefore any cloud/aerosol effects on the surface temperatures are lost.

    I am convinced a large proportion of the warming in the surface temperature record is a cloud/aerosol effect on the minimum temperature (an artifact).

    This is why I treat the claimed satellite confirmation of the surface temperature record with scepticism.

  51. Jonas N says:
    November 17, 2011 at 12:55 pm
    Leif (and steven mosher)
    I don’t know about the period, but I read it as the ‘atmosphere’ meaning (presumably) the lower to mid- troposphere. Which hasn’t warmed as the surface, as would have been expected .. and that more warming would have been expected there, according to almost all …
    Measurements don’t show much difference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Satellite_Temperatures.png

  52. Gail Combs says:

    teven mosher says:
    November 17, 2011 at 9:59 am

    Hi Anthony. happy 5 Bday

    “It is very likely that the reported warming during 1978-97 is simply an artifact — the result of the measurement scheme rather than an actual warming. ”

    …..Will any of you skeptical thinkers will lift a brain cell to critically examine Singer.
    __________________________________________

    I have a major problem with the whole idea that we can measure the global temperature to within a half degree much less +/- 0.05°C for today and to +/- 0.15°C in 1880. http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/img/climate/research/global-jan-dec-error-bar-pg.gif

    the CRU – errors
    “Uncertainties in the station data:

    * Measurement error: following [5] we estimate this as 0.04C on monthly average temperatures.”
    (Note the weasel word “estimate”)
    Here is the sampling error graph: http://strata-sphere.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/CRU%20Sampling%20Error.gif

    A J Strata goes into the whole analysis and puts into words and math my major objection to the temperature data, my long ago lectures on significant figures. http://strata-sphere.com/blog/index.php/archives/11420

    And that is BEFORE we talk of station siting issues.

    In other words there is no way to know whether we have warmed or cooled without also looking at proxy data such as tomato plants (snicker), grape vines, trees and other temperature sensitive plants….

    “tree rings, ice cores, lake and ocean sediments, stalagmites. Most of these haven’t shown any warming since 1940!”

  53. Philip Bradley says:

    An example of UH effect. Casino, Australia, has two w/stations within 200m of each other (5m difference in elevation). One is a manual station surrounded by buildings and only 2/3 metres from a tarred road. The other is an AWS and is situated in the middle of a grassed oval with no roads/buildings nearby.
    Surely here is proof of the UH effect.

    A grassed oval in a place like Casino will be irrigated. So I’d say the Urban Irrigation Effect is likely the main reason for the temperature difference. Irrigation increases the thermal capacity of the air lowering temperatures.

    A quick look at the data seems to confirm this. Cooler summer temps at the AWS station. No winter difference.

    Apologies for pouring cold water on your UHI theory. :-)

  54. Gail Combs says:

    Wil says:
    November 17, 2011 at 10:55 am

    I’m devastated BEST didn’t:) – now what? Because here is a complete list of things caused by Global Warming, absolutely required reading for everyone on this site. http://www.numberwatch.co.uk/warmlist.htm
    _________________________________________________
    “…..gingerbread houses collapse, glacial earthquakes….”

    ROTFLMAO

  55. Gail Combs says:

    John T says:
    November 17, 2011 at 11:52 am

    I’ve seen the statement that 1/3 of the sites show cooling, but everyone seems to leave it at that and assume 2/3 show warming. Is that the case? Or do 1/3 show no change and 1/3 warming? Is there a common denominator for all the sites that show warming (urban? inland?) or cooling (rural? coastal?) or is there no correlation with any other factor?
    ____________________________________
    Frank Lansner took a look at the raw rural data and found some interesting things: http://joannenova.com.au/2011/10/messages-from-the-global-raw-rural-data-warnings-gotchas-and-tree-ring-divergence-explained/

  56. Gail Combs says:

    Rosco says:
    November 17, 2011 at 12:25 pm

    …..Why do people rule out the Sun – we really do not know much about it after all and it is the source of almost all energy on Earth ?
    _______________________________________-
    That is real easy to answer. There are three main pillars to CAGW.

    1. The temperature record shows warming.
    2. The CO2 is well mixed in the atmosphere and has been steadily rising.
    3. The energy from the sun is constant.

    A fourth minor pillar is the Arctic Ice is melting.

    All four of these pillars are valiantly and well defended here at WUWT. You only have to stick around WUWT for a while to see this.

  57. Gail Combs says:

    Philip Bradley says:
    November 17, 2011 at 1:06 pm

    One important piece of information that gets overlooked in the satellite versus surface temperature debate is that satellites can only measure surface temperatures through clear skies.

    Therefore any cloud/aerosol effects on the surface temperatures are lost….
    _________________________________________
    There is another problem with the “Official” surface temperatures that has recently been pointed out. That is the use of min/max for coming up with the avg. It “exaggerates the increase in the global average land surface temperature over the last 60 years by approximately 45%”

    Jonathan Lowe, an Australian statistician, has performed extensive analysis of weather data recorded at fixed times by Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology (BoM)…. The data comes from 21 weather stations manned by professional meteorologists.

    This work needs to be brought to a wider audience because it paints a very different climate picture to the global land datasets based on minimum and maximum temperatures – GISS, HadCRUT and the recent BEST analysis.

    1. Using a minimum and maximum temperature dataset exaggerates the increase in the global average land surface temperature over the last 60 years by approximately 45%

    2. Almost all the warming over the last 60 years occurred between 6am and 12 noon….
    http://bishophill.squarespace.com/blog/2011/11/4/australian-temperatures.html

  58. Rob Z says:

    Singer writes, “It is very likely that the reported warming during 1978-97 is simply an artifact — the result of the measurement scheme rather than an actual warming.” I’m willing to bet that Prof. Singer has chosen his words wisely. Given that, such a statement could be a subtle hint that Dr. Singer has a new publication up his sleeves. I also wonder who would have the wherewithall to look into the impacts of the “mirage” problem with the models. Atmospheres that heat faster than the surfaces? Who would have programmed that??

  59. Theo Goodwin says:

    I know Muller is a loose cannon on deck. However, it does seem that he is skeptical about everything except the fact that the surface record shows warming. Am I mistaken in this belief?

  60. More Soylent Green! says:

    Rob Z says:
    November 17, 2011 at 2:16 pm
    Singer writes, “It is very likely that the reported warming during 1978-97 is simply an artifact — the result of the measurement scheme rather than an actual warming.” I’m willing to bet that Prof. Singer has chosen his words wisely. Given that, such a statement could be a subtle hint that Dr. Singer has a new publication up his sleeves. I also wonder who would have the wherewithall to look into the impacts of the “mirage” problem with the models. Atmospheres that heat faster than the surfaces? Who would have programmed that??

    SEE More Soylent Green! says:
    November 17, 2011 at 9:29 am

  61. KR says:

    What an interesting choice of time frame, 1978-1997. It might be worth looking at that against the larger data set:

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/uah/plot/uah/to:1997/trend/plot/uah/trend/plot/uah/to:1999/trend

    Trend 1978-1997: 0.0357588 per decade
    Trend 1978-1999: 0.114072 per decade
    Trend 1978-2011: 0.137965 per decade

    Hmm, factor of 3.2 difference with only 10% more data, a period very sensitive to end conditions – something worth checking when examining trends. I find Singer ending the data in a strong La Nina rather deceptive, and a period likely “picked” just to give a particular impression.

  62. Gail Combs says:

    Philip Bradley says:
    November 17, 2011 at 1:32 pm

    An example of UH effect. Casino, Australia, has two w/stations within 200m of each other (5m difference in elevation). One is a manual station surrounded by buildings and only 2/3 metres from a tarred road. The other is an AWS and is situated in the middle of a grassed oval with no roads/buildings nearby.
    Surely here is proof of the UH effect.

    A grassed oval in a place like Casino will be irrigated. So I’d say the Urban Irrigation Effect is likely the main reason for the temperature difference. Irrigation increases the thermal capacity of the air lowering temperatures.
    ______________________________________________
    Fine here is another set
    The only city & close by airport listed for North Carolina. The city is on the North Carolina/Virgina border and right on the ocean. Take a look at the city vs the airport! Norfolk City and

    Norfolk International Airport

    The Raleigh North Carolina area is in the piedmont area of North Carolina. It is far from both the mountains and the sea coast. Here is an Elevation map and North Carolina map of cities

    North to south thru the middle of the state
    North – Raleigh NC

    Large city in the middle of NC – Fayetteville NC

    South – Lumberton NC

    Other Coastal Cities:
    North – Elisabeth City

    South – Wilmington NC

    Rural
    North – Louisburg
    North – Louisburg

    South – Southport
    South – Southport

    Here is the raw 1856 to current Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation Amazing how the temperatures follow the Atlantic ocean oscillation as long as the weather station is not sitting at an airport isn’t it?

  63. Jonas N says:

    Leif

    You linked to a comparison of two sets of surface temperature assessment.

    I read Singer as atmosphere (lower to mid- troposphere) compared to surface measurements:

    But the main reason I have remained a skeptic is that the atmosphere, unlike the land surface, has shown no warming during the crucial period (1978-1997), either over land or over ocean, according to satellites and independent data from weather balloons. And did you know that climate models run on high-speed computers all insist that the atmosphere must warm faster than the surface — and so does atmospheric theory

  64. steven mosher says:
    November 17, 2011 at 9:59 am

    “It is very likely that the reported warming during 1978-97 is simply an artifact — the result of the measurement scheme rather than an actual warming. ”

    You need to explain to people whether you agree with this nonsense or not.
    ==============================================================

    Steven, please forgive me, as I’m probably being a bit thick. Please could you explain why you believe it is nonsense?

    Elsewhere someone questioned the selection of 1979-1997 as a “crucial period”. I took this to be the period for which we have a satellite record coinciding with the period when any apparent warming actually took place (since even those most attached to belief in CAGW now appear to admit – if somewhat reluctantly – that there has been little to no actual warming since 1998.) But perhaps there is another reason this period was chosen, and if so I’d be grateful if someone could explain.

  65. John B says:

    JeffC says:
    November 17, 2011 at 11:42 am

    John B …

    umpteen studies ? really ? how about a link to just one of them … as far as their “clever maths” used to adjust them … well what you can clever maths I call a WAG and a bad one at that …

    —————————–

    OK, here’s one…

    http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2008/2008JD009916.shtml

    and here’s another one…

    http://www.springerlink.com/content/9knq066ce8b6knbf/

  66. John B says:

    Tom_R says:
    November 17, 2011 at 11:52 am

    >> John B says:
    November 17, 2011 at 10:57 am
    In case you didn’t know, nobody denies the UHI effect. It is well documented. The issue is whether it biases temperature records. And the answer is, no it doesn’t. Why not? Because they use clever maths to correct for it. And how do we know the maths works? Because umpteen studies have shown that if you remove the urban stations, you still get the same answer. <<

    Or the stations that were presumed rural in those 'umpteen studies' really aren't. How far away from a population center could you have placed a station in (say) 1950? Somebody had to live close by to read the thermometer. With the huge growth in air conditioning and air travel betwen 1950 and 1980, along with suburbs encroaching on former farmland, it's bizarre to model the adjustment for UHI as a small fraction of the (also modeled) upward adjustment made for time of observation changes.

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

    It amazes me the lengths some people will go to to avoid truths they don't like. UHI effect is real, but it does not skew the global temperature records. Deal with it!

  67. Ian George says:

    Philip B
    I will get back to you on that but I haven’t seen any sprinklers on the oval. The winter ‘non-difference’ may be because the tarred road would not get as hot during cooler months as summer. The manual w/station is affected by sprinklers because there are houses and lawns quite close by being watered.
    And, just running my eye over some of the winter max figures, there still seems to be a large monthly discrepancy (0.2C – 0.5C).
    I still feel my theory holds water.

  68. Philip Bradley says:

    Gail Combs,

    The USA data may well show UHI.

    However, in Australia (outside the far north tropics and perhaps parts of Tasmania), any area that is green in summer is guaranteed to be irrigated in summer. And urban irrigation cools temperatures due to the greater thermal capacity of humid air. Although with the added complication that there is a increased near ground water vapour GH warming effect. And these 2 effects operate over different time periods, resulting in a dependency between time of irrigation and time of temperature recording.

    I usually stay out of UHI discussions, it just happened you picked an example that to me was clearly an irrigation effect.

  69. RobRoy says:

    If I created a climate model in college ,today, and it showed that CO2 did not pose a threat to the entire planet. The model would be obviously flawed and incorrect and would be disregarded. No grants for me; no internships; no doctorate. The tail wags the dog in this realm of “science”. The outcome is pre-described.

  70. Bill Illis says:

    Leif Svalgaard says:
    November 17, 2011 at 1:11 pm
    ——————————————

    There are very large differences between the Berkeley Land temperatures and the Satellite Lower Troposphere temperatures and the Ocean Surface temperatures.

    Why are Land temperatures increasing at 2 times the rate of the Lower Troposphere or the Oceans?

    Why do the Land temperatures have up to 6 times more variability than the Lower Troposphere and the Oceans (in the Pinatubo eruption for example, Land temperatures declined by 1.5C, Lower Troposphere by 0.5C and Ocean SSTs by 0.25C ?

    These are very important questions that need answering and as far as I can tell, noone has asked these questions yet.

    http://img100.imageshack.us/img100/4432/berkeleyuahrsshadsst2.png

  71. Theo Goodwin says:

    John B says:
    November 17, 2011 at 3:40 pm

    “UHI effect is real, but it does not skew the global temperature records.”

    Why?

  72. Philip Bradley says:

    Ian, Of course if you have first hand data about whether irrigation is there or not, I’d like to hear.

    The BoM is its usual inaccurate self. It gives the same lat lon for both stations. There is no sign of either at that location on Google Earth.

    Amusingly, the Bom says the Casino Airport site has been operating since 1858, 50 years before the invention of the airplane.

  73. KR says:
    November 17, 2011 at 2:33 pm
    I find Singer ending the data in a strong La Nina rather deceptive, and a period likely “picked” just to give a particular impression.
    What I meant.

    Jonas N says:
    November 17, 2011 at 3:01 pm
    You linked to a comparison of two sets of surface temperature assessment.
    No, the satellite data is not for the surface: E.g. UAH provides data on three broad levels of the atmosphere.
    The Lower troposphere – TLT (originally called T2LT).
    The mid troposphere – TMT
    The lower stratosphere – TLS[3]

  74. Bill Illis says:
    November 17, 2011 at 4:49 pm
    These are very important questions that need answering and as far as I can tell, noone has asked these questions yet.
    Singer seems to know the answers before the questions were asked :-)
    Whatever the differences, the trend over the critical period 1978-2011 is up. We look stupid if we deny that, but please go ahead.

  75. Ian George says:

    Philip
    Just ran the figures for Casino temps in winter to compare max temps between the AWS and the manual w/station.
    AWS – 21.11C Manual – 21.53C

    Your point was valid but in this case does not really apply. UHI still apparent.

  76. Mike Majikthise says:

    Why do people trust the satellite record so much.
    There has been more bodging done on the data from various satellites than on most surface station records. And the bodging is not small:
    http://tinyurl.com/7xmd6e2
    Surprisingly the changes are usually to make GHG effects smaller!

    Positive slopes turn negative and vice versa. for example data derived for 4.4km changed from a positive slope of 3.27e-5K/day = 0.119K/decade
    to a slope of -1.95e-5K/day = -0.0712K/decade
    and this is over the overlap time when both satellites were operating!!!! If the algorithm had to be changed for the latter satellite then why not correct the former data stream?

    The temperatures are derived from MODELS – you know those things that most here despise! Yet people throw these around as if handed down on tablets of pure platinum.

  77. Tom_R says:

    >> John B says:
    November 17, 2011 at 3:40 pm
    It amazes me the lengths some people will go to to avoid truths they don’t like. UHI effect is real, but it does not skew the global temperature records. Deal with it! <<

    So you resort to truth by fiat? How typical of a religious believer.

    1. UHI changes with time.
    2. These changes have not been measured.
    3. There are very few totally non-urban weather stations. Even the top-rated stations can be affected by UHI as well as local microclimate changes.
    4. The years between 1950 and 1980 were marked by at least three major additions that add significant heat to a local microclimate: air conditioning, air travel, and the use of black asphalt for paving. During these years there were no satellite measurements.

  78. Tom_R says:

    >> Leif Svalgaard says:
    November 17, 2011 at 5:23 pm
    Whatever the differences, the trend over the critical period 1978-2011 is up. <<

    I asked this about the original article and I'll ask you; why is anyone talking about a 'critical period'? Is this just because we have satellite measurements during this period?

  79. Steve H says:

    Leif/KR

    Re “ending the data in a strong La Nina rather deceptive”
    According to The NOAA Climate Prediction Center:

    http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/analysis_monitoring/ensostuff/ensoyears.shtml

    the La Nina did not end in 1997, but in MAM 1996. There were 13 months of ENSO “neutral” conditions before the official start of the 1998 El Nino at period AMJ

    Besides, the La Nina was not particularly strong lasting 7 periods and reached a maximum of -.7 for two of those periods. Compare this to the La Nina following the 1998 El Nino which lasted 24 periods and reached a maximum of -1.6 for two periods or the 1975 La Nina with lasted 36 periods and reached a maximum of -1.7 for two periods.

    Also if you take the trend (UAH) from Jan 1979 to April 1996 you get 0.36 Deg C/ Cent. You get the same trend if you take the period Jan 1979 to March 1997, the last 0 period before the 1998 El Nino. The same result is achieved for RSS and GISS ( 0.72 and 0.96).

    So I don’t believe that Singer is being deceptive. However the three temperature records do show warming albeit they vary by as much as a factor of almost 3!! What does that say!! Where does Singer get no warming – Unless he only takes UAH and thinks 0.36 Deg/Century is indistinguishable from noise.

  80. Fred Singer knows from being there that there was a flat trend from 1978 till the 1997 beginning of the 1998 El Nino and a step up to the flat trend since 1998-1999 in the satellite records, watching something on a daily basis teaches a person more than reviewing the data ever will.

    The difference between the real step change in the temperature data, and the slow increase in the CO2 level has no correlation, although just correlation is not causation, there can no causation with out some amount of correlation!

    So it seems natural he should point out the flat response in the critical period 1978-1997, as well as the step increase during the 1998 El Nino and the ensuing flat trend after. This is cherry picking? About as much as only paying the fare for the cab while you are in it, instead of all day.

  81. Ian George says:

    Philip
    The two stations are within 200 m of each other so they would have the same latitude. The manual w/station was moved to the airport some years ago from the Post Office but well before the AWS was set up. I am comparing the temps only from the time the AWS started.
    I have visited the site and can assure you what I have written is true.

  82. KR says:

    Some points well worth mentioning in regards to Dr. Singer’s cherry-picked 1978-1997 trend line: there are multiple variations including ENSO, volcanic aerosols, and the solar cycle as well as anthropogenic greenhouse gases. There’s no reason to expect monotonic increases in temperature over the short term.

    See http://www.aip.org/history/climate/images/Model-4_effects.jpg for a straightforward addition of these effects, with some 10-20 year speedups and slowdowns of temperature rise, from Lean and Rind 2009 (http://www.unity.edu/facultypages/womersley/2009_Lean_Rind-5.pdf).

    Cherry-picking short term trends is nothing new: see http://tinyurl.com/6tkxogy

  83. Tom_R says:
    November 17, 2011 at 7:33 pm
    I asked this about the original article and I’ll ask you; why is anyone talking about a ‘critical period’?
    Because Singer himself does that. Actually [and that could be my fault] he does use the word ‘critical’, but the stronger one: ‘crucial’ “the crucial period (1978-1997)”

    Is this just because we have satellite measurements during this period?
    We have such measurements from 1978 until today.

    Steve H says:
    November 17, 2011 at 7:39 pm
    So I don’t believe that Singer is being deceptive.
    He is an old hand at this and is very careful with what he says. Ending just before the great warming in 1998 is not quite kosher [and he knows that] so why do it? In my book, that hurts his credibility. I gather from people’s willingness to defend him that those people think it is OK to play such tricks [see below]. I do not [and get dumped on for it].

    Richard Holle says:
    November 17, 2011 at 7:56 pm
    So it seems natural he should point out the flat response in the critical period

  84. Richard Holle says:
    November 17, 2011 at 7:56 pm
    The difference between the real step change in the temperature data, and the slow increase in the CO2 level has no correlation, although just correlation is not causation, there can no causation with out some amount of correlation!

    There is no step function either in the various other things people think cause climate change, solar activity, planetary tides, Jupiter shine, Galactic clouds, etc. We have a tendency to see lines, steps, and such where there are none. Take away the 1998 el Nino [and the 1982 one] and there is much less of an apparent step: http://www.leif.org/research/Temps-since-1975.png

  85. Leif Svalgaard says: November 17, 2011 at 10:36 am quoting Setven Mosher -
    “It is very likely that the reported warming during 1978-97 is simply an artifact — the result of the measurement scheme rather than an actual warming. You need to explain to people whether you agree with this nonsense or not.”

    (Leif) I agree that this is nonsense, destroying whatever credibility Singer had.

    Can we not be less absolute? If you look at the shape of global or NH temperature graphs in the dip of 1945-70 or so, there is obvious flattening in newer versions as many others have observed. So, relatively rather than absolutely, I would say that some nonsense work has been done to that time period. If then, why not also to the 1978-97 period that is in your derisory comment?
    I’m happy to concur that the 1978-97 period is error prone, but until I see the errors explained, I would not shoot the messenger. Some severe instrumental changes happened in some countries in this term. See, for example, http://www.bom.gov.au/amm/docs/2004/trewin.pdf

    Let’s not get acrimonious about our frustrations with noisy data.

  86. KR says:

    A linear trend is the best that can be established given the data – all of the data, mind you, not just a cherry-picked shorter term that isn’t robust to +/- 10% of the data.

    Some people invoke a step function, or even multiple steps. I’ll note, however, that a single step function, with two changes of slope and three different trends, would require much more statistical justification (i.e., data) than a linear trend over that data with one slope. And as Santer points out, you need at least 17 years just to establish a linear trend. Anyone who thinks a linear trend isn’t significant should just forget about higher order fits, including steps…

  87. Geoff Sherrington says:
    November 17, 2011 at 9:59 pm
    Let’s not get acrimonious about our frustrations with noisy data.
    The nonsense is not about the data, but in the statement that the cherry-picked period 1978-1997 period is ‘crucial’ in the debate.

  88. steven mosher says:
    November 17, 2011 at 9:59 am
    Will any of you skeptical thinkers will lift a brain cell to critically examine Singer.
    Seems there is a shortage of such…

  89. Jim Steele says:

    I am curious about the adjustment algorithms that BEST used relative to previous data adjustments. From what I see only the average temperatures have been released to date. Correct? The real issues are the differences between maximum and minimum temperature trends. Maximum temperatures are a mostly a function of short wave solar radiation that is modulated by clouds. The convection created by surface warming vertically mixes the air, and thus gives a better representation of the overall heat content. Typically the convection at midday eliminates differences in urban heat islands and rural temps. Accordingly previous adjustments to maximum temperatures are typically minimal.

    In contrast minimum temperatures occur at times when there is a thermal inversion, with colder air layers nearest the surface. However changes in major winds, a la ocean oscillations, or changes in surface boundaries that either disturb the vertical stratification or change the surface heat storage and thus convection, all can dramatically re-distribute the air layers and create a diverse array of minimum temperatures. For example citrus growers use fans to mix the air to prevent frosts forming at the surface boundary. Because of this stratification and its disruption by a wide variety of local conditions, minimum temperatures should be expected to vary much more between neighboring weather stations. Accordingly attempts to detect change points will likely be notice more often in minimum temperature data sets.

    Earlier adjustments compared neighboring stations looking for changes in trends and then homogenized the data according to what they perceived was a non-climatic artifact. These earliest analyses detected 1 “discontinuity” per ~ every 20 years. The new BEST analyses calls there change-point detection method the “scalpel” and the have detected even more discontinuities, approximately 1 per 14 years if I remember correctly, and then then adjusted those trends.

    If you compare raw temps to adjusted temps for both maximum and minimum temperatures, the minimum temperatures are, as expected, the most grossly adjusted temperature sets, and because their algorithms look for changing trends, they often make drastic adjustments creating very odd and steep warming trends that are often totally contrary to the raw data. Yet compared to the same station’s maximum temperatures no similar exaggerated adjustments are made. I fear BEST’s “scalpel” methodology which hacks ups the data at even smaller segments due to more perceived trend changes,they will likely adjust the data into a more uniform trend that suffers from the same systematic errors that created weird adjustments earlier. For example the bimodal high peaks expected due to the PDO is often obliterated in the minimum adjustments. in many of the USHCN California sites.

    I was looking at temperature data for Amherst MA because that area has experienced a southward migration of northern moose, in total contradiction of warming theory. Likewise a bimodal minimum is obliterated and transfigured into a steep linear trend. Go to USHCN and compare max and minimum raw and adjusted data, and from a quick perusal I suspect you will see this systematic adjustment in half the stations. The question is why maximum are treated so differently than minimums. I would bet the BEST data will express that same asymmetry to their adjustments.

  90. Chris Schoneveld says:

    In 1997, when the debates and warnings about AGW were already rife, Singer would have had a point.

  91. John Whitman says:

    S. Fred Singer said,

    “But the main reason I have remained a skeptic is that the atmosphere, unlike the land surface, has shown no warming during the crucial period (1978-1997), either over land or over ocean, according to satellites and independent data from weather balloons. And did you know that climate models run on high-speed computers all insist that the atmosphere must warm faster than the surface — and so does atmospheric theory?”

    “BEST has no data from the oceans, which cover 71% of the planet’s surface. True, oceans are not subject to urban heat islands, but they have problems with instrumentation. It is very likely that the reported warming during 1978-97 is simply an artifact — the result of the measurement scheme rather than an actual warming. Anyway, supporting data don’t show any ocean warming, either.”

    I understand Singer is referring to the missing fingerprint of AGW by CO2 in the mid-troposphere since 1978. Lindzen has expressed very similar observations about the lack of the fingerprint since 1979 as have others.

    We have the following from Lindzen’s Jan 17 2011 WUWT Post entitled “Richard Lindzen: A Case Against Precipitous Climate Action”

    Lindzen said,

    “For warming since 1979, there is a further problem. The dominant role of cumulus convection in the tropics requires that temperature approximately follow what is called a moist adiabatic profile. This requires that warming in the tropical upper troposphere be 2-3 times greater than at the surface. Indeed, all models do show this, but the data doesn’t and this means that something is wrong with the data. It is well known that above about 2 km altitude, the tropical temperatures are pretty homogeneous in the horizontal so that sampling is not a problem. Below two km (roughly the height of what is referred to as the trade wind inversion), there is much more horizontal variability, and, therefore, there is a profound sampling problem. Under the circumstances, it is reasonable to conclude that the problem resides in the surface data, and that the actual trend at the surface is about 60% too large. Even the claimed trend is larger than what models would have projected but for the inclusion of an arbitrary fudge factor due to aerosol cooling. The discrepancy was reported by Lindzen (2007) and by Douglass et al (2007). Inevitably in climate science, when data conflicts with models, a small coterie of scientists can be counted upon to modify the data. Thus, Santer, et al (2008), argue that stretching uncertainties in observations and models might marginally eliminate the inconsistency. That the data should always need correcting to agree with models is totally implausible and indicative of a certain corruption within the climate science community.”

    In that context Singer’s note about the lacking of atmospheric temp increase since 1978 seems reasonable and consistent with Lindzen discussions and other’s discussions.

    John

  92. Philip Bradley says:

    But the main reason I have remained a skeptic is that the atmosphere, unlike the land surface, has shown no warming during the crucial period (1978-1997), either over land or over ocean, according to satellites and independent data from weather balloons.

    Singer is factually correct in this statement as the UAH temperature anomaly was around zero for most of these two years.

    Whether or not a trend over x months or y years is a more accurate measure doesn’t invalidate Singer’s statement.

    Leif takes issue with Singer’s use of ‘crucial’. This is a letter to the editor and some rhetorical flourishes are allowed IMO.

    I can’t see any issues with the rest of what he says.

  93. Brian H says:

    Ah, homogenization. What would we do without ye?
    Scalpels are SO helpful!

    Edit note: “prudent internal cheeks” would be “checks”. Sorely needed.

  94. jens raunsø jensen says:

    Leif Svalgaard states Nov17 7:56 that there are no step function in temperature data or various other things etc.
    Leif, please explain the scientific evidence for your categorical statement. I disagree with you, as the data and other empirical evidence clearly suggest otherwise. But I am prepared to learn.
    thanks …. jens

  95. wayne says:

    Latitude says:
    November 17, 2011 at 9:29 am

    Does anyone else wonder how BEST was able to do something so involved and complicated….
    ….in such a short period of time /snark

    Latitude, you say /snark but you are closer to the real answer than you think. The main thing BEST did was to simply take the adjustments performed in a step called homogenizing, and renamed it splicing, streamlining for fast turnaround. Both of those processes basically remove the UHI signature that becomes apparent when stations are relocated to better sites where cooler. That step downward is the UHI signature itself and in both cases it is termed an discontinuation error and ‘spliced’ out to leave another small increase in the trends every time. Walla! Global warming.

  96. Zac says:

    Why is the heat generated in the earth’s core that is transmitted mainly to the Ocean not taken into account when trying to model the climate? And as the majority of this heat is from radio active decay won’t this contribute to a global cooling?

  97. jens raunsø jensen says:
    November 18, 2011 at 2:48 am
    Leif Svalgaard states Nov17 7:56 that there are no step function in temperature data or various other things etc.
    Leif, please explain the scientific evidence for your categorical statement. I disagree with you, as the data and other empirical evidence clearly suggest otherwise. But I am prepared to learn.

    So am I. I showed that the step in temperature is not clear at all: http://www.leif.org/research/Temps-since-1975.png As someone pointed out if you deny a linear increase on account of noise then a step as a second order effect is even less likely. As for geomagnetic activity, see for yourself: http://www.leif.org/research/Ap-1944-2008.png As for sunspots http://www.leif.org/research/SSN-vs-CaK3.png and so on.

  98. Tom_R says:

    >> Leif Svalgaard says:
    November 17, 2011 at 11:18 pm
    steven mosher says:
    November 17, 2011 at 9:59 am
    Will any of you skeptical thinkers will lift a brain cell to critically examine Singer.
    Seems there is a shortage of such… <<

    Seems to me there are several skeptics questioning the apparently cherry-picked time period.

  99. Tom_R says:

    >> Leif Svalgaard says:
    November 17, 2011 at 9:23 pm
    There is no step function either in the various other things people think cause climate change, solar activity, planetary tides, Jupiter shine, Galactic clouds, etc. We have a tendency to see lines, steps, and such where there are none. Take away the 1998 el Nino [and the 1982 one] and there is much less of an apparent step: http://www.leif.org/research/Temps-since-1975.png <<

    If you also take away the subsequent La Nina it looks very much like a step change. However, I can't see a logical reason for a step change in 'global temperature' unless there was a change in measuring devices or methods around that time, and I'm unaware of any such change.

  100. Ian W says:

    Steve Garcia says:
    November 17, 2011 at 9:38 am
    …both results rely on surface thermometers, they are not really independent and could be subject to similar fundamental errors. For example, both datasets could be affected by urban heat islands or other non-global effects — like local heating of airports, where traffic has been growing steadily.

    Well, one thing that I had not thought of and that may tie in well with the temps as seen in upslope in the 1990s and the flattening in the 2000s is that airline industry was approaching – and may have even passed – full capacity in the 1990s. Overbookings were extremely common. Airports were planning (and building) extra runways, so more takeoffs and landings could be accomodated. (Put together with the Great dying off of the thermometers, this is something worth looking into.)

    And then 9/11 hit and the industry fell off massively, and only came back up slowly. Have they gotten back to where they were in the late 1990s? I don’t know, but I don’t think so. While some of my flights have been full, I also know that some routes simply don’t exist (or have far fewer flights weekly), not as they did in the 1990s and early 2000s.

    As with anything in climate, I don’t bring this up as a stand-alone cause of anything, but I think it is a likely factor in the lack of warming now, versus all that warming in the 1990s. Let us not forget how booming the world economy was in the 1990s. It hasn’t been like that since. And one place it showed was in airline flights.

    Coincidence? Maybe. But maybe not, too.

    The number of aircraft in flight worldwide has increased. You may find that the direct regional jet flights from small airports in the US have gone, but there are still about 5000 aircraft airborne over the USA at any one time during the day. Also in the middle and far east air traffic is growing extremely fast. This is why several middle eastern airlines have placed orders for 300+ aircraft _each_ with both Airbus and Boeing at the recent Dubai air show.

    However, as the actual fuel burn per passenger mile has reduced considerably – a 737-800 does about 120 miles per gallon per passenger – and the 787 is 20% better than that – so the emissions from aircraft have reduced significantly. Aviation has actually starting to reduce emissions despite traffic growth – mainly to cope with the cost of fuel.

    But all this does not alter the fact that there is really no quantification on the ‘forcing’ effect of aircraft emissions and contrails. There is a distinct possibility that the albedo increase (cooling) from persistent contrails is far more significant than any forcing due to water vapor from the engines. Remember that contrails (like clouds) only appear in air that is already saturated or super-saturated with water vapor.

  101. As for geomagnetic activity, see for yourself: http://www.leif.org/research/Ap-1844-2008.png As for sunspots

  102. John B says:

    Tom_R says:
    November 17, 2011 at 7:27 pm

    >> John B says:
    November 17, 2011 at 3:40 pm
    It amazes me the lengths some people will go to to avoid truths they don’t like. UHI effect is real, but it does not skew the global temperature records. Deal with it! <<

    So you resort to truth by fiat? How typical of a religious believer.

    1. UHI changes with time.
    2. These changes have not been measured.
    3. There are very few totally non-urban weather stations. Even the top-rated stations can be affected by UHI as well as local microclimate changes.
    4. The years between 1950 and 1980 were marked by at least three major additions that add significant heat to a local microclimate: air conditioning, air travel, and the use of black asphalt for paving. During these years there were no satellite measurements.

    —————————–

    Tom, Not by fiat at all. I said earlier in the thread that 'umpteen' studies had shown that UHI does not skew te temperature record. I was then asked to provide links to at least one such study, and I provided two. The evidence is there for all to see, but here is another way of looking at it:

    Most of the globe is not urban, in fact most of it is not even land. Much of the fraction that is urban (I think I read 2% of land area, but I can't track that down right now) has been urban over the whole period we are interested in. So that doesn't leave much area to have a skewing effect, even if nothing else were done. But other things are done: Believe it or not, they don't average stations, they average gridded areas, so it doesn't matter that there are more stations per square mile in urban areas. On top of that, there are mathematical techniques that look for changes from a station's record that are out of step with neighbouring stations, and therefore probably caused by extraneous factors like a siting change or, yes, urbanisation. Step changes like that are removed from the trend contributions.

    So that is the theory of why UHI doesn't skew the records, and the empirical evidence is in the studies I referred to earlier and others like them. And here's another link that explains the same thing:

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/urban-heat-island-effect.htm

    Theo, hope that answers your question ("Why?"), too.

    It really is time skeptics stopped clutching at this particular straw.

  103. Bob Kutz says:

    If this is true, Dick has an actionable cause against the editor. Editors can make up headlines but they cannot mis-portray your views. Not unless you allow them to. First step, rather than complain to Fred, would be to contact the Editor in Chief at WSJ in writing with a complaint. See where that goes.

    Newpapers can do a lot of things, but they cannot lie, unless those whom they lie about allow it to happen. Mis-characterizing what Dr. Muller said to portray it as the opposite of his views has been construed by the courts to be the same as lying.

    The fact that Dr. Muller isn’t raising more of a fuss about it doesn’t (unfortunately) lend any credence to the notion that he is a skeptic.

    If the papers chose to report something I said and imply I strongly believed/supported that which I held to be false; you would know it. I would probably be arrested for spraypainting it on their building. It would be on every website with a comment section.

    Dr. Muller seems to play to whatever audience is in front of him. But he knows which side of his bread is buttered.

  104. Jim Steele says:

    John B says “On top of that, there are mathematical techniques that look for changes from a station’s record that are out of step with neighbouring stations, and therefore probably caused by extraneous factors like a siting change or, yes, urbanisation. Step changes like that are removed from the trend contributions.”

    But those mathematical techniques are exactly what are in question because they are used without any documentation of a siting or instrumental change. In fact when the massive switch in instruments happened in the 80′s there was very little adjustment during that period. They massively adjusted the data else where because simply it does not fit a trend at a neighboring site, and it is adjusted very asymmetrically. If those temperature changes were simply a function of regional weather patterns, indeed the temperatures should be more homogenous. However the raw data reported that such homogeneity was in fact very very rare. Instead of accepting that lack of homogeneity, they adjusted the data to fit their preconceptions whenever their was a pairwise mismatch. And as I stated earlier and it has been well documented, the dynamical difference between day time convection and night time inversions predicts that minimum temperatures will have many more inhomogeneities.

    One should suspect that a drift in the thermometer calibrations would affect max and min data proportionately. Likewise for a relocation. Individual changes in a site that cause different exposure to direct sun would create differences amongst stations and affect max temps. However it is the minimum temperatures that are adjusted most often, and quite disproportionately to max data. And it has been the minimum temperatures most responsible for the rise in the reported rise in average heating. Look at Amherst Ma and Cuyamaca CA, very different environments subjected to very different ocean effects separated by 3000 miles. Yet both have their raw minimum temperatures adjusted to create the samee trend that is in gross disagreement with their station’s max adjustments and the raw data. It those mathematical algorithms used to “diagnose” change points that assume there should be a more uniform trend, while ignoring known oscillations. And this appears to have generate a systematic bias.

    If you look at research on flowering times over the past century in western USA and England, the data supports peaks in the 30′s and 90′s. Arctic temperatures north of 70 degrees, likewise suggest there was a similar warm peak in the 30′s and today. Peak melting of glaciers in the Swiss Alps occurred in the 30′s and 40′s, followed by a period of advance and then by a second but less intensive receding of glaciers around the 90′s. Thus several well documented and published research all validate these bimodal peaks observed in raw data for minimum temperatures. However the adjustments homogenize those oscillating temperatures and create a steep linear trend of increasing temperatures. And minimum has driven the average with 3 times the weight of the maximum.

    Several researchers looking at the global tree ring divergence problem have likewise suggested if maximum temperatures are used then our instruments and trees are talking the same language. D’ Arrigo was trying to solve the divergence problem and had to choose between adjustments from CAnadian Weather Bureau or NASA. The Canadian adjustments created a much less steeper trend and less of a divergence. Whether using old NASA homogenizations or BEST’s scalpel and splicing techniques, it is the undocumented changes to minimum temperatures that are highly suspect, and thus should be the focus of instrumental temperature debate. Singer’s comments seem much too casual to be supported out of hand. However he does point to a legitimate concern that some of the trend maybe an “artifact” and thus a function of subjective adjustments, not what the raw data has directly observed.

  105. John B says:

    Jim Steele says:
    November 18, 2011 at 9:10 am

    ———————————————

    …and in any case, the most warming is seen in high Northern latitudes (as predicted by AGW, incidentally) where there is liitle urbanisation.

    Multiple lines of evidence, all pointing the same way. That’s how science works!

  106. Bob Kutz says:

    John B says:
    November 18, 2011 at 9:24 am

    “Multiple lines of evidence, all pointing the same way. That’s how science works! . . . .”

    No, John, you are wrong. Here’s how science works; you observe a phenomenon. You form a hypothesis about how the phenomenon works. You devise and experiment and collect empirical data.

    You then study the data and draw a conclusion. THEN YOU SHARE ALL OF YOUR DATA AND METHODOLOGY, giving other scientists the opportunity to reproduce them. No where are there subjective ‘adjustments’ to the data. Nowhere do you get to lose your archived data or claim it is proprietary. Nowhere do you get to hide anything by refusing to comply with FOI laws. Nowhere do you get to game peer review. Nowhere to you get to conspire to exclude dissent from scientific debate.

    But this all glosses over the real question of this article; why are Fred and Judith reporting that Dr. Muller is telling them one thing, then saying something completely at odds to what they have reported when talking to the press or to congress?

    My understanding is that telling congress something you believe not to be true is a punishable crime. There’s three possibilities; Either he’s lying to professional scientists or to congress or Judith and Fred are both lying to us. I tend to doubt that very seriously. I don’t think either of them would ever mis-characterize what a fellow scientist told them. Mind you; they are pilloried and held in contempt by their colleagues for their refusal to ‘go along to get along’, but their integrity is seldom questioned by serious people.

    Oh, and one more observation; multiple lines of evidence pointing in the same direction do not amount to science either. That is in fact the opposite of science. You must disprove the null hypothesis, not give corroborating evidence that your hypothesis is correct. Scientific advancement does not take place in a court room, consensus doesn’t matter, and eventually those who ‘adjust’ or hide their data and obfuscate their methodology are shipwrecked by the laughter of the gods. Always.

    It will be fun to watch, assuming that there are any free people left to observe it when it happens.

  107. Jim Steele says:

    John B says “and in any case, the most warming is seen in high Northern latitudes (as predicted by AGW, incidentally) where there is liitle urbanisation.”

    Your response indicate you choose to ignore the minimum temperatures paradoxes, so I will assume that you do not disagree with those issues. Instead you choose to redirect the issue to the poles. So be it.

    The models you refer to typically overestimated warming in Antarctica and grossly underestimated the rising temperatures in the Arctic. This was so because their models are driven by CO2 and do not adequately describe the oceans redistribution of heat. In Antarctica the circumpolar current prevents incursions of warm water, and thus Antarctica’s temperatures are not confounded so greatly by ocean dynamics, At the south pole during the winter night, where only water vapor no longer has any role, and convection quelled, only radiative heating by CO2 should effect the temperatures. BUt there has been a significant decline in winter temperatures at the South Pole. Sea ice coverage has not declined but increased, despite most Antarctic Ice being annual ice. Not a modeled prediction.

    The models the predicted polar amplification were based on CO2 induced loss of snow and ice and the resulting loss of albedo. The warm lower layers of PAcific and Atlantic waters then can release heat and “amplify” the temperatures. However this could also be seen as a cooling of sequestered heat, not a warming of the ocean. And any other variable that impacts sea ice loss, would result in the same amplification. In fact radiosonde measurements over the northpole indicated a cooling similar to the south pole. I believe the paper was Kahl 1994 and Serreze was a co-author.

    In the Arctic, the ice melt is not symmetrical. The greatest loss occurs around the Barents Sea and Chukchi where incursions from the Atlantic and Pacific have a tremendous impact. Likewise several studies have correlated warm water incursions to changes in the North Atlantic Oscillations and Pacific Oscillations respectively. Furthermore Rigor 2004, has shown that much of the ice loss was caused by sub-freeezing winds from Siberia moving ice away from the coast. Thus much of the open water was caused by cold winds, and such a phenomenon is well studied because open water polynyas are likewise formed winds, and are critical for wildlife at both poles. The winds have moved out the old multi-year ice making the release of heat from the ocean easier. There is much to do made about the Arctic’s multi-year ice, while Antacrtica has very little multi-year ice and yet the ice has increased. Furthermore several papers have challenged the polar amplification and pointed to the rising Alaskan temperatures as function of the PDO. The PDO shifted wind fields that not only redirected warmer air, but disrupted thermal inversions that generated warming much like happens in more populated areas.

    Several papers by Woodgate has implicated that much of the ice melting was further advanced by incursions of warmer water that likely are associated with the PDO and NAO. In order to determine how much warming can be attributed to CO2, reserachers have tried to subtract the effects of these natural oscillations. Shimada has shown that despite the current shift in the PDO and the cooling of waters now entering the Bering Strait, the current lack of ice has allowed winds to vertically mix the ocean layers and bring warmer waters to the surface and create a positive feedback that temporarily maintains the lack of ice. If so, the current trend to a negative PDO and the dwindling of warm water incursions, suggests the Arctic ice will return in within a decade.

    Papers in the 90′s from Levitus or Shindell and other all noted that much of the warming could indeed be accounted for by the positive trends in the NAO and AO. They all then argued that these oscillations were greatly influenced by CO2 and thus predicted that these positive trends will continue. Shortly thereafter, in contradiction to their modeled results these oscillations have now gone negative.

    If you look at Hansen’ s 80′s paper where he presented the 3 scenarios which the CO2 advocates still point to as a modeling victory, one of Hansen’s predictions of warming was indeed close to future observation. But was he right for the wrong reasons? If yo look at his ocean temperatures there is a uniform rise in temperatures, but the PDO which was named after his modeled prediction, the bipolar shifts in warming and cooling completely discredits that modeled interpretation of temperature rise. He was wrong because the models were driven by CO2 that uniformly adds heat to the globe, and was unaware of the PDO. Those models do not accurately account for natural variations that redistribute heat from the oceans. And that is why they underestimated the Arctic and over estimate the Antarctic heating. The modeled result you hold onto were inaccurate but luckily got some warming correct but for the wrong reasons. Many are now scrambling to suggest that those same oscillations are and will be hiding the “real” warming. And they call skeptics deniers.

  108. Tom_R says:

    >> John B says:
    November 18, 2011 at 7:43 am
    Tom, Not by fiat at all. I said earlier in the thread that ‘umpteen’ studies had shown that UHI does not skew te temperature record. I was then asked to provide links to at least one such study, and I provided two. The evidence is there for all to see, but here is another way of looking at it:

    Most of the globe is not urban, in fact most of it is not even land. Much of the fraction that is urban (I think I read 2% of land area, but I can’t track that down right now) has been urban over the whole period we are interested in. So that doesn’t leave much area to have a skewing effect, even if nothing else were done. But other things are done: Believe it or not, they don’t average stations, they average gridded areas, so it doesn’t matter that there are more stations per square mile in urban areas. On top of that, there are mathematical techniques that look for changes from a station’s record that are out of step with neighbouring stations, and therefore probably caused by extraneous factors like a siting change or, yes, urbanisation. Step changes like that are removed from the trend contributions.

    So that is the theory of why UHI doesn’t skew the records, and the empirical evidence is in the studies I referred to earlier and others like them. And here’s another link that explains the same thing: <<

    1. You linked to two abstracts about Chinese UHI. I cannot comment on the actual method they used, since the full paper is behind a paywall (assuming they actually describe the method in detail in the full paper). It is certainly not there 'for all to see.' However, in the first case the abstract claimed to use SST from 1950. I have doubts there are any meaningful measurements of SST until satellites measured it, and maybe not even until ARGO.

    2. Your explanation in no way supports your claim. If urban heat affects only 2% of the land area but stations are predominantly in urban areas, then the gridding will exaggerate the UHI effect. The mathematical techniques add warming to sites as well as removing UHI from others, see Willis' analysis of what happened in Darwin. You may have FAITH in the mathematical techniques, but they have been proven to give ridiculous results when inspected more closely.

    3. The BEST data show 1/3 of the stations trend to cooling. These stations are not bunched together, but spread among the warming stations. Regional variation cannot explain this. Either there are local microclimate or UHI effects that explain the differences, or the data is just garbage to begin with. If the former, since almost all microclimate changes are in the direction of warming the 2:1 ratio of warming vs. cooling can be explained without CO2, and without being global. If the latter, then pre-satellite global temperature measurements are worthless.

  109. John B says:

    Jim,

    The data and methods are all there. Manns’s data and methods, GISSTemp, HADCRUT, it’s all there. The “adjustments” were done for good reason, e.g. to correct for urbanisation, or elsewhere to correct for orbital decay, all sorts of reasons, but none of them dishonest. There is no conspiracy!!!

    Here, try this for starters…

    http://www.meteo.psu.edu/~mann/shared/research/MANNETAL98/

    See, data and methods. If you really think Mann screwed up, redo his work. And if you think UHI is not being treated properly, do it for yourself. That’s what Muller did and, if I remember correctly, he was lauded as a skeptic right up until he issued results that pseduo-skeptics didn’t like. Funny that.

  110. John B says:

    Tom,

    Just to pick you up on one point along your Gish Gallop:

    “If urban heat affects only 2% of the land area but stations are predominantly in urban areas, then the gridding will exaggerate the UHI effect.”

    No! If you can’t even understand this point, what hope have you got? The measured temperatures are added in to the average according to the area they represent, so if one area has 100 as many stations as another equal area, each station in the former area contributes 1/100 as much as each station in the latter. So the more densely represented area, in terms of station numbers, is not over-represented in the average. Do you get that?

    You are clutching at straws to avoid accepting the unwelcome truth.

  111. Jim Steele says:

    John B says:
    “The data and methods are all there. Manns’s data and methods, GISSTemp, HADCRUT, it’s all there. The “adjustments” were done for good reason, e.g. to correct for urbanisation, or elsewhere to correct for orbital decay, all sorts of reasons, but none of them dishonest. There is no conspiracy!!!”

    I never said there was a dishonest conspiracy. 1)I said there is a systematic bias created by attempts to homegenized data they should not have been unless documented. And there are a few published papers suggesting likewise. I am familiar with the methods and your reference to them is another misdirection on your part. I argued that the method of pairwise matching that then forces an assumed homogeneity needs further debate. I supported that by indicating that adjustments are done differently to max and minimum temperatures are very different because minimum temperatures will present many more pairwise inconsistencies. My first impression was BEST was avoiding those adjustments, but after reading their results they clearly indicated their scalpel techniques require even more adjustments 2) I offered several lines of research the clearly indicated that raw temperatures were not out of line with natural changes. I offered two weather stations at Amherst and Cuyamaca as examples but we can peruse the online USHCN and find several hundred similar adjustments. I ask you to explain why this systmatic bias creates a preponderance of steep linear trends and obliterates the raw data oscillating data.

    Unable for whatever reasons to address those very reasonable questions, you switch to the polar amplification. And on that issue there is a greater abundance of debate over natural causes versus CO2 within the climate science community. And I pointed to several papers data bases. Again unable to respond to reasonable debate you deflect the issue with suggesting I “redo Mann’s research”. I thought we were debating substantive science not playing dodge ball.

  112. John B says:

    Jim,

    My sincere apologies, I was responding to Bob Kutz, who said:

    “You then study the data and draw a conclusion. THEN YOU SHARE ALL OF YOUR DATA AND METHODOLOGY, giving other scientists the opportunity to reproduce them. No where are there subjective ‘adjustments’ to the data. Nowhere do you get to lose your archived data or claim it is proprietary. Nowhere do you get to hide anything by refusing to comply with FOI laws. Nowhere do you get to game peer review. Nowhere to you get to conspire to exclude dissent from scientific debate.”

    I see why you thought I was being off-topic. Sorry again. But, on the thoer hand, I wouldn’t say I “switched” to polar amplification. I introduced it as yet another line of evidence that implies the surface temperature recrd is reliable and not tainted by the UHI.

    John

  113. Tom_R says:

    >> John B says:
    No! If you can’t even understand this point, what hope have you got? The measured temperatures are added in to the average according to the area they represent, so if one area has 100 as many stations as another equal area, each station in the former area contributes 1/100 as much as each station in the latter. So the more densely represented area, in terms of station numbers, is not over-represented in the average. Do you get that? <<

    I get that.

    If a grid square has one station, odds are the station is near a population center and UHI is spread over a whole square. If more than 80% of the stations are critically flawed, then microclimate effects will corrupt 80% of the grid squares with one station. And grid squares that have no stations will have the temperature anomoly interpolated from the nearest stations which are odds-on to be near population centers and have microclimate warming. Do you get that?

    Gridding just corrects for station density. It does not correct for UHI, but can magnify it as in the examples I gave. Do you get that?

  114. John B says:

    Tom,

    Do you have any idea of how little of the Earth’s surface is “urban”? Even if corrections weren’t applied, the UHI effect would be small. With proper, honest, statistically-principled corrections, it is miniscule. Give it up, fight a better battle.

    John

  115. Smokey says:

    John B doesn’t understand what’s going on. Most temperature recording stations have been eliminated. The remaining stations are almost all urban.

  116. Jim Steele says:

    JohnB says “My sincere apologies” Accepted and I look forward to continue a more focused debate.

    JohnB says “I see why you thought I was being off-topic. Sorry again. But, on the thoer hand, I wouldn’t say I “switched” to polar amplification. I introduced it as yet another line of evidence that implies the surface temperature recrd is reliable and not tainted by the UHI.”

    I also never argued that the record was tainted by UHI. My argument remains that undocumented inhomogeneities are being adjusted when they they shouldn’t. I pointed to the dynamic of thermal inversions that leads to greater pairwise mismatches in minimum temperature. The warming impact caused by changing wind fields redistributes heat when it disrupts thermal inversions, and thermal inversions are more pronounced the further towards the pole we travel. I am not calling the documented-adjusted-surface temperatures tainted. I have totally accepted all adjustments when fully documented. I do suggest that some adjusted surface data is indeed questionable and perhaps tainted by the pairwise methodology that assumes homogeneity where there is likely none to be found in reality. Ironically it can be said that those making adjustments based purely on statistical change point methodologies, are suggesting the raw data is more tainted than it really is. The raw observation data even after all documented changes have been processed, argues that homogeneity is rare. So why do it?

    So to focus our discussion more, my questions is more about attribution. I argue that maximum temperatures reflect well mixed air masses and thus are better indicators of heating trends both natural and anthropogenic. The max temps indicate a much less severe trend. I further suggest that changes in minimum will not only reflect the same real trends as in max temps, but will confound the results by misdiagnosing the trends due to the redistribution of heat that is common when thermal inversions are disrupted by changes in wind fields and land use.

    I readily debated your “switch” to polar amplification because the arctic temperature increases are probably the best example of dramatic rising temperatures that are likely caused by the redistribution of heat.And that’s why AGW models underestimated the warming. But I assume your reference to it, assumes that if justifies attributing the changes to the radiative warming of increased CO2, but there is wealth of research that suggests other more powerful factors. Papers like “Arctic climate change: observed and modelled temperature and sea-ice variability” 2004 by Johannessen et al is often cited as modeling evidence that only with CO2 can we simulate recent Arctic warming. However if you look at his Figure 1, after they add all the CO2 and sulfates to mimic and fine tune the model to the recent warming, the documented warming of the 30s simultaneously and inexplicably disappears. They got the recent temperatures right at the expense of obliterating historic natural rises. Like I mentioned earlier, these models keep missing because the have not adequately simulated the natural redistribution of heat, whether at the poles or with minimum temperature adjustments, and they then assume all warming trends are driven by CO2. And you appear to assume likewise.

  117. David says:

    John B says:
    November 18, 2011 at 10:26 am

    “…See, data and methods. If you really think Mann screwed up, redo his work. And if you think UHI is not being treated properly, do it for yourself. That’s what Muller did and, if I remember correctly, he was lauded as a skeptic right up until he issued results that pseduo-skeptics didn’t like. Funny that.”

    John B, funny that straw man you created. Actually many questioned and warned Anthony not to trust Muller, warning which were demonstrated to be accurate. Or do you see no disconnect between what Muller says to J.Curry and other scientist, and what he says to the press? The fact that you still defend Mann speaks volumes.

  118. John B says:

    Jim Steele says:
    November 18, 2011 at 11:48 am

    So to focus our discussion more, my questions is more about attribution. .

    ——————————-

    But that is a whole other discussion. This thread is about BEST, and Muller specifically said they were not looking at attribution. They concluded that the surface temperature record is as reliable as mainstream scientists always said it was. Do you accept that?

  119. John B says:

    David says:
    November 18, 2011 at 12:07 pm

    John B says:
    November 18, 2011 at 10:26 am

    “…See, data and methods. If you really think Mann screwed up, redo his work. And if you think UHI is not being treated properly, do it for yourself. That’s what Muller did and, if I remember correctly, he was lauded as a skeptic right up until he issued results that pseduo-skeptics didn’t like. Funny that.”

    John B, funny that straw man you created. Actually many questioned and warned Anthony not to trust Muller, warning which were demonstrated to be accurate. Or do you see no disconnect between what Muller says to J.Curry and other scientist, and what he says to the press? The fact that you still defend Mann speaks volumes.

    —————————————–

    David, I don’t know, or care, what Muller said to whom, what matters is his results. And on the issue of defending Mann (which I only did in response to Bob Kutz), try this: forget everything you have read on the blogosphere and go out and look for yourself at whether it is true that Mann’s results relied on one tree, or an upside down proxy, or that he hid and continues to hide his methods and data. I alreeady provided a link to his methods and data, publicly available to anyone who cares to look, but go and do your own research. Then you might see why he just won a medal. Oh sorry, I forgot, the Eurpoean Goesciences Union are in on the conspiracy, too.

  120. John B says:

    Tom_R says:
    November 18, 2011 at 11:25 am

    If more than 80% of the stations are critically flawed, [then microclimate effects will corrupt 80% of the grid squares with one station.]

    ——————-

    And where on Earth do yet get that statistic from?

  121. JPeden says:

    “John Whitman says:
    November 18, 2011 at 12:32 am”

    Nice interpretation or clarification as to what Singer is talking about when he says, “the atmosphere, unlike the land surface, has shown no warming during the crucial period (1978-1997)….” Thanks!

    I thought he was talking about the “fingerprint”, too. Anyway, as I take it the argument is: there has been no recorded atmospheric “hot spot” [anywhere] and no increase in Oceanic heat, so the increased surface temps must be off/wrong as per Lindzen’s idea involving faulty near surface sampling in the tropics due to layer inhomogeneity below 2km. If that’s the logic, it makes sense of Singer’s statement, to me at least.

  122. Jim Steele says:

    JohB says “But that is a whole other discussion. This thread is about BEST, and Muller specifically said they were not looking at attribution. They concluded that the surface temperature record is as reliable as mainstream scientists always said it was. Do you accept that?”

    Come on John. You brought up the polar amplification and added it to the debate. But now you want to limit it to simply an intellectual drive-by shooting?

    And yes this thread is about BEST, and Muller did say he is not looking at attribution. However that is an inappropriate demarcation. Regards to data adjustment attribution is implied whenever the data is adjusted without documentation. Change point detection is statistically neutral as long as it is merely pointing out change points. However when the data is subsequently adjusted and that change point is assumed to have been the result of human error, the data adjusters have engaged in attribution. Do you accept that? Which station now represents the best trend? Why are so many USHCN station adjusted similarly?

    I will continue with the Amherst MA data but I can pull up 100 of others from the USHCN.

    Compare the adjustments to the raw data for max and minimum and the explain why they differ so greatly and then explain how you can believe there is no implied attribution when those changes were done primarily on undocumented change points.. Notice how the peaks in the minimum are dramatically obliterated. Notice the huge difference in max and min adjustments. Based on what? You can’t hide behind “no attribution”.

    MAX Raw: http://cdiac.ornl.gov/cgi-bin/broker?id=190120&_PROGRAM=prog.gplot_meanclim_mon_yr2010.sas&_SERVICE=default&param=TMAXRAW&minyear=1895&maxyear=2010

    Max Adjust: http://cdiac.ornl.gov/cgi-bin/broker?id=190120&_PROGRAM=prog.gplot_meanclim_mon_yr2010.sas&_SERVICE=default&param=TMAX&minyear=1895&maxyear=2010

    Raw minimum: http://cdiac.ornl.gov/cgi-bin/broker?id=190120&_PROGRAM=prog.gplot_meanclim_mon_yr2010.sas&_SERVICE=default&param=TMINRAW&minyear=1895&maxyear=2010

    Raw adjusted: http://cdiac.ornl.gov/cgi-bin/broker?id=190120&_PROGRAM=prog.gplot_meanclim_mon_yr2010.sas&_SERVICE=default&param=TMIN&minyear=1895&maxyear=2010

  123. Lars P. says:

    John B says:
    November 18, 2011 at 11:34 am

    “Tom,
    Do you have any idea of how little of the Earth’s surface is “urban”? Even if corrections weren’t applied, the UHI effect would be small. With proper, honest, statistically-principled corrections, it is miniscule. Give it up, fight a better battle.”

    John B, interesting that you say this. It is perfectly true, less then 1%, but wait how many stations are in urban areas? Why do rural temp averages looks differently? You might have a look at RUTI which uses only rural data:
    http://hidethedecline.eu/pages/ruti.php

  124. John B says:

    Jim,

    I’m not hiding behind attribution. But I am saying it’s not the point of this thread (I only introduced polar amplifiation to point out that there has been most warming where there is no possibility of UHI). Now, you said you didn’t think there was a conspiracy – so that is good. But then you go on to question the adjustments. Why? They aren’t done to adjust for human error necessarily, they are done to correct for things that are not climatically likely, no matter what the cause. If a station suddenly jumps when those around it do not, the chances are something has happened – it might be land use, it might be siting, it might be urban sprawl, it might be all sorts of things, but it is not likely to be sudden, local climate change. So, the glitch is ignored. I don’t think they look at each station individually to see what caused the glitch, so in that sense there is no attempt at attribution. Do you doubt that that is (a) reasonable or (b) effective?

    john

  125. Tom_R says:

    >> John B says:
    November 18, 2011 at 11:34 am
    Tom,

    Do you have any idea of how little of the Earth’s surface is “urban”? Even if corrections weren’t applied, the UHI effect would be small. With proper, honest, statistically-principled corrections, it is miniscule. Give it up, fight a better battle. <<

    You don't apply corrections to the entire Earth's surface. You apply corrections to station data, which are extrapolated over areas without station data to claim an anomaly of the temperature of the Earth's surface. Do you even understand that UHI affects the calculated anomaly, not the 'real' anomaly?

  126. John B says:

    Tom_R says:
    November 18, 2011 at 2:02 pm

    >> John B says:
    November 18, 2011 at 11:34 am
    Tom,

    Do you have any idea of how little of the Earth’s surface is “urban”? Even if corrections weren’t applied, the UHI effect would be small. With proper, honest, statistically-principled corrections, it is miniscule. Give it up, fight a better battle. <<

    You don't apply corrections to the entire Earth's surface. You apply corrections to station data, which are extrapolated over areas without station data to claim an anomaly of the temperature of the Earth's surface. Do you even understand that UHI affects the calculated anomaly, not the 'real' anomaly?

    —————————-

    Yes Tom, I understand that. But the bottom line is this: every study that has looked at effects of siting, UHI, etc. with a bit more rigour that "ooh look, here's a photo of a station near an air conditioner" has concluded that the effect ON TRENDS is small in the first place and has been properly dealt with. You are clutching at straws.

    G'night.

  127. Tom_R says:

    >> John B says:
    November 18, 2011 at 12:42 pm
    And where on Earth do yet get that statistic from? <<

    80% was a conservative guess as to the number of poorly sited stations worldwide. In the US 92% of the stations are poorly sited.

    http://www.surfacestations.org/

  128. Tom_R says:

    >> John B says:
    November 18, 2011 at 12:14 pm
    But that is a whole other discussion. This thread is about BEST, and Muller specifically said they were not looking at attribution. They concluded that the surface temperature record is as reliable as mainstream scientists always said it was. Do you accept that? <<

    Based on BEST's finding that 1/3 of the sites show cooling and they are spread amongst warming sites (my item 3 above that you didn't address) I'd say BEST has shown the surface temperature record is unreliable.

  129. KR says:

    Regarding UHI – has anyone here objecting to BEST results on those grounds actually read the paper?

    http://berkeleyearth.org/Resources/Berkeley_Earth_UHI.pdf

    They:

    “…split sites into very-rural and not very-rural. We defined a site as “very-rural” if the MOD500 map showed no urban regions within one tenth of a degree in latitude or longitude of the site. We expect these very-rural sites to be reasonably free from urban heating effects.” (emphasis added)

    Their results?

    <em"We observe the opposite of an urban heating effect over the period 1950 to 2010, with a slope of -0.19 ± 0.19 °C/100yr. This is not statistically consistent with prior estimates, but it does verify that the effect is very small, and almost insignificant on the scale of the observed warming.” (emphasis added)

    So they’ve investigated UHI, and it’s really not a factor here.

    Back to the thread: Dr. Singer cherry-picked the longest possible period (1978-1997) where he could almost plausibly claim a lack of tropospheric heating – add only 10% more data and the trend more than triples. The full period (1978-2011) shows an equally high rate, demonstrating that the full set of data contradicts Singer’s assertions.

    As shown here (http://tinyurl.com/6tkxogy), it’s always possible to cherry-pick a short term that will show anything you desire. That certainly doesn’t mean it’s significant, or real – or that the person presenting that short term is being honest with you.

  130. Tom_R says:

    >> John B says:
    November 18, 2011 at 2:15 pm
    Yes Tom, I understand that. But the bottom line is this: every study that has looked at effects of siting, UHI, etc. with a bit more rigour that “ooh look, here’s a photo of a station near an air conditioner” has concluded that the effect ON TRENDS is small in the first place and has been properly dealt with. You are clutching at straws. <<

    Now we're back to an appeal to authority.

    Frankly, if a study didn't specifically look at each site and get a full history of the changes in microclimate and nearby urbanization, then claiming that site is rural or urban is just a WAG.

  131. Jim Steele says:

    JohnB says “They aren’t done to adjust for human error necessarily, they are done to correct for things that are not climatically likely, no matter what the cause.”

    If the adjustments are not correcting for error in human measurement then they represent naturals variations that rightfully should contribute to the calculated average. You emphasize “sudden change” but these adjustments are often changes in trends that extend over decades. Oscillations can cause those trends and those differing trends should never be removed.

    Wang 2003 warned “If the ultimate goal of the changepoint detection is to form homogeneous climate data series by correcting biases, a trend-type change in climate data series should only be adjusted if there is sufficient evidence showing that it is related to a change at the observing station, such as a change in the exposure or location of the station, or in its instrumentation or observing procedures”

    But you are right the adjustments are applied wholesale without doing the individual analyses. The adjustment procedures are in essence arguing “changes in trends” have tainted the real trend even if they have not identified a reasonable mechanism. They are arguing everything should be homogeneous. That is an absurd assumption. Unlike the rest of science that shows great diversity, climate science is reverting back to some Neo-Platonic view of an existing perfect form that can be perceived via homgenization. What will end the data controversy is to provide a data base with only documented changes that stands firmly alongside their adjusted data using the change point detection procedures used by NASA or BEST. We should use both data sets along with a data set based just on maximum temperatures as mutual working hypotheses and see which better addresses things such as the tree ring divergence issues and other proxy calibration issues.

    The adjusted data has now led to all sorts of statistical and theoretical contortions. Like eliminating change points, they similarly eliminated the observed decline of tree ring data when constructing a global averrage. Briffa noted, similar to station inhomogeneities that “Perhaps one of the most notable features is that the extended relative warm and cool depar-
    tures are rarely, if ever, synchronous at all locations.” He here reveals the theoretical bias that departures should be homogeneous.

    Briffa even admitted that “Hence, the magnitude of modern warming might be overestimated in the context of earlier reconstructed variability.” But Briffa as compelled to address the broad scale tree ring change points, he then suggested that that trees may no longer be sensitive to modern temperatures because the tree rings diverged significantly from these adjusted data sets. But curiously he and others doesn’t question the adjustments. And such an assumption of suddenly “insensitive trees” is totally absurd because most of those trees are genetic clones that somehow measured temperatures correctly 9000 years ago when global temperatures were much warmer and tree line reached the Arctic Ocean. But Mann’s hockey stick is an example of change point detection and adjustment where real world observation are eliminated. There is very good reason for any rational person to question what is the basis of eliminating real observed tree ring data, or station data because it doesn’t fit the CO2 trend.

  132. echlinm says:

    It is nice to see healthy discussion of the issue. I work in a national lab, so pretty much everyone I work with is a scientist (I am a computer scientist) although only a few are climate scientists, but they all have opinions. And I keep hearing from the media and the official climate scientists that there is agreement on the issue, they try to say that everyone agrees that this warming is man made.
    The problem I have is that I don’t see that agreement, among climate scientists or scientists in general. If you are seeing agreement then we aren’t looking at the same scientists.
    Anyway if you believe the one side then we are too far gone to do anything anyway and if not then there is nothing to do. Either way, discuss, stay civil and buy each other a beer; all this arguing is making me thirsty.

  133. Phil. says:

    Tom_R says:
    November 17, 2011 at 9:50 am
    1. Why 1978-1997? I don’t think BEST limited their results to these years. Dr. Singer may have a very good reason for limiting his discussion to those particular years, but he needs to state it.

    His reason is simple, it allows him to quote erroneous data from before the major correction to the UAH MSU results because of orbital decay, which was reported in 1998. Subsequent recalculation using the correction for orbital decay indicated a positive trend.

  134. Tom_R says:

    >> Phil. says:
    November 18, 2011 at 3:35 pm
    His reason is simple, … <<

    I'd like to hear HIS reason rather than speculation of some ulterior motive. He's not getting millions of dollars per year in grants, so there's no financial reason for him to fudge the data. In fact, if he started publishing pro-AGW analyses he'd open himself to that funding, so there's every financial reason to cherrypick his data in the other direction.

    But yes, I would like to hear his reason.

  135. Phil. says:

    Tom_R says:
    November 18, 2011 at 4:19 pm
    >> Phil. says:
    November 18, 2011 at 3:35 pm
    His reason is simple, … <<

    I'd like to hear HIS reason rather than speculation of some ulterior motive.

    I’m not speculating, as of his lecture at Portland State University in May of this year he was using a slide of UAH data to make this point, unfortunately he appears to use version 5.0 of that data in his analysis, which preceded the correction I mentioned above (Wentz and Schabel, Nature, 1998). He first made this argument in 1996 and apparently hasn’t updated his data ( the UAH data at that time erroneously showed a cooling of -0.05K/decade). The current version (5.4) shows warming over that period, when this was brought to his attention he claimed ignorance of the fact! He still is using the same data, draw your own conclusion. His claim that “the atmosphere, unlike the land surface, has shown no warming during the crucial period (1978-1997)”, is false, the agreement is rather good.
    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/hadobs/hadat/images/update_images/global_upper_air.png

  136. Lars P. says:

    KR says:
    November 18, 2011 at 2:35 pm
    “Regarding UHI – has anyone here objecting to BEST results on those grounds actually read the paper?”
    Maybe the problem lies in the way how BEST identifies rural sites. If UHI is really not a factor then unadjusted rural temp average RUTI should be about the same as the adjusted temp values which includes UHI. What is not the case. The rural unadjusted temp differs greatly from BEST and invalidades the conclusion that UHI does not matter:
    http://hidethedecline.eu/pages/posts/ruti-global-land-temperatures-1880-2010-part-1-244.php
    Logically thinking, if less then 1% of surface is biased versus warming and is overrepresented in the data (27%) we get a biased trend. It is the basis of any statistical analysis.
    I doubt that the methodology used is the right one: “sites that deviate substantially from the group behavior have their weights reduced for the next iteration “. Why a station that shows a cooling trend should have its weight reduced? What logical explanation does one have for it?
    As John Daly said long ago the use of land measured values instead of satellite data is convenient for the pro-CAGW crowd as it is biased into warming:
    http://www.john-daly.com/ges/surftmp/surftemp.htm
    I wonder where is the parallel satellite control series done by any pro-CAGW group for low altitude temp data and comparison to the results?
    The “urban cooling” and “rural warming” that BEST finds may be another proof against BEST conclusions. It may be very simple the fact that UHI has reached a certain limit for the big cities and there is no much room to increase, whereas the small locations are growing in number of population and have a greater UHI increase.
    Further logical thinking, with the global population increase, one would expect the adjustment to increase into negative, if any adjustment are done. Why do the adjustment do not show such trend? Why do they show the opposite trend? Where is the total adjustment trend overview and comments how it influences the data?
    So Berkeley did not clarify UHI or the real warming.

  137. John B says:

    Lars, Are you confusing UHI, which everyone knows about and agrees is real, with the effect of UHI on trends? Of course urban sites register warmer than rural, but if they always have done, no problem. And if a site starts to register warmer than its neighbours, that effect is discounted as being likely caused by some non-climate effect. Ditto if it cools anamolously – as it may be due to e.g. resiting.

    And 27% of sites being urban, assuming that is correct, does not mean they are over-represented in the average. If they only represent 1% of the land area, they will only contribute 1% to the average.

  138. Steve Keohane says:

    Any database that includes this ‘data’ is BS. http://i42.tinypic.com/vpx303.jpg
    IIRC, New Zealand shows very similar ‘adjustment’, approx. 6° of CCW rotation with the 60s as a pivot. Apparently this nonsense is global standardization of mangled and meaningless numbers.

  139. Lars P. says:

    John B says:
    November 19, 2011 at 7:04 am

    “Lars, Are you confusing UHI, which everyone knows about and agrees is real, with the effect of UHI on trends? ”

    John, is UHI effect constant, the same, not changing over time or increasing with city growth, population density or other? Take the link that was posted here at WUWT:
    http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2010/06/goodridge_1996_ca-uhi_county.jpg
    are you able to see trend differences? 0F+1F and +4F? Does it make my point clear?
    It is self delusion to think UHI is always a +x° constant difference.
    On the average, having much more urban sites and less rural sites, when “sites that deviate substantially from the group behavior have their weights reduced for the next iteration ” are aligned to the biased high amount of urban data, it is changing the trend.
    If a rural station between urban stations shows cooling or constant trend it will be considered erroneous. When we have too many urban and few rural the results are easy to predict. Where is the list of the resulted adjustments with overview what has been done and analysis per some test samples to check if the function made sense?
    Until now I heard only of UHI and no VCE (village cooling effect) or UCE (Urban Cooling Effect) over the environment so considering averaging is a bias towards the warming trend. Look at Tokio versus the rest (Fig 1 in BEST paper) do you see any trend difference? Or is it the same warming that you see there?
    Take the Goodrige 1996 example and average it as per BEST. The resulted trend will be around +2° or +3°. Is it really so? Are you really telling the Goodrige shows the same trend as per all counties?
    Well at least for the 21st century the cities in the developed nations are not growing any more so I predict a stop in the temperature growth for these cities. Even a cooling. Well at least the unadjusted values.

  140. DavidG says:

    Geochemist, I’d like to get you a muzzle for christmas, your frantic ignorance is beyond belief. No one is listening to the apocalyptic tunes you and your fearless leaders, Gore and Hanson are squealing in seriously unmusical fashion. Carbon schemes are failing worldwide, as they should. Wake up from your dogmatic slumber.

  141. Robbi Knaak says:

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  142. Brian H says:

    Robbi;
    Does your babble make sense even to yourself? Honestly?

    I don’t believe you.

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