Guest essay by Sheldon Walker
I recently read an article by Tamino aka Grant Foster of Portland, ME, called “Global Warming: the Relentless Trend“.
Many of the points that he made annoyed me, and I started to write an article to document his many errors. Half way through the article, I suddenly realised that some of the issues that skeptics and warmists argue about, like slowdowns and pauses, are caused by the terminology, and the definitions of the words that we use.
So that you can enjoy how I was going to trash Tamino’s article, I will leave in the half of the article that I had already written, before I had my revelation.
Quotes from Tamino’s article will be enclosed in square brackets – [like this]
<<< angry hat on >>>
[When it comes to global warming, recent years have been so hot that it worries even those who deny the problem exists.]
Tamino starts off by claiming that even stupid deniers are worried by the high temperatures in recent years.Tamino has spent many years treating skeptics like dirt, and insulting them by calling them deniers. But suddenly all of the deniers are rushing to Tamino, to tell him how worried they are about recent temperatures. Are we really meant to believe this?
[No one more desperately needs global warming to end than those most against doing anything about it. That’s why they cling so tight to the notion of a “pause” …]
We can apply Tamino’s logic to other situations. No one more desperately needs ballet lessons, than those who don’t want to have ballet lessons. Tamino, I have signed you up for ballet classes, starting next Monday. You will thank me when you are older.
Tamino, we cling so tight to the notion of a “pause”, because we believe that the evidence supports it (i.e. a warming rate of nearly zero for the 10 years from 2002 to 2012). You can do the linear regression yourself, if you don’t trust my figures. Show us why this isn’t a slowdown or pause. We are prepared to look at your proof.
Tamino writes some poetic nonsense about the recent warm temperatures. In case you don’t know what “a highest high born” is, it is referring to the record high temperature in 2016.
[…, a highest high born of the unholy marriage of extreme fluctuation and relentless trend.]
What Tamino fails to mention, is that the “unholy” marriage is between a human and a mouse. The mouse’s name is “relentless trend”, and the human’s name is “extreme fluctuation”. Tamino would like you to think that the mouse and the human are equal partners in the marriage. But reality proves that they are not.
[ It may become their new delight, this highest peak, a cherry more ripe and juicy than any before it.
And cherry-pick they will. That’s what happened after the 1998 el Niño.]
Tamino believes that skeptics/deniers will always use a new record temperature as the starting point for a new “pause”. He claims that they did it in 1998, and he is convinced that they will do it again with the record temperature in 2016 (which he calls a ripe cherry).
I don’t know about you, but I am getting a bit fed up with the warmist lie, that deniers claim that a slowdown or pause started in 1998. I have done a lot of work on this, and published a number of articles explaining that a strong slowdown/pause started in 2002, NOT 1998. It had a warming rate of almost zero, and lasted for the 10 years from 2002 to 2012. The slowdown didn’t become strong until 4 years after 1998.
I think that Tamino and the other warmists keep repeating the lie that skeptics believe that a pause started in 1998, because they know that nobody will ever find a pause there. They are like the drunk who searches for his lost keys under a street lamp, even though he lost the keys somewhere else in the darkness. In this case,the warmists don’t want to find the keys (a slowdow/pause), so they deliberately search for them in a place where they know that the keys cannot be found.
Tamino has a novel way of guaranteeing that his biases are always confirmed by his simulations. For example, Tamino always starts looking for a slowdown or pause, starting from a temperature spike. He claims that deniers always do that. So when Tamino finds the “impression” of a slowdown or pause, he can always say, “look, it started with a temperature spike”. Of course it did, Tamino put it there.
Tamino reveals a lot about how he does climate simulations, and how he makes sure that he never finds a slowdown or pause. Look at the graph that he has drawn of his simulation results, the one that covers just 14 years. It shows a regression line fitted to the 14 years of data, which is almost flat,like a slowdown or pause.
Now look at what Tamino has written.
[OMG! A fourteen-year stretch with no trend at all! If anything, the globe is cooling!!!]
Could it be that Tamino is finally going to admit that there could be a slowdown or pause? Don’t hold your breath. Here is what he said next.
[In spite of the fact that these data are the sum of random noise and that same relentless trend. The impression of a pause is a combination of random chance with the fact that we started off with a big early peak.]
Now, remember what I said before about the temperature spike (in this quote Tamino calls it a big early peak). Tamino put it there, and now he is using it to claim that the slowdown or pause isn’t real, it is only “the impression of a pause”.
Look again at the graph which gives the “impression of a pause”, and starts with a big spike. First off, notice that no statistical test was ever done to prove than this is not a slowdown or pause. Tamino has simply used his opinion, to deny that it is a slowdown or pause.
Now consider this. Remove the first data point (the temperature spike). You then have 13 years of top quality slowdown or pause. Does Tamino look at this. No he does NOT. Why would a person who doesn’t want to find a slowdown or pause, risk finding a real one.
Consider the words that Tamino uses. (I am repeating some of a previous quote, so that I can draw attention to certain words)
[OMG! A fourteen-year streth with no trend at all! If anything, the globe is cooling!!! That’s what we’ll hear repeated over and over, In spite of the fact that these data are the sum of random noise and that same relentless trend.]
Let me paraphrase that quote, to make its meaning clear. It is saying that [presumably] deniers will repeat over and over, that it is a slowdown or pause, or even a cooling trend, IN SPITE OF THE FACT THAT THESE DATA ARE THE SUM OF RANDOM NOISE AND THAT SAME RELENTLESS TREND.
What Tamino is implying, is that this can NOT be a slowdown or pause, or even a cooling trend, because the temperature values are calculated from random noise and a trend. So Tamino can happily throw away the slowdown.
But wait. The parts of Tamino’s simulation graph which show a warming trend, are also calculated from random noise and a trend. Exactly the same as the slowdown was. If he is going to throw away the slowdown because it was calculated from random noise and a trend, then why doesn’t he throw the warming trends away as well.
Could it be that Tamino wants the warming parts, but doesn’t want the slowdown parts. So he uses his biased opinion to throw away the slowdown parts, and keeps the warming parts, even though both parts were calculated in the same way. And then to add insult to injury he says “see, stupid deniers think that there was a slowdown there”.
<<< friendly hat on >>>.
Let’s start by defining some terms.
The global temperature series. This is the global temperature series that we try to physically measure. GISTEMP is one example of this, but there are many others.
The global temperature series can be influenced by many things. For example, El Nino’s, PDO, AMO, the Blob, and of course, global warming. There are many other possible influences as well, like solar input, albedo changes, land use, cloud cover, etc.
Another important influence on the global temperature series is a random, or pseudo-random element. There is also the question of the form of the random, or pseudo-random element. For example, the amount of autocorrelation.
We are trying to measure the global warming signal, by looking at the global temperature series. But it is difficult, because the global warming signal is not strong over shorter time intervals, and the other influences are stronger than global warming.
At times, the various influences, especially the pseudo-random element, make the global temperature series appear to slow down or pause. This is what the skeptics are talking about when they claim that there is a slowdown or pause over a certain timeframe. I cannot speak for all skeptics, but when I talk about a slowdown or pause, I am usually talking about a temporary slowdown or pause, and I am not suggesting that global warming had gone away, or vanished. Global warming is still happening, but its effect is being masked by the other influences.
I think that warmists look at a slowdown or pause from a different viewpoint. They know that global warming had not “gone away”. So they don’t like hearing about a slowdown or pause. They think that skeptics are claiming that global warming has slowed down or paused. This leads to “slowdown and pause” denial. So the skeptics insult the warmists, and the warmists insult the skeptics, and it starts a repeating cycle of abuse. All in all, it is a fairly toxic situation.
In summary, skeptics are generally talking about the global temperature series when they talk about a slowdown or pause. They are talking about what the temperature actually did.
Warmists are generally talking about global warming, when they refuse to believe that a slowdown or pause has occurred. It is hard to know whether warmists would accept a slowdown or pause in the global temperature series, if they were assured that global warming was still happening.
If any warmists read this article, could you please leave a comment after the article stating whether you would accept a slowdown or pause in the global temperature series, if accepting the slowdown or pause did not lessen global warming in any way.
So we are effectively arguing about different things. This means that we could both be right (or we could both be wrong).
I have just remembered a story from my school-days. Two knights were arguing about the colour of a sign that hung outside a pub. One knight (knight A), claimed that it was a silver colour. The other knight (knight B), claimed that it was a gold colour. The could not agree, so they decided to have a fight, and the winner’s colour choice would be accepted. So they had a fight, and knight A managed to blind Knight B in one eye. But Knight B managed to cut Knight A’s arm off. While they were recovering from their injuries, before they started fighting again, they rested on the wall of the pub, and looked up at the sign. I am sure that you will have guessed by now, that the sign turned out to be silver on one side, and gold on the other side. I am not sure what it is, but there must be a moral in that story somewhere.
So, we now have a workable solution to the argument about slowdowns and pauses. Warmists can choose their champion, and skeptics can choose their champion, and we will have a televised fight to the death, to decide whether there was a slowdown from 2002 to 2012.
Don’t worry, I am only joking. Single combat is far too boring, let’s have a Game of Thrones type of battle, with a cast of thousands.