Add another one to the huge list of excuses for “the pause” in global temperature. Reader “Al Gorez” emails:
The climate alarmists have come up with a brilliant new excuse to explain why there has been no “global warming” for nearly 19 years: the satellite data is lying.
And to prove it they’ve come up with a glossy new video starring such entirely trustworthy and not at all biased climate experts as Michael “Hockey Stick” Mann , Kevin “Travesty” Trenberth and “I’d be tempted to beat the crap out of Dr. Pat Michaels” Ben Santer. (All of these paragons of scientific rectitude feature heavily in the Climategate emails) See more at Breitbart here.
Riiight. Because we all know how reliable their preferred surface temperature measurements are, as illustrated by these examples from NOAA’s USHCN climate monitoring network:
Those and hundreds of other stations have been encroached upon by heat sinks and heat sources. And, the proof is in the fact that when you get rid of all the garbage temperature monitoring stations like those shown above (which comprise about 90% of the US monitoring network) and use only the unperturbed stations that don’t have biases that need corrections applied, what you are left with is a lower trend:
Comparisons of 30 year trend for compliant Class 1,2 USHCN stations to non-compliant, Class 3,4,5 USHCN stations to NOAA final adjusted V2.5 USHCN data in the Continental United States
What an act of desperation by these politically oriented climate proponents. NASA GISS, an agency founded to do planetary studies in support of the Apollo program, that should be making use of satellite measurements based on NASA’s strategic plan which has shifted heavily to remote sensing (notice that picture of Earth from space on the cover?), still uses this high polluted, highly adjusted surface temperature data…for one reason only: it supports their narrative, and when their narrative is flowing, so does the funding. I’d wager that NASA GISS would be pretty much out of business due to funding cuts if that hadn’t reinvented themselves after the cancellation of the Apollo program and many other missions in the 70’s and 80’s. They just weren’t needed as much.
Stay tuned, there’s more to this story coming. The full transcript of the video follows (h/t to Monckton):
Here is the video from the “Yale Climate Connections”
Transcript of How reliable are satellite temperatures?
Senator Ted Cruz [described in onscreen text as “Climate Denier”, displaying the graph below, shown onscreen in the video]: According to the satellite data, there has been no significant global warming for the past 18 years:
Dr Michael E. Mann, Pennsylvania State University [The following four terrestrial-temperature graphs, from GISS, HadCRUT4, Japan Met and Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature series respectively, were shown on the video for 1-2 seconds each]: When the full data are available, we will find that 2015 was the warmest year that the globe has seen as far back as we have reliable records.
Dr Mann [continuing]: And what’s ironic is, it’s really those satellite datasets that critics like John Christy hold up, that Ted Cruz was emphasizing in that Senate hearing a week ago …
Senator Cruz: The satellite data are the best data we have.
Dr Judith Curry, Georgia Tech: We need to look at the satellite data. I mean, this is the best data that we have.
Dr Mann: It is those datasets that are subject to the most adjustments – that have historically been found to have been biased, um, actually in the direction of too little warming.
Sinclair: For a decade during the 1990s and early 2000s, climate skeptics John Christy and Roy Spencer argued that their reading of satellite data showed no atmospheric warming … even a cooling. Finally, a series of studies showed that satellite data was not being correctly interpreted. The problem was friction. Even hundreds of kilometers above the Earth, atmospheric friction slows satellites down and they lose altitude. Every year they were falling about a kilometer closer to the Earth. To derive the temperature, scientists need to know the correct altitude, and without that the results were distorted.
Santer: For many years John Christy and Roy Spencer claimed, based on their analysis, that the lower atmosphere was actually cooling. They were wrong. They had gotten, literally, the sign wrong in adjusting for the effects of satellite orbit drift on the sampling of Earth’s large daily temperature cycle.
Sinclair: In addition, this meant that a satellite that started off measuring the temperature at 2 in the afternoon in a few years was measuring at 6 in the evening, making it look like temperature was cooling, when it had not. Although chastened by their repeated mistakes and failures, Spencer and Christy remain very active in questioning the mainstream science of global warming.
Spencer: I can tell you as a temperature monitoring expert, in 50 years we won’t be able to see the effect.
Limbaugh: I got a note today from our official climatologist, Dr Roy Spencer.
Christy: The regulations being established will do nothing to alter whatever the climate is going to do.
Trenberth: When they made corrections they were still underestimated, and they managed to do that at least three times, I think, which was unfortunate.
Dessler: So what does a satellite actually measure? A satellite doesn’t measure temperature: it measures radiance, which means it measures basically photons of energy that the atmosphere is emitting: in fact, what it really measures is a voltage on some detector, and from that it has to infer radiance, which is these photons, you know, that are coming out of the atmosophere.
Schneider: The problems that these photons are emitted not just from the – from the oxygen atoms as in proportion to their temperature but from the surface, from thick clouds, at different elevations.
Dessler: … and then from that they want to derive temperature. How do they do that? Well, they use a model. Now, they don’t call it a model: they call it a retrieval algorithm. But it’s a model. If you look at the history of the satellite data, the model that has been used has been shown repeatedly to be wrong.
Titley: Dr Christy and Dr Spencer, when they put this out, they have been wrong, I think, at least four consecutive times. Each time the data record has had to be adjusted upward. We used to have a negative trend, and then we had no trend, and now we begrudgingly have an upward trend.
Dessler: I don’t want to bash them, because everybody makes mistakes, and I’m going to presume everybody’s being honest, but I would just point out that – imagine the howls we would get if my model predicted it was warmer at night than during the day: you would hear people on the other side just screaming bloody murder: “How can you believe this? It’s, ah, these people are incompetent. How could you possibly believe this model that has the wrong sign of the diurnal cycle in it? The physics is obviously all screwed up.” But of course you don’t hear anybody talking about that with the satellite data. It goes to show you the amount of confirmation bias that’s actually going on in this debate.
Cruz: The satellite data are the best data we have.
Curry: We need to look at the satellite data. I mean, this is the best data that we have.
Dessler: That these people would accept the satellite data completely uncritically because it tells them what they want to hear …
Cruz [displaying the graph below, shown in the video]: You asked about the source of the data on the right chart: it’s actually not Dr Christy’s data, it’s the Remote Sensing Systems – the RSS – data that is up there.
Dr Carl Mears [keeper of the RSS dataset]: I guess it depends on which graph exactly you’re talking about. One of the ones that Senator Cruz likes to show actually uses the data that I make, which is a measurement of the temperature of the middle troposphere over time. The entire dataset actually starts in 1979 and goes to the present. But he probably likes to focus on the part really after 1998. He starts at that time for a very specific reason. And that’s because there’s a huge el Niño then, in ‘97/98, which puts a huge spike in the global temperature. And of course if you start at the top of a hill and you start driving you’re going to go downhill at least in the beginning, and that’s kinda the effect we’re seeing here. You start your time series at a place when it’s really high and it’s pretty easy to get no warming, or even cooling, if you do that.
Titley [at the Senate subcommittee hearing, 8 December 2015]: Ah, 1998, big el Niño, so it’s kind of interesting we start at 18 years: we don’t look at a 15-year dataset or a 10-year dataset or a 20-year dataset. We look at an 18-year dataset.
Cruz [replying to Titley]: I fail to see the significance …
Titley [The graph below is shown in the video]: Senator, it’s not. If you take up that top really big spike and you take that out you start getting the upward bias. And this is what people do when you start looking at these relatively arbitrary times, is you start with a really high number at the left-hand side and that kind of influences your – your, basically, your linear trend:
Titley [continuing: the graph below is shown in the video]: So, when you start looking at things like every decade, you have an upward trend in the data:
Mears [the graph below is shown in the video]: I think the longer the time period you look at the better, and if you look at the longer time period then you get a better idea of what the overall trend is. Senator Cruz focuses on one dataset (mine) from one type of instrument (satellites) and he ignores all the other evidence: for example, the surface temperature record …
Mears [continuing: the graph below is displayed in the video]: … you know, things like the Arctic sea ice declining …
Mears [continuing]: … things like the time of year that plants flower or leaf out or whatever.
Santer [the graph below is shown in the video]: … an increase in the amount of water vapor in the atmosphere, changes in sea level …
Santer [continuing: the graph below is shown in the video] … changes in the heat content of the global ocean …
Mears: All those things he’s ignored, and he’s just kind of glomming on to this one piece of evidence that supports the story he wants to tell.
Santer: Scientists are looking at moisture, at rainfall, at water vapor, at surface humidity, at the cryosphere, at snow and ice, and all of this is telling an internally and physically consistent story, and that story is, the planet is warming and, despite our best attempts to see whether natural causes can explain that warming, they can’t.
Peter Sinclair [Voice-over out of shot, to Mears onscreen]: Now, you were recently – er – doing some fact-checking for the Daily Show, is that correct?
Mears: That’s correct.
Sinclair: What did they want to know?
Mears: They just wanted to know, you know, they wanted to fine-tune their statement about, you know, whether , you know, the surface temperatures are more accurate or the satellite temperatures are more accurate, and initially they wanted to say something like “But you really shouldn’t trust the satellite temperatures, you should go with these surface temperatures”, and I said, “Well, what I would like to emphasize, you’d really want to look at all the different datasets, so you don’t want to trust only the satellite temperatures, you want to look at the surface temperatures, and – and that sort of thing.
Sinclair: OK, er, has Senator Cruz called you for any fact-checking?
Mears: No, he has not.
A production of
Yale Climate Connections
With support from
The Grantham Foundation for The Protection of the Environment
Editing, Script, Camera
American Geophysical Union
Ben Santer PhD
Livermore National Lab
Andrew Dessler PhD
Texas A&M University
Michael Mann PhD
Pennsylvania State University
Admiral David Titley PhD
Pennsylvania State University
Carl Mears PhD
Remote Sensing Systems
Kevin Trenberth PhD
National Center for Atmospheric Research
Judith Curry PhD
Georgia Tech University