Forget homogenization, that is so 2010. If the pause is bothering you and your belief is that there must be more warming, we only need to find it in the data, then what you need is “Karlization”, named after director of the National Climatic Data Center, (now NCEI) Tom Karl who pulled a fast one this summer trying to adjust the past down, so the present would be warmer. The sleight of hand on this was so obvious that even warm-oriented scientists such as Michael Mann and Ben Santer co-authored a rebuttal paper that said Karl was dead wrong and the pause was real. There is now a congressional investigation into Mr. Karl’s apparently political actions disguised as science
Now we have a new player in the “Karlization” process – Carl Mears, who is the chief scientist for RSS (Remote Sensing Systems) in Santa Rosa, CA. This is a private business that just happens to make a satellite based climate data set that is similar to the UAH satellite data set produced by Roy Spencer and John Christy. For years, the RSS data set showed very little warming, and on the RSS web page they were so bold to say:
All that is about to change. Readers may recall a video produced by the execrable “Climate Crock of the Week” activist Peter Sinclair that we covered here where the basic premise was that the “satellites are lying“. It seems to me based on his recent comments that Dr. Mears has gotten fed up with people using his RSS data set to suggest that the world isn’t warming as he expects it should. From the video Mears states:
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.
On his website, Mears makes this statement:
Recently, a number of articles in the mainstream press have pointed out that there appears to have been little or no change in globally averaged temperature over the last two decades. Because of this, we are getting a lot of questions along the lines of “I saw this plot on a denialist web site. Is this really your data?” While some of these reports have “cherry-picked” their end points to make their evidence seem even stronger, there is not much doubt that the rate of warming since the late 1990’s is less than that predicted by most of the IPCC AR5 simulations of historical climate. This can be seen in the RSS data, as well as most other temperature datasets. For example, the figure below is a plot of the temperature anomaly (departure from normal) of the lower troposphere over the past 35 years from the RSS “Temperature Lower Troposphere” (TLT) dataset. For this plot we have averaged over almost the entire globe, from 80S to 80N, and used the entire TLT dataset, starting from 1979. (The denialists really like to fit trends starting in 1997, so that the huge 1997-98 ENSO event is at the start of their time series, resulting in a linear fit with the smallest possible slope.)
Mears uses the term “denialist” so there goes his objectivity when he feels the need to label people like that.
Clearly, he’s miffed. So what to do? Taking a cue from the other Karl, he publishes a paper and claims that new and improved adjustments have “found” that missing warming.
Mears, C., and F. Wentz, 2016: Sensitivity of satellite-derived tropospheric
temperature trends to the diurnal cycle adjustment. J. Climate. doi:10.1175/JCLID-
15-0744.1, in press.
Here’s the result:
Here are the differences between the old version and new version of RSS
The new version V4.0 has the warming rate of almost double that of UAH V5.6 … (see Figure 9 below of the paper)
If you think that’s something, for the tropic-30S-30N: the new rate of warming of RSS V4.0 is almost five times larger than UAH’s!
Dr. Roy Spencer and Dr. John Christy have already looked into this latest “Karlization” and have found what appears to be a fatal flaw. Spencer comments in an email to me:
The paper is for MT, not LT…but I think we can assume that changes in one will be reflected in the other when Mears completes their analysis.
From what little we have looked at so far, it appears that they did not correct for spurious warming in NOAA-14 MSU relative to NOAA-15 AMSU…see their Fig. 7c. They just leave it in.
Since this spurious warming is near the middle of the whole time period, this shifts the second half of the satellite record warmer when NOAA-14 MSU (the last in the MSU series) is handed off to NOAA-15 AMSU (the first in the AMSU series).
Why do we think NOAA-14 MSU is at fault?
1) AMSU is supposed to have a “Cadillac” calibration design (that’s the term a NASA engineer, Jim Shiue, used when describing to me the AMSU design, which he was involved in).
2) NOAA-14 MSU requires a large correction for the calibrated TB increasing with instrument temperature as the satellite drifts into a different orbit. The NOAA-15 AMSU requires no such correction…and it wasn’t drifting during the period in question anyway.
So, it looks like they decided to force good data to match bad data. Sound familiar?
Yes, yes it does.
Added: here is Figure 7 from the paper that Dr. Spencer refers to:
h/t to Willie Soon with thanks to Dr. Roy Spencer
UPDATE1: Given this sort of work has only two groups doing it, it is a very narrow field of scientific specialty, I asked Dr. Spencer this question:
I assume neither you or Christy were asked to review this paper?There aren’t many satellite temperature data experts in the world.
John reviewed their original paper submission to JGR, in detail, asking for additional evidence — but not advocating rejection of the paper. The JGR editor ended up rejecting it anyway.
Mears & Wentz then revised the paper, submitted it to J. Climate instead, and likely asked that we be excluded as reviewers.