# Steig's Antarctic Peninsula Pac-mann

WUWT readers may recall a couple of weeks ago that I suggested that the weather stations with different climatic influences of the Antarctic peninsula, which might very well merit its own separate climate designation from the Antarctic mainland, was heavily weighting the Steig et al results ( Nature, Jan 22, 2009).  Essentially that weighting “gobbled up” the trends on the mainland, such as the trend at the south pole station which shows a long term cooling.

Jeff Id took that advice and did an analysis which I have reposted by invitation below. But, I just couldn’t help notice that this graph below looks a lot like Jeff’s results .

Above: Peninsula Pac-mann gobbles up the trend. See Figure 8 in Jeff’s analysis.

Antarctic Warming – The Final Straw

Guest posted by Jeff Id of the Air Vent

This is the first post I’ve done which gets to the heart of where the trends in Steig et al. came from. Steve M did a post on TTLS reconstruction TTLS in a Steig Context which makes the point that despite the PCA and truncation the result of RegEM is still a linear recombination of station data. This post is the result of a back calculation of station weights to determine which stations were weighted and by how much to create the final trend of Steig et al.

Before I succeeded in this calculation yesterday, I tried it once before some time ago and it didn’t work. There were a couple of errors which prevented me from getting a solution and I was too lazy to fix it. The Climate Audit post pushed me to try again and this time I got it right. I think you’ll find the result a bit telling.

The satellite reconstruction from Steig et al is based on two halves. The pre-1982 half is entirely surface station data, the post 1982 data is satellite based data. The satellite half is easily replicated from the satellite data while the surface station half is simply a linear weight and sum of the surface stations. If the surface station temperature is SST, and the weights are c the net result of all this complex math prior to 1982 looks like this

T output = (C1 * SST1) + (C2 * SST2) ……. (Cn * SSTn)

That’s it!

So in order to calculate the C’s involved in this equation we can back solve a series of linear equations having the form above. There are 42 SST’s in the reconstruction and 1 Satellite trend. Since the satellite is not used pre-1982 we can ignore that for determining the pre-1982 portion of the reconstruction. So we have 42 SST’s but not all of those have any data before 1982. After removing the stations which don’t have any pre-1982 data only 34 remain. These 34 are the only ones mathematically incorporated in the reconstruction and are shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1 – Location of 34 Stations Used in Reconstruction

It’s odd that Steig et al included the extra stations at all. I’m not sure if they understood what they were doing when they included stations which had no data in the pre-1982 timeframe. I need to run RegEM without them to see for sure but they may affect the weightings of the other 34 stations but IMO it isn’t likely to be helpful.

The code to perform the reconstruction and sort the correct 34 stations out is as follows:

#perform RyanO SteveM RegEM reconstruction

clip=form.steig

dat=window(calc.anom(all.avhrr), start=c(1982), end=c(2006, 12))

base=window(parse.gnd.data(all.gnd, form=clip), start=1957, end=c(2006, 12))

base=calc.anom(base)

pcs=get.PCs(dat,3)

dd=ts.union(base,pcs[[1]])

reg3=regem.pttls(dd,maxiter=50,tol=.005,regpar=3,method=”default”, startmethod=”zero”, p.info=”Unspecified Matrix”)

dim(reg3[[35]]\$X) #600 45

#extract surfacestations and PC’s

regemSST=ts(reg3[[35]]\$X[,1:42],start=1957,deltat=1/12)

dim(regemSST) #600 42

regemPC=ts(reg3[[35]]\$X[,43:45],start=1957,deltat=1/12)

#calculate full reconstruction

recon = regemPC %*%t(pcs[[2]])

recontr=ts(rowMeans(recon),start=1957,deltat=1/12)

coef(lsfit(time(recontr),recontr))[2] #0.01190505

##find stations which have data pre 1982

reconSST=base[,mask]## these stations are actually used in recon

After the 34 stations are sorted the task is to set up a matrix which has the form of the equation above.

c1 * SST1(x) + C2 * SST2 (x) …… = output(x)

Where x is the value of each surface station and RegEM output on that particular date. Since we have 34 unknowns we need 34 independent equations to solve. All the SST data has values infilled for all dates from 1957 – 2007 but the infilled values are combinations of the non-infilled values. This makes the matrix singular and indeterminate (unsolvable). Our task then is to find 1 row (date) for each station for which the station has have at least 1 unique measured value. To do this I used the raw data and looked for independent months which contain at least 1 value for each row. (this is where I got lazy last time)

##backsolve regem weights

##find unique rows which have 1 value for each station

index=array(0,dim=34)

for(i in 1:34)

{

j=1

while( (is.na(sstd[j,i]) == TRUE) | (sum(index==j)!=0) )

{

j=j+1

}

index[i]=j

}

##use index rows to backsolve RegEM: Index =

# [1] 65 1 109 2 135 3 52 26 4 25 5 6 7 8 9 171 10 165 148 11

# [21] 12 13 74 292 50 73 14 240 280 275 15 16 27 17

##setup square matrix a from infilled data

The value index listed in the code above is the row (month) number from jan 1957 = 1 forward for which at least 1 value was measured. You can see the first station on the list has a value of month 65 for the starting value, the second has a value of 1 which means the second station has data for the first month. The fourth station has a value in the first month but we can’t reuse the same value or the matrix would be singular so it found the next open value at month 2. The algorithm continues in this fashon through the 34 stations.

After these values are gathered we can set up the matrix and solve the following equation for c.

`a * c = b`

I like simple. The code looks like this.

##setup square matrix a from infilled data

dim(a) #34,34

b=recontr[index]

c= solve(a,b)

#a%*%c

m = aa %*% c

m=ts(m,start=1957,deltat=1/12)

The matrix aa is multiplied times weights c to create the surface station temperature reconstruction m. Here is the replicated trend by RegEM we’ve seen before, thanks primarily to Ryan O and SteveM code.

Figure 2

For the first time we can see the Steig et al reconstruction as determined by the surface station temperatures only.

Figure 3

I was a bit shocked the trend was still so high. After all we know the area weighted surface station trend sits at about 0.04 C/Decade.

Just to make it clear, Figure 4 is the difference between the above plots.

Figure 4

The pre-1982 data is a perfect match up to rounding error the post 1982 difference is the satellite data difference which I have to point out boosts the final recon trend a bit higher than the weighted surface stations. The surface stations and weights “C’s” required to recreate the pre – 1982 Steig reconstruction are in Table 1.

Now we get to the fun part. Surface station weights for this reconstruction are shown in Figure 5. The graph is color coded the same as Figure 1 by region. I’ve moved Byrd from Ross Ice shelf to West Antarctica which is the only change from Ryan O’s color coding in his posts.

Figure 5

You can see the dominant number of (black) surface stations located in the peninsula. The Y axis is normalized to 1 equals 1/34 of the total contribution for 1 in 34 stations. This area is of course known to have high warming trend, however 4 stations have strong negative net weights – an oddity I mentioned in my earlier work on this paper explaining RegEM ignores trend in favor of high frequency correlation. It is of course nonsensical to flip temperature data upside down when averaging but that is exactly what Steig et al does. This alone should call into question the paper’s result.

This isn’t the end of the story however, in Figure 6 I multiplied the individual (infilled by RegEM) station trends times their weights and created another bar plot

Figure 6

Ok, at this point my eyes are widening. Figure 6 represents the contribution of each stations trend to the positive total output trend. Negative values here are acceptable if they come from negative trend, so the 4 black bars and one near zero blue which were negative in Figure 5 are incorrect, and the ones which changed sign for Figure 6 are a result of a truly negative trend in temperature.

Figure 7 is a Pie chart showing the station weights for each region- same as Figure 5 – different colors.

Figure 7

It’s telling in Figure 7 that station weights for the tiny peninsula region were not contained well spatially in that the sum of the weights adds up to an area equal to the entire East Antarctica. A correct reconstruction would contain this information to a section of the pie reasonably equivalent to the geographic area of coverage.

And finally the graph we’ve all been looking for since this all started, the contribution of each region to the total reconstruction trend.

Figure 8

There it is, we can now say conclusively that the positive trend in the Antarctic reconstruction comes primarily from the well known peninsula warming trend.

If we recall Figure 3 is the actual Steig et al reconstruction using both pre and post 1982 surface station data only and yet the trend is nearly the same as the final RegEM. This trend is quite different from simple methods of determining station weights using methods such as these.

Maximum Triviality Reconstruction

Closest Station Antarctic Reconstruction

My final check was to add up the area contribution to trends as a check. These values created Figure 8. The four values in order are from Peninsula, West Antarctica, Ross Ice Shelf, East Antarctica in degrees C/Decade:

0.0709 + 0.0115 + 0.0028 + 0.0134 = 0.0987

This was in fact an exact match (7 figures) of the trend in Figure 3 above. Demonstrating the correctness of the last equation in Steve McIntyre’s CA post linked above.

It will be interesting to see how well RyanO’s latest holds up to the same analysis – don’t expect any favoritism around here .

NOTE: be sure to read Steig et al falsified as well. Real Climate has post direct from Dr. Steig on why they don’t want to discuss issues like this one. – Anthony

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Harold Vance
June 7, 2009 12:23 pm

I spy only 2 stations in the interior. The rest ring the continent. Antarctica is 42 % larger than the U.S. What gives?

Boudu
June 7, 2009 12:26 pm

So it’s a bit like saying the UK has a mostly rocky coastline with lots of cliffs and hidden coves because this is the case in Cornwall.
Very scientific.
Excellent work Jeff.

June 7, 2009 12:38 pm

Time heals all wounds and wounds all heels.
Congratulations and thanks to Jeff, Anthony, and Steve for the solid work done so far in fighting one of the most obvious climate distortions of our era – the “warming” of Antarctica.

Steptoe Fan
June 7, 2009 1:23 pm

In Seattle, the happy face climatologists at the U of W work tirelessly on next new model, after model – the masses proclaim their virtue and invite their speeches of AGW doom which are further amplified by the mindless media.
They are the talk of the town !
Truth be damned !

Phil
June 7, 2009 1:23 pm

Congrats!!!! Moral of the story #1 is that you can’t make up data where none exists, even when using a bunch of fancy math. Moral of the story #2 is that the new cloud-masking algorithm from Comiso seems to have had very little overall contribution to the total trend Steig calculates, so the whole “data from satellites” appears to be a red herring that falsely gives the whole study some objectivity. So it looks like we’re back to looking at the credibility of the surface station data. Looks like Anthony may need some volunteers in Antarctica to check out the surface stations there, although some of that has already been posted.

dearieme
June 7, 2009 1:27 pm

Steig et al would seem to have been silly [snip – ad hom] Obviously. No, I really do.

Daniel M
June 7, 2009 1:39 pm

So, is it safe to say that we may soon be seeing Florida temperature used as a proxy for all of North America?

Editor
June 7, 2009 1:41 pm

Harold Vance (12:23:25) : I spy only 2 stations in the interior. The rest ring the continent. Antarctica is 42 % larger than the U.S. What gives?
It is a heck of a lot easier to land on the coast than to lug a station to the interior of an icy he… heck.
That is also why there are so many stations on the peninsula … the weather is better… It is far warmer, easier to resupply, and less fuel needed to keep round brass things attached to frozen monkeys…
So we “discover” that it’s warmer than expected in Antarctica because folks like to be, and build stations, where it is warmer in Antarctica …

Editor
June 7, 2009 1:42 pm

Well, they say if you torture data long enough you can get it to say anything.
REPLY: The policy of the USA prohibits the use of torture. – Anthony

mkurbo
June 7, 2009 1:45 pm

Why do they say that the NIPCC has no credentials on this site ?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Global_warming
I thought The NIPCC Report was at least equal to that of the IPCC.

Garacka
June 7, 2009 1:52 pm

The peninsula, at 7% of the area, contributes 70% (eyeballing Fig 8) to the final answer?
That might mean that this Antarctic peninsula has some very special properties.
Perhaps, if we want to avoid catastrophic global warming, some of these researchers can find similar special places they can be averaged with warmer areas to cool them down and our problems would be solved.

Editor
June 7, 2009 1:57 pm
stumpy
June 7, 2009 1:57 pm

Excellent work, get this published!
The approach used by Steig just seems odd to me, weightings should be calculated geographically based on the area of station coverage. I assume they did not fully understand what they were doing or did they know they were deliberatly skewing the results using a simple “average of all the stations” approach.

Editor
June 7, 2009 2:01 pm

mkurbo (13:45:34) :
Why do they say that the NIPCC has no credentials on this site ?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Global_warming

Because wikipedia depends on the balance of pressure between competing points of view to maintain a “neutral point of view” and this is a failed strategy in the face of a highly zealous activist group such as the AGW “side”; who have come to dominate wikipedia and have made it useless as a reference on any politicized topic.

VG
June 7, 2009 2:10 pm

I’ve been harking on and on about the differences between UNISYS and NOAAA SST. Finally someone has noticed. We now know why.
from icecap:
“Based on the coming El Nino he hints at upcoming disappointment for climate realists with respect to arctic ice and warmer global temperatures for 2009 and for the decade. Of course he used the bogus NOAA temperatures which have taken the lead in being the most contaminated and exaggerated through station dropout globally, no adjustment for urbanization, a purposeful adjustment up of sea surface temperature warming (compare UNISYS with NOAA satellite), and bad siting (Anthony Watts has identified only 10% of the 948 United States stations meet government’s own standards for siting”.

hjo
June 7, 2009 2:17 pm

That the peninsula is warmer does not matter. These are all relative temperature differences that have been documented over time. I suggest you come up with your own models and your own weather monitoring stations.

June 7, 2009 2:20 pm

Mkurbo,
Wikipedia content is policed by true AGW believers. When you need a few minutes of entertainment, search Wikipedia for a few well know names on both sides of the Global Warming debate.
When you see the pattern consider that Wikipedia is no more reliable for topics that you don’t already know about.

rbateman
June 7, 2009 2:42 pm

I was taught that if you torture data long enough, it will confess.
What Jeff did was torture Steig’s reconstruction (that’s a bad word in the South)
until he found a convincing mathematical expression of the skulldugery of the deed.
We all know Antartctica is deathly cold. It’s bad enough to have some coastal stations that relief can get to, plus one at the pole is playing chicken aplenty.
It may as well be Pluto down there.

Mike McMillan
June 7, 2009 2:42 pm

Over at RealClimate, they contend that to use 13 PC’s, as in WUWT’s Jeff&Jeff&Ryan efforts, merely inflates the noise. Their explanation for using 3 PC’s is that the eigenvalue variances for the first 3 are much higher than for the rest, using their data from Steig et al 2009.
Would this difference in variance possibly be because of the peninsular weighting in their data?

rbateman
June 7, 2009 2:51 pm

El Nino’s & Sea Levels and Polar Bears, oh my !

June 7, 2009 3:10 pm

I’m still FLABBERGASTED by the “linear curve fit” line through this data.
ALTHOUGH THE HUMAN EYE SEES A MINOR “TREND”, as OBJECTIVE SCIENTIFIC TYPES would we not be bound to run standard statistical analysis of this data.
If one does, would NOT the Standard Deviation of the data compared to the alledged “trend” be much, much larger than the “trend”, and would that NOT give the trend ZERO statistical significance?
Just a thought.
M.H.

June 7, 2009 3:22 pm

This seems like the infamous Bristlecone Pines, whose evidence was weighted secretly by a factor of 390, all over again. Hockey Stick Mark 2 used disturbed Finnish lake sediment to weight the evidence. This is the third time that scientists supposedly paid by the state and doing work with key policy implications have weighted the evidence and concealed their methods. I hope Bishop Hill will write up this saga too. I hope this breaks through into the MSM. Jeff Id, and the Climate Realist (as opposed to RealClimate) Hockeystick Team, hats off.

Don S.
June 7, 2009 3:43 pm

It’s simple. Friends don’t let friends do Wikipedia.

MikeN
June 7, 2009 4:04 pm

If everyone is on the peninsula, does that mean its warming is an urban heat island effect:?

June 7, 2009 4:40 pm

I suspect no one is going to deal with this proof of biased work by Steig et al….. I suspect that recent stuff hyping AGW by Romm on the brief delay of rampant warming caused by La Nina…..I suspect that the World Glacier Monitoring crowd are not going to finalize the 2006 (!!!) report on glacier changes, let alone stop stalling on the 2007 and 2008 reports (on an earlier post I wondered why it is taking so long – they have to have all the data or it would be lost in the 2009 snows) … until after the November witching party in Denmark and passage of the doomsday carbon tax act.

Shallow Climate
June 7, 2009 4:43 pm

Another revealing and fascinating post, according to me at least. Thanks, Jeff Id. Ya know, even if one knew zilch about the methodology used here, one can tell just by the “flavor” of WUWT, CA, The Air Vent, et al. that this is “the place to be” vis-a-vis Real Climate, et al., because here total openness and transparency is practiced. It’s a breath of fresh air to say the least. No hidden data or code here. It restores my faith in humankind–or, I should say, in a hope for humankind. Dum spiro spero.

Manfred
June 7, 2009 5:01 pm

well done !
however we have to keep in mind that this is not yet a prove, that steig, mann et altri fabricated their results.
they may still be excused by simply not having adequate scientific skills and a probably a very poor statistical background.
as this was a widely distributed paper regarding climate change, in my opinion, it weighs much more, that they did not publish the cooling trend emerging from their analysis, if a later starting point better matching the lift off in CO2 emissions would have been used. a cooling trend after 1970 or 1980 simply would have reversed the impression the study implies about the connection between AGW and antarctic temperature trends. omitting this information is an obsfucation, and may not be excused by just poor skills and bad science.

Bill Illis
June 7, 2009 5:16 pm

I imagine all those scientists tolling away day-after-day in the incredible conditions of the interior of Antarctica will be very happy to know they could have spent their time on the mild maritime Peninsula.
Don’t you think they were very careful in measuring temperatures as scientifically accurate as possible for nearly every single day for 52 years at the South Pole Amundsen-Scott Station only to have someone come along and say they did it all wrong because the satellite measurements over the Peninsula are more accurate.
The temps regularly get to -70C, humidity is non-existent, and the air is thin at 9,300 feet on top of 9,000 feet of ice yet Steig says their measurements are wrong.
http://img223.imageshack.us/img223/4146/spmonthlyhe2.png
http://www.southpolestation.com/trivia/igy1/igy1.html

Ron de Haan
June 7, 2009 5:48 pm

Manfred (17:01:17) :
well done !
however we have to keep in mind that this is not yet a prove, that steig, mann et altri fabricated their results.
they may still be excused by simply not having adequate scientific skills and a probably a very poor statistical background.
as this was a widely distributed paper regarding climate change, in my opinion, it weighs much more, that they did not publish the cooling trend emerging from their analysis, if a later starting point better matching the lift off in CO2 emissions would have been used. a cooling trend after 1970 or 1980 simply would have reversed the impression the study implies about the connection between AGW and antarctic temperature trends. omitting this information is an obsfucation, and may not be excused by just poor skills and bad science.
Manfred,
No excuses please. SteigMann et al, like the Hockeystick graph was a well planned fraud to keep the AGW gravy train under steam.
The timing of publication of SteigMann et al coincided with the Polar Year celebrations when all publicity was aimed at the South Pole.
No coincidence here but the plain and evil objective to promote an agenda that will put us in Green Shackles.
Nothing more, nothing less.
I am glad it has been debunked in such a sophisticated manner.
REPLY: Nobody here suggests fabrication, only incompetence and/or sloppiness of analysis. – Anthony

redneck
June 7, 2009 7:06 pm

Sort of tail wagging the dog or in this instance peninsula wagging the continent.

AnonyMoose
June 7, 2009 7:06 pm

Pac Man is missing the gold coins which he intends to eat.

Look at the map of Antarctica with the colored dots, use your imagination. – Anthony

Justin Sane
June 7, 2009 9:13 pm

You do realize though, that the Steig report is all that the general public will ever be aware of. It’s too bad someone couldn’t sue Al Gore for spreading lies, like the way the greenies can sue the EPA, Supreme Court etc.

noaaprogrammer
June 7, 2009 10:06 pm

Gary Pearse wrote:
“…I suspect that the World Glacier Monitoring crowd are not going to finalize the 2006 (!!!) report on glacier changes, let alone stop stalling on the 2007 and 2008 reports (on an earlier post I wondered why it is taking so long – they have to have all the data or it would be lost in the 2009 snows) …”
When will the AGW crowd admit that GW is no more?
ANSWER: When they feel enough time has passed that they and the MSM can fool the general public into believing that man has indeed been successful at reversing global warming. The only problem is, will that upward trend in CO2 still be there? –better be on the look out for manipulating CO2 data in the future!

John F. Hultquist
June 7, 2009 10:15 pm

Daniel M (13:39:10) :
“So, is it safe to say that we may soon be seeing Florida temperature used as a proxy for all of North America?”
Yes, of course. There are people from all over NA living in Florida. Their weather experiences ooze northward in letters, e-mails, photos, and gifts and modify the local influences. Example: “Grandma says it is warm in Miami and sent you some sandals. Here they are. Put them on and go out and play in the warm snow.” So little Al is confused, thinking cold is warm and warm is cool. No need to confuse him more. Embrace the change.

Jeff C.
June 7, 2009 10:54 pm

Re: Lucy @ 15:22
“This seems like the infamous Bristlecone Pines, whose evidence was weighted secretly by a factor of 390, all over again.”
It sure does. And this post seems just like Steve Mc showing that red noise input to Mann’s algorithm made hockey sticks. This is deadly because it is easy to understand. Jeff and Ryan’s last post was excellent, but unless you were closely following every detail, who knew if Steig’s irritated response of “overfitting” was true or not? They can’t baffle with BS on this one. A few per-cent of the land mass that known to be warming should not account for 40% of the weighting and 70% of the trend.
REPLY: trust me, they’ll baffle, obfuscates, deny, whatever it takes. It has already started. For the first time ever, Gavin is denying posts from me on RC, when I try to bring up this subject, they all disappear. My wife got one through though, so it’s not IP blocking, it is the hand of Gavin. They aren’t interested in even looking, for fear of what they might see. – Anthony

David Ball
June 7, 2009 11:22 pm

It appears that Steig et al used the “Caitlin data extrapolation method”. This is the process by which you use a small amount of collected data, stretch it to unimaginable proportions to cover an entire continent, or ice mass the size of a continent. Then mathematically cajole the numbers to remove unwanted “bad data”. Bake at 350F for several hours. You will then amaze your guests with a paper declaring exactly what you set out to declare. It’s a good thing, …

June 7, 2009 11:26 pm

Six more months until Copenhagen. Until then they will “baffle, obfuscates, deny, whatever it takes.
After that – the die will have been cast. The transfer of wealth will begin. One hundred and fifty years of scientific progress will have come to an end.

June 7, 2009 11:40 pm

Anthony,
Could you post up the actual area of each region of Antarctica as a pie chart for comparison purposes? A picture being worth a thousand words etc…
Also, will Ryan and Jeff be submitting the analysis of Steig et al to a journal?
REPLY: I’ve encouraged them to, Ryan’s a bit hesitant. We may have to make a grass roots effort. – Anthony

Jeff C.
June 7, 2009 11:52 pm

Anthony – very true, but this post is so simple and elegant, I can’t imagine how the arm-waving can be credible. No regpar = 13 with Wilcoxon tests here, just 5% of the area causes 70% of the trend. It is something the average person will get (not just us climate geeks!). I’m not saying they won’t try to offer some baffling explanation, just that attempts do so will make them look foolish.
If they come up with something credible I will be impressed. I expect they will move right to the “not worthy of a response” line.

June 8, 2009 1:01 am

Many ordinary folk have no idea of all the work here. They have no idea that there is a substantial and growing number of scientists who dissent from AGW. They still carry the hockey stick image around in their minds. They have no idea that nothing but nothing strange is happening weather-wise. They have no idea that there are perfectly competent (well, better) alternative scientific explanations for everything but everything put forward as “proof” for AGW. They have no idea that scientists are now obliged to give lip-service to AGW if they want grants, recognition, promotion, etc. They cannot imagine that a science could be co-opted to serve politics in a democracy. They have no idea that many scientists cannot speak up without risk of losing their job, their status, their grant money, their future, even their ability to speak up and be heard. And Science has become so compartmentalized that many scientists who know AGW is phony in one area may still believe the rest. And many scientists cannot believe the peer-review system could have been corrupted. Many would be horrified if they did know all this. Many would find it too much to believe.
I’d like to see two things. One, an anonymous poll amongst scientists, asking questions about the link between supporting AGW and getting grants, recognition, etc. Two, an FAQ that the whole skeptics’ community can own, that can become widely-known, for all who’ve only heard or believed the AGW science, answering the above and other key issues with key references like Smokey gives, and brief notes for those too lazy/busy to look up the references. The names of Marc Morano and Jeff Alberts come to mind for each of these, I’ll email them presently… I’d do more myself, but I want to move on, I think there’s need to look at other areas of suppressed / little-known science that need to surface… eg energy issues… are there blogs as good as WUWT in those areas??

June 8, 2009 1:31 am

evanmjones (13:42:01) :
Well, they say if you torture data long enough you can get it to say anything.
REPLY: The policy of the USA prohibits the use of torture. – Anthony

If you torture the data enough it will confess.
Even to crimes it did not commit.

Alan Wilkinson
June 8, 2009 1:36 am

Jeff Id, or anyone else who understands this thoroughly, can you explain why RegEM creates this invalid weighting regime?
Is it an intrinsic flaw in the method, Steig’s manipulation of it, or a failure of it to cope with an unrealistic or unrepresentative data sample?

dearieme
June 8, 2009 1:42 am

“Nobody here suggests fabrication, only incompetence and/or sloppiness of analysis.” Of Steig’s paper, that may be true – of the Warmmongers in general, it isn’t. I suggest that many of them may have started as more-or-less honest incompetents, but became dishonest as their incentives to defend indefensible positions grew. As for the Steig paper – work of that standard, as revealed by Jeff’s elegant and searching analysis, should have been worth only a “third class” mark as an undergraduate research project in a decent department in a good university. “Nature” should be thoroughly ashamed of itself.

Editor
June 8, 2009 1:47 am

” Don S. (15:43:13) :
It’s simple. Friends don’t let friends do Wikipedia.”
Actually, if you go by WUWT’s web traffic, theres a lot more of us than there are of them. If we chose to get organized as a group of wiki editors we could counter their influence rather easily.
On a related note: The Church of Scientology was recently banned from editing wikipedia due to its concerted and organized editing campaign. The folks at wikipedia are well aware of the problem of special interest groups manipulating things. Without a defined set of network IPs (such as at CoS HQ and Gold Base), they really can’t do anything about it and rely on the public to vote via edits as to what consensus reality is. If we refuse to have skin in the game, then the other guys fraudulent version of reality wins by default.

Allan M R MacRae
June 8, 2009 2:56 am

Looks like solid work here by all (excepting of course Steig, Mann and the usual suspects – “the hockey team”, as Steve says).
Cooling trend at the pole, at -0.1C per decade since 1957, looks a bit scary.
http://noconsensus.files.wordpress.com/2009/04/south-pole-temp-1957-2007.jpg
Elsewhere, I’ve calculated net global cooling of approx -0.3C since 1940.
This is drawn from UAH LT data back to 1979, and Hadcrut3 ST data from 1979 back to 1940. This data suggests no net warming since 1940 at face value, and a +0.07C/decade “UHI etc” effect in the ST data, which is then removed.
Not much in the big picture, but I worry increasingly about serious global cooling…
Relax… …probably just night fears.

Allan M R MacRae
June 8, 2009 3:11 am

Let us not forget the ‘Harry versus Gill’ data mixup in Steig et al. Was this ever resolved?
Work this bad deserves really bad poetry – my screed was first posted on Wattsup back in February, when the world press was screaming about Steig’s new phony ‘discovery’ of Antarctic warming.
I haven’t noticed many retractions since Steig has been discredited- have there been any in the popular alarmist press?
NOW THE WORLDWIDE PRESS IS SWARMING,
‘ROUND ANOTHER
FINE EXAMPLE OF MANN-MADE GLOBAL WARMING!
JUST LIKE THE FAMOUS HOCKEY STICK,
THEY USED THE OLD
“SPLICE TOGETHER TWO DATASETS” TRICK.
********************
Text below is from
http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=5054
Ross McKitrick:
February 2nd, 2009 at 1:38 pm
Steve, nice work. If I have the story correctly, it goes like this.
– The area of principle interest in the Steig et al analysis is West Antarctic, where they report a newly-discovered warming trend attributable, in part, to Mann’s clever ability to calibrate temperature to something-other-than-temperature and thereby reconstruct the non-existent temperature data.
– Within that region Steig introduces data from 4 Automated Weather Stations, and the AWS with the big trend is called Harry.
– In exploring the Harry data you compared the current GISS version (which Steig used) against one you downloaded in [SM: early] 2008. I gather that the 2008 [SM- current] GISS version equals the version in the READER [SM: Feb 1, 2009] archive. You noticed that the 2 are different, with the newer version showing large positive divergences in 1995-1997 and 1999-2003 (approx.) These divergences are very large, 5-15 C.
– In the Wisconsin temperature archive the Harry station is listed at a different location than Steig reported. However the Wisconsin and Steig Harry data are identical in the overlap years.
– After searching through the other Wisconsin records you found that the old Harry series (archived on GISS as of 2008) was identical to the data from another station called Gill. The Gill station is located somewhere else entirely.
– It turns out that new Harry–as used by Steig–is a splice of Gill and some relatively recent Harry data.
– The recent Harry data as recorded at Wisconsin is for years 1994-96, 1999-2000. There are also Harry data for years 2001-2004 (it looks like) in your first figure, which are from GISS 2009. Are these data also from the same station that contributed the Wisc data? [SM – data ends in 2002. Haven’t checked 2001-2002 yet. Wisc online archive doesnt have 2001-2002 information, but it seems to be incomplete].
– The immediate questions of interest are: Are other Antarctic series in Steig similarly fouled up? [SM – Dunno] and, What happens to their results if new Harry is either deleted or replaced with a West Antarctic station that is not a splice of 2 unrelated sites, if such a series is available? The other question is whether bristlecone pines grow in West Antarctica: it sounds like they do, metaphorically at least.

Pat
June 8, 2009 4:50 am

“noaaprogrammer (22:06:31) :
Gary Pearse wrote:
“…I suspect that the World Glacier Monitoring crowd are not going to finalize the 2006 (!!!) report on glacier changes, let alone stop stalling on the 2007 and 2008 reports (on an earlier post I wondered why it is taking so long – they have to have all the data or it would be lost in the 2009 snows) …”
When will the AGW crowd admit that GW is no more?
ANSWER: When they feel enough time has passed that they and the MSM can fool the general public into believing that man has indeed been successful at reversing global warming. The only problem is, will that upward trend in CO2 still be there? –better be on the look out for manipulating CO2 data in the future!”
The only problem with that is the “media” have been writing articles of “doom and gloom”, alot in the climate/weather space, since the late 19th century. It sells papers, or today, increases website hits which translates into, as recently with WUWT, money. What hope for sane and reasoned thinking when people have access to instant bullcrap? It’s on wikipedia, it has to be right, right?
Like in the days before colour TV, transitioning from B&W to colour, any news item viewed in colour (For those rich people in 1970’s UK) was true (That’s the joke BTW).

June 8, 2009 5:12 am

Allan M R MacRae (02:56:27) :
Elsewhere, I’ve calculated net global cooling of approx -0.3C since 1940.

Got a link to your analysis of that Allan? Sounds like it would fit rather well with solar indices.

June 8, 2009 5:25 am

I agree with other posters that it is time to publish. It would be appropriate to submit to the Communications Arising section of Nature before trying other journals, as they originally published the Steig et al paper. Nature indicate on their website that they will contact the original authors for a reply to publish along side. They also indicate that if a letter or paper is published elsewhere first it will not be considered for publication in Communications Arising. Their website has clear instructions on length and format. The most important point seems to be that a critique of a published paper must challenge most of the main claims, not just peripheral or individual issues.
I believe the hard work of the Jeffs, Ryan and Steve makes a serious case against the central claim of the Steig et al paper. The editor’s summary for the original paper indicates that their new reconstruction method overcame issues with limited temperature data for the continental interior. I feel that Jeff’s work clearly shows that the data issues have not been overcome with Steig’s methods.

Richard M
June 8, 2009 6:13 am

Stieg’s paper was strange from the beginning. As Manfred pointed out you could do the exact same analysis stating 10 years later and get a cooling trend. A good scientist would have pointed this out in their paper. So, not only does the paper smear the heating of the peninsula, it also smears 10 years of heating onto 50 years of time.
Cherry picking a start date and not admitting it is just another example of BS (bad science).

June 8, 2009 6:21 am

I do hope you will forgive me for this, but the contortions on this issue of AGW remind me of this. I do not know who wrote it and for that I apologize.
The Creation.
In the beginning there was the Plan
And then came the assumptions
And the assumptions were without form
And the plan was completely without substance
And darkness was upon the face of the workers.
And they spake unto their Group Heads saying:
`It is a crock, and it stinketh!’
`It is a pail of dung, and none may abide the odor thereof.’
And the Section Heads went unto their Managers, and sayeth unto them:
`It is a container of excrement and it is very strong such that none may abide by it.’
And the Managers went unto their Director, and sayeth unto him: it is a vessel of fertilizer, and none may abide its strength.’
And the Director went unto his Vice-President, and sayeth: It contains that which aids plant growth, and it is very strong.’
And the Vice-President went unto the President, and sayeth into him: It promoteth growth, and it is very powerful.’
And the President went unto the Chairman of the Board and sayeth unto him: `This powerful new Plan will actively promote growth and the efficiency of the Company.’
And the Chairman looked upon the Plan and saw that it was good.
And the Plan became policy.

June 8, 2009 6:22 am

Lucy Skywalker (01:01:40) :
. . . I think there’s need to look at other areas of suppressed / little-known science that need to surface… eg energy issues… are there blogs as good as WUWT in those areas??

http://masterresource.org/
which looks terrific, if (like me) you value a ‘free-market’ approach to energy questions. The authors have affiliations with Cato, AEI, etc. They are assiduously following the egregious ‘energy’ bill now on a fast track through the Senate committee chaired by that appallingly ignorant ideologue, Sen. Waxman.
Frequent WUWT commentator E. M. Smith also provides valuable insights on energy, among other things, in his blog, http://chiefio.wordpress.com/
Re peer-reviewed publication: Is there any likelihood that Nature would publish Jeff Id and Ryan O’s critique of Steig, et al? The charge is that the peer-review process has become so biased in favor of the prevailing AGW orthodoxy that no ‘contrarian’ analysis can get through, however meritorious. This would be an opportunity for the editors to prove the charges wrong.
/Mr Lynn

Roger Knights
June 8, 2009 6:29 am

Six more months until Copenhagen. Until then they will “baffle, obfuscates, deny, whatever it takes.
After that – the die will have been cast. The transfer of wealth will begin. One hundred and fifty years of scientific progress will have come to an end.

They’ll win and win until they lose. Once the taxes and regulations are in place, but warming continues to be elusive, and the Great Recession deepens, there will be a response from the local level: nullification and/or secession. The struggle will continue, but outside the box in which pressure groups and propagandists operate.

Roger Knights
June 8, 2009 6:34 am

Just as the term “Mann’s hockey stick” has been a convenient graphic summation for Mann’s warping of the historical record, I propose “Steig’s Pac-Man” as a shorthand term for his absurd weighting of the Antarctic temperature record.

pyromancer76
June 8, 2009 7:26 am

I felt privileged to read this post on Jeff Id’s Air Vent (noconsensus.wordpress.com). Yes, Jeff, please publish this most important research, but don’t try Nature. That sub-standard publication is not up to the quality of your work. Find an excellent peer-reviewed journal that is committed to science. Thanks for your efforts — especially your tenacity.

noaaprogrammer
June 8, 2009 8:55 am

Start a “Weatherpedia” website that has a better protocol than Wikipedia’s for handling ‘controversial’ matters.

mike
June 8, 2009 10:27 am

Please, please, please guys, assemble all this work and submit a letter to nature as a rebuttal to Steig et al.
It will also look great on your resumes!
REPLY: I could not agree more. This needs to be done. – Anthony

Editor
June 8, 2009 11:01 am

You publish, they perish!

Remmitt
June 8, 2009 11:06 am

Lucy Skywalker (01:01:40) :
“I think there’s need to look at other areas of suppressed / little-known science that need to surface”
Well, the following petition is certainly not regarding a “little-known science” area. There’s an amazing resemblance to the AGW science debate in this open letter about the Big Bang theory.
http://cosmologystatement.org/
— Remmitt

AnonyMoose
June 8, 2009 11:10 am

Justin Sane (21:13:27) :
You do realize though, that the Steig report is all that the general public will ever be aware of. It’s too bad someone couldn’t sue Al Gore for spreading lies, like the way the greenies can sue the EPA, Supreme Court etc.

Remmitt
June 8, 2009 11:16 am

I was also struck by the resemblance of this comment, supposedly made in 1934 by Nikola Tesla, to the points made on this site:
“Today’s scientists have substituted mathematics for experiments, and they wander off through equation after equation, and eventually build a structure which has no relation to reality.” — http://www.quotationspage.com/quote/34995.html
— Remmitt

John F. Hultquist
June 8, 2009 12:00 pm

John K. Sutherland (06:21:36) : “I do hope you will forgive me for this,
Some would say you left off the last line, namely . . .
“and this is how shi- happens.”
This sort of story line is quite old and avaliable in variations. One internet claim is that it appears in Henry Beard’s “Latin for All Occasions” but I haven’t been able to find that. According to this
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Beard
Henry N. Beard (born ca. 1945) is an American humorist, one of the founders of the magazine National Lampoon and the author of several best-selling books.

Tim Clark
June 8, 2009 12:21 pm

Anthony:
REPLY: trust me, they’ll baffle, obfuscates, deny, whatever it takes. It has already started. For the first time ever, Gavin is denying posts from me on RC, when I try to bring up this subject, they all disappear. My wife got one through though, so it’s not IP blocking, it is the hand of Gavin. They aren’t interested in even looking, for fear of what they might see. – Anthony
Nice to see someone else can get his wife to do the dirty work. ;~P

June 8, 2009 12:47 pm

Here’s gavin’s take from RC.
#
I read today a claim that in the paper published recently by Dr Steig et al. in Nature regarding the Antarctic warming trend, there is a weighting problem. They claim that most of the weighting comes from the peninsula stations, which represents a relatively small part of the continent.
I was wondering if this is in fact the case? It doesn’t seem likely, but could you comment on this at all? If these assertions are left unchecked, before you know it they’ll be taken as fact.
[Response: The point of the Steig et al paper was to use spatial correlations in recent data to look at how under-sampled parts of the continent likely changed over longer time periods. Those correlations will necessarily weight different stations differently as based on the physical characteristics. The analysis you saw is simply a fishing expedition, an analysis of what the calculation is doing (fair enough), combined with an insinuation that the answer is somehow abnormal or suspicious (not ok). But how is this to be judged? What would be normal? No-one there can say and they would prefer simply to let people jump to conclusions. It’s kinda of typical of their tactics, but not a serious scientific point. – gavin]
Comment by James Martin — 7 June 2009 @ 10:01 PM
——-
I have to agree with him, at RC upside down temperature graphs are quite normal. Apparently, his readers are not informed enough to understand a weighted average.
If you invert an anomaly, what do you get?

MattB
June 8, 2009 2:58 pm

just because the headline was a bit silly, I figure’d I would put this OT link here. It is a story about a Burger King franchise in Memphis that put the slogan “Global Warming is Baloney” on several of their signs.
http://www.ecorazzi.com/2009/06/01/burger-king-stores-promotes-global-warming-is-baloney-message/

Dave Andrews
June 8, 2009 3:06 pm

Good stuff Jeff Id!
We should also remember that some climate scientists themselves were also doubtful.
Trenberth and Monaghan in particular,
http://www.livescience.com/environment/090121-antarctica-warming.html

VG
June 8, 2009 5:38 pm

This Gavin line is a dead giveaway
“The analysis you saw is simply a fishing expedition, an analysis of what the calculation is doing (fair enough), combined with an insinuation that the answer is somehow abnormal or suspicious (not ok).”
That the Steig paper is finito..
The fact is if you look carefully especially at their last posting
http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2009/06/groundhog-day-2/
, its a 100% PC modelling site + environmentalism. I cannot believe that any serious scientist etc could take this site seriously.. at this stage anyway…

AnonyMoose
June 8, 2009 7:33 pm

The analysis you saw is simply a fishing expedition, an analysis of what the calculation is doing (fair enough), combined with an insinuation that the answer is somehow abnormal or suspicious (not ok).

Isn’t it a fishing expedition which is trying to catch just what he did? If Steig had described how he got his numbers, we wouldn’t have to fish to try to get similar numbers.

Allan M R MacRae
June 8, 2009 7:37 pm

tallbloke (05:12:55) :
Allan M R MacRae (02:56:27) :
Elsewhere, I’ve calculated net global cooling of approx -0.3C since 1940.
Got a link to your analysis of that Allan? Sounds like it would fit rather well with solar indices.
*****************
Hi Tallbloke,
http://www.iberica2000.org/Es/Articulo.asp?Id=3774
This shows no net warming since 1940, using Hadcrut3 ST data from 1940 to 1979 and UAH LT data from 1979 to 2008. The April-May 2009 UAH data agrees, the LT anom is ~0.
The same graph also shows approx (~) 0.2C more warming in ST vs LT in the 3 decades since satellites were launched in 1979, or ~0.07C per decade.
Assuming the same warming bias in ST for the 4 decades from 1940-1979, this equates to ~0.3C net cooling since 1940.
Admittedly crude, but probably equally or more accurate than the alternatives.
Have not checked how this relates with Michaels and McKitrick’s paper on UAH etc. effects – JGR 2007. This would be interesting.
As you can see, I don’t believe ST data is useful without an adjustment for its warming bias, and I am suggesting that this warming bias is ~0.07C/decade.
Regards, Allan

David Q.
June 8, 2009 8:45 pm

OT I nominate for quote of the week the following:
“evanmjones (13:42:01) :
Well, they say if you torture data long enough you can get it to say anything.
REPLY: The policy of the USA prohibits the use of torture. – Anthony”
As for the this finding, We have entered the age of irrational thought. Not much do be done about it, at the moment.
One day humanity will understand that 24 hour news cycles and 2-6 year election cycles, are just that. Unfortunately natural climate cycles will have to wait for a more educated and patient generation.

June 9, 2009 3:37 am

noaaprogrammer (08:55:06) : Start a “Weatherpedia” website that has a better protocol than Wikipedia’s for handling ‘controversial’ matters.
I’ve had a similar vision for yonks and have explored it too, here. However I realize I’ve other work to do. Perhaps you can take it further. I’ve also just suggested here the rather simpler idea of an FAQ that can become known and accepted throughout the skeptics’ community. Jeff Alberts I know has the capacity to host such a scheme.
Remmitt and Mr Lynn – Thanks.

AndyL
June 9, 2009 7:06 am