Red State Blue State – Dot's Up With That?

Last night anybody who watched TV or surfed the web was assaulted with all manner of red/blue maps. There were states, counties, cities, dots, and graphs. Your green channel of the RGB system on your TV or LCD could have gone completely out and you wouldn’t have missed a thing.

Thanks to the election, we are now all red/blue color sensitized. So it seemed the perfect time to introduce this map.


I’ll have more on this later, but behind one of those dots lies a very interesting story.

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Pamela Gray
November 5, 2008 8:03 pm

I’ll bet those are surface stations with calibration problems of some kind. Hell, even the private one I always refer to in Enterprise, Oregon has left me a skeptic on its ability to accurately record hourly temperature data.

November 5, 2008 8:03 pm

Red for warmer, blue for colder, and green for Libertarians?

Pamela Gray
November 5, 2008 8:44 pm

Second guess! Surface stations that have recorded a change in temp when compared to some previous mark. Big blue dot, decreased temp. Big red, increase temp. the smaller shapes and color hues are the inbetween ones.

Jeff L
November 5, 2008 8:56 pm

Obviously a map of California (& maybe a dot or two in the Reno NV area)
More red dots near urban centers, more blue dots in rural areas…..
I will guess this is a temperature trend dot of some sort – red for warming trend (dot size proportional to some sort of rate or delta) and blue for cooling trend, again proportional. Might be good evidence for UHI effects…
How’s that for a guess Anthony???
Looking forward to the whole story ….

November 5, 2008 9:02 pm

Well California’s an interesting place.

Captain Obviousness
November 5, 2008 9:11 pm

Obviously the state of CA, but I don’t quite understand the dots. I see blue where I should see red and red where I should see blue! Blue should be clustered around SF and LA with most of the rest of the state red. And I really don’t know what pink or teal means??

November 5, 2008 9:43 pm

hes got leaking pens and its dropped blots all over the page

November 5, 2008 10:11 pm

California is just a big loaf of Wonder Bread.

November 5, 2008 10:26 pm

I recognize the graphic, it is from LaDochy, S., R. Medina, and W. Patzert. 2007. Recent California climate variability: spatial and temporal patterns in temperature trends. Not sure under which dot the mystery is hiding.

November 5, 2008 10:29 pm

Am I supposed to see a Dalmatian or something? =)

November 5, 2008 10:34 pm

Ok, so lets look at what we have. We have shapes. Three different ones:
Circles apparently come in three different colors and three different sizes. Blue, Red and Purple; small, medium, and large. All purple circles are small. That would lead me to deduce that circles represent temperature change. Purple being neutral, and the size is some indication of the magnitude of the change. So color represents sign, size represents magnitude, purple equals zero.
All squares are small and green. All triangles are small and cyan. My guess is that they are site markers of some sort. I would guess that triangles are airports but there is certain information missing where I would expect to see it to make that only tentative in my mind … a guess.
I have no clue what green squares might be.

Bruce Foutch
November 5, 2008 10:44 pm

Maybe they are mushroom colonies?
“Dried Mushrooms Slow Climate Warming In Northern Forests”

F Rasmin
November 5, 2008 10:59 pm

They are not proposed gulag sites are they?

Bruce Foutch
November 5, 2008 11:00 pm

Ok, I found it. Here is a hint:
May 30th, 2007 at 8:17 pm
Lets hear it for real data.

November 5, 2008 11:07 pm

I was hoping to find Waldo… anyone find him? ;”]

Old Coach
November 5, 2008 11:27 pm

I’ve done some research and I think I’ve got it…
Little red dots are where power grid is weak and companies cannot build coal-fired power plants.
Small Blue dots are where power is low and companies can’t build nuclear power plants.
Little green triangles are where oil fields are geologically probable and where exploration is forbidden.
The green squares represent counties that have clean natural gas power plants under construction.
The small dots at the border represent places where there were originally plans to run pipelines to the gas power plants but they have not been approved.
The large blue dots represent the total land area required for the wind farms necessary to supply the needed power for the King’s Canyon gondola and surrounding cabins.
The small red dot outside the state is where the people want all the power supplying California to be generated.
The small black dots at the border also represent the land where it is unlawful to erect power lines coming from the external power source.
Pretty sure that this is it, but what is the “Mystery dot?”.

November 5, 2008 11:48 pm
Red represents high urban waste heat. Blue represents no heating trend.

November 5, 2008 11:52 pm

Anthony writes: …one of those dots
Wal; I’ve used DotPeep.gzt to look under most of them and found nothing so will just wait, with bated breath, for the revelation.

November 6, 2008 1:26 am

OT, but snowing in southern New Zealand just three weeks before summer begins.

November 6, 2008 1:53 am

Giggle .. kinda looks like the earthquake map:P
but its not.

Pierre Gosselin
November 6, 2008 2:25 am

One of the great AGW skeptics has died, and hardly a peep in this forum!!
Why did I get up this morning and expect some sort of tribute to Micheal Crichton here?
How naive of me.
MICHAEL CRICHTON did more for the skeptic movement than all the skeptic blogs put together.
I think some kind of tribute would not be asking for too much.

TFN Johnson
November 6, 2008 2:28 am

Some of us live outside the USA. What is ‘California’?

Robert Wood
November 6, 2008 2:53 am

Hmmm, California. Pale blue triangles; green squares; small and large red and blue dots. Must be something to do with surface stations. Size suggests importance. Square and triangle suggests difference e.g. not yet surveyed or something.

November 6, 2008 3:59 am

It’s your trip across Reno measuring UHI and you’ve now done a transect at right angles to the original one.
Do you have local population growth comparisons with all the nearby weather station sites that don’t have so much urban growth as Reno?

November 6, 2008 4:10 am

Looks like one of those color-blind tests…..

November 6, 2008 4:15 am

Did one of the red dots record a record high temperature as it was engulfed in wildfire? (Is that bad taste? If so then I apologise.)

November 6, 2008 4:43 am

FOR YEARS David Bellamy was one of the best known faces on TV.
A respected botanist and the author of 35 books, he had presented around 400 programmes over the years and was appreciated by audiences for his boundless enthusiasm.
Yet for more than 10 years he has been out of the limelight, shunned by bosses at the BBC where he made his name, as well as fellow scientists and environmentalists.
His crime? Bellamy says he doesn’t believe in man-made global warming.
Here he reveals why – and the price he has paid for not toeing the orthodox line on climate change.
Full story:

Tom in Florida
November 6, 2008 5:06 am

It’s a tracking map for Bill Clinton’s “White House visitors”. Size, shape and color have values similar to Hugh Hefner’s star system.

John B
November 6, 2008 5:15 am

Bruce gave it away…not sure what the interesting story behind one of the dots is.

November 6, 2008 5:20 am

Old Coach:
Thank you! 8<)

November 6, 2008 5:26 am

Pierre Gosselin (02:25:53) :
“One of the great AGW skeptics has died, and hardly a peep in this forum!!
Why did I get up this morning and expect some sort of tribute to Micheal Crichton here?
How naive of me. ”
Pierre…it was mentioned numerous times on a few other posts on this site.
Very sad indeed.

November 6, 2008 5:28 am

As for the map, I think Anthony just spilled his evening bowl of Space Balls ice cream dots, and one spot just happened to land on Chico…

Jeff Alberts
November 6, 2008 5:28 am

Very sad about Crichton.
From CNN: “He was an avowed skeptic of global climate change,”
No, he wasn’t. He was an avowed skeptic of ANTHROPOGENIC global warming, not of the fact that climate changes. Spin spin spin little birdie.

Don B
November 6, 2008 5:51 am

The map must be Baja Oregon.

November 6, 2008 6:50 am

hmmm..its probably the CO2 secret police’s audit map…..they base it off of shape, color and size to figure out where to send the greenpeace volunteers first to vandalize your house

David Ball
November 6, 2008 7:24 am

O/T, but still important !! Rest in peace, Dr. Crichton !! As a young lad, I watched “The Andromeda Strain”, and it had a profound effect on me. Enjoyed all his books. I was wondering why he had backed away from “The Debate”, and now I know why. Cancer. After releasing “State of Fear”, he suffered some severe abuse at the hands of Pro- AGW zealots ( as have all who dared question publicly). He and Dr. Richard Lindzen were close friends from their Harvard days, so he had access to some accurate science on the subject. Dr. Crichton thoroughly researched every subject of his books. I learned much from this man. One of my heroes!!

November 6, 2008 7:26 am
Dan McCune
November 6, 2008 7:47 am

Is this some kind of Rorschach inkblot test?
I think I see a naked charlatan . . .

Pamela Gray
November 6, 2008 7:52 am

Speaking of CO2, what is up with AIRS? When are we going to get a plain jane daily view of CO2 that isn’t buried somewhere on the web site, takes FOREVER to download, and then when you pull something up, its July’s data?

November 6, 2008 8:16 am

A measure of readership (and commenters):
No comments:
38 comments (so far): this page
And we don’t even know what the main point (pun intended) is!

November 6, 2008 8:32 am

In other news, Al Gore labels Socialism “Sustainable Capitalism”.
George Orwell would understand.

November 6, 2008 9:33 am

Ric Werme:
What, you haven’t connected the dots yet? (Robt shakes his head sadly.) 8<)

November 6, 2008 12:28 pm

Spend all day in meetings, waiting to get home and see what the mystery was…

November 6, 2008 1:43 pm

ONE of the dots has a story…
…maybe its the whacky location for some sensor(s): located in a desert trailer park some inches (a few feet) above some large rocks (heat sinks) and a few feet from a community barbeque pit.
Clearly such a location creates a sort of ‘urban heat island effect’ of an extreme & distorting nature.
I wish I could recall the site presenting that tidbit of insight, with photo.

Bruce Foutch
November 6, 2008 7:46 pm

Maybe a geologic map of these mineral deposits…
“Scientists say a rock can soak up carbon dioxide”

Steve Moore
November 6, 2008 7:53 pm

It’s an Ishihara Test.
And if you weren’t all colorblind, you’d see it’s “42”!

November 7, 2008 2:17 am

The different dots represent humans kidnapped by aliens (the colour and shape defines the type of alien eg small blue aliens = small blue dots) and probed up the er… exhaust pipe. They tell the unfortunate probee that they’re emitting too much methane and CO2 and the planet will be destroyed if they don’t reduce their emissions.
The dot with the triangle at 36.5 by –117.1 is the interesting story. The alien admitted it had all been a big joke and they really didn’t expect mankind to take them seriously. In fact they had bet Al Gore (really Algore, a large red sweaty alien) and his friend James Hansen (or Han Senn, a green slimy one) that man wouldn’t waste billions trying to reduce CO2. He added that he could persuade us to act, even as he steadily increased his own carbon foot print year on year.
The aliens said “No, wayyyy!”
Algore said “WAY.”
Now the aliens are worried that they’re going to lose the bet and Algore will be so SMUG.
Am I right?

November 7, 2008 2:20 am

You’ve now worked out the UHI correction factors for the state of California with 95% confidence (???) so this can be amplified to the global record set

November 7, 2008 4:18 am

That is how California voted, blue Obama red Mc Cain

Jack Simmons
November 7, 2008 5:10 am

The young man was literally sweating while taking a test he was not prepared for.
Noticing some drops of sweat on his paper, he circled these spots and labeled them “Sweat”.
When he received his test back, with an F, he noticed some new circles on the test.
Each was labeled “Tears”.

November 7, 2008 6:35 am

TinyCO2 (02:17:47) :

Now the aliens are worried that they’re going to lose the bet and Algore will be so SMUG.
Am I right?

No, the unique dot is the spaceport named “To Serve Anthony.” He’ll have more to say about the special service if he returns.

November 7, 2008 7:43 am

Is there any hope of getting this explained to we lesser lights? I am really intrigued by this puzzle.

November 7, 2008 11:30 am

I lived in California once and tried one of those purple dots. It was, um, interesting.

Tom Bakewell
November 8, 2008 8:52 am

From the BBC: “Rainfall autism theory suggested”
Increased rainfall, or something linked to it, may be connected to the development of autism, scientists say.
The theory is based on child health and weather records from three US states, but has been given an icy reception by UK experts.
link :

Derek Walton
November 14, 2008 8:26 am

Did I miss it or is this still to be revealed?

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