Stunning admission – and a new excuse for 'the pause' – 'lousy data'

guardian_lousy_data“The Models didn’t have the skill we thought they had…”

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

The Guardian, a prominent green UK daily newspaper, reports that scientists have given up on surface temperature as a measure of global warming:

Stephen Briggs from the European Space Agency’s Directorate of Earth Observation says that sea surface temperature data is the worst indicator of global climate that can be used, describing it as “lousy”.

“It is like looking at the last hair on the tail of a dog and trying to decide what breed it is,” he said on Friday at the Royal Society in London.

“The models don’t have the skill we thought they had. That’s the problem,” admits Peter Jan van Leeuwen, director of the National Centre of Earth Observation at the University of Reading.

Obviously if the surface temperature was still rising, as it was in the 90s,  instead of inconveniently contradicting model predictions, then it would still be considered a valid climate metric.

Thankfully however, climate scientists have not yet run out of metrics which show an upward trend. The new measure of global warming is to be sea level rise – presumably because it is still moving in the right direction, and because it ties in nicely with the “deep ocean heating” narrative.

The inconvenient fact that sea level was around 6 metres higher during the Eemian Interglacial, and around 2 metres higher during the Holocene Optimum, 5500 years ago, was not mentioned in the Guardian article.

http://www.soest.hawaii.edu/ericg/kap_paper.pdf

The European Union is supportive of the effort to find climate metrics which point in the right direction – The Esa Climate Change Initiative (CCI) is a €75m programme, active since 2009, to produce a “trustworthy” set of ECV (Essential Climate Variable) data that can be accessed by all.

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The guardian story is here: http://www.theguardian.com/science/2014/jun/13/pause-global-warming-data-sea-level-rises

[note:  there was an error in HTML coding that made the entire article look like a quote when that was not intended, that has been fixed – mod]

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Keith W.

“Missed with that one, let’s try this one!” Getting to be a common refrain.

Eugene WR Gallun

Cherry pick your yardstick — whatever works. Disgusting.
Eugene WR Gallun

Gamecock

“The Models didn’t have the skill we thought they had…”
What’s this “we” stuff?

GeologyJim

Right. So after 25+ years and tens of billions expense for “climate research”, they now admit that they don’t know how to measure “climate change”
Where do we go to get a refund?

Kaboom

If the data no longer supports your hypothesis, abandon the data – said no scientist ever.

Thankfully however, climate scientists have not yet run out of metrics which show an upward trend.
=================
Yes, thank goodness for that. It would be so completely and cruelly crushing if widespread destruction, disease and death were not imminent.
Ever ask a warmist if they would be happy if “global warming” (or whatever the brand du jour is for impending climate catastrophe) were proven false?

Espen

As if the sea level data reliably shows a rise that is significantly different from the last 10000 years…

Gary Pearse

If sea level could be measured very accurately given the fact that the volume of the sea’s container also is changing with long term elastic rebound from the glacial maximum, rifting and ocean spreading, tectonic uplift, faulting, warping, volcanic and sedimentary volumes…it would be the only really good metric.
However, if global warming is going to be catastrophic, 100 well-sited thermometers around the world would be more than enough to detect a 2-4C signal. Sheeshe, no wonder the Europe’s Mars probe shot through the atmosphere and crashed in some unknown part of the planet.
Here is what is happening here. The EU space agency got into the weather business because NASA got into the weather business. They have a budget to protect in a climate of shifting priorities in the EU. I’m only blown away by how stupid EU’s brightest stars must be to come up with this! Probably they created the division to shift the dummies into that their union won’t let them terminate.

pokerguy

“The Models didn’t have the skill we thought they had…”
Morons.

Bill Illis

Interesting comment in the article (double-checked through other sources) that humans produce about 0.5 X 10^21 joules of energy each year. Didn’t realize it was this high. It is 10% of the amount of energy accumulating on Earth which is 0.5 X 10^22 joules/year. This question has been raised by some before, so I think that provides an answer. It could be high enough to affect land temperatures (but not the ocean heat accumulation).

Reblogged this on gottadobetterthanthis and commented:
Interesting. They are admitting the science is not only NOT settled, it is based on bad models crunching bad data. Yet, they somehow think it worth spending billions on. Even the likes of Neil deGrasse Tyson thinks it worthwhile to spend anything and make any sacrifice.
For me, I will not sacrifice my children and theirs for some supposed guilt of today.

I suggest that we begin to use the yield per acre for corn crops. I read somewhere that it has been rising consistently and could well be an effect of climate change.

Steven Strittmatter

“The European Union is supportive of the effort to find climate metrics which point in the right direction” The RIGHT direction? Wow, just WOW!

Eric, thanks for picking up on that article. It’s based on an obvious failed attempt at misdirection by Stephen Briggs.
Sea surface temperatures are still one of the metrics that climate models cannot come close to simulating properly. Not even remotely similar. And it’s not a hiatus problem. Models actually double the warming rate of the global ocean surfaces for the past 32+ years. We discussed and illustrated this in the post “Maybe the IPCC’s Modelers Should Try to Simulate Earth’s Oceans”:
http://bobtisdale.wordpress.com/2014/03/26/maybe-the-ipccs-modelers-should-try-to-simulate-earths-oceans/
And they cannot simulate the warming or cooling over the multidecadal periods before then either. We discussed and illustrated those failings in the post “IPCC Still Delusional about Carbon Dioxide”
http://bobtisdale.wordpress.com/2013/10/07/ipcc-still-delusional-about-carbon-dioxide/
Cheers

TAG

If sea level was two metres ( 6 1/2 ft) higher 5500 years ago then it could be two metres higher in the foreseeable future. The problem with global warming isn’t teh catastrophes and moral failure claimed by AGW zealots. The problem is that even a little warming can cause significant economic problems

Bill_W

Global warming and temperature are so old-fashioned. Get with the program. It is now climate change and hidey-heat. In fact, they never predicted global warming at all. In a few years we may hear that it was global cooling they predicted all along and William Connelly will have to go change/hide all the references to global warming on Wikipedia. I really do expect them to go Orwellian, at least the wacko green factions. We have always been at war with Oceania kind of thing.

hunter

Dr. Pielke, Sr. is vindicated. He has said for many years that surface temps are not very useful. Hansen told Pielke in a published letter that it was foolish to not trust the surface temp record.
Skeptics are vindicated in this as well. Skeptics have said for many years that the record is not reliable and that surface temperatures are not indicating a climate catastrophe.
And once again the cliamte obsessed are shown to be wrong.

chris moffatt

Intriguing. The whole effect of anthropogenic CO2 is allegedly to re-reflect IR radiation back from the atmosphere to the planetary surface to raise surface temperature. So now surface temperatures are a “lousy” measure of warming? But those surface temps are exactly the ‘warming’ we’re supposed to be panicking about. Do these guys actually believe their own BS?

Theory: CO2 increases will increase the temperature of the Earth.
Data: Temperature measurements haven’t shown the theorized temperature increase
New Theory: CO2 increases the temperature of the Earth which then instantaneously converts it to Something Else.
Data: We are now collecting measurements of as many Something Else’s we can until we find one that supports the New Theory.
The saddest part of all that is that they seem to have talked themselves into believing themselves that this is logical.

Eugene WR Gallun

Like a scared flock of birds, the much touted scientific consensus switches direction. I guess birdbrains are good at that sort of thing.
Eugene WR Gallun

Reblogged this on vuurklip and commented:
Global temperature is no longer an indicator of Global Warming!
Question: Why not?
Answer: Because the warming has stopped 18(!) years ago!
Fortunately, some things still seem going up – even if not by as much as the alarmists would want – like sea levels

Old Huemul

“Thankfully however, climate scientists have not yet run out of metrics which show an upward trend. The new measure of global warming is to be sea level rise – presumably because it is still moving in the right direction, and because it ties in nicely with the “deep ocean heating” narrative.”
Could not believe my eyes while reading this open confession of doing science-by-agenda. “Thankfully, there are still some eclipses we can acceptably predict using Ptolemaic tables, and lately Mars has been moving in a way that is still consistent with the latest batch of epicycles introduced into the Ptolemaic system; in the meantime we must, however, fight at all costs against all those abominable Copernican deniers of true old-time Astronomy”.

dccowboy

“The European Union is supportive of the effort to find climate metrics which point in the right direction” —————> Anti-Science in its highest form. Welcome to post-normal Science.
What they are really saying is, “We don’t care if there is AGW or not, we WANT there to be AGW and we WANT it to be man-made CO2 from industrial sources so we can implement the control policies over the economy that we want to. We don’t care about the Science, so we’ll operate under the assumption that AGW caused by man made CO2 is fact and we’ll look around for metrics that support that, rather than honestly evaluating the science to see if AGW actually exists.”
It points out that belief in AGW is ‘faith’ based, not science based.
I have a feeling that they will come to regret trying to use sea level rise as a marker for AGW even more than using Global Temperature.

urederra

It is like flipping a coin. It does not matter whether models give a wrong or a correct answer. Models do not have predictive power.

Keith Willshaw

TAG Said
> If sea level was two metres ( 6 1/2 ft) higher 5500 years ago then it could be two metres
> higher in the foreseeable future.
Indeed but recall that sea level was around 240 ft LOWER at the end of the last glacial period 12,000 years ago. Of course that was because much of Northern Europe, Asia and North America was under a mile or so of ice,
> The problem with global warming isn’t teh catastrophes and moral failure claimed
> by AGW zealots. The problem is that even a little warming can cause significant
> economic problems
History indicates that the onset of cold periods is more disruptive. The end of the Roman and Mediaeval warm periods produced catastrophic upheavals and famines as did the lttle ice age of the 17th century. The most extreme climate catastrophes also occurred around these periods.
Between 535 and 536 AD the onset of rapid cooling produced crop failures, widespread famine and social collapse.
In 1348 we saw a combination of crop failures from cooling, disease and the Great Storms
kill around 50% of the population.
Between 1690 and 1707 a combination of cooling and terrible storms produced widespread famine in Northern Europe, around 20% of the population of Scotland starved to death.
The ‘Climate Scientists’ have been unable to provide any models that reproduce these
catastrophes, this why historians and archaeologists tend to be rather sceptical.

sunderlandsteve

Of course they’ve given up on sea surface temperature data, its not behaving itself.

“Climate scientists have been arguing for some time that the lack of warming of the sea surface is due to most of the extra heat being taken up by the deep ocean. ”
The rate of increase ( in the very limited data) has not changed for 40-50 years.
And there is no inconvenient data from 20s or 30s or 40s to prove them wrong.

James Strom

Ronald DeWitt says:
June 14, 2014 at 7:55 am
I suggest that we begin to use the yield per acre for corn crops. I read somewhere that it has been rising consistently and could well be an effect of climate change.
______
This is an excellent idea, and if ever we don’t see a rise in yield there’s always a new breed to be introduced.

AlecM

Oh Dear, this grizzled engineer says that the models are crap because they’re based on juvenile physics, originating with Carl Sagan.
The real operational emissivity of the Earth’s surface is c. 0.4, mostly the ‘atmospheric window’. This plus the stupid application of Kirchhoff’s Law of Radiation at ToA, to a semi-transparent atmosphere (think about it) means surface heating has been exaggerated by 60^ with the IR part exaggerated 5.1x. No wonder they thought there’d be ‘positive feedback’ etc., but they cheat by using double low level cloud optical depth in hind-casting!
Go into it further and the atmosphere self-adapts. One day, I’ll reveal why!

Rick

http://joannenova.com.au/2010/05/the-great-dying-of-thermometers/
Over the years the temperature data has been poked, prodded and tortured in every imaginable way to come up with a result that is now considered ‘lousy’.

cnxtim

Tea leaves?

Nigel Harris

The fact that sea level has been far higher in the past is no cause for complacency. On the contrary, it shows that the range of states that our planet’s climate can adopt includes many that would be rather inconvenient to a civilisation that has so far only experienced a very narrow central range of possible temperatures and sea levels, and has responded by building masses of important infrastructure within a few meters of the current sea level.
I’m sure the honourable Lord Monckton would know the appropriate Latin term for this type of false logic.

Latitude

..and when they discover they got sea levels wrong
It will be pikas, cherry blossoms, and frog farts……..

Tom in Florida

This isn’t moving the goal posts, it’s moving the whole stadium.

JK

This post could make a useful contribution. Unfortunately it is marred by poor presentation.
Putting the words ‘lousy data’ in quotation marks is a big problem for me. The fact that the Guardian headline writer wanted to distort the truth is no excuse. Really, we need scrupulous standards of truth. If the best you can aspire to is the standards of the Guardian the I’m not that interested in reading what you have to say.
To be precise Stephen Briggs described sea surface temperature as a lousy ‘indicator of global climate’.
It may be that the data is itself lousy, in the sense of too full of errors to tell us much about real sea surface temperatures. But that is not what Stephen Briggs was talking about, and the Guardian article did not provide any evidence for that.
If you want to make the case that sea surface temperature data is lousy, then go ahead. I’ll be interested to hear the case. But I just can’t see any support for that in the article you linked to.
I think it would also have aided clarity if you had ended the italics two paragraphs earlier. Your presentation seems to have given some readers, such as Old Huemul at 8.17 that these paragraphs appear in the original article.
(Otherwise I can’t quite understand Old Huemel’s comment – where is the ‘open admission’?)

P@ Dolan

@ TAG says:
June 14, 2014 at 7:57 am

The problem is that even a little warming can cause significant economic problems

Sorry, but I beg to differ. Warming is not a problem. Warming would, if history is anything to go by, be beneficial. Note that during the last warming of consequence, Vikings were able to set up shop on Greenland. Please note their current absence as evidence that cooling is more deadly than warming.
It’s a fact of nature that climate changes. But a group of people have created a “crisis” out of it this self-evident fact, because as long as there’s a crisis, people can work it: politicians, rent-seeking corporations, non-profits, lobbying firms, universities. It’s big business. Cold will kill more than warming. Yet all the while, governments waste billions and billions and TIME “studying” the wrong thing. Looked at from a practical perspective, who cares whether it’s getting warmer or colder at this very moment, if we’re smart enough to deal with either contingency? Especially since if it IS warming or cooling, it’s not bleedin’ likely it’ll change catastrophically overnight, so if we know what to do, we have time to do it? All this money could’ve been spent studying how to cope with either situation—and THAT would’ve been an investment, money well spent, because it’s knowledge and research that would pay off. But no: all that money spent on idiotic, computerized ouija boards which only “predict” what they’ve been programmed to show, all trying to prove, against all evidence, that the sky really IS falling. By comparison, a total dearth of studies about what do to in the event of. And lots of Paul Erhlich-types, like Algore, crying doom, and making prophesies that uniformly fail of promise. Of what use is that? Especially if they’re right?
The article claims there are only 50 ECVs (essential climate variables). Precisely. Color me sceptical: if we knew what the variables were with such precision, why are the computer models so very far off? If we know them with such precision, which ones are responsible for the lack of warming? Why did they not know that the surface temperature ECV was a waste of time if they knew what all of the variables were? As a previous generation might phrase it: poppycock. No one “knows” what all the variables are. But we DO know that their computer models don’t take all of even what we do think we know into account.
Small surprise that most of the article was devoted to their next attempts at creating a computer model. Not, you’ll note, “Why are our current models so very wrong?” They never even admitted their models are wrong—
“No, it HAS to be the metric we’ve chosen, not our models, so we’ll choose something that appears to agree with our models and just keep on crying doom.”
IMHO, Warming is not a problem, though it does present some challenges. Tant pis Adapting to future conditions is a challenge, period. Cooling would present greater challenges. But greedy, short-sighted, venal “scientists” and politicians and non-profits and the like—THEY are the problem.

Thankfully however, climate scientists have not yet run out of metrics which show an upward trend.

Interesting sentiment displayed here. “Scientists” are “thankful” for a “warming trend”. Why? I think that shows you all you need to know. They are “thankful” that a specific result is being shown rather than simply striving to see what is happening? That right there was a slip of the mask that shows they have an agenda and are not engaged in science. Science should not be “thankful” of a particular result.

Steve Keohane

“The inconvenient fact that sea level was around 6 metres higher during the Eemian Interglacial, and around 2 metres higher during the Holocene Optimum, 5500 years ago, was not mentioned in the Guardian article.
At the current rate of 8-12″ per century it will take 6-900 years to get to the level of 6Kya, assuming SL is really rising long term. Of course, accumulating more polar ice reduces sea level, so it could also be that long term we are cooling, and the oceans are diminishing, as we exit this interglacial.

richardscourtney

Nigel Harris:
In your post at June 14, 2014 at 8:51 am you respond to failure of the climate models.
You say

The fact that sea level has been far higher in the past is no cause for complacency. On the contrary, it shows that the range of states that our planet’s climate can adopt includes many that would be rather inconvenient to a civilisation that has so far only experienced a very narrow central range of possible temperatures and sea levels, and has responded by building masses of important infrastructure within a few meters of the current sea level.
I’m sure the honourable Lord Monckton would know the appropriate Latin term for this type of false logic.

At June 14, 2014 at 7:57 am TAG presented similar unfounded and evidence-free assertion that the failure to predict what will happen as a result of GHG emissions provides risk that the results of the emissions will be even worse.
There is no need to use Latin when looking for a definition of the logical fallacy you present.
In English your illogical assertion is called idiocy.
Richard

“The models didn’t have the skill we thought they had” sounds ace.
But seems already covered by GIGO.

RobertInAz

One study at one location does not make the sea level higher 5500 years ago all around the world.

george e. conant

So thank goodness there are other metrics in the right direction… really, right direction? Wow. How about simply reporting the truth? Is that so dangerous an idea? And how do models have “skills” ? Looking more like “any data in – hockey stick out” regardless of actual observations, I can smell fraud.

JimS

Does this mean that climate science is unsettled?

Eugene WR Gallun says:

Like a scared flock of birds, the much touted scientific consensus switches direction. I guess birdbrains are good at that sort of thing.

Insult to birds Eugene. Are you not keeping up with the research?
http://tinyurl.com/n5wqy4y
They are as smart as children which is more than I can say for the climate Scientists (at least the one ones in the mythical consensus)

JimS

The computer models in and of themselves, do not have skill. The ones who coded the programming for the models are the human beings who have skill or not.

Eliza

With time flat-lining and/or declining temperatures I think the lukewarmer sites will lose more and more to those sites that are starting to take a harder stance against AGW by showing with concrete examples the temperature frauds ect. In the end the “denying” sites will probably win since its beginning to look like they were correct after all LOL

John F. Hultquist

This fits the nature of an informal fallacy; see –
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Texas_sharpshooter_fallacy
Don’t be fooled by the name – this is not about shooting.

kadaka (KD Knoebel)

Imagine when the aliens do come and talk to our leaders:
So you left many billions of your own species, the vast majority, to suffer miserable shorter lives because of energy poverty that you would not inflict onto yourselves, because you could not be motivated to build better and stronger buildings that would consistently withstand even your then-current weather extremes, nor would you stop constructing where those and other extremes could and would often destroy even strong buildings.
Which arose from doubting your relatively advanced civilization could survive mildly warmer global temperatures.
Why should we accept you as an intelligent species?

Dave the Engineer

The Cult: So what is your problem? Don’t you understand that questioning the changing dogma of our Cult does not change our beliefs.

Kelvin Vaughan

The obvious one to use as a measure of global warming is CO2.