GISTEMP is High

By Steve Goddard

Satellite data vs. normalised surface data during the 1998 El Niño

A few days ago I discussed the amplification of satellite temperatures relative to surface data. And Dr. Roy Spencer posted a very helpful description of the root cause.

(1) It is well known, and widely published, that year-to-year surface temperature anomalies are magnified with height, This is due to moist convective transport of heat from the surface to the atmosphere by evaporation and precipitation; It’s been seen in radiosonde data before there were ever satellites.

(2) It is similarly well known that this heat transport takes some time to occur, especially on large space scales (e.g. the tropics) with a 2 month or so average time lag between peak surface temperatures and peak tropospheric temperatures in the case of El Nino/La Nina.

The magnified warming with height is the same effect as the so-called “hot spot” that is expected with *long-term* warming, but which the satellite data do not seem to support so far. Some think this is a big deal, others not so much, and still others think is an artifact of errors in one or more of the measurement systems.

Had-Crut shows this same amplification in the current El Niño (seen below) with positive ENSO months consistently amplified in RSS relative to normalised Had-Crut.

GISS also uses surface temperatures, so it should so the same pattern as Had-Crut. And during the 1998 El Niño it did, but since then has been tracking RSS quite closely with no evidence ENSO effects. During the current El Niño, normalised GISS is running almost identical to RSS. Both have increased by 0.7 degrees since the bottom of the last La Niña.

Perhaps GISS has moved their thermometers up to 14,000 feet, per Dr. Spencer’s description?  The graphs below show a steady divergence between GISS and Had-Crut since 1997.

GISS explains the difference with Had-Crut this way: “A likely explanation for discrepancy in identification of the warmest year is the fact that the HadCRUT analysis excludes much of the Arctic ….. (whereas GISS) estimates temperature anomalies throughout most of the Arctic.”  In other words, they “estimated” the bright red region across the top of their 2005 map below, which heavily skewed their data towards warmer temperatures.

Below is the GISS 1200 km anomaly map for April, 2010 :

GISS estimated that the entire region above 80N was 4-8.6 C above normal in April, and using their “estimated” dark brown areas – GISS forecasts 2010 to be the warmest year ever.

As for the calendar year, it is likely that the 2010 global surface temperature in the GISS analysis also will be a record for the period of instrumental data.

Not surprisingly, GISS shows 2010 (so far) as being the warmest year ever, whereas Had-Crut (table below) has 2010 in the number five position for January through March.

GISS Arctic estimates appear high relative to other data sources. DMI showed most of April less than 4C above normal.

http://ocean.dmi.dk/arctic/plots/meanTarchive/meanT_2010.png

http://ocean.dmi.dk/arctic/meant80n.uk.php

Similarly, NSIDC showed the area above 80N generally 3-5 C above normal in April.

http://nsidc.org/images/arcticseaicenews/20100504_Figure4.png

http://nsidc.org/images/arcticseaicenews/20100504_Figure4.png

Conclusion : GISS data vs. satellites does not show any El Niño amplification at 14,000 feet,  and in fact appears to have found a mid-troposphere “non-hot spot.”  This would seem to nullify the idea that CO2 is causing the observed warming. I personally don’t believe that and consider it more likely that the GISS Arctic data temperature estimates are too high, heavily skewing their global temperature estimates towards the higher temperatures. The fact that GISS El Niño temperatures are not muted relative to satellite temperatures is strong evidence they are incorrect.

Disclaimer: All normalisation uses only shifting, not scaling – so please don’t take the discussion there!

As for the calendar year, it is likely that the 2010 global surface temperature in the GISS analysis also will be a record for the period of instrumental data.

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69 thoughts on “GISTEMP is High

  1. Oh come on, Steve McIntyre told us last night we should just accept what looks like manipulation as just “standard practice” since we don’t know the intentions of those involved.
    So just just go read an amusing book, say, “The Hockey Stick Illusion” and unwind.
    So what if they’re getting high at GISS. 😉

  2. Steve,
    I have some doubts about your analysis of the data but I will focus on what I think is the most egregious erroneous statement here:

    Conclusion : GISS data vs. satellites does not show any El Niño amplification at 14,000 feet, and in fact appears to have found a mid-troposphere “non-hot spot.” This would seem to nullify the idea that CO2 is causing the observed warming. I personally don’t believe that and consider it more likely that…

    Well, I am glad that you don’t believe it but this statement is already wrong or questionable on so many levels:
    (1) As Roy Spencer explained, the “hot spot” is expected to occur quite generally as a result of moist convection in the troposphere. It has nothing to do with the cause of the warming.
    (2) At any rate, here you are not talking about amplification of the long-term trends. You are talking about amplification of the fluctuations due to ENSO. Who would claim that these fluctuations are caused by CO2?
    (3) As I recall, the satellite data may exclude some of the polar regions too (although RSS and UAH may be different in this regard also), so this may affect your analysis over the times that you are looking.
    (4) Technically speaking, the amplification occurs in the tropical troposphere. It can still be seen somewhat in the global data but it tends to be modulated by the other areas where such amplification does not occur. (And, I believe in the polar regions, you tend to get the reverse: more warming at the surface than at altitude.)

  3. “As for the calendar year, it is likely that the 2010 global surface temperature in the GISS analysis also will be a record for the period of instrumental data.”
    Hey, let it go, it’s just standard practice. And James Hansen’s had a lot of standard practice since 1988.
    Funny how James Hansen ‘believes’ global warming is real yet still has to work the data (1934, 1998). Pretty clear he doesn’t believe in it or he’d know he could let the data speak for itself……I’m just saying.
    Your slip is showing Jim.

  4. One month doesn’t tell you much. It might be more revealing to look at the differences between the Arctic measurements by GISS and those by DMI and NSIDC over time.
    If you find GISS is consistently high, I wouldn’t think the anomaly would be effected.

  5. Ok, so, sat temps show convective heat transfer 2 months late. One temp reading entity obviously is over estimating or under estimating the temps. Depending on which one you prefer to believe. Dr. Spencer says.”…same effect as the so-called “hot spot” that is expected with *long-term* warming, but which the satellite data do not seem to support so far. Some think this is a big deal, others not so much, and still others think is an artifact of errors in one or more of the measurement systems.”
    Yeh, that’s a big deal. Either the sat data supports real observed temps or it doesn’t. Of course, figuring out what the REAL observed temps vs extrapolated, manipulated, and estimated temps is an almost impossible task for an average truth seeker such as I, with a real life job. I’m tending to believe the sat temps don’t really reflect ground temps. If the math formula takes over one chalk board to illustrate, it’s probably bs. I’m not talking about the proof, I’m saying E=MC2. Which is still debated in some circles. You know, I don’t care if it is warmer or colder. Well, I’d prefer warmer. I’m just not feeling warmer. BECAUSE ITS COLD!!! We can talk about surface temps that are manipulated or we can talk about sat readings extrapolated into temp readings with convective properties(that we can obviously quantitate the up and down motion of heat with all the particulate involved) or we can all be grown ups and say “You know, we don’t know. They jack with the surface temps so much that it is impossible to know whether the earth is warmer or colder. Further, the tropospheric temps aren’t a true reflection of the surface temps.” In the end, it doesn’t matter anyway. Warmer is better. History bares that out.
    In the mean time, 1984 is here, the electric utility business has created an IEEE comm protocol called Zigbee where I can communicate and manipulate your appliances. Nice. WATCH THE OTHER HAND!!!!!

  6. I don’t see what the big deal is, so long as the method of extrapolation is consistent. Even assuming your assertion is correct, any biases should cancel out. When it’s warm near the arctic but cooler over the arctic, the extrapolation would lead to a warm bias. But when it’s cold near the arctic but warmer over the arctic, the extrapolation would cause a cool bias. And if you and Anthony are correct, we should start to see cold anomalies breaking out across the globe.

  7. @JJ
    “I don’t see what the big deal is, so long as the method of extrapolation is consistent. Even assuming your assertion is correct, any biases should cancel out.”
    No, that’s not correct. First, biases are not consistent. Each carries their own unique value and weight. Secondly, methods of extrapolation even consistently applied are only useful if they are correct.

  8. Something has been bugging me about these global temperature maps for some time now: That rectangular display they give (HadCrut, GISS and others) is clearly NOT an equal-area projection. Rather, it inflates the area around the poles quite dramatically.
    Presumably the monochrome squares that appear in the coarser colourings are the temperature grid cells. Each cell commands an equal portion of the world map, but this does not map grid cells to equal area cells on the sphere. On the surface the procedure exaggerates the significance of anomalies in the polar regions. When this is combined with the apparent manipulation by interpolation and the reduction in monitoring station data used in these regions, it would seem to be a potentially massive source of bias.
    Can anyone say definitively whether these pixilated rectangular grid cells correspond to the actual grid cells used on the globe? Or are these rectangular pixels merely an artifact of the way the data is being displayed?

  9. There are pretty much no constraints of estimating temperatures where there basically are no stations with actual surface measurements. We used to call that “dry lab”.
    In any event, the population and economic and agricultural areas in the NH have had a winter and spring that can’t help the credibility of some agency declaring it the warmest ever. Who you going to believe, the agency or your own lyin’ eyes.

  10. Joel Shore,
    You asked “You are talking about amplification of the fluctuations due to ENSO. Who would claim that these fluctuations are caused by CO2?”
    http://www.ucar.edu/communications/quarterly/winter97/connection.html


    “As a record El Niño event changes temperature and precipitation patterns over a large part of the globe, it’s natural to ask whether these changes have anything to do with the warming air and changing precipitation caused by human beings. According to Kevin Trenberth (NCAR Climate and Global Dynamics Division, or CGD), the answer is a likely yes”

  11. stevengoddard says:
    There is significant divergence between GISS and Had-Crut over the last decade.
    ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
    Ahh, find a distraction that will make you forget the emotions you feel from looking at that graph. Let the government govern, regardless if it uses “estimated” information to form its policies that govern you, or not. It’s all six of one, half a dozen of the other. Diverging, not diverging, what difference does it make? Everything is gray.
    Be a serf, and like it.

  12. My understanding is that UAH ALSO doesn’t measure the high latitudes… so what to they do to normalize that area? Do the exclude it? Or also extrapolate it in some fashion?
    Either way, itz the same issue in my mind… the high latitudes have the most variability and the tropics the least. So, to study climate and figure out what’s driving what…. we just pour the data on in the low variability areas while taking a total guess at the high variability areas. Only makes sense if you inhale.

  13. I thought about it some more and I think that Giss is correct. I think this for several reasons:
    1. It really messes up the warmists when a skeptic picks the higher temperature reasing, they’re never sure how to respond to that.
    2. If enough people support GISS then Hadcrut has to defend themselves and explain why they are right and GISS is wrong.
    Confused warmists and hadcrut explaining why their lower temps are the right ones…would be a good day in my mind.

  14. If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or your arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen.—-Samuel Adams.
    Some may differ in that point of view. I don’t. For me, this embodies the reason why I’m here. Most that follow this website, knows or rather should know, this is why we’re all here. It isn’t whether we care we’re warmer or not. It is the FREEDOM of life which is being threatened. One of the few freedoms left is to be secure in our own homes. Free to do as we will. We should not believe for one minute people believe we will all drown should the icecaps melt. They know we won’t. We know, like they know, the wonderful adaptability of mankind. At what cost are we willing to pay for the presumed catastrophic doom predicted? What is more catastrophic than the enslavement of mankind?
    He who is void of virtuous attachments in private life is, or very soon will be, void of all regard for his country. There is seldom an instance of a man guilty of betraying his country, who had not before lost the feeling of moral obligations in his private connections. ————Samuel Adams.

  15. According to the map for 2010 the central part of Argentina shows a cooling anomaly of only -0.2ºC. Actually, April has been a quite cool month with about a full -2ºC cooler than the baseline. I live there, and keep a detailed database.
    May is getting much more colder than last year, almost as cold as 2007. Last night fell the first heavy snowfall in our nearby sierras (1400-2000 m), and for tomorrow the forecast is widespread frosts. Unfortunately, 2010 winter looks as it is going to be as bad as 2007 when it snowed in Buenos Aires after 80 years.
    Those people at GISS for sure have a very sharp pencil form making “homogeneization” adjustments…

  16. stevengoddard says:
    May 17, 2010 at 9:33 pm
    Maybe the next battle cry will be to “Save Greenland”. Saved from what is TBD.
    I have to keep reminding myself that these are Anomalies, not Absolute temperatures.
    The latest UNISYS for Sea Surface temperature shows the El Nino to have evaporated and a finger of colder water starting to thrust up toward the Arctic to the East of Greenland.

  17. One can’t say that one of these things is wrong and the other quantity is correct.
    The different methodologies just measure slightly different things. And the seemingly qualitative disagreements in the conclusions is itself enough to show how unimportant and questionable the warming trend is.
    2010 will likely be very close to 1998 in its temperatures – according to both teams. I would bet 50:50 that it will exceed the warmth of 1998. We will see. There’s still nothing remarkable about either answer.
    It seems clear that the tropical troposphere data in particular show a slower warming trend – and it’s the best indicator of the greenhouse warming which therefore seems to be low according to the data. The surface, polar etc. warming trends may be faster but they can be less nicely linked to global effects such as the enhanced greenhouse effect.
    So the experimental data don’t support a fast trend derived from CO2.

  18. Conspiracy theory for 2010:
    1. Make sure you maximise the temperature uplift due to El Nino – important for Mexico.
    2. Ensure the BP oilspill is as bad as possible to make the public hate oil companies and, hence, their product.
    3. Use the two situations to ensure a deal on ‘global warming’ this summer.
    4. Pronounce Al Gore the reincarnation of Jesus Christ.

  19. Thanks Steve for these correlations, they are invaluable. It’s too much to keep up without them.

  20. The extrapolation over the pole is incredibly dodgy. You had a post about it a few months ago. It’s only “verification” is with data from the few collection stations at merely relatively high latitudes, and all at similar latitude. To claim it is even valid is enough of a stretch. To claim it is superior to other products takes real cojones.

  21. Disclaimer: All normalisation uses only shifting, not scaling – so please don’t take the discussion there!
    At least some of the anomalies you are discussing have different base periods. Many of the results you present are probably an artefact of this.

  22. Steve,
    The story is that Hansen et al claim the climate is unstable; that a few extra ppm of CO2 will push it off a cliff. Runaway positive feedback from water vapor would take over. (Tho, you’ve gotta wonder how any humid day didn’t do this already)
    Yet the El Nino of 1998 seems to be direct evidence that this isn’t true. It dissipated quickly. It didn’t lead to further warming. If heat is “trapped” in the troposphere, why did it so quickly dissipate? It’s in the Trophosphere! , Doh! not there! okay then, it jumped into the oceans? Argo says no. Deep in the oceans? No. I know! It’s in the arctic, hiding under the ice! Damn, stupid increasing ice cap! Melt Dammit, MELT!

  23. Pefectly agree in what Dr. Roy Spencer said. There should be some amplification in troposphere against the surface during hot phases of Nino.
    I would like to add a little bit more information: the “hot phase” in troposphere is better related to all the tropical oceans (ex. 20S-20N) then only the Nino zone.
    http://translate.google.it/translate?hl=it&sl=it&tl=en&u=http%3A%2F%2Fglobalwarming.blog.meteogiornale.it%2F2010%2F05%2F16%2Foceani-tropicali-e-troposfera%2F
    It’s in italian language, I hope the google translation it’ fine.

  24. Steve,
    Dealing with such small differences over such large areas of inherently noisy data is not easy and there is a fair probability of artefacts.
    On your second graph, I took the RSS red cuve and counted the number of peaks. There were about 58, depending on what was admitted. The time span from 1997 to month 4 of 2010 is about 160 months, giving a peak every 2.8 months approx.
    Earlier, I had done some work on subtracting 1997 temps from 1998 temps, month by month. The type of graph that resulted, not once but often, was like these 3 examples:
    http://i260.photobucket.com/albums/ii14/sherro_2008/uahocean.jpg
    http://i260.photobucket.com/albums/ii14/sherro_2008/MAWSON.jpg
    http://i260.photobucket.com/albums/ii14/sherro_2008/MeekaJ.jpg
    It does not take much imagination to see a cyclicity at times with a period of about 3 months. In the first graph of UAH data, it is more visible at mid latitudes and less certain from sparse data at poles.
    Have you seen cyclicities like this in data before?

  25. Wren says: One month doesn’t tell you much. It might be more revealing to look at the differences between the Arctic measurements by GISS and those by DMI and NSIDC over time.
    GISS is always high in the Arctic. It NEVER has even a modestly close to normal Arctic. Just because they have no temperatures measured there, that’s no reason to doubt their imaginings, though… /sarcoff>

    If you find GISS is consistently high, I wouldn’t think the anomaly would be effected.

    It is the ANOMALY that is found to be consistently high. It is in STEP3 that GIStemp creates the anomaly and it does it by comparing present thermometers (sparse and mal-placed as they are) to 6 x as many thermometers in the past and from different places. So the anomaly is an ‘inter instrument’ anomaly not a ‘same instrument’ anomaly. (Rather like asking if your car now goes faster by comparing it to a different car in the past…)
    Oh, and they cherry pick the baseline to a cold phase of the PDO, so we can’t get back to it for 30 years after about 1980… which would be, oh, NOW. And it’s getting cold all over the planet. But don’t worry, they also re-write the past data to be colder, so that will keep the warming trend intact, even as it’s snowing all over the place. No Sarcoff… straight facts. We had a winter storm warning in April with snow. In California. You know, California April when it can be 90 F but we had 60 F instead?
    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2010/04/11/winter-storm-warning-in-california-in-april/
    From Here:
    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2010/02/02/giss-benchmarking-the-baseline/
    You will find a nice little chart that compares the GISS baseline to “all data”.
    http://chiefio.files.wordpress.com/2010/02/gissblvt_1200km_anom0112_1951_1980_1880_20091.gif
    Which has a nice light blue Arctic. Nothing like using a nice cold period with a nice cold arctic as your baseline. Pretty much guarantees a nice pink / red arctic unless you’ve had a cold PDO phase for a decade or three…
    Which is a partial answer to :
    Robert of Ottawa says: How come Northern Canada is sooo hot?
    The other part is that they deleted the really cold inland stations ( Oh, I’m Sorry, they don’t like the word “deleted”, how about “dropped”? “Just Left Out”? Couldn’t quite find? Misplaced? Whatever, they are gone from the record…) so the surviving station (yes, that’s SINGULAR) is at Eureka Canada. Nicely situated on the coast with water all around. You know, nice MODERATING water that clips the lows. Water that takes a bunch of years to warm up during a PDO warm cycle and infiltrate past Alaska… Then they use it to fill in missing data up to 1000 km away then use THAT data to make up the grid boxes up to 1200 km away. You only really need one hot station that way. Much easier than finding a bunch of hot stations in the Arctic….
    Oh, and Anthony has found a BUNCH of northern stations where they screw up the reporting and forget the M for “MINUS” on many of the below zero temps, making them positive. So it warms a whole grid box, it’s not like anyone would notice…

  26. James Sexton’s important post above has gone unchallenged (and also unsupported). Is this what WUWT is really all about? Is the drive to question AGW entirely politically and ideological motivated? Does it have anything at all to do with genuine scientific scepticism? We deserve to know!

  27. I have two remarks on the divergence between GISS and Hat-Crut.
    1. The surface above 80 N is 1.5% of the surface of a hemisphere. There is a gap of 0.2 degrees C between GISS and Hat-Crut, only as a consequence of the fact that Had-Crut does not cover the Arctic region (See graph GISS minus Had Crut). This means that the temperature has to warm up to a large amount only in the Arctic to reach this result. If my calculations are right, the rise of temperature in the Arctic has to be 65 times the global rise of temperature to reach the same result: (100% x 0.2 (global temperature gap) = 0.015 x 0.2 x 65 (situation with only temperature rise above Arctic region)= 0.2) to explane the gap of 0.2 degrees. This is contrary to the facts.
    2. Nowadays GISS makes much efforts to let know the Arctic temperature but there are hardly weather stations. So, there is a large backlash to play. The question is if GISS always have given a honour place to this region or only recently.
    Things are clear: only the agency that can prove, year after year, that the global temperature is warming, has a great market value. Much toleration is permitted to reach that goal. GISS is making the difference.

  28. When some lone person plots US temps, they dont see a global warming. When you plot some AUS stations, there is now Global warming. No warming in New Zealand. No warming in the UK.
    But suddenly, when the global temp is plotted….there suddenly IS a warming?
    Very strange. Makes me wonder whether the warming is global at all? Maybe there is a local hot BLOB wandering around the globe, elluding us every time we try to find it?
    Now the BLOB is over scandinavia apparently. Approx +20C over northern Norway, resulting in several deaths. The snow is melting rapidly.

  29. Nigel Harris says:
    May 18, 2010 at 1:14 am
    “James Sexton’s important post above has gone unchallenged (and also unsupported).”

    Unsupported, here.
    I’m not here for affirmation of my socio-political viewpoint, I’m here for the science and to deepen my understanding of the current state of climate sciences. I’m also here for the occasional jest, Josh’s cartoons, alarmism exposés etc.
    My personal politics are aside from the science, and so I get my political affirmation/confrontation fixes elsewhere. It is my personal belief that a core function of the scientific method is to ensure that science and politics remain distinct. One of the reasons WUWT is so useful to me as a reader is that the site assists me in maintaining an understanding of, and an eye on the exact location of, that line in the sand over which science should never step.
    So no, James Sexton’s reasons for visiting WUWT are not my reasons. They’re very different. His personal reasons may be valid – politically, I dare say there is much that is useful political ammunition to him here – but he is not correct to extrapolate that we are all here for those same reasons.

  30. Nigel Harris said on May 18, 2010 at 1:14 am:

    James Sexton’s important post above has gone unchallenged (and also unsupported). Is this what WUWT is really all about? Is the drive to question AGW entirely politically and ideological motivated? Does it have anything at all to do with genuine scientific scepticism? We deserve to know!

    There’s really not much there to challenge or even comment about. People come to skepticism by numerous paths. Here’s a common one:
    1. Trust government to do what’s right (as we are taught to think at school).
    2. Get let down/betrayed by government.
    3. Come to the realization/conclusion/acceptance of the true nature of government, as in that it is run by humans who therefore will more likely look out for their own interests rather than “the faceless masses.”
    4. Become suspicious/skeptical of the motives and actions of government, always questioning and seeking verification of the validity of their reasons/justifications/excuses.
    Government is supporting CAGW, warning of the dire consequences if government doesn’t take on additional control over people and businesses to combat it, which also includes assorted means of ferrying more money away from people and businesses and to government who will spend it “for the good of the people.” Thus there is skepticism. A very large chunk of the viewers of this site are political skeptics who came looking for info on the science behind CAGW, they wanted to research whether it really is the major problem that government claims it to be. They come, they see how shaky AGW period really is, then lots of people stay for the articles, and the comments.
    “Is the drive to question AGW entirely politically and ideological motivated?” Not entirely, but I would wager it largely is. The 1960’s liberals were skeptical of government. The 1980’s conservatives were skeptical of government. It comes from both sides of the political spectrum. And AGW, namely CAGW, has become politicized and is being wielded by government for the purposes of politicians. It is a political issue, political skeptics are involved. Why should this surprise anyone?
    Really, if AGW had remained a scientific issue that hadn’t been politicized, Mann and a few others would have been shot down with some critical peer-reviewed papers and spent the rest of their careers still stinging from the rebuke for their lousy methodology. But it didn’t stay scientific, it went political. Thus you have scientific skeptics attacking CAGW “science” who want to see proper science done, and political skeptics attacking a political target. Needless to say, political skeptics exist in far larger quantities than scientific skeptics.
    One good thing from the fight, this site and others have shown that you don’t have to be a “climate scientist” with an advanced degree to be a CAGW skeptic, and by extension a science skeptic as well. Political skeptics are finding themselves “cross-trained” by the debate. “Appeals to Authority” are going by the wayside. As the printing press brought knowledge to the people, now the internet brings another major social shift with massive amounts of information readily available. Authority is dying, claims need to be backed up, actions need to be justified, and the internet is filled with those ready to question practically anything with the knowledge the internet provides.
    A half century ago, liberal protesters were insisting that people should question authority. Nowadays, with global warming climate change we are told to stop questioning and accept authority, to believe and do whatever authority wants us to. And people wonder why there is so much political-based skepticism directed at AGW?

  31. @Nigel Harris
    Is the drive to question AGW entirely politically and ideological motivated?
    No, the AGW suggestion is politically and ideologically motivated. You have it backwards. I could be wrong, but then, I’d have to see some real science involved in the AGW proposition. To date, I can’t find any. Well, there is some really good coding in some modeling.

  32. @ Nigel Harris
    As I stated earlier, I don’t care whether we’re warmer or colder. In other words, I don’t have an investment in the outcome. When E.M. Smith correctly shows the lone surface temp in the north is improperly positioned, nothing happens. No correction, no apologies, no response, except to say the law of averages account for the indiscretions at one particular site. Only, it isn’t just one. Go to the other side of the globe, say Darwin in Australia. There, as an example, we see the “adjusted” data in no way reflects the reality of the real data, quite the opposite. Again, no correction, no apologies. New Zea land? We find the same. In fact, every where we look, we find improper manipulation of the record, improper manipulation of the models, improper manipulation of the populace. From tree-rings to polar bears to historical records to melting glaciers, all are improperly manipulated to panic mankind. Yes, there is political motivation in the discussion. One doesn’t have to look to far to find it. One just has to open his eyes.

  33. James Sexton says:
    May 18, 2010 at 3:54 am
    @Nigel Harris
    Is the drive to question AGW entirely politically and ideological motivated?
    No, the AGW suggestion is politically and ideologically motivated.

    I would definitely concur with James’ assertion, here. A principle propellant of the AGW and CAGW hypotheses is derived from political motivation and the resulting science is thus advocacy-based. This results in an anti-scientific climatology/environmental science product, where the message precedes, drives, steers and ultimately dictates the scientific conclusion.
    Where I think James and I deviate, certainly based on his earlier comment, is in the reaction and appropriate response to that political advocacy. The only appropriate response to the contamination of the scientific process, to my mind, is to identify the political contaminant appropriately as scientific error. The response to political advocacy in scientific research cannot be counter-political expression.
    The response must instead be strictly apolitical and critically scientific in nature. To give credence or lend importance to anything other than this is to damage the dispassionate nature of the scientific method and thus compromise the integrity of traditional scientific processes in appearing to validate the notion of post-normal science – a thing we cannot afford to do.

  34. James Sexton says:
    May 18, 2010 at 3:54 am
    @Nigel Harris
    Is the drive to question AGW entirely politically and ideological motivated?
    I agree with James, the science is being abused and used as a tool/weapon by the world’s governments and especially the UN.
    It provides the ultimate tool to increase taxes, if those pushing Global Catastrophy really beleived it and were realy worried, do you think that would be Flying millions of miles between them every year?
    Would they really be that irresponsible?

  35. UAH doesn’t show January to Febuary 2010 as being warmer than the same period in 1998.
    http://i599.photobucket.com/albums/tt74/MartinGAtkins/JanTOApr-UAH.png
    I doubt UAH will show 2010 as being warmer than 1998 for the full year. 1998 was very warm but not just because of the strong NINO 3-4 but also a strong AMO albeit out of sync. Look for were the AMO and NINO lines cross both now and 98. NINO 98 was dead after the fifth month this one is now finished so AMO calls the shots.
    http://i599.photobucket.com/albums/tt74/MartinGAtkins/AMO-NINO.png
    This April AMO is 0.478, April 98 was 0.332 but rose to 0.414 in May.
    AMO is cooling but it’s a volatile index and only shows a casual relationship to NINO.
    http://polar.ncep.noaa.gov/sst/ophi/nwatl_anomaly_ophi0.png
    http://polar.ncep.noaa.gov/sst/ophi/nepac_anomaly_ophi0.png

  36. Steve Goddard: The greatest disparity between GISTEMP and HADCrut since 1997 occurs in the Southern Hemisphere. The following is a comparison graph of GISTEMP with 250km smoothing, GISTEMP with 1200km smoothing, and HADCrut for the Northern Hemisphere, from 0-90N. The difference in linear trends between GISTEMP with 1200km smoothing and HADCrut for the Northern Hemisphere is 0.076 deg C/Decade.
    http://i41.tinypic.com/sfuhxs.png
    Next is a comparison of the same datasets but for the Southern Hemisphere, 90S-0. The difference in linear trends between GISTEMP with 1200km smoothing and HADCrut for the Southern Hemisphere is 0.136 deg C/Decade, almost twice the Northern Hemisphere difference.
    http://i39.tinypic.com/73krc9.png
    If we look at the same datasets without polar data, the comparison of the Northern Hemisphere (0-65N) shows that HADCrut has a slightly higher trend. Curious.
    http://i41.tinypic.com/12152xg.png
    While in the Southern Hemisphere without the polar data (60S-0), the GISTEMP data with 1200km smoothing has a significantly higher trend, 0.065 deg C/Decade.
    http://i39.tinypic.com/ajs2kl.png
    BTW, if you’d use the KNMI Climate Explorer for your data, you wouldn’t have to shift data to align them. For anomalies, the KNMI Climate Explorer uses 1971 to 2000 as base years for all datasets.
    http://climexp.knmi.nl/selectfield_obs.cgi?someone@somewhere

  37. Steve Goddard says:

    The fact that you don’t understand something does not make it an “egregious erroneous statement.”

    That is pretty rich, Steve, given that it is you who doesn’t seem to have really absorbed what Spencer is saying. And which, by the way, I had already said much of in that previous thread…before Spencer weighed in… in my comment http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/05/14/satellite-temperatures-and-el-nino/#comment-390405 building on a brief statement by timetochooseagain . I guess if Spencer hadn’t essentially stated again in different words much of what I had already said in my comment, you wouldn’t have believed it and would still not even understand those basic facts.
    As for your other statements:

    Who has better coverage of the Arctic?

    I said that I was unsure what the coverage of the article is with RSS but that picture you link to is such that it does little to resolve the question. And, what RSS does not cover in the arctic, I believe they don’t attempt to extrapolate whereas GISS does. Now, I don’t know how good that extrapolation is but it does little to resolve that question if you compare it to data that does not attempt the extrapolation at all.

    You asked “You are talking about amplification of the fluctuations due to ENSO. Who would claim that these fluctuations are caused by CO2?”
    http://www.ucar.edu/communications/quarterly/winter97/connection.html

    Saying that the frequency of El Nino’s and La Nina’s in the ENSO fluctuations ***MIGHT*** change somewhat in response to global warming is very different from saying that these fluctuations are caused by it. And, of course, this still doesn’t address the fact that your implication that the tropical tropospheric amplification is a prediction specific to the mechanism of CO2-caused warming is WRONG, WRONG, WRONG.

    You might note too that the tropics are included in GISS, Had-Crut, RSS and UAH global temperatures.

    And this somehow contradicts my statement: “Technically speaking, the amplification occurs in the tropical troposphere. It can still be seen somewhat in the global data but it tends to be modulated by the other areas where such amplification does not occur. (And, I believe in the polar regions, you tend to get the reverse: more warming at the surface than at altitude.)”?

  38. richard telford
    The choice of base period has no impact on the slope, and normalization corrects for it.
    If you remember back to 7th grade geometry, the formula of a line is ax+b. The value of a is independent of b. a is the slope, b is the offset (i.e. baseline.)

  39. James Sexton says:
    May 17, 2010 at 8:05 pm
    “….In the mean time, 1984 is here, the electric utility business has created an IEEE comm protocol called Zigbee where I can communicate and manipulate your appliances. Nice. WATCH THE OTHER HAND!!!!!”
    __________________________________________________________________
    So is this why there is a big push for people to “upgrade” to new appliances? I know my water heater is electric company manipulated but all the rest of my appliances are not. No wonder the government wants to make “upgrading” to the new energy efficient standards part of selling a house!
    They did something similar in Massachusetts with septic systems in 1994 -no water 10 ft down. A house had to be inspected before a sale, if the house did not pass the sale could not go though AND the house was condemned, leaving you homeless. Most homes (90%) could not pass. The water table on the east coast is more like 2-4 ft down not 10 ft. I was lucky, I lived on a hill and had my septic checked in the middle of a drought. I also dug the hole down hill from my septic system and convinced the guy a four foot hole plus six feet of elevation was equal to the ten feet specified. He took the money gave me the pass and we all walked away happy. Easy money for him and no danger of flipping his rig. (I flipped my riding lawnmower a couple times on that @#$! hill and a neighbor was killed when his tractor flipped)

  40. Some people are protesting that GISS closely matches satellite data. That is exactly the problem!
    Per Dr. Spencer’s explanation, satellite temperatures should be rising faster than surface data.

  41. To me it looks like a more accurate explanation would be “GISS makes up numbers for much of the arctic… . Which leads to a higher average temperature because our made up numbers are wildly higher than any measured values in the region.”

  42. @ SimonH
    “The response must instead be strictly apolitical and critically scientific in nature. To give credence or lend importance to anything other than this is to damage the dispassionate nature of the scientific method and thus compromise the integrity of traditional scientific processes in appearing to validate the notion of post-normal science – a thing we cannot afford to do.”
    Simon, I can appreciate your point of view, however, much like Pandora’s box, the lid has already been opened. Each time the advocacy “science” tells us of our impending doom, there has been a “dispassionate” response and has shown their alarmism to be baseless, from Mann’s hockey stick to Amazon deforestation. Yet, the advocacy continues on. It will not stop. Dispassionate responses proving the wrong application of science isn’t working. It hasn’t worked for over 20 years. Now the bugs will eat us because CO2 somehow magically depletes plants of nutrients and lizards will die because they don’t thrive in warm climate. If we respond to that bit of Orwellian doublethink with factual and accurate discrediting without ramification to the people behind the doublethink, they will remain undeterred. The reason is, dispassionate science doesn’t deter or prohibit political advocacy. It is an important step to counter this totalitarian attempt, but it isn’t the counter that will extinguish their fire.

  43. stevengoddard says:
    May 17, 2010 at 9:33 pm
    JJ
    Look at Greenland. GISS shows the entire island 2-5C above normal. NISDC and RSS show the interior of the island below normal.
    http://www.remss.com/data/msu/graphics/tlt/medium/global/ch_tlt_2010_04_anom_v03_2.png
    Fudging a couple of degrees in a 0.01 precision measurement is pretty awful practice.

    The grey area in the middle of Greenland means that RSS don’t cover it because it’s too high to give reliable measurements.

  44. Where have I heard this before?
    (paraphrased) We are looking for [insert name of what is being difficult to find]. We know it must be there because some folks who we think are smart said it was there, and we agree. So by Gawd we are going to do something about it because the risk of it being there, even if it turns out to be wrong, is greater than the risk of not looking for it (maybe it’s under this table…no…not there either).
    Be careful what you preach. Some idiot group of people will come along after you and use your same logic, to the same futility.

  45. Whatever, they are gone from the record…) so the surviving station (yes, that’s SINGULAR) is at Eureka Canada. Nicely situated on the coast with water all around. You know, nice MODERATING water that clips the lows. Water that takes a bunch of years to warm up during a PDO warm cycle and infiltrate past Alaska… Then they use it to fill in missing data up to 1000 km away then use THAT data to make up the grid boxes up to 1200 km away. You only really need one hot station that way. Much easier than finding a bunch of hot stations in the Arctic….
    Surrounded by the same water that makes up most of the Arctic, such a ‘moderating influence’! Certainly doesn’t “clip the lows”, clips the highs maybe. By the way it’s in a PDO ‘cool’ phase that the warm water ‘infiltrates past Alaska’.

  46. @James Sexton
    You say you’d have to see some real science. The WG1 section of the IPCC AR4 document has 11 chapters of real science. If you’re serious about being sceptical about AGW, and we all should be, then this is the material that you need to be sceptical about. You can find it all here

  47. stevengoddard says:
    May 18, 2010 at 5:52 am
    richard telford
    The choice of base period has no impact on the slope, and normalization corrects for it.
    If you remember back to 7th grade geometry, the formula of a line is ax+b. The value of a is independent of b. a is the slope, b is the offset (i.e. baseline.)

    You would have done well to remember that when posting about the lapse rate on Venus.

  48. Phil.
    RSS shows most of Greenland blue (below) or black (normal.) NSIDC shows the interior of Greenland normal or below. GISS shows Greenland hot.

  49. Politics does strange things to science.
    Consider AIDS. It was initially thought to be a “gay” disease and that highly politicized segment of society began and prosecuted an extremely effective campaign to ensure that people with AIDS were in no way discriminated against as gays already suffered form some extreme discrimination already. As a consequence AIDS was treated as a political problem rather than one of epidemiology for which you can blame the politicians who put enormous pressure on the scientists to treat AIDS differently from other contagious diseases with the results the world now experiences.
    Global Warming/ Climate Change has also been politicized in such a way as to guide science in a particular way that benefits politicians. This has resulted in the whole thing being portrayed as a left/right conflict when in fact that is not the case except insofar as many with a left / liberal bias see it as a perfect hammer with which to bash away at corporates, capitalism and business in general. Those on the right see a movement that wishes to destroy civilization as we know it and the antics of many of the supporters of CAGW simply reinforce that view.
    I suppose the politicization of science is nothing new but I do believe that many of us on this site are simply trying to add to what we know without preconceptions as is evidenced by the many who make reference to their visits to CAGW sites across the web. Add to that the often very critical responses and very testing questions raised about the positions expounded by the contributors here and it is obvious that our skepticism is based on our , expanding, understanding of the topic.
    Plus I think that we all want “truthful science” not “political science” and this site seems to have that.

  50. @James Sexton
    May 18, 2010 at 6:27 am

    Each time the advocacy “science” tells us of our impending doom, there has been a “dispassionate” response and has shown their alarmism to be baseless, from Mann’s hockey stick to Amazon deforestation. Yet, the advocacy continues on. It will not stop. Dispassionate responses proving the wrong application of science isn’t working. It hasn’t worked for over 20 years. Now the bugs will eat us because CO2 somehow magically depletes plants of nutrients and lizards will die because they don’t thrive in warm climate. If we respond to that bit of Orwellian doublethink with factual and accurate discrediting without ramification to the people behind the doublethink, they will remain undeterred. The reason is, dispassionate science doesn’t deter or prohibit political advocacy. It is an important step to counter this totalitarian attempt, but it isn’t the counter that will extinguish their fire.

    I do understand your frustration, and I promise that I find it all equally frustrating. But the net worth of what you’re advocating is to take up the political fight and drop the fight for the integrity of sciences. I’m afraid that’s a proposition that I find untenable.
    The sceptics’ strongest, most powerful weapon against the AGW proponent is their OWN scientific endeavour. That they find it necessary to hide declines, fiddle with station data, conveniently lose station adjustment meta-data, cherry-pick lines of evidence, truncate, splice and smooth.. these instances of fudging are our weapons.
    That their standards fall below those demanded in the “real world”, that their enquiries are whitewashes, that their high priests run computer models as if they were scientific experiments and that their product is no more to be depended on than a $9.99 Lottery Number Predictor or an astrological chart.. these are our weapons.
    That their climate experts predict earthquakes and volcanoes because of 0.5C/century global temperature trends, that they declare UK snow to be a thing of the past, that they attribute the loss of islands in river deltas to rising seas, lizards dying out and caterpillar population explosions to climate change.. these are our weapons.
    In the fullness of time, nobody will argue that we had the lesser arsenal. But if we surrender the thing we have, that they don’t have – the value and integrity of dispassionate science, free from corruption and compromise – we will have smashed all the weapons they’ve gifted to us, and will have nothing to throw at them but our own faeces. ;o)

  51. ” Nigel Harris says:
    May 18, 2010 at 7:54 am
    @James Sexton
    You say you’d have to see some real science. The WG1 section of the IPCC AR4 document has 11 chapters of real science. ”
    Plus, it has fairytales!(about glaciers) Snippets from Climber magazines! Ominously sourced statements about rainforests! Bargains Bargains Bargains! Come back for the forthcoming AR5, now with an entire working group directed by Roland Emmerich!

  52. ” DirkH says:
    May 18, 2010 at 9:10 am
    […]
    Plus, it has fairytales!(about glaciers)[…]”
    Oh, sorry, i see you only talked about WG1 of AR4. Hm. Sorry, no fairytales about glaciers, no Climber magazines, no pole dancing ladies in WG1, but- actually it’s the highlight of the entire AR4: It’s 100% done in the computer! Yes, Ladies and Gentlemen, an entire WG full of non-verifiable computer projections! Come and see!

  53. DirkH says:

    Oh, sorry, i you only talked about WG1 of AR4. Hm. Sorry, no fairytales about glaciers, no Climber magazines, no pole dancing ladies in WG1, but- actually it’s the highlight of the entire AR4: It’s 100% done in the computer! Yes, Ladies and Gentlemen, an entire WG full of non-verifiable computer projections! Come and see!

    A shorter DirkH would be: “I haven’t actually read the AR4 WG1 report and know not of what I speak.”

  54. R. Craigen says:
    May 17, 2010 at 9:21 pm
    Something has been bugging me about these global temperature maps for some time now: That rectangular display they give (HadCrut, GISS and others) is clearly NOT an equal-area projection. Rather, it inflates the area around the poles quite dramatically.
    Presumably the monochrome squares that appear in the coarser colourings are the temperature grid cells. Each cell commands an equal portion of the world map, but this does not map grid cells to equal area cells on the sphere. On the surface the procedure exaggerates the significance of anomalies in the polar regions. When this is combined with the apparent manipulation by interpolation and the reduction in monitoring station data used in these regions, it would seem to be a potentially massive source of bias.
    Can anyone say definitively whether these pixilated rectangular grid cells correspond to the actual grid cells used on the globe? Or are these rectangular pixels merely an artifact of the way the data is being displayed?

    I too am curious about this… can anyone elaborate?

  55. E.M.Smith says:
    May 18, 2010 at 12:57 am
    Wren says: One month doesn’t tell you much. It might be more revealing to look at the differences between the Arctic measurements by GISS and those by DMI and NSIDC over time.
    GISS is always high in the Arctic. It NEVER has even a modestly close to normal Arctic. Just because they have no temperatures measured there, that’s no reason to doubt their imaginings, though… /sarcoff>
    If you find GISS is consistently high, I wouldn’t think the anomaly would be effected.
    It is the ANOMALY that is found to be consistently high. It is in STEP3 that GIStemp creates the anomaly and it does it by comparing present thermometers (sparse and mal-placed as they are) to 6 x as many thermometers in the past and from different places. So the anomaly is an ‘inter instrument’ anomaly not a ‘same instrument’ anomaly. (Rather like asking if your car now goes faster by comparing it to a different car in the past…)
    ======
    Perhaps we have different things in mind.
    An anomaly is a measure of change. If I am measuring temperature trends (1) on the sunny side of my house, and (2) on the shady side of my house, I would expect the sunny side to be consistently warmer than the shady side. However, over time I wouldn’t expect one side’s temperature to change more than the other.
    That’s why I asked if the Arctic measurements by GISS and those by DMI and NSIDC differ over time, since they are like on the same side of the house.

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