RSS June – "Worse Than We Thought"

Lucia was quick off the mark with RSS June results. RSS June was 0.075 deg C (reference 1979-1998). The graph shows somewhat of a decline from earlier in the year.

In a joint statement, realclimate authors Gavin Schmidt, Michael Mann, Stefan Rahmstorf and Eric Steig noted their disappointment with market performance. However, Rahmstorf observed that, if these results were embedded in a 15-dimensional manifold, the results were still “worse than we thought”. Michael Mann said that the decline in June RSS values was disinformation from fossil fuel interests and issued a fatwa on those responsible. [Note to realclimate readers - this is a satirical comment; they did not really make the above statements.]


56 Comments

  1. Posted Jul 9, 2009 at 6:11 PM | Permalink

    One hundred years ago, you reported that a ARMA c(1,0,1) model tracked the satellite record pretty well. Is that still the case?

    • Steve McIntyre
      Posted Jul 9, 2009 at 6:21 PM | Permalink

      Re: John A (#1),

      There’s lots of autocorrelation in the data – all that does is widen the uncertainty intevals. But this is a two-edged sword: the “most likely” is still an OLS trend. Look at a more recent post on trend estimation using maximum likelihood methods.

  2. Ira
    Posted Jul 9, 2009 at 6:16 PM | Permalink

    Satire has no place in science. Hysteria is what’s called for. Also Nuremberg-style trials for people who want to stay warm in the winter.

  3. Posted Jul 9, 2009 at 6:17 PM | Permalink

    Gavin Schmidt said this is not inconsistent with the latest model projections, while Eric Steig notes that the long term trend over Mars, Earth and Venus shows warming.

    • Mike Lorrey
      Posted Jul 10, 2009 at 10:40 AM | Permalink

      Re: David Stockwell (#3), the teleconnection of global warming on all planets we have sent probes do is obviously due to the pollutive human influence of sending probes there. If we were not observing those planets, they would not be warming…..

      • MJ
        Posted Jul 10, 2009 at 11:35 AM | Permalink

        Re: Mike Lorrey (#18),
        This could be a paint problem. Perhaps the satellites are suffering from SHI (Satellite Heat Island) effects. Perhaps they need whitewash?

        • Mike Lorrey
          Posted Jul 10, 2009 at 12:36 PM | Permalink

          Re: MJ (#21), I am sure Steig can interpolate the climate of several planets from only a few surface stations. 3 planets = 3 Primary Components? Clearly any more than that is introducing noise into the signal…. I’ll bet Steig is a wiz on “Name That Tune”.

        • MJ
          Posted Jul 10, 2009 at 4:53 PM | Permalink

          Re: Mike Lorrey (#25),

          We have weather stations on Mars. Does NOAA or NASA do any adjustments to these sets since we know they move?

  4. Bill Illis
    Posted Jul 9, 2009 at 6:45 PM | Permalink

    A poster on another board, Waterspout, noted that the recent period of natural variability temperature changes (pretty clear in the RSS temp chart) has effectively falsified (in several different ways) the extensively used charts from the IPCC AR4 on natural variability.

    Steve: I disagree. This doesn’t “falsify” anything.

  5. AnonyMoose
    Posted Jul 9, 2009 at 7:05 PM | Permalink

    Hmm. Buy low, sell high. What do I buy — ice?

  6. Larry T
    Posted Jul 9, 2009 at 7:09 PM | Permalink

    In the coming minimum, we will have more ice then we want or need. Buy those pesky fosil fuels.

  7. Molon Labe
    Posted Jul 9, 2009 at 8:15 PM | Permalink

    The missing link.

  8. martha durham
    Posted Jul 9, 2009 at 9:39 PM | Permalink

    I am a denier, no a traitor, I can’t accept this….

  9. martha durham
    Posted Jul 9, 2009 at 9:41 PM | Permalink

    I am a denier, no a traitor, I thought i was just asking questions, trying to understand …. so I guess I am off to the gulag

  10. martha durham
    Posted Jul 9, 2009 at 9:42 PM | Permalink

    He must know …. he has the Nobel….

  11. MJ
    Posted Jul 9, 2009 at 10:00 PM | Permalink

    I’m thinking those new swim jams (which my female friends commented was “worse than we thought”) will not get the use I had hoped, and therefore my investment in them will last longer. However, this will be offset by the purchase of winter wear earlier, which we all know is more expensive because the team’s arm waving caused a decline in coat manufacturing facilities. I foresee a black market on those snazzy russian winter hats…

  12. Posted Jul 10, 2009 at 12:38 AM | Permalink

    OK, I don’t believe Steve that Mann et al. could study algebraic geometry in 15 dimensions. So this and a few other comments look like an anti-scientific populism to me. If something’s wrong with their maths, it’s that it’s too naive, not that it’s too refined.

  13. StuartOH
    Posted Jul 10, 2009 at 1:34 AM | Permalink

    No one is listening to Charles Windsor we only have 96 months left to save the planet.

    I think the graph that has been posted must be upside down:-{}

    Steve I keep arguing that a lot of graphs do justice to Ponzi schemes. The graph above, just by eye and taking out the peaks, the range is about 1C. Given the range of global temperatures is it significant. Sorry, can the graph tell us anything other that not a lot is happening?

    Maybe I should stick to wl2/8

  14. PHE
    Posted Jul 10, 2009 at 5:05 AM | Permalink

    “There is something fascinating about Science. One gets such wholesale returns of conjecture out of such a trifling investment of fact.”
    said Mark Twain

  15. Carl G
    Posted Jul 10, 2009 at 7:56 AM | Permalink

    #14: Lubos, Steve was just making fun of terminology that Rahmstorf (sp?) ’07 used to describe a triangular filter for their time series smoothing; see the previous few threads.

  16. Posted Jul 10, 2009 at 8:19 AM | Permalink

    The first paragraph incorrectly shows the reference period at “(reference 1979-2008)”. This should be corrected to (reference 1979-1998).

    Steve
    : Thx. Done.

    • James Smyth
      Posted Jul 10, 2009 at 11:48 AM | Permalink

      Re: Ken Gregory (#17), WRT the 1979-1998 reference period… Is that a statistical requirement (or rule-of-thumb) to center on a past time period, or is it for the removal of the anomolous 1998 data?

      Steve:
      REference periods are just reference periods. NOthing untoward about this period. Don’t worry about this issue.

  17. Peter D. Tillman
    Posted Jul 10, 2009 at 11:31 AM | Permalink

    For the acronym-impaired, RSS = Remote Sensing Systems, Inc., the satellite-data provider.

    Steve, could you please link to http://climateaudit101.wikispot.org/Glossary_of_Acronyms ? Nth request. Do you have clerical help for this sort of thing? If not, is there a volunteer? (not me — I’m clueless re WordPress)

    Thanks & cheers — Pete Tillman

  18. CodeTech
    Posted Jul 10, 2009 at 11:56 AM | Permalink

    At least I can be glad that our world leaders are DOING something about this. If we don’t stop this catastrophic, “worse than we thought” cooling, we’re going to be starving in the snow soon. Yep, looking forward to Copenhagen, where they’ll work out how to kick the furnace back on.

    What’s that? They still think it’s warming? Oh… never mind.

  19. Squidly
    Posted Jul 10, 2009 at 1:54 PM | Permalink

    I particularly like “Gavin Schmidt said this is not inconsistent with the latest model projections”

    Yup, and tomorrow you can adjust your model to show that it is consistent with today’s observations too. You can do this forever! And look, then the model is never wrong… give me a break!

    • John F. Pittman
      Posted Jul 10, 2009 at 3:14 PM | Permalink

      Re: Squidly (#28), said “”Yup, and tomorrow you can adjust your model to show that it is consistent with today’s observations too.””

      You meant “”Yup, and tomorrow you can adjust your model to show that it is NOT INconsistent with today’s observations too.”” I assume.

    • Dr Virtanen 2nd
      Posted Jul 11, 2009 at 6:42 AM | Permalink

      Re: Squidly (#28),

      Note that the models must match the IPCC selection criteria. especially the first one of the five.

      Criterion 1: Consistency with global projections. They should be consistent with a broad range of global warming projections based on increased concentrations of greenhouse gases. This range is variously cited as 1.4°C to 5.8°C by 2100, or 1.5°C to 4.5°C for a doubling of atmospheric CO2 concentration (otherwise known as the “equilibrium climate sensitivity”).

      I read that a model or a run that does not show warming due to doubling of CO2 should be rejected.

      • Steve McIntyre
        Posted Jul 12, 2009 at 7:33 PM | Permalink

        Re: Dr Virtanen 2nd (#39),

        This is not doing what you think. These are criteria for scenarios e.g. future levels of CO2, CH4,… and not criteria for selecting model runs. Not that there aren’t selection biases, but not quite as gross as you think.

        • Dr Virtanen 2nd
          Posted Jul 13, 2009 at 7:01 AM | Permalink

          Re: Steve McIntyre (#50),
          Generally speaking, a scenario is one single possible future that is evaluated with a simulation program, called a model, and its data. A valid reason to select and run a scenario is that it is interesting.

          The scenarios of IPCC focus on emissions of CO2 and they can be found in IPCC Data Distribution center that was referenced in the post #38. The emission models of 1% yearly growth and 0,5% growth are simple sociological or econometric models, but you can find there more complex ones too.

          Each run, a projection can be evaluated by comparing it to reality, for example, to the emissions and corresponding global temperatures. That might tell us that the atmospheric and/or sociological part of the model should be corrected. I don’t see anything bad with that because continuous improvement of the models (and data) will eventually improve our understanding of the climate and mankind.

        • Posted Jul 14, 2009 at 9:26 AM | Permalink

          Re: Dr Virtanen 2nd (#51),

          Each run, a projection can be evaluated by comparing it to reality, for example, to the emissions and corresponding global temperatures. That might tell us that the atmospheric and/or sociological part of the model should be corrected. I don’t see anything bad with that because continuous improvement of the models (and data) will eventually improve our understanding of the climate and mankind.

          Unless the model is a perfect (or even reasonably perfect) representation of the entire earth/sun/any other external factors system, then the each projection is just a fanciful computer game. Are the models reasonably perfect in their simulation of reality? The bad part is that these fanciful computer games are being treated as fact.

  20. 40 Shades of Green
    Posted Jul 10, 2009 at 3:31 PM | Permalink

    Is there any reason why the reference is 1978 to 1998. Why not 1978 to now. IE a graph showing temp compared to the average over the longest period of time measurable seems to make the most sense.

    Also, does this make the trend warmer or cooler??

  21. Mike Bryant
    Posted Jul 10, 2009 at 3:39 PM | Permalink

    Squidly,
    I think the GCModelers would take a lot less flack if they adjust their models weekly… In fact this would save computing time since they would essentially let the data represent the hindcasts. In this way the models will look perfect all the time and more time can be spent on disturbing future scenarios.

  22. Robinson
    Posted Jul 10, 2009 at 5:23 PM | Permalink

    I can still see an increasing trend though, with my eye in. I think the warmists are holding out for a strong El Nino to enhance the effect.

  23. Posted Jul 10, 2009 at 7:33 PM | Permalink

    A comment from RealClimate: [Since the latest temperature measurements don't match the models, we can now confirm that the satellites are out of adjustment. Will need to compensate statistically, with skill, to reveal the global warming we know is there. Gavin]

  24. layne
    Posted Jul 10, 2009 at 8:23 PM | Permalink

    I’m still laughing about the Fatwa comment :-)

  25. Larry Huldén
    Posted Jul 10, 2009 at 11:16 PM | Permalink

    The figure has two acronymes MSU and ISS.
    ISS is not included in the list of acronymes.

    • Jorge
      Posted Jul 11, 2009 at 4:55 AM | Permalink

      Re: Larry Huldén (#36),

      After cleaning my glasses and zooming in on the figure, I can confirm it is actually rss/RSS.

  26. george h
    Posted Jul 11, 2009 at 6:21 AM | Permalink

    I have it on good authority that the heat is in the pipeline.

  27. Rhys Jaggar
    Posted Jul 11, 2009 at 6:35 AM | Permalink

    If I said that the head of NCDC determined that the RSS would be exactly that figure which suited the highest bidder within the climate change agenda interest network, with the auction price donated to oil exploration in the Arctic, would I be seen as the new Sage of Omaha or merely a piss-awful satiricist??

  28. Micky C
    Posted Jul 11, 2009 at 8:59 AM | Permalink

    You know the more I look at that graph (assuming the corrections are feasable) I think the idea that if the event that caused the ‘Super El Nino of 1998′ didn’t happen we would have a flat trend over 30 years is making more sense. Just look at the standard signature leading up to 1998. It’s not exactly regular but it does have a form I am familiar with in plasmas (a mix of chaotic and regular oscillation). Around 1998 it however does look like a step change, or it least it poses the question that it may be a step change. The massive peak followed by a dip, then an enhanced anomaly, looks like an underdamped harmonic oscillator signal, like the Earth received a massive energy jolt which has imposed itself on the standard temperature fluctuation and due to the ‘inertia of the climate’ (I’m using Gavin and Jim’s own words here) it is taking time to cool. I think it was Bob Tisdale who suggested this may have been a massive gamma burst local (in galaxy terms) to our solar system.
    Again this is demonstrating the limiting reasoning of continuing with the climate = linear trend + noise idea and not trying to understand ENSO. I think it closes off people’s minds to thinking on a grander scale.

    Steve: Extrapolating from analogy is perilous. If this concept were proposed by IPCC, I would be very critical of it. I discourage discussion of this sort of idea here, preferring to stick to examining mainstream literature. Anthony is more interested in this sort of thing than I am.

  29. Larry Huldén
    Posted Jul 11, 2009 at 10:32 AM | Permalink

    Re: Larry Huldén (#36),
    After cleaning my glasses and zooming in on the figure, I can confirm it is actually rss/RSS.
    Thanks to Jorge! I also had to do the same procedure and really found the missing bit !!!!

  30. James Smyth
    Posted Jul 11, 2009 at 11:56 AM | Permalink

    [me:]WRT the 1979-1998 reference period… Is that a statistical requirement (or rule-of-thumb) to center on a past time period, or is it for the removal of the anomolous 1998 data?

    Steve:REference periods are just reference periods. NOthing untoward about this period. Don’t worry about this issue.

    I wasn’t (originally, honestly) implying anything untoward, even though it is obvious that it happens to result in a positive June 09 anamoly. And I don’t want to harp on this too much, but I just don’t understand the point of talking about an anamoly versus a reference period that is a subset of the complete data. What is so special about that subset? It’s not like 1979-1998 is the baseline for pre-industrial, naturally occuring levels of CO2, and we are trying to show the impact of rising C02. And I get that it’s a constant/shift that shouldn’t have any impact on trend analysis. But, hey, in PCA you don’t want to center your data on the wrong interval … right? So, why do it?

    Steve: It’s different than PCA. It doesn’t matter – any more than it would matter if 0 deg C had been set 5 deg lower. Don’t worry about it.

  31. Larry Huldén
    Posted Jul 11, 2009 at 11:42 PM | Permalink

    The selection of reference period does not as such have an impact on the calculations if you don’t go further. But it have an impact on the impression of the recent trend. If the reference period is chosen during a short low the recent trend may look more dramatic.

  32. Ausie Dan
    Posted Jul 11, 2009 at 11:54 PM | Permalink

    Steve – the following should be on your masthead:
    The best way to distinguish genuine from phony expertise is to look at how a person responds to dissonant data – does he reject it out of hand? Perform elaborate mental gymnastics to avoid admitting error? Everybody makes mistakes; the object is to learn from those mistakes. (How We Decide, Jonah Lehrer, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, New York, 2009, p209)
    Enough said!

  33. TJA
    Posted Jul 12, 2009 at 6:05 AM | Permalink

    Since this is a somewhat lighthearted thread, here is a Boston radio interview with Dr Richard Lindzen, who says he is “no longer a skeptic”, now he is a full bore denier.

    http://audio.wrko.com/m/audio/24111309/richard-lindzen-global-warming-denier.htm?q=lindzen

  34. Rment
    Posted Jul 12, 2009 at 11:38 AM | Permalink

    I am still dumbfounded by post 39, I honestly thought Dr Virtanen 2nd was doing a parody!

    Steve: snip – I’m dumbfounded as well. I hadn’t seen that. However over-editorializing detracts from the point.

    • Dr Virtanen 2nd
      Posted Jul 13, 2009 at 7:28 AM | Permalink

      Re: Rment (#48),
      This thread started with a parody and so I replied to the message #28 with the same mindset.

  35. cgh
    Posted Jul 12, 2009 at 6:05 PM | Permalink

    snip – not issues that are discussed here.

  36. TJA
    Posted Jul 14, 2009 at 3:38 PM | Permalink

    Selecting model runs on this basis is the scientific equivalent of legislating the value of pi. Except it has a lot more defenders.

    • Dr Virtanen 2nd
      Posted Jul 15, 2009 at 5:23 AM | Permalink

      Re: TJA (#54),
      No, it is not. A computer model is just a theory, a hypothesis to be tested against the reality.

      I can start with theories that pi=3 and pi=4. After testing these I can decide to replace the pi=4 theory with the theory pi=3.2 and so on.

      • Posted Jul 15, 2009 at 10:35 AM | Permalink

        Re: Dr Virtanen 2nd (#55),

        No, it is not. A computer model is just a theory, a hypothesis to be tested against the reality.

        Which are they? An hypothesis or a theory?

  37. Dr Virtanen 2nd
    Posted Jul 15, 2009 at 11:52 AM | Permalink

    Hypothesis in this context. See terms explained

  38. TruthB4Popularity
    Posted Jul 25, 2009 at 6:43 AM | Permalink

    That must be (R)epublican (S)crutinised (S)ampling. :-).

    Spose its pretty easy to come up with another 13 dimensions other than the two plotted on that graph. Like the 3 spacial ones for example. And energy absorbed by different stuff. As many as you want there. Everything has different specific heat capacities. Oceans are real good at hiding heat to spank us with later, that ones important and any global temperature measurement that just adds in ocean and coastal area temps like inland ones is just diluting the data to hide the reality of global catastrophic heating. Lets call it 3ds there : solid,liq,gas.
    what about biological energy absorbtion, and thermal output, 2 more. And the lowest solar activity in centuries for the last 18mths. Not much less heat in but the outer atmosphere is less fluffed up, and ozone down so more heat loss. Only 3 more needed… Geothermal flux, enso, and hot air from the (D)eny (W)arming (E)xists (E)specially (B)ought (B)y (O)urselves (DWEEBO) clan of the scared, deluded or remorseless.
    Thanks NOAA for your “we are committed to sharing our data with everyone.” Makes me so excited to help. At least this one has the 2d’s of the earth, and you can see how the Sea hides the heat. Only 19kb file, hope thats OK. Feeling much remorse for the 2500kb refreshing everyday ones on SeaIce. A little scared but no denial. :-)
    This one should be stuck to the outside of every Fossils CEO and Politicians windscreens with that glass laminating glue.

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