Examination of CRU data suggests no statistically significant warming

UPDATE: The StataSphere server can’t handle the load of interest, I’ve take the images offline from this article, and disabled the link to it. Once he gets the server up and running again I’ll put them back – Anthony

Readers may recall this quote from Dr. Phil Jones of CRU, by the BBC:

Q: Do you agree that from 1995 to the present there has been no statistically-significant global warming

A: Yes, but only just. I also calculated the trend for the period 1995 to 2009. This trend (0.12C per decade) is positive, but not significant at the 95% significance level. The positive trend is quite close to the significance level. Achieving statistical significance in scientific terms is much more likely for longer periods, and much less likely for shorter periods.

A.J. Strata has done some significance tests:

CRU Raw Temp Data Shows No Significant Warming Over Most Of The World

Published by AJStrata at StrataSphere

Bottom Line – Using two back-of-the-envelope tests for significance against the CRU global temperature data I have discovered:

  • 75% of the globe has not seen significant peak warming or cooling changes between the period prior to 1960 and the 2000′s which rise above a 0.5°C threshold, which is well within the CRU’s own stated measurement uncertainties o +/- 1°C or worse.
  • Assuming a peak to peak change (pre 1960 vs 2000′s) should represent a change greater than 20% of the measured temperature range (i.e., if the measured temp range is 10° then a peak-to-peak change of greater than 2° would be considered ‘significant’) 87% the Earth has not experienced significant temperature changes between pre 1960 period and the 2000′s.

So how did I come to this conclusion? If you have the time you can find out by reading below the fold.

I have been working on this post for about a week now, testing a hypothesis I have regarding the raw temp data vs the overly processed CRU, GISS, NCDC, IPCC results (the processed data shows dramatic global warming in the last century). I have been of the opinion the raw temp data tells a different, cooler story than the processed data. My theory is alarmists’ results do not track well with the raw data, and require the merging of unproven and extremely inaccurate proxy data to open the error bars and move the trend lines to produce the desired result. We have a clear isolated example from New Zealand where cherry picked data and time windows have resulted in a ridiculous ‘data merging’ that completely obliterates the raw data.

To pull this deception off on a global scale, as I have mentioned before, requires the alarmists to deal with two inconvenient truths:

  1. The warm periods in the 1930′s and 1940′s which were about the same as today
  2. The current decline in temperature, just when the alarmists require a dramatic increase to match the rising CO2 levels.

What is needed out the back end of this alarmist process is a graph like we have from NCDC, where the 1930′s-1940′s warm periods are pushed colder and the current temps are pushed higher.

[image offline]

People have found actual CRU code that does this, and it does it by smearing good temp data with inaccurate proxy data (in this case the tree rings) or hard coded adjustments. The second method used by alarmists is to just drop those inconvenient current temps showing global cooling, which has also been clearly discovered in the CRU data dump.

I have been attempting to compensate for the lack of raw temperature data by using the country-by-country graphs dumped with data from University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit (CRU). The file is named idl_cruts3_2005_vs_2008b.pdf, which tells me this is the latest version of the CRU raw temp data run in prep for a new release of the latest data (the PDF file was created in July 2009).

I am very confident this data is prior to the heavy handed corrections employed by CRU and its cohorts. The fact is you can see a lot of interesting and telling detail in the graphs. Much of the Pacific Ocean data has been flipped since 2005 trying to correct prior errors and you can see the 2008 data trend way downward in most of the graphs. In addition, the 1930′s-1940′s warm periods have not been squelched yet. The alarmists have not had a chance to ‘clean up’ this data for the general public (which is one reason I think it was in the dump).

Before we get to actual examples and my detailed (and way too lengthy) analysis, I need to explain the graphs and how I used them (click to enlarge).

[image offline]

In this graph we see the primary data we have available from CRU. This is a comparison of the 2005 runs in black and 2008 runs in light purple/red. At CRU all the data is blocked into quarters. This graph is MAM, which stand for March-April-May, for Argentina.

The love of trend lines and averaging by CRU and other alarmists is quite telling here. The ‘raw’ quarterly data is noted with the blue arrows, It is the highly variable lines from which the (much less accurate) trend lines are generated. I point this out to note that fact that to create a quarterly value for a country for a given year means the raw daily temp data has disappeared under a mountain of averaging already. Day/Night temps must be combined into quarterly temps by location and then combined into a country wide figure. Even with all this inaccuracy added in the ‘raw’ data is quite dynamic, which makes me wonder how dynamic the true sensor data is. CRU and others believe the trend lines mean something significant – but really all the do is mask the true dynamics of nature.

Anyway, now let me explain how I derived (by eye – ugh!) the two primary pieces of data I used to test my hypothesis that the 2000′s are not significantly warmer or cooler than the pre 1960 period (when CO2 levels were drastically lower). Here is how I measured the Peak-to-Peak change in each of the graphs (click to enlarge):

[image offline]

I simply find the highest pre 1960′s peak and the highest point in the 2000′s and subtract. I know this is subjective and error prone, but it is good enough for a ‘reasonableness test’. I would have preferred to use actual data and define min/max points for each time period and compare. But this is what happens when you don’t share the raw data, as true science demands.

Note I am using the 2005 trend line. I have noticed many graphs where the 2008 would given my hypothesis more strength, and maybe some day I will compute that version. I also know there were higher peaks prior to 2000 (especially around 1998). In fact I found myself averaging the slide from 1998 into the 2000′ many times. I tried to err on the alarmists’ side (my hypothesis to prove after all). Also please note that the ‘raw’ yearly data bounces around well beyond all trend line peaks – so I am not too concerned with fact some peaks are skipped. The next calculation will better explain why.

The P2P data is captured in my results file [offline] as shown (click to enlarge):

[image offline]

Note: I am trying to find a way to get a clean spreadsheet up so folks can copy out the data.

Anyway, what I did was compute the P2P value for each quarter for each country, and then averaged those over the full ‘year’. Then I applied three significance tests to see if the P2P value is (1) less than -0.5°C, (2) within the +/- range of 0.5°C or (3) greater than +0.5°C.

I decided used this significance test because of another file dumped with the CRU data which clearly showed where CRU stated its measurement accuracy was typically 1°C or greater. Here is the CRU report from 2005 containing their accuracy claims, along with their own global graph of temperature accuracy:

In my original post on these files I went into great detail on the aspect of measurement accuracy (or error bars) regarding alarmists claims. I will not repeat that information here, but I feel I am being generous giving the data a +/- 0.5°C margin of error on a trend line (which contains multiple layers of averaging error incorporated in it). Most of the CRU uncertainty data, as mapped on the globe, is above the 1°C uncertainty level.

What that really means is detecting a global warming increment of 0.8°C is not statistically possible. If I had used their numbers none of the raw temps would have been significant, which is why people do these back-of-the-envelope tests to determine if we have sufficiently accurate data to test our conclusions or hypothesis.

===========

Read the conclusion here: CRU Raw Temp Data Shows No Significant Warming Over Most Of The World

h/t to Joe D’Aleo

[image offline]
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Ian L. McQueen

I get only the Jan-Dec global mean temperature graph. The others all had the dreaded red-x mark. (I opened the article twice with the same result.)
IanM

BSM

There appears to be something wrong with the graphs and their links. Or maybe a problem with my browser (IE 8.0.76).

Anthony Jackson

The graphs are absent. Do I need to download some software?

steveta_uk

I can’t see any graphs – is it just me?

Uh, the graphs aren’t visible???

Douglas DC

Same here, got problems with the loading

phil

Your images are not showing for some reason.
Thankyou for the hard work, and I look forward to your debunking of AGW one day.

steveta_uk

In fact, the site strata-sphere hosting the graphs is missing.

Pascvaks

AGW*, a social warming theory in search of a BIG scientific proof.
* – the CO2 version

Morley Sutter

Unfortunately, my computer won’t show any but the first of the graphs in your post.

DR

Should we anticipate a significant “adjustment” from Met O for the last decade so it matches GISS claims of 2010 being the “hottest in history”? Steve Goddard thinks Met O is hinting they are planning just that.

OK So clearly we have a case where the climate is um er uhhh….
What did you say it’s doing? Is it getting hotter or colder — and who says so?

Steve Keohane

There appear to be link(s) missing?, starting at :
In this graph we see the primary data we have available from CRU. This is a comparison of the 2005 runs in black and 2008 runs in light purple/red. At CRU all the data is blocked into quarters. This graph is MAM, which stand for March-April-May, for Argentina.
strata-sphere.com is overwhelmed, so a lot of people are reading this

At the risk of being repetative, no graphs visible!

Yes, but the alarmists are banging the drum even louder: here is BBC’s Roger Harrabin today with an article “Met Office says 2010 ‘among hottest on record'”
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-11841368
The Met Office has splashed that all over the MSM today. I expect it is timed to align with the fact that the whole of UK is in the grip of severe winter weeks earlier than normal. Note that the Met Office are doing upward corrections because they have ‘underestimated’ global warming. The upward ‘corrections’ are mentioned in Harrabin’s article, but there is more here ‘Met Office to revise global warming data upwards’:
http://www.reportingclimatescience.com/news-stories/article/met-office-to-revise-global-warming-data-upwards.html

jorgekafkazar

Intriguing. Your link to the previous material won’t open. Is some sort of autocorrelation correction required in calculating statistical significance with this method?

Ed

The charts loaded, but they appeared a few minutes after the rest of the page. Busy server, apparently.

Tom in Texas

All the graphs load okay on Firefox.

Maqfly

If you click on the blank spaces the graphs load ok. At least they did using Chrome.

Is it cooling? …What a big surprise!

Shane Turner

My work webwasher is blocking the site hosting the images, maybe that is the issue some are having with it.

Paul Vaughan

Statistical inference is arguably completely irrelevant in many/most climate science applications since the standard model assumption “i.i.d.” (independent identically distributed) is untenable.
Mathematical statisticians just develop these techniques (in the abstract). It is up to practitioners (applying this stuff to nature) to run diagnostics to make sure model assumptions are not violated.
Worse than not doing so, it has become pathologically widespread conventional mainstream practice to simply turn a blind eye. This is no trivial matter. It puts our society & civilization at risk (if allowed to play a role in decision making processes …& this isn’t just climate, it’s economics, etc., etc.)
A lot of people would counter with, “Well, what else can we do?” These people should not be leading us if their imaginations are so impaired.
Data exploration differs fundamentally from statistical inference. Sensible people don’t base their reasoning on untenable assumptions.

peterhodges

don’t worry, the met is taking a clue from hansen they are going to fix it…
http://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/2010/11/26/cooking-the-books-at-the-met-office/

The CRU adjustments are detailed in the muir russel report. You can see the magnitude
is small.
for myself I did the following: using the raw data source from GHCN, using a method that follows CRU’s description
(with minor improvements for SST and land masks) I get the same answer as CRU.
Further, you might want to head over to the cosmic ray thread and explain to them that there is no warming for the rays to explain.

Ed Scott

IEA Report: World Energy Outlook 2010, Executive Summary
http://www.worldenergyoutlook.org/docs/weo2010/WEO2010_ES_English.pdf

M White

Hottest year ever, or maybe the second hottest
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-11841368
“and Dr Pope warns it will turn out to have been even hotter by about 0.03C when corrections are made to data taken from buoys at sea.”
0.03C hey! I don’t know what to say.
“Dr Pope says the slowdown in temperature rise is consistent with projections from climate models. She also says she expects warming to increase in the next few years.”
And if they don’t????????????
“There are a number of things that are affecting short-term temperatures. A lot of the heat could be distributed to the deep oceans and
we don’t know what’s going on there.”
could be, don’t know!!!!!!
“Scientific evidence is Met Office focus at Cancun”
http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/corporate/pressoffice/2010/pr20101126b.html
“Ahead of the latest UN talks on climate change in Mexico, the Met Office analyses long- and short-term trends in climate and reveals that the evidence for man-made warming has grown even stronger in the last year.”

you cant use the country by country graphs and get an unbiased answer for starters.

Tragic, really. I was hoping for increasing warmth, but that hope is again dashed on the cruel rocks of reality. Even with mass averaging and super smoothing, the globe ain’t warming. Drat.

Yeah I’ve got to agree with Mosher there. There are a multitude of reconstructions which have been demonstrated here and elsewhere which do not support the conclusions of this post…

crosspatch

AJ’s site is apparently melting under the load, its a problem he has been having recently even with his usual load of visitors.

TonyK

2010 the warmest year EVER???!! Do these people even look out the window? Here in the UK we had the coldest January for ages (remember that awesome satellite pic of the whole place covered in snow), a pretty unremarkable ‘summer’ and now we’re freezing our butts off in the coldest November for 17 years! So exactly where is it warming? Oh yes, the continental U.S. where there are all those themometers next to aircon outlets! YOU HAVE TO BE JOKING!

latitude

facts
adjusting past temps down
adjusting for UHI up
adjusting the latest temp measurements up, when
newer equipment is supposed to be more accurate
averaging with a clear “+” bias
white paint, white wash, no paint
asphalt, airplanes, BBQ’s and AC/heat units
canceling stations and guessing what the temps are
using only the tree rings that show warming, when most didn’t
no need to go on….
……and there are still some people that believe in this carp……….;-)

Darkinbad the Brightdayler

Are we due a new climate model on the back of this?

Larry in Texas

I’m not seeing the graphs, either, and I have Firefox. But I digress. While this post brings us good news that is well appreciated, I have a question for you, Anthony: didn’t CRU get a lot of their raw surface temperature data from GISS? And isn’t this the same raw surface temperature data that you have so well demonstrated was obtained from some very flawed temperature station locations? If so, how can we draw any reasonable conclusions of any kind about the statistical significance of this data? This is not to disagree with your conclusions. I’m just curious about how you dealt with this issue in your analysis.

latitude

TonyK says:
November 26, 2010 at 11:17 am
=============================
Tony, they said that the most effects would be felt at the higher latitudes.
And since global warming causes cold temperatures………
……you should be freezing your cajones off for years to come!
( I agree with everything you said)

JPeden

M White says:
November 26, 2010 at 10:56 am
http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/corporate/pressoffice/2010/pr20101126b.html
“Ahead of the latest UN talks on climate change in Mexico, the Met Office analyses long- and short-term trends in climate and reveals that the evidence for man-made warming has grown even stronger in the last year.”

Translation: since Climate Science’s method does not allow evidence against man-made warming, voila, the evidence always gets stronger for man-made warming with the mere passage of more time – of course along with the “peer reviewed” publication of more reams of likeminded bs using the same “method”.

Don E

Off topic: In today’s SF Chronicle: “The world’s largest lakes, including Lake Tahoe, have been warming rapidly for 25 years as the global climate changes, NASA scientists report. And throughout the Northern Hemisphere, surface water temperatures of many lakes have been rising even faster than the warming air above them, according to observations by ultra-sensitive satellites.
The lakes are warming faster than the air due to climate change? Could someone at WUWT look and comment on this?
[Reply: Please post a link to the article. ~dbs, mod.]

On linux everything shows up fine.
You will remember several of us did a similar analysis carried here a few months ago, when we deliberately sought out those stations that had been cooling for at least 30 years-a statistically significant trend. Many stations had been cooling since the 1940’s.
http://diggingintheclay.wordpress.com/2010/09/01/in-search-of-cooling-trends/
By pursuing global averaging we are disguising significant counter cooling trends in many regions.(Backed up by local anecdotal evidence)
We stopped the project as we were concerned about cherry picking, however having seen others using a thirty year trend (ending now) to prove their own point I guess what we did does have validity.
tonyb

Steve Oregon

I’m just happy to know the NW snow packs aren’t going anywhere and skiing
will remain my winter thrill well into my old age.
And that our NW climate will allow plenty of great golfing weather till I’m ancient as well.
But we sure do have a lot of lunatics in every government and academic entity imaginable in Oregon. How is it that we have such a disproportionate large share of them concentrated in all of our government agencies?
Listening to and reading them advocating lunacy with their policy making is nauseous.
I think we reached a tipping point of stupidity in Oregon a long time ago and we’ll be the last to emerge from the insanity, if ever.

In the posting of 11-19-2010 I published the decadal (1-1-2001 to 10-1-2010) temperature anomaly of the satellite data RSS MSU data in the lower troposphere and the decadal temperature anomaly of the NCDC data. Almost the same story as the one from AJStrata: the lineair trend of the MSU data during this period is 0.03 °C, the trend of the NCDC data is 0.01 °C. See http://www.klimaatgek.nl and translate from Dutch to English by clicking the right upper corner.

FrankK

With re to New Zealand. I agree that temps have probably been tampered with but
what is evident is that the Fox and Franz-Josef glacier have retreated substantially in NZ. So there must have been a significant statistical increase in temp (not necessarily AGW) since the Little Ice Age for this to have occurred.

coniston

Steve Mosher,
I think I get part of what you are saying but if you have a few mins can you explain further for us non-stats people.
‘The adjustment is small to the raw data’..are you basing this on SM’s proposition that CRU didn’t wants it data out in the open because it showed so little manipulation and the clients would start to doubt they were getting much bang for the buck?…or is there some technical flaw in AJ’s reasoning?
Also when you say country by country stats don’t work are you saying because they can’t be averaged/gridded? or that you need to add ocean temps to that? Also what is the bias that arises? Many thanks for your help.

Rational Debate

“Dr Pope says the slowdown in temperature rise is consistent with projections from climate models. She also says she expects warming to increase in the next few years.”
A question for all here – did any of the primary models actually show any slowdown in cooling originally? Or, are those models online showing this slowdown Dr. Pope is claiming only after (very?) recent adjustments in the model assumptions to fit the models to current/post 1998 empirical data and observations? (why am I betting its the latter?) Links to any articles addressing this question well would be most appreciated!

Rational Debate

We have, of course, questions about the validity and uncertainty based in the actual temperature themselves (e.g., surfacestations project, etc.).
Aside from that, however, some say that using the same methods as the CRU etc., they get about the same results. OK, fine – but the big question there is, are all the various adjustments to the temp data applied really reasonable and justified? Was that also addressed in the reconstructions of the CRU temp results – or were those reconstructions just tests of repeatability of the methods CRU used?

Sunspots

To DS
I agree. The Met O got their pants kicked and has since displayed data that deviates from the GISS data. My tip is that the Met O would be under pressure from GISS to play the game so as not to further dent the US economy. UAH and RSS might also be pushed, if not already. Someone has already said “will the real global temperatures please stand up”.
REPLY: This is ridiculous conspiracy theory – Anthony

Fernando

Stations in Bolivia
GHCN,
85041 85043 85104 85114 85140 85141 85151 85152 85154 85196 85201 85207 85223 85230 85242 85245 85247 85268 85283 85289 85315 85364 85365
all are inactive (999.9)
This will be another mystery.

Pascvaks says:
November 26, 2010 at 9:40 am
AGW*, a social warming theory in search of a BIG scientific proof.
Better yet,
AGW is a political warming hypothesis in search of endless BIG government funding and regulations. 🙂

rbateman

I cannot get any of the images, but I do have some CRU data sets graphed out here:
http://www.robertb.darkhorizons.org/WhatGlobalWarming.htm
and they do show unadjusted vs station roulette differences.
Of note is the Western US peak temps of the 1870’s, and funny how that is not mentioned and clearly avoided by the IPCC, GISS and others. Sitka, AK is the only station which goes back beyond 1870’s, thanks to the Russian settlement there.
I wonder if the Russians also took data in other parts of the West Coast prior to that?
No significant rural warming outside of adjustment monkeybusiness, I agree.

Tenuc

TonyB says:
November 26, 2010 at 12:09 pm
“…You will remember several of us did a similar analysis carried here a few months ago, when we deliberately sought out those stations that had been cooling for at least 30 years-a statistically significant trend. Many stations had been cooling since the 1940′s.
http://diggingintheclay.wordpress.com/2010/09/01/in-search-of-cooling-trends/
By pursuing global averaging we are disguising significant counter cooling trends in many regions.(Backed up by local anecdotal evidence)…”

Thanks for reminding me of your work. which reinforces the results shown on this post.
The thing that surprised me was the large geographic spread of the sites showing cooling and that, using raw data instead of the massaged/homogenised data used to produce the different global data-sets, even the ‘warming meme’ itself has to be questioned. There has been no statistically significant warming for the last 15y and all climate diagnostics indicate that we are heading for even stronger cooling. Here in the UK we have had the earliest widespread snowfalls for 17y, and this following one of the greyest, coolest summers I can remember!

ANH

So 2010 is one of the hottest ever years? Here in London it was the coldest January that I can remember, the summer was cool and wet and now it’s the coldest November I can remember. I went to California for a holiday in May, when we were in Carmel it was so cold I was wearing a woolly sweater and a fleece to keep warm. A lady I spoke to in a shop there said it was usually sunny and warm in May but this year was different and much cooler than usual. So where has all the hot weather been????