Unthreaded #10

Continuation of Unthreaded #9


  1. Mark H
    Posted May 5, 2007 at 7:11 PM | Permalink

    I have reviewed some of the prior comments of Steve on the NAS panel report. In the interests of accuracy I’d like some feedback on what the report supported in M&M’s presentation in a summary form. I’d like to do so in the most objective manner possible.

    Would posters agree with the following?

    The report:
    – recommended against the use of MBH’s particular method of principal components analysis (p.85 and 106).
    – recommended that reconstructions avoid using shredded bark proxy’s (e.g.. MBH’s bristlecone pines).
    – cautioned against the seemingly inappropriate estimation methods of calculating confidence intervals in MBH (p. 107).
    – noted the low (emulated) MBH r2 statistic, and recommended the use of r2 and CE to cross-validate MBH and other proxy modeling (p91, p.105).

    The artful wording of the report, combined with implicit positions, makes it a bit dicey to paraphrase.

  2. David Smith
    Posted May 5, 2007 at 9:22 PM | Permalink

    While reading about clouds this weekend I came across an estimate of global marine stratiform cloud (MSC) coverage. The estimate is 35%, with a global coverage map given in Figure 1 here . With ocean coverage at about 70%, MSC cover 25 to 25% of the Earth’s surface, a big number.

    They (especially subtropical stratocumulus) are believed to be important coolers of the Earth. A change in coverage, or even something subtle like diurnal variation or droplet size, could make a noticeable difference in global heat removal.

    One of the papers (2001) notes that the GCMs have considerable difficulty simulating MSC. My response to that is “wow”, because of the role MCS play in heat removal, their large coverage (20-25%) of the planet and the forecast expansion of the subsiding atmospheric regions (which support MCS).

  3. Steve McIntyre
    Posted May 5, 2007 at 9:35 PM | Permalink

    #2. David, some time ago, I posted about Ou’s model in which he considered the problem of the relative stability of earth’s climate on ultra-long geological scales i.e. that it is not an icebox or hothouse, despite the faint young sun. He hypothesized that low clouds were the reason, using entropy methods to model low cloud formation rather than mechanistic parameters a la GCM.

  4. David Smith
    Posted May 5, 2007 at 10:05 PM | Permalink

    These Charts of the Week come from the Europeans cooperative meteorology group ECMWF.

    Number one is a global cross-section of the upper ocean temperature anomaly, along the Equator, given here . The gray areas are continents (South America, Africa, etc) while the yellows are warmer-than-climatological and the greens and blues are cooler-than-normal. Note the lurking La Nina cool conditions in the eastern Pacific.

    The actual temperatures are given here . Since the average ocean depth is about 3700 meters, this chart represents less than 10% of the ocean. Mentally extrapolate that cold blue area downwards to 3700 meters and the small amount of ocean warmth (by human standards) becomes apparent, even here at the Equator.

    Chart 3, given here , is a cross-section of the Pacific temperature anomaly at 140W. Green and blue are cool, yellow and orange are warm. It shows the pending cool La Nina near the Equator (it has interesting dual lobes) and a warm region farther north (I believe that is reinforcement for the cool-phase PDO).

    Chart 4, given here , is a north-south cross-section of mid-Atlantic temperatures. Note the massive upweeling of cool water along the Equator. Also of note is the very warm water (+28C) and its depth (not much). The depth of very warm water is important to hurricane intensity – storms tend to be strongest when passing over ocean which has deep warm water, deep enough to keep the churning of the ocean from mixing in cool subsurface water.

    Finally, the Atlantic temperature anomaly map, given here , shows no particular subsurface temperature anomaly. Some of the near-Equator patterns may be AMM-related.

    Interesting things, our oceans.

  5. Jim Manzi
    Posted May 5, 2007 at 11:53 PM | Permalink

    Re: 20 (on Unthreaded 9)

    I just saw this link to an article on, among other things, structural uncertainty in GCMs. I published an article in National Review a couple of months ago on the same topic that might be usful to you all:


    Jim Manzi

  6. hillrj
    Posted May 6, 2007 at 1:57 AM | Permalink

    re 3 David S.
    I look forward to your charts. They are very interesting.
    I dont get your remark
    ” the small amount of ocean warmth (by human standards)”
    Surely an anomaly of 1 or 2 degrees in some thousands
    of cubic kilometers of sea water is a huge amount
    of heat and would represent a much bigger rise/fall in
    air temperature if transferred to the atmosphere.

  7. Jon-Anders Grannes
    Posted May 6, 2007 at 2:09 AM | Permalink

    I cant help to wonder about my reply no 32 on http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=1241 and that the new dataset HadCRUT3 Land- and Sea-Surface Temperatures data set that has replaced Jones et al leaves some questions.

    The closer you get to the poles, the greater the difference between air and sea temperature.
    Cold air and windy(windchill).
    The unisolated woodenbucket and its seawater is cooled down more than it is elswhere or closer to the poles.

    Is it possible to get the hadcrut3 sea temperature only and land only for the 70N-90N in the period 1900-2006?

    I have this sinking feeling that the correction they make for the Arctic and the effect the sea data has on historic Arctic climate leaves many serious questions.

  8. T J Olson
    Posted May 6, 2007 at 3:10 AM | Permalink

    In late April, 80 experts met at the Vatican to debate spiritual and scientific aspects of man-made climate change. An excerpt from Catholic News Sevice:

    “I have to commend the planners,” said Lucia Silecchia, a professor of environmental law at The Catholic University of America in Washington, because “nobody can accuse them of bringing in a group of people who will agree with each other.”

    Disagreements even spilled out into the corridor during the closed-door seminar’s first morning break when a Vatican official had to use his pastoral prowess to calm one participant.

    “The scientific community has been so divided and so bitter” over the climate-change debate that experts who disagree with each other don’t talk to each other, Silecchia told Catholic News Service.

    ACW debated? Al Gore, call a priest! Too bad Steve was not invited to participate. As everyone here knows, he’s pretty cal, and weathers lots of provocation well.

    Regarding the Church and global warming, Cardinal Renato Martino described the Vatican as “cautious” in making pronouncements about the matter because the media and special interest groups can slant matters.

    The Church, therefore, “seeks to draw fully from the treasury” of all scientific knowledge and experience and looks for “a true and balanced response” based on Church teaching, Cardinal Martino said.

    Is there hope from on High? More from the story here.

  9. Rererence
    Posted May 6, 2007 at 3:30 AM | Permalink

    The twilight zone between clouds and aerosols

    A continuum exists between clouds and dry aerosols, as reported recently in Geophysical Research Letters by scientists from this Branch and colleagues at the Weizmann Institute in Israel. This zone of gradual decline — a twilight zone– consists of dissipating cloud droplets and hydrated aerosols. These “in between particles” act to enhance radiances and aerosol optical depth around clouds and throughout a zone extending 10-20 km from the nearest cloud. Because of the widespread distribution of clouds, we expect 30% – 60% of the cloud free atmosphere to be affected. If climate models do not properly represent the physical processes leading to this continuum in the twilight zone, the models will be incorrectly estimating aerosol direct effects and forcing.

  10. mikep
    Posted May 6, 2007 at 3:34 AM | Permalink

    I have just been glancing at the D’Arrigo divergence paper (pre-publication version at

    Click to access DArrigo_GPC2007.pdf

    and came across the following statement

    ” The principal difficulty is that the divergence disallows the direct
    calibration of tree growth indices with instrumental temperature data over recent decades (the period of greatest warmth over the last 150 years), impeding the use of such data in climatic reconstructions. Consequently, when such data are included, a bias is imparted during the calibration period in the generation of the regression coefficients. Residuals
    from such regression analyses should thus be assessed for biases related to divergence, as this bias can result in an overestimation of past temperatures and an underestimation of the relative magnitude of recent warming (Briffa et al. 1998a and b).”

    I found this puzzling. Surely the biggest difficulty is that we don’t know whether there was a divergence problem before we have any direct measurements of temperature to calibrate against. Given the many factors that appear to affect the width and density of tree rings the balance between these factors may well have been different in the past and the existence of a divergence problem now is (on some sort of “uniformitarian” argument) evidence that it might well have happened in the pre-instrumental past. Indeed some of the trees which have not responded in the instrumental past may have responded in the pre-instrumental past (so we may already have ahd a divergence problem without knowing it!).

  11. bernie
    Posted May 6, 2007 at 6:37 AM | Permalink

    FWIW, I thought the NAS report eviscerated MBH’s contribution but did so in such a mealy mouthed fashion that the message was blurred. So your extraction of salient points is in line with what I read ….but the overall tone left the overall issue inconclusive. As someone posed elsewhere recently, this whole debate will one day be a case study in the history of science/sociology of knowledge: The NAS report will figure largely and embarrassingly in the story-line.

  12. Paul Linsay
    Posted May 6, 2007 at 7:05 AM | Permalink

    #10, The ‘“uniformitarian” argument’ is misapplied by the dendro people. It correctly applies to the biology of tree growth with all it’s complications. We’d expect the biology to be the same today and 1000 years ago, which has nothing to do with some current correlation between ring widths and temperature. Until all the factors affecting tree growth of each species are taken into account they will never make any progress. It’s time to start a 30 year greenhouse project to figure it out.

  13. Curtis Humphreys
    Posted May 6, 2007 at 7:37 AM | Permalink


    I was grazing about the net when I saw a comment by John Brignel at Number Watch. He claims that principle components are a technique of linear algebra and are therefore an inappropriate statistical technique for analysis of tree-ring growth proxies since that is a non-linear phenomena. John’s comments are here.

    Do you see his arguments as valid?

  14. David Smith
    Posted May 6, 2007 at 7:41 AM | Permalink

    Re #6 Hello, rj. That was a late-night post and my wording was poor. I was trying to note is that the quantity of water that we humans consider “warm” is only a very small part of the ocean.

    I agree with your point on the effect on climate of even a 1 or 2C change in surface temperature. A seemingly small change in ocean mixing, which brings more cold deep water to the surface, could (and does) affect climate.

    That is especially true in the tropics, where there is something of a “magic temperature” (28C) above which the ocean releases considerably more energy into the atmosphere via thunderstorms. If cool deep water manages to reduce the tropical ocean surface from, say 29C to 27C, then the release of tropical ocean heat is reduced considerably. Less tropical heat into the atmosphere affects global climate.

    There is evidence that the tropical Indian Ocean (IO) temperature undergoes considerable swings, and there have been decadal-scale times when the IO temperature fell below 28C across the entire basin. That likely affected global climate. These IO temperature swings probably come from changes in upwelling of cold water.

  15. Steve McIntyre
    Posted May 6, 2007 at 8:04 AM | Permalink

    #13. That’s not really the angle that we approached the matter from. If the only problem was that you had (say) monotonic non-linearity e.g. logs, S-curves, squares, that type of thing, and otherwise your proxies were terrific, then the reconstructions would probably be OK. Non-monotonic non-linearity (upside down quadratics with a maximum in the range in question – the underlying issue to Divergence) poses different problems than monotonic non-linearity for example. Mis-specification (spurious regression with nonclimatic fertilization) is another distinct problem that is not readily assimilated to simple nonlinearity. Cherry-picking is another.

  16. bender
    Posted May 6, 2007 at 8:40 AM | Permalink

    It’s time to start a 30 year greenhouse project to figure it out.

    Plant physiologists have seen the need for this kind of experiment for decades. Granting agencies simply could not be convinced to fund it. But eventually this became part of the reason for the Free Air Carbon Enrichment Experiments (FACE). The problem is the installations are so expensive they only get you so far. Few treatments. Non-factorial design (can’t study interactions). Little replication. Even the simple greenhouse experiments you suggest would cost milions. Finally, if the tree growth response is shown to be all the things the dendros agree it probably is (nonlinear, multifactor, synergistic), this is going to limit the usefulness (and use) of the linear, univariate calibriation method.

    At the end of it all, what could skeptics expect as an outcome? Maybe current temperatures are not quite as warm as the WMP. Maybe they’re a degree cooler right now. Since predictions are based on the GCMs, all this means is that we will probably need to wait 20 years, and THEN current temperatures will be “unprecedented”. Your greenhouse experiment has bought you 20 years’ worth of a cap on rhetoric.

    You can see why the million-dolar greenhouse experiment has not been done. The GCMs tell us that if temperatures are not unprecedented right now, they soon will be.

    It all turns on the GCMs.

    GCMers are the next set of folks that need to learn what accountability means. The dendros are starting to come around.

  17. John F. Pittman
    Posted May 6, 2007 at 9:27 AM | Permalink

    Professor Chris Field of Stanford University will be having a lecture Thursday at the local University Law School. The article says he will be exploring global change, biodiversity and human society changes. I read he was influential in California’s carbon law and regulations. Our state is considering something along the same lines. Has anyone heard him speak? I was wondering if I should attend. In an AP article about TVA revivng an old nuclear reactor, the authour states that “Tighter controls on greenhouse gas emissions from coal-fired power plants are looming and will be expensive”. I thought the expensive part was for particulate matter (PM) and mercury in the ash. Anybody know of these “looming” controls on GHG’s?

  18. Mark H
    Posted May 6, 2007 at 9:59 AM | Permalink

    re #11 I’m doing a small writeup for Wikipedia that, hopefully, will survive the numerious opinionated. So far my recent small changes have survived. Because the above points will be disputed, I wanted to make sure my reading was as clinical and correct as possible. Thanks…

  19. John A
    Posted May 6, 2007 at 11:03 AM | Permalink

    A propos of nothing, here’s an article about Reid Bryson entitled “The Faithful Heretic

    Favorite quote:

    Q: Could you rank the things that have the most significant impact and where would you put carbon dioxide on the list?

    A: Well let me give you one fact first. In the first 30 feet of the atmosphere, on the average, outward radiation from the Earth, which is what CO2 is supposed to affect, how much [of the reflected energy] is absorbed by water vapor? In the first 30 feet, 80 percent, okay?

    Q: Eighty percent of the heat radiated back from the surface is absorbed in the first 30 feet by water vapor…

    A: And how much is absorbed by carbon dioxide? Eight hundredths of one percent. One one-thousandth as important as water vapor. You can go outside and spit and have the same effect as doubling carbon dioxide.

    This begs questions about the widely publicized mathematical models researchers run through supercomputers to generate climate scenarios 50 or 100 years in the future. Bryson says the data fed into the computers overemphasizes carbon dioxide and accounts poorly for the effects of clouds’€”water vapor. Asked to evaluate the models’ long-range predictive ability, he answers with another question: “Do you believe a five-day forecast?”

  20. Steve McIntyre
    Posted May 6, 2007 at 11:06 AM | Permalink

    #16. bender, I agree entirely. Ross McKitrick observed a couple of years ago that in aerospace modeling, there are teams of engineers – “red teams” or “tiger teams” – that do nothing but try to find the flaws in company engineering designs before the design is submitted to NASA for space stations or space shuttles or whatever. Then the customer’s tiger teams go to work. This sort of engineering due diligence is the step that’s missing in climate models. It’s something that would require a proper budget – in the millions of dollars – an adequate length of time. It needs to be done by qualified modelers and engineers who have not been involved in making climate modelers so that not only is there actual independence but it can be seen to be independent.

    Given that the evolution of mean temperature is merely one statistic, I still don’t see why GCMs are even relevant to the argument. My guess is that for any given GCM run there is a 1-dimensional or at most 2-dimensional model that can approximate the reported outcome arbitrarily closely. I think that this is the approach of the Wigley and Raper MAGICC model that simulates various GCM outputs.

  21. bender
    Posted May 6, 2007 at 12:02 PM | Permalink

    Re #20

    I still don’t see why GCMs are even relevant to the argument

    I think the GCMs are relevant for the reason that John A cites:

    data fed into the computers overemphasizes carbon dioxide and accounts poorly for the effects of clouds’€”water vapor

    If the turbulent terawatt heat engine, including moist convection, is where the negative feedback lies that (a) offsets the “greenhouse” effect and (b) keeps the liquid little blue planet from ever burning up, then you’ve got to simulate that. It’s not going to come from a 1-D or 2-D model. The other problem with low-dimensional modeling is that they don’t have the spatial degrees of freedom that are so able to keep the system moving, breathing, staying away from global equilibrium. So when you get extra-rapid warming (say, 1980s-1998) and a brief period of stationarity (say, 1999-2006) there is a temptation with low-dimensional models to attribute it to a mysterious external new forcing, when it could be internal variability (UC’s red noise).

    This is only my relatively uninformed opinion, so take it FWIW.

    All I know is that the modelers, (1D, 2D, GCM) are definitely not “stupid” (as someone opined in another thread). Unlike dendros, they are capable of calculating the cumulative implied error associated with a trial-and-error parameter estimate (e.g. CO2 sensitivity coefficient). So why don’t they do it? Or have I missed that in the literature? This is the aspect of accountability I (and Pat Frank) would like to see improved.

  22. Mark T.
    Posted May 6, 2007 at 12:03 PM | Permalink

    I was grazing about the net when I saw a comment by John Brignel at Number Watch. He claims that principle components are a technique of linear algebra and are therefore an inappropriate statistical technique for analysis of tree-ring growth proxies since that is a non-linear phenomena.

    As Steve stated, yes and no. The fact that the various growth factors are non-linear can cause several problems. One of which is an apparent stationarity in the mixing matrix (i.e. the trasformation matrix), which Steve did not directly mention. Even if the non-linearities are monotonically increasing/decreasing, you get variations in the transformation over time unless the relationship between each source is unchanging (i.e. they all exhibit some log shape, or S-curve shape, etc). Since PCA is attempting to deduce the transformation, this means it can, at best, determine some “average” mixing over the time period if done as one block computation (Mann’s “stepwise” method does not resolve this, btw). In order to track a changing environment, an online (adaptive) method must be employed.

    I do this with fading communication channels, i.e. I “track” the changes by applying PCA/ICA to blocks of the data. If the rate at which I produce components is greater than the rate of change of the transformation, I get valid results. E.g., a typical fading channel changes at 100 Hz or so. Therefore, I must spit out estimates of the channel at 2×100 Hz, or at a 200 Hz rate to accurately describe the channel (the 2x is due to Nyquist). So, for a 1s swath of data, I will have calculated 200 channel estimates.


  23. Mark T.
    Posted May 6, 2007 at 12:12 PM | Permalink

    This sort of engineering due diligence is the step that’s missing in climate models.

    That, and we also include several steps of design review, during the design phase but prior to any “tiger team” audit, in which a variety of experts evaluate the design (I’ve presented to rooms of 100 or more, with half of the attendees containing some specific, or broad, knowledge of the program/technology and/or individual pieces). A typical process goes like this:

    Requirements review
    Specification review
    Preliminary design review (PDR) – may be several, one for each major “piece” of the design
    Critical design review (CDR) – may be several, one or more for each major “piece” of the design, including one for “wrapup” (i.e. the entire design)
    First article test (FAT) / Acceptance test procedure (ATP)

    The so-called “tiger team” reviews can happen anywhere in this, and usually get implemented on very large project in which there are major integrations between large pieces involved. There are also usually several technical interchanges (TIMs) during the entire process. Yes, it is expensive. But it is also worth the money.


  24. MarkR
    Posted May 6, 2007 at 12:49 PM | Permalink

    Reid A. Bryson holds the 30th PhD in Meteorology granted in the history of American education. Emeritus Professor and founding chairman of the University of Wisconsin Department of Meteorology’€”now the Department of Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences’€”in the 1970s he became the first director of what’s now the UW’s Gaylord Nelson Institute of Environmental Studies. He’s a member of the United Nations Global 500 Roll of Honor’€”created, the U.N. says, to recognize “outstanding achievements in the protection and improvement of the environment.” He has authored five books and more than 230 other publications and was identified by the British Institute of Geographers as the most frequently cited climatologist in the world.

    “Climate’s always been changing and it’s been changing rapidly at various times, and so something was making it change in the past,” he told us in an interview this past winter. “Before there were enough people to make any difference at all, two million years ago, nobody was changing the climate, yet the climate was changing, okay?”

    “All this argument is the temperature going up or not, it’s absurd,” Bryson continues. “Of course it’s going up. It has gone up since the early 1800s, before the Industrial Revolution, because we’re coming out of the Little Ice Age, not because we’re putting more carbon dioxide into the air.”

    Little Ice Age? That’s what chased the Vikings out of Greenland after they’d farmed there for a few hundred years during the Mediaeval Warm Period, an earlier run of a few centuries when the planet was very likely warmer than it is now, without any help from industrial activity in making it that way. What’s called “proxy evidence”’€”assorted clues extrapolated from marine sediment cores, pollen specimens, and tree-ring data’€”helps reconstruct the climate in those times before instrumental temperature records existed.

    We ask about that evidence, but Bryson says it’s second-tier stuff. “Don’t talk about proxies,” he says. “We have written evidence, eyeball evidence. When Eric the Red went to Greenland, how did he get there? It’s all written down.”

    Bryson describes the navigational instructions provided for Norse mariners making their way from Europe to their settlements in Greenland. The place was named for a reason: The Norse farmed there from the 10th century to the 13th, a somewhat longer period than the United States has existed. But around 1200 the mariners’ instructions changed in a big way. Ice became a major navigational reference. Today, old Viking farmsteads are covered by glaciers.

    Bryson mentions the retreat of Alpine glaciers, common grist for current headlines. “What do they find when the ice sheets retreat, in the Alps?”

    We recall the two-year-old report saying a mature forest and agricultural water-management structures had been discovered emerging from the ice, seeing sunlight for the first time in thousands of years. Bryson interrupts excitedly.

    “A silver mine! The guys had stacked up their tools because they were going to be back the next spring to mine more silver, only the snow never went,” he says. “There used to be less ice than now. It’s just getting back to normal.”

    What Leads, What Follows?

    What is normal? Maybe continuous change is the only thing that qualifies. There’s been warming over the past 150 years and even though it’s less than one degree, Celsius, something had to cause it. The usual suspect is the “greenhouse effect,” various atmospheric gases trapping solar energy, preventing it being reflected back into space.

    We ask Bryson what could be making the key difference:

    Q: Could you rank the things that have the most significant impact and where would you put carbon dioxide on the list?

    A: Well let me give you one fact first. In the first 30 feet of the atmosphere, on the average, outward radiation from the Earth, which is what CO2 is supposed to affect, how much [of the reflected energy] is absorbed by water vapor? In the first 30 feet, 80 percent, okay?

    Q: Eighty percent of the heat radiated back from the surface is absorbed in the first 30 feet by water vapor…

    A: And how much is absorbed by carbon dioxide? Eight hundredths of one percent. One one-thousandth as important as water vapor. You can go outside and spit and have the same effect as doubling carbon dioxide.

    This begs questions about the widely publicized mathematical models researchers run through supercomputers to generate climate scenarios 50 or 100 years in the future. Bryson says the data fed into the computers overemphasizes carbon dioxide and accounts poorly for the effects of clouds’€”water vapor. Asked to evaluate the models’ long-range predictive ability, he answers with another question: “Do you believe a five-day forecast?”

    Bryson says he looks in the opposite direction, at past climate conditions, for clues to future climate behavior. Trying that approach in the weeks following our interview, Wisconsin Energy Cooperative News soon found six separate papers about Antarctic ice core studies, published in peer-reviewed scientific journals between 1999 and 2006. The ice core data allowed researchers to examine multiple climate changes reaching back over the past 650,000 years. All six studies found atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations tracking closely with temperatures, but with CO2 lagging behind changes in temperature, rather than leading them. The time lag between temperatures moving up’€”or down’€”and carbon dioxide following ranged from a few hundred to a few thousand years.


  25. JoeS
    Posted May 6, 2007 at 2:49 PM | Permalink

    Mark, what a fantastic background this ol’ coot (an affectionate expression) has. He “…predicted discovery of the jet stream by a group of B-29s flying to and from Tokyo. […] Bryson flew into a couple of typhoons in 1944, three years before the Weather Service officially did such things, and he prepared the forecast for the homeward flight of the Enola Gay.”

  26. Follow the Money
    Posted May 6, 2007 at 4:16 PM | Permalink

    ## 1 + 11

    The artful wording of the report, combined with implicit positions, makes it a bit dicey to paraphrase.

    The NAS report will figure largely and embarrassingly in the story-line.

    To paraphrase: The NAS politely dealt with the tree ring problem, but validated its findings by selecting six or seven other non-dendro proxy studies.

    They didn’t have to bring anything else in at all, but they did.

    When it first came out I sensed two reactions of posters here. 1. Focus on the debunking of the tree ring studies. 2., a smaller reaction, but the observation that the NAS report validates the dendro findings, and that is what the Report will stand for in public.

    Indeed, the latter observation became true, from the mouth of no less than Al Carbon Credits Gore. In AIT he addresses the tree ring study problem by referring implicitly to the NAS report and it’s overall finding. That blew by me at my viewing, but I was reminded Steve a few days ago posted some script from AIT documenting Gore using the NAS findings so.

  27. Posted May 6, 2007 at 4:23 PM | Permalink

    Could somebody please help me. I, like so many others have almost certainly presumed that CO2 is a greenhouse gas. I have done some reading and it appears to me that perhaps this is not so. I have just finished reading an article that states that the role of CO2 is unproven and that given it’s extremely low concentration levels would not warm the earth as is claimed and that water vapour is the culprit. A simple explanation would be appreciated. Thanks

  28. Bob Meyer
    Posted May 6, 2007 at 4:47 PM | Permalink

    RE #26 FTM

    It seems strange that when asked to evaluate MBH’s methods they would address the correctness of MBH’s conclusions. That wasn’t the issue. Being right for the wrong reasons doesn’t vindicate you, it just alleviates the damage you might have done.

    btw, do you know if the NAS study used a reasonable sample of proxies or did they cherry pick?

  29. Steve McIntyre
    Posted May 6, 2007 at 5:09 PM | Permalink

    #28. Bob, if you go to the “NAS Panel” category in the left frame, you’ll get many answers. They concluded that strip-bark series should not be used, then relied on studies using bristlecone and foxtails. Go figure. Look at the quotes from North last summer about how the panel got to its conclusions – they “winged” it. So much for due diligence.

  30. Follow the Money
    Posted May 6, 2007 at 5:31 PM | Permalink

    “That wasn’t the issue.”

    Correct. They could have disposed of the tree ring studies’ temp. findings with exceedingly polite contradiction,., which would bother some here for lack of vehemence, but which doesn’t bother me — collegiality and all that.

    But they went further, they highlighted 6 or seven other proxies to show if the dendro evidence was errant, it nevertheless paralleled “the science” in its conclusions.

    Here’s the AIT quote I mentioned before, from Steve’s posting at http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=1511

    Those global warming skeptics – a group diminishing almost as rapidly as the mountain glaciers – launched a fierce attack against another measurement of the 1000 year correlation between CO2 and temperature known as the “hockey stick”, a grpahic image representing the research of climate scientist Michael Mann and his collegatues. But in fact scientists have confirmed the same basic conclusions in multiple ways – with Thompson’s ice core record as one of the most definitive.

    I didn’t catch the connection when I watched the movie. Maybe because the NAS Report wasn’t mentioned by name, maybe because I was still wiping my eyes of tears over the cute cartoon of the polar bear pawing the shrinking ice chunk.
    But I believe the ice core record was one of the proxies used in the NAS Report, and I especially remember they used one (and only one) shinking glacier study. I remember the latter because the battle over shrinking v. advancing glaciers is one of the funnier elements of the “science”, and reportage of the same, in the AGW debate. Recall the AGW shrinkers were challenged by reports of advancing glaciers. Voila, the AGW industries came out with and widely publicized one flack’s idea that advancing glaciers are also due to warming – melting water seeps into the glacier/ground interface and promulgates glacier advance. Another ongoing funny battle is the temperate forests issues. When studies were publicized that increases in temperate forests would not increase CO2 and/or would cause warming via albedo, etc., other studies, from countries like Sweden, “proved” the opposite. The background is the lucrative carbon credit trading business, but that’s for another time.

  31. fFreddy
    Posted May 6, 2007 at 5:48 PM | Permalink

    Re #27, paul
    CO2 is a greenhouse gas, but a minor one.
    All GHGs are minor, except for water, which has more effect than all the rest put together.
    The proportion of the greenhouse effect which is due to water is complicated, i.e., subject to considerable argument. The lowest estimate I have seen is 60%: I think this was on Realclimate, so should be treated with a pinch of salt. Post #24 above quotes 80%; John Christy on TGGWS said 95%.
    The warming alarmists argument is that a bit more CO2 causes a bit more greenhouse effect, and a bit of temperature rise. This causes a bit more evaporation of water, which causes even more greenhouse effect and more temperature rise. So water vapour is acting as a lever for the CO2, and this is how they get their scary press releases about 5C temperature rises.
    However, they resolutely ignore other consequences of a more humid atmosphere, of which more clouds and more sunlight reflected back to space would seem the most likely.
    HTH …

  32. Follow the Money
    Posted May 6, 2007 at 5:53 PM | Permalink

    #28, Bob.

    Sarkozy gets elected and what is on the top of his mind for reconciliation with the USA? Carbon credits!

    “Sarkozy: I Have A Mandate for Change”

    Sarkozy added that he wanted to tell his “American friends that they can rely on our friendship … France will always be next to them when they need us.”

    But, he added, “Friends can think differently.”

    He then called on the United States “not to impede” in the fight against global warming. “On the contrary, they must lead this fight because humanity’s fate is at stake here.”

    Translation: Open up America to European Carbon exchanges so we can cash in for dollars by dumping carbon credits on you before our market price busts again. Remember Lafayette!

    Or perhaps Sarkozy is talking about sharing green technologies? No, then he would not be coy. He also said,

    “We have to overcome hatred to give way to the great dreams of peace and civilization,” he said. “It’s time to build a great Mediterranean union.”

    Translation: oil.

    He’s not talking about Albania, but the self-appointed expectation that French oil companies like Total should be privileged with North African oil rights. That’s what “Mediterranean union” mostly means in French political semiotics, plus some self-appointed post-colonial feelings that France is due some hegemonic rights in the Levant.

  33. Posted May 6, 2007 at 6:00 PM | Permalink

    Re: 31

    Thanks Freddy.

    When a volcano erupts a huge amount of CO2 is released and this is shown on CO2 levels depicted on charts. Does this cause a rise in temperature and if so why does the temperature and the CO2 level then decrease? It appears to me that the planet deals with it, to put it simply.

  34. fFreddy
    Posted May 6, 2007 at 6:09 PM | Permalink

    Volcanic CO2 is quite small relative to the entire natural flux of CO2. This was an error in TGGWS: volcanic CO2 is less than man-made emissions (but total natural emissions are much greater than man-made emissions).

    When a volcano erupts a huge amount of CO2 is released and this is shown on CO2 levels depicted on charts.

    Can you cite a source for this ?

    It appears to me that the planet deals with it, to put it simply.

    Me too.

  35. Posted May 6, 2007 at 6:46 PM | Permalink

    Re: 34

    Thanks Freddy.

    Does this make me a scientist? LOL

  36. Posted May 6, 2007 at 7:08 PM | Permalink

    Given that CO2 constitutes only 0.03% of earth’s atmosphere as against say 80% for water why is so much importance attatched to CO2 rises?

    If the rise in temperature over the last 100 years is 0.6 c +/- 0.2 measured against a standard of say 15 deg C how does this rise of 4% come about as a result of an increase of 25% CO2 when CO2 only constitutes 0.03% of the earths atmosphere before the rise and only 0.0375 following the rise?

    If the standard temperature is out by 0.5 degree we are back to square one.

    Is’nt it a bit like trying to determine how many centimeteres in a length of wood when we don’t know the length of a centimetre?

  37. JerryB
    Posted May 6, 2007 at 8:41 PM | Permalink

    Re #36,


    “…80% for water…”

    that may have been a typo, but it’s way off.

  38. bender
    Posted May 6, 2007 at 9:32 PM | Permalink

    CO2 as a GHG is a lever for H20 as a GHG. That’s the nature of positive feedback among multiple agents, it becomes increasingly difficult to quantify causality the stronger and larger the number of interactions.

    Suppose I shoot someone and they die from the resulting wound. How much am I to blame, versus the gun versus the bullet. All who say that CO2 cannot be blamed if H2O is the “real” culrpit are making the silly argument that “people don’t shoot people, guns shoot people”. Or worse: “guns don’t hurt people, bullets do”. Hopefully that helps to illustrate how silly an argument it is to blame GW on H2O just because there’s more H2O in the atmosphere.

    You’re not clever, you’re being ridiculous. “I didn’t shoot anyone, I just pulled this here trigger, and …”

  39. Nicholas
    Posted May 6, 2007 at 10:38 PM | Permalink

    bender, what a silly argument.

    “guns don’t hurt people, bullets do”

    This is obviously true – unless you’re pistol whipping someone, anyway. Just because it is the bullet that hurts someone, doesn’t mean the person firing it isn’t ultimately *responsible* for this harm.

    Anyway, sorry, we gun nuts get a bit worked up when we see people saying things like this. I agree totally with what you are trying to say, just not the way you are trying to say it.

  40. C_G_K
    Posted May 6, 2007 at 10:43 PM | Permalink

    Sounds like carbon trading has come to the United States. Here is a NY Times article.

  41. Bob Meyer
    Posted May 6, 2007 at 10:53 PM | Permalink

    Re 39 Nicolas

    We are not “gun nuts”, we are “firearm enthusiasts”. The meaning is exactly the same but it sounds so much more civilized.

    I spent so much time reading this blog over the weekend that I didn’t even get to the range.

  42. Posted May 6, 2007 at 11:01 PM | Permalink

    Re 2:

    Worried about the open nature of the science of global warming, I cobbled together a hypothesis of my own, just to show how slack much of the reasoning has been. If GW is indeed A then we need a mechanism which levers the comparatively tiny human effects on the environment and rachets it up to a big effect. If we could change the low level stratus amounts then that would be enough.

    I found my mechanism — oil spill and surfactant pollution of the ocean surface. We have more than doubled the annual amounts of these surface-effecting chemicals which end up on the surface of every body of water on the planet, some natural, some decidedly not. We currently pump out through the sewers enough oil to cover the oceans entirely every two weeks.

    Smooth oceans emit fewer aerosols. Fewer aerosols give less low level cloud and the SSTs rise. I predicted the kreigesmarine effect on my website (lots of oil on NA and Pacific during WWII so more sunny waters and higher temps) a year ago but couldn’t make the figures fit until I discovered that the temperature trends published are, shall we say, subject to some uncertainty.

    When not hand-waving and defending the hypothesis, I wonder about plankton. Are we making the atmosphere more dusty? Does this increase the number of silicaceous diatoms which can outcompete the calciferous types, thereby reducing the biological pull-down? What would this do to the isotope signal? Are enough biologists involved in the global warming assessments or are there just a load of physicists and programmers? The power of biology is awe inspiring, the sheer scale of a biological response to a big food source would dwarf our efforts. Maybe that’s really what’s going on.

    The cooling episode post WWII is not yet addressed by my toy hypothesis: I’m thinking about it. One thing is certain, I’ll be careful about all the data. Maybe I’ll just use the un-bucket-corrected SSTs which seem immune to UHI, land use changes and other uncertainties.


  43. tc
    Posted May 6, 2007 at 11:09 PM | Permalink

    The CO2 debate has gone from spitting into the wind (#19, 24) to shooting a gun (#38). Right now, I am more in the range of blowing a pea shooter.

  44. Bob Meyer
    Posted May 7, 2007 at 1:06 AM | Permalink

    Re: 29 Steve

    I just finished as much of the NAS panel stuff as I could stomach. North’s use of that editorial seems to say that North is now “Chief Defender of the Faith”. Granted that Barton’s requests were a bit over the top (typical of congress critters who feel that they are being slighted) but what has that to do with Data Integrity? North seemed to imply that all requests for data were of the kind made by Barton including bank records and personal conversations. You only asked for data that most researchers have in files that can be transmitted with a few keystrokes.

    Where was North when California Attorney General Bill Lockyer demanded:

    All DOCUMENTS relating to both GLOBAL WARMING and to any of the following individuals: S. Fred Singer, James Glassman, David Legates, Richard Lindzen, Patrick J. Michaels, Thomas Gale Moore, Robert C. Balling, Jr., Sherwood B. Idso, Craig D. Idso, Keith E. Idso, Sallie Baliunas, Paul Reiter, Chris Homer [sic], Ross McKitrick, Julian Morris, Frederick Seitz, Willie Soon, and Steven Milloy, including but not limited to:

    1. All DOCUMENTS relating to any communications between YOU and these individuals, and
    2. All DOCUMENTS relating to YOUR relationship (or the relationship of any automobile manufacturer or association of automobile manufacturers) with any of them, including but not limited to payments directly or indirectly from YOU or any other automobile manufacturer or association of automobile manufacturer to any of them.

    (I can’t believe that you didn’t make the Honor Roll)

    Here there was no issue of government funded data. This was a brazen attempt to intimidate auto companies into not funding any research and to simultaneously smear any scientists who refuse to be “absorbed by the Borg”. The only thing missing was for Lockyer to say in a mechanical voice “Resistance is Futile”.

    You’re right, “Sir Humphrey” North is only a bureaucrat’s bureaucrat.

  45. T J Olson
    Posted May 7, 2007 at 3:43 AM | Permalink

    The blog at the once esteemed “Popular Science” magazine has an entry entitled Images of Villages Adjusting to Climate Change.

    It offers an ancient Alaskan village on an island as the victim of AGW beacuase we do nothing – NOTHING about it. The village is being overwhelmed to the tune of 10 feet per year! Perhaps you will want to register your comment there?

    “As the effects of climate change worsen, there will be more Shishmarefs,” it intones, and offers more. Lamenting that people are being forced to change their lifestyles, unlike the rest of us, “It seems only a matter of time before this becomes the rule rather than the exception.”

    Play the freakin violins! Because True Belief rejects knowledge these days in questions of science.

  46. Posted May 7, 2007 at 4:11 AM | Permalink

    With reference to #15 and other comments of late, I seem to have given the impression of making an ex cathedra statement about PCA and non-linearity without the benefit of practical experience. I first wrote about PCA and non-linearity in a book published in 1993 and when I finally retired from full-time research I was still working on the design of interface microcircuits that enabled primary compensation. The context was the electronic nose, which like the mammalian one is based on an array of imperfect sensors.
    The main problem with non-linearity is NOT bent response curves. If monotonic they are easily dealt with by look-up tables (apart from the residual problem of non-uniform treatment of errors). The problem is that the physical variables are ravelled. Linear algebra assumes that this is not the case. I spent many an hour on modelling and analysis to convince myself and colleagues that as much of the unravelling as possible needed to be done before analogue to digital conversion. That was the historical basis of the treatment cited in #13.

  47. David Smith
    Posted May 7, 2007 at 5:17 AM | Permalink

    Odd article of the day

    The problem with this article is that the ocean around the Cayman Islands has not warmed much ( SST link ).

    Must be a teleconnection.

  48. bender
    Posted May 7, 2007 at 7:03 AM | Permalink

    Nicholas #39
    Give be a better analogy, then. One that everyone can relate to.

  49. MarkR
    Posted May 7, 2007 at 7:24 AM | Permalink

    Bender. Isn’t H2O a (the majority) greenhouse gas without any help from CO2? Do the physical properties of H2O change with association with CO2? Does the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere change the amount of H2O?

    For a given change in volume of atmospheric CO2, what will be the change in quantity/physical properties of H20 in the atmosphere?

  50. bender
    Posted May 7, 2007 at 7:40 AM | Permalink

    MarkR, you’re missing temperature from your equation.

  51. Steve McIntyre
    Posted May 7, 2007 at 8:00 AM | Permalink

    #46, John, thank you for your comment. I suspect that we agree on 99.9% of all the issues here. I was responding to what the reader here took home from your note – and my impression was that he was not grabbing the right nuance.

    I appreciate your resolute efforts to keep people grounded and to de-mystify statistics. I think that people, including some scientists, tend to get a little overwhelmed with the multivariate methodology – forgetting that, at the end of the day, linear methods simply give a bunch of positive (and negative) weights, or, in the case of cherry-picking, a bunch of zero weights.

  52. MarkR
    Posted May 7, 2007 at 9:19 AM | Permalink

    Bender. But increased CO2 causes temperature increase? Or does increased temperature cause CO2 increase? I’m afraid I’m not at all clear on this one.

  53. Posted May 7, 2007 at 9:59 AM | Permalink

    A funny thing. Open realclimate.org and search for the words “Google that” in the first article. Read the sentence and click the link. 😉 They can’t even make these superficial things right.

  54. Dave Dardinger
    Posted May 7, 2007 at 10:15 AM | Permalink

    re: #31

    they resolutely ignore other consequences of a more humid atmosphere, of which more clouds and more sunlight reflected back to space would seem the most likely.

    Just as important, they ignore that It’s virtually certain that average H2O concentrations are in equilibrium in the atmosphere. At a temperature above the prevailing equilibrium there must be negative feedbacks or else the H2O concentrations in the atmosphere would run away. Likewise at temperatures below the equilibrium there must be positive feedbacks. or the would would freeze. Of course there can be swings, but they’re likely pretty narrow. IOW, temperatures can go up a degree or two from changing forcings either from CO2 or solar or other things but then the robust feedbacks of the water cycle take over and damp the swings.

    If you look at the literature you’ll notice this clear indication that the warmers know this as they constantly try to narrowcast the GHG debate to strictly the greenhouse effect and the concentrations of the gases while ignoring things like cloud effects or precipitation changes. They just have come to the believe, by what I I believe is “groupthink”, that the unknowns, if they were possible to quantify, would favor warmer theory.

  55. Mark T.
    Posted May 7, 2007 at 11:00 AM | Permalink

    Bender. But increased CO2 causes temperature increase? Or does increased temperature cause CO2 increase? I’m afraid I’m not at all clear on this one.

    Both. Think chicken and egg.


  56. Mark H
    Posted May 7, 2007 at 11:00 AM | Permalink

    Re: 11, 26, 44

    The lack of full disclosure is the driving force behind my skepticism. Not being a stat or math whiz requires me to evaluate descriptive issues and other circumstances. It doesn’t take more more than common sense and a few years of adulthood to note that when someone hides and lies about their actions they are ‘up to no good’ – or as a prosecutor would note, acting guilty.

    And it adds to the suspicion when when a lay critical public’s intelligence is insulted by privacy claims regarding scientific knowledge, most of it funded by the public.

    How should we react, other than with utter disgust and skepticism over any claims of their claims of superior knowledge?

    PS A thought for Mann, et. al. : it requires more disclosure to get a bank loan for your house, than it does to get the public to spend billions for your global warming mitigation program.

  57. MarkR
    Posted May 7, 2007 at 11:51 AM | Permalink

    Increased CO2 comes after increased temp from John Daly via Lubos Motl

  58. Mark H
    Posted May 7, 2007 at 12:38 PM | Permalink

    Climate Consensus Scientists go to the bank for a loan to stop global warming and its impacts:

    Bank: You will need to provide a credit history, just to make sure your have a good record.

    Consensus Climate Scientists: Ummm well, we don’t have a credit history, I mean, no one has been willing to loan to us before.

    Bank: Why is that?

    CCS: Ignoramuses and the oil companies, pure and simple.

    Bank: Really?

    CCS: Sure, last time some of us came to your bank we asked for funding to stop global cooling – do you think they would give us a loan? Then years ago our cousins in environmental demographics needed lots of money to stop the depletion of all the world resources and the extinction of several thousand species (by 1989) and they were given the bum’s rush… I hope you can see the injustice. Oh, I want to add we had nothing to do with the syn fuels, home-made garbage bio gas, or the solar electric Yugo movements – those people were real crackpots.

    Bank: Let me assure you your past record of dubious business plans, rejected loan applications, and questionable associations will not be held against you. We know the masses are often vert unappreciative of just how special you people are.

    CCS: Now your talking our language.

    Bank: As you have no credit history, perhaps you can provide collatoral, like giving up future public grants if you lose the banks investiment?

    CCS: You mean we have to pay you back if OUR research is wrong? You don’t seem to understand, those are OUR grants, OUR money, for OUR wise council. We are not going to risk our money just because we may burn a few trillion dollars of your money. Rest assured, we think this is climate problem is ‘very likely’ true, but certainly not THAT true.

    Bank: Hmmmm, no credit and no collatoral. Well, then we will need to review a plan and some audited statements before we even think about a major loan.

    CCS: I’m sorry. I’m trying not to be angry but do you know who we are? Have you seen our degrees? Have you read our press? Have you talked to Senator Boxer? Besides, we don’t need audits – we audit ourselves.

    Bank: How’s that?

    CCS: Some of us take a look at the books, some of them write up our impressions, then we meet and vote to declare “the books are balanced”.

    Bank: Oh my! That is quite novel. Perhaps we might we take a look at the books ourselves?

    CCS: Nope.

    Bank: Might we look at something more than ‘the impressons’, like the data and any calculations behind them?

    CCS: What is it about ‘N’ and ‘o’ that confuses you?

    Bank: Well, this would normally be a big problem. However, Al Gore just called our bank president, would you like your loan in 1000 dollar bills or a wire transfer?

    CCS: Wire’s fine. Oh, I hope you don’t expect us to provide detailed and sudited results of this investment?

    Bank: Of course not, that would be rude!

  59. Follow the Money
    Posted May 7, 2007 at 1:02 PM | Permalink


    “Sounds like carbon trading has come to the United States.

    I read with some irony European sources of late carp that American resistance to carbon trading is inapt because Americans (Al Gore & his crew in 1997-8) were the ones who pushed hard to have carbon trading schemes pushed into Kyoto.

    I suppose Europeans are not familiar with the American tradition of financial scams dressed in the garb of “market principles.” These can be done with deregulation, like the S&L Scandal, junk bonds, etc., or with government imposed regulations, like the California Electricity trading scam and now carbon credit trading. I’m not excusing European politicians, they have traditions of farming the people through taxes and hidden taxes and scams such as their foreign aid regimes, but I don’t think they have a “feel” for American-style grifters, like Al Gore.

    In various American blogs, left, right and center, one can find raucous discussions of of carbon credit trading, generally damning, pointing out things like the designer of the Euro trading system is a 1980’s veteran of Drexel Burnham Lambert… which raises red flags to Americans. On Euro blogs I can find no such discussion, positive or negative.

  60. JoeS
    Posted May 7, 2007 at 4:45 PM | Permalink

    Political Economist Robert Higgs on Peer Reviews and Scientific Consensus

  61. fFreddy
    Posted May 7, 2007 at 5:17 PM | Permalink

    Re #59, Follow the Money

    I suppose Europeans are not familiar with the American tradition of financial scams dressed in the garb of “market principles.”

    Snort. You might like to read up on the South Sea Bubble, or the tulip craze of the 1630s. America has invented many fine and wonderful things, but financial scams existed long before the US did.

  62. JoeS
    Posted May 7, 2007 at 5:44 PM | Permalink

    Re #59
    Art Cashin speaks to the South Sea Bubble and the tulip craze.

  63. Posted May 7, 2007 at 6:05 PM | Permalink

    Joe S:

    Could we have a better link please.


  64. DeWitt Payne
    Posted May 7, 2007 at 6:09 PM | Permalink

    Re: #62

    RealMedia(.rm) = evil spyware, won’t have it on my computer. Not that Windows Media is all that much better.

  65. JoeS
    Posted May 7, 2007 at 6:14 PM | Permalink

    #63 Paul, up at the top of this page, there’s a Real Player link to the Dot Com Bubble.
    If you don’t have Real Player, which I hate, a Google search for “Real Player Alternative”
    will get you into the “listening business”. 🙂


  66. Paul Linsay
    Posted May 7, 2007 at 6:34 PM | Permalink

    #59, Let’s not forget about the Mississippi land bank one of the greatest financial scams ever by the Scotsman, John Law, and the French state in the years immediately following the death of Lous XIV.

  67. S. Hales
    Posted May 7, 2007 at 6:47 PM | Permalink

    I have never seen a gloomier crowd as resides here

    If our children are having the bejeebers scared out of them at school then these guys must be teaching them. This looks more like a mass hysteria than reasoned thought. Groupthink indeed as another poster put it.

  68. Follow the Money
    Posted May 7, 2007 at 6:58 PM | Permalink

    fFreddy, #61


    Thanks for the info on the South Sea Bubble. However, I’m sticking to my observation.

    What you point to are stock frauds and pyramid (Ponzi-like) schemes. They are everywhere, and Euros and North Americans are equally to these market “failures.”

    But I speak of schemes that require a direct political action to promulgate. Ones caused by an act of deregulation or regulation. With deregulation openings for scams come like the American Savings and Loan scandal of the 1980’s. On the other hand, regulation may be required to enable the scheme, such as carbon credit trading. The former is sold on “free market principles.” With the latter the term “free” is omitted. Both require a trust and expectation that the invocation of words like “market forces” elicits a uncritically favorable opinion. “Market” is imbued with a sense that trust in it results in the best outcomes to the many, its existence, unfettered or fettered to suit the interests promoting it, is nevertheless conducive to the greater good.

    In my lifetime, and until carbon trading, I have not read about European scams that are dependent on such government actions, and validated with market theory. I think they are an especial American phenomenon. Certainly I can be convinced otherwise if I’m in erro..

    When reading about the American lobbying for inclusion of carbon trading around 1998 the European folks sound like they are relenting to inclusion of carbon trading, not embracing its crafty market-based rationalization. Today, however, I see European voices embracing the market-based rationalizations, and most naively I may add, or maybe not so and I don’t have a good ear for insincere Euro BS artists.

    Besides the monetized CO2 market being a scam in its device it can’t work ab initio because China, India and others are not included. The US Senate rejected Kyoto 95-0 much because this obvious fault. Yet I see hardly any debate, except a little last year, in Euro sources about this predicament. Is it because Americans have more experience in these type of scams that we observe the obvious faults, and argue more about the real motivations in the background? I see little debate in the Euro press though a friend advises me if the EU forces Eastern Europe to actually take hits in this charade, it will collapse, the Easter Europeans being more suspicious of government from their historical experience.

  69. Follow the Money
    Posted May 7, 2007 at 7:03 PM | Permalink


    This looks more like a mass hysteria than reasoned thought.

    I think your comment is like those who fear a “conspiracy.”

    It is a coordination of interests managed by large international public relations firms paid by the largest interests who will gain.

    It’s not a conspiracy,

    it’ modern marketing.

  70. John Baltutis
    Posted May 7, 2007 at 8:39 PM | Permalink

    Re: #63

    Try Peer Review

  71. Jaye
    Posted May 7, 2007 at 9:24 PM | Permalink

    RE: #67

    I post this on climatedenial.org, though I don’t think it’ll be there long…

    Ok, like Gaea created her children (totally us) then she – like – gave us technology which is totally bitchin’ since its – like – part of her plan to save us from the very uncool global cooling that she – like – knew would be in our future. Gaea told me to buy a big SUV which I totally did, then I burnt my Prius on a stack of tires but the dudes at Burning Man said I was like a denier or something. I think he meant heretic ’cause he was just sayin’ stuff that, like, had no real substance just a bunch of gibberish from AIT. And he TOTALLY didn’t know what a confidence interval was or even why bcp’s are like the lamest temperature proxy ever. This dude was really blown away by T/CO2 lag and tried to burn me at the stake next to my burning Prius. Then he like told me that if I was a witch I would float and other stuff. So, I prayed to Gaea and she froze him with this giant hurricane that like totally sucked the cold from outer space…I think the entire Atlantic Ocean also froze in, like, ten seconds or something. So that’s like my story

  72. dan
    Posted May 7, 2007 at 10:01 PM | Permalink

    Over on Gristmill it indicates that they debunked Peiser’s claim that he refuted Oreskes’ work on the scientific concensus. Is there any truth to this?

  73. Jon-Anders Grannes
    Posted May 8, 2007 at 2:07 AM | Permalink

    I have this basic question about CO2.


    “Firstly, the infra-red (I.R.) absorption bands of carbon dioxide lie in the 12-16 micron wavelength band.” …”This means that CO2 has its greatest absorption of I.R. radiation at sub-zero temperatures. At warmer temperatures, the typical wavelength of strongest I.R. transmission is less than 12 microns, and therefore much less affected by CO2. At temperatures around 15°C (the average surface temperature of the Earth), the strongest emission wavelength is around 10 microns, a wavelength which is largely unaffected by greenhouse gases, the so-called `radiation window’ of the atmosphere where IR radiation from the surface can escape freely to space.”

    Can someone help me understand how more CO2 in the atmosphere absorb more in the 12-16 micron wavelength band, sub-zero temperatures, creates warming and enhanced radiation in the atmosphere that leads to warming of the surface below(standard atmosphere is 15°C C(maximum 10 micron radiation), so that it evaporates more and give us the IPCC 2-3 times enhanced warming from waterwapor?

  74. Willis Eschenbach
    Posted May 8, 2007 at 2:14 AM | Permalink

    Me, I am generally extremely skeptical of anyone who claims to have “debunked” any scientific result. At best, they have likely presented an opposing view, but “debunked” is right up there with “deniers” regarding the amount of excess baggage that it carries. Among other things, it assumes that the study in question is “bunk”, which is not a good position to start from if you want to end up with a defensible result.

    Oreske’s work made an astounding claim, which was that out of 928 papers that came up from her search, not one questioned the consensus. If you believe that … I have a very fine bridge in Brooklyn for sale at a good price …

    It turns out that her criteria for whether a paper supported the consensus were … um … well, I’ll call them “generous”. For me, it was not a scientific study at all, but YMMV.


  75. MarkW
    Posted May 8, 2007 at 5:08 AM | Permalink

    Follow the Money,

    You need to temper your paranoia with a few facts. Hint, don’t go to the papers for your facts, you won’t find any there.

    The Savings and Loan scandal was caused primarily by two factors.
    1) Congress ordered all S&L’s to sell their junk bonds, at the same time (which will always depress prices), and at the bottom of a cycle.
    This caused tremendous losses.
    2) Congress lengthened depreciation on capital investments, without grandfathering in existing investments. Which they had never done before, and have never done since. This decreased the value of investments, creating in many, a negative worth, so that the banks and S&L’s were forced to call them in, since that is what the regulators require. This caused huge losses in the banking and S&L industries.

    There was no conspiracy, there was no scam. It was congress in it’s usual punish the rich mode.

  76. bernie
    Posted May 8, 2007 at 6:49 AM | Permalink

    On other threads ks has made a vigorous challenge of the merits of Durkin’s documentary. ks has foresaken any defense of Gore’s docudrama and presumably his book. I have not seen the movie but have struggled through Gore’s pastiche of a book. Someone else may differ with my view, but I found the book peculiarly short of definitive time bounded claims: As far as I can tell he actually puts no time parameters around the trivial assertion that if a whole lot of ice melts, sea levels will rise by 20 feet.
    One categorical assertion he does make is on the AGW prompted demise of Emperor Penguins, to the tune of 70% in the last 50 years. (There is no citation.) Since this is hard to believe, I went looking for supporting data. I couldn’t find any. Indeed what I found, (e.g., here ) seemed to basically say that counting penguins is very difficult and there are very few extended censuses and those that do exist show dramatic year over year swings that seem to suggest other factors than AGW. Does anyone have additional information? I am interested in the accuracy of any assertions that might have extra traction among the general public. Disappearing penguins, drowning polar bears and disappearing glaciers have tremendous PR value in the climate change debate. AGian, as with tree ring data, there appears to be very little by way of genuine scientific discourse on the validity of different assertions, especially those that end with a need for more research!

  77. Steve McIntyre
    Posted May 8, 2007 at 7:03 AM | Permalink

    Folks – on carbon trading, S&Ls etc, please give it a rest. I know that you’re interested ; but keep it to science please.

  78. Jaye
    Posted May 8, 2007 at 7:24 AM | Permalink


    Maybe this will help

    Planck’s function (for a black body) peaks inversely wrt temp, T1 > T2 => LambdaMax1

  79. Jaye
    Posted May 8, 2007 at 7:26 AM | Permalink


    Arghh…cutoff my post

    T1 > T2 => LambdaMax1

  80. Jaye
    Posted May 8, 2007 at 7:27 AM | Permalink


    Arghh…cutoff my post…again

    T1 gt T2 => LambdaMax1 lt LambdaMax2

    The following is organized thusly,
    (Temp(C),LambdaMax(um),Radiance (W/(cm^2 * sr) in [12,20]um band,Ratio [12,20]/[0,inf])


  81. Posted May 8, 2007 at 10:34 AM | Permalink

    Apparently the the Spensor and Christy data graph at http://www.ghcc.msfc.nasa.gov/MSU/msusci.html has disappeared for good – someone at NASA must think the public isn’t interested in the best global temperature data available. I created a graph from the same source data at the top of http://xtronics.com/reference/globalwarming.htm for those who might want some thing to reference.

  82. R. Dunn
    Posted May 8, 2007 at 10:56 AM | Permalink

    Some interesting observations about peer review at HNN blogs:


    Here’s a quote –

    “Peer review, on which lay people place great weight, varies from important, where the editors and the referees are competent and responsible, to a complete farce, where they are not. As a rule, not surprisingly, the process operates somewhere in the middle, being more than a joke but less than the nearly flawless system of Olympian scrutiny that outsiders imagine it to be. Any journal editor who desires, for whatever reason, to knock down a submission can easily do so by choosing referees he knows full well will knock it down; likewise, he can easily obtain favorable referee reports. As I have always counseled young people whose work was rejected, seemingly on improper or insufficient grounds, the system is a crap shoot. Personal vendettas, ideological conflicts, professional jealousies, methodological disagreements, sheer self-promotion and a great deal of plain incompetence and irresponsibility are no strangers to the scientific world; indeed, that world is rife with these all-too-human attributes. In no event can peer review ensure that research is correct in its procedures or its conclusions. The history of every science is a chronicle of one mistake after another. In some sciences these mistakes are largely weeded out in the course of time; in others they persist for extended periods…”

    R. Dunn
    Some guy just trying to make sense of things.

  83. Steve Sadlov
    Posted May 8, 2007 at 11:03 AM | Permalink

    Warmest May 7th in tennnnnnn ….. or is it onnnnne hunnnnnnddred ……. or is it onnnnnee thousannnnnnnd years?

    In any case, I must point out a shiboleth I heard on ABC News (radio) this morning. To the effect of “in California, it may be May but feels like August.” Actually, it feels like May. Google “June Gloom” to get a quick hint what I am referring to. In California, nearby the coast we get our hottest days in April – May or in Sept – Oct. June – Aug there is coastal stratus and a sea breeze. Of course, inland, its hottest in July and August. But even here, the MSM are dead wrong in this morning’s characterization. It’s actually not all that hot in the inland hot spots. So there again, they are wrong. Just a closing tid bit …. the two hottest days I’ve ever experienced were, respectively, in September and May.

  84. Thomas Gray
    Posted May 8, 2007 at 12:02 PM | Permalink

    Perhaps the translation of IPCC would be more appropriate as “Insistent Promoters of Climate Catastrophes”.

  85. Mark T.
    Posted May 8, 2007 at 12:22 PM | Permalink

    Steve S., did they mention the fact that it SNOWED Friday, Saturday and Sunday in Colorado? Black Forest (just north of Colorado Springs) probably got 18″ or so in the last week.


  86. Steve Sadlov
    Posted May 8, 2007 at 12:26 PM | Permalink

    RE: #85 – Yeah, when that system came through here late last week, snow levels were down pretty low here too. Of course it’s all melted back to the “normal” edge of the snow pack. Santa Anas, our version of the Chinook.

  87. Mark T.
    Posted May 8, 2007 at 1:08 PM | Permalink

    Given that last year at this time the snow in the mountains was nearly gone, and the temps were in the 80-90 range in the Springs, I’m not sure if I’m qualified to speak to “normal” Colorado weather anymore. At least, my anecdotal evidence (i.e. four years of observations) puts the variance for all the factors at a pretty high level. We camped at Sylvan Lake around this time a year ago and there wasn’t any snow to be seen. Need a shovel to do the same thing this year. No, not a shovel, a snow plow.


  88. Darwin
    Posted May 8, 2007 at 1:36 PM | Permalink

    Re: 72, 74
    One last time — Oreskes paper was based on a plausibility sample from the search term “global climate change” on the ISI data base. It was not a probability sample. Follow her method and you’ll get loads of papers that are relevant to answering the hypothetical what if global climate is changing. You will get one paper from James Hansen and one from a health care group seeking federal funding and another from the Brazilian equivalent of the EPA blaming industrial countries for global warming, so get off our backs about cutting down the rain forest (or at least pay us if we don’t). And you will get no papers from Christy, from Michaels, from Lindzen because they don’t use the term global climate change in writing their papers on climate processes and temperature measurements. It was a term of art for the Global Change Research Program and Canada’s Global Climate Change program. All of which says that Oreskes and the others who use her unscientific sampling method should go back to school and study non-random samples and discover how Dewey defeated Truman.

  89. DeWitt Payne
    Posted May 8, 2007 at 2:31 PM | Permalink

    Re: #73

    The IR emission spectrum of a black body at the temperature of the Earth covers a fairly wide wavelength range, IIRC, most of the energy is in the range of 5 to 30 microns, with the peak around 9 microns, for a temperature of 288 K (15 C) Only about 10% of the total longwave IR emitted by the surface escapes directly to space through the window in the CO2 and H2O spectra centered around 10 microns. Google things like black body radiation, Planck curve and Stefan-Boltzman for more information. Then you can go here:


    plug in some numbers and get more information than most people, including myself, can adequately digest.

  90. Mark H
    Posted May 8, 2007 at 4:00 PM | Permalink

    Re: 88

    I found the issue to be rather stupid, and shameful for both researchers who ought to have IQ’s larger than their belt size. I guess it did not occur to Oreskes to first filter for papers that were scientific research AND directly addressed the contribution of anthroprogenic vs. natural warming. If she had one would not have to make very subjective judgements on the author’s implicit ‘belief’ system. I sampled a number of the papers and was stunned how arbitrary one would have to be. e.g.; how does one classify a paper on temperature readings verification tests, or holocene climate estimates? I doubt more than one in twenty papers ought to have in the ‘sample’ as true expressions of an author’s personal beliefs.

    I was no more impressed with Pieser wading into this swamp, implicitly accepting that there was any body of “scientific sampling and evaluation” worth arguing over.

    Pieser (Peiser?) ought to have done a Climate Audit: he should have asked for her actual data sets, her calculatons, and her methodology. In short order it would have been flushed as too flawed to be of use for the sober.

  91. T J Olson
    Posted May 8, 2007 at 4:11 PM | Permalink

    Is climate change alarmism hurting science? Specifically, is the well-intended IPCC contributing to the debasement of science itself? The compromises of politically charged summary (SFP), against the extended caveats of science itself causes much friction. This question is addressed in Der Spiegel, which details some of the recent activity and structural organization of the IPCC.

    The outcome? German tabloid Bild read: “Climate Report Shocks Germany.” The British Independent reported: “Mankind will be divided.” US newsmagazine Time complained: “Our feverish planet badly needs a cure.” The world was in a panic, almost as if there had been a major terrorist attack. The contrarian case made by Michael Crichton and in TGGS gets mentioned. But it is Richard Lindzen who receives extended discussion.

    According to Lindzen, it is climate alarmism that feeds research budgets. In the history of global climate research, the research budget in Lindzen’s native United States has been inflated twice — once during the presidency of the first President Bush and once during that of his son, George W. Bush. In both cases the injection of funding was preceded by a sentence uttered by the president: We know too little. If climate researchers wish to secure or expand their budgets, they shouldn’t be saying: We are 90 percent certain that the lion’s share of climate change is manmade. Instead, they should say: We know too little. But there is one climate researcher who says precisely these words: Lindzen.

    Thus, hysteria rules, a “climate catastrophe” tantamount to the apocalypse dominates the media today. AIT and Gore are then briefly discussed and criticized. The piece closes on the domestic German debate, asking “Is activism trumping science?”

  92. Phil_B
    Posted May 8, 2007 at 6:33 PM | Permalink

    I’d like to draw your reader’s attention to statistical analyses performed on Australian BOM time based temperature data, here.

    The author has made some interesting discoveries that are generally consistent across different locations in Australia. Refer to the archives for analyses at different locations.

    In summary, he finds significant increases in daytime, maximum and minimum temperatures. However, he finds no increase in late nighttime temperatures (3 am).

    There are two main conclusions from his analyses. Firstly, increased daytime warming is occuring, but there is a compensating increase in nighttime cooling, resulting in little if any warming in the sense of heat gain to the system. Secondly, maximum and minimum temperatures do not acurately reflect temperatures over a 24 hour period and their use may well give a misleading picture of the amount of warming occuring. In particular, the increase in minimum temperatures appears to result from increased daytime heating and not from increasing nighttime temperatures.

  93. Posted May 8, 2007 at 7:34 PM | Permalink

    Thanks Phil. That is a very interesting link and would appear at first glance to be a new way of looking at temperature. One would have thought one of the thousands of scientists involved with the IPCC would have looked at that possibility. Perhaps they already know the results of such work!!!!

  94. bender
    Posted May 8, 2007 at 9:11 PM | Permalink

    Was 3 am cherry-picked, or is this equally true for temps through 1-5 a.m?

  95. Alan Woods
    Posted May 8, 2007 at 9:25 PM | Permalink


    Pretty sure that the data available from BOM are 3-hourly, ie 12AM 3AM 6AM etc.

  96. Phil_B
    Posted May 8, 2007 at 10:20 PM | Permalink

    FYI, BOM uses the following definition of average temperature,

    Separate timeseries are available for maximum, mean and minimum temperature, as well as diurnal temperature range (DTR). Mean temperatures are the simple average of the maximum and minimum temperatures, while DTR represents the difference between maximum and minimum temperatures.

    So their average temperature data would contain the same daytime heating bias.

  97. EW
    Posted May 9, 2007 at 4:42 AM | Permalink

    Climate alarmism hurts everything.

    Certain Optimum Population Trust says that if couples had two children instead of three they could cut their family’s carbon dioxide output by the equivalent of 620 return flights a year between London and New York. And that children from Western countries are more pernicious for the CO2 balance than the kids from the third world.

    The British fertility rate is 1.7. The EU average is 1.5. Despite this, Professor Guillebaud says rich countries should be the most concerned about family size as their children have higher per capita carbon dioxide emissions.

  98. Filippo Turturici
    Posted May 9, 2007 at 5:35 AM | Permalink

    EW, such news arrived even in Italy today.
    I would like, if possible, to invite mister Guillebaud to begin cutting CO2 emissions by himself, possibly now…

  99. Filippo Turturici
    Posted May 9, 2007 at 5:43 AM | Permalink

    #92: indeed, NASA data suggest that both incoming and outcoming heat have slightly increased on Earth, without any disequilibrium between them, in the ’90ies in comparison with the ’80ies. But it was due to reduced cloud cover: http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Newsroom/NasaNews/2002/200201317366.html
    Unfortunately, I found no other news about on NASA sites, after this 2002 article; and now NASA’s GISS climate studies are led by Hansen, so everything which does not accord with AGW theories seems to have been simply removed (even if Hansen had to admit recently some error on GW theories, e.g. that a real dramatical temperature rise in the past 20 years did not happen as suggested in the ’80ies).

  100. Posted May 9, 2007 at 6:02 AM | Permalink

    #83: I’ve noticed the Weather Network here in Canada have pretty much cast themselves as the Gore/Suzuki channel of late. Helpful info on how much you’d have to pay for carbon credits for flying to various spots in Canada, how city-dwellers should all downgrade to smaller camping fridges and shop for food more often, etc., etc., etc.

    Just gimme the five day forecast, thanks. (I note their website hasn’t gone this way, though.)

  101. Filippo Turturici
    Posted May 9, 2007 at 6:05 AM | Permalink

    #91: I think that the “we know too little” phase is just the first step for funding. Then, you have three choice:
    – still saying “we know too little”, maybe someone will give you funds to improve your knowledge, but maybe as well that someone will think that with no real results funds could be better used;
    – saying “it is mostly a natural cycle, with just marginal human influence”, so no greater funds are needed (all is going well, or anyway we can do nothing about);
    – saying “we are about to Apocalypse, the Mankind is guilty of it – but you are lucky, we can still save you in the next years”, suggesting terrible disasters, widespread sense of guilt, relying on (both fanatic or in good faith) environmentalists, but also offering to save Mankind from the End and then having more funds; nothing new under the Sun, as we say here; just, until new eco-business and geo-political matters will accord with rising Earth temperatures, no one will look if Antarctic is really warming and melting or not, or if we are really living a warming without precedent, or if the alarm is continually postponed from 1995 to 2000 to 2030 or 2100.

  102. Stan Palmer
    Posted May 9, 2007 at 10:03 AM | Permalink

    Biodegradability and Carbon Sequestration for AGW Mitigation??

    This is a real question.

    I have just finished reading a magazine article about a noted Silicon Valley company. It has an extensive cafeteria service for its employees in which the food is as much as possible organic and locally grown. EH company takes pride in its green philosophy.

    One aspect of its cafeteria service are its takeout boxes and cutlery which are made of a biodegradable corn-based plastic. Disregarding the issues of the fossil carbon input into growing corn and making plastic from it, I am puzzled by the issue of biodegradability being presented as a virtue. Wouldn’t it be better if the plastic was inert and not biodegradable. The corn takes carbon from air and the decomposition of the plastic puts it back.

    Carbon sequestration is now the big green topic in Canada. So wouldn’t it be better if the plastic was inert and effectively acted as a form of atmospheric carbon sequestration? Even a non-biodegradable plastic made from fossil carbon would not have any direct issues in AGW. So is biodegradability part of the solution

  103. Steve Sadlov
    Posted May 9, 2007 at 10:11 AM | Permalink

    RE: #102 – Those corn based bags exude a slight film of corn oil. Consider the knock on effects of additional cleaning needed for any surfaces (including people’s hands) that come in contact with them.

  104. Mark T.
    Posted May 9, 2007 at 11:00 AM | Permalink

    Ya gotta love this comment from an AP story regarding the storm in the Atlantic:

    Some federal forecasters believe this is part of a natural cycle. But the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a U.N.-sponsored group, says global warming caused by humans has led to an increase in stronger hurricanes.

    Actually, it is “most” hurricane forecasters, including the entirety of the WMO, which just happens to be the parent organization of the IPCC. Misdirection, obfuscation… sheesh. At least they saw fit to _mention_ the possibility that science sees things differently.


  105. Steve Sadlov
    Posted May 9, 2007 at 12:46 PM | Permalink

    RE: #104 – We have reached a new point of idiocy. A cold core storm which resulted in a brilliant powder day in California early last week, races across the Southern US, stalls over the Atlantic, turns into a Nor’easter, starts to retrograde, and is then named as a Tropical Storm. I give up ….. Memo to AGW Fundamentalists … you win, I submit.

    For the love of Big Brother [He said, with a dull hypnotized look in his eyes ….]

    Posted May 9, 2007 at 1:40 PM | Permalink

    RE # 105

    From another “Steve” up here in mid/north of S Sweden…
    We had temperate Storm “Per” here in January, apparently
    NHC missed it…Why not give names to all polar lows with
    an eye-like center…? Correct me if IⳭ wrong but before
    1967 subtropical storms wereⳮt even counted ??

    Posted May 9, 2007 at 2:05 PM | Permalink

    Addenda # 106

    Actually NHC calls it “subtropical storm Andrea”
    and “not discerning a warm or cold core”… Tepid??
    Did I forget the vortex-like storms in N Black Sea
    late March see Met Office web-site, also a planet
    Mars “hurricane” in April 1999 NASA best images

  108. Filippo Turturici
    Posted May 9, 2007 at 3:58 PM | Permalink

    Dear Staffan, did you not know that every weather event here in Europe is surely linked to AGW, even cold ones? …
    We live in a continent where many ones believe that climate has changed in just one year: I know, September-to-April warm period was probably a record in magnitude, but why forgetting so fast just a year before with a long and cold winter marked by -35°C in Moscow in January (about 20°C below the average) or by snowfalls at 700m into May and early June in Italian Alps? – in Northern Italy, e.g. I lived in 2006 the hottest July since 1983 and the coldest August since 1976, but the last summer for someone is marked by July only – not to talk about summers 1945 and 1947, or autumn 1949, or winter 1989, all very hot seasons for Europe, even in comparison with 2003 and 2007, but forgotten by many people – the same who can tell you that March 2007 was the warmest ever recorded in Moscow, but they will not tell you that March 2005 was the coldest one, just two years before. But, of course, why, if even cold events are caused by AGW…?
    I begin to wonder if Global Warming just started, not in the ’70-’80ies, but in 1998, 2002, 2005 or even only in autumn 2006…!

  109. Bob Koss
    Posted May 9, 2007 at 4:03 PM | Permalink


    There is a graph in this post. http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=1122#comment-107023
    Second graph can show you several step changes in storm monitoring in the Atlantic Basin. There are even some readings of 10 kts. T. depressions were only occasionally recorded during the 1st 100 years. Now they’re really picking the storms up early. 100 hurricanes in the 1800’s weren’t discovered until they were already hurricanes. Zero in that category during the last half of the 20th century.

  110. cbone
    Posted May 9, 2007 at 4:55 PM | Permalink

    Funny story. So RC’s new topic du jour is ‘Fun with Correlations’. It is a satirical look at spurious correlations. When I pointed out that Mann’s little ‘hockey stick’ with its splicing of current temperature records onto proxy data that, based on D’Arrigo’s recent paper, seems to diverge from the temperature record at the same time as the solar proxies that they were parodying they refused to post it. I wonder why they would do that….

    Posted May 9, 2007 at 5:39 PM | Permalink


    Best Filippo even the devil must have some sleep
    [“fan” meaning “devil” in Swedish…”helvete” is
    english “hell”]…I just agreed with Steve Sadlov
    in post 105 about degrading and distorting the
    definitions of TS/TH…But I see your point if
    the 20-year old woman working in the supermarket
    can⳴ tell iceberg sallad from cabbage…True!!
    how can we expect NHC not to get their first
    named storm in early May…Sorry must get
    20 minutes more sleep before brainwashing
    the Stockholmians…BR and GN

  112. David Smith
    Posted May 9, 2007 at 8:36 PM | Permalink

    The UAH global lower tropospheric temperature anomaly, updated thru April, is here .

    The monthly anomaly was +0.23 C, which continues the cooling since January’s El Nino-driven peak.

    The tropics , which drives the atmospheric furnace, also continue to cool.

    Slide 10 of this presentation shows the current heat content anomaly of the tropical Pacific (the El Nino region). The reduced heat content continues.

  113. Steve McIntyre
    Posted May 9, 2007 at 8:54 PM | Permalink

    #110. Too funny. Imagine realclimate doing a post on Spurious Correlation. Gavin will have to keep his finger on the censor button – did I hear someone say bristlecones?

  114. Jonathan Schafer
    Posted May 9, 2007 at 10:39 PM | Permalink

    NASA says temps will soar

    A new study by NASA scientists suggests that greenhouse-gas warming may raise average summer temperatures in the eastern United States nearly 10 degrees Fahrenheit by the 2080s.

    “There is the potential for extremely hot summertime temperatures in the future, especially during summers with less-than-average frequent rainfall,” said lead author Barry Lynn of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies and Columbia University, New York.

    The research found that eastern U.S. summer daily high temperatures that currently average in the low-to-mid-80s (degrees Fahrenheit) will most likely soar into the low-to-mid-90s during typical summers by the 2080s. In extreme seasons ‘€” when precipitation falls infrequently ‘€” July and August daily high temperatures could average between 100 and 110 degrees Fahrenheit in cities such as Chicago, Washington, and Atlanta.

    To reach their conclusions, the researchers analyzed nearly 30 years of observational temperature and precipitation data and also used computer model simulations that considered soil, atmospheric, and oceanic conditions and projected changes in greenhouse gases. The simulations were produced using a widely-used weather prediction model coupled to a global model developed by NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies.

    The global model, one of the models used in the recently issued climate report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), was utilized in this study to identify future changes in large-scale atmospheric circulation patterns due to the build up of greenhouse gases. This information was then fed into the weather prediction model to forecast summer-to-summer temperature variability in the eastern United States during the 2080s.

    The weather model showed that extreme summertime surface temperatures developed when carbon dioxide emissions were assumed to continue to increase about two percent a year, the “business as usual” scenario. These findings are too recent to be included in the latest IPCC report.

    The weather prediction model used in this research is advantageous because it assesses details about future climate at a smaller geographic scale than global models, providing reliable simulations not only on the amounts of summer precipitation, but also on its frequency and timing. This is an important capability for predicting summer temperatures because observed daily temperatures are usually higher on rainless days and when precipitation falls less frequently than normal.

    Great, they combined a weather model which isn’t any good after 3 – 5 days with a global model which can’t effectively model anything, and came up with this rosy prediction for us. How do these guys live with themselves.

  115. Posted May 10, 2007 at 1:19 AM | Permalink


    Well, someone mentioned MXD yesterday, took a screenshot ( http://www.geocities.com/uc_edit/Rc9May.jpg )
    Check msg 17. today ( http://www.geocities.com/uc_edit/Rc10May.jpg )

  116. Filippo Turturici
    Posted May 10, 2007 at 4:12 AM | Permalink

    #112: sorry david, but I cannot see the graphs you are telling about (just graphs to December 2006).

  117. David Smith
    Posted May 10, 2007 at 5:02 AM | Permalink

    Re #16 Hmmm. Here’s the original source ( link ) which contains many temperature graphs.

  118. Steve Sadlov
    Posted May 10, 2007 at 10:03 AM | Permalink

    Looks like semi-tropical cold core hybrid POS “Andrea” returned to a Westerly steered flow right quickly. Back to being a typical mid latitude cyclone. What a crock!

  119. Steve Sadlov
    Posted May 10, 2007 at 10:15 AM | Permalink

    Email sent to NHS Public Affairs:

    “You have named a cold core Nor’easter type storm. Granted it moved slightly Westward (due to the typical retrograding of a cut off low) but as can now be seen it’s back to being a normal mid latitude cyclone. Shame on you! It’s obvious that the agenda here is AGW hype. For shame!

    Good day!

    Steve Sadlov”

  120. jae
    Posted May 10, 2007 at 2:32 PM | Permalink

    19, John A. I especially liked this statement from your link:

    We ask about that evidence, but Bryson says it’s second-tier stuff. “Don’t talk about proxies,” he says. “We have written evidence, eyeball evidence. When Eric the Red went to Greenland, how did he get there? It’s all written down.”

  121. Steve Sadlov
    Posted May 10, 2007 at 2:53 PM | Permalink

    Joe Sobel has lambasted the NHS for naming a mid latitude cyclone and called out their agenda of using it to pad the named storm count.

  122. Steve Sadlov
    Posted May 10, 2007 at 3:01 PM | Permalink

    I might add, those sorts of desparate measures are not completely unexpected, given the way SSTs and other macro / synoptic factors seem to be shaping up. It may not be looking like quite such an active season after all.

  123. Gerald Browning
    Posted May 10, 2007 at 3:23 PM | Permalink

    David Smith and Steve Sadlow,

    Isn’t this the solar minimum?


  124. Steve Sadlov
    Posted May 10, 2007 at 3:30 PM | Permalink

    RE: #112 – In the context of poor understanding by the MSM of the seasonal coastal norms of California, I had mentioned June Gloom earlier ……to wit …. “The calendar may say it’s May, but in California, it feels more like June …. blah, blah, blah …. I’m Daria Albinger …. this …. is …… ABC News!”

    The onshore push has come on like gangbusters. Marine layer at 2000 feet and climbing. A coastal stratus attack fitting of June, or even the 4th of July, has set upon us. (Slight side note, those who have lived for many years in San Francisco are no doubt familiar with the problem of seeing something ranging from dull flashes to nothing at all, as the fireworks explode in or even above, the thick stratus). It is said that a rapidly cooling Pacific brings the Great Fog Bank in earlier in the year, and leads to much worse intrusions of it.

  125. Bill F
    Posted May 10, 2007 at 3:58 PM | Permalink


    Actually, the latest forecasts don’t have the next cycle starting until sometime in 2008 (early or late 2008 depending on which forecast you believe). So while we see very low activity right now, we are probably not quite at the actually minimum yet.

  126. jae
    Posted May 10, 2007 at 4:25 PM | Permalink

    Here’s the kind of evidence that convinces me that the warmth of the MWP and RWP exceeded present warmth. Of course, the Team will tell me that it’s only a localized phenomenon.

  127. Steve Sadlov
    Posted May 10, 2007 at 5:16 PM | Permalink

    RE: #126 – I’ll fill in for Bloom …. “harumph, harumph … Idsos …. harumph, harumph …. selective quotation, selective omission, not including a link to the actual source ….harumph, harumph” ….. 😉

  128. jae
    Posted May 10, 2007 at 5:44 PM | Permalink

    125: The longer solar cycle could mean cooling, which will naturally be termed “climate change” and which will then be blamed on CO2.

  129. John Lang
    Posted May 10, 2007 at 7:03 PM | Permalink

    Couple of big sunspots in the last few weeks after nearly two months of nothing. It looks to me like the minimum might have passed.

    One problem with the solar cycle versus temperature theory is that the “official” temperature estimates are now so distorted by GISS and the Hadley Centre that the theory can’t be shown any longer (unless some other independent agency starts producing a real temperature record.)


  130. pochas
    Posted May 10, 2007 at 7:16 PM | Permalink


    …the “official” temperature estimates are now so distorted by GISS and the Hadley Centre that the theory can’t be shown any longer

    Perhaps a Priory of Science is needed, sworn to preserve the sanctity of original data?

  131. george h.
    Posted May 10, 2007 at 7:23 PM | Permalink

    An interesting paper predicting a temperature decline based on solar cycles 24 and 25 is here:

    Click to access Solar_Cycles_24_and_25_and_Predicted_Climate_Response_22nd_October.pdf

    Note too the 120 year unadjusted temperature record average of 5 rural California stations.

  132. David Smith
    Posted May 10, 2007 at 8:26 PM | Permalink

    The big news in the tropics is not Andrea. The big news is that we continue to set a thirty-five year record for the longest time the world has been without a tropical storm.

    We have now gone thirty-four days without a tropical storm anywhere on the globe, and there is nowthing brewing in the immediate future. The old record was thirty-one days. It is remarkably quiet in the tropics.

    It will change in the Atlantic. We are now at the time of the year (May) when we can begin to see some of the upcoming summertime weather patterns. One key is wind shear, which has a forecast shown here . Blue is favorable for storms, yellow is unfavorable. For August-October, the outlook is favorable.

  133. David Smith
    Posted May 10, 2007 at 9:05 PM | Permalink

    Re #123 Jerry, my understanding is that we’re in the minimum but are unsure how long it will be until the next cycle begins.

    I think the new cycle begins when reverse-polarity spots appear at high latitudes in increasing numbers, but that has not yet happened. I think we’ve yet to see a single high-latitude spot of opposite polarity, and typically that means that the start of the new cycle is at least a year away.

    This chart suggests to me that we still have months to go before this minimum ends.

  134. Steve McIntyre
    Posted May 10, 2007 at 9:15 PM | Permalink

    #132. Very interesting. Webster and Curry must be going crazy. I guess the next thing will be that the hurricane distributions are becoming more extreme – either too many or not enough. And it’s all due to AGW.

  135. Bob Koss
    Posted May 10, 2007 at 10:06 PM | Permalink

    Steve you may very well be right that they’ll try to shift the focus more toward frequency extremes. Wouldn’t surprise me at all.

    But then there are those pesky years of 1907 and 1914 when there weren’t any Atlantic Basin hurricanes at all.;)

  136. Mark T.
    Posted May 11, 2007 at 12:41 AM | Permalink

    I guess the next thing will be that the hurricane distributions are becoming more extreme – either too many or not enough. And it’s all due to AGW.

    Let me be the first to predict the claim that the solar minimum is actually the effect, and not the cause, of AGW.


  137. Andrey Levin
    Posted May 11, 2007 at 2:00 AM | Permalink

    Re#131, George H.


    Australian scientist correlates solar activity with three continuous records in Europe (Central England, De Bilt, Oberlach) for 1770-1840 period.

    Then he correlates solar activity with data from “five, rural, continental US stations … from 1905 to 2003 … to eliminate the possibility of contamination of UHI… The flat profile of the last 20 years is corroborated by the satellite data, … which shows only a very weak rise in the temperature of the lower troposphere”.

    No comparison with hockey stick, or with massaged IPCC global temperatures over 20 century!

    Isn’t it refreshing?

  138. Tomas Szabo
    Posted May 11, 2007 at 2:02 AM | Permalink

    “Let me be the first to predict the claim that the solar minimum is actually the effect, and not the cause, of AGW.”

    That’s funny, then something like that would be be in line with the whole c02 lag issue from the ice cores. 😉

  139. David Archibald
    Posted May 11, 2007 at 2:25 AM | Permalink

    Re 131 and 137, an update of that paper, combining the CO2 effect, is available at: http://www.warwickhughes.com/agri/pastandfuture2.pdf

    On solar minimum, we could be two years to the month of solar minimum. Solar Cycle 4 was 13.6 years long. The profile of the spotless days in this minimum matches the behaviour of minima in the 19th century. This means that we could be in for some 19th century type climate.

  140. Filippo Turturici
    Posted May 11, 2007 at 5:14 AM | Permalink

    From what I knew, solar minimum was forecasted between 2007 and 2008, so we are living it but not already passed it. It is also possible that the cycle length would be longer than expected, so the minimum could be between 2008 and 2009. It would mean a future cooling only if total solar activity really decreases in the years (some forecasts view a Dalton’s-like minimum for next decade, other forecasts another exceptional maximum) not just the 11-years cycle (indeed, it may last from 9 to 13 years) minimum.
    Anyway, it would not mean an immediate Earth response; e.g. we had a cool period during the solar maximum of 1991-’92, and a warm one during the solar minimum od 1997-’98; and Dr. Landscheit, who unfortunately passed away 3 years ago, but who was able to forecast with enough precision Nino/Nina cycles and recent temperature slight oscillation basing on solar cycles, stated that an Earth response to solar activity would have occurred only with an 8 years retardation.

  141. Jeff Norman
    Posted May 11, 2007 at 5:25 AM | Permalink

    Re: #131 & #137

    Based upon the title and abstract for this paper, would this have shown up in Naomi Orekes literature search? Would it hacve been included on the “consensus supporting” side or the other?

  142. MarkW
    Posted May 11, 2007 at 5:29 AM | Permalink


    According to NOAA, the current best estimate for the start of solar cycle 24 is March 2008.

    One interesting thing is that there are now two camps of forecasters, one predicts the next cycle will be moderately high, the other predicts moderately low.

    Another interesting thing is that the press release talks about the conditions that might cause the high group to drop their forecast, but there is no discussion of what might cause the low group to raise theirs.

  143. Gerald Browning
    Posted May 11, 2007 at 7:29 AM | Permalink

    David Smith (#133),

    Don’t forget that there should always be a lag of 2-5 years.


  144. Gerald Browning
    Posted May 11, 2007 at 7:49 AM | Permalink

    David Smith (#132),

    I agree that lack of wind shear is crucial to hurricane formation.
    How accurate have the NOAA forecasts of shear been previously? Has anyone kept consistent track?


  145. pochas
    Posted May 11, 2007 at 9:30 AM | Permalink

    132: Dave Smith,

    Please discuss a little further. If La Nina conditions develop, doesn’t this mean stronger trade winds and lower sea surface temps in the ITCZ ? Do stronger trade winds mean greater wind shear which together with lower SST would be less favorable for hurricanes? I am confused by predictions such as Dr Gray’s of a strong hurricane season together with forecasts by others of La Nina conditions. Thanks.

  146. Bill F
    Posted May 11, 2007 at 9:41 AM | Permalink

    Mark W, It is very interesting indeed that the high side is expecting a shorter cycle 23, while the low side predictions favor a later start to 24. That would be precisely what Landscheidt hinted at in one of his last papers before he died. It would also be an indicator of cooling climate if you believe in the correlation of solar cycle length with climate, as longer cycles are expected to lead to cooler climate. I am less concerned about 24 than I am about 25. Even NCAR and NASA, in the camp predicting a higher 24, are already saying 25 may be “the lowest in centuries” based on slowing of the “solar conveyor belt”.

  147. Bill F
    Posted May 11, 2007 at 10:00 AM | Permalink

    For more detailed information about the cycle 24 forecasts, look here:


    To see what is being said about 25, look here:


  148. Bill F
    Posted May 11, 2007 at 11:24 AM | Permalink

    I haven’t seen any public discussion or news releases about this, but the Influence of Solar Activity Cycles on Earth’s Climate (ISAC) project has released its summary reports:


    The project is a collaboration of the Danish National Space Center, the Swedish Institute of Space Physics, and Space and Atmospheric Physics Department at London’s Imperial College. If you ever wanted to dive neck deep into the research on solar effects on climate, these reports are an excellent place to start. This project appears to have thoroughly brought together all of the present research and theories and summarized them by subject, and the summary report provides excellent conclusions and recommendations for future research and monitoring.

  149. Mark T.
    Posted May 11, 2007 at 11:33 AM | Permalink

    “Let me be the first to predict the claim that the solar minimum is actually the effect, and not the cause, of AGW.”

    That’s funny, then something like that would be be in line with the whole c02 lag issue from the ice cores. 😉

    Yes, causality has been officially redefined by “consensus.”


  150. Gerald Browning
    Posted May 11, 2007 at 2:32 PM | Permalink

    Bill F (#147),

    How accurate are these forecasts given that the Sun is poorly understood?
    The Sun cannot be numerically modeled and any conceptual models are crude given our poor understanding of the solar dynamo?


  151. David Smith
    Posted May 11, 2007 at 2:40 PM | Permalink

    Re #144 Jerry, the accuracy of the shear forecasts is not reported by NOAA, which makes me think they’re about as good as a coin toss. I look at these things as broad indicators and hope their “skill” improves with time but I would not bet money on them (other than this year when an El Nino is very unlikely).

    Re #145 pochas, La Nina and El Nino affect the Atlantic weather at the top of the troposphere rather than at the surface. El Nino is a heat event, like a fire in the atmosphere, and it sends heated air high in the atmosphere from the Pacific across the Atlantic. This high-level air moves quickly and, if there is a hurricane in the Atlantic, it can knock the top off of the hurricane. Sort of a decapitation.

    La Nina is a cool event which reduces the amount of hot upper-level air blowing from the Pacific across the Atlantic. The lower windspeeds don’t affect hurricanes (no decapitation) so that hurricanes can grow.

    The lower levels of the Atlantic atmosphere, where the trade winds blow, are pretty much unaffected by El Nino and La Nina.

  152. jae
    Posted May 11, 2007 at 2:41 PM | Permalink

    Another paradox/tradeoff: are acid rain and aerosols less important than CO2 emissions?

  153. Gerald Browning
    Posted May 11, 2007 at 2:46 PM | Permalink

    Bill F (#147),

    I noticed that there was a presentation by Caspar Amman at the NOAA site you mentioned. You might want to ask Steve M. about his opinion of this scientist. Evidently Caspar is now a solar physicist too.


  154. Gerald Browning
    Posted May 11, 2007 at 2:59 PM | Permalink

    David Smith (#151),

    We are in complete agreement. Why doesn’t someone monitor these seasonal forecasts to determine their reliability? When we checked the reliability
    of a global, large-scale Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP) system, the results indicated a waste of computer resources and misleading statements by government employees as to the reliabilty of the forecasts. At what point are the people making these claims to be held accountable for misleading the taxpayers?


  155. mzed
    Posted May 11, 2007 at 3:11 PM | Permalink

    #141: It is doubtful it would have shown up in any abstract search, since it does not appear to be linked with any peer-reviewed journal–or any journal at all. Instead it simply appears to be a press release. I would be happy to be proven wrong, however, if someone can provide a citation. (FWIW, its attempt to use temperatures in rural California as a proxy for global averages is amusing. The fact that they consider a .13C/decade rise in lower tropospheric temps–that’s the UAH estimate–to be “very weak” is also somewhat amusing.)

    The predictions about the next couple of sunspot cycles are interesting, however, because IPCC TAR explicitly made a projection IIRC using just an iteration of cycle 22 (I’m not sure if AR4 updates this to include cycle 23 data). So a weaker sun would mean a weaker real projection, i.e. a weaker prediction by the models. What would be really interesting to see is, if solar output really hit Dalton minimum levels, what would happen to average temperature? (For example, if it remained stable, or even increased…well, that would be highly interesting.)

  156. David Smith
    Posted May 11, 2007 at 3:50 PM | Permalink

    Re #154 Jerry, this site gives a glimpse of the accuracy (or lack thereof) of the longer-range NOAA forecasts. As I read it, the charts show how a forecast made in, say, January for March-April-May (two to four months ahead) actually performed.

    The models do poorly in forecasting broad trends just ninety days ahead. How can we have any confidence in their ability to forecast ninety years ahead?

  157. Bill F
    Posted May 11, 2007 at 3:55 PM | Permalink

    Jerry, I don’t vouch for the accuracy of any of the forecasts other than to point out that the NCAR and NASA guys already had to revise their forecasts down once since they first put them out less than a year ago. I put those links up as they present the current state of what is forecast for solar activity. I agree wholeheartedly that we don’t know enough about the sun to accurately forecast anything with a high degree of confidence. However, the guys that are on the high end of the cycle 24 forecasts and that overpredicted 23’s peak are the ones who are already saying 25 will be very low. I am not sure how much of Landscheidt’t work you have read, but he seems to have had the best record at predicting things based on solar cycles and he too predicted an extremely low to non-existant 25 prior to his death. I will be watching the next few years of solar activity and solar research very carefully, as I suspect that with the new satellites and measurement technologies, we will see some real breakthroughs in our understanding of the sun. I also suspect that many of the findings will be body blows to Al Gore’s favorite theory.

  158. David Smith
    Posted May 11, 2007 at 4:07 PM | Permalink

    On a different note, here is the 2007 Pacific temperature anomaly at 400m depth for comparison with the 2006 anomalies . There is a general cooling trend, with fewer strong orange colors and more strong blue colors.

    This may be a hint of the direction of upper-ocean heat content.

  159. Willis Eschenbach
    Posted May 11, 2007 at 4:12 PM | Permalink

    mzed, about 3 seconds with Google shows

    Solar cycles 24 and 25 and predicted climate response. Author: Archibald, David C. Source: Energy & Environment, Volume 17, Number 1, January 2006

    Please unleash your Google-fu before uncapping your electronic pen …


    PS – I suspect that they call the UAH MSU trend “weak” because it only recently (2001) became statistically different than zero. The only previous time that it was statistically different from zero (1985 – 1987) it was negative, with an average of -0.32°C/decade. Otherwise, it has not been statistically significant. Overall, that’s a weak trend, sometimes negative, sometimes positive, mostly not statistically different from zero. But you knew that, having looked at the data and calculated the significance levels … no?

  160. Ron Cram
    Posted May 11, 2007 at 5:34 PM | Permalink

    re: 157

    Bill F,

    Can you provide me with links showing the NCAR and NASA have revised their forecasts downward? Thanks!

  161. Ron Cram
    Posted May 11, 2007 at 5:36 PM | Permalink

    re: 157

    Bill F,

    Can you provide a link showing that NCAR and NASA have revised their forecasts downward in the last year? Thanks in advance!

  162. Posted May 11, 2007 at 6:40 PM | Permalink

    Climateaudit and the GISS corrections are under discussion here:


  163. Gerald Browning
    Posted May 11, 2007 at 9:20 PM | Permalink

    David Smith (#145),

    Again we are in complete agreement. What agencies continue to support these
    groups given that it has been demonstrated that the forecast models are not reliable (let alone climate models)? Someone is wasting a considerable amount of taxpayers money playing these games.


  164. Gerald Browning
    Posted May 11, 2007 at 9:37 PM | Permalink

    Bill F. (#157),

    Unfortunately I have not read any of Landscheidt’s work.
    But we agree that the main source of the earth’s energy is not well understood .


  165. Gerald Browning
    Posted May 11, 2007 at 9:39 PM | Permalink

    David Smith (#158)

    How are the anomalies measured?


  166. mzed
    Posted May 11, 2007 at 10:25 PM | Permalink

    #159: fair enough. I admit I didn’t try very hard to find it. Thanks for the reference–I did say I would be happy to be proven wrong 🙂 (Though I believe E&E is not in the ISI so it is arguably out of the peer-review loop loosely speaking, but we don’t need to have that discussion right now.)

    (And FWIW the UAH chart seems to dip down after there is a large volcanic eruption, though of course that is not the whole story either.)

  167. DeWitt Payne
    Posted May 11, 2007 at 10:56 PM | Permalink

    Re: #166

    The dips in the middle and lower troposphere and increase in lower stratosphere temperature anomalies in the satellite records following the El Chichon and Pinatubo eruptions increase my confidence that they are at least somewhat accurate. However, those same dips also should reduce the size of the apparent temperature trend because the heat loss from the effects of the eruptions acts to delay a temperature increase from any underlying trend.

  168. Bill F
    Posted May 12, 2007 at 12:01 AM | Permalink

    #161 Ron,

    NASA’s Hathaway & Wilson 2006 (http://solarscience.msfc.nasa.gov/papers/hathadh/HathawayWilson2006.pdf) predicted 160+/-14.

    In December, they presented a prediction of 160+/-25:


    Their prediction updated in May of this year is shown here:


    And it appears to show a prediction of 150+/-20.

    Dikpati et al at NCAR predicted 30-50% increase over 23 in March 2006, which works out to 157-181




    I was mistaken in thinking that the graphic from the link I posted earlier was from NCAR, but it was actually NOAA/SEC showing the “high range” consensus to be 140+/-20, which barely catches the bottom edge of the earlier NCAR forecast.

  169. David Smith
    Posted May 12, 2007 at 8:39 AM | Permalink

    Over the short term nothing affects global temperature like ENSO (El Nino). here’s where things stand:

    * Winds have been neutral in recent months, supporting neither warming (El Nino) nor cooling (La Nina). But, this is the time of year most supportive wind-wise for La Ninas and the computers (which do have some skill) continue to forecast favorable winds.

    * Pacific equatorial temperature anomalies, shown here (double-click on the colored maps) , show a spreading surface cooling along the equator, even with the lack of wind support.

    * Beneath the Pacific surface, shown here , is a lot of anomalously cool water lurking just beneath the surface, which would be supportive of a cool La Nina. It’s the bluish area. Also note how relatively weak the warm anomaly is in the Warm Pool (about 150E).

    So, it’s wait-and-see. The satellite-derived lower-troposphere temperature anomalies, shown here , should continue to decline as 2007 progresses. I make no predictions about the reported surface temperatures.

  170. Michael Jankowski
    Posted May 12, 2007 at 2:13 PM | Permalink

    Re#162, FWIW, I submitted this for posting…still awaiting approval…

    Michael Jankowski // May 12th 2007 at 8:09 pm

    While the process of flagging may be based on guidelines, the final part of the decision-making process can certianly be influenced by the subjectivity you mentioned:

    “…Then, all flagged data were graphically displayed, along with neighboring stations that contained data during the period in question, and a subjective decision was made as to whether the apparent discontinuity was flawed data or a potentially real climate anomaly…”

    It would be more appropriate to find the past threads on Climate Audit discussing the topic of revising the instrumental records, rather than a more recent thread where a poster simply referred to the issue.

    For example, see “Adjusting USHCN History” here http://www.climateaudit.org/?m=200702&paged=2 .

    While it is powerful to say, “…After all, human error is not that rare, but for a normally distributed random variable to exceed 5 standard deviations is; the chance is less than 1 in a million…,” take a look at figure 2 on the linked CA page. Almost every year pre-1950 was adjusted downward while almost every year post-1950 was be adjusted upward. And note the pattern of adjustments compared to the pattern of temperature records. Generally speaking, the warmest pre-1950 periods are adjusted downwards the most, while the warmest post-1950 periods are adjusted upwards the most. How does this fit-in with the idea of a supposedly unbiased method of quality control being applied to a normally distributed random variable? And with some pre-1950 adjustments amounting to over -0.2 deg C while post-1950 adjustments amount to over +0.3 deg C, you’ve got a +0.5 deg C change there from min to max changes. While that +0.5 deg C (slightly smaller for GISS) may not be the resulting sum of changes for the entire period, you can see why someone would say something like, “the fact that the “adjustments” made account for virtually all of the increase in temperatures in the last century” as one responder did.

    The adjustments to HadCRU are discussed here http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=1106 and elsewhere. The effect of these adjustments is nothing like that of USHCN or GISS, and is almost exclusively downwards – except for the most recent years. The main problem with the HadCRU record is Phil Jones reluctance to be able to find/produce/share data.

  171. David Smith
    Posted May 12, 2007 at 2:23 PM | Permalink

    One of the intriguing aspects of recent climate is the 1976-77 “climate shift”. Many aspects of global weather changed at that time, including the shift from a cooling world to a warming world. Some aspects changed abruptly at that time while for others the mid-1970s was an inflection point.

    One abrupt change was the sea surface temperature (SST) in the tropical eastern Pacific. This is a region important to global climate, because it is a place where the Hadley-Walker circulation undergoes radiative cooling and sinking of high-altitude air.

    To recount, this high-altitude air, which originates over the Warm Pool in thunderstorms, needs to cool, sink towards the sea surface and flow (as trade winds) back towards the Warm Pool. In its trade wind leg it picks up moisture from the ocean surface, cooling the ocean.

    In general, the stronger the wind, the greater the evaporative cooling. And, in a roundabout way, the stonger the wind, the more heat the Hadley-Walker cell transports to the upper atmosphere for removal.

    The stronger winds also aid upwelling of cool subsurface ocean water.

    If the winds weaken, then there is less cool upwelling and there is less evaporative cooling and heat transport. And, critically important in the eastern Pacific, warmer SST tneds to weaken the important stratiform low-cloud cover, which reflects away sunlight nad likely has a net cooling effect on the surface.

    How have the eastern Pacific winds and SST behave in recent years? At this link is a spreadsheet (double-click on it) which plots eastern Pacific SST and zonal (east-west) windspeed.

    What it shows is a distinct drop in trade windspeed in the mid-1970s. At the same time, it shows a distinct rise in SST. (The r for the unsmoothed data is -0.53, by the way, which is not bad for reanalysis numbers.) The winds weakened and, as evaporation and upwelling dinimished, the SST rose. As the SST rose, stratus cloud cover may have diminished, which (my conjecture) affects the important rate of cooling of the air above the clouds and thus the behavior and strength of the Hadley cell.

    There is much coupled behavior and feedback in this part of the Hadley-Walker circulation which could have an impact on global temperatures. I suspect it did, in the form of the sudden 1976-77 warming of the free troposphere which is indicated by the increase in geopotential heights (see here ) .

    What “caused” the shift in the first place? I dunno, and it’s hard to even clearly distinguish what is cause and what is effect. If there’s a hypothesis that connects CO2 and aerosols to this mid-1970s climate shift, I haven’t heard it.

  172. Gerald Browning
    Posted May 12, 2007 at 3:00 PM | Permalink

    David Smith (#169),

    I thought you said that the models have no skill and yet you
    now say they have some skill? Isn’t this a bit confusing for the
    general reader?

    How are the surface and subsurface temperatures measured in the ocean?


  173. David Smith
    Posted May 12, 2007 at 3:27 PM | Permalink

    Re 3172 thanks for pointing that out, Jerry. My wording is poor.

    The comment refers strictly to ENSO (La Nina and El Nino) sea surface temperature (SST) forecasts made at this time of year (April-May-June) for the next several months. On the other hand, ENSO SST forecasts made in the winter for extended periods are much less reliable and are about like a coin-toss.

    A colorful chart of historical NOAA “skill” vs month-of-forecast and length-of-forecast is given here , for the ENSO ocean regions.

    Of course, longer-range (1+ month) computer forecasts of things other than sea surface temperature, things like air temperature anomaly and precipitation, are just about useless in my opinion.

  174. Michael Jankowski
    Posted May 12, 2007 at 4:09 PM | Permalink

    Of course, longer-range (1+ month) computer forecasts of things other than sea surface temperature, things like air temperature anomaly and precipitation, are just about useless in my opinion.

    The Australian Bureau of Meteorology publishes predictions for that continent…Warwick Hughes exposes how pathetic they are. Go halfway down his page to the maps and click on the links for examples of each.

  175. Gerald Browning
    Posted May 12, 2007 at 5:49 PM | Permalink

    David Smith (# 173),

    Are there in situ SST measurements (buoys) that are used to initialize the ENSO model? There is always some hope if the forecast is short range and initialized with reasonably accurate data.


  176. Gerald Browning
    Posted May 12, 2007 at 5:58 PM | Permalink

    Michael Jankowski (# 174),

    There is very little upper air observational wind data anywhere near the Aussie homeland. As can be seen in Sylvie’s manuscript just displayed under Exponential Growth in Physical Systems (#2), upper air wind data (either from radiosondes or aircraft) are crucial to keeping local large-scale forecasts on track.


  177. David Smith
    Posted May 12, 2007 at 6:51 PM | Permalink

    Re #175 Jerry, I think the secret is persistence-of-trend. The more successful ENSO forecasts are those which match the current trend and forecast into a period where there is normally minimal change.

    Steve M’s successful hurricane forecast last season was simply persistence-of-trend.

  178. David Smith
    Posted May 12, 2007 at 6:58 PM | Permalink

    RE #171 There is a paper which notes that the outflow of the Warm Pool Hadley cell switched in the mid-1970s, such that more outflow went into the Northern Hemisphere. If that’s true, then it is plausible that

    1. the Northern Hemisphere regions of cooling/sinking are not as efficient at heat removal as the Southern Hemisphere’s regions, thus accumulating more heat in the global atmosphere and crimping the Hadley-Walker circulation
    2. the extra heat into the Northern Hemisphere, from the Hadley outflow, warm the NH moreso than the SH

  179. hillrj
    Posted May 12, 2007 at 8:49 PM | Permalink

    re 171 178 David S.
    Has anyone tried to match the Pacific step changes eg 1976 to
    seismic/volcanic events?
    I have looked at the globe a few times and speculate
    that an undersea volcanic event in the Drake Passage
    could divert more of the Southern drift northward
    perhaps multiplied by the Coanda effect. This might
    influence the East Pacific cool pool.
    Similarly the recent big Indian Ocean tsunami resulted
    from multi-meter adjustments to the sea floor in the area
    where the Indian Ocean warm pool could be linked to West
    Pacific warm pool.

  180. David Smith
    Posted May 12, 2007 at 9:29 PM | Permalink

    Re #179 rj, I don’t know if that’s been done, but the idea that something affected undersea flow is something to ponder.

    I did notice this abstract of a paper which explores (using models) what happens to ocean flows when the Passage is disturbed depthwise. I found this sentence

    This suggests the North Atlantic thermohaline circulation depends not only on the existence of a DP throughflow, but also on the depth of the sills in the Southern Ocean

    to be interesting.

    My guess is that the events of ’76 involved some natural temperature/flow oscillation in a critical region of the oceans, beyond just the PDO regions. Where and what, I haven’t a clue.

  181. Gerald Browning
    Posted May 12, 2007 at 10:20 PM | Permalink

    David Smith (#177),

    But the trend has to be measured somehow. Do you know exactly how the model works or how the trend data is obtained, i.e. by buoy or satellite?
    Just curious.


  182. David Smith
    Posted May 13, 2007 at 7:10 AM | Permalink

    Re #181 The models are unknown to me. I imagine they use both ocean and wind behavior, with the ocean being more predictable than wind.

    There’s a nice buoy network along the Pacific equator, which measures temperatures at various depths. That data is used to generate profiles of the anomalies and can help show the gravity waves as they propogate across the ocean.

    Slides 27 and 28 of this presentation show the current forecasts from the various models.

  183. David Smith
    Posted May 13, 2007 at 12:26 PM | Permalink

    The first North Indian Ocean tropical cyclone of 2007 is about to form. This is the first tropical cyclone globally since April 6, which is a record 37-day span. I think the old record was 31 days. This record applies to the period since 1970, which marks enough satellite coverage to detect the majority of storms.

    Interestingly, the reported frequency of tropical cyclones near India dropped markedly in the mid-1970s. Data quality for the earlier years is not very good, but it is good enough to show a rather sudden decline. To me, it’s yet another aspect of climate which shifted in the mid-1970s.

    This apparent decline in storm count was a blessing for the many people living in vulnerable areas of India and Bangladesh. Care to guess the odds of this climate-related benefit being attributed to AGW?

  184. Gerald Browning
    Posted May 13, 2007 at 12:58 PM | Permalink

    David Smith (#183),

    Some buoys are better than none, but they only provide a 2 d picture (longitude and depth) if they are all along the equator. That may be enough to given a general feeling of the current status of ENSO, but certainly not enough info for any type of model prediction, especially longer range?


  185. Follow the Money
    Posted May 13, 2007 at 3:09 PM | Permalink

    New article from Alexander Cockburn about global warming scare–

    Link here: Who Are the Merchants of Fear?

    Will also appear in “The Nation.”

    Like “Swindle” Cockburn focuses on the money side of bureaucratic interest pushing the scare. But he also names names.

    Mid-latitude glaciers expanded then, just as they contracted in the Medieval Warming Period, hotter than today and thus so vexing to climate alarmists like Michael Mann (now a reigning weather bureaucrat at the IPCC) that they had wiped it off their historical temperature graphs, just like an editor in Stalin’s time cropping a team photo of early Bolsheviks to get rid of recently anathematized undesirables.

    Man-made global warming theory is fed by pseudo quantitative predictions from climate-careerists working primarily off the big, mega-computer General Circulation Models which include the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, the Department of Commerce’s Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Lab, a private GCM which used to be at Oregon State before the University of Illinois lured the team away. There’s another one at Livermore and one in England, at Hadley.


    The cycle of alarmist predictions is now well established. Not so long before some new UN moot on What To Do About the Weather, a prominent fearmonger like James Hansen or Michael Mann will make a tremulous statement about the accelerating tempo and dimensions of the warming crisis.

    It’s a great read IMO.

  186. Posted May 13, 2007 at 3:24 PM | Permalink

    Nature are apparently considering a new policy of requiring replication of key papers pre-publication.

    My take on the story here.

    Original Sunday Times story here.

  187. Posted May 13, 2007 at 4:28 PM | Permalink

    There are some very interesting and insightful articles about at the moment regarding climate science and particularly data provision and peer review.
    I would say that there is some common sense appearing in the press at last and although one applauds this the fight has only just begun. There clearly are some problems in climate science and the IPCC is still digging a bigger and bigger hole on behalf of all those governments that have signed up to the IPCC concenus. The good thing is that history tells us that many if not most of these scams do eventually get dismissed for exactly what they are. Unfortunately the inclusion of money markets (carbon trading) into the equasion has complicated things but I still believe the emporer will be seen as naked as the day he was born. Perhaps the colder weather will shake those invisible clothes from his grasp.

  188. Follow the Money
    Posted May 13, 2007 at 6:04 PM | Permalink

    Unfortunately the inclusion of money markets (carbon trading) into the equasion has complicated things but I still believe the emporer will be seen as naked as the day he was born.

    Paul, that is one of your many good insights. In Swindle the trading was mentioned only once, a referene to “carbon fund traders” being some of the attendees at the Nairobi conference featured in the film. In Mr. Cockburn’s article linked above there is no mention, and the business interest he sources the AAGW push to is nuclear energy.

    Both of the authors have been watching this debacle far longer than me, and their seeming lack of attention on trading, from my vantage point, perhaps bears this out — trading came to the GW discourse as a johnny-come-lately in 1997/8 with Al Gore’s push for its inclusion into the Kyoto Protocols. As for Bill Clinton, I can find no particular viewpoint of his on these matters and I think he just delegated the whole mess to Gore.

    Swindle is a European perspective, and in Europe any debate over money markets was, to my knowledge, non-existent until a year or so after the institution its first trading market around 2004. Question: what has been the biggest effect of Kyoto measures relative to Europe — funding rural African clinics to buy flimsy solar panels, crash research programs into cleaner cars, or a multi-billion dollar trading market dumping money to China and causing Euro home electricity prices to rise?

    As for the American, I don’t see the nuclear industry being the motivating business force behind the current push for anti-AAGW measures. Rather I see the traders pushing their schemes through American politicians, with covering fire of attention to traditional panaceas such as solar funding. Gore’s business partners are not nuclear energy interests but three Goldman Sachs alumni.

    I think in Europe the trading interest have become the prominent product of GW post-adoption, in America the prominent promulgator pre-adoption.

  189. Posted May 13, 2007 at 6:38 PM | Permalink

    Here in NZ the government nationalised carbon credits from forests etc some time ago and are about to introduce cap and trade scheme. Problem is no one really knows what limits to place on what industries so no doubt there will be all sorts of arguments once the caps are announced.

    The government will recieve huge amounts of money for credits which will have to be purchased by those exceeding their caps. They then wonder why no one is planting new forests. (Dha). The NZSE is about to introduce a crabon trading market as it thinks there is a demand for such a market. The greens are lining up to buy carbon credits every time they jump on a plane. They have’nt worked out that the plane still flies and still uses fuel.

    It’s like paying the priest some money to absolve you of your sins.
    It is a new religion and the new high priests are worse than those of old. You think by now we would have learnt something but it appears not.
    There appears to be much discussion on the availability of data ect and the reasons why it is not made available. It’s simple. If you are right and your data and research supports you then you WANT to release the data and recieve the praise.

  190. JP
    Posted May 13, 2007 at 8:05 PM | Permalink

    From a Special Envoy to the UN on Climate Change:

    “The diagnosis is clear, the science is unequivocal — it’s completely immoral, even, to question now, on the basis of what we know, the reports that are out, to question the issue and to question whether we need to move forward at a much stronger pace as humankind to address the issues.”

    Dr Bruntland has officially declared sites like this one immoral. I wonder when the calls will be issued for sites like CA to be closed?

  191. Filippo Turturici
    Posted May 14, 2007 at 5:56 AM | Permalink

    Paul and JP, you got for reason on new environmental religion; and we know, many envinromentalists are or seem to be neo-pagans. What is different, it is that old paganism was not closed nor fanatic: new paganism is fanatic like some sectarian islamists or, better, old fanatic communists: I even tried to send the data on Antarctic ice and temperatures to a woman who was questioning me about my serious doubts on man-made GW: even in front of the naked data, she continued to tell that Antarctic is surely all melting and warmind because 2,500 men IPCC told so – I am now wondering is even McIntyre makes part of this large consensus, just because he was among reviewers – not to talk about she was telling me that the 100% of scientific community affirms AGW, because Al Gore said so, and that any doubt about AGW cannot be scientifical (I guess than that Gore is not a politician but a Nobel-prize scientist…) and that in the end only IPCC has for reason and only IPCC thesis can exist (she refused even to consider that some article clearly showed that other positions exist and that at least not all the 100% of scientific community backs AGW theory). This is simply fanatism, they made of both their envinromentalist credo and mathematics-based science and computers their new gods (I had even to read that super-computers cannot make errors…but theories are made by men, computers just calculate, they do not do anything more).

    Paul, you who are from NZ: days ago, I read that once advancing Southern Island glaciers were now reducing as in all the other parts of the World (and, right here, it is alike saying 100% of scientists support AGW theory), so I was sad reading this, I hoped that at least NZ was out of warming; but still I had a doubt, in November icebergs nearly reached NZ coasts; so yesterday, looking on the net, I was lucky to found a January 2006 article ( http://www.nzherald.co.nz/section/7/story.cfm?c_id=7&objectid=10363304 ) in which your local press says that your glaciers are indeed advancing (and it was a summer article for NZ) and even fast and with risks! So, what is the truth?

  192. JoeS
    Posted May 14, 2007 at 9:28 AM | Permalink

    “Open climate science hearings now essential
    New findings indicate today’s greenhouse gas levels not unusual”
    By Dr. Tim Ball and Tom Harris


  193. Steve McIntyre
    Posted May 14, 2007 at 9:36 AM | Permalink

    #192. The article purporting to identify high CO2 levels in recent centuries is very problematic. It’s cropped up from time to time on the blog and on each occasion I try to disassociate myself as firmly as possible from this sort of discussion. I also am not going to have bandwidth at this blog devoted to discussion of this issue. You can discuss it elsewhere. It does neither Tim Ball nor Tom Harris any good to associate themselves with this spitball.

  194. JoeS
    Posted May 14, 2007 at 9:50 AM | Permalink

    #193. Sorry, Steve. I’ll only read your blog from now on. Regards

  195. Steve Sadlov
    Posted May 14, 2007 at 10:05 AM | Permalink

    RE: #191 – Signs of the growing senility of our civilization. “Don’t confuse me with the facts!” – LOL …. 🙂

  196. Steve McIntyre
    Posted May 14, 2007 at 10:48 AM | Permalink

    #194. Don’t do that. IT’s just that it seems totally wrongheaded to me but I don’t want to spend time rebutting it. I think that there are some valid issues where I like others am seeking insight, but this issue isn’t one of them.

  197. Posted May 14, 2007 at 1:46 PM | Permalink

    re 191: [snip] t I detest being made a fool of by the likes of Gore. I doubt he has the first idea of living off the land beyond an air-conditioned hunting trip.
    . hysteria abounds and in the oddest places.

  198. Posted May 14, 2007 at 2:32 PM | Permalink


    The Fox and Franz Joseph glaciers were retreating until about 1997 when they both started to advance again at about a metre a week. My limited understanding is that some glaciers do retreat and advance at different times. As usual when any glacier is retreating it is due to AGW but when they are advancing they are largely ignored. A recent article in the NZ Herald quoted Lonnie Thompson as stating that glaciers are retreating all over the world. However, as I have said the Fox and Franz Joseph have both been advancing since 1997. I don’t know the answer and I am pretty sure no one else does but I am just OK with admitting that whereas the believers have an answer for everything.

  199. MarkW
    Posted May 14, 2007 at 3:17 PM | Permalink


    When glaciers retreat, it is due to AGW. When they advance, it is due to AGW (more precipitation caused by warmer oceans),
    when they do nothing whatsoever, that is also due to AGW.

    Ain’t AGW a wonderfull theory, it is fully capable of explaining everything that happens. (And many things that don’t.)

  200. Filippo Turturici
    Posted May 14, 2007 at 3:22 PM | Permalink

    [snip- not here]

  201. Filippo Turturici
    Posted May 14, 2007 at 3:29 PM | Permalink

    Thank you Paul.
    And you got for reason too MarkW: as for glaciers, icebergs cruising so far away from their usual seas is of course due to AGW…probably, Europe was just living an AGW during Little Ice Age when icebergs were seen off the coasts of Ireland or Galicia…

  202. K
    Posted May 14, 2007 at 4:43 PM | Permalink

    A better measure of glaciers might be mass. If indeed the warming is happening then a monsterous hunk of ice on a downslope might exhibit some very unexpected advances.

    Alas. I can’t visualize a practical way of measuring the mass of ice around the world. But so much of it is concentrated in Antartica and Greenland that the satellite measurements of gravity should settle the issue. There seem to be parallel efforts in that field.

    #199 sums up the state of the science until we have much better experience and lots more datums.

  203. Follow the Money
    Posted May 14, 2007 at 5:24 PM | Permalink

    Paul, #189

    Here in NZ

    How could I forget NZ in the scheme of things!

    I followed your news for a few months on carbon credits…you guys are on the front lines!

    Here in NZ the government nationalised carbon credits from forests

    I recall a NZ bureaucrat type saying something like the value of the credits will be returned to the owners in 2012. Sound familiar? If so, a complete scam. In 2012 the trading, and other protocols, terminate and may not be renewed as part of the Anti-GW framework. Guess what, those credit will then be worthless – though your government will have profitted in the meantime. The recent EU induction of stronger CO2 standards anticipated this conflict and the traders demanded a termination date of 2017 or so, to keep the credits value longer.

  204. jae
    Posted May 14, 2007 at 5:48 PM | Permalink

    185: From your link:

    (I refer those who rear back at the words “imaginary crisis” to my last column on this topic, where I emphasize that there is still zero empirical evidence that anthropogenic production of CO2 is making any measurable contribution to the world’s present warming trend. The greenhouse fearmongers rely entirely on unverified, crudely oversimplified computer models to finger mankind’s sinful contribution.)


  205. Steve McIntyre
    Posted May 14, 2007 at 6:24 PM | Permalink

    I don’t want to have discussions of carbon credits on a science site. The topic is worth discussing, just not here. I also want to discourage posting of links to other sites or quotes from other sites that merely make arm-waving allegations of alarmism. I personally believe the issues are substantive. I like references to scientific studies, but anything that uses the words “imaginary crisis” or “sinful” does not meet the quantitative standards that people should be observing.

  206. David Smith
    Posted May 14, 2007 at 8:50 PM | Permalink

    Test Link

    (This is a test of CA’s auditblog feature. If it works then I plan to more the short-term climate and weather tidbits and commentary to the linked site. When a post is made I’ll briefly note it on CA Unthreaded.)

  207. Jaye
    Posted May 14, 2007 at 11:13 PM | Permalink

    video of a gravity wave

  208. Filippo Turturici
    Posted May 15, 2007 at 2:26 AM | Permalink

    #202: indeed GRACE is doing so.
    But the matter is not simple, despite how it is presented. Direct measuring of Earth gravity field is not possible; but we know how to measure gravity gradients – e.g. we do not know what is the value of A and what is the value of B, but we can measure C=A-B.
    So, for mapping e.g. Greenland ice cover, we have two problems: we measure gravity, not mass or altitude or anything else, and it is still not sure how a variation in gravity field is linked to ice mass; then, we had different measures before, in different ways and/or with different instruments, so I am skeptical about any claims on Greenland ice cover until we will not have a new series of data (moreover, as usual, no one tells us what is the uncertainty nor he seems to count it).

  209. Filippo Turturici
    Posted May 15, 2007 at 2:27 AM | Permalink

    P.S.: GRACE mission is indeed not to map ice sheets, but to map Earth’s gravity field.

  210. DeWitt Payne
    Posted May 15, 2007 at 9:36 AM | Permalink

    Re: #208

    Direct measuring of Earth gravity field is not possible…

    Are you sure about that? I have seen a device that used a laser interferometer to measure the acceleration of an object dropped in high vacuum. That produced a value for local g directly with very high precision. That wouldn’t be very helpful for mapping gravitational anomalies over large areas, though.

  211. MarkW
    Posted May 15, 2007 at 9:43 AM | Permalink

    #210, Would that be measuring the field, or the field in action on an object?

  212. Steve Sadlov
    Posted May 15, 2007 at 10:08 AM | Permalink

    Possible PDO data point. It would appear that the Pacific Northwest is headed for a rather gloomy, damp and cool summer. Some of you might have heard the recent news about the rescue of some climbers who were rescued from Mt. Hood after they were overwhelmed by a blizzard – they were attempting a light alpine rapid ascent and were ill equipped for heavy weather. Meanwhile, here in the “in between zone” (e.g. in between the Northwest and Desert Southwest proper) we have had only a few short periods of warmth thus far this spring, the most prominent, right at the beginning, in March. Beyond that, only a day or two here and there of what I would call our “normal” Spring warmth (summers here on the upper 30s latitude coast are not warm, due to persistent coastal stratus and the sea breeze). At present, we are in the midst of a siege of stratus – there is even a bit of drizzle and mist.

  213. Gerald Machnee
    Posted May 15, 2007 at 10:17 AM | Permalink

    Re Gravity – An article in the paper today says scientists (using GRACE) have measured a change in gravity around Hudson Bay and you would be about 2.8 grams lighter. That was from an article in Science. But are we supposed to believe it?

  214. Steve Sadlov
    Posted May 15, 2007 at 11:07 AM | Permalink

    David Smith prog’ed a cool(er) 2007. For the Eastern half of North America, indeed, the rest of May looks to be cool and damp. There are cold fronts from there to Kingdom Come, stacked up to the north, waiting their turn to head straight south. The current NWS 36 and 48 forecast maps show the rain-snow line just to the north of Montreal.

  215. Michael Jankowski
    Posted May 15, 2007 at 11:13 AM | Permalink


    Wow, that bloghost putz won’t even touch the issue of glacial retreat on another thread. He’s just focused on the one gaffe I made on another thread, when I was in a hurry and being bothered by children. snip All I was trying to do was start raising a few points and seeing how he really felt without simply spouting IPCC quotes that were irrelevant to the discussion and/or supportive of my position. Talk about a faith-based website! Out with the “demons” like me, I guess!

    He seems like the kind of guy who got censored or banned from other websites for being an abusive troll, so he had to start his own blog.

  216. Posted May 15, 2007 at 12:54 PM | Permalink

    Direct measuring of Earth gravity field is not possible;

    Or should we say that locally we can’t measure gravity ? Gravity is just a pseudo-force, that’s what Albert tried to explain 😉

  217. Richard Sharpe
    Posted May 15, 2007 at 2:05 PM | Permalink

    Steve Dutch has this on Global Warming: The Science and Pseudoscience of Global Warming

  218. Mark T.
    Posted May 15, 2007 at 2:33 PM | Permalink

    Unfortunately, even this guy makes some unverifiable claims:

    [snip ]

    # The debate over whether climate is getting warmer is mostly over.

    Again, debatable. Without having access to the data used to reach such a conclusion, the claim isn’t really verifiable one way or another. Depending upon which version of the adjusted, irretrievable data you look at, warming hasn’t occurred at all in the past decade anyway.


  219. Mark T.
    Posted May 15, 2007 at 2:58 PM | Permalink

    Awww… Emphatically stating “nobody” was a false premise on his part, that’s all I was trying to point out. Oh well. 🙂


  220. Steve Sadlov
    Posted May 15, 2007 at 2:59 PM | Permalink

    RE: #217 – the author is a cleverly disguised warmer. NEEEEEXXXXXT!

  221. Joe Ellebracht
    Posted May 15, 2007 at 3:06 PM | Permalink

    Re 158 about Steve Dutch:
    Dr. D appears to be against pseudoscience but perhaps for pseudohistory. From his text: “So we should sign the Kyoto Accords” The context puts “we” as the USA. In real history, the Kyoto accords were signed by the USA, during Al Gore Jr.’s stint as VP.

  222. Mark T.
    Posted May 15, 2007 at 3:11 PM | Permalink

    RE: #217 – the author is a cleverly disguised warmer. NEEEEEXXXXXT!

    Yeah, I caught several other logical fallacies and outright falsehoods in his writeup. Certainly he’s more level-headed than the standard Team member, but not completely out of the woods of bias himself. Heck, he worships at the alter of manufactured “consensus” rather openly. His discussions on secrecy had me thinking of a few of our favorites around here… hehe.


  223. jae
    Posted May 15, 2007 at 3:26 PM | Permalink

    217: That’s a good article for self-testing your biases. But he doesn’t address the “how much warming” issue, which is the critical issue. I doubt that many “skeptics” thing there is NO warming from CO2.

  224. Posted May 15, 2007 at 3:42 PM | Permalink

    In today’s New York Times:

    Scientists Back Off Theory of a Colder Europe in a Warming World
    By WALTER GIBBS, NY Times, May 15, 2007

    OSLO ‘€” Mainstream climatologists who have feared that global warming could have the paradoxical effect of cooling northwestern Europe or even plunging it into a small ice age have stopped worrying about that particular disaster, although it retains a vivid hold on the public imagination.

    (Does this mean the movie The Day After Tomorrow isn’t going to come true? What do you mean, I shouldn’t get my science from the movies!) 🙂

  225. Filippo Turturici
    Posted May 15, 2007 at 3:59 PM | Permalink

    #216: I am just a young man going to take an advanced degree (I think almost like PhD in the USA, but not sure) in aerospace engineering, not Heisenberg 🙂 To answer also the other comments, the matter is very simple: you know that in orbit we are in “zero gravity” condition; it is not true that there is no gravity; but gravity acceleration is equalised by motion acceleration. So, accelerometers output would be zero in such conditions, and we cannot measure gravity from space (I beg your pardon not to have been so precise). It means that the only way to measure gravity field is through gradients.
    I know they have found “less gravity” in some place: but in Hudson Bay we have no large glaciers; so only the Greenland measurement was publicised, of course to be used as an evidence of faster-than-expected melting. But, I am doubtfull: first of all, as written above, there is not so precise link between measuring gravity and measuring glacial mass; then, it may also be that previous measurements were not so precise (as Hudson Bay’s case would suggest).

  226. Filippo Turturici
    Posted May 15, 2007 at 4:13 PM | Permalink

    #224: still waiting for, I would like chiller springs and summers, and winters with more cold and snow, even if a slightly warming during autumn is not so bad.
    I am really thinking: warmer World is real, but not as they told us (for an Europe going back to Optimum – but not already – Antarctic seems to be going to the opposite – and satellite measurements of the lower troposphere saw a 0.1°C cooling in the Austral Emisphere since 2002, think that calculated global warm since 1998 even for ground stations is less than this); but we know very little about climate science, some man seems more a wizard than a scientist (how can we predict global doom for centuries if we ignore clouds feedbacks, which is the very larger Earth’s main climate phenomenum? not to talk about uncertainty on current and past measurements, or people who with a sea level predicted rise of 20cm forecast 20m waves or the rise of the sea in coastal areas up to 8m, like the imagines in TV on Venice future disappearance? living just 40km west and 10m over Venice, I cannot really believe that they show maps and data regardless of geography – but, we know, climatologists know everything about chemistry, physics, mathematics, thermal control, geography, agriculture, forests etc. while all the other “scientists” cannot know anything of climate, nor compete with climatologists in their own fields…).

  227. K
    Posted May 15, 2007 at 4:34 PM | Permalink

    #202 and others: My reference to mass measurements of ice in Antartica and Greenland by satellite gravity observations:

    I am a little puzzled by those comments that gravity can’t be measured. In some ways true. But it seems an overly fine point. The intent is to measure changing mass at Greenland and Antartica.

    If Greenland and Antartica aren’t losing ice mass that would seem an important fact in GW studies. I think all other ice in the entire world can’t affect ocean levels very much.

    Greenland is said to have icecaps over two miles thick. That is a lot of mass. I find it difficult to believe gravity above Greenland would not change when that ice became water and flowed into the sea. So why wouldn’t satellites have subtle changes of orbit than can be equated to gravity change?

    It wouldn’t be easy. Perhaps precision/accuracy is the problem. Even the pessimists know significant ice mass change is slow. Decades.

  228. T J Olson
    Posted May 15, 2007 at 7:05 PM | Permalink

    re Steven Dutch (#217, #221-3):

    This professor makes a good-faith effort to weed out psudoscience. Where he errs is in bringing physicists cook-book mentaliy to complex dynamically coupled systems like climate. For instance, he writes:

    [T]he fact that climate is getting warmer and carbon dioxide is increasing makes for a straightforward case of cause and effect. The burden of proof is on people who doubt the cause and effect relationship to show either that the cause-effect relation does not hold, or that some other process is responsible. Not raise questions or cast doubts – prove.

    This “burden of proof” premise leads him to overcredit like-minded modelling “climate experts,” and discredit critics like Crichton and Lindzen. Therfore, he protects the former from real criticism and leaps to dimminish the latter, instead of at least fairly construing them. He brushes off the latter instead of seeing where his own assumptions about the problem are superficial.

    For instance, in dissing Reid Bryson, Dutch objects to Brysons POE criticism that (historically speaking) CO2 should be the last suspect in climate warming, and then Dutch applies the same standard to his own protected ACW presumptions. The physics simply MUST be true – don’t cloud my mind with empirical reality!

  229. John Lang
    Posted May 15, 2007 at 7:45 PM | Permalink

    On the Grace satellite measurements and ice depth …

    Grace is still measuring very low gravity levels on both sides of Hudson Bay from the weight of the continental glaciers which depressed the land in the last ice age. That ice melted 10,000 years ago and still the peak glacier positions on both sides of Hudson Bay gives Grace the lowest gravity measurements of any place in North America.

    While I think Grace-type missions should be undertaken, Grace cannot tell you if the ice in Greenland is increasing or decreasing (ice increasing results in land depressing which results in lower gravity measurements OR ice decreasing which results in land rebounding which results in higher gavity measurements). In addition, Grace’s resolution is too low (400 kms) which reduces its effectiveness to pinpoint ice depth changes for a small island like Greenland.

  230. Gerald Machnee
    Posted May 15, 2007 at 9:33 PM | Permalink

    Re #217 and Steven Dutch – Basically a waste of time reading and no point in responding to his challenge as the response will be predictable – RC type.

  231. bender
    Posted May 15, 2007 at 9:58 PM | Permalink

    Re #217

    If climate modeling was really as hit or miss as critics claim, we ought to see as many predictions of cooling as warming.

    The assumption here is that the models are derived independently. This might be true for some aspects of the models, but much of them will also be shared, the natural result of accessing a common literature. The greater the team groupthink, the lower the model independence.

    Similarly, one of Malcolm Hughes strongest arguments is that independent-thinking scientists are fiercely competitive, trying to out-do one another, and this leads to an independence among paleoclimate studies. There is some truth here, particularly among academics. But it is not universally true (Wegman’s social network analysis) and it is far less true of government science, where the goal is often generating a consensus for defining a clear policy direction.

    Scientists underestimate the extent to which “their” ideas are borrowed from elsewhere.

  232. Geoff
    Posted May 15, 2007 at 11:13 PM | Permalink

    Not sure if it’s been pointed out before, the the March issue of Significance (a journal of the Royal Statistics Society) has an interesting article titled “Deception and Dishonesty with Data: Fraud in Science” available here. I like the quote (made up?) “I know my theory is right, and I am entitled to clean up the data, removing errors, to make it more apparent.”

  233. Filippo Turturici
    Posted May 16, 2007 at 12:02 AM | Permalink

    K (#227) as precised above, gravity cannot be measured from space orbit then from GRACE, which can only measure gravity differences.

    On the glacial mass of Greenland and Antarctic I have some doubt that measuring it might be worthy to be linked to GW dynamics: if mass decrease, surely AGW supporters would claim that this is due to warming and melting; and if it increases, surely that is due to larger snowfalls due to a warmer World; and if it does not decrease nor increase, it is surely due to melting which equalises larger snowfalls.
    So, why measuring something that would in any case demonstrate the same thing 😉 ?

  234. Filippo Turturici
    Posted May 16, 2007 at 12:21 AM | Permalink

    Returning on post #224 and the scientists “stopping worrying” for Europe’s possible cooling…I think it is often more linked to public feelings than to science the question whether or not North-Atlantic Current will shut down.
    Usually, when Europe is affected by cold weeks, the shut down becomes our future; and when hot weeks come, the alarm is just the global warming.
    So, when in 2002 summer was very wet, with floodings, then winter started early and lasted with unusual cold over many parts of Europe (unfortunately stopped just in Germany, leaving Italy and Western Europe out of great cold) we had many cliams about it. Then the very hot and dry summer 2003 came, and AGW was the main issue.
    The same in the last months. Winter 2006 was pretty long and cold, winter which came together with problems in gas supply from Russia and an oversize consumption of it for heating; followed by a spring which alternated hot and cold snaps, then a very hot July, then a chilly August, and Current shut down returned to be the main fear (I also listened a main local political leader talking about AGW matter and that “Britons are already seeing the effects of Gulf Current shutting down” not later than last November). After a very hot autumn followed by a very hot winter, and a spring which is until now still very hot for Central and Western Europe, the AGW returned to be the only issue.
    Just until next cold season…

  235. Mark T.
    Posted May 16, 2007 at 2:32 AM | Permalink

    If climate modeling was really as hit or miss as critics claim, we ought to see as many predictions of cooling as warming.

    Bender may be more knowlegeable, or maybe Steve S. or David S., but aren’t the “cool runs” often thrown out, too? I.e. modelers don’t necessarily report ALL of their runs, which works out to selection bias (akin to publication bias).


  236. Geoff Sherrington
    Posted May 16, 2007 at 2:40 AM | Permalink

    re # 232

    The article is a once over lightly pop explanation of a deeper problem.

    The deeper problem is that a lot of research is done FOR THE PURPOSE OF ANSWERING AN UNKOWN QUESTION. Scientists do their best and present their results in the hope that it will help in the quest for better understanding. If they publish results that are later shown to be wrong, they can be innocently wrong or criminally wrong.

    Example. My company acquired a property once used to recycle car batteries. After homes were built on it, analysis showed up to 1% lead in surface soils.

    The common hypothesis is that lead in small amounts can lead to mental deficiency in small children who ingest soil. The counter-hypothesis is that lead poisoning in young children is more common among those with a low IQ, who tend to eat soil (Pica for lead). So we have two groups of researchers doing experiments that are at odds with each other.

    The observed effect is that the outcome that will bring in the most kudos, the most future funding, the most public outcry, the lingering on of the research – this will be the one that gains ascendency. If the second hypothesis was correct it would more or less kill the lead story dead. So it does not get much funding. I’d say about 1% of the other. It’s just not a sexy outcome.

    Looking at the raw data, second side found wide disparity in published estimates of the weight of soil ingested by small children daily. The estimates varied 100-fold. At the top end, there was a plausible theory. At the bottom end, the story fizzled.

    While fiddling of data might not have happened, the first team have done extensive metastatistical exercises, without a firm basis.

    I think that the lesson to be learned in the climate debate is – get the simple fundamentals right. If you suspect a conclusion that will lead to team PR being called in, then go to the origins of the data and have a close look. Which is precisely what Steve did.

  237. Geoff Sherrington
    Posted May 16, 2007 at 4:51 AM | Permalink

    re #232

    I forgot to add that we poisoned no children, nor shall we. Our corporate solicitor proposed that the environment watchdog buy the land and dedicate it as a cemetary where the use of lead-lined caskets is permitted. One yard of clean soil over the top and it’s harmless for long enough for the meta-meta analyses to be performed with the customary decreasing confidence limits.

    If you seek another field where stats modelling needs inspection, try the drug/medical/epidemiology sector, where uncontrolled variables are so often left out of the picture for which they might well be the main cause.

  238. MarkW
    Posted May 16, 2007 at 5:08 AM | Permalink


    The problem is that the earth underneath Greenland (indeed, the earth everywhere) is not constand. Magma flows, the mantle changes density. There are lots of changes going on in the “gravity” field all of the time. Trying to pin down which change is due to changes in the ice, and which changes are due to the other things, is not an exact science.

  239. MarkW
    Posted May 16, 2007 at 5:08 AM | Permalink

    Make that 232, argh

  240. MarkW
    Posted May 16, 2007 at 5:09 AM | Permalink

    Try 227, I’m going home for now.

  241. MarkW
    Posted May 16, 2007 at 5:18 AM | Permalink

    #228 (I double checked twice this time)

    The author has another, irritating, unspoken assumption.
    He’s arguing against the position of no warming whatsoever.

    I know of few deniers who take this position. Very few. Steve M. himself has stated time and time again that he accepts that there has been some warming over the last 100 years.

    So by arguing against this position, the author is knocking down a very weak strawman. Yet he declares that other people are pseudo scientists.

    We deniers have always had two positions.
    1) We don’t know how much of the warming is due to CO2. (Other potential causes; sun, and errors in the measuring system)
    2) We reject the claims of catastrophic future warming.

    To use the good doctor’s logic. Since the past increase in CO2 has caused relatively little warming, the burden of proof is on the alarmists to show that the next increase in CO2 is going to result in a vastly increased amount of warming.

  242. Stan Palmer
    Posted May 16, 2007 at 6:08 AM | Permalink

    Cheap Clean Coal Plant

    The Toronto Globe and Mail (the establishment newspaper) has taken on the AGW crusade in Canada. No potential disaster is too farfetched to not receve front page treatment. They are now claiming that a form of clean coal power plant not onlyolves the CO2 problem but is much chaeper to boot Has anyone heard of the Fassbender process. From a G&M column

    OTTAWA ‘€” In basic ways, Alex Fassbender’s breakthrough in clean-coal technology retains James Watt’s methodology from the 18th century. You pulverize coal into particles as fine as talcum powder, then burn it in a furnace surrounded by pipes filled with water. You direct the steam into turbines that spin to produce electricity. In other basic ways, though, it is very different. For one thing, there’s no smokestack.

    Mr. Fassbender is the American engineer whose invention – as tested last year in the federal government’s energy labs in Ottawa – delivered clean electricity at a lower cost than the inventor himself had expected. Code-named TIPS (Thermo-energy Integrated Power System), the technology strips coal of its pollutants and captures its carbon emissions in power plants a 10th the size of conventional plants.

    Full column at


  243. Steve McIntyre
    Posted May 16, 2007 at 7:21 AM | Permalink

    #242. Stan, in the 1970s, smelters started using oxygen-based processes which led to a great reduction in size. Noranda developed its own process, as did Outokumpu. I don’t recall whether they were pressurized as well. If one is going to try to sequester CO2, intuitively, it makes sense to me to use oxygen rather than air.

  244. Steve McIntyre
    Posted May 16, 2007 at 7:27 AM | Permalink

    #232. Geoff, do you think that the manipulation of the IPCC spaghetti graph qualifies?

  245. Gerald Machnee
    Posted May 16, 2007 at 7:40 AM | Permalink

    Re #244 **do you think that the manipulation of the IPCC spaghetti graph qualifies?** Are we going to get a full report on it from kc?

  246. Michael Jankowski
    Posted May 16, 2007 at 8:07 AM | Permalink

    Stumbling across a thread here on solar activity from January, I noticed Willis (after a gracious welcome to his first post posted the link to Tamino’s site here), Jean S, Hans, you, and maybe some others got a nasty reception from the anonymous “Tamino” (interesting how it’s “wrong” for John A to wish to remain anonymous, but so acceptable for others).

    Ironically, on that same thread, Tamino states to a poster: My only “rules” for discussion are: 1. No spam; 2. Stay on topic (at least tangentially, i.e., let’s not discuss evolution); 3. Be polite.

    While he didn’t do any spamming, he wouldn’t stay on topic (would not even venture into discussion with me on the topic on a thread – just wanted to go back to discussing an error I made on another thread), and he was far from polite.

    I guess the internet lures the insecure folks to start their own websites where they can play God and have all the power. Interesting stuff.

  247. James Erlandson
    Posted May 16, 2007 at 8:22 AM | Permalink

    Re 242 Stan:
    “The TIPS technology remains theoretical.” Like biomass to ethanol.
    Then comes the bite: “It needs a real-life test. As a research partner, Canada is well placed to fund the demo TIPS plant … ”
    PDF about the technology.

  248. Doug
    Posted May 16, 2007 at 9:38 AM | Permalink

    Today’s news is full of Antarctic meltdown. Any comments those familiar?

  249. Andrey Levin
    Posted May 16, 2007 at 9:50 AM | Permalink

    Re: 243

    Steve, combustion of coal for power generation using oxygen blast in molten basin was tried quite notoriously in USSR about 20 years ago. Trials yielded amazing results:

    a)Combustion was easily controlled, complete, and without flying ash (and almost no NOx) even on very poor coal;
    b)sludge was incredibly clean from HC, and was directly useful for cement production without any restrictions for toxic HC outgassing;
    c)iron and other metals present in coal in oxidized form were reduced and formed molten layer at the bottom of the basin;
    d)economy of the process sucks big time because of high cost and energy demand of separation of oxygen from air.

    Would be interesting to model economy of the process with modern, way more cheaper pressure swing adsorption method of oxygen separation.

  250. Steve Sadlov
    Posted May 16, 2007 at 10:07 AM | Permalink

    RE: #248 – Funny how all the news stories about “Antarctic meltdown” (typically bracketed with weasle words, for example, just making a hypothetical one up here in my head “A recent study says that Antarctic ice is expected to melt back significantly over the next 100 years, as shown by an advanced computer model. This is a continuation of the worrisome trend of ice loss which a survey of glaciers on the Antarctic Peninsula by the ABC NGO reported last year.”

  251. Steve Sadlov
    Posted May 16, 2007 at 10:09 AM | Permalink

    Ooops, I hit send too soon, now for the rest of the story …. Funny how news stories like the one I made up in #250 all seem to come out at the time of year when there is nothing but mass accumulation, cold, snow, enveloping sea ice and darkness in and around Antarctica.

  252. L Nettles
    Posted May 16, 2007 at 11:03 AM | Permalink

    Big Scary Headline in today’s news California-Sized Area of Ice Melts in Antarctica

    Melting detected in 2005, the kicker is the last line of article:

    “No further melting has been detected through March 2007.”

  253. Michael Jankowski
    Posted May 16, 2007 at 11:48 AM | Permalink

    Re#252, it will be interesting to see how the warmers will run with this one…from the several articles I’ve read, this is not published in a peer-reviewed journal but in a recently-published book.

    I wonder if the journals found the results far from interesting and not worth publishing. But I guess a share of book profits (with freee advertising) makes a nice consolation prize!

  254. Steve McIntyre
    Posted May 16, 2007 at 11:53 AM | Permalink

    #249. Fluidized bed roasters have been used in mineral processing for decades.

  255. Richard Sharpe
    Posted May 16, 2007 at 1:25 PM | Permalink

    Climate Change: A Guide for the Perplexed.

    Our planet’s climate is anything but simple. All kinds of factors influence it, from massive events on the Sun to the growth of microscopic creatures in the oceans, and there are subtle interactions between many of these factors.

    Yet despite all the complexities, a firm and ever-growing body of evidence points to a clear picture: the world is warming, this warming is due to human activity increasing levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, and if emissions continue unabated the warming will too, with increeeeeeasingly seeeeeeeerious cooooooonsequences. (Silly bits added for effect.)

  256. Richard Sharpe
    Posted May 16, 2007 at 1:41 PM | Permalink

    The above article was mentioned on SlashDot. What is so amusing is that the very next item on slash dot after that contained this:

    “The goal of security metrics is to replace fear, uncertainty, and doubt (FUD) with a more formalized and meaningful system of measurement. The FUD factor is the very foundation upon which much of information security is built, and the outcome is decades of meaningless statistics and racks of snake oil products. Let’s hope that Andrew Jaquith succeeds, but in doing so, he is getting in the way of many security hardware and software vendors whose revenue streams are built on FUD.”

    It is doubtful that many readers would perceive the irony.

  257. Posted May 16, 2007 at 2:19 PM | Permalink

    New Scientist has a new online article called “26 Climate Myths”. There is a special section devoted to the Hockey Stick called “Climate myths: The ‘hockey stick’ graph has been proven wrong “.

    They refer to MBH99 and declare that the NAS report exonerates the Hockey Stick/Team. This is an amazing bit of selective quotes and uncritical analysis:

    Details of the claims and counterclaims involve lengthy and arcane statistical arguments, so let’s skip straight to the 2006 report of the US National Academy of Science (pdf). The academy was asked by Congress to assess the validity of temperature reconstructions, including the hockey stick.
    “Array of evidence”

    The report states: “The basic conclusion of Mann et al. (1998, 1999) was that the late 20th century warmth in the Northern Hemisphere was unprecedented during at least the last 1000 years. This conclusion has subsequently been supported by an array of evidence that includes both additional large-scale surface temperature reconstructions and pronounced changes in a variety of local proxy indicators, such as melting on ice caps and the retreat of glaciers around the world”.

    Apparently, MBH’s conclusion is proof enough. I’ll stick to Steve’s arcane statistical analysis. Strangely, McIntyre and McKitrick 2003 isn’t mentioned. There seems to be a lot of that going around.

  258. Posted May 16, 2007 at 2:30 PM | Permalink

    It is in the nature of a hypothesis when once a man has concieved it, that it assimilates everything to itself, as proper nourishment, and from the first moment of your begetting it, it generally grows stronger by everything you see, hear or understand.

    Laurence Stern

  259. Follow the Money
    Posted May 16, 2007 at 3:36 PM | Permalink

    They refer to MBH99 and declare that the NAS report exonerates the Hockey Stick/Team. This is an amazing bit of selective quotes and uncritical analysis…

    …by New Scientist? I think not. The NAS report does exonerate the hockey stick. One can dig deep and find within it polite debunkings of the hockey stick but the overarching purpose of the NAS report was to exonerate the conclusions. “Fake, but accurate.” The report was especially brilliant in its deviousness.

  260. Filippo Turturici
    Posted May 16, 2007 at 3:41 PM | Permalink

    #252: I just had a look to the news.
    Of course it is presented, both in the title and inside the article, as an evidence of warming occurring in Antarctic.
    But, outside propaganda phrases, what the same article says is surprising in the other way (at least as the interview was published here for now):
    – they say that Antarctica until now gave no sign of suffering from global warming, unless for a small part of A. Peninsula; no one still says that temperature records show a recent decades net cooling or that S Emisphere ice sheet is slowly enlarging, but it is at least a real admission after years of lies about GW and South Pole;
    – the melting did not lasted more than a week of “exceptional warm”, in a large area, but no glacial mass was lost; at the contrary, it froze back almost immediately then was covered by fresh snowfalls (that is why no one noted it until now); it happened indeed even in the interior and at altitudes up to 1800m/5500ft, but it was just a very short surface melting.
    After we had, it seems, an exceptional cold MONTH and not just a week in april in the Sea of Weddell, one of the areas warming, and no one wrote articles on press to say it, I think that the claims are unjustified, and that we know too little about Antarctic climate behaviour (overall after models failure in last years) so such kind of analysises and forecasts are really an hazard.

    PS it seems that in last months large areas of Antarctic are living milder weeks, in the interior, but without out-of-records warm, while the areas of the Peninsula and Weddell Sea are instead living cold weeks; right the opposite of last decades trend.

  261. Roger Dueck
    Posted May 16, 2007 at 3:53 PM | Permalink

    #252 CNN version

    No mention of the last line! I’m really becoming cynical now!

  262. george h.
    Posted May 16, 2007 at 3:54 PM | Permalink

    More over-the-top climate alarmism: ‘Five Years Left To Save The Planet’


  263. Filippo Turturici
    Posted May 16, 2007 at 4:06 PM | Permalink

    To be precise: South Pole continues to cool, even april was very record of cold at Anubdseb-Scott base; but it seems that in recent days it warmed, but still inside expected variance.

    I had a look at site posted at #255. Some issues seem ridicuolous to me, I do not know if they can realise that in many cases they write much to explain nothing, or that they use uncertain data given as pure truth, and that they seem to consider any skeptical just a child and a scientifical analphabet.
    The example of #255 is really indicative: it would be the same if, while driving, I did not know where I am, I did not know very well the local language, I were surrounded by thick fog, but I were sure that I am following the right road and that all those matters are not important…

  264. Filippo Turturici
    Posted May 16, 2007 at 4:07 PM | Permalink

    They were able to make me write an horror instead of Amundsen 🙂

  265. Filippo Turturici
    Posted May 16, 2007 at 4:17 PM | Permalink

    It is curious when structural mechanics, George H, are used for such a case (of course to forecast doom) but in the same time no one would apply them in other cases where just and only GW should be to blame (e.g. the past famous shrink, in the Sea of Ross if I am right: why not blaimng just a too long and too heavy, and overall too old, structure affected by cracks and subjected to centuries fatigue? just an idea, but never seen).

  266. Filippo Turturici
    Posted May 16, 2007 at 4:20 PM | Permalink

    Sorry for my too many posts here.
    George H, 2012 seems to be the milestone of millenaristic views , since Maya predictions: it is curious how AGW-supporters are cliaming it as the last chance of saving the planet; but, in the same time, the few men who believes instead in a new ice era coming (I am not among them, even if such idea could be nice to me) forecast often just for 2012 the beginning of temperature dramatic drop.

  267. Follow the Money
    Posted May 16, 2007 at 4:48 PM | Permalink


    Wondering “why” 2012?

    The title here says it all:


    (I’m not discussing it here, just a link. 🙂

  268. fFreddy
    Posted May 16, 2007 at 5:25 PM | Permalink

    Meanwhile, the WWF has decided it wants to play.
    Climate change: five years left to save the world
    Their “Climate solutions report”[pdf] is … bleah. I’m going to bed.

  269. bender
    Posted May 16, 2007 at 5:35 PM | Permalink

    Re: 2007 + 5 = 2012
    While it is true that deadlines are always set where they are for a reason;
    while it is true that there is no science behind the 5;
    it is also true that there may be a limited window of political opportunity in which to act.
    And acting could be a good thing, if IPCC predictions are correct.
    Even if the impact scenarios are somewhat exaggerated.
    Even if the action has less remedial impact than we would like.

    The problem here is all the ‘ifs’. The collective uncertainty is HUGE.

    What is indisputable is that we need accountable climatological research more than ever to reduce this uncertainty. Uncertainty kills investment as surely as any heavy-handed regulation. Or, shall I say, DIVERTS it … into insurance.

  270. David Smith
    Posted May 16, 2007 at 6:24 PM | Permalink

    Inhofe news release

    The list includes some names I’ve not heard before.

  271. bender
    Posted May 16, 2007 at 6:54 PM | Permalink

    How many of these momentum-generating “recent converts” could code up a GCM? None? Well, then that’s about what their opinions are worth. This is nothing but a PR trick trying to generate a swing in public opinion.

    Folks, nfortuantely, it’s all about the GCMs. Don’t bother reading derivative material. With the hockey stick broken, it all comes down to the correctness of the GCMs. Better bone up on your physics and math if you want to follow the next chapter.

    Audit the GCMs!

  272. Paul Linsay
    Posted May 16, 2007 at 7:03 PM | Permalink


    Audit the GCMs!

    Good idea but too technical. Audit the weather stations is much better. If the temperature record of unprecedented warming is bad then there is only one conclusion about the GCMs that match that record so well, they’re junk. And everyone will understand the problem with a thermometer mounted above a barbecue.

  273. David Smith
    Posted May 16, 2007 at 7:39 PM | Permalink

    Another May subtropical storm?

  274. JP
    Posted May 16, 2007 at 7:43 PM | Permalink

    The folks at Real Climate are giving kuddos to Dr Hansen and his 1988 temp scenarios:

    His scenario B, which appears to be right on, depends upon NOAA derived sliced, diced, and corrected data is what the RC people are highlighting. I also think it is kind of strange that a man of his stature could get away with making 3 guesses- any of the three were bound to be “in the ball park”.

  275. Philip B
    Posted May 16, 2007 at 7:44 PM | Permalink

    Re the boreal tree ring versus temperature anomalies graph in Swindle and the IPCC Tar Graph Spaghetti.

    I’ll suggest the divergence in the 20th century is caused by the observed global dimming(which went into reverse around 1990). That is, in the 20th century, tree ring growth anomalies measure changes in sunlight at ground level and the divergence is between temperatures and sunlight.

    Perhaps a plant physiologist would care to comment.

  276. Paul
    Posted May 16, 2007 at 9:11 PM | Permalink

    Why do we have to go through this…

    Michael LePage of New Scientist Environment has put together “25 Common Myths” about climate change. Look through the list, then look at the articles…

  277. Follow the Money
    Posted May 16, 2007 at 9:31 PM | Permalink


    I went to the site at #276

    I checked out the very first link, and it is deceptive.

    “Climate myths: Human CO2 emissions are too tiny to matter”

    The debate regards CO2 contributions to AGW relative to all GGs including water vapor.

    What we get is a side-step of the real issue and a description of only CO2, its increases and straw man supporting discussion about its human causation, which I think few doubt.

    Are the other entries as blatantly twisted? That one was laughable.

  278. Follow the Money
    Posted May 16, 2007 at 10:14 PM | Permalink

    I can report they’re having problems with the ice cores/ temp/CO2 lag issue. All of the sudden the “science” is couched in doubt and such and is not to be trusted.

    At – “Climate myths: Ice cores show CO2 increases lag behind temperature rises, disproving the link to global warming”

    Appears this sentence,

    “What is more, CO2 is just one of several greenhouses gases, and greenhouse gases are just one of many factors affecting the climate.”

    A fact blatantly ignored in the chapter, “Climate myths: Human CO2 emissions are too tiny to matter”

    They can’t plead ignorance!

    Ice cores come agin, briefly, in “Climate myths: Global warming is down to the Sun, not humans”

    “What is actually happening is a far more complicated interaction”

    –complicated…that was Gore’s word when he slid behind the core graph he appended a hockey stick blade to.

    Finally, from “Climate myths: It was warmer during the Medieval period, with vineyards in England” we learn the Thames freezing might have something to do with the construction of London Bridge! Amazing bridge engineers over history missed the relationship between bridges and freeze overs!

  279. Steve McIntyre
    Posted May 16, 2007 at 10:39 PM | Permalink

    DocMartyn says:
    May 16th, 2007 at 6:30 pm

    I have a question. What happens if you take the data from 1400 to 1600, where you have three data sets, double them, the chop them up into 29 year length. Then put them togeather 800 years at random, with padding at the end and beginning, and see how many nice random peaks and troughs you get.
    Paul Linsay says:
    May 16th, 2007 at 6:51 pm

    #29, DocMartyn.

    see how many nice random peaks and troughs you get

    Without a doubt there are papers in the statistical literature on noise that will even tell you the probabilites for the number of peaks and their amplitudes. Instead of your complicated algorithm, you could fiddle around by Fourier transforming the raw time series, randomize the phases, invert to get a new time series, then apply the smoothing du jour. I’d bet that it would be eye opening. With a bit of luck, I’d guess 50-50, you might not even have to truncate to get the new series to match the temperature record.
    JP says:
    May 16th, 2007 at 7:27 pm


    you could fiddle around by Fourier transforming the raw time series, randomize the phases, invert to get a new time series, then apply the smoothing du jour

    Now I really feel guilty about falling asleep during Calculus III 15 years ago. I never knew that Fourier Transforms could be put to such uses.
    Jaye says:
    May 16th, 2007 at 10:34 pm

    Fourier transforms are usually first encountered in a complex analysis class.

  280. Filippo Turturici
    Posted May 17, 2007 at 5:31 AM | Permalink

    #278: the London Bridge, if I am right, existed AFTER and not DURING or BEFORE warm centuries: so, me who I play rowing, but every man knowing rivers, knows that building a bridge often means reducing river width, then increasing river flow velocity: which, overall, makes it difficult to freeze. So, if in the Little Ice Age the Thames froze many times (and continue to do in XVIIITh and in part of the XIXth century with more bridges) but it was very rare not to say it never happened between 800 and 1200 A.D., such a claim is a nonsense.
    To be more precise, reports of freezing for Venice Lagoon show no major freezing event (meaning enough to pass with chariots from Venice to mainland) at all between 900 and 1100 A.D., while increasingly events since 1200 AD, a pike between XVIIth and XVIIIth centuries, and even 4 such events (1929-1956-1963-1985) in the “hottest” XXth century.

  281. Filippo Turturici
    Posted May 17, 2007 at 5:51 AM | Permalink

    I would like to ask a question to Steve, if I can.
    In past centuries climate reconstruction uncertainty is (relative) high while change is (relative) very low (I think with engineering parameters: e.g. we are often dealing with changes of a few tenths degree in centuries, while uncertainty is at least 0.5°C).
    So, applying methods like Fourier transforming, could it make us “lose” some important pike, or simply flat data series?

    OT: I found this very recebt article from US Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works: http://epw.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Minority.Blogs&ContentRecord_id=927b9303-802a-23ad-494b-dccb00b51a12&Region_id=&Issue_id it seems to be a first blow into climate change claimed “consensus”, but could you tell me more from USA?

  282. Steve McIntyre
    Posted May 17, 2007 at 6:28 AM | Permalink

    #281. This press release seems entirely political to me. The views of most of these people are well-known and a couple appeared in Swindle. It’s crazy to say that they represent some kind of trend away from AGW. As I’ve said on other occasions, I have no firm view on the degree to which AGW has contributed to the present warming. Studies that I’ve analyzed closely provide no secure ground for any conclusions. Like bender, I believe that a truly independent and thorough aerospace-calibre audit of the GCMs (or at least one GCM) by a truly independent group is long overdue. This would be a big job and require a substantial budget and is well outside my own resources.

  283. MarkW
    Posted May 17, 2007 at 6:33 AM | Permalink

    While a blockage will narrow and speed up a river at the point of the blockage, it will cause the river to widen and slow upstream of the blockages. This is not to say that the small amount of blockage by the bridge was enough to allow it to freeze. I would note that the London Bridge was still in place after the Little Ice Age, as were additional bridges, yet no freezing occurred after the LIA.

    I think you mean peak, not pike. I believe Italian is like Spanish, the “i” makes what in English we call the long “e” sound.
    English is weird, the majority of native speakers can’t handle it properly, so don’t worry about it.

  284. Filippo Turturici
    Posted May 17, 2007 at 7:13 AM | Permalink

    Ops, that is a fault – a lapsus – I mistook a weapon and a mountain even knowing well them 🙂 but you are right for Italian sounds.

  285. Earle Williams
    Posted May 17, 2007 at 7:30 AM | Permalink

    Re #284,


    A very narrow peak or valley in otherwise flat data is sometimes referred to as ‘spike’ as well.

  286. fFreddy
    Posted May 17, 2007 at 7:36 AM | Permalink

    The Wiki page on London Bridge makes the claim that :

    This produced ferocious rapids between the piers or “starlings” of the bridge, as the difference between the water levels on each side could be as much as six feet (two metres).

    Not sure I believe this.
    In any event, however fast the flow at full flood, it is worth remembering that the Thames is tidal, to a long way upstream of the site of London Bridge. It strikes me that this is likely to have a significant effect on the river’s propensity to freeze.

  287. MarkW
    Posted May 17, 2007 at 7:43 AM | Permalink

    #286: Given the bridge building technology available at the time, I have a hard time believing they could have built a bridge in the face of current moving that fast.

  288. bernie
    Posted May 17, 2007 at 8:10 AM | Permalink

    I was intrigued by this Reuter’s story that appeared yesterday: Arctic islands invite tourists to see climate woes The story is meant to be a “canary in the coalmine” type since the Arctic is where “U.N. scientists say warming is happening twice as fast as on the rest of the planet in what may be a portent of changes further south.”

    I looked at the same type of story associated with Warming Island in Greenland and found no temperature records that supported the contention that Greenland was warming at an appreciable rate in line with IPCC projections.

    What about Svalbard? Again I went looking for temperature data and found an interesting undergraduate(!) thesis by Daniel P. Lane: Reconstruction of a Temperature Time Series for Lin-nédalen, Svalbard This research was funded by NSF and there may be additional data available.

    The thesis is really a fairly straightforward application of regression techniques to multiple temperature series. What really caught my eye was Figure 28: 20th Century instrumental record from Longyearbyen. Can anyone spot a warming trend? Daniel made no comment on this finding despite his introductory comment:

    Global climate models indicate that warming associated with rising atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases will have its greatest magnitude in the high latitudes (Overpeck, et. al. 1997). Projected temperature increases for the interior Arctic are as large as 4°C by the middle of this century with most of that warming occurring during the winter months. This is more than twice the mean projected warming for the globe (IPCC 2001). Due to the sensitivity of the Arctic, much research has focused on monitoring high latitude climate with the goal of detecting the re-gionally amplified signals of global cli-mate change.

    Seems like the Reuters Environment Correspondent, Alister Doyle, was completely suckered by the Svalbard Tourist Board or ….

  289. Posted May 17, 2007 at 8:36 AM | Permalink

    A National Climate Change Strategy flyer came through our letter box today.
    The planet is warming due to AGW – so now I know. Actually there is much for an old greeny to agree with but where they propose tax breaks for electric and hybrid vehicles there are no tax penalties for guzzlers. We have an election next week…
    The Juggernaut is trundling.

  290. Filippo Turturici
    Posted May 17, 2007 at 8:39 AM | Permalink

    #287: the Renaissance Brunelleschi-built dome of Florence’s cathedral should collapse in accordance with modern mathematical structural models, but it is 600 years old; between XIIth and XVth centuries, cathedrals, towers and belfries were made up to 100m high (and even more) across Europe; embankments and long channels were built as well. So I would not underestimate Middle Ages engineering skills 😉

  291. Jeff Norman
    Posted May 17, 2007 at 9:31 AM | Permalink

    Re: #276 and subsequent references to the New Scientist Environment article Climate change: A guide for the perplexed.

    A better title would have been Climate change: A Demonstration in Setting Up and Knocking Down Straw People.

    The silliness quotient is rather high. Is it even worth arguing?

  292. James Erlandson
    Posted May 17, 2007 at 9:35 AM | Permalink

    CAUTION! It’s a Press Release
    Scientists to Track Impact of Asian Dust and Pollution on Clouds, Weather, Climate Change

    BOULDER’€”Scientists using the nation’s newest and most capable aircraft for environmental research are launching a far-reaching field project this month to study plumes of airborne dust and pollutants that originate in Asia and journey to North America. The plumes are among the largest such events on Earth, so great in scope that scientists believe they might affect clouds and weather across thousands of miles while playing a role in global climate.

  293. Jeff Norman
    Posted May 17, 2007 at 9:57 AM | Permalink

    Re: #276 and subsequent references…

    You may be able to post up comment on their blog.

    I know I can’t.

  294. Steve Sadlov
    Posted May 17, 2007 at 10:03 AM | Permalink

    RE: #269 – “We’ve got five years, stuck on my eyes, five years, what a surprise, we’ve got five years, my brain hurts a lot, five years, that’s all we’ve got” ….. talking early 1970s trivia here ….. 😉

  295. Steve Sadlov
    Posted May 17, 2007 at 10:08 AM | Permalink

    RE: #273 – I had mentioned how the Jet Stream continues to dip way far to the south. This is evidence of it. Call it what it is – an unprecedented mid-winter type pattern in May. Cold fronts stacked up from the Beaufort Sea to the Bahamas.

  296. Steve Sadlov
    Posted May 17, 2007 at 10:12 AM | Permalink

    RE: #288 – Minor data point – Svalbard has remained icebound in the usual places (eastern and northern shores) very late this year.

  297. Filippo Turturici
    Posted May 17, 2007 at 10:51 AM | Permalink

    #294: David Bowie’s “Five years”, 1972, album “The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and The Spiders From Mars”.

  298. Filippo Turturici
    Posted May 17, 2007 at 10:58 AM | Permalink

    #296: yes, but ice between them and Novaja Zemlija was very poor this winter.
    But it seems that areas with less than usual ice, such that one or Labrador/Newfoundland, are living a very long winter which seems to continue even after mid May; while parts of Siberia (a very cold February) and Alaska (cold winter), with Bering Strait (ice normal or slightly over the average this winter) are living a mild May with the first sensible losses in ice sheet.
    A strange thing during April: it was very warm in Europe (probably the warmest ever for Italy) but the ice sheet from Greenland reached NW Iceland for short periods but in several occasions.

  299. bernie
    Posted May 17, 2007 at 12:56 PM | Permalink

    Steve (#295):
    That fits with the data – although given the land temperatures it looks very much like ocean currents are the likely key factor for determining sea ice extent. But to reiterate my earlier point on the thesis – we have a very clear proposition that is completely and visibily contradicted by the available data.
    I simply have a hard time understanding how this happened.

    P.S. How do I post a image without a URL?

  300. Follow the Money
    Posted May 17, 2007 at 1:00 PM | Permalink


    I went to the blog. What more could I add to Eduardo Ferreyra’s comments ??(#80)

    As wartime aircrew knew, when you are getting a lot of flak you know you are over the target.

    Besides why the concern since the science is settled?


  301. bernie
    Posted May 17, 2007 at 2:46 PM | Permalink

    Interesting discussion on RC following a visit to a meeting on Ethics and Climate Change. On the one hand there are no surprises but the dominant discussion points give a reasonably clear view of the mind-sets operating in the non-skeptical AGW camp. Apparently I and all other skeptics are (a) fundamentaly unethical (b) in the pay of power and fuel companies (c) lackies of the Republican party (d) too dumb to understand climatology (e)thru (o) A combination of any 2,3 or 4 of the preceding!

  302. Dave Dardinger
    Posted May 17, 2007 at 4:43 PM | Permalink

    re: #301


    Unbelievably pathetic, I’d say. I wouldn’t even know how to begin talking some sense into that sort of group of brains of mush.

  303. bernie
    Posted May 17, 2007 at 4:52 PM | Permalink

    “Interesting” was not meant as an endorsement or as a compliment, merely as “providing insight”.

  304. Lee
    Posted May 17, 2007 at 5:53 PM | Permalink

    re 31 – water vapor and humidity

    fFreddy says:
    May 6th, 2007 at 5:48 pm

    Re #27, paul
    CO2 is a greenhouse gas, but a minor one.

    The warming alarmists argument is that a bit more CO2 causes a bit more greenhouse effect, and a bit of temperature rise. This causes a bit more evaporation of water, which causes even more greenhouse effect and more temperature rise. So water vapour is acting as a lever for the CO2, and this is how they get their scary press releases about 5C temperature rises.
    However, they resolutely ignore other consequences of a more humid atmosphere, of which more clouds and more sunlight reflected back to space would seem the most likely.
    HTH …

    Increased water vapor does NOT necessarily mean a more humid atmosphere. The greenhouse effect of water vapor is dependent on its absolute concentration. The humidity is dependent on concentration relative to temperature. It is entirely possible to have higher temperatures, higher absolute concentration of water vapor, and LOWER humidity. As I understand it, what real-world data exists – and it is acknowledged to be inadequate at the moment, but it is what we have – indicates that humidity will stay close to constant with increasing temperatures and water vapor changes. This is in agreement with the models.

    To claim that this is ignored is simply untrue. Water vapor dynamics is a major feature of the models, and the effects of water vapor dynamics on cloud formation is the biggest open question currently under investigation.

  305. Philip B
    Posted May 17, 2007 at 7:25 PM | Permalink

    bernie, you may be interested in this analysis of temperature data from Macquarie Island (high latitude like Svalbard, but in the Southern Ocean)


    Scroll down to Consistent Macquarie.

    In summary, no warming found in the dataset, which starts in 1960.

  306. bernie
    Posted May 17, 2007 at 7:59 PM | Permalink

    Philip B:
    Thanks for the site. More no HS shape to the station data.

  307. David Smith
    Posted May 17, 2007 at 9:16 PM | Permalink

    Here’s a quick update on subsurface temperatures.

    The global chart for ocean temperature anomalies at 150 meter depth is here (bottom map). Note the very cool regions along the Pacific equator (La Nina in the wings), tropical Atlantic and tropical Indian Oceans. Contrast that with 12 months ago ( May 2006 ) with the near-normal Pacific and IO, and the noticeably warmer Atlantic.

    A little deeper, at 400 meters, the Pacific pattern looks like this . There is deep support for a cooling eastern Pacific. Interestingly, cooler water is also upwelling in the Caribbean and east of the Bahamas. That may affect Atlantic SST in the upcoming hurricane season.

  308. Barry Day
    Posted May 18, 2007 at 2:06 AM | Permalink



  309. Barry Day
    Posted May 18, 2007 at 2:14 AM | Permalink



  310. Andrey Levin
    Posted May 18, 2007 at 2:36 AM | Permalink


    “we got five years, that’s all we got”

    Reminds me of Dr. Paul Ehrlich:

    ‘€¢ “The battle to feed humanity is over. In the 1970s the world will undergo famines . . . hundreds of millions of people (including Americans) are going to starve to death.” (1968)
    ‘€¢ “Smog disasters” in 1973 might kill 200,000 people in New York and Los Angeles. (1969)
    ‘€¢ “I would take even money that England will not exist in the year 2000.” (1969)

    And where he is now? Bing Professor of Population Studies in the department of Biological Sciences at Stanford University.

    The only thing which remains to us, doomed, is to follow his advice:

    “When you reach a point where you realize further efforts will be futile, you may as well look after yourself and your friends and enjoy what little time you have left. That point for me is 1972.”

  311. Gerhard H. W.
    Posted May 18, 2007 at 8:45 AM | Permalink

    Since I have read many statistics papers and books I wanted to fiddle around a bit with the mannian PCs…

    But when I tried to open ftp://holocene.evsc.virginia.edu/pub/MBH98 I always got a “connection closed by server”

    Did they close or move the site? Or did just I miss something?


  312. Steve McIntyre
    Posted May 18, 2007 at 8:53 AM | Permalink

    Go to holocene.meteo.psu.edu

  313. Steve Sadlov
    Posted May 18, 2007 at 8:58 AM | Permalink

    RE: #310 – I read somewhere that Bowie had read Ehrlich when he wrote that song. Said something to the effect he was caught up in the whole late 60s, early 70s doom and gloom at the time. From that to “China Girl” and “Let’s Dance” obviously he shook off the gloom …. LOL!

  314. David Smith
    Posted May 18, 2007 at 11:21 AM | Permalink

    A question about spline smoothing methods –

    How does 50-year cubic spline smoothing handle the most-recent part of the time series, say the data for year 1995? Simple moving averages, where say 1995 would be averaged with 1994 and 1996, work so long as the year in question is far enough from the end point. But if the year being calculated is 2006, and therefore 2007 data does not exist, I can’t calculate the simple moving average.

    Rob Wilson’s figure shows instrumental data up to 2000 in what is a very smooth curve. I’m trying to figure out how that is possible. I’m not suspicious of anything but rather just trying to understand how spline methodology works near end-points.

  315. Steve Sadlov
    Posted May 18, 2007 at 12:45 PM | Permalink

    NWS 48 hour forecast (fronts and precip) map is prog’ing snowfall down to the north shore of Lake Superior. I know it’s weather, not climate.

  316. JPK
    Posted May 18, 2007 at 1:35 PM | Permalink


    We who live along the Great Lakes have not quite got out of late Winter. Persistent outbreaks of Continental Polar air have not only given us late frosts, but have killed off alot of our fruit crops for the year. This will be the second year in a row that Summer will come late in this region. Of course, NOAA will show the Western Great Lakes having above average March, April and May. They did the same last year- despite a number of record lows recorded at several of our reporting stations.

    Another mystery for me is how can Canada continue to produce near record cold air masses, but appear to have above average surface temps. If this is what Global Warming produces, then I will just have to keep my jacket handy all Summer.

  317. jae
    Posted May 18, 2007 at 1:38 PM | Permalink

    From the linked article in 309:

    The six editors of
    the journal Climate Research who dared to publish the Soon and Baliunas 2003 paper were fired by the publisher.

  318. bernie
    Posted May 18, 2007 at 2:38 PM | Permalink

    The problem is that Dr. Zbigniew Jaworowski’s article, while interesting, is published in a Lyndon Larouche magazine. It is too easy to take potshots at him and dismiss what he says, as they have done over at RC and elsewhere – regardless of the merits of what he says.

  319. bernie
    Posted May 18, 2007 at 2:39 PM | Permalink

    I am still looking for guidance on posting an image as part of a reply.

  320. Filippo Turturici
    Posted May 18, 2007 at 3:14 PM | Permalink

    I can say to have finished examining (to tell the truth, it is enough simple and fast, but I liked to be sure) the data from 3 series: MSU-D for satellites (ground to 8km – if the correct channel name is not D, then keep this altitude datum); HadCRU for the British Hadley Centre; and GHCN for NOAA-NCEP.
    This is of course just a personal outlook, not a real research, but it was interesting.
    I focused on the 1998-2006 period, then on the last 5 years for 4 macro-areas: World, Boreal Emisphere, Austral Emisphere, Equatorial belt (considering the area between the two tropics); plus a 1979-2006 look for Antarctica – since 1979 because MSU data start in that year – and I found really interesting things.
    I talk about statistical trends, not absolute minima/maxima; and for very little changes, nearly always less than 0.1°C, so trends that can be also considered (both increasing and decreasing) as not always significant, because of the measure uncertainty of at least 0.1°C (HadCRU).

    For 1998-2006: all series show a slight increase of World temperature, on the trends, between 0.03°C and 0.05°C; for GHCN, S Emisphere experienced a bit more warming than N one; for HadCRU, the contrary; for MSU, still S Emisphere had a slightly more warming.
    So no surprise at all: at least, if you are not claiming that global warming is accelerating or “exponentially growing” (being the warming velocity a quarter than the one of the decade until 1998, we have (dT/dt)_2cooling and not a warming, about 0.01°C. Only GHCN show a (still slight) warming, about 0.04°C.
    HadCRU and MSU both show a S Emisphere cooling, 0.09-0.1°C for MSU, 0.05-0.06°C for HadCRU; and a N Emisphere warming. GHCN shows both emispheres warming.
    But there is an important thing on which all 3 series agree: the Equatorial belt cooling, from 0.03°C (MSU) to 0.08°C (HadCRU). This is very important because in this area all the warming forcings are stronger, at their maximum, both for the solar/cosmic rays theories, and for AGW theories (see GISS maps).

    As shown, trends are often too “flat” to let us predict a further warming or instead a near cooling.
    But we can still consider three things in my opinion:
    – there is a net divergence between HadCRU-MSU and GHCN, 0.05°C in 5 years is little but not so much in certain cases; but they are still in the 0.2°C (0.1+0.1) uncertainty range – unless if you are claiming that 2005 is the warmest year ever because of the hundredths of degree;
    – we can still claim for a stabilisation of the warming in the last years, or at least for a sensible net slowing down of the warming;
    – the area which should lead the warming is instead slightly cooling in the last years, for all 3 series, so it seems that it is more sensible to El Nino (very strong in 1998, less strong in 2002, weaker but longer in 2005) than to a progressive warming forcing.
    We can had also:
    – data fits enough with Landscheit forecasts, of Earth progressively entering a colder period due to (slightly for now, really happening – stronger in the next decade, just forecasted) progressively weaker Solar activity, and that only Nino events could have temporary reversed this process (considering that 2005 and 2007 Ninos happened some month before Landscheit forecasts, then a bit quickly, this may have led to this “plateau” instead of a cooling); but Nino events would have become weaker then less frequent in the years, while instead Nina events would have become stronger (actually it is happening, in the last years, and which may be represented by Equatorial belt cooling);
    – data would fit even with IPCC or GISS forecasts, as for XXth century a net warming may happen also with temporary coolings; but, until they continue to claim about “accelerating”, “exponential”, “unstoppable” and global warming, I feel these data like a little blow for their theories.

    Of course, 2007 could be a warmer year (I think not the warmest one) and so a 2002-2007 trend could change, but we will have any real evidence (both for cooling or for warming trends, both with or without 2007) not before 2010-…-2012!

  321. Filippo Turturici
    Posted May 18, 2007 at 3:28 PM | Permalink

    The forum engine is censoring me 🙂 am error occurred, and just in the most interesting paragraph.
    Between “we have (dT/dt)_2” and “cooling and not a warming” I was saying two things:
    – global warming has slowed down in the last 9 years, being acceleration negative;
    – and the planet has cooled of 0.01°C for both MSU and HadCRU series since 2002. (I have chosen last 5 years because in many long term series such a period is used to make moving averages).

    For Antarctica, all series see a cooling, since 1979, between 70°S and 90°S, the large most part of the continent and the main permanent ice sheet area; but for 60-90°S, with many sea tracts (but which largely freeze during winter) and a small part of land, MSU still show a 0.3°C cooling, while HadCRU and GHCN show a 0.1-0.3°C warming (anyway a half then global warming of the same period – and also to consider that much part of this warming is concentrated just on the Antarctic peninsula).

  322. David Smith
    Posted May 18, 2007 at 6:16 PM | Permalink

    Re #319 Bernie, if you can’t get an image posted here, I can place it on an auditblog page for you, to which you can then link. If you have an interest, e-mail the image to me at mndsmith33 at earthlink.net and I’ll reply to you with the link.

  323. Richard Sharpe
    Posted May 18, 2007 at 7:32 PM | Permalink

    The evidence of such sheer dishonesty in science was hard to accept refers to Climate Audit.

  324. Philip B
    Posted May 18, 2007 at 8:13 PM | Permalink

    Filipo, you may be interested in the analyses at the link below.

    In summary, because maximum and minimum temperatures both typically occur in the daytime, using them to derive the mean temperature gives a misleading picture of temperature throughout the day.

    In recent years increasing maximum and minimum temperatures reflect an increase in daytime heating and do not reflect a compensating increase in nighttime cooling. The effect is significant, larger than the temperature changes you see in the datasets you reference.

    Using a mean temperature derived from maximum and minimum is not a precise enough measure of mean temperature to make the size of changes you are seeing significant.

    Although, it’s interesting you find most cooling at the poles and most warming in the tropics, because that is exactly what you’d expect if were seeing more sunlight driven daytime heating but increased (radiative?) nighttime cooling. It would also indicate that the climate is cooling and that cooling is being masked by how mean temperature is derived.


  325. Posted May 19, 2007 at 12:56 AM | Permalink


    Hmmm, non-causal filtering + end-points, you can’t have your cake and eat it too ;).. But I’ll write what statistically optimal smoothers do near the end-points later (related to the discussion in here ) .

  326. TonyN
    Posted May 19, 2007 at 3:22 AM | Permalink

    The BBC ran the the Ayle Ice Shelf breakup story again last night as a major headline on the evening news. This seems to be because the credulous David Shukman has managed to hitch a lift with some scientists who are going to have a look at it.

    Shukman said that this was new and dramatic evidence of climate change; the scientists didn’t. At the very end of the item one of them was shown muttering that there was no evidence that the breakup was caused by climate change, but of course he was sure that it was. There was no suggestion that seismic or tidal effects might be responsible.

    If this is the best kind of evidence that the BBC can now find to support their stance on AGW then perhaps the Chief Government Scientist is right when he says that the argument is over for all rational people.

    Steves first post on this subject is here

  327. David Smith
    Posted May 19, 2007 at 8:55 AM | Permalink

    For those in the US there’s a storm brewing that is worth noting.

    Here is Jeff Master’s take on the issue and here is a related article .

    At first glance this seems like a bureaucratic money battle but I suspect there’s more to it than that. When directors resign and another goes public with complaints, it’s about more than a simple name change. It’s about control.

    The US National Hurricane Center / Tropical Prediction Center has plainly stated that there are natural cycles in Atlantic hurricane frequency and that the post-1994 upturn in Atlantic storms is most likely natural in origin. This position muddied an issue (hurricanes) that could have been a prime mover of American public opinion on global warming.

    Now, it looks like NOAA is moving towards firmer control of the hurricane people. Any bets on whether the Hurricane Center’s future message changes towards one more supportive of AGW/hurricane connections?

    If you can’t beat them with science, take them over.

  328. bernie
    Posted May 19, 2007 at 10:23 AM | Permalink

    Thanks to David Smith I can restate a point raised earlier about Svalbard temperatures but this time include
    the station data.

    Again the “canary in the mine” appears to be doing fine. Does anyone see anything different?

  329. bender
    Posted May 19, 2007 at 10:48 AM | Permalink

    Re #328

    Does anyone see anything different?

    At the risk of occupying too much bandwidth, yes – I do.

    Compute PDSI for these series, then do your trend statistics on the early and late 20th c. trends. Show your work. Then choose your favorite CO2 sensitivity coefficient and GHG trend scenario, and project forward drought frequency. Then tell me if you are comfortable with what you see. Some people will be. Some won’t. As with hurricanes, AGW doesn’t cause drought. But it could have a marginal influence on drought probability. If you live away from the hurricane track, you’re not going to care alot about a small change in hurricane frequency/probability. If you live outside the drought-prone midwest you’re not going to care alot about a small change in drought frequency/probability. Those living on the margins will want to look at those numbers objectively, without fear or alarm.

    Statistics, done properly, don’t lie. Whereas graphics can be stretched or tweaked to emphasize a point of rhetoric, such as absence of a trend.

  330. bernie
    Posted May 19, 2007 at 11:00 AM | Permalink

    I assume that in some way you fundamentally disagree with Svalbard as a “canary in the mine” notion? If so, do you have alternative “canaries”?

    If someone has the tools and datasets to do what bender suggests I would certainly be interested in the results.

    I am not sure I understand the drought reference.

  331. TommyS
    Posted May 19, 2007 at 1:04 PM | Permalink

    I read this blog with great joy! Thanks everyone.

    The divergence problem is facinating.
    Let’s say it was anthropogenic. What could cause it?
    I have seen old pictures from the hills behind me right now. All naked and few trees. Now it is like a jungle.
    An island to the west, the Faroes, have still lots of sheeps and no trees.

    If trees, grasses, bushes were alowed to grow. Weren’t they competing for the resources? Water, light, nutrients?

    I have also a few questions.

    1. In the dendro field, have there been any instrumentation of real trees in the field to measure temperature, moist, light, CO2, etc? It is quite expensive to build a big greenhouse, why not measure on-site?

    2. Does anyone here know a link to CO2 measurement data? What kind of variability exsists from grasslands to forests, and from morning to night?

    Thanks in advance!

  332. Steve McIntyre
    Posted May 19, 2007 at 1:27 PM | Permalink

    #330. Svalbard was a location that greatly interested Hubert Lamb, as a locale where the front of cold Arctic water can change on a centennial scale. I’ve posted up some of his interesting observations.

  333. KevinUK
    Posted May 19, 2007 at 1:40 PM | Permalink

    #331 Tommy S

    CDIAC is probably a good start. But don’t of course read Beck 2007 as that is heresy on this blog.


  334. Hans Erren
    Posted May 19, 2007 at 3:04 PM | Permalink

    You can read Beck, the data are fine, it’s just that his conclusions about them are utter nonsense.

  335. Michael Jankowski
    Posted May 19, 2007 at 3:34 PM | Permalink

    Maybe Svalbard is being affected by teleconnections. Maybe we need to look at the temperatures and precipitation in Bombay or Philly.

  336. Steve McIntyre
    Posted May 19, 2007 at 3:44 PM | Permalink

    #335. There’s an interesting connection between precipitation in Bombay and Philly. The locations of the precipitation series in MBH98 are TOTALLY screwed up. PAris precipitation is used in New England. I think that the MBH98 Bombay precipitation comes from around Philadelphia, but I wasn’t able to locate it. I asked Nature ot provide provenance for the precipitation series in MBH98 and they were content with “NOAA”. In Mannian methodology, teleconnections between misplaced series are permitted.

  337. John F. Pittman
    Posted May 19, 2007 at 4:00 PM | Permalink

    I need an opinion is Jarworoski woth spending time reading and looking up references? His writing seems a bit deterministic. Thanks.

  338. Hans Erren
    Posted May 19, 2007 at 6:08 PM | Permalink

    No Jaworowski is a handwaving contrarian who is suggesting all sorts of errors in the ice cores but doesn’t give any evidence that all these errors do really occur.

  339. Joel McDade
    Posted May 19, 2007 at 7:13 PM | Permalink


    As someone with long forgotten science training I was nearly taken in by Jaworowski. Can’t say what it was that had my alarm bells ringing, but ringing they were. Wow, what a disservice to honorable skepticism (if I am right about him).

  340. Michael Jankowski
    Posted May 19, 2007 at 8:30 PM | Permalink

    Re #336, I intentionally selected Bombay and Philly due to your past comments.

    Re #337, 338, others, I hope to never be confused with Jaworowski. But were I to publish a climate paper, I have a sneaking suspicion I would be.

  341. David Smith
    Posted May 19, 2007 at 9:49 PM | Permalink

    For something entirely different, a couple of satellite images:

    Smog over China . I wonder how much of that is aerosol.

    Solar eclipse shadow on the Saharan Desert .

  342. hswiseman
    Posted May 19, 2007 at 10:49 PM | Permalink

    Re: 341

    David, trust me that image is no exaggeration. I just returned from this precise area yesterday and it possesses the worst air pollution I have ever seen. Even after a frontal passage, the smog rapidily filled in. The only thing I can compare it to is the downwind area of a Florida brush fire. Except the smog is everywhere, more intense in urban areas of course, but runs from Hong Kong to South of Shanghai at least. I cannot tell how much is sulpher dioxide or pure particulate, but none of it is any good that’s for sure. Southern China is rapidly turning into a huge UHI, and this atmospheric trap is probably making matters worse. The heat and humidity were severe for mid May. I last visited this area in 1996, and conditions have markedly deteriorated pollution-wise (not that it was any good then either!) I say all this with the limited sampling caveat of course, but the local HK press is in an uproar about the China pollution (air and water) that is ending up on HK’s doorstop. HK only wants the $$ from China. Please keep the pollution on your side of the border, thank you.

  343. richardT
    Posted May 20, 2007 at 1:20 AM | Permalink

    There are some results in the literature that are outrageously wrongheaded (for example Beck’s trawling for old CO2 data, and the claim that humans are responsible for only 0.0000002% of CO2 emissions over GEOLOGICAL time) that one might suspect that they were planted by “the team” to discredit the skeptical movement.
    Jaworowski falls for all of these, and adds a huge dose of paranoia, revealing that he lacks scientific judgment, and his skepticism is entirely one sided. At best he may have identified some second or third order effects in ice core gas concentrations, but discussion of these is mixed with egregious misunderstandings of the ice core data.

  344. Andrey Levin
    Posted May 20, 2007 at 3:44 AM | Permalink


    [snip – I’ve asked this not be discussed here]

  345. richardT
    Posted May 20, 2007 at 4:33 AM | Permalink

    I never cease to be amazed how skeptics here can be so hostile to tree ring data, yet so accepting of stomatal density-CO2 reconstructions. Could it be be that they find the results of the former unpalatable, but those of the latter fit their world view.

    Stomatal estimates of CO2 concentrations have been questioned several times, and greenhouse experiments have show that some of the species used in the reconstructions are not sensitive. This is precisely the type of data the tree ring-skeptics are demanding, yet the stomata proponents here are ignoring it. Is there any ulterior motive?

  346. Steve McIntyre
    Posted May 20, 2007 at 5:13 AM | Permalink

    I agree with Richard T’s point 100%. I’ve asked repeatedly that these discussions of CO2 levels (whether it be Beck or Jaworski or stomata) be taken elsewhere as I do not have the time or interest to engage in what’s wrong with them and don’t want to be accused of not repudiating them. I agree with Richard T on the pathology of people seizing on results because they suit a world-view.

  347. John F. Pittman
    Posted May 20, 2007 at 5:23 AM | Permalink

    #338, #346
    It is a wrong assumption to think that CO2 will be equal in the air and the ice. It will not be. You can find this in any good mass transfer book. Though, I have not looked into it, it may be that the CO2 will be higher not lower in the ice. Also, all matter diffuses, even has a partial pressure. Generally, it is low. However, when one is talking about geologic time, and the effect of pressures, as one goes down in depth in the ice field, this diffusion is not minor, and one cannot rightly claim the CO2 were equal or it stayed “trapped” without collabrative evidence. Haven’t read about stomatal estimates, so I don’t have an opinion. I do know that tree rings measure the plant’s growth, not necessarily temperature. I know that there is concern about the quality of the temperature signal obtained (divergence issues, not matching historical events such as MWP, LIA). Also, when I questioned a post of the dip between 1940 and 1970, the person had as explanation this paper that used an economic statistical approach, not emission data, to conclude that starting in the 1990’s, world emissions in PM and aerosols went down. My expierence and articles concerning China’s boom generally contradict that. So, I find there are several areas of concern, not hostility, when using tree ring or ice core data. But it may be the best we have at present. I do like the fact that somebody actually tested some species for stomatal sensitivity. Too bad, they won’t do this for tree rings, or aerosol emissions. They are spending enough money trying to come up with regulations about CO2 to fund such experiments, much less how much EU spent on “carbon credits”.

    show that some of the species used in the reconstructions are not sensitive

    Does that mean some are sensitive and the discussion should center on these species?

  348. John F. Pittman
    Posted May 20, 2007 at 5:25 AM | Permalink

    Sorry 346, I didn’t see your post before I submitted mine. You must be working this morning. Delete my comment if you wish.

  349. Auditor General
    Posted May 20, 2007 at 5:29 AM | Permalink

    Did you truncate my posted data Steve? Looking specifically at the funding and program of paleoclimate research is surely bang on target.

  350. Steve McIntyre
    Posted May 20, 2007 at 5:38 AM | Permalink

    #349. Again it’s not an issue that I wish to deal with on this blog. IF someone wants to observe that researcher X has received $x million and not archived his data, that’s one thing. But no venting about money. There’s been too much of that

  351. Stan Palmer
    Posted May 20, 2007 at 6:08 AM | Permalink

    The Canadian federal govern,emt has recenlty announced measures to deal with AGW. One of tehse is the now standard ban on incadescent light bulbs. Cpmpact flourescent lighting is the technology seen to replace them in the short term. I suppose that it is easy to guess what the new environmental is:


    The newspapers now have stories about how compact flouresecent lighting can damage eyesight.

  352. Posted May 20, 2007 at 6:15 AM | Permalink

    re #350: Agreed. Venting about money is unproductive, however seeing how it’s spent might be. You recently pointed out that there’s no funding for the independent validation of GCMs, any idea of the proportion of research funds going into independent validation work in other areas?

%d bloggers like this: