Politicized Congressional Temperature Trends

From a new website that aims to show “global warming” by congressional district:

Scientists tell us that the global average temperatures over land have warmed 1.4 degrees F since 1880. But how have temperatures changed here in the US, in my state, in my congressional district? This site compares the global warming with temperature trends at local levels. Find your state …

Only one problem, they look for trends where there are none by cherry-picking. For example, I didn’t have to go far to spot the bias. The first state in the menu, Alabama, gives it up easily:

Congressional_temperature_trends_AL4

The obvious problems:

1. The downward century scale trend from 1880.

2. The current temperatures of these two stations is about the same as in 1900-1920.

3. They choose an arbitrary start date, 1960, to calculate a trend from that date to 2012, finding warming in a short period, while ignoring the 1880 date they cite in their masthead.

4. They use the NASA GISS homogenized temperature data set, known to be highly adjusted and unreliable, because the GISS process adds to station trends. Observe:

giss_adjustments

Now we know why they chose 1960 as the cherry-pick start point.

5. They try to explain “the pause” in surface temperature in the last decade by running to another metric like the SkS Kidz do.:

Comments on 2012: While global temperatures remained within the range of the last decade, the ocean continued its absorption of heat energy. The ocean heat content is a fundamental indicator of global warming since the ocean absorbs ~90% of the heat energy trapped by greeenhouse gases. Average annual temperature for the continental US was the warmest on record (not shown).

6. No mention of ocean cycles like the PDO, AMO, etc to help explain to users why some parts of the record rise, and other parts fall.

7. They ignore station siting and land use issues which contribute to localized temperature bias.

8. They lead users off on a carbon footprint crusade:

Let the Green Ninja show you how to change your lifestyle and reduce your carbon foot print. The videos are entertaining too!

Now if skeptics did something like this, except show cherry-picked periods that showed a cooling in a  larger  century scale dataset, and then offer a link to say, “Heartland” touting free market solutions, our hotheaded friends would start caterwauling to high heaven. “Tamino” aka Grant Foster would have a graphical conniption fit, Gavin would issue smug proclamations on Twitter, and there would be a campaign started to discredit it.

But it’s OK when they do it.

http://temperaturetrends.org/home.html

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41 thoughts on “Politicized Congressional Temperature Trends

  1. They use the NASA GISS homogenized temperature data set, known to be highly adjusted and unreliable
    Something seems very strange with GISS, that’s for sure. The graphs below show GISS from July 1997 with error bars that are all positive so we are 95% certain warming is occurring. But the bottom three lines are negative slopes for RSS, Hadsst2 and Hadcrut3 over the same time period. How can both be true at the same time?
    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/gistemp/from:1997.5/plot/gistemp/from:1997.5/trend/plot/gistemp/from:1997.5/trend/detrend:%200.10985/plot/gistemp/from:1997.5/trend/detrend:-0.10985/plot/rss/from:1997.5/trend/offset:0.15/plot/hadcrut3gl/from:1997.5/trend/offset:0.005/plot/hadsst2gl/from:1997.5/trend/offset:0.08

  2. “But it’s OK when they do it.”
    I just mentioned this on another forum when a “believer” of CAGW by CO2 said,
    “There is nothing wrong with cherry picking if you are just making a point and not trying to mislead people.”
    My reply:
    “Ah, is that a portion of the believer mantra? It is OK to cherry pick if you aren’t trying to mislead people and, of course, believers never try to mislead people.”
    It would be funny if the damage the believers are doing wasn’t so serious.

  3. steveta_uk says:
    November 6, 2013 at 8:34 am
    Well, at least they got one thing right 😉
    Site may NOT work with Internet Explorer

    Seems they left out this:
    “Data may NOT work after reasonable analysis”
    too.
    🙂

  4. The graphs clearly show that temperatures were lower during the period known as the cold war.
    A nice grant would go a long way to search for the reasons. This would also allow historians to grab some of the AGW gravy train money as so far they seem to have been left out.

  5. So I guess if a believer says there is nothing wrong with cherry-picking that explains why they constantly accuse others of doing it. They assume its SOP, so EVERYONE does it. So why do they say its bad? I’ m so confused.

  6. There is only one single entity on all of the Earth that has any chance of halting this runaway gravy train of CAGW. That entity is Mother Nature herself. And fortunately she is halting the train.
    Can you imagine where we would be if Ma Nature happened to be on an upswing just now. What an unrecoverable mess that would be?
    OTOH, Ma Nature seems poised to cool-her-jets. And that could genuinely be alarming.

  7. If funded by the state, such fraud – as identified by those in IT [fraudulent software, algorithms, data set analysis, etc] and Stats [as mentioned above re cherry picking]; can be prosecuted. State theology aka globaloneywarming cannot receive tax money as per the constitution; neither can fraud passed off as quackitism aka science as per various state and fed laws.

  8. It does look as if M. Nature is not disposed to warming right now. But I still would like to know why sunspot counts, which had been dropping from a very low peak and staying around 50-60 in recent months, suddenly jumped into the mid-100s a few weeks ago. A last gasp for Cycle 24 or something more ominous?

  9. kingdube says:
    November 6, 2013 at 9:37 am
    “There is only one single entity on all of the Earth that has any chance of halting this runaway gravy train of CAGW. That entity is Mother Nature herself. And fortunately she is halting the train.”
    You are referring to the best way of halting the runaway gravy train. I think all of us want the facts to become a force that cannot be resisted. That way requires that some climate scientists return to scientific method. But there is another way. If Republicans were to capture the presidency and both houses of congress then the runaway gravy train could be stopped through executive order and legislation.

  10. OP – “Now we know why they chose 1960 as the cherry-pick start point.”
    But I think it’s marvelous that we could build such useful thermometers in 1900. It’s a real feather in the cap of bespoke instruments, that all the recently manufactured goods are so systematically erroneous.

  11. Theo,
    It would indeed be wonderful to have the scientific method reaffirmed. I personally believe that it has become so corrupt that re-establishment can only follow wholesale implosion.
    Is this cynical or realistic? Your thoughts

  12. It makes me think we ought to do it, too – without the cherry picking for cooler, just showing it as it is – and watch them explode with indignity. That should call more attention to how silly they are and give people a chance to judge for themselves.
    Their line: “The videos are entertaining too!” is interesting. Sounds like they know no one is interested and no one will watch, so they’re adding extra enticement.

  13. It appears to me that quackery and fraud in science have been around since the beginning of the history of science, as have plain old vanilla bias and bad analysis. What is important to the scientific method, and seems to be in short supply in climate science, is the transparent discussion of the limits of the data, the methods, the conclusions, etc. Climate activist scientists have been very open with their view that it is important to hide their uncertainty from the public, lest skeptics use that as a means to delay action. Cherry picking “to make a point” fits right in with that mindset. If science is first and foremost a search for the truth, then it is healthy and part of the rigor of science, to provide accurate assessments of the limitations of the data, other alternative interpretations, next steps for research, unanswered questions, and to challenge hypothesis in an open forum for all to see. Modern technology makes this very possible on an almost instantaneous basis. Unfortunately, we get very little of that in this field.

  14. kingdube says:
    November 6, 2013 at 10:37 am
    Theo,
    “It would indeed be wonderful to have the scientific method reaffirmed. I personally believe that it has become so corrupt that re-establishment can only follow wholesale implosion.
    Is this cynical or realistic? Your thoughts.”
    There is reason for hope. The federal feeding trough for climate speculation can be closed. The result might be something like taking the bottle away from the alcoholic. The sober can appreciate scientific method far better than the drunk.
    Economic implosion is a genuine possibility and it would most certainly cause the executive to reign in the anti-growth policies of the EPA and similar agencies. On the optimistic side, we might get a president who understands economic growth and how to explain it to the people. Such a president could reign in the anti-growth policies and avoid an economic implosion.
    As regards academia, who knows? When I was a graduate student, if someone said “This trend shows that the climate is warming” then an icy silence would grip the room. Nowadays, one can pretend to base an entire science on trends. But maybe taking the bottle away will have the desired effect.

  15. Speaking of cherry picking, on another site I posted a comment about Santer and the 17 years of no warming, and was immediately accused of cherry picking. My response: “I didn’t cherry pick the 17 year number, Santer did.”

  16. I wonder what sort of donation it would take to get them to link to the SurfaceStations page for each of the weather stations. The (now) historical temperature plots at SurfaceStations are quite different from the political district ones. For example, http://temperaturetrends.org/district.php?district=8&state=CA shows Independence and Needles, CA. Independence shows 1.2F cooling and 4.0F warming, but Needles shows 0.9F warming and then 1.2F warming. (Are they doing funny rounding games? The lines are almost on top of each other.)
    http://gallery.surfacestations.org/main.php?g2_itemId=31210 shows Independence but only from 1930 and a huge step at 1980.
    http://gallery.surfacestations.org/main.php?g2_itemId=31885 shows cold years in 1905-1920 that aren’t in the TT plots.

  17. ‘4. They use the NASA GISS homogenized temperature data set, known to be highly adjusted and unreliable,’
    Anthony, I haven’t seen any updates on the progress with the USCRN, do you have any news?

  18. There has always been quackery and fraud in science. The only entity that has any chance of halting this runaway gravy train of CAGW is Mother Nature … unless … Republicans were to capture the presidency and both houses of congress.(from comments by Momsthebest, kingdube, Theo Goodwin).
    These comments illustrate the “paradigm shift” process described by Thomas Kuhn, where a paradigm is fanatically defended long after its flaws become obvious (“Science progresses one funeral at a time.” – Max Planck). Although it is often said that the scientific process wins through in the end, there are times when it takes far too long and much damage is done in the meantime. Regrettably, science looks like it will continue down the same corrupt path in future.
    My question to everyone is : how can we change the scientific world to make it work better?

  19. Reg Nelson says:
    November 6, 2013 at 11:43 am
    But why were they upset? They admit that cherry-picking is OK. Ok when used to support their side.

  20. Scientists tell us that the global average temperatures over land have warmed 1.4 degrees F since 1880.
    Really? What scientists were those?
    Not according to HADCRUT4:
    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1880/to:2013
    Looks more like 1 degree F to me, depending on how you count the 2013 endpoint. At this particular instant it is roughly 0.5 C or 0.9 F. Last month it might have been 0.6C or 1.1 F. And no, using the long term trend doesn’t make it better — if you add it back in:
    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1880/to:2013/plot/hadcrut4gl/trend
    then you’re still no higher than 1.2 F, and this (obviously) includes a lot of effects from pre-1880 (although it is still a pretty nice picture of the two nearly identical warming cycles over 130 years with a period of roughly 60 years, only one of which has any association whatsoever with CO_2).
    Oh, wait, they mean some OTHER scientists — maybe the scientists who speak of GISS:
    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/gistemp/from:1880/to:2013/plot/gistemp/trend
    Ah, I see. Those scientists. Funny how GISS is separated from HADCRUT4 in 2013 by more than the acknowledged error in HADCRUT4:
    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/gistemp/from:1880/to:2013/plot/gistemp/trend/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1880/to:2013
    Not that I care. The error in the actual GAST these are supposedly anomalies OF is larger than the entire vertical scale on which these figures are drawn. The 1 sigma error bars in GASTA itself on the left hand side of the figure — if they were ever, ever drawn — would be almost as large as the entire rise. Meaning basically that nobody has any idea of what the actual temperature rise has been, the best they can say is that GAST has probably risen from 1880 with a fair degree of confidence.
    rgb

  21. Mike Jonas: “My question to everyone is : how can we change the scientific world to make it work better?”
    You can’t. Science is the fusion of Philosophy and Engineering. But Engineers have no need for Philosophy. And Philosophy only needs Engineering to give itself a patina of credibility it didn’t earn for itself. That is, it is only the Sophists that have need of Science as it is. And as Philosophy is often, and cyclically, festering with pervasive sophistries, this will always arise in Science as long as you permit Science to be meaningful as some Jazz-Funk fusion of mixed disciplines.
    If you want to ‘cure’ Science, once and for all, kill it. And give the credibility only to that which has earned it: The products of Engineers. As Engineers cannot maintain sophistry beyond one product cycle.

  22. Yeah, the Cold War climatic cooling in the 1960`s and 70`s has never been explained( it began about 1957 here in Alabama and the Southeast). The very recent warming is pretty benign.

  23. Science is nothing but developed perception, interpreted intent, common sense rounded out and minutely articulated.
    George Santayana

  24. Anthony,
    “The obvious problems:…..
    3. They choose an arbitrary start date, 1960, to calculate a trend from that date to 2012, finding warming in a short period…”
    Ummm.. have you read the NIPCC report? If you are going to criticize this work you must surely criticize the NIPCC for being just as bad, if not worse at this.
    You also seem to be saying that cherry picking this short warming period out of a longer cooling trend is a problem, correct? Maybe so. But why then does “the pause” have any significance out of a long term warming trend? Why then does a single year of data constitute a “recovery” in Arctic ice? In fact many, many posters on your blog take short, arbitrary pieces of longer data sets to provide support for their article. So are you critical of cherry picking in general or just cherry picking the cherry picking that doesn’t support your position? 😉

    REPLY:
    Oh, please Nick, pick a topic, just one, and stick with it. The topic we are on is this new website and correlating the 1960 choice. Care to to explain that one first before handwaving/distracting all over the road? Lets stick with that one. Then we can revisit all the other irrelevant arguments you make. For the record I didn’t write/participate in the NIPCC report, nor have I endorsed it. Reporting on it isn’t endorsement.
    – Anthony

  25. Nick Kermode says:
    November 6, 2013 at 3:59 pm
    In fact many, many posters on your blog take short, arbitrary pieces of longer data sets to provide support for their article.
    I do that all the time and the reason I do that is because NOAA and Santer have said things with respect to 15 years and 17 years respectively. So I have no qualms pointing out their time periods have expired if that is the case.

  26. Thanks Anthony, like I said on current topic…”Maybe so”. I strongly agree arbitrarily picking a start date is not correct. I was just pointing out that a lot of other arguments (that get a lot of reporting if not endorsement here) fall by the wayside by this criteria including the ones I mentioned.

  27. Something you can do to see how you local record temps have changed (and been changed), go to your local NWS site and look for the record highs and lows.
    (For my area it’s here. http://www.erh.noaa.gov/iln/cmhrec.htm )
    Copy them into Excel or even Word.
    Then use The Wayback Machine ( http://archive.org/web/web.php ) to find the past list of the same records.
    I found a list going back to November 2002. I already had a list from March 2007. The were no new high or low records set between November 2002 and March 2007. A quick look at later list has between 6 and 11 new records set between those dates.
    (I have a several list and the “adjustments” keep changing.)
    Check out your own areas.

  28. I see two other problems with the Valley Head and St. Bernard temperature graphs: They don’t show the USA spike (especially east of the Rockies) of the 1930s or the global spike (correlating with a natural cycle showing in gliobal surface indices) centered around WWII. Aren’t there other temperature records from Alabama’s 4th congressional district (~16% of Alabama’s area) that show at least one of these?

  29. Theo Goodwin says:
    November 6, 2013 at 10:17 am

    kingdube says:
    November 6, 2013 at 9:37 am
    “There is only one single entity on all of the Earth that has any chance of halting this runaway gravy train of CAGW. That entity is Mother Nature herself. And fortunately she is halting the train.”

    You are referring to the best way of halting the runaway gravy train. I think all of us want the facts to become a force that cannot be resisted. That way requires that some climate scientists return to scientific method. But there is another way. If Republicans were to capture the presidency and both houses of congress then the runaway gravy train could be stopped through executive order and legislation.

    Good luck with that. It’s been provided for, precluded. In the late stages of the last election, a few precincts in the NE reported pro-O vote totals in excess of the size of the entire adult (voting) populations there. Never challenged. As Stalin said, “Voters don’t decide elections, Those who count the votes decide elections.
    IIRC, the firm now in charge of the vote tally is based in Spain.

  30. Jeesh, Stan, stanny, David Appell, whoever — give it up. You were nailed from the start. Use your real name & you might get posted. At least that might provide some entertainment….

  31. I found a list going back to November 2002. I already had a list from March 2007. The were no new high or low records set between November 2002 and March 2007. A quick look at later list has between 6 and 11 new records set between those dates.

    ========================================================================
    That sentence is a bit awkward. To be clear, the 2007 list does not have new records set since 2002 yet later list have “new” records set in 2003, 2004 etc.

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