Anthony Watts on Glenn Beck

Anthony reports:

Here is a link to the audio and the transcript of the radio interview I did with Glenn Beck on Monday at the International Conference on Climate Change in New York.

http://www.glennbeck.com/content/articles/article/196/6727/?ck=1

For those that would like to see my slide show presented at ICCC that day, see this link:

http://gallery.surfacestations.org/watts-NYC-2008/index.html

UPDATE: The video interview I did on the Glenn Beck show is now online, see link below:

79 Comments

  1. Eric McFarland
    Posted Mar 8, 2008 at 2:44 PM | Permalink | Reply

    I note that AW did not disclose or address this issue in his interview:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Satellite_Temperatures.png#file

    How does one square the theory that the surface measurements are contaminated by UHI, etc, when the surface measurements substantially agree with the satellite rendered measurements?

  2. Boris
    Posted Mar 8, 2008 at 2:54 PM | Permalink | Reply

    What’s up with the “CLIMATE OF FEAR” caption?

  3. Ron Cram
    Posted Mar 8, 2008 at 3:05 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Eric,

    There were no satellite measurements in the 1930s and 1940s. Part of the overall issue is the possibly unwarranted adjustments GISS makes to cool temperatures in the past. This results in a poor understanding of extent of natural climate variability. If a satellite record existed for the 1930s and 1940s and showed it to be as warm as the 1990s, it would put a different perspective on the quality of the surface record.

    Also, satellite measurements are of the lower troposphere – not surface temperature. Satellite measurements show much greater variation both up and down. The relationship of surface temp to lower troposphere is not yet completely understood.

  4. Posted Mar 8, 2008 at 3:07 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Beck mentions Vaclav Klaus, the president of the Czech Republic, as being present at the AGW “non-alarmist” conference taking place in NY. Klaus is the subject of an interesting interview in this weekend’s Wall St. Journal.

    His remarks on warming are more political than technical. For example,

    He likens global-warming alarmism to communism, which he experienced first-hand in Cold War Czechoslovakia, then a Soviet satellite. While the communists argued that we must all sacrifice some freedom in pursuit of “equality,” the “warmists,” as Mr. Klaus calls them, want us to sacrifice liberty — especially economic liberty — to prevent a change in climate….

    Cost-benefit analysis and the precautionary principle “are two different methodologies, two different approaches, two different ways of thinking,” he says. The less desirable precautionary principle “as used by Al Gore and all his fellow travelers” says that “if you are afraid that there are risks to something, you may prohibit everything.” He continues: This is for me absolutely unacceptable to think about.”

    CA’s policy is to avoid the politics of AGW and stick with the science. Is there a politically oriented climate skeptic blog out there where this interview with Klaus is being discussed?

  5. glacierman
    Posted Mar 8, 2008 at 3:14 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Don’t waste your time on Eric M. He is only interested in attempting to discredit Anthony Watt’s work, mainly by getting anything related to discussing it off topic (tells you something). He will do no work himself however.

    As in previous threads, do some work to show that what has been done at Surfacestations is inaccurate and we may discus it then. I see no reason why Anthony should be anwering rhetorical questions that were not the focus of his study.

  6. MrPete
    Posted Mar 8, 2008 at 3:33 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Eric, not only did AW not discuss your preferred topic, there was not even enough time in the interview for him to make the main points he himself wanted to bring up!

    I note that you did not disclose or address the lack of available media time for Anthony.

    How does one square the idea that Anthony should more fully discuss the issues, with the fact that the national media do not even provide enough time for a basic overview?

    [It's a JOKE, folks... Yes, we can drop it :-D ]

  7. Andrew
    Posted Mar 8, 2008 at 3:35 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Hu McCulloch, it might be worth asking our other resident Czechian Lubos Motl.

  8. Follow the Money
    Posted Mar 8, 2008 at 6:41 PM | Permalink | Reply

    #1

    “when the surface measurements substantially agree with the satellite rendered measurements?”

    substanitally agree”


    “substantially”

    Substantially? You think that qualifier flies on a science site? Where did you hear that from, wordsmithed IPCC reports? You should recheck your source. The use of the qualifier “substantially” is always a signifier of a weakness in facts.

  9. Phil.
    Posted Mar 8, 2008 at 8:03 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Re #8

    How would you describe this:

  10. Kenneth Fritsch
    Posted Mar 8, 2008 at 8:07 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Re: Post #1

    How does one square the theory that the surface measurements are contaminated by UHI, etc, when the surface measurements substantially agree with the satellite rendered measurements?

    We have had much mention of late about the differences between satellite and surface measurements of the temperature anomaly trends and to that end I have listed below the calculated trend slopes in degrees C per century and the R^2 values for the trend lines for GISS (surface) and UAH (satellite) for the period 1979-2007.

    To keep this all in perspective, I would also like to point to some analyses that I have done with the initially reported station ratings from Watts and his team, where I have found most of the differences between the trends for CRN123 and CRN45 rated stations occurs between 1950 and 1980. This is the period essentially before satellite measurements.

    Global:

    UAH ===> Trend slope = 1.42; R^2 = 0.43
    GISS ===> Trend slope = 1.97; R^2 = 0.69

    Northern Hemisphere:

    UAH ===> Trend slope = 2.10; R^2 = 0.55
    GISS ===> Trend slope = 3.00; R^2 = 0.69

    Southern Hemisphere:

    UAH ===> Trend slope = 0.74; R^2 = 0.19
    GISS ===> Trend slope = 0.88; R^2 = 0.31

    Notice the large differences in the NH trend slopes compared to the differences in the SH. And note the larger R^2 values for the GISS trend lines compared to those for UAH.

    I do not understand why those who might be concerned about a 0.8 degree trend over the past 100 years would not be concerned with these differences.

    By the way UHI and micro climate errors should not be confused or used interchangeably.

  11. nanny_govt_sucks
    Posted Mar 8, 2008 at 10:12 PM | Permalink | Reply

    How does one square the theory that the surface measurements are contaminated by UHI, etc, when the surface measurements substantially agree with the satellite rendered measurements?

    How was that agreement back in 1930, 1940, or the 1900′s for that matter?

  12. deadwood
    Posted Mar 8, 2008 at 10:25 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Hu:

    Glen Beck also interviewed Vaclav Klaus as part of the same series on the NY climate conference. I watched both his and Anthony’s video clips at YouTube.

    [snip -politics]

  13. Brooks Hurd
    Posted Mar 8, 2008 at 10:48 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Anthony’s slides (Results) show that a significant percentage (87%) of the stations surveyed has a warm bias of between 1 and 5 C.

    The FLIR photos are interesting, since even Eric and Boris would need to accept that if a temperature monitor is warmer or colder than the ambient air temperature, then the station is not providing an accurate temperature reading for the location.

  14. Jaye
    Posted Mar 8, 2008 at 11:12 PM | Permalink | Reply

    How does one square the theory that the surface measurements are contaminated by UHI, etc, when the surface measurements substantially agree with the satellite rendered measurements?

    Is it or is it not true that nearly half of the surveyed sights have been found to be out of spec? If that is true, does anybody know the nature of how the errors are realized. Really, how can the surface records be counted on for anything? If you think they are in some way meaningful, why not just go with known rural stations with a known pedigree (complete history of station moves, equipment changes/upgrades, etc.)?

  15. Jaye
    Posted Mar 8, 2008 at 11:15 PM | Permalink | Reply

    The FLIR photos are interesting, since even Eric and Boris would need to accept that if a temperature monitor is warmer or colder than the ambient air temperature, then the station is not providing an accurate temperature reading for the location.

    Not really. Doesn’t jive with their world view, threatens their professional careers (maybe?), have to save face, etc…plenty reasons to rationalize just about anything.

  16. Posted Mar 8, 2008 at 11:17 PM | Permalink | Reply

    There needs to be a sound bite science communication course.

  17. chopbox
    Posted Mar 8, 2008 at 11:41 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Anthony,
    Just going through your NY presentation. Thanks for showing it here for those of us unable to be there in person. Thought you’d appreciate a couple typos:
    1. I think on overview.9 (page 17) you mean T min, not T max.
    2. “Methodology” on page 23.

    By the way, what is “FLIR”?

    Also, it was nice to see your interview on YouTube (ah, THAT’S what he looks like!) Keep up the good work!

  18. Anthony Watts
    Posted Mar 8, 2008 at 11:56 PM | Permalink | Reply

    RE18, Thanks for the note. With 127 slides, there was bound to be a typo or two. Tmin is correct, but cut n paste error caused that one.

    I’ll republish the slide show tomorrow or Monday. FLIR stands for Forward Looking Infra Red

  19. Kristen Byrnes
    Posted Mar 9, 2008 at 9:02 AM | Permalink | Reply

    The wikipedia graph linked by #1 begins in January 1982 when ENSO was neutral and ends in December 2004 in the middle of an El Nino.

    The graph provided by # 9 begins in January 1979 at about the time of the Pacific climate shift and ends in January 2008, well after the Pacific climate shift.

    Both graphs represent what should be expected given natural climate variation but are being misrepresented to suggest anthropogenic global warming.

  20. Boris
    Posted Mar 9, 2008 at 9:22 AM | Permalink | Reply

    I do not understand why those who might be concerned about a 0.8 degree trend over the past 100 years would not be concerned with these differences.

    GISS includes arctic areas that MSU does not, and since these areas are warming the most, that could account for some (most?) of the difference.

    Tamino/HB has a comparison of GISS and RSS for the continental US and the trends are the same.

  21. John Lang
    Posted Mar 9, 2008 at 11:44 AM | Permalink | Reply

    The High Arctic is warming more than the rest of the planet apparently.

    For example, in the past week, the average temperature above 82 degrees North was -30C to -45C whereas normally at this time of year it is -32C to -47C.

    The High Arctic is not experiencing any more sunshine than normal for this time of year however. It is still ZERO hours of sunshine just like it has been for the past 4.4 billion years.

    http://www.cdc.noaa.gov/map/images/rnl/sfctmpmer_07.rnl.html

  22. Jon
    Posted Mar 9, 2008 at 12:06 PM | Permalink | Reply

    John Lang:

    There has been much said about how melting snow causes changes in the local albedo which in turn causes warming and then further melting. The arctic data is consistent with this model, and as such is consistent with the Arctic trend being self propelling.

    Second, inter-year variation is substantial which leads me to doubt the magnitude of your +2C has any meaning. This is why the debate is about trend-lines, not individual years.

    In that sense you’ve stumbled onto a trap. When people quote their local temperature being elevated by several degrees due to warming, they are clearly speaking nonsense. Even the IPCC does not attribute that strong of a warming trend to AGW. .05C/decade that’s the official estimate.

  23. steven mosher
    Posted Mar 9, 2008 at 12:15 PM | Permalink | Reply

    RE 20. Ok boris. I am going to ask a retarded question. Hadcru have measurements
    that go up to say 80N (we can check exact figures later, but just play along for now)

    They dont estimate from 80N to the pole ( same on the ass end of the planet, lets assume)

    So, they end up with a curve that shows the measured temps, and this includes an error
    for lack of coverage.

    GISS, on the other hand, believe that they can estimate the pole based on stations 1200km
    away. Questions.

    Since the study of station correlation that established the ’1200′ km rule was
    A. performed at lower latitudes
    b. Established at .6 Correlation at 1200km
    c. showed a varience from the northern hemisphere to the southern hemisphere
    d. has never been test at the pole

    Why does anyone think it can estimate the temps at the poles and how does this get us a warmer record. Looks like an indictment of the approach.

    how could GISS lead to a warmer record?

    Here is a data series, 2, MISSING, 2. whats the average of the known?

    Now estimate the missing from the known. What’s the average?

    I;m struggling with how estimating the poles from known data a few hundered miles away, warms
    the estimate for the entire planet.

  24. Richard Sharpe
    Posted Mar 9, 2008 at 12:18 PM | Permalink | Reply

    At -30C to -45C, how much snow is melting in the high Arctic?

    What is the effect of a 2C shift upward when the temperatures there are way below zero? I would really like to know.

  25. Cthulhu
    Posted Mar 9, 2008 at 12:28 PM | Permalink | Reply

    #19 – the graphs show that the temperature records largely agree, ie IF there’s a major flaw it’s due to a problem common to surface AND satellite measurements.

    And anything could be expected from natural climate variation, so it’s an unfalsifiable statement that we should expect the trends from natural climate variation.

  26. bmcburney
    Posted Mar 9, 2008 at 12:29 PM | Permalink | Reply

    At one time, the satellite measurements were not consistent with surface measurements. However, an error in the
    technique of satelite measurement was corrected so now they do match. This proves that possible sources of
    errors in the surface measurements do not exist since the results they give now match the satellite measurements
    which are now known to be perfect (because they match the perfect surface measurements). Therefore, efforts
    to improve the accuracy of the surface measurements would only be confusing and unhelpful. The science is settled,
    it became settled when we got the answer we wanted.

  27. Cthulhu
    Posted Mar 9, 2008 at 12:36 PM | Permalink | Reply

    #23 – assuming GISS shows more warming than HADCRU, which I don’t believe it is, at least not by any significant amount over any significant timescale.

    The comparison in #10 was between HADCRU and UAH. The same comparison done between HADCRU and UAH would probably raise an interesting point.

  28. Cthulhu
    Posted Mar 9, 2008 at 12:37 PM | Permalink | Reply

    sorry that should be “The comparison in #10 was between GISS and UAH”

  29. Posted Mar 9, 2008 at 1:12 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Here is an interview with Klaus, published yesterday:

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB120494352520121491.html?mod=opinion_main_commentaries

  30. Robert Wood
    Posted Mar 9, 2008 at 1:23 PM | Permalink | Reply

    #21 John Lang, optical, or even infra-red and ultra-violet e/m radiaition is not the only way that the Sun interacts with the Earth’s atmosphere.

    There is also the stream of particles of the solar wind, which dump energy into the planet’s atmosphere when they are defelcted or trapped by the geomagnetic field. The Sun’s magnetic field itself dumps loads of energy into the Earth’s environment, via the geomagnetic field. It has also be suggested that cosmic rays create cloud nucleation sites and a strong Solar magnetic field reduces the number of cosmic rays.

    So, climatologists are being disingenuous when they say that the change in Total Solar Irradiance cannot account for climate change as the magnetic and particle flux interractions are ignored.

  31. JRyan
    Posted Mar 9, 2008 at 1:33 PM | Permalink | Reply

    The thing that I want to know is this: If we are going to accept satelite measurements as validation of ground based readings, in spite of the warts, how were the satelites calibrated? Do they not use ground based readings?

  32. Kenneth Fritsch
    Posted Mar 9, 2008 at 1:56 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Re: Post #20

    GISS includes arctic areas that MSU does not, and since these areas are warming the most, that could account for some (most?) of the difference.

    Tamino/HB has a comparison of GISS and RSS for the continental US and the trends are the same.

    The US comparison for the period 1979-2006 is:

    UAH ===> Trend slope = 2.84; R^2 = 0.39
    GISS ===> Trend slope = 3.00; R^2 = 0.25

    Boris, UAH times series are for the globe, NH, SH, land, ocean, tropics, N extratropics, S extratropics, N polar and S polar. No where could I find that UAH was reporting NH and SH without including N polar and S polar. If you have a reference I would be interested in following up.

    That the US has nearly the same trend for GISS and UAH goes along with my findings that the initial approximately 400 USHCN stations evaluated by Watts and team showed the largest trend difference between the higher quality CRN123 stations and the loqwer quality CRN45 stations in the period 1950-1980 before the satellite measurements started. The trend differences between CRN123 and CRN45 were very small between 1980-2007. Also, without reason to judge otherwise at this time, the NH differences between GISS and UAH hold.

  33. DeWitt Payne
    Posted Mar 9, 2008 at 2:09 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Ken #32

    Boris, UAH times series are for the globe, NH, SH, land, ocean, tropics, N extratropics, S extratropics, N polar and S polar. No where could I find that UAH was reporting NH and SH without including N polar and S polar. If you have a reference I would be interested in following up.

    From a contribution by John Christy at Watts Up With That:

    As the spacecraft rolls over the pole it does so at an inclined orbit so
    that the highest nadir latitude is about 82 deg with the scanner looking
    out a bit closer to the pole. Since we apply the scan line data mostly to
    the nadir area directly below the satellite, the actual data only go to
    about 83 deg. In the gridded data I interpolate over the pole, but I
    wouldn’t trust the data too much beyond 85 deg.

    For this reason RSS only reports to 82N. RSS also only reports to 70S because the altitude of Antarctica is well into, possibly above, the lower troposphere.

  34. henry
    Posted Mar 9, 2008 at 2:10 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Boris says:

    March 9th, 2008 at 9:22 am
    I do not understand why those who might be concerned about a 0.8 degree trend over the past 100 years would not be concerned with these differences.

    GISS includes arctic areas that MSU does not, and since these areas are warming the most, that could account for some (most?) of the difference.

    I’ve asked much the same thing, and wondered: If GISS and HadCRU have pretty much the same stations, except for GISS extrapolation for the poles, would a comparison of the anomaly between the two show a continuous, higher reading for GISS. In other words, how much of the difference between GISS and HadCRU is because of the extra area that GISS covers, and how much is due to different use of reporting period?

  35. shs28078
    Posted Mar 9, 2008 at 2:41 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Eric, more importantly:

    http://www.uah.edu/News/pdf/climatemodel.pdf

    reconciling the physics is more difficult(I’d say impossible).

  36. steven mosher
    Posted Mar 9, 2008 at 2:54 PM | Permalink | Reply

    re 27 & 28. To quote my good friend TCO I think we need to disagregate some things.

    GISS versus HADCRU: LAND record.

    GISS versus HADCRU: SEA ( I thinky they use the same records. good question)

    This polar excuse needs to be put to bed.

  37. Kenneth Fritsch
    Posted Mar 9, 2008 at 3:46 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Re #33

    DeWitt, I have posted below the areas fractions of the regions of interest:

    Fraction of NH (SH) area that the listed latitudes encompass:

    0-30N = 0.50: 30-60N = 0.37; 60-90N = 0.13; 83-90N = 0.01 and 72-90S = 0.05.

    I did the math already using UAH’s regional trends to see whether they add up correctly and they do for the NH but are off 0.01 degree C per century in the SH. I cannot see how an estimate of a 1% weighting for the NH or for that matter a 5% weighting in the SH is going to change the NH and SH comparisons between GISS and UAH. I would encourage anyone that might doubt this to do the calculations themselves using the UAH temperature anomaly series.

  38. tty
    Posted Mar 9, 2008 at 3:55 PM | Permalink | Reply

    John Lang: Since weather satellite (POAS) orbits don’t go north of 82 degrees, and there are no surface weather stations north of 82 degrees either, temperatures in that area are pure extrapolations. What NOAA says is that their current guess for temperatures near the North Pole is slightly higher than their averege guesses have been in recent years.

  39. Kenneth Fritsch
    Posted Mar 9, 2008 at 3:57 PM | Permalink | Reply

    I did the math already using UAH’s regional trends to see whether they add up correctly and they do for the NH but are off 0.01 degree C per century in the SH.

    That should be 0.1 degree C per centrury in the SH.
    Also 70-90S would encompass approximately 6% of the SH area

  40. steven mosher
    Posted Mar 9, 2008 at 4:28 PM | Permalink | Reply

    re 34 GISS dont cover more area. they CHOOSE to “extrapolate, estimate, hypothecate interpolate” over the pole from stations up to 1200km away. Hadcru choose to live with a “error” due to lack of coverage. This seems odd. Why would GISS mean move up? what information in surrounding grids could
    convince you to estimate the average of the unknown pole to be higher than its known surroundings?

    I must be screwing this up. What papers cover this GISS pole estimation work?

  41. Kenneth Fritsch
    Posted Mar 9, 2008 at 4:42 PM | Permalink | Reply

    I must be screwing this up. What papers cover this GISS pole estimation work?

    My point is it doesn’t matter hardly at all in the calculation of NH or global temperature trend anomalies. It might be important to know for checking climate model simulations of the polar regions against observed — but than there is no observed. And as my reading is indicating there is not much in the way model simulations for these areas — that is not all over the map.

  42. Kristen Byrnes
    Posted Mar 9, 2008 at 4:46 PM | Permalink | Reply

    # 25
    If you consider month to month disagreements of .2C largely in agreement then I guess we will have to agree to disagree.
    And expecting “anything” from natural variation? Why not just set your trend lines to start in 1992 after Pinatubo and end in 1998 in the middle of the big El Nino? That way you can expect 2 full degrees per decade increase.

  43. Greg Meurer
    Posted Mar 9, 2008 at 4:54 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Steve Mosher re #36 and 40:

    We may be looking in the wrong hemisphere for the main difference between GISTemp and HadCRUT3.

    I have made a comparison between the two. I started by adjusting GISTemp by adding .07C to each annual anomaly. To arrive at this factor I averaged GISTemp for 1961 to 1990 and found the average anomaly to be .07 compared to the average for the 1951 to 1980 period that GISTemp uses. I then subtracted the HadCRUT3 anomaly from the GISTemp anomaly for each year 1880 to 2007. GISTemp is always higher and averages .182C higher for the period. There are some interesting steps in the plot especially before 1949, but the difference after 1948 ranges from .1 to .25C.

    Still using the adjustment for GISTemp of .07C applied to each of the NH and SH data, I did the same calculation of difference of HadCRUT3 from GISTemp and found the SH difference to be .2C and the NH to be .15C. I know that these differences do not average to .182 and do not believe this is rounding error, but something in the methodology of the two agencies.

    I also looked at why the difference exists in the anomalies in the two peak years in GISTemp of 1998 and 2005 compared to HadCRUT3. Interestingly, the peak to peak SH anomaly in GISTemp is nearly zero (.01C) so the reason that GISTemp is higher in 2005 than it is in 1998 is entirely due to a warmer NH by .12C. However, HadCRUT also shows a small increase in NH anomaly in 2005 compared to 1998 of .046C. the reason that HadCRUT3 shows the global anomaly on 2005 being lower than 1998 is because the SH is .11C cooler peak to peak.

    I am not a scientist or engineer and don’t pretend to know what this means, but I found it interesting. I don’t think it means that the interpolation or extrapolation that GISS is doing is wrong. It just points out that the differences in method between the two agencies are leading to different results that are quantifiable.

  44. jEez
    Posted Mar 9, 2008 at 5:05 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Re Mosh. I think this illustrates your point.

    Waldo at 82.5N

  45. jeEz
    Posted Mar 9, 2008 at 5:21 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Hmmm…I allow hotlinking from that domain to CA. There may be a spam filter stopping the image from being displayed. This comment can be removed.

    FIXED – Anthony

  46. Kenneth Fritsch
    Posted Mar 9, 2008 at 5:23 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Re: #33

    DeWitt, I just notice that you referenced a John Christy comment and then talk about its relevance to RSS. Should not that be UAH. Also the link to A Watts blog gives the below comment from Christy which has been in contention at CA for some time. Can we finally say that there is no link from MSU satellite measurements to surface temperatures?

    There have been some questions posed recently about how the satellite global temperature record is created by UAH and RSS from the MSU (Microwave Sounder Unit) on weather satellites. For example, Andrew recently posted this comment:

    “I keep hearing rumors that the satellite data was “adjusted” to match the surface data better. Is that true? If so, that would be disturbing.”

    It is always best to ask the source, so I put the question to Dr. John Christy, who is the lead scientist at UAH that produces this dataset:

    “I’ve had some queries on my blog recently that are suggesting that the UAH and RSS satellite data is somehow “tuned” to the surface data, or that the surface data is used to provide some offset function. Given that the MSU looks at microwave emissions from oxygen, essentially a first principles measurement, I don’t see any reason that surface data would be used in any way to adjust the MSU data.

    But I figured I’d ask the source, if you’d care to elaborate. If not, no worries.”

    To which Dr. Christy graciously responded within a couple of hours:

    “No other data are used in the construction. That is why we can do comparison studies without any interdependence.”

    So from Dr. Christy’s response it is clear that there is no data sharing or comparative adjustment of any kind between that satellite global temperature record and the land-ocean global temperature record such as is produced by HadCRUT and GISS.

  47. Greg Meurer
    Posted Mar 9, 2008 at 6:47 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Further to Steve Mosher #40

    Where is interpolation/extrapolation documented?

    Appears to be: Hansen, J.E., and S. Lebedeff, 1987: Global trends of measured surface air temperature. J. Geophys. Res., 92, 13345-13372.

    I do not have access to this paper.

    However, part of the answer may be found at

    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/2005/

    Quoting Dr. Hansen’s analysis of 2005 data:

    Our analysis differs from others by including estimated temperatures up to 1200 km from the nearest measurement station (7). The resulting spatial extrapolations and interpolations are accurate for temperature anomalies at seasonal and longer time scales at middle and high latitudes, where the spatial scale of anomalies is set by Rossby waves (7). Thus we believe that the remarkable Arctic warmth of 2005 is real, and the inclusion of estimated arctic temperatures is the primary reason for our rank of 2005 as the warmest year. Other characteristics of our analysis method are summarized in footnote (8).

    Footnote 8 reads in part while discussing the difference from the HadCRUT data set:

    One large source of differences is the attempt in the GISS method to estimate the temperature anomaly for all areas that have at least one station located within 1200 km, using weights for these stations that decrease linearly with distance from the station. At any given point the temperature anomaly estimated in this way can be substantially in error, but the increased coverage usually allows an improved estimate of the global temperature anomaly, as judged from tests made with spatially and temporally complete data sets generated by a general circulation model. However, in some cases this method can increase error by giving undue weight to one isolated station with anomalous temperature.

    Emphasis added by me.

  48. PhilH
    Posted Mar 9, 2008 at 8:26 PM | Permalink | Reply

    I have a dumb question. How does Hansen know that his estimates are “improved?” Is there a gnome there freezing on the ground 1200 km away radioing in to say, “Yep, you got it right now.”

  49. paminator
    Posted Mar 9, 2008 at 9:12 PM | Permalink | Reply

    I posted this over at Anthony’s site earlier, but it is also relevant to the discussion here.

    Hansen has argued that trend errors in US surface measurements didn’t matter because the US represented a small fraction of the global surface area. Assuming 82.5N as being the highest latitude with trustworthy satellite MSU data, I calculate the surface area (land and sea) being missed at about 0.4%, the same as in an earlier post. Why bother to interpolate when this is a factor of ten smaller than the surface area dismissed by Hansen? Is this where Waldo is hiding?

  50. WHT
    Posted Mar 9, 2008 at 10:32 PM | Permalink | Reply

    So you are a scientist like all the other 1% of the people attending the conference?
    Oh, so you are a weatherman. OK, then.

  51. Patrick Henry
    Posted Mar 9, 2008 at 11:30 PM | Permalink | Reply

    If you submit a 250 mile query to the GISS database, you can pinpoint for where their stations are located.
    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/gistemp/do_nmap.py?year_last=2008&month_last=1&sat=4&sst=0&type=anoms&mean_gen=01&year1=2008&year2=2008&base1=1951&base2=1980&radius=250&pol=reg

    There are huge areas (particularly Canada, Greenland, and Africa) with essentially no coverage. That apparently does not inhibit them from interpolating over vast areas in the 1200 mile maps.
    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/gistemp/do_nmap.py?year_last=2008&month_last=1&sat=4&sst=0&type=anoms&mean_gen=01&year1=2008&year2=2008&base1=1951&base2=1980&radius=1200&pol=reg

    GISS shows January very warm in the Yukon, NW Territories and Alaska, but RSS and UAH show those areas quite cold. The GISS discrepancy is likely due to a lack of data and “over-enthusiastic” interpolation.
    http://www.remss.com/data/msu/graphics/tlt/medium/global/ch_tlt_2008_01_anom_v03_1.png
    http://climate.uah.edu/maps/0208big.jpg

  52. cce
    Posted Mar 10, 2008 at 1:23 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Over the satellite era, GISS, HadCRUT, and RSS largely agree with 0.17, 0.17, and 0.18 degrees per decade of warming respectively. UAH is the lowball with about 0.14 degrees of warming per decade.

    This shows the effect of removing sections of the arctic:
    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/graphs/ArcticEffect.pdf

  53. cce
    Posted Mar 10, 2008 at 1:32 AM | Permalink | Reply

    #51

    You must change the base period if you are going to compare GISS to the satellites. i.e. 1979-2000. They correspond closely.

    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/gistemp/do_nmap.py?year_last=2008&month_last=1&sat=4&sst=1&type=anoms&mean_gen=01&year1=2008&year2=2008&base1=1979&base2=2000&radius=1200&pol=reg

    Also, your UAH graphic is for February, while the others are for January.

  54. Cuckoo
    Posted Mar 10, 2008 at 3:35 AM | Permalink | Reply

    I won’t pretend to understand half of what you guys are talking about, but it seems to me that 100 years of erecting new buildings and concreting over vast areas of what was once soft, green earth will have an effect on the temperatures recorded by the stations

    Concrete reflects heat and does not absorb rain

    Soil absorbs heat and rain

    Solution? Build more buildings with green roofs (roof with insulation, soil, plants etc) – they attenuate rain water, clean the air and absorb heat (reducing heating costs in the bargain through the insulation provided by the soil)

    Yes, I am sceptical of AGW, but if you guys are right about the weather stations, and I think you are, or even if you are wrong and CO2 emissions are the problem, green roofs could be the answer

    Just the humble opinion of someone who enjoys reading these pages and trying to find out which side is right

  55. Michael Smith
    Posted Mar 10, 2008 at 5:21 AM | Permalink | Reply

    From comment 1:

    How does one square the theory that the surface measurements are contaminated by UHI, etc, when the surface measurements substantially agree with the satellite rendered measurements?

    The fact that satellite and surface temperature anomalies are moving together indicates that both are responding to whatever causes these short-term changes we are seeing. That does not necessarily contradict the possibility that the surface record has a UHI-induced upward bias. If the satellite record extended back to earlier in the century, we might see the surface measurements lower than the satellite record yet still generally moving up and down with it.

    In fact, the data leads to this question: How does one square the GCM-generated predictions of greater warming in the troposphere than at the surface — a prediction, as I understand it, that is central to AGW theory — with the data showing substantial agreement between the surface and satellite records?

    Of course, RealClimate has, in fact “squared” the two — by pointing out that the GCMs exhibit so much variation in outputs that “no warming” in the troposphere falls within the range of possibilities. However, I don’t think the people at RC really grasped the significance of that response.

  56. Alan K
    Posted Mar 10, 2008 at 6:05 AM | Permalink | Reply

    I recently corresponded with Had/CRU about different methodology. This was their response (part of which Gavin reproduced on RC):

    “The point was the interpolation of existing observational data over the polar regions. If you look at the raw observations that GISS uses you can see how little data they are basing an interpolation on. Regardless of what they consider the correct spatial length scale for observations,the Arctic sees large regional changes in temperature, which are being glossed over with a large correlation length. The Had/CRU treatment of the observations simply states that the error is greater due to lacking data, something GISS are not honest about. There are no EXTRA observations that GISS has access to, that Had/CRU does not. Thus there is no reason to believe GISS’ observations vs Had/CRU observations ofrecent global temperature rise when the errors are taken into account.”

    I must state that a clarification was subsequently made re the term “not honest” to describe GISS which was to the effect that it was meant as a professional qualification rather than in the way that you or I might, um, use the term “not honest”.

  57. steven mosher
    Posted Mar 10, 2008 at 6:19 AM | Permalink | Reply

    re 47. thanks. for reference the 1200km distance was tested at north american and european
    latitudes, correlation was .6, SH showed .5 correlation. so their assumption is that this holds
    for the poles. and yes appears that the use a GCM to validate the poles.

  58. Michael Jankowski
    Posted Mar 10, 2008 at 6:43 AM | Permalink | Reply

    How does one square the theory that the surface measurements are contaminated by UHI, etc, when the surface measurements substantially agree with the satellite rendered measurements?

    In addition to other good points made on this thread, keep in mind decades of modeling and greenhouse theory claim the lower troposphere should be warming at least as fast as the surface, to an extent dependent on location.

    If the satellite trend is 0.14 deg C/decade in the satellite era, and we accept it as accurate, that means the surface record should be 0.14 deg C/decade or smaller. Even if the surface record were dead-on at 0.14 deg C/decade over that time period, that wouldn’t mean an “uncontaminated” trend wouldn’t be significantly lower than that.

    The satellte record can falsify the surface record, but it cannot justify it.

  59. PaulM
    Posted Mar 10, 2008 at 8:30 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Phil #9

    How would you describe this:

    Answer: Suspicious. See bmcburney #26, JRyan #31.
    RSS TLT measures air temperature over about the first 5km of atmosphere, and only down to 70S, so they are measuring something different from the surface record. So why should they agree so well?

    On the RSS site you can find a paper on this (though unfortunately it is about ‘channel 2′, which I think is what they refer to on the web as ‘TMT’). The title and abstract of the paper explain how they used not to agree, and then, after ‘reanalysis’, they agree. Is this science?

    A Reanalysis of the MSU Channel 2 Tropospheric Temperature Record

    Over the period from 1979 to 2001, tropospheric trends derived from a widely cited analysis of the Microwave Sounding Unit (MSU) temperature record show little or no warming, while surface temperature trends based on in situ observations show a pronounced warming of 0.2 K / decade. This discrepancy between trends at the surface and in the upper atmosphere has been a source of significant debate. Model predictions of amplification of warming with height in the troposphere are clearly inconsistent with the available observations, leading some researchers to question the adequacy of their representation of the water vapor greenhouse feedback. A reanalysis of the MSU channel 2 dataset, with the objective of providing a second independent source of these data, is described in this paper. Results presented herein show a global trend of 0.097 +- 0.020 K decade …

    I have omitted the rest of the abstract as it contains a silly typo in reference to Chrisy’s work (0.09 should be 0.009). The paper also discusses the various ‘corrections’ that are applied to the data, some of which make use of NCAR’s Climate Model. So, Kenneth #46, the answer to your question is no.

  60. Posted Mar 10, 2008 at 8:35 AM | Permalink | Reply

    re 57:

    for reference the 1200km distance was tested at north american and european
    latitudes, correlation was .6, SH showed .5 correlation. so their assumption is that this holds
    for the poles. and yes appears that the use a GCM to validate the poles.

    I works on the poles allright, however, it doesn’t work in the tropics (no cold season!).
    That’s a big area.

  61. Sam Urbinto
    Posted Mar 10, 2008 at 9:00 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Looking over 4AR WGI chapter 3, the chart for land south of 65 S doesn’t have data before about 1960 So who knows was was going on then.

    There’s two places in the FAQ 3.1 where they point to the “best records” as being since around 1980

    It is now possible to use these measurements from 1850 to the present, although coverage is much less than global in the second half of the 19th century, is much better after 1957 when measurements began in Antarctica, and best after about 1980, when satellite measurements began.

    Warming, particularly since the 1970s, has generally been greater over land than over the oceans. Seasonally, warming has been slightly greater in the winter hemisphere. Additional warming occurs in cities and urban areas (often referred to as the urban heat island effect), but is confined in spatial extent, and its effects are allowed for both by excluding as many of the affected sites as possible from the global temperature data and by increasing the error range.

    I find it curious that anyone would think heat in the weather system can be spatially confined. But that’s a different subject.

    As you can see in the 5 years between 1976-1980 something changed, where the anomaly basicially stopped going negative, which has continued up until now. (Since 1980, only 6 years have had negative anomaly months of 1-3 months, none since 1995)

    Curiously, the base period is not made of the best data, and the anomaly trend is based upon not the best data compared to the best data.

    1976 -8 -11 -27 -16 -29 -14 -13 -19 -11 -29 -11 0 -16
    1977 10 15 15 19 29 23 20 17 -5 -5 13 1 13
    1978 3 8 12 9 1 -8 4 -21 5 -3 7 1 2
    1979 6 -18 9 11 -6 4 -7 9 19 18 19 39 9
    1980 21 28 22 22 27 10 18 13 13 8 23 10 18

  62. Anthony Watts
    Posted Mar 10, 2008 at 9:03 AM | Permalink | Reply

    RE59

    I agree, the title is just plain stupid. Glenn Beck’s Show posted it, and I had no control over it.

  63. PaulD
    Posted Mar 10, 2008 at 9:24 AM | Permalink | Reply

    “How does one square the theory that the surface measurements are contaminated by UHI, etc, when the surface measurements substantially agree with the satellite rendered measurements?”

    One does not need to “square the theory . . .” unless one is pushing a particular agenda. I think at this point, it is reasonable to look to see whether the data is accurate. Once we know we are looking at clean data, then we can start theorizing. I am not a scientist, but have always had the impression that obtaining accurate observations is the first step in the scientific method. My apoligize if this point is too obvious to advance this discussion.

  64. Posted Mar 10, 2008 at 9:40 AM | Permalink | Reply

    You are right, but opposite sides both assert that it’s the data that is wrong and not their pet theory. ;-)

  65. Will C.
    Posted Mar 10, 2008 at 11:37 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Planes, trains, and automobiles…

    Tres’ jolie Mr. Watts. I enjoyed that little inside joke.

  66. Paul Linsay
    Posted Mar 10, 2008 at 11:48 AM | Permalink | Reply

    #60

    they are measuring something different from the surface record. So why should they agree so well?

    If memory serves me, Warkwick Hughes noted a while ago (sorry I can’t find the reference, his site is acting strangely) that some of the HADCru surface data matched the satellite data to an astounding precision, something like 5 digits.

  67. henry
    Posted Mar 10, 2008 at 11:49 AM | Permalink | Reply

    FAQ 3.1 – Seasonally, warming has been slightly greater in the winter hemisphere. Additional warming occurs in cities and urban areas (often referred to as the urban heat island effect), but is confined in spatial extent, and its effects are allowed for both by excluding as many of the affected sites as possible from the global temperature data and by increasing the error range.

    Sam Urbinto said (concerning FAQ 3.1): As you can see in the 5 years between 1976-1980 something changed, where the anomaly basicially stopped going negative, which has continued up until now. (Since 1980, only 6 years have had negative anomaly months of 1-3 months, none since 1995)

    Curiously, the base period is not made of the best data, and the anomaly trend is based upon not the best data compared to the best data.

    Could this be a reason why GISS uses the 51-80 period? Also, could someone show be a GISS chart that includes an error range? I think his past statements gave a 1 degree error range.

  68. Pat Keating
    Posted Mar 10, 2008 at 2:10 PM | Permalink | Reply

    54 Cuckoo

    I believe that you have made a sensible suggestion, if warming of cities should turn out one day to be a problem.

  69. Sam Urbinto
    Posted Mar 10, 2008 at 3:59 PM | Permalink | Reply

    I think I changed the base to 1970-2000 but it made no real difference. I probably did it wrong (I don’t think I got 0 as a trend for the 30 years; but I don’t know exacly how they calculate it, I just did it math-wise, so it’s beyond me I think.) But even still, the fact remains that right about the center of the period everthing moves up. I think we just have a different center that until the base period starts past 1980 (for gistemp)

    It simply looks like we’re at a new floor for the anomaly since 1980 (even if the measurements are spotless in the first place and combined corretly and meaningfully). The problem is nobody can prove either way; however, the trend is still up, at .1 to .55 But with the mean of 1980-2007 being .33 that would change a bunch of stuff.

    Anyway, I don’t know how to do any more with it. Maybe the base period should be 10 15 20 25 30 or 50 years. Where’d 30 come from?

  70. Mike C.
    Posted Mar 10, 2008 at 4:36 PM | Permalink | Reply

    for John Lang #21

    At 85 north the sun was up for about 6 hours today. At 70 north it has been up for at least part of the day since January 18. At Deadhorse, Alaska, there has been a little warming spell since March 1 when the high was 27 F below average and the low was 25 F below average.

    What do you define as high arctic?

  71. John Lang
    Posted Mar 10, 2008 at 7:11 PM | Permalink | Reply

    To those who commented about my post in #21, it was a little tongue-in-cheek I admit.

    I was just commenting that it is very cold in the high Arctic in the winter and the global warming community can not grasp the fact that with our tilted axis, there has always been six months of darkness followed by six months of sunlight at the poles (ever since the Earth-Object collision created the moon 4.4 billion years ago and tilted our axis.)

    The global warming community likes to say there was no ice at the poles 20 million years ago, for example, when the simple fact is with no sunlight for six months of the year, there has ALWAYS been ice at the poles in the winter.

    If there is a little melting at the peak of the summer at the poles right now, it will start freezing back EVERY year when the soltice hits and the poles are plunged into darkness for another six months. “The polar icecaps are melting” tome is completely ridiculous when considered in this simple context of reality.

    The average annual temperature at the South Pole is -49.5C and the average annual temperature at the North Pole is -25.0C. A lot of warming is going to have to happen before there is any significant permanent “melting.” I don’t care if it 2C warmer, it will have no impact at all over an entire year of six months of darkness followed by six months of sunlight with the sun at 24 degrees above the horizon at the peak of the summer. It is very simple when viewed in the context of this reality.

    In geologic history, the Earth has always experienced significant ice ages whenever there was significant landmasses at the poles. Snow falls on land in the winter, builds up glaciers and glaciers spread out. When there is land connected to the poles, the glaciers keep spreading out until they impact warmer oceans. If there are oceans at the poles, the sea still freezes but it can not build up into glaciers. When all the land is locked together over the south pole (like 600 million years ago), the entire Earth can freeze over (like Snowball Earth of 600 million years ago) and the CO2 content of the atmosphere means nothing in the simple context of reality. 300 million years ago, half the landmasses were locked together over the South Pole, ice ages. Today, one continent and one big island are at the poles, you guessed it glaciers. North America and Asia close enough to the poles starting 2.5 million years ago and able to influenced by Milankovitch cycles, periodic ice ages again.

    I guess that was enough of a rant.

  72. Andrew
    Posted Mar 10, 2008 at 7:16 PM | Permalink | Reply

    John Lang, as I understand it long wave effects (ie “greenhouse”) heat the night. But, that certainly would explain the recently discovered evidence for glaciation during the Cretaceous “super greenhouse”.

  73. Paul Linsay
    Posted Mar 11, 2008 at 8:41 AM | Permalink | Reply

    A bit more on why the ground and satellite data agree so well from Warwick Hughes

    Satellites vs surface, amazing agreement over the USA.

    August 17th, 2006 by Warwick Hughes

    Carrying on from the previous post re UHI in China, it is fascinating that the Jones HadCRUT2 data has an amazing close agreement with MSU lower troposphere, 1979-2005 over most of the the USA 48 States from 30 to 50 North incl a small strip of far south Canada.

    - Measuring the following four bands of grid cells, starting in the south at 30 to 35 North (LA), extending 9 cells east to Charleston 75W.
    - Next on 35 to 40 North from 125 West to 70 West, 11 grid cells.
    - Then 40 to 45 North, same longitude limits, 11 grid cells.
    - Finally 45 to 50 North, 125 West to 50 West, 15 grid cells.

    The average difference for all these 46 x 5 degree grid cells is that MSU warms over HadCRUT2 by an infinitesimal 0.0000073 degrees per year.

    Considering the large blocks of grid cells in other global regions where HadCRUT2 warms strongly compared to MSU 1979-2005: http://www.warwickhughes.com/blog/?p=45 it is worth pondering why there is this close agreement between HadCRUT2 and MSU over the USA ?

    Could it be pure chance ? Could it be due to superior USA surface data quality ? Is European surface data so bad ?

    You see the issues. Why this great variation in HadCRUT2 minus MSU for different global regions ?

    Does this persist in the most recent temperature anomalies?

  74. Kenneth Fritsch
    Posted Mar 11, 2008 at 9:49 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Below is a summary of my analyses to date on differences between the UAH satellite temperature data and that from GISS. From it I conclude that there are significant differences between UAH and GISS for the NH with most of it coming from outside the US 48 states. Since the areas extrapolated by UAH and GISS towards the poles are such small percentages of the total (and temperature anomaly weighted) areas of the hemispheres, any difference that might conceivably result would be so small that the effects on hemispheric differences would be negligible. Note that UAH and GISS series agree that the anomaly for the SH over the 1979-2006 period is approximately 0.8 degrees C per century.

    My question that I had hoped might be answered in this thread was what does make up the majority of NH differences between UAH and GISS. If I can find a sufficiently regional breakdown of GISS temperature for the NH, I will have a go at attempting to determine the difference.

    Northern Hemisphere comparison for the period 1979-2006 for trend slopes in degrees C per century is:

    UAH ===> Trend slope = 2.10; R^2 = 0.55
    GISS ===> Trend slope = 3.00; R^2 = 0.69

    The US comparison for the period 1979-2006 is:

    UAH ===> Trend slope = 2.84; R^2 = 0.39
    GISS ===> Trend slope = 3.00; R^2 = 0.25

    Fraction of NH (SH) area that the listed latitudes encompass:

    0-30N = 0.50; 30-60N = 0.37; 60-90N = 0.13; 83-90N = 0.01 and 70-90S = 0.06

  75. Cuckoo
    Posted Mar 11, 2008 at 11:20 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Pat Keating, thanks, maybe it’s a sensible suggestion regardless of the whole debate about global warming / not global warming, fresher air, limiting flooding etc would be welcome globally i think

    OK, i’m off to buy shares in geen roofs

    Keep up the good work guys

  76. D. Patterson
    Posted Mar 11, 2008 at 12:03 PM | Permalink | Reply

    John Lang says:

    March 10th, 2008 at 7:11 pm
    To those who commented about my post in #21, it was a little tongue-in-cheek I admit.

    I was just commenting that it is very cold in the high Arctic in the winter and the global warming community can not grasp the fact that with our tilted axis, there has always been six months of darkness followed by six months of sunlight at the poles (ever since the Earth-Object collision created the moon 4.4 billion years ago and tilted our axis.)

    The global warming community likes to say there was no ice at the poles 20 million years ago, for example, when the simple fact is with no sunlight for six months of the year, there has ALWAYS been ice at the poles in the winter.

    Surface air temperatures and surface sea temperatures in the Arctic Circle during most geological periods have been warm enough to prevent the formation of sea ice. Typical air and sea temperatures in the Arctic Circle have been comparable to those found in the present times along the coasts of Baltimore, Maryland; Jacksonville, Florida; and France, despite the Earth’s axial tilt. These temperatures were deduced by paleontologists studying the fauna and flora which existed within the Arctic Circle in past geological periods. The more uncommon geological periods in which the Earth experienced ice house conditions are the only occasions in which the Arctic Circle was cold enough to form permanent ice packs in the sea, with or without nearby land to form glaciers.

    If there is a little melting at the peak of the summer at the poles right now, it will start freezing back EVERY year when the soltice hits and the poles are plunged into darkness for another six months. “The polar icecaps are melting” tome is completely ridiculous when considered in this simple context of reality.

    The reality is that the Arctic Circle can and during most of the Earth’s past has remained free of ice packs despite the seasonal changes of sunlight. The only occasions in which the Arctic has experienced permanent ice packs has been the less frequent ice ages.

    The average annual temperature at the South Pole is -49.5C and the average annual temperature at the North Pole is -25.0C. A lot of warming is going to have to happen before there is any significant permanent “melting.” I don’t care if it 2C warmer, it will have no impact at all over an entire year of six months of darkness followed by six months of sunlight with the sun at 24 degrees above the horizon at the peak of the summer. It is very simple when viewed in the context of this reality.

    The Earth has typically been far warmer than it is now for most of the past 500 million years. The sea surface temperature in the Arctic despite the dark months was for one example about 15C during the Cretaceous. This is well above freezing and typical of the non-freezing sea temperatures for most of the past 500 million years. It must also be noted that the obliquity of the earth’s axis to the ecliptic plane of orbit is variable and cyclical, rather than fixed at around 24 degrees. Despite the variations and nutations in obliquity, the seas in the Arctic have usually remained at sea surface temperatures far above freezing during the northern hemisphere’s winter months, except during the less common ice ages such as the ice age and inter-glacial period being experienced at the present time.

    In geologic history, the Earth has always experienced significant ice ages whenever there was significant landmasses at the poles. Snow falls on land in the winter, builds up glaciers and glaciers spread out. When there is land connected to the poles, the glaciers keep spreading out until they impact warmer oceans. If there are oceans at the poles, the sea still freezes but it can not build up into glaciers. When all the land is locked together over the south pole (like 600 million years ago), the entire Earth can freeze over (like Snowball Earth of 600 million years ago) and the CO2 content of the atmosphere means nothing in the simple context of reality. 300 million years ago, half the landmasses were locked together over the South Pole, ice ages. Today, one continent and one big island are at the poles, you guessed it glaciers. North America and Asia close enough to the poles starting 2.5 million years ago and able to influenced by Milankovitch cycles, periodic ice ages again.

    I guess that was enough of a rant.

    “The Earth has” NOT “always experienced significant ice ages whenever there was significant landmasses at the poles….” The proposition that landmasses at the poles must equate to the occurrence of ice ages does not withstand a cursory glance at the maps of the world paleogeography and paleontological records. Major ice ages did occur with continental land masses at the South Pole in the Precambrian and late Carboniferous time periods, for two such examples, but major ice ages did not occur over tens of millions of years when continental land masses were located at the South Pole and/or North Pole during many other more lengthy time periods such as the Cambrian, Silurian, Triassic, etc. During the Triassic, when continental land masses extended from pole to pole, land fauna were capable of migrating all the way from the South Pole to the North Pole on land without barriers of glaciers, snow, and ice. Continental land masses evidently enhanced the effects and persistence of an ice age, but they appear to have been incapable of causing an ice age on every occasion in which continental land masses were located at one or both planetary poles or athwart the west to east atmospheric and hydrospheric circulation systems. Consequently, obliquity or axial tilt and continental positioning at the poles do not cause the polar seas to reach freezing sea surface temperatures, and they have not and do not cause the ice ages to occur in the first place. If they did so, ice ages would have occurred in time periods in which it is known that no such ice age occurred.

  77. Posted Mar 11, 2008 at 2:10 PM | Permalink | Reply

    RE59, 63 The link above to the video has a reasonable title now.

  78. John Lang
    Posted Mar 11, 2008 at 7:56 PM | Permalink | Reply

    D. Patterson – are you saying that there are scientific studies that say the Arctic was 40C warmer (current -25C versus 15C in your post) during the Cretaceous?

    Here is the history of the climate for the past 540 million years, the warmest temperatures get in the Poles is about 12C warmer than today. (Legend in the middle of the chart.) During the Cretaceous, it appears to be only 6C to 8C warmer and thus frozen solid at -17C to -19C.

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/f/f5/All_palaeotemps.png/800px-All_palaeotemps.png

  79. D. Patterson
    Posted Mar 11, 2008 at 9:26 PM | Permalink | Reply

    79 John Lang says:

    March 11th, 2008 at 7:56 pm
    D. Patterson – are you saying that there are scientific studies that say the Arctic was 40C warmer (current -25C versus 15C in your post) during the Cretaceous?

    The temperature of 15C was in reference to typical sea surface temperature in the latitudes of the Arctic Circle during the Cretaceous and other time periods. During the Late Cretaceous especially, surface air temperatures in some areas of the Arctic Circle and High Arctic latitudes would have averaged about 25C to 30C, and the lows would have seldom dropped below 5.5C. Fossils of amphibian reptiles, various marine fauna and flora, diatoms, and more indicate that the sea ice indicative of a persistent freezing climate at the sea surface and surface air locales did not reappear in the Arctic latitudes until the Pliocene. Amphibious reptiles inhabited the Arctic latitudes during the Cretaceous, and they could not possibly have done so had there been freezing sea surface and surface air temperatures.

    Here is the history of the climate for the past 540 million years, the warmest temperatures get in the Poles is about 12C warmer than today. (Legend in the middle of the chart.) During the Cretaceous, it appears to be only 6C to 8C warmer and thus frozen solid at -17C to -19C.

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/f/f5/All_palaeotemps.png/800px-All_palaeotemps.png

    Your reference is yet another example of why relying exclusively upon AGW faithful editors at Wikipedia can too often result in bizarrely erroneous information and perceptions. Compare to the Paleomap Project produced by Christopher Scotese et al at http://www.scotese.com … and you may enjoy constructing some of the paleo globes. Note how the ice ages come and go across the planet. Be sure to see the climate history graph and compare it to the paleo globes and their depictions of ice extent.

    To satisfy yourself further, look at the fossil records and note how there are only a limited number of periods in which the fossil records are consistent with the presence of sea ice and glaciers at the poles. Note how Scotese and others use the scientific literature regarding these fossils to determine the presence and absence of the ice age sea ice and glaciations in their paleomaps.

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