Chucky and the U.S. CCSP

Last year, I reported on the resurrection of Chucky, with even Mann’s PC1, repudiated by Wegman and the NAS Panel, being illustrated in IPCC AR4. Chucky is back with a vengeance in the U.S. CCSP report, entitled “Unified Synthesis Product Report by the U.S. Climate Change Science Program and the Subcommittee on Global Change Research”, released in July 2008 for comment here , full report pdf here (33 MB); comment submission here.

The report states that it is classified as “highly influential”:

This Synthesis and Assessment Product described in the U.S. Climate Change Science Program (CCSP) Strategic Plan, was prepared in accordance with Section 515 of the Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2001 (Public Law 106-554) and the information quality act guidelines issued by the Department of Commerce and NOAA pursuant to Section 515 ). The CCSP Interagency Committee relies on Department of Commerce and NOAA certifications regarding compliance with Section 515 and Department guidelines as the basis for determining that this product conforms with Section 515. For purposes of compliance with Section 515, this CCSP Synthesis and Assessment Product is an “interpreted product” as that term is used in NOAA guidelines and is classified as “highly influential”.

The term “highly influential” triggers the peer review standards described in the OMB Bulletin here.

On the second page of the running text of the report (pdf page 19, following the executive summary and many colorful pictures), we see the following graphic with the caption shown beneath it:
benefi11.jpg
Original Caption: This 1000-year record tracks the rise in carbon emissions due to human activities (fossil fuel burning and land clearing) and the subsequent increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations and air temperatures. The earlier parts of the Northern Hemisphere temperature reconstruction shown here are derived from historical data, tree rings, and corals, while the later parts were directly measured.

No source is given for this graphic, but CA readers will recognize this as, using Hu McCullough’s phrase, “MBH with whiskers”.

It is the Mann reconstruction spliced with CRU temperatures in an interesting way. The graphic below shows the splice of the MBH98-99 proxy data up to 1901 with the CRU version archived in connection with MBH98, which opportunistically included instrumental data from warm 1998 after the actual publication of MBH98 (see script in first comment for splicing).

benefi15.gif
Figure 2. Splice of MBH Recon with Instrumental Data

Aside from the resurrection of Chucky, there are a couple of other interesting aspects to this graphic. You recall Mann’s outraged repudiation of the idea that climate scientists would splice proxy and instrumental records. An RC reader had written in to say:

Whatever the reason for the divergence, it would seem to suggest that the practice of grafting the thermometer record onto a proxy temperature record – as I believe was done in the case of the ‘hockey stick’ – is dubious to say the least.

To which Mann responded with outrage:

[Response: No researchers in this field have ever, to our knowledge, “grafted the thermometer record onto” any reconstruction. It is somewhat disappointing to find this specious claim (which we usually find originating from industry-funded climate disinformation websites) appearing in this forum. Most proxy reconstructions end somewhere around 1980, for the reasons discussed above. Often, as in the comparisons we show on this site, the instrumental record (which extends to present) is shown along with the reconstructions, and clearly distinguished from them (e.g. highlighted in red as here).

The "reasons" for not updating the proxy records "discussed above" were something that we've discussed in connection with the Starbucks Hypothesis.

Obviously this graphic in a publication classified as "highly influential" not only does not "clearly distinguish" the instrumental from the proxy portion, it merges them, although I presume that Mann would not regard the site originating this graphic as a "climate disinformation site."

We've noted similar splicing on other occasions in the past - in Crowley and Lowery 2000, the splice being discussed at CA here, together with an assessment of evidence as to whether Mann was aware of this prior splice here . The Mann reconstruction was also spliced with the Jones temperature reconstruction in Inconvenient Truth, where to further complicate matters, it was identified as Dr Thompson's Thermometer (discussed here).

In a commentary at RC, Pierrehumbert (who incidentally has not corrected his untrue statements about Courtillot not deriving data from a Jones data set), stated:

there is no legitimate reason in a paper published in 2007 for truncating the temperature record at 1992 as they did.

However, I guess that in Team-world it's OK for a paper published in 2008 to truncate the temperature record in 1998.

Friends With Benefits
The document is directed primarily to an assessment of the regional impact of climate change on the U.S. When you think about iit, it's interesting that, while one sees many discussions of future impacts (nearly all said to be negative), one sees relatively little discussion of regional impacts over the past century when dramatic changes in CO2 levels have already taken place. This is discussed sometimes in the proxy literature where past and present photos frequently show advancing tree lines. The use of treeline trees for reconstructing past temperatures is premised on the hypothesis that increased temperatures have led to thicker ring widths, something that isn't mentioned anywhere in the CCSP report.

I did a word search on "benefits" to see whether climate change in the U.S. was such an ill wind that it brought no "benefit" to anyone. Well, there were a few exceptions: "weeds, disease and insect pests" were noted as benefiting from warming and, in the case of weeds, also from higher CO2 levels. Nothing about bristlecones benefiting.

Weeds, diseases, and insect pests benefit from warming, and weeds also benefit from rising carbon dioxide, increasing stress on crop plants and requiring more pesticide and herbicide use....

Agriculture: Weeds, diseases, and insect pests benefit from warming, and weeds also benefit from rising carbon dioxide (CO2), increasing stress on crop plants and requiring more pesticide and herbicide use. [ a second mentino]

Weeds benefit more than cash crops from higher temperatures and carbon dioxide (CO2) levels[21]…

Kudzu and other invasive weed species, along with native weeds and vines, disproportionately benefit from increased carbon dioxide compared to other native plants.

For the most part, other “benefits” were said to be by-products of adaptation or mitigation strategies e.g. making cities more walk-able would benefit personal fitness. Here are the “benefits” mentions that I noticed – an ill wind indeed. I make no comment on the validity or non-validity of any of these observations, other than to note that the “benefits” of climate change are said to be very meager for anyone that is not a weed or a pestilence.

While there are likely to be some benefits in some sectors of society in the early stages of warming, most impacts are projected to be detrimental, in part because society and ecosystems have developed and evolved based on historical climate. Impacts are expected to become more detrimental for more people and places with additional warming.

In addition, some mitigation and adaptation options also produce other benefits to society, such as reducing health risks, and creating jobs or other economic benefits.

And while there are likely to be some benefits and opportunities in the early stages of warming, as climate continues to change, negative impacts are projected to dominate.

Lost opportunities for beach trips and fishing trips are projected to result in reduced recreational benefits totaling $3.9 billion in that state over the next 75 years8.

Cities can reduce the heat load through reflective surfaces and green spaces. Some actions have multiple benefits. For example, increased planting of trees and other vegetation in cities has been shown to be associated with a reduction in crime20, in addition to reducing local temperatures.

Making cities more walk-able and bike-able would thus have multiple benefits: personal fitness and weight loss; reduced local air pollution and associated respiratory illness; and reduced greenhouse gas emissions.

Offshore oil exploration and extraction will probably benefit from less extensive and thinner sea ice, although equipment will have to be designed to withstand increased wave forces and ice movement9.

Transportation: The increase in extreme heat will limit some operations and cause pavement and track damage. Decreased extreme cold will confer benefits.

Longer construction seasons will be a benefit in colder locations18.

Airports in some areas are likely to benefit from reduction in the cost of snow and ice removal and the impacts of salt and chemical use, though some locations have seen increases in snowfall. Airlines could benefit from reduced need to de-ice planes.

However, regions that experience increased streamflow will have the benefit of pollution being more diluted.

As a result, conserving water has the dual benefit of conserving energy, and potentially reducing greenhouse gas emissions if fossil fuels are the predominant source of that energy.

Without the opportunity to benefit from snowmaking, the prospects for the snowmobiling industry are even worse.

The City of Chicago produced a map of urban hot spots to use as a planning tool to target areas that could most benefit from heat island reduction initiatives such as reflective or green roofing and tree planting.

A longer growing season has potential economic benefits, providing a longer period of outdoor and commercial activity (such as tourism). There are also downsides, as white spruce forests in Alaska’s interior are experiencing declining growth due to drought stress5 and continued warming could lead to widespread death of trees6.

A pretty meager harvest of benefits to anyone other than weeds and pestilence.


96 Comments

  1. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Aug 3, 2008 at 10:23 PM | Permalink | Reply

    url<-"ftp://ftp.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/paleo/contributions_by_author/mann1999/recons/nhem-recon.dat&quot;
    MBH99<-read.table(url) }#this goes to 1980
    MBH99<-ts(MBH99[1:981,2],start=MBH99[1,1])

    url="ftp://ftp.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/paleo/paleocean/by_contributor/mann1998/mannnhem.dat&quot;
    MBH98=read.table(url,skip=1)

    par(mar=c(3,4,2,1))
    splice=c(MBH99[1:901],MBH98[502:599,3])
    plot(1000:1998,splice,type="l",ylab="deg C",xlab="",main="MBH Splice",las=1)

  2. DeWitt Payne
    Posted Aug 3, 2008 at 10:38 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Lost opportunities for beach trips and fishing trips are projected to result in reduced recreational benefits totaling $3.9 billion in that state over the next 75 years.

    I think $4/gallon gasoline has already taken care of that. Besides, I always thought you went to the beach or lake to cool off. So wouldn’t warming make you more rather than less likely to go?

  3. Jeff C.
    Posted Aug 3, 2008 at 10:51 PM | Permalink | Reply

    The chart is deceptive on numerous levels. Note how the CO2 plot scale ranges from 260 to 380 ppm with only a few values shown on the right axis. There is no obvious indication that the bottom of the scale is not zero. The casual observer would come away with the impression that CO2 has increased five-fold since pre-industrial times based on the scaling. It takes a minute or two studying the chart to realize the increase is actually around 35%. This is propaganda, not science.

  4. Ross McKitrick
    Posted Aug 3, 2008 at 11:05 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Chucky is copied from the 2004 Arctic Climate Impacts Assessment: see http://www.acia.uaf.edu/pages/overview.html “Impacts” document, page 3. Even the figure caption is identical. I wonder how much the US government paid for the CCSP crew to copy and paste from an earlier report, without any pretense of discussing the literature since then.

    If the paleo temperature record matters enough to put it prominently in the beginning of the report, then the topic should have been discussed properly. If they weren’t up to doing that they should have left it out. Evidently the best the CCSP crew is capable of is mindless and uncritical rehashing of the party line.

  5. D. Patterson
    Posted Aug 3, 2008 at 11:08 PM | Permalink | Reply

    3 Jeff C. says:

    August 3rd, 2008 at 10:51 pm
    The chart is deceptive on numerous levels. Note how the CO2 plot scale ranges from 260 to 380 ppm with only a few values shown on the right axis. There is no obvious indication that the bottom of the scale is not zero. The casual observer would come away with the impression that CO2 has increased five-fold since pre-industrial times based on the scaling. It takes a minute or two studying the chart to realize the increase is actually around 35%. This is propaganda, not science.

    Black propaganda. Propaganda encompasses both truth and falsity. The best propaganda is that which uses only the truth. Black propaganda uses deceptive half truths and complete falsehoods. Black propaganda is used in disinformation campaigns.

  6. John A
    Posted Aug 4, 2008 at 1:19 AM | Permalink | Reply

    So after all the effort Steve and Ross have put in, after all the reports, after all the backbiting, the AGW crowd appear to be thoroughly attached to the Hockey Stick and can’t let go.

    It’s a totem, a religious fetish.

    It’s not even that the US has not been warned that the Hockey Stick contains no climatic information. Its not as if everyone has not been fully acquainted with all of its flaws.

    I despair. I really do.

  7. Spence_UK
    Posted Aug 4, 2008 at 1:47 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Interesting (to me, anyway) bit of trivia regarding the CCSP report, noted by Mark Bahner over at Prometheus.

    There is a picture of a flooded house highlighted in the report, shown over at Prometheus here, which appears to be a fake. Mark suggests this may be the case, but says he does not have the experience to be sure. I’m only an amateur at these things myself, but I do dabble, and I would confirm it looks fake to me. It is a photoshop trick called “ocean ripple”, and there is a tutorial on how to do it here. The clues are the unrealistic reflection of the top storey windows and the perfect pixel line dividing the reflection and the rest of the photo. (I would have posted this on the Prometheus thread but couldn’t be bothered fighting the comments system).

    I would like to stress: this doesn’t affect the science, or the accuracy of the report – flooded houses pictures aren’t hard to come by, and the inclusion was for presentation effect only. I just thought it was funny that the authors seemed to have difficulties in detecting questionable splices in their graphics – I make it two so far…

    Steve: I’d be a bit careful about jumping to conclusions about house picture. Maybe water has different image properties. For what it’s worth, I located the CCSP picture online here http://www.houstonpublicadjusters.com/images/floodedhouse.jpg in about 20 seconds. So the image has been around elsewhere. But given the availability of actual pictures why would anyone bother splicing such a picture?

    Update: My apologies. As a poster below has confirmed, the photo is a fake. I’m puzzled as to why someone would take this sort of photo when there are realones available, but it’s a strange world.

  8. D. Patterson
    Posted Aug 4, 2008 at 3:09 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Here is some information about the Public Law and its NOAA implementation, including instructions for submitting corrections and appealing decisions.

    Office of the Chief Information Officer &
    High Performance Computing and Communications
    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Information Quality Guidelines
    I

    Issue date of this revision: November 6, 2006

    PART I: BACKGROUND, NOAA INFORMATION, DEFINITIONS, AND SCOPE

    BACKGROUND

    Section 515 of the Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2001 (Public Law 106‑554), hereinafter “Section 515,” directs the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to issue government‑wide guidelines (OMB Guidelines) that “provide policy and procedural guidance to federal agencies for ensuring and maximizing the quality, objectivity, utility, and integrity of information (including statistical information) disseminated by federal agencies.” OMB complied by issuing guidelines which direct each federal agency to (A) issue its own guidelines ensuring and maximizing the quality, objectivity, utility, and integrity of information disseminated by the agency; (B) establish administrative mechanisms allowing affected persons to seek and obtain correction of information that does not comply with the OMB 515 Guidelines (Federal Register: February 22, 2002, Volume 67, Number 36, pp. 8452‑8460, herein “OMB Guidelines”) or the agency guidelines; and (C) report periodically to the Director of OMB on the number and nature of complaints received by the agency regarding the accuracy of information disseminated by the agency and how such complaints were handled by the agency.

    In compliance with OMB directives, the Department of Commerce (DOC) has issued Guidelines for Ensuring and Maximizing the Quality, Objectivity, Utility, and Integrity of Disseminated Information (available from http://www.doc.gov).

    This document implements Section 515 and fulfills the OMB and DOC information quality guidelines. It may be revised periodically, based on experience, evolving requirements of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and concerns expressed by the public. Covered information disseminated by NOAA will comply with all applicable OMB, DOC, and (these) NOAA Information Quality Guidelines.

    In implementing these guidelines, NOAA acknowledges that ensuring the quality of information is an important management objective that takes its place alongside other NOAA objectives, such as ensuring the success of NOAA missions, observing budget and resource priorities and restraints, and providing useful information to the public. NOAA intends to implement these guidelines in a way that will achieve all these objectives in a harmonious way.

    [....]

    PART III. ADMINISTRATIVE CORRECTION MECHANISM

    A. Overview and Definitions

    1. Requests to correct information. Any affected person (see “Definitions” below) may request, where appropriate, timely correction of disseminated information that does not comply with applicable information quality guidelines. An affected person would submit a request for such action directly to:

    NOAA Section 515 Officer
    NOAA Executive Secretariat
    Herbert C. Hoover Building B Room 5230
    14th and Constitution Avenue, N.W.
    Washington, D.C. 20230

    However, requests for correction received in compliance with the Department of Commerce guidelines and forwarded to NOAA by DOC will be considered as if submitted to the NOAA Section 515 Officer on the date received by the NOAA Executive Secretariat.

    [....]

    http://www.cio.noaa.gov/Policy_Programs/IQ_Guidelines_110606.html

  9. Andrey Levin
    Posted Aug 4, 2008 at 3:43 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Terrific graph-manship. It is the only one with CO2 emissions and CO2 concentrations depicted which does not immediately make obvious that CO2 levels started to rise lo-o-ong before antropogenic emissions started.

  10. Hoi Polloi
    Posted Aug 4, 2008 at 4:06 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Lies, damned lies and statistics

    1. The Sample with the Built-in Bias
    2. The Well-Chosen Average
    3. The Little Figures That Are Not There
    4. Much Ado about Practically Nothing
    5. The Gee-Whiz Graph
    6. The One-Dimensional Picture
    7. The Semi-attached Figure
    8. Post Hoc Rides Again
    9. How to Statisticulate
    10. How to Talk Back to a Statistic

  11. Geoff Sherrington
    Posted Aug 4, 2008 at 5:34 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Re # 7 Spence UK

    Having written a manuscript on detection of computer enhancement (esp wrt rare stamps), I too am strongly of the opinion that the photo is faked. The perspective vanishing point does not appear to account for the elevation of the camera above the water and the line separating upper and lower portions is feathered and does not show the ripples of the water. BTW I am on the Plagiarism Committee of the Australian Photographic Society because of forensic work like this. Caveat: On an image this small, difficulties are introduced and I would not go to Court on what is presented.

    Steve: Geoff, is this version of the image any better for analysis: http://www.houstonpublicadjusters.com/images/floodedhouse.jpg ?

  12. DaleC
    Posted Aug 4, 2008 at 5:39 AM | Permalink | Reply

    re #9 graphmanship, This is my personal favourite at the moment…

    http://www.climatechange.gov.au/science/faq/question2.html

    Steve: Another Chucky graphic. That shows the MBH reconstruction as well. It’s interesting that the Australian government webpage updated in Sept 2007 used an image from IPCC 2001 rather than IPCC 2007.

  13. George M
    Posted Aug 4, 2008 at 6:57 AM | Permalink | Reply

    I suspect the flooded house photo is real. Looks just like Houston. The one they really need, however, is from a flood a while back in New Braunfels, TX, a video which shows a full size house floating by in front of the camera. A flood resulting from overflow from a flood control lake (Canyon) which is kept overfull to satisfy recreational users. In any event, there were many similar photos to the one under discussion which came out of the recent flooding in the Midwest. From all perspectives and all angles.

  14. PeterS
    Posted Aug 4, 2008 at 7:00 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Re # 7 Spence UK
    It’s a fake to my Photoshoppin’ eyes. Perspective is all to shot. If you look at the clapper-boarding on the side of the right-hand house, you can find the spacial horizon line (the horizontal board should align with the actual horizon of the image space). It’s about half way up the visible ground floor windows on the main house. Now scan across to the left-hand side of the image and you’ll see the water’s horizon stops well below this… looking very awkward. A competent Photoshopper would have continued the water here around the side of the house and up to its true horizon in the distance. Also – bunging in a few fuzzy bushes where the water buts up to the house is an old trick to mask off bad joining skills… immediately apparent here in the lack of any subtlety curving the water around the columns of the front door.

  15. jae
    Posted Aug 4, 2008 at 7:07 AM | Permalink | Reply

    I get admonitions here all the time about being too certain that AGW is a swindle. Well, it’s publications like this that make it impossible to be objective.

  16. Liselle
    Posted Aug 4, 2008 at 7:17 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Re: #12, including Steve’s comment

    Also odd that an Australian web site would choose to use Northern Hemisphere temperatures. Apparently, the Southern Hemisphere record just isn’t as interesting.

  17. tty
    Posted Aug 4, 2008 at 7:35 AM | Permalink | Reply

    That picture is a fake, period. Note that the water level is horizontal all across the image to within one pixel, while the house is not. Now taking such an image you would naturally try to to hold the camera horizontal, but to do it to within 1 pixel in a width of 385 would require mounting the camera on a tripod and very carefully levelling it, in deep water. Also notice that the waterline along the blue house to the left is also exactly horizontal over 10 pixel’s width. This requires the camera to be very close to the water surface, in which case the water suface would be extremely foreshortened and would not fill half the image. The same applies to the horizontal waterline across the porch and pillars: only possible if the camera is at or very close to the water level, which it obviously isn’t.

    As for why they are using a faked picture, I presume the reason is the same as for the hockey-stick graphic. Cutting and pasting is less work.

  18. Spence_UK
    Posted Aug 4, 2008 at 7:57 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Thanks for all the follow up comments on the picture, good to see some people who know more than I have similar suspicions!

    As to why use that photo, I’d agree with tty, just lazily pulling something off the web and didn’t know enough to spot it was faked. Hence pegging the irony meter with respect to MBH99. Or perhaps the authors are just splice-happy.

    The flooded house doesn’t seem like a big deal to me though, other than for humour value. The use of MBH99 in its spliced form is supposed to be science though, that is pretty disgraceful.

    BTW the content at RPJr’s site that I linked to above is well worth a read on the topic in addition to the photoshop trivia!

  19. Jeff Alberts
    Posted Aug 4, 2008 at 7:58 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Cities can reduce the heat load through reflective surfaces and green spaces.

    Don’t green spaces trap heat?

  20. Gaelan Clark
    Posted Aug 4, 2008 at 8:17 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Picture fake…—how do the upper windows get closer together in the foreground water?

  21. Basil
    Posted Aug 4, 2008 at 8:25 AM | Permalink | Reply

    #4, Ross said:

    I wonder how much the US government paid for the CCSP crew to copy and paste from an earlier report, without any pretense of discussing the literature since then.

    CCSP relies extensively on IPCC AR4. Somewhere I recall the document saying that they based their report on peer reviewed scientific literature. It should be pointed out that they didn’t do the peer review, IPCC AR4 did. Pretty much everything in this report could have been presented in a 2-3 page summary with “see IPCC AR4.” It shows very little evidence, if any, of independent assessment or review.

    How much did we US taxpayers pay for this?

  22. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Aug 4, 2008 at 8:42 AM | Permalink | Reply

    #17. I would be very cautious about making categorical statements like that. Given the profusion of real images, I cannot imagine why someone would go to the trouble of making a faked image, which would requite a lot of pointless work. As to the “anomalies” that bother some people e.g. pixel width, before I place any weight whatever in such arguments, I’d like to see some evidence that this cannot occur in authenticated pictures, which no one’s provided. Or else someone in Houston needs to track down the house and confirm that the picture was a fake, but the whole topic seems very far fetched to me and not worth arguing about without better evidence.

  23. Pat Keating
    Posted Aug 4, 2008 at 8:47 AM | Permalink | Reply

    18 Spence
    Perhaps a fake photo was chosen deliberately, by a secret ‘denier’ working on the project, who wanted to make a point or send a signal……

  24. Tony
    Posted Aug 4, 2008 at 8:51 AM | Permalink | Reply

    The flooded house photo is a distraction. It does not prove anything, it is there only to illustrate what a flooding looks like – kind of a generic flooded house. Well, this is called PR. Its nice to have some fun with this photo, but please focus on Chucky – far more important…

  25. Tony
    Posted Aug 4, 2008 at 8:55 AM | Permalink | Reply

    > I cannot imagine why someone would go to the trouble of making a faked image, which would requite a lot of pointless work.

    Depends what kind of photos you have access to. I don’t have photos of flooded houses – but I have photos of normal houses. Finding a normal (non-flooded) house in my archive would take me a couple of minutes. Creating a flooded house image from a non-flooded house photo would take around a minute in my favorite image editor.

  26. John Lang
    Posted Aug 4, 2008 at 8:57 AM | Permalink | Reply

    If they are going to chart temperature and CO2, then they should really chart the temperature line predicted by the climate models given the rise in CO2 as well.

    The climate model predicted temperature line would be twice as high as the actual recorded temperature line. Instead of increasing by 0.8C or so, it should have increased by 1.6C over the period (given the 100 ppm increase in CO2). That, of course, would provide the public with much more accurate information.

    Think of it this way, the temperature increase starts in 1850 or so and by 2000 has risen to 0.8C. Now extend the chart for another 100 years and the climate model temperature prediction line jumps to 2.5C. With the X-axis scale, it would just be a straight line going up.

    Now add the temperature decline in the past two years to the actual temperature record. Obviously, these charts are designed to produce an emotional reaction in people (as opposed to providing the public with information.)

  27. Stan Palmer
    Posted Aug 4, 2008 at 9:00 AM | Permalink | Reply

    The Chucky graphic illustrates that there is a direct linear relationship between temperature and CO2 concentration. As CO2 concentration rises, temperature will rise. This is what Al Gore also said in the AIT movie. Go T=f(CO2). This function will take into account all feedbacks.

    This is what Viscount Monckton also indicated in his article in the Daily Telegraph. This assertion was harshly criticized in a review at Real Climate and on his board by a poster named Lee. Although I could never fathom their objections since it would seem to apply to both Mann and Gore in their use of Chucky. A climate advisor from the the Canadian government also posted here. When I pointed out this relationship and that GCMs were a means of predicting temperature from CO2 concentration, she immediately commented that GCMs take much more into account than CO2 concentration. That is so but it appears to be a way of justifying a specific form for f(CO2) rather than deriving it.

    So if Chucky is accurate and t = f(CO2). What has happened since 1998? Apparently the colling trend in the 70s was a result of aerosols so t= f(C02, aerosol). Doesn’t this give a relationship that can be empirically tested. The aerosol theory in the 70s could be considered to be ad hoc and convenient. However it does provide values for the parameters in Chucky that can be tested on global temperatures since 1998.

  28. JamesG
    Posted Aug 4, 2008 at 9:01 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Of course the CO2 curve is an unscientific splice as well. This totem is even more unscientific than the other hockey stick. We have two single data sets from only two locales spliced with no attempt at showing a matching overlap and then just assumed to show a global phenomenon. Indeed before an unscientific time-adjustment was made, the two datasets were a complete mismatch. An initial theory was made that nature couldn’t cope with that extra 3% of CO2 and this inadequate, faked graph fit that theory very well. At that point in climate science history it seems none of the climate “experts” seemed to be aware that temperature rises caused CO2 rises, hence Petit’s parallel interpretation of his Vostok data as confirming that CO2 drove climate (who knows where he thought the CO2 was coming from). Every scientist has just accepted this CO2 graph without question, presumably due to their own guilt complex. But imagine for a moment that it is as likely to be as incorrect as the other hockey stick! If Beck’s alternative CO2 graph matched up with Loehle’s alternative temperature reconstruction then it would tell us that perhaps nature is coping with man’s CO2 emissions after all. Which, of course is what most Biologists would have expected had they not seen that faked-up CO2 graph first.

  29. Pat Keating
    Posted Aug 4, 2008 at 9:02 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Tony 24, 25

    24…but please focus on Chucky – far more important…

    25…Depends what kind of photos you have access to

    ????

  30. Armin
    Posted Aug 4, 2008 at 9:04 AM | Permalink | Reply

    #6 The emperor has no clothes.

    Mann can continue to use proxies until 1980, because he cannot find a Starbuck branch in his neighbourhood, the CCSP can continue to recycle old graphs (polished up or not by using a new Adobe filter) and have temperature graphs ending at 2000 or so, Hansen can adjust the GISS datasets a few more times, etc. But in the end, if nature doesn’t restart its heating-engines at some moment, someone – even up there in the alarmist crowd – must notice it. Another 10 years of no warming will be killing for the AGW.

  31. BCH
    Posted Aug 4, 2008 at 9:14 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Steve

    Just a couple of typos in your script.

    url

    Steve: Nope, you just have to watch the WordPress reformatting as I’ve mentioned about scripts on many occasions. I don’t know how to resolve this problem in WordPress.

  32. Jay Evans
    Posted Aug 4, 2008 at 9:14 AM | Permalink | Reply

    http://www.istockphoto.com/file_closeup/architecture-and-buildings/874059-got-flood-insurance.php?id=874059

    House picture is an iStockphoto.

    Photographer’s Description:
    Photo of house under several feet of graphically-rendered flood waters.
    It’s a Photochop.

  33. BCH
    Posted Aug 4, 2008 at 9:16 AM | Permalink | Reply

    That didn’t work too well. One more time

    url

  34. BCH
    Posted Aug 4, 2008 at 9:18 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Grumble, grumble … &#%$* markup

    url=”ftp://ftp.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/paleo/contributions_by_author/mann1999/recons/nhem-recon.dat”
    MBH99=read.table(url) #this goes to 1980
    MBH99=ts(MBH99[1:981,2],start=MBH99[1,1])

    url=”ftp://ftp.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/paleo/paleocean/by_contributor/mann1998/mannnhem.dat”
    MBH98=read.table(url,skip=1)

    par(mar=c(3,4,2,1))
    splice=c(MBH99[1:901],MBH98[502:599,3])
    plot(1000:1998,splice,type=”l”,ylab=”deg C”,xlab=””,main=”MBH Splice”,las=1)

    Steve: There are no misprints in the script; the problem is the WordPress rendering which changes one form of quotation mark into another unrecognizable by R. You have to replace the WordPress quotation marks with quotations marks. I;ve made this warning on many occasions and it’s hard to do it in every such post.

  35. EJ
    Posted Aug 4, 2008 at 9:19 AM | Permalink | Reply

    So the report inserts a temperature record and gives no source for it? Am I now to believe that the “hockey stick” has been resurected as cutting edge science by this report? What is going on here?

  36. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Aug 4, 2008 at 9:25 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Pretty nice spotting. “graphically rendered” indeed.

    A little more info. The photo credit in the CCSP report is to Flooded house, Justin Horrocks, iStockphoto. Justin Horrocks lives in Lake Stevens, Washington state. I’ll bet that the house in the photo is from Washington state as well.

    Interestingly, another one of his photographs has occasioned controversy in both Australia and New Zealand (not anything that he did, just how the governemnts used it.

    In a New Zealand story:

    Labour’s Kiwi happy family photo, which this morning turned out to actually be American, can now be revealed to have already been used by the Australian government to portray fair dinkum Aussies.

    This morning the American photographer who took the happy family picture said he was surprised to learn that the Labour party in New Zealand was using it.

    Photographer Justin Horrocks told nzherald.co.nz that the house in the background of the photo used to supposedly depict a Kiwi family is his house in Lake Stevens, Washington state.

    The family are friends of his who he photographs for stock images that are posted on the iStockphoto website and have been used across the US.

    See also http://www.skinny.co.nz/2008/06/07/labour-and-the-typical-new-zealand-family/

  37. BCH
    Posted Aug 4, 2008 at 9:54 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Don’t think it was WordPress …

    You had

    splice=c(MBH99[1:901,2],MBH98[502:599,3])

    but at that point, MBH99 is a time series … not a table … so it needs to be

    splice=c(MBH99[1:901],MBH98[502:599,3])

    Steve: sorry bout that. Sometimes I’ll fix that discrepancy.

  38. Bob North
    Posted Aug 4, 2008 at 9:54 AM | Permalink | Reply

    No one should have needed the weird reflections, perspective, etc. to tell the picture was photoshopped. Flood waters are muddy as heck. Find me a real picture of a flooded house where you don’t see the muddy water, mudstains on the walls from surging water, etc. etc..

  39. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Aug 4, 2008 at 9:59 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Here’s another graphical rendering of water by the same photographer.

  40. Jay Evans
    Posted Aug 4, 2008 at 10:14 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Spence_UK says

    But given the availability of actual pictures why would anyone bother splicing such a picture?

    Because we can… I spend 8 hrs a day making photographs lie.

  41. Patrick M.
    Posted Aug 4, 2008 at 10:40 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Longer construction seasons will be a benefit in colder locations18.

    But not longer growing seasons?

  42. MPaul
    Posted Aug 4, 2008 at 10:41 AM | Permalink | Reply

    But given the availability of actual pictures why would anyone bother splicing such a picture?

    Occom’s razor. Because with istockphoto, you can pay $3 and get legally defensible digital redistribution rights. The real question is, if they are willing to put fake images in their report because it supports their conclusion, then what else in the report is faked?

  43. tty
    Posted Aug 4, 2008 at 10:50 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Look at it like this: Chucky is simply an AGWStockdiagram with graphically rendered warming.

  44. Sam Urbinto
    Posted Aug 4, 2008 at 11:19 AM | Permalink | Reply

    34 Steve …Wordpress rendering which changes one form of quotation mark…

    Suggestion to all having issues with WordPress formatting; copy it, paste it into notepad or some other plain text editor, and then copy and paste it from there. That will remove all formatting from the original.

  45. Sam Urbinto
    Posted Aug 4, 2008 at 11:20 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Let’s see. 16,000,000,000,000 pounds of carbon per year. From .00026 to .00038 of the atmosphere. With another .8 centigrade.

    Just love putting all that on one graph, right?

    But notice the temperature anomaly scale. It only goes down to -.6 but it goes all the way up to +1

    Their tricks are so transparent, why even bother any more?

  46. Spence_UK
    Posted Aug 4, 2008 at 11:38 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Re #40

    That wasn’t me, that was Steve responding inline. I dabble myself sometimes y’know! On a purely fun basis, of course.

    Art often confuses those who are more scientifically minded – why do something pointless? Possibly because it is beautiful, or because it makes someone laugh, or because it makes someone cry. But the real beauty is when hidden meaning happens in art that the artist never originally intended. And this flooded house is a great example. There are so many metaphors here. The splicing of MBH99 echoes in the splicing of the flooded house. The computer-generated numbers, that are supposed to reflect reality, and superficially appear to, that crumble under the investigation of an expert eye.

    I could go on. But I won’t. Back to chucky.

  47. Jim Edwards
    Posted Aug 4, 2008 at 11:41 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Steve M., I’m assuming you will be submitting a comment to NOAA criticizing the use of this graph. Please don’t forget to mention the fraudulent assertion of confidence that’s inherent to any graphs in the report that lack statistically meaningful error bars.

  48. Fred Nieuwenhuis
    Posted Aug 4, 2008 at 12:00 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Don’t trust NOAA to change their tune. They still use the HS extensively ( eg. http://www.research.noaa.gov/climate/observing2.html) and refer to the 2001 IPCC report.

  49. Willi McQ
    Posted Aug 4, 2008 at 12:10 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Since tree leaf temperature remains constant, hotter weather would seem to require more of the tree’s energy package for maintaining the lower temperature. In this is the case wouldn’t this leave less energy for growth, possibly less thick rings?

    Can it be the threat replicated Starbuck hypotheses be the reason they are closing so many?

    Willi

  50. Pat Keating
    Posted Aug 4, 2008 at 12:45 PM | Permalink | Reply

    42 46
    See #23

  51. Joe Black
    Posted Aug 4, 2008 at 1:39 PM | Permalink | Reply

    It’s becoming funnier as time goes by that the AGW alarmists just can’t move on past the 1998 era uptick. Those were the days….futures being all bright and such. Life was good.

  52. Pat Frank
    Posted Aug 4, 2008 at 2:59 PM | Permalink | Reply

    #27 — Stan wrote, “When I pointed out this relationship and that GCMs were a means of predicting temperature from CO2 concentration, she immediately commented that GCMs take much more into account than CO2 concentration.

    But they don’t. See Figure 2 here.

  53. Thor
    Posted Aug 4, 2008 at 3:07 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Steve, did you notice the WordPress plugin at this location: Unfancy quote It states the following:

    The unfancy quote plugin for WordPress lets you override WordPress’ quote fancification. Curly quotes in the wrong direction and broken code because of curly quotes will be a thing of the past.

    I have no idea how to install it, but it looks like a small PHP-file.

  54. Posted Aug 4, 2008 at 3:40 PM | Permalink | Reply

    It is a first draft and they are accepting comments until the 14th. Perhaps some well worded comments are in order?

  55. steven mosher
    Posted Aug 4, 2008 at 5:44 PM | Permalink | Reply

    RE #7.

    Wow. the Piltdown Mansion.

  56. Posted Aug 4, 2008 at 8:54 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Benefits from increased CO2?

    Forget the 1/2 of ONE degree increase in temperatures from 1970 to 1998.

    Are these prejudiced “scientists” (using the word loosely) so ignorant that they don’t realize that ALL plants on earth (food, feed, fodder, and coral through plankton) and redwood trees are growing 17% – 28% FASTER and HEAVIER BECAUSE OF the greater CO2 levels in the air now? (Sure, a slightly warmer growing season is “nice” but not as important. Tens of thousands of fewer deaths during in every country must not be “benefits” to an ecologist/socialist. (Is this because fewer death means more evil humans are living longer?)

    And this 21% increase in food value worldwide is not “valuable” compared to “hotter weather while driving to the recreational lakes” ????

  57. Andrey Levin
    Posted Aug 5, 2008 at 3:07 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Re#38, Bob North:

    Flood waters are muddy as heck. Find me a real picture of a flooded house where you don’t see the muddy water, mudstains on the walls from surging water, etc.

    Absolutely. Plus flood water always floats leaves, grass clippings, branches, trash, etc.

  58. Geoff Sherrington
    Posted Aug 5, 2008 at 6:38 AM | Permalink | Reply

    The fake house photo.

    Wow! Does this site move fast!

    Steve, you sent me a better image, thank you.

    Analysis is best performed on the original photographic neg/pos or digital RAW file. Once it has been printed, such as by photo litho, many tell-tale signs disappear. If you then scan it again for the Internet, more signs disappear.

    Without having read the above comments past my post # 11, I can add as follows:

    1. The photograph, before manipulation, was rotated about 0.8 degrees clockwise at the roofline. The waterline is EXACTLY horizontal at pixel resolution.

    2. Pixels above and below the waterline are an exact mirror image close to the waterline, with no sign of turbulence or floating matter or wetting of the house by waves. They move about further out as expected from feathering and rippling filters.

    3. The lower “reflected” portion can be copied, made an object, made semi-transparent on screen, inverted and overlaid on the house at top, in a kind of reversal of the method used to create the effect. The dimensions of all of the objects are the same, apart from the added ripple noise. They would not be the same if a camera, elevated above the water, was used. Perspective and vanishing points would change, e.g. The windows in the reflection would be further apart than on the house.

    On the better image you sent, I would go to Court. It is clearly a manipulation.

    The code of conduct here requires photographers to disclose manipulation when it can reasonably be seen to have a misleading or untrue impact on the viewer. Piltdown Mansion indeed.

    I’ve done this stuff for years. The true art is to make an image whose manipulation defeats analysis. I have not been able to make one yet. Each time I leave little tell-tales. There are detected by subtle, powerful tools that I don’t disclose because that would only help forgers.

    But Chucky is far more important and rarer. Show me a Time Magazine and I’ll show you an “enhanced” photograph.

  59. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Aug 5, 2008 at 6:53 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Anthony’s got a thread on this/ Lucia observed another telltale of the fake – the trees aren’t in leaf or budding.

  60. Lindsay Cockburn
    Posted Aug 5, 2008 at 8:26 AM | Permalink | Reply

    I was intrigued by the ‘fake photo’ thread and went to the link URL. This might have been missed, or added later, but the

    Photographer’s Description: Photo of house under several feet of graphically-rendered flood waters

    is below the photo.

    Steve – See http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=3384#comment-284918 where this was observed; that’s what accelerated this.

  61. Roger Pielke, Jr.
    Posted Aug 5, 2008 at 8:32 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Further discussion here:

    http://sciencepolicy.colorado.edu/prometheus/sloppy-work-by-the-ccsp-4497

    In particular, see the discussion of the exec summary.

    Steve - Roger, the first proof of the doctored photo occurred here http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=3384#comment-284918

  62. Barney Frank
    Posted Aug 5, 2008 at 9:39 AM | Permalink | Reply

    I think the Photoshopping is being unfairly criticised.
    This is not meant to represent what has actually occurred in past floods, but is a robust projection (but by no means a prediction), a model if you will, of how we will be living by the end of the century.

  63. Kenneth Fritsch
    Posted Aug 5, 2008 at 9:55 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Re: Pielke, Jr @ #62 and excerpt from link at Prometheus

    Below is a slide from one of Ms. Hassol’s lectures on climate change, delivered in the fall of 2006 (PDF). Below that image is am image of the first page of CCSP executive summary. I’ve color coded similar, and in some cases verbatim, phrases. The logic and substance of the two documents is remarkably similar and not at all scientific, but advocacy focused. Advocacy is appropriate in many contexts, and Ms. Hassol’s views are perfectly legitimate, but I expect to see neither political advocacy nor the editor’s personal views in the executive summary of the scientific research covered by the US CCSP Synthesis Report.

    After making a fast scan of the CCSP report, I was not at all surprised by the advocacy tone of the presentation and in fact had expected and anticipated it. Concentration on the history of extreme events that if one looks closely at the data presented do not look all that extreme but more or less like small incremental changes and displaying mainly only the adverse side of increased temperatures and GHG levels are more a part of advocacy than disinterested science.

    I am more surprised by the number of observers that appear surprised when these reviews of climate science merge with advocacy. It has happened. It continues to happen. And probably will continue to happen. I would rather spend the effort doing an analysis of what is presented than demonstrating (again and again) that the reviews are one-sided.

  64. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Aug 5, 2008 at 10:00 AM | Permalink | Reply

    At Roger Pielke’s blog, he observes that Revkin of the New York Times discusses the withdrawal of a digitally spliced photo of a coal face, shown in connection with the recent Hansen controversy, crediting “Gavin Schmidt of realclimate.org”, who I presume is the same Gavin Schmidt that is a NASA employee reporting to James Hansen, though this isn’t mentioned.

    The timing is interesting. The digital splice issue was aired on June 30 and the photo was pulled on July 1.

    Should the CCSP replace the fake photo even in their draft version? I think that they should. Why wait?

    I suppose that they’ll argue that the fake doesn’t “matter”, but it probably didn’t “matter” in the New York Times case either in terms of the story. But the New York Times has a reputation for accuracy and pulled the photo as soon as they became aware of the fake. We’ll see whether the CCSP bothers with such scruples.

  65. D. Patterson
    Posted Aug 5, 2008 at 11:14 AM | Permalink | Reply

    63 Barney Frank says:

    August 5th, 2008 at 9:39 am
    I think the Photoshopping is being unfairly criticised.
    This is not meant to represent what has actually occurred in past floods, but is a robust projection (but by no means a prediction), a model if you will, of how we will be living by the end of the century.

    The Great Moon Hoax 1835-1836 was also taken entirely too seriously by a number of scientists, the New York Times, and others who should have known better as well.

  66. Jay Evans
    Posted Aug 5, 2008 at 11:36 AM | Permalink | Reply

    I think way too much is being made of the house photo. That report was put together on computer by a graphic artist not a scientist. The use of stock photos to illustrate a point is SOP. The whole report is full of them.

    Don’t blame the poor smuck at the computer. He had a hole to fill and just picked something that looked good and the people reviewing the article probably didn’t know the difference.

  67. Jeff C.
    Posted Aug 5, 2008 at 12:14 PM | Permalink | Reply

    The reason the Photoshopped photo resonates is that it crystalizes the intent of the report. The report is not meant to be an honest, impartial summary of the scientific facts that are known, but a glossy, promotional tool to push an agenda. When trying to present facts in a straight-forward manner, one doesn’t need misleading charts and doctored, stock photos.

    Steve rightly asks why someone would use a doctored photo when genuine photos of real floods were easily available. I think the reason is that the fake photo was readily available and on-message. In other words, laziness and the agenda trumped accuracy.

  68. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Aug 5, 2008 at 1:00 PM | Permalink | Reply

    #67. There are many problems with the report. I think that the interesting aspect of the fake photo will be the CCSP response. Will they act quickly to remove the fake – as the New York Times did? Or will they take the approach of convenience – it doesn’t “matter”, so we won’t bother to change it?

    The lack of care is something that regularly bothers me. Take another small thing – the rain in Maine. MBH located a French precipitation series in Maine. (The rain in Maine falls mainly in the Seine). This was well publicized; mentioned in MM03, which Mann read. Yet the data set in Mann et al 2007 contains the same error (as well as the incorrect PC series.) Why wouldn’t they correct something like this? And yet they don’t. I don’t understand it at all.

  69. David Smith
    Posted Aug 5, 2008 at 1:41 PM | Permalink | Reply

    I found this image to be interesting:

    Image-wise this seems to show the effects of a severe drought between June 2002 and December 2003. That’s a dramatic drop in level.

    When I checked the Lake Powell data I found that the normal fluctuation is a peak in June followed by a decline until about April. So, why would CCSP do drought comparison from June-to-December rather than June-to-June or December-to-December?

    I did not see data covering 2002 and 2003.

    It also looks like the basin is recovering from the early-2000s drought.

  70. rhodeymark
    Posted Aug 5, 2008 at 1:41 PM | Permalink | Reply

    The photo actually goes perfectly with the Summary. That could have been written by a software Random Climate Alarm Generator. Let us not forget that Mr. Gore used a CGI still from Day After Tomorrow in his presentation, which merely proves once again that the Government gets less for its money.

  71. Bob Koss
    Posted Aug 5, 2008 at 1:43 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Chip Knappenberger has put up a scathing assessment of the CCSP report.
    World Climate Report

  72. Sam Urbinto
    Posted Aug 5, 2008 at 2:23 PM | Permalink | Reply

    #72 Wow. That is a major put down of the report.

    The CCSP authors want you to believe that climate change will lead to more heat waves which will lead to more people dying as a result. The former is probably true, the latter is most probably false—that is, if you properly account for population changes (in other words, it is not permissible to claim more people are dying from the heat without accounting for the increase in the number of total people—this is the same type of shenanigans that they tried in the “damages” section we describe above).

    Yes, and of course, moving to Florida causes a higher mortality rate for the people that moved there.

  73. Stan Palmer
    Posted Aug 5, 2008 at 2:28 PM | Permalink | Reply

    re 69

    Why wouldn’t they correct something like this? And yet they don’t. I don’t understand it at all.

    if they admitted a mistake or mistakes then they would have to admit that the peer review process was inadequate to find them. Since “peer-reviewed” is now used as a synonym for irrefutable, this would present a major problem So the best course of action is to ignore all problems and leave them for others to take responsibility for the consequences.

    In engineering, one way that has been found to meet difficult specifications is just to say you have. By the time the failures are noticed, the perpetrators have reaped their rewards and moved on to more lucrative and more responsible positions. It is the people who have to use the failed solution who will get the blame and be required to fix it. I have experienced this personally on two occasions. Both times, I had to take responsibility to make circuits work to specifications that they supposedly had already met. In neither case did the originators of these failures suffer any consequences beyond pay raises and promotion.

  74. Steve Keohane
    Posted Aug 5, 2008 at 9:45 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Stan, I worked for a large IC manufacturer in the 70s-90s. The corporate engineering practice you refer to was cynically called “F***-Up and Move-up”.

  75. DeWitt Payne
    Posted Aug 5, 2008 at 11:05 PM | Permalink | Reply

    It’s the Dilbert Principle. You are promoted because you are incompetent at your current level.

  76. BarryW
    Posted Aug 6, 2008 at 8:12 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Re 73

    Hmmm. Retirees are moving to places like Arizona, and Florida. Skewed population ages, higher mortality?

    Let’s see, heat causes higher mortality. OMG think of the decimation that must occur in the middle east every summer with those 120 deg days! The government must be suppressing this information!

    Re 74

    In engineering, one way that has been found to meet difficult specifications is just to say you have. By the time the failures are noticed, the perpetrators have reaped their rewards and moved on to more lucrative and more responsible positions.

    So true. One thing I noticed with working on government programs was that the program manager always moved on (usually to a promotion) right before the project reached a stage where it actually had to work. The replacement was the guy that thought it was so great to get a promoted to the program manager’s slot until he found out that he had a mess on his hands and users screaming for somebody’s head.

    Re 76

    And I thought the Peter Principle explained it! The Dilbert Principle explains things a lot better.

  77. Joe Crawford
    Posted Aug 6, 2008 at 8:46 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Re 77

    From my experience, after the Peter Principle has run its course, the Inverse Peter Principle takes effect. That is where after reaching his level of incompetence, he is then promoted to a level where his incompetence is no longer as obvious.

    Joe

  78. Roger Pielke, Jr.
    Posted Aug 6, 2008 at 9:57 AM | Permalink | Reply

    #62, Thanks Steve. I’ve updated my post with this link.

  79. Posted Aug 6, 2008 at 10:11 AM | Permalink | Reply

    I think the Photoshopping is being unfairly criticised.
    This is not meant to represent what has actually occurred in past floods, but is a robust projection (but by no means a prediction), a model if you will, of how we will be living by the end of the century.

    Yes. The photo illustrates that, in the future, we will suffer from many more computer-generated floods.
    :-)

  80. Craig Loehle
    Posted Aug 6, 2008 at 11:14 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Even if the CCSP report was 100% accurate in its forecasts, the actual costs of a few more tornados and floods is nothing compared to the costs due to people knowingly moving into flood-plains and into hurricane zones (as Pielke jr has documented). In which case it seems disengenuous to be “scared” when people are judging these risks to be acceptable.

  81. Barry Moore
    Posted Aug 7, 2008 at 7:29 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Page 98 has an interesting graphic of U.S. Corn Yields 1960 -2007 It would interesting to superimpose the average CO2 level for the U.S.I think the correlation would be remarkable. And after all correlation is all they have and we all know correlation does not prove causation and especially when the data has been so carefully “conditioned”.

  82. DeWitt Payne
    Posted Aug 7, 2008 at 4:13 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Barry Moore,

    I like the reference to optimum temperature for growth. In other words, the inverse U shaped growth curve that some dendro’s seem to want to sweep under the rug. Of course, we don’t know the optimum temperature, we don’t know if CO2 concentration affects the optimum temperature, but apparently we can safely predict that if we don’t do something things will get invariably get worse eventually.

  83. Posted Aug 9, 2008 at 11:08 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Great detective work people ! Thank you. I am acknowledging your fine research on our site ” http://www.stinkyjournalism.org Editors picks ” next week. It is citizens like you that help keep government and the media honest… for now and into the future…thanks for all of your time and effort to let the truth be known. Go teamwork.

  84. Kenneth Fritsch
    Posted Aug 18, 2008 at 11:31 AM | Permalink | Reply

    From the climate report (called the Climate Report hereafter in this post) titled “Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States”, which is the subject of this thread, I found two major items that I wanted to review and analyze using readily available internet sources. Reports such as this one appear to me to be marketing a climate policy direction, and albeit by scientists in review mode, I have expectations that what is revealed, while not necessarily incorrect, might be one sided in presenting the evidence. Even the juxtaposition of words and phrases can give a more emphatic impression than one would obtain from a more straight forward scientific exposition.

    The items that interested me were predictions for climate related mortality rates and the net energy consumption both items vis a vis positive warmer winter and deleterious warmer summer effects. In this post I want to cover the climate related mortality rates.

    The excerpt below summarizes the reports findings and predictions from page 55 of the Climate Report with:

    In a warmer world, extreme cold would be reduced and that could reduce the number of deaths caused by low temperatures. Research suggests that this effect would be relatively minor, however, probably because virtually all Americans have heat in their homes (as opposed to air conditioning, which is not universal). Current information on U.S. deaths due to extreme cold as well as extreme heat comes from recent research that analyzed daily mortality and weather data for 6,513,330 deaths in 50 U.S. cities between 1989 and 2000. The researchers found that, on average, cold snaps increased death rates by 1.6 percent, while heat waves triggered a 5.7 percent increase in death rates. Relatively milder winters attributable to global warming will not make up for the more severe health effects of summertime extremes5.

    It has been speculated that because death rates are higher in winter than in summer, warming might decrease deaths overall, but this ignores the fact that the principal causes of winter deaths are influenza and pneumonia, and it is unclear how these highly seasonal diseases are affected by temperature.

    What I was able to determine from other sources was essentially that the report is referring to historical data that indicate that extremely hot summer days correlates better with higher mortality rates and with bigger regression coefficients than extremely cold days in the winter. The finding is not disputed, but what we find on further analysis is best derived from the paper titled, “Seasonality of climate–human mortality relationships in US cities and impacts of climate change”, by Robert E. Davis1, Paul C. Knappenberger, Patrick J. Michaels, and Wendy M. Novicoff linked here:

    http://www.int-res.com/articles/cr2004/26/c026p061.pdf

    I will summarize the findings from that paper below and show how one can obtain a rather different view on the relationship of mortality rates and climate as presented in the Climate Report.

    1. Actually mortality rates are higher in the colder winter months than the warmer summer months and much of that is the result of influenza. Deaths from influenza, however, cannot be correlated with the colder and coldest days of winter.
    2. One can relate colder winter months to higher mortality rates as well as higher rates in the summer to warmer months, but not all months in all cities studied show significant correlations (after de-trending for seasonal and technological changes).
    3. The data indicate that over the period 1964 to 1998 2.9 deaths net (summer increase over winter decrease) occurred in the annual total mortality (per standard million) per city since 1964 which can be compared to the annual death rate of 9500 deaths per standard million during the 1990s.
    4. When analyzing the climate related mortality rates over 3 time periods (the later 1960s into the 1970s, the 1980s and the 1990s) versus temperature anomalies in the 28 urban areas studied it was found (and rather non intuitively)
    that the differences in climate related mortalities between these urban areas were disappearing over time and giving evidence that man was successfully adapting to temperature and climate changes.

    It would appear that the Climate Report is talking about some substantial number of climate related deaths by placing the 6.5 million mortalities next to the 1.6 and 5.7 percentages which are actually on closer reading relegated to “cold snap’ and “very hot” day increases only. By itself and with no further information and/or careful reading one could image some very large numbers here. The Davis et al. paper, on the other hand, allows one to get a measure of the magnitude of the numbers – which turn out to be relatively small – and provides strong evidence that man has adapted and continues adapt to climate extremes from which one could further conclude will have mitigating effects on future responses to climate change. Davis et al. also warns against the assumption often used in other analyses that the time series of mortality due to climate changes is stationary.

    This paper also summarizes the methods used and some precautions on using the information in it with this excerpt:

    It is important to reiterate that our analysis was performed at a coarse monthly scale because of the lack of any strong daily relationships between mortality and weather in winter. Our goal was to examine the general seasonality of climate and mortality. A model developed to predict the number of excess deaths arising from longer or more intense heat waves, for example, might produce different mortality estimates.

    Clearly, there remains a net impact of heat on mortality in the US, even after removal of the long-term technological trend. However, on an annual basis, the influences of mortality displacement, mortality benefits from warmer winters, and technology tend to mitigate against summer heat mortality. This analysis, in which we relate mean monthly temperatures (rather than weather events) to mortality, tends to smooth over the impacts of specific events like heat waves and provides a general idea of the linkages between a warming climate and mortality patterns.

    The Climate Report leaves unanswered the question of how future warming if not neutral to warmer and colder months and maximum versus minimum temperatures, would affect the climate related mortality rates. On the other hand, Davis et al. estimate future net mortality rates based on summer versus winter dominated warming as noted in the excerpt below.

    Future mortality projections indicate that the monthly pattern of temperature change will be important in estimating future climate-related death rates. Using 3 simple monthly patterns of temperature seasonality, we find that a uniform 1°C warming results in a net mortality decline of 2.65 deaths (per standard million) per MSA, the summer-dominant warming generates 3.61 additional deaths, and the winter-dominant warming produces 8.92 fewer deaths (Fig. 13). Again, these numbers are very small compared with the annual average mortality rate.

    While Davis et al. does show the monthly temperature trends for the period of their study in the 28 metropolitan areas, out of curiosity, I obtained the minimum and maximum temperature trends for the periods 1920-2006, 1980 to 2006 and 1965-2006 for the individual months of the year using the USHCN Urban data sets for the lower 48 states. The trends are given in degrees C per century and average temperatures in degrees C. and the results presented in the table below.

    Notice that the warming in the more recent time periods shows highest maximum temperature trends occurring in the colder months and lowest in the warmer months. I should also note that the monthly trends in a number of cases do not show statistically significant trends (p less than 0.05). When the months are clumped into seasons (DJF, MAM, JJA and SON) the trends are all significant for maximum and minimum temperatures.

    I did what I will call a Comfort Index by ranking the months from coldest to warmest and the trends for 1965-2006 from highest to lowest. I then did a Spearman rank correlation. A Spearman r = -1 would mean that the trends would increase from hotter months up to the colder months and represent an optimum climate change condition for reducing extreme heat and cold. At the other extreme, an r = 1 would represent a worst case condition for climate change. For maximum temperatures, I calculated an r = -0.61 and for minimum temperatures, I obtained r = -0.36.

    This evidence clearly shows that the Climate Report should be considering the historical winter and minimum temperature dominated warming and also leads to a second post that I want to do reviewing net energy consumptions from winter heating decreases versus summer air conditioning increases.

  85. trevor
    Posted Aug 18, 2008 at 12:41 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Excellent post Kenneth. Thank you.

    I hope that you will excuse a lay person asking questions, but in thinking about mortality, the climatic effects on mortality rates probably affect largely elderly people in the last months of their lives, for whatever reason. Deaths due to motor accidents, murders, suicides etc are likely not affected by seasonal factors (except perhaps motorcyclists on ice!), whereas an ailing old person is more likely to ‘let go’ on a day when their already frail system is more stressed than usual, ie, on a hot day when they don’t have air conditioning, or perhaps on a very cold day.

    We are not saying (are we?) that either cold or hot extremes are causing a significant number of deaths that otherwise would not have happened in the year in question. I suppose that there are exceptions to this, such as a homeless person exposed to a very cold night, but I would expect this effect to be very small in the scheme of things.

    Is this factor of age at the time of death relative to normal life expectancy taken into account in these mortality studies? I suspect that if we take out those who are already on ‘death’s bed’ we will find that the ‘climatic’ effects on mortality are indeed very small.

    The reason for my question is that I have always felt that the reports that seem to indicate higher mortality rates on hot days are suggesting that the overall mortality on an annual basis is being affected by the number of hot days, whereas it seems doubtful to me that this could actually be the case.

  86. Kenneth Fritsch
    Posted Aug 18, 2008 at 1:22 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Re: #86

    I would recommend you follow the link to the Davis et al. paper, as I judge that it addresses the questions you raise here.

    The mortality rates were “normalized” for age and other factors. Mortality rates for all causes have gone down over the period 1964-1998 of the study. Mortalities due to extremely hot and humid days has little effect on the overall mortality rates. Extremely cold days do not apparently have significant effects on changing mortality rates -even though winter has higher overall motality rates than summer. Influenza which is major cause of winter mortality cannot be connected to colder and extremely colder winter days, but nonetheless it is a winter factor.

    The Davis paper also mentions the issue of “mortality displacement” which is a term that some use to describe a situation where some very hot days do not see higher mortality rates because previous hot spells have lead to deaths of the more susceptible people and leaving a behind a healtheir population.

  87. bender
    Posted Aug 18, 2008 at 4:36 PM | Permalink | Reply

    The singular “cause of death” paradigm is a large part of the problem. Health decline is multicausal, and pinning the blame on any one agent leads to huge distortions that are more an indicator of the demographer’s bias than anything else. An older person suffering from a half dozen co-existing conditions experiences multifactorial stresses that can be blamed for reduced lifespan. Had condition X not killed them at time t, latent condition Y would have killed them at time t+1. Some stressors, such as heat, affect multiple people simultaneously, and the tendency when this happens is to blame the death on the common inciting agent, ignoring the varied systemic factors at play. It is more or less obvious why mortality statistics are taken this way. It’s traditional. It’s expedient. But is it informative?

    A better concept is marginal stress – measured as the marginal number of years taken off a lifespan as the consequence of a single factor in context. Compile your data this way and all of a sudden the risks associated with summer heat waves or hurricane occurrence drop off the page compared to highway driving, operating a motorcycle, working in heavy industry, and many other lifestyle choices.

    It is a good idea to keep these risks in perspective. Demographic schemes that systematically exaggerate some risks over others do not serve society well.

  88. trevor
    Posted Aug 18, 2008 at 5:16 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Thanks Bender. Beautifully expressed.

  89. MrPete
    Posted Aug 18, 2008 at 5:43 PM | Permalink | Reply

    To illustrate bender’s argument: a relative lives in a “senior community.” By far the most significant factor that seriously degrades residents’ health, leading to reduced lifespan, is… falling.

    We’ve seen it over and over. A previously healthy person falls. Something breaks. They never fully recover and life rapidly deteriorates. Yet “falling” would never show as cause of death.

    (My father in law hangs on for dear life!)

  90. Kenneth Fritsch
    Posted Aug 19, 2008 at 10:37 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Re: #88

    A better concept is marginal stress – measured as the marginal number of years taken off a lifespan as the consequence of a single factor in context. Compile your data this way and all of a sudden the risks associated with summer heat waves or hurricane occurrence drop off the page compared to highway driving, operating a motorcycle, working in heavy industry, and many other lifestyle choices.

    It is a good idea to keep these risks in perspective. Demographic schemes that systematically exaggerate some risks over others do not serve society well.

    Bender, you articulate well a point that was not addressed in my analysis of climate related mortality and one that, had the Climate Report under discussion in this thread been more science oriented, should have noted.

    I am not familiar, however, with the methodology that would allow measurement and adjustments for “marginal stress” in reducing life spans. Age adjusted mortality rates which are used in these studies and for specific causes would, I think, factor in some of what you point to as missing in these investigations.

    I think that many observers of heat related mortalities such as the one a few summers ago that occurred in Chicago would realize, at least anecdotally, that heat stress kills primarily older people and particularly those in poor health. I think part of the lack of using a marginal stress adjustment in these studies, no matter the feasibility, and commentaries discussing the point, arises out of political correctness that would not want a value put on a human life at any age or in any condition. How many times do we hear in reply to these things environmental: “If one life could be saved, we should…”?

    My take on that Chicago heat wave problem was that many of those older people who succumbed to its effects were those living alone who had family and friends in the local area, but who failed to react to the conditions because they simply did not realize the danger it could pose for older people in poor health. I would guess that a similar heat wave, at least in the near enough future that people remember, would bring these families into action more quickly.

    In my view the Climate Report, discussed here, is mainly about the severity of consequences of climate change and man’s inability to adapt – and primarily to promote some climate policies. Their major emphasis is showing that man cannot adapt and thus other actions are required.

    I have listed below a link to a paper and the excerpted abstract that gives evidence of man adapting to heat related stresses.

    http://www.ehponline.org/members/2003/6336/6336.html

    “Changing Heat-Related Mortality in the United States”, by Robert E. Davis, Paul C. Knappenberger, Patrick J. Michaels, and Wendy M. Novicoff (2002).

    Heat is the primary weather-related cause of death in the United States. Increasing heat and humidity, at least partially related to anthropogenic climate change, suggest that a long-term increase in heat-related mortality could occur. We calculated the annual excess mortality on days when apparent temperatures–an index that combines air temperature and humidity–exceeded a threshold value for 28 major metropolitan areas in the United States from 1964 through 1998. Heat-related mortality rates declined significantly over time in 19 of the 28 cities. For the 28-city average, there were 41.0 ± 4.8 (mean ± SE) excess heat-related deaths per year (per standard million) in the 1960s and 1970s, 17.3 ± 2.7 in the 1980s, and 10.5 ± 2.0 in the 1990s. In the 1960s and 1970s, almost all study cities exhibited mortality significantly above normal on days with high apparent temperatures. During the 1980s, many cities, particularly those in the typically hot and humid southern United States, experienced no excess mortality. In the 1990s, this effect spread northward across interior cities. This systematic desensitization of the metropolitan populace to high heat and humidity over time can be attributed to a suite of technologic, infrastructural, and biophysical adaptations, including increased availability of air conditioning.

  91. John F. Pittman
    Posted Aug 19, 2008 at 11:02 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Kenneth, I beleive I have on my other computer, data about heat and cold related deaths that supported the general knowledge that colder weather meant more deaths than warmer; but it may be heart disease study. However, IIRC, it was not the maximum cold, but relative cold snaps. The authors found that mortality increased whether in warm areas such as Florida, or colder areas such as New York, when there was a relative cold snap for that area. In other words, once acclimated, there are more deaths, maybe heart, when that area had its relative cold snap. IIRC, they did not find that the coldest days explained the increase in deaths. But there were more deaths associated with the cold snap than warming.

  92. Bill Griffiths
    Posted Aug 22, 2008 at 4:16 AM | Permalink | Reply

    How do you reliably measure a metric ton of carbon dioxide ? … How do you separate, by reliable measurement, the anthropogenic from the “natural” carbon dioxide ? … if reliable specificity of measurement is achievable, why are carbon offset allowances the provence of govrnment regulatory agencies ? … How do you reliably measure increase or decrease in carbon dioxide emissions, anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions, that are the very foundation of cap and trade protocol ? … Jonathan Swift must be doing cartwheels in his grave !!

  93. jae
    Posted Aug 22, 2008 at 10:13 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Kenneth, I beleive I have on my other computer, data about heat and cold related deaths that supported the general knowledge that colder weather meant more deaths than warmer; but it may be heart disease study. However, IIRC, it was not the maximum cold, but relative cold snaps. The authors found that mortality increased whether in warm areas such as Florida, or colder areas such as New York, when there was a relative cold snap for that area. In other words, once acclimated, there are more deaths, maybe heart, when that area had its relative cold snap. IIRC, they did not find that the coldest days explained the increase in deaths. But there were more deaths associated with the cold snap than warming.

    For those interested in novel statistical procedures and health-effects of warming, a peer-reviewed study has been published that shows that suicides in Italy are related to global warming. But, the statistics used may make Team statistical methods look good by comparison. Enjoy!

  94. Kenneth Fritsch
    Posted Aug 25, 2008 at 11:41 AM | Permalink | Reply

    As I noted in a previous post on this thread I wanted to review the background basis for the claim made in the Climate Report (“Global Climate Changes Impact on the United States” to be referenced as Climate Report hereafter) linked here:

    http://downloads.climatescience.gov/sap/usp/usp-prd-all.pdf

    The report makes a claim for increased energy consumption (cooling versus heating) with future global warming scenarios. In my view of the Climate Report, the author’s do essentially what has been done with claims coming out of AR4 in that they use the author’s expert opinion/judgment of papers that can vary widely on the question of net increase/decrease in energy consumption with a given scenario for future warming and to make “selections” that lead to a review conclusion.

    As it turns out, most of the references in the Climate Report on energy consumption come from another review titled, “Effects of Climate Change on Energy Production And Use in the United States” under the same organizational auspices as the Climate Report (the US Climate Change Science Program) linked here:

    http://www.climatescience.gov/Library/sap/sap4-5/final-report/default.htm

    From the two reviews linked above and from the link below (that gives data on residential and commercial building space heating and cooling energy consumption and costs), I have listed below what I judge to be the essential background for the Climate Report review on the subject.

    http://www.eia.doe.gov/emeu/recs/contents.html

    1. Most studies compare predicted energy consumption (at the consuming site) increases/decreases for cooling/heating with future climate warming by using space cooling/heating for residential and commercial buildings.

    2. It is widely known that energy used by the consumer at the consumer site for heating in the US far exceeds that used for cooling.

    3. Since most cooling uses electrical energy while heating uses natural gas, a factor relating the production of those energies must be to adjust the consumer used energy. With electrical energy requiring approximately 3 Btu at the producer of energy to provide 1 Btu of energy to the consumer whereas natural gas requires a negligible amount of energy to deliver a 1 Btu of thermal energy, a factor of 3 is suggested for the US for a valid comparison for cooling versus heating energy. The 3 to 1 ratio seems to be borne out in the relative average cost differences for electricity and gas energy to the consumer site.

    4. Residential energy ratio for heating to cooling at the consumer site is approximately 7.5 to 1 and it appears that that ratio for commercial buildings would not be significantly different. Combining this ratio with the 3 to 1 ratio we can approximate the produced energy ratio for heating to cooling at 2.5 to 1.

    5. A simple-minded view of these ratios would lead one to assume that a global warming scenario would lead to a reduction in energy required for the combination of heating and cooling. While some studies do conclude just that others indicate more energy for heating/cooling with global warming and in the end allow enough selection (albeit by experts) for the Climate Report to claim that a net increase in energy consumption will occur.

    6. The climate model warming scenarios curiously show a larger increase in summer warming versus winter, whereas the historical trends of the last 50 years show that warming has been significantly winter dominated.

    7. Some of the studies that have attempted to predict the net increase/decrease in heating/cooling energy with global warming have taken into consideration variables such as relative humidity changes, changes in the consumers preferences and other econometric changes and thus I can see room for some guessing/selections that might be biased by the author’s stand on climate policies.

    • Greg F
      Posted Nov 3, 2009 at 1:34 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: Kenneth Fritsch (#95),

      3. Since most cooling uses electrical energy while heating uses natural gas, a factor relating the production of those energies must be to adjust the consumer used energy. With electrical energy requiring approximately 3 Btu at the producer of energy to provide 1 Btu of energy to the consumer whereas natural gas requires a negligible amount of energy to deliver a 1 Btu of thermal energy, a factor of 3 is suggested for the US for a valid comparison for cooling versus heating energy.

      Are they claiming that the efficiency for producing electricity is 33%? I could accept that as being reasonable average for fossil fuel plants but slightly more than 25% of the generating capacity is hydro and nuclear.

  95. Posted Nov 3, 2009 at 12:16 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Kenneth Fritsch (#95), I respectfully disagree that the author has brought his or her personal bias into theses readings and predictions because there procedures and readings are well documented and their work does not appear to have been tamperd with.

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