Climate Craziness of the week – with the physical signature of UHI staring them right in the face, Mann & Borenstein go with their ‘gut’ instincts

Some people wonder if Michael Mann is simply an activist masquerading as a scientist, this lends credence to that idea. I wonder if Dr. Mann has ever visited weather stations in China to understand what is going on there? I have.

mystery_weather_station

Official Weather Station in Shenzhen, China. The Government Meteorological Building is in the background with radome on top. The entire modern city and this weather station didn’t exist 30 years ago – Photo by Anthony Watts

I had to laugh when I saw this quote from Mann in Seth Borenstein’s most recent AP article:

“The study is important because it formalizes what many scientists have been sensing as a gut instinct: that the increase in extreme heat that we’ve witnessed in recent decades, and especially in recent years, really cannot be dismissed as the vagaries of weather,” said Pennsylvania State University climate scientist Michael Mann.

The study he is referring to is this one, press release below. I’ll explain why Mann and Borenstein made me laugh (besides the “gut instinct” nonsense) after the press release:

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

Greenhouse-gas emissions raise extreme temperatures in China

9 April 2013 AGU Release No. 13-12 For Immediate Release

WASHINGTON – Humans are responsible for increasingly warm daily minimum and maximum temperatures in China, new research suggests. The study is the first to directly link greenhouse gas emissions with warmer temperature extremes in a single country, rather than on a global scale, according to the paper’s authors.

“There is a warming in extreme temperatures over China, and this warming cannot be explained by natural variation,” said Qiuzi Han Wen, an author on this paper and a researcher at the Institute of Atmospheric Physics in Beijing, China. “It can only be explained by the anthropogenic external forcings. These findings indicate very clearly that climate change is not just an abstract number for the globe; it is evident at regional scale.”

The study was recently published in Geophysical Research Letters—a journal of the American Geophysical Union.

To identify the human influence on temperatures, researchers from Beijing and Toronto compared data from climate change models with actual observations from 2,400 weather stations in China gathered between 1961 and 2007.

“The climate model produces historical simulations to mimic what would have happened under different influences—such as human-induced greenhouse gas emissions and volcanic activities—and produces many possible outcomes”,” said Xuebin Zhang, an author on the paper and a researcher in the Climate Research Division of Environment Canada in Toronto. “If we average these possible outcomes, the day-to-day weather noise cancels out, leaving us with a general trend.”

The climate model reproduces China’s present reality only if human emissions are included, indicating that global warming is indeed the culprit for China’s warmer day and nighttime temperatures and not natural weather fluctuations, Zhang said.

“Actually seeing a warming trend in a single location is hard,” Zhang said. “It’s like trying to see the tide change when you’re in a rowboat going up and down on the waves. You need a lot of data to distill the day-to-day weather noise from the general trend.”

But the key to cracking the warming trend in China, Zhang said, was the vast amounts of data that the research team distilled from the thousands of weather stations, over more than four decades. The researchers estimate that human emissions likely increased the warmest annual extreme temperatures—the daily maximum and daily minimum for the hottest day and night of the year—by 1.7 degrees Fahrenheit (0.92 degrees Celsius) and 3°F (1.7°C), respectively. They also found that human emissions likely raised the coolest annual extreme temperatures—the daily maximum and daily minimum for the coldest day and night of the year—by 5.1°F (2.83°C) and 8.0°F (4.44°C), respectively.

In addition to calculating the overall trend, Wen, Zhang and their colleagues separated the effect of each anthropogenic input. Carbon dioxide emissions had the highest impact on warming, explaining 89 percent of the increase in the daily maximum temperatures and 95 percent of the daily minimum temperatures.

Wen asserts greenhouse gases already in the atmosphere will continue to affect China’s climate for years to come, regardless of mitigation measures taken to reduce future emissions. “As a result, we expect warming in China will continue into the future, and consequently warming in extreme temperatures will also continue,” Wen said. “This will have huge implications for China, as heat waves and drought have already become more and more of an issue in our country. We would expect more hardship for dry-land farming as water supply is already stressed, higher demand on energy for cooling, and increasing heat-induced health issues.”

Zhang stresses that the results of this study highlight that climate change is an urgent issue for China and that warming is already taking a toll on the country.

“There are heat waves almost everywhere in China and we’re seeing more droughts,” Zhang said. “China is getting much warmer, and people are very concerned.”

This study was funded by the National Basic Research Program of China and benefited from a collaboration between the Meteorological Service Canada and the China Meteorological Administration.

Paper: “Detecting human influence on extreme temperatures in China”

Journalists and members of the public can download a PDF copy of this accepted article by clicking on this link: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/grl.50285/abstract

Abstract

[1] This study compares observed and model-simulated spatiotemporal patterns of changes in Chinese extreme temperatures during 1961–2007 using an optimal detection method. Four extreme indices, namely annual maximum daily maximum (TXx) and daily minimum (TNx) temperatures and annual minimum daily maximum (TXn) and daily minimum (TNn) temperatures, are studied. Model simulations are conducted with the CanESM2, which include six 5-member ensembles under different historical forcings, i.e., four individual external forcings (greenhouse gases, anthropogenic aerosol, land use change, and solar irradiance), combined effect of natural forcings (solar irradiance and volcanic activity), and combined effect of all external forcings (both natural and anthropogenic forcings). We find that anthropogenic influence is clearly detectable in extreme temperatures over China. Additionally, anthropogenic forcing can also be separated from natural forcing in two-signal analyses. The influence of natural forcings cannot be detected in any analysis. Moreover, there are indications that the effects of greenhouse gases and/or land use change may be separated from other anthropogenic forcings in warm extremes TXx and TNx in joint two-signal analyses. These results suggest that further investigations of roles of individual anthropogenic forcing are justified, particularly in studies of extremely warm temperatures over China.

The full paper is open and available here: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/grl.50285/pdf

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

So what did they do?

Here, we use a newly compiled and quality-controlled extensive Chinese daily temperature data set and ensembles of model simulations under different forcings, conducted with the second-generation Canadian Earth System Model (CanESM2) [Arora et al., 2011], to investigate possible causes of the observed changes in extreme temperatures.

China’s National Climate Center has recently compiled
and quality controlled an extensive daily temperature data
set [Wu and Gao, 2012]. Records of daily maximum, daily
minimum, and daily mean temperatures were collected from
2416 observation stations from 1961 to 2007.

They compared surface data to a model, and drew inferences from that:

We used optimal detection method to compare the observed China annual extreme temperatures for 1961–2007 with those simulated by the CanESM2 under different external forcings. Our analyses include one-signal analysis using climate responses to ALL, NAT, ANT, and individual anthropogenic
forcing, and two-signal analyses using various combinations
of responses to different forcings.

But the only forcing they considered was GHG’s. Nary a word exists in the paper about UHI, urban heat island, station siting, or heat sink effects.

We also found that the influence of anthropogenic forcing can be separately detected from that of natural forcings. These clearly indicate that among known external forcings, only anthropogenic influence can explain observed changes in China’s extreme temperatures.

That statement is ludicrous, and made me laugh, especially when the physics of heatsink effects is staring them right in the face by their own observations in the press release:

The researchers estimate that human emissions likely increased the warmest annual extreme temperatures—the daily maximum and daily minimum for the hottest day and night of the year—by 1.7 degrees Fahrenheit (0.92 degrees Celsius) and 3°F (1.7°C), respectively.

A larger nighttime signal than daytime signal is exactly what you would expect in the influence of poor station siting and UHI. The EPA says:

In contrast, atmospheric urban heat islands are often weak during the late morning and throughout the day and become more pronounced after sunset due to the slow release of heat from urban infrastructure. The annual mean air temperature of a city with 1 million people or more can be 1.8–5.4°F (1–3°C) warmer than its surroundings.3 On a clear, calm night, however, the temperature difference can be as much as 22°F (12°C).3

I find big differences in Watts et al 2012

But never mind the exponential growth of China’s infrastructure during their industrial revolution in the last 30+ years adding heat sinks near weather stations, let’s go with our “gut feelings” rather than investigate any other avenues.

I’ll have more on this flawed study later.

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85 thoughts on “Climate Craziness of the week – with the physical signature of UHI staring them right in the face, Mann & Borenstein go with their ‘gut’ instincts

  1. Outstanding post!

    One small note: the old editor in me caught this misspelling: “tsrating” 7th to last paragraph.

  2. A few years ago I went to a talk by Environmental Defense on measures to reduce energy consumption in NYC. The #1 proposal they had was green roofs (or at least white roofs) which they claimed could reduce the temperature in NYC by 5 degrees (reducing temps reduces A/C needs which further reduces local temps etc).

    Now I check their website and I find this:

    http://www.edf.org/sites/default/files/4418_MythsvFacts_05_0.pdf

    MYTH #8: The global warming observed for the past century at Earth’s surface has been
    caused by urbanization (urban heat island effect) and other changes in land surfaces,
    such as deforestation, not greenhouse gases.
    FACT: It is true that urbanization increases temperatures locally, and can potentially
    affect the determination of the global trend, since some measurement sites are located
    in urban areas. Buildings and pavement absorb sunlight, heating up their
    surroundings, and dense human settlements release significant amounts of waste
    heat. Urban and agricultural areas also replace trees, which cool the Earth’s surface by
    providing shade and evaporating water drawn up from the soil. But the claim that the
    observed increase in global average temperature is due to these changes in land
    surfaces is wrong, since the analyses showing the warming account for and remove
    any biases caused by urbanization (for example Hansen et al. 1999; Jones et al. 2001).
    In any case, it has been shown that urbanization has had an insignificant effect on
    global and even regional temperature trends (Peterson 2003). In addition,
    temperatures have risen significantly over oceans as well as over land, providing
    further evidence that changes in land surfaces are not the primary cause of the
    observed warming.7

    7 The warming has been less over oceans than over land, but the size of the land-ocean contrast
    agrees quite well with what models predict will occur with increasing greenhouse gases (for
    example, Karoly et al. 2003).

  3. Anthony, what happened to your paper? Is it published, is the data released, and the code, and where? Haven’t heard.

    REPLY: It took a long time to get the analysis done, given that this is done in spare time and to properly address the criticisms raised in the pre-release it required us to review every station in the network again, both froma photgraphic standpoint as well as a metadata standpoint. The new analysis is now complete, and the next step is publication. I was rushed by Muller and another dog and pony show in front of Congress last July, I won’t be rushed again – Anthony

  4. Models. It is truly astounding how dependent on these little bias calculators the climate people have become. To the point that nobody even questions it…or challenges the obvious: Input bias. Not only bias, but an ‘educated guess’ bias. Models are not reality, and cannot reflect the complexity of reality (especially how they keep reducing it to one silly forcing, CO2). The outcome is always used in a way to ‘confirm’ CO2 as the culprit. How does that work? How can you use a CONSTRUCT to confirm REALITY? Shouldn’t it be the other way ’round? And Mann, leaping to the fore in confirmation of every little thing…as if his word was gospel. It’s just a big self-feeding group grope, and rather disgusting to watch unfold.

  5. Who was the Chinese prof in the US who collaborated with Phil Jones and also got UHI-tainted stuff? – in his case it distinctly looked looked as if it had earned the f-word label. Ah yes, Doug Keenan went after him IIRC.

    Now Zhang’s stuff is “urgent”???

    [Reply: IIRC, Wei Chyung Wang. — mod.]

  6. The study did not do a good job of separating well documented UHI temperature trends. In 2011 authors of “Observed surface warming induced by urbanization in east China” found “The strongest effect of urbanization on annual mean surface air temperature trends occurs over the metropolis and large city stations, with corresponding contributions of about 44% and 35% to total warming, respectively. The UHI trends are 0.398°C and 0.26°C /decade”

    Tree ring “thermometers” are less affected by urbanization due to their remote locations and thus help separate climate change from UHI. The trees argue there is no unusual warming. In the 2010 study “A 622-year regional temperature history of southeast Tibet derived from tree rings” researchers reported ” during the 20th century, modelled temperature exhibits a remarkable rising trend whereas the reconstructed temperature fluctuates around the long-term mean. Moreover, the cooling below the average from 1965 onwards, demonstrated in the reconstruction, contrasted with slight reduction and temperature above the average displayed in modelled curve.”

  7. How this team “quality controlled” its data from the time of Mao’s “Cultural Revolution” is beyond me…

  8. Like Oscar Wilde’s comment on Dickens’ “death of Little Nell”, it would take a heart of stone not to burst out laughing at Mann’s Chinois nuttiness. Have these people no dignity, no academic-intellectual integrity at all?

  9. Something awfully odd about this. A simulation of ALW (anthropogenic LOCAL warming)? What are the assumptions about the rate of CO2 diffusion in the atmosphere? How about the water vapor diffusion rate? Does this model not take atmospheric circulation into account at all? How does it get around it?
    Sounds questionable to me.

  10. “In addition to calculating the overall trend, Wen, Zhang and their colleagues separated the effect of each anthropogenic input. Carbon dioxide emissions had the highest impact on warming, explaining 89 percent of the increase in the daily maximum temperatures and 95 percent of the daily minimum temperatures.”

    Wow! They completed the forcings-feedbacks calculation for all forcings. I wonder why they didn’t publish that?

  11. 1) Design a roofrack weather station.
    2) Construct twenty. Preferably with NIST-qualified gear.
    3) Pick a city.
    4) Examine all the surface stations around the city.
    5) Call for volunteers.
    6) Drive mobile weather stations all over the city – starting at one surface station and ending another.
    7) Do a formal calibration to determine offset, bias, and instrumental error for remotely predicting temperatures throughout the city given just the original surface stations.

    The “We can’t see any UHI” needs some definitive debunking. And I find it hard to believe its doable from a dataset where all the stations are (a) within city limits, or (b) within one mile of a post office. They might well have perfect ‘micrositing’ and be CRN1 – but be well within the actual UHI envelope of a city.

  12. Firstly, as anyone who has been in China for more than a couple of weeks will know, huge swathes of it are bathed in thick smog for long periods of time. This blanket may absorb, or may reflect solar energy. On balance I don’t know which, but I’d venture the former. Secondly, if you think that unscrupolous Western scientists will fake and massage data to please their political paymasters, then multiply that by 10 to appreciate the situation in China.

  13. Sorry,if my previous comment was too fruity, it is because I am so mad at the idea that China could tell us *anything* useful about global temperature!

  14. Nothing regarding climate science in China should be taken at face value. China has huge environmental problems. Chinese scientists will gladly latch upon AGW to bring about remediation if that is what it takes.

  15. “The climate model reproduces China’s present reality only if human emissions are included, indicating that global warming is indeed the culprit for China’s warmer day and nighttime temperatures and not natural weather fluctuations, Zhang said.”

    Oh, not that old logical fallacy again.

    A model that has been tuned ( and yes they are developed by adjusting parametrisations of certain major factors that can not be modelled from basic physics ) to best reproduce the climate from 1960-2000 , for example, will not work as well if you remove one of the inputs.

    It does not matter whether you remove CO2 or volcanoes or aerosols or something else, if you just pull something out it won’t work as well.

    That does not prove you got that factor right, it just means that particular mix of inputs no longer works as well if you arbitrarily dump one of them.

    This is so stupid , it’s obvious.

    And these scientists are not children or chimpanzees. They are not stupid or untrained. They know damn well this is a farce.

    That means that they are being deliberately misleading in publishing such a paper.

    I think that would clearly fall within the NSF definition of scientific fraud and malpractice.

    Perhaps the new Chair of the Ethic Committee at AGU should look into how this obviously dishonest kind of presentation came to be published in one of their journals.

  16. Seriously, they can’t detect global warming on a global basis, but they can detect it on a regional basis? Let’s put aside the gaping holes in the paper and simply examine that claim by itself.

    Global average temperature trend is flat.
    One region (China) has a positive trend.
    For the global trend to be flat, there must be one or more regions with a negative trend to arrive at an average of zero.

    So, if they studied a single region that had a negative trend, would they conclude that an impending ice age due to anthropogenic forcing was being detected?

    What if they studied one region with a positive trend and one with a negative trend? What would their conclusion be then? That the earth will be ripped asunder as some parts enter an ice age and others spontaneously combust? But that the average would still be zero?

  17. davidmhoffer says:
    April 12, 2013 at 10:10 am


    So, if they studied a single region that had a negative trend, would they conclude that an impending ice age due to anthropogenic forcing was being detected?

    —–

    It depends. What sort of grant money would be associated with that kind of paper? Any U.N. position appointments for that? Any junkets? Would this help or hinder the careers of the authors? hmmm. Just listen to me, going on with this conspiratorial screed.

    Seriously yeah; I thought the same thing. This would backfire on them by opening the door to localized studies contradicting AGW. At least, it would if there were any reasonable number of climate scientists out there ~trying~ to contradict AGW.

  18. After 3 days of wind and rain wiping away the UHI effect from the cities I live 30 miles from, which is a 350,000 pop urbanized area. This morning there was a 5 degree differential according to my automobile thermometer. The wind and rain is gone and last night was cool and clear. Ideal for heat loss to space.
    I think my VW thermometer is fairly accurate, it is usually withing +/- 1 degree F of the NWS reported temperature over at the airport a few miles from where I work.

    They think we’re stupid. Unfortunately there are enough gullible people out there to keep the meme going. Apparently most of them are in Washington, D.C.

  19. It is certainly worthwhile to point out the flaws in the data. However, even supposing that the data are kosher, no amount of number crunching can quantify the human contribution to climate change, as long as there is no solid and quantitative theory of natural climate variation. That’s the elephant in the room of climate science, and I don’t understand how any scientist, climate or otherwise, can ignore it.

  20. Another thing to consider: China, whether we want to admit it or not, is in an economic war with the west – particularly the US. The green movement, and it’s destruction of the manufacturing infrastructure, is a strong and (probably) unwitting ally of China in it’s intent to dominate the world’s economic future. This study may be nothing more than an attempt by the Chinese political class to bolster one of their best weapons – the luddite greens.

  21. “The study is the first to directly link greenhouse gas emissions with warmer temperature extremes in a single country, rather than on a global scale, according to the paper’s authors”

    “The climate model produces historical simulations to mimic what would have happened under different influences—such as human-induced greenhouse gas emissions and volcanic activities—and produces many possible outcomes”

    So what is the direct link? A climate model?

    Junk science supported by Jolly Junkett Scientists?

  22. Interesting to look at the growth of places such as Shenzhen. GISS records run from 1950 -1990 and are pretty flat. They call the population out at around 10,000. Wikipedia suggests current 3.5m ‘urban’ and another 10m ‘sub-urban’. So a 350x increase in city dwellers alone has no influence on the station pictured above?

    Head a little North and we have Guangzhou. Population doubled since 1990, oddly enough the very point where the GISS graph takes off. No correlation there then?

    Back to my homeland and we have Manchester Airport. A grass field until the jet age. Now a few degrees hotter but then again it now handles 22m passengers (plus freight) a year. It is now even included in The CET. Did they have major international airports in CE back in 1650?

    Oh no … Mosher incoming. Telling me all about how we grid and average this nonsense to conclude the following… (5..4..3..2..1…..)

  23. The study is important because it formalizes what many scientists have been sensing as a gut instinct

    This is actually a key propaganda point. It is telling people that they should more highly weight information that is emotionally satisfying. This cuts right to the core of the entire issue. It has always been about using people’s emotional concern for “the environment” as a means to implement policy and economic decisions. Now faced with actual data that contradicts their hypothesis, they must throw out a piece of red meat that “formalizes” the “gut instinct” so that they don’t stray from the fold.

    It is so very, very sad to think that this is what science has become. It is little more than propaganda.

  24. Wasn’t it Stephen Colbert who argued that it was better to trust your gut than your head because there were more nerve endings in your gut? At least he was up front about being a comedian.

  25. Anthony, would you please, please quit posting about the despicable Seth Borenstein. I am about to explode and you know why. This is twice in the last couple of days.

    The guy up the thread has the right idea. In spite of the temptation he gives us to ridicule his articles we should ignore him.

    REPLY: No, sorry. I call ‘em as I see ‘em and if that upsets anyone, tough noogies. – Anthony

  26. BJ says:
    April 12, 2013 at 8:49 am

    > I’m in New England and would gladly take another 3 degrees at night!

    But that would melt all the sleet that’s accumulating today!

    My lawn is having second thoughts about finally turning green. (Near Concord NH.)

  27. seanbrady says:
    April 12, 2013 at 8:44 am

    “In any case, it has been shown that urbanization has had an insignificant effect on
    global and even regional temperature trends (Peterson 2003). In addition,
    temperatures have risen significantly over oceans as well as over land, providing
    further evidence that changes in land surfaces are not the primary cause of the
    observed warming.7″

    The assumption is local temperature increases remain local. They don’t, because if an air mass travels over a surface warmer than it’s self it will pick that heat up and take it somewhere else. In spite of the sun shining down much the same every day the UK weather varies dramatically and is dependent on where the air has come from and whether it’s hot, cold, wet or dry. And when it’s cloudy its colder. Out of interest the Aral Sea has been shrinking for much the same reasons as the Colorado river never gets to the Ocean, in that water is extracted faster than it goes in. Since the fall of the old Soviet Union there has been some restoration of water to this sea with positive affects on the climate (http://www.theapricity.com/forum/archive/index.php/t-10625.html). Consider this extract:
    “Even the climate is changing for the better. “It’s true. In April, May and June we now have rain,” exclaims Nazhmedin Musabaev, Aralsk’s jovial Mayor. There is more grass for livestock. Summers are a little cooler. Dust storms are fewer. Swans, duck and geese are returning.”

    The removal of any cooling features on the Earth’s surface, which are vegetation or water, will allow the sun to warm the surface that is now exposed. Has that happened in China on a national scale or what does one mean by local if those local actions are carried out all over the continent? UHI implies that it is only Urban areas where the surface has changed and the word ‘Island’ implies the extra heat is confined to a small area.

  28. stan stendera says: April 12, 2013 at 10:37 am

    Anthony, would you please, please quit posting about the despicable Seth Borenstein. I am about to explode and you know why. This is twice in the last couple of days.

    The guy up the thread has the right idea. In spite of the temptation he gives us to ridicule his articles we should ignore him.

    REPLY: No, sorry. I call ‘em as I see ‘em and if that upsets anyone, tough noogies. – Anthony

    The problem is that, for every piece of bullshit propaganda one ignores, those living on the fence start thinking about jumping off. Seth may well be despicable Problem is that he rouses the crowd with his mindless crap and somebody needs to point out just what a [snip] he really is in order to neutralise the crap.

  29. @Anthony: The new analysis is now complete, and the next step is publication. I was rushed by Muller and another dog and pony show in front of Congress last July, I won’t be rushed again – Anthony

    Le mieux est l’ennemi du bien. – Voltaire 1772
    (The perfect is the enemy of the good. )

    It was very good in the end that you were rushed to get out an imperfect paper with substance. It was a first look at whether Leroy 2010 siting criteria is a significant factor in the surface temp data reduction. It appears to be so and the sooner the world knows about that bit of science, the better. A “shot across the bow” of Muller was very appropriate given the circumstances of his misuse of your provided data and his own lack of peer review.

    I see nothing wrong with the concept of an “in progress” paper that publishes findings along with up-front admitted shortcommings that will be addressed in the next cycle. Maybe journals and journal editors don’t want to operate that way, but that is how science progresses. A marathon is built from individual steps.

    Your last hour of the Gore-athon 2012 covered a revision of your July paper where you did a fine finesse of the Time of Observation issue. You simply and elegantly filtered the data to only those stations were Time of Observation wasn’t an issue. Brilliant! Don’t correct troublesome data, omit it! Ok, less data means potentially larger confidence ranges, but it still looked promising — especially for an in-progress analysis. May I ask why you have not posted the video of that hour?

    REPLY:
    The video is in one large file of all hours, and takes time to excise from it. No time left is why I’m making changes to WUWT now….so I can get stuff done other than worrying about comments that need answering ;)

    -Anthony

  30. I wonder what they used for their CO2 base line and characterization of its increase in the local environment. Could it be the Mauna Loa measurements taken thousands of kilometers away?

  31. Mann also has a gut instinct about climate sensitivity issues, more arm waving here, this time with Dana N. of SkS:

    Mann and Dana N. on climate sensitivity

    …However, there is a wealth of other sources of information that scientists have used to try to constrain climate sensitivity (see for example this discussion at the site RealClimate). That evidence includes the paleoclimate record of the past thousand years, the specific response of the climate to volcanic eruptions, the changes in global temperature during the last ice age, the geological relationship between climate and carbon dioxide over millions of years, and more.

    When the collective information from all of these independent sources of information is combined, climate scientists indeed find evidence for a climate sensitivity that is very close to the canonical 3°C estimate. That estimate still remains the scientific consensus, and current generation climate models — which tend to cluster in their climate sensitivity values around this estimate — remain our best tools for projecting future climate change and its potential impacts….

  32. “During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.” (George Orwell)

    Anthony,
    You and the WUWT cadres are revolutionaries indeed! Keep speaking the truth to a world sorely in need of just such. And Thanks A Bunch for doing what you do so well!
    MtK

  33. Ok – I’m a finance guy, not a PhD whiz, but it’s laughable that some bright grad student hasn’t either proposed or actually done a preliminary experiment on a sample (5%? 10% more…?) of weather stations by placing a grid of X-number of “mini-weather stations” around (radius of 100 feet…500 feet? half a mile?) an “official” weather station to evaluate UHI. In another thread a few days ago, Steve Mosher absolutely bent himself inside-out trying to justify his “analytical model” for classifying weather stations. One of the most astouunding arguments in the whole thread dealt with the effect of jet-engine blast on a weather station sited at an airport. AT NO POINT IN TIME DID ANYBODY ACTUALLY RUN OUTSIDE AND MEASURE JET BLAST AT THE WEATHER STATION.

    This may (or may not) cost a few bucks for the entire sample (or population). Given an absurd cost of $1 million/weather station, and 3-4,000 stations (somebody please correct my population estimate), you’re looking at $3-4 billion; even this idiotic number seems reasonable if you’re talking about weather stations being used to justify spending trillions of dollars. Entire survey could probably be completed in a single calendar year.

  34. “…compares observed and model-simulated spatiotemporal patterns…”

    Hmm, when we do this with the IPCC forecasts and the observed, we get a marked global cooling trend. It also fits with gut instinct.

  35. Apologies to Adan S. Blue (April 12 @ 9:40am), who essentially articulated my proposed cncept…mea culpa.

  36. I especially love how the causes is “Humans” causing this warming. Perhaps it would be more accurate, since it occurs in China, to say that the “Chinese” were causing the warming.

    Much like every single Natioanl Geographic story of extinctions blamed it on generic “humans”. It sounds much more reasonable than blaming the Dodo extinction on, say, ignorant peasants, or blaming Amazon deforestation on “humans” rather than “Brazilian governmental subsidies for clearing land for farming”

  37. Though I can’t find the Coop in the imagery, the Building is in Google Earth at 22D32’30.94″N 114D00’19.59″E or ENTER 22.5419N 114.0055E in the fly to window

  38. 30 years ago, China was not very different from North Korea today: impoverished, economically backward and militarily powerful with nuclear weapons. Does anyone have a night time satellite photo of China 30 years ago to compare with one today. That should provide all the evidence needed to prove a strong UHI effect there over the past three decades.

    My guess, if it is possible to find out, that there is no UHI in North Korea and there has been little or no warming there, other than the global average.

  39. Hal, no worries.

    The key piece is recognizing that people focused on using ‘the anomaly method’ feel comfortable skipping this sort of calibration step. “Who cares it is actually 3 degrees off, the -trend- won’t be!”

    But that is (silently but fundamentally) baking the assumption of unchanging short or long local weather patterns and an unchanging local climate into the cake.

    So these are fundamentally studies of secondary importance to the ‘real scientists’ involved. But crucial to determining things like UHI, microsite issues, ground-to-satellite calibration, or competently assigning actual error bars to the GMST.

  40. WTF is next? I know now that they are moving AGW Warming to a country scale it will be very soon that they will move it (Back) on to a city level. MSM head line “Top scientists discover CO2 cooking cities” I guess they will jump back on this one:

    http://www.ars.usda.gov/SP2UserFiles/ad_hoc/12755100FullTextPublicationspdf/Publications/sookim/ElevatedAtmosphericCO2ConcentrationandTemperatureAcrossanUrbanRuralTransect.pdf

    Of course the heat island effect will be ignored. See CO2 is a POISON, because the EPA said so, so it MUST be true. These people are the scum of the earth!!

  41. So let me get this straight. The well mixed GHG, CO2, causes local warming in China, but according to Hansen, aerosols from China cool the whole world evenly. Maybe on two different worlds!

  42. ‘Actually seeing a warming trend in a single location is hard’ – Quote from the paper.

    I must be really stupid because I would have thought that if you have a weather station in one location and you have daily readings from it going back a long time then it would be very simple to see a warming trend if there was one.

  43. RE: Brian R says:
    April 12, 2013 at 12:10 pm
    Is there any good reason they would use 2007 as their end date?

    This could be because it is the last dataset that allow for a 5 year smoothing as 2008 to 2012 (the last full year of data) is only 4 years

  44. Anthony,
    Looking at your picture and referencing Google Earth, is that weather station right next to the 6 lane highway? Nothing but buildings on the line further back.

    seanbrady says:
    April 12, 2013 at 8:44 am
    But the claim that the
    observed increase in global average temperature is due to these changes in land surfaces is wrong, since the analyses showing the warming account for and remove any biases caused by urbanization (for example Hansen et al. 1999; Jones et al. 2001).

    Until you read in the Climategate 2.0 emails that at 40% of the sites, Hansen’s adjustment actually raise the temperature instead of lowering them.

    REPLY: yes, and in the center of downtown – Anthony

  45. RE: Peter Miller says:
    April 12, 2013 at 12:37 pm
    30 years ago, China was not very different from North Korea today: impoverished, economically backward and militarily powerful with nuclear weapons. Does anyone have a night time satellite photo of China 30 years ago to compare with one today. That should provide all the evidence needed to prove a strong UHI effect there over the past three decades.

    My guess, if it is possible to find out, that there is no UHI in North Korea and there has been little or no warming there, other than the global average.

    Again, Google Earth has an “Historical Imagery” (little clock) Icon located next to the Night/Day Icon. The Historical database goes back to 1979 and although they are ultra low resolution images they are vividly green and show evidence of heavy urbanization between 1979 & 1990 with extreme urbanization by 2000

  46. “If we average these possible outcomes, the day-to-day weather noise cancels out, leaving us with a general trend.”
    ======
    The “noise” is what affects people, not the average.

  47. From my perspective we’re missing a very important aspect of this paper and the hoopla surrounding it. After skimming over the comments I see some have touched upon this but, haven’t made the statement.

    What these authors are stating by implication is that the effects of our GHGs are immediate!!! As was mentioned by a few commenters, the air doesn’t stay resident to the local area. It gets moved. And so, for the GHGs to be warming China because of their emissions, the effects have to be immediate. This is entirely counter to the mantra of the warmists who claim it takes years for the energy to come back out of the earth’s systems. They can’t both be simultaneously true!

    I think we can get a lot of mileage out of this.

    And, of course, as was mentioned earlier. China was accused of causing cooling affects. Maybe the wind is discriminatory? Only blowing sulfates but keeping the CO2 in place…… :D

    I wrote a little post on it if anyone is interested. Just click on the name and scroll down.

    It is, of course, UHI screaming at them. But, what can you expect from a bunch of sophists?

  48. “Humans are responsible for increasingly warm daily minimum and maximum temperatures in China, new research suggests”.

    Its projection. Yes humans are responsible, for altering and misinterpreting the data.

  49. They say they consider land use (LU in their study). Obviously very localized siting issues are separate, but would accounting for land use cover part of the urban heat island effect?

  50. But the only forcing they considered was GHG’s.

    As usual solar forcing is presumed to be limited to the minute variation in solar irradiance, despite extensive evidence from solar-temperature correlations going back many thousands of years that some mechanism of solar amplification must be at work. The Chinese many not be as forgiving as the West of this patently fraudulent “science” once nature’s debunking is no longer deniable.

  51. Dang it, still can’t find the quote.
    It said something like:

    The first (found) mistake, is likely not the last.
    ——
    Best to slow things down.
    (speaking from experience).

  52. These clearly indicate that among known external forcings,

    and how do they answer the question: “What about the unknown forcings?” to which, to keep their story solid, they can only reply “There is nothing unknown”.

  53. If I read one more study that says “computer models shows…………..” I’m going to scream. Until they measure reality, I don’t give a darn what their models claim.

  54. Wen et al. begin their evaluation in 1961, at the end of Mao’s Great Leap Forward from 1958-1961 (aka China’s Great Famine 1959-1961). During the world’s greatest famine resulted in about 30 to 40 million people dying from starvation, and a similar fewer number of children not being born or being postponed. See google Mao’s Great Leap Forward Images

    How well were temperature records kept during that period when so many were “preoccupied” with life and death issues?

    Similarly consider China’s Cultural Revolution 1966-1971. See google Mao Cultural Revolution, Images. During the chaos, the Red Guards were even allowed to loot army barracks and override the People’s Liberation Army. Mao’s “Down to the Countryside” movement resulted in massive numbers of urban youth being relocated to rural regions.
    Were temperature records equally well kept during this chaotic period?

    International uncertainty guidelines cover both statistical Type A errors, and Type B errors evaluated through scientific judgment. Evaluation of measurement data – Guide to the expression of uncertainty in measurement. JCGM 100:2008 Corrected version 2010.

    May I suggest that Type B errors have not been addressed by Wen et al, especially during these periods.

  55. For Anthony Watts and the readership: Has anyone ever calculated the heat energy imported into a central city or extended metropolitan area? Not easy, I’m sure, but consider gasoline in an underground tank at 56 degrees being converted (60+%) into heat at 150 degrees+, or just look at an office building on a cold day shedding internal heat into the local atmosphere, heat generated by humans, by computers and equipment, by lighting and the like. Each commuter imports his or her heat load, and that does not even consider the known heat sink phenomena of concrete, asphalt and thermal storage of various building materials. Just asking.

  56. Some people wonder if Michael Mann is simply an activist masquerading as a scientist . . .

    No need to wonder – science is as science does. Michael Mann is no scientist (and for that matter, Seth Borenstein is no journalist).

  57. Mark Bofill: “Any U.N. position appointments for that? Any junkets?”

    St Maarten has some nice topless beaches…

  58. Lots of Jet Lag and ‘After Effects’ following EGU 2013 … caught a head cold … hearing is reduced as if an ordinance exploded (pressure wave at close proximity) near my head on the right side but the shrapnel missed by head … otherwise I am back in safe quarters.

    “St Maarten has some nice topless beaches…” that is true. However I for one would definitely not want to witness the good Prof. Slingo in such a circumstance … no no … not at all.

  59. Brian R says:
    April 12, 2013 at 12:10 pm
    Is there any good reason they would use 2007 as their end date?

    Of course. This was right after the PDO changed to its cool mode and global temps stated dropping. Probably also true for China.

  60. Peter Miller says:
    April 12, 2013 at 12:37 pm

    30 years ago, China was not very different from North Korea today: impoverished, economically backward and militarily powerful with nuclear weapons. Does anyone have a night time satellite photo of China 30 years ago to compare with one today…………

    Here’s a gif from 1992 – 2008 and shows a large increase from 1992 – 1995.

    http://geodemo.com/china-data-products/ntl

  61. So, their “gut instincts” are telling them that weather really really isn’t climate, and now they have physical proof? Wow. Except, of course, for when weather is climate, like with Sandy. Got it.

  62. Ian says April 12, 2013 at 10:36 am

    Wasn’t it Stephen Colbert who argued that it was better to trust your gut than your head because there were more nerve endings in your gut? At least he was up front about being a comedian.

    Works well as a pilot too, right up to the point where one “augers in”. (/sarc)

    (Okay, with aircraft piloting the reference is made to “seat of the pants” flying versus “instrument flying” …)

    .

  63. It’s obvious that Mann (along with many others, notably Hansen) is an activist masquerading as a scientist. Of course being an activist you by default lose any sense of objectivity as you have already made up your mind. The two are mutually exclusive. Therefore Mann and Co. can hardly be considered to be true scientists.

  64. Remember James Hansen used the ‘gut instinct’ line when he disputed another scientist’s paleotemperature reconstruction. I intend to contact Stan Lee’s Super Humans’ show so he’ll have them on to demonstrate this ability.

  65. I experince UHI everytime I go to work at 11 pm. When I leave for work (I live in a semi-rural area near Houston) I look at the outside air temp from my car dash. By the time I get to work (city surrounded by concrete) at midnight the outside air temp has risen 5 to 7 degrees F. When I go home in the morning, the opposite occurs.

  66. “…The researchers estimate that human emissions likely increased the warmest annual extreme temperatures—the daily maximum and daily minimum for the hottest day and night of the year—by 1.7 degrees Fahrenheit (0.92 degrees Celsius) and 3°F (1.7°C), respectively.

    A larger nighttime signal than daytime signal is exactly what you would expect in the influence of poor station siting and UHI. The EPA says:

    In contrast, atmospheric urban heat islands are often weak during the late morning and throughout the day and become more pronounced after sunset due to the slow release of heat from urban infrastructure. The annual mean air temperature of a city with 1 million people or more can be 1.8–5.4°F (1–3°C) warmer than its surroundings.3 On a clear, calm night, however, the temperature difference can be as much as 22°F (12°C).3″

    However in a study of UHI in 419 cities of over 1 million population, Peng et al (2012) found that the average annual daytime surface urban heat island intensity (SUHII) is generally of greater amplitude than the annual nighttime SUHII in the same city. They also found that the correlation between daytime SUHII and nighttime SUHII is poor, and that some cities in arid regions are characterised by an urban cool island effect (the city is cooler than the surrounding rural area).
    Peng, S. et al, 2012. Surface urban heat island across 419 global big cities. Environmental science and technology, 46, 696-703. American Chemical Society.

  67. Aren’t feeling’s in the gut more commonly caused by wind ? Not suggesting for a moment they might be of a Greenhouse type, but an excess of greens in the diet has been known to contribute.

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