Trenberth [1984]

UCAR scientist Kevin Trenberth was quoted by Environmental Science & Technology as saying that newcomers to the climate field sometimes do “incredibly stupid” things. I don’t necessarily disagree with this and we have intentionally kept our published comments to very narrow matters that have been resistant to refutation attempts to date. The concern about over-reaching is one reason why we did not attempt to present our "own" reconstruction.

As all of you know, I am very interested and attentive to issues of autocorrelation as they affect climate issues. I recently stumbled on a 1984 article by Trenberth, entitled “Some effects of finite sample size and persistence on meteorological statistics. Part I: Autocorrelation”. The article contains observations which pertain almost directly to MBH98 short-segment centering. I will leave it to you to decide whether, in light of Trenberth [1984], Trenberth’s recent comments should have been addressed towards Mann himself, who arguably in 1997-1998, was a relative “newcomer” to the climate field, raising at least the possibility that he might have done something “incredibly stupid” within Trenberth’s definition.

Trenberth [1984] says:

climatic noise and the persistence, along with the finite size of the samples, must be taken into account when computing statistics of the circulation or the resulting statistics may be significantly biased. This is especially true for computing variances, covariances and correlations and has not been properly taken into account in many meteorological analyses’

Music to my ears. Trenberth goes on to point out potential problems in this respect with several then current studies. He then proceeds to a detailed discussion of problems involved in calculating a sample variance and sample autocorrelation, when the data are not independent. Remarkably, he even presents results for AR1 red noise series, reporting that the estimated autocorrelations have a large negative bias so that the estimated time to de-correlation is “grossly underestimated”. Trenberth identifies the problem as being due (in this case) to not basing the estimate of the process mean àƒÅ½à‚⺠on all available data. He says:

We have shown that the method used to compute certain statistics, such as autocorrelations, can lead to seriously biased results. The main lesson to be learned from the above is that for stationary time series the best possible estimate of àƒÅ½à‚⺠[the series mean] should be made using all available data … for determining departures from the mean in any subsequent analysis.”

Trenberth then proceeds to show how various studies were unsatisfactory in this respect, criticizing some of them for “not very clearly stating the statistical methodology used”. Later in his conclusion, he states:

A clear statement of the statistical methodology used is essential for others to be able to understand and interpret the results;

Back to MBH98: in addition to criticizing the inaccurate and misleading description of methodology, we strongly criticized its centering on short segments prior to principal components calculation. The MBH98 procedure was obviously inconsistent with the admonition of Trenberth [1984] to use the best possible estimate of the series mean. Failing to observe the well-documented procedures of Trenberth [1984] in respect to the calculation of series means and variances would no doubt seem to him as being “incredibly stupid”.

We have corresponded with Trenberth in an attempt to determine what he had in mind in using the term “incredibly stupid”. First, he purported to be unaware of the ES&T article, saying that he talked to lots of reporters. After some prodding, he then referred to a 2003 EOS criticism of Soon and Baliunas, as though it had something to do with us. After we pointed out that this had nothing to do with us, he cited some realclimate disinformation criticizing “our” reconstruction and challenged us to respond to that. When we pointed out various responses on climateaudit and summarized them, he failed to reply.

At present, Trenberth has failed to identify any “errors” by us, let alone ones which are “incredibly stupid”. Since Mann was in 1997-1998 a relative newcomer to climate science and probably unaware of Trenberth [1984], we’d like to think that perhaps Trenberth was subconsciously thinking of the erroneous short-segment centering in MBH98 as the “incredibly stupid” error by a newcomer when he made his comments to ES&T.

Reference:
Trenberth, K. [1984], Some effects of finite sample size and persistence on meteorological statistics. Part I: Autocorrelation. Monthly Weather Review, 112, 2359-2368


156 Comments

  1. joshua corning
    Posted Oct 12, 2005 at 3:42 PM | Permalink

    “The concern about over-reaching is one reason why we did not attempt to present our “own” reconstruction.”

    have you been in climatolgy long enough to do a reconstruction now?

    Also have there been any multi-proxi climate studies that you find to be well reasoned and are defensible from a statistics stand point?

  2. TCO
    Posted Oct 12, 2005 at 3:45 PM | Permalink

    1. So if I remove the pro/anti kerfuffle, the basic issues are: a. short segment regressions? b. not looking for autocorrelation (as opposed to independant error)?

    2. TOTALLY DISAGREE with your timidity in not publishing unless you completely know things. You can publish and just label the different levels of knowledge. Data, trends, suggested mechanisms (differing levels of surety here), suggestions on next studies or commercial implications. Waiting for perfect knowledge is unsat and does not benefit the discussion. And shows more of a debater attitude than a scientist one. I HATE IT, HATE IT.

  3. TCO
    Posted Oct 12, 2005 at 3:46 PM | Permalink

    Great questions from Corning.

  4. John Hekman
    Posted Oct 12, 2005 at 4:06 PM | Permalink

    I think Steve is very wise to make his comments within a narrow framework and to keep his powder dry. If he made even the most modest attempt at a “reconstruction” it would of necessity have to include assumptions and interpretations of data that, as we know from this website, are not always rock solid (is that enough understatement?). His critics would endlessly harp on the weak points of his analysis, and the resulting noise would completely drown out the message that Steve has been working so hard to deliver.

  5. TCO
    Posted Oct 12, 2005 at 4:16 PM | Permalink

    HATE, HATE, HATE that attitude. Is he running a blog, doing a debate? Or is he adding to science? He’s got all kinds of analyses here of differing levels of certainty but defenitely of interest/benefit to the field. they should be shared. In the literature.

  6. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Oct 12, 2005 at 4:21 PM | Permalink

    Re #1: About the multiproxy studies, I think that all of them are tendentious; that they are in-bred and that none of them are defensible, as I’ve said before. I posted favorable comments about Naurzbaev et al [2004] not a few posts ago.

    A reader of this blog and of our articles would hardly accuse me of “timidity”. I’ve been pretty frank about what I think of things and been criticized in many quarters for this frankness.

    I won’t be “timid” about presenting a reconstruction, if and when I’m ready to do so. However, I’m also not going to over-reach. If we have results showing that MBH98 results or other results are flawed, then that’s all I’m going to report. I’m not going to argue that this proves soemthing else.

    I’m fairly prudent in this type of writing by nature and, if you had been subject to as much disinformation as I’ve been, you’d appreciate the merits of not over-reaching. It’s not a matter of debating; it’s a matter of establishing points that you have proven and not mixing them up with speculations.

    In practical terms, before I even attempted to try a reconstruction, I’ve got a lot of unfinished critical work in progress, which I need to finish. I hate half-eaten sandwiches.

  7. TCO
    Posted Oct 12, 2005 at 4:27 PM | Permalink

    I’m not saying to do a reconstruction. But what about all the damn analyses on this blog? And I disagree that efforts in the science literature should be all or nothing. It is not unusual in solid state physics or chemistry to see speculative papers. You just need to carefully label the different levels of caveat. But it does a real benefit to the feild to move this stuff forward.

  8. BKC
    Posted Oct 12, 2005 at 5:02 PM | Permalink

    Do you have a link to the ES&T article?

  9. JerryB
    Posted Oct 12, 2005 at 5:32 PM | Permalink

    BKC,

    It would seem to be the article at http://pubs.acs.org/subscribe/journals/esthag-w/2005/aug/business/pt_wsj.html

  10. TCO
    Posted Oct 12, 2005 at 7:44 PM | Permalink

    I’m going to take another sabbatical from BBS’s (reading or posting). Just feel like I have so much to do in my life and they are an addiction like video games or talk radio.

  11. JerryB
    Posted Oct 12, 2005 at 7:49 PM | Permalink

    TCO,

    After your sabbatical, don’t forget to come back (dare I say: hopefully somewhat less ditzy as a result of your sabbatical?).

  12. Dave
    Posted Oct 12, 2005 at 9:05 PM | Permalink

    Isn’t he the guy whose press conference on hurricanes and climate change caused Dr. Landsea to resign from the IPCC?

  13. JerryB
    Posted Oct 12, 2005 at 10:03 PM | Permalink

    Yes. He seems to be quite savvy, but also somewhat deranged.

    In an exchange with Hugh Elsaesser he stated:

    “Ellsaesser is quite wrong in interpreting global warming as “a progressive increase in annual mean global temperature.” Global warming refers to the heating caused by increased atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases, and global temperature increases are just one manifestation of that.”

    I.e. he pretendd to adopt the UNFCCC definition of “global warming” as if it was not a politcal farce.

  14. andrewb
    Posted Oct 12, 2005 at 11:12 PM | Permalink

    Re #5 TCO, your faith in the peer review system and consistent requests by Steve to publish are mistaken. For a non-academic, there is no particular benefits that will arise from publishing in peer reviewed literature e.g. promotion, future funding. In my opinion there can be no more vigorous review and critical analysis of scientific work than publishing directly to the web. This exposes the work to a broad spectrum of opinions and expertise and is similar to the working paper approach used in many business schools. This compares very favourably to the peer review process for most scientific publications, which typically involves the distribution of the paper to three referees who are likely to have fields of expertise relevant only to the subject at hand and very little time to undertake a critical analysis. What’s more, the potential referees have the opportunity like anyone else to contribute to the review of web published documents(alas without remuneration – but science is for love not money!).

  15. Larry Huldén
    Posted Oct 12, 2005 at 11:15 PM | Permalink

    I think Steve will not produce climate reconstructions before the relationship between tree rings and climate is better known. He has clearly shown shortcomings of many previous publications in this respect. It would not make any sense to add one more error into climate research.

  16. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Oct 12, 2005 at 11:58 PM | Permalink

    I’m not opposed to journal publication and don’t mind the prompting; I just don’t see a competitive reconstruction as being in the cards for a while. I’ve got about 5 articles in various stages of completion. It already takes me a long time to finish an article – which isn’t helped by feeding the blog,

  17. Posted Oct 13, 2005 at 12:54 AM | Permalink

    Trenberth is responsible for the following classic: (available at http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/308/5729/1753)

    [O]ur physical understanding suggests that the intensity of and rainfalls from hurricanes are probably increasing (IPCC ref), even if this increase cannot yet be proven with a formal statistical test.

    Last I heard (1) statistical tests only provide probabilities of error and mathematics provides proofs and (2) data informs our physical understanding, not the other way around.

  18. John A
    Posted Oct 13, 2005 at 2:15 AM | Permalink

    You forget David, that Trenberth is someone who thinks that the outputs of climate models are data with which real world measurements are but an inferior subset.

    It’s also clear from the quote produced by Jerry:

    Global warming refers to the heating caused by increased atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases, and global temperature increases are just one manifestation of that.

    that Trenberth is using a classic technique of redefinition of a neutral or scientific term to imply a particular political dogma.

    As I’ve mentioned before on this blog, the phrase “Global Warming” is an Orwellian contraction of a political (or possibly religious) dogmatic position. That Ellsaesser was naàƒ⮶e enough to think that “Global Warming” is a scientific term shows the problem rather vividly.

  19. Knut Knutsen
    Posted Oct 13, 2005 at 4:30 AM | Permalink

    Re #18. Let´s leave models aside for a while as you say, but is the globe in a process of warming, based on thermometres? What´s dogmatic or political about recording temperatures with thermometres – the especially the records from the ocean which covers 70% of the global surface. Is the oceanic heat content rising? Then looking at the results and naming the global trend global warming which is what it is. Are concentrations of radiatively active gases including CO2 increasing? All those questions can be answered with a yes within 99% confidence limits. So where´s the religion or Orwellian twist?

  20. John A
    Posted Oct 13, 2005 at 5:32 AM | Permalink

    Re: #19

    is the globe in a process of warming, based on thermometres?

    On what timescale? On the order of years, the Earth has cooled since 1998, From the 1960’s the Earth has warmed. From the 1930s the Earth has cooled. From the 17th Century, the Earth has warmed. From the 11th Century, the Earth has cooled. From the Last Ice Age, the Earth has warmed. From the perspective of millions of years, the Earth has cooled…and so on.

    Based on thermometers, what? The longest thermometer record (the Central England Temperature) shows a warming from the depths of the Little Ice Age. The strongest warming of that entire record occurred between 1698 and 1736 when the annual mean temperature increased by 3C. Compare that with the 20th Century when the annual mean temperature rose by 0.5C That warming of the early 18th Century was before the Industrial Revolution and no singificant changes in “greenhouse gases” occurred during that time (as far as we know).

    Is the oceanic heat content rising?

    Nobody knows. It should be rising, but on what timescale? Proper measurements of oceanic heat have only just begun to be systematically made across the globe. What can a few years tell us? Nothing, in my opinion.

    Are concentrations of radiatively active gases including CO2 increasing?

    Yes for CO2 over the last 50 years, carbon dioxide has increased, but on the geological timescale, modern concentrations of carbon dioxide are abnormally low. Yes for methane, although the amount of methane levelled off around 2000 and is now falling. Other gases? Nobody knows. The most important greenhouse gas is water vapor, but again records are too short to give much help.

    Orwellian gap #1:
    Do changes in very minor atmospheric constituents like carbon dioxide cause climatic change or are they a response?

    Orwellian gap #2
    Do climate models accurately model the past and/or project the future? Do we even measure past climate change properly?

    Orwellian gap #3
    Are there other inputs to the climate system that are far more important than greenhouse gas changes?

    Orwellian gap #4
    Is the warming of the Earth’s climate in recent times, on balance, a beneficial or unbeneficial change?

    Orwellian gap #5
    Is the measured change to the carbon dioxide level in the atmosphere wholly, mostly, or little caused by anthropogenic sources?

    Orwellian gap #6
    Do changes in “greenhouse gases” cause more extreme weather?

    Orwellian gap #7, #8, #9 etc
    Is “climate change” a recent phenomenon? Is the climate meant to be stable? Is trying to alter climate a good idea? Feasible or futile? Worse than adaptation? Will trying to alter climate take valuable resources away from other things would otherwise be done like relieve poverty? Is the incidence of extreme weather increasing or not? Are hurricanes increasing in frequency or intensity?

    And so on. I could name far more gaps in the logic of “Greenhouse warming” than this weblog has disk space for.

    If you think any of these questions can be answered with 99% confidence then you’re simply deluding yourself.

  21. Posted Oct 13, 2005 at 5:41 AM | Permalink

    It’s not too encouraging to see how much the situation of the basic rules of science in their community has worsened since 1984. What Trenberth wrote 21 years ago was very true. Unfortunately, some newcomers did exactly these silly things not only in 1998 and it was not only tollerated. It became the new standard. A pretty poor standard.

    All these people overestimate various correlation factors because only an insufficient amount of data is used. It is all but guaranteed that for a few data points, the calculated coefficient won’t be exactly zero. If one uses other articles, sometimes even articles from similar authors, it usually becomes obvious that the true error margins are higher than in the individual papers; the correlation coefficients between various pairs of quantities are smaller in reality, and so forth. One must be able to know what is the error of her determination of the correlation coefficients etc., too. This holds for all conclusions that are expressed quantitatively – and in science, they should always be expressed quantitatively. The certainty and errors of everyone’s conclusions should simply be known and should be calculated properly.

    This is clearly important not only in the climate research. In any field, the conjectured correlation between two quantities is only quantitatively trustworthy if it can be reconstructed from much bigger – and independent – ensembles of data. For a particular correlation between e.g. industrial production ;-) and temperature, such a conclusion can only be trusted if it is repeatable – which is a special example of the rule above – i.e. if one can measure several periods where the strength of these two things varies. If we only use two periods – with and without industry – it is 50% that the data will show a warming correlation, 50% for cooling correlation, 0% for exactly no correlation, and there is about a 50% probability that the deduced correlation is wrong.

    It is not clear to me whether Trenberth could have used his wise 1984 comments quantitatively in particular cases because I only read this article – but he does not seem to follow these particular debates today. (Nothing against him personally, and he is apparently an important contributor to our knowledge in general.) Not distinguishing M&M from Soon and Baliunas, thinking that M&M are new reconstructions, etc. – it’s just too much of a basic confusion for a person whose opinion should matter. This is what many people are satisfied with. RealClimate is designed as an “educator” that gives their believers sentences that they don’t really understand, but sentences that can be used to “fight”. Too bad.

  22. Louis Hissink
    Posted Oct 13, 2005 at 6:18 AM | Permalink

    Lubos,

    Correct, and if one needs practical examples of what is statistically relevant, study mining.

  23. Paul Gosling
    Posted Oct 13, 2005 at 7:42 AM | Permalink

    John A

    Re #20

    I am sure you know very well that the the extreame cold of the 1690s was caused by a series of volcanic eruptions Rekla (Iceland, 1693), Serua (Indonesia, 1693), and Aboina (Indonesia, 1694) on top of the LIA and therefore in no way invalidates AGW theory.

  24. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Oct 13, 2005 at 8:02 AM | Permalink

    Re #23

    And of course the record El Nino of 1998 had nothing to do with the peak warming then.

  25. Hans Erren
    Posted Oct 13, 2005 at 8:03 AM | Permalink

    re: Orwellian gap #1:
    Do changes in very minor atmospheric constituents like carbon dioxide cause climatic change or are they a response?

    Both..

    http://home.casema.nl/errenwijlens/co2/howmuch.htm

  26. Paul Gosling
    Posted Oct 13, 2005 at 8:57 AM | Permalink

    Re #24

    And therefore AGW is a lie?

  27. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Oct 13, 2005 at 9:04 AM | Permalink

    re: #26

    A lie? Not necessarily. But unproven. Anyway, insisting on AGW reminds me of the old shake-and-bake commercial (I think that’s the product) where the little girl chimes in with “…and I helped!”

    Climate changes and we help!

  28. Brooks Hurd
    Posted Oct 13, 2005 at 10:24 AM | Permalink

    Re: 17

    I find it interesting that Trenberth used an M. E. Mann paper as reference for the number of tropical cyclones hitting Japan. Then he used that information as support for increased violent storms. Had Trenberth looked into the situation a bit, he would have found that the prevailing winds pushed most of the typhoons toward the northeast during 2004. China was a beneficiary of these winds since they kept most of the typhoons away from the Chinese cost and pushed them toward Japan.

    The number of typhoons hitting the Japanese home islands has very little to do with the total number of typhoons in a year. I was in Taiwan during portions of both the 2004 and 2005 typhoon seasons. My “physical understanding” was that 2004 had fewer typhoons than in the past.

    Trenberth could have used the Hong Kong Observatory records to see what was really going on with tropical cyclone activity. They plot the paths of each typhoon by month.

  29. John A
    Posted Oct 13, 2005 at 10:33 AM | Permalink

    I am sure you know very well that the the extreame cold of the 1690s was caused by a series of volcanic eruptions Rekla (Iceland, 1693), Serua (Indonesia, 1693), and Aboina (Indonesia, 1694) on top of the LIA and therefore in no way invalidates AGW theory.

    I’m sure I know nothing of the kind.

    I’m sure you realise that none of the above volcanic events explains why temperatures fell across the world in two cold pulses from the late 14th Century, causing glaciers and sea ice to expand. And neither does greenhouse theory explain it either.

    Volcanic cooling is usually 1-2 year climatic event, but the cold periods recorded lasted a lot longer than can be explained by volcanoes.

    Greenhouse theory does not explain the Medieval Warm Period nor the Little Ice Age, nor the early warming of the 20th Century, nor the cooling of the middle-to-late 20th Century (when CO2 was rising strongly), and I would contend, does not make any explanation for the weak warming from 1979 to the present.

    As far as I can tell Greenhouse Theory is being used as an exercise in rewriting the past, thereby changing the present and making people fearful of the future. It has no predictive power and cannot be falsified except, it appears, on timescales long after the climate modellers have retired on fat pensions.

    Greenhouse Warming is a political vehicle, not a scientific term.

  30. David Brewer
    Posted Oct 13, 2005 at 11:07 AM | Permalink

    Re #23: If the “extreme cold of the 1690s” was caused by volcanoes in 1693 and 1694, how come Mann’s temperature reconstruction gets WARMER in both those years? See ftp://eclogite.geo.umass.edu/pub/mann/ONLINE-PREPRINTS/Millennium/DATA/RECONS/nhem-recon.dat. Delayed reaction perhaps? Pretty long delay then, since according to Mann, 1700 is colder than any year in the 1690s.

    While we’re on the subject, how would you explain the fact that Mann’s temperture aggregate rises four years in a row after Krakatoa (i.e. in every year from 1884 to 1887 inclusive)?

  31. John Hekman
    Posted Oct 13, 2005 at 11:27 AM | Permalink

    John A: can you provide a link to the UK temp records back to the seventeenth century? thanks

  32. Brooks Hurd
    Posted Oct 13, 2005 at 12:17 PM | Permalink

    According to the Hong Kong Observatory, in 2004 there were 19 typhoons formed in the S China Sea and Northern Pacific (14 between January and September).

    Landfall was made in Japan (10), Taiwan (7), the Philippines (4), Korea (4), China (3), Thailand (1), and Malaysia (1). Sudal, Tinting and Meranti made no landfall.

    Through the end of September 2005, there have been 11 typhoons.

    Landfall was made in Taiwan (5), China (5), Japan (2), and Vietnam (1). Sonca and Nesat did not make landfall.

    In 2004, Japan had 7 typhoons make landfall through the end of September. This year, only 2 typhoons have made landfall in Japan through September. So far this year there have been half as many typhoons as there were in 2004 through September.

    Looking at these statistics in the short term (one or two years) and in any single location tells very little as far as changes to the global climate. Why would scientists like Trenberth or Mann present such facts to support their point of view? They clearly know that 10 typhoons hitting Japan in a single year is an abberation caused by a temporary shift in prevailing winds.

  33. JerryB
    Posted Oct 13, 2005 at 12:34 PM | Permalink

    John H,

    http://www.metoffice.com/research/hadleycentre/CR_data/Daily/HadCET_act.txt

    also see comments of HH Lamb at http://www.agu.org/history/sv/temperature/index.shtml

  34. Brooks Hurd
    Posted Oct 13, 2005 at 12:59 PM | Permalink

    JerryB

    Parker’s data set begins in 1659. He lists monthly mean temperatures. This is half a century before the thermometer was even invented. As the Lamb piece indicates, thermometers did not come into common use untill long after they were invented. Even then, they were placed inside buildings for many years and the calibrations were suspect.

    Where did Parker’s data come from for the first 100 – 150 years? Reconstructions? Anecdotal reports? Guess work? When did this transition to reliable instrument data? Were the early temperature records extrapolated backwards form existing instrument data? If so, what were the assumptions used?

  35. JerryB
    Posted Oct 13, 2005 at 1:23 PM | Permalink

    Brooks,

    Thermometers existed before 1600. They were of dubious quality compared to later thermometers, but they did exist.

    Fahrenheit later invented the alcohol (1709), and mercury (1714) themometers, which were great improvements, but not the first thermometers.

    BTW, the early part of the CET was done by Manley; Parker picked it up later.

  36. Hans Erren
    Posted Oct 13, 2005 at 1:42 PM | Permalink

    re 35

    http://www.knmi.nl/VinkCMS/explained_subject_detail.jsp?id=3891

    According to KNMI the thermometer was reinvented by Galileo in 1593.
    But a waterbased thermometer was already in use by Galenus in the 2nd century..
    1653 Florence, Pisa, Bologna and Parma counts as the first systematic measurement of weather, registering temperature, air pressure and humidity.

  37. ET Sid Viscous
    Posted Oct 13, 2005 at 1:49 PM | Permalink

    http://www.brannan.co.uk/thermometers/invention.html

    I think your thinking of the first scale (Fahrenheit). Obviously the earlier readings is inclined to be less accurate as they were converting from furlongs per fortnight, smoots, or some such arbitrary scale.

  38. Hans Erren
    Posted Oct 13, 2005 at 1:51 PM | Permalink

    2nd century BC, some (now lost) observations are reported in The Netherlands for the periods

    1621 Delft
    1622 – 1630 Amsterdam, Nicolaes Janszoon van Wassenaar
    1627-1637 Dordrecht, Isaac Beeckman
    19 december 1667 – 7 january 1668 Amsterdam, Cosimo de Medici

  39. JerryB
    Posted Oct 13, 2005 at 2:02 PM | Permalink

    Yes, further googling indicates conflicting information, including an alcohol thermometer in 1641 (or 1654, or some time between), associated with Ferdinand II.

    Numerous reports of 1714, and numerous reports of 1724, for Fahrenheit’s mercury thermometer.

  40. John S
    Posted Oct 13, 2005 at 3:11 PM | Permalink

    Smoots: Does this betray a Cantabridgian heritage Sid?

  41. ET Sid Viscous
    Posted Oct 13, 2005 at 3:14 PM | Permalink

    Only by geographic proximity. Done some work for the opposing propellor heads closer to the river though.

  42. Peter Hearnden
    Posted Oct 13, 2005 at 3:17 PM | Permalink

    Re #29, ”

    …nor the cooling of the middle-to-late 20th Century (when CO2 was rising strongly), and I would contend, does not make any explanation for the weak warming from 1979 to the present.

    As far as I can tell Greenhouse Theory is being used as an exercise in rewriting the past, thereby changing the present and making people fearful of the future. It has no predictive power and cannot be falsified except, it appears, on timescales long after the climate modellers have retired on fat pensions.

    Greenhouse Warming is a political vehicle, not a scientific term.”

    So, I can take it your not convinced by AGW theory then….

    ‘John”A’, your powers of hyperbole show no sighs of diminishing, and your anti AGW science rhetoric is as trenchant, downright biased and loftily dismissive as ever. I’ll give you this, if mere words combonded with slagging off your opponents as religious nut and the rest (see post #20) could change data and reality you’d have convinced me by now!

  43. John Hekman
    Posted Oct 13, 2005 at 4:42 PM | Permalink

    re: 33. Thank you, JerryB, for the link to Hadley Center Central England Temperature records. According to the description, the CET has been adjusted for urban warming by “1-3 tenths C” since 1974. Does anyone know if that is the sum total of the adjustment? It can’t be that much each year, so it must be that all records since 1974 were lowered by 1-3 tenths. This doesn’t seem like much given that London is part of the area being measured. Regarding John A’s point in #20 that temp rose 3C from 1698 to 1736, it does appear that the 1690s was unusually cold. The average for 1659-1690 doesn’t seem much different from the 1730s.

  44. Willis Eschenbach
    Posted Oct 13, 2005 at 5:00 PM | Permalink

    Re: #42, Peter, perhaps you might like to take a radical step and comment on the facts John presented. He made several statements of fact concerning volcanoes and their effect on the climate, and later posters contrasted those facts with the claims made by Michael Mann and others. In all, a fertile field for discussion.

    While your responses to John’s facts (an accusation of “hyperbole” coupled with a claim that John is “downright biased” and “loftily dismissive”) are obviously fascinating to you, there is at least an outside chance that your comments on the facts might actually be interesting to the rest of us … but we won’t know until you give that a try.

    While you are at it, you might take a shot at a the interesting “Orwellian Gap” issues John raised in #20. Instead, you just claim that John is “slagging off [his] opponents as religious nut”, and again you totally ignore the facts he presented in #20 and #18. As I said, perhaps you are amused by these kind of attacks. For me, I find them pathetic, predictable, and utterly boring.

    The lawyers have a saying:

    “Always argue the facts.
    If you can’t argue the facts, argue the law.
    If you can’t argue the law, attack the individual.
    And if you can’t attack the individual, pound the table.”

    With the substitution of “science” for “law”, this seems to be the path taken by a number of commentators and scientists regarding their support of AGW.

    You, on the other hand, seem to have skipped the first two steps, you seem to be stuck in just the last two of these steps, attacking the individual and pounding the table. This gives people the impression (which may or may not be true) that the reason you hang out on the last two steps is that you can’t argue the with facts, and you can’t argue with the science. Perhaps this is not the case, but unless you actually come to grips with the facts and the science, we’ll never know … I await your comments on the substantive issues raised.

    w.

    PS – what the heck does “combonded” mean in #42?

  45. John A
    Posted Oct 13, 2005 at 5:27 PM | Permalink

    Peter Hearnden attacks not the facts presented, nor the consistency of the opinions, but the person for having the audicity to express those opinions.

    What a surprise. He’s never done that to me before.

  46. John A
    Posted Oct 13, 2005 at 5:36 PM | Permalink

    Re: #43

    John Hekman:

    The one thing that does stand out in the CET record is the shocking cold winter of 1739-1740 when people in England, Europe and the New England colonies endured incredible cold and near starvation. No-one has ever explained it. There are no volcanic eruptions around that time, no major changes in any greenhouse gases, or solar output.

    Maybe it was “one of those things”. If that were to happen this winter, then everyone would know the world was going into another Ice Age.

  47. Brooks Hurd
    Posted Oct 13, 2005 at 6:08 PM | Permalink

    Hans, JerryB

    Thanks for the information on thermometers.

    I plotted the CET Manley/Parker data (Manley pre 1974, Parker 1974-2005). I plotted it by month and added polynomial trend lines. I wish that I could post the graphs. These graphs do not show very much increase over the past 345 years. There is no evidence Mann’s “hockey stick.”

    Some months show a slight increase, however February, April, May and June are almost flat for the past 300 years.

  48. Douglas Hoyt
    Posted Oct 13, 2005 at 6:11 PM | Permalink

    Concerning the 1690s, I would like to point out that the sun only had one sunspot in this decade and and it only lasted for 3 or 4 days in 1695. This makes 1690-1699 the least active decade ever recorded on the sun.

    There was also a hoax in the newspapers in 1693 claiming spots were seen on the sun for the first time since 1684, but this hoax was denounced by Flamsteed in one of his letters.

  49. JerryB
    Posted Oct 13, 2005 at 6:43 PM | Permalink

    John A,

    There was an eruption at Shikotsu, Japan, in August 1739 with a VEI of 5 (for comparison, Pinatubo had a VEI of 6). I would not expect that to account for most of the temperature drop of the 1739-1740 winter.

    See http://www.volcano.si.edu/world/largeeruptions.cfm for vocanic activity.
    See http://volcanoes.usgs.gov/Products/Pglossary/vei.html for VEI description.

  50. ET Sid Viscous
    Posted Oct 13, 2005 at 8:21 PM | Permalink

    “that the sun only had one sunspot in this decade”

    I find that extremely har to believe. The sun has spots on a daily basis.

    And simply because it wasn’t recorded doesn’t mean it wasn’t there.

  51. JerryB
    Posted Oct 13, 2005 at 8:53 PM | Permalink

    ET,

    Some things, that may seem hard to believe, may yet be quite real.

    Your homework assignment, should you choose to accept it, is to peruse a brief article on the "Maunder Minimum" is at http://www.stsci.edu/stsci/meetings/lisa3/beckmanj.html .

  52. Paul Gosling
    Posted Oct 14, 2005 at 2:37 AM | Permalink

    John A

    RE #29

    You and others claim that supporters of AGW fail to argue on the facts, cherry pick data and generally misrepresent the truth. I wouldn’t argue that in some cases this is true. However, have you ever heard the phrase ‘pot calling the kettle black’?

    You cherry picked a period of very rapid temperature warming, which you in some way seem to think invalidates AGW. Which when pointed out to be an easily explained phenomenon, sidestepped the issue claiming you knew nothing of it. Try doing a little research before spouting off then.

    Incidentally there were at least 2 large explosive volcanic eruptions in 1739, Shiveluch in Kamchatka and Shikotsu in Japan.

    You then ramble on about AGW not being able to explain a long list of climate events over the last 1000 years. Please provide a link(s) to show where anyone has ever claimed it does.

    You then go on to repeat the blindingly obvious and stupid point that Michael Crichton made in his Senate address that computer models cannot be validated. Well duh! No model, indeed no prediction, can be validated until after you have tested it with the real event. So I presume the two of you never watch the weather forecast, can’t be validated, think governments should not try to predict the economic cycle and just spend what they feel like and hope they have enough tax to cover it, after all economic models cannot be validated so are worthless, I could go on but can’t be bothered.

    Finally, you contend that AGW cannot have made ANY contribution to warming in the 20th century. An opinion that you are welcome to hold, but I would doubt that there are many contributors (even Steve M) who would contend that you can add CO2 to the atmosphere in the quantities we are doing and have no effect on climate. If you really do think this is true, that we could double or even treble atmospheric CO2 and that this would have zero effect on climate perhaps you could support this argument with some facts. Oh no sorry you can’t, because that would be a prediction, which of course can’t be validated, so is worthless.

  53. David Brewer
    Posted Oct 14, 2005 at 3:56 AM | Permalink

    Sure, 1740 was an outstandingly cold year. In the CET record, it is 3 degrees colder than the average for the 15 surrounding years, 1733 to 1747, and 1.5 degrees colder than any other of those years. It was awfully cold in 1740 in North America, too. Almost certainly a global freeze, since there were at least 2 big volcanoes the previous year.

    Now tell me how much faith I should put in Mann, who rates 1740 as the second WARMEST year between 1733 to 1747:

    ftp://eclogite.geo.umass.edu/pub/mann/ONLINE-PREPRINTS/Millennium/DATA/RECONS/nhem-recon.dat

  54. John A
    Posted Oct 14, 2005 at 4:02 AM | Permalink

    Paul Gosling:

    You cherry picked a period of very rapid temperature warming, which you in some way seem to think invalidates AGW. Which when pointed out to be an easily explained phenomenon, sidestepped the issue claiming you knew nothing of it. Try doing a little research before spouting off then.

    Excuse me, I pointed out that in the longest thermometer record we have:

    The strongest warming of that entire record occurred between 1698 and 1736 when the annual mean temperature increased by 3C

    Now compare that 38 years with the warming since 1979 of 24 years on the same record, which is supposed to be due to “Greenhouse Warming”, a period of time cherry-picked to be unlike any other.

    Do I think this invalidates AGW? No. But AGW theory has not validated itself. AGW has made statements (or rather extreme statements) to the effect that the current climate is unprecedented. It does so without explaining much larger climatic events which were, for all intents and purposes, wholly natural in origin.

    You then ramble on about AGW not being able to explain a long list of climate events over the last 1000 years. Please provide a link(s) to show where anyone has ever claimed it does.

    Not at all. Do you deliberately miss the point in order to make a cheap jibe or what? I pointed out that AGW is unable to explain why past climatic changes occur and spends vast amounts of money to “prove” they didn’t happen.

    That’s the real legacy of the Mann Hockey Stick: dramatic climate change didn’t happen in the last 1000 years from natural causes. Have a look at Mann’s published papers on his webpage: you’ll find a nice report on why the Little Ice Age was a North Atlantic phenomenon only, despite what large numbers of other studies from around the world purport to show.

    You then go on to repeat the blindingly obvious and stupid point that Michael Crichton made in his Senate address that computer models cannot be validated. Well duh! No model, indeed no prediction, can be validated until after you have tested it with the real event.

    If its so blindingly obvious, why are the results of these models even published, or splashed across the wrold’s media as evidence of a “Smoking Gun”? I think we should be told.

    So I presume the two of you never watch the weather forecast, can’t be validated, think governments should not try to predict the economic cycle and just spend what they feel like and hope they have enough tax to cover it, after all economic models cannot be validated so are worthless, I could go on but can’t be bothered.

    Do I need point out the fallaciousness of the above? The point about weather forecasting is that forecasting models get continuously changed in the light of real data (what really happens) AND THEIR LIMITATIONS ARE WELL KNOWN. Is economic modelling a waste of time? I’ve never argued it, but the point about modelling is unless their limitations are clearly specified, people lose (and have lost) their shirts betting on them when the time horizon is long (and I’m talking about years).

    Now we have a situation where models (both climatic and economic) are used to predict the future decades in advance, and persuade governments to spend vast amounts of money (our money) in a futile attempt to forstall the predicted disaster looming ahead.

    AGW models don’t model the past, or explain the present. Yet somehow they can tell us the future and ask us to pay for it.

    Finally, you contend that AGW cannot have made ANY contribution to warming in the 20th century. An opinion that you are welcome to hold, but I would doubt that there are many contributors (even Steve M) who would contend that you can add CO2 to the atmosphere in the quantities we are doing and have no effect on climate

    I don’t make that assertion that AGW “cannot” have made “ANY” contribution to warming in the 20th Century. I make the assertion that the influence of rising concentrations of carbon dioxide during that time do not correlate to the observed warming and cooling that occurred, and may be much less important than the natural factors that AGW promoters ignore.

    Also the “Orwellian Gaps” are back again. 97% of the rise of carbon dioxide is natural in origin. How does the 3% produced from anthropogenic sources means that ALL of the climate change is attributable to humankind? How does a change in a minor gas cause climate change at all, when all high resolution ice core records show carbon dioxide rise as a delayed response to temperature rise and never a driver? If carbon dioxide from anthropogenic sources is warming the climate in some way, is that a bad thing? Would you prefer cooling?

    If you really do think this is true, that we could double or even treble atmospheric CO2 and that this would have zero effect on climate perhaps you could support this argument with some facts. Oh no sorry you can’t, because that would be a prediction, which of course can’t be validated, so is worthless.

    The prediction of double or triple carbon dioxide is not my prediction but an assumption of climate models (actually of climate modellers). It is far from clear that these assumptions are realistic, let alone that their “projections” mean that action must immediately be taken.

    Climate, like weather, is subject to the effect of the beating of the wings of butterflies. Should we therefore wipe out or control the butterflies in order to prevent butterfly-induced climate change?

    The answer is: I don’t know that rising carbon dioxide has a MEASUREABLE effect on climate. It must have some but nobody really knows. My opinion is that the past climatic history is being rewritten, Orwellian style, to expunge natural climatic variation so as to make the recent minor wiggles of the thermometer look like massive climatic events.

  55. Hans Erren
    Posted Oct 14, 2005 at 5:19 AM | Permalink

    re 54:
    97% of the rise of carbon dioxide is natural in origin.

    source?
    I beg to differ:

    http://home.casema.nl/errenwijlens/co2/sink.htm

  56. Peter Hearnden
    Posted Oct 14, 2005 at 5:35 AM | Permalink

    Re #54 “Also the “Orwellian Gaps” are back again. 97% of the rise of carbon dioxide is natural in origin.

    How does the 3% produced from anthropogenic sources…”. At best I’d describe that as confused disinformation. At worst, …well I better not go there.

    Lets look at what you’re claiming. You claim ‘97% of the rise in CO2 is natural in origin’ Well, assuming you mean in the atmosphere since pre industrial times, that leaves, according to you, anthropogenic sources to provide about 3% of the 90ppm rise seen, or about 2-3ppm. Do you honestly think that???

    I think the only way your claim makes any kind of sense with the data is that you’re including ALL CO2 emissions, not just anthropogenic in your 97%. You then find that our emissions are something like 3% of that figure. But, this is irrellevant. Why? Well, it’s true that before we perturbed the CO2 cycle emissions and sinks (though vast, and still vast – this is after all a green planet) were in rough balance – hence the rough steadyness of CO2 in ice cores. Now they are not in balance, human emissions of Co2 have allready been enough to push C02 in the atmosphere up by 30% or so. Human emissions are indeed small in comaprison to total emission, but the cycle is in balance with emissions as were, the amound we’ve added has perturbed the carbon cycle to the extent that atmopshere has seen, allready, a 30% rise in Co2 conc. That might be 3% of all the Co2 in the carbon cycle, but it’s 100% of the increase – 90ppm, from 280ppm to 370ppm.

    The carbon cylce is a bit like a bath with water running into it fast and running out of the plug hole fast to (OK, simplified for ‘John’s’ benifit). As such it normally stays at pretty much at the same level. However, keep the plug hole the same and increase the inflow by 3% and what happens? The bath fills up…relentlessly. Now, on our planet, there was evidence the ‘pulg hole’ (the sinks) grow in size for a while, but now it seems this ‘sink’ is becoming overwhealmed, in other words getting smaller….

    All that said, I’m in no doubt you’ll just dismiss this – despite the fact that hardly anyone agrees with you, even here I’d guess (didn’t take you long Hans I see) Bit like entropy…but demonstably worse.

    http://www.grida.no/climate/ipcc_tar/wg1/fig3-1.htm explains it better than I can.

    P.S. Wills, feel free to pick up on the typos.

  57. Hans Erren
    Posted Oct 14, 2005 at 6:03 AM | Permalink

    re:56
    but now it seems this ‘sink’ is becoming overwhealmed, in other words getting smaller

    source?
    I beg to differ:

    http://home.casema.nl/errenwijlens/co2/sink.htm
    :-D

  58. Willis Eschenbach
    Posted Oct 14, 2005 at 6:14 AM | Permalink

    Re: #56 Peter, thanks for the offer for me to “pick up” your typos, but I’ll leave cleaning up the typos to you, in general I prefer to leave cleaning up a mess to the man who caused it.

    PS — Could we have a citation on your idea that the carbon sinks are being “overwhelmed” … don’t think I’ve come across that claim before, and the Mauna Loa CO2 data sure doesn’t show that.

  59. Paul Gosling
    Posted Oct 14, 2005 at 6:16 AM | Permalink

    John A

    You seem fixated on Mann, I know this blog is particularly focused on proxy reconstructions, but you generalise from that to the rest of climate science. I have never defended Mann, indeed though I will not pretend to understand the Math, I am fairly sure and have stated so before, that MBH98 is indefensible rubbish. From the information Steve has provided and what I have read elsewhere I am also dubious about most other temperature reconstructions (but that includes the pre MBH98 view of global climate which so many sceptics seem to cling to).

    I still have trouble grasping why those who propose the AGW is occurring must also be able to explain all past changes in climate to validate AGW. Even if we had perfect understanding of the climate system, as we do not know what external drivers were operating in the past, eg solar activity, ocean circulation, we would still not be able to explain all past climate fluctuations. I don’t believe that climate scientists say that all the change in global temperatures this century are due to extra GHG but that the effect is superimposed on natural variability. So if the natural trend down is greater than the AGW trend up the net trend will obviously be down. (if this is incorrect perhaps you can post some links so I can correct my perception).

    As for models. Again it is my understanding, (perhaps you can post some links if I am wrong), that climate models are also modified as new data becomes available, just like weather forecast models. You want climate models(ers) to admit their limitations. I seem to recall that the last IPCC report contained a whole chapter on that very subject, are not the current forecasts for temperature rise in the 21st century around 1.8-5.6 degrees. That in itself is showing the limitation of the models. Should we stop all attempts to model climate and just takes what comes? As with the weather, we could do that, but life would be less convenient.

    Doubling CO2. Have we any reason to suspect that this will not happen if we have ‘business as usual’?

  60. John A
    Posted Oct 14, 2005 at 6:26 AM | Permalink

    I think the only way your claim makes any kind of sense with the data is that you’re including ALL CO2 emissions, not just anthropogenic in your 97%. You then find that our emissions are something like 3% of that figure. But, this is irrellevant.

    Facts are never irrelevant.

    Carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere are not “stable”. They rise and fall naturally. Rises in carbon dioxide are responses to climatic warmth that happened some 8-10 centuries before, as shown by every high resolution ice core record (leaving aside the question as to the absolute amount of CO2 measured), and never do they precede rising temperatures.

    Like Willis, I’d love to know where these carbon sinks are that are being overwhelmed. Hopefully, there is a citation we can read, rather than from the voices in your head.

  61. John A
    Posted Oct 14, 2005 at 6:30 AM | Permalink

    Paul Gosling:

    I still have trouble grasping why those who propose the AGW is occurring must also be able to explain all past changes in climate to validate AGW.

    Quite.

  62. Peter Hearnden
    Posted Oct 14, 2005 at 6:45 AM | Permalink

    Re #59.

    Like Willis, I’d love to know where these carbon sinks are that are being overwhelmed. Hopefully, there is a citation we can read, rather than from the voices in your head.

    I think Hans is first in the queue for an answer, don’t you?

  63. John A
    Posted Oct 14, 2005 at 6:45 AM | Permalink

    Re #61

    Where do I grab a ticket?

  64. Paul Gosling
    Posted Oct 14, 2005 at 7:16 AM | Permalink

    RE #60

    “Quite”

    Now there is a compelling argument, stuffed full of facts that I can’t argue with, how could I have been so foolish?

  65. Douglas Hoyt
    Posted Oct 14, 2005 at 7:20 AM | Permalink

    Re 50 and 51:

    The sun was well observed during the Maunder Minimum and is discussed in detail in
    Hoyt, D.V., and K. H. Schatten, 1996. How well was the Maunder Minimum observed? Solar Physics, 165, 181-192.

    More than 50% of the days during the 1690s had observations of the sun.

  66. ET Sid Viscous
    Posted Oct 14, 2005 at 7:26 AM | Permalink

    “Could we have a citation on your idea that the carbon sinks are being “overwhelmed” … don’t think I’ve come across that claim before, and the Mauna Loa CO2 data sure doesn’t show that.

    And this sure doesn’t show it.

    http://www.climatechangedebate.org/pdf/letters.pdf

  67. ET Sid Viscous
    Posted Oct 14, 2005 at 7:40 AM | Permalink

    “More than 50% of the days during the 1690s had observations of the sun”

    Could I be slightly more detailed than that?

    50% of the days 50% of the surface of the sun was monitored.

    Assuming a 12 hour day, at most .125 of the surface/time of the sun was monitored with 1 being the entire surface 24 hours a day.

    I never argued there were less sunspots, but I find the “one sunspot in a decade” hard to believe

  68. Douglas Hoyt
    Posted Oct 14, 2005 at 7:47 AM | Permalink

    Here is the abstract for the paper:
    “Abstract. In this paper we examine how well the Sun and sunspots were observed during the Maunder Minimum from 1645 to 1715. Recent research has given us the date of observations by Hevelius, Picard, La Hire, Flamsteed, and about 70 other observers. These specific observations allow a ‘lower estimate’ of the fraction of the time the Sun was observed to be deduced. It is found that 52.7% of the days have recorded observations. There are additional 12 observers who provide general statements that no sunspots were observed during specific years or intervals despite diligent efforts. Taking these statements to mean, unrealistically, that every day during these intervals was observed, gives an ‘upper estimate’ of 98% of the days. If the general statements are relaxed by assuming that 100+/-50 days per year were actually observed by these diligent observers, than our ‘best estimate’ is that 68%+/-7% of the days during the Maunder Minimum were observed. In short, this supports the view that the Maunder Minimum existed and was not an artifact of few observations. Some sunspots are probably still missed in modern compilations, but the existence of a prolonged sunspot minimum would not be threatened by their discovery in future research. Additional support for intense scrutiny of the Sun comes from a report of a white-light flare in 1705 and from the numerous reports of new sunspots entering the disk of the Sun.”

    The entire disk of the sun was observed often by multiple observers on any given day. In the 1690s, in particular, there were very few gaps longer than 5 days. If a sunspot is created, it usually lasts many days. In the MM, sunspots were unusual by being very long lived compared to modern day sunspots. This means that it was harder for sunspots to go unobserved. Long lived sunspots are an indication of weak solar convection and consistent with a low solar luminosity.

  69. ET Sid Viscous
    Posted Oct 14, 2005 at 8:00 AM | Permalink

    Even with your eyes peeled 100% of the time you still only see 50% of the sun, but my above numbers were based on someone elses data.

    Yes Sunspots do travel around, as a result we have more of a chance to capture them in observation, but the fact remains that it is impossible for a terrestrial observer, or even a group of terrestrial observers to monitor 100% of the sun 24 hours a day. And with a 25-35 day rotation of the sun it is possible to miss, one or two, even in a low sunspot activity era.

  70. John A
    Posted Oct 14, 2005 at 8:02 AM | Permalink

    Paul Gosling:

    “Quite”

    Now there is a compelling argument, stuffed full of facts that I can’t argue with, how could I have been so foolish?

    It contained just enough information for an intelligent observer to work out what I meant.

  71. John A
    Posted Oct 14, 2005 at 8:03 AM | Permalink

    Yes Sunspots do travel around, as a result we have more of a chance to capture them in observation, but the fact remains that it is impossible for a terrestrial observer, or even a group of terrestrial observers to monitor 100% of the sun 24 hours a day. And with a 25-35 day rotation of the sun it is possible to miss, one or two, even in a low sunspot activity era.

    Yes, but for everybody to miss them for 70 years? How likely is that?

  72. Paul Gosling
    Posted Oct 14, 2005 at 8:07 AM | Permalink

    re #70

    “It contained just enough information for an intelligent observer to work out what I meant.”

    Clearly. You have nothing to substantiate your statement with, other than other unsupported statements.

  73. ET Sid Viscous
    Posted Oct 14, 2005 at 8:11 AM | Permalink

    “Yes, but for everybody to miss them for 70 years? How likely is that?”

    If they occoured on the far side of the sun, where they can’t observe it, very likely.

  74. John A
    Posted Oct 14, 2005 at 8:19 AM | Permalink

    If they occoured on the far side of the sun, where they can’t observe it, very likely.

    How did the sunspots know which side to hide on?

  75. ET Sid Viscous
    Posted Oct 14, 2005 at 8:22 AM | Permalink

    And PS we are not talking about 70 years. My only comment was to the single ten year period that Doug said there was only a single sunspot. And that lasted for 3 to 5 days, so obviously they were short enough that they could have occoured on the far side of the sun and never be observed on earth.

    I don’t know of this 70 year period you talk about.

  76. David Brewer
    Posted Oct 14, 2005 at 8:26 AM | Permalink

    Back to MBH 98, and recapping a little: apart from methodological objections, we have the simple check of comparing Mann’s results in particular years with known facts about the climate in those years.

    In this respect he comes out very badly. Cold years associated with volcanic activity are a good example. In several cases we have direct evidence of globally cold weather 6-18 months after a major volcanic eruption. Yet you would never guess which years these were from Mann’s reconstruction. Examples:

    Krakatoa, 1883: Hansen has 1884 0.37 degrees cooler than 1883, with April-July (NH growing season) more than 0.5 degrees below baseline. Yet Mann has 1884 0.04 degrees WARMER than 1883.

    Agung, 1963: Hansen has 1964 0.28 degrees cooler than 1963. Mann is also cooler, but only by an infinitesimal 0.03 degrees.

    Similar non-signals can be observed in Mann in 1694 (as noted above), 1784 (year after Laki), 1816 (year after Tambora) etc.

    Mann’s estimates are blatantly inconsistent with independent records of unusually cold weather. His methodology is lousy, but not bad enough to miss year-to-year signals as strong as this. The “temperature proxies” themselves must be crap.

    Hansen: http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/tabledata/GLB.Ts.txt
    Mann: ftp://eclogite.geo.umass.edu/pub/mann/ONLINE-PREPRINTS/Millennium/DATA/RECONS/nhem-recon.dat

  77. John A
    Posted Oct 14, 2005 at 8:28 AM | Permalink

    Re #75

    Then read Doug Hoyt’s explanation again:

    The entire disk of the sun was observed often by multiple observers on any given day. In the 1690s, in particular, there were very few gaps longer than 5 days. If a sunspot is created, it usually lasts many days. In the MM, sunspots were unusual by being very long lived compared to modern day sunspots. This means that it was harder for sunspots to go unobserved. Long lived sunspots are an indication of weak solar convection and consistent with a low solar luminosity

    Now unless you’d like to tell us that the missing sunspots conspired to appear only on the far side from Earth, for some reason didn’t last as long as the ones on the near side, and the sun slowed down its rotation, then I’d say that the chances of there being very, very low sunspot activity for a long period of time are really quite high, wouldn’t you say?

  78. JerryB
    Posted Oct 14, 2005 at 8:40 AM | Permalink

    ET,

    It seems that you may not be familiar with the “Maunder Minimum”.

    One brief introduction to it may be found in the first few sections of http://www.stsci.edu/stsci/meetings/lisa3/beckmanj.html

  79. ET Sid Viscous
    Posted Oct 14, 2005 at 9:14 AM | Permalink

    John A

    What is the rotation period of the sun?

    Doug’s previous post of this singular sunspot lasted 3 – 5 days.

    So if the rotation of the sun is such that the far side is not visible for greater than 3 – 5 days my point would seem to be made No?

    From Doug’s post

    “I would like to point out that the sun only had one sunspot in this decade and and it only lasted for 3 or 4 days in 1695.”

  80. ET Sid Viscous
    Posted Oct 14, 2005 at 9:16 AM | Permalink

    Jerry

    Not the point, I’m well aware of it as it has been discussed many times this morning. In fact your link is a duplicate.

    Theres plenty of arguments for only one sunspot being observed but not for the Sun only having one sunspot.

  81. BKC
    Posted Oct 14, 2005 at 9:18 AM | Permalink

    Re. #76 – Comparing historic (and estimated ancient) climatic effects of volcanic eruptions to proxy reconstructions looks like a very interesting way to possibly verify the accuracy of the reconstructions. Do you know if any such studies have been done?

  82. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Oct 14, 2005 at 10:25 AM | Permalink

    So Sid what’s your point? Have you been reading Heinlein’s “Stranger in a Strange Land” and have desires to become a “Fair Witness”?

    Anyway this site is largely dedicated to statistical analysis. Why don’t you go and take the information given and calculate the number of likely sunspots during the period under question and what the error bars would be?

  83. ET Sid Viscous
    Posted Oct 14, 2005 at 10:31 AM | Permalink

    Hey Dave. This site has the largest concentration of pedants (why not do a stastical analysis with error bars), of which you personally are plenty pedantic. So why can’t I point out a poorly worded statement?

  84. Armand MacMurray
    Posted Oct 14, 2005 at 10:55 AM | Permalink

    Re: #80
    Even if the “true” number of sunspots existing during that decade were not 1, but rather 2 or 3 or 10 or even 100, that wouldn’t affect the argument, as the number *observed* has been over 10,000 during similar time periods in later centuries.

  85. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Oct 14, 2005 at 11:06 AM | Permalink

    Well, just to prove you right, I looked up pedant in the dictionary as I didn’t feel I had all the nuances right. It comes ultimately from the greek word for child. The central meaning is “Marked by a narrow, often tiresome focus on or display of learning and especially its trivial aspects.”

    I sure can’t argue with you there. It is almost a requirement to be a pedant to post here regularly.

    But I still think you should do the math. The niave statistical likelihood would be that the chances of another sunspot having occured in that time frame is pretty small, since most sunspots which started on the far side of the sun would have existed long enough to have rotated to the near side and have been observed.

    My CRC tables give the Sun’s rotation as 24.66 days so it isn’t hard to calculate lifespan vs chances of being undiscovered. What’s needed is a theory for how long a sunspot’s life would be likely to be in the depths of the MM. Tough to do with only one sample, I know, but others here said that in general during the MM sunspots lasted longer than they do today. So to get the maximum likelihood you’d probably be reasonable to just go with today’s spectrum of sunspot lifespans. If someone can look up the mean and variation we can probably wrap up this conundrum pretty quick.

    Pedantic enough for you?

  86. Armand MacMurray
    Posted Oct 14, 2005 at 11:13 AM | Permalink

    Re: #83
    Sorry, ET, but the evidence shows that (a) Dave isn’t pedantic and (b) the statement in #48 wasn’t poorly worded, but rather represents a reasonable estimate of the true number.
    You are of course welcome to point out poorly-worded statements, but it helps to have some evidence to back up your assertion…

  87. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Oct 14, 2005 at 11:19 AM | Permalink

    Speaking of pedantic, can you think of a much more pedantic comment than Mann’s to the Barton committee when he said that by the “R2 statistic, I presume you mean the r2 statistic”. Even this pedantry mis-fired as both R2 and r2 are accepted usages (Dano even agreed). R2 is usual in economics and social science.

  88. ET Sid Viscous
    Posted Oct 14, 2005 at 11:25 AM | Permalink

    Armand, I never argued the arguement that there were less sunspots. I argued the declaritive that there was one, and only one that happened. So your point would be?

    Dave: First off you state that the rotation is 24.66 days, that’s either an average, or at the poles, it varies based upon latitutde, but I think we can both agree that since the shortest duration for a sunspot is far below 1/2 the rotational period that the likely hood of a sunspot occuring, and we only need one in ten years, is very high, and even based upon the information here, it’s possible that a sunspot occured on the near side, that simply wasn’t observed.

    That’s not even taking into account sunspots that were below the resolution capability of the observer. What is the smallest size of a sunspot?

  89. ET Sid Viscous
    Posted Oct 14, 2005 at 11:29 AM | Permalink

    Armnand

    But Doug doesn’t have to have evidence? If a sunspot happens and it’s not observed does it happen? If a tree falls in the woods and there is no one to see it etc. And his statement was not an estimate. Had he said “about 1″ “Approx 1″ or some such that would be fine, but he didn’t.

    Now I’m pretty sure you can’t observe me right now, so you would have absolutely no idea how many fingers I am holding up for you, or even wich ones. But the finger/s is/are up.

  90. Armand MacMurray
    Posted Oct 14, 2005 at 11:42 AM | Permalink

    But the finger/s is/are up.

    And we welcome your true spirit of scientific debate!

    Anyway, back to the numbers:
    (data from “Group” sunspot count (Section 4) from files listed at http://www.ngdc.noaa.gov/stp/SOLAR/ftpsunspotnumber.html#hoyt )

    Total number of days without *observations* between 1690-1699 (inclusive) = 8.
    Total number of days with *observations* of 1 sunspot (denormalized) between 1690-1699 (inclusive) = 4 (May 27-30, 1695).
    All the other days between 1690-1699 had *observations* of 0 sunspots.

  91. Armand MacMurray
    Posted Oct 14, 2005 at 11:47 AM | Permalink

    PS – I was using mostly the “dailyrg.dat” file.

  92. ET Sid Viscous
    Posted Oct 14, 2005 at 11:48 AM | Permalink

    Armand

    I was un-aware that during the time 1690-1699 there were sattelite observations of the side of the sun that was not facing us during that 10 year period.

    Possibly you could enlighten me to the space program of 17th century Europe.

    Or possibly your argument is that sunspots only occour on 1/2 of the sun.

  93. ET Sid Viscous
    Posted Oct 14, 2005 at 12:00 PM | Permalink

    PS, Since you have all the data. Please compare the resolution capablility of 17th century observations to minumum sunspot size.

    From: http://www.astro.phys.ethz.ch/papers/fligge/sola7105.pdf

    “The first effect can easily become significant, for, as Bogdan et al. (1988)showed, the smallest sunspots are by far the most common.”

    From: http://adsabs.harvard.edu/cgi-bin/nph-bib_query?bibcode=1981phss.conf….7M&db_key=AST&data_type=HTML&format=

    The smallest sunspot is about 300 km across

  94. Armand MacMurray
    Posted Oct 14, 2005 at 12:14 PM | Permalink

    Since we’re being pedantic, I’m happy to stipulate that there were no extra-terrestrial observations of sunspot number before the 20th century. I’m also happy to stipulate that by “sunspot”, we’re talking about sunspots visible to pre-20th century observers.
    BTW, to avoid misunderstanding, posts #90-91 are meant to provide the data for statistical analysis, not to calculate the most likely number of actual (not observed) sunspots.

  95. ET Sid Viscous
    Posted Oct 14, 2005 at 12:25 PM | Permalink

    “I’m also happy to stipulate that by “sunspot”, we’re talking about sunspots visible to pre-20th century observers.

    I’m not. The statement I referred to was, and I quote.

    “I would like to point out that the sun only had one sunspot in this decade and and it only lasted for 3 or 4 days in 1695″

    Not observed from Earth with 17th century technology. But one (1) singular. Meaning Only one, my point is that he, nor anyone else, has the data to back up that statement with.

    He then followed that up with.

    “This makes 1690-1699 the least active decade ever recorded on the sun.”

    Which I feel it must be necessary to point out, that I did not comment on this at all. Therefore it is not in any part of this completely useless and exceedingly pedantic discussion. Much lkike discusion of 70 years are not part of the discusion.

  96. Brooks Hurd
    Posted Oct 14, 2005 at 12:43 PM | Permalink

    Peter,

    Re: 56

    You must have missed the discussion of pre-industrial CO2 levels. There are serious concerns that ice core CO2 analyses are incorrect based on sample handling prior to analysis. There is a very high probability that significant gas is lost during ice core retrieval, handling, and storage. Since leaf stomata are calibrated against ice core CO2 levels in the pre-indutrial period, they can not be said to verify ice core CO2 analyses. We need at least one more verifiable data point to perform the calibration, and it currently does not exist.

    You have the right to accept, on faith alone, that the ice core CO2 levels are correct. However, please do not attempt to quantify the CO2 increases and use that in your argument without stating that you are accepting questionable data to make your point.

  97. PJ
    Posted Oct 14, 2005 at 12:49 PM | Permalink

    The irony of Kevin Trenberth accusing other people of doing incredibly stupid things is just too rich. This is the same guy who insisted not too long ago, without a shred of evidence, that global warming is increasing the frequency and intensity of El Ninos. More recently he has insisted, without a shred of evidence, that global warming is increasing the frequency and intensity of hurricanes. The problem with this is that El Ninos in the Pacific suppress hurricane activity in the Atlantic by increasing upper level westerly winds, which lead to vertical wind shear high enough to prevent hurricane formation. So there really no way that global warming can increase the frequency and intensity of both El Ninos and hurricanes.

  98. JerryB
    Posted Oct 14, 2005 at 1:53 PM | Permalink

    What are sunspots?

    From a rather old (1890?) dictionary:

    sunspots: dark spots that appear on the sun’s disk, consisting commonly of a black central portion with a surrounding border of lighter shade, and usually seen only by the telescope, but sometimes by the naked eye.

    Current common definitions similarly refer to dark spots that appear, i.e. they are defined in visual terms.

    Depending on what definition one is using, it may be quite accurate to say that if no sunspots were visible from Earth, there were no sunspots regardless of what might be visible from some other point of view.

  99. ET Sid Viscous
    Posted Oct 14, 2005 at 2:21 PM | Permalink

    And trees wouldn’t exist unless there was someone to see them.

    Nice definition, you often look at the sun with the naked eye?

  100. John A
    Posted Oct 14, 2005 at 2:30 PM | Permalink

    The Chinese first described sunspots more than 2000 years ago. They noted that when the sun was low in the sky, and there was some intervening low cloud, fog, or windblown dust from nearby deserts, then dark spots on the Sun could be seen.

    So yes, under certain viewing conditions and obviously near solar maxima, it IS possible to see sunspots with the naked eye.

  101. jon
    Posted Oct 14, 2005 at 3:31 PM | Permalink

    As I remember from grade 3, or abouts, a very simple device for viewing sunspots:
    http://users.erols.com/njastro/barry/pages/pinhole.htm
    something I’m sure the clever Chinese could easily have come up with.

  102. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Oct 14, 2005 at 3:34 PM | Permalink

    And of course you can create a pinhole camera and view the sun against a screen anytime during the day. Whether or not this would count as ‘naked eye’ is a matter of definition. Certainly there’s no lens or mirror involved. In fact you might even be able to sit under the old apple tree and observe sunspots on the dirt under ideal conditions. During the couple of near total eclipses I’ve been in I’ve enjoyed looking at the crescents cast by the sun through the leaves and if there was a very large area of sunspots they might be able to be observed in such a situation.

  103. Hans Erren
    Posted Oct 14, 2005 at 3:36 PM | Permalink

    re 96
    Why would a gas leak lead to change in composition of the residual? Is there a preference for big molecules to leak faster?

  104. Hans Erren
    Posted Oct 14, 2005 at 3:39 PM | Permalink

    John A, what’s your source for the 93% natural CO2 emission, and how much is reabsorbed in the same calender year?

    Peter H, Where is your source for the reducing sinks?

    nag nag

  105. John A
    Posted Oct 14, 2005 at 3:44 PM | Permalink

    Re #104

    I will not be intimidated into revealing my source, which is my personal property, unless I am written to by a senior Congressional Committee – in which case I’ll capitulate immediately.
    ;-)

  106. Hans Erren
    Posted Oct 14, 2005 at 3:47 PM | Permalink

    plea-ea-ea-ea-ea-ease?

  107. Armand MacMurray
    Posted Oct 14, 2005 at 4:59 PM | Permalink

    Re #95:

    Not observed from Earth with 17th century technology. But one (1) singular. Meaning Only one

    Don’t get your knickers bunched up ET, I agree with you on this.

    … my point is that he, nor anyone else, has the data to back up that statement with.

    I disagree and posted the data for you (without analysis — I’ll try to get to that soon).

  108. JerryB
    Posted Oct 14, 2005 at 6:10 PM | Permalink

    > And trees wouldn’t exist unless there was someone to see them.

    You would seem to have a rather odd notion of trees.

    > Nice definition,

    See you local dictionary.

    > you often look at the sun with the naked eye?

    See ftp://ftp.ngdc.noaa.gov/STP/SOLAR_DATA/SUNSPOT_NUMBERS/ANCIENT_DATA/Early_Reports for a “Catalog of Naked-Eye Sunspot Observations and Large Sunpots”

  109. Douglas Hoyt
    Posted Oct 14, 2005 at 6:12 PM | Permalink

    In 1695, active solar observers were La Hire in Paris, Flamsteed in England, Eimmart in Nuremberg, and Gulielmini in Bononia. Other observers included Uccelli in Bononia, Cassini in Paris, Mezzavacca in Bononia, Moeren in Nuremberg, and Agerholm in Copenhagen.

    La Hire observed on 157 days. Flamsteed observed on 66 days. Eimmart observed on 131 days. Gulielmini observed on 142 days. Uccelli had 19 days, Cassini had 4 days, Mezzavacca had 2 days, Moeren had 1 day, and Agerholm was active in the latter part of the year. La Hire, Gulielmini, and Agerholm saw the spot in late May. It was apparently a small spot since other observers did not note it. A small spot would be consistent with it being short-lived.

    The point I was making was that the sun was well observed in 1690s and nine observers during a year is not unusual. As the Maunder Minimum progressed, the sun became better observed. The 1690s were unique for a calendar decade in having only one spot reported. Of course, there could have been short-lived sunspots on the backside of the sun. In fact, many of sunspots are reported as already formed and coming onto the disk of the sun when they are discovered. That indicates rather diligent observing to pick them up so soon. Often these spots would be observed to travel across the disk and reappear again as the sun rotated. Furthermore many drawings of sunspots in these years show considerable detail indicated they were using good optics.

    1695 would have been a solar maximum and yet it was less active than solar minimums are nowadays.

  110. JerryB
    Posted Oct 14, 2005 at 8:42 PM | Permalink

    ET,

    Meanwhile, you might want to clarify your statement:

    “The sun has spots on a daily basis.”

    In the context of a reply to a statement about the 1690s, what evidence can you provide that your statement is not rather clueless about 1690s sunspots by any definition?

  111. ET Sid Viscous
    Posted Oct 14, 2005 at 9:00 PM | Permalink

    Jerry

    Going on the “take a ticket” form of argument going here, we have to adress Dougs POint first.

    I think his comment in 109 is very good. He’s admited the posibility of other spots, infering that his earlier declatory might have been a little too strong. As soon a Armand gets his panties un-bunched and finds his ESA Sattalite data from 1690-1699 or whatever it is he’s looking for, we can wrap that point up and move to others.

    But my original point you quited stilll stands. Particuarly if you want to continue on with pedantic seantic discusion. The statement still stands fine, other than you reading a context that is not there.

    Nice to see you spent 60 posts going back and fighting to pull that out. I’ll sleep better knowing that you’ve been stressing on this all day long.

  112. JerryB
    Posted Oct 14, 2005 at 9:26 PM | Permalink

    ET,

    The context preceded your comment. Pretending that that context is not there borders on the delusional.

    Your “original point” fell flat on its face while you typed it.

    60 posts? It seems that you have difficulty counting. :-)

  113. Brooks Hurd
    Posted Oct 15, 2005 at 12:29 PM | Permalink

    Hans,
    Re: 103

    Thanks for the comment. My concern is sample handling.

    When ice cores are retrived and brought to the surface, they are exposed to much lower pressures. Gas dissolved in the ice comes out of solution and fractures the ice. Gas loss is one effect of sample handling. When gas is lost from an ice core through fractures, then air will diffuse into the ice core.

    Although there is some gas directly trapped in ice cores, most of the gas is dissolved in the ice. Some is also stored as chemical complexes. Because different gases have different solution mechanisms, the concentration of dissolved gases in ice cores will not be identical to their original concentrations in the air. This must be calculated based on the way each gas is dissolved.

    As a result of mixing with ambient air, the gas concentrations which are finally analyzed will be different from the gas concentrations which originally dissolved in the ice core. The concern is that calculated pre-industrial CO2 concentrations will be different from the original concentrations.

  114. ET Sid Viscous
    Posted Oct 15, 2005 at 12:32 PM | Permalink

    So now your argument is that we don’t get sunspots on a daily basis, and you think I’m delusional.

    Might I suggest loking at the Sunspots with your naked eye, then with your remaining good eye look up past and present tense.

    As to the 60 posts. 110-50=60. Or do you use some kind of Mann New Math?

  115. JerryB
    Posted Oct 15, 2005 at 1:33 PM | Permalink

    > So now your argument is that we don’t get sunspots on a daily basis, and you think I’m delusional.

    It seems that you prefer to “reply” to something other than what I wrote.

    > Might I suggest loking at the Sunspots with your naked eye, then with your remaining good eye look up past and present tense.

    Your wording was: “The sun has spots on a daily basis.” It did not limit the “daily basis” to recent days.

    > As to the 60 posts. 110-50=60. Or do you use some kind of Mann New Math?

    Most of those posts were “spent” (to use your word) by people other than me.

    Since you seem unwilling, or unable, coherently to discuss what you wrote, or what I wrote, as written, I bid you good day.

  116. Peter Hearnden
    Posted Oct 15, 2005 at 2:24 PM | Permalink

    Re 113. Brooks, why do you think those doing the analysis of the cores aren’t aware of these problem/supposed problems and have tackled them? Have you ever analysed a ice core? I haven’t, and for that reason I don’t think I know better than those that do. What makes you think you know better than them?

  117. ET Sid Viscous
    Posted Oct 15, 2005 at 2:54 PM | Permalink

    to something other than what I wrote.

    goose/gander pot/kettle etc

    It did not limit the “daily basis” to recent days

    Admitedly, as I inferred, it takes some knowledge of the English language vis-àƒÆ’à‚➭vis tense issues, that you apparently are incapable of understanding.

    Most of those posts were “spent”

    Re-word, understandable miscommunication. “go back” 60 posts.

    I bid you good day.

    Smell ya.

  118. John A
    Posted Oct 15, 2005 at 4:06 PM | Permalink

    Dear ET

    Here is the scorecard:

    The Maunder Minimum:

    “that the sun only had one sunspot in this decade”

    I find that extremely har to believe. The sun has spots on a daily basis.

    And simply because it wasn’t recorded doesn’t mean it wasn’t there.

    Incredulity is not a defence for ignorance. The clear evidence was that during the Maunder Minimum the solar cycle appeared to stop. Any spots that did appear were extremely rare and (compared to today’s solar cycle) very long lived, often lasting more than one complete rotation.

    Viewing sunspots with the naked eye:

    And trees wouldn’t exist unless there was someone to see them.

    Nice definition, you often look at the sun with the naked eye?

    As had been pointed out, sunspots had been first described by the Chinese more than 2000 years ago. Galileo reported them as well. The technology of using a pinhole camera or camera obscura was well known in the Renaissance even without telescopes. Doug Hoyt pointed out that solar observations during a particular decade during the Maunder Minimum were pretty thorough and that spots during that time were indeed very rare.

    On Doug Hoyt’s research:

    I think his comment in 109 is very good. He’s admited the posibility of other spots, infering that his earlier declatory might have been a little too strong. As soon a Armand gets his panties un-bunched and finds his ESA Sattalite data from 1690-1699 or whatever it is he’s looking for, we can wrap that point up and move to others.

    But my original point you quited stilll stands. Particuarly if you want to continue on with pedantic seantic discusion. The statement still stands fine, other than you reading a context that is not there.

    There’s no semantics about it. The evidence is clear, and you have been dancing around those points in increasing desperation.

    Ignorance is not a point of view.

    Verdict: pwned

  119. Hans Erren
    Posted Oct 15, 2005 at 4:48 PM | Permalink

    John, Now that we solved that, could you spend some time on your 93% – 7% CO2 claim?

    Please?

  120. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Oct 15, 2005 at 6:10 PM | Permalink

    And now that we’ve had our fun demonstrating Trenberth’s statement:
    “newcomers to the climate field sometimes do “incredibly stupid” things” maybe we should beg Steve to close this thread down and let us move on the something new.

  121. ET Sid Viscous
    Posted Oct 15, 2005 at 6:39 PM | Permalink

    Any spots that did appear were extremely rare and (compared to today’s solar cycle) very long lived, often lasting more than one complete rotation.

    Doug would disagree with you, as would I and others. As the observed spot in question did not last more than one cycle of rotation, this information was posted by Doug himself in the original post. So right off the bat you make an incorrect, or at least dubious statement.

    The technology of using a pinhole camera or camera obscura was well known in the Renaissance even without telescopes.

    That wouldn’t exactly be a naked eye now would it. It could also be done with a filter, or smoked glass, but that is not observing the sun with a naked eye.

    Ignorance is not a point of view.

    Do you hear that often? I would suspect so.

    In fact reviewing the thread, I see your the one who basically started the crap here. In fact Jerry B was the first one to point out the Marauder Minnumum to my original comment. You will note no arguement from me after that, until Doug made a comment about observation. I simply clariffied that during the time it was still impossible to have 100% observation f the entire Sun, but I sitill didn’t argue quantity of sunspots (Once clarified with the Marauder minumum post). Then you wander in and start up. Since by that point I had acquiesced on the Maruder Minumum (Not having known of it previously), you felt it imperative to then attack me on even minor points. Best I can reckon, you still think it was possible to observe the far side of the sun in the 17th entury. Which was the only point I was making unto Doug’s observation comment. You’ll note by then I did not disagree with Doug, nor do I now, Only a clarification of observational time. It was you who then started this entire hair-splitting arguement. The only way you can show me wrong, is to make up stuff I didn’t say, then say I was wrong in saying it even though I didn’t. I asked Doug for a clarification on his comment, Jerry B provided it, and you will note me entire lack of rebuttal to that point. YOU are the one that then started nit-picking my posts. As a result you and your sopmoric Lette speak have been basically wrong in every thing that you have said in this reference. You were the one who even brougght up 70 years, where i still don’t know where it came from. Why not 90, why not 112 why not 500? The period Doug Mentioned was a decade, for your knowledge that is 10 years. Why did you even get involved in the discusion to begin with?

  122. John A
    Posted Oct 16, 2005 at 2:03 AM | Permalink

    I’m tempted to reply in minute detail to this farrago of nonsense, but life’s too short.

  123. ET Sid Viscous
    Posted Oct 16, 2005 at 2:23 AM | Permalink

    In oher words you can’t

  124. Hans Erren
    Posted Oct 16, 2005 at 2:28 AM | Permalink

    no ET, you are viscous

  125. ET Sid Viscous
    Posted Oct 16, 2005 at 2:31 AM | Permalink

    Again Hank? Not quite sure what you mean by that, but you just prefer to insult anyway.

  126. Hans Erren
    Posted Oct 16, 2005 at 2:37 AM | Permalink

    Can you give me a maximum number of unobserved sunspots in the maunder minimum?
    An a maximum number of unobserved sunspots in the last solar minimum?

    and compare those two numbers?

  127. Hans Erren
    Posted Oct 16, 2005 at 2:39 AM | Permalink

    http://www.m-w.com/dictionary/viscid

  128. Louis Hissink
    Posted Oct 16, 2005 at 3:14 AM | Permalink

    As a geologist used to dealing with “history” I find this thread interesting.

    The problem is that history cannot be tested.

    And that demands an even more careful consideration of how to interpret the past, and measurements made from historical data.

    Other than that Hans would probably grin at this, but Viscous is a synonym for “Thick”. It seems his interlocutor is more viscous than assumed.

  129. Hans Erren
    Posted Oct 16, 2005 at 5:15 AM | Permalink

    And finally, ET stop flogging a dead horse. The sunspot number is defined as the sunspots on the near side of the sun.

    http://www.google.nl/search?hl=nl&lr=&rls=GGLC,GGLC:1970-01,GGLC:nl&oi=defmore&defl=en&q=define:Sunspot+Number

    No observer gives a toss about hypothetical sunspots on the far side. The sunspot number in the maunder minimum was zero, there are sufficient overlapping observations.

  130. JerryB
    Posted Oct 16, 2005 at 7:14 AM | Permalink

    Hans,

    The subject quickly gets a bit complicated. There are sunspot numbers, and there are numbers of sunspots. Of sunspot numbers, there are the Wolf Sunspot Number, and the Group Sunspot Number, the latter developed by Douglas Hoyt. Neither is simply a count of sunspots observed. Both are based on observations of the portion the Sun visible from Earth.

    I had them in mind when I brought up the subject of definitions of sunspots, but chose not to complicate the discussion by explicitly referring to them.

    BTW, there are large portions of the Maunder Minimum with sunspot numbers of zero, but there also are portions with non-zero sunspot numbers.

    For more sunspot numbers than you may desire, see http://www.ngdc.noaa.gov/stp/SOLAR/ftpsunspotnumber.html and/or http://sidc.oma.be/html/sunspot.html

  131. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Oct 16, 2005 at 7:19 AM | Permalink

    Please be polite and edit down any flaming.

  132. Hans Erren
    Posted Oct 16, 2005 at 8:45 AM | Permalink

    re 130

    I agree there were non zero years during the maunder minimum, but the maximum value in the maunder period is less than the minimum value in recent years, a true anomaly.

  133. ET Sid Viscous
    Posted Oct 16, 2005 at 11:19 AM | Permalink

    Can you give me a maximum number of unobserved sunspots in the maunder minimum?
    An a maximum number of unobserved sunspots in the last solar minimum?

    Obviously not. Your Back to the Peter H argument of “Please tell me what the “Unknown variables are”” If they are unknown or unobserved you cannot know what they are, it’s why the “Un” is put on the front.

    As a guess I would say the amount of unobserved sunspots during the Maunder Minimum is somewhere in the area of 0-2, and if we want to get really speculative we might go so far as to say 3.

    but Viscous is a synonym for “Thick”.

    Ahh the insults just keep coming.

    “The sunspot number is defined as the sunspots on the near side of the sun.”

    Yes and as Jerry pointed out that is the “Sunspot Number” which is related but is not the number of sunspots. You will of course note the factor “k is a scaling factor that corrects for seeing conditions at various observatories” Assumedly that also corrects for sunspots not visible as they are on the far side of the Sun.

    For those that deem to term “Sunspots” as only those observed by humans. What would you call “sunspots that are not observed by humans”?

    But Again you need to bring in another term that was not what I was discussing. Even so in factoring the “Sunspot Number” it seems they do take into account those that cannot be observed (for a variety of reasons) In fact Jerry’s link pulls up a more verbose definition of Sunspots.

    From: ftp://ftp.ngdc.noaa.gov/STP/SOLAR_DATA/SUNSPOT_NUMBERS/info.ssn

    In 1848 the Swiss astronomer Johann Rudolph Wolf introduced a daily measure-
    ment of sunspot number. His method, which is still used today, counts the
    total number of spots visible on the face of the sun and the number of groups
    into which they cluster, because neither quantity alone satisfactorily meas-
    ures sunspot activity.

    An observer computes a daily sunspot number by multiplying the number of
    groups he sees by ten and then adding this product to his total count of in-
    dividual spots. Results, however, vary greatly, since the measurement strong-
    ly depends on observer interpretation and experience and on the stability of
    the Earth’s atmosphere above the observing site. Moreover, the use of Earth
    as a platform from which to record these numbers contributes to their varia-
    bility, too, because the sun rotates and the evolving spot groups are distrib-
    uted unevenly across solar longitudes.

    Which is the only point I was trying to make. Thank you for further supporting my Position Hans by showing that not only do they consider unobserved sunspots, but that they have a mathematical variable for it.

  134. ET Sid Viscous
    Posted Oct 16, 2005 at 11:20 AM | Permalink

    Post truncatred:

    To compensate for these limitations,
    each daily international number is computed as a weighted average of measure-
    ments made from a network of cooperating observatories.

    Today, much more sophisticated measurements of solar activity are made
    routinely,but none has the link with the past that sunspot numbers have.

  135. Hans Erren
    Posted Oct 16, 2005 at 2:46 PM | Permalink

    re 33

    Yes and as Jerry pointed out that is the “Sunspot Number” which is related but is not the number of sunspots. You will of course note the factor “k is a scaling factor that corrects for seeing conditions at various observatories” Assumedly that also corrects for sunspots not visible as they are on the far side of the Sun

    no it doesn’t, k adjusts for small sunspots which are difficult to detect in some observatories to harmonise the wolf number across observatories:

    http://www.spaceweather.com/glossary/sunspotnumber.html

    R=k (10g+s), where R is the sunspot number; g is the number of sunspot groups on the solar disk; s is the total number of individual spots in all the groups; and k is a variable scaling factor (usually smaller than 1) that accounts for observing conditions and the type of telescope (binoculars, space telescopes, etc.). Scientists combine data from lots of observatories — each with its own k factor — to arrive at a daily value.

    So they adjust for difficult to detect sunspots on the near side.

    “k is a variable scaling factor usually smaller than 1″, so it usually reduces the sunspotnumber!

  136. Brooks Hurd
    Posted Oct 16, 2005 at 4:23 PM | Permalink

    Peter,

    why do you think those doing the analysis of the cores aren’t aware of these problem/supposed problems and have tackled them?

    I have spent 25 years performing field analyses of trace gases using a wide variety of anlaytical instruments. I have written standards and methods for testing. I have evaluated testing procedures and teams performing tests. I have given many tutorials on testing. I have evaluated testing laboratories on several continents. Over this time, I have found that worldwide there are very few people who understand the problems posed by contamination in gas testing. I have seen many errors made be well intentioned people who assumed that they were doing things correctly. I would like to assume that the people analyzing CO2 in ice cores have accounted for all the problems that they face in sample retrieval and handling. That assumption has bitten me far too often.

    Have you ever analysed a ice core? I haven’t, and for that reason I don’t think I know better than those that do. What makes you think you know better than them?

    The problems of ice core sample handing that I have listed are analogous to the problems that I have dealt with over the past 25 years testing for trace components and fine particles in gases. The people who performed the ice core tests may have the knowledge of microcontamination which would prevent analytical problems. Experience has taught me, however, that this is unlikely to be the case.

  137. Peter Hearnden
    Posted Oct 17, 2005 at 2:39 AM | Permalink

    Re #136

    Fair and honest enough, you do think you know better than them.

    OK, go tell them or, better, write something (better, far better, than ZJ’s efforts) that shows, at least to you, them to be wrong. If they agree you’re famous, if they show you you’re wrong or you can’t agree either way, start a website called IceAudit…

  138. Hans Erren
    Posted Oct 17, 2005 at 4:14 AM | Permalink

    peter, the implicit snide to climateaudit was unneccesary.
    Please show where have MBH shown M&M wrong.

  139. Peter Hearnden
    Posted Oct 17, 2005 at 4:26 AM | Permalink

    hans, ‘Please show where have MBH shown M&M wrong’ covered by the ‘or you can’t agree either way’ bit, surely?

  140. JerryB
    Posted Oct 17, 2005 at 7:30 AM | Permalink

    Regarding what ice core readers “know”:

    From http://cdiac.esd.ornl.gov/trends/co2/vostok.htm

    “Using semiempirical models of densification applied to past Vostok climate conditions, Barnola et al. (1991) reported that the age difference between air and ice may be ~6000 years during the coldest periods instead of ~4000 years, as previously assumed.”

    4000 years? 6000 years? And we are supposed to take them seriously?

    “Gas extraction and measurements were performed with the “Grenoble analytical setup,” which involved crushing the ice sample (~40 g) under vacuum in a stainless steel container without melting it, expanding the gas released during the crushing in a pre-evacuated sampling loop, and analyzing the CO_2 concentrations by gas chromatography (Barnola et al. 1983).”

    “without melting it”! And we are supposed to take them seriously?

  141. John A
    Posted Oct 17, 2005 at 7:39 AM | Permalink

    Jerry,

    Maybe they meant “…without melting the stainless steel container”.

  142. Louis Hissink
    Posted Oct 17, 2005 at 7:40 AM | Permalink

    #136

    Brooks Hurd seems to have emphasised a fact few are aware of – the dificulty of obtaining sampled from the subsurface.

    In terms of rock, coring actions do not melt the medium.

    In terms of ice, coring actions do, as further discussed by Jaworoski.

    As someone who has supervised deep drilling of rock to 1.3km depth using conventional equipment, drilling ice and at the same time ensuring the collection of un-biassed samples seems very difficult.

    The major problem lies in the usuage of the drilling cooling medium – water. And the PT conditions present during the drilling operation.

    The coring technique itself is incapable of producing unbiassed samples.

    On this basis ice core data are probably irrelevant.

  143. Louis Hissink
    Posted Oct 17, 2005 at 7:49 AM | Permalink

    Drilling:

    Rock=solid, medium is water, liquid.

    If coring ice, the ice is the solid, then what substance is liquid at 0 deg C? that is practicably manageable?

    Hence the problems as argued above.

  144. Peter Hearnden
    Posted Oct 17, 2005 at 8:28 AM | Permalink

    Re #138, hans I’ve answered this, twice, and been ‘karmared’ both times. Lets see if this makes it before I try again :(

  145. Peter Hearnden
    Posted Oct 17, 2005 at 8:36 AM | Permalink

    Ok, re #138, hans, ‘or you can’t agree either way’ – the not proven option. Seems reasonable to me – surely thats why we have CA/RC – it’s not proven?

  146. Murray Duffin
    Posted Oct 17, 2005 at 9:17 AM | Permalink

    You all seem like intelligent people. What earthly kick do you get out of the totally trivial sunspot discussion? Could you please stick to making useful observations/inputs?
    As for pedantry, ET – Doug may have “implied” something, but you “inferred”. Murray

  147. ET SidViscous
    Posted Oct 17, 2005 at 9:29 AM | Permalink

    “So they adjust for difficult to detect sunspots on the near side”

    See etc, you are quoting from the less verbose comment, my comment was to the more verbose definition which included rotation of the sun.

    so it usually reduces the sunspotnumber!

    Which is why it is the sunspotnumbner, not to be confused with the number of sunspots which is a count, not a representation of solar activity. But your being fairly disingenuous.

    “R=k (10g+s), where R is the sunspot number; g is the number of sunspot groups on the solar disk; s is the total number of individual spots in all the groups; and k is a variable scaling factor (usually

    So to do an example. We see 3 Sunspot groups, so we then get R=k(10[3]+s)or R=k(30+s) then we count the number of sunspots. As an example. We see 3 individual sunspots, and in sunspot group A we see 11 sunspots, in sunspot group B we see 8 and in sunspot Group C we see 9. So we total that up and we get 31 total sunspots (This is the number of sunspots, not the sunspot Number) so our equation is now. R=k(30+31) or R=k(61). Now we apply the K factor. Lets use 0.6, again as an example. R=0.6(61) or 36.6.

    Now this show us two things. One The “Sunspot Number” is not the number of sunspots. First off The number of sunspots is an integer, you cannot have .6 Sunspots. Secondly, The sunspot number uses in it’s calculation, the total amount of sunspots (s). So again we are not talking about the Sunspot Number, we are talking about the number of sunspots, but you knew that, you just want to cloud the issue, and talk about irrelevant subjects.

  148. Brooks Hurd
    Posted Oct 17, 2005 at 12:05 PM | Permalink

    I just looked at the Vostok ice core data. Over more than 400K years of ice cores, the mean value is 232 ppmv CO2 and the standard deviation is 28.5 ppmv. No reading is above 300 ppmv or below 180 ppmv.

    After looking at many thousand sets of gas analytical data, I am very surprised at the consistancy of these data. Since I would expect that these analyses were carried out over some period of time, I wish that the data showed the date and location of the analyses.

  149. Hans Erren
    Posted Oct 18, 2005 at 3:43 PM | Permalink

    Brooks, perhaps you could ask them for the raw data?

    John A, you are building strawmen about the 93/7 question:

    Also the “Orwellian Gaps” are back again. 97% of the rise of carbon dioxide is natural in origin. How does the 3% produced from anthropogenic sources means that ALL of the climate change is attributable to humankind? How does a change in a minor gas cause climate change at all, when all high resolution ice core records show carbon dioxide rise as a delayed response to temperature rise and never a driver?

    First: Yes ALL of the recent rise of CO2 in the atmosphere is caused by the extra CO2 humans put into it.
    Second: No, IPCC does not state that ALL recent warming is antropogenic
    Third, Yes, minor CO2 is a very powerful greenhouse gas.
    Fourth Co2 is both a driver of and a reactor to climate: the driver is smaller than the reactor, one of the reasons why we didn’t run away in the past.

  150. Paul
    Posted Oct 18, 2005 at 4:30 PM | Permalink

    Hans,

    In what way can you prove that ALL of the recent rise in CO2 is the result of extra CO2 being added by humans? Isn’t this what much of the debate is actually about?

    What makes CO2 a “powerful” greenhouse gas? What properties does it have that make a very small amount of this particular greenhouse gas have a greater impact that a very large amount of a different greenhouse gas?

    In what way can you prove that the apparent rise in temperatures is the result of this apparently extra CO2 and not some other driving factor, such as solar output?

    Finally, assuming that there is a temperature rise, why must we assume that it only more negative consequences than positive ones? It appears that the earth has been significantly warmer in the past and the earth survived. Why is it different this time?

    Do you subscribe to the “Day After Tomorrow” apocalyptic events if we add just a little bit more CO2? Or, can the earth figure itself out?

  151. Brooks Hurd
    Posted Oct 18, 2005 at 11:53 PM | Permalink

    Hans,

    I am trying to locate the authors’ email address so that I can ask them where I can find the data. I have the archived data from the Vostok ice cores. That is what I used to calculate the mean and standard deviation. It does not include the analytical details.

  152. Hans Erren
    Posted Oct 19, 2005 at 12:23 AM | Permalink

    Here are the contact details for Jean Jouzel

    http://www.ipsl.jussieu.fr/ipsl/Secretariat/AnnuaireIPSL.htm

  153. Brooks Hurd
    Posted Oct 21, 2005 at 7:12 PM | Permalink

    Thanks Hans

  154. Posted Oct 24, 2005 at 2:35 PM | Permalink

    re 150:

    It’s extremely difficult to keep a balanced position in climate debate.

    The moment you say “there is physical evidence that CO2 is a powerful greenhouse gas” you are a liberal warmer.
    The moment you say “but the climate sensitivity is low”, you are a conservative paid by oil industry.

    Yes all current rise of CO2 in the atmosphere is manmade, but the sink is still increasing, that’s straightforward bookkeeping.
    No not all current rise of temperature is manmade, there is ample evidence for multidecadal cyclicity.

    Yes I am convinced the truth is halfway between the extremes.
    Yes Co2 is a greenhouse gas, no the sky is not falling.

    Climate models that use 1 degree for CO2 doubling do have good results, but use impossible economic extrapolations for business as usual.

    read this

    http://home.casema.nl/errenwijlens/cooling.htm

    ank ask what you don’t understant and I’ll explain it to you.

  155. Willis Eschenbach
    Posted Oct 24, 2005 at 4:52 PM | Permalink

    Hans, since the ocean outgasses CO2 as it warms, at least some of the increase in CO2 is a result of the temperature rise from coming out of the Little Ice Age, and thus your statement that “all of the current rise of CO2 in the atmosphere is manmade” is demonstrably untrue …

    w.

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  1. By Trenberth on Statistics « Climate Audit on Jan 13, 2011 at 1:59 PM

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