McKitrick: gridded climate data over land are likely not “climatically real” but result from data quality problems

Four maps of the US

Image: UCAR

Atmospheric Oscillations do not Explain the Temperature-Industrialization Correlation (PDF)

(Statistics, Politics, and Policy, Volume 1, Issue 1, July 2010)

Abstract

Gridded land surface temperature data products are used in climatology on the assumption that contaminating effects from urbanization, land-use change and related socioeconomic processes have been identified and filtered out, leaving behind a “pure” record of climatic change.

But several studies have shown a correlation between the spatial pattern of warming trends in climatic data products and the spatial pattern of industrialization, indicating that local non-climatic effects may still be present.

This, in turn, could bias measurements of the amount of global warming and its attribution to greenhouse gases. The 2007 report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) set aside those concerns with the claim that the temperature-industrialization correlation becomes statistically insignificant if certain atmospheric circulation patterns, also called oscillations, are taken into account. But this claim has never been tested and the IPCC provided no evidence for its assertion. I estimate two spatial models that simultaneously control for the major atmospheric oscillations and the distribution of socioeconomic activity. The correlations between warming patterns and patterns of socioeconomic development remain large and significant in the presence of controls for atmospheric oscillations, contradicting the IPCC claim. Tests for outlier influence, spatial autocorrelation, endogeneity bias, residual nonlinearity and other problems are discussed.

Conclusions

Direct testing refutes the IPCC’s assertion that “the correlation of warming with industrial and socioeconomic development ceases to be statistically significant” upon controlling for atmospheric circulation patterns.

The correlations are quite robust to the inclusion of atmospheric circulation indicators, confirming the presence of significant extraneous signals in surface climate data on a scale sufficient to account for about half the observed upward trend over land since 1980.

As discussed in the underlying papers by deLaat and Maurellis and McKitrick and Michaels, socioeconomic activity can lead to purely local atmospheric modifications (such as temporary increases in local particulates and aerosols) as well as land-surface modifications and data inhomogeneities, and these can cause apparent trends in temperature data that should not be interpreted as general climatic changes. As was noted half a century ago by J. Murray Mitchell Jr., “The problem remains one of determining what part of a given temperature trend is climatically real and what part the result of observational difficulties and of artificial modification of the local environment.” (Mitchell Jr., 1953).

The results herein show that this longstanding concern is likely still relevant, and the hypothesis used by the IPCC to dismiss it cannot be supported by the data. A substantial fraction of the post-1980 trends in gridded climate data over land are likely not “climatically real” but result from data quality problems and local environmental modifications.

Download the full paper here:

http://ross.mckitrick.googlepages.com/CircEffects.rev.pdf

h/t to populartechnology.net

Advertisements

57 thoughts on “McKitrick: gridded climate data over land are likely not “climatically real” but result from data quality problems

  1. If the post 1980 terrestrial record is so contaminated, is it not surprising that the satellite -based record is substantially the same?

  2. This, and its brothers, drives a feeling of despair that the whole AGW army is staffed by people who have never undertaken the hard work of scholarship — or did not have the capacity to — yet have driven the whole world to distraction by sophisticated manipulation of propaganda of the most base kind.
        Ross McKitrick et al must share this despair I feel; probably even more deeply as we watch the unwinding of wisdom.

  3. To quote the article: “The correlations between warming patterns and patterns of socioeconomic development remain large and significant…”
    Well, I have been a glider pilot for a good time of my life. Among glider pilots it’s an open secret, that “patterns of socioeconomic development” are indeed VERY relevant: We call them “industrial thermal lift” or “urban thermal lift”.
    Both are very useful when flying in otherwise rather calm weather, because both deliver a SUBSTANTIAL, very reliable and predictable source of lift for engine-less glider planes.

  4. Roger Carr,
    I take a different view. I don’t think the AGW army is lacking in scholarship or capacity. I think however, that they are willing to gloss over inconvenient problems with their hypothesis in order to further their cause of protecting the environment and promoting cleaner, renewable, and sustainable energy. And maybe to punish greedy consumers a little bit, too.
    In the end, their position might end up the correct one, and we could see rapid warming due to CO2 over the next several hundred years. But right now, it seems that their case is not nearly as strong as they might lead you to believe. But for them, the end justifies the means.

  5. richard telford says: “is it not surprising that the satellite -based record is substantially the same?”
    It isn’t.
    GISS show meteorological stations temperature increase about 1 deg C 1980 to end 2009.
    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/graphs/Fig.A.gif
    UAH show LT temperature increase about 0.4 deg C over the same period.
    http://vortex.nsstc.uah.edu/public/msu/t2lt/tltglhmam_5.2
    There are some significant differences along the way as well, with the LT tending to show much larger variation over short periods, in spite of the lower overall increase.
    And remember, there is the additional challenge that the CO2-driven global warming is supposed to flow from the LT to the surface.

  6. Scott B. said: “I take a different view. I don’t think the AGW army is lacking in scholarship or capacity. I think however, that they are willing to gloss over inconvenient problems with their hypothesis in order to further their cause of protecting the environment and promoting cleaner, renewable, and sustainable energy. And maybe to punish greedy consumers a little bit, too.”
    I’ve found that the tendency to gloss over inconvenient problems or contrary data is unfortunately all too common, even if the only thing at stake is the interest of the researcher in his or her findings and pet theories. It’s something I believe we all, engineers, scientists, etc. have to guard against, I know it’s unpleasant to have a stubborn bit of data that undermines what is, in your own mind, a grand and elegant hypothesis. You worked hard on it, you just want it to be right. But to be honest with yourself and advance science you have to be the person working hardest to shoot down your own theory, not ignore contrary evidence. Feynman lectured and wrote about this often, and he was absolutely right.
    Take the normal tendency of people to gloss over things they don’t want to hear, add in a healthy (or unhealthy) does of ego, and then wrap it up with the self interest (grants for going along with the orthodoxy, ostracism if you don’t), self righteousness because you’re “saving the planet” and some green guilt and it is all too easy, sadly, for science to become corrupted and “inconvenient truths” to be swept under the rug.
    I suppose it’s understandable to anyone who has studied human history, but it’s still depressing and dangerous, as well as infuriating.

  7. pwl says:
    August 8, 2010 at 4:02 am
    Moving towards peer review publication I trust?

    Done already:

    “(Statistics, Politics, and Policy, Volume 1, Issue 1, July 2010)”

  8. “But this claim has never been tested and the IPCC provided no evidence for its assertion.”
    That about sums up the IPCC.


  9. I take a different view. I don’t think the AGW army is lacking in scholarship or capacity. I think however, that they are willing to gloss over inconvenient problems with their hypothesis in order to further their cause of protecting the environment and promoting cleaner, renewable, and sustainable energy. And maybe to punish greedy consumers a little bit, too.
    In the end, their position might end up the correct one, and we could see rapid warming due to CO2 over the next several hundred years. But right now, it seems that their case is not nearly as strong as they might lead you to believe. But for them, the end justifies the means.

    I think you sum it up perfectly. I have been saying this for a long time.
    Sadly this two-bit dabbling in politics , forsaking the very foundation of the science that it pretends to be , is fool’s politics.
    Real politicians just roll over laughing and say “how can we turn this to our advantage”. Hence the lunacy of “carbon markets” and “clean” nuclear power.
    The immense damage this has done to the credibility of science as a whole is probably a good thing in the long term. It has shown up how shoddy, in-bred and ineffective the whole peer-review process is and how unscientific scientists are prepared to be in order to toe the line for grants and publication approval.
    This will either force institutional science to start applying the tenets of the scientific method rather than twisting the facts to fit predetermined outcomes, or it will kill the power and credibility of science for good.
    For the moment most of them still seem to think they can brush it under the carpet and carry on in the hope that no one really noticed.

  10. Scott B. says:
    August 8, 2010 at 3:46 am
    “… they are willing to gloss over inconvenient problems with their hypothesis in order to further their cause of protecting the environment and promoting cleaner, renewable, and sustainable energy. And maybe to punish greedy consumers a little bit, too.”
    Severian says:
    August 8, 2010 at 4:17 am
    “Take the normal tendency of people to gloss over things they don’t want to hear, add in a healthy (or unhealthy) dose of ego, and then wrap it up with the self interest (grants for going along with the orthodoxy, ostracism if you don’t), self righteousness because you’re “saving the planet” and some green guilt and it is all too easy, sadly, for science to become corrupted and “inconvenient truths” to be swept under the rug.”

    Other ingredients in the stew:
    1. The inclination of certain judgmental personality types to “play parent” (I’m OK, you’re not OK).
    2. Faddism — akin to the hot-topic wowie-zowie attraction of string theory, artificial intelligence, swine flu alarmism, etc.
    3. Scientism: Overvaluing the measurable and the readily apparent (what’s under the streetlight) and marginalizing the holistic, subtle, and obscure. E.g., devaluing “anecdotal” / historical evidence of earlier warm periods and Arctic ice retreats; ruling out the possibility of there being internally generated multi-decadal natural variation and of climate being a complex/chaotic system at every level (in favor of a bean-counting “forcing” system with a “tipping point” rather than a natural thermostat); and failing to tease apart the influence and interaction of forcings and feedbacks (which Roy Spencer has done in ch. 5 of his book, The Great Global Warming Blunder).
    4. Guild solidarity in the scientific community: Knee-jerk rank-closing by scientific pooh-bahs on behalf of their besieged comrades in climatology. This has had the effect of giving the anthropogenic conjecture the blessing of “science.”
    5. Modernism: “Science” says so, and who wants to be on the other side (with the flat-earthers)?

  11. Mike Jonas says:
    August 8, 2010 at 4:13 am
    May I recommend you buy a new pair of spectacles: you clearly cannot read the axis labels on the GISS graph.

  12. This WUWT post is the key to the skeptical scientist and the reason Anthony has put together a huge surfacestations quality effort. Ross and Steve have just published a paper which shows that the trends in models are outside of the satellite temperature measurements by 2 to 4 times. I think it’s one of the most important results in climate science that I’ve seen this year.
    http://noconsensus.wordpress.com/2010/08/07/time-to-fix-the-thermometers/
    If you combine Ross, Steve, Chad’s work at the link with even a slightly reduced trend from UHI (surfacestations project), models need to be recomputed to match observations. More importantly, because the warming we’ve measured is less than predicted, the conclusions need to be revised.

  13. I still don’t see why there’s ANY need for density or gridding in this context. If you want long-term measurements, just find one reliable and constantly rural site in the Northern Hemisphere and one in the Southern. Don’t interpolate across geography or time, don’t adjust anything for anything. Just measure.

  14. This looks like a really valuable contribution from Ross. I look forward to studying it a bit more carefully.
    But whilst there is much to agree with here in the comments (and without wishing to be boring), I must insist that this isn’t just some arcane academic dispute.
    Sure, some of the “climate scientists” may just be “glossing over” things “to further their cause of protecting the environment”.
    These probably aren’t BAD people. (Although I sometimes wonder).
    But they ALL are fully aware that the media and the politicians and big business are using their “hypothesis” to justify spending (literally) trillions on changing to a so called “low carbon economy” using technology that basically doesn’t work.
    So what are we to make of the character of “scientists” who go along with this for the benefit of their careers, in the face of the obvious fact that, as Dr. Roy Spencer has pointed out, the “war on global warming” is, in reality, a war on the poor.
    So I’m afraid I have very little patience with the self deceiving hubris and hypocracy of these characters.

  15. Mike Jones, UAH is showing temperatures at a substantially higher mean elevation than the surface temperature record. Compare RSS to ground if you want a cleaner comparison, since this product is intended to be “near surface”. What you’ll find is a strong agreement between the two…. I think this level of agreement is “too good,” because I expect more amplification from measurements in the surface layer than immediately above it. Hence surface temperatures in Peru isn’t the same thing as measuring at the same elevation above mean sea surface.

  16. Martin Brumby says:
    August 8, 2010 at 7:47 am
    “These probably aren’t BAD people. (Although I sometimes wonder).
    But they ALL are fully aware that the media and the politicians and big business are using their “hypothesis” to justify spending (literally) trillions on changing to a so called “low carbon economy” using technology that basically doesn’t work.
    So what are we to make of the character of “scientists” who go along with this for the benefit of their careers, in the face of the obvious fact that, as Dr. Roy Spencer has pointed out, the “war on global warming” is, in reality, a war on the poor.”

    I agree with everything I re-posted from you, except the first statement.
    The odyssey of this paper itself speaks volumes to the character of the CAGW orthodoxy and the depths they would sink to in order to preserve the appearance of their scientific authority. Self interest is one thing, self interest at the expense of lives and quality of life to where it adversely effects virtually every person on the planet is something else entirely.
    In my book, yes, this makes them “BAD” people, to put it very mildly.

  17. This paper reminds me to ask Anthony whether his paper on the Surface Stations project is still planned for publication. Or has the team’s preemptive strike from NCDC managed to scuttle it.

  18. “(IPCC) set aside those concerns with the claim that the temperature-industrialization correlation becomes statistically insignificant if certain atmospheric circulation patterns, also called oscillations, are taken into account.”
    Surely IPCC isn’t saying that temp-industrialization corellation becomes statistically insignificant if ….. This could be construed to mean that CO2 becomes statistically insignificant once “oscillations” (natural) are taken into account.
    I’m wondering what we are going to do with current scientific establishments and prominent publications given their egregious partisan position with Global Warming science and the increase is hysteria from them – the blacklist becoming peer reviewed publication, etc. I think we will have to create new scientific societies and publications – how can we just give them a pass and remain members and be submitting papers to these horribly blocked and censored publications. I will find it hard to trust what I read on any topic in Nature, Scientific American, National Geographic, the newspapers…. oh well newspapers are already in a death spiral. Even when the NYT begins reporting on the new Ice Age it won’t rescue them.

  19. Severian says:
    August 8, 2010 at 4:17 am
    Take the normal tendency of people to gloss over things they don’t want to hear, add in a healthy (or unhealthy) does of ego, and then wrap it up with the self interest (grants for going along with the orthodoxy, ostracism if you don’t), self righteousness because you’re “saving the planet” and some green guilt and it is all too easy, sadly, for science to become corrupted and “inconvenient truths” to be swept under the rug.

    AMEN!
    And I mostly agree with James Sexton (August 8, 2010 at 8:11 am) when he says: “In my book, yes, this makes them ‘BAD’ people, to put it very mildly.” The only qualification I would make is that not all of them are “BAD”, just the majority and definitely the leaders.

  20. James Sexton says:
    August 8, 2010 at 8:11 am
    “In my book, yes, this makes them “BAD” people, to put it very mildly.”
    truly agreed.
    when people do monstrous things, it is not their intentions that make them monstrous. it is the effect that their actions produce on the rest of society.

  21. …But several studies have shown a correlation between the spatial pattern of warming trends in climatic data products and the spatial pattern of industrialization, indicating that local non-climatic effects may still be present.
    I would expect this to be the case especially by those who wish to do away with industry and capitalism in general. Hmmm…

  22. This is an excellent discussion. Now I need to reread the paper, probably several times. Many of the comments already posted reminded me of an essay I wrote some months ago, titled Epistemology — Truth AS Related To Science: “…I have spent a goodly number of hours reviewing all the books and writings on philosophy that exist in my library. I could not find any reasonable justification for the end, however noble, justifying the means. I was reminded, this is a world view well articulated by Machiavelli in The Prince, although he never quite states it as such and it is a much older concept. His work is less philosophical then political. To paraphrase: if the Prince is to maintain his position or strengthen it then… what ever it takes to do so is justified, since the Prince’s desired outcome is defined as the greater good. While he may have addressed his work to a Prince of Florence, he could just as easily addressed it to the Prince of the Roman Church or any other leader of the day.
    This kind of thinking has no place in science, regardless of the name give to the study of the political. No model can produce results so important to humanity that unscientific or immoral behavior can ever be justified.”

  23. The alleged difference between satellite and ground station temperature differences is a key argument against AGW and for correction-based warming bias in the stated temperature records, but NOT for (also alleged) temperature anomaly indicators of AGW.
    From this string of comments I gather that the UAH records show what is going on at some significant height above the land surface, the RSS, close to the surface, and the GISS, at the surface. From other blog-articles, I understand that all temperature records are corrected to some extent, as satellite height and angle-of-reading needs to be modified as the satellites’ orbit changes. How these satellite-based corrections effect the ANOMALIES, I am unsure. I doubt that there is a plus/minus bias, but for the RSS there may be if elevation is grid-smoothed inappropriately for elevation changes in steep terrains.
    But the key is, to get to Carrick’s and Jonas’ point, on whether GISS, RISS and UAH records, i.e. the ANOMALY part of those temperature records, agree or disagree. Hansen does not incorporate the satellite data into his discussions, I understand. This makes me suspect that in his opinion those data a) are untrustworthy, and b) do not support his AGW-alarmist temperature rises since 1978. But that is a suspicion, not knowledge.
    Considering the minor changes we are talking about (0.4 to 0.9C* in 30 years), the warmist-skeptic dispute is about the width of hairs, and (unfortunately) best decided by experts in hair-width. Which, on the business-in-the-salon issue holds, in my opinion, more reasonableness with the Watts/McIntyre-McKittrick crowd than with the Mann-Jones/Hansen-Schmidt groupthink. But ….
    Would it be possible to have the Watts et al write a short (with graphs) response to the question “Do the satellite records agree or disagree with the GISS/NOAA records insofar as a) the temperatures themselves, and b) the temperature changes since 1978 (taking the satellite de-orbiting corrections into account, of course)?
    For a non-hair sylist, the subject requires a great deal of back-and-forth to get a sense of what may or not be real, and whether one side or the other has his head too close to the floor around his personal chair to see the pattern across the whole salon floor. I admire your (in particular and in general) tenacity and courage to go up against the force and fury of the AGW ideological warriors.

  24. Doug Proctor
    IIRC UAH has been using AQUA satellite since 2002 which requires no orbiting correction. If that is incorrect, someone please jump in.

  25. Martin Brumby says: August 8, 2010 at 7:47 am
    ——– These probably aren’t BAD people. (Although I sometimes wonder).
    But they ALL are fully aware that the media and the politicians and big business are using their “hypothesis” to justify spending (literally) trillions on changing to a so called “low carbon economy” using technology that basically doesn’t work.
    So what are we to make of the character of “scientists” who go along with this for the benefit of their careers, in the face of the obvious fact that, as Dr. Roy Spencer has pointed out, the “war on global warming” is, in reality, a war on the poor.
    So I’m afraid I have very little patience with the self deceiving hubris and hypocracy of these characters.
    ————————————————————————–
    Hear Hear Martin Brumby. You have summed up the whole obscene affair beautifully.
    Doug

  26. Feedback says:
    August 8, 2010 at 5:02 am
    There’s an interesting back story about the publication of this article, that can be found here:
    http://1488276005495550431-a-1802744773732722657-s-sites.googlegroups.com/site/rossmckitrick/gatekeeping.pdf?attachauth=ANoY7cq4n7ozeffrnfW0T5vPXyuX4zWV-k8bhQl5KA-IGkQHw_f0H6OmJBbc-Q1SmrvRjH8zOyWkVFiBll2pogwWIIOKidZWc-l6qbHfMPG9hCdJIaMX4LzdraB2dN2iYuyKJZuu1kHouF9yMdDJJ1q0_mMhZMbcUb2no5o_ecc_LYP73kbhKBu3SKFtdoVhJqXEbVculywAcklkSxY2C7b5nKS7umKPWA%3D%3D&attredirects=0
    ===========================================================
    IMHO, the document at that link contains the real story here.

  27. “Endogeniety bias” Ouch! Luckily I believe there is an over the counter product for that.

  28. Well well well. If one visualises the CAGW consensus as being built on a three legged stool, with the legs being:
    1) Mann’s 1000 year reconstructions, necessary to show that recent warming is unprecedented;
    2) The accuracy and reliability of the gridded temperature data sets;
    3) The predictive power of the GCMs
    then it appears that M & M have taken a mighty kick at each of the three legs in the course of one weekend, between the articles detailed at Climate Audit, here and at tAV. I’m not sure what, if anything, is left of the “science” underpinning IPCC4. It will be interesting to see what kind of response RC and Romm can raise when they are beleaguered on three fronts at once.

  29. Little Blue Guy says: August 8, 2010 at 1:07 pm
    Feedback says: August 8, 2010 at 5:02 am
    There’s an interesting back story about the publication of this article, that can be found here:
    IMHO, the document at that link contains the real story here.

    Amen.
    I agree, this beautifully readable account of McKitrick’s battles to get published, is really important and should be elevated to its own thread here. McKitrick’s crime: his stats show that there IS serious dispute with the CRU data. He shows clearly Jones’ abuse of his position, and the unfailingly shameless way in which scientists who should have known better found fault with him, who when the fault was corrected, simply said in effect “well, I just don’t choose to believe you anyway”.

  30. SteveFromWinnipeg says: “…when people do monstrous things, it is not their intentions that make them monstrous. it is the effect that their actions produce on the rest of society.”
    And yet Socialists (of all stripes), Inquisitioners, and alcoholics persist in judging themselves by their intentions, not their actions.

  31. richard telford says: “May I recommend you [Mike Jonas] buy a new pair of spectacles: you clearly cannot read the axis labels on the GISS graph.”
    I said “GISS show meteorological stations temperature increase about 1 deg C 1980 to end 2009.”
    I could accept a reading of -0.2 to +0.7, giving +0.9 rather than “about 1”, but it doesn’t exactly alter the argument.
    Doug Proctor – fair comments, but given that the whole IPCC case is based on a (from memory) 0.74 deg C rise over the 20thC, regrettably it seems we do have to argue over this kind of change. [BTW the IPCC figure is wrong, because it includes two PDO warming phases and only one cooling.]
    Carrick – “Compare RSS to ground if you want a cleaner comparison”. I didn’t see anything lower than “LT” in the page you linked. I downloaded RSS LT data from
    http://www.remss.com/data/msu/monthly_time_series/RSS_Monthly_MSU_AMSU_Channel_TLT_Anomalies_Land_and_Ocean_v03_2.txt
    and plotted 1980 to end 2009
    http://members.westnet.com.au/jonas1/RSS20100809.jpg
    At about +0.3 deg C, the increase is even less than in UAH.

  32. Ross,
    Not sure why you used old population data from GISS metadata, if I read correctly.
    Also literacy rate seemed a weird variable to include with a model that explains warming rates. FWIW.

  33. James Sexton says:
    August 8, 2010 at 8:11 am
    ……The odyssey of this paper itself speaks volumes to the character of the CAGW orthodoxy and the depths they would sink to in order to preserve the appearance of their scientific authority. Self interest is one thing, self interest at the expense of lives and quality of life to where it adversely effects virtually every person on the planet is something else entirely.
    In my book, yes, this makes them “BAD” people, to put it very mildly.
    ———
    Thanks, James! From my position within the University of Illinois, I’d say that most of these folks are misdirected rather than “bad,” as in “evil.”
    They actually BELIEVE in Hansen’s nightmare vision of Earth slipping into a Venus-like runaway catastrophic greenhouse state, despite the ever-increasing evidence of problems with measurements, proxies, computer models etc. Any personal gains to be made by tenure, publication, etc. are secondary in my opinion.
    These folks are zealots, not easily dissuaded from their quest to save the planet. Spend some time on RealClimate to get a feel for the depth of their conviction. As long as I’ve been around this type of thinking, I still find the “all or nothing, no quarter” attitude of these folks disturbing! It’s worse than “our way or the highway,” believe me.
    I met Dr. John Holdren, who is Pres. Obama’s chief science advisor, at the Chicago NAE Grand Challenges meeting, and his slides on climate change are well worth reading.
    http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/microsites/ostp/jph-chicago-04212010.pdf

  34. One should expect that satellite measurements of “near-surface” temperature would be similar to real surface measurements (i.e. both show an amount of warming), I have no problem with that. One should also expect that the “real” surface measurements tend to overstate this warming because of the well-known siting problems, I have no problems with that either. Both are IMHO explained quite well by their spatial correlation with industrialization.
    I do have a big problem however with claiming that this measurable warming has anything to do with CO2 levels: Practically every industrial process (and every manifestation of life) has heat as a byproduct, so it seems obvious to my layman’s mind that the heat from industrial processes, but also the body heat of people and animals, heat generated by organic decay, etc. etc., all warm the surrounding air. As most of this heat is generated at the surface level, it is also obvious that it becomes more “diluted” the higher you get (hence the lower satellite trends), and is much weaker in unpopulated regions (hence the spatial diversity).
    So does human influence warm up the places where humans live (and by diffusion the average air temperature)? Yes, just like feline influence warms up places where cats live. ;o) And yes, we warm up our dwelling places *on purpose*, too, at least outside the tropics, or we wouldn’t survive the next winter.
    Does CO2 come into that equation anywhere? No – if we were able to suddenly change all our energy production to CO2-free processes suddenly, the atmospheric CO2 level would diminish over time, but as long as we still have a body temperature of 37°C, and occasionally need to provide 100°C to boil water, 250°C to bake bread, or 1500°C to melt steel, we will still warm up the Earth compared to a hypothetical life- and industry-less state where the equilibrium between insolation and outward radiation provides a stable temperature.

  35. Ref – CRS, Dr.P.H. says:
    August 8, 2010 at 9:06 pm
    James Sexton says:
    August 8, 2010 at 8:11 am
    ___________________
    “the road to hell is paved with good intentions”
    But the ‘good intentions’ of politicians frequently hide sinister motives, kickbacks, bribes, blackmail, and a thousand other sins; regardless, beware of politicians bearing gifts, or trying to sell you anything.

  36. So the UHI effect actually does have a strong effect on temperatures, unlike the IPCC said it would. I wonder when the IPCC will make a prediction/assumption that is correct

  37. Surely a few properly placed thermometers in the polar, temperate zones and tropics the same elevation above asl would eventually resolve the issue if it’s more than +2C we are worried about. When we are getting close we could start mediation.

  38. comment:
    August 8, 2010 at 9:06 pm
    They actually BELIEVE in Hansen’s nightmare vision of Earth slipping into a Venus-like runaway catastrophic greenhouse state, despite the ever-increasing evidence of problems with measurements, proxies, computer models etc. Any personal gains to be made by tenure, publication, etc. are secondary in my opinion.
    These folks are zealots, not easily dissuaded from their quest to save the planet.

    That is an interesting point about the “sincerity of the beliefs” and the “depth of the conviction” of these professors at the U of Illinois regarding the supposed vulnerability of the earth’s ecosystems, and the policy actions needed to save them.
    Further questions for the zealous professors, in order to provide more context for their convictions, no doubt deeply held: Is the US founded on genocide, and is it uniquely guilty of the crime of slavery? Do large corporations oppress people and keep them, not just in the US but all over the world, in poverty? Are government services the best, preferred, indeed the only solution to poverty? Is America a threat to world peace, which would otherwise break out in every region if only the US were less wealthy and less powerful?
    The likely YES to all of these questions would show that Academics “zealous to save the planet” are more precisely “zealous to rid the planet” – of a prosperous and free US, of private property and private enterprise.

  39. @Zeke says:
    The likely YES to all of these questions would show that Academics “zealous to save the planet” are more precisely “zealous to rid the planet” – of a prosperous and free US, of private property and private enterprise.
    ——
    REPLY: Zeke, the Univ of Ill professors are no better nor worse than the others I have seen, and most are not nearly in the same league as Hansen, Mann & the hockey team!
    University professors tend to be very to ultra-liberal anyway, so this is not surprising. I stick out like a sore thumb & keep many of my opinions to myself.
    These profs have all bought into the Chicken Little “sky is falling” BS of the mainstream climatology cabal, and have neglected their scientific obligation to review data, question results and demand accuracy. Quite sad.
    The college faculties will be among the very last to admit that the global warming scare is without substance, but they always seem to be out-of-touch with mainstream USA anyway.

  40. Zeke the Sneak says:
    August 9, 2010 at 9:59 am
    Why not ask them to graciously give us a proof of their convictions through an altruistic and final act of collective suicide. The new generations will thank them and will remember them for ever.

  41. …so, instead of “getting rid of the planet” they would be eager to get rid of themselves, for the benefit of the whole mankind.

  42. We must recognize that Al Baby made the best he could to falsify AGW and turned it into a joke.

  43. Mike Jonas says:
    August 8, 2010 at 5:50 pm
    I could accept a reading of -0.2 to +0.7, giving +0.9 rather than “about 1″, but it doesn’t exactly alter the argument.
    ————-
    Now try the other axis.

  44. Well try putting your finger (pinkie) down the throat of a meat grinder, and then turn the handle. With any luck, you will lose at least the end of your pinkie.
    If your luck is not so good; you might lose your whole arm if the grinder is big enough and you don’t stop turning the handle.
    HINT ! Get a good Textbook on the Theory of Sampled Data Systems; and study it; you will learn that it is not unsafe to assume that every hole does NOT contain a meat grinder !

  45. richard telford : “Now try the other axis.”
    You are quite right. I will order new specs immediately!
    Interesting that you didn’t mention that, even knocking off the 100 years, the GISS rise (c.+0.5) is still higher than UAH (c.+0.4) and RSS (c.+0.3).
    It is also the case, if you look at the GISS source data (ftp://ftp.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/ghcn/v2/ file : v2.mean.z), that 1880 appears to have been cherry-picked as a start date, since 1888 is the lowest point in the series, probably about 0.4 deg C below the 1840s – temperatures in the 1840s to 1870s appear to have been very similar to the 1960s and 1970s. I say “probably” and “appear to have been”, because I can’t reproduce exactly how GISS calculates annual average from the source data.

  46. CRS, Dr.P.H. says:
    August 9, 2010 at 10:18 am
    REPLY: Zeke, the Univ of Ill professors are no better nor worse than the others I have seen, and most are not nearly in the same league as Hansen, Mann & the hockey team!

    Of course, not to unfairly single out the U of Illinois, nor yourself for graciously giving your colleagues the benefit of the doubt.
    But we all still must think of the kids. The human brain does not fully mature until after the age of 24 (probably later for males, ah ah), so all of that alcohol and drug consumption, along with the constant teaching from Marxist professors, has got to have detrimental longterm neurological effects. So pardon if we get a little crabby (+ Enneagram).

  47. My original comment (second from top) looks rather facile (lacking depth; “too facile a solution for so complex a problem”) after following the comments here.

    This (paper by Ross McKitrick), and its brothers, drives a feeling of despair that the whole AGW army is staffed by people who have never undertaken the hard work of scholarship — or did not have the capacity to — yet have driven the whole world to distraction by sophisticated manipulation of propaganda of the most base kind.

    I concede, now, that the AGW army probably has undertaken the hard work of scholarship, but has knowingly or unknowingly debased that scholarship by focusing on a desired outcome, blinded to (or willfully dismissing) even the most expert of opinion that their desired results may be flawed.
        It is the “unwinding of wisdom”, but by intent; not accident.

  48. CRS, Dr.P.H. says:
    August 9, 2010 at 10:18 am
    @Zeke says:
    The likely YES to all of these questions would show that Academics “zealous to save the planet” are more precisely “zealous to rid the planet” – of a prosperous and free US, of private property and private enterprise.
    ——
    REPLY: Zeke, the Univ of Ill professors are no better nor worse than the others I have seen, and most are not nearly in the same league as Hansen, Mann & the hockey team!
    University professors tend to be very to ultra-liberal anyway, so this is not surprising. I stick out like a sore thumb & keep many of my opinions to myself.
    These profs have all bought into the Chicken Little “sky is falling” BS of the mainstream climatology cabal, and have neglected their scientific obligation to review data, question results and demand accuracy. Quite sad.
    The college faculties will be among the very last to admit that the global warming scare is without substance, but they always seem to be out-of-touch with mainstream USA anyway.
    —…—…—…
    Sadly, all too sadly, these (almost exclusively) liberal extremist CAGW members of this zealous cult do justify their combined attitude (as expressed in numerous “The Skeptics” biographies) as “Well, the overall goal (of reducing carbon emissions) is a good thing.”
    So who is to “blame” – or do we hold this mass group-think essentially “blameless” and somehow innocent?
    Their goal of reducing carbon emissions (all human energy use in fact) down serves ONLY to condemn billions to an early death from illness, bad water, low food, cold, heat, no food preservation, no lights, no clothes, no transportation, no adequate medical care nor housing. The ONLY way we have of improving the lives of today’s and all future human population is through increased AND smarter, more intelligent use of ALL of our energy resources. The pervasive pure “hatred” of (Western/capitalist) energy production and use in the environment movement and its supporters in the politicians, press, university systems and bureacracies worldwide both begins inside such biases and feeds back those biases to yield these journals/editors/reviewers/writers/funding sources/readers and their IPCC minions.
    We face (fight ?) a cultural revolution as significant as that begun by Copernicus. But now, the culture is itself the dogmatic secularized “religion” of organized institutional “Big Poli-Science” more rigid and fixed than that supposedly maintained by the medieval “Big Religion”.

  49. RACookPE1978 says:) August 10, 2010 at 8:00 am) … Their goal of reducing carbon emissions (all human energy use in fact) down serves ONLY to condemn billions to an early death from illness, bad water, low food, cold, heat, no food preservation, no lights, no clothes, no transportation, no adequate medical care nor housing.
    A harsh, clear statement which needs wide circulation and acceptance.
         Watching a show on history last night that yet again pointed to the bitter struggles of mankind only a few centuries ago to simply provide enough food and shelter for life to continue — realities of daily life we have conquered in so much of the world to the immense benefit of humanity.
         The same can be done for the rest of humanity; but only if the sad apologists for our comfort stand aside.

  50. Richard, Mike,
    This was also always an open question for me. Why so much discussion about the ground temperatures when they are so well confirmed by independant measurements. Assuming WordForTree plotter is not lying, it is striking how RSS, UAH, GISS and HADCRUT all tell the same story:
    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3vgl/mean:12/from:1980/offset:-0.11/plot/gistemp/mean:12/offset:-0.2/from:1980/plot/uah/mean:12/offset:-.05/from:1980/plot/rss/mean:12/offset:-0.05/from:1980
    (don’t hesitate to change dates and offsets to compare on other periods)
    Now that seems to indicate that problems like surface-stations bad placements are not significant. Can somebody explain me where I am wrong?
    This does not tell anything about studies like Ross conducted, as these local effect may also continue at higher altitudes. It would be interesting however to see if the correlations of socio-economic and heating also holds for higher temperature measurements – they should be proportionally less significative with altitude.
    Thanks for any hints!

Comments are closed.