Cliff Mass pans Hansen’s PNAS paper

Cliff writes to me to tell me about this essay: Climate Distortion. I’m happy to draw attention to it.

He writes:

This week, with great fanfare,  NASA scientist James Hansen and associates released a paper “The Perception of Climate Change”  in the journal PNAS that claims that recent heat waves and droughts were caused by human-induced climate change.  To quote their abstract:

” It follows that we can state, with a high degree of confidence, that extreme anomalies such as those in Texas and Oklahoma in 2011 and Moscow in 2010 were a consequence of global warming because their likelihood in the absence of global warming was exceedingly small.”

This paper (found here) has been quoted in hundreds, if not thousands, of media outlets and newspapers and has garnered the praise of many environmental advocacy groups.

The problem?  Their conclusions are demonstrably false and their characterization of the science and statistics are deceptive at best.

And the problem goes beyond this unfortunate paper.  It extends to the way the media has misunderstood and miscommunicated our current state of knowledge of climate change.  No wonder the public is confused, skeptic/denier groups hold on to wacky/unscientific theories, and our leaders dither on climate change.  And let me repeat something I have said several times….I believe that human-induced global warming is both observed, real, and a serious problem for mankind.  So if anyone wants to call me a denier or some other ad hominem name, please refrain from such remarks.

Well worth your time to read the full post: Climate Distortion.

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71 thoughts on “Cliff Mass pans Hansen’s PNAS paper

  1. Cliff Mass is a first rate, honest and ethical scientist at the U of WA. That he copes with the modelers and climate kooks there is amazing. Dr Mass represents the gold standard as applied to meteorology.

  2. Does it really matter who pans it if the mainstream media has already picked it up? He can just keep writing drivel and as long as it gets out in the open those who don’t really on others critique of his work will just mindlessly believe and/or make references to it as fact

  3. This is complete bull. Here they go off on tangents and argue that the trumped up media-overhyped extreme weather is caused by global warmed, when over the last decade the whole global warming er climate change hypothesis has been shown to be absolutely baseless. My Real Science comment:
    I got two words for the climate clowns: the leftist (Berkeley grad Michael Mann) fabricated hockey stick has been debunked as trumped up baloney, and the corrected record shows that there is nothing unusual about current temperatures, which means that there is nothing wrong with the climate (huge point: THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH THE CLIMATE, yell that from the mountain top), and also, the ipcc founded their whole deceptive (lying) AGW pitch on a causal CO2 – temperature correlation, and now, even after that also has been shown to be a specious falsehood, the theory just cruises along as if all is fine in doom and gloom land. Lets see, the bs AGW theory had 2 foundations: one was the hockey stick indicating we are in a period of accelerating temperature increases, and the other was the ipcc posited causal CO2 – temp correlation. Both of those foundation are gone. Repeat: the very foundations of the theory have rotted out. When is this AGW house of cards going to fall?

  4. Dr. Mass provides a convincing argument without even exploring the post-hoc fallacies committed by Dr. Hansen. Here in the Northwest US (home turf for Dr. Mass as well), amidst all this talk of Midwest heat, the glaciers will advance for a second straight year and snow melt is a full month behind schedule.

  5. With all due respect to Dr. Mass, he makes the same error that climatologists (on both sides) are making. There are multiple simultaneous causes for changing temperature readings – natural and artificial – and without a duplicate but independent atmosphere in which to conduct controlled measurements and experiments, it is nearly impossible to deconvolute the contributions of the separate causes.
    Given the demonstrated errors and biases in the numerical records, especially the secular variations due to population-density-related site effects (UHI), it becomes almost impossible to even be sure of *what* is being measured.
    The entire historical temperature record is in question, and it’s value for evaluating possible trends cannot be decided without establishing a measurement network of properly sited and secured instruments.
    The most reliable temperature records we have (and it truly pains me as an empiricist to admit this) are proxies from uninhabited areas. This is especially painful because temperature was one of the first environmental variables to be measured using scientific instruments.

  6. Eric Simpson says:
    August 9, 2012 at 11:06 am
    When is this AGW house of cards going to fall?

    Answer: When our politicians stop giving them our money….

  7. Perhaps all this really proves is that Hundreds if not Thousands of media outlets and newspapers look upon Mr Hansen with PNAS envy

  8. Anthony, it is a fundamental error to keep referring to this paper as a paper by Dr Hansen. It is a paper by NASA. Unless, somewhere in the paper it states that this is the work of Dr Hansen as a private individual, then it is NASA’s paper and the taxpayers’ funded it. The same approach should be taken for ALL of Dr Hansen’s outpourings unless he actually states this is his view as a private individual. I do not believe that he has ever stated that. So it was NASA that called coal trains ‘death trains’, it was NASA that supported activists breaking into a power station, it is NASA that is producing totally unreliable ‘average atmospheric temperature’ metrics adjusted based on unvalidated assumptions, NASA inflating the numbers by using known mis-sited observation stations that do not meet WMO/ISO standards.

    By always blaming the ‘buffoon in the corner office’ you give NASA plausible deniability. But as they pay him a full annual salary and the papers are written in taxpayers’ time on taxpayers’ funding then all his output is NASA’s not his.

    It is just possible that pointing out all the errors in NASA’s work could make them look more carefully at who they employ.

  9. Cliff Mass says:…”skeptic/denier groups hold on to wacky/unscientific theories,…”

    Which theories would those be? That like Eric S above that nothing is wrong. Or like me that since nothing we have seen is outside the max of the Holocene we are OK. Or like others that say yes the temperature has gone up, but we are coming out of the LIA.

    Oh and I see he does not mind using the term denier. Good on ya Cliff.

  10. “I believe that human-induced global warming is both observed, real, and a serious problem for mankind.”

    He completely destroyed any creditability right there.

  11. I, for one don’t see why this piece is here. He believes in fictional man-made global warming and his position is weak. Next!

    REPLY:
    It’s here because I like what he has to say, and he’s an honest scientist. If you have a problem with that, go elsewhere. – Anthony

  12. vukcevic,

    Even a poisson distribution underestimates the distribution. Extremes of ethernet traffic used to be modelled using a poisson distribution, but it was found to fail to model the behaviour of networks accurately; in fact, the true distribution is based on power-law statistical models, which have an “fat tail” that makes a poisson distribution look peaky, and also means that local estimates of statistical metrics are poor estimators of population behaviour.

    (I tried to explain this to Leif once. He showed no capacity to even understand the basic statistical issues, which is a shame as I consider him to normally be thoughtful, although to be fair at the time I was being hampered by an overactive spam trap)

  13. Spence_UK says:
    August 9, 2012 at 1:01 pm
    ….
    Either way, the Gaussian distribution (bell curve) as Hansen would have it, is not adequate to estimate randomness of extreme events as shown here .

  14. tadchem says August 9, 2012 at 11:41 am

    The most reliable temperature records we have (and it truly pains me as an empiricist to admit this) are proxies from uninhabited areas. This is especially painful because temperature was one of the first environmental variables to be measured using scientific instruments.

    Ahem … “Alex, under ‘proxies’ I’ll take “Wisconsin Glacier” for 100,000 to 10,000 yrs ago please.”

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

    “The Wisconsin glaciation radically altered the geography of North America north of the Ohio River.

    At the height of the Wisconsin Episode glaciation, the ice sheet covered most of Canada, the Upper Midwest, and New England, as well as parts of Idaho, Montana and Washington.

    On Kelleys Island in Lake Erie or in New York’s Central Park the grooves left by these glaciers can be easily observed.

    In southwestern Saskatchewan and southeastern Alberta, a suture zone between the Laurentide and Cordilleran ice sheets formed the Cypress Hills, the northernmost point in North America that remained south of the continental ice sheets.

    At the height of glaciation the Bering land bridge potentially permitted migration of mammals, including humans, to North America from Siberia.”

    .

  15. . . . And let me repeat something I have said several times….I believe that human-induced global warming is both observed, real, and a serious problem for mankind.

    DavidG says:
    August 9, 2012 at 12:59 pm
    I, for one don’t see why this piece is here. He believes in fictional man-made global warming and his position is weak. Next!

    REPLY: It’s here because I like what he has to say, and he’s an honest scientist. If you have a problem with that, go elsewhere. – Anthony

    We can understand why you like his deconstruction of Hansen et al., but if he’s such an honest scientist, perhaps you could ask him to produce some evidence that the CAGW speculation (“a serious problem for mankind”) has any validity. Perhaps he could propose a falsifiable hypothesis. “I believe” is not a scientific argument.

    /Mr Lynn

  16. Ditto, Mr. Lynn.
    If he agrees that about 90% is natural warming and if he agrees that there is such a thing as UHI effect, could he please quantify the latter to a reasonable degree? Could we possibly add “manipulation of data” to the equation and add it all up to 100%? If not Dr. Mass please show where the “observed” AGW is, so I too can go and have a look?

  17. Why, on the shift shown by his two bell curves, does Cliff Mass describe the right end as “More extreme hot weather” yet at the left end he says “Less cold weather”. What subliminal desire causes him to use the word ‘extreme’ only in relation to ‘hot weather’?

    The article is a nice debunk of the paper “The perception of climate change” however I perceive a pattern aligned with Muller’s interview where the underlying takehome message is ‘There are cranks on both sides but please be assured that anthropogenic climate change is real and dangerous despite the loud noises coming from each end of the Climate wars bell curve.’

  18. It was worth a read from the “even if you believe our best science has a great deal to reliably say about climate 88 years from now” perspective.

    Still, I don’t believe, belief is required, and the “best science” is often quite inadequate to the task. With that set of conditions and absence of proof, I won’t be made to act as if I believe. If and when I should come to believe, I will have more than a few objections to the non-solutions on the table and especially if it involves setting up a global central government of junkscience. It was “best science” that gave us eugenics – strike that sort of -well any number of things that were once all the rage. In the case of climate science, best science is a guess educated just above a stab in the dark and biased by sensationalism and the illlusory desire for human control of nature.

    If the US dropped its CO2 emissions back to 1990s levels without a carbon plan, exactly how can one be sure that the end of the century is going to be a problem, let alone a serious problem even if you accept all the standard CO2 climate causation and related reactions and feedback hypotheses?

    Climate science seems a lot like economics but with maybe more variability? Debatable and constantly adjustable measurements, wide difference of opinion on causation, impossiblity of empirical proof of causation,/ no lab experiment possible, presence of known and unknow variables, chaotic ….? I am a “little” leery of any viewpoint that substitues philosophy or best guesses for reality and especially the ones that tend to make government the hammer and a nail out of everything else.

    If there were more protagonists for AGW who were like this one regarding honesty, AND who conducted themsleves according to their belief – staying away from junkets to Rio for example – without looking for ways to first make others act according to their beliefs AND who put an equal amount of effort into ensuring that no solution overstepped basic freedoms including the right of acting according to one’s beliefs and the establishment of hard checks and balances on any global solutions to ensure that they do not become the skeleton of global government by bureaucrats and their scientific echo chambers, … well, they’d at least deserve a seat on the IPCC panel.

  19. According to Wikipedia, my state, Maryland, ihas “A humid continental climate (Köppen prefix D and a third letter of a or b) is a climatic region typified by large seasonal temperature differences, with warm to hot (and often humid) summers and cold (sometimes severely cold) winters.”

    Long droughts in places that periodically suffer long droughts is not climate change. Hot summers in places like those about which General.Philip Sheridan said 146 years ago, “I’d live in Hell and rent out Texas,” is not climate change.

    If Maryland starts getting an annual monsoon, or precipitation falls to less than an inch a year, THEN we can talk “climate change.” Everything else is just variation.

  20. DavidG says: ” .. I, for one don’t see why this piece is here. …”

    Mass’ reaction here for all to see is what distinguishes the skeptic side from the AGW side. Our AGW friends’ hallmark is their propensity to marginalize skeptics from the start without even getting into scientific matters. Skeptics place everything on the table and debate the merits of the science itself, and discuss the charter of the individual when that individual brings up the topic first – .e.g. Michaal Mann and his “corrupt skeptics” accusation. In that case, questions of Mann’s ethics come into play when he cannot substantiate the accusation.

  21. “And let me repeat something I have said several times….I believe that human-induced global warming is both observed, real, and a serious problem for mankind.”

    And I believe just the opposite and I have observed data on my side…what little of it we do have. Fine and dandy this ‘scientists’ debunks this paper, but statements like this make me less enthused…a definite ‘eye roller’.

  22. Mr Lynn says:
    August 9, 2012 at 1:36 pm

    “REPLY: It’s here because I like what he has to say, and he’s an honest scientist. If you have a problem with that, go elsewhere. – Anthony”

    “We can understand why you like his deconstruction of Hansen et al., but if he’s such an honest scientist, perhaps you could ask him to produce some evidence that the CAGW speculation (“a serious problem for mankind”) has any validity. Perhaps he could propose a falsifiable hypothesis. “I believe” is not a scientific argument.”

    Let’s not try to hold Anthony to a standard of “no warmers.” Anthony is presenting an argument between warmers. We might learn something from it. The warmers might learn something from it. Anyway, courtesy of Anthony, you have your opportunity to criticize the warmers.

  23. My take on Cliff Mass’s paper is: Mass’s paper is akin to a Bootleg with Hail Mary pass.

    He knows that the majority of the public has become wise to the AGW SCAM, and that Alarmists like Hansen are killing any chance of keeping the few AGW believers there are. Thus, Mass had little choice but to rebuff Hansen. Otherwise more AGW believers would convert, knowing there was no legitimate scientists involved with AGW.

    Cliff hints at this part way through with the following: “And the damage to the credibility of my profession is huge.”

  24. I have little faith in the breathless pronouncements of the doomer gloomers who make hypotheses that are essentially not disprovable (falsifiable, if you will) and therefore not scientific. I only hope that the moderates of this world increasingly ignore these false prophets. Humanity has been quite successful at adapting for millenia and I put my faith in this tried and true ability into the future.

  25. Sooo… Cliff Mass is another uneducated somebody that does not know the difference between an ad hominem and an insult? Sigh…

    Mark

  26. Theo Goodwin says:
    August 9, 2012 at 4:18 pm

    Let’s not try to hold Anthony to a standard of “no warmers.” Anthony is presenting an argument between warmers. We might learn something from it. The warmers might learn something from it. Anyway, courtesy of Anthony, you have your opportunity to criticize the warmers.

    I’m not trying to tell Anthony what to publish on his blog. I am most grateful for the education—and entertainment—it has provided. I might have liked a bit of introduction to Prof. Mass, but what I like is really of no account; I’m just a rider on this train. I did find it puzzling that such an obviously astute observer could have come out with such a bold-faced statement of ‘belief’ in CAGW, so I said so. But then, I suppose some things really do transcend empiricism, even for good scientists.

    /Mr Lynn

  27. “and a serious problem for mankind”. Unlike the reverse result, every time in recorded and geological history. Takes real faith in the power of linear extrapolation!

  28. “.I believe that human-induced global warming is both observed, real, and a serious problem for mankind.”

    I just cannot come to grips with that comment. The information so far suggests that not only is it unmeasurable but it’s effect has yet to be determined. Not only that, the minute percentage of greenhouse gas that CO2 is, cannot be claimed to make such a huge change when it size and effect has not been clearly determined either. So once again, we are still at first base and non the smarter or nothing is remotely clearer.
    No “light Bulb” moment at all.

  29. What is wrong at NASA? Why do they allow James ‘Homer’ Hansen to promote climate science controversies? It makes NASA look like a dysfunctional organisation that lacks internal discipline.

  30. Oh how I miss the glory days of NASA. Now I don’t believe anything from them. I wish this latest rover landing was not a hoax.
    Well I guess probably the rover thing is true. But I remain skeptical.

  31. I think Hansen and NASA would do well to read the 2004 paper by Gregory J. McCabe called PACIFIC AND ATLANTIC OCEAN INFLUENCES ON MULTIDECADAL DROUGHT FREQUENCY IN THE UNITED STATES. Whenever we have a positive AMO[ warm Atlantic ] and a negative PDO[ more colder water along the east Pacific than in the western or central Pacific ] , there is a higher probabilty of drought in the US SOUTH and US SOUTH WESTand even some of the CENTRAL US states . Similar conditions as now existed in the period 1860-1880 and again 1945-1965 . Bob Tisdale’s blog shows current high July sea surface temperatures for continental US waters like in the 1880’s and 1960’s . There were similar heat waves in the central US[ MISSOURI,KANSAS,ARKANSA S,OKLAHOMA, NEBRASKA in the early to mid 1950’s as we are having now . They seem to ignore the past and claim everything currently is unprecedented when in fact we are having another warm spell like we have had many in the past . Some are warmer and others not so warm. The cooler climate is coming as it came after the 1950’s and after 1880’s. I am surprised at the poor quality of climate research coming out of NASA currently.

  32. I too would not give this person a pass on the “wacky” quote. I’m sorry but as a sceptic, I have not said anything other than what the topnotch science papers have said in their conclusions. That intrinsic natural drivers are poorly understood in models, let alone in terms of their real-time teleconnections with the temperature trend and extreme events, thus the null hypothesis MUST stand. Until further work is done on accurately defining and mechanizing these highly variable oscillating natural drivers, CO2 fudge factors need to be shelved. I challenge Cliff to point out the wacky nature of my oft repeated montra. And apologize here for that insulting remark.

  33. There hasn’t been any global warming for 15 years, there is no tropospheric hot spot over the tropics, ocean temperatures are stable, arctic sea ice hasn’t disappeared, and many glaciers are growing.

    Yet the author believes “that human-induced global warming is both observed, real, and a serious problem for mankind.” C’mon.

  34. “I believe that human-induced global warming is both observed, real, and a serious problem for mankind.”

    Anthony, as you seem to be on at least cordial email terms with Cliff Mass perhaps you would like to ask him to present his evidence here and debate it?

  35. To artwest….Your last comment is right-on. I am sure there are many here who feel the same..if Mass really believes in this theory does he believe in the models produced by the Climategate conspirators or does he have actual observational proof?

  36. Cliff Mass says:…”No wonder the public is confused, skeptic/denier groups hold on to wacky/unscientific theories, and our leaders dither on climate change.”

    As a member of the public I can only voice my own opinion, I’m NOT Confused nor am I part of some skeptic/denier group, I also do not have any such wacky/unscientific theories that I hold on to, tho I do take an interest in science and engineering so when those who actually do try to impose their wacky/unscientific theories on people, Such as the Great Anthropogenic Climate fiddle, Then I do like to support the views of those scientists/engineers that appear to have the same perception to my understanding of the issue.

    In other-words with respect go take a long walk of a short plank. :)

  37. DavidG says:
    August 9, 2012 at 12:59 pm

    I, for one don’t see why this piece is here. He believes in fictional man-made global warming and his position is weak. Next!

    REPLY: It’s here because I like what he has to say, and he’s an honest scientist. If you have a problem with that, go elsewhere. – Anthony
    ________________________________
    David, it is very important to track the move toward the center by reasonable scientists. This move of course was the whole point of the entire CAGW exercise.

    A “Compromise” that leaves the Golden Goose (Tax Payers) a bit leaner and more tattered but still laying those golden eggs (tax dollars) The goal was to milk us for $$$ for funding of universities, scientists, NGOs and select GREEN corporations, Oh and of course the politicians and bankers.

    If you understand Shell, BP, ENRON and a bunch of others corporations were behind CAGW from the start you can figure out where it has always been headed.

  38. son of mulder says:
    August 9, 2012 at 2:20 pm

    …..however I perceive a pattern aligned with Muller’s interview where the underlying takehome message is ‘There are cranks on both sides but please be assured that anthropogenic climate change is real and dangerous despite the loud noises coming from each end of the Climate wars bell curve.’
    _________________________
    Yes, that was my take home too. See my Comment on the Muller – Shell Oil connection. Shell wants natural gas fracking to displace coal and has been funding the CAGW con from the beginning.

  39. A good demonstration of a “foundational” error for want of a better term. Those in the media DO need some remedial education on subject like this . . . . Like many of us, they are just working stiffs trying to make a living and do not have the “luxery” of parusing the finer arts of deception. Thank you, Cliff Mass very concise and understandable for any one who remembers their statistics 101. Even journalists suffer the effects of “if you don’t use it, you lose it.”

  40. Fine, sorry I meant to say . . of perusing the finer arts of marketing or I suppose I could go with “the complex question”.

  41. I just would like to quote the authors of the paper that I noted above . ” This research indicates that the persistence of the current positive AMO state may lead to continuing above normal frequencies of US drought in the near future , with the pattern of drought modulated by the sign of the PDO” . The positive AMO has now been around for about 17 years and and has very recently gone even more positive .Fortunately for US, the PDO sign went negative in 2007 and the greater amount of cooler water at our western coast compared to the western or central Pacific may have greatly modulated the climate or we could be having the 1930’s dust bowl to day, an even worse drought than the serious one that is still underway today. All these changes have very little to do with Global warming but are purely North American or regional events . To blame all these warm spells and droughts on global warming is climate science at its worst .

  42. Mr Lynn says:
    August 9, 2012 at 6:07 pm
    Theo Goodwin says:
    August 9, 2012 at 4:18 pm

    “I did find it puzzling that such an obviously astute observer could have come out with such a bold-faced statement of ‘belief’ in CAGW, so I said so. But then, I suppose some things really do transcend empiricism, even for good scientists.”

    Your comment is right on the money. It seems that, when it comes to that all important statement of belief, all warmers are unable to apply their critical skills.

  43. artwest says:
    August 10, 2012 at 8:24 am:
    “Anthony, as you seem to be on at least cordial email terms with Cliff Mass perhaps you would like to ask him to present his evidence here and debate it?”
    =====================================================

    Very good idea, let us do it.

  44. DavidG says:

    I, for one don’t see why this piece is here. He believes in fictional man-made global warming and his position is weak. Next!

    He also belives that Hansen’s most recent propaganda piece is a travesty that abuses science and statistics, and his position on that is quite strong. Better than anything else on the subject that has been posted here to date.

    It is the strength of the position, not the person who holds it, that is important.

  45. Ian W says:
    August 9, 2012 at 12:24 pm
    “Anthony, it is a fundamental error to keep referring to this paper as a paper by Dr Hansen. It is a paper by NASA. ”

    I agree with Ian. It is a paper of NASA and as the debunked “new life form based on arsen” story it is a weak paper of NASA based on post normal, post modern science. We know what the results should be and work to show it with the data – debunked in a couple of days on the internet:

    http://rrresearch.fieldofscience.com/2010/12/arsenic-associated-bacteria-nasas.html

    This new NASA paper is in the same pseudo-scientific way and it depicts one of the dangers of the current science status.
    I agree also with the criticism to Cliff Mass. He may be convinced of AGW as “being a big danger” for humanity, but at least he tries not to let his belief lead his scientific analysis.
    Unfortunately we see these days a lot of revisionism work, where many “good intended scientists” revisit the historic values and “improve these”, trying to tie everything to carbon dioxide instead of analysing without preconceived ideas the data as is – as here:

    http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v488/n7409/full/nature11300.html

    In my view post normal & post modern science are creating a dangerous gap between science overall and the rest of the society, this gap widening the longer the legacy media (I do not like the MSM media label – they are no longer main stream and legacy is showing better the reality) – so the longer the legacy media is trumpeting it, based on ideological reasons, not making the correct distinction and not taking the activists apart from scientists, not being skeptical at all.
    The whole new “climate instability” meme, “climate change” label as well as “denier” labelling for not “believing in climate change” as per official definition is a complete artificial construct and the reaction to this new lysenkoism is well deserved.
    I only fear it will be worse, that new generations are being pushed away from true environmentalism, will be more cynic and have less understanding of the scientific method.
    But I digress.
    To the point, NASA is doing no service to science here and again underlines it is not using its scarce money for advancing space exploration.

  46. Cliff Mass states, speaking of the trend in ANNUAL temperature anomalies in Texas since c.1896 to present (graph), “the global warming signal due to human-emitted gases could not possibly be more than 1F, and is probably much less. Yet the heat wave last summer, expressed as monthly anomalies, reached 7-8F over large portions of Texas and Oklahoma.”
    From which he then concludes, “in July of last year, at least 7/8th (87%) of the warming was due to natural processes, and the truth surely was well over 90%.”
    So, if a regional annual temperature trend since the nineteenth century is X, and the region then experiences a monthly anomaly spike of Y, then the global warming contribution to that spike is X/Y*100 %?
    Yea, right. Cliff mass is writing nonsense.

  47. Slioch has drunk the Kool Aid, and believes, without any scientific evidence to support it, that Hansen is right and humans control the weather through emissions of a tiny trace gas. That crazy belief is the real nonsense.

  48. Smokey 5:04pm:
    Do you agree that “if a regional annual temperature trend since the nineteenth century is X, and the region then experiences a monthly anomaly spike of Y, then the global warming contribution to that spike is X/Y*100 %”. That is the basis of the first part of Cliff Mass’s article and of his “little test”?
    Do you agree with that proposition? Yes or no?

  49. Slioch,

    I regard demands to answer ‘yes or no’ questions as akin to ‘are you still beating your wife?’ questions. So I will just refer you to comment #1.

  50. Smokey, 5:44 am

    So, you apparently think that Cliff “Mass represents the gold standard as applied to meteorology”, yet you are unable to say whether or not you agree with the proposition of his that I outlined previously and which is the basis of the first part of his article.
    Your indecision is noted.

  51. Slioch,

    You want to play word games? OK: CO2 is harmless, and beneficial to the biosphere. Yes or no?

    Answer per the scientific method using testable, verifiable raw data.

    If not, your indecision is noted.

  52. Smokey:

    I suggest that you don’t bother. Slioch is a joke, and any attempt at discussion with him tends to destroy rational discussion on a thread.

    For years he has been posting his anonymous comments across the internet, and all his posts are similar nonsense to those he has posted in this thread. He is good at presenting unfounded assertions, insults and ad homs., but he shows little capability at presenting facts, evidence and reasoned argument. And he always bounces back as though undamaged whenever his assertions are shown to be wrong. Hence, he reduces any discussion to ‘wrestling with treacle’.

    Richard

  53. Moderators:

    My post addressed to Smokey seems to have gone in the ‘bin’. Please retrieve it.

    Richard

  54. Slioch says:

    August 11, 2012 at 4:39 am

    So, if a regional annual temperature trend since the nineteenth century is X, and the region then experiences a monthly anomaly spike of Y, then the global warming contribution to that spike is X/Y*100 %?

    Actually, what Cliff said (paraphrasing) is that the global warming contribution to that anomaly spike Y is probably much less than X/Y*100 %, given that the ‘global warming’ contribution to the underlying trend is probably much less than X. Oh, and he estimated that trend from the IPCC “effective date of ‘global warming'” of 1970, not the nineteenth century. From the data he presents, he was being generous with that “0.5 – 1F” trend. But then, he believes in CAGW, so he is inclined to do that.

    Yea, right. Cliff mass is writing nonsense.

    Well, you don’t seem to understand what he wrote, so you aren’t really in a position to make such a determination. At any rate, Cliff supported his assertion with facts and reasoning. And you have … well, nothing more than a big mouth and a poor attitude, based on what you have posted.

    This is one of those “put up or shut up” moments.

  55. JJ 9:05am

    The trend was estimated from Texas. Your assertion to the contrary is wrong. See the paragraph beginning, “But what about Texas and Oklahoma?”. However, I should have said “seasonal” rather than “annual”, since the graph Cliff Mass shows is said to be for “all of Texas for June to August”.

    But, either way, to assert, as Cliff Mass does, that the global warming contribution to a monthly spike in temperature anomaly is limited to the total seasonal (or, indeed, annual) contribution from an arbitrary point in the past is absurd. Cliff Mass provided no support for that assertion “with facts and reasoning”, contrary to your belief. Cliff Mass simply states, “I think you can see that the global warming signal due to human-emitted gases could not possibly be more than 1F and is probably much less.” There is no basis whatsoever for such a belief.

    When this situation is drawn to the attention of this blog, Smokey tries to change the subject, Richard Courtney resorts to a rather lengthy ad hominem and you JJ show that you have mistaken the source of the trend and think that Cliff Mass has given reasons for his ridiculous assertion, when no such reasons were proffered.

    Now if anyone wishes to try to justify Cliff Mass’s assertion (outlined in para. 2 above) then by all means do so.

  56. Slioch is a joke, . . . I don’t know! I would not surpise me if Slioch is not a virtual program that is an experiment in Artificial Intellegence . . . A preprogramed drone if you like . . . And we are really just an experiment for a group of Tech. Engineers . . . .

    and Slioch . . . if you are an honest to ‘god’ “human” you should at least “hue”man up and identify yourself”!

    Computers don’t screw up and they have no feelings or morals . . . . and a computer can spew out things like . . . yes or no that is your only two choices if they are so programmed.

    What a hoot! ALL GIGO to me! Need more facts!

  57. Cliff Mass writes in his essay: “What can you conclude? Something other than global warming produced the lion’s share of the heat wave…”
    ==================================================

    So, “global warming” did produce some share of the heat wave? This is so very wrong.

    “Global warming” can not produce any change in regional temperatures per definition.

    In fact, the “global warming” is not really global, it is per definition a statistical sort of average thing. And an increase in average can not produce any change of any numbers it is derived from. It is the other way round.

  58. Friends:

    Slioch says at August 11, 2012 at 10:24 am

    When this situation is drawn to the attention of this blog, Smokey tries to change the subject, Richard Courtney resorts to a rather lengthy ad hominem and you JJ show that you have mistaken the source of the trend and think that Cliff Mass has given reasons for his ridiculous assertion, when no such reasons were proffered.

    Clearly, Slioch is as ignorant of the meaning of ad hominem as he is of climate science.

    His post indicates that I need to draw attention to my above post at August 11, 2012 at 7:30 am.

    As those who have tried to engage with Slioch have discovered, my advice to Smokey was correct and needs to be considered by all.

    Richard

  59. Slioch says:

    The trend was estimated from Texas. Your assertion to the contrary is wrong.

    I said no such thing.

    The balance of your post is similarly nonsensical.

    Troll.

  60. It took me about 10 minutes to find pretty hard core science showing Hansen was flat out wrong. There is a lot of geology work showing the USA has had loads more drought all through our history and that the present drought is absolutely normal:

    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2012/08/11/drought-is-not-a-global-warming-sign/

    There were dramatic and worse droughts in the 1930s, 1550 or so, most likely in the 1800s, and substantially all of the period from 1 A.D. to about 1200 A.D. with the exception of a wet spike about 540 A.D. when something caused The Dark Ages in Europe.

    The North America continent has a normal state with LOTS of droughts and we have managed to have a shift to a less droughty state starting about 1200 A.D. and really getting going more recently. Our present “drought” hardly would qualify by the pre-1200 A.D. conditions.

    Oh, and we get more droughts when the ocean is COOLER (in the Eastern USA)…

  61. JJ 4:10pm

    You stated earlier that Cliff Mass “estimated that trend from the IPCC “effective date of ‘global warming’” of 1970, not the nineteenth century.”

    That was wrong. The only reference to the IPCC and the 1970s in Cliff Mass’s article was concerning “the warming of the Northern Hemisphere”. Thus, it follows from your statement that the trend to which you referred was a Northern Hemisphere trend. That was not the trend used by Cliff Mass in his ((ridiculous) calculation that, “at least 7/8th (87%) of the warming was due to natural processes”. As I explained earlier to you, the trend Cliff Mass used referred to “the temperature changes over all of Texas for June to August.”

    Not that that mistake of JJ’s makes much difference when discussing the error in Cliff Mass’s article, namely his assertion that, “the global warming contribution to a monthly spike in temperature anomaly is limited to the total seasonal (or, indeed, annual) contribution from an arbitrary point in the past.”

    I note that no-one has tried to defend that error by Cliff Mass. JJ doesn’t, and finally resorts to insult. Courtney doesn’t, of course: his advice not to tangle with this guy appears to have been heeded.

    In short, an article containing a ridiculous error is posted on WUWT. Anthony says, “It’s here because I like what he has to say.” When that error is pointed out no-one here is prepared either to admit the error or to attempt to justify it. Instead there are attempts to change or avoid the subject, whilst ad hominems and insults start to fly.

  62. Slioch says:

    You stated earlier that Cliff Mass “estimated that trend from the IPCC “effective date of ‘global warming’” of 1970, not the nineteenth century.”

    That was wrong.

    No, it was not.

    The only reference to the IPCC and the 1970s in Cliff Mass’s article was concerning “the warming of the Northern Hemisphere”.

    No, it was not.

    The balance of your post is similarly nonsensical.

    Troll. <—— Not ad hominem. Deprecation.

  63. The point of Hansen’s paper is that shifting the mean by a relatively small amount (e.g. by the equivalent of 1-sigma of the original distribution) dramatically increases the likelihood of what previously were rare (> 3-sigma above the mean) events. Basically if you have a normal distribution, ~0.1% will be 3-sigma above the mean; shift the bell curve to the right by 1-sigma, and now ~2.2% will be 3-sigma above the (original) mean. That’s a 22x increase. After the shift in mean, it would be perfectly reasonable to attribute the vast majority (21/22, ~95%) of the 3-sigma (based on the original distribution) events on the shift in the mean.

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