A color scheme change for the SST map

By Steve Goddard

WUWT reader “Roy” astutely noted that the NOAA SST map shows a lot of hot yellow, in regions which are just barely above normal temperatures. So I tried an experiment to remove all colors between  -0.5C and 0.5C anomaly (i.e normal.)  The blink comparator below shows the difference. In the original map, the Pacific looks about 50/50. But when the normal temperatures are removed, the Pacific appears colder. The reason being that there are a lot more pixels in the 0 – 0.5 range than in the -0.5 – 0 range.

The video below takes a tour of the earth with “normal” SST’s painted white.

Note that all of the water around Antarctica is normal or below.

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92 thoughts on “A color scheme change for the SST map

  1. “The reason being that there are a lot more pixels in the 0 – 0.5 range than in the -0.5 – 0 range.”
    Just another way to “Cook the Books”?

  2. Someone in advertising could possibly explain it better but the warm colours are designed to send a message. That message says that the world is getting hotter. Most observers are not going to take the time to analyse the temps ascribed to the colours. It’s simply propaganda and very effective.
    If the Republicans gain control after your November elections will there be further enquiries into the named of Climategate?

  3. Steve,
    Definitely there is a visual misrepresentation when light yellow is used for the “normal” range. Your color scheme makes more sense.
    Out of curiosity, which graphic application did you use to automatically replace the light yellow with white pixels? Or, did you actually do it manually (ouch)?
    Beck

  4. Beck,
    Thats a rather simple tool in both photoshop, gimp and photopaint where you select a color from the image, then select a second color to change it to, with a range + or – you can set, then just use the selective erase tool and swipe it over your image.

  5. By the same argument, you should also remove the all pixels between -0.5 and 0, else I fail to see the rational purpose. What’s makes the set of pixels on one side of zero any more important than those on the other side of zero? Otherwise it sounds like an attempt to portray a message that’s not really there.
    REPLY:You are in error. He did remove -.5 to +.5, both colors. Watch the blink comparator, and you’ll see both cyan and yellow turn to white. – Anthony

  6. Steve, very interesting exercise! But I’m not sure if you got the conversion of the -0.5 – 0 range from blue to white right – it seems to me that you kept the brightest blue but removed areas that are slightly colder?

  7. Whatever happened to green? Green always means normal to me and it seems to be disappearing from all the weather charts everywhere. If you’re within a degree or two of normal, it should appear as a shade of green. Don’t give me Burnt Umber if it’s really just a little yellow outside.
    Lawrie – if the Republicans gain control in November, not much will change. If the “Conservatives” win, you can expect a blood-bath!

  8. Just leave it as is I say, that way people will have proof of the con. Smart people just use unisys

  9. As the oceans are blue by themselves, I instinctively read blue (-0.5 to 0.0) as normal and yellow (0.0 to 0.5) as warmer than normal.
    This new color scheme makes the image much better readable.
    Even though the makers of the image can rightly claim that they explain the colors precisely, this ocean=blue=normal thing in my mind has a life of it’s own – it’s a subconscious thing that takes considerable practice to turn off.
    It’s like these tests where you give people a green button and a red one.
    And you ask them to hit the green button when you say red, and to hit the red button when you say green.
    Even though you have explained it carefully, people keep making mistakes and hit the green button when you say green, and red when you say red. Especially when they are distracted.
    Thanks Roy and Steve.

  10. Are there ANY recent data presentations by NOAA that see the glass as half-empty, not half-full? Also, how does data presentation compare pre-AGW scare? Just a suggestion for future work.

  11. As an engineer who works with CFD contour plots all day long, Steve’s color map is definitely a better visual representation of the data. And, as an aside, contour plots are 10 times better than those ridiculous “red dot, blue dot” temperature anomaly maps!

  12. Steve, we’re talking anomalies, you can’t simply say that .5C either side is normal. Isn’t half a degree C significant over such a large area of water? What’s next? Between 1C either side to remove the next new ‘normal’ batch? Make it 1.5 degrees C and almost all of the blue ones will disappear too. Push your luck a bit further and all will be ‘normal’. The equatorial pacific is colder at present in a building La Nina (date of the graph 2 July 2009) Latest SST from BOM Australia last two weeks agregate Nino 3 -1C, Nino 3/4 -1.2C, Nino 4 -0.4C (the minus meaning lower than normal in degrees C) The normal is the average temperature between La Nina cooler and El Nino warmer events.

  13. A picture is worth a thousand words. Removing the normal temperatures is very revealing and much more intuitive (and honest). All the ‘surplus’ heat is in the NH which will get lost to space during the coming winter. I’m increasingly think we are in for another cold one in the NH – long SC23 + air temps following sea temps by 3 months + volcanoes in Russia.

  14. mikelorrey says:
    August 4, 2010 at 4:00 am
    Beck,
    Thats a rather simple tool in both photoshop, gimp and photopaint where you select a color from the image, then select a second color to change it to, with a range + or – you can set, then just use the selective erase tool and swipe it over your image.
    ***
    So the + or – range can sneak in a few extra yellow pixels and a few less blue ones?

  15. I believe Steve has various software tools to perform pixel colour manipulations, coming from (correct me if i’m wrong) an image processing software background

  16. Lawrie Ayres says:
    August 4, 2010 at 3:49 am
    Someone in advertising could possibly explain it better but the warm colours are designed to send a message. That message says that the world is getting hotter.

    —-
    I totally agree with you. The problem for the alarmists is that when the cooler period comes in they are going to find it a hard sell and bring themselves into ridicule. Though they will argue that they put the numbers up correctly not realising a lot of journalists and members of the public won’t look at numbers but sub-consciously see ‘heat.’ People will feel cheated. Wait for another colour change within the next year. :o)

  17. Steve
    I noted Roy’s comments and agree with him, there must be some ‘normal’, so your blink comparator is very useful. Didn’t Anthony do something similar a couple of years ago?

  18. Well, must say, I like it. It does add more useful information, and makes good sense from an accuracy of measurement point of view. I noted the original comment by Roy and wondered what it would look like.. Now we know! 🙂

  19. Thanks yo Roy for noticing. Steve, great animation job!
    Unfortunately the GAGW crowd just keep on trucking, and asks us to be polite when protesting.

  20. Lawrie
    An interesting statistic is that counted by geographical area, Obama won only 28% of the vote in 2008.
    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8h-5yQHGKt4]

  21. Steve: Climategate is about doing what you just did..
    … The Euros asked Hansen’s U.S. boys to “JUST CHANGE A LITTYLE.
    You are ELIMINATING DATA.
    This makes you a FRAUD.
    In case anyone forgot those clear words of Hansen on the Letterman show, showing he did not support the exaggerations of the Euros
    : ” Tenths of a degree … TENTHS OF A DEGREE ! !
    The reason the Arctic shows changes is because it has changed SEVERAL degrees (well, 3, in Fahrenheit) as the low-angle Sun & pristine Sun-reflective surfaces magnify the cooling effects of Sulfur ( x7 relative to the Equator) & the warming, of Soot (wish I’d seen numbers on that)
    Specifically, from Shindell’s April 2009 work: .39 degrees C GLOBAL cf to 1.48oC Arctic, 26% Global, 45% Soot (therefore) 29% Sulfur reductions.
    Remember, Dr. Roy Spencer puts the 0.39 oC GLOBAL change in the last 30 odd years as 85% the Natural Cycles, 15% unknown.
    IPCC is roughly the other way. Given the small change (but DOWN) since 1998, I’d say more like 60-40 to 70-30 (Natural has to be More or it’d still be going UP … right ? The Cycle turned over in 2007: since mid year: 3 La Nina (Cold water irruptions) & 1 El Nino (hot).
    Daily JAXA ICE Update:
    Comparing _______2007___ to___ 2010_____&____2009__
    Ahead Aug 3_____541,562=7days__no____________no__
    (2009 now 174,532 behind 2010 = 4 days)
    Daily:
    J31-Aug1 ______ – 51,250 _____-102,500
    Aug 1-2 _______ -106,563 _____- 88,281
    Aug 2-3 _______ -107,656 _____ -79,844___(-47,500 2009)
    Aug 3-4 _______ -108,594 _____ – ?????___(-55,467 2009)
    SITE: BEST ICE MAP http://iabp.apl.washington.edu/maps_daily_nsidcice.html
    … apparently the NSIDC Concentration map we get is the “dumbed down” version just for us Yokels.
    It looks like Moths have been eating the Ice (of course, it may look like that every year). And:: note the central white area is the no-data gap: larger
    than the NSIDC site has, does that mean more “bridging” of gaps like in the GISS maps ?? cf http://nsidc.org/data/seaice_index click the thumb below for concentration of add: /images/daily_images/N_daily_concentration.png
    even the 8.2 mb version has the small hole: http://nsidc.org/data/seaice_index/images/daily_images/N_bm_conc_hires.png

  22. But … This is REALLY good news! Previously it was all colored RED – what colour’s next … Blue perhaps ( tongue firmly held in cheek)

  23. tallbloke,
    Thanks for the Unisys link. Yellow and blue makes green, no? Where is the green? Coming from a cult where green is the obsession, why don’t they use green in their map? Should we conclude that all of the land (black) in their map is cold? Their color scheme just doesn’t work.

  24. I did the same but changed both of colours for the range -0.5 to +0.5 to a light green as this is a better neutral colour between both warm and cool anomalies.
    I selected the colours from the scale with a variant of 0 to get the exact colour and in paintshop pro did a select -> similar on the image to get all pixels in the image with an identical shade and hue as the scale colour. Then swiped over them all with the brush tool.
    It was a pretty close result to yours though.

  25. False-color maps are routine in geophysical imaging, especially following the era of the colored pencil. Maps commonly use the full spectrum, which has middling values in shades of green. As humans can resolve shades of green relatively well, I would recommend the full spectrum to both NOAA and Steve Goddard.

  26. I’m not a fan of the Unisys coloring scheme, as they use a cool color for small positive anomalies.

  27. This is odd…Hudson bay on the Unisys map is quite cold in the southern parts, but on the NOAA/NESDIS map the entire bay is quite hot, at least +3 C anomaly. Anyone know why the discrepancy? Thanks in advance.

  28. Some one should break out an ergonomics textbook and find guidelines for present graphic information objectively. There are way to use color and intensity appropriately based on the way we percieve colors.
    I can see if there’s anything in my old undergrad book sometime.

  29. tallbloke says:
    August 4, 2010 at 5:10 am
    That is a much more serious map. Those bad “kids” should be punished by making them pay all the injet they use in their XXX massaged maps.

  30. Every time that a NOAA SST map is presented it must be compared to UNISYS map, you will see, for example, that in the atlantic ocean region there is not that much heat to power their so wishfully expected hurricanes.

  31. I hope these egregious “man-made global warming” techniques come to the notice of legislators. I think a “handbook of sneaky tricks” used by the ideologues should be prepared and sent to every congressman (and parliamentarian).

  32. Is it me, or does there seem to be pixels < -0.5 being removed, but -0.5 < pixels < 0.0 remaining? It's like the map has more blue colors than the color bar.

  33. I have discovered something interesting. They do not use the same colours on their map as they do on the scale.
    I have selected every colour in turn on the scale using the colour replacer tool in PSP, and then swiped the entire image with 100% opacity step 1, density 100% to get every pixel of every colour in the scale and replace it with a light green.
    I swiped the scale with each pass and it did replace the colour that they use in their scale.
    It did NOT replace all the colours in the map. Far from it!
    It hardly replaced any of them.
    Take a look:
    http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_By_CNJu4i4g/TFlssyhB93I/AAAAAAAAADw/jHsVtYFTVwI/s1600/seamap.png
    So they are not using the same colours on their map as indicated by the scale.

  34. Steve, REMOVING “a little” DATA IS CLIMATEGATE.
    …tallbloke: GOOD IDEA. Changing Colors is OK — REMOVE data: NOT OK.
    Besides, it is ALL, “Tenths” of a Degree.

    Remember the Shindell work: Arctic = 1.48 degrees C.since 1974; Soot = 45% Sulfur = 29% Global = 26%
    Yes: Global 35-year change = 0.39 oC … Less than the 0.5 you “eliminate”
    Remember Hansen scolding Letterman: tenths of a degree, TENTHS OF A DEGREE !! .
    … as Global is going DOWN, but slower than the Up, I make the Split 60-40, maybe 70-30. Natural MUST be over 50% or it would still be going UP. Yet: IPCC says 15-85 (cf Dr. Roy Spencer says 85% Natural -to-15% = AGW or something else).
    Ice Update: 2010 ahead of 2009 by 174,532 but trails 2007 541,562 km2
    Comparing _______2007___ to___ 2010_____&____2009__
    J31-Aug1 ______ – 51,250 _____-102,500
    Aug 1-2 _______ -106,563 _____- 88,281
    Aug 2-3 _______ -107,656 _____ -79,844___(-47,500 2009)
    Aug 3-4 _______ -108,594 _____ – ????? ___(-55,467 2009)
    GREAT MAP http://iabp.apl.washington.edu/maps_daily_nsidcice.html
    …like MOTHS are eating the ice. Note the Large White Spot in the center: DATA is not bridged over the Polar GAP as much as other NSIDC maps, even the “conc_hires” (8 MB high-resolution) has a smaller hole: http://nsidc.org/data/seaice_index/images/daily_images/
    The 6-week Arctic Low seems about to die: Expect Major Melts for 2 Months, nearly straight. http://weather.unisys.com/gfsx/9panel/gfsx_500p_9panel_nhem.html
    Pity you cannot read the discussion of how long the La Nina time lag might be in my SEA ICE OUTLOOK, caus the new supervisor cut 80% including all mention of Wayne Davidson & his La Nina = Clear Skies claims.
    Looks like the Cold Tongue Index (better for La Nina watching) “won” & it is a 6 week Cloud-filled delay (from June 26), not 3 or 9. CTI defined as = SST anomalies over 6N-6S, 180-90W … at:
    PS Steve: get the current PIOMAS. June 18 is long gone.
    With 2 July Updates, the 10,700 Anomaly is now “only” -10,150 = a bit under 3000km3 ahead of 2007’s pace {YET also 2000+ behind my extrapolated April-June Pace). No wonder there are so many gaps in the Ice.

  35. Regardless of the temperature colors (and I prefer the scheme used by http://www.cpc.noaa.gov/products/analysis_monitoring/lanina/enso_evolution-status-fcsts-web.pdf), I would like to once again reiterate that 3 month overlapping averages used to determine cool or warm SST conditions could be useful matrices to ward against undue panic over land temperature change. Applied to oceans, any SST change equal to or more than +.5 or -.5 is considered to be a significant departure from the neutral range. Notice that if this were applied to global land temps, the entire AGW thesis would immediately be dead.

  36. Every once in a while I review how the SST models are doing against the observation. Very interesting stuff and well worth reading. Don’t ya wish we had something like this for land temps? If they took the time to do a land-based 3 month running average analysis and then develop a bank of statistical and dynamical prediction models, we could have something like this.
    http://www.cpc.noaa.gov/products/analysis_monitoring/lanina/enso_evolution-status-fcsts-web.pdf

  37. For the post normal science theorists what really matters is that the whole world population should think there is only chaos in the universe, that there is no order whatsoever, no anything predictable through the analysis of harmonies and cycles. No order=No God, a secular world which will not allow, for example, a circle of 360 degrees, that’s why THEY replaced it by an stupid 400 degrees metric circle, etc.etc.
    We are supposed to be scared all the time, just waiting for their ex-cathedra preachings. We are supposed to be dumb, to know nothing, to expect all from “above”, from the “governments” of the world.
    So, they say we are about to burn up, however a little voice from within us says that any amount of red ink won’t stop a solar minimum, which, according to law of cycles, is repeating again.

  38. OK here is my attempt:
    First, it is clear that by some miracle, the yellow positive SST anomalies in range 0-0.5 deg C cover bigger area than the light blue negative ones. Looks like the change to colder SST anomalies is more abrupt, without the fine transition edge.
    http://i36.tinypic.com/282pe0g.jpg
    (red = positive 0-0.5, green = negative 0-0.5 deg C anomaly)
    Second, by replacing the -0.5 – 0.5 deg C by white I got the following map with kless white:
    http://i36.tinypic.com/wat4d5.jpg

  39. I do not find this a surprise.
    In the early 1980’s I was experimenting with seismic sections and time slices and how best to display them on a colour monitor; their amplitudes were fairly symmetrical about zero.
    Our first conclusion (based on the judgement of others, as I am partially colour blind) was that, because the events were indicated by the first positive maximum (think seismograph) and not a change in sign, changes in colour due to small amplitude fluctuations on either side of zero only highlighted some of the noise. This was especially true if the change in colour across zero was a major change. For a bad example, how about -5 to 0, going from light blue to dark blue and 0 to +5 from dark red to light red. A better choice would be to change the scales from -5 to -1 and 1 to 5, with an extra, neutral colour from -1 to 1, (as you have done.)
    The other conclusion was that we shouldn’t use colour! And we were displaying it on a very expensive colour monitor too! When we used an odd number of greys, to keep one grey straddled across zero ( black, dark grey, medium grey, light grey, and white), we had seismic sections that would display diffractions and other very interesting phenomena (for scientists), but in colour the SAME seismic sections were better candidates for marketing purposes!
    The brain spends a lot of time re-interpreting colour, which in this context can be very misleading.
    I don’t think that there should be a dramatic change in colour at zero unless it is to show a point. If the data drifted from zero, any anomaly could be missed.
    Being somewhat colour blind myself, I preferred to vary a colour lookup table with say, three colours, in real time, and see how the tide went in and out on the data display. A little project for someone!
    Lawrie Ayres says:
    August 4, 2010 at 3:49 am “Someone in advertising…”
    One story I heard, when colour monitors and printers were the latest in technology, was about a company that had such good financial results that, when they presented them, they displayed the best (large, positive, ie: profitable) amounts in RED! The bank managers in the audience were close to heart attack.
    Another story I heard, many years ago, was that DEC were advised that they could use their colour display devices, of which they were very proud, to present their financial results. The restrictions were that the only colours they could use were light blue and dark blue. To avoid problems like the above, one would expect.

  40. Thought for the day.
    If that warm pool stays off the coast and protected in the Northern Pacific, the moist ocean air it produces will cross over the COLLLLDDDDD pool directly adjacent to Washington and Oregon. What happens then? Usually we get a circulating system that just keeps rotating between these two pools, picking up more moisture and getting colder, before it lands on us with tons and fricken tons of @#$% ice and snow. AND…AND… because of this circulation, the Arctic air is allowed, through a loop in the jet stream, to freeze our iced and snowed asses to whatever we touch all winter long.
    Great. Just great.

  41. Fred N. says:
    August 4, 2010 at 7:26 am
    NOAA map doesn’t agree with NOAA map

    Can somebody ask them to say which one is the real one?…And, what is more important: Does anybody could say what the real SST are?. Perhaps now nobody knows it! That would be really funny. I guess this is the case.

  42. I think what some of you might be running into is an issue of minute changes to the colors introduced by the JPEG compression algorithm that slightly distorts the color every time the image is manipulated or saved. This is particularly true of reds and it is affected by adjacent colors because the algorithm as generally used in the internet realm is a lossy compression. I’m not sure how much it would affect yellow. You would need to work from a GIF or TIFF or some other lossless compression/no-compression image format.

  43. “all colors between -0.5C and 0.5C anomaly (i.e normal.)”
    On what grounds have you decided that that is normal? Why not -0.05°C and 0.05°C? Why not -5°C and 5°C?

  44. Juraj V
    When doing an exercise like this, you have to establish a tolerance because the colours in the map are blended. If you use the exact RGB values from the colour bar, you will actually select almost no pixels – as you found out. If you repeated the same exercise for each colour in the colour bar, you would find the map scarcely changed from the original, even though it should be all white.
    This exercise is more complex than people realize.

  45. Edward Tufte in his book “Visual Explanations” talks about gradient scales like this.
    The human eye discerns very small color differences. To display a temperature range the color gradients must of course be continuous, otherwise you have a strongly misleading use of color. So the SST image clearly conveys the wrong impression.
    I wouldn’t necessarily ascribe it to nepharious intent. Scientists are well known for theirl poor graphic communications skills.

  46. I see a “normal” area in the animation for the Gulf of Mexico. Is there any implication for the predicted “active” hurricane season?

  47. If I were doing the recoloring, I’d take the area from -0.5 to +0.5 and make it white. But that’s if we’re trying to be fair. It would be fun to see what the map looks like if we did to blue what they did to yellow. I like white instead of green because it removes emotional bias. Green is considered a “cool” color. I sure wish the warmists would try to be fair.

  48. Robin Kool says: “…It’s like these tests where you give people a green button and a red one. And you ask them to hit the green button when you say red, and to hit the red button when you say green. Even though you have explained it carefully, people keep making mistakes and hit the green button when you say green, and red when you say red….”
    That’s because green and red are the same thing, so it doesn’t matter.

  49. I think that the color scheme has a great influence on peoples mind. I wonder what will look a map with an inverted scheme (red in blue, and blue in red) ?

  50. WA777 says:
    August 4, 2010 at 9:33 am

    You will have to tell your grand kids: ” There was a time when big whirlwinds formed in the atmosphere and used to smash coastal cities” and then show them a movie about them as they won’t believe seas were warm and people went there to take a bath….
    This is the consequence of a big punishment sent by God against the mischievous teachings of a minor devil who appeared down there, at the end of the XX century under the name of “Al Baby”

  51. I’ve been using the NASA Earth Observatory maps.
    http://neo.sci.gsfc.nasa.gov/Search.html?group=32
    The color scheme goes from +5C to -5C with +/- 0.3C or so as white. So I think it works pretty well and provides a truer, hi-res view compared to most other maps.
    The downside is there is no animation.
    The default map is the previous month, but you can also get yesterday’s map or the past 8 days. You can open it up as a hi-res jpeg map or download the actual data in CSV formats with grids as small as 0.25 degrees or as big as 1.5 degrees. (Which is good right now because the question of how big this La Nina gets depends on how much the Peru-Humbolt current is going to contribute in terms of cooler water and what the warmer water on the north side of the Equator is doing).
    It uses the AMSR-E instrument from the Aqua satellite and the base period is 1985 to 1997 (so the anomalies are about 0.19C higher than some other datasets depending on the area you are looking at).
    [if you are opening the CSV files with Excel, just search 99998 and 99999 missing pixels and replace with nothing].

  52. fredb says:
    August 4, 2010 at 4:09 am
    By the same argument, you should also remove the all pixels between -0.5 and 0, else I fail to see the rational purpose. What’s makes the set of pixels on one side of zero any more important than those on the other side of zero? Otherwise it sounds like an attempt to portray a message that’s not really there.
    Here removed the normal RANGE of temperature from -0.5 to +.05 and showed what is of concern.

  53. I pointed out the color problem in a comment on WUWT last fall. The problem is that they are not using the standard color temperature scales and switch directly from blue to yellow, bypassing white.
    Here is a standard color temperature scale chart:
    http://www.fireflyelectric.com/image/colortemp.gif
    There charts move directly from blue to yellow, creating a mental image for the viewer that is biased. Rather than using a gradient, they have also chosen a set of fixed colors that tends to emphasize warmth, rather than a display of temperature anomalies.
    They also choose a Mercator projection map which tremendously overemphasizes the polar temperatures by stretching a tiny area across the entire top and bottom of the chart.
    The choices made suggest either someone not familiar with presenting information visually (i.e. incompetent), or someone who specifically knew what they were doing in order to create an effective marketing presentation for the purpose of closing a sale.

  54. Charles Wilson says:
    August 4, 2010 at 5:54 am
    Steve: Climategate is about doing what you just did..
    … The Euros asked Hansen’s U.S. boys to “JUST CHANGE A LITTYLE.
    You are ELIMINATING DATA.
    This makes you a FRAUD….

    ___________________________
    August 4, 2010 at 6:59 am
    Steve, REMOVING “a little” DATA IS CLIMATEGATE.
    …tallbloke: GOOD IDEA. Changing Colors is OK — REMOVE data: NOT OK.
    Besides, it is ALL, “Tenths” of a Degree…

    __________________________________________
    WHOA!
    What was done to the graph was explained. The original is also shown, so there was no fraud.
    Second +/- 0.5C is the sampling error!
    DO YOU UNDERSTAND???
    +/- 0.1C is just plain noise and nothing else.
    THAT is the REAL fraud!
    CRU Sampling Error graph:
    http://strata-sphere.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/CRU%20Sampling%20Error.gif
    “…..The title of this graph indicates this is the CRU computed sampling (measurement) error in C for 1969. Note how large these sampling errors are. They start at 0.5°C, which is the mark where any indication of global warming is just statistical noise and not reality. Most of the data is in the +/- 1°C range, which means any attempt to claim a global increase below this threshold is mathematically false….” http://strata-sphere.com/blog/index.php/archives/11420
    Remember the temperature anomalies are based on the average of the historic data and the error in the anomalies can not be any smaller.

  55. Ed,
    It’s not a Mercator projection but a Platte Carree. It still distorts, however, the further you move away from the equator towards the poles.

  56. stevengoddard says: August 4, 2010 at 5:51 am
    …An interesting statistic is that counted by geographical area, Obama won only 28% of the vote in 2008.

    This is interesting. Really. It shows that Obama is a city man who has lost touch with the countryside and the natural order of things, things like climate and what kind of weather helps plants and how CO2 is puffed into greenhouses to increase yield.

  57. Enneagram says:
    August 4, 2010 at 7:35 am
    ao“…For the post normal science theorists what really matters is that the whole world population should think there is only chaos in the universe, that there is no order whatsoever, no anything predictable through the analysis of harmonies and cycles…”
    Paradoxically the is both order and chaos. Our climate and that of the sun are driven by deterministic chaos. Linear trends mean nothing, but periods of order do appear and quasi-cycle behaviour allows for some predictability, but not within a few tenths of a degree like the IPCC would have us believe.
    In fact, they cannot measure the temperature anomaly to within a few tenths of a degree. If you could look at the actual temperature from the raw data, (before it has been stretched, averaged and homogenised), you would find that within cold areas there are patches of warmth and vice versa and, because weather/climate is fractal, as you enlarged the map you would find the same patchiness whatever the scale.
    Science today has great difficulty in understanding and quantifying non-linear systems.

  58. Way cool, Steve, and you are correct, too.
    El Nino/La Nina are measured above 0.5C or below -0.5C.

  59. I have some criticisms. I think the original was better because white is the color of snow and ice (white is even used in the original map to depict sea ice), so this change has just made the maps seem a lot colder than they should. You’ve replaced the cyan with an even colder color and converted the warmer than normal temperatures to cold.
    Also by removing more 0 – 0.5C areas than -0.5C to 0C areas, you haven’t just changed the colors, you’ve adjusted the data the maps represent. If you add up the anomalies before and after the totals won’t match. You’ve reduced the global temperature anomaly with this change.
    I didn’t see a problem with the original yellow/cyan. It gives the impression that global average SST is warmer than average, but then that would be the correct impression because it IS warmer than average.

  60. Fuzzylogic19 says:
    August 4, 2010 at 4:57 am (Edit)
    mikelorrey says:
    August 4, 2010 at 4:00 am
    Beck,
    Thats a rather simple tool in both photoshop, gimp and photopaint where you select a color from the image, then select a second color to change it to, with a range + or – you can set, then just use the selective erase tool and swipe it over your image.
    ***
    So the + or – range can sneak in a few extra yellow pixels and a few less blue ones?
    ==========
    No, the tools that the graphics apps have only use the same value plus and minus, so you an set a range of 5 and it will capture all colors in the image palette 5 colors up and 5 colors down from the chosen median color. Usually you’d use this in jpg images which is a lossy compression format and creates a lot of noisy color information due to the interpolation the format requires to render (jpg is a 24 bit image so it will have 64,000+ possible colors. With GIF images you only have 256 possible colors, and often images that are not photographs have optimized palettes that limit the actual number of colors used, so the range width you’d use on a GIF image is much smaller than you’d use on jpg for the same effect).
    NOTE: for those of you making graphics for web pages, unless the image is a photograph or has near photographic complexity (like a 3d rendering or a fractal or fluid dynamic image), then you should use a GIF format for all other graphics like charts, topographics, if it looks like the image has less than a few hundred colors. When used in this manner, a GIF image will compress more and take up less memory space (thus will download faster) than a jpg even though jpg’s compression algorithm allows for much higher potential compression because it is inherently lossy with its interpolation method. GIFs compress their image by counting the number of consecutive pixels of the same color and counting them all as one with a number to indicate the number of identical pixels in a row. Thus a GIF is a lossless compression file format.

  61. What I notice on the color scheme is the complete lack of the use of the bright emerald green and the shades of green that I believe should be used for normal or near normal temperatures. I think would reserve violet and red-brown colors for areas that are so changed from normal that serious biological impacts might be expected.

  62. The comment was made about the cooler-than-normal water around the Antarctic. What is with all of that warmer-than-normal water around the Arctic? Is the Gulf Stream pushing all of that north through the G-I-UK (Greenland-Iceland-United Kingdom) gap or what? The air temp is not that warm up there is is?
    Jeff

  63. This post is a deception, degenerating into an instruction manual for using photoshop pixel colouring. The fact is that you cannot simply hide half a degree Centigrade up or down as ‘normal’ when the measured temperatures since 1880 show a rise of 1C at an average rise of .008C p/a. About .65C of that ocurred since 1980. Simply blotting out .5C either way means blotting out warming which took 68 years. If I take the 30 year rise of .65C since 1980 (.02C p/a) then it still hides 25 years of warming. A good example how the oceans are warming faster; .004C p/a 1880 to 1980 – .02C p/a 1980 to 2010. Reference graph; http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Instrumental_Temperature_Record_%28NASA%29.svg

  64. Give “Roy” and atta-boy. Kuddos to someone who can see the data past the visualization method. Tufte has some good writing on how visualization techniques can bring out the detail vs. be used to mislead.

  65. Fuzzylogic, your logic is.. fuzzy. I see pretty steep warming between 1910-1940, inexplicable since we all know that CO2 causes weather, planetary rotation and climate change.
    Why the warming rate was slower with the onset of CO2 increase?
    PS. Oceans stopped warming during the last decade.

  66. Paint those pixels red, the ocean “looks” hotter.
    So far as anyone can tell, such pixel manipulation doesn’t change anything, does it.

  67. Over the last decade the water temperatures around Greenland have been almost continuously above average, especially in the summer months, as can be seen in the NOAA archives, such as:
    http://www.emc.ncep.noaa.gov/research/cmb/sst_analysis/images/archive/monthly_anomaly/monanomv2_201007.png
    http://www.emc.ncep.noaa.gov/research/cmb/sst_analysis/images/archive/monthly_anomaly/monanomv2_200907.png
    http://www.emc.ncep.noaa.gov/research/cmb/sst_analysis/images/archive/monthly_anomaly/monanomv2_200807.png
    http://www.emc.ncep.noaa.gov/research/cmb/sst_analysis/images/archive/monthly_anomaly/monanomv2_200707.png
    Does that mean some relatively new natural phenomenon is affecting water temperatures there and therefore ice extent? Or perhaps, historic data has underestimated past temperatures in the region.
    In any event, this phenomenon must be having a negative impact on the extent of the Arctic ice.

  68. Juraj V. says:
    August 5, 2010 at 3:02 am
    PS. Oceans stopped warming during the last decade.
    ***
    Have they? Must have been a 10 year solar eclipse; everywhere.

  69. Peter Miller says:
    August 5, 2010 at 5:40 am
    Over the last decade the water temperatures around Greenland have been almost continuously above average, especially in the summer months, as can be seen in the NOAA archives, such as:
    ——-
    Does that mean some relatively new natural phenomenon is affecting water temperatures there and therefore ice extent? Or perhaps, historic data has underestimated past temperatures in the region.
    In any event, this phenomenon must be having a negative impact on the extent of the Arctic ice.
    ***
    The arctic is talking right now.

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